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‘What A Day’ (Revamp of a piece originally posted on 9/1/2017)
He said he didn’t believe in God.
Didn’t think I’d heard him right so I was sure to make my brother repeat himself. His words Bruce-Leed me right in the throat…
“I don’t believe there’s a God,” he scoffed under his breath.
“When did this happen?” I thought.
How is it Todd believes something can come from nothing? It’s so illogical it boggles my mind, because he’s quite intelligent. But I know it’s because he doesn’t want to believe, like most.
He had a response for every point I tried to make, although my lack of articulation did not help matters. Whenever the topic of God comes up with an unbeliever, my heart pounds in my chest, I feel all panicky inside, my hands shake, and I struggle to find just the right words; my brain tends to shut down when I need it the most. You would think I’d be able to relay all I have learned from listening to so many Christian apologists defend our faith with historical and archeological evidence (among other things), but nope! When my deeply held convictions are challenged my heart can’t seem to bear it and my brain goes on vacation. And, of course, I also know you can’t reason someone into believing, so there’s that.
1 Corinthians 2:14
14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
I’ve often heard it said that we should always share our testimony with the unbeliever because they can’t argue with our own personal experience. Well, I guess that theory is blown. According to Todd, when I felt the Holy Spirit enter my body as a small child it was nothing more than endorphins, or at least that’s what he suggested. But I know the truth. I remember it like it was yesterday… I was crying out to Jesus with a sincerity that couldn’t have been any purer. I was not expecting to feel anything that night; didn’t know I COULD expect to feel anything. I didn’t even know about the Holy Spirit! All I knew was that I needed Jesus. I didn’t need any proof of His existence. I just knew that I knew that I knew. I wanted Him in my life and so I asked Him to come into my heart, just as my dad had explained earlier that afternoon.
My dad used to tell me a lot of things as a kid, most of which I could not understand, but when he simply told me about Jesus I knew it was true. It was the one time he managed to relay something to me in terms I could grasp. And I wasted no time for I prayed to Jesus that very night. With my face pressed into my pillow, I cried out with a desperation that could have only come from a deep, inner knowing that my heart was incomplete. Barely the age of nine, how could I have been aware of such a thing? How did I believe so easily? And why? Perhaps because I had not yet been jaded by this fallen world? I really don’t know.
I can still see my little self underneath the pink bedspread, lying on my belly, begging Jesus to come into my heart. And the more I pleaded the greater my need for Him grew in intensity. Imagine my surprise when God literally entered the depths of my heart upon an innocent child’s request. A most pleasant surprise indeed. So sudden! So unexpected! The peace was immediate. The energy was immense! It shot right into my back and directly into my heart (just like I had asked!) and then spread throughout my entire body with such warmth and love…well, it’s beyond words; in my childness I referred to this power as a “gush of love.” After that I knew without a doubt that Jesus was with me. I had been sealed by the Holy Spirit!
13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
No no, big brother, that was not the work of endorphins, especially when one is not expecting to feel anything but the wetness of her tear stained pillow.
Learning about Todd’s unbelief hurt me more than when he told me my niece was transgender and had a new name. That came up first. (And when I say, “it came up,” what I mean to say is that he was talking about someone named “Kit” and I had to ask, “Who’s Kit?”) Don’t get me wrong, the news of my niece’s on-going struggle with her identity hit hard, too. I didn’t feel well. Angst began squeezing my aorta and my appetite vanished. Yet, what seemed to be weighing on me even more than that revelation was the fact that my brother, ALL of my brothers, do not believe in the one true God. I had thought (or maybe hoped) that at least Todd still had faith. It does indeed grieve my soul. But I am so thankful for how calm, loving, and patient he was with me. He understood I was learning all of this for the first time and allowed me my natural reaction.
But yeah, apparently it was a bomb dropping kind of day over a plate of Eggs Benedict and home fries. We were sitting inside my favorite diner at the time and I couldn’t hold back the tears. (Never could hide my emotions.) But it was still time well spent in George’s Diner, regardless. We actually had more time to talk because my motorcycle crapped out on me and I was forced to hop on the back of his bike. We ended up eating in a place much closer than originally planned for our Thursday afternoon, bike riding adventure. Divine intervention? Perhaps. After fussing with the fuel switch (it’s a long story), my bike did get me home on the way back.
I had an extremely heavy heart back in August of 2017, when I originally wrote about this day with Todd. I mentioned my intense struggle of not being able to let go of this burden for my family (although it has lessened a lot). I’m well aware that I cannot convince anyone of the existence of God, yet I still tend to carry the responsibility as if its my own.
As I wrote then…
“I’m trying to give it up to my Heavenly Father. I’ve cried out to Him to take this heaviness off of my heart. I was told by one confidant that I’m grieving and I know they are correct in their assumption. It comes in waves. Just when I think I’m all better another bout of sadness overwhelms my soul from deep within. It’s a sadness I don’t want.”
This world we live in, these bodies we possess, the spirit we feel deep within our core… a creator cannot be denied. Our bodies are so intricate in detail, each person so unique to the next… God cannot be denied. Everything has order, from the structure of our DNA to the finely tuned universe… God cannot be denied. This does not happen by chance nor by accident. All men are without excuse when it comes to the rejection of our mighty Creator.
19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
Oh, Lelu. Why did you have to leave me now? I thought I’d have a break for at least a little while. But, here we are, almost a month since I said good bye to Petey and now I’m saying it to you.
After losing my precious gray tabby of nineteen years, I longed for another. So naturally, when I saw you it was impossible to ignore your sweet little face.
Of course I knew you weren’t a replacement and you quickly proved to me just how very different you were in comparison to Whiskers; growing to become super fat and oh so vocal, I wouldn’t have changed a thing about you. And your sister complimented you perfectly (can’t take only one kitten…must take two). Each with a unique personality, you and Cece were sure to entertain. And since we brought you and your sister home at the tender age of six weeks, I have tried my very best to cherish each and every moment.
I was spoiled by Whisker’s long life and assumed I’d have you for just as long. I know fourteen years is a long time, but it still doesn’t feel long enough. Now Cece has lost her womb-buddy and I’ve lost my fur-baby. How do I go on? Everything is off-kilter…You’re not in your usual places anymore. The furry green blanket laid out for you on the loveseat is empty and your dad misses giving you pets from there every morning before heading off to work. And pulling out one less dish for feeding time breaks my heart. The morning routine of playful roughhousing between you and your sister each morning as I prepare your breakfast is no more…Damn, I miss it.
So many other things I miss, too…your fat belly, your soothing purr, and your unique “cat-chatter” (so glad I have it recorded for everyone to enjoy). I miss the way you would overreact anytime a certain other fur-mate would dare look at you wrong (poor Gilbert), never mind walk past you too close; you sounded like an old woman screaming… so loud but oh so hilarious! You were the ultimate drama queen!
I will miss your funny little grumbles and groans. It took me a long time to learn all of your noises and what they actually meant. You were a tricky one to figure out, having a special language all your own. Oh, and your ear for “music” was quite funny as well! I will miss how, if I were to sing out loud, you would race to wherever I was and join me in song. You were my ultimate musical kitty, chiming in with a few of your own special keys.
Ruby has since claimed the corner of the bed due to your lack of presence, but the absence of your warm furry mass right in the middle (on my side) doesn’t make it feel any less wrong to stretch out. Oh how wonderful your large sandbag of a body felt on my legs. I miss having to strategically arrange them to rest along each side of your body when shifting underneath the covers.
You caught me off guard, Lelu. I didn’t want to take you to emergency. I didn’t want it to be anything other than a bad, arthritic day. But I knew it was serious and it broke my heart having to rush you there. If I had acted sooner it would have only been by two or three hours and it wouldn’t have made any difference. I’m just sorry you had to experience any discomfort… but, congestive heart failure? Really? Didn’t see that coming.
When one of the veterinary staff members brought you back to me on a plush pink pillow I thought how befitting it was for your last moments to be stretched out on bedding made for a queen; my Drama Queen. And Dad and I marveled at how you had your paws crossed. You had been crossing your legs like that since the beginning… some things never change.
I could see the life leaving your eyes so we said our good byes. Even your dad couldn’t hold back the tears. Once again, you purred for us (just like Petey had) as you left this world and I am thankful that we could send you off so peacefully.
Thank you for the joy you brought into our life. I miss you so much but I know you are waiting for me in my heavenly, super-decked-out, catified mansion… with cat-walks galore. I’ve got a mansion full of felines waiting for me up there, so I know you are not alone. I look forward to our reunion but, until then, have fun with Petey (yes, now you and Petey are friends!), Toco, Whiskers, and all my other fur-babies you never met. Enjoy the lovin’ I know Jesus is giving you and please know that, even though my heart aches for you, I’ll be OK.
