R.W.B. Pearls 10-16-17

 

This is a piece that I was inspired to write down amidst many circumstances of my life over the past few months thru others I know. It is for those facing life with hard circumstances and seeing God within those…

ARE YOU ENOUGH?

When the family came apart because of selfish choices

When the best place for my son was to stay in jail

Are You enough….to take away the tears

…to just hold me together

…to gently whisper answers I need

When my true love loses the battle to disease

As the sun sets on another day of me begging please

Are You enough…to take away this pain

…to bring Wisdom’s answers again

If your not enough then something is certainly wrong

There was no one else there before the first dawn

Too many folks keepin’ their perspectives and not ditchin’ their issues…

The truth of life is we can’t handle or control any of it to start with…but we can cry out to Him for help each step of the way.

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R.W.B. Pearls 10-15-17

This is from a friend of mine who I call TWM…he is a deep dude!

Lifting “all of life” up to God is my hearts natural inclination; utterable or unuttered and expressed or unexpressed; the innate motion of mutual communication, God worship, and instinctive intercession. Holy Spirit help me to remove my man-made walls, barriers, curtains, sin, and excuses that keep my heart centered mostly in earthly life.

Good Government is Possible! Like…a good car or a good marriage.

 

But You Have To Know What Most People Don’t, & Believe It Can Happen!

 

Did you know?

  1. Our US congress can tell the US Supreme Court they do not have jurisdiction on certain issues, like what is marriage, or when life begins? It’s in the Constitution.
  2. The Congress has done that in just recent history, but only about brush fires!
  3. Judges who “legislate from the bench” can be impeached for a crime? Even lower gov’t levels can pass laws that say, “Judges who make rulings based on opinions or case law that are not based on the intended meaning of legally approved laws AND state & federal constitutions may be found guilty of a crime & removed (impeached) from office.”
  4. Married men compared to single men based on recent US statistics:
    • Earn more money with a high school diploma, than singles with a college degree!
    • On the average are in much better health & live much longer than single men.

 

Married men have better relationships with their children than single fathers

 

  • Have better relationships with their children than single fathers.
  • Say they are more satisfied with sex, than singles who cohabit!

 

 

Married men are more satisfied with sex than singles who cohabitation

 

  1. The point of the above is that just based on statistics, gov’t should encourage & not discourage marriage!
  2. Single men compared to every other population group:
    • Are in prison the most.
    • Dominate mental institutions.
    • Commit almost all violent crimes.
    • Are more likely to die of violent crimes or accidents.
    • Are more likely to die of ordinary disease in their age group than married men.
    • Are more likely to be addicts or mentally ill.

Single men are more likely to have

  • Are more likely to have anger management problems or be terrorists.
  1. Absent fathers are very common with single fathers producing children who are:
    • Much more likely drug users.
    • Much more likely mentally ill
    • Much more likely to commit suicide.
    • Much more likely to drop out of school young.
    • Much more likely to never get a diploma or degree.
    • Much more likely to have lower income.
    • Much more likely to have children outside of marriage.
    • Much more likely to produce children with an absent father & repeat the cycle.
  2. The point of all the previous two points, is that statistically unmarried men are the root of nearly every societal problem. Just based on indisputable statistical facts, good government should always judge every law or policy on whether it supports marriage or whether it hinders marriage.
  3. Shouldn’t voters vote for candidates who say that every law & gov’t policy should be kept or dumped according to whether it supports or hinders marriage & healthy families?
  • According to “The Story of Liberty”; which is based on real historical truth, our US gov’t is the first in history to give so much liberty & the freedom to the “pursuit of happiness” to most of its citizens. It was a real revolution in human government, but it fell short of curing social ills, because government & education policies have helped destroy the family instead of encouraging & supporting it.

 

We need a new movement that demands that government work & understand its purpose is to protect, encourage, & strengthen the foundation of society (family) with permanently committed (married) fathers & mothers raising children who are happy, healthy, & able to repeat the same good cycle.

