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July 23, 2015

The Lord bless you, dear Family. Well, this is a Ben & Jerry's New York Chocolate Chip Fudge ice cream night: time for me to fess up. That black panther of mine got loose again and started dragging me under. You'll have to go to the description box for the link to the history behind that panther story...

I don't know if you listened to last night's video: "CERN, Wickedness Increases," but when I went to the Bible Promises last night before I began to receive the message, one of my readings was under the "Repentance" topic. And I thought, 'uh,oh...does that have to do with me, Lord??'

I thought it didn't have to do with me. Very funny. Isn't it always someone else who has the problem and we're just SO clean before the Lord??? Hmmmm.

Well, here's the story. I received permission to get our yard cleaned up. We have a gigantic cottonwood tree in the yard and it dumped a ton of cotton pods everywhere. The animals were dragging them in, mud was forming around them because last year's leaves were never picked up. Hey, it's either Youtubes or yard work with three days to recover. So, that's a no brainer.

Anyway, the Lord had given me permission to have two young men clean up the yard and put gravel down because the driveway and yard were turning to mud. I was just so happy, I'd been waiting for this for months. I expected the Rapture to happen sooner so I figured I'd have to leave that mess behind, which I didn't like either. It's taken several days to get the job done and I was beginning to feel my attention shift from ministry to cleaning things up.

Not good. I could feel it. Like a compulsion rising up inside of me, wanting to get everything put in order, just right, then be done and get refocused. But, these things have a life of their own! My Obsessive Compulsive streak started dragging me further and further away. Like... what about the gate that's stretched beyond usefulness, with holes in the sagging bailing wire and odd sized boards to keep animals in? I mean it has holes everywhere, won't stand up straight and is a real eye sore... so I figured I'll replace it.

I didn't check with the Lord first. For one thing, I didn't want to hear, "No" which would have been a reading like Lust or Money or worse yet, Pride. Oh, these are never, ever good to get. I'd better get down to the lumber yard and get that gate before I get a bad reading... I could feel that compulsive panther dragging me under, I just kept ignoring it and explaining it away, 'This will be the last thing.' I kept telling myself. 'Once the gate is up, I'm finished.'

Sure you are. Who are you kidding, anyway?

I didn't ask the Lord if I could, I figured this just has to be done. But inside I could feel something taking over, a compulsion that kept finding more things for these guys to do - and believe me, there is plenty! So, I bought a nice new gate and was going to have them mount it. In the meantime, Ezekiel started getting bad readings about money, the world, your wife, lusting after a neat yard, sickness...which is all about compulsion and so on.

He just started getting these readings today, so I went off licking my wounds and the Lord confirmed it. The Black Panther was out of the bag and in control a.g.a.i.n. I repented. He was right. I should have known last night when I got Repentance in the Bible Promises and He said to me, "Just because you can't connect, doesn't mean I can't connect with you. Yes, it has to be mutual but part of your problem is guilt, just like everyone else's. Let's put that all of that aside for now. We have work to do."

So, in that sentence, the Lord was saying, "yeah, you're guilty. You've got guilt. A lot of people have guilt, too. But I've got a lot of things for you to do, so let's just set that aside for now. We'll come back to it..." Oh, boy...

I was having real problems connecting because this perfectionistic, compulsive animal had been dragging me under with getting the yard in order. One thing after another, working with the guys, catching them cutting minutes off their hours, checking on them, not getting enough sleep because they came early. It was not good.

When the Lord said that about guilt last night, I thought, 'Oh, false guilt.' Noooooooooooo, real unadulterated guilt! Hello? Jesus to Clare....tune in please. You are guilty. You knew you were drifting...come on...fess up.

You can even catch me in my denial on that video, the opening paragraph when I say, 'Oh, it's that false guilt thing that keeps us from Jesus.' Right? No, not false guilt... real guilt. So, I'm asking you, if you're having trouble tuning in with the Lord...what's in your craw that you're covering over or hiding from???

Is there something you've known He is not happy about but you try to explain it away. Come on! Misery loves company, fess up!!!!

OK, that said, I repented - but during prayer that ugly old, broken down, bailing wire gate kept assaulting me. It was saying, "I'm too ugly, don't put me put back up! You have that other new one, it's perfect, not a mess like I am - and it will work. You don't want to put me back up - a piece of sagging garbage full of holes that I am on your nice new gravel driveway... do you? After all, the new one is so shiny and perfect."

So, between the Lord holding me and telling me how much He understood as I tried to worship tonight, and the thumbs down I got about the gate - I've been wrestling a monster tonight! The monster of self-will, materialism and perfectionism. He just wanted me to tell you ALL about it so you could be amused at my foolishness. Of course, no one else out there can relate, can you? Well even if you could, I'm not supposed to justify my foolishness with 'But Lord, I'm not the only one.'

Oh, slippery slope this Pride and Self Will thing!!!

Well, He did say your problem is the same as everyone else' obviously He was setting me up for today's teaching. Guys, find your 'black panther' and put him in the cage. Lock him up tight and don't let him out again. Then, sit down with a clean conscience and tune into the Lord. Try Him in these things and see if it doesn't work.

OK, Lord I've exposed just one of many vices and weaknesses. Do you have a message tonight or is my folly the only message?

"Well, truth be told, I think your folly does quite nicely."

"However I want to add to that, My Brides. Oh, I love you all so dearly. But there's an aspect of your personalities that causes you difficulties and that is holding yourselves to too high a standard. If, in your consciousness there is anything you know I am dealing with you about, you will tend to shy away from Me and not open your heart to Me all the way.

"Is it worth it, My Beloveds? Really, think on this. Weigh it in the balance - your vice or sin vs My perceivable presence. You see, that's what it comes down to: you have to make a choice, because something inside of you sees Me as the Righteous God and if you are holding out on Me, you will not quite open to Me all the way lest you expose that dark corner you're holding out in.

"Of course, there are layers of sin in your life. You can only handle so much at one time. I choose what that is going to be because I know it is time for you to deal with it so you can move on. I know you can deal with it if you are willing and the graces you need are right there if only you will acknowledge your fault and take hold of the rope of grace so I can pull you out of the pit of your vice or sin. But, whether you are willing or not, as I told Clare last night: let's put that all of that aside now. We have work to do.

"So, I am saying the same thing to you tonight. Put the guilt aside for a moment, come spend time with Me. We both know there's a problem you haven't been willing to work on. Staying away from Me will weaken, not strengthen you. Come to Me just as you are and we will work it out together. There is much work to do, many gifts I have for you, but this vice is in your way, psychologically. The best scenario is for you to start working on the vice or put your foot down and say 'NO, I'm done with this.'

"But, if you aren't ready to do that, come to Me anyway. We have work to do. In the process of the work I will shift your focus off the significance of your fault and onto the fruit that is out there to be harvested. As you grow in grace and harvesting, you will begin to feel stronger, like you really want to tackle that vice, you want it out of your life. The benefits of fellowshipping with Me WAY overwhelm the pleasure you get from the vice.

"But, do try to understand - the enemy is going to try and exploit your weakness. He's going to distract you away from others and onto yourself with guilt, which will severely hamper your ministry and your walk. I have so much for you to do, My the short time left. I really would like to see you overcome some things I've been dealing with you about. We can move on into new territory as you overcome. But, if you hang onto that vice you will be a walking pin cushion for the darts of the enemy.

"So, think about it. Come to Me and let's get to work on it.

"I bless you now with courage...the courage it takes to carry your cross and be crucified on it. Just remember the resurrection. It is SO worth it."