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.

Bring on the Persecution! Bring on the Power!

The Bible says we’re to rejoice when people persecute us and tell all kinds of lies about us. So, rather than getting all shook up when the IRS seems to target the most effective ministers, or when a group of politicians tries to impeach a president who isn’t even in office, and when the media hands out lies like Halloween candy, let’s say, “Hey! That guy must be doing something right! If that gal is rejoicing every time she’s plagued and persecuted, her life is one big party!”

Let us not be surprised or dismayed or angered about what we’re told is coming. Jesus told Paul, in a nutshell, “They hated me, they’re gonna hate you.”

It’s not personal. It’s just darkness vs. light and there’s no hiding from it. We may as well stand up and fight.

How to stand? For what to fight?

We stand by humbly bowing to Him, by obeying His . . . command . . . to Love . . .

We stand by rejoicing because we are being continually filled with His Spirit via hanging out with and obeying Him, acting, thinking and talking like Him. Talking like Him, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” Thinking like Him, “It’s not about politics in America. It’s about the Good News being preached throughout the earth.” Acting like Him, “I forgive my persecutors.” (Good Newsflash: When we’re continually spirit-filled, we have the power to forgive–we look like the One we say we serve.)

Praying, as He suggested? No, as He commanded. Praying for our enemies, that they may turn from darkness to light.

For what to fight? We fight for the Light, not to be right, not to “win” an argument (there are no winners where there is strife). We fight for the Light. How will they turn to light if there is no light? Will there be light if we refuse to obey? When we disobey, our own hearts convict us and we are sick inside, dark, without light to share, cut off from power.

The light is Love, Who loves the persecuted, and the persecutors. “Where,” they ask, even as they revile and hate us, “is the Love?” “How and why,” the astute among them marvel, “do they serve my master Satan even more effectively than do I?”

We stand by repentance. There is no problem on earth, and no solution on earth, apart from the Church. Let us pray, beginning with, “Father, forgive us, for we know exactly what we DON’T do, haven’t done, refuse to stop doing. Make us strong (humble) enough to admit our weakensses and failures, strong enough to stop looking at the weaknesses and failures of others, strong enough to disregard the opinions of man, and consider only Yours. Create in us clean hearts, O God. Hearts mighty in Love.”

Love is mighty enough to tell the truth, and to withstand the consequences of doing so. Love is of God, and is up to any task or trial. When all else fails, such as supreme courts, parties, legislatures, media, medicine, education and other things of man, we will turn to the One Who cannot fail, and cannot lie. We will cease looking for natural solutions, and seek the supernatural.

When we stop returning hate for hatred, reviling for reviling, and become living testimonies of the power of Love, the enemy will have nothing to work with. We will see victory in Jesus, when we are “in Jesus” and His Spirit in us.

“How much longer,” God must be asking, “are you going to walk in circles in this wilderness?”

We can come right out anytime we decide our way isn’t working, anytime we believe that apart from Him we can do NOTHING, anytime we stop the insanity of disrespecting, disdaining, and disregarding of the Blood-bought freedom of Calvary.

Why not now?