Archive | February 2014

Cross Purposes 23 / Meek Does Not Mean Weak

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Scripture passages for contemplation:

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Matthew 11:29)

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. (Matthew 5:5)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. (Galatians 5:22-24)

It is said that Moses was the meekest man above all others on the face of the earth! (See Numbers 12:3) Imagine that for a moment! 

Here is someone who walks into the court of Pharaoh from whose condemnation he fled years before. Moses then performs miracles by the hand of God bringing about the liberation of the entire enslaved population of the Jews. He leads them out of Egypt. From there he parts the Red Sea, leading these ex-slaves in the wilderness for forty years – refining and preparing them to receive the inheritance of the Promised Land given to them by God so long ago. There in the Wilderness of Sinai he receives the covenants of God’s Law while on the mountain and sees God face to face.

Not exactly the average Mr. Milk Toast, as defined by today’s ideas about the word “meek”!

So, we might ask, what’s so unique about meek, since Jesus also invites us to learn meekness of Him? Certainly we’d have to agree that the Biblical kind of meek does not mean weak! It certainly is not characterized by being a doormat. In fact it’s remarkably resilient, powerful, and no nonsense.

Meekness here, rather than referring to timidity, is the boldness which comes only from full surrender to the Spirit of the Living God and to our Heavenly Father’s will – which always has the best and highest in mind for us! Our meekness results in His strength.

Sometimes maybe we get a little confused about how this meekness thing works. 

One of the best and surest ways meekness operates is through the prayer attitude of Jesus before His betrayal in the Garden of Gethsemane. “Thy will, not mine, be done!” He prays. Obviously this requires radical commitment as well as being able to see beyond the cross and our daily co-crucifixion in Jesus. Yes, we see beyond the cross and hold the vision of our resurrection and ascension – also in Him. We have to understand that the way to is the way through, and surrender the ego self to it. 

Meekness has everything to do with the inner view of what we call “faith”. I think the NASB has an easy-to-comprehend definition of that in Hebrews 11:1 – “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Without a faith-view, it’s virtually impossible to practice meekness, for faith is not ever really “blind”.

Perhaps it would be good at this point to prayerfully pause for awhile to consider how God may be calling on us for this kind of meekness in our own life… How does that look? Where is my ego holding me back, with its personal agendas and opinions for its own fulfillment?

Preceding this personal working knowledge is the heart that completely desires the Father’s will, having first experienced His unconditional Love (See 1 John 4:19). We’ve  seen God’s Love for us in action. We know we can trust Him in whatever He asks of us. It means abiding in His Holy Spirit and in His word – both His Scriptural Word as well as the “word” of His Still Small Voice within us. Surrender in this case is built on a deep and lasting trust in Divine Wisdom through the experience of its workings. 

This is also known as humility… not what I want, Lord, but what You want, nothing held back now or ever. “Have Thine own way, Lord, have Thine own way…”

There is no doubt that the journey He leads us on will have a blessed destination. We realize, know, and understand that He never leaves us or forsakes us – no matter where He takes us.

Thus is it not a fairly simple matter to surrender oneself to Him, or to practice meekness,  since we know of His wholly reliable and unconditional lovingkindness toward us? 

Simple in theory, but practice is another matter, we might say. More easily said than done?

But this is the point: learning meekness is a spiritual practice. And practice makes perfect, they say… The quality, the virtue, of meekness grows as we allow God to aim His grace toward us, and through us out into life! The more surrendered to Him we become, the more we manifest His image and likeness in the world.

Very soon we will be entering another Lenten cycle. This invites us to further and more deeply consider the meekness Jesus asks us to learn of Him. He invites us to once more walk in the remembrance and realization of His full commitment to the redemptive work in the plan of salvation it was His to do.

As we follow Jesus into this very real and daily experience of fleshing out our co-crucifixion with Him, let us be “bravely meek” and stalwartly committed, as the prophet Isaiah reminds us: “For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” (Isaiah 50:7)

A concluding contemplative exercise: Pray about and ponder the promise of Jesus as to how it is that the meek shall inherit the earth, in spite of what we perceive as the situation with current events. Sharing you insights and realizations below in comments would be deeply appreciated. Blessings, dear reader!