Until we meet again, my wonderfully sweet and grumpy Lelu, you are forever in my heart.
I knew in my gut this wasn’t going to be good news. I tried so hard to hang onto every word the doctor said as she attempted to explain what they were able to see so far, “…enlarged kidneys, liver slightly abnormal, red blood cells are being destroyed,” et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I only understood about half of what she was saying, but her following statement needed no explanation…
“He’s FeLV positive…” was all I heard.
“Wait, what?!?! …
“OH NO! OH NO! OH NO!”
Hysteria ensued as I immediately realized the risk I unknowingly exposed to my entire fur family…
“I didn’t know! I thought he was only FIV positive! I have seven other cats! I let him around all of them! Now they probably all have it too! I didn’t know! I never would have done that! I didn’t know!” (But I should have known.)
Utter sobs of anguish escaped my gutted heart… Not only was I dealing with the emotion of knowing I would soon have to make a hard decision, but now I also bore the weight of worry and guilt concerning the rest of my precious clan. Immediate self-torment proceeded to dominate…“If only I’d done this or if only I’d done that…”
As I sat in the tiny, windowless examination room, softly stroking the bridge of Petey’s nose as his eyes looked up at me from his portable cat carrier (never ceasing to purr), the Wouldah-Couldah-Shouldah game waged war with my mind… “If only I had rescued him sooner.”
Petey came to me as a stray and, like so many others, he too discovered the make-shift, fire escape ladder leading up to my first level roof and was soon making his daily rounds to my “drive-thru” kitchen window.
When we first met, he had big, beautiful, pointy ears and I couldn’t help but notice those long, unusual “thumbs” that my new veterinarian recently marveled at by exclaiming, “He has opposable thumbs!” (in reference to ‘Meet the Parents’). I mention his ears because I would often express regret for not taking him in sooner, BEFORE they got mangled from life on the streets. Unfortunately, we had just taken in a kitten (also a product of my neighborhood) right when Petey started coming around and so the idea of also taking him in felt impossible.
For a while it all seemed to work out nicely…he would take naps in our ‘Stray Cat Motel,’ something my husband built which enabled the strays to come in and out through a window, but still kept them separated from my own indoor cats.
I would feed him and give him pets and he would come and go as he pleased, but once in a while he would show up injured and I would do my best to patch him up before sending him on his way. He was so calm and gentle, never once did he ever hiss or scratch at me, even when applying antibiotic eye gel into his wounded eye. He sat so still, zero resistance! He must have understood I was helping him and so he always allowed it. He was my gentle giant, a true gentleman, perhaps due to his permanent fur tuxedo (it’s just a theory).
I wanted to take him in as one of my own, I truly did, but I had five indoor cats at the time and money was super tight. It killed me every time he would softly lean into me, head first, while the window was open, hoping to slowly walk across the threshold into a new home. I hated having to refuse entry to this sweet love bug. Sometimes I would try picking him up to hold him inside, but he was so tense and stiff, always in street survival mode, that he just couldn’t relax. It wasn’t until I was finally able to officially adopt him that he could let down his guard and relax in the safety of my arms. He even played, to my sheer delight!
But before all the cuddles and snuggles and playtime became reality, a whole series of roof-top events would take place…
When I began writing this all down, it was the day after Easter and I still had a constant ball of anxiety stuck in the pit of my stomach. It’s now about a week later and I’m not so sure I can properly describe this sense of disquietude I’m currently experiencing. It’s a combination of angst and grief. The angst typically begins a few days before I know I’m about to be around my immediate family, but usually dissipates after all is said and done; usually, but not this time. The day after seeing my family I still couldn’t eat food and the mental torment that attacked me as I tried to sleep Easter Sunday off still lingered on. It just wouldn’t go away. Such is the pattern that never fails to assault me whenever I dare leave the safety of my own home in order to be around people in a social setting. There seems to be a replay button stuck on ‘loop’ that plays over and over in my head as I try to determine just how stupid I sounded to others while I was out. For days I was replaying the awful prayer I butchered at Easter dinner.
My mom has never hosted anything at her new apartment so, aware of her loneliness and wanting to “honor my mother,” I agreed to obey #5 of the Ten Commandments and attend Easter dinner at her request. I have this odd habit of imagining scenarios in my head and soon enough I was envisioning myself seated at the table saying grace. I’ve never said a public prayer in front of my family, EVER. Ninety-nine percent of them do not believe in Jesus and I try my best to avoid the topic, instead opting to pray for all of them in the privacy of my “prayer closet.” I know it’s not my job to convince anyone of what I believe, only God Almighty can change a heart. And it’s even harder when it’s your inner circle of family, they tend to be less open. It also doesn’t help that my father has been known to be rather overzealous more times than not and I do feel I have been judged as ‘guilty by association’ because I too, believe in Jesus. Who knows? Perhaps I have also messed up in some respect when attempting to represent my Lord to the fam. It’s a reasonable suspicion, considering my lifelong rap sheet of social faux pas. What can I say other than, I’m a work in progress till the day I die; never said I was perfect, just born again.
Anyway, as I visualized myself praying, I began to hear some pretty good stuff and thought, “Hey, maybe I should write this down.” Thoughts of the Holy Spirit possibly prompting me to prepare something beforehand (just in case) did enter my mind. (And with this being way out of my comfort zone it would definitely be an act of obedience on my part… you know, to take a risk and just do it.) But by the time I actually sat down to write something, I only got as far as “Heavenly Father.” It just wasn’t flowing. I couldn’t concentrate and quickly convinced myself that even though it was a nice thought, the whole grace thing wasn’t gonna happen… How wrong I was.
When I walked into my mother’s apartment the misery I described earlier enveloped me like an inescapable fart plume; everyone could smell it. I can’t fake “happy” and I certainly cannot hide my feelings (My husband jokes that I would be terrible at poker.) I was noticeably uncomfortable from the start and, at times, felt my face on the verge of tears. To be honest, I was hoping to only find my mom and oldest brother there for dinner. I would have felt far more at ease.
Ever since an unpleasant incident occurred between my middle brother and I back in November of 2021, I have been struggling to get myself back to a place of joy. Despite my willingness to forgive and thinking I was now able to move on, pain still lingers. I was deeply hurt and, other than one-word-text-responses to his lame attempts at pretending everything is great between us, I haven’t seen or spoken to him since… until Easter Sunday, that is. Imagine my utter delight when, upon entry, there they all were (well, most of them…the eldest of the kids showed up a little late)…my middle big brother, his girlfriend, and his three grown kids (ages 24, 22, and soon to be 18).
I quickly braced myself for all the mandatory greet-n-hugs. I considered giving him and his girlfriend side hugs, but it didn’t work out that way. Instead, I just didn’t squeeze as tight as I normally would. (That’ll teach ’em!) Then came the typical “How’s it goin’,” bullshit banter. I of course replied, “The usual kitty mayhem,” and when I tried to explain the latest kitty-crisis (upon request) my brief synopsis was soon cut short…interrupted…diverted…whatever…by the usual loss-of-attention-bit I’ve come to expect. (It doesn’t help that this brother of mine doesn’t particularly care for the feline species, so there’s that.) Perhaps what I’m about to say next would be profusely denied, but I can’t help but feel I’ve been judged as the cahrazy cat lady, Jesus-freak, middle-aged auntie who never amounted to much of anything in life and my brother’s view of my husband isn’t any better. So, a little prerequisite jibber-jabber is all that is necessary, on their part (in my humble opinion), before shifting focus to something else. What can I say? We just live in two very different worlds. (At the risk of coming off any more pathetic than I already do, or saying too much more that could possibly be conveyed as bad-mouthing, I must digress)…
As I sat at my self-assigned seat waiting for everyone to finish piling food upon their plates, buffet style, I could feel my uncertain demeanor was a little too obvious. I wasn’t sure if I should just begin eating or wait till everyone was seated. Should I purposely not eat because someone will suggest a prayer? But who would do that? That’s never happened in the history of family dinners. But no one is eating yet! Maybe they’re not eating because I’m not eating? Then it happened. He noticed and said something. “Hey everybody, maybe Mindy would like to say grace?” Oh crap…“Yeah, sure!” Shit… Awkward doesn’t begin to describe how I felt. “I’m not prepared for this. What am I going to say?” I closed my eyes and heard the words “Heavenly Father” exit my lips…
That part went well, it’s everything after “Heavenly Father” that’s still kicking me in the crotch. I do remember starting off by saying stuff like, “thanks for dying for us and rising from the dead…that is what Easter is all about (wondering if anyone took that as a dig)…and I know not everyone here believes that and that’s OK, so I ask that You reveal Yourself to each one here in the way they need it…we are all unique and you know us better than we know ourselves…please bless each one in the way they need…”
Then I started to say something about “the lies they believe” and quickly stopped myself whilst attempting to shove my size eight, gray suede Vans into my mouth. In a desperate need to say the perfect prayer, I found myself struggling to find words and in a panic said, “This isn’t coming out right,” to which my sweet mom softly interjected, “God knows what you are trying to say.” True Mom, so true…but nobody else does.
