Calling All Little Debbies…

Autumn Foliage

Once upon a time…

A warrior sits underneath a palm tree and fills shoes big, because of men small.  She is brave and present – because they are not.

Deborah…Wife, Warrior, Judge, Prophetess, Encourager, Poet, Mother to Isreal. Wise, fearless, committed, and called.  Her courage does not cloak her femininity.  She is simply a woman with a sword and she leans heavy on the breast of Divinity.

Deborah…her name means “bee”, and she is a busy bee for God and His people.  Similar to a bee, her intelligence exceeds those in the kingdom around her, and she is anointed with wisdom from up High.  As she obediently answers the call of her God to rise up for such a time as right now, she does so with admirable courage…if only we could borrow her brave and dare to rise up ourselves.

It is a time that war is imminent.  As a wife, we can assume her husband supports her calling from God, as she would no doubt be unable to shine without the love and encouragement from her man.  One can also assume that Deborah is able to fulfill her role as wife first, with devotion and dedication, with submission and respect and love deep.  This enables God’s blessing on her life and calling, and as she and her husband rise up together, they serve hand in hand in the roles God has handcrafted for each of them.  Deborah’s personality may have been a bit more bold, while her husband may have been the quiet and strong encourager that God knew she would need to propel her forward in order that she would be able accomplish all He set before her.

Outrageous.  You mean women can actually do something for the kingdom of God? Can dainty hands wield a sword?

Yep.

Autumn Trees

The church is unbalanced and women are unfortunately greatly affected by this….and that is a shame.  There are generally two camps in the church: the one justifies Jezebels; the other destroys Deborah’s.  The Jezebels…rebellious, loud, stubborn women, ugly inside and out, rats on a wheel – running fast, but accomplishing nothing, yet promoted and encouraged by blind and undiscerning Preachers.  The Deborah’s…zealous and bold and godly, but their fire is stomped out by rules and doctrines of man, carried out by fundie zealots trained and ruined by midwestern mega churches.

But Deborah…this chick is a force to reckoned with, and she will gladly rise to the occasion in a time that many will not.  Her courage is inspiring and she seems to have a desire, not to lord over men, but to encourage them to be brave and to march on for God.  Even her right hand man would not have been able to go to war without the motivation and presence of Deborah.

“And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.” (Judges 4:8-9)

What an honor to be used by God to be the encourager for those who are courage-less. Deborah’s presence for Barak was the driving force to stand up to the enemy!  Are you that person – that “Deborah” – that God uses to motivate and inspire those whom God places in your path, to stand up to the enemy?  Deborah’s courage and vision are far reaching, for even the housewife, Jael, wears it valiantly as she drives a stake through the head of her enemy.  Could you do it…could you drive a stake through the head of your enemy?  What do you as a woman of God know about spiritual warfare?  Yes, Sisera to Jael was a physical enemy, but it is a picture of the very real and wicked spiritual enemies that we face, that come to the door of our tents and ask us to hide them, lie for them, and protect them in the secret places of our hearts.  Do you struggle with fear?  How about depression?  Can you honestly say that you are living up to the inheritance you have obtained through what was accomplished on the cross for you?  We are living in a time of all out war, especially spiritually speaking!  Yet, women are in the corners of the church cowering, completely unable to even help one another, let alone the world.  And guess what?…Ladies Teas and so called Women’s Conferences that do little but build up the temporal… these do nothing to prepare the precious souls of women for the battle…nothing.

Road through Autumn

If you don’t want Hillary, then be a Deborah!

Where are the churches?  Oh. My. Word.  Where are they?  How much longer will we claim ignorance?  When will women be taught how to recognize, withstand, and FIGHT their enemy in the power of God and with the weapons available to them?  There has clearly never been a more sorry display of leadership in the churches then there is today.  The war is here and we are busy just building more buildings to fill them up with more people – more women – who are hurting, not living up to their calling, unable to fight and win and be free.  If this doesn’t affect us – if we aren’t concerned at all – God help us.

“Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” (Luke 10:19)

“Verily I say into you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matt. 18:18)

This is a call out to all of the potential “Deborahs”!  Rise up and let God use you!  Cry out to God for more, and He will gladly fill that cup!  “The inhabitants of the villages ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel…the LORD made me have dominion over the mighty.” (Judges 5:7,13)

The battle’s strong and seems so long –
but victory is mine.
The enemy rages and war he wages –
but this branch grasps her Vine.
The Vine is He who died for me –
but rose He from the grave.
He gives me power for this hard hour –
In Christ I must be brave.
I must not waiver but be yet braver –
my soul to Christ must cling.
I need not fear, My God is here –
through war my soul He’ll bring.

 

River and Fall trees

Calling all Little Debbies… can you hear me?  Now is the time to arise!  Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand.” (Ps. 149:6)

The End.

The Rhythm of Giving Thanks

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Once upon a time…

A family gathers and plants and sows and reaps and prays.

The place where family gathers and gives thanks.  It’s where she is and where she always wants to be. This place – this land – the very dirt and trees and pink rocks sticking out from the ground…they acquiesce to her family’s presence here. Nature knows she and hers belong here because God has told them it is so.

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To be together here is the culmination of lofty dreams and distant aspirations that used to be like nighttime stars she could only reach up and try to grab hold of…but they were too far away. This family that God has placed her solitary soul within… this life He has for her to live…these children He has carefully placed into her imperfect hands…this Farmer/Builder/Lover/Friend of a husband she is so blessed and privileged to be the wife of… these are all of the “abundantly above all that we could ask or think” gifts. Yes, for sure.

A desire is only a desire until Holiness kisses it and sets it in motion. Then it has wings and can fly and be the answer to a mostly afraid girl’s prayers. And that is a beautiful reality.

Have you ever wondered why Perfectness would love its antithesis so much – and even die on a tree for all who are nothing close to holy? And even more than that – as if that were not enough -involve Himself in all of the little things and creatively place each of us unthankful and self absorbed souls right where we need to be?

sunflower

Gratefulness calls out from the ground to her as the land is prepared to feed them and the dirt and blood and roughness on her husband’s hands reminds her of the importance of giving thanks….daily, hourly, always and continually…

To give thanks is to worship. And the fact that there is dirt under his nails is thank worthy, because she remembers when she met him and his hands were the instruments of creativity in a different form – the computers and the fluorescent lights and the constant deadlines and the exhaustion pushed on him by well meaning members of the Good ‘Ol Boys Club…

train tracks

But now there is a new calling for their tribe, and when a path is laid out for your feet, you walk it while holding hands in prayers deep with a faith-pointed compass guiding sure and forward. And yielding to the unknown path, as scary as it can be, can lead to beauty and to deliverances we didn’t know were possible.

Holding hands with Jesus gets you to where you need to be.

Exhale. Bend the knee. Present your cup and let Him fill it.

The trees bend and sway up here and when the leaves touch each other they sing and whoosh. It is so lovely. And the coyotes, they howl at night while the crickets try to compete with them. Everything is so alive! And if we forget to praise Him, Nature will shout in our place, “Hallelujah, glory, glory!”

Even children can discern the glory of God in the beauty and simplicity that is around them, and in their own ways they cry out in adoration. Their faith is uncomplicated and pure and if nurtured and encouraged, it will blossom and little boys will become men…men of God. And all of the lessons learned through the years of family life will be relived, rededicated, and reapplied so that nothing goes to waste. And little hands folded now will yield big, when they are big.

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This is Autumn.…the air is crisp and the leaves are falling and the family gathers around the fire. The warmth and the togetherness and the unity are sacred and God-given. The animals are fed, the chores are done, and the cups runneth over. And little boys giggle silly while Daddy tells jokes…and memories are made and absorbed and held tightly within her apple-cinnamon heart.

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“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.” (Ecc. 3:1-8)

bowl of apples and a pine cone

Yes, and every season should be full of thanks to the God of lights. And every tongue should learn the language of gratefulness, whether it is night or day, mirth or misery. Because life is a gift – fragile, mysterious, and beautiful. And as we look around to where the Planter has planted us, we can see with our spiritual eyes the perfect wisdom and sovereignty that went into our lives…our people, our surroundings, our country church at the top of the hill…it’s all for us because of Him.

And then we can live insouciantly (and gratefully) ever after, in the presence of the One who lived and died scarlet love for the sad sinner, for the abused and the abuser, for the fearful and fretful, for the angry and addicted, and for all of those that are so lost and hopeless.

autumn flowers

“He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat.” (Psalm 147:14)

The End.