Monday, September 28, 2020

Maybe it's okay that I'm not okay!




 I've been trying my hardest to do that which goes against every fiber of my being and experiences in life, which is what every believer is asked to do, T R U S T   G O D.  Some of us grew up in homes where trust was a foreign language.  Some of us grew up in homes where we held on to the walls of the house with a vice-like grip, because we didn’t know when the next time the bottom was going to fall out.  My entire childhood was like that.  It seemed each year got worse from nine years old and up, until I was eighteen, and I could get the heck out of there. Recently, I heard a sermon about how a woman gets her sense of being loved by GOD through her father and later her husband. Oh, brother, I can attest that to be the absolute truth. 

If her father showered love and confidence in who she was, and her husband did likewise, then she can easily see a loving GOD doing the same thing.  Trusting Him would be a piece of cake.  If a woman is spoken kind to and affirmed and shown unconditional love by her husband, she is able to be confident in the LORD in almost anything. On the other hand, for a woman who has gripped the walls all her life because the bottom always fell out, and there was no loving fatherly figure in the background, or loving faithful husband present or past accounted for,  it is impossible for her to conceive of a loving GOD.  Sure, she can believe the words on the pages of the Bible, but believing them and feeling them are sometimes on the opposite spectrum of experiences.  I don’t like to harp on my pitiful experiences, my life’s traumas when the bottom kept falling out, because it seems like I’m seeking pity.  I’m not seeking PITY, what I’m seeking is understanding.  Unless you’ve walked through or lived in the fiery furnace of afflictions for decades, you can’t possibly begin to fathom the never ending hurt and fear that takes a hold and control of a person’s psyche. 
The stuff started hitting the fan for me when I was only in first grade.  My home was far from a loving home. We weren’t a stable family by any stretch of the means.  Our mother was a mess, our father was absent, (because our mother made sure to keep it that way), we siblings had to learn, survival of the fittest.  Those the toughest were able to take the pain of it all and stuff it, while the black sheep of the family only made matters worse by expressing it, because stuffing it wasn’t an option.  Guess who that was!  The trauma finally ended when I went to college, and those were some great years.  I had my first love, first experience with someone who actually just loved me, PERIOD.  It wasn’t because I did anything special, he just loved me.  Those were wonderful years, and then being the unstable girl I was, I threw that all away. 




I don’t have any regrets, because I believe in the Absolute Sovereignty of GOD.  I believe that His hand guides us with every step we take, and HE sets us on the path that He had already ordained for us before the creation of the world.  Although, we weren’t believers when we got together and got married and first became parents, we became believers soon after that.  It didn’t make the marriage a lot better, but it did make it more tolerable.  We were getting along like any normal family, struggling, but holding each up, that was until the bottom of the bottom fell out.  The problem here was that the bottom never stopped falling out, each year, a different trauma, a more devastating loss, a worse crisis until it consumed our marriage and our marriage succumbed to the cancer in the church called D-I-V-O-R-C-E. 

I have already touched upon this subject several times in my other blog posts, so, I’m not going to beat a dead horse, but what I will say is that no one in the church in a stable marriage is capable of handling, counseling, empathizing, or dealing with this properly, because they haven’t walked that road.  No advice is the best advice, and for PETE’S SAKE, do not reprimand the person, especially the victim. Stop comparing him or her to far superior examples in the Bible.  There is a reason they made the Bible, and that is because they had victory, they handled some things better than others could, or GOD gave them deliverance.  Sure, it’s easy to look back and handle things better after deliverance, but while we are in the fire, getting scorched, do not turn up the heat, lest we just may breathe fire out of our nostrils and burn you in the process. 