“Replace the lies they believe about themselves with Your truth” is a personal prayer I often say when I’m alone and part of it escaped my lips willy-nilly. Considering their differing personal ideologies, what they all think I meant by that is questionable, but I can’t rewind. I eventually tried to say that I just wanted them to know the love of God like I do and to show us, including myself, more of Him. It doesn’t sound too bad as I read this back to myself, but believe me when I tell you, I was extremely flustered and I kept nervously repeating myself over and over in an uneasy attempt to word it right, but the more I tried to fix it the worse it sounded. My body was getting super hot and my hands wouldn’t stop trembling. I was so frustrated with myself; I could hear Bugs Bunny say, “What a maroon,” as he chomped away on a carrot. I finally got to, “In Jesus’ name, Amen,” and everyone in a unified, celebratory response replied, “Amen!” The relief was obvious…heck, I was relieved as well!
Now hit the replay button and let the self-bashing commence! I could barely eat anything off my plate due to the utter disappointment in myself for failing at my one opportunity to say a prayer that would help lead my family into the loving arms of Jesus (too dramatic?) Utter. Fail. I should be getting one of those cheap, participation trophies any day now; the ones they like to hand out to all the kiddos in an attempt to avoid hurt feelings. Mine will read, ‘Worst Grace Ever’ and it’ll probably arrive damaged, in a seriously battered cardboard box, carelessly thrown onto my broken back steps. But more than likely it will get delivered to the wrong address after being knocked around the back of the truck for a couple weeks, overlooked by its handlers.
For me, it was bad enough that everyone could see and feel how heavy my spirit was BEFORE I botched the grace. Now that’s probably all they’ll remember about me, despite how far I’ve come and how happy and light I’ve been the last few years after overcoming a good twenty-eight years of depression (all glory to God on that one). People tend to only remember the negative. I can just imagine what the conversations sounded like on the way home.
And to add stress on top of stress, my countenance was extra weighty due to worry over my beloved cat, Petey. My husband and I had to bring him to the animal emergency hospital the day before this eagerly anticipated family gathering (yes, sarcasm) because his entire left front leg was swelled up three times its size with no apparent injury. It looked like he had elephantitus! He was drinking tons of water and had very little appetite or energy. He had gotten so skinny and a few days later I had resorted to syringe feeding just to get some sort of nourishment into him. You can imagine my frustration since poor Petey had just gotten over the recovery hump after receiving more than one oral surgery this past year and I almost lost him last summer on my birthday, of all days. I thought we had finally made it through the long storm and could now sit back, relax, and enjoy life for a while. Then this happened and during a holiday no less.
You may have noticed I am speaking of Petey in past tense. That’s because I had to make the heart wrenching decision of putting him to sleep about five days later. He was so weak on his last day (April 22, 2022) and when I went to syringe some food into him I was alarmed to see how pale his nose and gums were; practically white. I knew that was a bad sign. It was a horrible day full of deep guttural sobs which still come in waves and, to make things even worse, I received shocking news from the veterinarian that could affect all my other cats, although I am trying to stay positive. Perhaps I will elaborate more at a later date, but for now it’s just too damn raw and I’m trying to figure out how my heart will ever survive this grief for I miss him deeply; our bond was strong.
OK…pan back to my mother’s. Dinner is now over and we are all sitting around, some on the couch and some of us still at the table, albeit different seats. Oh, time for pictures you say? How ’bout NO! The last thing I want is my misery forever digitally captured for all to see for years to come. And the fact that old-and-haggard seems to be catching up to my 46.7 year old face at a record pace doesn’t help my self-esteem any. Yes, I should get over that. We all age and can’t stop time. I’m well aware, but self-awareness isn’t helping and, after all these years, I’m now considering make-up.
So here’s the question, did I do permanent damage? Did I push my family further away from knowing God because I didn’t listen to the Holy Spirit’s promptings to PREPARE ahead of time? I hope not. I regret allowing my feelings to control me that day; if the prayer didn’t do it then the doom and gloom I wore like a cheap fur coat most certainly did! And, once again, I don’t get a do-over. Failure is a bitch.
When I expressed my inner turmoil over regret of a fumbled grace to my eldest brother (after the mob had left) his gentle response was, with tips of thumb and forefinger purposely held up in the air about an inch apart, “It was a little long.”
A little long? Is that all he got out of it? Maybe my husband was right, “Who gives a fuck what they think?!?! They won’t even remember anything you said anyway.” (Please pardon his French.)
The devastation I feel over the one chance I had to shine a light still weighs heavily on me, but here’s what I DO know… The Lord can use anything for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. So, with all that said, here’s my NEW prayer…
“Heavenly Father, I know that, despite my clumsy attempt, Your Word does not return to You empty. So I ask that through my lack Your purpose will still be accomplished. I know that Your seed is imperishable, so please germinate these seeds I tried to plant by sending servants who can water them. Let Your will be done, In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
The grief I’m feeling for you is unreal. You’ve only been gone one day but it’s just not the same around here without you. The way you could look right into my soul, your gentlemanly ways, your sweet purr and polite little meow (when you actually did meow), your big ol’ mug of a head, your deformed ears from your time on the streets, your unusual thumbs, the way you slept by my side and always had this need to rest your chin on my hand, or how you loved to be chased from one room to the next…I could go on and on. I have never in all my years known a cat quite like you. My heart aches in such a way I am unsure if I will survive this pain.
Thank you for choosing me. It was an honor to be your person. Rest in peace, my beloved Petey. Until we meet again.
Just finished my ‘About’ page on Substack. You can read it here . . . https://lifewithcats.substack.com/about?sort=about
Not sure if I will continue to share here on WordPress, not that I’ve been even remotely consistent with my postings. I am a bit all over the place on here and do feel Substack will help me to be more consistent and organized. Besides, I don’t get any traffic here except for a loyal 3 or 4 of you . . . bless your hearts.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
I just started on Substack and posted an audio version of my latest post, Felis Catus Domesticus.
Check it out if you want! Here’s the link . . .
In a world gone mad, if it were not for the ever-present abundance of cats in my life, I would surely go mad myself. When getting dressed is half the battle . . . when the uncertainty of why I should even bother getting out of bed most days plagues my soul, these cats give me purpose. They need me and I need them. When humans fail me, I can always count on the feline for love and laughs; comedic geniuses they are.
Having eight of these beauties ensure I receive vital affection throughout the day. And whether or not this said affection is strictly selfish on their part is quite irrelevant. It still feels good. Sometimes their importunate headbutts occur at the most inopportune times, but this also ensures I will never be left alone to huddle in a corner and rock myself into oblivion. Depression has no place in a home of 8 annoyingly persistent creatures. They do what they want, when they want.
Need proof God exists? Look no further than the domestic cat; scientific terminology, Felis Catus Domesticus. There’s so many of them, yet each is assigned a unique personality all its own. How is this possible?!?! God, that’s how. (I bet Adam and Eve had a ton of them in the garden and that’s probably how they got distracted and fell into sin. Cats can do that.) And I’m pretty convinced this curious species have been supernaturally led to my vicinity in order to appoint me as their chosen human. . . once in close range their ultrasonic hearing picks up a beacon only they can hear.
Yes, I said chosen. I am the chosen one. They come from miles around to claim me. Word has gotten out to every vulnerable and needy mammal within a ten mile radius, carnivorous and omnivorous alike. If any should cross paths when in close proximity to my house they whisper amongst themselves, “That lady over there? Yeah, she’s a huge sucker.” I thought if I moved up north I could start over, but I underestimated the power of the grapevine for it wasn’t long before my history of helping baby squirrels, raccoons, bunnies, and even mice caught up to me. And any critter who’s out of the loop is sure to find out about me when attending their secret mandatory meetings.
