I Challenge You to a Duel

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“Don’t mess with Mama-Bird!”

If you grow up in a bubble and are suddenly confronted by a difficult problem or situation, it can be easy to start quoting platitudes. Anything to make that discomfort go away. If you are taught to always say, “Yes, ma’am” or “No, sir” in response to everyone and always to be “polite” and “respectful,” it may be hard to practically function when a crazy person comes at you with the clear intent to harm, spouting racial slurs and swear-words you never knew existed until he showed up. If you were taught that in all circumstances, defer to and obey authority—and all of the sudden you are transported to the age of the Third Reich in Berlin . . . . well, it may be time to question all that stuff you learned.

Now, let’s be clear: in most circumstances, I am in favor of deferring to authority. Proper order and all. (I also like to be polite and respectful—in general.) But there are certain instances where authority seems to have forgotten who it is and is acting as something it ought not be. There are also certain instances where individuals do the same thing. And in those cases, I think that the most respectful thing that can be done is to call it out. Don’t be a jerk about it, but call it out. Do it from a heart that wants the best for all involved.

I know that we are all peace-loving people here, but it is really okay to be willing to fight if necessary. If someone tries to invade your home and attack your spouse and kids, I really don’t think that God is going to be angry with you for protecting them. Conversely, don’t think it’s okay to go and invade someone else’s house with the intent to “steal, kill, and destroy” and believe that you are under His protection when you do so. That’s just stupid.

I’m a woman. If a man comes at me and tries to rape me, I believe that I am perfectly justified if I incapacitate him so that he does not succeed. That’s self-defense. Conversely, if I stalk a man with the intent to pull something equally destructive, he is justified in defending himself against me.

I think that it is important that we do not mistake apathy and passivity for a “kind, gentle, peace-loving spirit.” That opens to us up to all kinds of wickedness. Not just anyone ought be allowed to influence us. King Ahab did alright when he was under the influence of Jehoshaphat, but under the influence of Jezebel . . . awful. Killing people and stealing their vineyards. Not okay.

I was recently given two pictures of a clearing. In one, there were either no guards or completely passive guards who stood by and did nothing while a whole bunch of angry skeleton monster-things came at me with clear intent to do harm. In the next, the clearing was surrounded by guards who did their job and did not allow any of the creepy skeleton creatures inside.

I felt like I heard the Lord ask, “In which scenario did you feel more loved?”

I responded, “The second.”

Love protects.

 

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Jellybeans

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I have an extreme fondness of rainbows.

I see a rainbow, and I get extremely happy.

The thing about jellybeans is that each color has a different flavor. I think that is phenomenal. Pure genius. I like to imagine the ROYGBIV part of the light spectrum as having distinct tastes. Distinct, yet unified. Seven colors. All part of this pure white light refracted through some sort of prism.

The Bible talks about the Sevenfold Spirit of the Lord. It’s a topic I am still exploring. This sense of awe and wonder tends to strike whenever I begin to contemplate it. I read about this rainbow surrounding the Throne of the Lord. This is a fun Deity. A jolly Trinity.  A kaleidoscope of joy.

Multiply. Multiply. Multiply.

All this creativity! Ah! So awesome. So good.

 

Rewrite: Tragedy to Comedy

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From where I stand, a tragedy is an unfinished story.

No matter how long, no matter how many pages . . . if the happy ending has not been reached, it is an unfinished story. It requires editing. Rewriting.

I realize how offensive this may sound to those thoroughly addicted to a miserable life validated by their favorite literary pessimists. But, lest you forget . . . a pearl is made through an offense embraced by its hosting oyster. And so, I wish you many, many pearls in the days to come!

To end a story prematurely is much like ending life in the womb, killing a caterpillar in its cocoon, or interrupting Easter mid-tomb. It simply ought not be done. It’s a disgrace!

On the other hand, pain is given so much more worth and value when one does not seek to cut it off early. Don’t be so ridiculous as to off yourself in the midst of the doctor resetting your broken bone; I do assure you: there’s good to come! Some things—after being broken—actually grow back stronger.

 

 

Not So Jaded

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I am not looking for love.

That might sound a bit odd to some of you. How many different posts and articles out there are giving tips on “finding love”?

I stopped looking for love when I realized how absolutely silly that is. I don’t need to find love because I already have love. Or, more accurately, love already has me. It’s the very fabric that holds together my being. I cannot function without it. I would fall apart without it. It is the very substance that I breathe. The image in Whom I was made. It’s just . . . there.  Kinda like that dog in “Up” that just won’t go away. He keeps following Carl around no matter how many times he is rejected. That’s a tiny glimpse of what love looks like. Tiny glimpse, mind you. Tiny! Tiny! Tiny!

Now . . . I am looking for love.

????

Actually, I habitually enjoy looking around and appreciating what I have been blessed with. So, yeah, I look around to see what I already have. Sometimes, I look around for the air. Sometimes, I look at my toes and think, “Nice! I have toes.” I love to go on treasure hunts because I always expect to find a treasure. It’s just out there, waiting for me. Set up for me to find.