 

 

Proverbially Speaking / Chapter 8

We could call Proverbs 8 In Praise Of Wisdom. There are no direct references or warnings, as in previous chapters, about the Black Magic Woman lurking everywhere, as she stalks the naive, unsuspecting, and all who shun Wisdom. Instead this entire chapter is devoted to the gracious and life enhancing characteristics of Lady Wisdom, where she may be found now, and where she has been since the beginning!

She calls out, “Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired do not compare to it.” (verses 10,11)

What the world needs now may be “love, sweet love”, but what it really needs equally as much is to love wisdom. She continues (verse 17,18): “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honor are with me; yes, durable riches and righteousness.”

“Durable” riches mean the riches that endure perpetually, not the fleeting and temporary. Jesus takes it to a deeper level, advising Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal, But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

Where is the love of Wisdom in today’s world? I recently heard from a young woman I know. She lives in an area where there are lovely, well groomed parks and playgrounds.

Apparently during a recent visit, there were some children playing nearby who were making a mess by throwing pieces of landscaping materials and acting in a very rude, disorderly, and disruptive fashion. The real issue was that the demolition derby’s dad was just standing there smiling as if it delighted him that they had no discipline and that they were aggravating everyone else in the park. He made no effort to correct them.

This young woman raises her children with respect for God, others, private and public property, nature and the like. She is a Christian mom raising her young children to respect the simple differences between acceptable and unacceptable attitudes and behaviors. Her children do not act like the others did. Although younger, they wondered why these older children did not understand appropriate behavior and were allowed to get away with such things.

Sadly this is not an unusual scenario these days. Yet it’s easy to see that when children are not learning from parents by example, teaching, and discipline combined – to “lay up heavenly treasures”, but are instead taught to seek only this world’s material goods and more money than the next guy, they will not learn respect. They will regard everything and everyone else as mere resources to use and to get what they want, which they think will make them happy. Sadly this has become a more and more popular social modus operandi, as each generation becomes more materialistic.

And then we wonder why the nation is swirling the drain.

The emphasis is self. Self satisfaction, self seeking, basically self worship. Ego reigns in the cult of self. Where does this go after awhile, with this “if it feels good, do it” mentality – when the higher immutable Law is that you reap what you sow?

Let’s look at that. If you seek only your own success, pleasure, and what make you feel good – regardless of others – and have no consideration or respect for anyone or anything else, eventually you will attract into your life people who are also self absorbed, careless, inconsiderate, and disrespectful. People and situations will materialize in your life that are hurtful and destructive. You may wonder why it’s happening to you.

You may have all the material success plans and money making strategies in the world, but if you’re a jerk, eventually all you’ll have around you is other opportunistic, self-absorbed jerks!

As for this idea that sinful behaviors done privately won’t hurt anyone else, it always amazes me how many people who believe that also claim “We are all one”. They don’t realize that if you are one with everyone else, then whatever you’re doing is being done to everyone else as well. Better rethink that one. You can’t have it both ways!

When Wisdom is sought as the only lasting treasure, She teaches you how to avoid these subtly deceptive ideas. However, She requires a faithful heart and single mind!

I suspect that a good many people – drunk with the pursuit of self, wealth, and the temporary pleasures of this world – may have to learn the truth the hard way. If you’re a taker, a predator, a scavenger, or an opportunist, you will learn eventually that like attracts like. Hell’s population will be characterized by people who will still try to outfox one another as they “look out for number one”. Certainly earthly prisons are full of such individuals.

If the dad in the foregoing example treasured Wisdom and genuine Love, his children would not be acting like little demons, nor would he stand there with a smirk on his face allowing them to get away with it – acting as if it gave him pleasure that they were tearing up the park and upsetting others! Might this man’s parents also be among those who failed at stepping up to the plate of being wise elders for him?

No, this kind of foolishness is not cute. It is the seed of bratty behavior and bullying in early life which, barring divine intervention, yields something far worse in later years.

The phrase “those that seek me early shall find me” is a very telling one. Why would someone desire Wisdom early in childhood? He or she would see it as a living dynamic he respects and looks up to in a parent or elder who exemplifies it, for Wisdom is something both caught and taught.