The possums and squirrels have shown to be mostly self reliant, but for some odd reason they like to remind me that they are always there, watching, listening, waiting . . . for what I really don’t know. I think it’s just some sort of sick game. Raccoons, on occasion, like to take dumps on my roof for fun; they have no shame. I can hear them snicker when I clean it up. But the boldest among these mammalian scammers are the felines. So confident have they become in my rumored weakness that they brazenly trot right up to my slider door and knock. That’s right, THEY KNOCK.
Any plans I may have had in the back of my mind to one day “downsize” in order to perhaps attain my childhood dream of that long desired puppy have been self defeating at best. For the strayed feline populace of my jurisdiction say nay as they continuously show up at my door and I haven’t the heart nor the capability to turn a blind eye; as they all well know. And every time another one of my sweet and desperately loved kitty companions leaves this world to journey across that rainbow bridge, a new kitty is in my backyard patiently awaiting its turn, number in hand, ready to take its coveted place. (I still haven’t found that take-a-number ticket dispenser. Clever little buggers.)
But alas, I am not a crazy cat lady, for one would be crazy to ignore the plight of any creature in need. If I am guilty of anything, it’s of weakness; of having too much compassion towards anything cute and furry.
That flying dream I recently had was a nice change of pace even though I didn’t get to enjoy it for very long, but I guess I’m back to good ol’ obstacle dreams. Even though this one seemed to go on for a bit I don’t remember every little detail. I was in some sort of figure skating contest where I had to perform a routine that I had only just made up and didn’t have any chance to practice. This event was being aired on live tv and I knew my turn was coming up. I was panicking because I couldn’t remember the routine I had initially come up with and realized I would have to wing it. When I got out onto the ice I noticed there was a lot of stuff left behind from the other contestants; big props for their routines. Don’t think I was expecting to find all that stuff, I mean, since when do figure skaters use giant props on an ice rink? I pushed them together to try and make as much room to skate freely as I could and hoped it would be enough space.
As I did my thing, gliding along the ice with lifted leg in air, I was surprised at how limber and controlled my movements were. Think I did some pretty cool spins too, but I’m not sure if I actually did them or if I was only visualizing them as to convince myself that I could achieve what I was imagining . . . not sure. And I remember noticing that the song playing for my routine was the wrong one; right artist, wrong song. When I was finished I felt good about my performance and thought for sure I’d win or at least place. But the feedback was not favorable and I was confused by that.
So that’s pretty much the gist of the dream. I suppose this could be considered a recurring dream since it has many similar traits as past dreams; obstacles being the most common. I think there is a spiritual barrier that prevents me from freely living my life and until it is removed I will continue having these doggone dreams. Lord help me. PLEASE.
(Despite the request by his girlfriend to provide video for a birthday montage, I opted to write something for my brother’s 50th, instead. Besides, with the deep hurt I’ve been grappling with since November due to many things which were said and implied by him to me via text, there’s just no way I’m up to filming myself giving some happy-go-lucky speech. It wouldn’t come across genuine for I am someone who is completely incapable of hiding my true feelings. Writing is more my speed anyway and this has been quite therapeutic.
After this “hurt” occurred, every time I attempted to begin a response to my brother I would feel prompted in my spirit to leave it alone; that he would come to his own realizations in time (or something like that), so I chose to listen to the Holy Spirit and have kept silent (but it was a long battle getting to that place). It’s a conversation I feel would be fruitless due to conflicting viewpoints anyway, and I just don’t have the energy.
I had planned on only a simple “Happy Birthday” text, but when I became aware of this coming birthday’s significance (for some reason I was a year behind), I couldn’t ignore such a big one as this. That, in my opinion, would be selfish and petty. So, after all the months of prayer and struggle and repeated forgiving and yes, even torment, the Lord gave me a dream (a dream that helped me with perspective) and then the next day I felt the need to write the following for his birthday. As a result, I feel much better and can now move on despite him not knowing or understanding my side of things.
What happened in November has forever changed things between us, whether he’s aware or not (my guess is, he’s not), and my moving on in no way repairs the damage that has been done (although anything is possible with God), but at least I have finally come to a place of concluded resolution for myself and, as a result, a newfound peace.
Oh, and FYI, when you get to the part that says “Toddy Woddy,” that is in reference to a little jingle our oldest brother made up for him when we were kids and it went as follows… “Toddy Woddy on the Potty.” The song he made up for me went like this…”Mindy, Mindy, Meatball! Mindy, Mindy, Meatball!” The melodies aren’t as impressive as the lyrics.
So, without further ado, my birthday email to Todd…)
I’ve been trying to think of a favorite “Todd” memory and keep referring back to childhood ones. While perusing through the old archives, there seem to be a lot of gaps and only a select few remain available whilst all the others stay tucked away deep within the recesses of my mind. And while I know, out of all the memories that are TODD, it doesn’t have to be a childhood one from which I choose, those are the ones I cherish most . . . back before I ever knew life could be complicated.
For me, most childhood memories are foggy. Every time I look back at the beginning years, it’s like watching 5 second clips of something so old the actual reality of its existence becomes questionable. Well, I guess if anyone would understand this it would be you, ya know, being FIFTY YEARS OLD and all (ha ha). These memories seem to be covered in a fine layer of dust preventing a crystal clear view. But, nonetheless, they are still there and have never altered, telling me they must be real.
Some of these “foggy” memories include snippets of us sliding across the wooden dining room floor in our stocking feet while listening to The Chipmunks Christmas album (and probably driving Mom insane). Or was it the Everly Brothers? Probably both. (Like I said…“foggy.”) Then there’s the one where I could hear tiny whimpers and the pounding of feet as you hopped around just outside the bathroom door only to discover, when I finally emerged, little pee puddles all over the floor. Not so sure I had even stepped completely out when a whirlwind of desperation flew past me; when Toddy Woddy has to go, he has to go!
Remember taking the bus to the North School? Well, I remember one early morning upon arrival, in order to ensure a safe disembarkment for your little sister with the sprained wrist, you asked everyone on board to let me off the bus first. And to be honest, I remember it being more of a demand than a request. Then there was the time you were chasing after me across the backyard, confused by my sudden cries and urgent flight back towards the house; not knowing it was because I stepped on a nail. In thinking back, I even recalled the two of us hanging out at Nana’s, poolside, eating her awesome hot ham and cheese sandwiches, yours with mustard. (Damn…now I’m hungry.)
OK, so maybe you peeing yourself or me stepping on a nail aren’t considered good memories, but they aren’t bad, either. But the memory I keep going back to the most is actually a quite uneventful and simple moment in time. It took place on a super hot summer day. I can see us sitting out back at the house we first grew up in on Main Street. 170 Main street, to be exact. (The house may no longer exist but the memories still do.) You and I were eating ice cream cones which I can only assume were acquired from just a hop, skip, and jump up the street at Lampman’s Drug Store. You had decided to sit on the cement steps to the barn, exposing yourself to the burning hot rays of the relentless summer sun. I, on the other hand, had chosen a spot in the shade atop the bulkhead doors leading into the basement of the house, which were situated directly across from you. It didn’t take long for you to recognize my profound wisdom, for soon enough you were seated right beside me. Together, in delicious silence, we devoured our cones of melting, sticky delight.
Why do I like this memory? Not really sure. Maybe because it goes back to a far simpler time. A time when the world didn’t affect us one way or the other and we could just . . . well, just BE. Granted, I am aware of the typical sibling rivalry we also shared. I can still hear my own piercing shrills of “Dooooon’t!!!“ as I’m sure you still can, too. But, on this particular day it was just you and me. Two little kids enjoying a cool treat on a hot day. Nothing more, nothing less. Oh how I wish we could return, even for just one day, to a much simpler time as that.
Love you brother. And I do hope you have a wonderful 50th birthday.
Now please sit back and relax as you watch Sally O’Malley celebrate herself . . . she’s FIFTY, fifty years old, too.
Apparently, Stanford University has disavowed a study that had been published back in November of 2020 on the NCBI government website. I’d share it with you but it has since been retracted. I guess it was getting too much attention from free-minded American citizens, so they had to remove it. Too bad, because I think a general observation of how states with strict lockdowns and mandated mask wearing as opposed to states without these regulations plainly show what works and what doesn’t. The study just confirmed what we can see with our own eyes and it’s being demonized by all the main stream media outlets which tells me it’s definitely legit. But that’s just my opinion. Yeah, yeah, I know “The Editorial Committee” cited the study to have misleading and inaccurate citations by the author in order to advance his hypotheses. But at this point, who the hell can we believe anymore?
