Monday, February 28, 2011

Oh no!

Oopsie! That's definitely NOT the way she planned it!

A friend of mine was mad at another friend.


She kept emailing her daughter talking about all the things the other girl had done and how mad she was at her.


Instead of emailing her daughter.... she was emailing the friend!




Be SURE [as in, POSITIVE!] your sin will find you out!.... isn't that always the way? ("ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out" ~ Num 32:23.)

Of course, after the fury of the moment had passed, it was a hilarious one. Both laughed and were okay with each other. But woe, at the lesson to learn! Since I found out about it, I keep thinking...

You know, if EVERYTIME you talked about someone else... if that person you were talking about got a copy of that talk in an email...... it sure would shut some things being said up. I love the idea! I wish it were possible! :)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

"I have no hope"...

We had a great night last night. It was our first Wednesday night service in Tutwiler's (women's) prison. Woe, at the blessing! With hopefully many more greater blessings to follow! What a hard place to live in. Prison of any sort is never fun. We've all been there in some form or some sort or another. I suppose it's not supposed to be a pleasant place. For if it were, none of us would ever fight to get out of it and live a life in Christ victorious.

One girl came to me crying and asking for prayers and saying, "I have no hope."

But actually, she DOES have HOPE! If only to KNOW the HOPE that she has! Our Savior is striving to show her!

Another was crying so hard that it took her saying it several times before I could understand what she said, "I don't want to be in here." Bless her heart! I know she doesn't. I wouldn't either.

I asked her how long she'd been there? "Five and a half weeks," was her answer.

I asked her how long her sentence was? "Seventeen and a half more months to go."

Wow! I know she doesn't think so..... and honestly, I can't imagine..... but 17 1/2 months is doable. Some of my girls have been there over 20 years. Some have life and won't ever leave. Still. I'm sure 17 1/2 months in that place surely seems like a lifetime. I'll be praying for her... and hope next time to see her again. Meanwhile, I'm praying that she'll feel God's care and His comfort. I pray that she'll lean on Him the entire time of her staying. And that she'll be so "stuck" to Him when she leaves, that she dare not ever stray away from His side again, but rather stays covered beneath His wings and in the midst of His safety. And, as she walks out from those bars for the last time, may she have an incredible testimony to tell! May she take her new found "hope" to another.

We had 44 girls respond after the service. God's Presence was felt and was evident! Dr. Lancaster held the girls captivated with his message. Hanging onto every word. Then, his voice mixed with his wife's in song soon had their tears streaming. The song choices they sang were perfect. And though they listened to hear God's word, I know that they were also listening to see if what we were offering them was genuine. Going in to take God's message is one thing, but the trying will also come and give proof of our sincerity if we (God's family, His servants, His army of people) will actually be there to help them after they get out. They're anxious to see us put our walk where our talk is. They want to see Him (through us) in action!

Last night we brought HOPE to a hope-less place. We took HOPE to the pit of the prisons. No doubt God didn't only show Himself there, but it was God Himself that sent us! To show them HOPE! To show them our Savior! To share with them what we have! To show them in us what He's done! To give them HOPE for what He has yet to do in them!

May each and every girl there miraculously find the salvation that our Savior offers! And though it may "seem" impossible.... is anything really at all ever too hard or impossible for our LORD? He's into working the impossible... and I am praying for that very thing for the "least of these" in a very unlikely place! Isn't that how our God works? For after all, He uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise. May He raise up an army from those that right now are held captive. May He captivate their attention and rock their worlds with His wonder and then one day use them for His Glory as a Display of His Splendor!

They wait in hope for His salvation, for His rescue, for His deliverance.... may they see His heart and His work through not only our voices, but through the work and labor of our own hands.

Gen 49:18, ""I wait in hope for Your salvation, God.""

Another translation, ""I trust in You for salvation, O LORD!""

Another, ""I wait with hope for you to rescue me, O LORD.""

Another, ""I will look for Your deliverance, O LORD.""

He KNOWS the plans He has for them! Plans that are good and not plans of disaster! Plans to give them a HOPE and to give them a future (Jer 29:11). May we remember and help to remind them of that.

