Bigger boat for bigger teeth

shark-2317422_1920As I begin to compose this, I hear a raptor behind me.

No, I’m not imagining yet another Jurassic Park spin off.  In the pre-dawn hours here on my patio, there is an owl perhaps not less than fifteen feet in the trees at my back.  My dog, Buckley, seemed to be a tad unnerved by the sound.  I assured him he was too big to tempt the creature toward an attack, and I made some big human noise to assert my dominance and position as well.

This guy can have all the mice he wants, thank you very much; however, I have heard of owls carrying off smaller canines.  When it comes to enemies with teeth, to quote the old movie, Jaws, we gotta get a bigger boat.

Pardon the corny segway, but the disciples discovered a similar thing when they found themselves in a crowded and small vessel when a nasty storm blew in.  Thankfully, they had someone on board Who was bigger than the storm.  Interestingly, His being there didn’t prevent the storm, as in “oh wait a minute, there’s Jesus, let’s wait ‘til they all pass.”  (How convenient would that be?)   Jesus, did, however, have to assert His dominance in the situation to make it go according to His plan, rather than the storm’s plan.

Neither does Satan keep away merely because we bear Jesus’ name.  Sometimes that Name acts like a magnet!  Satan himself has some pretty big teeth, and he knows it:

“Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”

Nevertheless, we are in a pretty sizable boat:

“I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.  Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else—not only in this world but also in the world to come.  God has put all things under the authority of Christ and has made him head over all things for the benefit of the church.  And the church is his body; it is made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with himself.”

Which the writer (Paul) follows in the next chapter with:

“For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.”

Part of being united with Christ is learning how to, like Christ, assert His dominance in and through me when I see the enemy.  “Take up your cross and follow me” includes that part; that is, not only the sacrifice, but the proper use of the authority and power which was paid in full by His own cross.

I can spend a lifetime learning how to fish in that boat!

1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 1:19-23; Ephesians 2:6 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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Go around…again?!?

secret-3037639_1920I love, LOVE to hear my dad’s stories about then he was in Navy!  Back when Bill Haley and his Comets were getting ready to Rock Around the Clock, Dad was off on some semi-covert operation overseas serving his country, doing the things that Uncle Sam thinks invincible 19-year-olds can do. 

I’m thinking that, at the time of Dad’s tour, we weren’t technically at war with anyone, but we all know what that means.  Realistically, we’re always at war with someone, even if it’s under the radar, especially for those of us back home.  There are always enemies, and it behooves us to keep some operations covert, I suppose. Continue reading “Go around…again?!?”

A louse, by any other name…

nurse-37322_1280I feel pretty lousy.  With no intended defamation of that ubiquitous parasite, the louse, I think I must have picked up a bug (of another kind) from one of my sweet cherubs at school.  First came the deep cough, just allergies thought I.  Yesterday the sore throat hit, and the chills, followed by the sweating break of the fever—a nice parting shot now that I can count down my days to retirement on both hands. 

I say fever, but I didn’t bother to take it.  I still have the old glass thermometer you’d probably be hard pressed to find anywhere these days, except a museum.  Bob thought I still felt warm this morning, so I found it, but no, thankfully the mercury didn’t climb too high.  It’s just that aching aftermath, no energy and less motivation. Continue reading “A louse, by any other name…”

Let’s have a fight!

argument-3312463_1280Like many people, I’m not intrinsically adept at confrontation.  That’s a nice way of saying that I tend to avoid it like the Black Plague, whereas my dear husband of 30-plus years (emphasis on the “plus”) has no problem with it.  I have always struggled being overly concerned with what people think of me.  Bob…well, let’s just say, not so much.  So, one can easily imagine how, once the honeymoon period wears off (five days???) and real life kicks in, communication patterns with regard to expectations can be…challenging. 

During one of our relatively few “disagreements”, I was doing my typical backing down routine, when my counterpart surprisingly said, “Now wait a minute!  Don’t you give up so easily!  Just because I’m louder doesn’t mean I’m right.”

He’s so good for me.

Learning to argue is a definite skill set for any relationship.  Setting boundaries, no name-calling, dealing with my own ego and emo, learning healthy compromise, being motivated by love rather than the innate desire to “be right”…the human psyche isn’t born with these things; they have to be intentional in any relationship.

Except one. Continue reading “Let’s have a fight!”

Marching orders.

vintage-3168021_1280I love, LOVE to hear my dad’s stories about then he was in Navy!  Back when Bill Haley and his Comets were getting ready to Rock Around the Clock, Dad was off overseas on some semi-covert operation, serving his country, doing the things that Uncle Sam thinks invincible 19-year-olds can do. 

