This week's Coffee Talk entry begins more ominously than perhaps any other we've had the unsolicited pleasure of summarizing:
In celebration of the Fourth of July holiday, I thought I’d share a personal story of freedom.
Oh, god, you're killing us already, lady!!! Please, make it sto...
I was recently tempted in an area that I thought was behind me.
Wha? Without the use of the Bible (unabridged or Readers' Digest version), she has instantly redeemed herself. Now, what could she be talking about? Our first three thoughts, in this order, were 1.) drugs, 2.) lesbianism and 3.) well, we really only had those two thoughts.
It started with a dream. I woke up the next morning and said to myself, "Where did that come from?" I knew it came straight from hell but I was surprised that my subconscious let it get through to my dream life.
Speaking of straight from hell, this entry has gone in record time from terrible to terribly intriguing to no one gives a shit about anyone else's dreams. Still, what could she be talking about?
From that point on, old feelings began to resurface in an area that I had been successful at subduing for years. I didn't want the feelings but they grew stronger and stronger. I could look at them objectively and see the lie and reject the promptings but the compulsion was so strong. I began to contemplate ways to give in a little to the temptation without actually "sinning." One idea, in particular, seemed perfect. On the outside it looked perfectly innocent but I knew on the inside it was a step down a path that would only lead to trouble.
OK. Another turn for the better, but we're afraid that because this is Lisa Whelchel's online journal, the sin she is hinting at is something like eating chocolate for breakfast or going on another silent retreat with a dog. (Oh, and by the by, as we write this, we have not read far enough to know what she is talking about, so we're just as
The next morning, while doing my Bible study, the topic was on obedience. In the response area, the author wrote, "Is there anything - even the tiniest thing - that you know God is asking of you, and yet you've hesitated?" I knew there wasn't any outright disobedience that I was aware of in my life but I also knew I was planning a step in the wrong direction. I prayed for strength to resist and then I wrote the following prayer in my journal.
Oh, God. So, wake us when this is over, eh? Unless you're sleeping, too, which we have to imagine you would be after getting used to prayers that begin like this...
Dear Lord, thank You for this struggle of obedience I am facing. Thank You for giving me an opportunity to choose You over myself. I resolve in my heart to obey You and resist temptation.
Seriously, Lisa, cut to the chase. God's busy, and the blade is mere centimeters away from our wrist.
I will not _________ (do the thing I was planning to do.)
Yeah. The disappointment is palpable. No, not the disappointment over the incorrectly placed, en-suite period. It's that we get it now. She's not ever going to tell us what horrible evil tempted her. That would be too exciting, and we all should know " cause excitement" is about 723rd on the Coffee Talk list of goals. It follows "defend abortion."
The mad lib is followed by more of this...
Be my Defender and my Deliverer. You are able to deliver the godly from temptation.
Give me strength and mercy when I am weak. Battle the forces of darkness on my behalf because of Your goodness.
...and the prayer ends with this:
I am your child and servant and I look to You to be bigger than me and take care of me. Thank You, Daddy.
So it's really not mu..."THANK YOU, DADDY"???????? God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; courage to change the things we can; and wisdom to know the difference. That said, we need a drink.
We're just gonna tell you right now that we read the rest of the entry to make sure it doesn't get exciting, and, believe it or not, it doesn't. It's a photoless compendium of Whelchel's Own prayers and a description of a dream. Obviously we're gonna opt for dream.
Lisa goes on to describe the dream she mentioned at the beginning of the entry. Or another dream. It's difficult to say, as we can't really figure out the timeline of events described in this entry. And we long ago stopped trying to make sense of the actual words contained in the entries. So, in any case, here's a dream Lisa Whelchel had:
One night, in the middle of this battle, I had a dream.
Oh, this banoonies sentence was preceded by a few God- and Jesus-filled paragraphs wherein Lisa pleads to God for him to defend her. We have to say, she's becoming a real God hog. And, just so you have some context, the battle she's referring to above is the one where we have no idea what she's talking about.
Sorry. Without further ado. The dream. A dream. Dream...
There was a dog attacking me. At first, I tried to fight back. I yelled at him and tried to bite him myself.
Apologies again for the interruption, but please join us in picturing Blair Warner trying to bite a dog.
As you were.
That only made him more mad and it didn’t stop him, he kept growling and snapping. Then I simply started to walk away from the dog and yet the dog did not chase me. Instead, he stood still and started yelping and crying because I was walking away and he couldn’t bite me anymore. He was thoroughly frustrated and apparently not allowed to follow me. He could only hurt me if I was close enough for him to reach me.
OK, is it wrong that we were kind of rooting for the dog? Well, it's not if you attempt to the read the rest of this Coffee Talk entry, which, as per usual, we highly do not recommend.
She rationalizes the dream as such...
This dream reminded me of the verse James 4:7, “Submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Over the previous few days, I hadn’t really engaged in any major “spiritual warfare,” per se. Mostly, I submitted my weakness honestly to God and did my best to resist the devil’s promptings. Thankfully, the devil did flee.
I had been weak and had contemplated sinning against my Heavenly Father, but I cried out to Him and He heard me and delivered me.
Oh, so this was the dream she was talking about at the beginning of the entry, right? Do we even remember what the hell she was talking about at the beginning of the entry? Do we even care about anything other than this tempting sin she constantly refers to but never names? No, of course we don't. Especially since we don't get one naming of a chain restaurant or discount department store in this entry. All we get is this shit...
Confess to the Lord – Be honest with the Lord. Don’t make excuses or rationalize. Shine the Light on the ugliest parts in the deepest recesses of your mind and heart. Confess your weakness, even confess any desire you have to continue in the sin.
Confess to a trusted friend or mentor - Secondly, wisely choose a friend to come clean with.
Read your Bible – feed your spirit Truth to war against the lies that are floating around in your head.
Make commitments – perhaps after your time in the Word, make practical commitments in moments of strength to help you avoid making steps in the wrong direction.
Guard your mind – pay attention to what you’re thinking about.
Worship – attend gatherings of other believers, put a worship CD on, sing praise songs.
Cry out to the Lord – call on Him in the middle of your struggle.
God, she's so fuckin' bossy. And we can totally hear God being like, "You know, maybe don't cry out to me. Maybe when you take the good, you also take the bad. " (Sorry. We had to wedge it in somehow.) Oh, and we also don't trust anyone who uses the word "mentor" in any other way than having misspelled "Mento."
All in all, we give this entry one disciple out of 12.
Lisa ends her entry with this prayer. For you.
Dear Jesus, I lift up my friends and ask You to give them the courage to confess their sin to You. Help them to know that You are not angry, rather You are broken-hearted on their behalf because You see the turmoil and destruction the enemy is causing in their life through this torment. Remind them that You are on their side and You hear them when they cry out to You, run to You, hide in You, and You will deliver them from evil. Encourage them to continue to call out to You even if the battle is long and if they stumble a few more times before the war is won. Please show them a godly friend in whom they can trust with their confession and rely on their prayers, mercy, support, and love. Father, I agree with my friend and ask in the authority of Jesus’ name, that You would set my friend free from the bondage of sin, oppressive thoughts, and inability to walk in victory in this particular area. Thank You, Lord, for extending Your love and power on their behalf. You truly are our Strong Tower, Deliverer, and help in time of need. Amen.
We end our entry with this advice. For you.
Hate the sinner, love the sin. Whatever in God's name that sin is.