The Silent Killer

We recently learned that less than 10,000 people have died in the United States from Covid-19 only. The virus might have played a part in the other deaths they currently include in the total, but they don’t actually know that right now.  

Know what they do know? They know that every year at least 20,000 women will be diagonosed with ovarian cancer, and 14,000 of them will die from it. This year.   

That’s an awful lot of women, and it’s like that every year. 

MY STORY
I started to feel sick in early 2009, but it took more than two years to find out what was happening to my health. There were many visits to many doctors, until my endocrinologist finally noticed something amok with one of my hormone levels. And, she said something curious: “We’re having a hard time locating your right ovary.”

I went home and searched the internet for the hormone she’d mentioned—I had never heard of it, and had no idea that I should be concerned. Then my search came back with one answer: ovarian cancer. I clicked a link, and found a long list of symptoms. I fully expected I would read down that list and be completely reassured that I did not have cancer. Instead, I could recognize almost every one. In fact, I almost felt relieved to have all of those symptoms point somewhere.

Nine years ago next month, a basketball-sized tumor was removed from my body. I did indeed have cancer, but I do not have cancer today. I praise God for that, and I urge you to become familiar with the symptoms of this awful disease. I know it’s scary to think about it, but it’s better to discover a problem sooner than later—especially a problem called cancer.

DON’T IGNORE THESE SYMPTOMS
There is no diagnostic test for ovarian cancer, and because the symptoms are so varried, it’s often not discovered until Stage 3. That is why this disease is so deadly: they find it too late!  

14,000 women
will from
Ovarian Cancer
in 2020

While any woman can have any of these symptoms and not have ovarian cancer, if the symptoms persist for more than two weeks, please make an appointment with your OB/GYN.

  1. Pressure or pain in the abdomen or pelvis (I remember telling one doctor that I thought I needed to do a juice fast or detox, because I felt so bloated.)
  2. Difficulty eating; feeling full quickly
    (By the time dinner was ready, I’d lost my appetite. If I did eat, I could only manage a few bites.)
  3. Urinary concerns, such as urgency, frequency, or difficulty emptying your bladder (Had pointless, invasive, and completely unnecessary tests.)
  4. Change in bowel habits; constipation and/or diarrhea (Yup.)
  5. Unexplained, unusual, excessive vaginal bleeding (You don’t want to know.)
  6. Weight loss (Yes. That’s what scary.)
  7. Weight gain
  8. Nausea (I ate a lot of watermelon that summer. It was almost all I could stand.)
  9. Shortness of breath (This was awful. I could hardly do anything, without needing to rest.)
  10. Vomiting (Yes. Almost daily.)
  11. Tiredness, low energy (Oh, yeah.)
  12. Painful menstrual cycle
  13. Painful intercourse
  14. Abdominal swelling (I looked nine-months pregnant.)
  15. Dull ache in thighs or lower back

    oca bracelets copy

HELPFUL WEBSITES 
Presidential Message
Ovarian Cancer 101

Ovarian Cancer Awareness 
Cancer Center 
CDC Ovarian Cancer Fact Sheet

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You Play A Part

You may look at some people in your life and wonder what they’re doing there.

[They may not matter much to you.]

Yet, the truth is you have no idea how important they may be to your future.

[Or, how important you might be to theirs.]

God is not random. He has a Big Plan, and it has to do with people.

The people…
…who always seems to show up;
…you can’t seem to lose;
…who rub you the wrong way;
…you see everyday, yet they are strangers to you;
…you wish you could know more.

All those people. 

So, don’t ignore them.
Consider them.
Reconsider your relationship with them.
Give them your respect.
Treat them with gentleness.
Help them, encourage them, and bless them.
Look for the opportunity to love them.
Pray God’s will for their lives, lift them up when they are down.
A little time and compassion matter.

And, always remember that no matter what you might think about their life right now, or the choices they’ve made so far, God has always had a plan and a purpose for their lives.

Maybe,
just maybe,
He’s been waiting for you to play your part.  

14 August 2011

Every Tool in the Box

“Oh, no.”

I could hear from the tone of the Saxophone Player’s voice that something really bad had just happened. 