Last night, someone did that. He compare Job to me and how Job handled his trauma’s with near perfection. This person claimed to know the Bible cover to cover.  He claimed that Job never sinned in his suffering, that he never questioned GOD's justice, or AND that he never blamed GOD for his calamity.  I asked him, from which Bible did you get that, because the one I’ve been studying for 31 years, says quite the opposite.  None of Job’s traumas were because of sin, but they surely did bring out the sinful nature in Job while he suffered horrendous circumstances, I dare say NONE of us could bear.  If you don’t believe me, do what I did one weekend.  Get a notebook and copy down in that notebook every word Job said.  It is an eye-opener.  (Job says GOD shattered him.)    We tend to get lost in the dispassionate reprimands of Job’s attackers, and we focus too much of defending Job from his attackers, rather than really looking as his response. (Job feels insulted by his friends and GOD)  We  lose sight of what Job really said.  Chapter 2 says, in all that, Job did not curse GOD.  Sure, that’s right, he didn’t, up until chapter three when the lamenting and cursing the day he was born, began.  Then a whole new Job took over and he shook his fist at GOD for the next 36 chapters. Several Scriptures, including the two linked ones I included in this Twitter confrontation.  This person absolutely refused to accept the truth, but continued to "rebuke" me for how I was handling my pain.  Then this person rebuked me for my response to his/her rebuking.  Of course it was an anonymous account, because these people are too shameful to show their faces.    



     I get a kick out of every pastor under the sun misquoting Job 13:15, saying we should take the same approach.  Every person just skips over the entirety of that verse, and preaches the good stuff as if the  second half of the Scripture didn't exist.    Read those words,  “Nevertheless, I will defend myself to His face!” (NKJV).   Stop listening to your pastors, only, and break open your Bibles yourselves and search.  The narrative about Job handling his traumas with near perfection is about as FAKE NEWS as CNN could possibly report.   GOD did eventually call Job on it high and mighty fist shaking at GOD,  at the end, but not until after Job spilled all his anguish publicly, I might add,   over his pain and suffering.  Guess who wasn’t mad at Job, yes, that’s right, GOD was not angry.  He was about to hit Job with some serious truth as to Who He was and who Job was in comparison to Him.  That whipped him into shape, but fast.

Let me add, GOD rebuked Job.  No stranger on any social media site has any right to rebuke you. They will throw in some caring and concern and compassion with the Bible verses they weaponize, just so it dresses up their rebuke.  That's like throwing dog poop in a cupcake wrapper with frosting on top of it.   They'll tell you Scripture says they are to correct and rebuke. Do not believe them. Scripture does not give these church people carte blanche to rebuke every stranger all around the globe, but they can only deal with those in their own congregation.  See 1 Corinthians 5.  Just because   GOD compared Job to Himself.  That doesn’t give ANYONE else the right to do the same to any brother or sister currently suffering as a crispy critter. 
Church people, stop telling bruised reeds how they should survive, heal, behave, think, or feel, because you have no rights to do so, and nine times out of ten your bad advice was unsolicited.  Jesus never beat up on those who were already beating up on themselves, rather he beat up on those who were beating up on the bruised reeds.  Jesus knocked down the standing, but lifted the fallen.  My friends, GO and do likewise. 

You don’t know how that person feels, you don’t know the struggles they’ve had to overcome just to get this far, because my “brother/sister,” that person is a complete stranger to you.  By claiming to know ANYTHNG about them is the same thing as Lucifer claiming to be like the Most High, and we all know where that got him.  You don’t know their heart, you don’t know their past, you don’t know their successes, you don’t know there failures, you don’t know their pain, UNLESS you’ve walked in the exact same kind.   If GOD gave your deliverance, then encourage that person that GOD will likely deliver them.  We don’t know for sure, but share your story of deliverance.  If you want to give them Bible verses, give them one of the 7,474 promises in the Bible, and I’mNOT talking about Jeremiah 29:11, you can knock that over-used promise off your list, bringing it down to about 7,473, or 7,472 if you are wise enough to knock Romans 8:28 off the list of potentials. 

If you are the type to have to always go in and “solve” someone’s problem, practice self-control and move on, because you will likely make the pain worse, the self-degradation worse, and the last thing a broken vessel needs is a worthless glue of guilt that will stick more to their cracks, keeping them from becoming whole and one piece, again.  Of the Spiritual Gifts  the Holy Spirit gives us, if you don’t have Mercy, then move on.   


To my fellow bruised reeds out there, it's okay that you’re  not okay, and anyone who comes along, especially a church pew warmer with their unsolicited “rebuke/advice,”  do your best to just thank them, and move on, don’t even give them the time of day. GOD knows what's in our hearts, before we even form the words in our brains.  As a matter of fact, GOD knows them even better than we do.  I promise you, there is NOTHING you can say to GOD that will chase Him away, nothing!  Prayer isn't us informing GOD of our needs and pain, it's GOD helping us discover them, so we can learn from them, deal with them, and grow from them.  We cannot hide things from GOD, but sometimes, He hides the solutions from us, until we are good and ready to hear the answer, see the answer, or even understand the answers.  I take longer than most, in fact, most times,  I wonder why GOD would pick someone who is not only not the sharpest knife in the draw, but even as a butter knife, she doesn't get the job done.  You’d think after dozens upon dozens of Twitter fight with modern-day, know-it-all 21st Century Pharisees, you’d think I would know where this next one will go, ALSO!  

