Jesus, Light

Here, Friend, Take a Sip

I stood there wishing I could give someone a cool drink of water.  As we sang our lovely songs I wanted to bust out of there, go home and make some sandwiches.  But where would I take them?  Where do the hungry hang out around here?  Oh how I would love to be in a place where I could share something tangible, something that would meet a real and imminent need.

As I stood there singing and wondering and yearning, the Spirit said, “You can give someone a cool drink.  You can give a lot of cool drinks.”  He was talking about my blog.  And He was talking about that thing He put on my heart a few weeks ago.  The thing I had not yet written because a) I wasn’t sure whether I understood it correctly and b) I didn’t feel like dealing with the backlash.

As to b, today is the day, let the chips fall where they may.

As to a, I prayed on my way home asking the Spirit to guide my thoughts, to show me exactly what Jesus meant by it and to make sure that I eke every ounce of powerful Truth from it.  I was surprised by the torrent of tears.  Why am I crying? But even as I was asking it, my heart was answering it.  I was crying because my friend is a captive and he doesn’t have to be.

He has a lot of theys and thems.  One of them is a Christian.  One of them is an atheist.  One of them is clearly a thug.  There are others.  If I understood him correctly, he is okay with it.  He is okay with a cohabitation of wheat and tares in his head because he believes that the tares serve a valuable purpose.

They don’t.

This cool drink of water is for him and for the 1% of the population who suffers from dissociative identity disorder, more specifically for the subset who are living with a thug.

No judgment, no preaching, just a cool drink if you want one:

Some accused Jesus of driving out demons by Beelzebul but Jesus pointed out the ridiculousness of their thinking by saying, “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.”

A house divided against itself will fall.  Wheat and tares cannot live successfully in the same head.

Then Jesus said, “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe.”

You think you need the thug so you let him stay.  Maybe you fear his roots are too entwined with yours and there will be nothing left of you if you uprooted him and boot him.  And maybe you think he is doing a good job of guarding your house.  You let him stay because you think he is protecting you.

He isn’t.

I know fear is driving your bus, but he isn’t protecting your house, he’s holding you captive in his.

“But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, He takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder.”

Friend, Jesus is the stronger one.  He wants you to lay down the armor in which you are trusting.  He wants to take that thug, that atheist, those minions as plunder.

We both know the strong man will not go down without a fight.  He will make a desperate, all-out attempt to protect his house.  He will lash out at me.  He will threaten you.

But Jesus is stronger.

“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

“I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”

You cannot stay in the darkness and walk in the light.  You have to make a choice.  John said, “God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.  If we claim to have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin.”

The thug and the atheist do not serve any godly purpose.  They will not protect you.  They will just make things worse.

“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”

You can do your best to put your head in order, but unless you disarm your security system and trust Jesus alone to protect you, you will remain a captive.

As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.”

Jesus replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

“Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”

The Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit cohabitating in your heart and head. That’s the protection you need.

Praying for you this week.

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life, Stories from the Island

Working Like a Maniac

Hen_and_Chicks_flowers

Dear Blogging Buddies,

In my very first post I mentioned that I would be taking 20 women to a big hotel on a small island for a weekend of teaching and refreshment.

The event is now one week away.

Needless to say, I will be working like a maniac between now and then and I expect to have no time for blogging.  But don’t despair, I will catch up with you as soon as I return.

Our group of fifty-something-year-old hens and twenty-something-year-old chicks will be stepping onto the Island Friday afternoon and departing Monday morning.  About half of my guests are women who have left a life of drugs and prostitution. They have been clean for at least three years.  They need to know some stuff.

Here’s a bit of what I will tell them:

  • Contrary to popular belief, man was not created first. God created men and women at the same time, with a joint purpose.   In this first session I am going to tell them a lot of things that will bring dignity to their lives.  I want to know how the truth resonates with them.  I want to know how they saw themselves growing up.  I want to know whether the Truth would have made any difference in their lives.  A woman who completed my Bible study a few years ago said it would have made a difference in her life.  A life that went like this:

I was molested as a child between the ages of eight and twelve years old, so at an early age I learned to equate love with men using my body for their sexual needs.  Add to that the fact that that I grew up in a world where the women were judged by the men in their life, by how many boyfriends they had and how sexually desirable men found them…

When I was about nine my adoptive mom and her new husband started going to church at a very fundamentalist church and were saved.  My mother would lock herself in her room for hours communing with God and leaving me alone with my step dad.   Most of the time, she wouldn’t even go to church.  My step dad would take me without her.  It was on the way to church or coming back that he would pull over and pull me onto his lap and “you know”….

I have allowed myself to be used and abused for as long as I can remember…

…My third son’s dad was charming and charismatic. The first time he hit me he actually convinced me that I smacked my own self upside the head with the phone receiver.

He was a child molesting meth addict who enjoyed beating the snot out of me and then having sex with me.

I spent a year and a half living one moment at a time trying to stay alive and keep my children alive.   I didn’t know that he was molesting my oldest son. I always assumed that boys were safe from that sort of thing.  My mother always told me that boys were blessings from God.   Surely God’s blessings were safe, right? I found out what he was when it was too late.

I have been hit, bit, kicked, dragged through the house by my hair, spit on and held at knife point while he tried to decide whether he wanted to slit my throat, cut the baby I was six months pregnant with or kill himself.  He is now in prison serving a sentence of 15-35 years for child molestation.  But it cost me my 2 oldest children.  Ironically, they went to live with my biological mother when the state took them from me for failure to protect…

As she handed me her typed story she said, “My mother always told me that boys were blessings from God.  My whole life I thought only boys were blessings.  I didn’t know until now that girls are blessings, too.”

I wonder whether the women I will meet next weekend know that girls are blessings, too.

  • Next I am going to show them when and how the whole man, woman, sex thing went awry.  And, as I showed you in this post, I am going show them that Adam was booted from the garden, not Eve.  Eve’s big mistake was making man her king.  I expect we’ll be talking a lot about that.
  • Because all of the women who came out of “the life” have been raped, I am going to tell them about Tamar and Dinah.  And I am going to tell them the story of my own poor heart.
  • Sunday night I am going to listen to their stories.  I am bringing a videographer to tape them.  With their permission, I will likely share them with you.

If you are the praying sort, I would love your prayers – for all the last minute preparations, for safe travel, for God’s blessing on each woman.

Keep blogging ’til I get back.  I’ll have a lot to read and I’ll have a lot to tell.

-trb

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