If you are looking for my examination of the uncut Cultures of Revolution video, click on this link to go to the MAVI MARMARA report.
I had a great time this month driving my car. The first week, I was a little nervous because I hadn't driven much in the past twelve years, but each time I drove, more of my nervousness left. Remembering how to drive a car is easier for me than riding a bicycle. They say you never forget how to ride a bicycle, and that would be true, if bicycles hadn't changed since I was a kid, but I find it hard to get used to braking with my hands, instead of my feet. Also, the one I bought had five speeds and I never figured out how that worked, before I gave the bike away. Also, it's a lot more comfortable driving a car, instead of peddling a bike, especially uphill.
There is so much to do at work. I am glad that I have such a variety of tasks! None of them are difficult; it just takes time to get things done. There is never time to work on our website at work. Normally, that would be taken care of by a web designer; I wear that hat at home on the weekends and do it on my own time as an offering to the Lord, since I work for a Christian ministry. I love setting up our websites. My HTML skills are quite basic, so I have to search the Internet when I run into a problem, but it's fun to learn.
My grandsons love to learn, too. With Connor, he always soaked everything up like a sponge when he was a little guy. Anything I wanted to teach him, he was really keen to learn. It made him feel empowered. Jake was more into just playing, at first, but once he got motivated to learn, he caught up quickly. His kindergarten teacher loved teaching him because he was so attentive. Recently, he told my daughter, "Math is hard, but I like it because when something is hard, that's when I LEARN!"
My daughter has been learning, too. She is taking an introductory course to Trades. She thinks she would like to learn how to install plumbing. Currently, she is taking carpentry and feels rather nervous using the circular saw. She is also learning to do math required for carpentry and enjoying it, which she said is due to the power saws. It is much safer to do math than to use power saws; she has found her motivation!
I enjoyed another visit from my son. He inspected my car and went into detail about why it is important to change the oil when it gets dirty, and he also gave me a mini–course about tires. When Andrew takes an interest in something, or feels that he needs to know about something, he really gets into it. What he told me sure stuck in my head. I wish that my Automotives teacher in High School had been like him, teaching why we had to do things, rather than just how to do them. When I know the why, I remember better.
I have found that the same principle works for obeying God. In Psalm 119:33-34 says, "Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; yes, I shall observe it with my whole heart." I was taught that we should just obey God blindly and never ask questions, but when God started teaching me the rationale behind various laws that He gave to Moses, I found it much easier to obey Him than when I felt that I was supposed to just blindly trust Him. I could see that love was the motivation behind the law; it wasn't about it being sinful to have fun. As a matter of fact, God is a pleasure–filled God who wants us to have fun. We just have to be purified to where we can enjoy good, clean fun, instead of being bored by it and preferring to wallow in the sewage of self–centred and self–serving desires.
The turning point in my understanding was when I decided to always trust in God's goodness. I knew before then that God is good, but I knew it mostly because the Bible said so. It wasn't a deep down conviction. There were times when I thought He was unfair and felt very sorry for myself. The crisis came as a result of "believing" for $20.00 to pay the monthly rent on a storage locker. This was way back in 1987. I thought I had faith for it, but it must have been more hope than faith, because the $20.00 didn't come through for me on time. At least, I didn't consider it to be on time. I didn't lose my stuff, because I was able to pay for the rent before I lost the locker, but the money didn't come through before the bill was due.
I was on my way home that day, without anything having turned up before the end of the day. This was such a big thing to me, because I was recently abandoned by my husband and now beginning to learn to trust God to meet my needs. To make matters worse, it was raining as I was walking to the bus stop, so I felt quite miserable. With tears trickling down my face, I railed at God in my heart, asking Him, "What's the matter God? Was it too hard for You to come up with $20.00 for me?!!" Then I realized that ranting at God was getting me nowhere; it just made me feel worse. That was when I decided to really believe that God is always good, no matter how much circumstances seemed to say otherwise.
