Thy Will Be Done

I am watching the political race and I’m also experiencing something similar at my own place of employment. As I spoke to a friend the other day, only one word came to mind about all of this, ‘disillusioned.’  But the Lord keeps reminding me that everything is in His hands and this is all part of His plan.

My job is prayer and to take a stand for His righteousness. I have been grieved by so much pain which has been caused in my own personal life and the lives of so many other’s because of this greed.I don’t wage war for the material, or I would be like the people I am battling.  And it is the ultimate bully, of our souls, who pulls the strings of man. He drives men’s hearts to desire that which is evil. Again and again,we are told in scripture, “You do not war against flesh and blood. But against powers, principalities, and rulers of this ‘dark world.'” This is our chapter in spiritual warfare Ephesians 6) and it is extremely important that believers understand this Especially when we come up against these powers. They operate through people.

This is why Paul exhorted us to remember our battle.He says, “We are  not ignorant of Satan’s devices.” He’s tricky, deceptive as can be. Always trying to distract the real focus and goal in mind.  As frustrated and hurt that I may be, I constantly think of those people in the grips of the enemy’s hands. And I pray, “that they escape from the snare of the enemy who has taken them captive to do his will.”

This discussion is one which I had with a person the other day. I was told that this person “was in the real world,” and it isn’t pretty. As if I’m unaware for some reason. The impression seemed to be, that I was fighting for some kind of “pay-back,” for what I feel has been stolen. That feeling of giving anything back to me, is nonexistent. I’m not emotional about that. When it comes to injustice, I do get emotional. I see it as righteous anger. I know I’m impulsive and brash, at times. I’d say if I compared myself to any disciple, it would be a combination of Peter’s temper and Paul’s ability to talk. Yes, Peter cut off the ear of a guard at Jesus arrest, and His words, are constantly ringing in my own, “He who lives by the sword also dies, by the sword.” But hey, as much as Peter screwed up look at the Lords, love for him. And when I think of Paul and his preaching until a man fell out of the window and died, only to have him come out and have to resurrect him, I have to laugh. I know that’s been a fairly good description of me at times as well. But here again, the man used to murder Christian’s, and look at what God can do with a life consecrated to Him?

Of course, the Lord has told us that, “we are in this world, but not of it.” But this doesn’t  make me immune to it. In fact, I would dare to say, I’ve suffered more direct hits from the enemy than most. In his attempts to thwart my faith, I have endured the most intense suffering. But my faith has only grown stronger through it all. I can tell people that the enemy is real, he wants to rob you of your faith, kill and destroy you.” This is a reality. I’ve done hand-to hand combat with him. If you want to talk about what isn’t pretty, this isn’t. But how far are you willing to go to save the souls, that are being stolen by him? And let me tell you, if you are real about loving His people, you will be under spiritual attack. But the Lord has promised, “His ministering angels who minister to all the heirs of salvation.”

The injustice perpetrated upon people, is something which the enemy has done by using his strategy of corruption within the hearts of men. Those men are also captive. They may be at a higher level of income, but captives to Satan’s devices, nonetheless.

My lifetime has been a sacrifice of caring for the needs of others, and I don’t look for income to impress anyone. Because I don’t need this gratification, I don’t find myself striving for the same things as others. I feel a deep compassion when people are hurt, and the person I was speaking with made the valid point that people “above me only care about money, not us.” Of course I know this is true, generally speaking, but just as there are exceptions to every rule, I would say, I found someone above me, who had a soft heart. Full of compassion and by the same token, there are people in the lowest income bracket which are also full of greed. This is not isolated to levels of society. It is sin, plain and simple. But in the end, it is the One, above all, who gives me grace and supplies my needs, so that I have what I need for the battle.

The Lord is King of all Kings, yet He said that He had come to this earth “to serve, and not to be served.” Well, then why would we be more important than our own creator? No, you see, my eyes are not clouded by this world and indeed, I could say I probably see a clearer picture, than some who claim to be “in the real world.” The truth is that, “the real world,” is not this material at all, but the spiritual behind the scenes. This is where we, (kingdom people) do our battle. Interceding and going where the Lord sends us. I have the discernment of the Holy Spirit as my guide. He leads me into the dark places to shine His light of truth. It makes some very uncomfortable, and others are drawn to it.