Consumption DYSfunction

 

Consumption is a key part of our life. Sure, you can be anti-consumption, but there is always going to be someone more militant against it than you! The kick back is because life isn’t all about that (but don’t alert the rest of the Americans). No, this isn’t a diatribe on the American economy (insert favorite pun jokes here)…it isn’t about a kinder, gentler earth…or even about the plight of mankind itself. This is actually about relationship (men, please come back!). Men, it’s safe on this one, not the touchy, feely stuff today. Consumption is a relationship to ourselves and what lies in the recesses of our hearts at times.

In my randomly unenlightened look back of history, it seemed that a majority of ‘the stuff’ was set aside for the kings and wealthy few (usually friends of the king). Even then there were pitfalls for the mighty. The king wakes up one day and says “oh, what do we haveth here!” to his servant. His servant replies, “it wouldst appear the evil king of the North stoketh the flame to cook thy head…my dear king!!” All the greats good and evil may have had good runs, but mostly ended in some sort of tragedy or scandal. The influence of each had its limits as well. The main point to draw out is consumption is quite temporary in our lives. Christmas is a prime example: when my daughter was little, she would be so excited…get the toys unwrapped, play awhile with them. Only hours later the cool looking box would be made into something else and it was kept longer than the toy itself!

I personally believe with all my heart we must enjoy our days on this planet. I see many people who never will be happy, and their lives reflect that. It is why we consume so much news. I am a recovered news junkie (and yes…politics too). I learned of both arenas: take 10 years off of all of it, come back in 10 years…still the same deal! It is quite similar to soap operas. I will be walking by a tv and see Victor and think ‘dang, that dude is still on there!’ We can all complain about media in every form, but at most levels it reflects who we are and want to be. If you want or need to be afraid, cable news is like a best friend to you! I have witnessed people who watch so much news they are practically afraid to leave the house. “If I am not careful how I drive to the grocery store, ISIS may find me”.

If we believe we are created and for purpose, how can we allow the madness to overtake us? We are here only because we are created. God designed us this way, to only be able to enjoy life in the balance of good things. If we are obsessive it becomes about me (most people’s favorite topic). Much like our pet dog chasing his tail around in a circle faster and faster! I do wonder what a dog thinks he will achieve in that little game he perpetuates. There is one man who lived thousands of years ago who was and is the king of indulgence and yes consumption. If you read all the words of King Solomon and Ecclesiastes, how could you be more of a consumer than he? Sure, in this modern era consumption is a different ballgame…but doesn’t it all boil down to the same soul holes? We look here and we look there, simply trying to enjoy our lives by pursuing more. Do you ever ask yourself ‘when am I satisfied?’

In this question is part of the dysfunction: why am I not satisfied yet? Human nature plays a part and even though we are born with it (and He created humans), is contrary to God’s nature. Can you see the need for dependency on Him in that? Oh, we all do it: ‘this is great, I want more and more of it’. This is the base operation within human nature for addiction, obsession, power, murder, and on she goes. This is leading to a question I have asked myself recently: why am I not content and enjoying life better? What do I feel is missing that I have to chase? If you are a Christian, these are tough questions to entertain! I find the hope in the examples of Solomon and Jesus. Solomon soaked it all in and found that his days were limited and God had the best plans. Jesus showed each of us how to live and love others with little focus on ourselves.

This is no doubt a big subject that may require more parts, but is a good stopping point to introduce what He may say with it. Thanks for reading!

Rootorch

 

These roots have pulled me down repeatedly. They are attached to my walk(ing) like a bungee cord is to my body. They stay nourished and draw life from me like a weed thieves life from an otherwise healthy plant. The toxins below the surface are hard to visualize. I have been pruned many times, but to no use…it produces its own off shoots! In many ways it makes me feel even less because I am without a core above the ground, but controlled by what is below. What the rich soil around me cannot accomplish is feeding my pure food. Everything is through these toxic roots that need uprooted first!

