Tuesday 13 February 2024

A Day Dedicated to Love, But How Many Actually Feel It

Happy Valentine's Day to all those who have someone special to share it with, and to all of those who for whatever reason feel downhearted, abandoned and unappreciated. You are not alone. I feel your pain and have for many years. But during all of those hours of tears, feeling broken-hearted and definitely unloved because valentines, chocolates, flowers and jewelry are the things of a very distinct past,  I have come to know my Heavenly Father better. He is no respecter of persons regardless of how they look, where they live, religious or political affiliation, wealth or poverty,  popularity or friendlessness, outward or  hidden talent or any other of dozens of mortal-defined combinations. His love is infinite, complete and eternal. He knows us far better than we know ourselves and see possibilities we can't even imagine. 

If we're smart and humble enough we will put our compete trust in him for there is no mountain too steep to climb nor river too wide and torturous to cross - metaphorically speaking since we are all very human and filled with unwanted weakness along with unrecognizable strength - if we are willing to align our will with that of our supreme maker and quit trying to be in control all of the time. The numerous occasions when I have been the recipient of his great power and love could fill volumes if I had been wise enough to commit them to paper or computer, but mortal life always seems to get in the way of self-reflection and spiritual pursuits. I'm sure many of you have also fallen victim to distractions that prevented your doing things that might have been far more beneficial.

My heart has been troubled this morning by some of the reports I've read about or listened to since crawling out of bed to do my physical therapy exercises. The types of stretches required often make me nauseous since I'm exerting such pressure on muscles that had to be reattached to the tendons in my shoulder and don't like being forced to move against their will. But the horrible fires in Chile last week are so reminiscent of the ones in Hawaii just a few months ago that they're hard to dismiss as being acts of the buzz words "Climate Change". People describe fireballs coming from the sky and homes and businesses being reduced to ashes. Deaths stand at over 125 but are expected to rise significantly since there are 200 persons unaccounted for already. Like those innocent and unsuspecting citizens in Maui who were hit by Direct Energy Weapons the area had been designated for smart cites to be filled with every technological advantage and means of surveillance system imaginable. Chile is one of the largest transporters of fruits and vegetables in the off season for countries like the United States. So much for another hit at disrupting the world's food supply, but I'll let you draw your own conclusions on that.

While millions of people were watching the Super Bowl, unbeknown to them there was a massive bombing campaign by Israel on the so-called "safe Area" where they told the Palestinians to shelter for safety. An unreleased number of men, women and children were killed. According to multiple military sources, around the same time a disc-shapped UFO intercepted a nuclear missile and disabled it in mid-air and another train derailment took place in California sending 4 carloads of coal into the Feather River. A proposed California bill will give unemployment benefits to illegal immigrants. This is in addition to food, clothing, shelter, medical care, schooling and a debit or credit card where a monthly allowance for living expenses is automatically being added. There are also bills to give them voting rights, the opportunity to join the military or police force, work permits and even taking away the need for having a driver's license.

All this comes when taxes are being raised for those who actually work, veterans benefits are being given to illegals, entire communities are being told to move aside so those who just walked over the border without giving anything more than a name can inhabit their homes, churches, businesses, parks and anywhere they basically want to go. And what's most troubling of all about the entire situation is that each and every one of them know they can commit most any crime without being penalized. We saw that a few days ago with the illegal flashing disgusting hand signals after helping to beat up some policemen in New York City. He wasn't even detained.  

But it's not just America that is in trouble. The food shortages and revolt of citizens over the plight of farmers - with their land being seized and too many federal mandates being imposed - is escalating throughout much of Europe. There are roadblocks, convoys and massive, destructive riots in many of the major cities. Additionally, most of the European countries are also fighting the incessant migration that is breaking down their way of life and diluting their populations. Ireland has had closed borders forever and is now being invaded with no government intervention either. It seems the global elite are determined to control all farming operations in an attempt to create a world-wide food shortage while making sure the white populations become minorities in their own countries. 

Is it a coincidence that approximately a dozen food processing plants have been burned to the ground or simply exploded in the US during the past few months or that Bill Gates and the Chinese Communist Party are forcing farmers out in America and buying up all the farm land they can get their hands on only to let it sit idle? Google just implemented a new censorship software, banks are failing nearly every day, and the Senate just passed another multi-billion dollar deal for Ukraine and the Middle East bypassing any attempt at securing our own border. These monies become part of the taxes owned by our grandchildren for generations to come since we are already 35 trillion dollars in debt, and we as American citizens had no say in the matter. Most of the politicians we are supposed to trust have been installed, not elected, and will vote for whatever the elite uni-party leaders want due to their own complicity in the plan to destroy America. But once again, I'm just trying to get at the truth and will leave you to investigate as you wish to.

I suppose I'm feeling a little more frustrated than usual since love is supposed to be in the air, but the inhumanity, tyranny, treason, threat of war, complete loss of freedom and every other evil so visible in the world today makes me sad. I can feel the weight of our founding fathers pressing down on my shoulders and asking me what I have done to help stop the destruction of the Constitution they worked so closely with God Almighty to give us. While I have spent much time studying, listening and internalizing the knowledge already gleaned by others, I am still in the information gathering stage and have yet to let my voice be heard by anyone, except a few trusted friends and anyone willing to read my blogs. 

I want to stand up personally with all the patriots who organize marches, caravans, peaceful protests or even attend political community meetings to show support for legislation that supports my beliefs, but so far I feel incapable of leaving the safety of my home. I like being unnoticed because I mistakingly think that no one will bother me if I keep to myself. But history in nearly every instance proves just haw fallacious that thought process really is. If I am not standing up to the problem I am merely becoming part of it, and innocent people are hurt along with all the defenders when evil erupts. What will I tell God when I get to the other side if I'm afraid to leave my home when there are good people everywhere who need to know at least the basics of what I do?

If you want a good read that will give you plenty to think about I would suggest Stand Up For Liberty by Ezra Taft Benson. I just finished the chapter titled: United States Foreign Policy. It resounded so completely with my beliefs I wanted to share a few paragraphs with you. He begins with a premise that Patriotism and America-first have become vulgar concepts within in the chambers of our State Department so it is no wonder that the strength and prestige the United States once enjoyed has completely eroded. This assertion comes from a man who did not live to see the twenty-first century but spent years working in the Agriculture Department under President Eisenhower. 

He continues. Nothing in the Constitution grants the president the privilege of offering himself as a world leader. He's an executive; he's on our payroll and is supposed to put our best interests in front of those of other nations. His job is to preserve America's political, economic and military independence - the three cornerstones of sovereignty - while dealing with the affairs of the rest of the world. Beyond that point, humanitarian or charitable activities are the responsibility of individual citizens without government coercion. 

In his fifth address to  both houses of congress, President Washington explained: "There is a rank due to the United States among nations, which will be withheld, if not absolutely lost, by the reputation of weakness. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be able to repel it; if we desire to secure peace, one of the most powerful instruments of our rising prosperity, it must always be known that we are ready for war." (January 8, 1790)

But being ready to wage war when it is brought to our shores is far different than promoting it between nations, supporting both sides financially and using the loss of life, property and security to launder money and hide what the most evil among us want to keep hidden. One cannot go to bed with the enemy politically, financially or ideologically and not expect to be burned when the truth finally comes out. I fear that is the place our nation is at, and the global elites who run most of the governments world wide want it to stay under their control, minus 90 percent of the present world population. Fewer numbers of people are much easier to control. 

