Friday, May 27, 2011

The Warrior Princess (Part 2 He Loves You Snow Much….More)

And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. Matthew 11:12

Well, trying to finish this before we dive into Summer….End of school party today, soccer banquet tonight and Tomorrow night Sarah comes home!!! But she’ll only be around for a day, because on Monday Sarah and Teddy go to CA to see our (my) family. But they’ll be back just in time for Teddy’s classes to start and his 21st birthday! (June 9th). In July the rest of us will be going to CA.

“The Barbarian Way” by Erwin McManus is an awesome book, I read back in February, and I’ve been meaning to blog about it ever since. So here goes…..I love this book from the beginning where he dedicates it to his daughter, Mariah, the warrior princess, until the end where Erwin says, “He (Jesus) leads us as warriors of light to risk our lives for the deliverance of others. Again our own weapons are love, hope and faith, and they are our only defense. Yet we above all know that they and only they liberate us and fulfill the deepest longings of our souls.”

Back in January (the 15th) I wrote a blog post entitled, He Loves You Snow Much...More

In this post I told about how I felt God was saying He loved me through it snowing on February 14th, 2010 when I was going through a lot of bad stuff with my Dad. Right after telling someone that (on a Friday) we had a beautiful ice storm the next Monday!

I know people think this stupid and ridiculous of me- but who cares what they think! I know God loves me! As if that wasn’t enough something else happened to confirm it. On Friday January 28th (Lydia's 10th birthday!) I was watching Joyce Meyer (It was probably a recorded program since I record them) and Erwin McManus was on her show and he told a story about a girl he knew in college who lead worship at a Christian fellowship he went to. He said one day she told him about her past life of drugs and living with her boyfriend and then said she didn’t feel God anymore and concluded that He didn’t love her and her boyfriend was coming to pick her up because she was returning to her old life.

When she accused God of not loving her Erwin, a very new Christian became upset and said that if there was anything God could do for her to show her He loved her then He would do it. “For some bizarre reason she immediately responded by saying, ‘Well, then I want it to snow’” It never occurred to Erwin that she would say something like this but he did answer her by saying, “God is going to make it snow for you.” Then Erwin panicked afraid he could be wrong, but he “got down on his face before God” This is a good place to be- I’ve been there a lot lately. Joyce Meyer says we should always seek God like we’re desperate! Where did he live? I’m assuming Southern California because it’s where he lives now, but he doesn’t say. Wherever he was, it wasn’t somewhere it snowed very often. The girl, whose name is Beth, went around campus saying God was going to make it snow because He loved her. Erwin, after praying fervently, went to sleep. He awoke to his roommate walking in saying, “Have you looked outside?” “I remember taking a deep breath just before I pulled open the shades. I don’t know what I was expecting to see, but I saw snow everywhere. Evidently it had started snowing almost immediately after I began my soulful conversation with God.” This story is in Chapter 3 of “The Barbarian Way” under the heading, “Mystical and Miraculous”. Erwin says, “Later I would go to seminary and learn that God doesn’t speak like this anymore.” But he says it was too late for him, he had already experienced God in the mystical and miraculous. Those who brought him to faith didn’t take the time to civilize him. They didn’t try to make him like them. “They brought me into the presence of the living God and knew that His presence would both consume me and transform me.”

Perhaps my Father-in-law thought my “Love” story was sorta soft, (I know my sis didn’t like it). One thing my Father-in-law said was, “All we have to do is read about (how) the apostles were used by God and what it has done for people, even though they were tortured and killed.” So, this about being a “Barbarian for Christ” can balance out the other story and funny (ironic perhaps?) that it has a story in it about God showing a girl He loves her with snow! Also ironic is the “flack” I received from a frienemy who I didn’t know was reading my facebook. “Frienemy” is a word I heard that I liked- a combo of “Friend” and “Enemy”- she is a friend who has turned into an enemy. She left some unkind comments on my post about love! Of all the things I write, you would think that the least controversial? God loves you- you have a problem with that? Then I foolishly left those comments up-to show everyone how ridiculous this person is and my sister “likes” them all! OK OK these are people I’ve prayed God would show His love to! So, I can be angry and blow them off now, right? No, I have to forgive them and keep praying for them.

I want to be a doer of the Word and not a hearer only…I want my faith to be something I live everyday. Jesus said to follow Him and He doesn’t lead us to what’s comfortable and easy. But it’s what’s better in the end. (In a note from Sarah)

Erwin talks much of John the Baptist who was beheaded as Jesus was going around preaching the gospel. I think people sometimes don’t really see things in the Bible (I know I’m like that), you read it, but it doesn’t really “sink” in. Like I remember when I realized Jesus washed Judas’ feet! Wow, that was BIG- think about it- He knew he was going to betray Him and He washed his feet! So John sends word to Jesus, “Are you the One or do we seek another?” (Matthew 11) Jesus sends someone back to tell John what’s going on, but John still gets beheaded, what gives, Jesus? Erwin explains, “…His purpose was to save us not from pain and suffering, but from meaninglessness.”

