Things I learned from Joyce that I already knew and maybe forgot

“Let’s get over our sweet little selves and do something.”

She was talking about giving and doing.   In case you don’t know who I’m talking about, I’m talking about Joyce Meyer.  And in case you just went into a mental balisticon over television preachers that say to give seed offerings or why women should keep silence in the church, that women shouldn’t preach or something about the evils of the filthy rich charletons’ private jets, save it. You obviously haven’t listened to Joyce Meyer, nor have you taken a look at her financials posted on the www to know that a clean 80 cents of every dollar that comes into the ministry goes overseas to dig wells and feed people.  So listen up…

She addressed the attitude of wasting time on doctrine when she spoke of those of us who are still stuck on the constant argument of baby baptism vs. immersion.  I love her answer….

“So do them both! Then get off it and do something for somebody else!”

Here’s another thing —  works vs. faith.  I object to any church telling me what my mission is.  Nursery is not it.  President of Women’s Circle is not it.  Leader of vacation Bible school is not it.  Been there, done that, crashed and burned.  If you’re talking about salvation, it’s faith in Jesus that saves.  Works don’t earn salvation nor do works earn points in heaven when you do good works for points.  (motive, motive, motive).  Joyce points out that we are to follow Jesus’ example.  He rose each day and went about doing good.  We should then do good because doing good is a good thing to do without thinking how good you are.

How simple is that?  She went a step further to state that no longer would she ask God for an angel appearance or hold a 4 week seminar on hearing from God before she donated a ten spot somewhere to know for sure if giving the $10 is God’s will.  Her new deal with God is that He is to stop her from giving, that she’s going to give and do until He says don’t do that, you’ve done quite enough.

“Indifference finds an excuse.  Love finds a way.”

What would happen if we all adopted that attitude?  Take it another step.  Put cash in the plate.  Send cash to a ministry with no return address, no way for the ministry to know you gave, no trace of your donation to report to the IRS for a tax deduction and therefore no credit to you to prove how wonderful you are.  Hmmmm……

Do we know how to forgive and why? Do it.  You don’t need to study it again.

Have we heard enough yet on the basics?

Max Lucado’s story on the candles in the closet who won’t come out to light the room for a multitude of reasons — too shy, still studying, need a sign — is a classic.

Things I learned from Joyce Meyer today — somebody out there needs me now.


The Preacher

Our minister has started a series regarding Biblical truths.  I don’t remember all the titles listed on the poster, so I guess you’ll just have to tune in regularly to get my nutshell interpretations.

To make things perfectly clear up front, the man’s first name is the same as my son’s so to make things easy rather than clarifying each time I refer to either man as “son” or “preacher,” my son will be named and the preacher will hitherto be known as Preacher.  If he minds, (if he evens reads me!), he’ll have to say something.  Yo, Preacher! Good sermon today!

The series is about Biblical Truths.  Today’s message was Biblical Worldview.  The bottom line was that the Bible is a whole teaching, the instruction manual.  You don’t get to pick out what you like and diss the rest of it.  It’s a whole.  It says God created the earth as you see it in seven days.  Deal.

Personally, I don’t want to waste precious time on a God who can’t create.

The Bible is for our instruction and correction.  We need both. Recognize we have pride and pride is a stench in God’s nostrils, so deal that one out.

Either the world view of secularism, humanism, polytheism, and I’m-okay-you’re-okay-ism is acceptable or the Bible is absolute.  Pick one.  There is no mixing.  Deal.

The preceding was the short version.  People told me today Preacher preached almost an hour.  I was saved in a pentecostal congregation that, among other things,  included tongues, speaking in, prophesying in, and interpretation of.  They prayed long and preached hard.  Or was it the other way around?  Either way or both ways, an hour sermon is not a problem.

Rock on, Preacher.  These are the last days.  the politically correct will faint away.  The bride needs a personal trainer, and the Holy Spirit is ready.  I can deal.  Let’s roll.