As of today, my practice will be that instead of trying to educate a hypocrite, a Pharisee, a stubborn-has-to-be-right-all-the-time Eliphaz, Bildad, Shuhite, and Zophar,  I’ll just thank them, and if they insist on making themselves look so much superior, I will just block them. Those kinds of people do not have teachable hearts.  They don’t want to find out what’s really wrong with you, they just want to tell you what they say is wrong with you.  I got in my last Twitter fight with one last night, and that will be my last one.

One last thing for today’s Job’s accusers, reading this, choose your words carefully, because even if you think you’re admonishing someone, many times, a bruised reed will complete break with your “admonishment,” because to them, it’s another rebuke of failure coming right at them.  Believe me, they already feel like a total loser, you don’t have to compare them to a superior Bible hero and make them feel ten times worse.


Saturday, September 26, 2020


NEWS FLASH:
LIFE DOES NOT BEGIN AT CONCEPTION!


I just got blocked by an anti-abortion church pew warmer because I shamed her with the truth of the Bible.  Church people are so full of themselves shaming people outside of the church, that when someone on the inside points out a truth in the Bible they never considered, what do they do?  They respond the way any evil leftist would, they block the person because the truth hurts.  They claim to have the only truth, but when proven wrong, well, that's just too much for them to handle.  This is not a rare occasion for me.  I get blocked by church people a lot, mainly because there is no one who hates the truth more than a Biblically illiterate, pious, holier-than-thou hypocrite who sits in a pew for 90 minutes every Sunday.  
I saw this hateful tweet after Amy Comey Barrett was announced as President’s Trump Supreme Court nominee that said,  “Say good-by to your abortions, whores!”  My reply was, “I’m just going to assume that you’re not a Christian by the evidence of this Tweet, because I don’t recall Jesus calling any women whores, not even the one caught in adultery." (BTW, where was the man?  A blog post for another day!)    Her reply to me was, “I don’t think Jesus would mind me trying to save babies.”  Where her logic of calling these women whores was saving their babies behooves me.  
    When I accurately explained to her that “abortions” were performed by GOD in the Old Testament and by the millions, and gave her examples, she quickly blocked me.  Why would she block someone who spoke the TRUTH about FACTS in the Old Testament if one is claiming to be a Christian?  Do I need to explain that to you?  If don’t understand this, then please do look up Matthew 7, the WHOLE chapter.  Who was Jesus speaking to?  Was he addressing people outside of the Law? No, he was speaking to people INSIDE of the Law, his own people.  Who do you think Jesus would be speaking this chapter to today, those outside of the church? No, I dare say he would be saying this IN the churches today. Who would be the hearers?  Would they be people outside of the church walls? Or would they be the people sitting in the pews, trapping the Gospel inside of four walls, holding it hostage, keeping it from the people who need it, because those people do NOT fit their narrative of who belongs in their exclusive group. 