Psalm 146:5;147:11 says,

"Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help,
whose hope is in the LORD his God...
The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear Him,
in those that hope
in His mercy."

I'll close with one of my all time favorite psalms! One that over and over again has renewed my "hope."

"Out of the depths I cry to You,
O Lord, hear my voice.
Let Your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
If You, O LORD, kept a record of sins,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with You there is forgiveness;
therefore You are feared.
I wait for the LORD,
my soul waits,
and in His word I put my hope.
My soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen wait for the morning,
more than watchmen wait for the morning.
O Israel [O prisoners!], put your hope in the LORD,
for with the LORD is unfailing love
and with Him is full redemption.
He Himself will redeem Israel
from all their sin."

No! It's not that we have "no hope"....

But we've got to: KNOW HOPE!

KNOW your HOPE! For that's why our God sent His Son! To forgive and redeem ALL of the sins that we've done. Our yesterday's girl might not know it yet, but indeed, she does have HOPE! Oh Lord, help her to see and to HOLD ON to the HOPE that we have in You!

"So trust in the Lord
(commit yourself to Him,
lean on Him,
hope confidently in Him)
Isaiah 26:4a.

No hope? Oh, know! We've got Hope! Not "no hope"... but KNOW HOPE!... cause that Hope is really real and is actively pursuing you... hoping that you'll have hope in Him!

"Let him who walks in the dark,
who has no light,
trust in [HOPE in! have confidence in; feel safe in; feel secure in] 
the name of the LORD
and rely on his God."
Isaiah 50:10b.

You know... God sent Ananias to Saul (Acts 9:11). His reason? Because (as God said), "GO! For behold, he prayeth!" Whose hope rests on your going and doing? WHO is praying for you that God is telling you to "Go!" to?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

It was sad yesterday.

I was excited, as usual. Anticipating our group study. I'd had a blast with the lesson all day, and I couldn't wait to see what the girls had to share. Yet, as they shuffled in there were no smiles on their faces. No joy in the air. Their hearts looked heavy. Their loads heavily-burdened. Downcasted faces and diverted downcasted looks. Quickly the air in my balloon was deflating. In all my attempt to try to lift up, every attempt seemed futilely useless.

As I talked and as hard as I tried, I failed in my encouragement for participation.

I had been so excited (as I said), but all of my preparation felt fruitless.

Finally, before the night was done, people were talking, sharing, it seemed we were getting somewhere. All that is, except for one. And she's the one that since has been stayed on mind, I hate she's in prison.... but I wonder what's wrong. The overshadowing has hung over my head since I left, so thus I've been praying. I wish I had done something more, but God keeps reminding me that I'm not her "savior", that it's His Son that is. My part, my role, my servitude's duty is to lift her to Him instead and ask Him to. Thankfully, as much as I care, I know He cares more than I ever could.

I keep thinking about the one (though not forgetting any of the others) and Jesus reminded me this morning that none of the ones pass by Him either. He, too, left the ninty-nine in search of the one back in His walk-in-flesh-on-this-earth days. No doubt, He too now sees... and He's talking to His Father about her! Sending His Spirit to soothe and to comfort, to correct and caress, to help her and aid her in whatever her need..... just loving on and in her in her place of captivity.

Lord, please FREE her despite the bars that still hold her. Free her while still on the inside, so that she will be freely free on the outside upon her sentencing's release. Sadly, she's also the same girl that I recently wrote about that has no place to go when she gets out. Oh Lord, I know that she feels lost, please help her and find her and show her a home!

Monday, February 21, 2011

That's what the promise is for!

I wouldn't trade my sweet husband for anything! Though there was a time when I almost did and another time when I wanted to. As I often now say, he's one of the best "Yes"es that I've ever said! I did good. I married a good man!

Our marriage has been a journey. Sometimes a roller coaster. With all kinds of weather: freezing temperatures at times, luke warm at others, and extremely hot ones that were enraged and mean and furious. We could have been a movie, or a book, at times not so promising and totally unsure, but now in the midst of a happily-ever-after ending.

You know, it's the testing and trials and the still sticking together that make a marriage beautiful! The hanging on despite the storms that make it strong.