It has never been necessary for America to give up her independence to have contact and influence with other countries and it's not necessary now. Despite what we have been led to believe by the elite globalists in our own government, our country is not so strong it can defend, feed and subsidize half the world and interfere with other countries policies and way of life without losing all we hold dear. How would we feel if another world power attempted to take away our freedom, dictate how we conduct our affairs, tell us what moral or ethical standards we must follow, give us money that is supposed to alleviate suffering when it only causes more bloodshed, disappears into the pockets of politicians who are buying or paying back favors or gets filtered into projects and ideologies we are totally against? 

All I can say is that no wonder the people of so many countries hate us. They'll take our money, never to repay it, and expend their energy plotting ways to bring us down. It's an awful and dangerous game the mostly installed leaders are playing with the innocent people of every nation. We are not like the thirteen colonies that founded this nation and wrote a Constitution and Bill of Rights to protect what they believed in most - freedom for all.  They were of similar cultural back grounds, enjoyed similar legal systems, spoke basically the same language, shred similar religious beliefs, and most important of all formed their own union which was designed to keep any of them from forcefully intervening in the affairs of others. The original federal government was authorized to provide mutual defense, run a post office and that was about all. All the other rights were left to the individual colonies. How far we have fallen!

Among the nations of the world today there are very few common bonds that could help to overthrow a clash of cross-purposes. We are dealing with divergent ethic, linguistic, legal, religious, cultural and political environments to name a few. How could we possible exist under one giant world command without conflict? To say that it would be a brutal, forced union where every dissident would be punished or eliminated is putting it mildly. And what happens when the elite start fighting amongst themselves wanting a larger and larger slice of the combined pie? That's just the way human nature works, and it has been the downfall of every civilization known to man.y civilization ever known to man.

Benson maintains that there are two kinds of peace. If it is merely the absence of war, then peace could be found in a communist slave labor camp. The wretched souls there are not at war, but what joy or sense of fulfillment do they find? Peace with freedom is what I desire. If we are not willing to defend what the Founding Fathers gave us then we will lose both freedom and the resulting kind of peace it produces.  Sadly, all nations must follow the concept of limited government if universal peace is ever be realized on this planet. But then I suppose that's the way it was meant to be. Satan has been given control and will use everything within his power to decimate everything of goodness, virtue and value. 

When we reach a point that the entire world is ready for destruction then it will come. Until then, it is up to us to keep up the good fight and never lose hope. No matter what happens God is in charge and he loves his children dearly. He will never forsake them until they turn away from what he offers. My prayer and hope is to stay firmly grounded in truth and righteousness until I can kneel before him once again and hear him say, "Welcome home, my good and faithful daughter. All I have to give is waiting for you."


Tuesday 6 February 2024

Slowly Moving Forward

 This might be an interestingly disjointed post and one that isn't as long as usual because it's my first attempt at typing, or even opening my computer in five weeks. I had surgery on my right shoulder on January 3, and while I thought I was sufficiently prepared with enough frozen meals, everything set out where it could be easily retrieved and the most positive attitude I could muster things seldom turn out as planned. Not that the surgery didn't go well, but it took much longer than anticipated and I ended up with six small holes in my shoulder instead of two or three. One tendon had to be completely reattached to the bone with two screws, several smaller tears fixed and both arm and shoulder muscles in my bicep reattached.

Needless to say I was pretty out of it for a few hours, at least so far as cognitive ability goes. My friend who had taken me to surgery needed to get home and my son was much later arriving to take over the nighttime responsibility of having someone in the house so I would even be released from surgical center care. I wasn't too worried about having someone there for the full 24 to 48 hours since I've been on my own for the past 30 years with no one to count on but myself. But I will admit that sitting alone in the basically dark house three hours after leaving the operating room left me feeling somewhat vulnerable. There is just something about the daylight hours that make life seem much less frightening, and having my arm in a sling and metal brace, feeling very unsteady on my feet and not even knowing if I could use my cell phone in an emergency only compounded my discomfort.

I had been given a pain block in my neck so I wasn't feeling much of anything. It was supposed to get me through the first day or so without having to take a pain pill. But in my rather impaired condition none of that really registered. My son was able to pick up the pain pills but the prescription had been sent to a pharmacy I had never been to and they were out of the aspirin prescription that was supposed to reduce the danger of blood clots. After all the trauma my son and his family had been through due to the deplorable actions of my ex-husband that I talked about in an earlier blog, I'm not sure things were really registering for him either. After some time spent trying to figure out what to do, my son and daughter-in-law had me take a pain pill at nine that night so I wouldn't run the risk of having any discomfort before the sun came up. Three hours later they had me take three of the strongest dose aspirin they could find, not knowing the three aspirin in the prescription were the low-dose baby ones and not 1000 milligrams at a time. 

I was feeling so strange by noon the next day that I called the surgical center for some much-needed clarification. The nurse didn't tell me I was stupid for being so overly medicated but let me know that I had basically undone everything the neck block had been designed for and my stomach had not appreciated so much aspirin. The good news was that by this time I was mentally competent to take over my own care. Now that the initial crisis was over my kids went back to living their own lives without much regard for me. My son did call most nights on his way home from work to see how I was doing for the first week or so, but I had learned long ago that he didn't want to hear about my problems because he had enough of his own to deal with.

The inflatable leg compression units that I had to wear for two weeks nearly drove me crazy. Putting them on with one hand was bad enough, but getting them tight enough to stay up was impossible. And the swishing noice every 90 seconds as they filled up and then released air nearly drove me crazy. The brace supporting my arm rested so heavily on my ribs I often felt like I couldn't get enough air, and while I was in discomfort, not any real pain, it was still hard to sleep in a recliner for more than an hour or two at a time. It didn't help that we had a couple of good blizzards that made the sky dark during the day and it was hard to stay warm enough when I had barely enough energy to get from one chair to another.

But the blessings I received during those first two weeks and the ones that have come since have been so great that complaining seems childish. Neighbors kept my driveway shoveled, came to visit and brought yummy food to eat. They were there to talk to and offer some excellent advice when we were without water for many hours after a main line in town broke, and they rearranged schedules so I could get to my post op visit during a blizzard. Someone was always available to take me to therapy or for a short drive so I wouldn't get antsy being homebound. No one gave me funny glances when I went to church looking like a frump with a hat on my head, little makeup, no bra and those unsightly felt boots since I couldn't get anything else on my feet. Unfortunately, that's just how I'll continue to look until I can get my arm above my head and around my back again.

In past years I would have made certain that no one saw me looking like that. I'm very careful about my appearance, and it's not just because I'm afflicted with the bad kind of pride. I know I'm not being my true self if I let anything go to pot. Except perhaps my waistline. Diabetes, along with breathing through my abdomen and plain old age have made my tiny waist a thing of the past. And I'm a firm believer in covering up all that pesky crepey skin and cellulite. Even the very thin have it. But instead of being obsessed with every new wrinkle, I've decided that a smile and a positive attitude is all I really need to grow old gracefully, along with a healthy sense of humor that allows me to laugh at myself without condemnation. That's what all the truly beautiful older women seem to do and I've found myself admiring them tremendously. 

I'll forgo detailing all my bouts with flushed cheeks, blotchy, red hives that didn't want to away, a twitching eye and parched skin that looked more like drifting sand or a lizard's skin. I'm assuming that's all part of the healing process and it will make up its own mind about when it's  going to stop. I was lucky in only having to take pain pills for two days before ibuprofen or Aleve would do the trick and was able to take care of my granddaughter and two dogs three weeks into recovery - minus all the food I normally fix. Even the student at the physical therapists who gave me an exercise I hadn't been cleared for yet and caused massive amounts of muscle pain and days of worrying about it having undone all the repairs in my shoulder will eventually be forgotten as new challenges arrive both in this recovery and life itself. 

