Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Transforming Grace

He saw more--
Than I saw
In myself.

Heirs of His--
For all the--
Human race.

Weary orphans
Who discover--
The Delight
Of being
And Daughters
Of their Heavenly Father.

No more fear,
But freedom--
To chose their

All to share,
Love and Care
His grace is
Always There.
To every burden,
That remains,
It can bear,
And unchain.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Do You Have Mental Illness In Your Family? I Can Help

What a bold thing to say, that I can help if you have mental illness in your family. I am not a doctor or a therapist licensed by the government. What possibly could I know or do?

You were created to live free.
(photo by simoendli on Deviantart)

First-hand experience is often a better teacher than books, professors, lectures and clinical practice.

I have lived with mental illness for 50 years. My father had it, so did my mother, my grandmother and then when I was young adult I faced the fact that have had it. As I grow older, I know many others who have struggled with mental illness in their family. Living with mental illness, but not surrendering to it, I have learned a lot. I have learned to be an overcomer, not a victim. I have learned to get help, not to deny it or give in to it.

But still, what makes me different? Why can I- not so boldly say- "I can help"? How can I offer help when so many others in the world also have mental illness? Having something does not actually make you the ideal candidate to assist others. And to this I agree.

What makes me different is that with God's leading and empower, I have faced mental illness head on. I have looked it square in the eye and I have lived a life of confronting it, accepting it, overcoming it and learning how to live with it.

I have walked this journey many decades without many helping hands or listening hearts. Yet, I have NEVER been alone. I have fumbled around seeking answers, crawling through pathways that not many were willing to travel determined to be as whole as I could be, as healthy as I could be. I discovered:

God is Jehovah Rapha, the Lord Who Heals. He is not only my healer, but He is Elohim (Creator God). He knows me inside and out; he wrote the manual on living--the Holy Bible God-breathed by man onto paper. He lives within me--dwelling in the form of the Holy Spirit in my body. All along the way, I have had God as my solid rock, my comforter, my shelter of protection, my redeemer and so much more. 

Yes, I have gone to psychiatrist, therapist and take medication, but I would not be alive today if God was not.

Today, I live because He lives. Today, I breath because He breathes through me. Today, I have a reason because I know He has a purpose for my life--a royal kingdom purpose ordained from the beginning of time. My life has purpose---to know Him, to be known by Him, to serve Him and others because I am loved.

Is mental illness in your family? It is in mine. I have it. And I will not be ashamed. You may have so many questions. Ask. If you ask them below then this post can be a forum for others to learn; but if you want to personally ask, send me an email. And if you would prefer to read and search out answers, look at my blog site: Abuse and Trauma - Hope and Healing.

You are not alone! Do not be afraid. You can get the help you need. Life will not be perfect but it will be better than if you try to ignore, deny, fight away or give up. Even if you yourself do not have mental illness but someone dear to your heart does, if you have a question, ask me. I will try to do anything I can to help. No one needs to suffer through the disappear of feeling so alone, so afraid.

Love you dearly,

Monday, June 30, 2014

Raising A Christian Child

As a Christian homeschoolering parent, I raised our children to live life as a Christian, to live with a Christian worldview, to live in the world but to not be one of the world. 
Credits: Family by Shadowsplicer Deviantart

I never considered how to raise a non-Christian. I simply wanted my child to be prepared for how to live as a Christian in a non-Christian world. I wanted them to be strong enough as an individual to be able to stand on their own two feet. I wanted their faith to be their own, not mine. Therefore, I taught my children more than anything how to think.

It has not always been easy because my children question everything. They do not just believe something because it was taught or spoken. To some degree, they mentally challenge it. And for this I am glad. 

Peer Pressure - Outside Influence

I think the biggest thing I was not prepared for was the strong influence of peer pressure. I felt my children being secure in knowing they were loved by two parents was enough to not desire to be love by others. Certainly, I knew if they ever genuinely knew they were loved by God it would not matter, that God's love would always trump peers. Therefore, I kept moving in the direction that all of my children would eventually be Christians and secure in God's love for them.
Today I have one adult child who has not made a full yielding commitment to the Lord and does not know how deeply God loves. This child looks for others to confirm directions, self-worth and approval. Peers are much more important than parents in the secular worldview. Parents love is expected and not cherished. There is an unquenchable drive to be approved, accepted, and liked by others. And with this comes insecurity and unwise decisions.

