Coming About

I have been feeling and expressing all kinds of frustration and anger over the past few days because my Gmail accounts were hacked…as well as all of the accounts which my Google browser held passwords for.   I was not thinking about the truth of what I said in How to Win the War.  In fact, it took anger at my blessed neighbor to come to grips; she has been doing very poorly lately but got herself out of her chair to yell out her front door at me that my dog was “doing dookie” in the yard.  Really?

I struggled with my reaction to that…and everything else…last night.  (I have had 3 credit card companies reduce my credit limit to at or BELOW my credit balance because of a credit report pulled last December…when I couldn’t make house payments, moved here, and put the house up for sale.  One card had this month’s minimum payment set at $792.00…the minimum due… and reported my status as OVER LIMIT.  My credit score is now 551 primarily because of my credit allowance to credit balance ratio.)

Okay, I got that out.

Time for my sailing analogy.  It is time for me to make a course adjustment.  I have been sailing off-course for about a week.  I have been focusing on spiritual battles and race-war distractions.  (I am not implying that inequities in the laws governing the treatment of blacks is not an issue.  It is.  These laws must be changed…NOW.)  But, the REAL enemy is drawing us off course and is pitting blacks against whites and blacks against police and protesters against military and protesters against police and ….  We are distracted by these confrontations and the evil one and his minions and those who believe his propaganda are the ones perpetrating these evil deeds and as long as we don’t recognize this as a distraction from the real war, it appears to the world that they are winning…but they do not…have not…and won’t.  Remember who the enemy is.  Remember Who has won.

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”  That is from Isaiah.

Back to my sailing analogy.  The appropriate action which one should take to make a course adjustment, depends on how far off-course you are.  Sometimes you just move the tiller a bit to the left or right.  The tiller (your mind or the thoughts you focus on) moves the rudder…which is underwater, therefore hidden.  The rudder would equate to your sub-conscious or perhaps your spirit or soul.  You can make subtle adjustments to your tiller (thoughts or focus) by reading scripture that refers to God’ goodness, Jesus’s commandments, and the strength and protection of the Holy Spirit.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.”  That is from Philippians.

If it is not enough to just change your focus or thinking, then you may need to ‘come about.’  Tacking is another word for ‘coming about;’ what you must do is switch which side of the boat your sail is leaning toward.  It requires a major shift of the tiller (and, therefore, the rudder) and causes a change in how the wind affects the sail.  What may be required is a major change in what you are focusing on.

Think of the wind as everything that affects you emotionally or spiritually.  That would include the news, events around the world, what’s going on in your family, your city, your country.   That also includes the Holy Spirit, prayer, and scripture.

Your sail, responding to the wind, is what propels you and gets you where you are going.  If your sail is picking up ‘bad’ or ‘foul’ wind, which means it is wind influenced by something (like another boat or bad teaching that you are following or ‘bad’ news, or fear, or hate,….), then coming about and making a major course change can move you into better wind and will greatly improve your journey.  The best wind is the Holy Spirit.

To get out of a ‘foul’ wind,  pray:  present to Jesus all of those issues fouling your life (hates, grievances, injuries, resentments, abuses, fear, guilt, …) and ask to have your sails filled back up with the good pure wind of His Spirit.

(Aside on how to present those issues to Jesus:  imagine a hamper or a bucket….like one you would bail with.  Imagine or list all the crap that you can think of and a few you aren’t aware of …Jesus will know…imagine putting all that stuff in the hamper or bucket and laying it at the feet of Jesus.  Imagine putting it at the base of the tree from which He was crucified, if that helps.  Then back away.  Do Not pick it back up.  Then pray that the space opened up by the releasing all of that junk…that that space be filled up with good, clean, pure Spirit from God.)

When you are sailing under a good wind, you can make progress in your journey and do constructive things to improve the world, as well as your own life and your eternity.  Good wind comes from your own relationship with God…your creator.  Good wind does not come through your church membership.  Good wind does not come from just reading the Bible.  Good wind is the Spirit of the Lord which comes to you Directly…not filtered…not translated…not through association with others.  It is directly to you…directly from God.

If you are unable to connect directly with God, your creator, ask for His help.  He will give it.  He will bring to mind those things which are fouling your wind, and when He does, immediately put them at Jesus’ feet; do not dwell on them or relive old injuries.  Give them immediately to Jesus.  And when residual stuff comes up, and it will, give that to Him, too…over and over.

You are not fouled….your wind is.  You are a sturdy, well-built, little craft.  Get out of the foul wind and sail on.

I’m heading next door to apologize for my dog’s having gone “dookie” in my neighbor’s yard and to see how she is doing.

(Thank you, God, for this deliverance.  To You be the Glory.)

