Pop-up Thoughts about God, Satan’s Biscuits and Other Stuff

What we allow to happen to Israel will happen to us – U.S.

You can’t put God on “pause.”

If I truly grasped Who and What God is, my head would explode.

I don’t have a spiritual life, and a family life, and a work life, etc. My life IS spiritual. Period. (Based on Ortberg.)

Atheist, agnostic, Christian, Muslim…doesn’t matter what labels we choose. God is sovereign.

When I feel offended by something someone said or did, I can usually think of someone (and Someone) to whom I’ve said or done the same thing. Being offended is a built-in sin detector.

It’s like, ya know, our current culture in the U.S.A. is colluding to try to make evil seem OK and right seem weird or illegal, even. Ya know?

What Jesus said, he says.

I believe that being born again transforms us at the cellular level. How else can you explain this change in me? I think differently. Old synaptic trails have been re-configured. New ones installed.

I’ve been burning Satan’s biscuits! For me, that means I’ve been creating art. Satan hates it when I create. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. How do YOU burn Satan’s biscuits?

art black cat pastel revised“Cat Blue” original pastel painting

 

 

Posted in art, atheism, atheist, books, buddha, Christians at work, conversion, creation, culture, drawing, Jesus, satan, sin, sketching, spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What Are You Afraid Of?

I just finished reading Dr. David Jeremiah’s book (Kindle version), What are You Afraid Of?

This bumper-sticker idea came to me:

“If you do not fear God, sovereign creator of all, then it makes no sense to fear anything else.

If you do fear God, sovereign creator of all, then there’s no need to fear anything else.”

Clever, huh?

I don’t fear being dead, a topic Dr. Jeremiah covers.

I fear dying. Die + ing. The process of becoming dead. (OK, smarty pants, I know we all start dying the day we are born. I’m talking about painful, incapacitating, lonely dying. Or painful, incapacitating, lonely anything.)

Don’t we all pray that we and those we love pop our clogs suddenly, without warning, quietly in our sleep?

blackbird-95091_150

 

 

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Who’s Visiting When You’re Sleeping?

girl-32403_150The line “You’re innocent when you dream” sung by raspy-voiced Tom Waits has hung with me for years.

I do believe we’re innocent when asleep. I also believe that downtime and dreamtime have a purpose.

God’s not the only one who wants our attention when our guard is down.

This video offers insights about dreams and what goes on in the spiritual realm while we sleep.

http://sidroth.org/television/tv-archives/laura-harris-smith

 

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Free Francis Chan book

 

go to this link for your free downloadable book http://www.dccebooks.com/products/multiply

 

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“She’s…uh…weird”

Typically the realtor emails his sellers’ names and address to me, and requests that I contact the homeowners to set up my Staging consultation with them.

This time, though, he wrote, “Call me before you contact these sellers.”

I figured he was going to give me a heads up about condition issues like a crumbling brick wall, mountains of junk in the basement, and water damage in the family room.

He did. But those issues weren’t why he wanted to talk to me before I called his sellers, the Wolfs.

The realtor began haltingly, “The woman, Lydia, is…she’s had brain surgery…she’s different.”

“OK.”

“When I talked to her, she came across…she’s uh…she’s weird.”

“OK.”

“I gave you her husband’s cell number. Make the appointment with him.”

I did.

I rang the Wolf’s doorbell three times. Knocked a few times. No answer. I returned to my car in the driveway and began calling the husband’s number to see if I’d shown up on the wrong day or wrong time or what? Then I heard a woman’s voice coming from the area of the front door. I killed my phone and went to meet whoever was yelling, “Hello! Hello?”

“Hello!” I replied.

The voice grew closer and said, “I don’t know who I’m saying ‘hello’ to.”

Neither did I. I told her my name and why I’d come.

Lydia, an attractive pixie with slightly bowed legs and stains on the front of her shirt, walked toward me with a drunken swagger.

“I’m from the south,” she announced. “That’s why I talk like this.” Her words were slightly slurred, not southern.

We entered into what is one of the most attractive living rooms I get the pleasure to see in this job. Lydia began talking about Arkansas and this house and her daughter and her apartment and more.

Her husband, with whom I was scheduled to meet, wasn’t home. I considered rescheduling my visit to a time when the husband would be available, but I didn’t want this to be a wasted trip.

I interrupted Lydia’s ramblings and said, “I’m having trouble focusing. Tell me how I can help you with getting the house ready for the market.”

“I was born in Arkansas,” she said and continued with her life’s timeline, somehow, to today. She added that she’d do anything I say to help the house show well. She also mentioned that her husband has been living in another place for the past 10 years.

As we walked from room to room, we had a rather typical Staging consultation conversation.

When we were on the second floor, she opened the same closet door three times to show it to me. She seemed to be dwindling. When we got to the spacious master bedroom, she sat on the bench at the end of the bed and curled into herself. Something was shifting.

“Come here,” she said.

I sat next to her on the bench.

She said, “When I was nine years old I had appendicitis for three days and no one knew it. The doctor said I had a sexually transmitted disease. I was little! I’d never had sex!”

“Oh, that’s awful,” I said softly.

“I’ve had 25 surgeries for obstructed bowl syndrome,” Lydia said. “I’m supposed to make an appointment with my neurologist, but I don’t want to see any f****** doctors!”

“I don’t blame you.” I put my arm around her waist and stroked her side.

“That hurts,” she said.

I jerked my hand away. “Sorry!”

“I mean you’re rubbing the spot that’s sore. It feels good.”

I put my hand on her side again and stroked her.

She talked about missing her daughter who is away at school, and she said, “My husband doesn’t like me…” She leaned in closer, rest her head on my chest and sobbed.

