Letter #17: This Little Sailboat of Mine

I am but flesh – I learn that in the working out of my salvation, especially here lately through the faithful guidance of a skilled teacher of God’s Word. His handling of the Word is precise (in context, direct quotes – sacred text from the Holy Bible), his voice calm, his cadence addicting, like the lulling of waves lapping up against a sailboat while one lazily suns themselves on an Indian summer day.

Yes, indeed it is soothing to my injured soul but do not let him fool you, he has brought a knife – a sharp, glistening two sided knife he intends to use. The Word of God.

God tells us to not judge others – instead He tells us to judge doctrine. . . to test the spirits and see if there be any error.   There are no “grays” no “shades” of sin in God’s judgments – there are yes’s & no’s – things allowed, things not allowed.

The judgment of doctrine requires a two sided knife.   Churches in error are like odious abscessed wounds requiring a cutting – a cutting into errors oozing putrefying puss (false doctrine – first clue, shades of sin).

Without correction they infect the entire body.

You’ve heard that saying “cussed like a sailor” – yeah, pretty much describes my mouth during this decade – my 50’s (menopause really doesn’t allow much editing space for one’s heart, especially when angry).   I once wrote a letter describing my injurious condition caused by church folk (can’t nobody hurt you like those in your own bunch) and when read by another member of God’s flock he stated “I’ve never heard the “F” word used so poetically.”   He was a pastor.

This woman is traveling a rough road back to her God. . . and I’m not out of the weeds yet! Leaving this decade of my 50’s can’t get here quick enough!

Yep, that little sail boat is seeing some pretty rough seas these days and I would be completely tossed into the abyss if it weren’t for that knife (God’s Word) that pierced my wounds, drained my soul of bitterness and helped me regain some strength. And I need that strength to hang on.

Recently, while in the midst of yet another difficult trial I am in, a Christian began speaking to me of satan and his powers and my need to rebuke him and his influences upon my family. You see, here lately, my little sailboat has capsized and the waves are washing over me – I’m all tangled in the rigging of the sails and winds are blowing gale force and dragging me farther and farther out into even deeper waters.

I dropped my head and began to weep. I remembered those Indian summer days floating in this same little sailboat and the voice of my mentor calling out to me God’s Holy Scriptures. I remembered that shining knife that cut into my wounds of bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness. I remembered scripture. I raised my head and through swollen eyes and gushing streams of tears looked them straight in the face and stuttered out the following — “I’m not afraid of satan, I’m afraid of God.”

I’m not afraid of satan, I’m afraid of God because He is relentless in the pursuit of His goal to make me Christ like. The pressures of my life aren’t satan inspired (he is but a tool in it) they are instead God inspired. His desire is to make me like Christ – an obedient (holy) servant who loves the unlovable, shows grace to the unthankful and gives mercy to the guilty.   And btw I’m speaking here of the church.

He is healing me and returning me to His church.

You see this little girl has been saved since she was 8 years old . . . by the side of my bed, on my knees having been lead to the Lord by my sister Maureen.   Nope, not in a church. However the working out of that salvation, the early stages (my childhood – my youth   and young adult life) was.   Interestingly enough as a child it wasn’t through my parents. Nope, an elderly man in a huge turquoise car would come by the house and load up 5 girls and he and his wife took us to church.   His generation believed in sacrifice and the church.

Now, in this generation, is it the same church he knew?   Probably not.

There were no “Rock Star” preacher men strutting across the “stage”. There were no “campuses” or large screens beaming their images and people lapping up their very breathed words. They didn’t make idols out of mere men – and they certainly didn’t tolerate sin amongst the flock.

They judged the doctrine. They didn’t do gymnastics to bound from one scripture (or story telling) to another one that sorta kinda released them to be happy instead of holy.   They judged doctrine. They preached repentance of sins and about a place called hell and a man named Jesus. A savior – passing through your life, calling out to you with the simple gesture of his hand waving you towards him. To come and dine with him in the presence of all your enemies (pain / suffering). Psalms 23:5

Isn’t that the most profound thought sitting down to a table, resting – receiving nourishment with enemies present around you? That the one who serves you is God and He’s not troubled about your trouble. Not that He doesn’t care — no, no, no —- instead that He’s able to care for you in the midst of it! Sort of changes the narrative doesn’t it! First that God serves, second that He’s (and I say this with the utmost respect) one cool Cat and desires you to see that!