For so long I focused on what was the root of my problem. Now I, a weakened plant am immune to Miracle Grow and the normally adequate sources of water and sun. “If I can just get rid of these toxic roots that hold me down. Perhaps I will have to wait until my regeneration comes to be a whole and renewed plant.” So I walk on, but never too far as I rubber band back to the source roots. These source roots are different for each plant that is affected this way. All of our dark friends are here: fear, rejection, anger, lust, feeling invisible, unworthy…you know all those darkies and can add a hundred!

So I cry out to the Giver of my life: “Help me to remove these roots, I can’t move away from them!” I see His advice on what to do next. I hear a small voice say “build a fire”. I think to myself “that is a strange requirement to remove deep seated roots from me, that is for sure!” I honor the request honestly wondering how this will work. I stretch out my bungee like cord as far away from me as I can so as not to burn me…a tender plant in the process. I stand back as it burns. I look down in my normal posture…all these years I have focused down at these roots, the one thing that holds me here!! But the Giver speaks louder…”turn your gaze upwards My plant…see Me come!”

For the first time in many years I look up and see what is coming…I am struck with awe. An enormous hand reaches down from the heavens…I stretch my bungee in the opposite direction of the fire to be out of the way of everything coming. The Hand of the Giver powerfully plunges into the earth disturbing the soil all around my roots. He uproots them entirely freeing me from all these dark friends that took from me all these years. The bungee snaps and I feel a new freedom that I have never really felt! I am now free to dance in the wind, look up to the Son, and go everywhere He, the Giver takes me. The fire burning hotter than before consumes all the roots that used to be…me.

Directional Bearings Towed

 

“You must operate from the redeemed depths of your heart and not rely on your senses and what comes to them first” is what I hear Him saying today. For these weeks He has been working on my heart, my gifting’s sensitivities, and the process thereof. I sense He is teaching me what to trust in, and surprise…it’s not my feelings! It has been absolute rollercoaster bedlam! A flood of different, often disparaging, ugly, emotions flowing each and every way. This round He has definitely been working on my emotional rebuild. The other rounds were emotional, but not the focal point. I had read from one writer about burden bearing it can be equally high as it is low, and the enemy can be pushing from two sides at the same time!

I am a sucker for quoting a song when it does better than I am trying to communicate. I have a true guy room where I pray each morning. All the objects around it represent my life well. One wall is filled with pictures of Israel with verses on them, two other walls are vinyl records and cd album cover papers and also old school Christian metal ads. The fourth wall is lined with shelves full of CDs and cassettes. I have several small tables stashed with items along the journey from vacations, travels, and sentimental stuff. Not to be forgotten…Notre Dame stuff! Faith, music, and sports have always been big parts of living for me. Others may travel and do the social game, but I am content hanging at the pad these days spending time with the Lord, and then sports and Spotify as hobbies. He has really thinned my over loaded lifestyle the past few years, of which I am very grateful. Why should we kill ourselves for enjoyment? I just wanted to paint the picture before I quoted the song, I thought it a good rabbit to follow a bit.

It was Memorial Day yesterday, and I was needing to clean up this room after an entire winter of remodeling the basement around it. The dust created in the remodel was obnoxious! We did lots of custom wood cuts for the ceiling and TV center, and there was dust heavy on everything! My little room is so packed full of trinkets, it was a chore. I found the job therapeutic to being alone a good portion of the day. I see great value in being alone for bits when you are a burden bearer. I am enjoying pulling out classics from the cassette collection yesterday. I am amazed how He does this, but He will minister in a song that I have known the lyrics to for 30 years. Well…1991…pushing 25 anyhow. Hear me, I don’t resemble the Dana Carvey cranky old man character from Saturday Night Live…”in my day we…and we liked it by golly!” This is the era of music when Nirvana was tearing it up on the scene. I never was a fan of the grunge stuff, but I did like Alternative rock heavily in those days. One such act was L.S.U. (Life Savers Underground)-essentially Michael Knott. I was living a roller coaster day and the Lord spoke to me through his song titled ‘Chucky’…”and he says “tell me why, tell me why God gave me such an endless drive to fill my cup but my cup stays dry oh tell me tell me”. I might substitute one word in those lyrics to better describe my point…instead of endless drive I might go with endless job.

