Jesus the Homemaker

The Word of God tells us to “guard our hearts” and that sounds like a defensive posture, which sounds, well, defensive.  But it’s actually a preparation and strength posture.

I think of it in physical terms as the Keep of the Castle.  Guarding our hearts means keeping our hearts.  “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

The Keep is where the goods are, the sustenance, the abundance.  For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks (Luke 6:45).  Ah, now we’re getting somewhere.

What is spoken will be.  Proverbs 18:21 tells us that there is the power of life and death in the tongue.  Focus on the word “power” there, and let’s ask ourselves this question:  Who has the power here – are we going to speak for Satan, words that will destroy our own lives, or are we going to speak for the Lover of our souls, the author and finisher of our faith?

James 3:2 says, “If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body.”  The only thing more amazing to me than how little Christians know about the tongue’s power of life and death, is how often I speak as though I am a total tongue-power ignoramus.

I know and believe the Word’s admonitions regarding the tongue.  I have read and re-read Joyce Meyer’s Me and My Big Mouth. I know that I guard my heart, indeed my entire life, when my tongue is harnessed to the Holy Spirit via prayer and diligent attention to the Word.  I know and believe and have experienced the devastation wrought when I go ahead and wound my very own soul by speaking death words.

Death words are words of darkness and doom, of doubt and dismay.  Words with the power to open my heart right up to fear.  Then comes the physical manifestation – an actual poisoning of my entire system, also known as stress.

We guard our hearts with our tongues, and we guard our tongues when we guard our hearts.  A lovely life circle.  Or, we can go our own way . . . and say whatever the HELL (that’s where it’s from) we FEEL like saying.

What would Jesus have us say?  “Poor poor pitiful me?”  “Woe is me, I’m so misunderstood and unloved?”   “Why does this always happen to me?”

The answer is “none of the above.”  He would have us say, “God is my refuge, God is my strength, a very present help in trouble.”  He Himself would say, “Get thee behind me, Satan!” and “Where’s someone I can love and bless and heal and help?  Come unto me!” (John 7:37).

“Come unto me all ye who are weak and heavy laden.”  We weaken ourselves when we SPEAK the weakness.  Weakness is only a temporary fact, but it is not the truth of the matter.  The truth of the matter is what the Word of God says about it.  He is my shelter (Psalm 61:3), my strong tower, my very present help in trouble.  Sing the song I Will Arise (listen to Phil Driscoll do it first), “I will arise and go to Jesus.  He will embrace me in His arms.  In the arms of my dear Savior, oh there are 10,000 charms.”

What again, would Jesus say?  He would speak from a guarded heart, words of life.  His heart was guarded by his focus on and love for others.  He freed Himself to the beautiful life that is a life of caring for others.

Like, um, well, a Homemaker.

Anyone Can Find Crappy Christians – They Advertise Quite Effectively, But . . .

The only Christian we need to be looking at is Jesus.  I am always meeting people who justify their faithless lives with their sob stories of mistreatment by Christians.

Consider this:  Just because someone calls themselves Christian does not mean they know Christ, and that His Spirit has shed abroad the love of Christ in their heart.

And consider this:  Even born-again, Spirit-filled (yes that’s a thing, and I do mean a THING) Christians can really miss it and really be deceived and deluded (they can spout the BLASPHEMY that God does horrible things to people to “teach them a a lesson.”   See John 10:10).

And consider this:  If you let any person be your lens for looking at Christianity, you’re looking through a clouded lens.  Look at Jesus Himself.

The Christianity of the Bible is about love, hope, and victory through a living Savior, and if anyone presents it as a religious set of rules, they look suspiciously like someone who does not know Him.  Christianity is a relationship, not a religion.  It brings life not death, conviction but not condemnation, victory rather than victimhood.  Again, real Christianity brings life, because it is alive.

Jesus is alive, and He lives in the hearts of those who will invite Him in.

What a deal.  Don’t let any poor specimen of Christianity steal the deal.

Amen!

Don’t Butt Heads with Buttheads, or with Granite-Skulled Mountain Goats

goats

There is Door Number 3, the door where I don’t go to jail.

Door Number 1 goes into Strife City, and the path leading there is Stupid Street.  Someone says something idiotic and offensive and devoid of all logic, reason, and wisdom, and I act accordingly.  That is, I decide I am going to set them straight.  This is idiotic and devoid of all logic, reason and wisdom, and I end up even more offended than when I started.

“Don’t butt heads with a butthead, Bev,” I admonish myself and promise never to do so again.  I know!  I shall (once again, even though it’s never worked before) try Door Number 2.

