Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Studies prove that we have created actual neural pathways toward certain sinful tendencies by the choices we've made. Pleasurable responses are released by the brain into the body and "sealed," made permanent. We've made a sin rut.

Repentance--turning away--allows God to replace that rut with something pure and clean and godly. I'm not pained in my spirit by sin, not like I would be if I truly shared God's heart about it. We don't share God's grief over it. "Oops, sorry..." vs. godly sorrow are two very different attitudes. We need a revelation of His righteousness and glory and holiness... We reap what we sow. Where is my pride? my laziness? avoidance? temptations?

Lord, incite my soul to choose Life, no matter what, no matter where, no matter how, who, or when. †

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

off roading

Do you ever feel like the kid in that Far Side cartoon who's pushing and pushing against the door to get into the School for the Gifted, and the sign on the door says "Pull"...? I wake up every morning that kid. It's an uncomfortable fit.

I have a friend whose child is making some really bad choices
. She knows she's doing things that are bad morally, logically, and spiritually, but she doesn't care. I've come to learn that Pleasure Right Now is ten times denser in weight than Possible Consequences. An ounce of PRN breaks the scale over PC every time. It's like crystal meth--gotta have it, gonna have it, don't care.

Been there, done that.

My friend said she doesn't understand why someone would keep on doing stuff that's not good, stuff that grieves God's heart and flies in the face of His deep and consistent protection and providings. I remember Woody Allen's comment on his relationship with Soon-Yi, "The heart wants what it wants." I can't count the times I've done that, wanted what I wanted because Pleasure was so much more fun or interesting or whatever than doing the right thing.

It's kind of like this computer. I restarted it, then Windows wouldn't initiate. It just stayed in that DOS state, waiting for a new set-up. I found out that when the iPod is plugged in, it causes the computer to stay in that mode, just like when a floppy is in the drive upon restart. When I am of the mindset that I am geared toward enjoying what I want, the only thing that will turn me around is the gift of the revelation of So Great a Love. Until that smacks me heart-center, I will continue to drive this truck off-road. It is that deliverance alone that can pull the iPod out and allow the divine operating system to work. As long as that interceptor is allowed to interrupt, I'm 4 wheels in the dirt.

unconscious journalist

I ask so many questions. There are a lot of things I'd like to ask my friends and family. Mostly they loiter in my head and then fade away from lack of oxygen.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

the good neighbor

Don't you LOVE when people in line invite you to go before them when they see you only have two or three items?!

Lord, bless that man at Rosauers yesterday. He was a good neighbor to his left AND to his right, and he was so glad to be. Bless him and his family with a truly wonderful Easter. Let him know Easter in his heart. †

facing fears

Facing my fears is something I never want to do. I do not embrace the opportunity to broaden my inner base, embrace my powerful core, or accomplish enviable physical feats. I live my life in the wide open place of Medium. Not XS or XL or just L, but nice, accommodating, uncomplicated Medium. Of all the things we fear, rejection is among the top 5. I am no exception.

We returned a horse that starting limping in the first hour we brought her home. The man we bought her from, let's call him Dwayne, was upfront about her having dislocated her shoulder, so that wasn't a problem. The problem was: we bought her for a riding horse. He kept selling her breeding qualities to us. Derrr--that should've been our first clue. But Jylle said she really liked her, and we felt good about getting her. Okay, horse sold.

Dwayne wasn't there when we picked her up. His wife, let's call her Grunhelda, was. She seemed quiet and shy, businesslike maybe. Kev got the horse settled in the trailer, penned her safely in the farthest stall, made the transaction, and we were off.

She unloaded beautifully, she was calm, interested, and alert. We put her in the small pasture so she could get accommodated without being bothered, and we gave her some hay. Kev put Jylle on her and walked her around a bit. That's when I noticed she was somewhat favoring her right shoulder. My heart sank. Kev watched her, and he saw the same thing. We started to doubt ourselves, so he went in and called Joan. She examined the shoulder, watched her walk, and gave us her educated opinion: We could wait a week to see if it heals, or we could try to take her back this same day.

Kev called Dwayne, and it took a few hours for him to call back. I could tell by Kev's side of the conversation that Dwayne wasn't going to budge. We were stuck with her. We hugged and prayed, so thankful that $650 wasn't going to total our finances--what a blessing. Just as we finish, the phone rings, and it's Dwayne--he'll take her back. However, he is not happy about it. Kev can hear Grunhelda in the background feeding Dwayne her thoughts, and they were not friendly. None of the kids speak up when he asks if anyone wants to go with him to take her back. I know he needs someone, so even though I'm not in good shape to go, I go anyway.

As SOON as we get out of the truck, Dwayne kind of starts in on Kev, saying, "You know who's really losing here, don'tcha?" Kev said, "Yeah, I know." (They got a phone call of interest from someone in Idaho right after we bought her, and they didn't get his number.) Gruney starts chanting, "What'd you do to her? Let's see what you did to her." Kev stopped unbolting the trailer door, looked at Dwayne, and said, "Are we done? Can we just be done?" Dwayne says, "Yeah, we're done." Gruney keeps digging. "What'd you do to her?" The men walk the horse back to the field, and I'm there with Gruney. She keeps asking what we did to her. I lose it and just start crying. I tell her we love our animals and would never hurt them, that we walked her around the pasture with our daughter on her." With pure venom and an utter hatred, she spewed, "Get out of my face, you stupid woman!" She stomps off and mutters "I suppose you want your money..."

I walk to the truck in a daze and cannot stop sobbing. I've just been knifed, and I'm bleeding openly. My heart has been gutted from my chest, and I'm trying to hold it together in my hands. I hear a high-pitched wail, almost like a wolf call, and I realize it's me. Oh, Abba, I hurt! Someone just ran me through and left me for dead. I can't see straight. My heart is beating too fast; I can't calm it. What if she comes back for the kill? I lock my door. This wasn't just rejection--it was murder.

Kev comes back, seemed like an hour later, and we drive back home. He doesn't know what words will soothe me, just rubs my leg and tells me he's sorry. I'm still crying a few minutes later, and he asks what happened. I tell him, and he's floored. "I don't think Dwayne heard either because I don't think he would've liked that either." I'm grateful Kev didn't hear. He would've gotten really riled, and he would've said things he'd regret.

Corrie ten Boom is one of my great heroes. She said that we may not have the forgiveness to give someone, but God does. We can take His forgiveness and give it to others. That is exactly what I pleaded for on that ride home. Even though my mind ran wild with flashbacks, I looked to my Abba straight on through the cacophony and asked Him for what I did not have. And He gave... When there is true forgiveness, there is an absence of malice in place of a desire for vengeance or justice. A prayer for that person's well-being replaces the longing to hit back pain for pain. The litmus test for me is when I can, in my mind, look at that person eye to eye, take their hand, and wish them well. That miracle happened, and I am so, so grateful.

Even though I don't look to expand myself or accomplish great things, I desire to be a tool in the hand of the One who does want those things for me. Grunhelda may never know that I don't hate her or hold anything against her (and indeed she may never think that I had that right), but I am more intimately acquainted fear by fear with the One who loves and gives and forgives because He used her in my life.†