I would describe having an endless job as my entire life at one point. My painting profession felt like a laborious endless job with no relief. My first house was an endless job of projects (built in 1865). My tendency is to see the burden bearing gift as an endless job! I know that is patently untrue, but it isn’t a gift people are even praying for…come on man! What He did with music this day was actually speak through another song on the way to the song I wanted to hear. The title track is what was sticking in my head before I ever fired up the cassette player. ‘This is the Healing’-

You’ve tried to philosophize your pain

But the hurts in your heart

And not in your brain

You could be hit by the Spirit

And be made new

You thought heaven was a place one goes to

But this heaven on earth is true

Chorus: This is the healing

Give me tears from all your bitter years

This is the healing

Salt the wounds, the healing will come soon

 

The Word document count was exactly at 777, how cool is that? Something He has impressed upon me these couple of weeks is to not focus just on what I sense and feel alone, or it can drive me crazy. There must always be a raising of us above the fray, us asking to see what He sees each step of the way. I am seeing just how much a dependent I truly am. I further see that I held back parts of me from Him in how I approached people and things in general. I see that we do try and give what we have, but if our hearts are incomplete in healing, we are offering up a partial gift to people and Him. I would say obey when He says to give the partial, I know He did with me. I honor obedience above most anything else. He shows us in this process that He is always after a better heart! You and I will spend our lives in that pursuit brothers and sisters! I never realized how deep and complicated the heart truly is.

I was all over yesterday emotionally from bearing/ too heavy/ to suddenly free…to angry and to puzzled. Even after a long day of riding, He suddenly dropped on my spirit and I felt a wonderful weight of His burden of light on me. I stopped dead in that spot and just soaked in it. He assured me everything is for the journey and for better understanding. If we don’t understand what is Him and what is us, how do we know what is pleasing to Him? The end of the day was wonderful in worship and wonder. It made all the other totally worth it. He is showing me it isn’t all necessary!  I only have Him to depend on. When I overly focus on people, pleasing my family, my work, even my enjoyment…it all competes with His Presence, which is what we are wanting in our walk. The intimacy is what is missing from so many believers lives…period! If you’ve ever tried to hem in an animal that doesn’t want to be, you will understand the feeling I am describing here. We are often like a wild animal not wanting to be corralled, we run and strive after the wind thinking ‘we need, we need’… He knows how to constantly work at limiting our movement, but He wants us to listen to His voice in obedience. If you have ever worked with hogs you know what I mean! A hog is hard to stop when it has its’ mind made up and putting its’ weight behind it.

I am learning that the extreme emotional days do have a b.b. (burden bearing) purpose. One often finds this out at the end of a period. I have had this several times where I find out the pressure is coming from someone inside my inner circle. Living with the unknowns are fine for me, I like to leave some room for His mysteries and I think that is one thing that hinders some believer’s growth. We all have a fenced in area we have created for God, but the question always is…how far back are your fences you built? If we allow Him to be all He is, they are wide and rarely in sight. The b.b. has been coming during the day a lot, and when you are at work and going thru your day, it isn’t always easy for me to tune in to what needs burdened. I did have a friend tell me though….”it’s called multi-tasking brother”. Another friend uses a more harsh approach that his wife throws at him if he is being a whiner…”suck it up buttercup!”

This paragraph comes nearly two months later than the prior. It appears I have been busy in the learning process and a butt load of remodeling. I was remodeling in three places there for a while…too much to keep up with! I had two residents moving in the same week and plus my home project (which is still not done!). I am realizing the importance of gratitude in the journey. It must be a regular part of your walk and journey. We are blessed to be able to put every issue of our life before the Cross and work it out with Him, but how many of us are constantly gathering up new issues and bringing them in also?  He has wired us to walk in balance, but it seems like so often God has been reduced to ‘the Complaint Department Chairman’.

