A lovely birthday was mine yesterday.
I did all the things I told you I'd do, plus, I raked leaves beneath a sunny, warm sky, read more Gladys Taber on our front porch and ate pineapple-upside-down cake. I also read delightful birthday ecards and your wonderful comments here (thank-you!), a friend gave me a gift card to amazon.com (a total surprise!) and Naomi called us from Tennessee.
What a peaceful, perfect day. And Tom and I even, after finishing the second half of The Two Towers, got out the extended version of The Return of the King (which Naomi gave us before she left) and we watched that, too. And after all those battles, after being reminded of how brave we must be to finish our journey here with God gloriously, I came upstairs at nightfall and felt strong and brave enough to slice off a few enemies' heads. heh.
Always I receive something new from those films or am reminded of forgotten things, like, just as I thought, "Oh! I'm glad I'm not into craving power," God ran a filmstrip through my head of the way I like household things run my way and Heaven help Tom if he chooses a different path than mine.
Really, you'd think by now that anytime the words, "I'm glad I'm not like that" cross my brain, I'd instantly bite my tongue and repent. Sheesh. You know, because it's too much like that prideful guy in the Bible who stood 'praying' in the temple next to the repentant guy, etc.
Anyway, this time at least four scenes from these films blew new, timely strength into me, but I'll end with this: I saw that we Christians are here, as soldiers, to help God hold back the huge Army of Darkness. It's a growing, marching army, hypnotizing its soldiers into a subtle (and not so subtle) darkness full of pride, cruelty, depression, hopelessness, critical judgement and much more. And someday (Revelation says) that terrible army will take over and rule here, for awhile--but before then--we're here to keep it from advancing too quickly, before its appointed time.
So, oh! The necessity of keeping our armor on, not in a forgotten heap in the closet. And of not giving away our strength by whining about petty things, holding grudges, worrying or accusing God of flaws in His way of doing things.
How vital it becomes to walk in love and thus fulfill the law. (Romans 13:8)
And to enter into His rest and cease from our own works (Hebrews 4:10), doing what God specifically asks us to do, instead.
And to forgive those who just don't understand, those whose eyes have been blinded lest they see the light-- and to pray for them, also, rather than criticize them for their blindness. After all, we also help defeat the darkness by doing our part to increase the Army of Light.
And how vital to remain awake!
Truly, I appreciated each of your comments so much! They totally made my birthday, completed it, like icing on proverbial cakes. Thank-you.