Enough of beating up hypocritical self-righteous, pious haters, now, I’m going for the jugular of the church, so you better buckle up, because what I’m about to say will NOT be wearing its Sunday best.  You who “hate” abortions, who demand that it stop, who call others murderers who are outside of the church and use abortion as a means of birth control, because they haven't been shown the truth you choose to ignore.  I’m talking to you!  I’m a New Englander, straight from Massachusetts, where the F word is seven out of the eight parts of speech, so I’m going to give it to you straight.  If you yourself are married and having sex and using birth-control, then SHUT UP!  You have nothing to say to these people.  Shame on you!  You say life begins at conception, right? Well, I say that you are wrong and so does the Bible.  Life begins at Genesis 1:22, 28, and 8:17, 9:1, 9:7, and a host of too many Bible Scriptures to list.  You might want to look those verses up, and then find some more, because you are murdering life preconceived.    
In an earlier post, I wrote that birth-control was the mother of abortion, and it’s true.  When GOD says something once, we should take notice, when He says something twice, we should stand up and take notice, but when He says it MULTIPLE times, we need to stand up and do what He says. (Pun intended.)  Life doesn’t begin at conception, it begins in the heart, it begins at the marriage ceremony where two lives become one-flesh, a new life, a new family.  That is where life begins.  Life begins at pre-conception, when a man and a woman marry and want to obey GOD and bring life forth into this world.  That is where life begins.  If two people who claim to be Godly people, who want to be fruitful for the Kingdom choose not to be fruitful in the womb, then I say there is something amiss here.  It would have to be a rare exception, and placed there by GOD.  I don’t recall any couples in the Bible that GOD brought together and said, “Okay, get married, but don’t have children, because I have a different thing, I want you to do.”  When two people get married under GOD, then shouldn’t life and the creation or prevention of life be His choice?
Now, on to where GOD committed abortions in the Old Testament.   Again, there are too many Scriptures to list, but let me begin with his first act of “abortion.”  Let’s begin in the land of Sodom and Gomorrah   It is in chapter 19 of Genesis, 19 by the way means Divine Judgment, in Hebrew.  You may want to read that account.  Oh, but that’s doesn’t count, they were wicked people, right?  Really, get a grip, were they all grown men?  I think NOT.  There were undoubtedly men, women, children and pregnant women in that city.  Were the children wicked? Were the babies in utero wicked?  I would think not. Yet, GOD destroyed ALL of the inhabitants of the city.  Again, in Exodus chapter 11, GOD killed ALL of the first born in Egypt.  It doesn’t say he only killed the first-born males all grown up, it says ALL the first born. Do you suppose there were some first born women, pregnant women? Do you suppose there were first born children?  I would think there were. What about the city of Jericho?  Did God tell Joshua to spare the children, the women or the pregnant women?  I dare say, no, again. 
In chapter 23, of Exodus, GOD told Moses that He would “wipe-out” the peoples in the nations that GOD planned to send the Israelites to live and take possession of the land.   The Hebrew word,   kachad ( כָּחַד)  means to annihilate. Did GOD only annihilate the men, the soldiers? Or did He annihilate the women, children and pregnant women also?  Last, but not least, GOD told Moses, Joshua, King Saul, and David among others to KILL and destroy entire nations  of pagans, including the women and children.  And when they did not obey GOD to kill all these, they suffered the consequences.  (See Numbers, Joshua, Judges, and give them a good read.)  Look what happened when they did not completely destroy all the people in those nations GOD commanded that they destroy. Eventually, the Israelites began to adopt their ways, their wickedness, rebellion, and idolatry, even sacrificing their own children in the fires to Molech.  That disobedience ended up ending them for thousands of years.  The book of Judges is a very dark book, if anyone hasn’t read it, Judges 21 will turn your stomach. 

