Monthly Archives: September 2018

Poured Out

I have so much respect for our head pastor.   This is a little bit about him and more about the walk of sanctification and the way we become more and more transparent as we grow closer to Jesus.

Once in a very long while in the church body, you meet a person with a discernible aura that displays the presence of the Holy Spirit.    Usually this person is older – the walk of sanctification, the way we walk ever closer to Jesus and are conformed to His image takes a lot of time and a lot of pain.   Not always, but usually.   That aura makes you sit up and take notice, and it begets respect.

If you think of us as lanterns on a hill, and all our “stuff” in this flesh, the old nature, as glop on the lantern, the more that gets cleared off, the more clearly the light shines.   This is one of the things I care about – getting the glop cleared off my own lantern, and helping women clean up theirs.   We need our lives to be a witness.   Our alignment with God needs to be crystal clear.   There’s a lot of stuff that can glop up a lantern.  Some of it we think is good, some of it we know is bad.  It’s glop anyway.

It’s important that we shine out.  The world is dark.  We need to be lights.  We don’t need to be about us, we need to show off Jesus.   Every one of us has a facet of Him that we’ve been particularly given to show, we need to get after it.   No.  We need to get ourselves out of the way and let Him do His work through us.  It’s not us who shine – it’s Him.

But anyway.  I ramble.  It’s … you’ve met them.  The special ones.  The ones who have been shined up.   And it is a blessing to be near them, because you’re reminded of Jesus.  Plain and simple, the presence is felt.

Pastor Mike has always had the aura of love.  You know that man loves you.  He has a strong gift of shepherding, and he cares deeply for his flock.    It’s always been this way.   He’s been through the Refiner’s Fire a few times… and this latest bout.  DUDE.

So, he’d been out for almost three months.  His kidneys gave out on him.  (The doctors are continually surprised by his insistence on breathing, this isn’t weird).   He went in and out of hospital a few times over the course of those months.  He had a pulmonary embolism at one point.   Lost 25lb.  (In the above pic, he’s 94lb).  He was hoping to do dialysis through the intestine, so he could be mobile, but he’s not big enough (and has had too many gut surgeries) to sustain the liters of liquid around his waist, so now he’s doing regular dialysis 5x/wk.

So, you know, they took out the gut tube on Thursday.  He thought they’d just yank it out – no, it was proper surgery, anesthetic and all.  That didn’t stop  him preaching tonight.  Nor will it stop him tomorrow, two services.   They put up a chair last week (when he came back initially).  This week he looked at it, informed us that it was his parachute, put there on the insistence of his wife and a few others, and that he wasn’t using it, unless he fell down, in which case we could pick him up and put him in it.

This, my friends, is what you call “being poured out to the Lord”.

You don’t see it much now.  Maybe you never did.  But these are the people that you stand for, that you curtsy to (or bow).   The emotion of respect is usually very mild.  Not in these cases.   It is almost overwhelming, the amount of respect I feel for my pastor right now.  HE COULD STAY HOME.  He probably should stay home.  No one would blame him.  Not a single person.

I don’t know what the next months will bring, but I know I’m watching God at work.  And the thing is – you always are watching Him work.  It’s a miracle that any of us draw breath.  But when you’re with someone like Pastor Mike, you KNOW it.

Not everyone who has the aura of holiness is like Pastor Mike, hanging on a miracle thread.

But when you’re with any of them, any of the ones who really SHINE for God, you can feel something more than ordinary.

Our world is full of mud and lies and garbage.    We don’t have much that’s real.   Too many of our “holy” men are about as holy as what I use to fertilize my rosebushes.   But that doesn’t mean it’s not out there.

Someday……….. maybe, that can be me.  I think that it’s okay to want to be one of the lights.  Not all of them are in as much pain as Pastor Mike.  We’re all SUPPOSED to be lights.  It’s a dark world, folks.

Get out of the way so God can shine.

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Pretty Much Every Woman

Once upon a time, we were trying to let women and men be treated as equals.   I’m of two minds about that… I can see benefits and costs to either route.   Not gonna rabbit-trail there right now.

