Even as I speak that the tongues of liars be tied, or better still that it becomes true–liars’ pants really do catch on fire, I MUST, we all MUST, forgive.
Satan, the enemy of all freedom, is full of tricks. He is, after all, “The Great Deceiver” and “The Father of Lies.” The Apostle Paul said, “We are not unaware of his schemes,” but it seems that perhaps we are, at least when it comes to the pit of unforgiveness, into which we fall again and again. The stakes are too high now. We can no longer afford the luxury of being offended–that account is way overdrawn.
In “Limitless Love” Gloria Copeland says, “The devil is continually devising plans and schemes to throw believers off course. He is constantly sending offenses, troublesome circumstances, pressures and temptations designed to trip us up and keep us from finishing our race in God.”
We must win this race, and God’s way is the only way we can do so. I have been praying we will be steadfast. I have been praying for a strengthening of the hands that hang down, and for unity in the body of Christ, that our prayers be not hindered.
No more hindered prayers! I have prayed deliverance from fear that our prayers be not hindered, as God works through faith, not fear. And now I am praying that we will be finished with the pride that will destroy us, the pride that says we can do anything apart from God, the pride that He resists.
Pride says I will take offense, I will denigrate and despise and deplore the denseness and debauchery of those people, I will ignore what very Word of God says about who the real enemy is, and I will take offense. Not only will I take offense, but I will hide it deep in my heart and pet it and feed it by continually talking about it.
No. Try this, Bev: When someone mentions certain witchy women in government, put on Gollum and say, “We do not speak its name.” Or do as Pastor Mark Hankins’ mama did when things got negative. She began to sing, “Let’s Talk About Jesus.” She was fighting against the I wills.
I will, regardless of what God says, refuse to trust and obey. My prayers will be, as the Bible assures me, hindered, as I coninually consider “evil reports” rather than considering what God says.
Oh and by the way–lest you think your anger at man is accomplishing a single thing, let me assure you, again as the Bible says, “any fool” can be angry. Let’s get angry at the real enemies, Satan and our own big mouths and small faith. Small faith is what we have when we put our faith in anything or anyone except God.
“We the People” trusting the One who made this great nation is what will save us all. Let’s do all we can to stand and then stand. Amen.
II Corinthians 2:10-11
I am thinking of living life toward what makes me grateful, thankful, overwhelmed and amazed at the glory and goodness of God. Thinking of THOSE things, talking about THOSE things, building THOSE things.
I have been in Denver for what seems like a very long time – getting lost, getting honked at, finding parking, finding ATMs for yet more tip cash, for yet another nervous look at my account balance. My daughter was called to jury duty and I thought (duh) she wouldn’t get picked but just in case I took a change of clothes (one change) and came along with the idea of writing the bestseller of the decade in a coffee shop while she did jury things. That was last Monday. Ten days later . . .
I have come to love these people, the plaintiff and company as well as the defendants and company, and indeed, their entire little mountain town. If you pray enough for people, you come to love them, you come to see them through the eyes of Jesus.
So, here I sit at Corner Bakery on Stout Street because the staff here give me free stuff and smiles and don’t seem to mind me sitting here praying and reading my Bible all day (not trying to say I’m a spiritual giant, just wanting to let you know you can do this), hoping the jury reaches a verdict today, and preferably before rush hour.
Last Monday Denver rush hour seemed a big deal to me. Now, it’s more important that God is the true Your Honor here.
I sat in court for what was to be my only time, that first morning. That was enough for me to say to my daughter, “Call me when you’re finished,” and, “Lord, deliver me from endlessly repetitive attorneys and crotchety judges” (I stood up too soon – when the jury was dismissed – along with a few other ignoramuses, and did we ever get a verbal spanking!). Note: I now think this judge rocks in every way.
My daughter said she would feel better knowing I was there in all that darkness, so after a brief absence I rejoined the fray as a praying and often appalled spectator, and it all began to matter. And I thought of how much grief might have been saved by baking cookies (that’s what I did when we were new and unloved in a small town), and by saying, “I’m sorry.” In short, by obeying the Truth, the Word, the Lover of us all.