So, why did GOD annihilate these people? Doesn’t that seem so cruel?  We cannot comprehend GOD and His ways, because we don’t have the capability to think the way He does. (Isaiah 55:8-9) Yet, GOD even explained to them why He commanded them to destroy all the peoples in those nations, men.  Women, pregnant women, and children. He knew that bad company corrupts good character (1 Corinthians 15:33).  Sadly  they did not listen.  Let me ask you, of the nations that GOD commanded they annihilate, do you suppose He knew that there were were there pregnant women and children?  I will tell you, yes in fact He did know. 
Let’s observe the reason.  I’m going to go into some statistics here, so get your math-hat on and do some “ciphering” with me.  Is GOD cruel?  No, GOD is not cruel, GOD is all-wise and all-knowing.  What is the chance of a child growing up to become Godly adults, in a nation of adults who sacrifice its own children to the false god Molech, by burning them in a fire?  Slim to none.  These children that GOD “wiped out” were children that GOD was saving by killing them.  He saved those babies in utero by killing them.  You see folks, it’s NOT ever about being born, it is always about where you end up after you are born, grow, and then die.  GOD knew that these children would grow up just like their parents and perish with them. 

Now, let’s do some modern-day statistics and probability thinking.  If an unsaved woman, who is evil to the core has the baby you demand that she is pregnant with, what’s the chance of that child growing up to become a Christian?    I’ll give you my guess, maybe one  in thousand chances.  I can say that comfortably because I am the only born-again Christian in my entire line.  I don’t know of a single cousin, aunt, uncle, grandparent, great-grandparent, sibling or parent on both sides of my family or even my husband’s family  that is a born-again, lover of Jesus. As far as I know, from way back generations, I am the only one.  Why GOD chose me, that I cannot tell you, but He did.  Grace comes to us, we don’t go looking for GOD. Nephilim still exist today, folks, they just aren't gigantic but their evil is.  These people on the left, we’ve seen, as of late are so demonic-filled, that their behavior has shocked the entire world with evil beyond our imagination.  We have seen these people do some of the most evil, vile, heinous things as of late with all the rioting, and killing of innocent by-standers. There seems to be no limit to their evil, this political season.  I think the devil is running scared, and he is really fired up.  These are his minions.  If these people were “forced” to have their babies, do you think that their babies would grow to become loving, Godly, law-abiding adults?  Did most of these vile people come from loving, Godly homes?  I dare say, the majority did not. They are anarchists who were raised in Godless homes. 
What about the millions of aborted babies? Whether you believe life begins at conception or when the brain is developed bears no consequences on the truth? Those aborted fetuses are now with Jesus.  Had they been born, very few would ever have been saved.  My personal view, not based on fact, but based on my four miscarriages is that a soul isn’t created until the brain forms.  I’m just stating my experiences, because all my miscarriages were very early in development.  Even those aborted zygotes and embryo’s were not guaranteed to be born anyway.  Miscarriages are so commonplace; many women don’t even know that they miscarried before they even knew they were pregnant.  Again, I’m basing that on my first miscarriage, which I did not know about until my second.    The pregnancy test said negative, but on the second one, three years later, when the pregnancy test said positive, I experienced the exact same physical manifestation as I did three years prior.  Without getting into some really gross detail, the evidence was physical and quite fleshly, and that is all I will say about that. Most women will understand what I’m hinting about, because those who have experienced miscarriages, understand what happens when the body expels the flesh that was not meant to be. 


So, am I pro-abortion?  To a degree, yes, I am for some. For some lives conceived, it's best they not be born.  Solomon seems to agree here, and he was the wisest king on earth.   Do I approve of abortion?  NO of course not, however, GOD does not approve of a woman who sits in a pew every Sunday, who claims to be a Christian, claiming to be  saving babies by calling other women outside of the faith, whores.  Let him who is without sin cast the first stone, church people.  Romans 2 says you have no right to judge anyone else, and 1 Corinthians 5 1, says you have no right to judge anyone outside of the church, either.  You may want to look those up, also.  I'm not only anti-abortion, for innocent lost people, I'm anti-birth-control for Christians.  That is where I believe the real sin of selfishness is conceived. 
Now, to all you women and men out there who are using birth-control, you are killing any pre-conceived babies that GOD could have created within your “Godly” marriage, therefore, you are without excuse. You allegedly know the Bible and the command GOD gave His people to go forth and multiply, being fruitful and filling the earth.  As far as I can recollect, that command has never been rescinded, but the New Testament church seems to believe, “Well, we are under grace, therefore if we choose NOT to have babies, that’s our choice."  Yes, that is  true and  that may be, but you are still using your free will to kill life, even if it’s preconceived, just as much as those who are conceived are dying by the millions.  You can refer back to my previous post about birth-control being the mother of abortion for more details.   Prepare to be Offended
I’m not telling anyone here to stop using birth control, that is your free will choice to have or not have babies.  What I’m telling you anti-abortion church people spilling out all your hate and pious judgment is  to SHUT UP,  you have no rights here.   Now, if that gets me kicked out of the church, well, the way the church is today, I will consider that an honor from GOD.  Stone me if you want to, after all, Allen means stone!


Monday, September 7, 2020



Dog and Cat Christianity

      Recently, I have acquired a dog.  I didn't expect this, but GOD knew I needed her.  I have always had cats, but never really had a dog for any length of time,  because I had a husband who hated dogs.  The husband left a few years ago, and GOD brought me a dog, not just for company, but to help me heal and give me some teachable moments. So, now having had both, cats and dogs, I've noticed a parallel between cats and dogs and Christians.    


