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.)

 

 

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?

Clear Communication

Lately, I have been very outspoken about the evil one, his minions, and people who have bought into his propaganda.

This morning, during several attempts to communicate with followers that I have not heard from in a while, the system has reset itself and deleted what I had typed.  I consider manipulation of communications and censorship to be workings of the evil one.

Cutting to the worst case scenario, if anything suspicious happens to me, my brother has been given instructions on how to communicate with you and to let you know.  You know that if anything suspicious does happen to me, it is likely because I have told the truth and that the truth is a serious threat to the evil one.

May God bless us all and thank you, Holy Spirit, for protecting us. (In Your Name, Jesus, I pray that I may only convey what is true and helpful to those desiring to remain with You in eternity. )  Thanks be to God and to God be the Glory.

How to Win the War

The enemy is not a race of people. The enemy is not a religion. The enemy is not an ethnic group, a nationality, the government, a political party, a football team, or species of dog. The enemy is the evil one, his minions, and people who have bought into his propaganda.

When you hate, fear, get discouraged, doubt, study and/or spread propaganda about conspiracies you are giving your power to the evil one.

The only way to fight and resist the evil one is to strengthen your connection to God and to focus on Him constantly.

Do what you must to reconcile yourself to God; rid yourself of issues that block your ability to be close to God.  Purge yourself of resentments, insults and injuries, memories, abuses, diagnoses, and negative, limiting labels.

Forgive yourself and others.  Clean your slate, clear your plate, and unblock your spiritual connection to God.  If anything comes up, give it to Jesus in His Name and with the Blood of the Lamb.

Re-read “Don’t Hate. Just Don’t.”

Practice the Presence of God.  Re-read the piece on the teaching of Brother Lawrence on how to Practice the Presence of God….and do what it says.

Dwell on what is good and pure.

Strengthen your faith.

If you find yourself fearful, angry, discouraged, confused, doubting, or dwelling on past issues, give them to Jesus and go back to Practicing the Presence of God.

The battle is a spiritual one.  The evil one’s power is Spiritual.  Our defense must be Spiritual.  Giving in to negative thoughts and feelings gives him power.  Dwelling on God takes power away from the evil one.

Amassing weapons will not protect you.  Stockpiling food will not protect you.  Focusing on propaganda, conspiracies, and terrorist activities will increase your fear, stress, discouragement, anger, and a tendency to hate.  Crush the evil one by focusing your energy…your thoughts and intentions on God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Purity, trust, faith, obedience, humility, reverence…these attitude, practices, and postures protect you.

Spending your time and energy trying to be ‘wise, informed, shrewd, and prepared’ positions your heart too close to responding with anger, hate, and fear.  Don’t go there.  Align yourself with True Power:  Almighty God, His Son, and His Holy Spirit.

Trust.  Believe.  Have faith.  Be faithful.  Fight for the Good Side by giving your energy to, and getting your energy from, God.

May God bless you.  And to God be the Glory.

(Addendum, six or seven hours later:  Do not let the confident tone of this post mislead you; what I am recommending here is HARD.  Within minutes after posting this message, I began receiving news of disasters with my family members, friends, business partners, acquaintances, and fellow bloggers.  I responded with the expected anger, discouragement, and disappointment in my own lack of strength and resolve.  But I realize now that our success is not what is required but our persistence….our resolve.  I just told a friend that every time I fail to do what I have recommended here and stop and pick myself back up, hand my failures over to Jesus, and turn again to God, I give another slap to the face of the evil one, or as Brother Lawrence says, crush his head.  Every time.  A slap is a slap.  A crush is a crush…every time.  Don’t lose heart.  Keep it up.  Give it to Jesus and turn back to God.  A slap is a slap.  Thanks be to God.  Pray for me; I’ll pray for you.  We can do this.)

Don’t Hate…Just Don’t

The opposite of Hate is not tolerance.  I’m not even going to suggest the opposite of Hate is Love.  The opposite of Hate is an appropriate response that does the opposite of playing into the hands of the perpetrator and/or the evil one.  The family members who forgave and asked God’s forgiveness for the one who murdered the nine blessed church members last summer, did the opposite of Hate…and gave no power to the man’s cause and no power to the evil one.  And THAT is how it is done.

