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Archive for February, 2007

Week Eight

Well, the week of upheavals finally comes to completion. WHEW!

This is also a time of closure, and I know this has been coming for some time now…
My work at the runaway shelter is done and my dealings with those spirit entities dwelling therein is also done with. The stumblingblock that has been affecting my Christian walk has been done away with as well.

This is a time of confession. As I have mentioned a few times, I have visited the paranormal website a few times in order to update the new experiences I’ve had in the spirit realm. Every time I’ve wandered back into it, I’ve regretted and repented of it, yet I have not had the strength to fully leave it behind (as new and exciting visions or out-of-body experiences have continued to take place).

When I first entered the site (which took place before I was baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ), I introduced myself as a Christian (there are also many others who claim they are) and stated that Jesus Christ is my master and Savior. Maybe it was that statement that protected me throughout this involvement, but it also helped me to state my views in an honest manner, presented from a Christian’s viewpoint. As I mentioned before, some friends over there are seriously seeking God and have chosen that specific site to assist them with their seeking. I’ve prayed for many of them, along with private messaging. I know I’ve made the devil very angry at me for doing such, and for posting God’s true words regarding sorcery, astrology and divination. Praise and Glory to You Father, for protecting me throughout this straying. I know You can turn even such an event for Your own Glory, and maybe find a few lost sheep along the way. Hallelujah, praise to the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, Praise to the Holy Spirit, the spirit of truth and light, who convicts the lost in the midst of the mires of sin and wickedness!

If I may, here’s my posted farewell note from the above mentioned forum:

Dear Friends, moderators and whoever may be reading this blog;

This journey has been a very interesting one for me (personally) but it’s been going a bit too "far out there" lately. So I’ve come to a conclusion, it’s time for me to go. Period. I appreciate all the help and information I have received from you folks and I thank you from the heart. Especially —, who is always so kind, helpful and understanding. Thank you and God Bless You —! I’d like to ask you (I don’t know any other mod’s as well) to either delete or if that is not possible, lock this topic.

The reason behind my request is; as long as it’s open I will keep coming back (and everytime I do, I end up regretting it later on). Friday morning, I left my resignation notice at the shelter where I work at, because I have no desire to go flying through space with dark angels (or the like) and I wish to keep no contact with any other spirit than God’s Holy Spirit. (They seem to be too attracted to me at the shelter, I don’t want to end up turning into someone like a medium, for goodness sake!) And most of all, I wish to serve no other master than Christ Jesus, and Him with my whole heart from now on.

etc….
(The moderator I’m talking to attends Unitarian Church and has been supportive of my Christian views). Friends, do join me in praying for her soul’s salvation, as she has also been facing rough seas lately.

After posting the farewell letter, I went to the throne to ask God if my actions were done according to His will and purpose. I asked Him for confirmation, then opened my bible. Daddy always gives me the right place when in urgent need. This is what I received. Psalms 9, 10 and 11:

I will praise You, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will tell of all Your marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High. When my enemies turn back, They shall fall and perish at Your presence. For You have maintained my right and my cause; You sat on the throne judging in righteousness. You have rebuked the nations, You have destroyed the wicked; You have blotted out their name forever and ever.

O enemy, destructions are finished forever! And you have destroyed cities; Even their memory has perished. But the LORD shall endure forever; He has prepared His throne for judgment. He shall judge the world in righteousness, And He shall administer judgment for the peoples in uprightness.

The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You. Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion! Declare His deeds among the people. When He avenges blood, He remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the humble.

Have mercy on me, O LORD! Consider my trouble from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death, That I may tell of all Your praise In the gates of the daughter of Zion. I will rejoice in Your salvation. The nations have sunk down in the pit which they made; In the net which they hid, their own foot is caught.

The LORD is known by the judgment He executes; The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Meditation. Selah The wicked shall be turned into hell, And all the nations that forget God. For the needy shall not always be forgotten; The expectation of the poor shall not perish forever. Arise, O LORD, Do not let man prevail; Let the nations be judged in Your sight. Put them in fear, O LORD, That the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah

Why do You stand afar off, O LORD? Why do You hide in times of trouble? The wicked in his pride persecutes the poor; Let them be caught in the plots which they have devised. For the wicked boasts of his heart’s desire; He blesses the greedy and renounces the LORD. The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts. His ways are always prospering; Your judgments are far above, out of his sight; As for all his enemies, he sneers at them. He has said in his heart, "I shall not be moved; I shall never be in adversity."

