We celebrated 25 years of marriage in August 2021. Our oldest daughter, Areli, with the help of her siblings, planned a surprise party for us. I was amazed by how they planned, cleaned, decorated, made a superb chocolate raspberry cake, arranged for food, and created a fun diversion to keep us out of the house (shopping at TJ Max).
We were so blessed by our friends, family, and neighbors!
Chris and I had planned for a beach getaway for our 25th ,but decided that October would be the best time to go. The weekend we had chosen months before became the most beautiful weekend of the entire year! Perfect sunny weather with a nice breeze, not too hot or too cold.
It was the best getaway yet! We had learned the lessons of past vacations. In Cape May last year we learned to revel in His goodness and enjoy the good life everyday of our lives as in Ps.128. In Virginia this year, we learned to be alert and awake, for although the enemy is like a lion looking for someone to devour, we will not live in fear for we have overcome the evil one!
This time we were able to stay alert and awake while enjoying the gifts of God in our lives to the fullest!
Our first stop was Dewey Beach. The town was small and quiet and there was no boardwalk.
Dewey was my favorite beach of the trip because of the nice, soft sand and the peaceful atmosphere.
We sat down to enjoy the sun and surf and were immediately thrilled by a show of dolphins jumping among the waves.
We continued to drive and stopped at Delaware Seashore State Park. We thought we would scout it out for a future camping trip. This state park was not what we were looking for, being just a large parking lot full of campers. We didn’t even get out to explore the seashore. Apparently, Delaware charges a day rate to enter their state parks, even though there was no attendant present.
We drove on to Bethany.
Bethany was my favorite town: lovely neighborhoods with wooded lots, a beautiful downtown with flowers and shops.
The boardwalk was very short and did not offer a view of the beach. The beach was lovely. We got into a conversation with a couple who has lived in Bethany for years and they love it!
We stopped briefly at Fenwick Island State Park. It was lovely but not that different from the other beaches we had seen that day. Because Delaware wanted us to pay to be there, we continued on to our destination, Ocean City, MD.
We had rented a condo on the bay side of North Ocean City. We were right up to the water, and it was quiet and peaceful. We enjoyed our supper out on the balcony and watched the sun set.
We got up early and relished the sunrise on the beach. I really like the beach at Ocean City, MD. It is so wide and so long. In the off season there is plenty of room to spread out.
The city is packed full of high rises and every square inch seems to be developed for making money from tourists. I am sure it is a zoo in the summer with driving and parking being an issue. That would explain why the major stores repeat themselves every few blocks, most visitors wanting to walk from their rental to the beach. In October we had no issues and enjoyed the large city.
We spent many relaxing and rejuvenating hours on the beach. I had been looking forward to basking in the sun while reading a good book for months! Chris did suffer from boredom after a while and wished that the boys had come with us, so he had someone to throw football with.
We spent many hours shopping for souvenirs, one for each child. I was sad when we exited no-sales-tax Delaware but was pleased to find that Maryland had cheaper prices. And if we couldn’t find the perfect clearance t-shirt in size 8 and XL, we just had to drive a few blocks to the next shop.
We walked most of the boardwalk. I loved seeing the display put on by a kite club. I loved the playgrounds and the older buildings with history. Again, the shops seemed to repeat themselves every few blocks. All the restaurants were bars or grills, reinforcing the fact that this is NOT a dry town. It is not a quiet town either. Many shops would be blaring loud music, competing with music from another shop farther down, competing with live music from the Sun Fest at the end of the boardwalk. It still was lovely!
On our way home we stopped at Rehoboth. It was a very beautiful town with charming rental homes in abundance. It wasn’t as small and quaint as Bethany but had much more of a small-town feel than Ocean City. The boardwalk looked much classier. The beach was beautiful, and I walked up and down, looking for shells and enjoying the sun. I had to leave Chris sitting in a small, shaded gazebo because his feet and ankles had gotten as red as a lobster. I couldn’t stay very long without him.
Just as we were about to leave, I remembered the high socks I had in my suitcase. Chris put them on with his sandals, so he could walk the next beach with me. Very Sexy! I was excited to check out Broadkill Beach which was highly recommended. Once we got there it was clear that the only beach access was through renting a home on the beach. We continued until we reached Beach Plum Island State Park. It is on a huge Nature Reserve and rather secluded. As soon as I got out of the car, I got a painful fly bite. The flies continued to munch on me as we trudged to the beach and sat down to have a picnic lunch. The beach was littered with trash and debris, the sand hard and grayish.
Beach Plum Island won the prize for the ugliest beach of the trip!
It was on the bay so the waves were gentle, but I missed the sound of the ocean waves. I could look to my left and see Broadkill Beach, perfect for children because of the small waves and privacy. I wondered if the flies were as bad there and decided that it would not be on my list to visit next time. Those vicious flies finally drove me to finish my lunch in the car as we made our way back home.
It had been a wonderful adventure together, and we were in awe of God’s goodness.
Just two weeks later the forecast was calling for an 80-degree day. Wouldn’t it be fun to take the children to the beach? My original plan was to just take my homeschoolers. All the other children wanted to come, so they were able to take an educational trip and miss school. Chris couldn’t be left out so he took off work.
My three oldest had to work, but the rest of us were really going to do it! Take a day trip to the beach!
We had only ever attempted that once in the past, back in 2008 when we were visiting family in Florida. Much packing, preparation, and driving had led to 20 minutes on the beach. Quickly a thunderstorm blew in with torrents of rain and lighting. We ended up back in the van, soaked through and covered with sand.
This time we decided on Ocean City, NJ and listened to Lamplighter Theater all the way to 5th street. We found free parking in the lot there and were able to enter the boardwalk at 6th street where there were large public restrooms.
This beach was very different from the others: narrower and the sand was darker grey and not very fluffy. So many shells! Most were broken but still fun to look through. The older children made straight for the waves and enjoyed themselves in the water. The sand on the bottom was covered with broken shells that hurt their feet. The younger ones began by building in the sand but ended up in the water as well.
The boardwalk was very nice: family friendly without any alcohol at all. We explored a fudge and taffy shop before we headed back to the parking lot for a long ride home and more audiobooks. The younger children had sand everywhere, even after spraying off and wiping down. We gave showers at 10pm and all went to bed happy.
God’s goodness was hunting us down again! Chris was able to play football on the beach with his boys, and we all captured a bit of summer in the middle of October!
“We can no longer stay silent! We must speak out!” says one impressive leader.
“We can no longer hide inside the church walls! We must take the kingdom of God into every mountain of culture!” says another leader.
“As Christians we have access to the most powerful, creative, intelligent and compassionate being in the universe. We should be at the top of every mountain!” says another.
I whole heartedly agree! God put us on this earth, not to find comfort and happiness for ourselves, but to bring His kingdom into this war-torn battlefield. Whenever I hear a call to action, my first reaction is guilt. In my estimation, I haven’t done very much to impact culture. Second, I feel overwhelmed with the enormity of the job and the smallness of me.
How CAN I make my voice heard?
How DO I make a difference?
I try to be connected to the Holy Spirit everyday and simply obey what He is telling me to do. Most days obedience is spending time with Him, serving my family, educating my children, and researching important topics. I know that if I can love my family and teach my children God’s ways, I have accomplished my destiny. There is nothing more powerful than being part of a living, breathing example of God’s Love.