But in the end, He is the only one who can lead the way out of darkness. Because as we know, light penetrates darkness and it is not the other way around. The true world is the one which our Lord has designed. It is not corrupted by man and his sinful desires. Which we know is ruled by the ‘god of this age.’ This present kingdom will have its conclusion and the Lord’s kingdom will supplant this ‘real world.” This is why “the government is upon His shoulders and His kingdom shall have no end.”

But He has placed His people on this earth with a commission from Him, and He has told us that He has anointed us for this task. So there is no place which He sends us, where He does not anoint us. The anointing comes from a life of surrender. You don’t seclude yourself from the world, but “go into all the world.”

I had a pastor who used to say, “If you pray for anything for me, pray for my anointing.” Yes, this is a worthy prayer. The anointing is what breaks the yoke of bondage. It is not something which one can get from teachings or sitting in church. Indeed, Christ, spent very little time in “church.” (temple) You will see, the anointing requires action. It is the ‘precious gift inside these earthen vessels.” It cannot be stolen nor, can it be given to others. You can pray for it though, and the Lord gives freely to all who ask. So, as the kingdom of darkness grows darker, continue to pray, His will be done, in your life and the lives of others. In this way, this laying down of your desires, is the beginning of receiving the most important gift of all.

Thy Kingdom Come

I think of  the excitement I felt at the  words from an “end of days,” dream I had when I was young. I knew this wasn’t   a regular dream. It was more of a ‘God-dream.’ And it was something revealed which I saw a prophetic in nature and it involved a lot of warfare in my own life. I had no idea that I would be trained in such a manner. A shy child, but something which would be borne out of a deep compassion for others and the pain of watching so many being hurt by greed. This doesn’t exclude the ones, ensnared by greed itself.

In my own life, I have no desire for anything material. It hasn’t always been this way but I have felt a slow, ‘stripping away,’ and a need to travel light. I look around and actually feel compelled to let go of things. I see how everything weighs people down. As I as waking from sleep one morning, I heard the Lord speaking to me, and His words to me were, “do you live for things, or for people?” I looked around my room. I knew that I could not continue to serve Him in the capacity which I would like, if anything is demanding my attention. He left Peter with a clear message, “Feed my sheep.” He didn’t speak about taking care of anything but His people. And His other messages, were always, “Store up your riches in heaven. The things which cannot be taken from you.” The enemy of our souls has been working overtime, to divert attention from this goal. People are still trying to make a  living so that they can pay for material things. It’s so sad, and the reason that there are broken ,disillusioned people everywhere. The interesting thing is that, whether the person is wealthy or not, they are just as broken. This in itself, should be a stark message, however, the statistics seem to prove that the missing ingredient is not money or power.

In fact, I rather like the movie, Lord of the Rings, because the concept was so simple, yet difficult for most to understand. The ring, seemed to be a thing, which everyone wanted to possess, but when it was in ones possession, it had the ability to possess that person. Exactly what greed does to a person. You cannot satisfy it. It is a growing monster. Which is why there was only one who could carry this ring. One who was didn’t seem to have the capacity to be owned by this evil.

Now,  as I watch the world, collapsing into this shambles, even my own small sphere, I see, it is the corruption of so many. But the Lord spoke of all of these things and the small army of His people, that would indeed, be called upon, to carry the ring. Believers, in the last days. His kingdom, upon the earth. This is why we pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven. ”

If you look back in history, you will see that God likes to do things to show His miracles. This is to prove that it is not by the power of man, but by Him. Look back at the story of Gideon’s Army. You will find this in the Book of Judges. First, Gideon tells the Lord that he is the weakest clan in all of Manasseh, and the least in his family. But the Lord reminds him, that He will be with him.

Now the army of Midian, was about 135,000, strong. At this point the Lord told Gideon, he must reduce his army, once again, so that they would not boast, that it was their own strength. He told him to let anyone that was afraid, leave. So, 22,000, left immediately. I’d imagine, Gideon was a little bit shaken by this, but it didn’t end here.