Doug was installing a new shower head we’d received for Christmas,  when the water pipe that pokes out from the shower wall broke off right into his hand. It didn’t unscrew off, mind you. It was sheared right at the point where the threading starts and it screws into another pipe.

This was not good.

Doug texted our son-in-law, and asked if he could check it out the next day. Tim’s a handy fellow, and conveniently lives in the upstairs apartment. So, the next afternoon Tim came down with a pair of pliers in hand. I was surprised he only had a pair of pliers. I imagined the tub wall would have to be opened to get to the rest of pipe, and said so to Tim.

Cheerfully, (he’s a pretty upbeat guy) he said, “Well, maybe not. If I can remove the rest of the pipe, we shouldn’t have to open up the wall.” He explained that he’d checked on the situation earlier, before leaving for work, but the pliers he had used didn’t do the trick. “Hopefully, this pair will work.”

I went back to what I was doing (making applesauce), while he did his thing. About a minute later, he calls out: “I got it!”

“Oh, really?”

“Yeah, thanks to my grandfather’s pliers.” He laid them down to show me. “I couldn’t find them this morning, but I had a feeling they would do the trick.”

There are lots of pliers in the world, and they all work just fine, but that particular pair was just what Tim needed for that particular job.

I don’t use pliers often, but I use other tools. We all do. Some tools we reach for everyday, and some maybe only once a year. However, even that tool you only use once a year, like the hacksaw that Doug uses to make a fresh cut on our Christmas tree, is irreplaceable. Nothing else can do what it does. 

As I thought about tools, and how thoughtfully designed and carefully crafted they are for their particular purpose, I started to think about us—you and me. We’re actually tools, too. We were thoughtfully designed and carefully crafted, too. And, the Master Craftsman who designed us created us for a very particular purpose. 

Stop and think about that.

Now, no analogy is perfect, but I think there’s a measure of truth here. The Word of God tells us that we are gifted by God with certain talents: something we can do. These aren’t always talents like we normally think of talents—performance talents. It might be a talent for bringing order to chaos. Or, maybe you can turn a carrot and an egg it into a tasty and beautiful birthday cake. Maybe, you aren’t a singer, but you can make the singer’s voice heard above the drums in a room filled with 1,000 people.

As many tools are in any toolbox or kitchen drawer, it’s still just a drop in the bucket of how many different talents God has gifted His creation—you and me. Whether we have several, or have trouble thinking of even one, I can promise you that God has given you a talent, and He means for you to use it for the very purpose He intended.

So, what’s your talent? Does something come to mind? If you’re like I used to be, you might feel too insecure to say what you think your talent is, and that’s OK. I would probably still have a hard time admitting out loud that I have a talent for doing anything more than making gravy, and when I was younger—and so much more insecure—that’s the only talent I thought I had to offer the Lord. I baked cookies for the homeless, I cooked for church suppers, and I took meals to the sick. I took the only talent I thought I had, and used it every chance I could. As I kept serving the Lord with the talent I had, and doing anything else for the Lord—including things I was definitely not talented at doing—I discovered and acquired other talents.

Now, a reasonable question right now might be, “How do I find out what my talents are, and what God’s purpose is for my talent?”

Well, this is my simple answer: first, start doing whatsoever your hand finds to do for the Lord.

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NKJV)

That’s one reason we need to be in church. In church, there are so many opportunities to serve God. Some opportunities might not sound very appealing. Or, we might be tempted to say, “I don’t think I have a talent for that.” Yet, as we start doing whatsoever our hand finds to do, we start to discover there are some things we’re actually really good at, and really enjoy doing. That’s a good sign. Our leaders are going to recognize our talents, too. We might not think we’ve a talent for something, because we compare ourselves to others, but our leaders can be more objective.

Now, your next reasonable question might be: “How will I know God’s purpose for my talent?” That answer is even simpler that the last answer. The ultimate purpose for any talent is that it glorify God.

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NKJV)

Now, if we happen to attend a church that doesn’t have many opportunities, we can ask our pastor to help us find a local ministry that needs help. However, I suspect most pastors will have something for a willing person to do. We might start serving in just a small way, or in a way we really don’t think is using our talent (or that we are talented at doing), but that’s how God leads us to those works that He has prepared in advance for us to do. 