I am seeing that true burden bearing is rarely our own weight. We are certainly required to bear our own as it says in Galatians, which is something some people try and place on others. They are therefore unhappy. I testify that the most alive I have felt in the last year is when He gave me assignments while focusing on others with a heart to help them. It not only fulfills my purpose (which will always involve taking my eyes off of me and my problems), but helps others who, believe it or not may have real problems! He is faithful to teach us balance and what is our duty and what is our own stuff (and not). The enemy will keep you busy and you have to be on alert for his tactics. We must keep in our spirit that the enemy has a job to do and none of that is God’s fault. He has to allow in our free will some things for us to deal with, but He is not the cause of anything that is not good. I think too many believers do not see the enemy as he is…a roaring lion. I know I often get through a circumstance and think “man, the enemy was all in this mess!” I see the balance of life is to not get stuck in the past, but to always be learning from it. God has no limitations and we are to be seeking to live that way, fighting through what the enemy tries to place on us (lies). The Lord is glorified when everything points back to Him.

Something that He led me to spend some serious time in yesterday was in giving thanks. There is weight that comes off your spirit when you spend time in gratitude to Him. I keep a simple file that I add to regularly (should do more!) and that not only helps me practice gratitude, it also allows me to save it for the years ahead and look at all He has done. I started the first one four years ago, and sometime if I am feeling down a little or need to see evidence of His hand at work, I can look back at the file. We are prone to embroiling our spirit man from one battle to the next. We are embroiled, but the goal is to rest in Him as He does war. All He actually asks for is obedience and the focus on Him. That is easy, right? If it was everybody would be doing it!!! Adam and Eve were distracted and little has changed in that department in these Millenniums since. It appears to me our hearts are continually restless and compartmentalized. What we think we want doesn’t come the way we thought it would. We respond to the feelings of not being in control. We test even His best gifts in our corrupted nature.

The goal in this point of my personal journey is to remain in His balance. The heavy stuff can last too long, and the good experiences feel fleetingly quick! In this process I feel zapped of energy often, but I know He is trying to show me how to renew. I know what I am, a feeler with an analytical mind (haha, the best of both freakin’ worlds!). That alone can keep you bound tight around a circle that seems never ending.

Update:  I find the daily battles becoming not so heavy as I submit fuller to Him. The more we allow Holy Spirit to do His part (helper), it changes our makeup and our spirits. Good burden bearing is a journey to useful gift…not merely a burden. There will be times of adjustment to learning and seasons where He will draw you into more relationship building.

Ditchin’ Cargo!

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is one about are ‘overloaded’ lives…there will be a part 2 someday…lots more can flow out!

 

The Word says to ‘bear one another’s burdens’, but what does that truly mean? I do not believe He desires us to wander aimlessly with burdens loaded onto our ship on the sea of life. Like every stereotypical pirate you can envision, there will be people adding cargo to your hull while you are busy steering your Life Ship. Can you see the wooden crafted cargo boxes? Clearly labeled home life, work life, friends/relationships (close friends a separate box), husband/wife, mom/dad, and many more add to each day’s existence. I do not want to create an overwhelming sense here, just what happens honestly. I know for a burden bearer like myself, people can be highly draining and truly un-giving in nature. It seems like spiritual common sense to take these to the Cross. Accomplishing that is not always free of challenge and stormy seas!

Beyond the clearly labeled boxes are the less definitive ones we process each day. You could say that each of these boxes is a derivative of the clearly marked ones. These boxes I would think of as things like ‘mental battles’, ‘spiritual warfare’, and ‘heart issues’. You may have more sources in your world. The directive of this writing is to explore these many cargo boxes of our life, taking honest inventory of what can go into the hull and what goes overboard (thus the title)! I won’t say this is everybody, but I find myself angry when I have a load of false burdens placed on me…especially when it is bluntly someone else’s darn responsibility. Can the arms of your own physical body give their load to the legs? The Body of Christ is designed by God to have each part holding its’ proper weight…not everybody else’s overflow. Only when He tells us to burden are we to burden (and how long too).