      Some dogs are easily excitable and not terribly obedient.  They pull on their leashes, trying to pull their masters in the direction they want to go. They will jump all over anyone new, or bark incessantly  with the intent to scare the snot out of people who are unfamiliar to them.  Too many dog owners do not know how to train their dogs or have breeds that are not easily trainable.  
      The Lord saw fit this time that I should have a purebred German Shepherd, which is the most trainable and some would say, the most intelligent of all the species.  This type of dog will cling to one person in the household and become that person's shadow, following wherever their master goes, wanting always to please their master. All day long, she lays at my feet, patiently waiting for me to give her my attention.  Regardless of the time of day or night, when I whisper her name, the ears go up, she rises and waits to hear what is coming next with her tail wagging. 
       Although, she tends to pull a bit on her leash on our walks, when reprimanded, will slow down and walk right by my side, in step with me.  When I do let her run ahead, it's in a controlled environment, and she happily runs, free and beautiful in her stride.  The moment she gets too far ahead of me, though, she stops on her own, looks back to see where I am, and waits for me to catch up with her.  I don't have to tell her to stop, she does it automatically so that I am always in sight and close. 
Beloved, are you starting to see the parallel?  We pull on the leash that GOD has put on us, trying to rush ahead of His plan or drag Him along with the path we want to take.  He pulls back on the choker-collar, but we pull all the more, because we want what we want, and we haven't learned the self-control of just walking by His side.  The harder we pull, the more strangulated we become, and still, we insist on having our own way.
 Sometimes, we jump all over new believers or visitors in our churches or people who show even the slightest interest in Christianity. Many times, we end up clawing them unintentionally, and they back off, deciding it's not for them.  Sometimes, we will bark at non-believers, with the intent to scare the "hell" out of them by being all hellfire and brimstone, letting them know all that they are doing wrong.  Many times we even attack each other and create dog fight after dog fight among the brethren, because we are "different" species. 
When we are properly trained, and that takes time, we learn to walk right by GOD's side, waiting for the go ahead to run up ahead of Him, happily making ground in a beautiful stride.  When we know that we've gone far enough, we will stop, turn back and make sure that GOD is still with us, and we will seek His permission to proceed or just walk by His side again for more instruction.  
       We are loyal to our Master, and when GOD is not moving, or so it seems, we lay quietly at his feet, until He says, "Hey, you want to go somewhere with Me?" Like my wonderful dog, day or night, regardless of the time, if I even whisper her name, she is up and ready to listen to whatever it is that I am going to do, either invite her up onto my bed for some company, or just to pet her where she is.  Those ears are up, waiting to hear from me while she patiently just lays there.       
 
JUBILEE
 Cats, well, they are a different story. They know where the food is, they know who their owner is and they will stay with their owner, but they are going to do their own thing no matter what.  They have this attitude that we are there to serve them.  My cats are extremely stubborn and when they get mad, they will do their business in  the house and not their litter box to let me know they are unhappy, stinking up my whole house and further ruining my twenty year old carpets.  
Three times my Jubilee has run away from me, staying out for weeks at a time with me having no idea where he was.  The last time, he got mad about going to the vet and he freaked and jumped out of my arms, escaping and getting lost in a neighborhood miles from home.  By the miraculous hand of GOD, almost six months later, we found him in a neighborhood very far away with the help of a friend who was delivering Chinese food.  
 I thought he was gone for good, but all that time, GOD knew he would be back, and He had a lesson for me to learn. This time, he was thrilled to be back, having had to weather the climate from December to June all alone outside.  While he was gone, he was trapped, neutered and released back in the neighborhood he was caught.  (It's a local program here to cut down on stray feral cats, without destroying the ones roaming the streets.) 
CopyCat with her first PERFECT 7
 When he did come home, he was a much more docile cat, much more affectionate, and he hasn't run away since. He meows at my door when he wants attention, and is compliant when it comes to the cat box and using the great out doors to do his business. He is still somewhat impatient and stubborn, wanting his own way, but, will cower down if he knows he's in trouble for bullying his grandmother, CopyCat, or even the dog.  Sadly, since writing this, over two years ago, Jubilee's grandmother passed away in July of that year, and Jubilee disappeared again in June 2019.  My heart is broken, but it's just another of the things GOD puts us through, and we can either pull on the leach, or just give it a little slack, while the LORD shows us which way to go. 
Need I say more, beloved child of GOD?  Which kind of Christian are we? Are we a non-neutered male cat, or a docile one, somewhat compliant, but still doing our own thing?  Or, are we an excitable dog wanting to run ahead of GOD, or scare the "hell" out of the person passing by on the sidewalk? 
        If we have been walking with GOD for long, and we are truly interested in letting GOD be our Lord, the we will become a purebred, like my precious German Shepherd, trainable, compliant and a pure joy to our Master.  