From that moment on, God opened up His Word wider to me. Unless a person truly believes that God is always good, and always has our best interests at heart, we really can't understand that His laws are good. We might hear the medical evidence that heterosexual monogamy is the safest way to enjoy sex, but if we don't understand that marriage is the safest for us spiritually and psychologically, as well, we might feel that it's okay to just live common-law, and not be really particular about our lover's character in every aspect of their life. After all, that's heterosexual monogamy. When we understand the reason for marriage, that it is a type and shadow of the spiritual intimacy that God desires to have with us, then we start to understand why it is so perverted to engage in sex outside of marriage, and also how horrible it is to have other gods, whether they are represented by physical images, or simply habitual sins.
God's Word began to fill my heart like never before, after I made the decision to trust that God is always good. That premise was challenged over and over, and I expect that it will not stop until my pilgrimage on Earth is finished. There were still times after that where I cried in my heart, "What's the matter, God?!! Do You enjoy seeing me suffer?!!" The last time I said that, back in 1987, I felt Him wooing me, saying to my heart, "Won't you trust me?" I felt His sadness over the misery I was causing myself by not trusting Him. I decided that I had to trust Him. What alternative did I have? Even if I didn't understand what He was doing, life was simply too hard and too lonely without Him. In retrospect, I see that I was just mad that I didn't get to have my own way. God really did have something better in mind for me than what I wanted at that time.
Eventually I adopted a practice that has kept me on a much more even keel. Nearly every day (ideally, it should be every day), I thank God for four things that He has blessed me with to use over the past 24 hours. Frequently, modern plumbing is at the top of my list. I watched a documentary about how filthy London used to be before it developed the infrastructure to handle sewage. That was the case with every city in the world before they dug out underground tunnels for sewers. Ack! It's not just the disease issue, but the smells and sights! People wore wooden pattens strapped to their shoes when they walked through the streets, to lift them above the feces and urine and entrails of slaughtered animals.
When I used to fantasize about going back in time when I was a kid, I never thought of the unpleasant aspects of every day living in those times. Hollywood in the 1960s didn't show that part. Any "hero" I would have met in those times was likely to have bad acne, rotten teeth (some missing), his face and body grimed with dirt, and stink to high Heaven. As for me, I would have had teeth missing and would have been barely able to see, even while squinting. Just lovely. I thank God for the time that He had me born, as well as the country that He had me born in. Even the poor, as long as they aren't troubled with addictions or covetousness, can live a fairly decent life in Canada on what we consider a low income.
After thanking God for four things that have blessed me, I thank Him for four people who have blessed me in the previous 24 hours. Sometimes this is hard because I like to stay home when I'm not working, and I don't phone people very much. But I have likely read a good book or an article on the Internet, so I thank God for the author, or for my Facebook friends who blessed me with their comments, or my landlords who were patient with me at times when I was out of work and didn't have the rent. I wouldn't still be living in this place, if they had not been kind and appreciated that I am a quiet and tidy tenant.
Next, I thank God for four things that I like about how He has made me. This has become more difficult with age, as I don't look as pretty as I did twenty years ago, but it sure changed how I felt about my looks when I was in my thirties and forties. Before then, though people tended to think I was pretty, I didn't think that I was. I didn't think that I looked like much, unless I wore make–up, but then I realized that I wouldn't look so cute with make–up, if I didn't have nice bone structure and several other features.
For instance, my lips, when I wore lipstick, really did look beautiful, as one of my customers told me when I was a waitress. I didn't have to change the shape of them with lipliner to make them look good. Hot pink or coral or peach lipstick covered their natural purple hue and made them look very attractive. When I was married, my husband was always asking me to put some lipstick on, when I went without it. If he had told me that I looked beautiful when I was all dolled up, instead of reserving his comments only for when I didn't look attractive, I probably would have worn make–up more often. That customer had said to me, "Lanny, has your husband ever told you that your lips are beautiful?" I knew he was fishing to find out if I was single, but I didn't want to respond in a way that invited his attention, so I said, "Well, he sure ought to!" Then I hurried away. The woman he was with laughed at him when I replied like that. Practicing thankfulness to the Lord for how He made me changed my perspective. Instead of seeing my flaws so much, I could see my prettiness.