God spoke once again and said, “There are still too many men.” That’s where I might say, “Hey, Lord. Are you sure about this?” We all have these moments. We don’t see the plan. We get angry. It’s not making sense. I mean even with Gideon, a few chapters back, he put a fleece out, to test the Lord. And what’s up with that? Didn’t the Lord say, not to test Him? Well, even our Father knows, we aren’t always, down with His plans. We are, after all, scared, but He knows, some of us, have stronger faith than others. And I admire this guy, Gideon.

So, this is where the plan gets interesting. Gideon is told to take the men down to the water and he is to separate the men who lap the water with their tongues like a dog,  from those who kneel down to drink. Three hundred, lapped with their hands to their mouths. All the rest got down on their knees to drink.

Now, I went to Israel, last year, and I saw this spot. I was fascinated to think about all of these men and this one specific trait which the Lord was looking for in them.

Gideon's Army the spring

Now I thought, what is this, which set them apart, in the Lord’s plan? It seems to me, that it is a picture of greed. In that small mannerism, the Lord saw a difference in character. I see it myself. Men bringing the water to their mouths, rather than their mouths, to the water, to guzzle, as much as they could get. Very interesting, no? It made me think of my great-grandmother’s expression.  “You can only sleep in one bed, and you can only eat from one plate,” etc. I didn’t know her, but the wise words of a woman borne of the depression era and the loss of her husband. I believe her strength and fortitude was passed down for generations.

I think that the Lord was pointing out the men who had already lacked self-control. They learned a way of getting as much as they could, and therefore, they were not thinking of everyone, but just their own needs. The spring which was a shared resource was similar to an army force and you had to look out for each other.

So the question was one of integrity. As it is the core of everything in life. And in the heart of man, we see corruption. We all have it, as it is sin. But, the Lord as we surrender to Christ, He exposes every dark corner and strengthens us for the battle.Anyone can have their slate wiped clean, and start new, with Christ. But this is the battle in the mind. The enemy deceives men, into filling this need for their savior with many false beliefs, or things. Whatever he can use in his arsenal of lies.

Through His army of believers, He is bringing His kingdom to this earth and He is weeding out this darkness. He will have men and women of integrity in places of authority. The true kingdom of God, is a spiritual kingdom which displaces this kingdom of darkness and evil. Justice will prevail. But for this to happen, the true believers must have self-control.  The apostle Paul gave us a warning about these days, it is imperative, as “Satan roams this earth as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

As we pray, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven,” we will encourage each other. His kingdom, is already here in the hearts of believers. He’s just waiting for believers to take a stand! So, stand up, as Gideon’s army did. “He does not delight in those who shrink back.” If you are afraid, cut loose. This is not for the weak or faint-hearted. We are warriors, in the spiritual army of the Lord.

Paul told us that we “war not against, flesh and blood, but against powers, principalities, and spiritual wickedness in high places.” The first strategy in any war, is to know your enemy. Stop playing church and Be the church! Use all the weapons which the Lord has given you, and if you don’t know what they are, you aren’t in His Word. Cause that’s your Sword!

Now, train yourself as a good warrior, and either get in the battle or run away as a coward. As for me, I want to be on the front lines, where the action is!

Can You ‘Handle It’?

I just went grocery shopping with my son, and it always seems to turn into a mixture between, stress, and comic relief. First, he finds, a produce bag, fills it with air,and starts to see if he can keep it in the air as long as possible. He places the bubble on his head as a hat, and waits for all the comments to come in from passersby. It’s tilted like a fedora, and I have to admit, it’s funny.

Yesterday, he dared me to dance to Michael Jackson, in front of the screen at Brands Mart, which I did, and I had a group of people giving me thumbs up. However, when it was his dare, he left me hanging.”No way!” He said,”If I was with my friends, sure. But not with my mom!” “Oh, great, so does that mean if they dared you to smoke some weed or something, you would?” He rolls his eyes.”Come on mom!”