Lessons Learned

What I am learning I think could be helpful to any Christian parent, not just homeschoolers.

Adult Children and Their Freewill
When our children are of age to choose, if they choose to live in the world or even to try out living in the world, they will not find it easy. They will feel sorely prepared for being a worldly adult, surrounded by non-Christians, who live in a completely different worldview. They will be influenced with worldly ways and opinions. They can be swayed and convinced that much of the way we raised them was wrong, by people with a non-Christian worldview. We must accept this as a possibility.
No matter how much we prepare our children by teaching them the ways of the world in comparison to God's ways, they will not be equipped to fully function as a non-Christian for we did not teach them how to live that way.
If they choose worldly values and worldviews, they will have many hard life lessons that we can not save them from, but we must simply allow them to experience. As their parents we can love them unconditionally and as much as they allow we can still impart our wisdom, but their freewill will ultimately allow them to choose which way they will live.

As my own children are coming of age to make their own decisions, I watch and love and pray. If they choose to not live among Christians, they will struggle to find friends unless they make worldly choices. They will be made fun of, picked on, ridiculed for being obedient to God. They will not find a mate that is respectful of a godly upbringing nor one who desires a relationship based on godly principles. All of their upbringing will seem foreign, ancient, over-protective and to some extent controlling.

Our Response in the Midst of Rebellion/Waywardness

Still, we parents must know that we ourselves obeyed HIM and continue to walk steadfast. Each individual and then family must choose whom they will obey and live for, no one else can make that decision for another. And each will be judged by God for the choice that was made. Our fruit and kingdom work will testify to our choice. Either it is for God or for Satan.

Joshua 24: 14-15 (partial)

Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth... Serve the LORD! And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers serves that were ... in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Is Your Walk a Long and Winding Road or a Maze to Navigate Through?

I am very grateful to introduce a wonderful author to my blog readers. Jenni Leighton has a gift for sharing her experiences and knowledge in words that provide us with thoughts to ponder and hopefully that will cause us to consider life from a new perspective. I know you will enjoy her first guest blog post.

A Long Country Lane - (Still out on the lanes II by jchanders DeviantArt)

I would like to think that the journey of my life is like a long country lane, a few bends in the road and it may be a bit bumpy at times, but for the most part it’s a pleasant and peaceful journey, one that will hopefully last a lot longer. However, there have been times when it has felt like more of a maze to navigate through. Lots of dead ends and back tracking, with a never ending set of twists and turns, and just when you think you have reached the end, you find that you are in fact just as far away. Fortunately for me, these periods, although they may have seemed long at the time, were actually reasonably brief in duration, and the calm county lane once again was there for me to traverse through. Had it not been, I am not sure how long I could have carried on without being deeply affected by the difficulties that ‘the maze’ can cause.
What can make you feel like you’re in ‘the maze’? 
Many of us face hardships, some sooner than others, but at some point in our lives we can be faced with traumas such as bereavement, divorce, financial troubles, illness or disabilities, bullying and victimization, or any other type of problem where you feel a loss of control. Sometimes the problems come thick and fast and you can feel penned in on all sides with issues and problems. Many people try and deal with problems on their own, and without a support system in place many of those people can make their problems worse by resorting to drink and drugs as a way of coping. This can lead to their lives spiralling even further out of control. Some people have to hit rock bottom before they can start to see the road ahead of them again. Frequently, there is help for people who realize they need support. For those who feel unable to turn to friends, family, or their church, there are organizations such as Samaritans USA, who will listen without judgement and anonymity and confidentiality is assured. 
What can you do to help yourself through ‘the maze’? 
When I found myself in ‘the maze’ was the 18 months where I lost my Mother and another close family member to cancer. Suffering such loss and the feelings of helplessness, anger and depression I experienced over this period, made doing even the simplest of tasks nearly impossible at times. I was blessed to have the support of the remaining members of my family, and even further blessed that I met my soulmate shortly after this period. With his love and support, I came through this difficult period and was able to find my way back out of the maze again.   
Had I not had this help, I am not sure how things would have turned out.  Some people turn to their faith in times of trouble. There is a strong inner peace and comfort that can be felt from turning to both your own inner faith and that of the members of your church and its leaders. There is no shame in admitting that you are struggling and that you need some help; in fact, it takes a stronger person to admit that you have a problem and to be willing to face the challenge of making some changes, or perhaps to face feelings and emotions that you have been bottling up inside for too long.  
Once the hard work is over 
For me, the hardest part of being out of the maze, is the thought that at some point I could find myself back there. Once you have experienced such a loss of control, through nothing that you have done wrong, it is hard sometimes not to live in fear of it reoccurring. Living with the fear, and not letting it overwhelm you is the key to accepting what has happened but not letting it define the journey of your life once that time has passed. 
In truth the hard work never is over completely, because life is hard sometimes, but it is also a blessing and not one to be taken for granted. Live your life well, live it with your whole heart, love, forgive, and be true to yourself and your journey will be the time of your life.
BY:  Jenni Leighton
Reference as accessed on 21st May 2014, coping with the loss of a loved one, coping with grief and loss
luxuryrehabs - women drug and alcohol rehab, self help books for women, contact page, symptoms of depression and anxiety

