Short, Sweet and to the Point

When in Doubt Just Don’t . . .

Think it. . .

Say it. . .

Or Do it. . .

oh-sweetie-i-just-dont-think-so

 

Aunt Bee from the old favorite show: Mayberry

What heartache could we have prevented for ourselves and others if we had yielded to the conscience of God’s Best?

I’ve made more than my share of mistakes, with my mom, in my marriage, my girls, friends, leadership, etc. I even hand delivered a letter that caused all kinds of messy misunderstandings. I guess some lessons we learn the hard way. It’s never too late or too early to learn to yield our thought life, words and actions captive to the obedience of our Christ.

Abba God, teach us, through obedience to your Son, to take captive whatever is not Kingdom building in our ways. Amen

Men: Let God Pick Your Battles

Armor of GodBattle At Aslan’s How: Naria (link to song)

This post is dedicated to the men that have had the most profound influences in my life: My Dad: Merle F. Warren, My Brother: Toby Warren, My Friend: Bill Benton, My Biology Teacher: Mr. Ginn, My Husband: Bucky Elofson,My brother-in-law, Don Sherman, My friend: Steve Eagleton, My friend: Curtis Tupper, My Friend: Frank McArdle, My Friend: Herman Soong, My God Son: Sean (In chronological order). Men to be: The Husband’s of my priceless, cherished, beloved, daughters.

Men: This is for you. It is to honor you. Who you were, are and will be created to be in the Lord Jesus.
Women: A note to you: Love them like they are already there. . .Like they have arrived at their God-given destiny because God loves them like He seems them tomorrow, not today.
Tracey: Note to Self: Be vulnerable, honest, true to your calling as a wife and a wordsmith, and above all others, honor/respect your husband.

I am speaking/sharing here from places of weakness and mistakes and misunderstandings on my part. It was not until a few years ago, that I became painfully aware I was afraid of men. Now I understand, I was not afraid of “men,” I was afraid and deeply intimidated by their strength. Men: your strength of voice, words and gestures go much further than you are aware with women. It does not take much to leave a “positive or negative impression.” Take that to heart, please.

My fearful, distant posture was not about the men in my life. So do not jump to any conclusions here :). It was about my gentle nature, my tender sensitivity and the fact that I grew up without any males in the household. Just my mom and me. My first male teacher, terrified me. Men move differently and there is power to their momentum. (Give me abundant grace here!) Mr. Ginn, my first male teacher: Biology. One day he asked me to stay after class. I remember it like it was yesterday, trembling knees, shallow breaths and clinging to the ground I stood on with my toes. He looked me straight in the eyes and said. . .(He it comes, head to ground), “Tracey, young lady you are not working up to your potential.” (I looked up, slightly.) “I’ve been watching you in class, and I believe you could be a great student. Mediocrity is not your thing. I want you to strive to do better on the next test.” (I had made a C.) You are dismissed.” I started making As hence forth, with a few B’s for blessings sprinkled in there. I wonder if Mr. Ginn, knew he went to battle for me that day. He battled against my insecurities and self-doubt and brought my victory of success to the fore front of my life. He believed in my best.

My husband Bucky, the Godly battle against this disease, has armored Him with the armor of God. He battles everyday against my doubts, terrors, insecurities, pains, progression of the disease. I think most of the time, he is not aware of what battle field he is on, but I am. I know well, what the fight is and I see the battle fatigue in his eyes. I see the battle “wounds” inflicted on him for my behalf. I press into prayer for his perseverance. It is my victory he puts first, not his. My victory for life. (We are learning, God defines “victory.”)

I would have to write a thesis to include the battles these other men have fought bravely for on my behalf. On the behalf of my family, they entered battle fields, sometimes, unknowingly. Bill, Steve, Frank, Curtis, Frank, Herman, Sean and son-in-laws to be. . .Know I give great honor to each of you to victories sought for God’s best for me and my family. Know your efforts, did not go unnoticed and are recognized by our Lord and in my life. Each of you, in your own way, taught me lessons of “strength” that moved me past intimidation and fear into respect and honor for the best in you as men of God.

