The Untold Plan

 

 

As Christians we believe that God has a unique plan for our lives.  We know that we are created for His Glory and that each one of us is set apart with singular gifting and pivotal ministries.

What a glorious recognition!

But what of the specific strategy the dark one has for each and every one of us?

 

 

 

If you are like me, you have wrestled over your lifetime with certain temptations and difficulties.   These struggles are deeply personal and mark some of our most desperate moments.  We keep them close to the vest and squirm uncomfortably when exposed for public consumption.

The cards dealt to me are different than those you hold in your palm.

Is this a coincidence?

No.

There is an eerie path that lies before each soul that few speak of.  It is the diabolical pathway and it is very, very real.  Indeed, the enemy carefully and quietly initiates this perverse process starting in our most tender childhood years.  Like a supernatural bloodhound, he seems to sniff out our divine appointment and then hand tailors a plan for our destruction.   Over time, the sinister, master mason methodically lays down the brickwork for our ultimate demise.   Each paver is positioned in a design of  textures and patterns: addiction, illness, abuse, emotional struggles, poverty, family dysfunction, racism, materialism, marital decay, and the list goes on and on.

Blindly, we carry on with our lives, breathing out a sigh of relief whenever we seem to dodge a passing bullet.  Yet without clear knowledge of  Satan’s precise intention for our undoing, we are in grave danger of never truly manifesting God’s desire for our time on earth.

So what’s the solution? 

An honest appraisal of your past will quickly illuminate how you’ve been positioned to remain in the devil’s playground.  It’s like turning around during a midnight sojourn and aiming your flashlight over your meandering footprints.   A pattern will emerge in those muddy areas where you have stumbled and fallen.  Each dark moment will ultimately be linked to another and suddenly the diabolical pathway for your soul is brought to light.

This illumination is a great gift for it will allow you to navigate your ship more successfully.   Most importantly, you must now tend to each and every vulnerable spot in your spiritual armor.  Rush to them as sailors would to open holes in the ship’s belly and board them up immediately lest your vessel sink.

Time is ebbing.  We are standing at the brink and as Christians we must be hyper-vigilant about our soft spots. Understand that as a Remnant Soldier, the enemy is particularly drawn to you.  You are valuable prey for if he can take you down he also takes down those souls who you might lead to God.

Beef up your spiritual practice precious comrade.  It is the time for ardent and frequent prayer, repentance, and fasting.  These are the jewels we offer up to heaven for the sake of self and others.  Pull away from all activities and people that threaten the sacred protection of Christ.  There is nothing worldly worth keeping if it costs you your salvation.

Please know that I pray for you and your walk.  Though we may never meet, you are spiritual kin.

May God bless you and keep you,

Cindy

Tempest Mine

There comes a time when all is to be questioned.  A time when our plans and self composed strategies are cast off like hot coals to soft flesh.  There comes a time when we must abandon ourselves to Him by becoming truly inter-dependent.

The time is here.  It has arrived.  We are no longer lingering in wait but at the moment of departure.  Climb aboard now or be left behind.

My current struggles with abandonment to Christ are just that.  My own.  They really are not of any import or interest other than to me and my solitary walk.   I look around, as you do, and I see the very same  pattern of confusion and unconscious rebellion in my Christian brothers and sisters.  In unison we seem to stumbling about in a haphazard trance.   All the while asking of ourselves and Our God, “what am I to do?”.

What am I to do?

Stuck again in the ‘ I ‘.   The little ‘ i ‘ and all that she affords me.  Which is very, very  little by the way.

For this present whirlwind of mind and heart is pervasive and having it’s way with the Remnant.  It is called the Confusion a midst the Storm and it is another ruse of the devil.  If the Flock remains befuddled and scattered, we are hardly in right form to take on the Great Battle.  Let alone be harbingers of the New Era.

Remarkably, like all human maladies there is a spiritual solution.  This particular fever responds to the clarity of the Holy Spirit and at times a swift kick to the posterior.  For me it often comes through another struggling  comrade who unwittingly slaps me into right thinking.   With one or several words, I suddenly am restored to my saddle.  Galloping once again, with full vigor, towards my Lord and my God.

