The Bible 11:11 NLT

Happy Wednesday! I had every intention of dropping this on Testimony Tuesday but as we all know, sometimes, well…kids.

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and your NLT version of the Bible or download the YouVersion Bible app today and snuggle up to get into God’s word. I found this particular study enlightening and helpful in introducing some new characters to study and also entertaining even by today’s modern example. Some chapter do not have an 11:11 but you can enjoy the ones that do.

Genesis 11:11 After the birth of Arphaxas, Shem lived another 500 years and had other sons and daughters. How amazing it is that our ancestors lived 500 years!

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Leviticus 11:11 They will always be detestable to you. You must never eat their meat or even touch their dead bodies. –Here God is telling Moses and Aaron what marine animals are to be avoided because they are unclean. The entire passage regarding animals is very interesting.

Numbers 11:11 And Moses said to the Lord, “Why are you treating me, your servant, so harshly? Have mercy on me! What did I do to deserve the burden of all these people?” So, this entire chapter I found incredibly interesting. If you are new to the Bible, the people are complaining to Moses about struggle. How many times has your own family or friends used you to complain to? Did the burden make you agitated? This puts Moses in a very human light because he is aggravated at God and speaks about it out loud to Him.

The Lord has been pressing on me to get this 11:11 piece done. Today, I feel the weight Moses felt regarding whining and poverty and destitution in our world. Working in the prevention side of the market and dealing with political and social restraint has truly taken a toll on my ability to hear God clearly. Read the entire chapter and see how God and Moses argue. You can almost feel Moses exasperation and you can most definitely feel the Lord’s frustration.

I can chalk this up to having a toddler on the side of the pool. His father is telling him to “jump!” But he doesn’t trust the outcome because of fear. How many times do we feel this? It boils over into our own family dynamics and social and work situations.

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Deuteronomy 11:11 Rather, the land you will soon take over is a land of hills and valley with plenty of rain-12 a land that the Lord your God cares for. He watches over it through each season of the year!

As Moses is preaching the commandments in Deuteronomy, I feel the sense of urgency Moses has to his people. In verse 11:16 Moses says, “But be careful. Don’t let your heart be deceived so that you turn away from the Lord and serve and worship other Gods.” Don’t you feel that difficult pull in today’s Western society to fall prey to our lifestyles and the wicked ways of the world. How can we teach our children, and remind the, like Moses tells us to do, to hold fast to the Lord’s word and their purity? Deuteronomy tells us very plainly, that it is our responsibility to teach our future about the promises and miracles of God so that they may not forget.

Joshua 11:11 The Israelites completely destroyed every living thing in the city, leaving no survivors. Not a single person was spared. And then Joshua burned the city down.

WHOA. That is a heavy verse. Let’s dive a little deeper into this verse. Joshua was Moses assistant, for lack of better terminology. After Moses dies in the Bible, God speaks to Joshua and tells him it is now up to him to lead the Israelites into the promised land. In Joshua there is a lot, A LOT, of battles and Joshua has the Lord’s blessing. If you are a dude, grab the NLT version. I like to picture the Bible as a movie inside of my head. This is one of your action scene chapters. There is fire and horses and chariots! Joshua was a great military leader for the Promised people and the Promised land.

Judges 11:11 So Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him their ruler and commander of the army. At Mizpah, in the presence of the Lord, Jephthah repeated what he had said to the elders.

In the Bible, Jephthah has to stand up to the Ammonite king who accuses the Israelites of stealing land from him at the Arnon River.

1 Samuel 11:11 But before dawn the next morning, Saul arrived, having divided his army into three detachments. He launched a surprise attack against the Ammonites and slaughtered them the whole morning. The remnant of their army was so badly scattered that no two of them were left together.

Saul was a King and eventually fell on his own sword to avoid being captured by the Philistines. Google defines Philistine as-a person who is hostile or indifferent to culture and the arts, or who has no understanding of them.

2 Samuel 11:11 Uriah replied, “The ark and the armies of Israel and Judah are living in the tents, and Joab and my master’s men are camping in the open fields. How could I go home to win and dine and sleep with my wife? I swear I would never do such a thing.

Soooooo, Uriah is Bathsheba’s husband. This was kind of a sultry story to get into. Because it is the beginning of David’s fall to rock bottom. David tried to send Uriah home to get some rest because Uriah serves in the palace. Uriah refuses. David then arranges for Uriah to be murdered on the battlefront. David then sends for Uriah’s wife and takes her as his own wife. He literally kills his pregnant mistress’ husband and then takes her as his own wife. Needless to say, God is pretty angry!

