Let Us Now Be Good Company

The French Café tells us we can frequent Parisian coffee shops of our choice, perhaps because of “the landlord’s personality, the clientele, the ambience, or the décor.”  In a rural setting we are told the décor of old country cafes is frugal, but that, “they often create their own atmosphere of romance and poetry with a remarkable economy of means.”

There is something particularly satisfying about creating our “own atmosphere of romance and poetry with a remarkable economy of means.”  You don’t need a new French Press to make coffee.  Indeed you can brew a satisfactory cup boiling it on the stovetop!

One of the best cups of coffee I’ve ever tasted was cheapo store brand coffee steaming hot out of a thermos.  I was in the back seat of my husband John’s truck, it was very cold outside, we were crossing a high mountain pass.  John was driving, my brother in the front seat with him, and my beloved, beloved sister-in-law sat beside me.  My sister-in-law is steady, to be depended upon to keep up her end of the positivity bargain at all times. I’ve been sharing meals with Liz since the seventh grade, and she hasn’t failed yet to be good and pleasant company, the kind of company that makes a meal a feast, in fact.

The flavor is enhanced by the setting and the company, so let’s all be sure we’re good company!

I was with good company last week driving with my daughter Rebekah and friend Pam when we got on that subject: politics–the fraudulent elections, disappointments being handed out by the Supreme Court (only Justice Thomas does not disappoint), traitors in Congress, small business woes, etc. Pam reached over and touched my arm. “I’m sorry,” she said, “for ranting about all that.”

But because she was ending all of it with her trust in God, with quoting and reminding us all of Psalm 37, with seeing all the good that is coming out of the bad (and there’s lots of it, especially in that Christians are humbly remembering who their Savior is), it wasn’t a rant. It was an air clearing and mutual exhortation among good company.

Keeping our eyes lifted doesn’t mean we don’t know what’s happening, or that we aren’t doing something about it. It just means we’re looking to our only hope. We’re keeping good company with good company.

Let’s enjoy life a little, and let me say it you and to myself again–let’s be good company.

A Sack Full of Poison, aka “Meds”

We were shocked and appalled at the deterioration in my uncle when he came to visit. His dull eyes and countenance, shuffling gait, and inability to follow the conversation were noted, and then understood, as he pulled out a sack rattling with numerous bottles of prescription meds.

What to do or say? Experience says there’s nothing to be said or done. God, also known as “my doctor” has spoken. But then my uncle got a break. His son said, “You’re coming home with me and we’re getting you off this crap, or I’m taking you to the nursing home right now.”

My uncle chose to go home with his son and within weeks he was off the meds, onto right eating and supplements, and was his old (brand new!) self.

I liken this sack full of meds and the exponential damage done as one insult is added to yet another; one side effect is “treated” with yet another poisonous cocktail; this ruining of the body’s inherent ability to heal itself if given time, nutrition, nature’s remedies and most of all prayers of faith; I liken all this to torturing a free-market economy with the deadly “cure” of socialism.

It aint natural, and it won’t work. It never has and it never will.

Dastardly Division

Yesterday my daughter and I went to Wyoming where there are fewer mask-querades than in Colorado, and while there joined a coffee shop meeting of Wyoming conservatives. These were fine folks, but there was no mention of God. These were, I thought beforehand, good, salty, no-nonsense Wyoming git-er-done types. Christians.

But, in fact, they are like so many of us, handicapped. In the parking lot I saw anti-Colorado bumper stickers. “Colorado is Wyoming’s Mexico” and a few other uncomplimentary offerings prepared me for the remarks of the man next to me. In a nutshell, he said, “We hate Colorado.”

There was a question about Mark Gaetz’s motives in coming to Wyoming’s “Impeach Liz Cheney” rally, as in, “Why did we get an outsider?” I thought we were all Americans. More division. How does the great evil of socialism win over freedom? With division.

(Socialist “intellectual” Bhaskar Sunkara praises Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn for promoting “a renewal of class antagonism” which is essential for the thriving of evil in society.)

Back to the meeting in Wyoming: One of the attendees belittled another conservative in attendance (better than behind his back, maybe?) in front of everyone; later the speaker said about Cheyenne (where we were), “I hate this city.” Could it be that in judging the bringers of division and crassness, we become divisive and crass? More divided?

I’m asking these questions in prayer this morning, along with the question, “What is the new song You want us to sing, Father?” I was reading and re-reading Psalm 96: “Sing unto the Lord a new song.” Certainly that precludes the same old, same old, melodies of anger and defensiveness. Of division.

So, let’s think a bit about this. How far have we gotten with division? More to the point, how far have we gotten with disobedience to God? Perhaps we should begin our song with words straight from His Word. Just like David, let us sing Psalms.

