Monday, September 29, 2014

Church Kids

Let's get crazy and mix it up a bit! I'm taking a little break from more serious tones of previous posts, and giving you a bird's eye view into my formative years. Ready for a spin down memory lane? Thought so. Picture it, early autumn, 1990'ish. I was 13 years old, and the proud owner of one of those Casio keyboards that had a Bossa Nova setting. Yep, 49 keys of synthesized bliss. It was in this same era that motion picture magic horrified every youth group in America with the Christian classic, A Thief in the Night. Think Red Dawn, but with very little hope, and that a Patrick Swayze prototype would die almost immediately. On a stack of Bibles, any time one of those films were played, the power would go out and everyone in the room would inevitably scream. Well, being the wretched little minion that I was, and having younger brothers who were ripe for the picking, I devised an amazing plan that would keep me in stitches for months. Now as I continue with this story, keep in mind that I had 2 friends who served as incredible accomplices and they were JUST LIKE ME!! We had angel faces with devil horns back in the day, and if our parents had known even half of what we were up to, I'm assuming most of our life choices would have been seriously frowned upon. HAHAHA! I digress... So after viewing one installment in the aforementioned series, I decided that the right thing to do was make someone think they had been left behind, it was the only thing that made sense to me, I had received a clarion call and I would respond! That very moment is when the Casio was catapulted to gold status. Not only did it have a Bossa Nova setting, but a trumpet setting as well. As I began to fine tune "the sound", I was mentally narrowing down which one of my siblings would be the victim. I felt driven like Jake and Elwood, and knew that my choice could make or break the legendary nature of this herculean event. The selection was finalized and planning went into overdrive. In less than 3 hours, what I considered to be the prank of a lifetime would go live. As fate would have it, Mama had to run to the grocery store, and that left me and my friends enough time to pull it all together. The third story of our house had huge closets that were deep enough to hide multiple people in, so 5 kids and a dog were stuffed inside while my poor brother had gone into the basement to look for something at my request. I followed him downstairs after a minute and asked him if he had seen Mama or Daddy, of course, I knew they weren't home, but he didn't realize it. He began to look for them, and with no success, they were seemingly gone. I moved on to ask him if he knew where anyone else was. No one could be found. Surprised??? As I sensed that his panic was elevating, it was time to throw in the trumpets. I made an excuse to run upstairs and turned the volume all the way up. The blaring beauty was almost too much for me to handle. I wanted to erupt with laughter, but had to keep going. I couldn't stop. I was all in. Had. To. Make. It. 99 & 1/2 wouldn't do! I screamed down to him, "Did you hear that? It sounded like trumpets!!" While I don't think the volume was quite enough to make the impact I was hoping for, I was able to convince him that the angel Gabriel had indeed made that fateful call. It was just us. We were the only ones in our family left. But to err on the side of caution, we were going to make one more sweep of the house before we lost our collective minds. I led him upstairs and told him to check the closets, because you can never be too sure. When he opened up the second door, the payoff was even more than I could have imagined. 5 howling kids came flying out of the closet, and then the dog jumped on him. He screamed bloody murder at me, because I was on the ground beside myself with tears. I don't think anyone has ever hated me with a more fervent passion than he did at that moment. In fact, he wouldn't talk to me for 3 days. Was it wrong? Absolutely. Do I have more stories to tell? And then some. I'm pretty sure I could have been Maria, and she said it all in her song to the Captain. So I leave you with an ode to my childhood. I must've done something good. Enjoy!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Stolen Arrows

Over the past few months, I've noticed increasing numbers of Christian couples experiencing miscarriages. On a personal level, after experiencing one each year from 2010 - 2013, I believe it qualifies me to write the following piece. I was praying for a friend today concerning this same matter, and thoughts started to fill my head. They were not thoughts that belonged to me, and I searched them out in the Word to confirm my feelings. Psalm 127:3-5, to be exact. "Lo, children are a heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate." For all practical purposes,my husband and I should've had 4 additional children right now, but we don't. While they never joined us in this physical world, they are most assuredly waiting for us in heaven. This knowledge offers peace, and we are infinitely grateful for the beautiful daughter we have been gifted with, but it doesn't change the fact that the purposes of four lives were stolen. At the conclusion of that thought, a sense of indignance began to wash over me. Am I angry at God? Absolutely not. Am I angry at myself? Nope. Not even. But try this on for size, I'm furious with the enemy of our souls! The same enemy who sought to steal, kill and destroy every child who has been lost in this manner. For the most part, no one in the church bats an eye when it happens. There is no sense of seeking retribution for what has been taken! Let's take another look at the passage with the original meanings intact; "Lo, children are a possession and inheritance of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his home for God's instruments full of them: they shall not be brought to shame, but they shall speak (declare, command, promise, warn, threaten or sing) with the enemies (personal or national) at the entrance of the city." I propose to you that satan has gained a foothold through the back door, because most people consider miscarriage a natural occurrence with no cause for question. It is an accepted loss that no one will confront, a collateral damage of sorts. Yet it is a most insidious affront to the people of God! Why should the arrows of the Lord, the individually crafted possessions of love that He rewards His children with, be continually lost without a fight? They are the future, and weapons in the hand of the Almighty. They are given to us to be propelled into their place of destiny, but few will contend. An inheritance is not to be taken for granted, and if we truly understood the high value God places upon our children, our actions would prove it. From this day forward, I challenge all of you to speak life and health over every expecting mother you know. Invest your spiritual efforts for the purpose of increasing the kingdom. Command the fruit of the womb to come forth at the appointed time, and not one second before. Cover the destiny of these little ones, they are needed at their posts. Their words are to be a creative force at the gates of our cities. Those who have passed are still precious to the Lord, and are not forgotten by parents who were waiting to embrace them. If someone you know has recently experienced this kind of loss, pray that the Lord will repay them double for what the enemy has stolen. We already know who the strongman is in this situation, and for every soul snuffed out, I speak an unending harvest in honor of their lives.