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.)

 

 

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.

filosopete

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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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.

Make it Real – Going Public

Have you ever noticed how when you mention God in conversation (no, not that way…), that things suddenly become real?

I was having a difficult time finding funds for gas.  I had funds on a card the gas station didn’t take.  I did a work around through my phone by doing a funds transfer from the unacceptable card to another card and then, again through my phone, from that card to my refillable gas gift card.  The attendant swiped the gift card; …nothing.  I murmured, “Come on, God, help me…”  Another attendant looked up along with a customer.  I swiped again.  It went through and I murmured, “God is good.”  When I looked up, everyone was smiling.  Some were smiling to themselves.  Many were nodding.

Why is it when people pray out loud, they sound as if they are speaking for your benefit or for the benefit of the room and not as if they really are speaking to someone?  Have you ever heard anyone say out loud, particularly in church, “Okay God, let me ask you this…”   or even, “God, I want you to know something…”  It’s always in a ‘recite the creed’ tone of voice.  If you don’t sound like you believe in God, how is anyone else going to believe in God ….or even believe that YOU believe in God?

A friend of mine has been battling dark forces for years.  She’s good at it.  She is a prayer warrior.  She advised me to speak ‘out loud’ when commanding the evil ones to get away from me, in the Name of Jesus, etc.  I will explain why I believe speaking ‘out loud’ makes a difference:

There have been many times when I thought I was going to do something but didn’t.  In ‘psychiatry/psychology-speak’ this is often referred to as ideation, such as in ‘suicidal ideation,’ a rather derogatory term meaning you’re a wimp and you haven’t got the nerve to do it.  (I don’t want to think about how many people have gone through with suicide just to prove ‘friends,’ family members, and doctors wrong.)

There have been times when I thought I was going to cross over into on-coming traffic…but didn’t.  There have been times when I thought I was going to jump off of something high…but didn’t. There were times when I thought I was going to take bottles of pills…but didn’t.  It wasn’t out of fear that I did not do it, because there have been times that I have done it.  More benignly, there have been times I told myself I was not going to go into a store…but did; furthermore, I told myself I was not going to buy books…but did.  I confess…and digress…

My point is this: taking it out of the mind of intention and into the verbal makes it more real for me.  My imagination and mind of intention are not trustworthy.  And I don’t think I am alone in this.  I read an article yesterday that mentioned cognitive behavioral therapy…or ‘talk’ therapy.  Talking about how one thinks about things, situations, and life; and how one behaves as a result of one’s thoughts; and talking about making changes (not just thinking about making changes) gives it more oomph.  Verbalizing affirmations is what gives them power, not just the present tense of the verb.

It is similar to what the Apostle John says about “In the beginning was The Word…” how at creation there was a difference between when there was just the Mind of God and when there was Christ: the Logos or the Word.
The Word.
God uttering Christ made Him real.  God uttered Christ into being.
I’ve read and heard a great deal about how naming a fear gives you power over it.
God calls us by name.

I believe the invocation of a prayer…the speaking of the prayer…makes it manifest…or maybe just more likely to be manifest.

Am I making any sense?  Talk to me…

 

(The image above is borrowed from the internet.  I did an internet search for “making it real;” don’t do that.  just don’t.)

 

Shadrach, Meshach, and whatshisname

I’m with them.

They had been thrown into a fiery furnace for not bowing to an image of  Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.  Similarly, I am finding myself in a bit of a ‘warm environment’ which I believe is due to my not giving in to demons and other annoying influences.

Read what they said to Nebuchadnezzar:

our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king.

But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.  (emphasis, mine)

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?

Dealing with Race in America

Keith is truly a man of God and a man of guts and integrity. He pointed out correctly that the problem is one of perceptions and degrees. White people…and while I want to say “MOST white people” I will just say “many white people” are pushing in the correct direction…but there is so much farther to push….so much so that from the black perspective, we’ve hardly moved at all. The black perspective is accurate.

My only defense for white people is that for MANY white people, they’ve made a 180 degree turn from that of their parents and grandparents and, from personal experience, that was not easy. Many many times I heard from my father, “Why can’t you be like the rest of us?”. I am truly sorry that we have not made more progress. I do not know what more can be done in one lifetime than to make a complete about face, push against the tide, and do what I can to convince those around me to consider turning around, too. I ask for forgiveness (from Keith, from my other black friends, and from God) for not having done more or enough to matter.

Please refer to previous posts Generalizations are Generally Wrong and In the Name of the Father.

The light breaks through

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I am going to delve into another sensitive area in this blog post. I grew up hearing from black people that we don’t have the ability to discriminate. This may come as a shock to every other race on the planet. In order to explain this unique perspective on the issue, allow me to define the word discriminate.

First, the dictionary defines discrimination as: “the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.” That definition pretty much says it all. It would appear to be all inclusive. However, living life as an African American I ran across an interesting time and space anomaly. I was told that African Americans cannot discriminate, we really can’t be racists. Yes, you read that right. If you want to understand the heart of so many misunderstandings, you need to understand this concept.

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Learning to pick my battles…

…even if only after the fact.

I’m doing…okay.  I’ve been trying too hard for a while now…encouraging loved ones to leave a toxic boss (efforts wasted); helping my neighbors survive his 2.5 month hospital/rehab stay after what was supposed to be outpatient surgery and encouraging them to make better choices (efforts wasted); writing about fighting evil and being reconciled to God (efforts draw evil to me); water pipes splitting and soaking carpeted floor, sections of floor falling in, door falling off hinges; battling mosquitoes, heat, drought,  …are we having fun, yet?

It’s like single-parenting….you just don’t die from this….well. not yet, anyway

I am emotionally depleted and physically worn out from the heat.  My plants are heat stressed and turning yellow.  My dog has had intestinal issues for days (throughout the house) and is not eating (she just watches as the cat eats her food 8 inches away) and my neighbor insists on throwing chicken bones and pizza scraps in the yard for her to find.  Oh, and my cat apparently has cat-betes and is losing his eyesight.

But, I persevere.   Yesterday, I spent the Fourth watching the flag gently wave in the rippling heat and the Morning Glories slowly unfurl and re-furl…and not much else.

Besides, I am happier and more stable than I was in North Carolina.  I’m physically stronger and on less medication.  And I pick my battles…even if only after the fact.  (“Well, that was a pointless, losing battle.”)