Life is Good. Worry is bad.

I live with kind and undemanding folks, which sounds like a very good thing, right? But it can cause me to get a bit selfish and too into my own thing, which never seems to satisfy my soul. So, in my recent adventures in doing less and going my own way more, I am reminded of what I should KNOW by by: There is satisfaction in sharing, satisfaction in sacrifice.

And I am reminded of my mantra: A smart girl like you oughtta be able to figure this out. Of what am I speaking? I am speaking of the lack of shared meals happening of late at House of Parker.

We all have differing schedules, dietary preferences, and priorities–one person gets up at 3:30 a.m and is home any time between noon and 5:00; another gets off work at 11:00 p.m. The easy thing is to just say, “Who cares?”

The voice plaguing me says they don’t know or appreciate what it takes to put healthy meals on the table; it takes too much time; we’re in a new season and it doesn’t matter that much anyway. “Reason” continues: If I cook what they want it’s too hard to stay low-carb; let them cook their own–they know how.

And yes, they can and often do “cook their own” with the attendant continually messy kitchen, use of ingredients meant for other things, formation of unhealthy habits, and a general state of culinary chaos.

But that isn’t “the thing” really. The thing is that we no longer have “Table Share”. When I read a beautiful quote, or hear an amazing tale which simply must be shared for the joy and edification of all parties, for the common bond created via the ensuing good conversation, the best opportunity for doing so–while enjoying a meal–is unavailable.

What then shall a smart girl do? Give up? Sigh? Call someone and gripe (true friends share joys, not gripes)? No, she changes things here and there. She calls a family meeting first of all, enticing everyone with milk and no-bakes (chocolate oatmeal cookies cooked stovetop with plenty of butter, vanilla, salt, maybe some peanut butter and almond flavoring, and a bit more salt than called for).

In this meeting it is discerned that everyone is fine with her having more time to “do whatever” she wants, and that she should just “make herself happy”. And so . . . the hope that they will tell her what to do, how to solve this issue about which she is apparently the only one who cares, fades into more of the voices: It doesn’t matter; no one cares; you’re the only one bothered by this.

I own it. I am bothered by this, and that’s reason enough to do something about it, and I will find a solution.

So here it is: Breakfast together will be in the form of a weekend brunch; we’ll have dinner together (sort of–when it’s possible) and I will have beautiful times alone, as well as lovely times with only one of my beloveds at a time per their schedules, and on those marvelous times we’re all available, it will be all the more beautiful and lovely for the rarity.

And I will relax, and live in the unforced rhythms of grace given by my Creator. Because it always comes down to this: As smart as I am, He is smarter. He cares about what I care about, and He cares about me.

So rather than losing my creative juices via fretting, I will stop. Rest. And make my darlings happy by making myself happy. I will live each and every day without a plan or a goal, except to receive what God has for me–peace and love and joy–and pass it on. If that happens to be over a meal, so much the better.

Life is good. Worry is bad.

An Ash Wednesday Like No Other? Lent for all Christians?

I hear tell that 20% of Protestants participate in Lent, which is essentially a Catholic thing. So, in looking into the idea of setting aside a period of time for dedicated fasting and prayer, beginning with Ash Wednesday, I have a brilliant idea for us all: What might we accomplish if we, on Ash Wednesday, set our alarms and/or timers to go off every 90 minutes, at which time we stop and pray.

What if we put it on our calendars to fast and pray every Wednesday and Friday, along with Christian believers all over the world, throughout Lent and beyond? What if the voices of millions are lifted on high, beginning tomorrow, every 90 minutes, all day long?

I plan to pray The Lord’s Prayer, speak Psalm 91 over everyone in any way involved in the fiasco between Ukraine and Russia, and further as the Holy Spirit leads. I am beginning tomorrow, hopefully with you, my very Dear Reader, and all those with whom you share this post.

None of us have anything at all more important to do than stop and pray tomorrow, every 90 minutes if at all possible. Why 90 minutes? Because long ago when I read and followed Jordan Rubin’s The Maker’s Diet and included his suggestion to pray regarding making the changes therein every 90 minutes, I found it to be quite effectual. It was a leaning on, a pressing into, a cleaving to, the wisdom and comfort of God.

Why is this important, why will it work? Because when the world sees Christians united they will see the goodness of God. Because we will be mighty–victorious over darkness and despair! Because we will bless the Lord.

So again, join me in creating a worldwide wave of spiritual might unto the pulling down of strongholds–in Ukraine, Russia, and everywhere else!