His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression; Under his tongue is trouble and iniquity. He sits in the lurking places of the villages; In the secret places he murders the innocent; His eyes are secretly fixed on the helpless. He lies in wait secretly, as a lion in his den; He lies in wait to catch the poor; He catches the poor when he draws him into his net. So he crouches, he lies low, That the helpless may fall by his strength. He has said in his heart, "God has forgotten; He hides His face; He will never see."

Arise, O LORD! O God, lift up Your hand! Do not forget the humble. Why do the wicked renounce God? He has said in his heart, "You will not require an account." But You have seen, for You observe trouble and grief, To repay it by Your hand. The helpless commits himself to You; You are the helper of the fatherless. Break the arm of the wicked and the evil man; Seek out his wickedness until You find none.

The LORD is King forever and ever; The nations have perished out of His land. LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, To do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, That the man of the earth may oppress no more.

In the LORD I put my trust; How can you say to my soul, "Flee as a bird to your mountain"? For look! The wicked bend their bow, They make ready their arrow on the string, That they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart. If the foundations are destroyed, What can the righteous do?

The LORD is in His holy temple, The LORD’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men. The LORD tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone and a burning wind Shall be the portion of their cup.

For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright.

God bless my dear sisters and brothers in Christ, for standing by me and praying on my behalf during this battle. They will receive their rewards. God bless my "added new friend" Rebecca and her sisters and brothers in Jesus Christ also!

Update

OK, the week’s not over- yet.

This is me at the moment. Yup, I caught the bug yesterday and could not rest until the evening due to several bathroom visits. B. went out, partying, I suspect. Called the job saying she won’t be in tonite. I worked with general manager despite feeling queasy and nauseated all night long… Didn’t feel like mentioning about the virus. I hope no-one gets sick from me… Anyways, I used lots of Lysol spray just in case.

I placed my two-week resignation notice by the end of the shift and wrote an eviction notice for B. as well. I’m not sure if or when she’s going to receive it, as there is a need for some discussions, also I’m not sure if she can handle any more bad news at this time.

Boy, when I think of how much patience God has had with me (and still does) I try not to judge. Brother L. convicted my dear partner about making up her mind (spiritually speaking) on Wed. morning as he was there to administer meds to a kid we hadn’t received judge’s orders for, yet. I had a good chat with L. too, finally mentioning those "taboo" issues to him. Nothing new, he has plenty more experience and knowledge than I do.

My dear husband gave his blessing for my decision to quit, and my kids were absolutely thrilled! YEAH mom!!! Everyone (yes, I’m determined, even our oldest son) will make it to school and hopefully on time, too! Praise God! On Wednesday morning, my husband called me at work for advise, saying that our son B. was suicidal. At the bible study, brother J (who teaches science at my son’s school) mentioned that our middle son didn’t seem well at school, either.

Yet, at our Bible study that evening I was comforted by God’s promise (Romans chapter 8).

15 -19 For you did
not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the
Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with
Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified
together. For I consider that the sufferings of this present
time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be
revealed in us.


33-39
Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.
Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is
also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes
intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or
nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor
principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing,
shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ
Jesus our Lord.

Another interesting and a bit disturbing event took place Thursday
morning at the shelter, as I tried to get some shot-eye for a change.
I said a prayer beforehand, yet could not help from feeling the
familiar "detaching" as I was once again about to leave my body. Then I felt big
warm hands grasping my own and off I went at a tremendous speed through
darkness. This was something new, I had never experienced such speed
before! I concentrated hard and when I saw who I was flying with, I said:
NO! It was a dark figure dressed in a long cape or cloak. Yikes!
Immediately, I landed back on the couch and the "thing" went POW!!! through the
wall.

After such an alarming experience I’ve been repeating the above bible verses out loud and gained strength from them. What on earth is going on? I was so high on spirit that Wednesday night at the Bible study, and then, WHAM!

Battle rages on…

I wonder if it’s a right decision for me to stop working at the shelter. Hmm… maybe they’re trying to scare me to quit, as I’ve been praying over a lot of youngsters while they’re asleep, as well as over their case files. Go figure…

Update 2-24
The second vision I wrote in last week’s blog took place in Guatemala, a sink hole that swallowed a dozen homes in an impoverished area of Guatemala City.