Men: Let God Pick your battles. Fight for life, love and victory for your loved ones, your business partners, your church body, for your ministry. It’s when we think we “fight” for ourselves, that the battle gets dangerously skewed. Your destiny in Christ gets shifted off course when you allow yourself to determine your battles. Do not be deceived on the battle field of life. . .Let God, pick your battles. You will both win, He will get the Glory, and you will shine in His Light. Do you think my husband, ever thought he would have to fight for my life? Yet it is this very battle that has brought the Godly Best out in him. My girls see it, my family sees it, my friends see it. He wears the armor of His destiny on the battlefield against ALS. Fight for love, do not fight a battle that defeats love. Who wins? Not you, not God. If you fight the wrong battle, you leave behind you a bloody field, death, woundings with no victory. Yes, it can be that “bad.” For God’s Glory, Never minimize the potential of a victory for love.

Women: Look for the battle the men in your life fight you may not even “see.” And yes, like in the movies, men do come out of “battle” unaware of the scrapes, the bruises, and cuts. And the wife, in the best sense of who she is created to be, “sees” the woundings and “dresses” them. It’s just what men do, it is the fight for victory for which they are created. “Oh, am I bleeding, I did not notice.” Would you ignore a man trailing blood through the threshold of your home? Yes, neglect is that “bad,” blood trails through your home and you do not see the pulse of life lost in it. Honor their victories, because His wins are your wins. The victories you both claim for Christ build Kingdom hearts in marriages, in partnerships, in families, in ministries, in friendships. Seek to respect how God sees your husband. Seek to honor how God desires honor. Seek and intentionally affirm the small things that build great men of God. Respect in how God defines respect of your husband, respect in how your husband defines his need for respect, respect him for who he is destined to be in Christ. For God’s Glory, Never minimize the battle fought on behalf of love.

Toby, Don, Bill, Steve, Curtis, Frank, Herman, Sean and son-in-laws to be. . .Know I give great honor to each of you, to victories sought for God’s best for me and my family. I press into sincere respect for your destiny in Christ. I trust the influence of your strength in love. (That is beyond huge for me. Honestly, that is one, I’m still growing into. . .Could that be true with other women? I wonder?)

Men, do you know why you need to armor of God? You cannot win a victory for Christ on your own. You cannot protect your heart in battle. You cannot step into a battle for love without His Truth. Kingdom Battles Are Never Won Alone.

“Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm.” Ephesians 6:13

I offer this to you with the humility of not doing the whole male/female thing well; my misunderstanding of Godly strength in men;  a slow growth curve of  navigating with the men in my life now with honor and freedom. Thank you, God for forgiving me and giving us new opportunities for Your Best for Each of Us. The lost art of “honor,” may it rise in Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done, On Earth as it is in Heaven, today. Amen

God created magnificence in masculinity when it moves though, with and in HIM.

The “General” commands you step forward into your honored place in His Royal Army. . .

Kingdom of Heaven Movie Trailer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9y_LPFSlwi0

Goliath Are You Out There?

(Picture from: http://www.mgb-home.de/D-Goliath.jpg)

This post is dedicated to all our servicemen and women that have sacrificed in service in the name of freedom for our county.  Thank you.

1 Samuel 17: 45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

Friends, there are some BIG circumstances out there. Abuse, trauma, death, terminal health issues, divorce to name just a few. Those all qualify for a Goliath label and then some!!! (God never wastes the pain, but I am so sorry for your hurt!)  Unfortunately we “look up to them” just that way. I’m small, you are BIG. If we are honest, do we enter with our God and 5 smooth stones? I tremble and ask someone to pray for me and hope someone will throw a stone on my behalf. I’m not a warrior, battle terrifies me. (And if you are smart, it would scare you too. . .life/death we are talking right?) I’m sure many of you have great courage as you battle with your Lord and His Truth. I’m a “scardy cat,” no doubt.