He is the Universe’s authority!

As for me (through the Word) — the sovereignty of the personhood of God the Father no longer settles him in my mind as the Principal’s Office of which one desires to avoid but instead now the One whose Holiness calls out to me as “otherness”, a place I do not belong but yet hold an invitation to. A banquet hall in His heaven I shall one day frequent with His son – Jesus, the one waving me in, providing the way.

This little girl shall one day see the evidence I travel via hope through now.
Until then I watch His testimony every day out on my back deck. I watch the heavens and the earth and marvel at His credentials.   ” . . . like the lulling of waves lapping up against a sailboat while one lazily suns themselves on an Indian summer day. Yes, indeed it is soothing to my injured soul but do not let him fool you, he has brought a knife – a sharp, glistening two sided knife he intends to use. The Word of God.”

This is what I’ll leave you with – my mentor’s words “What does the Word say?” To this and this alone I say find your way. The smallest little prick to one’s soul God cares for – come and dine with Him today! Receive him through His Word – His Son. John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (KJV) 

And Jesus, thank you for this little sailboat of mine. . .

 

 

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Letter #16: $3 bucks & 2012

So last night, after working late on the computer, I was so tired I literally got out of the desk chair and slipped down onto a comfortable living room type chair I keep in my office. It’s a $300 chair, a chocolate color and soft like a baby’s fuzzy little head. I like touching it and of course enjoy the memory of paying only $3.00 for it at a yard sale. We won’t talk about why I have an afghan draped over the one arm, and why no one is ever allowed to use that afghan to cover with, even if they are lounging in that chair and are perhaps cold. You can thank the $300 dollar previous owner’s dog for that!   Why do dogs enjoy eating foam? How can that possibly taste just like “Kibbles and Bits”?

Upon curling up into my tasty, soft, chocolate brown inviting chair the Lord whispered “Why don’t you go get in bed. . . ” I snuggled my head up against the soft cushiony back of the chair (I was turned sideways) and pulled my legs up onto the chair. It was so soft and I was so tired. Kibbles and Bits, Kibbles and Bits. . . off to dreamland I went.

I knew it was good advise. I knew I should just go ahead and pull myself up and get into my bed.   Have you ever noticed stupid doesn’t have an age limit? So there I was as snug as a bug in a rug until I woke up.   I doubt bugs have their little legs go to sleep while snoozing in their little woven fiber beds but not so for humans!   Yep, you guessed it – legs had gone numb.

Now at this juncture I’d like to include in this little tale I was rather exhausted. Please keep the exhausted part fresh in your mind – I might need to ask you where I was at in this story and so just say “exhausted” and it’ll help.   Where was I? Oh, yes – tingling pain shooting down both legs. Pushing both legs out from underneath me they landed making a plop sound onto the bugs little woven fiber beds, my rug. I’m pretty sure I killed some.

If not I know I was about to. . . you see Laura in her (what’s the word?) Very good. Exhausted state was in so much pain she actually thought standing would be a good idea – to help move the curdled (I’m blaming McDonald’s sweet tea) blood in her limbs. Yep. Bugs in the rug were about to be meet their own Mayan Calendar moment 20 days ahead of schedule (it was 2012).

Wham! I’m not sure but I think I heard them scream – I know I did.

Do you know what 168 lbs sounds like when it free falls onto the floor along with a solid oak chair (desk chair I grabbed on my way down – I mean anyone can just fall flat but it takes true skill to bring other objects with you – solid oak objects is what I recommend.)