Sometimes I feel pushed to do more. Over a year ago I began emailing my school board and superintendent. This has led to great conversations. I have started to learn about our school district and follow the school board meetings.
I didn’t want to enroll my three older sons in public school this year. I had a bad feeling about it. They were adamant about wanting to attend in person school rather than cyber school. My husband felt that we should give it a shot, since masks were optional.
I took my son to the “New Student Orientation” at the High School. We all sat in the auditorium for a message from the principal. He seemed like a good leader, and I loved his message.
“This could be a good place for my son,” I thought to myself.
My opinion changed as the principal started giving the parents and students medical advice. Because of a new quarantine protocol, he advised all students to be vaccinated and wear a mask. That way, no one would have to lose days of school. Any student who had been in contact with a sick student would have to quarantine for 10-14 days if they were not vaccinated or not wearing a mask. His advice had nothing to do with health. From his perspective, his job was to see all his students successfully through to graduation, and this was the most effective way to do that.
It was obvious that the protocol was designed to push students to vaccinate. This is not the place of a school district. And here was a principal advising that my student get experimental gene therapy with no idea what the short-term or long-term effects would be, simply for the sake of CONVIENIENCE! How could I let this go unchallenged?
“You should speak at the next School Board meeting,” I felt the Holy Spirit whispering to me the following weekend.
“Really! I don’t think I am ready for that. Is it really that important? Couldn’t I just email them my views,” I whispered back.
I COULD NOT shake the feeling. It got stronger Sunday morning in worship. I asked God for a verse. He gave me Eph 5:8-11
“…for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as Children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true) and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”
These words made me certain that I would please the LORD if I would speak the truth at the school board meeting. It may not change the dynamics or decisions of the school board that much. It may not make a huge difference in my children’s schools. But at least I could please God! At least I could speak out truth and know that it would not return void!
I had watched school board meetings over the summer, and the high school auditorium was empty except for the school board members in the front and a few people in the audience. The last time there were only two public speakers. It would likely just be me and the school board, no big deal. I could do this!
Monday morning came and I planned on spending most of the day working on a 5-minute speech. I asked my oldest if she could manage the younger children so I could focus.
I looked on the district website to check the agenda for the meeting. Close to the beginning was time for public speakers. There were already nine speakers scheduled to speak! Most appeared to be in favor of universal masking. One was someone I knew who had previously ripped into me for supporting the Republican platform. One was the principal himself! The man who was to be the central focus of my speech to the school board.
Instantly arrows of palpable fear ripped through my body!
It wasn’t just me and an empty auditorium anymore! I would have to stand up in front of those who oppose me. What if I was the only one? What if I was attacked? Public speaking can be daunting. I used to be petrified of the mere thought of it, but God had healed me of that. I wrote about overcoming my fear of rejection in my article, “Fear Won’t Steal my Voice.” I have been able to speak in front of others by His power, but I had never done it in such a circumstance as this.
I retreated to the bathroom to be alone. My heart was thumping!
“I don’t think I can do this! How am I going to do this?” I asked God.
God impressed upon me that it was even more important that I speak up. I HAD TO BE A VOICE FOR MY CHILDREN. In fact, my children had a voice also. If they were going to attempt to thrive in the public school system that was designed to persecute them, they would HAVE to find their voices.
I called on some close friends for prayer coverage. I told the three boys that they would be speaking tonight and to write out something to say. I prayed that God would give me a strategy for the day. He did! Step by step I followed what I felt He was telling me to do. I was trembling literally and figuratively, but I couldn’t stop to think about it, I had to keep moving forward.
I looked at the entire agenda again. Sure enough, right after the public speakers, a new health and safety plan would be approved or denied. I called the school district to get myself and my boys on the agenda. The woman told me that the new plan should be uploaded to the website soon. I only had to wait a half an hour before my hunch was confirmed. The plan contained universal masking for every person inside school buildings.
After I had gone to the trouble of registering my students for school and one week before school was to begin, they wanted to change the plan!
I decided to call the school board members who had given me their phone numbers. I got through to one. We had a long conversation, and I learned more than I was bargaining for. Previously I had thought the board was populated by good meaning people who cared about my students. Perhaps they were just misinformed. I learned that it is much bigger and much deeper than that: A political and spiritual battle with political and spiritual forces. Thank goodness I had a prayer covering!
I also learned that 90% of the parental feed back had been pro-mask. Come on PRO-FREEDOM parents! We must make our voices heard!
I called two families in the district to ask for their support. They didn’t realize that a new plan was going to be voted on, probably like most parents in the district. They couldn’t come to the meeting, but they would pray for me.
I figured that I should talk with the principal who I was going to reference in my speech. He actually answered the phone, and we had a great conversation. I first thanked him for his strong leadership. Then I explained to him my position:
We could have in person school and STILL give students medical freedom.
He said that they all had to follow the protocols given to them by the Dept of Education. I explained to him that those were not laws but guidance, and that our school board had the ability to create their own protocols. He didn’t think that was true: they had to follow other rules given to them by the DOE like the requirement for all 11 graders to get a physical or be prevented from graduating. I replied that the physical requirement was state law. It had been a bill that was passed by the Senate and the House and signed by the governor years ago. This new protocol was NOT law, but rather something that the Dept of Health and Dept of Education were telling them they should do. He admitted that he never realized that there was a difference.
I knew that this battle was not about health at all. It was about politics. It was about freedom. I asked God to show me exactly what He wanted me to speak. I could have spoken for hours, but I only had five minutes.
I started typing and it took a long time to express all that was rolling around in my brain. Once I was done, it was way too long. I cut it, cut it, and cut it again. I had certain objectives:
To please God
To speak truth that had power behind it
To address the concerns of the school board (personal and district liability)
To treat everyone as my advocate or future advocate. I didn’t want to build a wall. I wanted these people to work for me and with me!
I then researched information on the Senate hearing where the Secretary of Health and the Secretary of Education both stated that the details of the Health and Safety plan were up to the local school boards to determine. I found the videos and sent them to every school board member and the superintendent. (Since then the Gov. and Sec. of Health have issued mandates that they promised they would never issure, but those mandates are ILLEGAL!)
I read and reread my speech out loud to make sure it sounded right and was within time. I read over my boys’ speeches and gave some pointers. I had them read them out loud to practice.
All of this took most of the day. My stomach was churning, and I didn’t feel like eating, but I made myself eat all three meals. Finally, the time was drawing near. I didn’t see how I was going to be able to function as nervous as I was. I had been praying all day, but I finally decided to pray out loud the scripture I had put up on my mirror, Jer 1:7
The Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a boy,’ for you will go to all to whom I send you. Do not be afraid of them for I am with you to deliver you.”
As soon as I spoke out that scripture, a peace descended. My nervous trembling stopped. I felt confident. God would do it!
I encouraged my boys to speak loud with confidence. I told them how very proud of them I was! My husband and oldest daughter were able to come along for moral support. As we pulled into the school parking lot, a good friend (who is also my sons’ youth pastor) pulled in next to us. What an encouragement!