Be not weary

Still weary and achy and sitting.  If this keeps up during the week, I promise I will ………. fergit it.  I don’t have an office visit copay and the doctor I was seeing charges $135 to walk in the door. I’m supposed to sit there and say “I don’t feel good. I’m tired,” undergo process of elimination tests only to hear “it’s probably a virus that’s going around”? Pray this Draggin’ Bug flies away on its own.

I laid in bed this morning drifting in and out of doze listening to Honey quietly putting together the cookies I made last night and his potato dish, heading off to the big Tailgate Sunday House Building and Food Fest.  He showed me his team builder’s packet of instructions.  ‘Tis a mighty and exciting community project well executed.

I could have gone to the party and sat in a chair.  What’s the point in that?  Instead, I caught John Hagee and Voice of Israel.  They’re both on the side bar for the Curious George in you.  I like Hagee.  He gets a lot of flack because of his style and his no nonsense obedience and calling sin sin messages, unlike the feel good guys who don’t want to upset you.  You tune in to his sermons, get past his vocal style, and you get the Word of God in no uncertain terms.  Joyce Meyer is his softer side and she serves spinach sermons!  Be not weary of the Word even if it makes you squirm.  Since when is God not a God of judgment and justice as well as love.  His judgment and justice applies to those who disobey and refuse His love.  We need the whole sandwich.

Be not weary of the election process before it’s done.  Do you quit before the finish line? Do you search for the perfect job and cancel the interview?  Do you quit studying knowing there’s a test? This particular election is an epic east/west decision.  One way will take us down into socialism that worked so well for Russia, the other will link to continued prosperity longer.  The rhetoric you find so distasteful and tiring is what most voters are taking as the truths on which they base their votes.  Too many vote for the cutest one.

If you want an argument, see line one.  I’m in a viral mode and in no mood right this minute.  Check out my satellite blog devoted to this election season, In Case You Missed It. Another one I’ve started is Burning Books, a series of reviews on hot books, politically and prophetically based, the first being Fleeced (in the political column) by Dick Morris.  The shelf is loaded.

To say you shouldn’t talk about politics or religion lets too many corrupt career politicians continue to rule our lives and too many people die without Jesus.  If you stick with the weather and your health as Miss Manners insists, you will be popular with the world.  If memory serves, Jesus said this could be a problem with Him.

Check ’em out

A new discovery via my preacher friend from No Kool-Aid Zone, a post titled Middle Aged Church Goers Miss the “Old Timey Praise Choruses”.  Welcome to my world of “where have all the hymnals gone?” which I truly don’t miss but sometimes I do wonder if they are safely tucked away somewhere in the name of nostalgia, or kept with the theatre props or were cruelly exiled to a nursing home in Kansas.

So looking forward to a weekend pilgrimage

So glad the company I work for doesn’t treat their employees like indentured servants, making them toil in the belly of the boiler room for a year or more before they are granted a partial week’s vacation based on the previous partial calendar year.  At this company, you have days to use immediately, quantity based on how much of the calendar year remains.  On the next Januay 1, even if your first day was December 31, you have 10 vacation days plus the option to buy an additional 5 days.  That’s not counting 48 sick hours and two floating holidays.  Getting them granted requires thinking ahead but once you figure out the system, not a problem. 

The adult Sunday class leader asked me to stay after.  There’s no way to ask that without inducing negative “oh no, what did I do?” feelings.  “Do you have a couple of vacation days you can use in March?  Joyce Meyer is coming to Winston-Salem on the 13th and 14th.”

Yah sure you betcha.  Noooooo probl’m!

Go ahead.  Rant on about non-taxed wealth (she gives 90%, keeps 10%), privately owned jets, women can’t be teachers of men, federal audits.  I really don’t care and don’t know all the ramifications.  Neither do you really.  I don’t know how many people are rabidly wealth-envious.  That’s a problem those people need to address with a frowny God.  See Covet in the Big 10 Shalt Nots.

What I do know is that during the last 13 turbulent years of my walk, when I needed a word from God to pull me up and someone to slap me upside the head, she was the mom to do it.  She doesn’t pet you with prosperity promises nor does she need Vaseline for her teeth like Joel Osteen and that Crystal Cathedral I’m-ok-you’re-ok guy.  She preaches spinach, not ice cream and just like the baby you are, when you spit it out, she spoons it right back in.