1 Kings 11:11 So now the Lord said to him, “Since you have not kept my covenant and have disobeyed my decrees, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to one of your servants.

God is speaking to Solomon here. He is angry because Solomon has built pagan altars for his foreign wives to worship and burn incense on. Solomon is David’s son.

2 Kings 11:11 The palace guards stationed themselves around the king, with their weapons ready. They formed a line from the south side of the Temple around to the north side and all around the altar.

Here, Joash is crowned king.

1 Chronicles 11:11 Here is record of David’s mightiest warriors: The first was Jashobeam the Hacmonite, who was leader o the Three-mightiest warriors among David’s men. He once used his spear to kill 300 enemy warriors in a single battle.

2 Chronicles 11:11 Rehoboam strengthened their defenses and stationed commanders in them, and he stored supplies of food, olive oil, and wine.

Rehoboam is in Judah.

Nehemiah 11:11 and Seraiah son of Hilkiah, son of Meshullam, son of Zadok, son of Meraioth, son of Ahitub, the supervisor of the Temple of God.

The people are occupying Jerusalem in this chapter, Genealogy is important in the Bible and can help us really understand how and why certain things occur.

Job 11:11 For He knows those who are false, and He takes note of all their sins.

Wow. This one was a little deeper than I had expected it to be. How many times in our lives have we felt we were not being genuine, or someone was not being genuine with us? Even in our own churches this can be a frustrating experience. But at the end of the day, we serve a God who knows all. Even our darkest hearts and thoughts. Our sinful and wicked ways are scarily, human. Therefore, repenting every time we are pressed to is so important.

Proverbs 11:11 Upright citizens are good for a city and make it prosper, but the talk of the wicked tears it apart.

This is our thrift store for our non-profit. We painted our own blue cross on the window after a left wing extremist group threatened our tiny town with a lawsuit. The verse is Mathew 10:33

I immediately pictured this in front of a small town-America courthouse. I also thought of our own small town’s argument with a left-wing extremist group who wanted us to remove our blue cross at the city park for the Christmas light display. How powerful is that picture painted in Proverbs? And OH! How true it rings today!

Isaiah 11:11 In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to bring back the remnant of his people-those who remain in Assyria and northern Egypt, Ethiopia, and Elam; in Babyloania, Hamath, and all the distant coastlands.

This is talking about David’s genealogy line and their importance to humanity.

Jeremiah 11:11 Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I am going to bring calamity upon them, and they will not escape. Thought they beg for mercy, I will not listen to their cries.

At this point in time, God has discovered that the people of Jerusalem and Judah have returned to their ancestral ways of worshipping false idols, he names Baal here too. The Lord asks Jeremiah to stop praying and weeping for these people. Isn’t it interesting and applicable to some of the wicked ways of our western society today? I myself am guilty of praying and weeping for unspeakable evil and for a nation that is turning its back on God. Maybe so much so that I am so focused on this that I am missing all my blessings and possibly some of prayer time focusing on things I cannot change. They are truly in God’s hands.

Ezekiel 11:11 “No, this city will not be an iron pot for you, and you will not be like meat safe inside it. I will judge you even to the border of Israel 12 and you will know that I am the Lord. For you have refused to obey my decrees and regulations; instead, you have copied the standards of the nations around you.”

I don’t have to dive into the history of this chapter for you. I think just reading it drives the point home. When you start to experience the Bible living word and you SEE the implications it has on our modern society now, it may just scare you a little bit. But here’s what I can tell you, that fear is healthy when you turn to salvation. It’s the sort of internal gift the Holy Spirit gives you when your veil has been torn. How often do we copy the standards of our OWN nation of people?

Daniel 11:11 “Then, in a rage, the kind of the south will rally against the vast forces assembled by the king of the north and will defeat them.

Daniel was a Jewish exile.

Isaiah was right. Jeremiah was right.Habakkuk was right. The Babylonians had attacked Jerusalem and carried off many Jewish captives. One of them was a young man named Daniel.

Daniel quickly distinguishes himself from the men of Babylon. He is loyal to his God. He is wise beyond his years. He can even interpret visions and dreams—accurately. Daniel’s gifts are from the God of Israel, and the young man becomes a living testimony to his God in a strange land.