I’m tired of the misplaced outrage. People should be enraged over all the COVID deaths that could have been easily avoided by just administering proven treatments such as Hydroxychloroquine or Ivermectin. These drugs are backed by PLENTY of data worldwide; proven to cure this virus. But instead they are BLOCKED. WHY?!?! Hydroxychloroquine was blocked right after President Trump said he was taking it. That’s INSANE! They hated him so much that they were willing to let people suffer and die just to spite him. That should piss you off.
More and more patients are being found to show complete turnarounds and recover quite quickly due to an anti-parasitic drug, Ivermectin. It’s abhorrent to me that families of sick loved ones have had to get lawyers and judges involved and FIGHT to get hospitals to prescribe this medication. THAT is what is disgusting, not “anti-maskers.” It’s disgusting that “they” don’t want you to know about these cures because then “they” can’t control you anymore; it doesn’t fit their sick agenda . . . Not to mention that the vaccine business is big, big money. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, fear is a powerful tool. But, I’ve already been over all this.
We don’t need a vaccine, especially an EXPERIMENTAL one . . . we already have a cure. And the majority of people who do get this virus have extremely mild to non-existent symptoms! The number of people that my husband and I know of, combined, who got COVID is less than ten; probably about seven people. And of that small number only one died. She was OLD, OBESE, and DIABETIC. But perhaps if they had treated her with Ivermectin she might still be with us today. So, if this vaccine could have been available to us with the proper amount of testing, then I would say the elderly and vulnerable should be the ones to get it. I’ll risk catching COVID and gaining natural immunity rather than getting some rushed vaccine that is being tested out on the public like a bunch of guinea pigs. Nothing beats natural immunity! But if you want to get the vaccine then go get it. Just don’t demand that I get one, too. And if your vaccine works, then what are you worried about me for anyway?!?! Besides the fact that I am asthmatic and don’t like to restrict the amount of oxygen I get… besides the fact that this mask wearing issue has caused me a great deal of anxiety (all which was discussed in that study), it’s my God-given right to breathe in as much oxygen as I want the way I want (WARNING: Lots of swearing in that video link, so if you are easily offended then don’t watch it). And that’s what I am now doing. So, if you are scared then stay home, because I’m no longer avoiding the stores.
Check out this YouTube channel, Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance – FLCCC. You’ll find success story after success story of miraculous recoveries due to Ivermectin. Hurry before YouTube cans them, too!
Ever watch a video back of yourself and realize you’re an ugly crier? (My amazing “cameo” can be seen at 1:42:50)
Ah hem . . . but seriously, this is a great ministry. I am grateful for this word from the Lord given to me on the eve of April 9th, Easter Sunday. What Pastor John said was spot on. I have been praying about this for quite some time along with prayer I received from a dear friend whilst fellowshipping in her living room.
This is a reminder and confirmation to me that God does indeed hear my prayers and knows what I need. I look forward to my life finally moving forward and seeing what kind of direction it takes as I continue to seek God and am led by the Holy Spirit.
I had lovely fellowship with two ladies following this meeting, but unfortunately we got cut off due to time restraints with Zoom Video. We did, however, correspond a few times via email. Perhaps I will talk about that and the conclusions I have arrived to since that last email communication (HINT: it has to do with speaking in tongues . . . sigh).
My general, emotional state is quite heavy today. I’ve grown weary.
Last night I attended another miracle meeting on zoom and to my surprise, after waiting almost three and a half hours, I was located by the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, my internet connection was terrible and I was unable to fully communicate with the Pastor and vice versa. I managed to explain how I finally understand the difference between receiving the Holy Spirit (when I first believed) and being baptized with the Holy Spirit (in order to be “clothed with power from on high.”) I said I NEED the baptism with the Holy Spirit and fire but I can’t help but feel that something is blocking my ability to receive this promise.
In response, Pastor Mark said he was seeing a boyfriend from my past who had issues with demons and passed one on to me (I’m paraphrasing). This spirit has hindered my life (clearly). I think if the connection had been running smoothly I would have been able to talk more freely with this pastor and answer him in a far more expansive way, but the connection kept breaking up. With a frozen screen, they proceeded to pray for me despite the lack of audio/video. He commanded the spirit to come out in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. I felt nothing, but I know that doesn’t mean nothing will happen.
As they were moving on to someone else he did hear me sobbing and said, “She must be experiencing the Holy Spirit.” I was actually crying out of a deep desperation and frustration for a word and guidance from the Lord. And I wanted to receive my baptism and deliverance but it didn’t happen…again. Stupid internet.
But maybe this is a good thing. Desperation is always helpful when truly seeking God for breakthrough.
I will not stop asking. I will not stop seeking. I shall persist until it is given me . . .
5Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose one of you goes to his friend at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, 6because a friend of mine has come to me on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him.’
7And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Do not bother me. My door is already shut, and my children and I are in bed. I cannot get up to give you anything.’
8I tell you, even though he will not get up to provide for him because of his friendship, yet because of the man’s persistence, he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
9So I tell you: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
11What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” -Luke 11: 5-13
“For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.” -Psalm 107:9
For some time now, I’ve questioned whether or not I need deliverance or if all my issues lie squarely with me. Is it, in fact, ALL ME? Or do my issues stem from something far deeper? I’m aware that we all have certain strongholds in our life we must pray and work through to overcome and I practice this daily. BUT, I also believe many of us require deliverance from unclean spirits that we don’t even know are there! I believe this because the other night was confirmation for me on this very matter.
You see, I “went” to another miracle meeting (2021 Miracle Meeting #4) via the zoom. They are hosted by Pastor Mark Hemans of Jesus Encounter Ministries and I’ve been following him for at least four years now. Ever since I came across one of his videos on YouTube, I’ve been a loyal follower. I was looking forward to going to a meeting in person, but the CCP Virus prevented Pastor Mark from traveling. So my planned attendance to a meeting in Connecticut for August of 2020 was canceled. Fortunately, for us, God is not limited by our earthly restrictions.
As I prepared for the online meeting, I made sure to write down what I wanted to say in case I was located by the Holy Spirit. But alas, I was never picked out of the crowd and decided that I should stay for the prayer group at the end. I have had a habit of leaving these meetings once they end, only wanting prayer from Pastor Mark. I know this attitude is wrong so, this time, I stayed despite the temptation to leave a couple of times (once when the main meeting ended and once while I was in the actual prayer room waiting for my turn).
By the time my name was called I felt sort of numb and hesitant to even speak. I managed to get out the meat of what I wanted to say. I mentioned how I wanted more from God. I said I wanted to be baptized in His Holy Spirit and His Fire. I want all and any gifts He wants to give me, but I’ve felt for quite some time that there is a sort of wall or barrier which prevents me from receiving.
The first thing the prayer helper (I think her name may have been Anna?) asked me was if I listened to worldly music.
“No. Not at all,” I immediately replied.
Then she suggested that maybe it’s a lack of faith or unbelief because God doesn’t withhold His gifts from us, we just don’t receive them. “DUH,” I thought to myself, feeling a bit annoyed. I had already stated that I was having trouble receiving. And I regularly ask the Lord to show me if I have any unbelief or doubt unbeknownst to me and, if so, to please forgive me and help me.
She then proceeded to explain how we need to diligently seek God. While she was speaking my head steadily shook no as I visualized the handwritten scripture of Hebrews 11:6 I’ve had pinned to my bathroom wall for years.
Surely the irritation was becoming visible upon my face. At this point I’m wondering if this lady can even hear from the Holy Spirit or is she just going down a presupposed list?
Tears began to materialize out of frustration. That’s when I do believe she stopped throwing out suggestions and began rebuking something to come out of me.
That’s when I felt something start to manifest…
I’d seen this plenty of times in the ministry videos but now I was personally experiencing it. With my eyes firmly clenched shut, I felt as though my neck were trying to compress into itself. It became quite tense and felt thick like a tree stump. I could feel a distinct pressure building directly underneath my jawline on each side of my neck. And at one point I swear my eyes became like slits and my tongue began to slightly protrude from my mouth in a pointy, serpent-like manner. I then let out an involuntary, growly groan. I wish I could confirm all of this by watching the video back, but unfortunately it was not recorded and archived for my viewing pleasure. Whatever the case, at a certain point it did feel as though something had manifested in my face and whatever it was, it most certainly was not me. (I would also like to note that my hands, especially my left one, was curling in at the wrist while my middle or forefinger firmly pressed itself against my thumb.)
I soon felt the urge to cough, so I did. (I already knew about the different ways a demon can leave the body when commanded.) The prayer helper told me to cough some more, so I did. She then asked me how I felt, so I told her about the pressure and she said it was a spirit.