Pondering and praying a bit more, I asked, “Do we stop going to fear-filled churches as a means ofprotecting ourselves from fear, even as we stop going to division-filled political gatherings to protect ourselves from division?” Or are these examples of the classic throwing-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater mistake?

“Father, You promise us wisdom for the asking, and I’m asking for wisdom. Surely there is no other source.”

Some things are so obvious we look right over them. We go to the TV for answers, and politcal gatherings for good company, and when it comes right down to it, if we’re not keeping company with Jesus, if we’re not doing the “Seek ye first” thing, we’re without a hope.

“My hope is in You, Lord. Amen.”

Opportunities Here, There and Everywhere!

To trust. In God. What other option do we have? Faith in God is the only sensible choice. The Bible tells us to “choose Life” and it’s time to do that, and do it literally.

Choose Life. I read today (from Jay Sekulow) that over 40% of all deaths worldwide are abortion deaths. The choosing of death. I pondered this horror, and I said to my husband, John, “I wonder if God’s waiting on His people to care more about the blood of the innocents than about our own sweet asses.”

“You know,” I added, “People don’t talk or think about abortion because it’s too horrible.” Well, Dear Reader, it’s time to say “Enough!” to the walking around puddles of blood running in the streets. God help and heal and forgive us all.

I prayed for our hearts, that whatever fears, whatever evils lurking within be exposed, repented of, changed. Let us choose Life in every way we can possibly choose Life. Let us choose the soul-cleansing Blood of the Lamb, and the power therein.

I Know That I Know

And my experience or fear doesn’t negate the Truth. I know Whom I have believed. Any fear is a revelation of the filth in my heart that says Satan is greater than God.

Any fear. Even if the worst I can imagine happens, I and all my loved ones end up together with Jesus. Even if my beloved country becomes yet another communist hellhole, He will provide.

But let us return now to the idea that my or anyone else’s beliefs or experience should be given more attention than the Word. I picked up a book at our local library (steam always coming out my ears when I visit public libraries lately) and it was, at least in the part I read, about people being harmed by someone in church, and thereby a denunciation of all Christianity.

Perhaps I should have read on, certainly I should not have lost my joy over yet another book written by someone who doesn’t know that they know. They don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior. They’ve never experienced the infilling of the Holy Spirit. They don’t know Love.

Why then, should I expect anything else? Why should I be impatient, upset, or concerned? Because . . . (oh, I really hate that this can still be so), because there is that inevitable result of not believing, not really and truly trusting, that like every other evil or ill, God has got this.

If that’s so, you may be thinking, why are we here? Because of pride (not because of dishonest politicians or rigged voting machines or China). If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and turn from their wicked ways . . . It’s in II Chronicles 7:14. Let’s look again–If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

I repent of fear, anger, unbelief. I repent of the pride that says I can do anything apart from Him. I repent of the pride that makes me forget that there but by the grace of God, go I. And I remember: I know that I know. I know Whom I have believed. I know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and He is my all in all.

II Timothy 1:12 – For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

Thanks for your time, and Merry Christmas!

P.S. Some scriptures for your perusal–either as a reminder of what God has done, or what He’d so love to do for you, His beloved:

Romans 3:23–For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

Romans 6:23–For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.;

Romans 5:8–But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.

Ephesians 2:8–For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; s, so that no one may boast.

Romans 10:9–that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

The Big “I Will” Trap

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

Choose Love’s Freedom and Victory, Not Jealousy’s Torment and Guaranteed Defeat

The Bible talks of a “spirit of jealousy” and if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of it, you won’t hesitate to believe.  This is a spirit that divides those who are meant to be the best of friends, the closest, dearest and most faithful of companions.  It’s wily, pervasive, and deadly to all concerned.

If, like myself, you’ve been a victim of this spirit from childhood, but by some miracle were never prone to jealousy yourself, you are jealousy’s lesser victim.  The real victims of the spirit of jealousy are those under its power.  Not only can they never have a true and unblemished friendship, but perhaps even more tragically, they can never attain that thing about which they’re jealous.

If you’re filled with a furious disdain for the lovely blonde with the darling tribe of little blonde children, obviously cared for by a doting daddy somewhere (or not, you don’t know), let that fury be your signal, your clanging bell with flashing red lights on the arm over the railroad crossing.  There’s a freight train of destruction headed your way, and you’d better stop right now.  This train means to make absolutely certain you never have that family of your own, or whatever it is you fear to even hope for.