Daniel also has vivid, symbolic visions about the future of Israel, world kingdoms, and the kingdom of God—exposing us to some of God’s long-term plan for the world. You can find more Here.

Hosea 11:11 Like a flock of birds, they will come from Egypt. Trembling like doves they will return from Assyria. And I will bring them home again,” says the Lord.

God is speaking of his great love for Israel.

Zechariah 11:11 That was the end of my covenant with them. The suffering flock was watching me, and they knew that the Lord was speaking through my actions.

Matthew 11:11 “I will tell you, of all who have ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least person in the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he is!” This was an amazing account to read. You can truly feel Jesus’ love for John the Baptist, and since I read that first and then went back and studied the surrounding scriptures, I realized that I must have been meant to see it was. That Jesus truly believed there was none greater than his beloved John the Baptist.

Mark 11:11 So Jesus came to Jerusalem and went into the Temple. After looking around carefully at everything, he left because it was late in the afternoon. Then he returned to Bethany with the twelve disciples.

Upon studying this, I felt pressed to tell you that in this chapter I giggled.

Mark 11:12 The next morning as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. He noticed a fig tree in full leaf a little way off, so he went over to see if he could find any figs. But there were only leaves because it was too early in the season for fruit. Then Jesus said to the tree, “May no one ever eat your fruit again!” And the disciples heard him say it.

Here’s what I am going to tell you. Jesus has left us little clues that He was in fact, HUMAN. Here, you can just feel His “hangry”.

Luke 11:11 “You fathers-if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead?”
The resounding effects of this verse have been heard throughout Christian history. God isn’t going to give us a snake.

John 11:11 Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.”

I often think about this story when someone near to us passes away. How many times have we seen life after death here on earth and yet we dismiss it as science? Just because it hasn’t been our loved ones who were resurrected here on the earth doesn’t mean this doesn’t happen now. The true meaning of resurrection lies in Heaven and our own salvation. When our focus switches from trying to disprove the Bible and simply believing the Bible as we have other subjects, its light shines bright and true.

Acts 11:11 “Just then three men who had been sent from Caesarea arrived at the house where we were staying. 12 The Holy Spirit told me to go with them and not to worry that they were Gentiles. These six brothers accompanied me, and we soon entered the home of a man who had sent for us. 13 He told us how an angel had appeared to him in his home and told him, “Send messengers to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter. 14 He will tell you how you will be saved and everyone in your household can be saved.

15 As I began to speak,” Peter continued, “the Holy Spirit fell on us at the beginning. 16 Then I thought of the Lord’s words when he said, “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” 17 And since God gave these Gentiles the same gift he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to stand in God’s way?”

Romans 11:11 Did God’s people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! They were disobedient, so God made salvation available to the Gentiles. But he wanted his own people to become jealous and claim it for themselves.

You can kind of picture a “mic drop” here.

This one is for you Christian feminists out there. You’re welcome.

1 Corinthians 11:11 But among the Lord’s people, women are not independent of men, and men are not independent of women. 12 For although the first woman came from man, every other man was born from the woman, and everything comes from God.

2 Corinthians 11:11 Why? Because I don’t love you? God knows that I do.

I LOVE Paul. I mean, if I could pick a fella out of the Bible, back in the day, it would be Paul. He was a rebel who fell at the feet of Jesus Christ. He repented all his sin and then followed Jesus until his death. He was loyal and loved the Gospel. If you have extra time, study the letters to the church in Corinth. Paul’s words were so encouraging to them in a time when he was struggling with his own physical pain and torture, yet here he was, worshipping God.

Hebrews 11:11 It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed that God would keep his promise.

I love how the New Testament always circles back to the word and stories of the Old Testament. These stories were passed down generation to generation of believers. Gods promise is exactly like that.

Here we are at the end of the story. I hope you have enjoyed this project so far. It was a doosey to write up, but I found myself so intrigued with the verses and, diving in deeper to uncover the meaning or storyline behind them. As a new Christian I enjoy helping others who have came to Christ unpack some of the things we can internally struggle against someone who was born and raised in God’s words.

Revelation 11:11 But after three and a half days God breathed life into them, and they stood up! Terror struck all who were staring at them. 12 Then a loud voice from heaven called to the two prophets, “Come up here!” And they rose to heaven in a cloud as their enemies watched.

Live, love.

