Let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him.

It is Saturday morning. Thankfully I’m off on weekends and don’t have to venture into the wasteland today.

Yesterday in the wilderness I spent two and half hours building an NFL display in a store. I took pictures of it and sent them to my boss with the message, “By Monday this display will be destroyed,” meaning the customers in the store will have picked it apart. I am often asked to perform tasks at my job which are very time-consuming but don’t avail any discernible profit.

But there are things I like about my job. I like that I am always on the move. I wouldn’t like being stuck in an office all day, or in the same store. I’ve worked retail before, but I get bored with being in the same place for too long. I like that I am basically on my own. It’s pretty rare for my supervisor to say much about my job or come to visit my market. And except for a few brief exchanges with store managers and employees, I don’t have to talk much with people. Of course I also like that I report from home. When I did sales before, I had to ride from Millsboro, DE to Salisbury, MD to get my handheld and car, then ride up to Easton and St. Michael’s to perform my duties. I drove about three and a half hours a day. Reporting from home is much better.

So I guess you have to eat the seeds and spit the shells. Overall I am much happier here in NC doing what I do, than I was in Delmarva doing what I did there.

I notice that I said I appreciate not interacting with people too much. Last night I got home and Jessica had some friends here and I just laid in bed in the darkness. I had a headache, but I also preferred not to interact with anyone after working all day and being sleep-deprived, which I always am. We went out to dinner with a couple from church last Tuesday night, their treat: I had steak and crabcake. We went back to their place and chatted and prayed for about a half hour and I was STILL drained by the experience. I find myself odd, but I didn’t choose to be this way; I wouldn’t have made myself this way if it were my decision. I just prefer to be quiet mostly. Most of my existence is lived between my ears. I am a contemplative person. The knowledge that I am always in danger of falling into sin makes me want to pray and confess my neediness, my poverty. I like solitude so I can try to hear God, so I can think. I long to hear the voice and direction of God at all times, in all moments, whether I am working, reading, listening to music, running, making love, sleeping. I’ve met Christians who are bubbly and talkative and want to be with people all the time and I always wonder how they ever have time to listen for God.

I used to think I could somehow summon the power to change my personality so that I would be more sociable and outgoing. But I gave up on that, or at least I placed it in the Lord’s hands. If He would change me, He could change me. I think in His creative diversity He might’ve just made some people to be like me: quiet and thoughtful, but still very passionate for Him and His people.

It is a beautiful sunny day today, Halloween. Martin Luther posted his ninety-five theses 498 years ago today. I slept and woke up with a headache. If it recedes I may work outside in the yard today.

From 1 Corinthians 7 (ESV):

Only let each person lead the life that the Lord has assigned to him, and to which God has called him. This is my rule in all the churches. Was anyone at the time of his call already circumcised? Let him not seek to remove the marks of circumcision. Was anyone at the time of his call uncircumcised? Let him not seek circumcision. For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.) For he who was called in the Lord as a bondservant is a freedman of the Lord. Likewise he who was free when called is a bondservant of Christ. You were bought with a price; do not become bondservants of men. So, brothers, in whatever condition each was called, there let him remain with God.

Advertisements

For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.

I woke up at 2:30 this morning when Winston came stomping out of the boy’s room and let the dog loose from her cage and the two of them clamored around making a huge racket. It was fine since I had to go to Wilmington this morning anyway. I went for a jog on OBW and felt pretty strong. There is an app I’ve been using called Zombies, Run! that gives you challenges when you run and a whole backstory and zombie chases to make you sprint. That’s been fun. I have been listening to Neko Case this week. She’s not just a pretty face. I really love her music.

When I got back in the driveway a big, lumbering raccoon was eating dog food out of a bin on our front porch. He watched me for a long time as if annoyed because I interrupted his meal. I read a little in 1 Corinthians, showered, and got out the door. I found out this morning that there was a management position open in Wilmington and I wasn’t aware of it and the posting had closed.

I don’t care. I am in a strange place right now. I don’t have a career, or even the thought of a career. I don’t want to move up in my job. I hate the company I work for; I hate chasing dollars by selling sugar and chemicals. I suppose that means I should be looking for a new job. I feel as if I am in limbo, just as I have felt for the past ten years, almost. A full decade come July, working for a company I hate, in different roles throughout that time, and hating them all. Hating it with perfect hatred. I just try to do my work in the service of God and not worry about it much. Joseph worked diligently for Potiphar and Pharoah. Daniel worked for Nebuchadnezzar.

My wife gets up most mornings to make me a lunch of some sort. I am married to a godly woman.

Work was fairly uneventful. Chad worked with me at a few stops, though he basically just schmoozes with customers and doesn’t do much to actually help me. Not that I need much help, really. (TEN YEARS!)

I got home and fiddled with the video intro I’m working on for the YouTube channel I’ve made. Tonight I plan on just lying around. I’m pretty tired from getting up so early and tomorrow is going to be a long day.

I am praying for God to demonstrate His power in and through me. I am seeking occasion against the Philistines.

God is not slow concerning His promises.

Yesterday after church I worked outside for several hours. Cut a pretty large tree down with the chainsaw. Sikki and I sprayed around the house for bugs. Before dinner we took all the kids to the beach and walked for a while. She got stung by a honeybee that was lying in the surf. After dinner she cut my hair and we did a little cleaning, put the kids to bed, and made love.