Victory is our Lord’s and His Truth stands on it. . . That is the win! That is my daily center with hard life things. Last night I heard a God conversation forming, with that “language” that can only be HIS Kingdom Voice. He said, “Goliath? You are operating like ALS is your Goliath.” “Well, I mean no disrespect my Lord, but it seems pretty obvious to me.” He whispered, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, sound familiar?” ‘Okay,” I said, “Point made. I’m tired of fighting this ALS Goliath.” He looked me right in the eyes and said, “You are fighting the wrong giant.” He continued, “Your Goliath is your fear Tracey. I’m working with the disease, but what really ‘cowers you’ is the fear.” My little white flag of surrender rose sheepishly. He laughed with that sweet understanding chuckle He uses with me and said, “I do not want you to surrender, dear love. Fight the true enemy. . .fight the fear.” “It’s too big God!” I whispered. He opened His “Storybook” and said, “Walk with me again through here (see our past footsteps there). . .I want you to visit with my friend, David.” “May we sit, Lord, my legs get tired?” I puffed in exhaustion. “Of course, a place for you right here, in my lap.” I feel asleep while He read to me in peace. Goliath was down for the night.

I woke this morning with the quote, “We are often our own worst enemy.” May I ask you? Who is your Goliath? Really? We are created to battle with God  and 5 smooth stones.  May I suggest for consideration. . .Is the circumstance the giant?  I’m sure it is BIG and I am not minimizing it or your pain, struggle or frustration. But our thought life, our false beliefs what we “tell ourselves” to cope. . .There are giants there!  After you discern your giant. . .What would your stones be?  I’d love to dialogue with you. . .on this. . .leave comments on your 5 smooth stones. . . Today, Mine would be. . .

5 Smooth Stones to fight my fear, today:  1. Courage. 2. Faith. 3. Legacy 4. Focus 5. Aim

 Your GIANT today?  And your 5 smooth stones???

In The Heat of Battle

Image

 This post is dedicated to Murphy Toerner: Who first taught me battle concepts in Kingdom Thinking.

I am not a battle kind of girl, I turn my head away from the blood shed in movies until I hear the “soft/sweet music” transition in and then I peek through opened fingers to see if it is safe to come out.

One of the quotes I’m learning to live by is . . .

“Be kinder than necessary because everyone is in some kind of battle.”

(Author unknown, if you know who it is, please inform me!)

It seems God believes me battle ready because here I am battling for life.  I was reminded of this concept again this week with my girls as I bandaged their scrapes from life and touched them with healing prayer. I thought of the insight God gave me one day while I was serving at church for a woman’s ministry function.

Everything slowed down in my perceptions and I heard God say, “Don’t you see their woundings?”  “But God, they are all smiling, laughing and seem quite happy being busy,” I said.  God shook His head and said, “Ah ~ it is not as it seems.  Some of them are bleeding profusely from an argument, some of them are tending minor scratches from terse facial expressions and a few of them have had spiritual surgery under my Hand.  If you could see the blood of their life woundings, would you respond differently to them?”  “Well of course,” I said confidently, (that’s obvious, right?),” I’d go right to them and ask what happened and offer to bandage their woundings!  I would express comfort and love with touch. I would not let them stand in front of me dripping blood!”

“The blood shed is wide spread and right in front of your eyes,” said the Lord. “Bandage the wounded.” “Be a stretcher bearer for those who can no longer stand.”  “Be the healing hand for those recovering from the sword of my Truth on their life.”  God proclaimed with great emotion and continued with rising passion. . .”The heat of battle is meant to sear hearts for Kingdom Victories.”  “So get in there and stop peering through trembling hands.”  “There is work to be done.”  I thought, God you do have a way of cutting right to the point!  Not thinking, He could hear my thoughts, He then said, “Yes, your word puns are cute and He winked at me through the computer keys.”

His demeanor sombered. . . “Swords have been drawn. . .pick up your shield. . .you are going to have to do more than just write about it” (He looked right at me or should I say, He looked right through me.)

On my knees, with the “sword of the Spirit in my hands.”  twe

Ephesians 6:17, 2 Samuel 22:36