Go mbeannai Dia duit.

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Quaker by conviction, mother by default, Celticst through love, Christ follower because I once was lost but now am found...

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pray harder...

"The playful kitten, with its pretty little tigerish gambols, is infinitely more amusing than half the people one is obliged to live with in the world." ~ Lady Sydney Morgan

Butter wouldn't melt....

This is the picture of a most expensive cat.  This is the cat that thought he could steal a wishbone & swallow it undetected.  Ummmm.  A boat ride, a couple of hours at the vets & several hundred dollars later my cat was returned to me considerably subdued & far less inclined to steal.  This time I was not so lucky.

I can no longer drink large amounts of coffee so I judiciously make myself the occasional latte throughout my day.  I look forward to them, savour them ~ limit them.  They aren't terribly helpful to a middle~aged waistline. I drink them while perusing blogs on~line ~ a habit my cats are very aware of.

And my cats, while terribly spoilt & allowed to snuggle on the desk with my computer & my coffee & me avoid my coffee cup.  It smells weird ~ & bitter.  They know it's hot.  And I am used to cats suddenly leaping up beside me, stomping across my keyboard & plonking their butt near the fan.  It happens numerous times every single day, & every day there is my cup parked on the desk where any spill is least likely to wreck havoc.

Except today.

Today Kirby took a flying leap from the floor to the desk to the printer.  Enroute he collected the coffee cup & dumped the entire contents over my laptop!  This was not healthy for my laptop.  We mopped up the mess & headed down to the computer man with my damp computer.

The computer man shook his head mournfully.  It was unlikely, he told us sadly, that anything bar the harddrive could be salvaged.  Still, he was prepared to investigate.  We were prepared to have him investigate. 

Our computer man is my hero! ♥ ♥ ♥  Kirby is still alive.  I am poorer than I was.  My computer is working again!

And the moral of this story:  When preparing to write a message the devil does not want delivered, pray harder before beginning!  It has been an exciting day

Friday, June 29, 2012

The cat has too much spirit to have no heart. ~ Earnest Manuel

 There is a reason I keep cats.  This is not why.

Marlow is just interested in keeping me company.  His Rumbling Purr accompanies me, lolling all over my keyboard does interesting things.

Kirby is either rolling round on my lap or constantly turning the printer on so he can stick his nose up the eject thingy & fish for the emerging paper or down the feeder to watch it disappear.
Both cats are happy to have me home.  Home, obviously, is where I should be, dancing attendance on them!

They are good for nothing.  They spend all day grooming themselves, sleeping & eating.  They neither spin, nor do they catch rodents ~ but if I dare dissappear, even for a moment, from my well defined place there is a most terrible yowling.

There are worse things than to be loved by a cat.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rainy Delights.

Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.~ Theodore Roethke

Has it been raining out your way?

It has been damper than damp here & so funny because it hasn't been very heavy, just a constant cold dripping but the roads flooded & we had to wade across the yard.

It has been pretty miserable.  I know because the cats have slept with their noses tucked into their tails all day long & even Kirby won't go outside unless he's desperate.  Dank & gloomy all round. And cold.  Bitterly, bitterly cold.

And yet...I have been watching with delight the lichen.  Yes, it really is that rich golden pumpkin colour. I think it's pretty lovely myself.  What do you reckon?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Regurgitation is a fact of the Spiritual Life.

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll;

Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,

It is well, it is well, with my soul ~ Horatio Spafford
I was saying to Dearest just yesterday that this is the first time I've had time to begin to process what I'm going through at school.  A lot is being shovelled in; not a whole lot has been coming back out.  I am aware of a great inner wrenching but just what is being wrenched I am not exactly sure.
And taking time to breathe, because the whole idea of going back to school was so not my idea & if it had been Bible School is not what I would have chosen [I was thinking more archaeology/anthropology/PDH in Lit lol] my carnal woman is over it!  Too sad making I know.  Seriously, there I was looking down the barrel of the end of 13 years plus of homeschool, nearly 30 of parenting & I was making plans, you know: that trip back to Scotland....the book that's been on hold how many years now?...Visiting the girl in Santiago before she arrives back home.  No, I did not consult the Lord about any of this.  I was just minding my own business & living my life.  I was.  I am not the ambitious sort.  I was supremely happy dabbling in my little duck pond out of the mainstream.  Come on, Ladies!  I can not be the only one.  Tell me it is not so!
Dearest nick~named me The Ostrich a long time ago for my habit of sticking my head in the sand & ignoring unpleasantnesses.  If I don't want to know about it I am very good at not knowing it's there ~ no matter who is speaking to me!  And God was trying very hard to get my attention while I was very busily assuming He was not talking to ME!  Three times [3!] complete strangers approached me at church & asked why I wasn't in bible school.  I had a list of reasons longer than my arm why not, starting with, But I don't want to be.  And when I did get around to asking it was like being slapped up the side of the head to a resounding: Halleluja!  Finally!  Now get your butt moving! Oh. My.
And in a way I am still dragging my feet.  Wouldn't it be nice if the Holy Spirit would just over~ride our natural inclinactions to be difficult?  But He doesn't. *sigh* In my head I'm still protesting.  There's that nice Quaker school He could have sent me to instead...Or maybe just a supernatural empowering.  I'm good with that.  See, Brave I am not. I asked, silly me! what I was doing in school & I got told.  Oh, yes, indeed!
God does my head in ~ & I'm sure He rolls those heavely eyes with a What are we going to do with you? look.  One of the things He told me was that I would go to the nations.  Not that the nations would come to me, but that I would go to them.  And I did a Sarah.  I laughed.  I live on a tiny little island, 17 ks long, 3 wide, population maybe 3 ooo when the tide's in on a summer's day. And when I say money is tight in this house think pinched tight.
The Lord can be as clear as a bell when He wants to be & when He wants me moving He makes sure I've heard loud & clear & the inner compulsion is such that disobeying becomes something of an impossibility.  Which is how I know the Lord has no problem with women in the pulpit regardless of man's ideas.  So I did Abraham & I had the strangest feeling this message was for my old church ~ which I no longer attend, & who no longer ask me to preach there.  Anyway I put it up & had the feeling that I should toddle down the road to said church on Sunday ~ I thought because they support Liddy & I do still speak to everyone; I just don't fellowship there.
There has been a change of leadership, which is a very good thing, & the Spirit was moving very gently.  I was happily vegging in my seat having enjoyed the old hymns & prepared to listen to whomever was preaching when someone got up & began to read something they'd downloaded from the web.  With a shock I realised I was listening to my own words getting preached back at me!  It was as if the Lord said, I told you it would go out to the nations.
So here I am.  I have things I know I need to talk to the Lord about; clarification I need; Answers...& I do not want to do it.  I didn't like what I got told last time.  I am even less likely to like it this time.  And I know I have to do it.  The reason the Lord is making sure all this stuff goes in is so that it can come out again.  He has a purpose in mind.  That it cuts completely across the grain of what I might like to do is beside the point.  That is the deal because He is the Lord.  A term we neither understand ~ or particularly like  ~ in this modern world but if He is Lord I really am not my own.  I am still getting over myself.  My flesh is screaming.  My inner woman is not.  Girding my loins for the fray now...
Libby has done a super cool post on teaching the Lord's Prayer to children using puppets.  Go check it out!

Monday, June 25, 2012

And they stoned Stephen, calling upon the Lord, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.

And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. ~ The Book of Acts

Some things stay with you long after you've forgotten everything else.  Some things stay with you even though it was not, never was, the main point.  The Heavenly Man was like that for me.  It's a book that's like reading a modern day version of Acts ~ a book I've never been particularly fond of.  *sigh*  I know.  I should be.  I mean it's chock block full of the impossible, the improbable & the fantastic ~ right down my alley you would think, but No.  It wearies me.

I read this, oh, maybe 18 months or more ago.  And promptly forgot it.  It's very forgettable.  Except for one thing.

