We’re Sheep In An Ashtray


I have scriptures on my table and pulled one out for my son. He said, “oh mine just says something about  sheep in an ashtray.” “What?” I said. “That’s impossible. There weren’t any ashtray’s in the bible.”

I already knew before grabbing the card from his hand, what it said, but began to laugh at the analogy. “All we like sheep have gone astray. Each of us unto his own way.”

“Oh,” he said. Laughing. As if it wasn’t really any different, since, really, when does a 13 year old boy ever, use the word, astray?

Ashtray, is definitely more appropriate, and hey, he may be slanging a new term for the Urban Dictionary.

I actually started using it since, it was so catchy. It has basically the same meaning which the Lord was trying to convey. And by taking a look at the world today, it is one big ashtray and we’re all in it. Very similar to “going to hell in a hand basket.” Perhaps more up to date.

I have been thinking a lot about the battles which continue to rage on and my place and position. I realize that in war, we all have a decision to make. Cut and run, or face our fear. This is what makes us braver.

I’ve faced the enemy and I’ve learned all his strategies. I’m not afraid of him anymore. As Paul said in scripture. “We’re not ignorant of Satan’s schemes.”

No we’re not. He’s the same today as he was in the beginning and he’s not going to stop. And neither am I. My goal is to continue the fight and storm the gates of hell.

I am the daughter of the king. I am of the lineage of Christ. I am anointed by Him.

He has already asked, “Who will take a stand for me against the wicked? My throne will not be allied with a throne of corruption.”

Yea, not too many out there that are willing to take that stand, I’ve found. It’s not for the faint of heart, and every one seems spineless. If I meet one more person who is supposed to be involved in law enforcement that runs and hides in fear, I’m going to throw up.

I can’t say everyone is like this, but I know that most people I’ve seen are just toothless lions. No power for a fight. Taking the perks of job, but the laws have become perverted.

Bullies everywhere and the public stands by and watches. Afraid to get involved.

About a year ago, I was at the baseball park when my son was warming up.in the dugout. As I sat down in the bleachers, my ex husband and my step daughter were sitting there talking for a while before I arrived.

I heard some yelling from across the field at my son’s side near the bleachers and the guy was just screaming and throwing this little, tiny girl into the bench. “Oh, that’s been going on for a few minutes.” My ex husband said.

“What?” I couldn’t believe this. Even though it was from across the field, I could see and hear it and it was horrible. But what made it worse, was that grown men were standing right by the dugout and no one was making a move to speak up for this little girl.

“That’s it!” I threw down my stuff and marched over to this big jerk. I now see the little girl sitting in front of him on the bleachers and she crying so hard that it’s obvious she can’t stop, but she’s trying to hold back. He’s sitting behind her like he’s the guard. “I look at him and try to speak in my most non-confrontational voice, so I don’t scare her. “Listen, I don’t know what you think you’re doing to this little girl. But I can hear you from across the field and it’s abuse. You need to keep your hands off of her or I’m going to call the police.”

Then I looked at her and said, “Are you ok honey?” She was. As he looks at me and says, “Don’t talk to my daughter.” But yet, amazingly, he doesn’t make a move toward me. I said, “I’m telling you that you need to keep you’re hands off of her and stop cursing at her. She’s terrified.”

Then he tells me, “I have every right to discipline my kid and the police would tell me this.” “Oh, you think so? Go ahead and call them. I’ll be happy to tell them how you’re throwing her around and I’m quite sure they won’t agree and their isn’t a court around that would agree either.”

At this point he quieted down. The little girl calmed down too. He almost seemed relieved that someone put a stop to his madness.

But the strangest thing was, one of the coaches came up later and said, “Listen, if you ever have a problem like that, you need to let me know. I work for the court system.” “Hmm,” I thought. “That’s really strange, cause you were standing right next to the fence, and should have spoken up.”

But this really is the way of the world. How many people, children, elderly, special needs, etc. must be hurt, before someone comes to their aid? “Who will take a stand for me against the wicked, says the Lord?”