For this reason, and many others, we must stay glued to one another.  The oppressor has unleashed so much upon us that it is very difficult to make one’s way through the menacing fog.  We must grab the coat tails of the man in front of us while offering the same to the soldier behind.  Entwined together in this perilous storm, we have a chance of finding our way to He Who Awaits Us.

After all, He gave us one another for this hurricane of all hurricanes. 

We cannot succumb to going it alone.  It is a death wish to forge off in solitude as we once did.  I urge you to purge yourself of your old ideals of rugged independence and cling to the safety of the holy fraternity.  This is not a mild suggestion but an exhortation.

Do what is necessary now.  Identify your true Christian confidants and have daily contact as if your life depended on it.  Be eager to ask the tough questions and bow your head in silence when a fellow Christian offers sage advice.   Pray fervently with one another and allow sacred community to be whatever the Lords affords you this one day.

The time of sorrows is upon us and we must be One Under God.  Stand with me  little sparrow soul and know that my own smallness is made that much greater by your magnificent presence.

 

As the Comrade behind you, I remain in awe of your steadfastness,

Cindy

The devil’s finest trick…

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               …is to persuade you that he does not exist.

Charles Baudelaire – French Poet

Confessions of A Dog Owner

dog photoThere are moments when you want to just scream.  When so much is going on around you that it becomes surreal and you feel you landed a bit part in a Fellini movie.  It matters not the type of chaos that suddenly erupts whether it be a massive snow storm, sudden illness, or erratic human behavior at the office.  The end product is the same.  You feel confused, vulnerable and more than a little lost.

My spiritual advisor calls it ‘swirling’.  Yep.  Last week was swirling all right.  Ironically, the only one in my life who is seemingly unaffected is my dog, Biscuit.  He seems to handle the current times with great aplomb, impervious to the turbulence that surrounds him.  In fact, Wee Biscuit (as he is known to those in his inner circle), is the epitome of normalcy and calm.

Let’s talk shop for a minute shall we?

We are in the Time of Testing.  A resounding cry is welling up among the Christian corridors and it has the same hue throughout. Whether we follow contemporary Christian prophecy, point to scriptural warnings, or have inner discernment; the Body of Christ is acutely aware we reside in chaotic waters.

Even the New Age barista who works at the local Starbucks is scrambling to account for a world off kilter.  He recently told me, as he kindly handed over my cup of joe, that we are in the ‘age of Aquarius’.  I had to smile at his sincerity but without a Christian backdrop, he like so many, is lost at sea.

And then there is us.  The Christian Remnant.  How well are we handling the nearly constant battering of our sails?

Let me start by exposing last week’s internal dialog:

Ugh.   Help.   Are you serious?   Get a grip.   Just a minor set back.   Chin up!    Ah, this ain’t good.   Hmm.  What in tarnation is going on?   Help.   Could I opt for another generation?   Jesus, help.    No really…help.

So now you know that my mental chamber is far from being that of a Rhodes Scholar.   Yet my recent cognitive thrashing is not too far off from what I suspect other Christians are experiencing.  Yes, the climate is changing.  Yes, the global economy is spiraling downward.  Yes, moral decay abounds.  None of this is too surprising for those of us who closely follow Jesus and His Word.

Yet something much more insidious is at play when the Remnant’s mental and emotional realm comes under attack.  The confusion in the self is very real and must be exposed for what it is.  There is a reason that the faces around you are melding into a collage of bewilderment and confusion.

Satan has significantly ramped up his attack on our psychology.

This is not a reference to a tragic descent into mental illness.  I am speaking of one of the enemy’s primary strategies to oppress the Army of God.  Our foe is cunning and has deployed evil forces to hinder the minds of those who work for the Holy Kingdom.  He will use whatever means within his gnarly grasp to coerce us into a state of spiritual immobilization.  A Christian Soldier, who becomes baffled and befuddled, is easy to topple over.

This is serious business.  As a Christian, you must be extremely vigilant over your thoughts and feelings.   Prayer, fasting, and immersion in The Word will offer you the grace of Divine Protection.  It matters not how solid you think you are in Jesus, the devil is presently engaged in an all-out assault of mankind.  Especially the Remnant.  This is not the time to rest on one’s laurels.   You must not let down your guard of prayer.  Ever.