If you haven't read it it's partly the story of China's Home Churches & the persecution of Chinese Christians by their own government;  a story that has been repeated over & over again in every nation under the sun.  But somewhere in there Brother Yun made this statement [my paraphrase]: Do not pray for the freedom of Christian prisoners; Pray that they have grace to endure.  

Coupled with that rather outrageous statement is this one: China sends more missionaries into Muslim nations than any other Christian peoples because these nations cannot do anything to us that our own government has not already done! They understand deeply, realistically, that they could perish for their belief in the Muslim nations.  They also understand that whether they live or die they live & die unto the Lord.

It makes us look like wimps in the West, doesn't it?  It's like a thorn in my flesh.  I do not want to be matryed for my faith ~ but if that should ever be the case I do pray for the grace to endure & to say with Stephen & Christ:  Forgive them; they know not what they do.

What do you think?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Getting up close & personal with God.

Who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light...

Going back to school in your old age is the weirdest thing.  I haven't had to be so disciplined in years & years because no matter how much I have to fit into a day each one still only has 24 hours in it!  And life does not simply stop to accomodate me.

  So I get up in the morning, put on the coffee, switch on the computer so I can do Dearest's bookwork while I have my coffee & scroll through blogs, then I make lunches, get dressed, grab my bag & walk out the door.  Forget having a quiet time like Dino.  Dino gets his because he isn't doing any of the rest of it.  Just the same he does the driving.  Forty~five minutes, or more, in peak hour traffic.  Ick.  I can't read in the car so no bible reading, but I can pray & do.  It can be a little hairy, what with Dino's driving & all but beggers can hardly be choosers.

Anyway I often get a lovely meditative time & I was thinking recently just how unpredictable life can be  ~ especially the God~life.  

 I was raised Anglican & my mother ensured we were in church every single Sunday with rare exceptions.  Being the peculiar child I undoubtedly was I quite liked church ~ especially when I was very little & we were still in the old wooden church with it's narrow stained glass windows & high ceilings before the powers that be meddled with the prayer book & destroyed the beauty therein.  I liked the liturgy.  In its original format it is downright beautiful! I do not like what the Anglican church has done to it ~ but no~one asked me!  I did not like the building that replaced the little wooden church.  Convienient, yes.  Seated miles more people, yes.  Modern & ugly ~YES!  Seriously, it looked like the Pizza Hut gone wrong.  I was going to link you so you could all go Eeeew! but I see the present administration has had the good sense not to put any pictures up anywhere I can find! 

 I hated Sunday school ~ & as I got older I particularly hated the youth groups & young adult thing.  My brothers got right into it but it drove me crazier than crazy & for quite a long while I tried to convince myself I was an athiest but athiests always seemed to be so angry at everything & everybody & rude to boot [maybe you know some nice ones; I wasn't so lucky] & I decided they didn't live in a very nice world.  I'm not big on the reality thing, remember.  Frankly I figured God was probably as bored in church as I was ~ & I was very bored.  I don't do well with bored.  Ask my kids.

The thing was no~one really seemed to take God very seriously.  I heard that His word wasn't to be taken literally.  It was figurative or metaphorical or other big English words that made me scratch my head because if God had gone to all that trouble to write a book [no easy task I know from sad experience] then surely it was more than a giant metaphore that I could cut & paste as I chose.  Besides, even the most cursory perusal of said book had some rather interesting anomalies:  the author called Himself The Living God.  Not dead.  Alive.  He spoke of making His home with believers & of embuing them with power.

I can be pretty literal & I took that absolutely literally.

I had no idea how it worked.  Nor, so far as I could tell, did any one else!

Eventually I twigged that I wasn't cut out to be an aethiest.  Not even a good agnostic.  No avid fantasy reader is.  We are fine wired to the unbelievable.

So I began looking for myself at what other believers had experienced, the roads they had travelled, what they believed & why with a complete lack of discrimination because I knew nothing & being a lit major I usually chose my reading material on the basis of how readable I found it!  Too sad making I know.