Yes, we are all just sheep in an ashtray, but in the end, some of us, will be given “beauty for ashes!”

Take a stand, even if you’re the only one standing!

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Pulling Down Strongholds


A view from the Prayer Tower in the midst of the city of Jerusalem. reminded me of the power of prayer.

This is any “vain imagination which sets itself against the knowledge of Jesus Christ.” I’ve been dealing with this on a daily basis. Well, every believer should be. It’s a part of our walk. It seems I’m in the front line of the battle ground.

A good example was just the other day. I had wanted to have rain gutters placed on my house after all these years,to avoid the debris in the pool. It has been an exhausting exercise to clean the dirt, which floats from the roof. Although I have screens around the pool, this would definitely decrease the amount of dirt and, the screens, also need to be replaced. It’s just ongoing maintenance. So this would be the next project.

Well, at least, that’s what I thought, until my neighbor called me over. While I was engaged in conversation with the guy about the gutters. He had asked if I could speak to him about my back fence. I told him, as soon as I was finished with this guy, I’d be over.

I already knew the back fence was just hanging by a thread, since the last hurricane, and it had to come down. “We’d be willing to go half with you, and I’d do the labor,” he said. “Oh, that would be fine.” I said.

As if I didn’t already have enough going on. If you’d already read my previous post about my kitchen, leaky roof, blah blah,blah. And that tent is looking better all the time.

So, they say, if I go pull the permit, they’ll mark the property.I go online and get all the info. Print the paperwork. My son, his dad, my brother and my neighbors all pitch in to tear down the back fence. It was nice to get rid of it and we were commenting on how nice it was to be able to talk to each other.I had gotten to know them for the first time and we were saying that it is a completely different experience from Northern living. In the North, there aren’t boundaries as you would notice in this part of the country. And we found in crisis, such as hurricanes, we all started to speak to each other. That’s where we realized how much we had in common.. It was almost funny, because as it is in every situation, it’s amazing to know how we can be experiencing such trauma’s and be so isolated, when we are side by side. It’s also very sad. What emotional support we could be for one another, if we could just walk next door rather than call someone 1000 miles away. We’re so afraid to trust a stranger.

But the reason we’re afraid to trust is because we’re bullied on a daily basis. It’s the things which happen to us, which teach us not to trust. Mean and cruel. Such as this fence deal.

I am contacted by the city to be told, after paying the $150.00 permit fee,that I cannot receive this permit yet,because someone named, Tony, had left some notes. “Yea,” I’m thinking. They’re always named ‘Tony.’

I go in to get the notes. So what were these notes, that Tony had written about my fence? Well, apparently, he could not find any record for a permit for my pool or my deck, from the records. And he continued in his notes, that, “this would affect the requirements for my fence.”

Oh, you’ve got to be kidding! This house was built in 1974! Is he serious? Like I have the permits for a pool and a deck?

Ok, now I talk to my friend and he says, “No way! They keep those records offsite, in the archives. They’re yanking your chain.” “Yea, I know where they keep them,” I said. “In that room with the second set of books! With Tony and a bunch of dark shady characters smoking cigars and a stack of cash!” He starts cracking up as he says, “Yea, and he saying, “Hey, I got another one for ya!”

Oh, so the budgets are strapped for cash, so they’re going after everyone else now? Well, then they have to get everyone in the city to pull their records don’t they? This is ridiculous.

So my neighbor goes in to the woman and she tells him that “Tony is on vacation and can’t see him until next week.” Oh, that’s great, I said. I think this Tony guy, must be Tony Soprano. I’ve tangled with him before.That was about  my hair, this time it’s my pool. It’s all the same spirit and requires the same remedy. Prayer.

Then yesterday, I had an encounter with the roofing guy. I had talked to him the day before about coming over, and I usually know right up front, whether I want to give someone my business. Paul told us to, “test the spirits,know ye not that every spirit which proceeds from someone does not come from God?” So this is exactly what I do. And I pray that the Lord will give me discernment.