Now, as the argument goes, “You just don’t live in the ‘real’ world.” I am sure that anyone with that argument has sources and experiences ready to be quoted. They may do so to their hearts’ content, and when they are done feeling tired and weary and depressed and weighed down by the worries of the world, perhaps they will come and consider Someone different.

I did not mistype.

That word-choice was quite intentional. Capitalization and all. I said “Someone” instead of “something.” Truth, for me, is not merely a list of facts and figures subjectively manipulated to support whatever is morbidly trendy. Truth is a Person. “Truth is Life is Love is Jesus Christ in relationship in the Trinity.”

And if you can say that five times fast, I salute you!

I really, really like being alive. It’s awesome. The thing about seeing the Christ everywhere is that it’s like perpetually being surrounded by a hug. You can have a miserable day, but in the end, you are held in the arms of love! The misery fades, but the love lasts—because love is faithful, and misery is such a cheater!

I define “love” or rather “Love” by Jesus Christ (and—for that matter—the whole Trinity) because I can’t find a better definition out there. Everything else just seems selfish and sad in comparison.

I say that knowing that people have all sorts of ideas as to who Jesus Christ and the whole rest of the Trinity is/are. (LOL, language limitations!!!) I say that knowing it’s not always the best communicated, and people get confused about it all the time. It just can’t stop me from falling head-over-heels and stumbling around like a really, really happy drunk.

Feel free to message me if you would like to taste the Source of the Bliss.

Until Next Time,

The Joy Detective

Clary & Watts

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This poem was inspired by a video I recently watched featuring an interview with Johnny Lee Clary. He recalls some of his most hilarious and memorable interactions with one Reverend Wade Watts. The then KKK leader didn’t know how to handle this bold man— full of love and a great sense of humor! I write this in tribute to their story. 

I—

I can’t keep up

with this drama;

someone is dissing

my mama,

and what did you

just call

my llama?

I

—haha—

I take it

so seriously

every time

you get all up

in my face

—haha, oh, man!!!—

and hate on me

because of my race!

(Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful, boo!)

Yo!

This is high-comedy;

what do you

want to be?

I see you staring

in the mirror,

but you looking

at me!

And I ain’t

quite insulted

as you’d like

me to be,

but wait—

would you

really

like me to be?

I can put on

that front; yeah,

I can go on

the hunt, yeah!

But I ain’t diggin’

for dirt, man;

I’m looking for gold.

You see the pan?

Look,

I know you’ve been

cast down;

I see them chains

and them rats around,

but that don’t conceal

to me your crown;

I see it hiding

behind that frown.

Now,

don’t you go sayin’

“I’m too lost to be found”!

I love ya, bro.

See you ’round.

 

 

A Love Letter to the Spirit of Might

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Dear Holy Spirit,

Thank You that You are not dead. That would be very sad. Thank You that You have not stopped playing and dancing and acting and participating with all of humanity. I really like You. There have been many wonderful, wonderful things that You have worked in my life. For instance, I can breathe—which is very much to Your credit.

I want to apologize for the times that I have backed away from Your displays of power because I have seen and experienced power misused. Thank You that You are kind as well as mighty. I apologize for doubting Your goodness when I read things in scripture that I did not understand and heard other people get offended by who they thought You were. I also apologize for the times that I acted proud and tried to defend myself instead of allowing You to defend me.

Thank You that You are very sweet. You remind me of a kind older brother who will not stand for anyone dishonoring or beating up on his sister. You also remind me of a mother who is very nurturing and gives good hugs.

You are strong and tender all at once.

You are also very forgiving. I can feel Your love and compassion radiating out to the hardest of hearts. There is not a single one who You would see lost. You treasure all of your children. You are extremely patient with us. Thank You.

I want to cuddle with You and be Your Bestest Friend.

Love,

Your Dear One

 

 

 

Too Far Gone? Oh, Really?

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I would like to dedicate this blog post to calling some crap for what it is.

Did you know that saying, “I am too far gone” is one of the most prideful and arrogant things a person can say?

You heard me.

With your very own limited cranial capacity, you have decided that you are doomed. Multiple resources are available. Information that you are not aware of. And yet . . . and yet, you have decided that you are basically as good as yesterday’s trash.

That’s just a mess of crazy right there!

One of my favorite bible verses is found in the Book of Revelation, which I actually believe to be one incredibly hopeful book—despite how I get the sense it has been radically misinterpreted by those determined to see an angry, vengeful god bent on whooping some butt. Revelation 22 talks about who’s inside the walls of Heaven’s gates and who’s outside. But Revelation 21 happens to mention this one very key fact: the gates are always open. What you got here is a walled city—with gates. Open gates. The walls are there to stop anyone who wants to ruin the party from ruining the party. But, let me reiterate: it’s got open gates.

The book closes with an invitation to come!

Come! Eat! Drink!

You want inside? Let go of that sad little declaration of self-rejection. Let go of crappy self-identifiers that totally under-describe how chock full of glory you are. Put on that new outfit of what God has to say about you! It’s basically a massive hug-tackle. Acceptance. A declaration of how completely legit you are in God’s eyes. Waves and waves of love that ever crash upon you.

Don’t be a petulant, whiny little thing with a stick up your rear. Come join the party!