Sarcastic Bantering

 

Perhaps you grew up in a home where sarcastic bantering and hurtful words were cloaked beneath a shroud of ‘just good natured funning.’  Perhaps your sisters or brothers got a good giggle out of critical comments and the pattern was set that life revolves around sparring with words, just to get one up on the other guy.

Families often take on this life style not out of bitterness or resentment, but by tolerance and ignorance on the part of parents, generation after generation.  When children are allowed to take their frustrations out on each other with hurtful words and pretending a joke, they become adults with a tragic lack of communication skills, and homes are destroyed.

Women especially, who then become wives and mothers, repeat the behavior, driving away their good husbands and bringing sadness and destruction upon their own heads.  A man does not need a sparring partner.  He needs a wife in his corner encouraging and cheering him on as he presses to excellence in his life’s work as provider and protector.

He needs respect.  He needs a helpmeet, not a competitor.  A man will never out spar a woman with words.  It is not in his nature to be cruel with words, and when forced to do so out of self-defense, he loses self-respect and becomes vulnerable.

Listen to me!  The world is full of unscrupulous women just waiting for the precious life.  They have all the right words of affirmation to pour on the parched and cracked soil of your man’s heart thirsty for high admiration.  He wants that admiration from his wife; but if you refuse to give it, the devil will be sure to send someone who will.  This is how so many families are shattered and so many children left lonely and destroyed.  Never make a joke about ‘another woman’ lest you bring this tragedy into your reality.  Faithfulness is a virtue most men possess naturally when they are happy at home. Make them happy, not sorry! Watch your words carefully and apologize often.

Is it really worth it to be funny at someone else’s expense?  Is “just kidding” a justification for meanness in your home? Sarcastic bantering destroys the family.  It is not funny.  Children suffer with eating disorders, illness and restlessness and they are afraid and insecure.  They feel the hurt careless words inflict like barbed arrows filling their little ears and hearts with confusion and pain. They feel helpless.  Stop it!

Furthermore, the discontentment of a mother prone to sarcastic bantering opens her up to the wiles of the devil and robs her of her rightful place as the spiritual pillar of her home.  The devil hates kindness and gentleness and encouraging words of affirmation.  But people thrive on these positive words.  Men must feel admired by their wives; and in turn, women will receive the deep love they crave.  Stop complaining.  Be content with all you have, and tell others how happy you are.

Be kind in the family.  Speak high words of respect and love, and remember that the woman sets the tone in the home. The responsibility falls squarely on your shoulders, fair lady.  You are the keeper of your home!  Be his lover, his friend, his greatest fan.  Let the babies see the depth of respect and love they will copy in their own lives.  Stop the sparring and harsh, bitter words that hurt everyone so much.

Speak positive, uplifting and joyous words; for a merry heart is the best medicine.  Be content, stop complaining and demanding things to be better or different than they are.  Find the good in your man and your children and your home and be ye thankful.  This is how we fight the good fight of faith you know.  It is through kindness and respect in the home and in the church that we gain victory over darkness.

Ladies, talk to Jesus every day and he will help you be the woman of your husband’s dreams and the mother whose children rise up to call her blessed.

 

To Fellowship His Suffering

Philippians 3

1Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.2Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.3For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh….8Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,9And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:10That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;11If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.12Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.13Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,14I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Oh!  dear Readers, how these great words speak to my weary soul these days.

Oh! dear Readers, as the days turn into years and the trials of life multiply, then subside for a season only to multiply again; the desire to really KNOW Him increases with every breath.

There is a nearness of the Savior that comforts and encourages us onward.  Yet, that nearness fades from awareness crowded out with troubles, daily tasks and the stuff of life.  Perhaps huddling away alone with Him will make us more acquainted; better friends.  So do we think.  Then longing for that sabbatical experience that never comes we settle back into routine prayer, church, and our Christian endeavors, only to be again pressed by inner hunger for more.

Then something happened.  Recently, something really big happened; something really big and really hard happened, and grief and suffering closed around like a heavy blanket.  Wrestling to overcome by willful dismissal of the weight, the days’ efforts left me exhausted.  The mornings became an effort, and progress slowed to a pitiful crawl.

I must shake this!  I must find the joy again!  I must overcome!  And again I take to the carpet praying this way and that for the lifting of the burden.  Do I repent for the self-pity?  Do I resign it all to “not my will, but thine be done?”  Do I forgive again and again and really mean it each time?  WAIT a second here!  What is this breaking through the fog?  From where comes this revelation softly turning the corners of my mouth up again?

I don’t need a sabbatical; this life experience is doing all I wanted!  I know him better now, because I am in fellowship with His suffering.  He was rejected by those he loved, so was I.  He was ridiculed and slandered, so was I.  People he cared for turned on him and lied about him; hmmm sounds familiar.  But, oh my, I have not yet resisted unto blood striving against sin.

There has been no thorny crown pounded down on me.  They said bad things, true, but no one yelled, “crucify.”  I know a little more about Him now, though.  We have some things in common.  He understands me, and we are better acquainted with each other now.

Funny how that sort of sneaks up on a person.  There we are, all sad and wondering how to pray our way through something when all the time Jesus is showing us more of himself.  What a wonderful counselor!  Such a good friend!  My everlasting father!

Fellowship with The Ancient of Days weaves the cares of life into a beautiful tapestry.