Amidst any shipment of cargo is usually some marked…you guessed it…fragile! In our personal ship’s cargo what would ‘fragile’ boxes represent in our walk? Fragile might represent a lot of different things to believers all around the world. Some that seem to come to me off the top are: un-forgiveness, undealt with sin, physical health challenges, financial problems, and extreme living conditions just to name a few. I imagine almost everybody reading this has dug in to help someone in their struggles and found some root issues causing problems. No man walks the earth without having a form of fragility in their lives. Some of these fragile boxes need broken open to deal with all contents! Some people need counseling to get past a fragile box. The Lord will help you with many of these issues in your life. At times He is waiting for us to roll up our sleeves and get to work!

These cargo boxes remind us of how truly short life is. We need to get past our issues by diligence to the Word, prayer, and repentance. Time with the Lord fixes many issues people have. His desire is to draw us into a deeper place with Him! His nature does not change, but He does move. We need to be in pursuit of Him, surrendering every cargo issue we have. Our dreams fade when we fail to move and pursue Him. Following a hard stretch, many dreams can hatch from the hand of God. He wants us to believe that He has huge plans in our lives (most of which we cannot receive naturally). Did anyone look at a young David confronting Goliath and say “now there goes a young man with great spirit that I can see God working through!” David had already dealt with some of his challenges protecting sheep, and God was about to bring unfathomable dreams into his world that no one saw coming! He in wisdom rejected the oversized armor and used what God told him to (5 stones). In spite of continual fragile boxes in David’s life, God used him mightily to be the father of a great Son! The Son of David was given to Christ as a title. For someone with some tough cargo, that is a lofty title!

 

 

Thank you readers! And…new stuff.

Wanted to take a quick minute and thank anyone who has read what God has gifted through me. I have always said if one person reads and is blessed it is worth the work! It reminds me of the Body of Christ…believers need each other…and so do writers. I admit my need for people here, which is not always my strongest suit in the deck. Here are some of my other things going on…

rawwritersblock2.wordpress.com ….coming soon is stories written by kids! Title page is up now also

rawwritersblock3.blog…this is the stories spot about interesting people and their spiritual journeys…

rawwritersblock7.wordpress.com….during certain times He gives me ‘words’ for the Body of Christ as a whole…encouragement if you will

 

Staying In Winter

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This one was written in September, but makes it’s debut in Summer about Winter…go figure!

It is not quite time to look outside for landscape inspiration in describing the title. It is but mid-September, the leaves have barely begun to change following one of the Midwest’s mildest summers in my memory bank anyway. Though we go through a winter each year we live, I find it difficult to spend too much mental energy on deep frost and ice-infested trees when it is sunny and 80 degrees! While we all have our winter memories (at least those of us north of certain latitude points!) of blizzards, playing in deep snow with friends/family, and the beauty of frost perfectly outlining the trees…it takes a certain mental effort to relive those moments on a sunny day. I hear some complain of winter coming at all before it even starts!

I am one to take ten below over forty and raining any day! Wet and cold should be outlawed. I have imagined a second story deck over the one end of our house since we bought it. I want an enclosed room to enable us to enjoy the view of all the weather, all year long. The place I work owns the adjoining property and has woods/pond/etc….a nice view from the back porch in the warm months. In the winter, a little tough! I think He wired us to enjoy everything as it is. My dream is still alive for an upper room to watch the winter days! HQ is getting closer to agreement if the deck connects to the porch and the pool! The main point here is that we honestly miss the bird’s eye view of winter’s awesomeness! In reading through this, keep your mental imagery of a majestic winter handy for reference.