I heard the sweetest song yesterday that I'd never heard before. In it the guy talks about how young they were when they got engaged. The singer sings about his marriage, "We went dancing in the minefields. We went sailing in the storm. And it was harder than we ever dreamed, but I believe that's what the promise is for."

I loved that last line: It was harder than we ever dreamed, but that's what the promise is for!

Who can attest to the same?

It's not when the vows are said that the commitment is proven. It's when the testing of those vows come about that proves and shows what you're truly made of.

"For better or worse," really? Or, were you just saying so? For richer or poorer? In sickness and in health?

Doing the worst and the poorer and the sickness or addictive diseases or whatever else.... Isn't that what the promise was for?

"THAT IS what the promise was for!"

People often don't stand by those promises anymore. They're forgotten almost as soon as they're said.

We do have One that never breaks His promise though. One Whose vows never break. One who loves "for better or worse... for richer or poorer... through sickness and in health... in good times and bad... in joy and through sorrow". One Who NEVER leaves or forsakes us! One Whose love never quits and Who never gives us up!

As I was thinking of this the words "With this ring, I thee wed" kept ringing through my ears. And I kept thinking about Jesus as our Groom, us as His bride,... and the rings in His hand through which His vows and His weds, in essence, were said. (Remember Thomas, the Doubter? When He doubted Jesus' resurrection. Jesus walked through the door of the room where he hid and told him to put his finger in the holes of His hands. If you doubt, His holes and His hold still stands!)

Well I was 19, you were 21
The year we got engaged
Everyone said we were much too young
But we did it anyway.
We got the rings for 40 each
From a pawn shop down the road
We said our vows and took the leap
now 15 years ago.

We went dancing in the minefields
We went sailing in the storm
And it was harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for.

We "I do" are the two most famous last words
The beginning of the end
But to lose your life for another
I've heard is a good place to begin.
Cause the only way to find your life
Is to lay your own life down
And I believe it's an easy price
For the life that we have found.

And we're dancing in the minefields
We're sailing in the storm
This is harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for
That's what the promise is for.

So when I lose my way
Find me
When I lose love's chains
Bind me
At the end of all my faith
To the end of all my days
When I forget my name
Remind me

Cause we bear the light of the Son of Man
So there's nothing left to fear
So I'll walk with you in the shadow lands
Till the shadows disappear
Cause He promised not to leave us
And His promises are true
so in the face of all this chaos, baby
I can dance with You.

So, let's go dancing in the minefields
Let's go sailing in the storms
Oh, let's go dancing in the minefields
And kicking down the doors
Oh, let's go dancing in the minefields
And sailing in the storms
Oh, this is harder than we dreamed
But I believe that's what the promise is for
That's what the promise is for.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Weeping may last for a night...

... but joy cometh!

Some times... some things... in the thick of the moment of it are too sad to say.

What is that?

Is it because sometimes you're just not ready to verbalize it? I mean, you know it's real, but  the words once spoken make it real-er... and it's heavy enough already...  the "er" (in the real-er) if added can't be handled. It would topple you over and you might not could get up from it. The verbalization of it would just be too much.

Well, I suppose that's a stretch. I'll be able to get up. But it'd make me cry... and right now, I'm trying to hold my composure.

I'm having one of those days.

I keep thinking of Elisha. When the company of prophets at both Bethel and Jericho came to him two different times telling him, "Do you know that the LORD is going to take ____ away from you today?" (2 Kings 2). And each time Elisha's reply back to them was, “Yes, I know, but do not speak of it!"

That's kind of the feeling I feel.

Do I know that the Lord is going to take ______ away from me today?


Don't get me wrong, I feel mightily blessed! I've had a really great morning. Huge things, GOoD things, God things, are going on all around me. My husband and I and my children all seem and feel tremendously favored. God's abundance of Life is pouring in all around us. Seriously, our cups overflow.

But still...

There can be peace in the storm... joy in the mourning... fullness in the sorrow....

And so. That's what I'm feeling. Sad. I'm mourning a thing that has been long in its dying. I've been watching all the organs slowly shut down for a while now. And today, with no life left in it, we've pulled the plug.