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Without A Compass - How Do You Live?

Many years I lived without a moral compass - no central core direction in my life. I simply decided to do what I felt I would most enjoy, what sounded good, what could be pleasurable. I was not concerned with right or wrong; these thoughts did not way on my conscience. I was willing to try, to explore, to experience and learn by placing myself in new situations and several old that I longed to embrace again.

I did not over think anything. Living fully in the present moment was what I cherished the most and every opportunity to venture into a place I had not been before was very welcome. Growing was important to me, as an extension of living, a means to make life purposeful without any degree to value "grading" my performance. It mattered not that I was the best, or even good. It was enough in life to be willing to do and leave measure of worth or quality to others.

Finding Direction in Life
(Coffee by Pet-shop on Deviantart)

In many ways this daring, acceptance of the freedom to be has been retained in my positive core, therefore I dabble in a wide variety of avenues instead of narrowing down to one in which to become an expert.

Wise advice has been given by many who have become acclaimed successful that it is best to focus on one interest and to become an expert - a valuable resource - in one given topic or talent. Though I firmly agree this is stupendous, sage advice, my multi-faceted interests cannot be contained in one direction. I am forever to be a wanderer of much, instead of a profitable research of one. How could I choose one, and leave all the other passions behind? What torture! What dread!

But without a compass at my core, I found life to be scattered. I pitter, pattered here and there, dabbling in activities without going deep in any. I know life has seasons...sometimes it seems weeks or months have seasons also. Still being busy enjoying to explore what is new and to learn I found myself un-anchored. Like a small floating craft, I was easily tossed around by the waves and winds. Is this a way to life purposefully?

Thankfully, God never lets me be dragged way off His course for my life by an undertow. He gently reminds me that I am His and He is mine, that I was created for missional living. God is my compass; He shows me the direction to go. I simply need to learn to listen, be available and obey.

Today I meet with a gentlemen that is interested in starting up a non-profit to walk along side Adult Survivors of Child Abuse. This non-profit will meet a specific, unreached group of survivors who are not doing drugs, alcohol or other addictions, who are not abusing their children and who are committed breaking the cycle of abuse by raising up a family in a nurturing homelife.

God gave me the plan for such a non-profit on Mother's Day weekend 2011. He brought this gentlemen and I together in a coffee shop just last before Mother's Day 2014 quite by "accident." (Of course, to God there is no such thing). I was running in to order a cup of coffee to go and the lady asked me if I wanted a mug. Without thinking I responded yes and thus had to sit a while to drink my coffee, and it was then that I struck up a conversation that is now leading to this planning meeting.