Regardless of where you live, there are seasonal differences in the winter season. Natural processes created by the Creator that sustain new life in the spring. Dormancy serves a most important function to bring death and resurrection to green life. While it may be difficult to stay awake late in the evening, watching one of the nature documentaries about the coming of winter in a land far North does grab my imagination with wonder. So many processes go on without human hands! Is it not so much like Him to bring life from death? Aren’t the winter processes so much like the human ones? I am certain I will only scratch the surface of these concepts, but I can’t help but see their relationships.

It is my contention that we are to stay in the process we are in until He finishes it. We must do our co-laboring and not be stagnant…that is true. If the ‘door of spring’ ain’t open yet, whatcha gonna do? You best stay in Him in winter! A question just came to me, perhaps someone else will have wondered it too before this point even…what is the difference between winter and wilderness? I may trip over the answer at first, but I give you an initial stab anyway. I can say with certainty I have been in the depths of both winter and wilderness. I view wilderness as an all-out time of testing and weighing our hearts…a time appointed by the Lord…maybe only a one time life event. With winter, it has its’ place in each round. The process stays the same…the leaves fall off/plants die out…the deep freeze comes…giving birth to fresh seeds of life in the warm months.

When you are in wilderness, you are searching for any sign of a daggone season…that I found out for sure. The seasons are natural, and during wilderness we wander around seeking a normal. For me, it was His way of forcing me out of the normal rut to seek Him deeper. I truly believe that some get hung up on philosophy and theology in ‘the deeper’. If two people are wanting to date each other, don’t they spend quality time together? Let’s say the guy reads all her Facebook stuff and reads up on everything he can get ahold of about her. He talks to all sorts of other people about what she likes and dislikes, her habits, and her whole life. If the guy now comes to the girl and says “I feel like I know you now”, would that qualify as a relationship? I doubt the girl now feels like she is in a relationship when the two have not spent any quality time together!

God wants relationship with us above all else, and a deeper one. Many people know about God as if quoting an encyclopedia unfortunately. Most unbelievers I have come across aren’t looking for an ‘I know’ attitude, just love and acceptance to lead them to God. The depth of our relationship with God helps us with each season of life. I would have given a lot to know 25 years ago what I know now. He is a wonderfully deep mystery, and if our heart is to know Him, He will share some of that mystery with His creation! He shows us contentment for each season of our walk. If we know Him, we know when to move forward and how to get answers in prayer.

In every natural process does winter not lead to life? The seeds came from plants that died in order to release them. In each believers walk, there will be times we need to allow some plants (and weeds) to die for a new birthing…for fresh seeds to enter the soil. He is gracious enough to harvest some weeds with ‘our best at the moment’. I wonder if He has to push through from where we are at sometimes. He knows the process must continue. Do we not (deep) in our spirits know what causes the weeds? Not just the sins we commit…the mouth always has something to say…and our compartmentalized hearts have areas in need of bright light! I know these fingertips are much fuller of grace than my mouth in the moment is. The past four paragraphs cover a 45 minute span, which kept my tongue put away!!

The Word says that the power of life and death are in the tongue. In the last year He has literally shown me how important that is. When I get upset at work with ‘the man’ and start in…the power of life is fleeting. I notice a shift in my attitude when I speak that about others and over myself. When we speak about others as if they are not there, we do just that…invite the power of death. We had opportunity to speak life over it and did what most of us do, let the darker parts of our heart come out. I speak not of heart and tongue issues because I have stumbled down the rabbit trail, but because they are the weeds that need to die in winter. Unlike the natural process, the same weeds return in the spring until we repent and renew. I know I have that burning need at times to have an enemy!  We like reasons for things being wrong, and being able to assign them to another person/people is even better!

