Kingdom living

Part 1- Faithful God

I had experienced a round of warfare that had me on my face, on the phone, in offices, in the Word and NOT finding Him.

I couldn’t find Him.

I had a journal. It had black pages. Pens of different bright colors marked my desperate pleas on the paper.

He gave me a verse to scratch out on that black paper:

 2 Timothy 2:13 “If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

The black paper seemed appropriate for this black night of my soul. Blackness I couldn’t fix and He wouldn’t.

I woke up with fear gripping me. I tried to be normal and went for jogs, to work, to school. One jog I remember clearly and sadness grips me every time I pass that side of town. I couldn’t run any further. Even though I had just begun- I was maybe a quarter of a mile down the road when I bent down and cried. Then I cried some more. It was an ugly bent over sob. And all the reasons sounded crazy. No one had died. No life threatening illness. No natural disaster had leveled my home. No trauma.

I’d been sober for close to four years. But there I was in so much inexplicable pain- And worst of all is I couldn’t find our safe place. The place where I could go to Him and there He was. I opened the Word and felt confused. My mind raced and I couldn’t seem to get a handle on it.

No trauma except a ship wrecked, broken past… and a twenty-two year old girl in the present thinking a magic wand would be nice just about now. Could I cry enough, pray enough, which verse did I need? What had I done wrong? Deliver me!

2 Timothy 2:13 “If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

And I cried and I cried. I prayed. I prayed. I could not hear. This went on and on.

And I started to affirm that He didn’t love me- reasoning with myself.

I got up off my knees.

And I began to play that same ol’ game he’d saved me from: pretend.

When He had saved me…

I would lay at night in awe of the Maker of those stars that I could look up at and know that He loved me, formed me, and saved me. That in the ugliest revealing of my sin on display, in that very season of my life, is where He chose to save me.

And He didn’t save me from the difficulties or the consequences of it.

Instead, He allowed me the dignity to walk through it- owning up to it, but because of Him- I could hold my head up… and for this girl that meant the world!

His glory was on display, and I would weep and sing songs of His grace to Him and it was my voice I heard with my ears, but His I heard over me ministering to me- singing a song together- One only He and I could sing.

And in this black night of my soul… I got up off my knees. I felt like He had abandoned me.

I chose to believe the lie that He didn’t love me instead of going back to the place of clinging to that cross… needing Him for every right thought, every right feeling, every right desire. I chose to reject His sovereignty over the dark.

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I heard a pastor say, “There’s some prosperity gospel in all of us”. And isn’t it true?  None of us can walk these dusty roads without equating prosperity and pretty pictures with godliness.

I got up to play pretend- believing He was only God of the day and not the God of the night- and spiraled further into doubt and fear.

I had never experienced this torment, this darkness, not in sobriety – where no solution seemed to help.

And I gave up, but not on the outside. Relapse scared me too much. There was NO painting my past pretty, no way.  I couldn’t even try. And this church culture would feed my fakery just fine. This sit in rows, and keep it in.  I had taken every rejection concerning my vulnerability in the church house to heart and didn’t seem to fit anywhere. Rehab was over and you can’t just go back because you can’t handle life, but you haven’t relapsed! Plus places change and that season was over. Now this seeming to not fit with Christ was too much. I was desperately immature, insecure, and needy.

But I wasn’t totally given over to my doubt yet- when I failed miserably and I did blatantly sin against my Lord, I knew if I wasn’t honest, I might spiral into relapse even if I didn’t want to.  I knew God had clear boundaries and I had violated them. I was scared and I wanted help. I knew I needed the body. And guess what- I confessed to two pastors and not one fought for me. Not one. I was brushed off- my sin excused, downplayed, brushed under a rug… and the lies in my head seemed to be confirmed. I want you to hear that- brushing off the sin of others will confirm the lies of the enemy.

The Word is clear- the royal priesthood has authority over all the ways of darkness because we have a head named Christ- He can command. He is wisdom.

Girl, boy, man, or woman- don’t believe the lie that if man will not fight for you, then God must approve and His will is your defeat- that your destiny is muck and mire. That your dreams of wholeness were a joke.

I’d seemed to have lost all ground. I couldn’t grasp the lessons I had learned so clearly in that rehab where I’d spent 10 months.

