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Saul to Paul

*GOD*day!

One thing about me, you can tell me what to do, or what not to do, but my final answer that lord’s over my life, and leads me to do what I will finally do, is that of the Lord’s leading alone.

The teacher mom in me is compelled to correct that statement, or should I say, clarify it a bit more.  Lest you go and seek out a picture of me and you are expecting to see wings on my back because you looking for a picture where I’m some sort of perfect little angel.  Or maybe a halo on my head because I’m glowing with all sorts of perfected goodness.  How wonderful that would be, but you will search in vain because there is no such person existing in me.

Sometimes, sometimes I do, get consumed by my world around me.  Not often is it I say the words, “I’m in a bad mood.”  In some seventeen years of being with my husband I’ve only mouthed those words but a few times.  Last week was one.  Oh yes, yes it was.  If I could have afforded it I would have skipped going to work so that I could stay clear of the big old mess I was about to step myself into to.  Instead of jumping off the step that led down a path of least resistance, I walked down a road filled with pitfalls and sinking sand.  Yes, I sunk.  I sunk and fell right into a trap that caught me while I was in a weakened state.  Instead of walking away from the drama of the day, I chimed in.  Actually, it sounded nothing like chimes.  Chimes make a melodious sound.  The sound of silence is what I should have had.  No, not me, not in that moment of time, when one slips down the ever slippery slope and chooses to let loose.

Do you ever find yourself doing fine and suddenly out of the blue, there is that someone who walks onto your path who wants nothing but to get your worse, so you look like them?

These are the pretentious people who have the non-gift of acting one way when some are looking, and another when others are looking.  These are those who have this innate ability to hate.  Maybe they don’t hate goodness, or happiness.  Maybe they don’t actually hate people.  They might even believe they are people people.  What they do though is mimic people people.   People people can usually see right through those people though.  It irritates the ever loving bageebee’s out of them too.

Brains Before Emotions

I’m that person.  A true to life people person.  I do love people.  I find I can accept people as they are, until… Yes, I have an until.  It’s that until that meets and runs into that part of me that happened the other evening at work.  It’s the side of me that should have taken that high road of least resistance and not the low road of sinking deep into the depths of a lack of self-control.

I’m sharing all this because we’ve got a bit of sharing to do in this CHRISTian world to all those who aren’t, that we are not the Perfect One, we are human.  We do in that same statement of living and loving, have to express that when we are wrong, no matter how wronged we’ve been, when we jump in as well, and we have gone the wrong way, we need to be able to own that wrong, and to the best of our ability face it head on.

I’m not sure if I’ve shared this but the focus for the past few months given to me by my manager is:  “Brains before Emotion”.  Sounds good, right?  In theory it’s one to take to the bank of your brain and invest in.  It’s advice that keeps you out of the sinking sand and into the fox hole of GOD’s protective custody.

Well on this particular bad mood moment of a day, enter in the queen of disguises and me having had enough of it all.  Yes, like I’m some ruler of the free world who gets to get out a measuring stick and decide that it’s time to take a bite of crime, I yield to the not taming of my tongue and use sarcasm instead of wit.

Dontchaknow, eh? 

You and I know this is how it always goes down too.  We know that just when we’ve been trained up, studied up, the enemy sneaks in.  How does he do it?  How, how, how?  We didn’t even see it coming.  He does it because one, we all have some kinks in our armor.  We all have that proverbial weak spot.  We all have at some point, boiling and breaking points.  The person met right up at the crossroads of Really? Really, you won’t to go there?  My bad, my bad, bad for heading into the wrong side of town that evening.  I so wished, as usual I would have just strolled on out and down the road to my happy working life of cooking and serving all that goodness on a plate.  But alas no.  No, there were lessons to be learned and I was about to put on some to big britches and teach a lesson or two.  No worries though.  GOD would grab a hold of me on His GOD-line and hang my little britches and self up to dry to teach me a lesson or two, too!  Thank You GOD for grace like rain!

Some of you may like watching reality shows.  I did once upon a time too.  I don’t so much now.  They all seem so scripted and phony baloney.  Like Bethenny Ever After.  So much would I like to watch a show about the sweet Poppy family.  Jason at the helm, and a beautiful child in tow.   A show depicting a rag to riches woman who got to the place where she once dreamed to be able to go.  The title of that show was the hint of what it was really going to continue to be all about.  About the show on the road of Bethenny.  There is little room for the rest of the people who’ve supported her all along the road.  Little room for the people in her life now who love and care for her.  She is one of those people who paves a road and if you aren’t fitting into the tread of her tiresome little world of all about her, you are going to get run over.

