Sunday, December 17, 2017

Hearts of Courage

I have such a writing in my heart about courage and moxie. At the library I got this old book written in the late 1800’s. It was about the founding of America. And in the beginning after the Pilgrims first came, there was always a shortage of wives for the men who wanted to go to the new land. The men wanted to build homes and have children and get established. But many of the women died under such hard conditions. They had come from an established country, where home and extended family was near them, to a strange wilderness.

In the beginning, many of the women were Christians. But they were so sophisticated and well brought up that they were just not suitable for the wilderness living. They were not of hardy stock and died pretty quick of sickness and probably broken hearts.

So England began sending hardier women like women brought up in orphans’ homes and even women out of prison. These women were hard to crack and weren’t afraid of Indians or hard livin’. They saw a way to be free and to make a living through hard work. Mostly, this was in Maryland where anyone was welcome. But these women made good wives, for the most part, and many became Christians. They were simple and fearless and had a will to make it. They had never known anything but hell and hardship so they were mete for the match. They had learned courage and how to live in hard conditions, cold and hungry. So this was a step up for them.

One woman held an Indian down that was trying to kill a bunch of mothers and their children. This woman held the Indian down until 12 women could escape and run away with their children. I mean, these orphan women were used to being attacked all the time. An Indian wasn’t a problem. But these women learned courage, not because they were Christians, but because they had to learn it to survive. And they learned courage through living continually on the edge with one eye open — always!

But we don’t learn courage only from reading the Bible … we learn it from pressing against evil in our homes. We learn it through not giving up. We develop faith muscles through “pressing” against evil and through “opposing” continually the works of darkness in our lives. We press on and keeping pressing our spiritual muscles up against a dark wall that seems to never relent. And the Bible calls us to be stouthearted and not give up our fight of faith.

As I write, I blur between the Spirit and the flesh. But I am trying to give you a picture of the fight of faith. We best not be playin’ games. Religion ain’t gonna work in the real world — which is not the flesh world but the spiritual world where Jesus lives in heavenly places.

It may not be ladylike to wrestle an Indian, but if it will save 12 mothers and their children, heck, give it a shot. Bein’ plain ornery like Annie is good. We women are taught not to have a will or a thought of our own. And this is foolish! See, we ain’t victims that just sit here and say, “Yes Dear.” We are called of God to do a work on this earth.

Like Esther, we have an agenda, but we submit to our husbands and to the Lord. Our agenda may be on hold until our husbands see that same light. But we don’t have to give up our hopes and dreams because no one agrees with us. We are called of God, too, like Esther.

Joseph didn’t understand that Mary had become pregnant without a man until God gave him a dream. Sometimes we see things, as women, in the Spirit before our husbands. But God’s timing for our miracle to come is when our husbands give it the OK. Well, usually, it works like that in a home under God’s anointing.

I have become, over the years, more stouthearted living with wild man, as I was brought up very well. I hardly got a spanking and, believe me, I needed one. But when I married Jim, it was like “Welcome to the real world.” I knew this ol’ boy, at the time, wasn’t playin’ with a full deck and was out and out dangerous. Well, I guess I just learned to tame the beast at first.

Of course, now Jim is a wonderful Christian man, and, ya know, often folks will say, “Did Jim get saved at church?” I have to say no. See, Jim tried religion — he tried over and over to do what the church folks said to do. I did, too. But, see, Jim had to get sick and tired of being sick and tired. He had to quit listening to everyone and decide what he wanted. Then when he decided, then that was it, the Lord healed him. See, we have to decide to follow Christ. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom or a love for home and family. Once Jim made the decision, he became very territorial. He gathered us up and held us tight. Now, through the years, he has loosened up a bit. But, ya know, he was almost gangster-like once he came to Christ.

And I see more and more true men of God standing up and, seemingly, are almost underground. I think many of our men who are more rough see the truth that is going on in our world. It’s almost as if they were called to such time as this. The day of the little pansy pussies are over? Any man that will mind his wife and play nursemaid ain’t really worth havin’.

Jesus hung around the more rough folks and the Pharisees kind of made Him sick. Was it that He saw that, when these folks’ backs were up against the wall, they would know how to fight the good fight of faith? That, since they knew hardship in the physical, they could understand it when He spoke of the spiritual realm? Of demons and spiritual warfare? I dunno.

I am wondering, as I write, what the Spirit of God is trying to say. I do know if I saw a group of bikers come up to my house, I think I could handle them alone. Well, not if they snuck up on me before I had time to pray. I do know how to pray the protection of God upon myself. But I am not stupid, either, and wouldn’t invite bikers into my house for coffee. I know some of them are dangerous. But I know God is bigger. And, ya know, many were after Jesus to kill Him. But no one took His life. He gave it willingly. He disappeared into the crowds many times to get away from His oppressors.

As I stand here writing, I am so cold and I keep running back and forth to the kerosene burner in the living room to get warm. And, ya know, many of my Christian friends would think I was crazy. I just noticed a burn hole in my sweatpants from standing too close to the burner. It’s a big hole — I will have to sew it up. But ya know what? I am not giving the gas company the money we need. We could be in the street panhandling if we don’t conserve on heat. And I am not afraid because I have been here and done this before. And the folks that will get help with the heat bill from the government ain’t gonna get that much money to make a difference, anyway. I mean, hello, this is the real world. If things keep going in our nation as it has, a lot of folks will have their gas turned off because they can’t pay the bill. And this gas problem is gonna hit hard on the poor folks who are just makin’ it as it is.

I think it is really the time for us to get out our moxie and wear it like a coat. I think the Lord is saying that we need as to, as believers, get out of this passive mode and get some guts and moxie about us. I mean we ain’t livin’ in the 80’s anymore and we need to arm ourselves with stoutheartedness. We are in the middle of a wilderness and a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. The time of religion is over and the times of the stout in heart are upon us. And, like Annie says, “Ya do whatever it takes.” But, ya know, the old time mothers always went back to the land. And I think this is our answer, too.

I wonder about my book coming out that talks about pioneer living. I wonder if it is a book for such a time as this? And I have to wonder that, through the many trials I have lived through in my family, has God created in me a moxie for such a time as this? I don’t know.

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