Week Seven

Week seven consisted of very intense God seeking. Actually, it began on Wednesday as we continued studying Romans at our bible study. I spent some time studying at work each night as well, but also ingested some Shelter literature which I consider junk and regret reading. During our Friday night meeting at Upper Room, Lord convicted me and broke me down… I wept a good part of the service. Funny how that happened, I arrived full of energy, anger and determination and felt as tough as a nail and ended up sobbing like a baby. That must’ve been necessary, I admit that resentment has been gnawing on my soul lately.

Saturday, from a spur of a moment I decided to head south to LW as they were holding a series of wintertime meetings (which they alternate yearly with the pentecostals of Canada). Thank you Lord for your angels flying along on the turnpike Sat. night! It scares me to drive so fast!!! There was a nice musical program going on, and this time I also caught the youth gathering, which started at nine and went on until midnight. It was a touching experience, speakers spoke from their hearts and the messages seemed to get through, praise God for raising up young disciples for Jesus Christ! Continue the good work you’ve began in these youngsters Lord. I enjoyed their music very much, knowing most of the songs by heart.

Back to the turnpike and home dear home, where my husband was throwing up and feeling very sick indeed. He had caught a virus from co-worker. Thank God it settled down and he was able to rest and next day being Sunday, take it easy all day long. In the morning I took the youngest ones with me to Upper room (sorry Lutherans)! I normally attend Sunday night meetings due to our Lutheran am service. The children were sweet, practicing praise songs and playing percussion instruments after the service, excited about being on stage. Brother L. talked about something I needed to hear very badly and read a psalm that fit to a T! Thank you Jesus! He also mentioned fasting. I went back to meditate on the messages and the word of God at work, and with B. sleeping on the job until morning hours again, I was able to spend the whole night in God’s presence.

During the evening as I was resting before my midnight shift I was experiencing some attacks and in a subconscious/conscious way kept pleading and claiming the blood of Christ, casting out those terrors flying by night. I received help as always. God never forsakes His own in distress. At work I felt a very strong conviction to begin serious fasting and praying. There are many reasons for this, I need to get completely and totally free of those interests that have caused me to stumble in my walk with Christ, I need help with my anger as well. And if my husband’s ailments are in part a spiritual battle, he might benefit too. Plus my partner/roommate B needs to re-commit herself to God. She had quite a drinking party the other weekend with people that aren’t the best influence on her.

Her boyfriend’s on vacation and has been visiting since Wed,
to leave today (I guess). B. has lost a lot of daytime sleep and has
been snoozing at the shelter almost every night since then, which has allowed me time to spend alone with Lord. Daddy, look at all of this trouble, and fix it to your glory! Also, at the shelter a young lady was baker-acted for the 7th or 8th time for hearing voices telling her to kill herself. She’s been hurting/cutting herself several times in her past and has promiscuous sexual/rape along with other psychological issues. She needs help as well.

Around 6 am I went to recline on the love seat in the back office. I did not fall asleep, because I kept hearing and recognizing B. doing busy morning chores with dishes, file drawers etc. But I saw a screen in front of my eyes as I shut them. It was a big clear and full color screen with several scenes changing. First one was a destroyed building in Palestine. I had seen this picture on my computer the previous day and recognized it as such, only this one was "live" with smoke and dust whirring all around it. (I’m pretty sure it was from Palestine, though I had not read the accompanying news article).

Next scene showed a big crack opening on earth, dividing a small town or village. There were children and adults running away from the canyon-like opening, buildings were in it, collapsed and injured people climbing up and falling back down.

Then I saw a road and two elderly women with scarfs covering their heads, in long multi-colored dresses running away from something.

I saw one more screen scene, great big machinery digging and moving loads of earth. There was also water in this scene, and some sort of an under-water concrete or "beton" structure with some kind of openings or compartments. That was the last screen and no more appeared before my eyes.

Had to write it all down before I go to sleep. There’s a dentist appt. for me and my oldest son this afternoon.

update

The young lady who had such a rough first day has already left the shelter. I’m glad I was able to say something to her. And, as it turns out, brother L. from Upper Room is going to transport our Mr. "thug" to his lessons. Praise God, He takes care of everything! God’s in control, yeah!

Thanks again Daddy! Luv Ya!

A lady who was very special to me and so many others went to Jesus early Monday morning while I was at work. Precious memories are left for us, we’ll see you in heaven one blessed day , Bobbie!

 Remember her husband Lord, providing him strength and peace of heart.  Nurture and heal him Lord!