And Dear Reader, I want you to know I am not mad at “the church”. I am part of the body. But I  no longer allow a “church culture” to dictate my faith. I no longer settle for a sit in rows, performance mentality or allow people to lead me that won’t fight for or with me when the rubber meets the road. I will fight. I will stay on my knees, and I know the Lord is willing that I do- fighting the good fight of faith for ANY I come in contact with. I stopped allowing man to define my walk with Christ or seal lies of the enemy over me because the pretending was overwhelmingly painful and contradicted my hungry, sealed spirit.

I am trusting Him and Him alone for right thoughts, feelings, and desires.

And do you know… I threw that black journal away where I’d etched these words:

2 Timothy 2:13 “If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

I hated that black night of my soul and all my unfaithfulness and the torment of it. I couldn’t make a bit of sense out of it. I wanted to erase it. It can’t be erased…

I don’t blame anyone for MY unfaithfulness, cause in every sin personal responsibility precedes repentance.

I did repent. And He met me there and confirmed my salvation and showed me His faithful hand over that season of my life despite my inability to settle down in His love on my own.

And I repented this morning, and this evening… proclaiming with my mouth- “You alone are faithful! You Jesus are my All! Without YOU Jesus I am toast. And if I add anything to you, I have nothing… but If I add nothing to YOU, then I HAVE EVERYTHING! Settle me down in your love, Jesus”.  And this is what He etched on my soul in that dark. It was not a wasted time. He was and is faithful, for He cannot disown Himself and He is mine and I am His.

Beloved Reader, Bless you with JESUS.

Bless you with knowing the simplicity of Jesus being your All.

Bless you with wisdom to reject all the lies of the enemy- with never again pretending in place of putting your faith in Him, with knowing His faithfulness will complete the work He began in you. Bless you with admitting that “In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood”. (Hebrews 12:4)
And bless you with the only ONE that could shed blood and pay your debt and mine.  Oh, reader, believer, arise and meet your Maker afresh and fight the good fight of faith!

Because the lost are hungry for the real deal… and you, believer, have been given the ministry of reconciliation – of restoration.

To the Kingdom and to the Restoration!

Diana Corman

A Propensity for Dumps

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RECENT OBSERVATIONS:

So, we are driving down the street in our green Dodge van with UN-tinted, fingerprint covered windows. I cannot explain why the children touch the windows so much. Me- with my addiction therapist husband in the passenger side, my home school kids in tow, and my big black purse, off to the soccer field we go. It’s my husband who’s playing tonight. Going- because I love to see him play. Going- because prison work (the husband’s) is hard and it’s good to have a field where you can play hard with other men who sweat and work in the world where weeds grow and thorns prick. So, here we are on our way. I slow down at the light, then stop. Go. A truck comes up on my right. My husband rolls down his window and sticks his head out, shaking his head at the boy who’s driving that truck. He’s hitting a pipe (not a tobacco pipe mind you). My husband says, ” Maybe he’ll head home.  I wanted him to know I saw him.” Then, side by side we drive. I look over. My husband looks over. The boy looks back at us, grins wickedly, and hits his pipe- long. He lets the smoke flood out of his mouth. He’s proud and angry and Lord knows what we represent to him- maybe just a possibility to display all that is going on inside him. We all long for that. We all stop at the red light. The boy cranks his music, bangs his head, and hits his steering wheel repeatedly. My husband reaches for the phone. The kids ask questions. I pray.

I plead for mercy on behalf of him because someone prayed for me-

My phone is in my big black purse. And right here is where my husband can’t relate.  He wants the phone now, but it’s somewhere at the bottom. He uses both hands to dump it and I scold, “Don’t you dump my purse”. There is tension. The boy bangs his head, hits his pipe. The light turns green. Chaos for a moment and then I find the phone. My man calls the police. Calm and thoroughly, he gives details. North bound- the road name, the license plate, make and model. And we part ways. We head to the soccer fields. He takes the exit onto the interstate. The dispatcher is given the last bit of information. Gone. Moments later we are at the soccer field.  Our kids jump out of the car whooping and hollering. We all laugh. There might have been chaos for a moment, but we let it drive away with that boy. I pray. I pray he gets caught. I pray that one day- he will cry. That he could cry and say, “Help me God. If you are real, help me”. I pray one day he will smile, a sincere, redeemed, sane smile.

