Miss Liberty’s Almost Extingushed Flame Pt 1

Weary, yet eager immigrants gaze at Ellis Island and Miss Liberty, holding high her freedom flame. At any moment, they’d be stepping on to the free soil of their new country, America. I can almost hear their hearts beat wildly as they anticipate a new frontier of fresh beginnings and a real life for themselves and their families. Soon, they’d be part of  America, strong, brave and free.

Several short decades later, many changes have pervaded America and Miss Liberty’s flame, unbeknownst to many, is about to be extinguished. I’ve been aware of this since hearing chilling prophecies from three men of God who all received a vision about America within days of each other! As my husband and I listened to their words, my skin crawled. My mind raced with thoughts of violent anarchy, rioting in the streets and millions dying of famine. America…plunging to her infamous depth?

Though frightening in its reality, I began to get even more serious about my prayer life and interceding on behalf of our godly leaders in the pulpit, public office and everyone in America.

I was never the least bit interested in politics. I didn’t even use my voting card 10 years ago, preferring to be a hippie, non-conformist, pacifist, artist/musician.  Growing spiritually and in leadership meant knowledge entailing responsibility.  An intelligent, college educated woman and follower of Jesus Christ began to see the devastating down spiraling of my once glorious country now clothed in shame, poverty, materialism and  self-indulgence.

This Christmas season, staring with Black Friday, was the last straw on the camels back. Thronging shoppers lining up all night for the doors to open, rushed through, violently stampeding each other to acquire valueless merchandise.  I refused to be a part of the senselessness and vowed to keep my Christmas shopping simple and spiritual.

Another sign of the times was not being able to find one store that carried religious wrapping paper; a small token to remind my loved ones of the true meaning of Christmas. Leaving the last store empty-handed, I did relish the vision of carolers strolling down the neighborhood streets singing Silent Night and The First Noel.

God is being edited from every aspect of our nation and heritage. Without His protection, America will soon fall. The tsunami of evil and unrighteousness looms and  will soon descend on us unless we reverse our wayward actions and apathy.

This essay is not political and neither is it spiritual. It is about the reality of personal and corporate responsibility.  The “golden rule” has no religious boundaries  and is applicable to all, whether Muslim, Hindu, theist or Judeo-Christian.

Too much blame has been passed around, blame on the government, blame on parents, blame on the economy and  blame on the teachers. But where does blame begin? The liberals blame the conservatives. The churches condemn the atheists. A house divided cannot stand. Division will be our undoing unless unity and understanding makes a way for compromise and healing.

Everyone must stop pointing fingers at each other and delve into their own deceived heart, decisions and actions. Whether good, selfish or reckless, all will come to a reckoning.

In part two, we will explore the root cause of this about-to-be-fragmented and disintegrated nation and also present the cure for the reversal of its sickness.

DUI, In the Blink of an Eye

Image result for free picture of car crashes

Journal Entry October 17, 2009

Grisly accident  scenes of mangled cars and bodies litter highways all over our country.  Rubbernecking further turns our freeways into stressful, bumper-to-bumper commutes to home or work.

My husband and I had a close encounter with a real collision this past summer right down the block from out neighborhood, one which we will never forget. I hope my experience assisting the victims of this horrendous crisis. will make you think twice before getting behind the wheel of your car while angry, drunk or under the influence.

We were full from a fine meal at our favorite Mexican restaurant and were on our way home to go to bed. My thoughts and prayers were on my family and loved ones who were struggling with their life issues. We were about to make our right turn onto Spring lake Boulevard, when high-beamed headlights veered into our lane. Mark lay on the horn and mumbled out loud,

He suddenly slowed down and pulled over to the shoulder. I was wide awake now.

” Hold on, something’s going on up there,” he pointed to the intersection, then rushed out of the car.  Straining to see through the darkness, car hazard lights flashed.  In a minute Mark was back, a look of concern on his face.

“There’s a bad accident up there. Get over there quickly and see if anyone needs help. It looks like someone’s about to die.”