Door Number 2 is the High Road, where I pay them no mind whatsoever.  At first.  But I keep thinking about what they said, and vainly imagine (the Bible says to cast down “vain imaginations”) what I coulda, shoulda, woulda said.  I stew, and simmer, and stew, and simmer.

And then I murmur, and maybe gripe a little about it to someone else.  Then comes the fun had by all:  the rant.

Which leads me to, finally, mature spiritual genius that I am, Door Number 3.  I think I know the way, and what to expect, based on past (admittedly rather limited) time spent here.  I take the path marked “Forgiveness” and follow it to “Pray for them” and finally bask at a high place:  Mount Victory.

But, lo, what is this heretofore unnoticed path?  And what do I see here in this high spot but a Granite-Skulled Mountain Goat?  I look to the left and to the right and there are others.  I turn around, hoping to go back the way I came.  Another goat.

I’m surrounded.  I did the tried and true.  The Formula!  I forgave and prayed for any and all buttheads in my life – past, present and future.  And what did I get?  Another version of the same animal.

I look to Heaven.  That’s the joy of Heaven!  No buttheads allowed!  Sheep, not goats!

I look around me again, hoping the goats will go away.  Instead, one is moving toward me, a little one, making tiny “maaaaa” sounds.  I can’t help but reach out my hand toward it, and suddenly it becomes a sheep, a little lamb.  I look at its anxious mother, and she too, is morphing into a fluffy sheep, fretfully following and nudging her baby away from me.

I squat and gather grasses into my hand, reaching and gently calling.  “It’s OK.  Here you go,” I whisper.  I turn toward the fretting mother and reach to her.  She sniffs and gently nibbles the grasses in my hand, then backs up and lets her little one approach.

And I hear our Maker’s voice on the mountain breezes:  If you think in butthead, you will see in butthead.  Don’t be a granite-skulled goat.  Be my sheep and feed my sheep.  And I felt His hand stroking my fleecy head, and maybe even scratching behind my ears.

The mama sheep and her baby stand before me, at attention.  I feed them more grasses, pat and stroke their heads, make lovey noises at them, and even scratch behind their ears.

The goats watch to see if such treatment is only for sheep.

I repent.

When I Write a Book . . .

I picked up Alice Hoffman’s The Third Angel because it was recommended in Fearless Writing.

I have a like/dislike relationship with this book, but I’m keeping on with it because it keeps redeeming itself, keeps pulling me along with unexpected delights.

I am not delighted with a woman who is marrying a man she knows to be selfish and flawed, but I am carried away with the answer to her own question:  How do you love such a person?  You just do it.

I am delighted when a book reminds me of the truths in my own life, how love is an act, a sacrifice, a looking like God.  Love is God and I am becoming more transformed into His image when I “just do it.”

Like the character in The Third Angel, I find myself unmoved by the flaws in those I love, even blind to them, when I get on that love train and we both start going places.  Life becomes an adventure of raw discovery, flaws become idiosyncrasies, differences become intriguing – even delightful, and life is good.

There is language in The Third Angel.  If not, the editors would probably say to the author, “This is London, you must have language, no one will believe it otherwise.”  But if I write a book, the strongest language will begin with “sh” and end with “it” even if the plane is crashing.

Wait.  No planes crashing in my book.  I will, as they say, write what I know.  Spaghetti sauce in a favorite antique bowl slipping out of my hand as I swipe it out of the fridge, breaking and splattering spaghetti sauce all over the kitchen.  Living and moving and breathing spaghetti sauce.  Everywhere.  Little faces astounded at the crash and even more at Mommy saying that word.

But then I would forget about a broken bowl and a messy kitchen because there is a much larger issue:  tender and bare feet.  I would shoo them away and clean every last speck – not perhaps every last speck of spaghetti sauce, which I will be finding this time next year, but every single last speck of glass.

Because I know these feet are going to be with me forever.  I know what is real and good, and that is the life of my children.  Life.

I don’t know if Alice Hoffman knows life is good, if her book will end as a good book must, with a satisfactory and victorious ending (a love ending).  I do know if I write a book, it will be filled top to bottom, end to end, and side to side with “Just do it” love.

Amen.

P.S.  Don’t miss The Homefront Show Fridays at 2:00 MTN.  Go to 1360am.co and join the fun!

 

 

Pentecost, and all Things Richly to Enjoy

 

creek 2

Taking a walk in the cool not-quite-summer breezes the other morning an old question popped into my mind:  Which of the senses would you miss the most, were you to lose it?