Paul's thorn in his flesh vs the knife in my back    


I think I may have won that one hand's down.  No one knows what the thorn was in Paul's flesh, but it affected his carnal nature, because whenever Paul talked about "flesh," he was always referring to our carnal nature.  He also wrote this  soon after writing Romans, and if you've read Roman chapter 7, you will find out just how human Paul was.  The church seems to forget that. So, take a moment, go read it, then come back.  ROMANS 7   
  I know pain, and I know it well, both kinds.  I don't have a thorn in my flesh, I have a knife in my back.  Life as a married widow!  It's a term I coined, defined as  married on paper only, in separate abodes, with NO hope of the marriage being resurrected
It's been so long, now. It was near six years ago, while going through radiation hell, having my throat burnt to a crisp since I first got stabbed in my heart through my back.  It was wedged in slowly, deeper and deeper until it reached my heart.  Once it hit my heart, I began to bleed out.  Because of Christ's cleansing, life-giving blood shed on the cross for me, I have been able to get a "transfusion" as many times as needed to survive, until the platelets built up to stop the hemorrhaging.  
 I'm not bleeding anymore, however, the knife is still there.  I've learned to adjust to it, sometimes it doesn't even hurt that much.  I've learned to sleep on my side fairly comfortably.  Most times, I can wake up enough, so that I can sit up if I have to roll over, however, there are times when I'm so worn out from trying to avoid bumping it on something, that I automatically roll over in my "sleep" and then it jabs my heart, again.  The blood trickles, and Jesus gives me more of his, but the pain is worsened for a time.  
Every once in a while, the devil will come by and twist it, just to cause me some more pain.  Sometimes, I can fight him off, but there are times when my hands are tied. I'm exhausted from the fight,  and I am defenseless on my own, until GOD sends help.  
Only GOD can remove the knife, no human can.  He has promised that one day it will be removed, and I will be stitched up good as new.  I will forever be permanently scarred though.  It's a good thing it is in my back and covered by my clothing.  It will forever be there, though, and every once in a while, I imagine I'll get an itch back there that needs scratching, and it's in a difficult area to reach.  
 I've had enough surgeries to know that when the nerve is cut into, the immediate area becomes numb permanently, so the itch will be a phantom itch, unrelieved by physical scratching, but just as itchy until the nerve settles down and it goes back to being numb. 


WHEN GOD HANGS YOU OUT TO DRY

Back in the day, before glass bottles and wine cellars, wine was kept in wine skins, animal hides.   When the wine skin was empty, it usually was hung in a corner to dry out.  The wine skins at one point held happiness in it, but now it was emptied, all used up, no longer representing glad tidings.  So, it's left hanging in a corner, forgotten, useless to man.  It's best day is over, or is it? When is the last time you have felt as if you were useless wine skins, hanging in the corner with no one paying any attention to you, as if you did not exist anymore?  Maybe right now? Your heart used to be so filled with the love of Jesus, so much so, that it spilled over and you shared it by pouring into other people.