Part of my world died today. And I'm gonna miss it. I'll be so sad that it's gone and I'm sure that life (for a time anyway) will feel funny without it.

Still though... as the song sings, "He gives and takes away. He gives and takes away. My heart will choose to say, Lord, blessed be His name!"

My Lord is still faithful! And my God is always GOoD!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

No place to go

I love my girls! I totally do! And I'm thoroughly convinced that they love me too. They may think that I'm the weirdest thing this side of Heaven (their looks tell me they wonder **smile**... I'm a lot to behold!); but we have such a great time, a sweet time, an encouraging one. We only get a mere two hours a week together. I wish it were four! But if it were four, I'm sure I'd wish it were more. It goes by too quickly. We're not ready to end it. I'm always soaring when I leave. I'm filled to full! And then I get in my car for my drive home and I wonder about them. I pray so hard. I pray that God will consume their thoughts as they go to lay on their bunks. I pray that they'll meditate on all that was said, but that they'll especially ponder some individual specific point that God spoke to them while we were together. I pray that all through the night He'll whirl in their minds! I pray that they're strengthened! That they're mightily convicted! That the flames of their fires blaze brighter, stronger! That their faces will glow from spending time with God's glory! That they're a testimony to His wonder!

And even after all that, reality tells me.... no matter what, prison's a hard place to live!

Right before leaving last night one girl asked us to pray for her. She comes up for a parole hearing in 2012. Already she's concerned that she has no "home plan". Without a home plan, without a pre-planned and accepted place to go, the parole is usually denied, the parole board almost always says no. At the moment, she has no "home" to go to. No halfway house. No transitional home. No place that will accept her. And her daddy told her that no matter what she would never ever, ever, ever be welcomed back there.

I can't imagine! Is there anything that my daddy wouldn't forgive me of? I should hope not! Why are some sins, some crimes, more unforgivable, less "grace-able", less mercy-i-ble, less understandable, than others?

She said that there are no transitional homes at all in Alabama for the crime she committed. I asked if she minded telling me what that crime was? She didn't. She told me she's a sex-offender. I came home telling my husband that it's better in Alabama to have murdered than to have sex-offended. Sadly, it's so. But Jesus came and allowed man to put Him on a cross and hang Him for every sin! No matter how heinous. Even that one too! Where do you go when you have no place to go to? No place that will take you? Nobody that will give you a second chance?

You know, earth and its people may never accept you, but God will always welcome you to His Home! And wildly, even  more wild than that, after you've sinned (even the heinous ones), He'll come in and live in your skin as His Home while you still walk this earth. God who is without sin dwells in us!!! God who is without sin dwells in us!!! God... who... is... without... sin... dwells... IN... US!!! He doesn't just have a Home for us, but He makes His home IN us! Even after all that we've done! Whoever heard of such a thing?! And He does it to show His Glory! To be a Display of His Splendor! Oh, the glory of the Lord that uses the "foolish" things of this world! What a Savior we serve!

Where will it take you?

Being that satan schemes and sin crouches awaiting its moment to rule and overtake us if we'll let... being that that seems to be my theme of the moment... I thought I'd repost an old post that I posted before again.... for it seems to perfectly fit here:

He bumped her today with his cruelty and meanness!

It was ugly what he said.

It hurt!

As she was telling me about it I wondered if she would follow it?

And I wondered if she did... where it would take her... and how far she would let it? What's its intent? Where will she end up? How far will it go? How far will she? And... how LONG?

I was so proud I could hardly stand it. She didn't fall for it!... though she was tempted to. She didn't "insult" back (1 Pet 3:9-11), as he had. She didn't repay his evil with evil of her own! She remembered what God had said. And when the fiery trial of testing came (1 Pet 1:6-7)... she passed it! It's Jesus' face that was revealed! Her faith proved "genuine." She "blessed" Mean's evil and insult... just as she had been called to (1 Pet 3:9-11)!

Horray for her!

If only we could see the scheme behind the enemy's plans! If only we recognized it in the midst of it, in the moments while it's happening. Our battle is not against flesh and blood... but against: rulers, against authorities, against the powers of this dark world, against spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Eph 6:12).