Pajamazon Dot Com

I don’t usually address politics, and this is way off subject from my usual themes, but I’ll vent about it anyway a little, with a hopefully humorous tongue in cheek approach. Andy Rooney “rises again”…

It is commonly believed that in the United States there are two major political parties. But I would contend that there are actually three: the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and the Pajama Party.

I would also offer that the third party, the Pajama Party, may be the most influential among all of them. Why might this be so? Well, let’s take a look at the characteristics of the average official, certifiable and certified, card-carrying Pajama Party Animal. What traits do these individuals share?

But first of all, let’s get something perfectly clear here. As a recovering Pajamaholic, I unabashedly confess that I was once a staunch member of the Pajama Party, So I do not speak in terms of an outsider on this matter, but from the insider perspective of someone who no longer has pajamazon and is therefore no longer an affiliate of Pajamazon Dot Com. But having been caught with pants down once too often, it was no longer expedient to be a member of the Pajama Party, once I woke up and smelled the coffee. And I’m being told that if I don’t have pajamazon, I better be looking for ways to cover my backside, because baby, it’s cold out there! 

Are you pickin’ up what I’m layin’ down here? So whether you are or aren’t, I double dare you to read on.

My “close encounters” with the dark side aside, let us now approach the peculiar and scary characteristics of the Pajama Party Animal. The individuals in question, first of all come in all sizes, shapes, colors, creeds, sexes, sexual preferences, or no sex at all [sorry I couldn’t resist throwing that in]. That last one – no sex at all – means they’re neuter, uh, rather neutral that is, luke warm on every issue – they just don’t care a fig about much of anything. Unless it’s fun, footloose and fancy free, and “on the house” [or the senate, or on the floor… somebody stop me!] 

The Pajama Party Animal will somewhat resemble humans and in many cases are dead ringers for the species. Please do not, however, confuse some of them with Bigfoot, although they often display the peculiar tendency to be running around where they shouldn’t be all night – that is if they’re awake. Or they may sleep walk. No one knows for sure since they are regarded as too dangerous to approach for field research when found in this zombie-like state.

Many Homo-Pajamazonians, their official scientific designation [as in Homo Sapiens, OK? Don’t go thinking I’ve gone homophobic on you here, please!] confound onlookers by appearing with pajamazon in busy public places during the day. It’s a fashion trend, you know – not bothering to get dressed. And it sure saves time at the beginning or end of the day – whatever time that means. Blurry-eyed and dull-witted, with pajamazon but covered by a plaid jacket, they stand in line at the Super Wal-mart check-out with shopping carts full of white bread, chips, beer, and GMO processed foods. Their hair is often disheveled, and their bedroom slippers covering sagging socks are uncomplimentary in color to their polkadot pajamas. Frequently it is difficult to distinguish their gender. Whatever…

However, some H-Ps, as they are dis-affectionately referred to in scientific circles, show a remarkable likeness to average Humans, and look a lot like squeaky-clean, pressed and polished Yuppies in beige running shorts and white polo shirts. [These are the ones you really have to watch out for because they are actually shape shifters with the ability to make you think they’re awake and aware when they’re not!] 

Yet all H-P’s – make no mistake about it – share the common characteristic of being asleep as regarding many of the facts regarding “Civics” and how the government is supposed to work [small, non-intrusive, and as servants of the tax-payer], American History, the banking elite, the industrial-military complex, the Federal Reserve, the importance of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, chemtrails, GMO foods, fluoride in the water, vaccines, and what the 11th hour really looks like. They don’t notice their pockets being picked to bail out the “too big to fail” or the “too small to matter” – all to garner support and funding to remain in power. Many think that the Pre-amble to the Constitution means teetering hung over on the edge of your bed after a Pajama Party before you amble down to the bathroom for a morning constitutional or to throw up! They display a mindless neutrality on clear “thou shalt not kill” issues like the holocausts of bloody war and abortion on demand. Yea, whatever…

Curiously, some Pajama Party Animals also claim to be Democrats or Republicans. Wow! They may be bi-partisan, crossing party lines. Their shape shifting, dis-loyal, self-serving natures go with whoever keeps the good times rolling – according to their taste, just as long as they aren’t bothered by the change that has come, they will always have hope that nobody will ask them to do anything by or for themselves. Their big interest is self-interest and the date of the next Pajama Party.