That situation was complex and not all family members bought into the Amazing Grace expressed in that courtroom and that is Fine and totally understandable.

An appropriate response to expressions and actions of evil can take many forms but does this one thing: it weakens the influence of evil.  Hope, faith, optimism, perseverance, kindness, gratitude, forgiveness, telling the truth, resolute conviction that Christ Won the battle on the Cross and Nothing can change that.  Nothing.

I would have a T-shirt that says “Love…Just Love” but the word “Love” is difficult to define; it is nebulous and covers a lot of expressions and actions.  But, you know Hate when you see it.  Hate has a smell.

Don’t Hate…just don’t go there.  Keep your mind on the good: think about the strong response of Christians and non-Christians alike…everywhere…who are showing compassion to the families of the ones who were killed.  If your emotions are over-powering, shift them to righteous indignation and rail against the evil one but do it in the Name of Christ and with the power of His blood.  No rancor.  Bless persecuted people, everywhere.  No spitting hate.  Praise the Almighty.  No condemnation.  Sing Hymns.  Don’t despair.  Hope in Life Everlasting.

I never thought I would praise ‘the media’ but when the media refuses to publicize actions performed to gain attention, they are doing the correct thing.  Do likewise.  Do not give your energy to evil.  Shift your reactions away from a negative response to a positive one…somewhere.

The bottom line:  the evil one wants us to hate, wants us to despair, wants us to be fearful and disheartened.  Do not give him the satisfaction.  Jesus Is Victorious.  He is With you.  The Holy Spirit will give you the words to say and the words to pray.  God is In Control.

Thanks be to God and to God be the Glory.

 

I bought the T-Shirt.  No, I really did.  I ordered two purple T-shirts with the words “Don’t Hate” on the front, and “Just Don’t” on the back.  I gave the second one to an engineering student who works at the Mall and is getting his degree at Clemson University.  If you are interested in getting a T-shirt like it, I ordered mine from Spreadshirt.

Unfinished Business

 

[These thoughts and opinions were previously posted as a comment on a highly recommended (and beautiful) website The Life Project: Finding Clear and Simple Faith.  My friend, Don, inspires me and keeps me on track.]

I believe it is virtually impossible to know if someone is truly a Christian…that he or she has truly accepted Jesus for Who He is, etc.  I have encountered several people who play the ‘Christian card,’ (quoting scripture, etc.) as a short cut to convincing me that they are ‘trustworthy, honest, caring, generous, etc.’ These people are usually hiding something or are offering something that does not hold up under closer scrutiny.

People can say anything…even to themselves. In fact, for a long time, I had difficulty knowing if I, myself, had truly believed or accepted. I’m sure other people can be deluded, as well. They may not be intentionally misleading others or even themselves…although their fruit gives us a clue.

Even if they have truly accepted and believe, character change is almost never immediate or complete. That’s what this life before the afterlife is about.  I believe life on this earth is where God works on us to try and ‘get it right.’ So, even a true Christian…someone who believes and accepts…can still be untrustworthy. I don’t call them ‘wolves’ as much as ‘unfinished;’ God is not done with them, yet. They are not ‘of Satan,’ but are vulnerable and capable of being used by Satan. That’s why I don’t touch statements like, “If you are not of Christ then you are of the Devil.”

“Of the Devil,” implies they are bought and paid for…if not minions…of Satan.  However, I don’t think that is true of any human because Jesus bought and paid for ALL of us and there is hope as long as there is breath…and I’m not even sure there isn’t hope after that.

What fruit someone bears is a good indication of how finished he or she is…but one should always be careful, prayerful, and cautious. (If in doubt, saying out loud, “In the Name of Jesus, get away from me, Satan,” doesn’t hurt, either.)  But just because someone is not just like Jesus, does not mean they are to be judged, condemned, or accused.  I prefer the terms ‘assessed,’ then cautioned and advised. God is not done with any of us, yet. Thank you, Jesus, and to God be the Glory.