There has been much quiet time for introspection and better understanding when it comes to setbacks that offer a chance to learn something important. My trust in God's universal, and yet individual, love for each of His children and the knowledge of my Savior's perfect gift for all of mankind, at least those who are willing to accept it, have never been stronger. Every moment of fear, doubt and uncertainty can be taken to Them, and while not every answer to our prayers is made immediately clear, I know I am loved, understood and protected.

I've been doing a lot of reading during my convalescence and my knowledge is rapidly growing. However, trying to form the pieces into an understandable whole is a challenge since it's impossible to get at the truth because the people in power are so determined to hide it. But tears actually came to my eyes last week when I read about all the veterans, truckers, military personnel and 27 state governors who stood behind Texas in their fight to save both their state and our country from the invasion that has come to a climax the past three years. 

Of course, main stream media will not air anything unless it advances the far left agenda that calls everyone on the right terrorists.These self-proclaimed socialists need all the illegals they can get to promote chaos, vote in the election and basically replace us. But I'll leave that alone for now and let you do some of your own research. It will open your eyes for sure and even bring to the foreground more questions than you are able to find answers for. Like the actual number of illegals recently arrived. Approximately twenty million in recent months have walked right across our border knowing our tax dollars will pay for all their needs while we become even less able as citizens to put food on our tables or get the medical care we need. 

It's a tragic situation all the way around and my heart goes out to people worldwide who are suffering, but utter civil chaos and plunging our posterity into financial slavery for generations to come is not the answer. We need to reclaim our country before it is destroyed for good, and I stand with all the loyal patriots who are trying to defend us and our cherished way of life. They are facing an uphill battle and need the rest of us to wake up. I believe there is still time for us to be heard and reclaim what we have lost, but it can only be done at the grassroots level when we let our supposed representatives know we are not happy with the decisions being made. Our constitution has been ignored and our rights as free Americans are being trampled on.

Think about these provable facts and decide where you stand. The battle for our future freedom is ongoing and can be permanently lost by the stroke of a pen. Stand tall, firm and immovable as we defend God, country and family. The ultimate war has already been won but many battles still await us.

    * Most of the persons coming across the border are military-aged men from countries who hate us. The majority of the rest are not coming for political asylum. They know policies are in place to house, feed, cloth, educate and take care of their every need for the rest of their lives if desired.

    * Estimated annual cost of illegal immigration to taxpayers annually - $455 billion. That does not include government grants, special programs and billions each year spent by charities and religious groups.  

    * 340,000 unaccompanied alien children in U.S. (Why would parents leave their children with people they don't know to enter a foreign country illegally?)

    * Nearly ninety percent of congressional districts with foreign born populations above the national average vote democrat. In 2020 hispanic voters replaced black voters as largest potential minority voting bloc.

    * Date that America is projected to become a majority minority country: 2045.

Tuesday 2 January 2024

Welcome to a New Year

I have been working furiously the past two weeks trying to get prepared for my shoulder surgery tomorrow. The house is clean, extra meals and cookies are frozen for use, protective plastic has pulled away from protein drinks so I just have to twist the cap and I have made sure my pantry is stocked with easily accessible snacks and soups so I won't have to hunt around for anything. I have purchased shirts that button up the front and a hat I can wear to church since it will be impossible to do my hair and makeup for a few weeks. I've even tried dressing myself, eating, and washing my hair with only the use of my non-dominant hand. I have two wonderfully soft comforters and a number of pillows ready to use while I try to sleep in one of my recliners for the next 6 weeks.

To keep myself entertained while I'm confined to my house and unable to do even the simplest things without a great deal of effort, I  have three large stacks of books ready to read along with an entire binder filled with movies that are clean enough to watch without having my spirit vexed. I gave up on regular TV years ago and substituted cable with the old rabbit ears that offer plenty of variety if I get bored enough. I've learned how to check my phone for alternate news sources because I haven't believed anything coming from mainstream media for over a decade. It's hard knowing that everything we hear from so-called trustworthy anchors has been scripted by the same source of big government and big everything else. Gone are the days when we actually knew what was going on in the world without doing a ton of original research. But then I was given an inquisitive mind and know that God expects me to use it.

In a way I feel like this surgery will bring me closer to my brother who was run over by a tandem disk when he was three and completely paralyzed on the right side of his body. It was excruciatingly painful watching him try to regain movement, but despite all the agony he rarely cried as his poor little limbs were pulled this way and that trying to regain any movement. The accident happened in the early 1950s and physical therapy had yet to come into being but the surgeons did the best they could.  I remember my father converting a grocery shopping card into a kind of walker so he could pull his little body around the house as he worked to remain even a small portion of what he had lost.

He passed away three years ago and a day seldom goes by when I do not think about him and the strength and patience he developed throughout a lifetime of disability, people making fun of him and never being able to do most of the things other people took for granted. I suppose some of the closeness I felt to him came because we were next to each other in age and in a moment of stress and panic my mother vocally blamed me for the accident. I was 5 and took everything she said literally. I watched out for him as best I could for the rest of his life, but that wasn't easy because he was so independent and his heart was as big as the great outdoors and he never wanted to be considered different than anyone else. His kindness and understanding were a blessing in so many people's lives and he taught me more than words can adequately express. I look forward watching him run and jump and play ball when I join him in the life that comes next. His big smile is the first thing I want to see.

That's why I'm trying to be as brave and positive as I can about shoulder surgery that will  stop me from doing so many things I take for granted for a few months. How blessed we are to have amazing bodies that can heal almost any injury or illness and that allow us to love and serve others as Christ did during his journey on earth. I want my heart to become as big as my brothers and to learn how to accept setbacks for the opportunities they offer to learn and grow and become better people. I'm hoping it won't take 2 or 3 months before I'm able to type with more than one finger of my left hand because I know I'm going to have more to say about this part of my own journey.

But before I close, there has been something on my mind I have wanted to share for several weeks and it is about the Covid shots we were forced to take or risk being persecuted for disobedience. Something inside told me they weren't good but I allowed myself to be persuaded by people I thought had our best interest in mind. I recall driving to the big arena where our cars were sent to different stations and men in military uniforms were ready to give us the jab. I told the man with the syringe in his hand that I didn't want to get it. He said I could come back later if I didn't feel comfortable about doing it right now.  My reply was that I wouldn't be back if I left. Looking back, I should have listened when he gave me an out because I certainly didn't feel good after I got it. The heart palpitations stared and I got really sick to my stomach and felt like I couldn't breathe. But the medic on duty turned me loose after checking my blood pressure and making sure I was able to drive. 

I got the second injection and 2 boosters before I garnered enough courage to tell people, especially two very persistent sisters, that I wasn't doing it again. Oh how I wish I had followed my God-given instinct from the very beginning, but like most everyone else I didn't want to be confined to home and needed to be out helping and serving others. My son got Covid and was in the hospital for three days and my son-in-law was in the hospital for over a week with it. We nearly lost both of them and the repercussions for that manmade and released virus has left both of them with issues they never had before. Several young men in our community died from heart attacks shorty after getting jabbed.

So I wasn't the least bit surprised upon hearing a report about six weeks ago. The lead data administrator for Covid response in New Zealand was arrested on November 3 after releasing a study he had made about the increase in deaths among individuals receiving each batch of Covid vaccine administered in his country. The spike proteins in the Covid vaccine cut off the immune system triggering cancer, two forms of heart disease and certain types of pneumonia. He created an algorithm to track each batch of vaccine and how many deaths occurred among the recipients during the next two years. His findings were shocking. You should look up the statistical data presented in his charts. They went from 2 or 3 deaths in a batch to over 60 percent of the recipients.