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)

Start doing something, and see what God does next. 

 

 

On A Road That Faith Built

I sent a press release to the Portland Press Herald, when my mother decided to make a trip to Africa in 2000. I thought it might make an interesting story, and they agreed. They sent a photographer and reporter, and this is the resulting article, written by C. Kalimah Redd and published on November 11, 2000. For the record, the writer got a few facts wrong. We’ll ignore those for now.

Following the article are a few photos from her trip. On the day before her flight, Stella was hurrying downstairs to give Doug some information he needed to arrange the transportation of the three keyboards she was taking with her for the churches there. As she came downstairs, she missed a step and seriously injured her leg. We really thought she should cancel her trip, but she refused to do so. She even extended her trip, despite the pain and challenges she encountered once she was there. 

My mother was always a role model for me in life, but even in death she continues to remind me how to live.


ON A ROAD THAT FAITH BUILT
Author: C. Kalimah Redd

The Rev. Stella L. Mosqueda lives in pain.

A leg problem forces this 69-year-old Kittery resident to walk with a cane (though she walks an hour every day), and the severe arthritis in her joints has long slowed her down. But these things will not prevent her from stepping on a plane Wednesday for a two-day journey to Webuye, Kenya. There, she will work as a missionary and preach for a month.

“If an opportunity comes up for me to do something , even though other people think I can’t do it, well — I’m Irish, and I can,” she said. “I’m stubborn and independent. I have no interest in doing the same thing every day.”

Mosqueda (pronounced Mos-ke-da), who technically retired from the ministry in the mid-1980s after her husband died, has lived a life reminiscent of a Hollywood script: A farmer’s daughter moves to Cuba as a missionary without knowing a word of Spanish, meets and marries a Cuban evangelical preacher, escapes the county during the 1959 revolution, then travels throughout South America and the United States championing missionary causes while raising three girls.

Steven Spielberg, eat your heart out.

But Mosqueda’s life is no fable, and her journey next week to the east African country represents a lifetime commitment to helping others. Her faith, she says, tells her that she will blend in and love the people there, that everything will be all right.

“God really has been good to me,” she said. “It’s easy for me to love people, so I expect to have the same result in the Kenya.”

Years ago, it was Mosqueda’s faith that led her to the decision that would change her life forever.

Then Stella Cooper, she left her house in Columbus, Ohio, for Miami, against her parents’ wishes and with less than $10 in her pocket. She had a one-way ticket to Cuba.

Until then, at 21, Mosqueda had never left her home state and had never even met a Spanish-speaking person. She grew up on a farm with no electricity, the fourth of 11 children. Her family had gone to the small church closest to her home and only once had she spoken from a pulpit, when she was 9 years old and was called upon to read from the Bible.

One day, Mosqueda briefly met with a Cuban missionary who came to visit her church. They kept in contact and he invited her to join his family in the tiny country to work as a missionary.

“I knew nothing about being a missionary but figured there are things that I could do, and those I didn’t know, I would learn,” Mosqueda recalled.

Getting to Cuba was the first challenge. It was 1952, and no one could enter the country with a one-way ticket, she said. The airport clerk receiving Mosqueda saw the discrepancy after first questioning why “a pretty girl like” her wanted to go to Cuba.
Telling the clerk of her goal to be a missionary produced an unlikely outcome: He paid for her two-way ticket in full.

Upon arriving in Cuba, she could not remember what her Cuban visitor looked like and she could not speak Spanish to ask. Luckily (Mosqueda would say miraculously) she ran into another missionary woman from Ohio who led her to the missionary’s home.

Within six months, Mosqueda had control of Spanish and began working throughout the country teaching children and spreading the gospel of the Pentecostal church.

In 1955, she married Ignacio Mosqueda, and the two canvassed the country preaching and establishing churches. Many of these congregations still operate today.

By 1959, the Cuban revolution was in full swing. Ignacio knew Fidel Castro personally, but that connection did not mean he and his wife had less to fear from an unpredictable government. The Mosquedas escaped the country that year by disguising themselves as tourists, donning colorful clothing, sun glasses and a camera while boarding a government plane. “I was shaking like a leaf,” Mosqueda remembered. “I could hardly get on that plane.”