But,I was surprised,because he usually loves to perform. Which is why I actually got him to put on a little girls pink sparkly jacket today, and dance to, ‘ Bingo Was His Name-O’. I guess it just depends upon his mood.

pink is his color

Then we made a trip down another aisle and it was filled with ordinary food items, until my eyes seemed to drift to a string of plastic hanging on the side. “Hmmm. What is this?” I wondered. “Are they kidding?” I called my son over. “You’ve got to see this!” “Oh come on!” He said. “Who would make their kid use that?” “Well, probably some kid with a pocket protector, and coke bottle glasses.” “Yea,” he said, and a helmet!” “Wait, a minute” I said. “You are supposed to wear a helmet!” But before we started arguing, I took a picture of the incredibly silly object and told him to hold it.

Ice cream cone holder

Now before any inventor of such object, looks at my blog and gets angry, I’m sorry, but, much like the ‘Pet Rock,’ I just thought this to be hilarious. What kid, is going to use this without ever being able to live this one down? Really? Oh, and just so you know, this can be turned upside down, for a popsicle too! Now, are you this worried, as a parent, about those little drips, that you are going to force your child to live with the stigma of this taunting for the rest of his life? I mean, isn’t the fun of having a popsicle or ice cream cone, just licking it, before it melts? Sorry, but, kids are kids, and most would say, “dude, hold your own cone!”
I’m thinking that only someone like, Bree Van De Kamp, from Desperate Housewives, came up with this idea. It’s a kids nightmare. Or perhaps, Joan Crawford…”No more wire hangers! Yikes, that woman still scares me!

I can hear it now; “Charles, make sure you put your sweater on, before you leave the house, or you’ll catch a cold. (myth) And don’t forget your helmet. (He’s walking) Tie your shoes! Look both ways before crossing the street.Press the button for the cross-walk. Don’t jay-walk. Don’t forget your calculator, pocket protector, and lunch, and your ice cream cone holder, if you get an ice cream!”

Ice cream holder $2

It reminded me of a venture a family member had been involved in years ago, with some guys. They had put some money into that bottle holder, “The Handle It.” Well, I thought it was funny. I know, I just felt the same way as I do about the Ice Cream thing. Why in the world can’t a person hold their bottle of soda?

So, we were at my sister-in-law’s house, and her husband has the same sense of humor as I do. We took that ‘Handle It,’ and made it into all kinds of silly gadgets. We took pictures of it, as, a golf tee, a hat rack, salt and pepper shaker, etc. My ex husband,  and everyone got involved. We laughed so hard and had so many pictures at the end. We must have come up with 50 ideas for that thing. Her daughter’s husband was somewhat reticent at first, and then he really got into it.

Well, lo and behold, Christmas rolled around and they present the brother-in-law, who had been involved in this business venture, with a collage of all these pictures! He laughed so hard he was crying and said he was going to take it to his partners. It was even a surprise to me. It ended up being a bust in the end, but we all had some great laughs from the whole thing.

Of course the name of the collage was, “Can You Handle It?”

Hmm, come to think of it, both the ice cream holder and the bottle holder are clearly metaphors for life.

The Dim Bulb

I am watching Saturday Night Live and I’m just cracking up. It is a skit called, White People’s Problems, and I swear we had some people just like this on our flight last night.

Charles Barkley just said, “Man that problem is so white it should go snowboarding!” I was rolling! I had to think of the woman we were talking about. We just couldn’t figure her out.

The flight attendant I was working with said, she had first stopped her to say, “You know you guys need to advertise more to let people know you have food.” She obviously ate before getting onboard. But most people know we offer food.

Later she asked me for a club soda and a cranberry juice. After a while my flying partner told me she seemed to be too young to have this attitude. But she said, every time I walk by her she seems annoyed. She was right. She came to the back and in her most pretentious voice,she asked “Do you have spritzers?” I said, wine spritzers? “No,” and as if I was just stupid, she repeated herself. “Like spritzers.” “Ok,” I said, and before I ever got another word out, she acted irritated and said, “Just give me a ginger ale!” “Well, no if you mean juice and club soda, like you had earlier,that is a spritzer,””No” she said.I was thinking she really didn’t like being told that it wasn’t a premixed concoction. Because in her perfect world everything was what she wanted, and when she wanted it. Anyway, I want to just tell her to chill, the world’s about to end, in another year, so make learn how to make a sprizter….live a little.