The Bible tells us to settle out of court. Look it up. I think the judge is marvelous and the lawyers brilliant (sometimes) and the witnesses incredible (in both good and bad ways), but I think the legal system is best left, if at all possible, to those who have no better alternative, i.e., the alternative of faith working by love.
What? You heard me right. I was daring to agree with my Maker, being weird. The weirdness of faith. Dave Ramsey talks about becoming weird in his book Priceless, and I had no sooner finished reading that than I turned on Ministers Jesse Duplantis, Mark Hankins and Keith Moore (not all at once) and I got the message again – be different, be weird, expect people not to like it, not to get it, to be threatened by it.
But not all people, and not the ones you might think. The people of Denver have amazed me, astounded me really, with their curious and helpful friendliness. Beginning with the people in the courthouse (all of them) to the hotel and restaurant staff, to people on the street, I have sensed and experienced a most unexpected friendliness, and even a gladness of heart in many cases. (The exception were some British businessmen making fun of President Trump and stupid Americans, which was a lovely time to flex my forgiveness muscles and press my lips firmly together – casting pearls before swine, you know).
This isn’t my first time to town, and this enjoyment hasn’t been my experience of Denver in the past. Has Denver changed, or have I? Or both? Whatever the case, I am thankful. Does that mean I want to live in Denver? No, but it does mean that if God said so, I wouldn’t argue or complain. I would give thanks, because He is wherever I am.
I am thankful for changes in me, changes for the better that are the inevitable consequence of letting Him be Lord. When he says “Love” he means always and everywhere. He doesn’t mean lament about having to be in Denver and pay for parking on the street as well as $40 per night valet parking (which may or may not be reimbursed). He doesn’t mean whine about possibly missing being home tomorrow, October 12, which is not only my daughter’s (different daughter) birthday, but also my and John’s anniversary. He means enter into, abide in, be enormously thankful in, His love. He means stop griping about having to drive down here on slick roads, and stop worrying about driving home in the snow. It means grooving in his grace flow. Wow, that sounded really groovy, didn’t it?
There’s a lot of talk about grace lately, and I am NOT thankful that the subject is actually fodder for division among Christians. But I’ll let the Holy Spirit sort (learned that word from the Brits) that one. I just want to submit that if you or I are in strife, we are thereby not in grace, and we are without power and victory in this world.
But thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph! In spite of sorry attitudes about my little world getting disrupted by folks who can’t get their acts together and think they can fix everything with a lawsuit, in spite of my being rather given to my own ways and means, in spite of dead zones in my brain, and grey spots on my heart . . . still, He patiently and endlessly works in me and through me.
So, as to living my life toward what causes me joy, what causes me to be overwhelmed with thanksgiving, it’s so simple: Live life toward The Way, The Truth, The Life. Jesus.
Wow. What a deal!
P.S. I am also ever so grateful for everyone who reads my posts. Thank you.
P.P.S. If the case is over by Friday (please God!) I will talk about it and much, much more on my radio show at 2:00 MTN. Simply go to http://www.1360am.co Friday, October 13 at 2:00.
I’m getting a haircut, long overdue, on Thursday. When the stylist asks me what products I use on my hair, she will be less than thrilled with my response, “bar soap and vinegar.”
I like buying and using fancy hair products that smell like grapefruit and feel like silk and make my hair look marvelous. But I don’t like the price and REALLY don’t like the thought of the plethora of toxic ingredients going right into my head via those wide open pores in my scalp.
And then there’s that smug feeling I get when I look at my shiny hair and I think of how marvelously my organic citrus soap lathers (sometimes I use sandalwood), and how effectively my vinegar water rinses.
I use a solution of one part organic apple cider vinegar with three parts water,, mixed in a bottle and left in the shower. The only downside is that it’s a bit chilly to pour over my head. So, I could mix it as I go, with warm water. Or put it in a spray bottle. Yeah, that’s it! Everytime I make an improvement in my methods I pat myself on the back – so much FUN!