Safely in America, the couple continued their missionary crusade. They lived in or traveled to Puerto Rico, Mexico, Costa Rica, Hawaii and throughout the United States. They settled in California, where they raised their three daughters and Stella Mosqueda received a bachelor’s degree from Latin American Theology Seminary.

Mosqueda’s husband died in 1986 of a heart attack, and she returned to nursing to support her children. In 1997, she moved to Kittery with her eldest daughter, Caroline. There, she has enjoyed helping to raise her two grandchildren and volunteering in the community.

Less than one year ago, she joined the Dover Church of the Assembly of God in New Hampshire, where she occasionally preaches. Her pastor, Glenn Hurley, 32, said he is in no way surprised by Mosqueda’s desire to travel to Africa, and he is confident her journey will be a success.

“It’s years and years of trusting God and years and years of Him supplying the need,” Glenn said. “Once you learn it, you never go back.”

For her part, Mosqueda hopes to go back to Cuba to visit her family still living there soon. After her return in December from Africa, Mosqueda will likely tutor a Latin American family in English. She is considering avoiding the cold Maine winter by visiting one of her other daughters in Florida.

Mosqueda said she has no plans for any more big trips. Her physical limitations and increasing age turn simple tasks like packing into a major chore. “(But) who knows,” Mosqueda said. “My life is open.”

Copyright (c) 2000 Portland Press Herald


If anyone is interested, I would be happy to scan and share the rest of her photos from Africa. These are just the few that included her.

120 Hours & Counting

I’m 120 hours and 18 minutes into the new year, as I begin this blog post.  I am asking myself, “Am I making the most of my new year, so far?” I don’t really know, but I believe in being merciful with ourselves.

I’m not one for resolutions (I don’t even like the word), but I do have some objectives in 2020.

  1. Rest more.
  2. Make more.
  3. Pray a lot more. 
  4. Write more.
  5. Think more.

Pretty boring, but it is what it is right now. How about you? ❤

Wearing Heavy Boots

A post about grieving, originally published 2/22/13. 


Life has been different lately.

Seven-and-a-half weeks ago, my mother passed away. Really hard to even say that, much less write it. I hate that this happened. It’s actually been rather debilitating. I am, however, finally beginning to accept that she really is gone.

It’s been hard. She and I lived together almost my entire life. And, we were close. We weren’t the ‘best friends’ kind of Mom and Daughter, so we weren’t close like that. It was more like she was my hero. As I have passed these weeks since she has been gone, I’ve realized how often my decisions were all about pleasing her. Will Mother like this? Her satisfaction, her happiness, her contentment, her needs being met—this was a primary focus of my life.

Now, that she is not here to please, I’ve been pretty unmotivated. It’s been hard. I’ve done better the past week (obviously, because I am blogging), but it’s been a slow process.

Well, maybe not that slow. I mean, it’s not even been two months, you know? Seriously. Should I be expected to recover from that kind of loss in just a few weeks? I don’t know. I do keep wondering, though, how she would be handling this—or, what she would say if she was here, watching me. What if Doug had died first, and she was here watching me mourn his loss by wasting away my life doing nothing? I think she would have gotten pretty irritated at me.

So, I am trying to balance these things. I do wish someone could tell me how long it takes to move on. I am kind of legalistic that way. I follow instructions well. But, there don’t seem to be rules for this kind of thing. I googled it, and just found a lot of nothing. Basically, it can take forever to recover. Do I have forever?

Doug reminded me of something I said after I found out I had cancer. I talked about how much I wanted to be a faithful steward of the time the Lord had given me, and how much it grieved me to think that if I died in surgery and all I’d have to show for myself was what I had done up until then, that I would have been disappointed in what I would have to offer the Lord when I met Him face to face. It’s kind of hard to regain that kind of passion, once you lose it—or lay it down at the alter of self-indulgence.

And, that’s what I am beginning to fear, that I am becoming self-indulgent in my grief, and I hate that thought. Self-indulgence is such a sinful thing.