Adrenaline rushed and panic gripped me as I made my way through what seemed like a thick, acrid smoke wafting through the night air.

“Lord, help me. Give me wisdom and strength, ”  I whispered out loud. I had no idea what I was going to see.  With bare feet, I tip-toed through the glass-littered road. In my haste to attend the victims, I’d forgotten to slip on my flip-flops.

To my horror,  an overturned van lay impotent in the middle of the road. It’s front end was completely sheared off! My heart raced wildly and my eyes misted as I surveyed the grisly and chaotic scene before me.  It was eerily quiet in light of the violence of the impact that most certainly happened only minutes earlier. As I stepped closer to the van, a blood-soaked man lay motionless on his side. I stopped, paralyzed, then turned to see Mark waving his arms to stop oncoming traffic.  My senses took in all the ominous sights, smells and sounds, but I was most aware of the smell of burning rubber still billowing from both impotent vehicles.  To the side of the road shoulder,  a tiny souped-up sport car lay impotent on its side.  It’s front end had also been torn off.  A man was crying out loud for help as I stared, speechless at the injured man at the van.

Mark rushed up to me, “What are you doing? We’ve got injured people here?”

I struggled to get my senses together. Mark called out to me again as he rushed back to attend the traffic.

“That one over there,” he said pointing to the man in front of me.

“Lord, help me to attend your healing to this man….I speak life to this body…life.” The man groaned softly as I continued to pray and speak life over his body. Although my mind recoiled in utter sadness, I believed even more in Jesus’ power to heal the man. I continued to speak to my Heavenly Father on behalf of this unfortunate stranger who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

“Precious Jesus, please help us. In your name, this man is healed. We ask you to be here with us.” I bent down and stroked the mans shoulder.

“You’re going to be fine. Jesus is here with us. You’re going to be fine.“ A calmness settled over us as my voice repeated the soothing refrain. I knew all would be well. My thoughts were racing as my emotions got caught up with the hostile drama around me. Had I not believed that angels were surrounding and ministering to the man and me, I would not have had strength to help anyone.  I continued to pray, but was also aware of the smell of blood and acrid smoke. A young EMT interrupted my thoughts.

“Sir, can you get to your feet?”

This young man thought this gravely injured man could stand to his feet? But he did. groaning and lurching forward. I grabbed his arm to steady him against the van. Again, I knew the Lord was assisting me as I held the man against the van.

“Thank you, Jesus. Thank You Jesus.” I continued to stroke the mans shoulder and softly encouraged him that he would be fine. I could tell he was having great difficulty keeping conscious, because he trembling. I knew that keeping a calm composure as possible could mean the difference between his surviving or dying. Blood continued to pour from the back of his head, but he kept steady.  The other passenger with him in the van approached us and asked the mans name.

“Does he speak English?” The injured man nodded is head and mumbled that his name was Ahmed

I kept soothing. “Jesus is here with us. Don’t be afraid. It’ll be okay,” Finally another EMT pushing a stretcher toward us.

“Keep him steady,” He positioned a collar around his neck. I continued to pray for the man even as ambulances, police cars and a fire truck approached the intersection. Ahmed was laid on a stretcher. My job was done with him and I started off to address the needs of the other accident victim still trapped inside his silver sports car, now merely a twisted heap of metal.

“Lord, touch this man and bring wholeness and peace to this situation,” I decreed out loud as I approached the small car. A man was screaming fearfully. as I inched closer to see what his injuries were.  Through the open window, I saw no  legs. I prayed they weren’t amputated underneath the crushed dashboard and steering wheel.

“Help me…Oh God someone… help me,” he cried out.

“It’s okay. I’m here. It’s gonna be okay,” I opened the passenger door and peered in.  To my relief, I saw no blood or severed limbs, just a frightened, disoriented young man shaking his head back and forth.

“Hello. Are You okay?” I asked again.

“Where am I? What happened?” he kept sobbing. “I can’t feel my legs…Oh God!”

“What happened?” I asked in concern, “ Did You fall asleep at the wheel?”