This long rambling post does have a point because God is faithful.  I may have gone a long circuitous route & I am sure there are easier ways to reach this destination but when my frustration hit the wall & I had run out of my own steam I found God waiting patiently to show me how to learn of Him, Himself.  The cry of my heart was to know God & be known.  I was never going to be satisfied with pure doctrine because if God is a living God ~ & He says He is ~ then everything the bible speaks of is true because God does not change.  If everything is true then not only can I speak to God I can expect Him to speak to me!  If He has made promises I can claim them because God does not lie & what He says He will do He will do!

Slowly, slowly, slowly I became a peculiar sort of Christian:  I believed absolutely, & to some extent practised, the charismatic gifts ~ but I never belonged to a Charismatic church.  Or a Pentecostal church. Or an Apostolic church.  I learnt prayer is as much about listening as it is about talking.  Oh, how hard it is to just shut up & let God get a word in edgeways!  The Holy Spirit became a living reality in my life.  I should listen to Him better but even when I don't I know He's there!  And I am grateful, incredibly, incredibly grateful for the books that God has lobbed my way because I have always found it easier to learn from books than from people.  They shed light on a path that was littered with the debris of fallen artifices until I knew, beyond all possibility of doubt, that my God lives!  I know because He lives with me, & in me.  He chats with me [in the cool of the evening.  How I have always loved that image!]  I know He loves me.  He is the only person in my life who calls me, Dear Heart.  It makes me feel all warm & gooey inside.

And the best bit?  It's not over!  It will never be over because we have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. Ephesians 3:18 Nothing can separate us from His love.  It will just get better & better.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Getting over myself.

Sucess consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasim~Winston Churchill [a man who would know!]
On Friday half of this Rhema class graduated.  One of the things we get asked to do is to ask God for our *mission*, listen for the answer & then begin to implement it.  The graduating students got to share with the rest of us ~ & WOW!  I mean truly, WOW!  There were some amazing stories that came out.  The most extraordinary thing is that everyone is a completely ordinary Christian.  They just happened to start listening to God & He began to do amazing things through them.

Yes, I already have mine.  I had it before I began classes actually but I have a 3 pronged mission, a lot of which requires time & other people but I do have the next step, one that always required a 12 month wait & Rhema is part of my preparation for that next step.

One of the things that I knew I had to be careful of coming into Rhema was to keep a teachable spirit because we have been on the island a long time & without Anointed spiritual authority for much of that time ~ & just because someone is ordained does not automatically give them spiritual authority!  You read here; you know we are pretty independent thinkers on all sorts of matters & so it really was an act of faith because, to put it incredibly bluntly, I did not want to be here.  I would never have chosen this sort of a course.  I still have moments when I cringe inside & go, Oh, Lord!  What are you doing?! 

I'm not sure what changes the Lord is trying to work in me but right at the beginning I read the student book & it stated something along the lines of: Try not to interrupt the lectures with questions.  If you ask of the Holy Spirit you will find your questions will be answered over the duration of the course.  It may sound like a cop~out to some but for someone of Quakerish persuasions it actually made perfect sense & so I have listened & waited & I have found that statement to be true. I will give you an example.

I have whinged, none to subtly, about the street witness.  It makes me supremely uncomfortable & I could never get all my theological ducks to line up in a neat row & go, Quack~ quack.  Sorry, but if my duckies don't line up nicely & go Quack~quack I tend to get stymied.  Also evangelism is not in my gift mix so I was never going to be a woop~de~woop~woop at this.  Just the same I do know it is every believers ordained command direct from heaven to share the gospel.  And I do appreciate the good Lord's sense of humour because some of my answer came in a class I have particularly struggled with.

The Lord is dealing with my biases because I have found Kenneth Hagin to be a really difficult lecturer.  The accent does me in.  It is bible belt twang & I have trouble ~ apart from me wanting to correct things left right & centre because they have been pronounced *incorrectly*! OK, I could live with the twang but  for the life of me I have never been able to figure out the point he is trying to make on any given subject.  He is a raconteur & his entire lecture tends to consist of story after story out of his own experience & all that does is leave me completely bewildered.  Then there are the side~swipes at *intellectuals.*  I do get that brains are not going to get anyone into heaven but is there anything intrinsically wrong with being an intelligent & well informed Christian?  Thus I tend to find it extremely difficult to stay focused in his lectures & the doodles in my notepad grow into a veritable forest of trees & lakes & billowing clouds as a backdrop for birds flying in classic black & white. 