(Yes, that is a picture of me hoisting a sail …many years ago.  I have stopped stealing images from the internet and that photo is the only one of my own that I could find quickly that had anything to do with sailing, sails, and wind.)

 

 

Brush-B-Gone and Jesus

This is the window in my bathroom.  Anyone who has ever spent time out of doors knows that what is climbing outside my window is poison ivy.  It struck me as I sat there gazing on the hated stuff (did I say ‘hate?’) is that that window is a good analogy for my life these days.  To give you some insight, there were only two clusters, of three leaves each, in that window two days ago.  It is time for the Brush-B-Gone…(great stuff).

As the analogy alludes, my home and life have been encroached upon lately.  It has seemed as if dark forces have been on me like socks.  My gmail accounts have been hacked.  Passwords have been stolen then changed to passwords I don’t know.  My cell phone took on a life of its own.  I’m keenly aware of everything going on around me.

But, like the window in my bathroom, I can see the evil but there is a window between me and it.  That pane of (plexi-) glass is my faith in God and trust in the protection of the Holy Spirit.  I fall back on what I said in “Shadrach, Meshach, and whatshisname,”

I serve God, through Jesus, with strength and conviction from the Holy Spirit and in the Name of Jesus, saved by His blood by the Grace of God.  I look to Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the very Father God to protect and save me.  But if He does not, I will not turn from God nor will I stop drawing close to Jesus and neither will I stop turning to the Holy Spirit for guidance and protection.  I will not worship anything else.  Emphasis, MINE.

Are there any questions?

Now, where’s that jug of Brush-B-Gone?

(Thank you, God.)

Please and Thank You

Remember your Grandmother reminding you to say “please” and “thank you?”  Of course, you do.

I never have been able to pray out loud the way others can.  When I do pray out loud, I am alone, and I start with “God? Please….” and I end with “Thank you.”  It only seems natural to do it that way.

By the way, ever since my college days, I have listened to others start their prayers with, “Jesus, I just….”

What is this “just” business?   Why “just?”  Just what?  Is it that they don’t want Jesus to make the mistake that there are any concerns outside of “just what I am talking about, now.”  “I just…”  To me, that seems sloppy and a bit too casual.  Sure, it is important to become comfortable in one’s communicating with God but…really?  Just?

Anyway, back to please and thank you.  I will reiterate what my dear beloved Irene said in one of her poems, that “Fear” of God does not exactly mean “Terror” and some people, recovering from a childhood with an abusive father, may need to be able to think of God in a much gentler and safer light.  But, I still feel more comfortable being polite and respectful and therefore remembering to say “Please” and “Thank you.”

…and, “I love you” and “good night.”

The Mosquito Moped

While driving to the drug store a few mornings ago, I watched as a moped (you know the kind that sounds like an angry mosquito in your ear) pulled out of the Dollar General, cut across all four lanes of traffic (plus the turn lane in the middle) cut across a parking lot of a long abandoned business (avoiding the yellow light that I ran to keep up with him), and continued around the corner of the business and headed up the street.  I followed because for some reason, I loved this guy.

This guy’s energy was infectious; it was clear to me, immediately, that he has taken this trek numerous times and his moped seemed to have developed muscle memory.  If you zoom in on the picture, you see he carries crutches with he kind of permanent-looking padding on the arm rests.  He is toting toilet paper, paper towels, and at least two bags of what seem to be just groceries, maybe more.  He is watching me in his rear view mirror because I have conspicuously accelerated to close the distance between us; this is about the 3rd of 4 or 5 pictures I took of him.

Purely conjecture on my part, but I am guessing this guy has some permanent disability that prevents him from walking and possibly driving…or he cannot afford a car…or he lost his license (as so many people do around here.  My daughter calls his moped a “DUI Mobile.”)  Regardless, he drove into a run down trailer park (again, a very common thing around here) with no trees, no shade, (Have I mentioned we’ve been averaging 100 degrees and 42 drops of rain for weeks?), no flowers, nothing but sand and gravel and broken down you name it in the yard.

But this guy has pep.  I know, that’s a dumb word, but he did.  He was a man with a mission.  The way he banked those turns and zipped across traffic told me he was in the zone.

There is no other similarity with the rich young ruler, but I remember what Mark said about Jesus’s reaction to the ruler; Mark states that, before Jesus challenged the young man, “Jesus felt a love for him.”

I suppose my Mosquito Moped Guy struck a chord in me; something about the seemingly cheerful energy, in spite of dismal circumstances and physical adversity, opened up the heavens so that I could hear the angels singing.

(God, please bless my Mosquito Moped Guy.  I love him, dearly, and he brought me such joy.  I pray that You do whatever is necessary to open up his connection to You so that he is aware of Your love.  Thank you.)

