photo by: Shirley/Oklahoma/Jan 2009
Recorded Messages
originally written 22 Jan 09
completed  & posted 26 Jan 09
How is your tape recorder?

That thing in your head that plays back words, phrases, conversations…good or bad…sometimes when you least expect it.

I think mine is broken.

It tends to do very well at recording the negative ideas and words…to be played later, on a repeating circle, to undermine my image of self-worth and even my very sanity.  It also has the uncanny ability to take bits and pieces of positive memories and twist them in ways to support the negative thoughts.

I know only One who can fix my “tape recorder”.  By filling the tapes with His message of Truth and Love…there will be the weapons I need to combat the lies of my past, present and future.  Those lies that would shred my heart and leave me for dead no longer have power here…they cannot stand against what is True.  I’m so glad that my Father is willing to take what is dead and restore it to life.

I understand more fully today why God’s Word is called a sword.  It is a sharp, but effective, weapon.  So why do we…why do I…keep falling into the habit of leaving it in the corner to gather dust and cobwebs?  The time to use it is not when the enemy has already breached the castle…we must stand guard on the walls…with our weapon sharp and at the ready.

Society tells us we must be perfect to be worthy of love.  God tells us that we were worth dying for…BEFORE we had our guilt removed.  That guilt didn’t just magically disappear…it was taken on Christ’s shoulders.  He endured the punishment that was rightfully ours.  And He did it willingly…because of this great Love that He wants to show us…and wants us to share with a world in desperate need of love.  This is the truth…that we are loved with an everlasting love.

There have been many times when I’ve had a personal triumph…or even simply a rather good day…when that old tape player will kick on and start playing the negative bits that have been stored there.  The old thoughts of my own or the cutting words that have been slung at me somewhere in my history will come barreling through…rudely pushing past the thoughts of love and acceptance to bring a message of critical condemnation.

How many times would my castle have been completely destroyed if I had not also stored bits and pieces of God’s Truth?

This latest crisis…the one where a series of simple misunderstandings with my closest friends turned into an emotional shakedown for me.  The situation built on misperceptions nearly robbed me of everything I have believed for so long.  I began to feel extremely insecure in an area where I had always felt secure and safe.  

I see this situation with clearer eyes now...it was a sneak attack…similar to the one at Helm’s Deep in the LOTR movie, “The Two Towers,” when the orc ran with the fire to ignite the gunpowder and cause the explosion that breached the outer wall.  This “sneak attack,” like the one in the movie, was totally unexpected and the effects were devastating.  But hope remained…and just as happened to Gimli in TTT …my friends came to the rescue and snatched me from the hands of the enemy.  The dawn broke…lies were exposed and conquered…and good overcame evil.

Exposing the lies to the light of Truth is our best defense.  We must know the truth by heart…in order to quickly recognize what is the lie.

It’s my life goal to stay connected to the Truth of God’s Word, to shore up my defenses, to sharpen my blade, to reprogram my “tape recorder,” continuing the work of filling the tape with truths…so that I can better stand against the lies of an enemy whose main goal is to steal, kill and destroy any and all whom God loves.  (John 10:10)

The threat is very real…but we are not without hope or strength.  We are not abandoned to the tormentor’s schemes.

We are not abandoned.

~~Shirley
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