I do excuse myself a bit, in that caring for my Mother was my occupation for several years, and this past year it was a 24/7 job. So, I have lost more than just my Mother; I have lost a big part of my identity. You know what I mean? I was a caregiver. That became my job description. I woke up everyday with a Mother-centered purpose. I had things I had to do—someone depending on me to do them. Life and death dependence. And, now? Not so much. This is kind of challenging. A lot challenging.

Yet, I think of her and I remember her life, and I know she would be very displeased with some of my choices these past two months. I mean, seven-and-a-half weeks. She would appreciate my missing her, but then she would say, “Stop crying for me! I’m with Jesus. I’m with my friends. I’m having a great time! And, I have no pain. I don’t have to get shots, or take pills. I’m dancing with Jesus, Caroline. I’m OK! You’re the one you should be crying for right now. Look at you, wasting those two good legs and that strong mind and that lovely home. Get busy. Make me proud!”

It’s so hard to let go. To let go of grief. To let go of her. To let go of that life. I had no idea what her death would mean. When she died, I was just so relieved her suffering was over. This is still the hardest memory, remembering the pain in her face, the fear in her eyes. I still can’t bear the thought without so much pain and sadness. I hate how much she suffered. The last month was the very worst. It was so hard to know how hard it was for her—and I didn’t even really know. Just how miserable was she? My heart aches from the thought. I just want to comfort her and relieve that pain—

This is the hardest thing.

I couldn’t relieve her suffering. I couldn’t do anything for her, to make it better. I tried, but who knows if it really helped? And, I can’t stop thinking of all the things I could have done, or maybe, should have done. This is hard. The Lord is good, though. He reminds me each time of all the other times she recovered. She didn’t get better, because I did everything right. Her life was never really in my hands; it was always in His. In the end, her death was more merciful than it might have been any other time. I would have preferred it go differently, but is there a better way to die? Is death ever easy?

So, I am challenged. Very challenged. I need to move on, but these are such heavy boots. The sadness is still so great. Why aren’t I rejoicing in her triumph over sickness and eternal death? I seem to prefer feeling sorry for myself, which I disrespect so much. I don’t want to be that kind of person. I don’t want to be the hostess of my own personal pity party. I want to remember my Mother well. I want to honor her life. I want to celebrate her victory.

I have been reading a book called “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer. I began the book a long time ago, but picked it up in earnest after Mother died. It is the story of a boy whose father dies on 9/11. This author seems to understand grief and sadness very well.

“I didn’t understand why I needed help, because it seemed to me that you should wear heavy boots when your dad dies, and if you aren’t wearing heavy boots, then you need help.”

The sun will be down soon. I am trying to do things I couldn’t do before, and walking each day is one of them. So, I need to go.

You know, when the freezing cold wind hits my face, and I keep walking, I know there is a little bit of the best of my Mother in me. I want to build on that.

Life Goes On

This was originally published on 6 February 2013, on my previous blog website.


It’s never been one my favorite expressions. Always seemed kind of selfish. As if a person was choosing something good, going on with life, instead of the something not-so-good that they were leaving behind them.

In the short time since my Mother passed away, I’ve started to realize that “life goes on” is just s fact. The world keeps spinning, the grass keeps growing, the sun keeps rising, bodies get hungry, work needs doing, people need attention. Life goes on. I’m not deserting the one who has passed away. I am just doing what I’ve been given to do.

So, life goes on. With waves of grief and trust in the sovereignty of our all-mighty God, life goes on.

Life goes on.

I guess I thought a time would come when I felt a release from the grief, and then life could go on, but I don’t think that is going to happen. I think missing her will always be a part of my life, but maybe over time I will just stop expecting her to be here. I’ll remember she isn’t coming home soon, because she is all ready Home. At peace. At rest. Free. Truly living.

Her life goes on, too.

 

Happen-ness

I went all the way back to my Xanga blog for this TBT. I originally published this on March 9, 2011. 


So…yeah.
These happen to be challenging days.
God has proven Himself faithful so many times.
I know He’s bigger than the Boogie Man.
And, all the other scary things that threaten me.
It’s just been challenging. 
And, I’m a little weary.
So…yeah.