So there I lay. . . feet was behind me somewhere (I still couldn’t feel them at 100% – the small percentage that was functioning was throbbing in pain) my head was pointed towards the doorway and I was moaning. After I quit wincing I looked to see the collateral damage.   Somewhere near the southern end of my body the oak chair was laying on its back, like someone had done a back flip out of it (more dead bugs in the rug), the chocolate “Kibbles and Bits” chair and its pretty afghan lay undisturbed (ironic isn’t it?) and the old woman I had become was still laying there.

Decision time. Now what right? Call for my husband? He was simply 10 feet away in our bedroom, sound asleep. Should I scream for help?   Hmmm, screaming and dropping 168 lbs along with a solid oak chair hadn’t aroused him from his slumber a few seconds earlier so what were my chances now? Plus how serious was it . . . my feet were still coming awake, I needed to access my situation.   Ok, systems check – left foot seems to be less hurt, right foot is killing me – maybe it’s broke? I’ll need to wake him if it’s broke but wait that’s right he took an ibuprophen with a sleep aid tonight for the first time and apparently it’s working well!

Ok now what.

Pray.

I laid my head down onto the rug and literally said out of my mouth.   “Lord, this was so stupid.”   It’s a good way to start a prayer – I’m pretty sure He’s heard that disclaimer before the real praying begins which went pretty much like this – HELP ME! He did AND he never said anything to me at all about that little chat he had with me upon placing my (what’s the word?) exhausted butt down upon the Kibbles and Bits chair. He knew I knew and now he was just going to help me. . . crawl into the living room.

Up on all fours dragging the still @ 50% asleep lower extremities I made my way into the living room wincing my entire journey. I was actually going to attempt to make my way to the basement steps and call for my son sound asleep in the dungeon who likewise hadn’t heard the Mayan moment happening upstairs. During my trip in stated journey, it occurred to me to take a “pit stop” and rest up against my ottoman in the living room. I did. I thought about how exhausted I was and maybe I could just sleep there but the pain in my shoulder was beginning to rear its ugly head – I hadn’t really felt it yet because the foot was being so obnoxious.

So hanging over the ottoman I pulled myself up onto it to get a better look at my foot and rub my now throbbing shoulder. At some point into my full on self pity – my feet got all their blood back to circulation and wow was I happy I could feel ALL of the pain now! After a 15 minute sabbatical I picked myself up, stood on my own two feet and tested my skill level at falling again. Now I’m pretty sure at this point my guardian angel called for back-up.

What was I thinking? Let’s see if we can “wham” into a sharp edged television set close by.   No, I didn’t fall again – but really what was I thinking !!! So just like the little old woman I am turning into I limped and scuffled, while wincing my way into the kitchen for drugs.

Squeak goes the cabinet door as I struggle to lift my arm (remember the hurt shoulder) and I reach for the ibuprophen bottle. I start to twist the cap off . . . my guardian angel whispers “Lordus, this is the wrong bottle, it has that sleep aid in it that your husband just took tonight – remember it’s working really well – just one little pill is working really, really well. So you don’t want to take 3 of them as if it’s regular ibuphrophen like you’ll normally do when you’re hurting bad and die tonight, so put that bottle back up and take your prescription ibuprophen.”

I put the bottle up and reach for my prescription drug bottle.

The angel leans over again and says “Uh, Lordus that’s the Hydro(whatever – whatever) drug and that likewise has a sleep aid in it also, which at this point, I’m all about getting you into your bed tonight but crawling your butt back down that hallway isn’t really what you want to do – so let’s limp back into the living room and get your eyeglasses on so that you don’t accidentally kill yourself tonight or take the wrong drug that won’t really help your pain.

Swallowing my correct pain relief I make it back to the little white chair in the living room that was my momma’s chair in the nursing home, appropriate don’t you think! I turn on the little room heater I have near the television and proceed to warm my pained foot – it actually helps the pain and eventually I make my way back down the hallway – upright this time, and crawl into bed.

I’m thankful the Lord looked out for me – my office is tiny and has plenty of hard objects I could of whacked my head on – instead I found the only place where I could of fallen safely and by His grace I did.

As for the rug bugs – they didn’t fare as well. . . and we scoff at the Mayans!