Being true Pajama Party Animals they care for little more than all nighters at someone else’s house, at someone else’s expense, and consuming someone else’s food and drink. They do what they do best at night, under cover of darkness. As long as the status quo – “Pajama Party Time” – is maintained, they are quite content to be apathetic.

As to religious preference, frequently they are found worshipping at the temple of the god MemyselfandI, supreme lord of destruction. What knowledge of power he imparts! I know “The Secret” of how to get what I want when I want it. I can move the Universe. Oh well, it’s freedom of religion we have here, right? The Great Experiment.

One thing’s for certain, they will never watch your back, and very possibly may stab it, at the right opportunity. Their prime directive? Seek to only cover only your own backside. Hey, that’s what pajamas are for no doubt. Whatever… who cares?

This is why the Pajama Party is the most influential party there is – because everybody in it is either dead drunk or asleep, and many of them are difficult to identify – especially to themselves. 

Such apathy “elects” tyrants by default, because Pajama Party Animals just don’t care. And Pajama Party Animals easily allow the wool to be pulled over their eyes, and hope no one else can see. Oh well, we’ve gone through hard times before, they say, so we’ll get through this. I’m an American. I love being an American. According to whose definition?

The real question is, do you still have your pajamazon? Hello, are you awake? There you go again, hitting that snooze button. Shame on you…

 

Creatively Dancing Through The Darkness

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When things appear bleak, maybe it’s time to look elsewhere for inspiration.

If you’d like a few tips about using art as anInspirational Modality, here are some ideas that I use myself, especially when feeling down and out. 

What does it really mean when we say we need to be inspired? Most of us think of inspiration as something that makes us feel better, and that is certainly very true. Yet inspiration has a broad spectrum of meaning. It may mean the simple stimulation of happier emotions, or it can refer to the stimulus itself that creates a heightened state [as in, “That tree was my inspiration”] of awareness or connection. 

Inspiration may also apply to the influence of the Higher Power upon the soul or mind. It is very closely related to the word “inhalation”, which means to breathe air into one’s lungs, and indeed this is how inspiration often feels – like a breath of fresh air. Another use of the word inspiration is a creative outcome itself, such as a painting, a song, or a poem, or the creative solution to a problem – the outer result of being inspired from within [as in, “that drawing was her very own inspiration”]. Inspiration covers a lot of territory, from positive stimulus, to response, to the resulting work of art itself!

So, how is inspiration useful?

All we have to do to be reminded of the perplexing state of the world, politics, or the economy, is to go to our inbox, social networking sites, magazines, newspapers, or turn on the radio or television. We are inundated with information which is anything but inspiring. In fact it’s usually depressing. The “bad news” usually elicits any number of negative responses – from discouragement and disappointment to out and out fear and panic. [Relief of course can be found through the pharmaceuticals sponsoring the same programs and publications which promote “the bad news”. Isn’t that fascinating?]

However, this need not be the name of the game. One wholesome solution for counteracting this is something that provides inspiration and promotes a healthy imagination. When these morbid specters conjure images in our minds of worst case scenarios, turning to art for inspiration can provide relief and the necessary inspiration to dissolve the grim images vying for control of our thoughts. It may even put you on an entirely new path!

I call this dancing through the darkness. Maybe even dancing your way out of the darkness.

How might that work, you may ask? 

Let’s begin first of all by shutting off the television, radio, so called social media – all the electronics. Toss away the newspaper – there’s nothing “new” under the sun anyway. Just separate from the source of negativity!

Next, if you do not regard yourself as “artistic”, you might consider attending an art fair, an art center, or visiting a museum. Even many small towns are home to these creative venues and amenities nowadays. 

If not, there are books featuring full color prints by many famous artists from Michaelangelo to Warhol and more. A simple web search on “paintings” will bring inspiration right to your laptop. There is really no limit to how much beauty can be accessed without even leaving your easy chair! It’s merely a matter of choosing to be inspired with positive images rather than allowing yourself to be continually bombarded by images which leave you despondent.