I never know what God has planned but I am simply walking through this door expectantly, only trusting in Him. Pray for me and this ministry. Of course, I will let you know how it all goes, eventually. :D

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Ode To Joy

I attended a graduate class last night at Belmont University. It was a blessing, to be among other adults who love words. I entered, not knowing what an "ode" was and left loving the "ode" so much that I wanted to try my hand at crafting one. I learned last night how every writer indeed has a voice and each has their own beauty that no one can copy. We are all unique, by creation and then by experience. Each voice has value for it speaks about a life lived --worthy to be heard. So here is my first ode:

(Unbelievable Joy by phantastes on deviant art)

Not happiness--
That charading counterfeit
Of pleasure, which we
Lust for.
Hypocritical and proud,
Aware only of yourself--
Subtly irritable, Fickle
Given over
To circumstances in sight.
This World

Oh, to joy!
Absolute surrender
Self-sacrificing offered
For the One,
Who sent Him to do.

Who for joy,
He endured the cross.
And we--you and me--
What can we do
Any less or more
If it is truly He
Whom we adore?

He delighted,
Do we?
To do God's will,
Oh my,
God's Joy!

He prayed,
That His Joy
Might Remain--in you and me,
That our joy
Might be full.
Do we
Have that Joy?

To Joy,
Living a full
Does not rest in circumstances,
Nor success, but
Understanding of God, and
Fellowship and
With Him, like Jesus Himself

Fellowship and Oneness--
A right relationship with God--
Out of it will flow
Rivers of living water--
A fountain through, you and me,
That Jesus can pour Himself

Joy--as natural as a breath,
A life hidden in Christ,
Blessing others, yet
A having been a blessing.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tolerance and Truth

When can you agree to disagree? When can you tolerate a difference of opinion?

(by reoplusone by d4aygea on deviant art)

We can always agree to disagree with people, but when God reveals truth to us we must yield to Him.

It is stiff-necked and sinful to be shown truth by God, clearly in His Word, and for us to choose to believe differently. The Holy Spirit is an able teacher. God's Word illuminates Itself.

I can always agree to disagree with another person's opinion, but I should never agree to disagree with God. What right do I have? When I stand before the King of Kings and the Lord of Lord, my creator and the creator of the universe, what arrogance it would take to try to convince Him that He is "old fashion," not 21st Century, not relevant to the trends and times.

God does not ordain homosexuality, just as He does not condone adultery, pre-martial sex, or perverted participation in porn. More strongly than not ordaining or condoning, God commands his believers --his children-- to not participate in these activities and calls them sins. Therefore, it is right in the eyes of God for his children to take strong personal stands against these.

However, forcing the beliefs of God on another has never been God's desire. From the beginning of mankind, He wanted Adam and Eve to CHOOSE to love and obey Him. He gave them freewill. Actions have consequences. Choosing to sin results in great loss. Nevertheless, God still operates under the natural laws of human freewill and its resulting consequences of blessings or curses.

How is this practical in today's world?

Among large groups of people --like political parties, schools, communities, organizations -- individuals will never be in the same place of their knowledge of who God is and how yielded they are to His sovereignty in life. We can speak truth and pray for others to be revealed God's love, acceptance and will for them, but we cannot constrain another's heart.

Personal Experience

Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit; Condemnation comes from Satan. I think sometimes in meaning well by wanting someone to see God's truth, I can become condemning in my words. When someone insults my faith or twists the teachings of God's Words, I must exercise great caution and be exacting but loving in my response. Sometimes I will be asked by God to remain silent; other times I will be urged to speak the truth, but never should I use truth to destroy a person or beat them up.

These are very hard lessons to learn. And when I fail to speak the truth in love I cause hurt to others, which is damaging to their soul and unloving. Therefore, I am so grateful that God is forgiving, gracious, patient, long-suffering and merciful toward me. In repentance before God, I realize my absolutely helplessness to function apart from Him. I have to come to the end of myself, dragging the wrong I have done into the light, and asking for forgiveness. But, I must also ask the person I hurt to forgive me.

Let's Be Practical

It is very possible to agree to disagree on policy and political matters, when a consensus is not reached. This does not mean you are surrendering your beliefs. You are simply allowing another person to have their own beliefs and allowing them to respect yours that are different.

I am grateful to always be open to God to learn and grow.

Tolerance is touchy. Today, tolerance has pushed its way into being "a forced acceptance of opposing beliefs". That is not tolerance -- that is a demanding that one person give up their conscientious beliefs and be forced to swallow down and condone an opposing view -- that is oppression. When we agree to disagree we don't flaunt or shove our believes on others. We respect the fact that we have differences and honor one another enough to not force others to accept our opinions as facts.