Tiffany

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Testimony Tuesday

I think a lot of new Christians who are stumbling through the Bible for the first time since their veil lifted seek out the characters they are most similar to. It is the supernatural way God keeps us focused. We find ourselves in Him.

DAWN BY THE SEA OF GALILEE

Then, quite unexpectedly, a figure can be discerned on the shore, just visible in that luminous violet-purple rose half-light which precedes dawn by the Sea of Galilee.  Silent, apart from the odd plop of a jumping fish – well away from the disciples’ boat.  This mysterious stranger on the shore asked these experienced Galilean fishermen the most insensitive question.  “Friends, have you caught any fish?”  The frostiness in the reply is palpable.  “No.”   Then this person – and what did He know about fishing? – told them to throw the net out on the right side and they would find plenty.  Strangely enough they obeyed.  There is something in the commands of Jesus which just must be obeyed, even if we don’t quite know why at the moment…  And they caught so many fish – 153 large ones – that they couldn’t pull in the net!  Finally, the penny dropped.  “It is the Lord!” “When Simon Peter heard it was the Lord, he…jumped into the water and swam ashore.” [John 21:5-7, NLT].  

I read the Bible prior to my salvation, but didn’t truly have the stories come alive with humans and real struggle and geographic places until I was saved in May of 2018.

Of course, I am a feminist. Not a third wave feminist who is looking for every reason under the sun to hate men and still be able to have babies, but the kind that understands where we have been as women and where we are as women. But even more importantly, where we are going as women. When I read stories about the women of the Bible, I always see a little of myself in them. That is the clever truth behind salvation and the word of God. It is meant to be applicable throughout all ages of mankind on this earth. I think I have came to the conclusion that I am more of a Simon Peter than I previously thought, I am stubborn in that I have grown lazy and slipped right back into an old way of doing things.

I’m in a pickle right now because the Lord has asked me to do something I’m not quite sure how to do. I want to be obedient. I want to grasp the tiny mustard seed hanging around my neck in a locket and jump! But jumping off the cliff into the abyss is seemingly more difficult than it was prior to being saved. My life is quite different than it was a year ago. And yet, the difficulties are still apparent and very much there. Is it my approach and reaction that simply needs to be tweaked?

I believe the answer lies in blind obedience and faith.

Standing over the cliff gives me butterflies.

Lord, guide as we soak ourselves in your simple and firm direction. Help us to hear you clearly. Help us to see you clearly. Give us courage to do so in a world that laughs at our crazy faith. Amen.

Live, love.

Tiffany

He Goes Before me

Death makes a person do things.

It tends to rule your thoughts and emotions, whether you know you are grieving or not. There was a time in my life, especially after I lost my uncle and cousin so close together that all I could think of was what it would be like when I got “there”. The proverbial “there” looms. I don’t know where I thought I was going, because I was not saved yet.

When death struck our family again last year, it shoved me down some sort of tunnel of despair and even today, I can’t seem to put one foot in front of the other, but I am trying. Really it’s our own reality that can sometimes halt us in our track. I’m struggling this week because of a decision that directly affected us in such a negative manner and I need to believe that He has gone before me and made it right and full of sense and purpose.

The Lord is gentle with us. The angry and delusional thoughts that seep through our mind are the enemy, and I know that. And so when it happens I am learning to lean in to him, although I am certainly not perfect at it. But He is kind and knows all and surely this won’t last forever. He will finish what He started.

2 Corinthians 12:9

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Pro-choice Social Liberal to Pro-life Social Conservative

How can that happen? How does someone who grew up believing in an all-accepting spirituality driven, God-rejecting and pro-choice lifestyle turn to the One who she thought she didn’t need? How does a feminist girl grow up to eventually change her entire belief system and start standing up for pro-lifers or the proverbial “bible-thumpers”? If you spend enough time in fluorescent lighting, in other words “fake” light, it can start to give you a headache. It’s a slow dull pain at first and then it explodes into a migraine. At the end of the day, after everything I had been through, I was empty. Not depressed empty, but heartbreak empty. And then the political war started. I had spent months vowing to never vote for Trump. Even going against my “never say never”.

But as the election dragged on I found myself being disgusted with not only the Clinton policy but the way some women were behaving, as if, simply because they were women they were allowed to break laws and support countries that abused women or support women who were killing their unborn babies.