A twelve year old boy asks my husband what’s wrong with marijuana. He thinks it will be legal in Tennessee soon. My man, not much for preaching, asks, “Just because something is legal, does that make it right?” They talk. He learns the boy’s step dad uses. He thinks the boy does, too. My man plants seeds of truth.

We are asleep. A crash wakens us. We run outside.  A big ole man is crashing to the ground. He’s maybe twenty years old. He can’t stand and he is so intoxicated, that he is not even trying to catch himself. A woman, who is just as drunk, tries to help him. I stand. My man stands. They live around the corner. They stumble down the road. We pray. We watch. We go inside. We pray again. We pray for misery in the morning- the obvious misery will be there. But, we pray for a double dose- the kind that won’t go away and drives a person to their knees.  We pray for repentance.

Two girls are by a dumpster sharing a joint. They didn’t expect me to make a bee line towards them. Neither did my kids. I did. They dropped the joint, hid it, and looked as innocent as possible. I told them I knew. I told them to get away from trashcans. And then not knowing what to say, I prayed. I lifted my hand and blessed them with Jesus. I told them I used to hang out by dumpsters. Dumpsters are for garbage not for girls.

Fantasies– This world is full of them, pictures  created in minds, making what is NOT glamorous, glamorous. And the pictures, they end up in the reality of dumpsters because God is the King in Israel. A man named Elijah said those words. He spoke them to a man named Ahab.

Ahab- King of Israel- married to Jezebel- worshiper of Baal.

Ahab is said to have been more wicked than any of Israel’s kings before him. And he was king. But when Elijah spoke, he said,  “God is King in Israel“. Who is king? God is King.

And Elijah told Ahab. Ahab, who thought small, pansy thoughts of this God, had a fantasy  that ended up in a dumpster.

No puffed up, self will run riot fantasy ends up anywhere else. Why? Because God is King in Israel. This King deals in reality. He gives us His Word rooted in real history. It is futile to act as if He did not or does not exist- as if someone else were king, as if someone else establishes the laws. No, this has no power and it will end up at the dump.

We have all ended up at the dump, maybe multiple times.

And God says, “You’ve tried being king, but guess what? I AM the KING in Israel“.

And just what does it mean to be the King of Israel? It means he is the king over all. Because this is precisely what Ahab forgot. He forgot the history of the founding of the nation Israel.

The history. The story. The beautiful, soul stirring, spirit redeeming, true story. God choosing a man, Abraham out of an idol worshiping, dump dwelling people, and giving him a son of promise in old age named Isaac.  Then He is found in Scripture giving that son Isaac a son who wrestled and submitted- wounded and limping…  Jacob, who earned a limp in place of his pride filled dump, was renamed Israel by this King-God. Jacob became the one who had the tribes.

The 12 tribes- Israel’s 12 sons who would be the tribes hence the 12 tribes of Israel. The promise that Abraham had been gifted with- the one about children numbering the seashore, children of faith- The tribes would be the sons who marry wives, who have babies. They would go to captivity for 400 hundred years. Then they would leave following a deliverer, (Moses following THE DELIVERER) and they would conquer the land.

Why? Because God is King in Israel.

And they would be a megaphone to all the world all the way until now. They would tell of His character- The God- King who comes to the dump and delivers and fights battles on behalf of a people who He foreknew would wander back to dumps. This God- who let Israel reject Him as king for one they could see with their eyes. Then through the line of repentant, God adoring David from the tribe of Judah would be promised the rightful King who would reign forever. This is the history that Ahab forgot to remember.

Then fast forward past Ahab and the rightful King Messiah would come and spill blood as the biggest testimony to our propensity for dumps. The Son of God tortured and killed by the human hands He came to save.

The blood that was spilled that day would pay for dump living once and for all and He offers freely His salvation and His kingdom to those who repent. His words spoken, “Come all ye who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest”, would now hold the weight of His blood. It was finished. He gave all of Himself. Then He would give more.

On that day of Pentecost, the promised Spirit would come in tongues of fire. Indwelling. Sealing the heart of the believers and whispering, “Believe, beloved, you were bought with the blood of the King who overcame death- rescuing you from the dump.” That Spirit is given to all His children who come by way of the blood, forsaking dumps and fairy tales.

Because God is King in Israel.

He does not change.