His study was confined to New Zealand, but he also said that there was no increase in deaths worldwide during the pandemic but a 40 percent spike after 2021. There was an almost 900% increase in heart related deaths in the military among enlisted men, but the officers death rate remained steady. He said that anyone could get on the Internet and look up the ID number of the batch they received and read the statistics on it. He also said that part of the shots were merely a saline solution because the drug companies were testing it's effectiveness since that hadn't been done before its release. Whether or not the red states really received the most lethal batches, I have yet to conform on my own. But considering the political climate in our country it wouldn't surprise me.

In addition to hearing that report, I also learned that an antidote to the vaccine had been developed but it's very expensive and hard to get. However if someone really wanted to rid their body of the harmful spike proteins a three-day fast from both food and water would also work. It was simple but so unpleasant most people didn't want to try it. The moderator had not received any of the Covid injections but wanted to test the fast out before recommending it to his listeners. He was heading into his final hours of the treatment during that broadcast and doing quite well, except for being a little grouchy the night before. His wife told him to go to bed.  

Given my own distrust of the vaccine and not feeling at all like my old self after taking the original shots and two boosters, I decided to give it a try. After all, I regularly fast for 24 hours to give both my body and spirit a rest. But by the morning of the second day I felt so weak all I could do was move from one chair to another and read a book. I kept telling myself that with God's help anything is possible and made myself stay out of the kitchen. The third day wasn't at all bad, but I was ready to eat by the time the 72 hours were over.

The hardest part for me was introducing food and water into my system again. There was plenty of stomach cramping and the dreaded diarrhea the next two days but I felt so much lighter and cleaner. Even if it didn't get rid of all the spike proteins it was supposed to, I felt closer to my Heavenly Father and my Savior than I had for quite some time. It's amazing how our focus changes when we're denied things our bodies want. Perhaps part of it is feeling the weakness of our mortal body and knowing how truly dependent we are when it comes to the things that matter most in this life.

In less than twenty-four hours I will be at the surgical center. It's been hard to sleep the past few nights and I doubt tonight will be much better. I was fitted for the brace that is meant to keep my shoulder immobile a couple of hours ago. It's far more uncomfortable than I thought it would be, but at least I can do up the straps with one hand. The hard part will be relaxing enough not to move my shoulder up and down when I get stiff and tired from sitting or standing. But like with everything else in life, I know I can do this with help from my eternal Father.

How grateful I am for Him and for my beloved Savior. We're in a new year now and one that likely won't be that pleasant with a scheduled presidential election, the war in the Middle East that could so easily see our ground forces becoming involved, the natural disasters happening everywhere, the absolutely unbelievable number of illegals that are being allowed across the border without being vetted and who are using over half the money set aside for welfare that was supposed to assist people in our country legally, and all the vocal protesting from militant factions that will become more violent as the weeks progress.  

Not the most uplifting thoughts for the second day of January, but my prayers are with all the faithful patriots who are risking prosecution, fortunes, safety and even their own lives to keep us informed about the evil designs of the men and women whose only goal is to rule the entire world. I'm hoping to learn a great deal more about them and how I can better help as I do my own heavy-duty studying throughout many weeks of recovery and therapy.

May your day be bright, your spirit strong and your soul filled with hope. God is in charge and we all have our own part to play during this life journey. May we never forget our divine origin, how many people are watching over us and how resilient we really are. Despite many unwelcome challenges we are richly blessed.

 

Tuesday 26 December 2023

Reflections on Christmas

Here I sit the morning after Christmas wondering how I was unable to find the time to write about the most spectacular day of celebration during the entire year until it had come and gone. Like many of you, my excuses seemed logical at the time -- not in the right mood, too much to do and even such an all-consuming preoccupation with the atrocities that are going on in the world that I seemed incapable of focusing on the truly good and meaningful. Not that I didn't listen to wonderful expressions about seeing Christmas through the innocent and rapturous eyes of children once again, sing the glorious songs that testify of the Savior's miraculous birth and even set aside time to reflect a little more earnestly on what His birth meant to me as an individual daughter of my Heavenly Father. But those activities seemed little more than simply going through the motions and I feel sick at heart about my lack of appreciation for not fully acknowledging the greatest gift ever given to mankind the way I should have. 

I suppose a lot of my disassociation with the season has to do with the unsettling and almost incomprehensibly awful news I received the week before Thanksgiving and wrote about in a previous post. The knowledge of the atrocious behavior of someone who was supposed to love and protect his family has heightened the emotions of most everyone who knows about it and enhanced other deep seated feelings that were bound to come out eventually. It's made talking about even superficial matters more like walking on eggshells than an easy flow of conversation. And has brought to the surface once again the fact that my children were adopted and now have relationships with their biological families who were not present during their formative years. 

I've always been one who stuffed her feelings inside, and like Scarlet O'Hara always figured I would think about troubling matters tomorrow -- that illusive day that never comes. I still do that because it's too painful to reflect on most every part of my life, and there isn't really anyone to share my inner most feelings with anyway. Especially not my children who have enough of their own troubles to deal with. Needless to say, I've done a great deal of crying recently. Recalling what little my mind will allow, without causing an overload that could render me virtually helpless since so many things in my past have not been sufficiently dealt with, is always a difficult task. 

Adding to that is the fact that I'm scheduled for surgery on my right shoulder on January 3. While I understand that it's a relatively common operation I'm astute enough to know that no surgery is ever completely routine. And the fact that I'll be in a sling with my right arm hugging my body for two to three months makes the thought of daily survival challenging to say the least. In anticipation of my not being to use my dominant arm for more time than I want to think about I have been busy baking, cooking and freezing anything I can fit into my freezer so I won't have to rely on others for sustenance. But getting anything into my mouth besides liquid remains a mystery. I've been practicing doing things left-handed and the results are far from being pretty. I'm not even sure I'll be able to get the sling attached after taking it off to shower or change clothes and I have yet to find a bra that hooks in the front.

But back to my rather belated thoughts about the reverence that should attend this season, especially in the Christian and Jewish communities since we're basically the only ones in the world who recognize the life and mission of our Savior. It saddened me greatly when I saw on the news yesterday that the sacred town of Bethlehem had been ordered to abandon all Christmas activities and take down any religious decorations. How sad Christ must be from his vantage point in Heaven to know that the place of His birth has fallen captive to the same woke ideologies that have overtaken the rest of this fallen and corrupt world. My heart goes out to the poor residents of that sacred hamlet whose livelihoods depend on the visitors who come to pay tribute to the Christ child. 

However, I suppose we're not that much better off in this so-called land of plenty. As I've driven the streets where I live I have yet to see any homes displaying religious decorations. I suppose many people have given in to the fear the far left activists have instilled of being ridiculed, vandalized or even brought up on bogus charges for letting religious convictions be known. One just has to look at what is going on at the most exclusive college campuses to see that Jewish students are being persecuted while Hama terrorists are being revered by many of those who preside over classes and those who attend their lectures. In the only country on earth whose constitution provides religious freedom for everyone to worship as they see fit, it seems that Christians are now standing next to their Jewish brothers and sisters in being hated and persecuted because they acknowledge the divinity of the Savior and have reverence for His earthly ministry and the precious doctrine He taught.

If anyone wants to read a truly remarkable book that focuses on the life of the Savior through scripture, personal observations, the writings of scholars like Dr. Alfred Edersheim who wrote a seven-volume work on the Old Testament and the famous Jewish historian Josephus whose mother was a Maccabee, it would be Days of the Living Christ by W. Cleon Skousen. I started reading the first chapter on Sunday and could hardly put it down yesterday since I was alone on Christmas Day. It was dedicated to the Jews who were Christ's own people, the Arabs who are the seed of Abraham whom Jesus has already claimed, the Gentiles who will assist the Jews in returning to their homeland and the Native Americans who represent the royal bloodlines of Ephraim, Manasseh and Judah through Mulek who was direct descendent of King David.