I think they all (everyone in the group watching) expected me to be able to speak in tongues after that and I felt a bit pressured to try. So, despite feeling self-conscious and to be honest, a bit cynical and annoyed since I’ve been down this road before, I stepped out in faith (once again) by opening my mouth and giving a lame effort of “la, la, la” in hopes my speech would turn heavenly. It didn’t happen.
I’ve pondered a bit on the feelings I experienced amidst this prayer session; the feelings of annoyance, irritation and cynicism. Were those feelings even mine? (Well, the cynicism is most likely all mine. It took me years to develop that kind of distrust due to repeated failed attempts at speaking in tongues, public and private.) Or are my feelings and emotions being influenced by these unclean spirits that have apparently taken up residence within the deep caverns of my body and soul? I’m sure they didn’t want me to receive prayer which is why I felt tempted to leave the online meeting more than once. And how long have they been there? And why? What was the root cause which permitted them to enter? When did they enter?!? Who are they? A spirit of rejection, perhaps? Fear? Self-hatred? These are all questions I have, but no answers were offered.
But I digress . . .
Whilst attempting to “activate” the gift of tongues by speaking a few “la la la’s,” the feelings of annoyance and frustration became stronger as my head turned from side to side in a steady ‘NO’ gesture. That’s when the lady started commanding another spirit to come out from wherever it was hiding. I, myself, even tried commanding it to leave by tearfully yelling, “Get out of me in the name of Jesus!” But this thing wasn’t leaving and I think she needed to move on to others still waiting in the prayer room. She ended our time by saying how she believed my deliverance would continue throughout the night. I might even feel the need to throw up later, she said. So, out of faith, I agreed with her and stated that I believe this to be true.
I never got sick that night; never felt the urge to throw up, as she had suggested. Never felt anything else try to leave my body. But I did feel weird waves of a pins-and-needles type sensation in my left leg as I lay in bed that night. I have felt this sensation many a time before, but always chalked it up to some odd, bodily fluke (and it’s not always in the same place). But that pressure I felt in my neck had an eerily similar sensation. So now I’ve ascertained this feeling to be a manifestation, not some bodily-function anomaly. At least now I’m aware of what it truly is. (I’m sure that must piss this “thing” off since it/they seem to prefer to remain hidden.) I suppose I could be wrong and it’s just chills I’m feeling (but it happens a lot). . . Either that or I’m just plain crazy, but I don’t think so.
So, I’m thinking I still need deliverance; I’m not convinced they have all “left the building.” Not to mention that the very next day I felt worse than ever; really down. That heavy, oppressed feeling I’d been carrying around had not left and I felt as though I were in a haze all day. I also think the asthma I struggle with (among other ailments) is connected as well. I’m praying the Lord will finish this work He has begun in me so that I can continue on in my walk, stronger and more confident than ever before. I want to be able to help others receive deliverance, healing, and freedom from the enemy, but it must first start with me.
A whirlwind of spunk, jammed in a four foot nine frame.
There was no snuffing out your perpetual flame!
Underneath a basket we never found your fiery lamp.
A bright shining light, the one and only, Nancy VanCamp.
A prayer warrior were you; in battle you never did falter.
Thanks for your intercession; for going straight to God’s altar.
A short season we shared; morning car rides and banter.
A time of tilling for me; indeed, you were the planter.
A strategic lesson were you; one God knew would water my soul.
Little did I know at the time; but getting over myself was the goal.
One day by “chance” when our paths did cross I said, “I’ll see you soon.”
Surely we’d meet again by chance, at least by the next blue moon.
“I’m gonna hold you to it!” in typical fashion you sweetly ranted back.
But alas, I took our time for granted; God’s gain, but surely our lack.
Unbeknownst to me, last words had been shared; a second meeting never to be.
But that’s not due to any fault of your own. No, no. That was all me.
I’m still a work in progress but one thing I surely know,
God used you to till my soil; you helped water me to grow.
You remind me that we all have a part to play; and no role is ever too small.
God will use me when He deems me ready one day; it’s up to me to answer the call.
So, as I continue along this path I will marvel and rejoice in this knowing;
That when the time comes I will see you again and we’ll surely be joyful and glowing!
I come to You now, Oh Lord, seeking rest.
Help me to not give in to my flesh; to not lash out in sinful ways.
I hate to get all riled up over intended chaos.
I understand we are in a spiritual battle; I see the bigger picture.
Help me to maintain a level head as I navigate the natural.
I know I need not fret for You have already won.
No matter what happens and no matter what SEEMS to be happening, I will stand firm in my faith.
You are the Alpha and the Omega.
Nothing surprises You and I know Your Justice will prevail.
Keep me in check, Oh God.
Guide me always, Holy Spirit.
I want to know You more, Oh Lord.
Show me what You want me to do.
Thank You for my salvation.
So glad You hold it all together.
Praise the Lord, Jesus is King.
UPDATE . . .
So much for this prayer. Hasn’t even been three hours and I’m already failing miserably.
These new ‘Holiday Celebration’ guidelines from the CDC are nothing but a bunch of BS, not to mention contradictory with the ‘Current Best Estimate Infection Fatality Ratio’ found on the CDC website . . .
0-19 years: 0.00003
20-49 years: 0.0002
50-69 years: 0.005
70+ years: 0.054
Well, would you look at that. . . .
This JP Sears video is no longer available because . . . you know . . . censorship.
Go enjoy Thanksgiving with your family. You’ll all be just fine. I for one am going to be with my father-in-law who is at home, dying of terminal cancer. It’s bad enough we won’t be able to have a proper wake and funeral because of these absolutely ridiculous restraints on our God-given rights. But no one is going to tell me who I can and cannot hug (not even my sister-in-law)! They can take their six feet and do you know what with it. No one has the right to tell me how to live.
Dictator oops I mean Governor no I mean Dictator Cuomo has announced new restrictions concerning New Yorkers. Just wondering, if anyone has more than ten people over will the Gestapo kick in their door? There’s no way in hell some over-reaching, contradictory, hypocritical, power grabbing authoritarian (who is responsible for over 11,000 nursing home deaths and just happens to have a new book out patting himself on the back about how well he handled the COVID) should even be in office! He and Governor Newsom must hang out. . . . And don’t get me started on Dr. Fauci, just take a look for yourself; don’t have time to read all that? Then here’s a video nutshell version for you . . .
Fear is a powerful tool. They’ve been telling us for months and months to be ready for a “second wave.” Even Biden said during a debate that we were going to have a “dark winter.” How come? And what kind of crystal ball does he have anyway?!?! Hmmm….Could it possibly be a good distraction from an ongoing election that ISN’T OVER?!?! The controlled mainstream media would much rather focus on a sudden “new wave of COVID” which just happens to coincide with an ongoing election that AIN’T OVER, than discuss wide-spread election fraud which is being exposed more and more each day.
The mainstream media is LYING TO US. Their job is to tell we-the-people how to think by the way they censor and spin the truth. They are master manipulators. Don’t allow them to keep you in a constant state of fear. That’s what they want and so far, judging by a lot of the comments I see, it’s working. It’s actually scary how easy it has been for them to control the majority of the population. That’s how freedoms are lost. Between the blatant violations of freedom of speech by big tech censorship and the new cancel culture, well, it’s looking more and more like communist China than the USA. If America falls, that’s all folks.
Let us not forget (at the risk of sounding crazy to many) that October 31st is one of the many nights on the Satanic Ritual Calendar for human sacrifices. Halloween is considered by the occult to be a major Satanic holiday. This particular night on our calendar, in itself, isn’t evil; it’s that which goes on this night that is evil. People don’t want to talk about it or even consider this reality, but it doesn’t change the fact that many will lose their life this night; including CHILDREN.
I have a friend who was a victim of SRA (Satanic Ritual Abuse) as a child and I think everyone should keep in mind that many suffer at the hands of the occult (not just on Halloween but throughout the year.) But for Halloween night in particular, I’ve often pondered over what might be happening in the spiritual realm when so many around the world are “innocently” participating along with those who hate God. Does this participation in some way contribute and fuel the unseen powers and principalities spoken of in Ephesians? Do our justifications and reasonings exempt our willful actions from having any sort of contribution or are we in fact unconsciously feeding into this worldwide ritual?
If there are those who gather to deliberately participate in evil this night, shouldn’t that be all the more reason for the church to gather together and pray against this evil instead of being a part of it? I suppose if one has peace in their own heart to participate in a night that glorifies evil (because ghouls and goblins and bloody corpses certainly aren’t holy) then that’s between them and God, but in my opinion we’re nor glorifying the Lord by participating no matter how trivial or harmless we may think it is. No matter how watered down society makes it, this holiday is dedicated to the darkness, not God’s truth and light.