Then she went on to the next complaint. “Oh, could you please write up my light, it’s really dim? I’ve been trying to read, and I  am having a hard time.It’s hard to believe she can find time to read with all the trouble she’s trying to stir up. “Is the bulb burnt out?” I ask her? “No It’s just really dim.” Hmm,I know what I was thinking, but I sure didn’t want to say it.

But across the aisle,sure enough, there was a man who could be her match.He was in 19F,and the flight attendant came back to tell me,He had called her over and told her quite abruptly, “You need to turn off this video!  There are only 3 people watching it!” I was cracking up. “What?” Another passenger was standing in back and said, “Hey I heard that guy. It’s a documentary about janitors or something. Maybe it bugs him.” “Well, he really seems mad about it.” My flying partner said. “He actually said that he can see only three people watching it, as it I’m supposed to turn off the video to the whole cabin.”

“I know! Maybe we should get him together with the dim bulb! 

These people are so self-centered. Or maybe it’s just another episode of White Peoples Problems!

I’m In Contempt….Again!

So I had a stressful holiday as usual and decided next year, to avoid it until after all the pagans are finished celebrating.  Of course I say this every year. I’m tired of the people taking up my parking space when I want to go grocery shopping. I’m tired of the mall shopper’s on the streets. I’m tired of the people with bad moods, just because they’re all trying to get the last-minute items for everyone, and they don’t even believe in anything.

Oh, I know, I know. Everyone is supposed to be something. At least that’s what statistics say.  But the truth is that no one knows what the original meaning of it is anyways, so I’m going to start doing my own thing.Well, it’s not as if I wasn’t already. But, I really mean, I’m just tired of doing  everyone else’s thing. Come on, hang with me on this one. Christ did not…and I repeat…He did not, celebrate His own birthday. And you can research this any time you please. I am an avid believer that everything had a purpose in scripture, and God said, that nothing was placed there without a reason, so, that being said, why didn’t Christ have birthday parties, yet we celebrate His? And, by the way, on a date, which, we just decided, for Him?

Nope, I’m thinking that this was a merchants, fiscal dream. At any rate, it’s fun for kids. Yet, I’m not sure if we are teaching the real message of love and giving. And I’m way over the bad attitudes, in the name of the goodwill to all men  No matter,how badly the churches scramble. Even they seem to be sending a message of trying to get something by using this holiday to bring hordes of people in. Even they have gotten way too commercial. They’re using all kinds of bait to draw people in the name of Jesus. Then  in the hopes of membership. Yes, I know this isn’t what some people like to hear because they get comfortable in those seats. So comfortable that they never leave.

The lights, the shows. It’s way over the top. I cannot even stomach the flashy churches with the show-stopping bands and lights. Sorry, if I don’t fit the image of all things religious for you. But, I’m not into it. Once I went to visit a church with a friend of mine years ago, and he said it best; “if the show starts, I’m leavin.” I started cracking up. But it’s true. I don’t think God needs a bunch of bells and whistles to get His point across.

Now, don’t get me wrong, not every church has a sinister agenda. There are some with a true desire to seek and save the hurting and the lost. But then they would get outside of those walls, wouldn’t they? I’m reading a book about this right now. Probably the best I’ve ever read on the subject. The Hole In Our Gospel by Richard Stearns, the founder of World Vision. He stepped down from position of CEO to serve the poorest of the poor.

This is the point. The love and compassion for the lost and hurting is what Christ wanted. Not a birthday party. So I am beginning to watch this whole exercise of Christmas with a mix of amusement and irritation.

Then I have all of the other things that come due at this time of the year. Like my brother’s guardianship report. Which most of you remember from last year. Yes, it always happens that I leave out some small detail and it’s kicked back to me with some threatening letter from the court, that I will have to appear if I don’t fix it, or “I’ll be held in contempt.” Or worse, “I could be removed as guardian.” The fact is, I’m the only real guardian, my brother has ever really had in his life. I love him and care for him. I’ve always protected him and wanted the best for him. He wanted to be with his family since my mother was forced to give him up and it was my desire to bring him home since I was a child. Now I have to jump through hoops ever year to prove that I am a fit caregiver.