I do wonder... do we forget that?

Let me just take the word "authorities" and expand on the meaning of that word a minute. Again, it says, that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against authorities..... against the power of choice... against physical power.... against mental power.... against the power to rule over us!

And then, "the powers of this dark world".... powers here means: against "the lord of this world," against "the prince of this age," against "the devil and his demons"!

Against "spiritual forces of evil"...... evil =  iniquity, wickedness, evil purposes and desires.....  annoyances, and hardships, perils to a Christian's faith and steadfastness. Against those forces of evil causing us pain and trouble............ basically, in hopes that we will turn and bow to Satan's will of evil, instead of standing up for what's right and doing as God's told us. 

Are we too blind to what we can see (the flesh of the person that hurt us), that we can't see the plan and the purpose behind it... that Satan wants a hold on us! That his desire is to have us. That his hope is to devour us! And he'll use any means whatsoever in hopes to do so.

She was hurt... and hurt's defense usually gets mad. She did at first. And Cain did too in Genesis 4. God asked Cain in his moment, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you"  [master you, control you], "but you must master" [rule, exercise dominion over] "it" (Gen 4:6-7).

Cain didn't master it. He let his anger master him. He killed his brother. My friend mastered hers, and the evil that longed and desired her... didn't win!

I used the friend of mine above in my example here. I'm so thrilled that she didn't follow the power that would walk her into darkness! She chose, instead, the higher road... but too many times we get lost in the lower one!

I've got a "downcast face" that I'm battling. Not one of anger, but one of hurt feelings. Yet even with that I've got so much JOY in my life right now that it doesn't seem fair that it also includes a constant nagging bother. A tug that keeps pulling... trying to capture my look.... an evil that wants to have me! I needed the reminder that it's not flesh and blood that my battle's against. My battle is against the rulers and the powers that desire to overtake me.... that wants to rule over me...  that wants more than anything for me to bow down to it and serve it.... to get lost in it.... to follow it to bitterness.... and anywhere else that I'll let it... to as far as I'll allow it to take me.

I refuse to! The drag stops here!

I'm taking the higher road like my friend did!

"The joy of the LORD is my strength!" He is my Refuge! My "very present help in times of trouble"!!! And as GOoD as He is, and as much as He's done, and the Thrill that He's given............. I refuse to let go of the JOY that my God has so gracious given me, especially in this season I'm in! I'd be an idiot to trade the feeling I've got for another that'll keep me in misery.

"If Your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction" (Ps 119:92). "Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy" (Ps 126:5-6). "Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.... "The LORD has done great things for them." The LORD has done great things for us, and we are FILLED with joy" (Ps 126:2-3)!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Speaking of something desiring to have me!

I recently posted regarding our battle. Reminding us that our battle isn't against flesh and blood, but instead it's against the things that desires to master and rule over us. Yesterday I was talking to a friend about the desire for food that we have. Last night as I lay sleeping I kept waking with its thought. And that verse, ".. sin is crouching at your door, it desires to have you, but you must master it" (Gen 4:7) kept running through my mind. Another version, "It wants to control you, but you must master and rule over it."

I kept thinking that if you don't control it, then it will control you. If you don't master it, then it will master you. If you don't rule over it, it will rule over you.

What is it that you serve?

Do you have food issues like I do?

Are you being served food; or, are you serving your food?

Are you controlling it, or is your food controlling you?

I was studying last night about the Holy Spirit. He kindly reminded me that we are to be FILLED with the Spirit, NOT FILLED with food! And of course He reminded me too that we're to be filled with His fruit! His biggest reminder of that fruit, though, was the reminder of "self-control".

NOT, mind you, FOOD controlled! Or substance controlled! Or alcohol controlled! Or drug controlled! Or fury controlled! Or man controlled! Or..... whatever the battle you struggle with and the thing that you're allowing to master and rule over and control you.

You may think you desire to have it... but be careful, because it desires to have you!