This particular day he was discussing healing & I had only been vaguely listening when he said something that did catch my attention because, What when God doesn't heal?  And what he said, my paraphrase, was: Don't pray for his healing.  He's going to die.  Huh?  Pretty much Hagin's response too ~ only he also began lobbing all the scriptures back at God & this is what God said back: I've been waiting 30 years for him to stop his sinning & begin living right.  Now I have handed his flesh over to Satan for destruction that his soul may be saved....[1 Cor5:5] And I had a lightbulb moment!  Based on that the street witness begins to make perfect sense.  Carnal Christians begin to make perfect sense.  How the Corinthian Church ended up in the mess it did makes perfect sense.  The spirit is renewed, yes, but unless we give the Spirit permission to renew our minds & control our flesh nothing on the outside changes!!!! Duh!

Just the same I am far more comfortable when I see fruit because that is the evidence of the inward change; one that non~believers can see. The evidence of tongues, which is what Rhema teaches, I see as evidence for believers ~ & no, you do not need tongues to be saved!  It serves a completely different purpose, one I don't have time to go into here & now.  I need to get over myself.  If only it were that easy!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Girls in Black ~ Fete de la Musique ~ Brisbanites!

 Queensland Festival Chorus & AVAE as part of Fete de la Musique.

Where: St John's Cathederal, Brisbane

When: Thurs 21st June from 7:15 pm.

We are doing the Heavensong repetoire:


Seal Lullabye

For the Beauty of the Earth

The Lord is my Shephard [the Vicar of Dibley version]

Mozart's Ave

& we have added Joyful, Joyful.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Libby has updated her own blog for those of you who are interested.  Linkie.

Friday, June 15, 2012

So I caught up with my girl this morning!  It's been so long & some days it's just hard to have her so far away ~ God & the call on her life not withstanding ~ & knowing too that the IT team had gradually been heading home again, which meant lots of change & change is not one of Liddy's favourite things.

Now I'm her mum, so while I love to hear what she's been doing I also listen with the ears of my heart & for what the Spirit confirms in my heart.  So what did I hear?

Lots & lots of good things!  Firstly, she is starting to think in Spanish.  The language buffs amongst you will know how huge this is.  It is a hurdle that marks the transition into being competant in another language & hastens progress!  So yay, God!
Then between sickness & change Liddy is the team leader into the boy's orphanage!  Interesting as Lid, like her mummy, is not huge on respnsibility but she does very well with it because she likes being able to organize things her way [she does have good organizational skills! ☺] & she delegates well so everyone feels part of the team effort.  Leadership is one of the things I, personally, felt Liddy was called too but it is interesting to see how quickly God has opened up a position of responsibility for her!

Lid has never been my crafty girl but this is a skill she has been developing as she works with the kids.  I do get a giggle out of imagining my Lid, so not crafty, trying to explain what she wants done in mangled Spanish!

Now God is good always ~ but some days it is more evident to our human eyes than others.  Listening to Liddy I was just overwhemed at how He is taking care of her just now.  Her Spanish is still not good but she testified that she has the support of the home's supervisor as well as the children.  They all slowed down for her & chose words that she would know when they spoke with her.  For the first time she was understanding everything that was said to her & the supervisor is keen to have her stay at the orphanage again as the children were more settled when she was with them last time.  This is so wonderful & such a confirmation.  It is also a firm foundation for her next 18 months when she will be operating properly in the ministry rather than just as a trainee.

Thank you, all those of you who pray for Liddy.  We are so grateful for the faithfulness of the family of God!
I have had a couple of goes but I have this little problem:  I'm not sure what to talk about.  I don't usually have problems, being a Celt & all, with more than my fair share of "the gift of the gab", but I'm pretty sure you all don't want to hear how absolutely thrilling it is to sit in a classroom for 4 hours every day.  It's not rocket science; it's not even homeschooling. Sooo....