Now that I have gotten older and my earthen vessel looks more like a sandbag than an hourglass, I thank God that I am still mobile, and that I can see and hear and taste and touch and smell. This enables me to enjoy good things in life that are available to me, and to go to work to support myself, and I thank Him that I am still alive, that I have an "earthsuit" that enables me to be a blessing in other people's lives. Without an earthsuit, we can't function on this planet in a physical way.
The best part comes next; I thank God for four spiritual blessings. The first three things I thank God for in this respect never change, as I am absolutely awed that God Himself came down to Earth as Yehoshua of Nazareth, to live among us, fulfilling the prophecy that His Name would be Emmanuel – God with us. My understanding and my heart enlarges, as I thank Him for this. I gain more insight about how amazing this is, as I meditate on it.
Just think; God did not choose to be born in a mortal human body in a palace, among pomp and splendor, with the world's recognition that Yehoshua was a prince, the heir of the throne of Israel and of the whole world. By the time that His adoptive father was born, Joseph was considered to be no more than a peasant. The country was under tribute to Rome, its kings were villains appointed by Rome to keep the Israelites suppressed. Joseph was known only as a good carpenter, in regards to his place in society.
God chose that there were no witnesses when Gabriel announced the Messiah's conception to Mary, thus deliberately putting Yehoshua under the stigma of illegitimate birth, to identify with the billions who were conceived outside of marriage. Of course, I realize that there were other reasons for this, namely that we should have faith that He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, for without faith, it is impossible to please God.
Yehoshua gladly accepted the Father's decision that He would be born in a stable, thus identifying with all humans who were born in lowly circumstances, without the comfort of a clean home or hospital to see them take their first breath in the world. His chosen parents were so poor that they could not afford to sacrifice a lamb in the Temple on His behalf, but had to make do with a couple of pigeons.
Yehoshua then identified with refugees when His earthly parents fled with him to Egypt, to keep Him from being killed. He knew what it was like to live in a foreign place, His and His family's safety depending on the whims or the integrity of those who governed that country. When they returned to Israel, it was to Nazareth, where Yehoshua identified with those who live under the shadow of scandal, as the townspeople gossiped about His mother, thinking that she had committed adultery in her youth. He endured jeers and insults on this score, just as many other kids have suffered, though perhaps for different reasons. "Fatso, retard, homo, fleabag, etc … all stinging the soul as much as it does to be called a bastard.
The world is run by elites who consider the rest of us as "resources", to keep consumerism running, for as long as it is useful for them to do so, fobbing us off with shoddy products that not only have obsolescence built into them, so that we will have to keep on buying their products, but many of their products also are slow poison. Our food and water supply is engineered to eventually kill us before our time, as the elites think that the world is overpopulated. When I speak of elites, in this sense, I am referring to global bankers and those in their strata who are at the very top of the heap. All the rest, regardless of whatever degree of power they possess, are their pawns, without any real hope of being the last survivors, though they might tarry longer than the rest of Mankind, if God permitted their plans to succeed that far. (The Bible says that they won't.) The elites want to preserve Earth's resources for posterity – their posterity, not ours. Addictions are encouraged, such as caffeine, nicotine, alcohol, sugar, salt, and MSG, to keep us buying products, reduce our reasoning powers and our will, and to shorten our lives.
God, as Yehoshua, demonstrated that He pities how we are taken advantage of by evil people who have gained power. He lived among us as a simple tradesman, having to work to support Himself and His family, like most of the rest of us. Most people cannot rise higher than that in life, if they are determined to maintain their integrity. Unless God sovereignly elevates people to higher positions, many of the people who have prestigious, well–paying jobs have gained their status and wealth through ignoring their conscience. Many of them participate in the manufacture and distribution of products that are detrimental to the health of others. Yehoshua built homes and made furniture. There wasn't anything at that time that did anyone any harm in the manufacture of those products.