An Enlightening Article

“the Nixon administration “had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people…We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black [sic], but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. ” – John Ehrlichman

Reading this Time magazine article made me uncomfortable but discomfort is often a good thing…a God thing; for me, it means I am disrupting my comfortable and familiar views and stretching my awareness.  I may not alter my course or I may have to make a mid-course correction.  I may accelerate my pace…or I may have to do an about face, altogether.  Opening one’s eyes is always good and one can discern truth from propaganda by asking for enlightenment from the Holy Spirit.

Confession:  I now know one meaning, the possible origin, of the term ‘institutionalized.’  I did not know about this history before and my previous post reflects that ignorance.

I strongly recommend this Time magazine article and allowing a little discomfort…

The GOP Can Lead on Criminal Justice Reform—If We Admit Inequality Exists

“the true state of race relations in the country–improving slowly, painfully but surely” – Time Magazine

“What if we are not “falling apart” as a nation? What if we are, in fact, doing what democracies are supposed to do–gradually learning, through experience, how to solve our most vexing problems?”

Please read the entire article:

After Baton Rouge, Minneapolis and Dallas, Signs of Passionate Sanity

2 Commandments

For those not inclined to “Love Jesus” right off the bat (because of current beliefs, views, background, and/or upbringing), “Love God.” In time, you will be introduced to the person of Jesus and you will love His person, and love others through Him, as well.

Awethentiq®

There are supposedly just ten commandments in the Bible.

Then, ten more, almost similar.

Plus five that fall in between.

Mosaic Law ends up with 613, in total.

New Testament, not really given as commandments, suggest 1050. A staggering number.

Jesus said we should keep these.

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An Appropriate and Powerful Response

Do you remember how you responded after the shock of 9/11 waned enough for you to stand up and walk again?  If you were like me, you went out and found an American flag and taped it to your car window.  I put a tiny flag on my desk and looked up the rules for the proper displaying of the flag.  I made sure the flag I flew in front of my house never got wet in the rain, was put up at sunrise and came down at sunset.

I was just like most Americans in that there was not much else I could do besides pray for our safety, to show the terrorists that we were not afraid and we would not give in to their threats and their show of hatred toward America.

But that was all I could do.

That was then.  THIS IS NOW.

We have a much more tangible way to respond to the displays of anger, hatred, and evil in the world around us.  And this is what I am going to do:

In response to racial anger and resentment, I will demonstrate to every person I meet, REGARDLESS OF THEIR RACE:

kindness,

patience,

concern,

charity,

and the Grace which I have received from God in abundance.

In response to stories and accusations of bias, injustice, unfair practices, hype, and propaganda, I will remind everyone who will listen, that we are all to blame and the only correct course of action is to STOP.  Stop, turn around, and do the opposite:  I will continue to be an ambassador for Christ and demonstrate 1) Love of God and 2) Love of Everyone.

An appropriate response to this assault on humanity is to show that WE WILL NOT DO LIKEWISE.

The buck stops here.  The hate stops at my door.  The attacks, accusations, lies, and slander stop at my mouth.

I will not spread or return anything but love, kindness, charity, compassion, understanding, and a whole shit-load of patience and forgiveness…so help me God.

(And I mean that, God…You’re going to have to help me.)

All Lives Matter

” Every life taken in anger… is simply because people’s pride and ego are too inflated, their greed and ambitions too important. Regardless of who they are.

” We all need to bow our heads in utter shame, we need to repent, we need to follow the Two Commandments of Jesus.”

It is no longer important who hit whom first.

It is no longer important why.

It is no longer important what has gone before.

Stop.

Stop hurting others.

Stop hating.

Stop killing.

Just Stop It.

Whose Lives Matter?

“It is a love of God and Christ that begins our journey to truly embracing our neighbors and loving them no matter who they are.”

You cannot legislate love. It must be lived and demonstrated.

You cannot force another to be different or to have a change of heart; You must be different, first…and have a change of heart, first. Then, you can show others how it is done.

PLEASE, look at each other and find the good in each other.”

Please.

rethink

Hatred laced with ignorance is plaguing many cities throughout the United States. Usually all the posts written at Rethink are carefully planned, thought out and scheduled. This post is different. I personally like to let the storm of conflict settle before stating a position or calling people to action. This topic is too serious to let a response from us here at Rethink be saturated with time.

There have been cases of police brutality where civilians are killed, protests, rallies, and open attacks on police around the country. This has led to major movements of Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter. Our own Congress has even politicized this issue to try to pass or block legislation that is filled with personal agendas and probably the money of industries and lobbyists. I ask a serious and stern question of where is our sound judgment? We decide that moments after a shooting…

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