Through my study of the first 100 pages I learned many new things. I will share some of them in a rather random order. After the fall of Jerusalem to Rome Josephus requested permission to gather all of the "holy books" which it is assumed were in the temple library and took them back to Rome to study. Although a Jew himself, he had become a Roman citizen who was a close friend of Vespasian who became the new emperor. He protected and studied those records and made them available to be translated into what we know as the Old Testament -- minus all the prophesies about Christ's birth except one found in Isaiah.

After countless invasions and dispersals, the Jews were not concentrated in Palestine when Jesus came to minister among them. They had been sifted across the face of the earth and had become some of the richest and most powerful "behind-the-scene" leaders in trade, ship-building, banking and politics. Many them had natural capacities required for leadership like being aggressive, resourceful, intelligent and willing to take risks. But they were dislikes and resented as a people because they also resisted assimilation into a new culture and refused to worship pagan idols.

The second piece of knowledge gleaned involves King Herod. I always saw him as being nothing more than a very evil man who murdered his wife, children, mother-in-law and anyone else who got in the way of his attaining and keeping power. Today we would call such an atrocious and horrible affliction homicidal mania, and he was only one of many rulers in history who fell victim to it. The good things I didn't know were that during his times of lucidity he stripped the palace of all its gold, silver and any other precious things to buy grain from Egypt when his country fell into famine. He spent a fortune of his own wealth providing shelter for the homeless and even convinced the Roman Ruler to protect the Jewish lifestyle throughout the entire empire and not just in Palestine. He completely reconstructed Jerusalem with paved roads, marble palaces, aqueducts, stadiums, theaters, a hippodrome for horse racing, sumptuous baths, and all the other embellishments Romans considered essential for a higher quality of life. In 22 B.C. he offered to tear down the old Jewish temple and erect a new one. The Jews were suspicious of his motives until he he employed 10,000 workers and spent two years gathering and preparing the needed materials.

For me, the story of Christ's birth always brings with it a quiet spirit of reverence and awe. However, I have always thought how uncomfortable it must have been for Mary to ride that donkey for all the miles to Bethlehem when she was nine months pregnant. But I learned that if one is sitting far enough back on the donkey's hips, his feet go clipping along while his hips scarcely move. Such a ride has been compared to sitting in a comfortable rocker at home. Another insight was that Jewish women would never have permitted Joseph to handle the birth of a baby alone. 

Skousen believes that when the women in the village heard a baby was soon to be delivered, their maternal instincts likely took over and they relieved Jospeh of the whole process. And when Jewish women take over a birth there is an unimaginable amount of happy hustle, bustle and excited chatter. This special baby must have been greeted with great warmth and joy regardless of the fact that none of them knew who He really was and his birth took place in a stable.

After seeing the new star in the nighttime sky, hearing the heavenly choir and hurrying to see the Christ child where they stood in joyous silence, the shepherds ran from house to house among their neighbors and family to tell of the blessed occasion, but the people didn't get up to look for themselves. They merely wondered and went on about their lives while the shepherds returned to their flocks knowing that no one would ever believe what they had experienced.

As for the Wise Men, they appear to have belonged to one of the Priesthood colonies that seem to have survived in various places from ancient times. They were excited to have seen the new star but upon their arrival in Jerusalem, quite possibly months after Christ's birth, must have been amazed to discover that the Jews didn't seem to know anything about the birth of the Savior. It was the same with King Herod, who through his paranoid delusions wanted to know where the child was the minute the Wise Men found out.

The star that most people believe guided the Wise Men didn't remain in the sky for the masses to really consider. What led them was more like a satellite that moved directly in front and showed them the way. These noble men came from the unknown and departed the same way. Their nationality, their names or even their exact number has never been revealed, but their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh gave Mary and Joseph the chance to provide a home for the Christ Child and protect him when Herod had all the babies under the age of two killed. This massacre became known as the "slaughter of the innocents."

While wrecking havoc everywhere, that horrible edict caused the aged Elizabeth to take her infant son, John, into the mountains where he was raised on locusts and honey. Zacharias, his father, remained behind and was slain by Herod's order when he would not disclose where his family had gone. Elizabeth died when John was a small child and he was adopted by one of the desert communities who were largely dissident protesters who were disgusted with the corruption of the religious leaders in Jerusalem. They practiced a very conservative and fundamentalist version of the Mosaic code. 

The last piece of information I will share is that locusts, or grasshoppers, were a legitimate form of food under the law of Moses. They are still the principle diet of the poor in many parts of the world. They were gathered in nets, plunged into boiling salted water, dried in the sun and eaten with butter made from goat's milk. John the Baptist and his cousin, Jesus Christ, never met each other until the day Christ asked to be baptized. This was another fulfillment of prophecy since John was just an infant when he was ordained to the priesthood and was the only living person who had the authority to administer that sacred ordinance. 

Despite my lack of attention to this amazing holiday this year, along with the fact that we didn't get any snow to cover the dismal landscape, I will be eternally grateful for the life, teachings and Atonement of our eldest brother, Jesus Christ. I eagerly anticipate the day when I will see Him again and fall at His feet as tears of gratitude cascade down my cheeks. Without Him, my body would never rise from the grave, nor would I be be allowed the opportunity to receive forgiveness and take advantage of His merciful grace. All that I am or will ever be, I owe to a wise Heavenly Father who created such a beautiful plan for the salvation and eternal life of every child born on this earth. 

My knowledge is still in the infant stage when it comes to so many things, but I know without a doubt that God lives and so does our Savior, Jesus Christ. And to help us in this journey we have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost to guide our way if we choose to use it. My plan for the coming year is to come to know Christ better as I try to more fully live the precepts He taught. May your holiday season be beautiful, regardless of the circumstances you may find yourself in. Hope does spring eternal, and because of Christ that hope need never fail us.


Wednesday 22 November 2023

Hope at Thanksgiving

My amazement never ceases at how completely our Heavenly Father is involved with the minutest details of our lives; preparing us for the tough times - often far in advance - even if we are unable to see it. I was ready at the first of last week to write my reflections on the sacrifices and difficulties that so many of our ancestors endured during the first few Thanksgivings in America when, if they were truly fortunate, they were living in one-room log houses with no electricity, running water, indoor plumbing, adequate bedding and clothing and only a fireplace to keep them warm. Each day was a struggle for survival and each meal put on the table was both challenging and most likely somewhat unpalatable since they only had the herbs and vegetables they were able to grow and the wild meat they were able to kill in an untamed wilderness. 

Unless they were in a small colony where cabins were built close together, they had few neighbors and were continually fighting with Indian tribes whose greatest desire was to destroy them for invading their land and taking away their way of life. Preparing fields for crops must have been a nightmare since the ground itself was overgrown and untamed and their tools almost nonexistent. They had to rely wholly on God for sun, moisture and protection from wild animals and Indian uprisings so they could produce even enough to subsist on.While painters provide works of art depicting joyous meals where tables were laden with food and peaceful Indians stood watch, I doubt many of the early American frontiersmen and settlers enjoyed such moments. 

Life was hard and each day was a struggle. But they had what so many of us lack in this day of indulgence and waste - a cohesive and loving family unit with an original father, mother and children working together to provide the necessities of life. We may claim that we have come a long way, and I suppose we have when it comes to the material possessions and the ease modern life has to offer, but I fear our abandonment of the values of home, family and country that once made this land so powerful and great have eroded to the point where it is almost unrecognizable to those of us who may be in our twilight years but still clearly remember what it was like to grow up with strong Christian values.

