Sunday, January 17, 2021

Holding Onto Your Proverbial Hat?


"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal" ... "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come."   ---2 Corinthians 4:18, 9, Proverbs 31:25


******

So there I was down in our dark basement. April, 2020. "Fifteen days to slow the spread," had, in many states, morphed into, "let's push this isolation another month or three."

Pulling my damp laundry from the washer, I asked God, "Why are lockdowns stretching out farther? They'll hurt lots of people." 

What I felt the Holy Spirit say? "This is all about exposure of sin and a shaking of everything. And the story about Elijah and the prophets of Baal? It's about that, also." (See 1 Kings 18)

Hmm. That's what I 'heard,' or rather, sensed within my spirit. 

Then carrying the heavy laundry basket up the steps, I considered those words and--nine months later--I've not stopped. I've felt assured God has a huge plan, a good one for His trusting remnant.

But man, since April, in snippets of moments totaling 11 (12?), I caught myself doubting that plan. I allowed my mind to imagine what might happen, instead, and oh, Honey! After each brief moment I lectured my sorry self:

"Debra! What a disappointment. Again. True faith does not bounce up and down, fade into worry, nor let its imagination wander down dark bunny trails. Real, God-breathed faith keeps believing even if what it sees appears opposite. Tsk. Tsk."


Though I'm not yet into beating my body like the Apostle Paul mentioned(!), I do tend to react firmly if my mind switches to wishy washy. For whole decades God has trained me for such times as these, to approach problems the way He would. I should know better!

But the good news? Those quick, fleeting moments of doubt were just that. Quick. Fleeting. 

The vast majority of those months I felt peace plus a new strength, boldness and determination to arrive in Heaven without embarrassment of how I behaved while our Country shook and was exposed like never before.

I mean, how humiliating to go all wimpy when God made so much faith and assurance available, instead, to those who believe Him rather than circumstances!






"No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize." ... Without faith it is impossible to please God..."  ---1 Corinthians 9:27, Hebrews 11:6

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."   ---Jeremiah 29:11

2020? An incredible year sent to humble us, to show us where we're still lacking in deep faith and love for God. Perfect love casts out fear, leaves no room for it.





******

Did I already tell you I joined Gab.com while waiting for Parler to return? I'm enjoying my time there, especially now that it's speeded up and I've found my kindred spirits old and new.


Oooo! This week I discovered two Tim Janus videos with tons of cottages. So many scenes which reminded me of some of Heaven's acres as I imagine them. Wow, calming beyond belief.

Go here.
And here.




"But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do."  ---James 1 :6-8




"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Please Don't Be a Henry


"Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord."   ---Romans 12:11
"What God is looking for is faith."  --- Kim Clement

******


So while in the 2nd grade, our teacher taught us the song, "There's a Hole In The Bucket." Remember that one? Here are a few of the lyrics:

There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza,
There's a hole.

Then fix it dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Then fix it dear Henry, dear Henry, fix it.

With what should I fix it, dear Liza, dear Liza,
With what should I fix it, dear Liza, with what?

With a straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
With a straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, with a straw.

But the straw is too long, dear Liza, dear Liza,
The straw is too long, dear Liza, too long.

Then cut it dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Then cut it dear Henry, dear Henry, cut it!

With what shall I cut it, dear Liza, dear Liza,
With what shall I cut it, dear Liza, with what?

With an ax, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
With an ax, dear Henry, an ax.

But the ax is too dull, dear Liza, dear Liza,
The ax is too dull, dear Liza, too dull.

Then, sharpen it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Then sharpen it dear Henry, dear Henry, sharpen it!


My family moved that year and yet while playing outside, I sang that song under my breath. What I recall thinking? "Henry was a Goofus*. Couldn't fix things by himself. He bothers me."

Fast-forward to 2020 and weirdly, that song returned to my mind. 

Christians around me floundered, were filled with faith on Sundays, but felt helpless on Mondays and Tuesdays, then guilty about their lack of faith on Wednesdays and Thursdays, they hid on Fridays and Saturdays then pulled themselves together on Sundays. You know, figuratively.

But, uhm, biblical faith doesn't resemble fear, guilt or doubt. Whatever happened to:

"Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it." --Proverbs 4:23 , hmm?

Jesus came to give us abundant life and today may we each actively seek God's always-available peace of mind and heart.

May we passionately desire (and go after) what fixes us.

 And during 2021? May we long for God's ways of thinking to become our own, for really, none of us need a Liza to tell us every single step we should take.

So if currently you're living sprawled all over the Doubt Board of Life-- "then fix it, dear Henry, fix it!"  シ



"Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God."   ---Revelation 3:2

Choose passion, not apathy. Never lose your passion for serving God!



* Remember Goofus and Gallant in the Highlights magazine we'd read in doctor's offices? Loved those guys.  


******


Here are bits of what I did in 2020 to keep my faith, peace of mind and passion so I could avoid those ditches beside the road we all know about:


Sought to know God better, to hear Him more clearly.

Avoided mainstream news. Found other more balanced sources.

Shared verses, warnings, money, etc. when God said, "Share."

Listened to tons of favorite retro music.

Prayed a lot.

Discovered (joyfully) folks online who heard from God the same things I did. My favorite part of 2020; finding such wonderful company!

Read lots of wonderful new-to-me books.

Daily made gratitude lists in my head. Counted blessings, not things-gone-wrong.

Encouraged the floundering ones through social media and also those on the front lines of 2020's battles.

Watched Tim Janus' gorgeous nature/music videos, especially on grey days.

Supported local businesses.

Kept my heart and cross lights lit in my windows. Absorbed sunshine upon my face there, also. Burned candles. 

Made repairs to the annoying things around my house.

And with all my heart, fought self-pity, fear, apathy and doubt. Kicked them far away the second I recognized they'd come to haunt me.




Oh, and what also got me through 2020 with happiness and sanity? Barbeque potato chips and lots of popsicles.  ツ



******


"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."   ---James 1:12


Perseverance--steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.




"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15

Monday, January 11, 2021

What a Time To Be Alive!

  
                         Whatever He tells you, do it."   --- John 2:5


******

You know how, in 2020, we saw happenings we'd never before witnessed? Well, hang on. New, even wilder things are racing toward us in the next few days.

My advice? Find ways to stay excited about what God is boldly going to display before our eyes.

And here's something to help us in our waiting. Since it's another blog post, I'll not write a complete one here today.

Rather, I'll just add: these next days? Seek God with all your heart. Ask Him for specific ways to keep your heart close to a wonderful expectancy and far from worry, fear and dread.

Hang in there--in Him we can do this, with joy, even!




"For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. ..."   ---Romans 8:39

" ... be busy at home, be kind..." ---Titus 2:5

"Don't worry, be happy."  ---copied


******

Oh, and for those Christians pulling for the God-hating group to win this current battle? I feel sorry for you.

"Despite all that's going on now, God is moving... He is moving in unusual ways and this is the time we need to be sensitive to unusual manifestations of God."   --- Dr. Kynan Bridges


******




Here's a Kindle book I enjoy dusting off each January. It contains simple ways to declutter and remain organized the rest of the year.


******


Oh, and as I said at Facebook--

Coming soon to a nation near you:







******


"For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." ... Matthew 6:14,15