Not for the boy hitting the pipe- cursing the world.

Not for the boy who justifies intoxication.

Not for the drunk girl who stumbles unable to help her falling friend.

Not for the dumpster girls smoking pot after school.

Not for you and not for myself because He is love. 1 John 4:7-8 Love always does what is best for the beloved.

  He is the King and if we are redeemed then we are the megaphone:

Israel and those grafted into Israel.

The megaphone- a privilege to proclaim that the law is being fulfilled in us who walk not by the flesh but by the Spirit. Romans 8:4

Like Ahab, who thought he could go on- being the picture maker- taking holy sacred Israel and painting the landscape with altars to false gods, seating idol worshipers at the table to eat and serve to point others to these false gods. Like this king, we are placed in a time period full of picture painters, life builders, scene makers, self promoters- and the opportunity to follow suit.

This, though, is not your destiny not if you are a child of the King.

Your destiny is freely walking with the King in His purity and simplicity, boldness and power, peace and confidence because you know this King intimately and sit at His feet letting Him deal with you and are learning to hear and obey Him.

You, if blood-bought- are a megaphone and it must be only in His power. Surrendered servants are getting it (Take note: I did not say past tense got it).

The Lord bless you, dear reader, with pasture dwelling where you hear the voice of your Shepherd guiding you. Bless you with His rod and His staff serving as your comfort in those places where you are tempted to run to a dump for cover. Bless you in this generation to proclaim and minister, like Elijah, that God is indeed the King of Israel and that He is coming back.

To the King! To King’s Ways!

 In Christ Alone-

Diana

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When Truth Preached From the Pulpit Is Not Enough

This post is difficult.

Because it is about pain- in the church house.

I’m talking to Bible believers here, primarily (but not only) Protestants, because for the most part in the practice of worship meetings hold the time of teaching from the pulpit in the highest regard. This is especially to those, who preach the Word, who have NOT compromised and may find this as a source of pride.

It’s about the next generation of believers. And you, listen. That is, if you are a rescued, redeemed, washed clean, child of the King.

Look at this. And look closely.

Read it. Weep. Pray.

I copied this from Rachel Held Evans blog- named one of the 50 most influential women in Christendom of our day. Her post was called Sunday Superlatives where she picked some different quotes, books, etc… that she considers “super”.

Kathryn Joyce with “By Grace Alone”

“For years, Protestants have assumed they were immune to the abuses perpetrated by celibate Catholic priests. But Tchividjian* believes that Protestant churches, groups, and schools have been worse than Catholics in their response. Mission fields, he says, are “magnets” for would-be molesters; ministries and schools do not understand the dynamics of abuse; and “good ol’ boy” networks routinely cover up victims’ stories to protect their reputations. He fears it is only a matter of time before it all blows up in their faces and threatens the survival of powerful Protestant institutions.” 

*Basyle J. Tchividjian is the grandson of Billy Graham, a former district attorney in Florida prosecuting child sex-abuse cases. He is now a law professor at Liberty University and in private practice. He is the founder of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment). Kathryn’s article is worth the read.

Do you understand that THIS is true?  THIS is real stuff. THIS is not made up.  THIS is spoken by a man, who knows from experience. Do you understand good ole boy networks exist IN the church house? And this little woman is about to tell you a thing or two.

 Rachel Held Evans- named one of the 50 most influential women in Christendom today (where I copied the above quote)- She gets so much right. She will say what others won’t because most blindly follow leaders simply because they are in a position- Because she will post THIS on her blog. THIS TRUE information about children molested in Protestant churches and ministries and Protestant leaders covering it up. But do you know this: if your kid told her he or she was gay she would affirm them in that. Huh? Yes, huh? Is purity purity or is it not? Go, read her blog. She is pro-gay and much more. She and her following helped influence World Vision’s decision to allow people in same-sex marriages to volunteer and work in their ministry. (They later back peddled on this decision). Rachel blamed “intense financial pressure from evangelicals” for the reversal of that decision.

She is probably right.

When ministries are built on the personality of anyone other than Jesus-

Where men or women stand behind pulpits-

And use them as protection-

And build the numbers-

And fill the money bins,

But sweep difficult situations that threaten the building of their own kingdoms under the rug,

As if God had no power- or even worse… as if He and His people don’t matter,

THIS IS WHAT YOU GET:

A platform for the lies of the enemy.