There is good news, though.
As I checked my FB tonight, I happened to see a post from my friend, Q’ene:

“Down? Depressed? Discouraged? Dismayed? Disheartened?

How was that title NOT going to get my attention? Q’ is such an encourager. She knows how to do the heavy-lifting. It’s a rare, and precious gift!

Then, I happened upon DanishDoll on FB. I requested she add me, and she did! When I looked at her Wall, I saw that she had just posted a devo on her Xanga:

Stupid Ideas

Good title! What a good exhortation. Mae does it well, speaking the truth in love, which is just what I needed to hear. (Click title to read.)

The third thing I happened across tonight, in such a roundabout way, was this video:

The testimony that follows is awesome. I really needed to hear David Kyle Foster’s clear and simple teaching. He does that well – shares deep, spiritual truths in a way that penetrates the brain fog of selfishness.

So…yeah.
Things are tough right now.
I will spare you the list.
It doesn’t really matter, you know?
Tough times happen to us all.
However, God happens, too.
He happens into our troubles.
He happens into our worries.
He happens into our disobedience.
He happens into our fear.
He happens into our mess.
He happens to love us, despite us.

I’m so glad God happens to love me.
(Sigh)
Tomorrow, if God wills, a new day happens.
Hope happens, too.

P.S. Both Qene’s and Mae’s Xangas are retired (though Danish Dolls does have her archive active). If you want to stay in step with these ladies and be blessed by their good words, you can find them on Facebook here and here.

Three-Years-Old

Surprises and Christmas trees, and blue lollipops that turn her tongue blue—these are a few of her favorite things.

Some of her favorite games are jumping from the “highest mountain” and running so fast; hiding behind a chair and calling out, “Where’s Lucy?”

She stops and smiles, when she hears the “Hanes Sister” sing, and will sing along. She is often singing something, just under her breath.

She knows the hand motions to her favorite Praise in Motion songs.

She likes to sit and snuggle in real close, whether we’re watching a favorite video or reading a book.

She can raise her legs straight up, like a ballerina at the barre. She loves to somersault and bounce like Tigger. “Sing the song, Poppa!” (“The wonderful thing about Tigger…”)

I think if she had enough paint, she would never stop. Now, she’s starting to pretend to write (letters to Snoopy), and is drawing her first faces.

She loves her little brother, and he copies everything she does. She’s learning to share, and he’s learning that sometimes she gets to play alone.

She loves her bubble baths, and going to sleep. She never fusses at nap time.

She understands that Poppa goes to church to sing and pray, and that errands with Poppa mean going to the post office and the bank.

Kite-flying and popcorn she learned from me, and that alley-oop means standing on Grammy’s foot to get a hand up onto our tall bed.

Sprinkles are eaten with a Sprinkle Spoon from a bowl. Smackerals of honey are served on Smackeral Spoons. She still likes Grammy’s applesauce.

Her response is always, “Yes,” if you ask if she’d like to pray. I don’t know what she truly knows of God, but she’s ready to learn.

I admire Lucy’s courage. I admire her focus, when she’s trying to learn something.  She can make a game out of almost anything, especially if climbing and jumping are allowed.

I had no idea grandmothering was going to be so meaningful. I delight in watching her grow and become herself. She is always more wonderful than the day before, so I am always looking forward.  Being a grandmother is one of the finest gifts I’ve ever received, and definitely my favorite thing.

 

Thoughts on a Thursday

I shouldn’t be blogging right now, but if I don’t get some words out of me I’m going to explode. So much is happening. Inside me. All around me. There is just so much on my mind. I’ve been promising myself I would blog for weeks, but blogging is a luxury of time I haven’t been able to afford.

Yet, I gotta release the valve. Gotta let a few things out.