Loss of sight would mean no more color, no more iridescent, translucent, sparkling, proof-of- God color.  No more looking into the eyes of my beloveds, no more laughing at a child’s guileless smile.

Not good.

Loss of smell would mean I couldn’t smell this sage I’m crushing in my fingers and thereby being lifted, transported.  Same for the juniper, pine, spruce, fir and cedar on the heavenly breeze.

Loss of smell would mean roast beef and vegetables and gravy and hot buttered homemade bread would be irrelevant.  Also not good.

Loss of smell would mean I wouldn’t notice the clove on John’s breath when he kissed me.

A kiss.  A touch.  Not being able to feel the kissing face, or hugged neck, or the touch of a hand of another of God’s children.

marmot

Hearing.  A marmot is sounding the alarm because the dogs are busy sniffing out his rock pile, and the spring snowmelt has made the creek practically roar as it rushes out of its banks, but not above my favorite creekside blessing rock.

And I couldn’t hear His praises sung from the depths of the hearts of His children in church this morning, on Pentecost Sunday.  This thought makes me catch my breath from the sudden glitch of alarm, the actual physical ache, in my spirit.  But, on this day of all days, I am choosing not to think about “what ifs” and possible losses.  I am thinking of my utter inability to even begin to grasp the magnitude of the Love of God.  This is the sense I want to exercise, increase, develop.  This is the realm into which I want to delve more deeply.  More richly.

He has given us all things richly to enjoy.  I call the dogs off and they happily dash off to the next thrill, all senses alert.  He has given us all things richly to enjoy.  This thought again wafts into my mind and I think of how all the senses will be alive and blessing me at once if I simply take this walk with a loved one, sit by the creek eating roast beef on homemade bread with also homemade mayo, and watch steam swirl up out of a thermos of tea as we sip and smile at each other.  And as we see on each others’ faces peace.  How beautiful, how marvelous.  Oh, Lord, our Lord, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth.

In all the earth.  He has given us so much to enjoy.  Let us not, in pursuits of manmade enjoyments and entertainments, forgo, forget, become blind to, the wonderful world He has made.  In all of our seeking, with all of our senses, let us tune into Him.  Let us daily live a life of Pentecost.  Amen.

 

 

 

 

10 Ways to Build Faith Plus Purple Cadillacs and Forgiveness Vroom!

Pink Cadillac

Tomorrow, Friday June 2 at 2:00 Mountain time!  Make a Note and tune in:

Go to 1360am.co

Wait for it, and

Click on the “Live Radio” button.

I’ll have a special guest, purple Cadillac thoughts, nuclear-powered forgiveness, ten ways to build your faith – things that just plain build everything, so that life is an ADVENTURE – and more, much more!

It’s a non-stop hour of information and inspiration and just plain good stuff.

Thanks for listening!

 

Casting Cares from thestream.org

stream pic.jpg

I am amazed at myself that I even EVER listen to mainstream news sources.  Why the lament about what they say and don’t say, the bias, the slant, the lies, the DIVISION?  Why give them the time of day, supporting them?  Why not, I ask, just go elsewhere?

I have discovered thestream.org, not where I agree with everything therein, but where I have access to thought-provoking, well-researched articles.  But I am looking for more than research, which is often little more than an effort to prop up a faulty premise with the words of someone else also operating under faulty premises.  In fact, the more well-known the writer, the more prestigious the publication cited, the more I question what is written.

Cases in point:  articles from The National Review and from a minister I know and love.  Both, I found a little lacking (a bit unscriptural).  But that’s not the point.

The point is making sense of all this information, knowing what to do with it, what to ignore, what to pay heed to, and most of all, what to pray about.  I have taken to spending a limited amount of time at thestream.org, clicking on the articles that speak to me (more on this), reading them, and then praying.

Perhaps an article fills me with grief (doctors prescribing pain meds to pregnant moms), or with consternation (Gorsuch’s words about Trump), or makes me rejoice (speeches at the March for Life).  Always, there is an appropriate response, and it is not a rant, a whine, or a lament.

The appropriate response is to seek the Holy Spirit’s leading on how and what to pray, to say, to decree and declare, and on any further action to take.

It’s high time we forsook fake news (establishment) spouted on TV by plastic people who can barely keep the sneers and smiles off their faces as they indignantly protest whatever they’re told to protest.

It’s high time we, as Christian Americans, take dominion over our hearts and minds and refuse to fill them with pollution and propaganda.

It’s high time we cast our cares on Jesus and ask Him what He wants us to be thinking and doing. 

Media-controlled puppets no more!