We still have a lot of improvement to make on understanding how tolerance is being used as a tool to indoctrinate and how intolerant it is of any differing point of view. God created a man with the ability to reason. Topics should be able to be discussed widely and deeply, without penalty of condemnation if everyone does not come up with the same conclusions.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Fasting - An Ash Wednesday Experience

We have a lovely Anglican Liturgical Orthodox church in our town, St. Patrick's Anglican Church, which is a new growth out of a separation from an Episcopal congregation several years ago. Some of the members and leaders felt the Episcopal church in America had drifted too far from the Scriptures in their teachings. Out of a desire to cling wholly to God's Word several wonderful Anglican Churches have sprouted. St. Patrick Anglican in Smyna, TN is one of them.

Ash Wednesday art by Ladyofshadow at DeviantArt

This morning I attended the Ash Wednesday Lent Mass. It was a blessing.

Being raised a Roman Catholic, I remembered much of the symbolism but did not understand the meaning. Now, an evangelical Christian of 30 years, I understand the deep Biblical meaning and at the same time am endeared to the liturgical ceremony of the service.

I was brought to tears as I returned to my pew after being crossed on the forehead by the Priest with ashes as he spoke, "Remember that thou art dust, and to dust thou shalt return."

We recited the beautiful repentant Psalm 51 together, and then responded in a Litany of Penitence asking God to have corporate mercy upon us for many specific sins, such as:

  • sins by our own fault in thought, word, and deed; and what we have done and what we have left undone.
  • for not loving God with our whole heart, mind and strength; and not loving our neighbors as ourselves.
  • for not forgiving others as we have been forgiven.
  • for being deaf to God's calling to us to serve, for grieving the Holy Spirit.
  • for our self-indulgent appetites, 
  • for our negligence in prayer and worship for false judgements and uncharitable thoughts toward others.

You get the idea. Sincerely, it was a very meaningful and solemn mass.

I also loved the sermon. We were reminded that salvation is through faith and grace, and that works do not get us to heaven. Everyone chuckled when the Priest said if we gave up Starbucks for 40 days we did not get into heaven. I think we all got the point. He reminded us that Jesus first message was to repent and that talking about sin and repentance was not real popular in America today. He, also, told us to have an eternal focus and to see repentance as the way to life and love. We are to be led to more freedoms by giving up bad habits.

I headed home with a full intention of trying to fast today.

When I noticed my hunger about 10 am, I recalled that Jesus went through a lot more for me than a hunger pain.

Fasting is for a purpose, but it is not legalism. It does not earn us a closer relationship with God nor make us more righteous. Anyone who fasts need to be careful not to make it public and showy.

So, it was just a few minutes later that my college-aged son, who I have been praying will repent and turn to the Lord, calls me as I am writing this post and asks me to go to lunch with him. Do I break my fast? Do I tell him I am fasting for lent and just go sit with him and not eat or would that make him feel uncomfortable? Do I simply say yes? 

I must confess I did not ask the Lord. Truthfully, I forgot to ask God.

I simply, as most moms would do if a child calls to ask to go to lunch, especially one that she has not been alone with in several months, told him I will meet him. And we pick a place and time to go.

Thirty minutes later I am on the way to the restaurant (I am driving the old dump truck--all the other cars are taken already). Just a block before I turn for the restaurant blinking blue and white lights appear in my rearview mirror. I am in the far left lane two cars away from the light that is currently red. The turning lane is on my left in the middle of the road is empty, so I slide over into the turning lane. I simply don't know what I am suppose to do. His intercom starts to talk but it sounds like "blah blah blah" and I don't even have a radio on. I put my hands up in the air indicating I don't have a clue what to do. When the light changes green, I slowly turn left and find a place down the road to pull into -- another turning lane that enters into the medical complex and hospital.

The local sheriff says I have been texting and swaying. I am tell him I was not texting, which I was not. He said he was next to me and saw me on my phone. I tell him I was looking at the screen but I was not texting. He then tells me when his lights come on I should have went to the left, but I explain to him that the traffic lanes were full and we were at a red light. He says I should have waited  for the light to turn green and then made my way to the right and pulled over. I simply tell him I had no idea what to do.

