Spring is here (almost)

Embarrassing how hard it is sometimes for a writer to write! Everyday it seems words, ideas and duty flood my mind and the swelling seeks an outlet; yet issues of the day keep a plug in the dike of creativity.

That said, I welcome the season change. It has been a slow season change this year. The daffodils all came up and shuddered in the cold, and the cherry trees are in full bloom reluctantly, but the earth is still too cold to plant. The promise of 60 degree weather for a few days prompts the planter in me to get dirt under my fingernails once again. This weekend, we plant some veggies.

There is a deeper desire and burden however that presses to the surface of today. I want to plant the Word of God into the good soil of someone’s hungry heart. This season means newness and beauty springing up through chilly earth to shine in the warmth of the sun. To me though, the desire to see a soul walk in newness of life, springing up through their cold and hollow past into the loving glow of life with The Son means so much more!

As the dirt collects on my hands and the seeds are lovingly hidden in the warm soil, may my sensitivities remain keen as I listen for the creek of a door opening in the heart of a neighbor; a friendly wave that is more of a beckoning; a look and a word that signals readiness to learn and a hunger to find the Ancient of Days forever.

Moreover, may all of us step outside our own world long enough to be available to the hurting humans hungry for a relationship with Deity; and I pray He will lead and guide us into all truth as we reach out to help others find their way back to the Garden. Plant On, Christian worker, Plant On!

 


 

Birthday Blog

So the last entry was on the birthday of our first born son…this entry is on my birthday.

This is the coldest February 25th in NW history I guess…must be the result of global warming, right? The sun beams, the snow and icicles glimmer and the three-day fire warms the house. Life is good because of Love.

You know, the Love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. Recently, I have a new appreciation for phases lifted from The Word of God.

For example, ‘shed abroad in our hearts,’ ‘As a man thinketh,’ ‘issues of life,’ ‘loins of your mind,’ and ‘ponder the path.’ So much in The Word speaks about our mind and heart; how we think and how we Love, perhaps God really does know and care about how we conduct our daily lives.

As I ponder the path of my feet and harness the mental component, it becomes obvious that depth and meaning are the treasures of Love buried in the heart-field of humanity. We can sell all and own that field in victory, or we can avoid the responsibility and live as a victim. Those are the only two choices.

Personally, the early learning years were brutal. The life of a victim seemed familiar and a rather comfortable wallow. Raised as a lonely, only child by a single parent in an era where divorce-branded children were to be shunned, victim-hood was natural. Nobody liked me because I had no father. There was no way I could change that; no amount of tears washed away reality; they didn’t want to play with me. No matter how hard I tried to be happy and smile, the grip of loneliness held a firm choke-hold on my sense of self-worth.

By the time the rocky teen years arrived, the victim mentality became a way of life. There was a father in the picture by then, however, as my mother married a good man when I was sixteen. It was a good thing for her, but it was too late for me.

I began to make bad choices in life as victims often do. “Who cares what I do, anyhow? What difference does it make to anyone how I live? Mom has her life now, and no one cares about mine…so, it doesn’t matter what I do.” A tragic downward spiral accelerated as My Creator let out the line and watched me sink.

For the next ten years I fell, a victim of life and loneliness. Beneath were some Everlasting Arms, however, that one day let go completely. I was in a strange room in a strange California Autumn when suddenly I dropped fast and far and the scream of fear was so deep it never made it to the surface. I heard the word, ‘WAIT’ escape my throat, and I made a promise to someone I didn’t know.

Jesus dropped me that day. I guess He had had enough of my victim-hood. I did not know until years later who or what let go of me, I only knew that if I didn’t change my outlook on life, and change it fast, there would be a deep nothingness out of which I would never surface again. That was the first day I became a victor instead of a victim.

Instead of life happening to me, it would now happen because of me! The story of my path to Today, to this particular February 25th must wait until another post because you are tired of reading already.

Summarily speaking, Jesus reeled me in, netted my wandering mindless days, and lifted me tenderly into His Ship of safety. He blessed my lonely life with fabulous children and a life’s mate that daily amazes me with his Love and devotion to God and to me.

I bought a box of tomatoes the other day at a very good price, and this is what he wrote on one of them with a sharpie pen:
“U R my tomato!” All my friends and sweet family members are wishing me a happy birthday even now. Loneliness still dogs my trail from time to time, but the Love of God shining through others keeps me in VICTORY!