However, if you are already inspired to exercise your imagination by drawing or painting, then your Inner Creator may already be nudging you to boldly go where you’ve never gone before. 

The best way to begin is simply and  inexpensively! 

Find yourself a few sheets of unlined paper, even printer paper, and a number 2 pencil. Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Sit quietly for a few moments and see if anything pops into mind, such as “tree” or “dog” or “house”. Then take a crack at drawing from your imagination. If you like, you might want to look through a magazine to see if you can draw a picture of one of the photographs in it, or a stack of your own photos. Start with something simple if drawing is new to you.

Or begin simply by deliberately doodling with a little relaxing and/or upbeat music in the background. This means you’re relaxing and letting a flow of lines and forms emerge from within through your hand onto the paper. I find this to be a great relaxer that works far better than sleeping pills, if you have trouble falling asleep.

The important thing is not to be discouraged or harsh with yourself regarding what you come up with. This is not a contest; it is a way to inspire and soothe your mind. It is also vital not to give up on the process. You learn to draw by drawing – the art teaches you because it comes from your Inner Creator – the greater You inside of you! As you gain confidence, you may want to take a class, or sign up to study with a private teacher, one who can be supportive and patient with your efforts.

[Photo is the author’s imaginary painting in acrylic called Dancing Through The Darkness. It was inspired by the winter wind on a starlit night.]

Reactive or Proactive Prayer?

During a recent PIPR – Personal Inner Peace Retreat – this question arose, Do I watch what happens and pray, or do I pray and watch what happens?

This may seem like some sort of trick question, but the fact is, it points to a rather subtle distinction in view to approaching the Divine.

The first part of the question – watching and then praying – is essentially, for lack of a better term, a reactionary mode of prayer – informed by circumstances, ego, or the finite mind, which thinks it knows what is best for the entire Being. 

The latter – praying and watching – is a prayer of pro-action and creativity, the “prayer of faith” that is the source of unfoldment, rather than a reaction to something already underway. It is a prayer that precedes, and perhaps catalyzes, rather than reacts to events. This kind of prayer is informed not by circumstances, but by Divine Mind.

This latter mode of prayer is Jesus way – standing up and saying, “Peace, be still!” to the storm. He wasn’t reacting to it; He took command of it within union with the Father. He asks nothing. He informs the storm that this is how it’s going to be.

Many of us live our lives in a reactionary mode. It’s a lifetime M.O. of assessing damages and doing damage control, bailing out the boat, repairing the tattered sails, and attempting to sail on, only to be beset by another tempest. Especially in the current times. Most of the methodologies approaching this are reactionary or resistant modalities rather than creative acts. This includes our prayers and spiritual practices. A little honest self-examination will reveal that this may be the case.

How often do we hear the phrase, “Now we can only pray”? It’s as if it’s the last resort when every other finite possibility has been exhausted. It’s “last straw praying”, which means that God has functionally been out of the picture and is the last rather than the first to be considered or consulted. It’s the prayer that is backwards in essence – “My will not Thy will be done.” We use God when we need Him in an advisory capacity. When finite grasping at straws has come to an end, then it finally occurs to us to approach the Infinite! When you think about it, this is insane. It’s the essence of the bumper sticker “God is my co-pilot”, the soft drink dispenser God – put in your dollar and things go better with God.

However, there is the other approach, the latter approach of praying and then watching what unfolds – what is called “the prayer of faith”. This is praying from a space of awareness of Creator Oneness, not fear and vague hope. We’re informed by Scripture that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” We could call that a knowing about something that is to be brought forth. “Faith” is also not mere belief, but knowledge that precedes manifestation, “seeing before it comes into being”. Faith is having a deep inner conviction about something.

Learning to pray from that different perspective involves a refusal and renunciation of all reactive attitudes, thoughts, words, or deeds from oneself, as well as a careful self examination, with the help of the Holy Spirit, concerning what these reactions might look like. Sometimes it’s very surprising and unsettling, but this always points us to answers!

This kind of attitude in prayer moves away from reaction and resistance, whether that means violent resistance or even non-violent resistance. And there is already so much resistance out there in today’s social and political climate!