Don’t just say “no” say, “ABSOLUTELY NOT, YOU FOUL, LYING, PUTRID DEMON SPIRIT.  I love, admire, respect, pray for, and enjoy the sight of that beautiful little family.  And I know that they have their trials and troubles, and again, I pray for them.  And I dare to believe that You, Lord God Almighty, have the very deepest desires of my heart, for me as well.  I can choose jealousy and defeat, or I can choose faith working through love.  I not only choose faith working through love, I embrace it and hold fast to it, and declare I will never again be under the sway of jealousy.”

Jealousy runs rampant in our society, also known as “class envy” and fostering a festering and demonic hatred in those who want what others have.  Again, until they, jealousy’s primary victims, are free of this spirit, they will never have what they desire.  When we submit to Satan we guarantee our own blindness and defeat. 

The key is to choose to admire people for those relationships, talents, attributes, gifts, accomplishments and possessions you currently lack, and to kick jealousy in the teeth by loving those people in thought and deed.  Then your mind will be cleared of the filth produced by jealousy, and you will see your way clear to praying and believing what the Word of God Himself says about being “no respecter of persons” and giving you “the desires of your heart.”  Then your mind will see yourself as “complete and lacking nothing” and you will laugh at the very idea that you are somehow less than anyone else.

Choose Jesus’ Love, not Jealousy’s Torment.  Those people you think you hate are the very ones God wants you to bless, and vice versa.  Amen!

 

The Church of Homemade Apple Pie

For my son’s birthday (Nov. 3) I made apple pie.

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(I failed to take a picture, so I made use of this picture made by someone whose baking skills exceed mine.)

Three kinds of apples, three healthy sweeteners, lemon juice, spices, a little flour for thickening, then marinating in the fridge overnight.

A crust with two kinds of flour, salt, butter, coconut oil.  Should have had some vodka (keeps it tender) but it was, as are most of my pies, a creative endeavor making use of the materials at hand.

We (daughter and I) peeled enough for two pies, sliced them thinly and smashed and piled them into one pie.  I asked the birthday boy if I could add raisins (no!), and how about doing a crisp top crust made up of oats, butter, sugars, salt, and chopped walnuts?  “No, Mom, just plain, traditional apple pie.”

I don’t really do “plain, traditional” but I came close enough.  The pie was a big pie and a big hit, and it didn’t hurt that I whipped heavy cream with a pinch of salt, a bit of almond flavoring, and a tablespoon or so of honey to liberally pile atop each slice.

The pie was enjoyed with laughter, candlelight, and song.  I was chastised by my wondering children for starting “Happy Birthday” before the candles were lit (we are all in agreement that a large three-wick candle in the midst of the table works just fine for every birthday, and eliminates the cringing we all do when someone spits on the candles, and thereby the pie).

As a student of economics and government, I thought about pie slice sizes, and how my professors talked so often about scarcity, and pieces of the pie.  I thought of the socialist idea that there is only so much pie to go around, and that we must all share and share alike, our tiny sliver of a sliver.

I thought of the apple pie served to the masses – storebought, from old and tired and flavorless apples, with bleached GMO white sugar, thinly layered into a nasty, off-tasting crust.  Said pies are not, as was mine, baked at home in a large red pie dish.  Rather, they are each merely one of hundreds, baked in throw-away aluminum via industrial ovens.  For the masses.  Those of whom there are too many, supposedly creating scarcity.

I am here to submit that God’s way is a very large and luscious and multi-nuanced, soul-nourishing pie.  God’s way is more people to plant more apple trees, to get creative and try new varieties of apples, cooked with various kinds of sweeteners, in pies, cakes, tarts, ciders, juices, sauces, and anything else the unendingly creative human mind can dream up.

God’s way is more pie.  Enough for you and whoever He puts on your heart to invite into your home and partake.

God’s way is a variety (for every individual taste, because He is not the God of stereotypes, of groups – He is the God of each and every precious individual, unique-in-all-the-world human being) of coffees and teas to go with the pie, and the giving of thanks that He is the Blesser, the Giver, the Abundant One.

The Church of Apple Pie.  Try that thought on for size.  Your have a choice:  The Church of Slivers and Scarcity vs. The Church of Apple Pie.

It begins with each of us, looking in the mirror, being Apple Pie to those at home – not stingy in anything at all.  Partakers of His bounty, that we might pass it on.

We live in a world physically and spiritually starving for big, spicy, delicious slices of apple pie.  And since we’re all different, some of us want raisins, some want rum sauce atop our whipped cream.  Some want plain, traditional apple pie.  Some, unbelievably and inconceivably, don’t want apple pie at all, ever.  They want pumpkin, or peanut butter chocolate.  But I think it’s safe to say, whatever pie we prefer, we want more than a sliver, about which we have to feel we’re stealing from someone else.

Let’s do away with the lack mentality.  Like storebought pie, it’s from Hell.

 

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