Well, some people just start out bad right from the beginning. I can’t tolerate a mean spirit and that’s what this guy had. He told me he would show up early and that was fine, because we all had work to do. I told my sons dad about this so he was on the same page.

This guy climbs up on the roof with his ladder he’s up there for a while.I told him what I saw and I knew the problem was a repair which I needed. It was isolated to two areas.

As he was finished his tapping, etc. I came out and he looked a little silly. I described the scene to my daughter. He arrived early with his buddy. He was wearing some  ‘daisy dukes.’ She was rolling. “What?!” “Well, I don’t know what else to call them. Ask Noah,” I said.

He looked to be in his early 60’s and not in bad shape, but I wouldn’t think he should be climbing up on rooftops.Nor should he be wearing those shorts.

“He pulls two rusty screws out of his pocket and looks at me like a shady car mechanic and says, I don’t know how to tell you this, but  you have a problem with your chimney cap.” “Wow,” I wanted to tell him to keep his paws off my chimney cap, and I don’t know where those rusty screws have been but I’m sure they didn’t come from my  chimney cap, as I’m sure my chimney cap has not seen the light of day in quite some time so he’d better keep those rusty screws away from her!”

I’m very annoyed at this point and I’m waiting for him to get to the news about my roof, as this is the reason for my call. He starts to talk about my chimney cap again. “Look, those are custom chimney caps, and they don’t make them anymore, so I put some (insert word) around it, but you may have a leak around that as well.”Yea, well, I’m not worried about it.Besides, if they’re custom made, that means, they’ll custom make one, if I need it.”  “No they won’t.” Now the guy start’s arguing with me! What in the world? Does he know they? Does he know Tony?

Ok, at this point, I’m sure I don’t but, I have to take my son to school, so I cut him off, as he start’s in again about the fact that they don’t make these chimney caps again. Hey either this guy is lusting over my chimney cap, or he is selling them on the side. I said, “You know, I’m kind of in a hurry. Can you bottom line this and give me the estimate for my roof?”

What he said next, blew my mind. “Listen, I’m in a hurry too! I mean I just took an hour (which he didn’t) to go up on your roof! So I’m trying to tell you what the problem is. (Which he wasn’t.) So, you have a small leak on the flat roof, and another one right on that eave, and if you want I can get some plastic to cover that chimney cap. It’ll cost 8 or $900.00! Then he just writes his name on a doorknob tag and leaves. He doesn’t even give me the written proposal.

My son was cracking up! I’m saying do you believe that guy? He’s mad because he’s being asked to do his job? And then he’s talking about something unrelated to his job? I’m wondering if this scam of his really works for him? I’ll give him credit. He gets up early to get his gig started. At least he’s not on a street corner.

My ex husband says, “Well, when I was a kid I remember these guys, going down the street and they would move the bricks on everyone’s chimneys. Then they would stop and tell people that their bricks were loose, and they would clip them for a few hundred bucks to mortar them. My mom and I were watching them go up and down the street.” “Yea, ” I said. “This guy is probably running around with two rusty screws, screwing everyone with a chimney!” He was just mad because I wasn’t going along with the plan.

I used to take Karate years ago, and there is a concept which is very powerful. It can be used in the spiritual world as well. You don’t fight against the power as much as you take the power tjats being used against you and turn it on your opponent. The full force of it will  backfire against them. This is the meaning of the words, “pray for your enemies.” An extremely powerful dynamic takes place. Only the Lord can change the heart of man. And the cruelty which is leveled against us will  return to land where it had it’s beginning in every situation.

We do need to “link up,” in the Body of Christ.  Prayer is powerful. But the most dynamic power is in its unity. “If one can chase away a thousand, two can chase away ten thousand.” Of course we know the numbers don’t make sense. But in God’s universe, they do. And this is what He wants us to understand. How important this reality is.

 

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