We entered the building and there were many more people than I had ever expected! It seemed half were wearing masks and sitting alone, and the other half were showing their faces and sitting in groups. We found seats and were joined by another friend from church.
It seemed to take forever for the meeting to start and to get through all the boring stuff. Finally, it was time for the public speakers. One speaker after another lectured on the same theme: we have to protect our students and staff by instituting universal masking. Nine speakers all had this opinion, and the meeting was very boring. My confidence had grown into a burning desire.
“Let me up there! Let me speak a different word!” my spirit was screaming. I was excited when it was my turn. I began in a loud and enthusiastic tone. (My family told me later that the audience roused from their stupor and looked up at this point.)
When I mentioned that I had 6 children in the district and 10 children in all, I felt a small shock wave ripple through the auditorium. A man sitting close by who had been on his computer got up and began recording me with his phone.
“At least they are waking up!” I thought.
I was able to speak out truth! For the first time that evening, I heard exclamations from the audience. Outbursts of support! My sons spoke next (the only students to speak) and they all did an excellent job. Thankfully after that, many others spoke for freedom and truth including parents, the county coroner, a lawyer, and a bus driver. It was a wonderful discussion, and a few points became very clear.
Freedom was the primary issue.
Students are not at risk from this virus.
Masks are only effective if they are N95 and properly fitted and there are no child sizes.
The board listened to everyone respectfully and then began to discuss their own views on the subject. One board member asked the district doctor to come and explain the situation. It was very clear that she was uncomfortable, nervous, and was gasping for air under her N95. She hemmed and hawed around the point, and I couldn’t understand how the school board found this testimony compelling enough to support universal masking.
When it became clear that most of the board had already made up their minds before the meeting even began, anger erupted from the audience. This was quite distressing for the board. When the vote was taken, 7 voted for the new plan and 2 voted no.
Praise God for those 2 glorious, rebellious NO VOTES!
I counted the evening a victory and an important step in winning the entire war. Here is why:
I spoke the truth and truth will prevail. Who knows where all those truth seeds have landed? For some they are just an irritant. But for others they will take root and grow!
I got to meet many of the other speakers and audience members and expanded my knowledge and sphere of influence.
My children learned how to participate in the process of freedom.
In the weeks following I have heard from many people who were watching the recording and who were cheering me on!
A father saw my speech. He reached out to me to explain how he is devoting a good portion of his time to fight for freedom in our school district. He has been talking with school board members and lawyers. He has been talking to parents and community members to pull us together into a larger force. He told me he has a “fire in his belly” and he is not going to stop. What an answer to prayer he is! I don’t have the time to do what he can do, but I can support him!
One school board member emailed me, “Thank you and your children for having the courage to speak. Although I was prepared to say something, I didn’t feel it was necessary after you all spoke. Your words have power.”
Another member emailed me, “You and your incredibly well spoken, thoughtful and intelligent children did an amazing job of driving home so many important points… you can be so proud of your family and the wonderful human beings you are raising. It can be so difficult speaking up when you find yourself holding a minority opinion- but it is so important that we have these dialogues, and we voice concerns about giving our government more latitude than they may deserve out of propagandized fear.”
Most importantly, I experienced in my own life that God’s words are true, and He will do what He said He would do.
The Lord said to me, “Do not say ‘I can’t do it, I am only a mom with no credential or experience.’ I will put my word in your mouth. You will go to all whom I send you. You will not be afraid for I AM with you!”
Those words were true for me that night at the school board meeting. Those words are true for me every day. Those words are true for you as well!
Here are the words I spoke that night (modified to take out specific names).
Members of the school board, thank you for all you do for our students! Thank you for responding to my emails and talking with me on the phone.
I am the mother of six children in the school district. I have 10 children and have been studying nutrition, health, brain development, and education for the past 23 years. I concentrate on building their health from the inside with good food and good habits. We never have to go to the doctor for being sick. We have no asthma, allergies, or take any medications. We didn’t change anything about our lifestyle when this pandemic began and have continued to be extremely healthy.
Thank you, High School Principal, for your wonderful leadership at the high school new student orientation. Your speech is what inspired me to come tonight. You encouraged the students to come to you if they had a conflict with another student. You said that we could work out any situation if we just get together and talk about it.
It is pretty clear that we have a situation now, and I know that we can protect our students and staff while still protecting their most sacred rights. The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is the foundation of our country. To protect life, we must insure medical freedom. Life is in the breath, and my students have the right to breathe fresh air. I have seen many studies that prove that masks are not effective in stopping the COVID virus. I have never read a study proving that they are.
Masking violates that very way our immune systems were designed to work. The respiratory system is an open system, always receiving foreign gases, particles, and microorganisms along with oxygen. The way our body cleanses out the bad is the exhale. To trap my child’s exhale against his nose and mouth in a warm, moist environment doesn’t allow his immune system to work properly.
I have heard from many in the district that we may have to return to mandatory masking and that is just the way that it is. Whenever you say, “That is just the way that it is”, you eliminate all discussion, all questions, all research, all individual freedoms. That is not what I want my children to learn when they are in school. I want them to learn to think for themselves, to question, to study, to research, to come up with new and better answers.
This is what the Principal talks about when he calls on his students to “BE Great Every Day!” This is the way of all inventors, innovators, and entrepreneurs. When we issue one size fits all mandates, it is not teaching our children to be great and to make informed decisions. We are teaching them to comply to a socialist system.
I have heard it recommended that all students be vaccinated and wear masks, so they won’t have to miss important days of school to quarantining. It is not the virus that is interrupting school, it is the quarantine protocols. It is very clear that the unvaccinated students would be the ones denied their right to a public-school education even if they are perfectly healthy. With all the talk about inclusion and equity these days, I am very surprised that you would discriminate against one group of students.
My entire family probably had COVID in the past year. For us it was a mild cold that didn’t even slow my boys down. Yet now they have a robust and durable immunity. Did you see the recent study that looked at people who recovered from SARS 19 years ago? They are still immune to SARS today along with SARS-CO-V2! Our natural immunity not only lasts but recognizes all 29 proteins on the surface of the corona virus, rather than just one spike protein as with the vaccine. The vaccine does not prevent infection or transmission as the head of the CDC recently admitted. There were over 10,0000 breakthrough cases reported before the CDC stopped counted them.
I sent you all links to the Senate Hearing where you can hear both the Secretary of Education and The Secretary of Health state that the details of the Health and Safety Plan are in the control of local school boards and will not affect the Esser Funding.
Please correct this illogical protocol of masking and quarantining healthy students. Please protect their freedoms. Thank you!
Family vacations are so precious. To get away and have new adventures with our children is a priority each year. As soon as Chris was able to pick his vacation in February, we had rented a cabin up north for a week in August. We must have looked at 50 different cabins and weighted the pros and cons. All the children voted, and we settled on a three-story log cabin overlooking a lake and acres of forest. We would visit my dad’s hometown and the New York Finger Lakes, maybe even the Corning Glass Museum. We were so excited!
Four weeks before our vacation, the owner of the cabin called and started out with, “I am so sorry but…”
She explained that her husband had accidently double booked our week because they had donated it to a “Make a Wish” child back in November. For a spilt second, I wanted to get mad and list all the reasons why we couldn’t change our plans.