I woke up at four feeling weird and foggy-minded. I wasn’t able to comprehend much and diddled on Facebook for awhile before heading out for a jog. The work day wasn’t too exceptional, except that my phone didn’t ring all day long, which I like. I had the blues for some reason in the early part of the day — that old sensation of feeling like a fool for following God and wanting to just screw the desperate, lonely women who flirt with me in the accounts. I saw Brother Ronnie at one of my first stops; he spoke in church yesterday. After seeing him, I started praying and gave the day and my life to the Lord. I live my life on the edge of a precipice and it is only the grace of God that keeps me.

This evening I have to try and sign up for next year’s insurance.

The days of my life were ordained for me before one of them existed.

Abide Under The Shadow

Hosea 4:12-13

My people inquire of a piece of wood, and their walking staff gives them oracles. For a spirit of whoredom has led them astray, and they have left their God to play the whore.

(KJV – …they have gone a whoring from under their God.)

They sacrifice on the tops of the mountains and burn offerings on the hills, under oak, poplar, and terebinth, because their shade is good.

I’ve been reading in the book of Hosea this week. Hosea is full of powerful, shocking imagery. This particular text interests me because it says that the people of God have left His shade for a lesser but more physically relatable worldly covering.

This is the essence of false, man-made religious practice in all its forms — including “Christian” forms: trading real, spiritual relationship and discipline for another kind of comfort that appeals to the senses, style preferences, or religious feeling and sentiment. Malleable, flexible, “reasonable” human devotion to those things we can see and feel WILL provide us a genuine sense of comfort and shelter for a time, and yet they can be as far from knowing God and walking in His ways as the starry hosts are from the dirt of earth.

And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee… — Luke 1:35

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. — Psalm 91:1-2

Caught Up To God

Today is Tuesday. I have worked the first two days of the workweek trying to seek the presence and purpose of the King of kings.

On Sunday morning in church I felt an urgency to give a prophetic utterance during the song service but the timing didn’t seem right. I held back even though my heart was pounding and I really felt I needed to speak. I thought at the time it was for the whole church. The song service ended and the guest speaker gave his message. But at the end he asked if anyone had a word for him. He said he had a sense all week long that someone was going to give him a message. No one said anything and he went to sit down. My heart was pounding again.

I’ve given a few prophetic words in the past, but I am always unsure of myself. I wonder whether I am really hearing from God, or whether my thoughts are just running wild. The uncertainty is a concern for me because I know that Muhammad was unsure whether God was speaking to him: he believed he was hearing from a jinn. (One of his wives convinced him that his message was from God and he has gone forth to conquer and slay ever since.)

Anyway when the man asked if anyone had a word for him, I prayed and asked God not to let me represent Him poorly, and I stood up and went up front and delivered a message. I could barely remember what I said to him afterward.

I only mention it here because I really do desire to operate in spiritual giftings, words of knowledge, healings, tongues, etc. I want to be available to speak life and hope and correction — whatever God sees fit. The perfect man is a man who has let his ego wither, and seeks nothing of his own glory. I really don’t think God wants a bunch of rock star disciples. I think the aim of life should be the glory of God and Him alone. If He chooses to honor someone, that is His affair. I don’t need to be “Mr. Personality” and have everyone like me. I only want to be obedient to His purpose today.

This is the Last Time

I slept poorly last night and had to get up earlier than usual to go to Wilmington. I had sexual dreams about someone. Sikki has been sick and we haven’t made love in quite a while. I have dreams and wandering thoughts when we don’t have sex regularly.

I’m not sure whether I’ve been depressed or what, but I haven’t had much of a sex drive lately. It might have something to do with some weight I’ve gained since I became hampered in my breathing a couple years ago. I don’t feel too sexy when I gain weight or don’t exercise regularly. When we were moving to NC, I had to go see a pulmonologist because an allergist told me I had a strange growth in my lung. We moved to NC under a cloud of uncertainty about my health, our finances, my job situation, and of course wondering what the plan of God was. The pulmonologist treated me with Prednisone and took two CT scans, which showed that whatever was in my lungs shrunk. He told me to go back to the allergist thinking my breathing difficulties must be a reaction to something. That was almost two years ago and I haven’t followed up.

I won a video camera in a sales incentive at work. Yesterday and today I’ve been thinking about maybe opening a YouTube channel where I could post my reflections on life and the scriptures. It helps me to avoid temptation when I am focused on the kingdom of God, and specifically on what God wants me to do. God has said he wants me “in the harness,” so I am trying to be obedient to that word and seek opportunities for my gifts to be expressed.

I was thinking today about how many people have spoken into my life — the specific people who were obedient to the Lord and inspired faith and hope in me. I want to be like that: someone who points people to God, helps them along, eases their journey.

Is it time?

Father,

Is it time for me to write the vision? I’m forty now. You know that I am always one inch from falling off the precipice but I am also very in love with you and your ways. I desire to obey your voice and get back in the harness. I long to see the people in your church become a blessing to you — everything you had in mind when you died for us. I am willing if you will help me, Father.

People seem to be helped when I speak. They say I have a way of speaking about you that makes sense. They tell me I have a gift. Still, you prevent me from knowing whether anything is effective. How does one measure effectiveness in your kingdom? What makes something rich in your eyes?

Mindy says I should make more videos. She was referring to a couple of videos I posted on Facebook four years ago. I would like to write something that could help the struggling church. So many are hurting and there aren’t many teachers.

I am willing to throw more seed, but only if you help me, Alpha and Omega. My desire is to know you in the process. I am not trying to jump ahead of you and your timing.

Is it time?