You get boys and girls abused, secrets shuffled under rugs, and big boys and girls confused, distraught, and leaving – or sitting and doubting and numbing and never quite free- thinking that worldly position equals godliness.

You get people practicing all forms of ungodliness and pointing fingers- saying “don’t call me impure because you people allow all forms of ungodliness in your midst and then point at gays, and preach on and on about marriage…You don’t even deal with the sin (sexual included) and greed in your midst… How dare you?”  Clever, huh? Sinners and addicts of all kinds look for loopholes- just like Satan to make it confusing. And in the process keep people in bondage, fear, pride, and unbelief.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Prov. 1:7

FEAR. and we are right when we are in awe of Him and we should know that if anything is under the rug- It will be revealed. God doesn’t deal with rugs.  He is in the business of thorough housekeeping, unlike many busy mothers- who strive for some order and clean enough.  He is about spick and span-

White.

Spotless.

Completely Clean.

What we would hide and throw away- what we fear opening-

HE DOESN’T. He will open, uncover,

and cover- powerfully- with His purity.

Read the Gospels.

He didn’t avoid the difficult in a human body walking dusty roads. AND He doesn’t now. He is a mind reader, knows the motives of our hearts– …everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13

This is why we are to fear Him. He is the real deal. In a world full of fearing all the wrong things- the what- if’s, if -only s, oh -no’s, and dear me s-

He, the Real Deal,  the only proper One to fear.

And this is the only business His children are to be about. No pretending. No lifting the corners of rugs to sweep junk underneath- no trying to patch hard things up with a wave of a Bible verse.

The Word, who became flesh, Jesus, never does that. (Gen.1 and John1)

Big living is meant for you and I- royal living- Jesus living. Cause didn’t He say He gives us His life? Didn’t He say, I am leaving you and sending the power of God to dwell within you? Acts 1:5

Royalty of the heart.

You

and

I

crowned in our hearts with the bold righteousness of Jesus.

NOTHING can take us out of His hand.

Where the arrows fly, but the authority of the crown guards our hearts.

And we turn, reach, grab a hand and point- to Him and Him alone.

The FEAR of the LORD

Hand in hand with Bible teaching, we are in desperate need for the Word to work in the most difficult of situations. We need the Remnant to rise up, and to keep rising up after long times of bending low and listening to the King- letting Him deal with us and be our everything- to rise among the weeds
and be recognizably wheat. (Matthew 13:30)

This is meant to encourage you, Royal Priesthood, to challenge you, to help you pray.

To pray for our leaders. And to be the leader you were meant to be- a Priest or Priestess of the King. A Prince or Princess of the Mighty One of Israel.

We must stop pointing the fingers at others and let the Word point at us-

Believers who are-

    The Remnant of Our Generation, The True Believers, The Faithful Witnesses.

And those who are washed clean have an enemy who wants to steal our seed meant to help others throw off those grave clothes and walk in Christ. Do you get that? YOU- have special seed- assigned just for you!

And listen-

 When the the gospel is preached and then tossed in the garbage when a difficult situation arises that threatens the institution- the agenda of man, this is YOUR business. You are NOT a sweeper under the rug spiritual housekeeper. Nor do you allow others to be- because you love,  because we, you and I, have been washed and loved- because we know His power is big enough to handle ANYTHING.  The Gospel is sacred and holy and we must confess it and breathe it, and battle rightly, willing to let others be offended by it no matter what worldly position they might hold.

Believers. The Royal Priesthood.

I submit to you- ask Jesus how to pray for His body, your local body, your leaders, to ask Him to show you how to battle and to repent and get up under His mighty hand and stay there, letting Him lift you up in due time- relying on His power and authority alone.

The Lord bless you with rejecting a form of godliness that denies it’s power. May you not be one who sweeps dirt under the rug because you fear something more than you fear Him. May you be blessed with leaders who battle with you, worshiping in Spirit and in Truth. May you not faint, nor grow weary in doing good because you drink often and deep from the bottomless well of Jesus, our All.

And pray this for me, too.