In talking to me, he asks me where I am going. I tell him to meet my son for lunch. He indicates that I am driving like I am intoxicated. I tell him I have had nothing to drink, so he asks if I am on medication. I hesitate. Does he have the right to know if I am on medication? I say yes and he wants to know what for. Again what are my rights, do I have to answer? I wonder. 

He tells me to call me son and have him meet me where I am although I am only one block away from the restaurant. I am so embarrassed. I don't want to call my son.

He sees my hesitation and tells me that he can book me for DUI even if I am on medication prescribed to me by my doctor. I tell him I did not know that. I embarrassingly tell him I am on some psychiatric medications. He asks if I am diabetic or have low blood sugar. Then it dawns on me, I have been fasting.... it is possible that I am low in blood sugar.

In slight tears I explain that I went to Ash Wednesday Lent Service this morning and that I was trying to fast. He mumbles something about God; I think he says something about Him blessing me. He hands me back my license and lets me continue on to the restaurant to meet me son. Before I pull away I look into my side mirror, the sherrif honestly looks a little shook-up himself standing there besides his vehicle.

I manually move the broken flashers up and down to indicate I am turing right and move along. I am in tears, probably not seeing or driving better than before he pulled me over but trying to regain my composure. I don't want my son to know I have been crying. He is not the sensitive type and would probably make fun of me.

I feel so deflated, so humbled, so exhausted, but as a good mother I greet my son and go eat lunch without sharing my experience. Needless to say it was not easy. I ask lots of questions about his life; he sparingly gives me answers. God alone know how He will work through such flat encounters.

How frequent do we meet with people and never know what they have been through before we see them? Isn't it like a parent to pretend everything is alright and to simply make the best of the outing? God sees the whole picture but we simply see the part we are allowed. 

More happen today, but I have shared enough. Most of it bumpy and challenging. This didn't end up being the prefect "fasting-ash Wednesday" experience that I thought it would be... whatever that is... but as always, what I share about my life is real.



Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Secret Power of a Mother's Prayer - Spiritual Warfare

Let me get this out upfront - Jesus - His name and His blood is the power - of a mother's prayer! It is only a secret because we live in a world that is not a Christian's home. It is ruled by God's enemy, Satan and his demons, and this is the secret that so many people are not facing as truth.

Jesus prayed, should not we also pray. by Hongmin on DeviantART

I awoke this morning at 4:30. Like a bullet, I shot up sitting in bed. I have been awaking quickly like this for the past few weeks since I have been reading A Woman's Guide to Spiritual Warfare by Quin Sherrer and Ruthanne Garlock. What I study during the day, Satan tests in my life and God enforces in my dreams.

I had a powerful warfare dream last night. My husband and I were rescuing my brother who was morphing in age between under 18 and then 30's. You know how dreams have that morphing ability to alter any sense of reality. But one thing was real, I was praying in the power of Jesus in "His name and by His blood" to halt the physical world and alter the powers of the spiritual realm. The prayers of one righteous in Christ individual was able to shield and miraculously bend the normal inevitable outcomes of physical dynamics.

So when I awoke, I was stirred by noises from my living room and after beginning to pray in bed, I went into the living room and walked through my home praying in the power of spiritual warfare. I walked in faith, not fear--in His strength, not my weakness. And of course, I prayed for my son who is no longer living at home--he is the first person I prayed over when I sat up and I persisted in prayer for him this morning until I felt a sense of release.

I read yesterday about travailing in prayer. We mothers can understand this because we travailed in childbirth. The baby is not birthed immediately like so many things we get and expect in today's instantaneous world. A mother must persist. She must keep up the good fight. She must labor until the child is brought into this world. In the very same way, a mother can labor for her child spiritually. She can persist in prayer and never let up until her child is released from the clutches of the enemy and darkness-- until her child receives God's grace to be lifted from the miry pit he has dug for himself through sinful choices.

Satan hates the children of God - this is so evident! Infant sacrifice, abortion, child abuse, abduction... the destruction of children is his focus. He has a plan to tempt them, to confuse them, to lie to them, to "kill, steal and destroy" God's plan for their life. We mothers must resist the enemy for our children until they are able to maturely in spiritual warfare fight for themselves. Of course, I am not discounting the prayers of a father, not at all. But, we mothers must do our God given part. We are the nurturing heart of the home; we are, also, the spiritually sensitive warrior of our home.