I thank God for giving me the opportunity to be with Lydia, for giving me the grace to hold her to me as she wept. Feelings of calmness, tenderness and patience filled me as we sat there. I was imaging Jesus. Without the Holy Spirit in me, that encounter would have gone very differently. I probably would have been uncomfortable, to say the least, flinty, aloof, pissed off, task-oriented, sarcastic.

Finally, the estranged husband arrived. Lydia went downstairs somewhere. The husband and I talked about the water damage and other condition issues in the house. No mention of Lydia.

As I was heading toward the back door, I walked into the family room. Lydia was dry-swallowing a pharmacopeia of prescription meds stashed in the coffee table drawer. She lay down and pulled a cover over herself. As I walked past her, she held her arm up. I leaned over and entwined my arm with hers.

Sleepily, she said, “I enjoyed your visit.”

“I enjoyed my visit, too.”

Posted in Christians at work, depression, family, family problems, intimacy, Jesus, marital problems, marriage, mission, relationships | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Evil Lived in That House

I’m a home Stager. My job is advising homeowners, who are going to sell their houses, how to prepare their homes for the market. I walk through the house with the homeowners and we discuss things like de-cluttering, painting the red walls beige and so forth.

When the homeowner, Kelly, opened the door, my head flew back as though she’d thrown a punch and connected. Her eyes, so brown as to look black, were the dominate feature of her attractive face. I’m sure it took me a second to compose myself.

She let me in. A middle-aged, chubby man sat in the corner of the living room. His was looking down at his fingers, diddling with his cell phone. He didn’t look up when I walked into the room and was standing only five feet or so from him. I kept looking from Kelly to him expecting to be introduced.

After an awkward moment, Kelly said, “That’s my father-in-law, Neal.”

“Hi, Neal,” I said.

“Hi.” Back to diddling.

A perky girl, maybe eight or nine with long blond hair, bounded into the room.

Britney joined us as we walked through the house. She is an exceptionally bright, vivacious, engaging girl.

As Kelly, Britney, a friendly cat and I walked through their house, I searched my brain for what it was that made me recoil at the front door. Did Kelly remind me of someone? Had we met before? I kept staring at her.

She noticed.

“Your hair is adorable,” I said.

“Thank you,” Kelly replied.

“You remind me of someone.”

She said, “I noticed your reaction at the door.”

So, it was that obvious.

The next day I had a meeting, that had been set up a month before, with a friend who’s aware of the spiritual world, intuition and vibrations, but he’s not a Christian. I figured he’d be able to shed light on my reaction, so I told him how I’d recoiled when the homeowner opened her front door.

“Never in my life have I reacted to someone like that,” I said.

“How was the house?” he asked.

“It was fine. It looked great. Clean. Nicely decorated.”

“I want to go through a process of elimination. So it wasn’t the condition of the house?”

“Right,” I said. “It didn’t smell bad. There was a cat. I like cats. I was never afraid during the visit…I did feel intimidated and wanted to finish and be on my way.”

He asked me more questions. Then he concluded: “Something’s going on in that house.”

It hit me. The father-in-law.

Not once did his granddaughter, Britney, go near him, speak to him, or in any way acknowledge his presence. Just as he hadn’t acknowledged me, Kelly or Britney. I don’t know what’s going on in that house, but you can imagine what came to mind that would explain the odd behavior between the father-in-law and the women in the house.

I thanked my friend for helping me analyze the cause of my unprecedented, physical reaction. He told me there was nothing I could do for the family.

On the drive home after talking to him, I thought, Oh, yes there is something I can do!

I prayed at the top of my lungs: “In the name of Jesus, Satan, get out of that house! Get out of that house! Never come back! Do not move to the next house with that family! You are conquered, Satan! You get out of that house NOW! In the name of Jesus! Amen!”

When my throat became raw, I whispered, “And I can whisper my prayer and it’s just as effective. Satan, get out of that house now.”

Never in my life have I sensed something the way I did when that woman opened her front door. The energy her eyes beamed at me signaled something bad.

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Pray for me,” and other throw away lines (Mission work at work)

I’m a home Stager. My job is advising home owners, who are going to sell their houses, how to prepare their homes for the market.

Before going to one of my Staging appointments, I had lunch with a Christian friend. As we left each other, she prayed beautifully. When she was done, I said, “Amen.” And added, “I don’t pray in front of others very often.”

She’d said, “That’s normal for newer Christians. You will pray as you continue the journey.”

The exterior of my Staging client’s house looked good. The owner just needed to clear out branches downed by the recent storm.

When I entered, he invited me into his living room to sit down. He started telling me about losing his job of 35 years, a mystery illness that had whittled him down by a 100 pounds and caused oozing sores to fester on his face, scalp and private areas, his dogs had died (or were poisoned) and, “I’m going to lose this house!” he said. “I don’t know what to do!”

He stopped abruptly and said, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to go on about my troubles. I have people praying for me. You can pray for me, too.”

His invitation to pray for him came across as a throw-away comment like the ones people say mechanically: Have a nice day. How are you? Keep me in your prayers.

I said, “I’m going to pray for you right now.”

And I did with tears streaming down my face.

He thanked me. He thanked me several more times as we walked around his house and I did the Staging consultation.

Although I went to Guatemala on a medical mission, it’s clear to me that my mission work is where ever I am. It’s also clear that the Holy Spirit is guiding me in how to respond to people like this client. Before I was born again, an encounter with this particular client would have creeped me out. I would have stuck to the business at hand.

Thank you, Jesus, for the grace to pray for the soul who’d asked me to.

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