What do I have to talk about?  I have learnt what a good little parrot I am.  Seriously.  One of the girls I chat to was telling me about the trouble she was having hitting her high note & I didn't even have to think about it, not after all these years of watching Alison teach sol fa & listening to her rabbit on about your voice will go where the muscles remember to go so I explained & I believe we have had success.  OK, not why I'm in school but hey, I was pretty chuffed given my musical ignorance.

We have a concert next week.  I'm pretty reliant on Star keeping me up to speed on these things at present.  I have lost my grip.  St John's this time for any Brisbanites.  When Star checks the details for me I'll let you all know ~ though only locals will be privvy to this wonderful experience!

I do my practical School angle on Friday afternoons working in the office.  I am feeling something of an absolute fraud.  I would never have said I was an organised sort of person.  Those who know me best will know exactly how much of an understatement that is! ☺ I would never in a thousand years have laid claim to any giftings in the realm of administration but the Lord is the expert in working in weird & wonderful ways His purposes to accomplish.  This week I found myself organising alphabetically by author, then title, the small stash of office books.  This particular task had drifted down through several people, none of whom wanted to tackle it, & dumped it in the too hard basket.  For an ex~librarian, whose own library ranks right up there, this presented no major difficulties & it really only took me one afternoon ~ with a little bit of final tidying up.  I then asked it they had a catalogue of what should be there.  No?  I have offered....

I have also been doing some research.  For an experienced homeschooling mum this stuff is cake icing! A project I suspect people thought might take me a whole afternoon & then some I whipped over in 10 minutes or so.  I know.  My mind works in really weird ways so I make odd connections & meet myself coming!

I am constantly being told how clever & amazing I am ~ which is absolutely lovely & very flattering & could lead to seriously swelled head but in all honesty it's not that hard so I can hardly flatter myself.  Besides I come home to my house.  Housework has a seriously grounding effect, doesn't it?  In my defense it has been raining solidly for a fornight so that is partly why the washing has piled up in the bathroom.  I only have so much indoor line & that is reserved for essentials ~ like clean underwear.

The cats do not like this new routine at all ~ poor bunnies!  Kirby has taken to crawling into my lap whenever I sit down & snuggling in.  I hate to disturb him but missing boats is not an option. Each afternoon I walk into the *Cat Alert*.  Both boys have worked out the schedual & they are waiting by the door on cue, ears pricked, Purrs at the ready.  As soon as Marlow sees me his purr is off & away, extra loud with happiness.  There's nothing like being loved by a cat.

I don't think Star is too chuffed with the new arrangement either as in order to survive we have been letting her bus herself in & out to choir twice a week.  The novelty value wore off really fast!  She has to school herself too.  This is something I really think needed to occur as so long as I was available she was prepared to pull against me.  Now I'm no longer there she realises what she had & has to organise herself.  We will tidy up her work first week of the hols.

Now, ladies, I seriously need to go do some of that housework before the whole kit & kaboodle slides into the morass.  Have a blessed week & see you all at the other end!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Whose Honour?

This people honoureth me with their lips; But their heart is far from me. ~ Matthew 15:8

If the Lord Himself had not given me a very clear & unmistakable directive I would not be in a Charismatic bible school.  There is a reason my Dearest & I have never belonged to a Charismatic church, regardless of how personally charismatic we have become because once upon a time...

Once upon a time there was a man named Jimmy Swaggart.  Do you remember him?  If I remember correctly no~one, ever, has had a bigger Christian ministry ~ & that includes heavyweights like Billy Graham & David Wilkerson.  Back in the 70's Swaggart was The Man.  His ministry was networked by more t.v stations in more countries & reached more people than anyone else has ever managed. Anyone.  Ever.  Everyone had heard of him even if you weren't a Swaggart fan.  He was BIG ~ & great was his fall thereof.