But what about the vinegar smell? It goes away in short order, leaving hair that looks and smells nice and clean. And I also smell “spicy”.
“Oooh, you always smell so spicy,” was a comment I got yesterday in church when I hugged a young lady. I simply thanked her, but I wanted to give her a lesson: “It’s my deodorant. I use a mixture of olive oil and lavender essential oil, which I keep in a squirt bottle. Over that I add a few drops of essential oils, changing it up as intuition leads. I often use lemon or orange oils, as they have been proven effective in fighting certain kinds of cancers and tumors (under the arms going into the breasts). I also like to use tea tree, peppermint, additional lavender, cedarwood, geranium, or a mixture of oils. Atop this I use an organic baby powder and I’m good to go.”
No, I’m not good to go for forty-eight hours in summer heat. This is not an anti-perspirant, and it will not work as a bathing substitute.
Speaking of bathing, essential oils sprinkled on Epsom salts and then dumped in the bath can be truly life changing, and an inexpensive and healthy alternative to store bought bath products (do your research as some oils will relax your muscles and put you to sleep, such as lavender, while others will make you rearing to go). Add a bit of the aforementioned olive oil/lavender mixture, or perhaps some milk to the water, and you’ll feel marvelously clean, refreshed and relaxed.
Much of what we buy at the store is pricey in any way you count it. Consider toothpaste, for instance. Toothpaste has warning labels. Why then, we must ask, are we putting this into our mouths three times a day? Why not make your own?
I have a friend who uses only organic soap to brush her teeth, and has gotten quite used to the taste, and particularly enjoys the results – teeth that feel squeaky clean.
John and I simply use baking soda, followed by swishing essential oils around in our mouths. John uses clove oil and has thereby ended all tooth pain. I usually use peppermint. Yes, both these oils are a bit strong, and for the uninitiated should be mixed in with a bit of a carrier (or fatty) oil, such as olive or safflower.
Speaking of oils, I use coconut oil in the kitchen and on my skin. Between coconut, olive, vitamin E, avocado, and a few other oils, which I mix and make enchanting with essential oils, I have been delivered from the budget-busting tyranny of skin care products. There are numerous recipes for skin care in books and on the net.
Occasionally I succumb to fancy packaging and to my kids’ gentle criticism that I’m “such a hippie” and I buy an organic toothpaste, which really does make a nice change from the baking soda. But then I lose that smart and smug and self-sufficient feeling.
And that grandmother-pleasing feeling. My grandmother, “Grannimother”, had beautiful teeth when she left us in her 90’s, and for much of her life she brushed with a hickory stick, with the end twisted and chewed into a brush. I suppose there were dental benefits in the essential oils of the tree, and of course she was an avid gardener who loved to eat her tooth-friendly mustard and collard greens. Perhaps most helpful was not having enough money for much of her life to buy excessive sweets.
There are many good things in my life due to not having enough ready cash to buy the “ready-made” as Grannimother put it. If she saw me paying $20 for a bottle of shampoo and $10 for deodorant and $7 for toothpaste she would say there was something wrong with my raising, and how it’s the little foxes that spoil the vine, and that you have to watch those purchases you make all the time, the ones you don’t pay much attention to at the time, because they add up to big amounts.
Then she would gently tell me a little about how she managed to live well and always have money for the important things, because she didn’t “fritter away” her money on nonsense.
Well, we all have our own ideas of what constitutes nonsense. I would hold my tongue when I thought of the money she spent to “help out” the Avon lady. I would hold my tongue period, because she was the one with the money, and I was the one with the half-used bottles of chemical-laden skincare and haircare products.
I could really save money if I let my hair grow out and put it in a bun, as did Grannimother. But thank God, as I recently heard Pastor Mark Hankins say, “We’ve been delivered from bun-dage.”
As to cutting it myself, I get my smugness, my self-congratulatory pat on the back, by cutting my husband’s and son’s hair, and by trimming mine between cuts. But a “real” haircut is my equivalent of Grannimother’s Avon indulgences. Even a hippie has to do some things just like everybody else.