Begging is not Praying

I turned 63 at midnight and have been praying ever since. I can’t stop. Each time I try and think I’ll go to sleep, I start again. But let us back up. I keep using that word, “praying” and I do not think it means what you (maybe) think it means. My friend said it’s time to stop praying and start declaring and decreeing according to the Word, according to the promises, of God.

I thought that was part of prayer. Well, so does she, but in response to the unbelieving begging done by her prayer group, she’s defining prayer as do they: a begging of an unpredictable God. This, my dearest reader, is a mixing of covenants.

Unless and until you believe and receive what Jesus gave/accomplished on the Cross, you will never walk in victory, you will never pray the fervent, effectual prayers of a righteous man. “Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him as righteousness.”

Begging and hoping God might be in a good mood, that you might be “good enough” to get a good outcome, is not righteous behavior. Going around parrotting the evil report that “God is sovereign” as a cop-out, rather than standing fearlessly in faith come Hell or high water, is not righteous behavior. “Sovereign” is another one of those words you (maybe) keep using and which does not mean what you think it means.

Praying a paltry begging prayer from a heart full of pride and unforgiveness rather than from a confident heart–one cleansed via the childlike acceptance of the free gift of Jesus’ shed blood at Calvary–isn’t pious, it isn’t effectual, it isn’t righteous. It is selfish.

It is thinking that it’s so much all about you that you’re going to ignore the gift of the blood of Jesus. So, like my friend’s prayer group ladies, you can meet all day and all night and beg and beg and cry and cry for God to “do something” but until you receive and believe what He’s already done, you’re wasting your time.

Pathetic, paltry, lily-livered Christianity has got to go. It’s time to man-up, trust, and obey. And it’s time to stop believing lies of so-called “spiritual authorities” and just believe God. Jesus said to love and pray for our enemies; He said to trust and obey; over and over and over He said, “Fear not.” He said if we’d humble ourselves He’d heal our land. He said John 10:10. He said we have what we say. But He never said to beg.

Hooray for Insomnia

I was hoping it was at least 3:00 a.m. It was 1:30. But that was OK actually, and here’s why: I had put my jeans and writing shirt (more on that later) out before bed, right along with my water, Bible, scribble book, journal, pens and highlighers, and devotions. I was ready to sneak into John’s office (where the chairs are comfy and the computer cooperative) and have myself a little time with Jesus. Remember the song? So let us have a little talk with Jesus, let us tell Him all about our troubles . . .

I did have some troubles, as I woke from a disturbing dream and wanted to make sense of it, if sense could be made. But those troubles went away pretty quickly as I prayed and then found great teaching on YouTube.

It took a while to get through 2.5 sermons (I’ve paused in the middle of the third sermon to write this post) because I was taking notes, pausing to pray, pausing to sing scripture to God (I don’t sound all that bad and I know He likes my singing. I just know.) I also paused to pass on a sermon to people I think/hope will be blessed.

And let me admit it. I also passed it on to someone I think needs it. As do I. Especially the parts about remaining strong in such a time as this. How? Via meditating on the Word of God. Again, how? Well, let’s begin by saying it’s not how I recently heard a success guru say he does it–he “meditates” ten minutes.

Psalm 1:1-3 is helpful: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. (That’s verses 1 and 2–I’ll leave you to see this man’s reward in verse 3.)

Here’s most of what the Word Wealth in my Bible says–“meditates” hagah (hah-gah; Strong’s #1897: to reflect; to on, to mutter; to ponder; to make a quiet sound such as sighing; to meditate or contemplate something as one repeats the words. Hagah represents something quite unlike the English “meditation,” which may be a mental exercise only. In Hebrew thought, to meditate upon the Scriptures is to quietly repeat them in a soft, droning sound, while utterly abandoning outside distractions. From this tradition comes a specialized type of Jewish prayer called “davening,” that is, reciting texts, praying intense prayers, or getting lost in communion with God while bowing or rocking back and forth. Evidently this dynamic form of meditation-prayer goes back to David’s time.

This is how we receive the Biblical promise of a renewed mind. I, for one, am in great and continual need of this. I think thoughts and act ways I don’t agree with! They’re not the real me. They’re distortions and deceptions based on the lies of my enemy. But they’re always decreasing in power as God’s power overcomes through Biblical meditation.

I think I won’t call it insomnia, which implies being unable, but wanting, to sleep. I think I’ll call it a wee hours assignation with the Lover of my soul. Hooray for Hagah!

The Opportunity Cost of Running and Hiding

I wanted John to take me away, to distract me from my wretched selfish self, but there were pesky things like roofers coming, a tow truck on its way to haul the tractor in for a new engine, the windshield man coming to put a new windshield in John’s truck, and I don’t remember what all else. I didn’t get my way, whaaaaaaaaah!