A sweet breath of grace blew on me, and I felt God whisper, “I will work this for your good.”
In turn, I extended grace to the property owner. She offered us a free week anytime in the next year. Wow! A free vacation in 2022! God was already working it out for our good.
My quest to find a new rental started with joyful expectation but soon deteriorated into dismay. Almost everything was already rented. What I could find was too small, too expensive, or too ugly!
“God has something planned for us,” I kept thinking. I just couldn’t find it.
Finally, a week later Chris found a listing on his VRBO app as we were taking a trip to King of Prussia with Cadin. It was a new listing with a discounted price, four hours away in Virginia. The house looked beautiful, and so did the surrounding 550 acres.
When we arrived back home, laden with bags of books and Legos, Areli met us at the door.
“I think I found the perfect place!” She told us. “You have to see the pictures. I will feel like I am in a Jane Austen novel. Just the kind of place I was hoping for!”
It was the same house Chris had found. There were no reviews, which normally would turn me off, yet we felt that this was the place. I spoke with the property manager on the phone, and she was wonderful. We booked it!
I was certain that God had something special for us on this vacation: divine appointments or treasures that we could only find four hours away. Plus, the rent was $700 less than our previous cabin! I began to research the surrounding area and plan outings for the family. Very close by was Goshen Pass, a spot on the Maury River where you could picnic, swim, and walk across a swinging cable bridge.
“Could we jump off the bridge?” Chai asked.
“What is your obsession with jumping off of things lately?” I asked him. To him it was just fun. He wondered if there were any waterfalls or cliffs around that they could jump from.
“Not if I can help it,” I thought to myself. He didn’t realize that what brought him joy touched on one of my deep seated fears: watching a child fall from a high height while being powerless to save him. A vision of Chai getting tangled in the bridge and breaking his neck flashed into my mind.
I dismissed the thought immediately. This vacation was a blessing from God. No matter what happened, He would work it out for our good. I knew that there could still be many disappointments, irritations and failed expectations. I prayed that God would keep me in joy and peace the entire time.
Two days before we were set to leave, Uhaul informed us that they had no 5×8 trailers available, but they were going to give us a 6×12. Chris was annoyed. They are heavier, harder to pull, and would use more gas.
“Maybe God has treasures to give us (like furniture) that we will need the extra room for,” I suggested.
“Maybe,” Chris replied.
Later that night, as I got ready for bed, a thought dropped into my head with the force of an atomic bomb.
“What if you need that extra room in your trailer to bring home a casket? What if this is the trip when tragedy strikes and one of your children dies. Would you still call that God’s goodness?”
Fear descended upon me with a menacing power. I wasn’t sure how to answer that question, and I was afraid. I pushed away the fear and started declaring what I knew about God and all the scriptures I had put up on my mirror.
The next morning God gave me Ps 145 to read, and I was encouraged again!
On Saturday, we were up early loading our 6×12 trailer, checking and rechecking my extensive list. I spent a long time packing three coolers with food.
Finally, all the children were in the van and the trailer was locked up and ready to go.
“Come on Cutie, the children are waiting. Let’s get going. I have walked through the house four times already.” Chris said.
We began our journey with excitement and anticipation. After four hours of driving and two hours of eating and exploring, we arrived at the very secluded Virginia homestead. The big, white house was surrounded by cow pastures and mountain ridges. It would have been impressive back in 1850 when it was built.
The inside was very large and spacious, and we all picked our rooms. The children erupted with pleasure upon finding more books, toys, and dress up clothes than they had ever imagined. The boys began attaching their climbing rope to the big tree out back and setting up their BB gun targets.
Soon two coolers were unpacked into the tiny fridge in the tiny kitchen. But where was the third one with all the frozen food? It had been left in our basement at home! All my planning for nothing! All my efforts spent buying the healthiest food at the cheapest prices for nothing!
I began yelling and ranting at anyone who was close by.
“God will work this for the good! Don’t worry!” kept playing in my head. Yet I continued to rage. How quickly I had let that peace and joy slip away. I soon wore myself out and decided to repent and go back to trusting God that He would work this for our good.
We used the food that we had and roasted sausages, veggies, and apples over the firepit. We watched the children jump on the trampoline, throw frisbee, and set up tents in the yard while cows meandered in the pasture. The sunset was lovely.
And the night sky? One of the most stunning views of the handiwork of God. I studied the thousands of stars and the clouds of stars that I imagined to be a spiral arm of our Milky Way Galaxy. I kept spotting flashing lights out of the corner of my eye and thought they were shooting stars. But as I looked more closely, I realized that the stars were blinking at me. Twinkling stars! I had never seen that before. God was truly so good!
The next morning, I woke up with joy to be in such a lovely place. We had a quiet day at the house and all the children were busy exploring. After a gentle rain, a rainbow appeared in front of a mountain ridge. God’s promise!
On Monday we drove into Lexington and walked the historic brick sidewalks. Most of the children found it boring, and Ashlyn was downright upset.
We found a large antique mall but discovered that the prices were so much higher than we had ever seen before! We purchased some food to replace what we had left at home. We all went to bed early, and I slept peacefully until Courage woke me up because he had a nightmare.
In the morning I learned that Chris had had disturbing dreams as well. Chris and I agreed that something was off in the atmosphere: more oppression and fear than normal. Was it the home, the property, the area? We didn’t know for sure, but we sanctified the whole place, rebuked fear and evil, and prayed the blood of Jesus over our family along with angels for protection. Why didn’t we do this the first day?
We are in the habit of covering our family with prayer every morning and evening but we had to take it up a notch!
Chris and the older children left for Panther Falls; a local swimming hole popular with thrill seekers like Chai who love to jump from high places.
I stayed home with Ashlyn, Aria, Annalise, and Courage (who we call the “little ones”). Courage spent the morning stomping from one room to another, slamming doors and pouting. He had wanted to be an “older” and jump off rocks. I let him wear himself out while the girls and I sat together on the back porch. I felt like I needed to declare some truth to myself and the spiritual realm, so I began to read Ps 145. God’s goodness is overwhelming!
Then I read Ps 91 and realized that much of it is in the music video that the children just love, “Crushing Snakes” by David Crowder. I asked Annalise to point out the verses that she recognized from the song, and she got almost all of them. Then we watched the video. The girls sat in rapt attention: a good teaching moment.
I began to look up other verses that are referenced in the video and read them aloud. I felt fear fleeing and courage rising!
No one can defeat our God! No one! He holds the keys to death and hell!
About this time Courage came around and wanted to watch the video. I asked him to point out all the scriptures and he did! He also quoted to me a related scripture he had learned at Kidz Kamp.
Some of the verses were about the lake of fire created for the devil and his demons. Those who refuse to accept Jesus would be thrown into the lake of fire as well. But those who follow Jesus would never be hurt by death, would never be overcome by evil, would never be defeated!
A sweet little voice spoke up. Aria was on my lap listening until she said, “What if I can’t find Jesus and go into the lake of fire.”
“Jesus is your shepherd. He will always come find you. He will never let you be lost! He loves you Aria,” came my reply.
The answer came straight from the Holy Spirit and spoke to Aria’s spirit. Peace returned to her face, and she said, “You’re the best mama ever.” She snuggled into me.
