Wednesday, March 16, 2011

I'm Armed and Dangerous

I'm not terribly efficient at putting on my Ephesians 6 Armour each day. Some mornings it's all I can do to wear matching shoes. Mind you, I always manage to put on my makeup, right through to the essential blue eyeliner (reminiscent of Princess Di). But I suppose that while I'm applying my wrinkle-busting foundation it probably wouldn't hurt to throw on a bit of chainmail every now and then.

This week in Church our Pastor, MK, was talking about the Holy Spirit. I don't get to be in church very often as I hang out with the kids in Sunday School most weeks, which tends to suit someone who refuses to grow up and be mature. So it was a rare treat to be sitting in Church actually listening to a sermon. Well...I was trying to listen. It's hard not to let my mind wander and start asking God why Pastors look about 12 years old these days. Since when did Pastors start getting younger than me? Anyway, I was actually paying attention to MK's talk and found it pretty interesting. He was talking about Pentecost, Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Spiritual Gifts and all that profoundly theological stuff. At the end of the Message he gave a subtle altar call for those wanting to be better equipped for God's work. Normally I lay low for these altar calls but this time I found myself sprinting up to the front of the church before I'd even realized that my bum was off the pew.

I'd been thinking about how it is in Sunday School. Occasionally great things can happen with our youngsters down in that room (check out God hears little voices), yet other times things can just fall into a slightly organized chaos. Last week I'd had to have some pretty stern words with a couple of little lambs and I didn't like it one bit. So I figured, the Holy Spirit is the best back up I can have. So up to the front I went. I don't really remember even getting there but I was determined not to fall down in a heap on the floor like those folk on the telly evangelist shows. God ignored that part. Oh well, I did want to "lay low". Thank goodness for black leggings, that's what I say.

So going up the front and asking to be prepared and equipped for battle was quite a cool experience. But be careful what you ask for. If you're getting ready to do battle fore the Kingdom, you can pretty much guarantee that there's someone wanting to pick a fight. I had a bit of a low day on Monday. I was also getting some vivid dreams and broken sleep. The first two dreams definitely felt like God wanted to tell me something and they had a similar theme. The third night the dream was different but was so vivid and uncomfortable that I told Beloved about it. I knew what it was and wanted to know what he thought of it. He interrupted my description: "You're being spiritually attacked!" COOOOOOL!!! Beloved actually prayed for me there and then.

Meanwhile, I feel just a little bit special to be considered enough of a threat to the enemy. What's so important about little me that would get Hairy Legs concerned enough to give me a couple of rough days and a threatening dream? I'm only a Sunday School teacher for goodness sake. Maybe Hairy Legs doesn't like that "Little Box" song that I get the kids to sing that ends with the devil being put in a little black box before we BUST HIM UP (picture a room full of kids stomping and smashing the devil at the same time).
I enjoy hanging with the kids in Sunday School and have never really understood why more people don't take up the offer to help out. What hadn't occurred to me before is that Hairy Legs is really SCARED when Jesus reaches the hearts of children. I think Hairy Legs likes "playing" with kids. I think he wants to hang around them nice and early so that he can do all he can to mess up their lives before they start to enjoy themselves too much. He doesn't want them to know about God's abundant life and the Joy they can have in knowing Jesus. He'd much prefer to tempt our youngsters into a few of his unsavoury schemes that might cause them a little - or a lot - of harm.

Oooh yeah! I'm dangerous! Tomorrow morning when I apply my lippy, I might just remember to come over all Joan of Arc (with blue eyeliner) and pick up my sword of the Spirit before I head out the door.

Monday, March 7, 2011

I sure hope that inner beauty was shining through on Saturday night

I've discovered Skype! It's so clever and I feel just like Captain Kirk on the Star Trek Enterprise. I thought cordless phones were advanced back in the 80s but Friends, we are living in a Science Fiction movie!

There is one little drawback to my Skype discovery and that is the lack of fellow Skypers. So far I've interacted with my Facebook friend in England, and Beloved in bed (although not at the same time). Beloved has a cute little e-book and until the novelty wore off, as a special treat we'd sit next to each other in bed and Skype from e-book to laptop. Sometimes we'd even do it from different rooms.

Skype got even more exciting for me when my long-lost niece T, in Canada,  arranged a video call on Saturday night. This was to be our first real-time "meeting" and being very excited,  I wanted to make a good first impression. We'd worked out our times and I spent two hours beforehand getting myself ready. I chose to wear electric blue (to go with my eye liner) and spent ages curling, straightening and re-curling my hair. I was ready. I logged on. I waited....

I tried to google the time difference between New Zealand and Canada. I forgot exactly which part of Canada I was supposed to google. I checked an hour later. I sadly wondered if I'd been forgotten, shut down the laptop, put on a scruffy shirt and wandered off to the bathroom to colour my hair. Remember Murphy and his law? Murphy made an arrest. My son M logged onto my laptop and when the video call alert came through he discovered that T and I had miscalculated our rendezvous by a couple of hours. So I skyped with my hair wrapped in bits of tinfoil (yes, a former hairdresser can put foil highlights in her own hair) and without makeup. I was mortified.

Very funny God.

I think I'm going off Skype.

I did my best to explain to T that I honestly was looking much nicer two hours earlier and she was fabulous. She put me at ease. She introduced me to her new boyfriend and between them they didn't seem to care that I looked a mess. T has even agreed to wear a face pack for our next Skype.

1 Samuel 16:7 says something about people looking at what's on the outside while God looks at the heart. I think sometimes God helps some special people look past the outside too. I sure hope that's what T was doing. She seems to like me just as I am and it's reassuring to know that God does too.

So...I have a friend who I believe is totally beautiful. She has fabulous hair (compliments to her new hairdresser gratefully received, thank you), dimples when she smiles and her eyes shine when she's happy. She's very modest and doesn't seem to see it herself but her heart is so full of Jesus that His beauty radiates from her. I tell her she has her Father's eyes.

I hope that my heart can be so full of Jesus that He spills out of my eyes too.