To give the AOG people due credit they did defrock him ~ eventually~ but the fallout from such very public disgrace is still being felt, & unfortunately there have been others since Swaggart.  Not so big, not so well known, but the damage to the name of God has been huge.  The word hypocrite gets bandied around a lot.  I can't blame unbelievers for that, but it stings.  Such things should just not be so amongst the People of God.

Apart from anything else the Jimmy Swaggarts have been a huge embarrassment to the Charismatic movement as a whole.  You can tell unbelievers all you like that we are sinners saved by grace but all they hear is, You're no better than us.  Sadly, all too often, that is the unvarnished truth. 

Now I'm not dumping on Swaggart.  There but for the grace of God & all that...Moreover he is still a sinner saved by grace & his sin is none of my business.  Really, it's not.  Apart from the fact I could care less.  What has arrested my attention, because it's been one of those things that has niggled & niggled away at me, is why we are no better than the unsaved world.  We should be.  He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.  Yadda, yadda.

Well, I have my answer.  Shock.  Horror.  Gasp.

I need to say, because I have a flibberty~gibbert mind, that Rhema, having it's roots deep in the American bible belt & all that is prone to teaching us via DVD from some of the best that American Rhema has to offer ~ & I do get it's a cultural thing ~ but I am over the sharp suits, the lurid shirts & flouro ties.  I feel like the word of God is coming to me via the Mafia Mob!  Just so you know.

Now that I have got that off my mind I am impressed.  I am impressed because for a long time the Charismatic movement was renowned for moving freely in the Spirit but being sadly lacking when it came to teaching the truth of the Word.  Rhema at least has bitten the Swaggart bullet & not only learnt their lesson but has gone to great pains to address the issue from the Word of God.

We are in the middle of 3 heavyweight subjects that ultimately address just one issue ~ Character.  If Christians paid as much attention to the things they didn't like in the Word as they do to the things they do like, if teachers put the emphasis where God puts it, we would all be doing a whole lot better at convincing the world that something radical has happened to us.  All through the epistles, though the writers address a variety of different issues, the bedrock principle comes down to just one thing: Character.  We are to develop lives of honour, of integrity, of blamelessness.  Like Joseph.  Like Daniel.  Who, as Doug Jones pointed out caustically, were Old Testament & managed this without the power of the Holy Spirit indwelling in them! Ouch.

And to really rub salt into the wound it begins, as so often with God, not with the big things, not with the Do Not Commit...things, but with the little, everyday things: with how we behave as employers, as wives, as husbands; how we fill out our tax & our manners at the grocery store. OK, I'm not likely to not buy my boat ticket but if the deckie forgets to click my ticket I'm not about to whistle him back & go, Hey, you forget to click me.  And I should.  Because that is the right thing to do.  I am prone to inform the Cashier if she has given me too much change ~ however tempted I may be ~ & so I should.  Because it is the right thing to do.  I had never made the connection, because I can be a bit dense that way, that when we don't live with integrity we actually give unbelievers validity to "blaspheme the word of God." Titus 2:5, Romans 2:24 ~ for which we will be held accountable!

And if you want to know how far we, as a society, have fallen from honour think about this.  When I was a little girl we travelled fairly regularly between Sydney & Brisbane; 6oo miles of highway dotted with farms & in many places along the roadside there'd be a rickety stand with a cashier's metal box & a variety of goods for sale, maybe lemons off the tree, or beans that didn't make it to market, or homemade chutney & jam, everything packaged up & neatly labeled with how much it was & you'd drop your coins in the box & help yourself to the goods.  Ironically called the Honour System.  We actually still have one on the island.  It's padlocked & chained & bolted to the table. 

 When was the last time you saw an honour box?  They're still out there ~ but for how much longer I wonder?  Like the charity boxes that used to sit unguarded in our churches they are gradually becoming a thing of the past because we are becoming a people without honour.  Think about it.  We expect our pollies to lie.   We expect our cinema stars to be morally corrupt.  We roll our eyes when yet another pastor gets caught in flagrante delicto.

I have some house keeping to do.  I swear, keeping my spiritual home neat, tidy & undefiled is even more work than my actual house ~ & becomes messy just as fast! *sigh*