Then I started to read Ps 91 and 145 again, but this time inserting the children’s names.
“Does it really say my name in the Bible,” Annalise asked, amazed.
“God had David write these words thousands of years ago because they were true about David. But God knew that they would be true about you and that you would read them,” I said.
“Do you call on Jesus? Do you trust in Jesus?” I asked.
“Yes!” all the children said.
“Then it is like your name is written in the Bible!”
My spirit was rejoicing that my children were understanding these powerful truths at 2, 6, and 8 years if age. Yet I was having trouble taking in a breath, almost like the air was thick, or I had whooping cough…but I wasn’t coughing.
“Strange air here in Virginia,” I thought to myself.
Chris and the older children returned later in the day with entertaining stories of Panther Fall and Todd’s Barbecue. It was the best part of the trip for many of them. I was so glad that my fear hadn’t held them back.
As they continued the tales of fun at the dinner table, I felt Calvin tap my arm. I looked over to him and he was choking! He couldn’t take in a breath!
I immediately started the Heimlich maneuver. I had never done it before, and it wasn’t working. I looked at Chris with a face stricken with fear.
“Can you help me!” I called to him. Calvin started to breath again. I had dislodged the food just enough.
This was crazy! We needed to stand on God’s truth! The enemy couldn’t harm us. Even if demons had some sort of access to this property or this land, they had no authority over us!
As Chris and I were talking about this, Cooper said, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power or the enemy. Nothing will harm you.”
“That’s right Cooper! So you do read those scripture I put up on the mirror!” I exclaimed.
I really felt that God was teaching us to take our authority in Him and not be afraid of anything. I had no delusions that we would be spared trouble, trials, or sorrows; but we didn’t need to fear them. Most of our lives with God are about blessings. When fear comes, it is usually the enemy telling us lies that will never happen. When tribulations come, God always gives us the grace we need AT THE TIME to handle them. What a strange lesson to be learning on vacation.
That night Cooper got really sick, and I hated to see him suffer. Chris and I prayed over him, and by the morning he was better. Spiritual Warfare?
The next day I could see that even in our resting and leisure activities, God was teaching us. The book I was reading was a story of a family who loved Jesus. They had to interact with a very annoying relative. What they didn’t realize was that the relative was working with a spy for the enemy, trying to gather intelligence from their two sons who had just returned home from the war.
As soon as the mother saw the difficult cousin coming to her door for a visit, she started to pray.
“She must be cautious. She must be quiet, to be guided. ‘Oh god help me!’Perhaps it was a petty trial to bring to the great God for help, and yet Margaret Graeme had learned through long years that there is no trial so petty that may not work out to unpleasantness and even sin if allowed to sway the spirit. Mrs. Graeme had learned how to keep that spirit of hers placid, unruffled by little things. She was always looking to her Guide for strength.”
A Girl to Come Home to – Grace Livingston Hill
That was just what we needed to do on this vacation! What we all need to do every day of our lives, but especially now when the battle between good and evil is getting more intense. This is what the scripture God had given me just that morning meant.
“So, the let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.” 1 Thes 5:6
We can be sober and still revel in God’s goodness and enjoy every blessing.
I fulfilled my heart’s desire that day by shopping at the farmers market in Lexington. What a bounty of fruit, veggies, baked goods, and specialty items were ours! We had BLTs that night and enjoyed the fruit of the Virginia countryside.
Areli, Cadin, and I set out early on Thursday morning to arrive at Natural Bridge State Park by 8:15 am. The forest was cool and shady. The trail was wide and even. The Natural Bridge was majestic and breathtaking!
That evening Chris and I had the perfect date night at the Southern Inn. Chris got their famous fried chicken, and I was delighted by the fried brussel sprouts and lamb meatballs with microgreens.
The goodness of God was hunting us down each day!
Friday, our final full day had arrived. The boys wanted to swim at Goshen pass and leap off large rocks. And of course, there was that swinging bridge to cross. This time Courage was allowed to go. We prayed together, and then I took my place on the back porch with my girls again. We read over Ps 91 and 145 and watched the video. Afterwards we took out the kiddie pool, and they had a ball in the back yard.
Before I knew it, Chris and the boys had returned. They had a good time and were anxious to show me the pictures. I scrolled through the pictures on Chris’ phone.
“Looks like fun,” I said almost distractedly until I saw something.
“What was that?!” I scrolled back and saw a picture of all the boys on the swinging bridge, suspended over the river. Arcing over them was a rainbow!
Immediately the forgotten image of dread came back to me: Chai tangled up in the cables, falling, and breaking his neck.
God had taken an image of traumatic fear and painted it with a rainbow of His promise!
What a beautiful gift from my Father! I only had to travel four hours and have an open heart to receive it!
My eyes turned to Jesus. My mind filled with faith and His words. He led my thoughts to a higher plain. I began to muse about what was coming next, what God was preparing to do.
I knew there was an epic war raging. I knew that there were fierce battles to come. Yet I was in perfect peace. All the schemes of the enemy, God was using for good. He was setting everything in place for the greatest awakening the US and the earth has ever known.
What may seem to many the end of freedom and our great Republic, is the beginning of true courage and boldness. What may paralyze some with fear will cause others to rise and rejoice…
BECAUSE HIS SPIRIT IS COMING UPON US LIKE NEVER BEFORE!
I began to imagine what revival could look like.
The prayers I have prayed for the last 30 years will start to manifest!
There will be a return to God in the public schools, government, and military!
I will see miracles of healing as I pray for people around me.
Darkness will be revealed, and truth will shine forth in every sector of culture.
Everything that can be shaken will be shaken, and many people will experience the very foundations of their lives crumbling to nothing.
People will be searching for answers.
The churches will overflow!
The home will become the epicenter for revival.
My family will have burning hearts, encountering God!
My neighbors will knock on my door and ask, “What do I need to do to be saved?”
I will have the answer that can save them from fear and death.
I have extra Bibles that I can give out!
I can gather new believers in my home for Bible study, prayer, and discipleship.
Dutch shared what God was speaking, “I’m about to bring the gifts, power, anointing, and strength of all 5 [past revivals] into one unprecedented outpouring of my spirit…Revival fires are about to burn in America!”
She shared that the harvest in the next ten years will be so great, it will require “all hands on deck” in the body of Christ.
How do we prepare to be part of this amazing future?
“Here is where I lay it down
Every burden, every crown
This is my surrender
This is my surrender…
Shake up the ground of all my tradition
Break down the walls of all my religion
Your way is better
Oh Your way is better,” I continued to sing with the worship team.
I began to ask God to prepare me, and I saw a picture in my mind. I saw pathways in my brain, some very tiny and others superhighways. Each led to a filing cabinet. I saw God opening files and ripping out papers that were written with lies. I saw Him taking out other documents and crossing out certain statements, while highlighting others. I saw Him purging entire filing cabinets and dismantling the highways that led to them. I saw additional pathways being built up leading to fresh revelations. New, divine files were being added.
He was renewing my mind!
He was building my brain the way it should be. He was showing me that I could plug into the Holy Spirit and have Him direct my thoughts and attitudes every moment. He could show me what input was true and what was false, what I should save, and where I should file it. In every situation I encounter, He could bring to the forefront of my mind those files that He wants me access for the sake of the lost and fearful.