What is metaphysically feasible is that all the reacting is actually energy that feeds the current conundrum, since the axiom is: what you resist will persist, and what you fear shall appear, what you believe you shall receive. Thus is you are focusing on and spreading about the “ain’t it awful” mentality, you actually contribute to is. (And anyone of that mindset is probably reacting strongly if they are reading this!)

Another principle may be called upon, and that is that everything changes and moves. Consequently when all the “lessons” learned through the current crises have been made known, this too shall pass. Nothing is static. Everything changes! The pendulum will swing again here in the physical dualistic realms of space, time, and the energy matter matrix.

Based upon this, there is the option to back off and focus on a new reality, beyond the current status quo, created from within, arising from contact with the Divine Presence. That is the real purpose of prayer and spiritual practice – to bask in Divine Presence, not to ask for solutions, but to surrender the will and the ego to the Divine Presence, which absorbs us back into Itself, from a “fallen” state (lower frequency), restoring our being into its original Oneness-Awareness with the Supernal Creator.

And it is from this vantage point that we pray! It is the space of the visionary, not the space of playing villains and victims.

God knows what we need before we can even ask! So reaction is not prayer, nor is it doing God’s will, or the idea of being used by God. It is purely ego that is always in a reactive mode. Such prayers may make us “feel better”, but truth be told, seldom are they answered. And the issues remain. We just convince ourselves that God is saying, “Wait!”

If there is anything to be learned through times like these, it is that we might consider moving on into a creative rather than reactive state of mind and being. Thus simple meditation – showing up and sitting silently in the Presence of God as the intention – is a very good place to begin that different vantage point of praying and then watching what happens!

The essence of “atonement” could be re-pronounced “at-one-ment”. The entire creation is made of sound, of vibration. It’s all about the “music of the spheres”! The question then is, are you in harmony with, at one with, The Heavenly Father, the Supernal Creator, or is your reactionary spirituality simply off in its own world vibrating at its own frequency, doing its own thing, self-deceived, and thus never making contact?

The only way that contact is going to be made is through surrendering the will and the entire being to Divine Presence when in prayer, meditation, contemplation, study or any spiritual activity or practice. There is no other reason for being in a spiritual practice other than to be attuned to the holy, Divine Mind of God! Father really does know best! 

Being in this Presence is the experience of amazing, sublimating Grace, which grants this ascent up the harmonious scale and into this state of at-one-ment and the awareness of at-one-ment. It is not automatic. Going into spiritual practice or prayer for any other reason is useless.

These are not easy words, but if you are wondering why things don’t change, or your prayers are not answered the way you’d like them to be, it may be because you’ve been watching and praying, instead of praying and watching… and rejoicing!

Thus the best, simplest prayer is, “Not my will, but Thy will be done. Thank You!”

Messages To Ourselves

Here are some practical realizations I’ve connected with of late. They’re so valuable and helpful to me that I thought I’d pass them along.

Instead of using the phrase, “I’ll do everything possible,” learn instead to respond realistically to requests by saying, “I’ll do what I can.” 

Notice the difference. With the former you’re playing God. “Everything possible”? Seriously? Get real. 

The latter puts you in touch with your reality, reasonable limitations, and especially personal boundaries that you really don’t want trespassed, although you may not have considered it from that perspective before. 

That along with “Let me think about that for awhile, and I’ll get back to you with MY decision…” can save tons of misunderstanding, not to mention taking on “”stuff” that isn’t yours.  If you’re honest, you’ll think about things more deeply and patiently, thus avoiding being overrun by others’ judgments or by the occasional cunning opportunist or boundary crasher. 

The kinds of messages we send to ourselves, to others, and to the universe in general are important – so that we’re not perceived as an easy target or a door mat, or someone who’s easily guilt tripped.

We don’t have to be forceful or rude. It’s a matter of stating your facts gently and standing by them.

It doesn’t mean you’re unloving or selfish. It just means you’re connecting with and accepting your reality and your truth, and keeping your boundaries more firmly.

There are innovative ways we can say, “That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.”