I thank my Heavenly Father each day for the blessings He has given me, along with the trials that cause me to draw closer to Him because there is no place else to go. I suppose that's why my original post was never written. The past week has caused to me look at life in a different way as my emotions have been like a pingpong ball bouncing hither and yawn with the slightest movement of the air. It started on Monday the thirteenth when I listened to a message given by Glenn Beck that can be found on YouTube under the title America - A covenant Nation. It was powerful and well worth watching and helped prepare me for the bombshell that would be dropped the next day.

I was on my way home from running a few errands when I got a phone call from my son saying that he and his wife needed to talk to me. I could either come to their house or they would come to me. Since I was already in the car, I turned it towards the mountains as soon as I could and headed in their direction. All I could think about was what I may have done to upset them because I tend to express my thoughts and opinions more than I should. But the haggard look on my son's face let me know that this was far bigger than anything I might be steeling myself for. 

The two dogs that are so often in my home came running to sit beside me - the youngest one jumping on my lap and trying to lick my face before my son could get his first word out. You know those moments when your head starts to swim and everything around you seems to be floating in an almost tangible mist? That's how I felt as he told me that my ex-husband was going to be arrested on Thursday and they wanted to tell me why before I heard it from someone else. 

Now many of you have read my earlier posts where I talked about his cruelty towards me during the years we were married and how ill-equipped I was to handle it. His insensitivity, quick temper and lack of emotional support made life truly miserable and our home was anything but a peaceful and happy abode. I worked like a slave to help him acquire what he wanted, abdicating my own desires and dreams so everything would look perfect on the outside. His need to be admired and respected by others was always foremost in his mind and when things went wrong he was quick to the point his finger at someone else.

That's why what I was about to learn was a surprise, but somehow not a shock since our greatest flaws are often our biggest downfalls. Sparing you the gruesome details that are so stuck in my mind I feel like vomiting most of time, he was being charged with four felonies and one misdemeanor for sexual molestation of minors within his own family - my granddaughter along with three step-granddaughters and a stepdaughter. My son was the only one willing to take a stand. His step siblings just wanted to look the other way so they didn't have to become involved. And my ex-husband's wife was livid because everyone was making too much of minor indiscretions that would destroy her comfortable way of living.

Words cannot express the range of emotions I went through during the couple of hours we sat in that still living room with fall decorations all around on the floor waiting to be put away and talked about hideous truths most families will unfortunately have to address at some point. And it's all due to the fact that so many people have turned away from God and embraced the philosophies of Satan that are so aptly administered by both men and women in the name of social progress. The evilness in our world today may be wrapped in nice pretty packages called by many different names but they all point to the same thing; the destruction of the family unit, reducing the worldwide population and enslaving those who are still free. 

I can't help but surmise that we have surpassed, and many times over, the vileness and depravity of Sodom and Gomorrah, and yet we as Christians know it will only get worse until the Savior returns. What side will we be on when that time comes? Fear, uncertainty and the constant influx of ideologies that are counter to everything good and wholesome will not stop now that Satan's full power had been unleashed in a world so willing to accept it. I had an uncle in the fifties and sixties who was a crossdresser and had been arrested for indecent exposure. Of course, we didn't know anything about that until we were adults because people understood back then that sexual deviance was a mental illness with side effects too grossly inhumane to even be discussed. Now those who violate human decency are applauded by certain like-minded groups who understand only too well that they will never be prosecuted because so many of the people in positions of authority are doing the same thing and they will do absolutely anything imaginable not to get caught.

Certain ones of us in the family are sickened by what has happened. And our agony is not lessened by the slow-moving arm of justice because  what we are enduring has become so common. The courts in our county is so backlogged with similar cases that a preliminary hearing is three or four months out, and if my ex does not do the decent thing and confess to his crimes when that time comes a trial will be two, three or more years in the future. While a no-contact order is in place he didn't even spend a night in jail. The uncertainty of what will happen and the amount of time involved only intensifies the pain and anguish of beautiful young girls and teenagers who have been irrevocably scared because of an old man's disgusting behavior. 

And I will never be rid of the concern that he may have done the same thing to other young girls while we were married, and that includes my own daughter who as yet can only say that she felt uncomfortable around him at times but has almost complete memory loss when it comes to her childhood. My son said the same thing about not being able to remember, and that's my story too. That should tell me all I need to know about the quality of life in a home I wanted to make memorable and happy for the children I prayed so long to have. It has also awakened my own recollections of being molested by my violin teacher when 10 and 11. The only real difference is that my mother wouldn't believe me. My granddaughter has a strong support system who will help all they can but the work of recovery and healing always remains a personal journey.

So here I sit at my computer a week after such a devastating blow was dropped feeling very grateful that as of yet no one has fallen completely apart. My son even sounded a little better when I talked to him last night. I am so proud of him for having the courage to protect his daughter even if it meant others believing that he was responsible for his own father's arrest. The truth is that the situation was taken out of his hands the minute my granddaughter confided in someone else. But my strong, compassionate son has been given no choice other than suffering for the actions of a man he still loves, even though he knows that what he did was totally reprehensible and deserving of any retribution he gets.

Where any of us go from here remains to be seen. We're each taking it one day, and even one moment, at a time. In ways, I feel vindicated for leaving my husband nearly thirty years ago. I promised myself that I would never say anything bad about him then and I have no intention of  broadcasting any of this now. My anger still makes the tears flow and my heart feel like it's a huge lump of lead inside my chest, but even under these horrific circumstances I am not the judge. Only God knows an individual's heart, and I left my life in His hands when I walked away from marriage and lost nearly every friend I had because I didn't tell my side of the story. I just wanted to protect my children from any backlash I could. In many ways, I pity the man who let the praise of men and women consume his life. I hope he will take responsibility for his actions now, but that's up to him.

My hope lies in the truth that our Savior atoned for each of us individually; feeling every pain and sorrow. Our sins truly are graven in the palms of His righteous hands. He will forgive, but we must do our part and the path to full repentance is rocky and rough. I have been on that path often during my life, but I can attest to the glorious peace that comes when one battle for righteousness is fought and won. My prayer for this Thanksgiving is one of hope, love and redemption. We must be in this world but not of it if we want to make it back to our God who created us and loves us with every fiber of His heart. 

Monday 13 November 2023

What's Happening to our Holidays?

I read something really sad in the news yesterday. Charlie Brown's Thanksgiving - a real classic for both young and old - will not be shown on television for the first time in fifty years this holiday season. Included in that decision by the networks that control a solid majority of American's viewing habits are other traditional cartoons like: A Winnie the Pooh Thanksgiving, Jim Henson's Turkey Hollow and Garfield's Thanksgiving. In the same batch of news came two other disturbing announcements. City employees in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, have been told by their superiors not to display any religious holiday decorations in public buildings this year because they want to be inclusive and not offend anyone. And Pope Francis just removed conservative Bishop Strickland of Texas from his duties because he opposed some of the mandates coming from the Vatican. 

It leads me to wonder what those in control plan on taking away from us next. And I don't believe it will be good, especially if Biden has his way in giving complete authority over our country's entire infrastructure to the Federal Communications Commission where he can sign into law anything he wants. Just think about the enormity of what is being planned. This means that one small group of unelected and ruthless persons who do only what they're told will be making all the decisions when it comes to the internet, phones, highways, farming, banking, railways, commerce, schools, trucking and the list goes on and on to include complete control over almost everything in our lives. Does that sound like a free society to you when banks are going under almost daily, grocery stores are closing all over the country and inflation has a noose around most of our necks because we can barely afford the essentials?

I look at where I've come since I started my journey of awakening as to what is really going on in our country and around the world in July and often wonder if I would have been happier and less stressed to remain asleep with the rest of the sheeple - all those individuals who behave the same way or behave as they are told, and cannot or will not act independently. In other words, those persons who keep their head in the sand and believe everything they hear on mainstream media that is bought and paid for by the far left, the cabal, the elitists, the 300, the globalists or any other name they go by. But make no mistake they are same group who have been working a plan for generations to depopulate the earth and make those who survive their servants who will have nothing and like it.