There was a time when I too joined in, but the more I learned the more conviction I felt, so I prefer to be set apart from it . . .
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.” -Romans 12:2
But that’s just me . . . The Lord is the ultimate judge, not me! As believers we all need to walk according to our own convictions, always being sure to follow the Spirit’s leading and to listen and obey when He speaks.
I recently did some delving into my own little bible study on the assurance of our salvation. Because of this, I have never felt better or more secure about my salvation and I finally get it! I know who I am in Christ! This has been a request of mine to the Lord for a very long time; to understand who I am in Christ. It’s one thing to “know,” but a whole other thing to “get it.”
My research came about due to a video I saw on YouTube. This need to understand God’s promised assurance of my salvation was sparked by a couple of people in the comments telling me I would have gone to hell due to sin, despite already being saved previously. They are from a particular ministry overseas and I do believe they are misguiding fellow Christians due to their own misunderstanding. (For more context on where I’m coming from and to read the YouTube conversation, click here.)
So . . . since I finally “got it” (because of my seeking) more and more has become clear to me. Scripture I’ve read many times before now has new understanding to my spirit. Scripture that certain people use to assure me that I wasn’t saved during a particular time in my adult life, in all actuality, assures me that I was! Take Matthew 7:23 for example…
“Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you workers of lawlessness!’”
Jesus said, “I NEVER knew you.” Key word being NEVER. The people Jesus is speaking of in that verse never belonged to him; only by outward appearance did they seem to be His followers. When I asked Jesus to come into my heart (Hey! Don’t skip over that link!) in the purest and most sincerest of ways . . . HE DID. I was sealed with the Holy Spirit and became a child of God instantaneously. I was His. He knew me. I was sealed with a secure guarantee!
“And in Him, having heard and believed the word of truth—the gospel of your salvation—you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the pledge of our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession, to the praise of His glory.” -Ephesians 1:13-14
“…and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee..” -2 Corinthians 1:22
There are particular Christians who try to tell me that, as Christians, we must live HOLY lives. If we choose to sin (whether they mean only “habitual” sin or any kind of sin is not clear) we lose our salvation because we have “backslidden.” They say that when I finally repented of a particular sin I had been struggling with for a period of time, that’s when I came “back” to the Lord and once again regained my gift of salvation. Can you believe that?!?! They are teaching a conditional salvation that completely flies in the face of what Jesus Christ did for us on that cross! It’s a work based theology, but scripture tells us our works have nothing to do with it . . .
“For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, not by works, so that no one can boast.” -Ephesians 2:8-9
As such a small child receiving salvation before ANY knowledge of how to live a “holy” life, how on earth could the Lord then REVOKE this gift of salvation because I sinned soon after?!?! I was NINE!! Are these people seriously trying to tell me that I would have almost immediately lost this gift of salvation before I ever even got started?!?! It’s called a gift for a reason, y’all. Get that? It’s a GIFT. Jesus doesn’t then take it back because we can’t live a perfect life; He knows we can’t be perfect. If we could only receive salvation by works we would never be saved . . .
“. . . So this is the principle I have discovered: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law. But I see another law at work in my body, warring against the law of my mind and holding me captive to the law of sin that dwells within me.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God, through Jesus Christ our Lord! . . .” -Romans 7:21-24
Oh thank God, now that we are adopted in as His children we are under His amazing grace and mercy! Now that we are WASHED in His blood, we are cleansed now and continually of all sin. Our godly sorrow and sincere repentance when we do mess up (and we will!) are evidence that we truly belong to Him.
“…And this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no distinction, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” -Romans 3:22-24
The more I meditate on what the spilled blood of Jesus Christ means for all who believe, the more troubled I feel over the thought of well-meaning believers not understanding the power of the blood and therefore teaching a falsity; a sense of despair and hopelessness is sure to follow. They are basically saying that His blood only covers you so much which, to me, is a direct insult to the Lord Himself. It discredits all that He went through FOR US. My goodness, if His blood doesn’t really cover you once you truly and sincerely believe in Him, then what did He do it for?!?!? If by stumbling in sin after we become born again we can then lose such a precious gift, why on Earth would He put Himself through all of that brutally horrendous suffering? For what?!?! If His sacrifice can only take us so far in our walk then WHY DO IT? . . . No, No . . . there is POWER in His blood.
“…For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life you inherited from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or spot.” -1 Peter 1:18-19
We know that what happened on Calvary doesn’t give us a license to sin. A true believer doesn’t take on such an advantageous attitude but has a humble spirit and truly grieves with a godly sorrow only a believer in Christ could feel whenever we stumble and fall. For all who truly believe, forgiveness is granted to those who now walk in His grace and mercy; to those who walk in the light . . .
“…But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” -1 John 1:7
“My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate before the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.” -1 John 2:1
It’s BECAUSE we are not able to live perfect lives that He laid down His life for us. The whole point of the law was to show us that no matter how hard we try, we can never live up to it. That’s why we need a Savior; someone to stand in the gap for us.
“For the law is only a shadow of the good things to come, not the realities themselves. It can never, by the same sacrifices offered year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would not the offerings have ceased? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt the guilt of their sins.
Instead, those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. Therefore, when Christ came into the world, He said:
“Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,
but a body You prepared for Me.
In burnt offerings and sin offerings
You took no delight.
Then I said, ‘Here I am, it is written about Me in the scroll:
I have come to do Your will, O God.’ ”
In the passage above He says, “Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings You did not desire, nor did You delight in them” (although they are offered according to the law). Then He adds, “Here I am, I have come to do Your will.” He takes away the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been sanctified through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” -Hebrews 10:1-10
Jesus’ sacrifice was once and for all! He was the only one qualified for the job! He was the perfect lamb; the perfect and ultimate sacrifice. Hallelujah!
Before I truly understood the weight of what the cross signifies, I beat myself up continuously for not being a “good enough Christian.” If only I had understood who I was in Christ, I wouldn’t have had to torment myself over all my failures. But now I can rest in this new understanding. I have peace.
” . . . Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For in Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set you free from the law of sin and death.” -Romans 8:1-2
Thirty-six years after being born again I finally understand that as I walk in the light the blood of Jesus cleanses me NOW and CONTINUALLY of all sin! I am covered by the blood He shed for me and I thank the Lord that He is right there with me every step of the way. . . I love this promise . . .
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” -Philippians 1:5-6
I know there seems to be a lot of verses in scripture that, when read at face value or out of context, indicate that if we do not live a perfect and holy life we will not make it in the end. And, unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there using scripture in this way to prove that we can lose our salvation, but you have to dig deeper. Seek God in these matters; don’t just take their word for it. We must weigh all scripture and discern (through prayer and study) what it all means when put together. One passage of scripture cannot cancel out another; if it seems that way then it only means we are missing something. Yes, we must do our best to live according to the will of the Father, but thank God for His grace and mercy when we should fall.
Remember, Jesus loses not one of His sheep; those who are sent to Him. Our sanctification is a life long process and not one of us will be perfect until our death or Christ’s return, whichever comes first. (When I speak of perfection I don’t mean being perfect as God is perfect. We’ll never be God! It just means having reached its end; complete. And we will be without sin!) Our inheritance is indestructible and KEPT in heaven for us! It is protected by GOD’S POWER, not our own! . . .
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” -1 Peter 1:3-5
Before I close and share some proclamations with you, I just want to add one more thought . . . In 2 Peter 1: 3-11, we are reminded as born-again-believers to not rely on our faith alone (which is how we received our guaranteed salvation) but to supplement it with intentionality because when we strive towards godliness it’s then that we can be the best representatives possible for the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Verses 9 and 10 speak of how we can, in fact, go through this earthly life possessing our guaranteed salvation yet not fully living IN IT because of a failure to INTENTIONALLY PRACTICE a life of obedience. We can fall as believers, but that doesn’t mean we lose our salvation. It only means we suffer the consequences due to our own disobedience or lack of understanding of who we truly are in Christ. When we are diligent in “practicing these qualities” as stated in verse 10, we continually confirm for ourselves the truth of our salvation and, in turn, gain a greater assurance of it (in my humble opinion.) So, when the time comes for us to enter into the eternal kingdom . . . if we choose to live a life in alignment to the Father’s will . . . we can expect an especially rich welcome when we arrive!!
