Sunday, October 31, 2010

Convicted of the Holy Spirit

I've told you that I used to drink pretty heavily...and whenever I wasn't at work, I was practically squatting at the Ritz. It was not a time of my life I'm particularly proud about.

I left home one day following a morning-after spat with my husband over the summer of 1996, and flew to Seattle to visit an old girlfriend from CSU. The trip was a big disappointment; my friend was still plenty wild and very single...and I was soon reminded of all the reasons why being married with children is quite alright.

My ride to the airport was sluggish and hung-over; he got me there just as my plane was departing, and I ended up having to take an Alaska Air flight back to the Springs. The only seat available was in first-class...and so that's where they placed me. I had already downed several glasses of wine in short order when the man sitting nearest to me struck up a conversation.

I experience significant memory loss when I drink too much, and often am left with only a flash of recollection of either the very best or the very worst moment that took place; so I don't remember what all we talked about. But my speech becomes quite animated after I've been drinking, and peppered with expletives; there's little reason for me to think this drunken occasion was different from any of my countless others.

So, anyway, my flash of total recall is this: my seatmate was absolutely pleasant, with a most remarkable voice, and I made him laugh several times. At one point he asked what I did for a living, and I told him I worked for MCI; I then asked him the same, and he chuckled a bit before telling me he was a preacher.

Well, that lit me up. "Wow. Hey, maybe you can explain a couple of things: How come in the Bible it says that if a woman gives birth to a male child, she shall be unclean for six days...but if she gives birth to a girl child, she's unclean for a month!?! Why is the woman 'unclean' at all??? Whut up wid dat, huh? And what about Cain and Abel -- why'd God reject Cain's offering of grain but favor Abel's offering of meat? God doesn't like broccoli?? How about the offerings the people were supposed to make at the temples; I mean, COME ON -- God doesn't eat food; God doesn't need money -- but I bet there were a whole lotta rich and fat Rabbis passing the collection plate!! The Bible is no different from ancient Greek mythology."

He laughed good-naturedly, and started to explain things to me...things I no longer recall, and dismissed posthaste as utter nonsense. I presume the plane landed safely and we parted ways.

Years later, I dreamt three dreams that I can only explain as messages from God...and it was still several years after that before I realized the man sitting next to me on the plane was the most excellent preacher, Charles Stanley.

What a remarkable man; what a gentle, dignified and *powerful* speaker...and such an unpretentious servant of the Lord: if any of you reading long for a better understanding of the Bible and a closer relationship with God, I highly recommend listening to his sermons. Indeed, my habit is to watch Charles Stanley on Sunday mornings instead of going to church (which I still really have a very hard time with).

His topic today was, "Giving back to the Lord." Let me tell ya: I don't care who's preaching -- I usually NEVER sit through a sermon about tithing...and to be perfectly honest with you, I considered changing the channel once I recognized the topic. But he kept saying things that kept me listening, and before he was done, I had a page full of notes -- front and back.

Anyway, less than a week ago, I received an anonymous comment that stuck in my craw.

The writer said that judging from my tone, as well as the number of articles I've written about her, it was plain that I hated Jan Tanner -- and then the writer prayed for me to let it go. And I wrote a follow-up that said, "I don't hate Jan Tanner, I'm practically in love with Jan Tanner." But in my heart, I know that all but maybe 20 words I've written about her have been generously laced with spydra-venom.

Yes, Jan's association with the District has been wrong for a very long time...but she's unlikely to ever come clean about it; heckling her won't make a confession come any faster, and after all, "Better is a little with righteousness than great revenues without right."

Yes, I am poor and covetous and envious of her ill-gotten gains -- but she's not gonna share with me, and the Bible says, "Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud."

Yes, Jan's a poor choice as a leader, but it's the electorate's responsibility to become educated on the candidates. The Bible says that, "The simple believeth every word; but the prudent man looketh well to his going."

"A wholesome tongue is a tree of life; but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit." Well, no doubt, there are times when my tongue ain't exactly wholesome... but I do believe "pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones."

Thank you to the anonymous commenter -- even though I know who you are -- for chastising and correcting me. "Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; the ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise; the heart of the wise teacheth his mouth and addeth learning to his lips."

I'd say at least ten percent of Spydra's Web is about Jan Tanner...and so, because I have no money to give up to God, I surrender my obsession with Jan.

"When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him." So Jan, I won't dress you down in public anymore, and I ask your forgiveness; with that said...I'm only human; please don't tempt me.

"Commit thy works unto the Lord, and thy thoughts shall be established."  I will continue to research as God guides me, but will try hard to only write in ways that honor Him; for vengeance is not mine...and I want Him to be proud of me.  "He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good; and whoso trusteth in the Lord, happy is he."

And I am happy.

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His Word *is* so magical...

came across this audio one day after writing this post


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