Week six

Week Six

Well, as I’m still catching up, this weekend brings week six to completion. I took off on Friday morning, as planned. My bags were packed and in the car Thursday night before my last shift, and all worked according to the plan. Except for this, our oldest son didn’t make it to school that morning, either. I had to leave it to God’s hands- Love you son, see you in a couple of days! I left with such mixed feelings, guilt, determination, anticipation. In my heart I was praying that my husband wouldn’t have too much hardship and stress during my absence. He had given my vacation his blessing and promised he’d take it easy, so that eased my guilt somewhat. I made it to my old hometown L.W. by midday, and before checking into a motel bought some necessities so I wouldn’t have to spend extra cash eating out.

I was going to attend the Pentecostal youth gathering that takes place on Friday nights. No-one seemed to be around, I circled the church twice and then gave up. I chose to go over to the beach instead, to see the big bonfire they still hold there once a month. I remember bonfires with great fondness, juhannuskokko (St John’s or midsummer celebration back in the old country) and burning the wheat fields in my childhood. Yup, I’ve always loved to play with fire!

Bonfire was wonderful and so was the long walk I took at the beach. It was a time of reminiscing that actually lasted the whole weekend long! I rested well that night, not having slept for the last 36 hours.

I woke up refreshed, the world was smiling at me -Lord provided a beautiful sunny weather for the much anticipated outdoor event. Such marvelous time I had at the festival, meeting old friends and acquaintances, enjoying the stage performances, especially the gospel groups! My spirit was lifted up as I enjoyed listening to them, my heart praising God right along! I bought some gospel cd’s from pentecostal booth (one can never have enough of those) and a book that tells the story of a young women’s shelter in Bolivia (topic close to my heart). Yet, perhaps the most meaningful occasions that day were meeting old and getting to know new Christian brothers and sisters. I saw Ulla and Mauri and their precious little grand daughter! I was always welcomed to their home, despite my bad habits (smoking and drinking, I was struggling with my relationship with Jesus back then). That is where the interview I mentioned last week took place also. Their son-in-law has chosen a very demanding career in social rehabilitative services. God bless, keep and strengthen him and bless this marriage and a brand-new family. God is good! I also met a gentleman Antti who comes from Ostrobothnia, not very far from the place I’m from, and we discovered that his mother-in-law came from the very same tiny village where I spent my childhood days. I even remembered her (or was it her sister), because my mother often went to visit her, as well as many other elderly women of the village to discuss issues of faith, and I trotted along. I learned to love and respect these elders and I’m grateful to my mother for giving me such a special gift early on. She will have a bright and shining crown waiting for her in heaven, blessed mother of mine!

With a Baptist brother from Finland, we talked about faith and the differences between Finnish and American Baptists. I was curious to find out how the Baptist views fit with the more charismatic Pentecostal doctrine. This dear brother explained to me how the doctrinal teachings are very close to one another in my old home country. (As many may already know, in US they differ more, especially in the areas of: the gifts of the spirit, healing and speaking in tongues to mention a few). We had a heartfelt discussion about how our own human traditions, cultural preferences, presumptions etc. separate us from other children of God. In this area I’ve experienced much heartache throughout my whole life, due to being brought up in a very exclusive revivalist movement (started by L.L.L) that basically condemns everyone else straight to hell. Still, they are the ones who brought me close to my Lord and Savior, so I will have to ignore the negative and bless and respect them always. God knows the hearts of men. Thank you, Arvo, for your insights and the goodness of your heart.

In the evening, I got a chance to have a long discussion with a beautiful lady evangelist, Anne. I had lost some items at the park (to be recovered later on) and had come back looking for them. Maybe God’s finger was on this one, anyways, that’s what I suspect! The only people left at the park were hanging around the beer tent and listening to the band, so we had plenty of time to talk and reflect on various topics. To our surprise, we found out that we shared the same experience, both of our husbands are suffering from similar conditions, brought on by the same causes and even the duration is basically the same. We talked about and shared our experiences – I hope and pray this is a beginning of new friendship.

Daddy, you do know what you’re doing, yet we act surprised every time!

God brings people together for a reason, and nowadays this seems to be happening to me all the time. I’m amazed Lord! And a little ashamed, for so often I accuse you of not caring. When, oh when will I learn to fully accept your gracious gifts, the greatness of your love Lord? I feel so unworthy of the blessings you’ve given me.

The next morning I went to attend a religious gathering with Christians from my childhood church. It was a good thing to do, because I once again got to embrace the full "order of grace" as it is called by L-ans, feeling sorrow over sin and the sweet relief, having the sins testified forgiven. (It is indeed a beautiful experience when a truly repentant sinner receives grace and mercy of God).