I didn’t get my way,

So it’s come to this–time to pray.

Not getting what I asked for

Life is such a bore.

Artist’s pages reveal

The thief is here to steal.

He’s taught me well to doubt

It’s time to kick him out.

——————————-

I hope you will forgive and bear with my rhyming fun. What I meant by “Artist’s pages reveal” was that when I began to journal (Julia Cameron calls it writing “artist’s pages” in The Artist’s Way) I saw what the enemy (John 10:10 says he comes to steal, kill, and destroy) was up to, and where I was giving him access.

I just so happened to have, lying next to me on the couch, I Never Learned to Doubt by Jesse Duplantis. Yes, I realized, I am doubting, and it’s making me miserable and a misery. I did some heavy duty repenting and heart-cleansing, some delving deep into my heart attitudes and among other things I came up with this: I am not to run and hide from the misery of doubt. I am to root it out!

If John would have taken me out for breakfast it would have been quite expensive–the opportunity cost of doing the one thing (often what we think we need and certainly what we want) is what we miss via that choice. I would have missed a heart-cleansing, a joy refreshing, a time with the One who heals me.

How to be Weak

If Henri Nouwen is correct in today’s e-mailed deovtional, and he is when he states,”Joy and Resentment Cannot Coexist” and if it’s also true, and it is, that “the joy of the Lord” is our strength. then unforgivness (resentment) makes us weak.

In my current quest for positivity, my Zero For Six adventure against negativity, I am aiming for joy, for strengh. Indeed I am aiming for the acquisition of the very joy of the Lord God Himself!

How is this going? I’m stumbling here and there, and seeking my way in communicating with those who, it seems, would rather be weak. It also seems as though some people prefer resentment to joy. That is entirely their business, of course, but does that mean they have a right to inflict their negativity on me? No.

The trick is in rejecting the negative person’s negativity, but not rejecting the person. Negative people have already rejected themselves, the Word of God, perhaps even God, and they expect further rejection. This is where it is helpful to say something like, “I’m doing a Zero For Six adventure of no negativity for six months! Wanna join me?”

It is also helpful to saturate that person in prayer, whereby we get perspective on their preciousness to God. This helps counter our perspective on their aggravation to us. We need a change of heart, or at least I do. Otherwise, I will not overcome evil with good. Rather, bad company will corrupt me.

Negativity is contagious, but there is a vaccine, a sure innoculation. It’s the Mighty One–Jesus. The only time I feel those sick symptoms of negativity, that debilitating weakening of frustration, is when I hold on to an offense. I am actually choosing Death, rather than God’s mandated choice–Life. I am choosing to fearfully focus on and glorify what Satan’s crowd is up to.

We can be less than worms with fear and negativity, or more than conquerors in Christ Jesus.

“You show me the path of life. In your presence is fullness of joy…”
PSALM 16:11 (NRSV)

“Thank You for Not Yelling at Me!”

That was the response of the beautiful and unmasked woman I talked to today at Scheel’s. And I could so relate. I’ll return to this story, but first let’s talk about getting yelled at.

It was yesterday and along with a friend in a local grocery store, I was maskless. I was picking out mushrooms when I heard someone say, “Thank you, Ladies.” She was thanking us for joining her in resisting the evil, unlawful, useless, stupid, unhealthy, devisive edict (not a law) to wear masks in Colorado.

Now, before I go on with getting yelled at, let me give you some background. I had discussed my reasons for wearing masks in small businesses, with my friend, who never, no not ever, wears a mask. I explained to her that I know of busybodies who call the health department, whose little minions then come and exercise their newfound power by threatening small business owners over not policing their stores.

Since small businesses are falling like rain in our state (this before a possible Biden Admin $15.00 minimum wage, which will be, according the those I’ve talked to, the end) I don’t want to add to their problems, and therefore I wear the stupid, useless, stifling, germ-filled, unhealthy, unlawful, and did I mention stupid and useless masks (if you don’t believe me, stop listening to the establishment media and so some research, such as Dr. Lee Merritt’s findings-see the bottom of this post). My friend was swayed not at all, but did talk to the store owners, saying, “Do you want my business or not? I’ll shop without a mask, or I’ll not shop at all. It’s up to you.” They assured her they wanted her business and so I joined her in, gasp, showing my entire face.