The landscape of our brains can be changed and renewed as Dr. Caroline Leaf has proven scientifically. Our thoughts determine the physical structure of our brains. Our thoughts determine our attitudes, our beliefs, our actions, and our words.
What would happen if we were aligned with Him in all our thoughts?
We would always be in the right place at the right time!
We would never be afraid.
We would always be ready to give an answer for this hope that we have!
We would be equipped to throw out the lifeline to the drowning soul.
We would be overflowing with His healing to give to the broken.
We could participate in the Epic Battle of the Last Days, and we would be victorious!
It is hard to believe any of the news being reported. It all seems fake and surreal. We are living under an administration that was neither chosen by the people nor chosen by God. They are proud of the fact that they oppose the ways of God at every turn.
Just like the king of Assyria in Isaiah 37, God is asking them this question, “Whom have you been defying and ridiculing? Against whom did you raise your voice? At whom did you look with such haughty eyes? It was the Holy One of Israel! (NLT)”
Not only are they raging against conservatives, Trump supporters, Christians, and those who believe in our constitution; they are raging against THE HOLY ONE OF ISRAEL! Surely He will defend His holy name.
All that matters right now is God’s perspective. What is He seeing? What is He saying? What is He doing?
It may seem that our role is difficult to define. What should each one of us be doing right now? Praying in our secret place? Preaching the Kingdom in the streets? Calling and writing our representatives in all levels of government?
God gave me an answer that will guide me through my life, through the highs and the lows, through abundant blessing and crushing defeats, through ruling over my inheritance and living under a hostile regime.
“Stand with me. Be with me wherever I am. Go with me wherever I go. Do whatever you see me doing.”
I imagine myself being found in Christ. My small frame is decked out with the full armor of Christ, yet I am hidden and overshadowed by His mighty form. He has trained my hands for war and makes me mightily in battle. Still, He is infinitely larger and more powerful than I. I can hide in him, yet stand with Him. If people fight against Him and revile Him, they will do the same to me. If people are open to Him, they will be open to me. If I suffer with Him, I can also share in His glory.
In my small life with my small sphere of influence, I ask the Holy Spirit to show me what He is doing in each relationship and in each circumstance, and I try to do the same.
How can I make a difference in my nation? I stand my ground, stay in my rank, and listen to His voice. I will pray what He prays, speak what He speaks, and believe that He can use my little part to do the impossible.
I was praying with some family and friends days before the inauguration. God led me to a scripture in Isaiah 49.
your destroyers and wreckers depart from you. (BSB)
I heard Jesus saying to the United States of America, “I HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN YOU!”
How encouraging and comforting that Jesus cares about our country!
He has not forgotten His covenant with the USA. He has not forgotten a single word He has spoken over our nation. He will fulfill every one of His promises and purposes for this nation. He has heard the prayers of His people.
Then Jesus became more intense as I heard Him whisper, “I have NOT forgotten you!” I saw him whispering in the ears of those hidden in darkness with no hope.
His precious babies in the womb.
His dear ones trapped in sex trafficking and pedophilia.
His future generations yet unborn.
“I have NOT forgotten you!”
The Lion of the Tribe of Judah is whispering and ROARING!
“I have not forgotten you!”
The God of the Angel Armies is tenderly speaking!
“I have not forgotten you!”
The Captain of the Hosts is courageously announcing!
I felt in that moment that His rescue plan was unstoppable, His purposes were irresistible.
NOTHING CAN HOLD BACK WHAT HE IS ABOUT TO DO!
How can I stand with Him while I wait patiently for Him to act? Two scriptures gave me an answer.
2 Chronicles 20
God caused a multitude of the enemies of Jehoshaphat to turn on each other and wipe each other out. Not only did God save his people, but He Gave them more spoils that they could carry away. What happened right before the victory? His people gathered as the prophet had instructed them to do and sang,
“Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.”
2 Chronicles 5:6-14
11Then the priests left the Holy Place. All the priests who were present had purified themselves, whether or not they were on duty that day. 12And the Levites who were musicians—Asaph, Heman, Jeduthun, and all their sons and brothers—were dressed in fine linen robes and stood at the east side of the altar playing cymbals, lyres, and harps. They were joined by 120 priests who were playing trumpets. 13The trumpeters and singers performed together in unison to praise and give thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals, and other instruments, they raised their voices and praised the LORD with these words:
“He is good! His faithful love endures forever!”
At that moment a thick cloud filled the Temple of the LORD. 14The priests could not continue their service because of the cloud, for the glorious presence of the LORD filled the Temple of God.
And what happened before the glory of the LORD filled the temple? The priests had purified themselves and then they sang,
“He is good! His faithfulness endures forever!”
As we wait for His victory, we can trust Him. As we long for His glory to fall, we can believe His prophets. As we wait for the light to shine into the dark places, we can draw near to Him. As we pray for His dear ones to be saved, this is what we can do:
Remind ourselves of His Goodness!
He will not forget, and His steadfast love endures forever.
We want to say, “Good riddance!” to 2020, toss it in the dumpster and set it ablaze. We would like to turn our backs and walk into the new year of 2021. If we do that, we will lose all the treasures hidden in darkness, all the lessons learned from challenge, all the wisdom gained in hardship, all the promises fulfilled in ways we didn’t expect. At the beginning of 2020, God was telling us that it would be a Good and Blessed New Year, and it really has been! All His words and prophecies were true. In fact, it has been our best year yet.
I hesitated to write this article, because I didn’t want to make any of my readers feel bad if they didn’t have a year as wonderful as mine. But it is simply a matter of perspective. I think that God would like all of us to concentrate on His blessings rather than the trials. If I made a list of all my heartaches, fears, doubts, and hard times in 2020, you would most certainly pity me and be glad you didn’t have my life. Yet in every life, the blessings and the trials dwell side by side. And the trials actually turn into blessings if we let God have His way.
I used to live in a state of perpetual self-pity. I spent a lot of time feeling sick and tired and grumpy, and every new hardship was confirmation that I was a victim. I didn’t realize that I had taken on an orphan identity that was in opposition to God and the Bible. It just felt like normal life, and normal life was incredibly hard!
It took years for God to renew my mind, peel back the layers, and reveal my victim perspective. A victim mindset produces victim thoughts and victim thoughts produce victim decisions. Victim decisions would lead me away from God’s goodness and into deeper darkness. I didn’t need a change of circumstance, I needed a change in perspective. I was an eagle living in the dirt, but God has taught me how to fly.
I do sometimes forget to fly. So I proclaim over myself, “I pursued my enemies, and I did not turn back until they were destroyed (Ps 18:37)! Fear, you have no hold on me! Victim spirit, orphan spirit, you have no place in me! I am wonderfully well and blessed and highly favored of the Lord. I am his favorite daughter! He has put a crown on my head…” and on and on until I have confessed every good scripture that I can think of.
If you are beholding the LORD, then you will go from glory to glory (2 Cor 3:18). Each year will be better than the last because you are drawing nearer to Him and He is drawing nearer to you!