This is the insight of someone like me, and INFJ.  Someone who saw in the title: Bethenny Ever After, the whole truth about what is to come.  Not right away.  I had hopes that maybe for once we’d see someone see the bright lights of forever and always.  Those lights that bless your life far brighter than having a Hollywood glamour girl life.  Brighter than the bright star on some Hollywood walk of fame.  It’s a walk of shame for some.  Not all… just some.  It doesn’t say Bethenny Happily Ever After, or just Happily Ever After, though.  One thing she was honest and up front about is that it is all about her.  Or maybe she was honest about it being a one woman needing know one sort of show. I’m saying all this because it’s sad that there are still those who can’t live with all the blessing bestowed upon them, and go and live happily ever after.  Sure, there is no real every day happy.  Life can just suck the breath out of you quite often.  Bethenny Hoppy; which is who I’m going to call her, because in my book when you marry, two become one.  Here she found “the one” who was her perfect fit, but as we all know, and all have seen, Bethenny loves to be a one woman on stage sort of show girl.  No matter what is on the table of that show, it’s Bethenny.

Hippity-Hoppity

Now you might be asking where on the bunny trail of talking are you going Jeannie Bee?  Great question!  I’m writing as fast as my little brain is doling out the comparison of how we look at reality shows like they are reality.  Quite honestly, all the one for the money and two for the show that is depicted on Bethenny Ever After might be all for the show.  I have no idea.  I just know that for a bit I was wanting to watch it.  I think it was because I wanted to see happily ever after.  Maybe thinking that this idea she had in her head of having it all, was being able to see that she almost did have it all.

Sounds harsh, right?  Well you and I only get one time around to find out what we are all about?  We get one chance to see what kind of ride we road on the road of life.  We all have to make choices.

Having It All and Wanting It All

There is a huge difference between having it all and the actual “it” of all.  Sometimes the all, isn’t what we really perceive it to be.  Sometimes asking for more, like more cupcakes =) is okay.  Asking for more education, that is good also.  Asking for more of this and more of that, and wanting, and wanting, and wanting, that can leave one breathless though.  Breathless from riding the train of that of a two year old… I want, I want, I want, gimme-gimme-gimme.  It’s an exhausting ride for life to travel upon.  You just never are seemingly satisfied for any length of time.  Sure as shoot’n the next thing that you must have, thing that you can’t just live without comes along.  You travel, trample and trod upon who ever it is necessary to get to that next “all”.

Thank You Lord

This is the road where we have to realize after receiving Christ, how can we really continue to ask for more.  So often I fall into the trap of thinking I’ve got to get out of my settling reality and I began to look at the world around me, because someone is affecting and skewing up my true knowledge of knowing that having Jesus and knowing Christ as my Lord and Savior, is having it all.  It’s a simple truth of love, salvation and Eternal never dying happiness.  It is my happily ever story with my Knight Jesus, who road up on donkey and began a journey to the cross, giving His very own life for me.  Yes, me!

Reality To Me

What I did last week on my terrible horrible day was to walk away from my thank you Lord, portion.  I took into my own hands my crabby self and allowed my bad unchecked attitude to prosper and grow like bad bacteria in a petri dish.

Now I didn’t make a conscience decision to do this.  I actually was praying for my attitude to be adjusted and I tried, tried, tried.  Enter in the woman of pretense.  She is so good too.  It was a challenge and you I’d not be writing if it wasn’t for the final act of, I failed.

I allowed a below the belt comment from someone who I don’t even consider a source for goodness, once again to hit me hard.  Last time I did have someone to turn to express this with.  I was able to have someone ask me, “Jeannie are you okay?”  My response when this woman told someone that I wasn’t wanted at _______, and they just wished I’d leave.  That comment hit me too.  I told my manager then, “I’m not okay, but I will be.”  On this particular evening though, this individual was doing her best to find that crack in my armor.  It worked.  She likes to mimic me and make fun of me.  I don’t mind that so much but on this terrible, no good day I was seemingly having, yes, I got in a trap.  Normally I just look at it as someone who is sort of bird brained.  Their way of being a  mocking bird, and having a non-sense of owning it mentality.   I love her with the love of CHRIST, I do.  I will say that.  I’d love nothing more than it to all be okay.  It’s just that the truth is, in the real world we live in, it cannot be so.  You and I will always have these sort of people in our lives.  They are not to be trusted, but they are to be loved.   I allow myself to pray up as she preys upon me.  That’s when I’m at my best. From this post you can tell I most certainly was not showing the best in show.  Oh, there was a show alright, it just stunk.   On this night though, I didn’t walk away, I walked up to the podium of twisted thinking and walked into a battle of words.