God meets each of us where we are at, though. If we will settle for working at McDonald's, though that food isn't healthy, He will work through His child who works at McDonald's and use them to reach others with the Gospel, if they are faithful to be His witness. He will use those who work in advertising, though that is a very sneaky industry that uses psychological trickery to steer people towards various products. He will use them and work with them, until their conscience becomes tender enough to forbid them from continuing to hold that job. Even unbelievers sometimes can't deal with it any longer. I have enjoyed the books of humourist Patrick McManus, who said that he worked for an ad company, and complained to his doctor that he couldn't sleep, that he lied all night with his eyes wide open. The doctor told him that it was because he lied all day, with his eyes wide open. Ha ha! He had to quit his job, so that he could sleep at night. Christians need to seek the Lord for direction about where to apply for work. It might be with a large company, and work out very well, but if problems arise, it's good to know that one is in God's will.
I worked for an art gallery one time and discovered after a week that the paintings were not what the Manager claimed they were. I continued for another week, looking closely at those paintings, after being told that some were not originals, nor oil paintings, but produced by computer. We had to take inventory every month, and I saw that some of the paintings were daubed with a little oil paint in a few places, to give them a bit of texture. On one painting, they hadn't even bothered to do that. Those that were produced by computer were sold for half as much as the genuine oils, and looked at least twice as good.
I had been happy, at first, to have a glamorous job where I could get all dressed up, even wearing long, evening gowns, but now I hated it because I was expected to keep telling the customers that the paintings were original oils. I have Good News to tell people and that job hindered my credibility, as well as bothered my conscience. I would feel fine away from the store, but as soon as I caught sight of the mall on the way to work, I started to feel unwell. When I got to the store, I felt much worse and would have to rush to unlock the door, so that I could make it in time to the bathroom. It was awful, particularly because I usually worked on my own, and there was nobody to watch the front when I was incapacitated. My need was so ragingly urgent that there wasn't even time to ask another vendor to keep an eye on the place. Taking Immodium helped somewhat, but not always. It didn't take long for me to decide to give my notice, but I was going to wait until my boss got back from a buying trip to "Europe" before I did that. She was actually buying the pictures from Asia.
Then after being there for two weeks, it suddenly dawned on me that the job was making me sick. I already had my notice written out; I put it in the daily log right away. As soon as I did, my stomach pains immediately stopped. I never felt sick again at work. When the Manager returned, I just told her that the hours conflicted with the hours of another job that I had at the time. This was true. I got the other job before this one, but the Manager always gave me her schedule ahead of the other store, so that they had to work around her schedule. She responded with an arched brow, "I don't know WHY you are quitting." I made no reply, but thought, "Oh, I am sure that you do." I heard that most people who were hired there didn't stay longer than a month, because they soon figured out what was going on.
I thank God that I was raised in a culture where honesty is taught so much as a virtue that even a lot of unbelievers don't want to work in a place like that. It's just too in–your–face dishonest. Don't ask which store it was; I won't tell. Any type of art product is subject to the "Buyer Beware" policy. People have to make their investigations, if they want to be sure of buying a genuine article. Some of the paintings in that store were genuine, and some of those genuine ones, in my opinion, were genuinely ugly. I was relieved that I actually sold only one painting and got the commission on it, just for measuring it for the customer, and the painting looked like it was what it was claimed to be.
I get so blessed on meditating about how God chose to identify with the working class by placing Yehoshua in that strata of society, that thanking Him for this never changes from my routine. I also thank Him for how He healed ALL who came to Him for healing, thus indicating that it is ALWAYS God's will to heal, for Jesus came to reveal the Father's heart. I also thank Him for what He suffered for us, to remove from us pain, sickness, scars, deformities, poverty, and all other curses that Adam's sin put upon us. I also thank Him that He didn't come to just reverse the curse, but to REMOVE the curse, which means to me that, if we will just believe in PURE faith, without any taint of doubt or unbelief, we can have perfect health right away, instead of going through a gradual process of gaining good health.