The proverbial political waters became murky for me. Drag queens dressed in scary costumes were reading books to children in libraries and parents were encouraging their children to take hormone replacement therapy, against the advice of therapists and doctors. My friends, friends of friends, wives of friends were all of a sudden baiting people in their circles and would then attack people with false narratives and fact-less links. All of a sudden it became more important to point out why someone was terrible because they didn’t support abortion, the organized race war or the heated gay agenda, than it was to simply disagree and realize that it didn’t equate to hate. Disagreement does not equate to hate.

I began to see the Democratic party and the Liberal followers in a very different light, and it gave me a headache. When I meditated I still felt empty. Before I met Jesus, I was empty. Buddha, Krishna, all of the “New Age” practices and belief systems left me empty and unfulfilled. My salvation was the beginning of sunlight for me. It was like a literal veil was lifted and I could see the false narrative even more brighter than before. The war on Christians that I had participated in was terrible. The war against civil, loving, good people was raging. And it is still raging and being perpetuated by an unjust and dishonest media system. But we allowed it to be created. My oldest friends know I would never have an abortion. But those in my circle who have had abortion know I love them the same, why? Because we can disagree and still love one another. That is the sign of a mature woman.

Having an “open” mind may not be such a great idea at all. It leads to moral corruption and a belief system that goes against the laws of nature. Being a Christian doesn’t make my sins better than yours, it means mine are forgiven. And if I choose to stand up and stand out for what I believe now and repent for what I once believed it doesn’t equate to hatred for me. It simply means I have chosen a different path. I would challenge a staunch feminist to engage in intelligent and fact-based conversation, while leaving the emotion out of it for a moment, and explain a few different things that I’ve struggled with:

  1. How can someone who believes in women SO much with such a whole heart encourage another women to abort her child, to play God, and choose to end a life that could be the next greatest and most amazing life-changing baby girl born?
  2. How can we justify having humane societies for animals and yet encourage the mass murder of unborn humans?
  3. How can we support a feminine agenda that is belittling and destroying our little boys, our sons, husbands, and brothers?
  4. How can we support a feminist political agenda that sends millions of dollars to countries that rape, murder, and cut the clitoris off of pubescent girls?
  5. How can we take all of the things we have accomplished and live in the greatest nation of the world and still have no heart for the homeless women, the drug addicted women, or those who are suffering from violent home situations and yet send money to other countries that commit the above atrocities?
  6. How, as feminists do we take an incredible, intelligent, beautiful, and moral woman like Sarah Sanders and annihilate her on national television for “ratings” and “clicks”. She doesn’t deserve it. She is amazing and SHE IS the woman we should be raising our girls to be like.
  7. How, as a nation of women, can we allow a media to encourage girls that sexuality and sexiness are weighted means of self worth, and turn around and complain about it? We do nothing. In fact, we do the opposite when we utilize the media to push anti-woman agendas of other nations.
  8. How can we beg for our leaders to allow the rush of the border because it is “women and children” and yet encourage the infanticide of our own nations children?

Those are just a few of my issues the last few years. We ignore core issues and move on to something we think is important while leaving the very one we claim to be standing up for, behind. That is how a pro-choice female becomes pro-life. It is when you see the world thought the eyes of Jesus, and you choose to stop playing God, that you see that there is a greater purpose for the greater good. But then again, maybe the greater good has become the minority.
Live love,Tiffany