No, we didn’t say much of anything, but I wasn’t behaving as I normally would.  My setting on my silly self was on set to sensitive and I did not allow the Holy Spirit to desensitize me from this moment in time.

After all this babble you are wanting to know what happened.  Well, if you’ve been reading my blog you’ll know that I’m living in the world of foreclosure.  Many people are.  Many people are also far off worse than we are.  I’ve got no pity party going on.  It’s just a fact of life.  It has happened for many reasons of which I do believe I’ve shared already.  It is hard, it is a hardship, but truly my life and faith, my hope and trust, rest in a Soul Provider who is my sole Provider.  It’s all what it is, and I’m doing my best to keep a smile on my face and work in retail all the while.  It’s not easy every day, but I do it.  I try to do my best and leave perfection to GOD.  On this day though, this day of being dealt the blow of a comment, I sure did fail miserably and that I disappointed me, more so GOD.

You Forgot The Net

However on this evening sometimes the things said in this world trip us up.  She hit with the financial aspect at hand and said, and I quote, “I’m happy working too.”  That doesn’t sound awful does it?  I didn’t think so, I was glad we were both happy at work.  For a moment!  She wasn’t finished though.  See there was a kink in her armor too, it’s me.  She said, “I in fact have two jobs because I pay my bills.”

OUCH!

I just stood there with a gasp.  She long had turned on her tippy toe tongue and spun out of the room.  As I stood speechless.  The truth is what she said was not nice.  It was cruel.  It was meant to cut like a knife, and indeed it did.  It cut hard.

The truth also is, it was my fault.  Instead of using brains over emotion all day long.  Allowing myself to make my world a different, a better place, I made some rain reign down on me.  I chose to tightrope the day instead of finding a way off into a safety net.  Jesus is my safety net and when I allowed myself to banter along the way, I in essence allowed myself to free fall right on the ground onto the floor of her three ring circus which I walked into that evening.  My bad!  I never was good at being a high flying anything, let alone someone who says the thing that they later will regret.  That’s not my style.  I personally am never a fan of walking on any thin line, let alone a high flying tight rope of danger, and without a safety net, no less.

Now You See Me, Now You Saul Me

As I said I will own it when I’m wrong.  Does the blow that was rendered still sting?  Yes, but it also holds within it a lesson for Jeannie Bee me, to learn.  My world became a test in time that I failed.  I failed to exhibit self control and the sting that came was from my own failed attempt to turn tail.  I stung myself because instead allowing the character of Paul to flow, as I am different since knowing Jesus, I allowed my old Saul self in.  I was going to do it all somewhat on my own.

Acts 9

The Blinding of Saul

 1-2All this time Saul was breathing down the necks of the Master’s disciples, out for the kill. He went to the Chief Priest and got arrest warrants to take to the meeting places in Damascus so that if he found anyone there belonging to the Way, whether men or women, he could arrest them and bring them to Jerusalem.

 3-4He set off. When he got to the outskirts of Damascus, he was suddenly dazed by a blinding flash of light. As he fell to the ground, he heard a voice: “Saul, Saul, why are you out to get me?”

Yes I was blind-sided.  Yes, in a moment of lacking and exhibiting self control I allowed myself to behave badly.  Did I deserve the comment?  No, I don’t believe anyone deserves to be kicked while they are down.  However, I wasn’t exactly down now was I?  Sure I was on the low road with this person, but I had no Christ-like business setting foot into enemy territory.  On this particular mission trip, my road should have been the high road with Christ-like character, and as my manager said, brains before emotion.

Paul: Now You Are Appalled, Now Your Not

As we’ve heard many times, and now… The rest of the story.  Moments in time where we allow our old fleshly driven self to ride off on it’s own, when what we should be doing is checking for kinks in the armor and allowing the Holy Spirit to repair any sensitive issues that might be needing mending.

Acts 9

5-6He said, “Who are you, Master?”