One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp really helped me change my thought patterns and grow the joy center of my brain. I started keeping a journal of all that I was thankful for, writing a few things each day. At first it took some thought, but pretty soon the blessings would come to my mind faster than I could write or keep track of. I got to one thousand and beyond with no trouble. Now I am in the habit of falling asleep thanking God and waking up thanking God. Some days I must force myself to do it just to push out the discouraging thoughts, but most days it flows naturally.
I decided to write down all the amazing things God had done for us in 2020. Then Chris reminded me of additional blessings that I had forgotten about. We talked about it as a family, and the children remembered even more. It really was the best year yet!
You don’t even have to read my list. The main point is for you to compile your own. It may take days or weeks, talking to family and friends, and reviewing journals and photos, but it is worth the effort. It may just take you from the valley to the clouds and beyond.
Why 2020 has been My Best Year Yet
I have been singing truth over myself every morning. I have been filled with more confidence and boldness and spent less time in discouragement and lies.
I have been waiting on the Lord almost every morning and there is nothing better than hearing His voice.
I have renewed strength and energy – not as tired or overwhelmed.
I have taken a walk almost every morning and I have never been so immersed in the beauty of my own neighborhood in every season.
I found renewed joy in homeschooling. The children got better nutrition and better spiritual discipleship since their schools closed.
Two of my adult children have been home for most of the year. They helped me without being asked and I loved their company.
We spent a week in the best vacation rental we have ever had.
Chris and I fulfilled our 24 year desire to return to Cape May.
We were able to save money in many different ways.
My daughter Ashlyn had a better-than-expected experience during and after spinal fusion surgery.
No sickness in our home except colds.
My boys have wanted to go to church.
I was able to start making kefir and taking supplements again.
After living many years with a leaky roof, we were able to get a new roof with no debt.
I hiked Hawk Rock with the family. I hadn’t done it in 27 years. It was definitely challenging but it felt easier than when I was in my teens!
We finally got a membership to the State museum and used it many times. My dad used to work at the museum, and it was there that I spent many happy childhood days.
On our porch we had yellow mums for autumn and festive lights for Christmas for the first time.
We grew closer to a wonderful group of friends and have never felt more thankful to be able to spend time with them.
I have never been more excited to attend church! I have watched many church leaders rise up in a new boldness. I have witnessed the Ekklesia work together like never before.
I have lived through an amazing year that history will look back on as the beginning of the Second Revolutionary/Civil War, a precursor to the Third Great Awakening when America turned back to God!
We are all waiting for this historic election to be decided. We are seeking God, praying, fasting, and pressing in like never before. We believe that The United States of America will fulfill her God given destiny to be a place of Liberty and Justice for all!
On 11/23/20 God gave me a series of prophetic experiences. I was so encouraged with fresh hope and faith.
It started out with a dream. It seemed important, but I had no idea what it meant. I pondered it throughout the day.
At 9:15 I had an appointment with my chiropractor. We began talking about all the wonderful things God has been speaking to His prophets, and how we are so excited to see God’s plan unfold in America.
I said, “Even though some people feel that 2020 has just been one bad thing after another, I think that God is answering our prayers. We have prayed for revival and this is the process that will prepare for it.”
The Church has a purpose and identity that she needs to walk in. The U.S. has a purpose and identity that she needs to walk in. What if all the circumstances of 2020 have been tailor made to bring this about?
I did look it up and listened to it as I drove to the library and the grocery store. According to Dutch, God has been speaking to His people through dreams lately. He recounted the dreams of several people he knew. The way they all connected and shared the same message was something only God could have orchestrated. I felt my hope increasing.
After lunch I had to drive to the dentist, so I continued listening to Dutch Sheets. As he spoke, the details of my dream from the night before began to make sense. I felt God open my mind with revelation.
Through the windshield of my van, I caught sight of a bird that looked like any other black bird except its wings formed a straight line rather than a V.
“That could be an eagle!” I thought to myself. “I should keep an eye on that bird.”
I stopped at the corner, put on my hazards, and put the vehicle in park. Eagle watching is serious business for me. God has spoken life changing words each of the nine times I have seen one. The eagles seemed to be coming closer. My last eagle sighting was just 10 minutes from my home.
As soon as I looked up, I could see that the black bird had a white head and a white tail.
A BALD EAGLE!
I got out of the van to get a better look. Bald Eagle # 10 circled above me and it was so close. I was thrilled because this eagle was in my neighborhood, just ONE BLOCK FROM MY HOME!
It is coming closer! God’s promises! Revival! My identity!
I had paused the video of Dutch Sheetz but I wrote down the time that I had spotted the eagle. This is what Dutch had been saying when the eagle appeared:
“There is a Third Great Awakening coming that is going to bring such a transformation to this nation. God’s going to do in such a short time what we couldn’t have done in human effort in a century. He’s going to undo 150 years of humanistic brainwashing and secularism and anti-Christ mindsets and corruption and evil, that’s coming such a sweeping revival and movement of God’s Spirit to this nation that it is going to be a tidal wave of power and anointing and the wind of the Holy Ghost is going to breathe through this land.
And it’s gonna hit the campuses, it’s gonna hit the inner cities, and it’s gonna hit Washington and State capitals and office buildings. I’m telling you that God’s going to pour out his Spirit in the greatest revival the earth has ever seen – to America and the nations of the earth.”
So be encouraged! We are waiting on the Lord. The wind of His presence is lifting us up. Let’s practice flying in the tranquil breezes and in the mighty gales. Let’s get ready for the wind of the Holy Ghost that is surely coming!
A few years ago I didn’t believe that I would ever see an eagle. God worked out incredible circumstances to convince me otherwise. I was starting to accept my identity as His Eagle, and I asked Him to allow me to spot a real eagle. My first eagle sighting happened on vacation, hours north from our home. I was filled with awe and gratitude to my Good Father!
However, I still didn’t believe that I would see another eagle once I returned home. God surprised me again with His goodness when the second time happened during my weekly drive to the farm to get milk and eggs.
Eagle sighting # 3 was with my son, home on leave from the Marines. We were driving to a state park. I had prayed and asked God to show me an eagle. A few minutes later, there it was, flying above our van. God used that eagle to remind me that:
We don’t belong with those who turn back and are destroyed. Instead, we belong with those who have faith and are saved.
Hebrews 10:35-39 (God’s Word)
Eagle sightings #4, #5,and #6 were up north again during our next family vacation. I was reminded that God encounters are all around us, we just need the eyes to recognize them!
Eagle #7 was soaring 10 minutes from home. I was amazed that eagles lived so close!
God spoke to me that my eagle sightings were like something else I had been praying for: REVIVAL!
Revival with miracles, healings, salvations, and deliverances happening all around me.
That which seemed impossible has become a part of my normal life. Now I expect to see an eagle as I gaze out of my kitchen window, watching the birds perch on the church across the street.
“Someday, I will see a bald eagle right there! Someday I will see revival right here, in my neighborhood, in my own house!” I often think to myself.
Eagle #8 appeared at a State Park in February as I pondered the Good and Blessed New Year of 2020! Our plans for the year were very uncertain, yet I was full of hope I surrendered to God’s wonderful will, whatever that turned out to be. I had no idea what crazy events 2020 had in store.
Now that it is December, I can still say that it has been a Good and Blessed year, and I have come to know God more than ever before.