I've decided to refuse the offer! Because of my Savior that died for me, I refuse to be controlled and ruled by any other thing! He alone deserves being served. I want my only passion and obsession to be in the One that has passionately pursued me. I want to passionately pursue only my Savior, not waste it passionately pursing my food.

"Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.... For sin shall not be your master;... Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone [something!] to obey him as slaves, you are a slave to the one whom you obey - whether slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness" ~ Rom 6:12,14,16.

""Everything is permissible for me" --  but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me" -- but I will not be mastered by anything" ~ 1 Cor. 6:12.

DON'T eat that! It's expired.

I was at the office. By myself. Hungry! You'd have thought I was starving. Without any groceries left around here, I was searching the kitchen for something. It was in the very moment that I was about to give up that I spotted the bread. 'Oh. Okay, I'll eat a slice of that.' It was while I was twisting the twister off of the plastic that I saw the expiration date. It had expired 3 days ago.

'Nah! I don't want to eat that. It's expired!'

It's when I said that to myself that I thought of how often we eat expired things. We drag up an old hurt, an old feeling, an old happening, an old offense, an old wound, an old mad, an old desire..... and though it's expired, we too quickly and too often put it into our mouths and eat it again. Spewing and spitting it out on all of the people around us because of the yucky and sick feeling it's giving us.

Living in your past is not beneficial to your present nor healthy for your future!

In other words:

No! DONT eat that! That expired a long time ago, it'll make you sick!

Your time has run out! Quit living in an old yesterday. Quit letting it haunt or infury or control or ruin you. It's not worth it. On some things, we need to move on!

I think we need to start being issued tickets when STAYED too long in a STUCK! A lot of us could use the warning: Do NOT park here! Quit feeding the meter! How long do you plan on not moving? How much are you going to let it cost you? Your time's expired! Life is too short! There's too much you'll be missing. You're no longer allowed to park!

When rescued by the angel trying to get Lot and his wife out of Sodom and Gomorrah before it's destruction, the angel issued the warning, "Flee for your lives! Don't look back, and don't stop anywhere on the plain! Flee to the mountains or you will be swept away" ~ Gen 19:17. Sadly, Mrs. Lot didn't heed to the warning. She looked back and was frozen forever in the place where she did, never to move to the mountains (and freedom!) beyond it.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

It's desire is to have you.

I messaged a friend of my son's. Her and Tabor were two of the "chosen" to be mocked and ridiculed and made fun of at a basketball game Friday night from a rival team. They were calling our school rednecks. Making fun of Ta's truck ("Loud and Proud"). Making fun of their school's chosen hangout place (Sonic). Etc.

Saturday morning I Facebook messaged Austyn to encourage her.


Hey girl, I heard about the writing on the whiteboard last night at the game. I heard that you were mentioned and so was Tabor. I called Ta later and told him, "Hello, Mr. Chosen Popular Man." He told me that it had made him so mad. Sabrina said that he walked away. I was proud that he did. I told him that they are obviously immature, childish, and jealous. And that if he had gotten on their level and done the same thing back, that he would have been just as childish as they were. I told him that I was proud that he didn't. He thanked me for reminding him of that. Since you were mentioned also, I thought I'd remind you too. :) It always takes the bigger man to walk away.

We're told (by our Commander Himself) not to return evil with evil or INSULT WITH INSULT!! Just because someone insults us, we're never to insult back. God has told us to BLESS them instead! He says that that's what we've been CALLED to do! I tell Him often when someone insults or offends me, "God, I guess I'm being CALLED again. Please, Lord, Please BLESS the mean!"

LOVE YOU! Hope this is a good reminder and encouraging.

Austyn said:

Thank you so much Mrs. Sharon! I was not at the game, but Tabor, along with many others called me and let me know about it. You should also know that he stood up for me, which meant more than anything to me coming from him. He has always been the bigger person, and today he was telling me that last night he had people standing up for him and having his back that he thought hated him. I told him that's what he gets for always being the bigger person and never returning their mean actions. You've got an awesome son Mrs Sharon and you have raised him right! Thank you so much for the encouraging words, they really do help. Its always hard for me to hold my tongue, but everything you said has so much truth! I love and miss you!