Eventually, having poured out all the love you had in your heart, with no one is filling it back up with reciprocal love, it becomes a dried out, emptied.  Those you poured all the wine of your heart all over, gladly received it, but none wanted to return it.  Some even abused you because of it. You brought gladness, now, you have no more to give. We are left to ourselves, so alone, so isolated that we even start to think that GOD has also abandoned us.  We did as we were told.  We gave when we weren't asked to give.  We loved those who did not love us, but GOD had commanded us to love.  We did not strike back when struck by those we gave love to, we just assumed, like GOD's Word says, "It is mine to avenge."  So, we sat back and  waited, and we waited, and waited, and then we waited some more.  Time passed, more time passed, so much time that we gave up any hope of getting love back from those whom we so freely gave.  Days, weeks, months and in some cases years go by; no vengeance, no change of heart.
Next step is the obvious, that we  must have got it wrong.  GOD didn't really tell us to give love to that person, it must have been the enemy of GOD.  He must have set a trap for us, knowing a fall was imminent.  Total confusion sets in. We can't seem to hear correctly from GOD.  We question everything we did for the last few years, until we come to the conclusion that our purpose, our dream, our goal was completely wrong, all this time. We just wasted six years doing what we thought GOD led us to do, and now we have no goal, no dream, no real purpose, and definitely are of no use in the Kingdom of GOD, because we can't discern GOD's instructions from the devil's traps.
Now we have two choices, bolt and turn away from GOD, or cower in the corner, hoping GOD will see our bruises and heal them. Bolting is not an option, because we know that there is no life outside of GOD.  We cower, we cry, we plead, we beg, so much so that our eyes sting and become so swollen it changes our appearance, not just for a few minutes, but for days at a time.  GOD still hasn't noticed or healed our bruises, and we are bewildered. Sometimes, even reading the Bible is like pouring salt on our wounds.  We've read all the promises. We’ve written them, memorized them, taken them to heart, but yet to have seen them fulfilled. Now, they are just words, words that actually hurt, now, because you waited and waited and waited.
You know every crevice and corner and every promise that reside in the safe places of those beloved pages. Still, after a while, those familiar words are just that, just words. They don't carry any weight, anymore, because you never saw them come to pass as you hoped.  Now, that hope which used to bring joy, now just brings pain, because that hope, you now realize only led to disappointment, night after night after pillow-soaking night.   
No healing comes. Now what? Stop breathing? That's not an option.  Stop living? That's not an option. Start hating back? That's not an option.  Ah, numb the pain with some authentic mind-numbing medicinal wine of our own.  That works, for a while, until GOD says, "That wasn't an option, either, so Stop!"  Getting angry at GOD didn't work, and you surely did shake your fist way too many times. Then guilt sets in, especially when someone lays that You-have-no-right-to-be-angry-at-GOD, guilt trip on you. 
With no warning, when you aren't expecting it, when you've decided in your mind to give up, walk away from everything and everyone, after you've erased all your social media and decided to accept your fate as is, hoping the few years you may have left will pass quickly, one moment in time, one thing leads to another, and suddenly, you just happen upon a sermon on You Tube, and you discover that there is a corner you missed.  Even though you have read that Bible from cover to cover several dozens of times, GOD still has a surprise for you. There is a corner you missed, a stanza, a plea from a psalmist who has just lived your life, and is dying inside just like you are, right now.  You're exhausted, and you think you've exhausted the Word of GOD, until you realize, refreshment is where you weren't looking. Psalm 119 and Psalm 88 both have what I call a “Job’s Princess life.”  It’s a life of sorrow from start to what we think will be finish.
That's all it took.  Someone, knows what you feel like. GOD made sure that someone made it into His Word, because of this day.  He was going to refresh you and refill your wine skin with new wine.  It's just enough to draw you back to His Word to find more corners you didn't know were there. Then you realize, GOD not only saw your bruises, but He felt them, and He was just waiting for you to stop doing that mind-numbing activity that blocked His work in your life, and you are back.  At least until the next time, and you know there will be a next time, but like this time, next time He will again, bring you to a corner in His Word you didn't know existed.  Each time you learn to trust more and more, until such a time that you are ready to help those other dried out wine skins who feel left abandoned in the corners of their lives. 
Psalm 88
May my prayer come before you;
    turn your ear to my cry.
I am overwhelmed with troubles
    and my life draws near to death.
I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
    I am like one without strength.
I am set apart with the dead,
    like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more,
    who are cut off from your care.
You have put me in the lowest pit,
    in the darkest depths.
Your wrath lies heavily on me;
    you have overwhelmed me with all your waves.[d]
You have taken from me my closest friends
    and have made me repulsive to them.
I am confined and cannot escape;
    my eyes are dim with grief.
I call to you, Lord, every day;
    I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you show your wonders to the dead?
    Do their spirits rise up and praise you?
11 Is your love declared in the grave,
    your faithfulness in Destruction[e]?
12 Are your wonders known in the place of darkness,
    or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?
13 But I cry to you for help, Lord;
    in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14 Why, Lord, do you reject me
    and hide your face from me?
15 From my youth I have suffered and been close to death;
    I have borne your terrors and am in despair.
16 Your wrath has swept over me;
    your terrors have destroyed me.
17 All day long they surround me like a flood;
    they have completely engulfed me.
18 You have taken from me friend and neighbor—
    darkness is my closest friend.



David was a mass murderer, GOD killed babies in-utero and it’s time to throw away  your crosses! (Part 2)        So, now that I...