In this once-upon land, it was understood that among the decent people in the world, there were nasty predators.   It was further understood that one was self-responsible for figuring out what to do about said nasty predators.  SHOULD one have to do something?  No.  But regardless – you deal with the cards as dealt.

I was taught…

  • That my body was MY body, and anyone touching my body without my consent should be treated to my wrath on full blast.   Screaming and making a scene won’t get rid of the crazy guy who is going to knock you down and take it, but *will* scare off the casual opportunist.   (And there are a lot of casual opportunists out there).
  • Similarly, any man who made inappropriate comments should be frozen solid where he stood.   There should never be any question about whether or not those comments were acceptable.
  • Dignity > opportunity, always.
  • Leaving a bad situation is always a good idea.
  • Don’t go back to a man’s apartment/hotel room/sleeping area alone if you’re not interested in being intimate.
  • Never walk to your car alone at night if you have an option not to do so.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings.   In the parking lot at noon, I still have my carkeys held in my hand in such a way to use them…
  • Don’t go anywhere, as a regular routine, where you can’t be seen when you’re alone.  If you like to jog in the wee hours of the morning, buy a dog.  A big dog.
  • Getting drunk with strangers or near strangers is stupid.
  • If you’re grabbed, do your darndest to do *damage* – go for eyes, throat, personals, the arch of the foot, kidneys.  Then run.   Screaming “fire”.
  • If you’re down and you’re not getting back up, at *that* point you stop fighting.  Puke.  Pee.  Get his skin under your fingernails.  Talk reasonably and rationally, remind him that you’re a human.
  • If you have to rip your own arm off in order not to get taken away, your arm is an acceptable sacrifice.  DO NOT let someone take you elsewhere, you’re not coming back alive.  Worth it to fight to the death.  If you find yourself elsewhere, any sacrifice to get out of there, as soon as physically possible, is worth it.
  • If it happens – call the police as soon as you are free.  Don’t shower, don’t so much as wash your hands.   Get that evidence and prosecute.   You have every right to justice.

I wasn’t taught, but I found out through experience:

  • Any guy as an escort is better than any two girls.   But better a girl-group than alone.
  • Jerks who come on really strong can’t be dissuaded politely.  You have to get impolite (which may ricochet) or leave.   There’s no other way, short of appealing to authority.
  • Dressing inappropriately will get you worse attention, but real jerks?  It doesn’t matter.   I have been leered at in full Christian Matron wear.
  • There’s always that one guy who can look at you in ways that make you require a shower afterwards.  No, this doesn’t have to do with attractiveness.  It has to do with what he did with his eyeballs.  Ew.
  • Crazy dudes don’t care, but a lot of the lowlife scum who are trying to scare you are just trying to scare you.  Doing a very little bit to stand up for yourself will keep their hands off of you.   Yes, it’s a power trip.
  • Standing up for yourself and having self-respect and knowing your boundaries will save you a lot of tears.
  • Drinking is best done at home.
  • A man who is not instinctively protective of me is a man with whom I am not safe, and should not be trusted.
  • Most men are pretty awesome.

 

See, if we want to be treated like grown-ups, even if all concerned understand that we’re more vulnerable to attack than men are, we have to take responsibility insofar as it is possible to do so.   We have to not be stupid about things and be ready to stand up for our right not to be molested.

None of this should be interpreted as applying to children – children who are hurt are a whole different ball game.   But if women want to not be treated like children, then we have to act like adults.

Oh.  And #metoo?  Yeah.  Well, no one has ever raped me.  But I’ve been grabbed by a stranger, I’ve been frightened, I’ve been patted by someone I found out later was a rapist… and *most* of my female friends have gotten a lot worse.  Most.Of.Them.  I don’t want to start a march, it’s useless.   The good men weren’t going to do anything inappropriate in the first place, and the predators don’t care about words.  I won’t tar good men – who consistently protect me and act with great courtesy at all times – just because bad men exist.   Bad women exist too.   Humans, not very nice creatures.

What was the point of all this?  Just that yeah – every woman I know has been “harassed” or worse.   And that self-respect is a much better place to start fixing things than pointing fingers at innocents.