Okay! You made me cry!!! Thanks for sharing with me more of the story. I didn't know all that. How sweet that Tabor took up for you! And that others, too, took up for him!

Austyn, you never have to hold your tongue! It's just that sometimes we need to change the One we're talking to. God! He still wants us to speak! Just bring the person to Him and ask Him to bless them.... because obviously surely they need it! He says that when we do, that it is US that will be the one to receive the reward! And it sure does always feel good after we've done it!

You know how God says that He works ALL things out for good for those that love Him? Perhaps one reason He lets us get pierced by the tongue or meanness of another person is so that we will PRAY!! It is an all fired-up way to remind us and prompt us to do it! Most of the time, we wouldn't otherwise think to. Wouldn't that be great if we thought like that and remembered always that an ugly was Prayer dialing the number and begging us to pick up its phone?

When people do ugly things like that in my life, I always think of the "lunatic" that's talked about in Scripture. It's such a perfect picture of it... and always makes me laugh! It helps defuse my anger! And makes me KNOW that I dare not want to also act and look the same that a lunatic does. This Scripture isn't exactly talking about this, but I have a weird way of thinking, it sure makes a great visual.

"Lord, have mercy on my son: for he  is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. And I brought him to Thy disciples, and they could not cure him."  [Perfect example! How quickly do we "take" the lunatic to someone else.... KNOWING that they aren't able to fix them? And fail to "take" them to Jesus, the One who can?] "Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? Bring him hither to Me" ~ Matt 17:15-17.

I can just picture me as a kid when I told on one of my sisters to my mom. Can't you just hear her say as I'm sure your mom has said in a tone that demanded attention? "Tell her I said to come here!" [Bring her hither to me!]

Austyn, we don't have to not say! We can still say. We can say until we've finished saying and we feel better. But we don't "say" to them or talk about them to others; instead we just BRING the LUNATIC to Jesus and let Him deal with them. We 'say' to Jesus! We can still use words, just use them to bless 'em instead of cursing them.

p.s. I know I have a weird way of thinking! But, hey, I hope this helps! It works for me!


End of our conversation.

Shall we be reminded? Tabor's and Austyn's struggle is not against those kids from the rival team that were mocking and poking fun at them. Our struggle is not against people. Our battle is not against flesh and blood. Our struggle is against the things that rule us, that have power over us, the spiritual forces of evil in this dark world.

As God told Cain when angered, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control [rule] you. But you must master [rule over] it." 

The weapons we use to fight with to defeat the enemy's schemes to rule and control and have power over us is different than the world's. The weapons we fight with are taking every thought captive to make it submit to the obedience to Christ. To renew the mind. Our armor and what we combat the enemy with is with Truth, with doing what's right, with the gospel of peace that we've been given, with faith, with the knowing that you have been saved, and with all that is written in the Word of God.

If (for example) Steve has done evil against me, it is not Steve that I am struggling with. He is not who I'm fighting. My battle, my struggle, is against the power of anger that crouches at my door desiring to have me, to control me, to master me, to rule over me.

When Robbie (another example) has raped David's wife, it isn't Robbie that this is David's enemy. David's enemy is the rage that wants to control him to make him to take revenge in his own hands and murder the man that hurt his wife. Etc.

When Tim (my husband) has said something that's incited me and made me mad, Tim is not the enemy. It's the control of anger that wants to make me look like an idiot and to loose my head that is.

Or, in the case with Austyn above, her enemy was her anger that wanted to rule over her and make her insult back the insulter that insulted her first.

Will you allow your anger to gossip, to slander, to backbite, to fight, to murder instead of forgive the person for what they've done to you? Will you decide to control and rule over your anger? Or will you allow your anger to control and rule over you instead?

"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." ~ Eph 6:13-17.

What kind of schemes is the devil scheming toward you and your life, but you've not been able to see it as him scheming against you, because your focus is wrongly turned toward a person in the place of your real enemy?

Don't fall for what desires to have you, but rise up instead to do what our Savior's said and have victory in every battle methodically planned and purposed against you! Why fall so easily for such meanness, when we have the power, the very same power, that raised Jesus Christ from the dead living inside us!