Never underestimate the power of Jesus' name and the blood of Jesus. Never underestimate your ability to bind the enemy from talking, attacking and keeping a hold on your child.

Realize that spiritual warfare is not a one day's work but a walk of life on earth. We are prayer warriors for life.

I believe in God. I believe in His Word and His promises. Therefore, I will travail in prayer for my children, my family, my home and my own life all the days I breath air on this earth.

Ps 68:11 - The LORD gives the command (His Word of power); the women who proclaim the good tidings are of a great host.

Woman, for the Lord, are like a military company that through bearing and speaking His Word are able to be a powerful army of praise for the LORD. I want to be one of these woman. Do you?



a sister in the Lord

Friday, January 17, 2014

Gay-For-Pay, Straight Baiting and FratmenTV - A Mother's Point of View

artwork by billy2toes on deviantART
Gay-For-Pay, Straight-baiting and FratmenTV are some things in life I wish I knew nothing about.

As a Christian mother, I long ago determined in my heart that I would love my children unconditionally. I also recognize sexual immorality as sin and do consider the gay lifestyle to be a decision that is unBiblical. And, of course, I consider all porn as unBiblical.

Here is where the gay lifestyle and porn collide: Did you know that gay men enjoy luring straight guys into the gay lifestyle?

Well, I have heard of this but I honestly thought you had to be hanging around gay bars. Also, I had given gay people the benefit of the doubt that, as they claim, gay people believe that gay is not something you choose it is something you are, so if they really believe that it never crossed my mind that there could be an entire industry built around luring young STRAIGHT athletes into the gay lifestyle. But guess what? That would be a strong NO.

Facebook primarily, but Instagram also, have provided a source for the gay porn industry to comb the internet for fresh new bodies. They contact young men who are well built and offer them thousands of dollars to fly out for a photo shoot. They talk about how muscularly developed and ready they are for modeling; and if they get a slight interest, they will aggressively come after the person.

Of course, this is nothing new.

Over 30 years ago when I waited tables in a college town I was contacted by a wealthy client of the nice restaurant to have sex for pay. He offered me an amount and to a poor college student it is hard to say no to "easy" money, but I hesitated and said in my sassy response, "I am worth more than that." So he upped the amount and I said, "No you don't understand money can't buy me." The call ended quickly, and I was never contacted again.

In my life it was a defining moment, I proclaimed to myself, the world and satan that I was not prey for that type of sexual immorality. But I know that so many young people are not as strong and confident as I was in that moment of temptation.

My world has been rocked by all I have learned but I do not believe in being silent. I am a survivor of child abuse and too many people were silent. People need to know about this danger that is lurking about for young athletes who engage in social media. If they are any combination of these: gullible, non confident, have a financial need, not spiritually grounded, and probably already open to sexual immorality (being sexually active or wanting to be) -- taking the step to "gay-for-pay" is not that big of a leap.

I am angered by it, by the fact that gay men feel it is exciting to see a straight guy have gay sex for their enjoyment. It is sickening that they lure them by baby steps just as every porn industry does. Oh, take off your shirt... well, what about your shorts... etc.

Now, the person going for the shoot is not innocent. They are choosing to get thousands for posing for photos to show off their body and they are clearly told some will be nude, but Fratmen leave out the fact that they are a gay-for-pay company and that when the person comes for the photo shoot he will be enticed by followers and payers to strip. Once there they are encouraged that they will thrill their fan base if they begin down the "gay" sexual encounter path. This is something that a young man will have to choose for himself when he is alone with just the predators paying him for the photo shoot.

Like I said, young ladies have dealt with this since filming porn was started, now there is an industry to lure in young men.

Our world is a evil place.

As a Christian mother, I am battling in spiritual warfare. The enemy wants to kill, steal and destroy our children. He is always looking for a weakness, a sin, for a foothold. Once our children are old enough to make their own choices we can speak but really our advice is not our strongest action. Prayer is key, and for me, speaking out to shed light on this darkness is also one weapon I have against the evil one.