I’m thinking that, at the time of Dad’s tour, we weren’t technically at war with anyone, but we all know what that means.  Realistically, we’re always at war with someone, even if it’s under the radar, especially to those of us back home.  There are always enemies, and it behooves us to keep some operations covert, I suppose.

A prime example of this is Joshua and the conquest of Jericho.  With help of the Expositor’s Commentary, I find some interesting parallels—

no-symbol-39767_1280The Israelites had not yet encountered a walled city like Jericho; this had to be intimidating to the roaming former Egyptian slaves. What new situations do I come up against that threaten my comfort zone? 

 

world-war-2827031_1280Concerning the land, God told them, “I have given to you…” meaning it was already a done deal, but here’s the thing—they still had to fight for it. Yes, they had their priests (worship), but they also had their warriors (spiritual warfare).  As an example, my children are “a heritage of the Lord”, they are part of my “land”.  As such, I must fight for them as God gives me wisdom, but fight for them from the place of secured victory, not fear or anxiety.

passion-3111303_1920.pngJoshua’s situation was a “religious event”: “…the presence of priests, and the prominence of the ark all indicate that the conquest of Jericho was more than a military campaign; it was a religious event. Israel must always remember that the land was God’s gift to them.”  My circumstances aren’t merely about me either; it’s ultimately about God, His plan for eternity, His kingdom.

choir-303302_1280Praise and declaration come before the victory. The priests were very conspicuous in this procession, and they were also the ones sounding the trumpets.  These can represent both praise to God and the sound of war.  As God’s “royal priesthood”, we are to be involved in both; in fact, they are inextricably linked.  Walking around that wall for six days was an act of obedient faith—so is praise and worship.

checklist-1316848_1280God gave the people specific instructions that were not part of the normal battle plan of the day. Can you imagine Joshua’s mighty commanders when they received their orders?  (“You want us to do what??”) Not unlike the family of Noah who had never heard of rain, or even the disciples of Jesus who couldn’t fathom their King nailed to a cross, God has ways of doing things that can be off the wall.  To borrow from the secular: “Just do it.”

question-1243504_1280The commentary also brings out the tedium of continued marching for six days. This was not a stroll in the park.  They were in enemy territory, so there may have been arrows (and who knows what else—ewww!) flying from the walls.  Sometimes my obediently praying and obstinately living God’s plan for my life becomes tiring.  But God says I am not to grow weary in doing good.  Again, from the commentary, “This senseless marching may have completely demoralized the defenders, who would have been totally confused about what was going on.” I can bank on it: persistent prayer and praise demoralizes my Enemy.  (I rather like that one.)

“Suddenly, the walls of Jericho collapsed, and the Israelites charged straight into the town and captured it.”

Joshua 6:20 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

What’s in YOUR toolbox?

carpenters-toolbox-1466467_1920My dad had a shop in the basement, a couple of rooms of the basement in fact. It was pretty awe-inspiring.  His big engineer’s drafting table, from which hung the triangle and T-square, dominated one room, the one in which he built in all the new cabinets himself.  I think that was before he designed and built the beautiful screened-in back porch. 

The actual shop was in an adjacent room.  This housed a myriad of baby food jars filled with screws and washers and all types and sizes of things.  His lathe was in there, and the circle saw, and undoubtedly a host of other things I would have no idea how to use.  (What’s a router??)

Continue reading “What’s in YOUR toolbox?”

In which Dawn learns to pray. (Journal Entry #1)

I’m starting this on April 1, 2018.  Nationally, we call that April Fools’ Day.  It’s also Easter Sunday.  Ironically, the joke’s on those who don’t accept the Resurrection, although it’s no laughing matter.  Not by a long shot.  But that’s apologetics, which I love, and that’s not what this journal is about.

It’s about prayer, communication with God.  Dialogue.  Listening and hearing and following the Shepherd Who “goes before me”.  It’s about learning to really know His voice more confidently, because He promises that in John 10.  More than going off lists, even lists which are for and about other people and serious, eternal situations—lists are good tools, but I think there is more.

And I feel unsafe.  Interestingly, one of the books/video segments (John Eldredge on prayer) just last night talked about the spiritual warfare side of prayer, the personal part.  He says not to shy away from spiritual warfare, but to deal with it.  NOW.  So, I’m realizing, (that is, this morning it comes to me, how do you suppose those dots were connected??), that this feeling of “unsafe” is just that—spiritual assault.  If God sincerely desires for me to be more intimately communicative with Him, more effective in powerful prayer, and if He promises to protect me and guide me, then who d’ya think is trying like the devil to scare me off?

The devil. Right.

So, I need to deal with it. Now.