“3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” –2 Peter 1:3-11
Below are scripture-based proclamations I learned from the teachings of Derek Prince. I memorized them and have been declaring them out loud for quite some time. I highly recommend you do the same. I can’t help but think that by exclaiming these words of truth OUT LOUD, despite not truly grasping them, revelation had no choice but to become reality. Through my diligence and faith He met me. And now the devil and his minions know that I believe and understand what I am saying and they HATE to hear it! I am sure they feel actual pain at the sound of God’s powerful truth exiting my mouth (Jesus is the Word, after all) and have no choice but to flee! Give it a try! . . .
Through the blood of Jesus ALL my sins are forgiven . . .
Through the blood of Jesus I am redeemed out of the hand of Satan . . .
Through the blood of Jesus I am sanctified, made holy, set apart to God . . .
As I walk in the light, the blood of Jesus is cleansing me NOW and CONTINUALLY from ALL sin . . .
The devil has no place in me, no power over me, no unsettled claims against me. ALL has been settled by the blood of Jesus.
And now when I sing along to this worship music, the words penetrate deep into my soul because I have a true understanding of what they mean. I believe what I am singing! Hallelujah!!!
I would say I have a lot of character flaws. Yesterday I became aware of something new to add to the list and I’ve been crying about it ever since.
I’ve known for some time about my inability (or unwillingness?) to control my emotions. I tend to let them dictate how I react to people instead of, firstly, getting them in check. I’ve gotten better about it when wanting to respond to someone online, but that’s way easier. Before choosing to respond, you can simply step away from the computer for as long as you want in order to gain a calmer and more rational and loving perspective. But, being in the actual moment and presence of others is a completely different story!
So, this new self-revelation I received may not be quite that new after all, but it is something I now have a better descriptive word for and a deeper conviction over. . .
or lack thereof, I should say.
I lack tolerance for people.
There. I said it.
Usually when you hear of intolerance you think of a left-wing or right-wing thing, especially in this current climate we now find ourselves in. But really, it’s a human thing. It’s a sin thing.
For me, when someone starts saying something that I find ridiculous, insulting, offensive, untrue…my innards get twisted and SOMETIMES I respond in a way I usually tend to regret. And not just in conversation but also when someone is behaving in a way I find disrespectful.
For example, when neighbors were lighting off extremely loud fireworks (and it wasn’t the 4th of July yet) for an hour I became infuriated because, not only did it shake my house, but my animals were freaking out. They heard me across the street expressing my disapproval (and perhaps I wanted them to). I was embarrassed when I found out they had heard me. Rick wasn’t too pleased either since he’s friends with them. I have since apologized and they apologized as well. All is well but I feel the damage has been done (on my part). Not a very good first impression since I hadn’t technically met them yet.
And that’s just ONE example of my intolerance. Another example? Irritation over the fact that my new neighbor’s son keeps putting car parts on top of this newly sprouting lilac tree which had been cut down after the prior owner was evicted. I wanted it to be left alone to grow once again to it’s towering stature of privacy and sweet perfumes. (Our houses are so close they practically touch.) I miss its cascading branches that once swept the edges of my first level rooftop which meets my second story kitchen window. It’s not even on my property but I get pissed every time I see something new on top of this plant!!! What the hell is wrong with me?!?! Yeah, sounds like I have a case of self-righteousness, doesn’t it?
I’m sure there are times when speaking out against something is appropriate, but in my case…nope. Let’s take yesterday, for example. My sister-in-law started saying things I strongly disagree with so I got up and went into the other room in a feeble attempt to avoid responding. Problem is, I could still hear her. She was speaking out such negativity toward my husband that I could feel myself becoming enraged. Never even mind what she was saying about cholesterol and heart attacks (all misinformation, by the way), but when she started telling Rick they should both get tested for Alzheimer’s because of their MS; that they both “probably have” Alzheimer’s . . . that’s when I begged Rick for us to leave. I couldn’t take it. Not sure what she said from the other room at that point but whatever it was it led me to exclaim loudly that I don’t need to hear about how my husband probably has Alzheimer’s.
“I have enough shit to deal with.”
“LIKE WHAT?!” she responded.
To that I scoffed to which she laughed.
“Life can’t always be roses,” she said.
I thought about her “LIKE WHAT?!” question. I was insulted by it. Offended. Especially since she doesn’t even know anything about my life or what our struggles have been or still are. It felt as though she were implying I have a care-free life. Yes, I don’t have a whole lot of responsibilities at the moment, but that in it itself is a weight for many reasons; none of which I care to get into. It’s a sore spot for me and I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t understand anyway.
When I said I have a lot of shit to deal with, I simply meant I didn’t need unnecessary worries added to my life, to OUR life. I probably should have said RICK doesn’t need more shit to worry about (well, I shouldn’t have said anything . . . I think we established that already). He’s got enough stress on him as it is with work, finances, and his health. She doesn’t see any of that. Yes, it is fortunate that I do not have to look after both my parents like she is currently doing. I understand that. She has a lot on her plate right now between a full time job and having to help out her parents and perhaps that is where her mind was at when she called me out with that response.
But why did I get so angry in the first place? I’ve been thinking about this very question a lot. Why did her words toward Rick anger me so deeply? It’s because it felt as though she was declaring that she and Rick both indeedily-doo have Alzheimer’s. No, life can’t always be roses, but there’s no need to unnecessarily add new issues to an already boiling pot. There’s no need to create new worries that are probably all for naught.
She likes to project such negativity onto others. It felt like she was actually cursing him and herself with this declaration and every fiber of my being needed to reject this evil. Of course, I don’t think she was trying to be mean or hurtful. This is just how she is and most people (especially those with no faith) do not understand the power that mere words can have . . .especially in the spiritual realm. But I think it triggered something deep within me that I just couldn’t (okay, wouldn’t) ignore. I chose to react . . . poorly. I wish I had remembered to rely on the Lord FIRST and then think of how to point out what I was sensing in the spirit in a loving manner (but only if Holy Spirit was guiding me to do so). Otherwise, I should have just kept my big mouth shut.
What’s really terrible is that we went down there to visit Rick’s mom and dad because they are both struggling. His mom, Linda, has dementia and it’s been getting worse. And she falls a lot (I guess she has had several mini strokes from what I overheard Cathy telling Linda in the other room) and can’t do basic things for herself anymore. Charlie, Rick’s dad, just had his bladder removed and is recovering at home. He’s been very emotional and cries a lot. So I wanted this visit to be pleasant and I tried to prep myself before we left. I knew going in that I needed to keep myself in check around her. I knew there was a good chance she would say extremely negative and even insensitive things.
I KNEW THIS.
But I still failed to control myself. I failed miserably. So, once again, I fell extremely short of “being the light.” I didn’t keep my emotions in check and instead allowed myself to reach a boiling point. It may sound worse than it actually was, from my description. I couldn’t actually see Cathy from the other room. And it wasn’t like a screaming match or anything. But it was clear I was angry and I needed to get out of there.
I said my goodbyes to Charlie as he lay on the couch and he started to cry again as I encouraged him and told him he’d be up and running around again in no time. I grabbed my bag from the kitchen where Cathy and Linda were seated and said a long distance “Goodbye guys . . . love you” and we were off.
I immediately regretted getting so heated. I needed to fix it; I just wanted to make it right. About five minutes into the drive I tried calling Cathy’s cell phone. But, of course, she wouldn’t answer so I had to apologize to her voicemail. With a teary, shaky voice I simply said I was sorry for getting so upset . . . even threw in a “love you,” at the end. She never responded, but at least I tried. I apologized to Rick, too. Then I think I continued to cry for the first one and a half hours of the two hour drive back home. I was angry with myself for my lack of self-control and proceeded to beat myself up over it for the rest of the night.
I have felt for sometime that my heart has hardened over the years. And now with this lack of tolerance comes an inability to love as I should. I don’t want to be this way! This is a problem I cannot fix on my own; only the Lord can help me. I have prayed over this many times; I have prayed for God to “change my heart because I can’t.” I’ve also, from time to time, asked the Lord to show me anything in me that I’m not aware of so that I can repent of it and make it right.
Well . . .
Yesterday He did that for me. And I’ve been lamenting ever since. But I am grateful for this new pin-pointed awareness of my intolerance towards others (eesh, I hate saying it). Now I can pray on it specifically. I can work on my own self-control and God can work on softening my heart. Together we can beat this!
It would be worse to never know where I lack. It would be terrible to never improve because I can’t see where I need improvement. I don’t want to stay in the same place and never progress spiritually. I long to produce good fruit so I know this pruning is extremely necessary. And when my innards no longer get all twisted when I hear something I disagree with, well, that’s when I know this stronghold has been defeated.