But then I realize that I would much rather know what little I do than still be in the dark when our world as we know it falls completely apart. And there is no way that can be avoided for much longer. The signs of destruction are all around us from the weaponization of the Department of Justice where conservatives are being threatened and jailed for stating their opinions and praying on sidewalks while looters, terrorists and murders can vandalize, steal, desiccate, and burn at will knowing they will never be punished. Our wide open borders are seeing thousands of unvetted illegals enter the United States each day - nearly ten million in the past three years and most of those are military aged men from every corner of the globe - and no one is even asking why they're here, where they came from, what they intend to do, or even if they are carrying weapons, drugs or are part of a smuggling or trafficking operation. 

Seven thousand - mostly young men - are expected to reach the southern border in one big caravan in a few days and they have been shouting all their way through Mexico - "Biden, Biden, Biden." Do you really think anyone is going to stop them? And what's going to happen when all the promises they've been given don't materialize because every state has used up all the money allotted for refuges seeking asylum and those coming here because they believe in the American Dream and are willing to work to have it. Even the sanctuary cities whose leaders were filled with so much rhetoric in the beginning are now shipping illegals any place that will take them since their cities are being destroyed. And what about the millions who have come here in a terrorist capacity and are just awaiting their orders? 

While my heart breaks for people who have never known freedom or what it's like to feel self-respect and a love for humanity, I fear I must still be a realist who understands that the training of youth rarely changes. I see that in communities every place I travel. Most of the people who come here do not want to adopt our customs, our language, our beliefs, our standards or our way of life. They want to rebuild their own culture in our country and make us feel like the outsiders. I cannot tell you how many times I have walked down the street or gone to a store and have not been able to understand a word the people around me are saying and they make no effort to try to communicate.  It's a very uncomfortable feeling and one I fear will only increase.

It is no secret that the Federal Reserve is bankrupt and has been told to cease printing fiat dollars since over forty percent of the world will no longer accept our currency, and yet Janet Yellon told main media just last week that the country is in good shape financially. If that were the case, why was the announcement just made that we now owe one trillion dollars a year in interest on the national debt? It's unfathomable to me that a nation founded on principles of liberty, justice, equality, free speech, the right to have and bear arms and total freedom from debt at a national level now owes over 35.5 trillion dollars to communist governments!!! And yet the men and women who sit in Washington D.C. and have sworn oaths to protect the constitution and keep our nation free want to pile on another 1.7 trillion for the next fiscal year just so they can function. Where has all that money gone other than funding wars, paying bribes, supporting pet projects that have no basis in scientific or even human logic, illicit activities of criminals who don't want to get caught and lining certain persons pockets with more money than they would ever have if they were being honest and law-abiding? 

Our infrastructures in every area have been crumbling for decades and the persons who are the backbone of our nation - those actually working jobs so others can collect government handouts - are being taxed to a point that many of them are losing their homes and can no longer afford to keep food on the table. That tells me all I need to know about the viability of the American Dream in the society in which we now live. I don't remember it being that way when I was young, but then most every one was nearly as poor as we were because we'd just come through the second world war. Still, despite the hardships, we loved our families, our God and our country and we fought like crazy to be honorable citizens who gave something back to humanity for all the gifts we had been given. But then the 1960s arrived and all the peace, productivity and promise seemed to disappear overnight. 

There were many warning from people in high places who wanted us to see the signs of our own downfall, like Dr. Cleon Skousen who made a lifetime study of our constitutional rights and freedoms and spent many years in the FBI. But as he so eloquently stated we were too busy muddling our lives with "drugs, riots, revolutions, and terrorism; predatory wars; unnatural sexual practices; merry-go-round marriages; organized crime; neglected and sometimes brutalized children; plateau intoxication; debt-ridden prosperity; and all the other ingredients of insanity which have shattered twenty mighty civilizations in the past." That list was made nearly forty-five years ago, and it's sad to say that it would be so much longer today. 

Glenn Beck added to these issues that were leading us to a point of no return in 2009 in his forward to Dr. Skousen's book "The Five Thousand Year Leap. He said, ". . . the bailout "un-stimulus program," nationalization of our banks and auto industry, the loss of secret balloting for union activities, taxation without representation, morally bankrupt standard bearers, tax cheats running government programs, pork-barrel spending, locking up natural resources, punishing the productive, rewarding the lazy, squelching opposing viewpoints, redistributing the wealth, creating an entitlement mentality, granting more rights to illegals than our own citizens, a fear of our fellow citizens and loss of pride in this greatness of this nation - and generally the ignoring of our constitutional rights, privileges and opportunities," also play a part.

But WE THE PEOPLE, as it so beautifully appears in all capital letters at the beginning of the constitution, still have all the power to take back our country and regain the liberties we have lost. The war has already been won because God is in charge and good will triumph over evil, but there are still many battles to be fought. I take heart in the number of patriots who are risking everything by taking a mighty outward stand in giving us the knowledge we need to fight a uni-government where so few true defenders of the constitution can still be found. I want to be more like them, brave and strong and mighty, but I am a peacemaker at heart and tend to avoid confrontations if at all possible. 

However, I intend to keep learning and sharing what I can with people I hope are as concerned about continued freedoms as I am. None of us can afford to live on borrowed light. We must gain our own knowledge by asking questions, looking for answers in diverse places, trusting our own intuitiveness and praying for confirmation as to whether or not our determinations are right. It's a journey we must individually take, but when we arrive at the other end we will be glad we made it. I want to see our country flourish again and have our rights restored so we can continue with the work God has in mind for us to do. We can accomplish little if we are not free to do it, but with our liberty we can accomplish anything. Stay strong and know how much you are loved for all the good you do.

Monday 30 October 2023

Purifying My Heart

The congregation was singing a hymn at church yesterday and a short phrase hit me with such vigor I couldn't stop thinking about it the rest of the day and far into the night. The words merely said, "purify my heart, Oh, Savior . . ." I've sung that beautiful song dozens of times over the years but have never had that particular phrase hit me so forcefully before. What does it actually mean to have one's heart purified? Many ideas came to mind. The foremost being an observable commitment to bringing my own life more in harmony with that of the Savior's--a lifelong endeavor to be sure--or could it be that there was something more personalized and hidden that I had yet to see?

I have been praying for as long as I can remember to be less jealous and judgmental of others who have the blessings I have longed for my entire life but never gotten. Those desires have become so overstated that I often wonder if God still recognizes the anguish I feel over never receiving what I always believed were righteous desires. They were not huge things like wanting fame, fortune, social grace, being one of the beautiful people or even feeling secure in my own skin. They were simple things that related to the life I found myself in because of the actions of others and some very poor choices made on my own. 

Perhaps what I've wanted most was a little clarity and understanding as to why I have never been like other women who feel the freedom to be themselves and discover all the joys life has to offer. I've always told myself that someone has to be different and my disabilities have made me better able to see and interact with others who may not walk, talk or appear as refined as those who have been given different challenges. These so-called social outcasts are generally overlooked, dismissed and even found repulsive by the masses who have never had to worry about feeling included. 

My struggle with self-doubt and uncertainty began when I was five and my mother blamed me for the accident that left my three-year-old brother partially paralyzed and unable to learn like other children. Those feelings of insecurity only intensified when my violin teacher molested me a few years later. My mother refused to believe what I told her because the elderly man in question had given her the same kind of lessons as an adolescent and never touched her inappropriately. But even though I couldn't accurately express what was happening vocally, my body understood. I began pulling out my eyebrows and eyelashes and the haunted look in my eyes during those months was clearly discernible in photographs I have in my possession to this day. I was in my fifties before I began to understand even a portion of what had happened during my most formative years and the depth of the scars those experiences had left.