“Ahhhh…..I don’t know what happened. All of a sudden I’m here. Get me outta here,” He continued to wail hysterically. I kept praying for God’s peace and wisdom to calm him and wisdom on how to address his needs.

“It’s okay, Jesus is here. He sent his angel to comfort you. Be not afraid,” I was amazed at how God was bringing peace to the situation, a healing balm that calmed both him and me.

“You’re gonna be okay.  God has sent my husband and me to help you.”

“God sent you? Oh, no. Am I gonna hear another sermon?” he groaned.

”I’ve heard enough preaching this week.”

Could God be giving this guy a wake up call? I thought upone heraing his words.

“God knows exactly what’s going on here and He loves you.”

The man started to cry.

“Do you live here in Country Lakes? What is your name?”

“Lance. ”

“Cool. My ex bass players name was Lance. You’re gonna be fine, Lance,” I stroked his arm again. “My name’s Angel, Lance. God sent you an angel tonight” He started to cry again and grabbed my arm.

“I’m so glad you came here to help me, Angel.”

A policeman, EMTs and firemen with extrication equipment approached us and told me to be on my way. Other police officers blocked Route 70 and a helicopter made its way towards the accident victims who would be transported to the nearest trauma center and hospital.

I took one last look at the scene and walked across the highway to where Mark was talking with a young couple. They’d seen the moment of impact. Other drivers also witnessed the accident, but sped away. The husband was angry that anyone could be so cruel and just pass by accident victims in need of help. He also thanked us for being kind Samaritans who were willing to stop and help out.

Mark and I headed towards home, thankfully just minutes from the accident. We were drained but God had guided us so beautifully that night, using us as His hands, heart and feet. I felt humbled and honored to be his angel and servant.

That night, as Mark and I prepared for sleep, he shared with me what the couple told him about the driver who caused the accident.

The young man was stationed at Fort Dix and had a huge fight with his girlfriend. He went to the local bar and got drunk, speeding down Spring lake Boulevard in a fit of rage at about 70 miles an hour. The who spoke to Mark  said they saw no brake lights or skid marks. The man just barreled through the stop sign at the very moment an airport van was traveling east on Route 70. The impact caused the van to spin completely in the opposite direction they were headed for!

The victim most injured just happened to be arriving in the US from the Middle East.  Mark also told me that when he first saw the man laying on the side of the van, he couldn’t see his head and though he was decapitated. When he looked closer, the impact had gauged a massive hole in his scull. I’m glad I hadn’t seen it because  I might have fainted.

I’m foerver impacted by this expereince and pray that there will be much more awareness about safe and courteous driving I have yet to see any public awareness campaigns for reckless, road rage. I’ll forever remember the grace, strength, comfort and loving presence of my Heavenly Father that so intervened to all involved.

I hope my song,  “In the Blink of an Eye, (DUI) will bring about concern and a testimonial to the dangers of reckless driving. This song is a powerful and sobering message to the American people about the necessity of driving etiquette and  awareness. Text messaging, cell phone use and DUI has claimed the lives of thousands of precious loved ones and permanently maimed thousands more!

I can’t stress enough the urgency of safe, courteous and “thoughtful” driving. I take my driving as seriously as I do my career, marriage and worship of God.  People need to re-assess their attitude of defensive and safe driving.  I’ve seen astounding incidences of leisurely, careless driving every day on our NJ highways and roads. Inattentiveness abounds, especially while conversing on cell-phones.

What will it take for people to wake up. That critically injured foreigner probably never expected to have his life change in the blink of an eye. All it takes is a second to take your eyes off the road or cut some one off and cause a pile up on the free way. Just one second…..

May we honor the lives of all as we drive to our destinations for the sake of spouses, children and/or loved ones.

Drive as if your life depended  on it!

THE Dumbing Down of America

America has been dumbing down for at least a decade now.

According to the December issue of “Philadelphia” Magazine, technology has made kids dumber and not smarter. The same goes for adults. I noticed this zombi-ization as a featured Starbucks performer back in 1994.  Children skipped happily into the cafe while their parents strode in with glazed stares.