For I Long to BE In Him Alone Always,

Princess Diana of the Unending Kingdom

To Be Continued, Dear Reader…

 

 

An Unruly Girl Slapped and a Shepherd with a Rod

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I have this book by Adrian Rogers, titled The Lord is My Shepherd.  Underneath the title, reads in a font I imagine titled, “Fancy”: Reflections on God’s Loving Care. Flip open the book with me to page 45. About one-third of the way down, we read: THE RESTORING MINISTRY OF THE SHEPHERD.

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Would you take a look at it with me as Dr. Rogers gives us insight into the real-life job of a shepherd and why and how God takes this role in our lives.  Starting on pg. 46 at the end of the first paragraph:

This (the rod) was a club of protection with which to defend His sheep against robbers and wild animals, as well as a club of preservation with which to correct the ways of stubborn sheep.

Occasionally, a sheep refuses to follow the shepherd’s directions. Knowing his sheep may endanger itself, the shepherd has to step in and take drastic measures. Not out of malice, but out of love, the shepherd may even carefully break the leg of the stubborn sheep with his rod of correction. Immediately afterwards, the shepherd will bind the leg in a splint, carry the sheep on his shoulders, and pour oil on it’s leg to promote healing.

…When the bone heals and the splint is removed, the sheep that had been so stubborn is now the sheep that stays closest to the shepherd!

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I knew an unruly, stubborn, sheep of a girl. On one particular night, this stubborn, selfish, sheep of a girl was drunk and she drove. And she doesn’t remember most of the night. She does remember the lights, the blue ones and thinking she could get away. Then, stopping and failing the test- you know the one where you walk the line. She remembers the handcuffs that she could pull off her wrists- even though they scraped her hands- so she could yell, hit the seat, cuss, and call the cop a pig. She can still see the concern in the officer’s eyes when he put the cuffs back on, firmly grabbed her shoulders and scolded her. Maybe he was a dad. Maybe he was a believer- maybe he had prayed for her. The girl with the wild eyes, the unruly will, the one who thought every wall, rule, or person could be pushed hard enough and fall… who believed nothing to be solid- nothing could be stood on. So, she pushed and she would fall and so it seemed she may indeed be right.

This girl. This is the one they took to juvenile that night. And There. Of all places was a wall, a rule, a person that didn’t budge. A lady. She directed the unruly girl to change her clothes into the juvenile “outfit”. She was answered with a loud refusal. This lady, she had no concern in her eyes, the way the officer had earlier, at least the girl doesn’t remember any. When the direction was refused once more and the girl became more defiant, her face was met with the hand of the lady. This lady slapped the unruly girl. Now I know, some of you are horrified, but this is not your story and opinions about how juvenile should be run are not the issue at hand.  So, let this girl tell her story. Because here is the life-giving part of that slap- The girl had pushed and to her surprise had found a wall. The direction was given again in a voice of authority. She changed her clothes and was escorted to her “room” with the fresh sting on her cheek and a suddenly more sober mind. This girl has never forgotten that hand meeting her face. That hand spoke to her. It said, “You are not in control.  You are out of control. You have a problem. You are being detained. You have no one to blame. I am not taking your craziness. Get dressed and shut your mouth”. So, there, right there in that cell, after her yelling had been silenced, she could sit alone with herself and the truth of that slap, the message it sent, and a metal bed that would provide no relief or escape.

And so, this girl, found a wall. She still did not see the Shepherd with His rod, but with hindsight she will always be grateful to the nameless lady down at juvenile for the hand to her face. Her motive is not being questioned. This girl does not know what the lady’s motive was. It may have been wrong. But years and years later, she sees the destruction she was and is capable of and grateful for the wall she met that night because, unbeknownst to her…

This began a stirring in her for a Shepherd and a hope for a firm foundation- for something other than her will.

And she would be saved out of much grief. And she would wander, and her mighty Shepherd would “afflict” her if need be like that shepherd with the rod- to protect her from the thief who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy -and from that part of herself that would cooperate with that thief. And sometimes, it reminds her of that slap. And she thanks the Lord for His rod and how He spoke to her that night when hope seemed out of place— especially from a slap.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd;

I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

May you be blessed, dear reader, with the true shepherd of your heart,

Jesus, the only One who can protect you from the wiles of the devil and

the part of yourself that would cooperate with those very wiles.

To the King! To King’s Ways!

For further meditation, see: John 10:10, Hosea 6:1, Psalm 119:67, Ephesians 6:10-18