Eagle #9 was just 5 minutes from our home. We were heading out for a family day, and I was feeling especially discouraged. We were passing road signs that were normally used to update drivers on accidents or adverse weather conditions. They were flashing messages that I would expect to see in a Socialist State, not in my beloved country. Here in the USA we have freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assemble, freedom to work and earn a living, freedom to innovate and run your own business, and freedom to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Reminders that these freedoms are being taken away are everywhere. Lately it feels stressful to leave the house, never knowing what the “rules” are, how and if the “rules” are being enforced, and what extreme viewpoints you might encounter.
When I saw that eagle I realized, God is right here! In my town!
I can be that eagle. I can soar above the circumstances right now. I can go out into my city, the land of my inheritance, and claim it for the kingdom of God. I can be full of joy and tell people good news wherever I go. Even if others are walking in fear and offense, I don’t have to. Jesus is King of this land and I am His Eagle.
God continues to speak to me with eagles and I spotted Eagle # 10 just a few weeks ago…
I conducted a survey on Facebook. I asked my friends who supported Donald Trump to tell me why. I received 21 replies which contained 35 reasons. I have simplified the answers and ranked them by popularity.
Funding of Historically Black Colleges in perpetuity
Middle East peace treaty (Abraham Accord)
Women’s empowerment through programs for education, jobs/equal pay, maternity leave, etc
Prison reform policies
Strengthening of military and establishing the Space Force
Opening the White House to intercessory prayer and worship
Authentic love of his children – their poise, intelligence and love for him
Surrounding himself with strong, intelligent (and beautiful) women starting with Melania
His ideology has never changed – watch interviews with Larry King, Oprah, Phil Donahue from ’80s and ’90s
Focus on Natural Resources
It is easy to see why Trump has been meeting enthusiastic crowds of thousands of people everywhere he goes. If this list seems too good to be true, our you just love to research and discover facts for yourself, I have two wonderfully thorough and documented articles for you.
Before the last election, I noticed a strange phenomenon that I hadn’t observed before. I had been used to people praising their favored candidate and criticizing the opposing candidate. Politics could be hard to debate without arguments. However, when Donald Trump arrived on the scene, I was surprised by how some people reacted to any mention of his name or any post about him on social media with unfettered hatred.
There was so much anger expressed that logical conversations seemed impossible. I wondered why.
It seemed as those people who hated Trump had been personally offended by him. It was as if they had invited Donald Trump to dinner in their home and he had insulted their cooking and spit in their faces. It was as if they had met Donald in the school yard and he had pinned them to the asphalt and humiliated them in front of the other kids.
“How can they be so offended at a man they have never met?” I asked myself over and over for the past four years. The answer began to come as I caught a news-show or talk-show in a doctor’s waiting room, or as I watched a clip of late night television or a video on the internet.
The media was offended at Donald Trump.
They would express their disgust and distain for him in a way that evoked a deep emotional response in the audience. The American people were being constantly and consistently conditioned to be offended at the man. It didn’t matter if the media would tell lies, because if they said it often enough it seemed like the truth. It didn’t matter if they exaggerated certain facts, left out other facts, and just plain made things up. It didn’t matter if they took a sound bite out of an entire speech and put a different spin on it. (Click here for just one example of this practice called “journalistic malfeasance.”)
The media created a thousand different hooks to catch a moral and compassionate person. If a person took the bait, it would keep them tied to the negative words or images that were displayed. They were caught in offense; hook, line, and sinker.
In 2018, the Media Research Center reported that 92% of all mainstream media coverage of Trump was negative. And it hasn’t let up. It has gotten worse and worse.
I had realized many years ago, long before Trump ran for president, not to waste my time on mainstream media, the news or TV shows, Hollywood and most of what came out of Hollywood.
Why? Because it filled my head with negative thoughts, glorified violent and immoral images, and presented lies as facts. Most people in the media did not live lives that I wanted to emulate, and as the saying goes, “You become what you behold.” I decided that there were much better things to behold such as Jesus, the Bible, good literature, and men and women who had characters that I could trust. I never got hooked by the offense that the media and the left had been generating. I simply didn’t give them the time of day.
Perhaps you feel justified in your dislike for Donald Trump. That is fine. You don’t have to like him. You don’t have to vote for him. But if you hold on to offense, it hurts you, not Trump. Offense is just unforgiveness. We all have the opportunity to get offended many times each day. It can happen in an instant.
My little daughter will come to me with tears in her eyes, telling a pitiful story of the injustices inflicted upon her by an older sibling. I am immediately offended at my older child, thinking, “How could they do something like that?” Once I hear the older child’s side of the story, usually my offense dissipates as I realize that both children were at fault. I am trying to skip the entire offense process to simply listen and ask God for discernment.
Some things don’t bother us and other offenses we hold on to for hours, days, months, even years. But WE get to decide how long we want to be in bondage to unforgiveness. Perhaps the person who offended us really did or said something bad. Or perhaps we just couldn’t see the situation from the other person’s perspective. Perhaps Donald Trump has done or said things that were bad. Or perhaps it is a matter of your perspective. Either way, you don’t have to stay in bondage to that.
You can forgive him.
You NEED to forgive him if you want to live a happy and healthy life.
Many health care professionals, neuroscientists, and doctors agree that 95% of disease has a mental/emotional component. One of the worst choices for your mental and physical health is unforgiveness. It is like a cancer, eating away at your insides.
You NEED to forgive him if you want to be forgiven of your own wrong doings.
Matthew 6:14 “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you..”
Mark 11:25 “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”
Matt 7:2 “For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
You NEED to forgive him so that you won’t be blinded by deception.
What we are witnessing in this country is a large group of people who can no longer discern right from wrong, truth from lies. When I asked God why many in the church no longer defend the Bible or Life or the freedoms of the Constitution, I felt God answered,
“They listened to voices that were not mine. Those voices stirred up offense. Some people have been harboring and feeding that offense for four years, and now they are blind.”
About week later Wanda Alger posted a new article and she said this,
“Offenses blind us to the truth and give a distorted view of reality. There are those within the body of Christ who are convinced they are pursuing a righteous cause when, in fact, their cause is rooted in offense, both personal and corporate. Unfortunately, bitter roots only open the door to deception and defilement (see Hebrews 12:15). We must keep our own hearts clear of offense and pray for those who revile us.”
I asked my friends who didn’t support Trump to tell me why. I expected them to explain how his policies have been bad for America or point out specific parts of his platform that they didn’t agree with. Instead I received descriptions of how the man had offended them with his pride, criticism of others, lack of intelligence, promotion of violence and division, and mean words. They called him things like narcissist, liar, and cheater. They didn’t consider him fit to lead our country. That is fine. That is their opinion. But their offensive is hurting them, and I pray they can let it go.
Are you offended at Donald Trump?
Did the title of this article irk you?
Does the sight of Donald Trump cause anger or disgust to well up within you?
Do you call Donald Trump demeaning names?
Do you find yourself wishing harm on him or rejoicing when something bad happens to him or his family?
Do you get angry when discussing him?
Do you find the need to tell Trump supporters how awful their chosen candidate is?
It might be possible that you need to forgive him.
You don’t need to like him.
You don’t need to vote for him.
Just forgive him.
You could honor his position as President and pray for him! You might just get a different perspective!