  1. Preparing for the 15th Anniversary Celebration for the ministry my husband and I started directing in 2004: New Brothers Fellowship. Memories flood my mind as I look through old newsletters and old pictures. So many people. So may prayer requests. So many answered prayers.
  2. I am baking cookies. A lot of cookies. I haven’t baked a lot of cookies in a long time, but it’s one of my very favorite things to do.
  3. Making curtains for my daughter’s kitchen. Just valances. And, really plain. I don’t do complicated. I only mention it, because I should have made them about a year ago. I hate that it took me so long to even get started. I love to sew, though I have little skill. I wish it was a regular part of my life.
  4. I don’t know why I have eczema now, but I am experiencing first hand the life my husband has lead his entire life. Our skin issues are a little different, but it’s all bad. I don’t feel sorry for us, though. We have skin, and I’m very thankful to have skin.
  5. I see many of Hannah’s peers falling away from Christ and it makes me very angry. I am not mad at them. I am mad at Satan. He laid traps. He crept in under the cover of darkness. He has truly been a wolf, stealing the Master’s sheep. And, I’m not going to stand for it. I’m taking names and I’m praying. The parable of the Prodigal Son is there for a reason. They may all have to sleep with the pigs, before they realize what they have forsaken, but so be it. They will not die there.
  6. The truth is that in MANY CASES it was Christians that hurt these children, now adults. It makes me so mad. Satan is such a liar, thief, and destroyer. We have to face him with utter fearlessness, folks. We need to take back what he has stolen. I’m not saying these backslidden children are without fault. They made a freewill choice to sin. Yet, when a child has not been given truth and taught how to walk in Christ, they are going to have a hard time facing a temptation that promises to comfort their immediate and acute emotional pain and mental distress. If they do not know God, if they do not have spiritual support, what else will they do? I’m not speaking of anyone in particular here, but too many parents have permissively allowed Satan into their homes. They have not set a guard. Too many wives waiting on their husbands to do it, because too many women have not been taught how to be women of God (just a hint: it means more than not denying him physical intimacy). I know people look at Hannah and say, “Well, it’s easy for you to talk.” My kid is amazing, but if you think I wasn’t on guard like a hawk every step of the way, you’re wrong. If you don’t think Satan was at every corner, laying traps and luring her to death, you’re wrong. I never took her innocence or purity or faith for granted. Not for a second. I knew the Devil too well to think she was safe. In fact, it was in the darkest days of our marriage that the Holy Spirit told me to take my eyes off myself and see that the Enemy was really after Hannah. It was all about destroying her. That is true for every child out there, mom and dad. It’s not about you; it’s about them.
  7. I am thinking of posting sermons here that I think some of you might like. I have done it in the past, and have meant to do it regularly, but writing the outlines takes a lot of time. I may just post the message and write the outline later. I know most sermons I share no one listens to except Doug, but it will also be good for me. I will be able to quickly find those messages that have impacted me. The same goes for prophecy updates. I am very picky about which ones I will watch, because there’s a lot out there that’s just stupid and self-serving.
  8. The impeachment stuff is clogging our news, but I urge you to pay attention to the Middle East. It’s what happens there that best indicates where we are on God’s timeline.
  9. As for the impeachment stuff. I don’t think it will go far. It’s so baseless. So stupid. In fact, every American should hope and pray it doesn’t go anywhere, because there is no evidence of an impeachable offense. I am praying that Democrats in the House start to find the courage to speak out against it. It’s a shameful thing to rob anyone of their right to a defense, and their right to be innocent until proven guilty.
  10. Keep looking up, folks. The Rapture really could take place any time. Every prophecy that needs to be fulfilled before the Rapture has been fulfilled.
  11. I am so concerned for Americans who are left behind. They have no idea how severe the judgment of God is going to be on this nation. I don’t mean the Tribulation; I just mean God’s judgment for how we have murdered and abused children. I know this next statement may cause some to think I’m a real freak, but I also doubt anyone will read this, so here it goes: Trump, despite his many past and current sins, has done more to stop the flood of sin against children in our country than any President in U.S. history. I believe his presidency has held back the judgment of God.
  12. I believe our nation has been blessed for Trump’s support of Israel (not that it protects us from judgment). I also think he might be the President who does not send military aid to Israel during the Ezekiel 38-39 war. That has to be the case though, because no one but God can receive the credit for the victory Israel will experience.
  13. I need to go back to work.
  14. Don’t be afraid to obey the Lord, whatever He may be asking of you, calling you to do. Don’t be afraid. If it isn’t His will, He’ll stop you. Just prayerfully and humbly take that first step, then the second.
  15. These are interesting days. I don’t know what God is doing, but something is going on.