After visiting I was able to bid farewell to those dear Christians in an affectionate way, without feeling guilty. Praise God!

Then, off to Kotikirkko and a very different way of experiencing the Christian freedom. I didn’t really know too many people there, other than the brothers and sisters I’d met at the park so I tried to "keep a lid on it" although I did feel like jumping and cheering, because it was an awesome event! I looked at all these people gathered in this little church and marveled, wondering whether they fully realize what a treasure they have here. This is freedom, this is joy! This is what Christians should possess every day, every moment, inside their hearts! Surely, being in the world (but not of the world), an occasional sin will be committed, doubts or distrust in God’s perfect provision may surface – but to dwell continually in one’s wretchedness, that is pure madness!!! Well, ignorance at least.

Hallelujah, I am free!

Whether or not objective, I hope the way I’m presenting my views does not offend anyone. If so, please forgive me, and let the blood cover it!

Funny, the guest speaker told a very funny joke about L-ans. Hit the nail on the head, as we say back home. No offense taken, the whole evening blessed me tremendously. I could sense the anointing! Holy Spirit was on the move, people were speaking in tongues and praising God. Wow, I’m sure glad I came! I’ve been hungering more and more of the Spirit lately, perhaps I received something special last night.

I had barely enough time to drive home via turnpike and get ready for the Sunday’s night shift. I had slept only six hours the previous night and could not rest due to having so much on my mind. That didn’t matter, though. I was way up there somewhere over the rainbow…

At the runaway shelter, we had about 7 troublemakers running around after midnight, switching the lights off so the cameras could not record their mischievous behavior. I was still in a pretty decent mood so as I reported on duty, I simply kept turning them back on and (in my usual friendly manner) asking teens to go back in assigned rooms (they should’ve retired to their beds around 9pm, having to get up @ 5 for high school, most of them). Easier said than done. As my partner arrived and (in her usual no b_s___-way) confronted the clients, all hell broke loose. Obscenities, things thrown, total chaos! In no time we had three rather intimidating sheriff’s deputies dragging the troublemakers out of their hiding places, handcuffing them, slamming them around (on tables etc.,) cursing and pinning them down- that must’ve hurt… Pretty rough, even to observe. One of the girls totally lost it and started hyperventilating, the lady cop who had her pinned down on the table finally took the cuffs off and sat down to talk with her (apparently, she was training a new officer, and perhaps showing off a bit).

I felt really bad for those kids. Especially the girl, K. (It was her very first day at our shelter). When everything quieted down, I went to the back office and poured out my heart to God on behalf of these kids, as well as the officers and my work partner. That hour or so I spent in prayer was something I experience only now and then, the urgency, the connection and presence of the Holy Spirit was so strong. It is awesome to feel such presence, it feels as if the multitude of heavenly host surrounds the person. At such times one cannot cease from blessing, praising and glorifying The Almighty God, Father, Son and The Holy Spirit! Worthy, worthy are you Lord, worthy are you, precious Lamb of God!

Blessed Holy Spirit!

In the morning, I felt compassion toward this young lady, K and asked her whether she reads the bible. Na-ah… I told her that I pray on everybody’s behalf and would do so for her as well, having to go through tough time like this…

I had received a very comforting bible passage after my prayers that I knew was meant for her, so I wrote the place down and gave it to her, hoping she’d check it out. Mr. "Thug" who was also cuffed last night, looked like a storm cloud this morning and would not talk to me. I was too much a coward to transport him to school today. Mercy Lord! I need more courage I guess.

I have to get some sleep. Six hours since Saturday night isn’t enough. And the house IS a pig sty, no doubt about that!
Daddy…?

Week Five

Ok, last two weeks’ theme continues, but with a twist…
Deep soul searching has been taking place this week and I’ve once again re-dedicated my life into the hands of my Lord and Savior. What else can one do when the surrounding life is filled with struggle and strife? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. But do allow me to spit out a few facts brought on by this so called "real life" I’m painfully aware of.

My oldest one didn’t make it to school again this morning. I was late
taking my youngest ones to school as usual. My middle schooler missed
the bus and felt sick anyways, so he didn’t make it either.

The house is in a state of chaos. Yes, my nice big house, it’s a pig sty. I’ve struggled to keep it clean for the past few weeks. Order brings me comfort in the midst of trials, so I’ve put extra effort toward keeping things uncluttered. Oh well, to hell with that! It’s a pig sty and the little pigs just love to wallow in it, to their hearts content. So, be it, I’m leaving. Tomorrow. To mingle with my kin. (An ethnic event going on this weekend south of here) See ya Monday morning after work!