   “I am Jesus, the One you’re hunting down. I want you to get up and enter the city. In the city you’ll be told what to do next.”

 7-9His companions stood there dumbstruck—they could hear the sound, but couldn’t see anyone—while Saul, picking himself up off the ground, found himself stone-blind. They had to take him by the hand and lead him into Damascus. He continued blind for three days. He ate nothing, drank nothing.

 10There was a disciple in Damascus by the name of Ananias. The Master spoke to him in a vision: “Ananias.”

   “Yes, Master?” he answered.

 11-12“Get up and go over to Straight Avenue. Ask at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus. His name is Saul. He’s there praying. He has just had a dream in which he saw a man named Ananias enter the house and lay hands on him so he could see again.”

 13-14Ananias protested, “Master, you can’t be serious. Everybody’s talking about this man and the terrible things he’s been doing, his reign of terror against your people in Jerusalem! And now he’s shown up here with papers from the Chief Priest that give him license to do the same to us.”

 15-16But the Master said, “Don’t argue. Go! I have picked him as my personal representative to non-Jews and kings and Jews. And now I’m about to show him what he’s in for—the hard suffering that goes with this job.”

 17-19So Ananias went and found the house, placed his hands on blind Saul, and said, “Brother Saul, the Master sent me, the same Jesus you saw on your way here. He sent me so you could see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” No sooner were the words out of his mouth than something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes—he could see again! He got to his feet, was baptized, and sat down with them to a hearty meal.

Plots Against Saul

 19-21Saul spent a few days getting acquainted with the Damascus disciples, but then went right to work, wasting no time, preaching in the meeting places that this Jesus was the Son of God. They were caught off guard by this and, not at all sure they could trust him, they kept saying, “Isn’t this the man who wreaked havoc in Jerusalem among the believers? And didn’t he come here to do the same thing—arrest us and drag us off to jail in Jerusalem for sentencing by the high priests?”

 22But their suspicions didn’t slow Saul down for even a minute. His momentum was up now and he plowed straight into the opposition, disarming the Damascus Jews and trying to show them that this Jesus was the Messiah.

 23-25After this had gone on quite a long time, some Jews conspired to kill him, but Saul got wind of it. They were watching the city gates around the clock so they could kill him. Then one night the disciples engineered his escape by lowering him over the wall in a basket.

 26-27Back in Jerusalem he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him. They didn’t trust him one bit. Then Barnabas took him under his wing. He introduced him to the apostles and stood up for him, told them how Saul had seen and spoken to the Master on the Damascus Road and how in Damascus itself he had laid his life on the line with his bold preaching in Jesus’ name.

 28-30After that he was accepted as one of them, going in and out of Jerusalem with no questions asked, uninhibited as he preached in the Master’s name. But then he ran afoul of a group called Hellenists—he had been engaged in a running argument with them—who plotted his murder. When his friends learned of the plot, they got him out of town, took him to Caesarea, and then shipped him off to Tarsus.

 31Things calmed down after that and the church had smooth sailing for a while. All over the country—Judea, Samaria, Galilee—the church grew. They were permeated with a deep sense of reverence for God. The Holy Spirit was with them, strengthening them. They prospered wonderfully.

Our Past Does Not Define Us

Like Paul his past no longer would define him.  It was however a clear reminder of who he didn’t want to be any longer.  My husband can tell you that I rarely have days that are bad.  Most often I’ll have some moments.  They pass because I hand them over to the Lord.  They get better because I make a conscience decision not to slip over the slope and allow a whole day of 1440 minutes to ruined and turned over to satan.  However on this particular working evening I did not.  Like Paul I can learn once again that just like GOD humbled Paul, I too can be humbled and began again, all the wiser for the wearing of improper clothing that did not shine-Jesus-shine!

His Grace, Like Rain

For that I am so sorry for having offended my Savior.  It breaks my heart to know that I allowed some back handed word lashing to rise up the worst of me.  Lesson learned!

Grace Like Rain

For a moment in time I chose to fight my own little battle instead of being that woman down on her knees.  I was not prayed up, so I was open to being preyed upon.  I was not surrendering me to open up to His choices, so I was, in truthfulness, surrendering myself over to being surrounded and open to attack.

There is a battle going on, a war for sure that is raging.  Those battles are spiritual.

Philippians 3:12-14 I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.

Yes, that is what I’m declaring today as: No Turning Back Day!

Until all have heard of and know, His Love,

Jeannie Bee

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