Jesus is good.  He knows when we have lost our grip and has a gentle way of stitching up our tattered seams.  However, the Lord has given us spiritual tools to fight the evil one and we must ardently employ them in this Final Hour.

You are a Soldier for the Most High.  I beseech you to move into your spiritual practice with renewed fervor and do not deter.  This is a tall order but you were created for this very moment; there are no mistakes in God’s Creation.

As always, I am astounded by your courage, faith, and love.

Your Comrade in Christ,

Cindy (and Wee Biscuit)

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Triumph in the Fallen Garden

'Child Hiding' photo (c) 2006, D. Sharon Pruitt - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/My father died 11 days ago.

There are no words in any language to describe what it feels like when someone you love dies.  There are also no well-intended platitudes, spiritual rhetoric or flower bouquets to lessen your despair.  You suffer through it like a fly glued to sticky paper.  You writhe, groan, and spasm.

Have you felt true grief before?  If you have, you know exactly what I speak of.  It is life changing.  If you don’t believe me look at the before and after photos of soldiers’ faces from the Iraqi war.  Grief can literally etch itself upon your countenance and impact you at the cellular level.  The physical body screams out in agony.  When you take a breath, you fear you will explode. When you exhale, you wonder if it is the last.  It takes all the sufferings from your past and puts them in a box called Not Grief.  It suddenly casts you into an abyss of alienation from normalcy.

As Christian Soldiers we must find a way to cope with suffering, death, and the resulting grief.  If not, we will become emotionally and spiritually immobilized. Our desperate attempts to quell the pain via drugs, alcohol, sex, money, and food will be of no avail.  We will thrash about in a befuddled state and be of little use to the Remnant Army.  This is exactly what the devil desires.  Don’t let him win; you must embrace your grief.  I mean it.  There is no band-aid for human anguish.  You must honor it, feel it, and allow it to move through your being.  It will hurt like the dickens but you must walk through it.  And therein lies the good news.  You can walk though grief and journey to the other side.

God has a beautiful way of providing us with support during our trial of tears.  Don’t be surprised at how healing may manifest.  It may be predictable in the form of a close friend, pastor, priest, or grief counselor.  On the other hand, God may lead you into the unexpected.  You may find yourself suddenly writing poetry, endlessly sipping tea, stealing cat naps, or hiking alone in the woods.  Allow Jesus to offer you a very personal prescription for recovery.  You are a unique soul and the Lord knows exactly how you best be mended.

It is vital you be patient with your personal response to the loss of a cherished other.  There is no perfect way to grieve.  The moment I learned of my father’s passing, I felt completely cut off from God.  It was horrible.  My daily religious practice simply unraveled with the exception of robotic Church attendance.  I was the woman sobbing in the back pew.  The few words I could squeak out to Jesus were steeped in anger and despair.  Thankfully, my Christian friends immediately came to my aid, offering prayers up for my grief-striken family.  Don’t be shy about asking others to pray for you.  They are a precious gift from God for times such as these.  When you can talk to Jesus, do so.  Be honest with Him.  Jesus knows what you are going through and besides being a Just God, He is also a God of Mercy and Divine Love.

Time can take some of the sting out of death.  However, I have to wonder if the soul ever truly heals from the ravages of human decay and loss.  It is, after all, the gift that keeps on giving per the hands of our enemy.  Yet Jesus can heal even the deepest of wounds.  He provides us with Grace sufficient to rise us up so that we may engage in the battle once again.

My dad was a good man.  I want my remaining days here on earth to be a testimony to his spirit and his life.  His years of suffering from Parkinson’s Disease and final descent into death cannot be the end of the story.  Satan cannot have the final say.  It is in moments like this that we must choose.  We can retreat into misery, isolation, and inertia or pick up our spiritual weaponry and fight the prince of darkness who brought death and suffering to the human race.

Today, I choose to fight for the hour is at hand.

Please join me as the Remnant needs you.

Your Comrade in Christ,

Cindy

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