She teaches personal responsibilty, obedience, and excellence.  She tells you you could wait for years for your answers but that’s just too bad.  Wait on God.  He’s God and you’re not. And she’s not just shaking her finger at you for the sake of tormenting you.  She was put through every gauntlet from sexual abuse from her father to neglect to betrayal to pinching pennies, and study, study, study.

There are at least 3 sessions, (4?), at least 4 hours each of worship, prayer, and preaching.  I may return walking 3 feet off the ground.  I may be on a pallet, bandaged, bruised, muttering “thank you  ma’m, may I have another.”  Either way I can’t come back the same.

Tomorrow after work comes the last minute laundry and the packing.  If you’re a regular reader or if you know me personally, you know I need someone to lay hands on me and pray for healing of my packing viruses that cripple me.  Whatever.  If I’m slaving over it into the night, I have time to sleep in before my friend picks me up at 10.  Do I take my laptop for post updates? That depends on how many pairs of shoes I pack — you know, in case the weather changes …..?

Good Sunday

Although today started out threatening to be a monumental Bad Hair Day, I simply and without ceremony rewashed, redried, sprayed, declared a truce with it and headed out the door only somewhat late instead of hopelessly late.  Had this been as few as 15 years earlier in our marriage rather than approaching our 35th anniversary this year, someone would have asked untimely questions like “are you ready?” the askee would have made frowny answers like “do I look like I’m ready?” to which there would have been unfortunate comments like “you look fine to me.”  Instead, after the maturity and practice of 35 years, wisdom cried “Silence!” 

The quality of the day has gone mercifully upward from there.

Our adult class continues our study of Psalm 23, Traveling Light by Max Lucado.  Today we rested our souls in chapter 7.  Christians love the image of Jesus as our sheperd, but tend to back off slightly miffed when it is pointed out how incomprehensibly stupid sheep are.  Have you heard the word “sheeple?” Yup, that’s us.  We are spiritually helpless without the Holy Spirit.

The new minister is inspirational.  I’m still startled to see him walk to the pulpit instead of Bob.  It’s a little nanasecond before it registers, “oh, yeah.  Bob retired.  This is Randy.  Okay.  I’m caught up now. Proceed.”

When we got up this morning, Honey said it was going to be a beautiful day.  It started out overcast, a chilly breeze, mid 40’s, still a Tennessee winter. When we got out the church door, it was still mid 40’s, a chilly breeze and overcast.  “Yeah, but tomorrow is going to be over 60.” Today, we build a fire in the fireplace.

While the fire was not starting and the soup in the crock pot was not quite hot, I cam-called the kids in Minnesota just in time to see the baby holding his spoon airborne in his left hand and his face on the placemat snarfing up the cheesy macaroni he’d previously squeezed out from his cheesy right hand. After each successful snarf, he tossed his little blond head back and laughed at his macaroni prowess.

The 4 year old loves to spin tales of skunks, beavers, tigers chasing everybody and someone ending up in a garbage can.  Then it was our turn to tell stories of apple trees and cars and (help me think of something!).

The fire is going, not really roaring yet, the outside air is still a less than comfortable 40 something, Honey’s splitting some more wood —- OH, did I mention that I bought a wood splitter?  Have you seen the commercial of Dr. Woodsplitter, with the man letting the conveyor roll that huge log into the wedge and quietly, easily splitting it into two?  I didn’t buy that one.  Instead, I bought a wedge shaped chunk of steel and a mallet.  Hey, it works.  It builds strong bodies 12 ways.  Or is that the white bread that does that?

For now, to cheer me up even more, I put in The High and the Mighty, Hollywood’s first airplane disaster movie starring John Wayne.  It’s so 50’s probably because it was filmed in the 50’s, and such a blessed time machine escape and relief from Chris Matthews and the ongoing blather about how the middle class won’t be taxed to pay for universal health care, only the wealthy people that employ and pay the middle class until their lifestyle gets pinched and they lay off the middle class.  (sigh)  Back to the movie, they’re about to take off.  The fire is roaring now and the sun is out more often than …… in?