Happy Birthday to me, i have victory, with Jesus in the leeeed, i have all i’ll ever need.

Where oh where has our true worship gone?

Recently I came across a quote from a book by Gary Erickson called Pentecostal Worship. On page 102 he writes: “Hand clapping and shouts can be just a response to cheer leading, and the people can amuse themselves with a game of group exercise.” Wow! How true this is today! When noise is the objective, and the congregation is bombarded with demands to “get with it,” one cannot help but long for the good old days!

I remember when the worship leaders would step away from the pulpit after a song and allow Jesus to move in our midst. We would throw our heads back and reach our hands to heaven as spontaneous worship filled the room for five to ten minutes after each song. Only when there was a collective awareness of a slight lifting of the Spirit of God would the worship leader step back to the microphone to make an announcement or call out the page number for our next song. Every service was different. God was the leader, the celebrity, and the one we came to see; it was His power and direction to which we were submitted.

Then, it all changed. Suddenly there were “praise singers” on the platform; worship leaders held the microphone close to their own words building a crescendo of noise that was really only an empty echo. The volume increased to a deafening pitch, and “skilled musicians” replaced the simple anointed players of not so long ago. Our hymnals no longer clutter the room, and the words to the songs speak of man instead of deity; earth instead of heaven; our worship instead of His blood. Our ‘agenda’ has replaced His move.

It seems the form of our services is more important than the liberty of God’s Spirit. No longer do we feel the rush of His moving and the tarrying in that place of Glory. We used to see the cloud of His presence, and weep and or worship for hours, so the ministers just gave the service to the Power and waited until next time to preach. Now the desire for entertainment and the urgency of the next item on the agenda has moved God right out the back door; and we like frogs in a pot of hot water just join in the group exercise and don’t even realize that God isn’t there.

Just what do we think the backsliders feel when they return for the Glory they once experienced only to find the same atmosphere of the world they desire to leave? People, call for the old paths, wherein is the good way, and walk ye in it. We need a revival of true Pentecostal Worship, not just more glitzy professionalism that magnifies us instead of Him.

The Mr. Fixit Hat

Darling husbands out there, this post is for you! There is a trick you need to know…it can just be our little secret if you like, but I promise you, learning this trick will make your life so much easier! Oh I know, we women seem so hard to understand at times, and often ‘never satisfied’…but that is mostly because you don’t know the trick yet…are you ready? Here it is…do not put on the Mr. Fixit Hat unless requested!!

This is so easy! When your wife talks about her day, or a certain situation in her life, most of the time she is just hungry for someone to listen! You see, we women are amazing creatures! We come to conclusions by accident really, because we speak things until they resolve out there in the air. You genius men usually think first, then speak… a waste of time in our book, but that is part of the fabulous variety and attraction between us; so we better get used to it.

Here’s the deal. When your lady is telling you her feelings, or the events most current on her fertile mind, and you offer a solution, that is like throwing cold water on her process of understanding. Your well intentioned ‘suggestions’ invalidate her as a person. It is like saying, “Stop! You cannot figure out anything without me, so don’t even try!” Conversation stoppers; that is what sweet Mr. Fixits offer, and they don’t even mean to cause a problem; they are just trying to help…the trick is to know when she needs help and when she just needs to talk it out into the air.

Hubby and I have a little code we use for this now. He will ask if he needs to get his Mr. Fixit hat for this conversation. I can say yes or no. Most of the time I just want him to listen, then carry on a regular conversation. It is still a challenge to communicate between the sexes however, but this little trick has helped us.

The next hurdle is body language! Men! Listen to me on this! When your wife starts to share something with you, and you look out the window, check your phone, or close your eyes and yawn…peace and harmony have just vacated your home! Be Careful! We are watching! Eye contact, active listening, a carefully placed nod and even just a grunt of understanding will do wonders. We will be done soon.

Some of the air has to come out of the balloon before more can be added. Just give us your attention for a little bit. I promise, there will be plenty of dragons to slay, and plenty of things to ‘fix’ as we travel this road together, but we ladies need your ears sometimes so we can let some of the air out of our balloons to make room for your strong wisdom and leadership.

When we need something fixed, we can hand you the hat.