Thy Will Be Done

When I opened my computer today, this is what Erica had changed the background to. Oh, the irony in this photo. This is how I’ve felt the last 11 months. It’s how all the teenagers I know have felt, it’s how some parents involved have felt, and it is how many in addiction prevention have felt I guess. We have been barely hanging on to reality. I am barely hanging on. I also took my spirituality test on Sunday, the gift of “apostleship, exhortation, and mercy” is what I scored highest on. Imagine that. God smiled, I am sure. Last year on Thanksgiving, I wasn’t aware that I would spend many, MANY future nights begging God to send me a message that a boy was in heaven. That message came from his mother. I wasn’t aware of the brewing storm on the horizon. What I have also failed to share lately is that I have spent a majority of my days and nights in a very deep, almost spiritual depression since last December, I suppose. I cry in the shower with grief. I cry in the car with thankfulness I have my kids, and then I cry because of guilt again. I cry on the way from the grocery. I cry at work. I cry all the time. Ugly crying. I was blaming myself. I was blaming our society. I was blaming the drug company and the crumbling education system and pressure on children and parents. But mostly, I have been trying to carry the burden. It was my fault. I missed signs. I missed something along the way. I wasn’t a good enough mother. God must be punishing me. Very few understand the burden some of us are carrying. Even fewer, truly care. This week, I finally gave it to God. He took it in His hands, He took it right away from me in the most loving way he could, and it was because I asked Him to. Last week, at a very heated meeting in community drug prevention, I felt like God sent a messenger to instruct me to read a passage. Someone in our meeting kept repeating the importance of Acts 10:38, only when I got to that scripture, it didn’t say what he thought it said. Acts 10:38 “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.” I didn’t understand the importance of this. I don’t think recovery and treatment will stick without a connection with God. Then on Sunday, a voice, in my head. “Thy will be done”.Then it was cemented when the song kept repeating on my station. Thy will be done. They will be done. Thy will be done. Thy will and free will. The two crossed paths in my heart, mind, and soul. Over and over again.There isn’t anything any of us could have done to change the outcome. Not one of us could have prevented the will of God. Before you get enraged and scream at me, “But Tiffany! God WILLED Alex to die? What kind of God would do that!” The first sin gave us free will. God’s will was to live without sin. We created sin. Free will leads us to sin, not God’s will. God’s will leads us out of sin and into a life of righteousness. God’s will is what comforts us when something so profoundly human happens and crushes us, we could not have prevented His will, nor can we prevent the free will of another human. We can only seek comfort and grace, and we can only offer comfort and grace into another persons situation. Alex is one of God’s many lambs. I believe that. If you do too, then live like that. I will thank God every day for Alex bringing me to Christ, and also, my family. Because we are better than we were before. I am opening up my heart to more. I am trying to see, more. I tell you this because to understand salvation is to understand that even the worst of tragedy can cause us to be so angry with God. Or blame ourselves,our children, or our spouses. But it isn’t our responsibility to foretell sin or travesty and prevent it, it is to lead people to God, before God’s will plays out. It is to love people so fiercely that they know God through your heart. I should love people and when they ask me how I do it, then I tell Alex’s story. Even through your human moments, they know you are Gods love and mercy. It lies in forgiveness and mercy on your own heart, because that is what God gives us. Just the way I give mercy to my own children. When God speaks of the proverbial rod, he isn’t saying punish your child, he is saying discipline your child in and with love. Show your child mercy and grace, don’t ever stop loving your child. Never. Because if God can forgive you, he will forgive them. For all those who cry out to him will receive his reign of grace. It isn’t up to you to determine someone else’s worth. To be honest I don’t know that I am capable of working in prevention at all. Not knowing what God has now shown me. Not knowing the truth, that the only true way to live free is truly through the heart of Jesus, I can’t prevent anything from happening. I can only love those through it and wait for the day that I am standing in heaven with those who are waiting for us. But I can start a ministry, I don’t know how, but I believe that no one can stay sober without God. I believe that conviction is what leads to a safe, happy, and loving life. I believe that we have robbed many of our children of conviction so that we may continue living the life we want, as opposed to the life God wants us to lead. It’s self harm at the deepest level.Some of you, (you “kids”, our “kids”, you know who you are) are blaming yourself. You are just wallowing in grief. I want you to know that I truly mean it when I say I love you all. I know how painful it is. A couple of you have been chosen by God to walk a path that may be difficult, but in the end, rewarding. *cough,cough, JD, *cough. You can stay sober with God. People cannot keep you sober. Medication cannot keep you sober. Nothing we did could have changed the outcome. God doesn’t want you to feel that way anymore. That place of guilt doesn’t come from God. Oh how He loves us, even as His will is done. Give thanks. Love people. #livelove