May 5, 2011 Status: Dear Lord, please help me! I see my need to “get radical”, cut off my hand, pluck out my eyes if they cause me to sin! Help me REMEMBER YOU AND YOUR WORD, take every thought captive, walk in the Spirit and NOT fulfill the lust of the flesh. I’m a “warrior princess” and if I’m not going to be serious about You, I’m going to fail and Lord I do not want that!

This subject brings to mind an old Jill Phillips song called “Live by the Sword”
You stripped me down to basics
You left my heart exposed
There is no pride in times like this
No one said it was easy
No one said it was fair
But nobody’s happy when it is
Lord, I need your loving arms to carry me
When I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see
I know you know what I desire to do
So help me follow even when it’s not easy to
If I want to be real in this world
Then I have to realize
If I am going to live by the sword
I'm gonna have to die by the sword

“The original call of Jesus was so simple, so clean, so clear: ‘Follow Me’ He wants us to surrender our lives to Him and follow Him into the unknown. And if it means a life of suffering, hardship, and disappointment, it will be worth it because following Jesus Christ is more powerful and more fulfilling than living with everything in the world minus Him. Have we forgotten this? Have we become so refined and so civilized that the benefits of our faith have become more precious and more valuable to us than the Benefactor of our faith?” Erwin McManus

This is a poem I wrote back in September (2010):
The Way
“Do not be surprised” I heard my Savior say,
“Yes there are thorns, but this is the Way
You are not above your Master,
The Way is rough and not faster,
They hated Me
They’ll hate you too
Press on, know what you’re called to do,
Abide in Me, I’ll not steer you wrong,
Although the way is steep, the road is long,
Always stay pliable and sure to bend,
You cannot compare now with then,
Your time is short and soon will end,
Then you will be with Me in glory,
A wondrous end to your beautiful story,
Walk along with Me,
And remember, the best is yet to be!”

Don't run! Stand and fight!

2015: For this and more of my poems get my new- 1st book!  The Seven Story Tree

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Visiting Mom’s

Yesterday’s Facebook status: Dad; “All my stuff is out of there now. It’s all painted, there’s new flooring, it doesn’t look like the same place….” I had a good conversation with him but he was oblivious to my tears! I can no longer return to “Mom’s” :-(

In that mysterious place between wakefulness and dreams I found myself at Mom’s. “It’s not different at all” I thought, “It’s exactly the same!” I walked in the door, there’s the sofas the same way, same carpet, same china cabinet, my senior picture on the hallway wall next to Becky’s , Chris’ and Jon’s. The irony about that was; they were hung there when they moved in the house in ’95 before we lost Paul (2002), Tim (2005) and Mark (2006)- there were just us four left hanging there. Tim and Paul had photos hanging on different walls in the house- Mark rarely got his photo taken, though.

All the sudden I hear a familiar voice, “Sue, can you come in here…I want to talk to you.” My heart skipped a beat, “Mom!” I wanted to give her a big hug, but was unable. “Not yet, Susan, we’ll be able to do that later.” Mom was in the kitchen baking, a wonderful aroma rose from the oven. “Mom you look great!” Kinda like looking in a mirror, she was younger looking than I had remembered ever seeing her. “Yeah, I’m finally at my goal weight!” “And your baking!” “Yes, lemon Meringue pie” “Ohhhh my favorite”

“Mom why am I here?”
“God thought you needed some reminders…..Susan, you will always remember our house, it doesn’t matter that it’s different now….You would not believe the places I’ve been up here!”
“Where have you been?”
 “Europe, South America, Africa, New Zealand….”
“Really Mom?”
“Yes, and different times also, Susan…..the house in Sunland the way it was when we lived there so long ago…Tim, Mark, Paul and I went there last Christmas.”
“Wow Mom really?”
“Susan, this Place is awesome you really have no idea, you wouldn’t believe all the things I’ve been doing! I didn’t go to Europe with Dad but I went with my Dad!”
“Really Mom?”
 “Yeah and Tim, Mark and Paul came too. We had a great time!”
 “Grandma didn’t go?”
“She already went and you know she was always a ‘home body’”
“Is Grandma's house Here too?”
“Of course, every place is Here.”
 “Wow, that’s cool”
“So Mom what do you think of Ninnette?” (my Step Mom)
“I think she’s great…that’s why I picked her.”
“You picked her?”
 “Well, I guess that explains a lot” Mom smiles.

“So do you have any more advice for me Mom?”
 “Yes, I do….Remember what you write, Susan, you have to ‘live it’ also, otherwise it’s useless and it’ll all burn up”,
 “Like in I Corinthians 3?”
 “Exactly…and Susan don’t give ALL your secrets away. Sometimes Jesus even said to people, ‘See that you tell no one’”
“OK Mom. I’ll try to do better”
 “Don’t ‘try’ Susan…trust…trust Him…He won’t steer you wrong…He wants you to have victory, remember that. He has some great plans in store for all of you”(Jeremiah 29:11)
“That’s great to hear, Mom, Thanks and Happy Mother’s Day!”
“And to you too Susan”
“Bye Mom!”
“Good bye, Susan, we will see you again!”

Here are some of my other posts on Heaven and  Death and Dying