Back to the lady who thanked us for daring to show our faces in public, our buddy-in-bravery, Sherry. We’re having a great time. Sherry explains that her son was just fired for not wearing his mask on a construction site, but that the day was still marvelous as she’d talked a 19-year-old out of an abortion earlier in the day. She talked about how she and her husband left their mega church due to its pitiful and pathetic and faithless reponse to our evil state government’s unlawful edicts, about treating COVID with Ivermectin, about this and that, and so much more.

And then. From across the produce section and over by the deli, we hear a shout, “Put on your masks!” Sherry says, “Are you protecting me with that mask? I Conceal Carry, and I’m protecting you.”

This is not the kind of person who approves of Conceal Carry. This is the type of jello person (and she looks the part) who will hide under the tomatoes and scream and cry and beg and plead with a shooter. And die. My buddy adds her two-cents about the masks being worthless, and our assailant is yet unmoved.

It’s my turn. “We’re not supposed to live in fear,” I call out.

“I’m not afraid,” she yells.

“Yes, you are. We’re commanded by Jesus not to fear.”

Game over. She’s gone.

The moral of this story: Whatever the problem, situation, or conversation–Jesus is the Answer.

_________________________

Back to Lady Beautiful in Scheels.

I’m standing next to John who is checking out and I notice this marvelous looking young woman on the other side of the checker. She has luxuriant black hair, down to her waist and curly. Her skin is flawless and her make-up perfect. Most of all, her face is compelling–intelligent and lovely. I step around in front of her (I’m maskless, by the way). “Thank you,” I say, “For not wearing your mask.” She looks wary, like she’s waiting for the “punch” line. I smile. “For showing your entire beautiful face.”

She relaxes visibly. “Thank you for not yelling at me.”

Ladies and Gentlemen, if you think that dog-training mask will save you, if it makes you feel (SO FALSELY) safe, then by all means wear it. But remember, if it’s really that almighty and powerful, you don’t need to worry about my not wearing one. Just be glad of my certain and emminent demise.

And just one more thing while we’re at it. Stop with the child abuse of making your kids wear masks. JUST SAY NO!

______________________________

Dr. Lee Merritt’s Impressive and Astouding Findings

Fear Not, Only Believe

We have a pretend president, a commander-in-thief, a puppet in the White House. Seeing the presidency stolen from the people’s choice, Donald Trump, was a bitter pill. But there is a greater ill to overcome, there is that crying out in repentance we must do, that cloak of humility we must don.

Our hearts condemn us, and we are prey to fear when we keep our eyes on the antics of the Workers of Iniquity, rather than keeping a laser focus on the Word of God.

Let us see everything as working together for the good of those who love God, as we are promised. Let us believe the promises of the One who cannot lie, rather than fear the Father of Lies.

Fear Not, Only Believe!

Casual Won’t Cut It

I was searching for a good word on YouTube and Richard Roberts’ Santa Claus face caught my eye–aren’t we all looking for a smile and some cheer? He spoke two things I’ve been saying: “The time for casual Christianity is over” was the concluding statement; the admonition was to join him as a “watchman on the wall.”

As Richard Roberts suggested, I read Isaiah 62:6, which says, “I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent.”

I believe God is calling us all to “strengthen the hands that hang down” (Hebrews 12:12) via prayer for each other and against the darkness, and that we are to never hold our peace.

Distractions abound, especially against time in the Word of God, but we don’t have to be distracted from praying. We must simply pray then and there, here and now, coming in and going out.

When my beautiful friend Pam told me how to pray about a personal issue (something in my heart that needed changing and healing) I prayed right then and there as she listened on the phone. Don’t wait for a “good time” to pray. Right now is a good time to pray!

About anything and everything.

And by the way, don’t pray like a heathen trying to appease an angry god: “Oh, God! Oh, God! Oh, oh, oh.” Along with sacking casual Christianity, it’s time to sack pathetic and pitiful Christianity. Pray the Word!

What does the Word say? “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). You can’t do this when you’re listening to every other voice. Once again, the days when we could do that, when we could be casual about our Christianity, are over.

We’re it, Folks. God works through faith. I’ve heard it said that faith is God’s currency, and fear is Satan’s. So, let’s get faith via hearing the Word of God. Hearing. Romans 10:17 tells us how: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”

After I heard Richard Roberts reading Isaiah 62 last night, I heard it again this morning as I read it aloud. Faith comes, the Bible tells us. By hearing. If ever in my lifetime I needed faith to come, enduring and steadfast faith, it is now, in “such a time as this” (Esther 4:14).

It’s time to roll up our sleeves, and get to it. Faith, I mean. So repeat after me (remember you need to hear): “No fear here.”