(The image posted up top is borrowed from the internet.  See https://meganabigailwhite.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/potter_s.jpg )

Hunch up close to Jesus

I started down the rabbit hole again this morning; after indicating that I wanted to unsubscribe from a magazine website that sends me 3 or 4 emails a day, I found myself looking at a list of hundreds, if not thousands, of companies whose sole purpose is to gather data about me, my interests, and preferences and to sell it to other companies, people, governments, …,whatever.  There was a slider button at the top that allowed me to say “no” to many of them; but just as many, however, said “no opt-out option;” others said “go to site.”

Somehow, I automatically went to the first “go to” site and started looking for a way to express my opinions about their lineage.  I could feel my heart rate rise.  I felt nauseated and panicky.

Then I remembered how worked up I got over f book, when I found out how f book has permission (that I unwittingly gave them) to control my camera and later how the controllers of f book were manipulating my posts.  And, yes they do.  Long story short, I was invited by said book to be permanently removed from their system.  I politely said, “yes.”

This morning, when scrolling down the daunting list of data worms, I felt powerless, minuscule, and controlled.  But then I remembered, I have God…not that God is in my back pocket and that I can whip Him out at a moment’s notice and hack and slash at my enemy, but it is a similar situation as fighting evil.  I am called to do what I can to be vigilant and to protect myself and loved ones with prayer and condemnations of Satan and his minions in the name of Christ.

However, when I am feeling weak in the over-arching presence of users and manipulators, I am reminded of a sweet homily given at the funeral of an 18-month-old child.  That wise minister did not give the typical come-to-Jesus sermon to his captive audience; instead, he addressed our pain and confusion over why God recalled this precious baby girl.  Try as he did to satisfy our non-understanding, the words I clearly remember were, “Now is a time to hunch up close to Jesus.”

There are forces and actions in this world that are just not understandable.  Taking on the forces of evil is less effective and more dangerous than tilting at windmills; one can get lost in the darkness and overwhelmed by it.  I’ve said it before, this is not heaven; this is the life before the afterlife.  The safest place for me to be is hunched up close to Jesus.  He has the power to control and defeat the users and manipulators; I do not.  When I try to, I weaken myself by becoming angry, fearful, anxious, and destructive.  Those attitudes open me up to being influenced by evil and I refuse to play into that.

Say what you will; I may be turning a blind eye to the users and manipulators but am I turning a blind eye to evil when I refuse to focus on it?  I don’t think so.  I am weak. I am vulnerable.  But, hunched up close to Jesus, I am as safe as I can be in this life.  When I can’t feel Him directly with His hand on my head or His arm about my shoulders, I hear His voice or see His sweet gentle smile.  If I am not aware of any of this, I read His words and focus on His promises, because I know that in His presence the evil one shrinks, cringes, and slithers away defeated.

There are, and always will be in this life, users and manipulators.  I can not defeat them.  The only way to prevent them from using me is to cut myself off from all forms of communication but if I do that, I am limited in how I can act as an ambassador for Christ and I will not do that; that would be giving in to Satan.  I have committed myself to the abolition of hate and the ministry of reconciliation.  I will not hide under a rock or in a cave.

Let the users and manipulators read my words.  They are not immune to the influence of planted seeds or embedded sand.  God has His ways.  The Holy Spirit is not computer illiterate.  The more technology advances, the more vehicles the Holy Spirit has.  I am not afraid or in doubt as to Who will win this battle.  It is decided; it is done.  All that is left is for it to play out.  There will be casualties and there will be victories, but, again, this is not heaven.  I believe my position is secure.

In the meantime, when I feel like a defeated victim, I go back in my mind to the Bishop’s Garden at the National Cathedral where years ago, Jesus beckoned me to sit at His feet and to lay my head on His knee and hear Him say, “You are Mine.”

Thanks be to Jesus…

And to God be the Glory…

 

(credits for the image above go to Gotta Garden: August 2006 )