Now the previous agency was just a generic entity, that made documents to commit fraud. They had listed all kinds of things on his reports. They had him capable of having a driver’s license,” marrying, the ability to  “buy and convey property.” What’s the big deal? Yes, if one would peer into some of th documents,  of the people with Special Needs and the elderly,they would find some interesting details. But that is the funny thing. Most wards of the state, have none to oversee their care so it is very easy to fly under the radar.

So, I painstakingly make out my  report year after year, even though nothing is going to change. I take him to his doctor to have him do his part. “Yes, he’s still mentally challenged. He still hasn’t been cured.”

Now, like clockwork, I get the letter. “Your letter has been audited and your letter isn’t clear about his residence. It should state, “current or present.” On page 6, it should say, what his plans are for the next 12 months. This must be complete in two weeks from date of letter or blah, blah, blah. Same old threat.

Oh, I’m so irritated. I would like to take last years and the year before. Or maybe the ones from up north. Oh no, those would pass no problem, they’re so ridiculous.

I make the necessary corrections immediately, but I have to go to work for a few days. Then the offices are closed. I decide to up to the office with my brother. I hand the secretary my report. She looks at me and almost with glee, she exclaims, “You can’t turn this in! It has to say, Amended on it!” “Well,” I told her. It did not say that in my letter. It only stated what corrections to make, and I made the necessary corrections.” Then she asked, “Do you have the letter with you?” “No, I didn’t bring the letter. I made the corrections, which I was told to make and brought it, before the date requested. But I’m sure you have the copy.” She yells back to the other woman, “You sent her the wrong letter! You didn’t tell her to write Amended, on her copy!” “Are you kidding?” For some reason, I’m not feeling the love from this woman. Really? Is the peace, love and joy, of the holidays, finished already?

Now she looks at me with a smile and says. “Oh, and you have to sign it again over your signature. And your attorney has to sign it again, over his signature.” At this point, I could see that she loved all of this control she was wielding over me.Wow, she must have really been shafted over the holidays. Probably got some sock’s or a Snuggie(so last year) “You mean I must go back to my attorney, just to have him sign above his signature again?” “That’s correct.” She said.

As I looked at her, all I could think of is that word “contempt” and how descriptive, it was of her.  She smiled and said, “Happy New Year!” I wouldn’t let her have the satisfaction of knowing that I was wondering how it would feel to slap her right now. Yes, I could do, three, instead of the traditional New Year’s kiss. One for each cheek. After all, it is a Christian mandate, isn’t  it?  Turning the other cheek? Except it would be her own. Yes, I’m zoning in right now;It’s all about visualization; HAPPY (SLAP)NEW((SLAP)YEAR!(SLAP)!AHH, That felt good. The Lord was right. We Should turn the other cheek! I smiled right back at her and said,  “Oh, Happy New Year to You!” Even knowing, full well, that I had to leave, again, to go to work the next day. Arriving home on the holiday, with only one day to spare to get this paper-signing feat.

But alas, I still managed to get this accomplished, and my attorney, said “Isn’t this stupid?” “Oh, believe me” I said,  I’m like so over all this nonsense!”

Those who should be held accountable, are not, and those who are doing the best they can are inundated with paperwork and technicalities.   I’m ready to boycott Christmas next year, I’m over the courthouse records, guardianship papers, etc. It’s just more money and my time. So, I’ll just be doing my own thing from now on. That’s why I like Richard Stearns book. He found the Hole In Our Gospel. I saw the same thing many years ago. You can see it everywhere you look. But as we continue to pour ourselves out to a dying world, He fills me up. Those irritations will come and they will go.But He will lift me up, through it all.

Yes, that was my super spiritual moment! So even though I did get back from my trip get those signatures and back to the courthouse. I got everything in order. Next year and the year after….I’ll be in contempt again and again and again!!!!