At the end of my shift I was transporting a certain "thug" to a school program (and this I mean in a more affectionate way than it may sound or is necessary, anyway). He is trying to turn his life around after spending a couple of years in a slammer. He was at the shelter a couple years back, when I had just started. Everyone dreaded this kid, he was 15 and about 250lbs, a totally uncontrollable troublemaker… He’s back and somewhat changed. At first, I was surprised to observe that he was able to control himself much better than before. The new staff made statements of how well he behaved (had they only known him two years ago). Yet, even then, I managed to see something good underneath all that trouble and attention seeking. So I tried to be nice in spite of the usual bombardment of insults one can expect from a young rebel.

This time around, he’s learned some new manipulative skills. A girl was attracted to him, and one day I witnessed some worrisome tendencies in this young man, as he acted very forceful and controlling toward her, accusing her of some petty thing. She stood her ground and argued, didn’t seem to mind when he physically held her in an armlock, although acting up as playful. Well, all the signs were there, and she was obviously used to such treatment. Luckily this girl left the shelter within a couple of days.

I’m slowly learning about his life in bits and pieces, as I give him a ride to school on regular basis. The other day, he wanted to get there early. Well, OK with me, my own kids would make it to school on time, for once!

I figured there was a reason for the early ride and mentioned her name, asking him jokingly, "so, you’re going to meet _, am I right?"( Pretty sure I was, though he didn’t admit it). Instead, he asked, "has she called the shelter?" I answered with a question, "well, has she?"

"Yup, every day", came the reply.
"How is that possible, it’s against the rules- does so and so let you talk with her?"
"Yup, (three staff) do, because they think she’s my sister." That figures.

Beginning that morning, I learned something new every day. After jokingly stating that, depending on whether my Christian conscience lets me do such, I allowed him to play his rap CD on the way to school and even cranked the base up a bit, discussing the not-so-nice lyrics and contents of the songs and the reality behind these so-called "gangsta" hits. That got him to open up. He told me how he had fought to survive the juvvy, how he witnessed his homeboy shot to death in front of him, how certain siblings were murdered, how he sold crack cocaine at the street corner for one year, assisting his brother (who’s in jail, I think). I have enough street smarts to keep the momentum going, throwing in comments, such as, "yeah, I’ve seen the crack houses in WPB, (had a roommate who was a crack head) I dun’ some partyin’ down in Miami Beach" (as we listened to a song about Dade county.). "Yeah, AK 47’s are easy to come by nowadays" and so on.

It’s so much like me to play with fire. Thank goodness for God’s protection.

I do hope this young man can rise above all those circumstances. Remember J, he’s on his way (hopefully, despite some lapses).

God can turn things around. I may be in a grand funk but we’ll see how this weekend turns out. Maybe I’ll do some holy rolling with the Pentecostals, some more God searching, maybe some confessing… That should fix things up.

Daddy, I know I’ll be tempted to get drunk at some point during this weekend. Prevent that from happening, will ya?
Luv ya Daddy, love ya Jesus. Remember that one day about 21 years ago as I had just arrived in US. I was interviewed by the pentecostal radio host, talking about "culture shock" etc. He then asked me what I wanted most. I answered him, "to learn to know Jesus better."

Remember that, Lord Jesus? My answer remains the same today.

Week Four

Week Four

Found myself reading the old posts, especially the one where I quoted several bible passages concerning divination and sorcery. I was under a strong conviction, then. I’m hoping to undergo an even stronger conviction, to help me shake off this fascination that still has a hold on me. When the Lord helped me stop drinking, he took away my desire to do it, so the temptation left me for good. But with spiritual adultery it seems, everytime a bait is presented in front of me (in form of something supernatural, vision or such), I latch on, hook, line and sinker! Woe is me…

I hope God at least recognizes the fact that I acknowledge my weakness and express a desire to overcome this bondage of mine. Having this thorn in my flesh, a messenger of satan that causes me to stumble, will I be able to press on, will God’s grace be sufficient unto me?

Presently, we’re studying Romans at our Bible study. There’s a lot of basic guidance in the coming chapters and I anticipate strong convictions coming my way, as Paul talks about topics such as law vs. grace, flesh vs. spirit, being crucified and sanctified in Christ Jesus. So much of it applies to my present afflictions… Having knowledge and understanding, there’s no excuse for me to continue in sin.

How many times have I already crucified You Lord Jesus?

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