I suppose part of my mother's complacency and verbal attacks came from the struggles she was having herself. She was an overworked homemaker and mother with little money and far too many pressures and responsibilities in a world that was supposed to be somewhat idyllic after a second world war had ended. Adding to that, no one understood the true nature of pedifiles and the devastation to body, mind and spirit their perversions caused. The idea of sexual promiscuity, addiction and depravity were never discussed and out of wedlock pregnancies caused families the deepest shame. I remember one of the teenage girls in our neighborhood becoming pregnant during high school. Her parents sent her to live with relatives and I never saw her again. 

While I'm not entirely sure that I was born an introvert who rarely spoke her mind, that's exactly what I became. My grandmother once told me that I was a very precocious child who could tell the best of stories and loved dancing around in my little homemade dresses. But by the time I was confined to bed with Rheumatic Fever during the third grade I was living almost completely in my head and books had become my best friends. Perhaps it is only a coincidence, but I have never had a really close friend that I felt I could share most anything with. I'm certainly not proud of the fact that it's always been out of sight, out of mind for me when it comes to having even semi-permanent relationships, but during the past decade or so I have come to understand that the detachment I employed for feelings of safety was a defense mechanism adopted to stop the anguish of loss, uncertainty and not believing I was good enough. 

But I digress and need to get back to the concept of purifying my heart. While defense mechanisms can work wonders in protecting us from pain and misunderstanding, they can also prevent us from living life to the fullest as God intended. I have never shared with anyone my biggest stumbling block and life challenge. It's been far too humiliating and I haven't wanted people to look at me with any more derision that I often feel now. Women are defined as being of value by the way they look on the outside, and I have never measured up to any portion of that ideal. And it's not just because I have been trying to hide my greatest source of pain since the age of fifteen but because that trauma has affected every aspect of my life and I have never been able to move past it. 

Perhaps some of you will understand because you have gone through something equally as devastating. I was having my third bout of Rheumatic Fever during my freshman year of high school. That's a particularly difficult time anyway for a girl who was a head taller than most of the boys, wasn't exactly pretty or socially accepted and who gained every ounce of regard she ever felt from studying hard enough to be listed as one of the brightest in her class of nearly 250 students. 

My older sister was going to beauty school and had to practice giving permanents. I didn't want one but my mother insisted. Since I couldn't get out of bed and was scared of her, I was left with little recourse. She told my sister to leave it on for longer than instructed because she wanted to make sure it was good and tight. I just wanted to wear my hair long and flowing like the most popular girls at school but had no reason to believe she would understand because she never had in the past. 

The chemicals in those early perms were unregulated and horrid and three days later when I washed my hair half of it fell out. My mother told me to quit acting like a baby because it would grow back but it never did. From then on I became addicted to hairspray and teasing my hair so it wouldn't lie limp and thin and repulsive on my head. I hated to look in the mirror and could never run with the wind, go swimming, play sports or even have a boy touch my hair because it wasn't soft and shimmery like every other girl's. I became a slave to a situation not of my choosing and one that could never be undone. I've prayed nearly every night and morning of my life for a miracle that would allow me to feel like most every other female on the planet who takes what she has been blessed with for granted--a full head of hair that makes her feel feminine, beautiful and desirable. 

When I was twenty-three, after graduating from college without marrying any of the guys who proposed, I found myself saying yes to a man I wasn't particularly attracted to and didn't exactly love. He was strong-willed and domineering and had to be right all the time--a real copy of my mother in jeans who drove a sport's car and needed to be admired. He was thirty minutes late for the wedding and I spent that entire time praying he wouldn't show up. Everything in my life went spiraling downward from that point on. I've written before how he took one look at me on our wedding night and said I'd married him under false pretenses because my breasts weren't as big as he though they were. 

Part of his reason for wanting to marry me was because he said he knew I would be a good mother. In retrospect, that comment may have contributed to my never telling him about my first miscarriage when he was working a job away from home during the week and I nearly bled to death laying on the bathroom floor before realizing had badly I needed help. Nor did I tell him about many of the other miscarriages I had during those early years. Most of them Mother Nature took care of on her own because I wasn't far enough along to need medical care. But when I did, I simply went to the hospital alone or had a neighbor take me. My former husband let me know in no uncertain terms that he would never be agreeable to adoption because he wanted biological children or none at all. He blamed me for each baby I lost because as he put it he could get me pregnant, I was the one who couldn't carry it.

For those two reasons--losing half my hair and all my babies--along with other less dramatic ordeals, I fear I have been far less than the person I always wanted to be. My mind is often consumed with jealousy when it comes to women who have what I have been denied and then complain because they want more. I question my own humanity for not being charitable enough, judging others without having all the facts and feeling guilty because it's easier to stay hidden away at home than go out into the public where I know I will never fit in. 

Those feelings, however just or unjust, have intensified the past few months as our country continues to unravel and our God-inspired constitution hangs by an increasingly thinner thread. I haven't listened to mainstream media news since the Covid virus hit because all their news is scripted by the same group of people on the far left who can lie without the slightest grimace. Even studying independent news sources isn't giving me all I'm looking for because the evils the patriots are trying to unearth have been meticulously hidden for centuries and uncovering the truth takes time. 

I guess you could say that I'm finally awake and want to see something happen NOW. But that isn't the way this process works. It will be line upon line until every last detail is in place. Glenn Beck said it best on one of his podcasts last week when he told his viewers to trust no one, do your own research and then determine what feels right to you. Another podcaster said that we need to remember that God has already won the war but we must still be vigilant in helping to fight each battle for freedom whether it be on the world stage or in our own backyard. So the question remains, how do I purify my heart in a world of turmoil when I know things will only get worse before the Savior returns?

There are so many things that stop us from becoming the person we were meant to be. I've shared with you a few of my major stumbling blocks, and it's never as easy as my sister, the one who gave me the permanent, says. "Just buy a cute wig and forget about it." Well, I haven't been able to do that yet and the aging process is only making my predicament worse, but I am trying to do some good each day and think before I speak. I may not be able to do even half of what I was once able to do. Time, finances, energy level and so much more contribute to how much I accomplish each day, but I can recognize discouragement, disillusionment and depression for what they are--Satan's tactics to keep me distracted from doing what I can. 

I've been wanting to write since I got back from my trip but the war in Israel broke out just days after my return and the way certain groups of people have reacted to it has nearly broken my heart. How can anyone cry death to another human being? God loves all of His children equally, but he certainly doesn't love what some of them are doing. Being far less understanding than Him as a mortal, I find it very difficult to justify so much of what is going on, especially the total disregard for life as displayed by those in positions of power who want rid the world of nearly all its inhabitants and put the small number remaining in bondage to them. But that's a topic for another day.

Here are a few thoughts about purifying the heart that I found on the internet just now. You may find some of them applicable just as I did. They certainly brought added clarity and gave me much to think about. "To clean out any wicked thoughts, motives, desires, and intentions ..." "We purify our hearts by following the commandments, seeking the spirit in all we do, become more at one with God's desires for us." "A pure heart is evidenced by openness, clarity, and an uncompromising desire  to please the Lord in all we do." "Hearts are purified as we receive His strengthening power to do good and become better." "Giving God every corner of our heart." 

You might want to conduct a search of your own. I'm certainly going to work on it because I have a feeling I'm going to need a much purer heart  as the days unfold. We live in exciting times, but they are also times that can and will try men's souls to the point that even some of the brightest, best and most righteous will fall. 

Have a fun Halloween if you're so inclined and definitely try to stay safe, happy and filled with love, patience and joy.