Proverbially Speaking / Chapter 7

Appearing again are numerous warnings about the “adulteress” who flatters and ensnares the naive, the youthful, the one lacking sense or “void of understanding” as the KJV puts it. (See Proverbs 7). Presented is the Wisdom Way to avoid that “Black Magic Woman” who has appeared earlier in these contemplations in Proverbs. In fact she will not even want to consider you – if you always walk with Lady Wisdom, since this “BMW” (see * below) stalks the unsuspecting and the foolish who walk unguardedly through life.

No one, if Wisdom is heeded, needs to become the target of this kind of predator or “set up”. This adulteress signifies many things – including not only the literal female sexual predator described here, but all false ways and traps of body, mind, and spirit – including so called “spiritual” paths which actually lead the Soul away from the knowledge of God, which St. John informs us is eternal life. (John 17:3) 

Divine Wisdom also provides the necessary discernment which will “raise orange flags” of caution inwardly that tell us to slow down and consider any decisions we may be making in life. Certain courses of action may lead to derailment, side tracking us into various traps, especially in times where corruption and deception are the norms in every area of life. If God’s Wisdom is invoked and intended, the Holy Spirit will guide and direct us!

Divine Wisdom is to be cherished – like the ring on the hand that signifies deep commitment to something – such as marriage, or the sign and seal of a king’s authority. Wearing this ring says you are spiritually married to Wisdom. (See Proverbs 7:3) Therefore you have the seal or signet of God’s authority presiding over and protecting you. The BMW will leave you alone. Certainly she may reassess her strategies (1 Peter 5:8), but being faithful to Divine Wisdom provides ironclad protection against her onslaughts in matters great or small.

Over the last several weeks I’ve had a brush with this. I’ll share the basics without mentioning names or details just as an example of how willing the Holy Spirit is to work with us to provide Wisdom and discernment. 

Essentially it boils down to having been approached with a rather juicy job offer – essentially out of the blue. I was told certain things about hours, wages, and benefits which were outstanding. This was also the sort of position, based upon what I was told, that would be very desirable. It was ideal, especially in a time when there is so much joblessness and people are running scared. An interview was set up.

However, my insides went to “yellow alert” in the days preceding this appointment. Questions began to arise in my mind. As I began to ask them directly of the people involved, it was revealed that this job was not what it was originally presented to be. It had in fact been entirely misrepresented! The path I’m on now would have been completely derailed had I plunged in without asking for details. I kept asking the questions in different ways until I got the people who knew the real score to reveal to me that there was a significant amount of obfuscation going on! When I had the answers, I cancelled the interview. The orange flags disappeared.

It also taught me one more thing: learn to always respond to some significant offer or matter by saying, “I’ve decided to take a few days to think about this. I’ll get back with you on such and such a day with my decision.”

Sometimes we get caught up by the BMW due to someone else’s urgency or fear about something. We’d like to be helpful and may not wish to disappoint them. We’re caught off guard. The best course of action is to release our will in the matter to the Holy Spirit and begin to ask, “Lord, is this Your will for me?”

I also received “hints” from the outer world. Synchronicity! There were messages coming to my inbox and other communications stating in essence that if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Satan comes as an angel of light, not dressed in a red suit and horns carrying a pitchfork!

I kept asking, why is all this coming my way? I realized that my sincere prayers for Wisdom were attracting the Godly answers I needed to make the right decision.

Basic protection is also provided through obedience to the moral laws of God and men, and through the understanding of universal wisdom principles. Interestingly, since undertaking this study of Proverbs, I’ve encountered a number of situations where I could have been thrown for a loop, but was alerted inwardly to pray for Wisdom and discernment. It’s as if the teachings from Proverbs and my own experiences are working hand in hand to teach greater and greater degrees of Wisdom.

To me this is a very exciting and encouraging realization of how God works with us, to recognize and keep us from the BMW “which flattereth with her words.” (Proverbs 7:5). The BMW can represent many different things which call to us: to compromise our morals, the direction in which God has us moving, or to derail us from His Will in some way, or just to create confusion and upsets – those annoyances along the path which tell us that the adversary is walking about harassing us – if he cannot derail us from faithfulness to the Wisdom Way.

I have never had so many exercises in discernment as I have since beginning these particular studies! So for what it’s worth, dear reader, I pass them along to you.

“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” (Ephesians 5:15-17)

*BMW: the Black Magic Woman