Is life ‘falling apart at the seams’ or is He bringing you down where you need to be? He needs you in a place of His choosing. There are times and seasons when we struggle to follow Him, holding onto control, sin entanglements, and myriads of issues that hold us back from His perfect will. Even in these moments we sometimes dare ask Him what’s wrong! The Holy Spirit is so important in hearing what is good reduction and what is us in the way. The Holy Spirit does not lead us anywhere we don’t need to go. My biggest blessings of life came after the hard seasons were in the books. I confess that I added fuel to a self-inflicted fire at times, but after smoke and flame He came! He shows us life on our own terms, guiding to His pathway without being able to lean on our own understanding. This is the entirety of the conceptual winter, not being led by our own anxiousness/pushing, but alone in His leading. He wants us to confess it was Him alone who built it and brought it to be.

If you’ve traveled outside your town at all, you’ve noticed the different paces of life people live. There are different levels here in America from the country, to small town, small city, and big city. Traveling to other cultures/countries we further notice the differences of pace and lifestyle. Staying in winter is harder in some cultures/cities, this I have noticed over time. God wants our main influence to be in deep relationship with Him alone. This has zero to do with your church, family, and other factors. You must work through those in getting to His rest, but not be held back by them. If something catastrophic were to take place and you could not leave your house, would it change your relationship with Him? The lack of fellowship issues aside, what you truly have is that prayer closet time with Him each day. Your quiet time should be your most coveted treasure. These essential times carry you during good times and harder ones. It is similar to what Paul says about learning contentment with little or much!

I am utterly dependent to do my writing. Regardless of reasons why, I have to go with the flow of the Spirit or these letters on the keyboard are not bouncing! One of the best prayers for ourselves is to experience a winter and a wilderness to shape a better journey forward. After Jesus received his water baptism where did he go right away? He went to 40 days of temptation/wilderness. Perhaps it was so we wouldn’t have to go through quite what the Israelites went through. He always seemed to be improving the process of grace. If you’ve ever been in the wilderness spiritually, you may sign up for only 40 days…I would have!! The Spirit must lead everything in our lives. He will always lead, but how well do we follow? We naturally fight winter and wilderness, that is not what our culture encourages. It goes against the ‘pull yourself up by…’ that has been so engrained in our psyche.

A rogue agent roams the pathways with us mercilessly taking and never giving more. It presses us into service like slaves with no say, and has us making snap judgments before prepared. Our memories are the vapors of its proof of existence! Without those memories it would be like trying to prove the wind to a blind person inside a house. This trait-less agent we all know…it is the great undefeated master over our daily lives…it is time. Time is purely undefeated. ESPN has cycled around a phrase “time is undefeated” in referring to athletes getting older and battling injuries. The only entity higher than time itself is of course the Lord. In spite of hundreds of attempts at time machine concepts in movies, books, and games…time walks away with not so much as a scratch.

The importance of time and winter is how well it is woven together. In the natural, what usually happens to plants that bloom before the last few snows of the season? If we have a few frosts and snows to go, they may not make it at all. God prepares each season for us, and we do NOT have the spiritual right to move ahead of Him before He gives you the ok. It might drive you half-crazy waiting until the right moment, but He always has reasons to keep you safe under His wings for the set time. Our relationship to God is in many ways judged according to…you guessed it…time. We are not free agent athletes looking for the best $ deal! God fired our agents because they were mouthy and getting in His way! We must not only bloom where we are planted, but be diligent to wait for the seeds to come out of the dead plant to get the cycle started again for ‘the next season’.

I find myself the least desirable when I am blown away by time. Humans in today’s world have far too many things pushed onto our overflowing plates! It is important for us to ask Holy Spirit often to help us in making the little decisions that add up to the bigger decisions. When I get overran with responsibilities and take on more than I am supposed to, I can go into an automatic mode that just orders things (but in the flesh). It helps when we see that coming to pray “Holy Spirit help me with this process”! It is easy for us to forget that we work for the Highest Power in the known universe. He is above humanity, time, and all physical existence. He already knows it all. That is worthy of repeating…He already knows it ALL! He wants all our praise, honor, and gratitude besides. Though we are so small in the scheme of things, He personalizes life for each one of us. Across billions of people no two are truly the same. To close, a phrase He shared in my spirit that often helps me untangle…”He doesn’t change, but we always should”.