Welcome Home

I’ve answered several private messages today regarding James River Church and their stance on yoga. It wasn’t until someone sent me a screen shot of the News-Leader story that dropped that I understood the hub-bub surrounding it and why suddenly people were asking me about Church. As a matter of fact, I felt like a few were either trying to point out all my sins and hypocrisy or others wanted to insult my intelligence (and my belief in Christ) by suggesting that I had been brainwashed by some sort of cult. I’d like to think for many of you who know me, that I, 1. Have no issue eating crow when I am wrong and 2. I am still the same hot mess of independence and intelligence that I was prior to giving my life to Christ. I just live a little differently. My veil has indeed been torn and I can’t just put it back on and pretend that God hasn’t spoken to me. My life is very different than it was a year ago and I love that. I will fall at the feet of God every single day and thank him for saving my son and our family. It’s no secret that I gave my life to Christ this year and that my family has been attending the Church. I have a deep love for the Church now and I also have much respect for the many people who give their life to serve on a weekly basis. We encountered a lot in the last year that drove me to “come to Jesus” and hand it all over to Him. I don’t want to go to hell. I want to go to Heaven. I mean, that’s kind of the end. I want to be with Jesus and I want to see those who are waiting for me. I was so tired of trying to carry everything spiritually alone. My heart is changed. It was from the inside out and it isn’t temporary. It’s also no secret that I’ve written paranormal fiction, that I’ve practiced yoga and meditation, I ran a ghost-hunting group and was very involved in the paranormal community. What I found during those times was instant gratification and I was still left with a deep longing for something permanent to take up in my heart and relieve a lot of years’ worth of pain and self-destruction that finds many of us the last decade or so. (longest run on sentence-evs’) But what I can also tell you is that true evil exists. Satan does in fact exist on Earth. I could quote scripture or tell you that you need to find Christ, but you already know that. What I would ask is that before you decide to condemn an incredible messenger of the word of God and his family and our Church that you take the time to truly understand the word of God and Jesus’ love for you. I would ask you to attend a service without a bad attitude and open your life to experience the presence of God that fills our building every single week. We have a prayer service on Wednesday evenings and we have 3 different services on Sunday. I would ask you to watch as our alter fills and people are healed and redeemed of their sin. Come see for yourself. You can sit with me. These are good people. It is an awesome church. For goodness sake leave well enough alone. The truth is that Jesus is the Son of God, he died for our sins, and that if you listen, he is calling for you.

Dear Mattel,

Dear Mattel, 

Ruth Handler is probably rolling over in her grave.

I can’t believe you buckled under such pressure to conform.  By conforming you are in fact condoning the lessons that our society is shoving down children’s throat.  You have stood up for nothing.  All for the profit of a buck.  The feminist women who hate Barbie are going to hate Barbie anyway, while they’re combing nappy dreadlocks, refusing to shave their armpit hair and placing electrical tape over their nipples in some sort of weird feminist movement.  #freethenipple

That isn’t even Barbie.  Barbie took a shower.

They’re looking for someone to blame their lack of self worth on. Extreme feminist are just as bad as extreme religious freaks and the people who are building underground bunkers waiting for a live action “Walking Dead” to start.  Yep, I said it.

My family has countless pictures of the children growing up playing with our toys.  We were 80’s children you see.   That was quite possibly the best era and most imaginative one for toys…EVER.

When I held that very first She-Ra doll with her shiny cape, I swooned over the knee high boots and that feeling was one of my favorites.  It launched me in to collecting the dolls for years, even as an adult.  She-Ra was bad a.  She was hot.  She was smart.  And she was tough.
I STILL deal in toys today, my kids covet their vintage throwbacks.

My siblings and our cousins would jump through the backyard sustaining multiple knee-scratches and bruises kicking major ass like those green turtles.  Hasbro rocked it out.  We had Barbies, He-Man’s, TMNT, wrestlers and much more to play with.  All courtesy of adults who created so that children could create.  There was no bullshit political agenda.

Do you know what we didn’t do?

We never once built our self worth on a doll.  The point of toys is to launch a child in to an imaginative world where they can do whatever they want, where they can BE whoever they want. We never once took a doll and used that to judge another child.  We played with whomever we wanted and didn’t notice any of the things the new line of dolls so blatantly points out.  Do you know why?

Because children are un-touched.  They embrace all humans until adults teach them otherwise.

My sister and I both have daughters.  What I can tell you is that diversity is taught.  Children notice a difference in skin color, sure.  Curly hair and straight hair, freckles vs. none…but the true separating diversity is taught to them by adults.  Sexism, racism, and judgement is taught. By things like this.

For years Barbie has given little girls the ability to believe she can be ANYTHING.  My Little Pony, Rainbow Brite, and the Disney princesses…they all fulfilled the goal of imagination and empowerment.  The characters blended masculine and feminine.

Not only have you taken diversity and plunged it in to the spotlight for the countless girls who were oblivious to it, but you’ve taught them sexism.  When you come out with “Moobs” Ken, we’ll talk.

Sincerely,

A mom who’s taught her daughter that she will be bad a.
Period.

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