Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Ante Up"

[to] ante up v. 1. to put forward betting takes before cards are dealt. 2. to give something of value in order to be included or participate in a venture. 3. [for our purposes here] to give something of value in order to be included or participate in the mission.

Seems to me that not getting into the game isn't an option if I'm to be the woman Papa has created me to be. So what do I do on "those days" when I don't feel like taking my place at the table?

First of all, I acknowledge that a godly woman doesn't live by her feelings, she walks out her life in the Spirit, by faith (Galatians 5:25). [Yeah, I know, that's good preachin' and hard livin'.]

Secondly (and I know this may sound cheesy, but I need "jingly thingies" to help me remember my own strategies sometimes, so just bear with me) I can choose to follow this pattern:

Read and Pray
Ante Up and Play
Let Papa Purvey

[Oh, stop groaning -- I warned you it might sound cheesy, but at this stage of my life, I need all the memories joggers I can get!]

Here's what I mean by that:

1. Read and Pray -- Choose to communicate with Papa by reading His words and by pouring out your heart to Him and listening for His response. [It's the listening part that I, personally, have the most trouble with.] (See Job 4:4; Psalm 18:30; 51:12; 119:160; 139:23-24; 2 Timothy 3:16-17.)

[I don't know about you, but I've caught myself trying to "pretty up" something before I tell it to Papa, and then, of course, I have to laugh at myself because He already knows what I'm thinking and wanting to say. So, I've learned to just SAY IT! We can tell Him honestly that we don't feel like getting in the game, that we're tired, that we're feeling rebellious, that we're depressed . . .
whatever! Of course, telling Him doesn't mean He lets us bow out of the game, but sharing our raw, naked hearts somehow enables us to then receive the encouragement from Him that we need in order to walk in the Spirit, right on past those feelings that would otherwise sideline us.]

2. Ante Up and Play -- Choose, as an act of obedience -- regardless of how you feel -- to then invest in the mission, playing out your hand as Papa leads. (See Romans 8:5, 8-9a, 14, 26; 15:13; 1 John 4:13; Galatians 5:25.)

[Note that the key to playing out our hands successfully means letting
Papa lead. Guide. And Direct. Of course, it would be scary if we had to play on our own, but the point is that we don't. One of the Delaware Divas shared that one of the scariest things for her is not knowing, when we ante up, what cards we'll be dealt or what cards someone else at the table may have. None of that matters, though, if our focus is on how Papa is leading us to play our hand. "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith . . . so that you will not grow weary and lose heart" (Hebrews 12:2,3).]

3. Let Papa Purvey -- And then rely on Papa to provide what you need to finish the game, whether it's emotional resources, spiritual or physical resources. (See 1 Corinthians 2:4; 2 Corinthians 9:9-11; Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 4:19.)

[To be honest, I didn't even know what purvey meant until I needed this little saying, but it means "to supply with provisions." Cool, huh! So even when I come to the table and ante up, strictly out of obedience, and my emotions still don't seem to come along, and I'm tired, frustrated, insecure --whatever -- I can depend on Papa to provide out of HIS bounty, not mine! Whew! What a relief that is to know that whatever I need in the midst of the game,
He will provide! ]

Sure, some days it's easier to ante up than on other days, there's no denyin' that. But still, if I'm going to answer the call to invest in the mission (and, Sistah, that's a call we all get), then there's no other option.

Deal me in!

Grinnin' and playin',


PS I'll try to be funnier next post!


  1. Pamm, You have a way with words, I love it! I may have to borrow your phrase "good preachin' and hard livin'". Happy Easter.

  2. Too true!!

    I'm in...but sometimes the card game just intimidates me.