In the mighty Name of Jesus Christ, in the power of His Resurrection and the authority of His Ascension, I submit myself to Jesus, and in that same power and authority I resist Satan and all his emissaries of fear, instability, timidity, and related demonic powers who now must flee according to Almighty God’s command.  Jesus, I bring myself under Your loving and tender authority and power and ask You to again cover me with Your blood, my heart, mind and soul, past, present and future, all of me and all that concerns me.  I commit this journey to You, for Your glory, for Your kingdom come and will be done, as far as it concerns me.  Make my communication with You as effective as You desire.  Change my thought patterns, old ways of perceiving.  I put my hand in Yours and accept Your guidance and protection.  Here we go.

Speaking of feeling unsafe, I need to explore that a bit more.  I crave safety and stability, but I also crave adventure.  Kinda weird.  Definitely a trust issue, knowing that Scriptures assures me God will guide me and not “forsake” me under any circumstances.

I remember the time as a young girl walking with my dad in a downtown area when we were visiting someplace.  We came upon an alleyway interrupting the sidewalk, and Dad walked on, but I stopped to look and make sure (for myself) that it was safe.  As I caught up to Dad he said, “what’s the matter, Dawn?  Didn’t you trust me?”

Father, I don’t want to lag behind.   

Now, this doesn’t preclude my own due diligence, not by a long shot.  God gave me a brain and expects me to use it.  So, when this prophecy by Joni Ames came down the pipe a few months ago, this “anointing for intercessory prayer”, I’m taking it seriously.  Thus, my lists have taken a sabbatical, and my own personal study is being stepped up.  My lists have been really good and important, but they make me feel too safe right now.  As in, “there, that’s done, now let’s get on with it.”  Not that God hasn’t spoken to me during my “list praying”; He most definitely has, with promises I cling to.  And I know He has heard those prayers; they are still in His heart, like pictures a child would draw, and the parent keeps up on the frig, even years later.

I would like my artwork to become more powerful, like something hanging in the Louvre.

I also dream.  Last night I had another one.  I’ve purchased this brand-new smoke alarms, and just haven’t gotten around to hanging them up yet, (it’s been, what, maybe six weeks now?)  Yesterday, I finally got out the directions and began figuring out what needs to be done.  Yep, it’s going to take more than I hoped, as in drilling new holes to fit the new alarms.  Again, I put it off until today, maybe tomorrow.

Last night I dreamed my dad was in the back room, drilling and hanging a new smoke alarm for me.  (Dad could fix ANYTHING—one of those guys.)  In my dream, I realized I hadn’t gotten enough alarms, and if Dad was here doing this for me, I’d better take advantage of it, and ran out to buy another!

This was not prophetic, at least not in the sense that my father is going to come hang my smoke alarms for me—at this writing, he’s in his late-80’s and lives a few states away.  No, that process is definitely still on me.  However, it does clue me into something very important: my Father (capital “F”) knows what I’ve been putting off getting done, knows that the process of doing it is essential for my safety (and the safety of others), and is doing surprising things under the radar to get me there.

And buying more smoke alarms is like bringing Him more prayers so He can put them in place.

The sunrise is coming up a beautiful dark pink.  I wonder what time it was when the women ventured to the tomb and found it empty.  Was it still dark, or did they wait for the sunrise to find out that the Son had indeed risen?

Happy Rez Day!

Packin’ heat

I have some friends who, when they go to church, carry their concealed firearm.  One of them is with the local sheriff’s department.  The other is a pastor in another town.

I looked up where the term “arms” as a reference to weaponry comes from:

“Arms, meaning those things used during fighting, comes from the Latin arma, which had largely the same meaning and came from the root ar- meaning ‘to fit together’. Since the 14th century arms has referred to weapons. When new weapons came along that used gunpowder, they were referred to as fire-arms.”  (a quote from Doug Rice on https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-etymology-of-the-word-firearm)

 Huh.  I just kinda thought it looked like fire coming out of your arm…?  Shows what I know. Continue reading “Packin’ heat”

Strategy–don’t leave home without it.

I’m not much of a strategic person, at least not naturally.  I sure appreciate those who are, though.  On that continuum, I probably tend more toward the “see problem, fix problem” rather than “anticipate problem and prevent it” end of the scale.

At least, I’ll say there’s room for some personal improvement. Continue reading “Strategy–don’t leave home without it.”

It stings!

In the mass hysteria that is the superhero-universe phenom, here are a couple of guys that are somewhat overlooked:

green hornet (1)
Credit: Newsweek/google images

Give it time.  Hollywood will find a way.

The other kind of hornet is more real in my personal experience as a school nurse, however.  One of the custodians in my school building was called to go kill a wasp or two flying around inside the building one the second day of school because there were a couple of kiddos registered as “allergic”.  (SOOOooo glad the teachers read my notes to them—thank you and I love you!!)

Clearly, stinging insects have been around doing their thing for a long time: Continue reading “It stings!”