I meditate on how what Yehoshua did for us can totally over–rule all the harmful ingredients that has been put in our food and water and environment, though I believe that God wants us to exercise self–control and make "healthy" choices, such as raw vegetables and fruit over pastries and candy. When giving my grandsons bananas, grapes, and strawberries, etc, I tell them, "This is God's candy. It doesn't do us any harm." If we are trying to eat healthy, I think that God honours that, if we don't have the means to buy organic products. Who knows, anyway, if those organic products are really what they claim to be. Unless you've grown it yourself, how can you really be sure?
I not only thank God that Yehoshua paid the penalty for my sins, so that I don't have to go to Hell, but He also saved my character. He made it possible for me to have genuine integrity, to do things solely out of love for Him and others, rather than just to feel good about myself or have a good reputation. Next, I thank Him for His precious Word, the Holy Bible, and that it has been available to me to read and study, which I have done with delight for many years. I thank Him also for the Holy Spirit, who lives within me, and that because of Him, I am never alone, nor need to be lonely. Praise God! I usually thank Him after that for ministering to me in my dreams, as the fourth spiritual blessing.
Next, I thank God for four things that I know He is going to give me. This is always a triumphant declaration that lifts my heart further. I was taught that after this, I should praise God for four attributes of His Nature. I am sure that there are many attributes of His Nature that we can praise, and we are free to do more that four of each category, but I always praise for Him for the same things because they thrill me so much.
First of all, I praise God that He is absolutely good, utterly holy, and can do no wrong, and for this reason, He can be utterly trusted. If he was all–knowing and all–powerful, but not always good, God would be very scary indeed. One would never know when He would rap out some arbritrary order that would degrade us and be a betrayal of our trust. Satan is like that. He wants to be all–powerful and all–knowing, and to torment us at his whim. Thank God he isn't all–knowing and all–powerful!
After this, I praise the Lord that He is all–knowing and all–wise. Not only can nothing take Him by surprise, but He always does the right thing with His knowledge. Then I praise Him that He is all–powerful, and when I do this, Yehoshua pokes me on the nose (in my spirit) and says with a grin, "And don't you forget it!" This builds in me a delightful anticipation for His miracles, as well as serves as a warning. After this, I praise Him that He is everywhere all at once. There is no place where I could be taken where He will not be there, too. And then I praise Him that He owns everything. I don't have to worry about how He will provide for me and the people that He wants me to help. He has endless resources.
Going through this routine every day, and also praying the Lord's Prayer nearly every day, blesses me so much. It elevates my outlook on life, in spite of being well–informed about a lot of dastardly stuff that goes on behind the scenes in this evil world. God is in control and He has given us the means to be overcomers in life, not flotsam and jetsam carried about by the waves of disaster. We can have a purpose, a wonderful destiny, if we will cooperate with God's design for our life.
Boy, it just cheers me up even more to write about these things. I had decided to give up on keeping up with my newsletter, but today when I got to praying and thanking God for coming to Earth as Yehoshua, and God showed me that He had Yehoshua born in a stable to identify with those who were born out in fields and other places that aren't clean and comfortable, it excited me so much that I just had to write about it. So, I guess I am supposed to keep up with my Newsletter, regardless that I have so many other things to write and to do.
God bless you all. I hope that you will adopt a daily practice of thanking God, and praising Him, after this pattern, if you aren't doing it already. What a change it will make in you! It's like a drill that goes into the wells of salvation, causing joy and peace and other blessings to spring up. Some days, you might feel down, but not nearly as depressed as you will feel, if you don't have a daily habit of thanking and praising God.
Copyright © 2012, Lanny Townsend
Page modified by Lanny Townsend on October 13, 2012
Scripture references on this website are closely paraphrased from e–Sword's King James Bible.