An Open Letter

Great God in Heaven, help me to walk worthy of the calling you have placed in my life. “Make your calling and election sure,” you have said in your Word; with your constant help and guidance, I will do that.
A man or a woman must tremble at the responsibility of leadership. When the precious souls of God’s heritage sit to listen and receive wisdom at the mouth of one in leadership, that leader must hold the assignment as a fragile and breakable treasure; nearly buckled over with its weightiness. As our great Apostle Peter admonishes:
The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (I Peter 5:1-7)

The buckling comes from the weight of the mighty hand of God and the revelation of responsibility that lies upon the bearer of the assignment; for God has chosen the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe. The Word delivered with overmuch focus on the intent of the messenger not humbled and pressed over by the mighty hand of God becomes a weapon instead of food for salvation. Indeed, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God and those in leadership, given so very much, can easily swoon under the load; especially if they be those given to appetite and the desire for wealth.
God is no respecter of persons. It makes no difference how long or how glorious a ministry. God will make us humble before him one way or another. Enter Nebuchadnezzar. Seven years he wandered mad in the field before his eyes looked up and his reason returned. That story is in the bible for a reason; a warning to all who would assume the lordship over God’s heritage whether by purposeful intent or by willful ignorance. How very circumspect must be our steps in this life, and all the more for those in authorities.
Peter continues now:
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. (I Peter 5:8-11)
Clearly, the God-ordained humility and careful administration of his Word serves as a shield against the wiles of the devil for faith comes by hearing and the shield of faith is that which quenches the fiery darts of darkness hurled against God’s heritage each and every day. Because of the roaring lion, because of the fiery darts, because of the daily battle, men and women of God, called to carry the precious Word to the minds and hearts of precious souls must live blameless lives flung far above the fray that shine as a beacon to the lost and found alike. When they look up, they must see us standing strong for the right. This charge is a weighty one and leaves no room for error lest even one soul stumbles and is lost because of a carnal fault, a love of money, a careless bitterness, a thoughtless gesture, a selfish intent perceived or real in the lives of leaders. One backslider over coffee shared the deepest hurt he ever felt; the pastor never called to see how they were, or where they were. They simply fell away unloved and unnoticed by the leader they had trusted. How shameful a report; it broke my heart.
If people make you mad, if their simple and stubborn ways insert bitterness into your spirit, if you feel disgust and easy anger dogs your trail, please, please, please do not minister until those personal flaws are wept into the dust. Souls are to follow leaders as those leaders follow Jesus. Jesus loves people. The only anger he ever displayed was over the love of money he saw in the temple. He loves people. If a man or a woman of God does not love people, they are no longer fit to lead. If a man or a woman of God abuses the authority given by God, or uses the tender sacrifices of God’s people for personal gain, it is time for that leader to fall down in repentance and let another come to protect the flock of God.
I have actually discerned an open invitation to Satan issued unintentionally by a minister drunk on his own power. A heavy and thick darkness swept in on the wings of a mocking glee as repeated reference to the things done in darkness fell from the lips of a leader stripped clean of anointing. Righteous indignation and a warlike spirit gripped me as I rose to fight only to realize the enemy was invited by the words, not of God but of man. What causalities were recorded in hell that day? Which unsuspecting souls were tricked in those few moments and stumbled in their forward progress? Just how much was devoured by the wicked one while we sat unarmed and vulnerable? How tragic.
In closing this writer and saint exhorts any who read these words to heed the warning. If we are called to minister to God’s heritage, we must come trembling and humble at the weightiness of it all. All selfish ambitions and desire for personal gain must be ground into the dust of our brokenness in prayer. Deep and sincere soul searching will prove our love for souls alive and well, or frozen over with bitterness and disgust. Please pray a foot of pride does not rise up against you. Please pray God-sent deception will never come your way. Please repent for the love of money that is the root of all evil. Please remove yourself from the assignment if you find yourself wanting lest God, himself, removes you; for the salvation of precious souls hangs in the balance.

Five Months Later

Hello faithful followers of this blog…I do hope this entry finds you healthy, happy, and victorious in The Battle.  Like so many things in life that seem to “slip away,” this blog has been dormant way too long.  Here is an up-date:

Daily juicing of carrots, cucumbers, apples, beets and greens has accelerated our journey toward vibrant health.  We are eating more whole foods, nuts, seeds and sprouts; veggies and fruit.  Winter is coming and immune systems need to be strengthened.  We have also turned another significant page in our journal of life together.

We are actually getting to bed EARLIER!  Sleep is such a healer.  Good, deep sleep before midnight will do wonders for overall health.  We are not spending time in front of the computer screen before bed either.  The EMF’s so damaging to our electrical brain activity seriously disrupt sound sleep.  Here’s a neat thing to do as the days get shorter:  Light lots of candles around the house and finish your day by candle light only.  Turn off the lights and bathe, brush teeth, even eat your evening meal by candle light.  The resulting relaxation will usher you into dream land and restore calm and peace to your environment.  (be sure to blow out all of them as you retire!)

Health is truly our greatest wealth.

So many of us press our poor bodies through the sieve of busyness and elevated self-importance leaving only fragmented strength to put one foot ahead of the other for yet another day.  And what for?  Money?  Success?  Fame?  What good is all that when we feel awful in our bodies?

A friend of mine recently had an unfortunate car accident.  She needs about $400 worth of therapy immediately.  “I need to buy new tires for my car first,” was her statement.  And my response…”what good are new tires if you are too damaged to drive?”  This principle can apply to all sorts of things.  Say you want to take the family on a nice vacation so you are pulling 60 hour weeks with little rest, eating on the run, and enjoying minimal quality family time day by day.  Do you really suppose that vacation will be a time of enjoyment when you are exhausted, depleted of energy and zest for life because of burn-out?

Slow down out there.  Let’s take each day as the blessing God intended.  Pause to breathe, enjoy a sunset, sip a glass of fresh juice and smile at the loved ones surrounding you.  Really, 90% of our health quality hinges on our attitude and spirit.  Laughter and joy are the best medicines and they are free!  So, rest often, eat well, love much and let’s have a healthy and happy winter together!