Now musicians can’t take it personally that they aren’t responded to as parents and students are busy checking their emails or studying for tests. But I’ve noticed that even during stirring or provocative  banter between songs, many would not even lift up their heads to listen.

Responding to a thread on my favorite Christian musician forum, I thought about the great changes taking place spiritually, socially and artistically here in America. Our CEO, Keith Mohr remarked to my statement on the thread.  He said,   “The dumbing down of society has been happening for years”

How true and how sad to reckon the indifference towards such Renaissance  visionaries work, such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.  How has today;s technology influenced the way we create and produce art?

Renaissance visionary’s works profoundly affected Europe.  So too, today are we powerfully impacted by the speed and accessibility of technology via digitized books, music and art.

I see a dramatic difference between the works and influence of the Renaissance period and the works of today’s artists. As a college student in the nineties, I remember having taking watercolor and graphic design classes.  Then, it was up to us, to use our brains, coordinating and transferring our ideas onto a pallet or sketch pad. I remember the joy and satisfaction of watching liquid colors flow and ebb from my paintbrush onto a rough paper surface. The skill was in the hands and fingers.

Today, creating a visual representation of a new work is now digitally instant.

The savoring and soul-stirring-ness, ( visual, sensorary and aural stimuli) of art,  music and literature started its demise in the late nineties.  I don’t see this trend being resurrected anytime soon.  The mainstream have lost interest in going to a museums, traveling to Italy or Paris to see the  truly great art of yesteryear. How many young people today are awe- stricken gazing upon a Michelangelo work?

It still takes my breath away to study and scrutinize all the intricate nuances of the great jazz artists, painters, conductors, photographers, like the late Ansel Adams.  Old or old school. It doesn’t matter, we have lost something very priceless & precious in exchange for microwave.

There’s no comparison, creating and eating a scratch-made quiche made from organic and freshly chopped veggies, eggs, cheese & spices) with a frozen, processed one filled with chemicals and artificial flavors. Can anyone tell the difference anymore? And people wonder why they get cancer and are brain-dead!

The public has bought a cheap and nasty lie, false food, fast/free music & clothes that fall apart after one wash.  Fine art, music and even chivalry has been lost and forgotten. The mainstream mindset has collapsed into a collapsible culture of zombies who walk around with glazed stares! Just walk into any Starbucks.

But there are still us dinosaurs roaming alertly and passionately about and we will not keep silent. I for one still design hand-made greeting cards however limited my time. I still design exquisite vintage stage wear for my performing gigs, (carefully choosing fabrics, trimmings and patterns for a one of a kind look)  and I still cook from scratch.

Oh, the glory of old-fashioned creation…the slow, thoughtful and precise way. Long live watercolor painting and hand calligraphy!


Journal Entry, Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 2010

I have been given a great gift and so acknowledge it this precious Thanksgiving Day!,

I relish the joy of last night’s Thanksgiving concert performance at my church. I shared the stage with our worship team and my two best friends, lead guitarist Chris Durante and drummer  Phil Long. Friends and family came out to experience. Three weeks of hard work culminated to this special night. Weeks before, monkey wrenches threatened to interfere with the forward momentum, but God enabled me to get Phil’s commitment for the concert.

An hour and a half before the concert, everyone was in their place rehearsing with Phil during the sound check. As he’d promised, he was prepared and excited. God had heard and answered our prayers for a beautiful sounding concert presentation! I worked my faith all week

Weeks before the concert, I was straddled with a myriad of concert-related tasks: PR work, do, printing and copying lyric sheets, burning CDs for the band members, designing fliers, programs brochures, making calls to the local newspaper and working out rehearsal times convenient for everyone. It took much focus and energy to groom and arrange the repertoire into a well-presented concert. The harried flow of my schedule was further punctuated by sudden  crisis with two dear women fiends. I assessed the situations and prayed God’s intervention.

One of the women, Danae, *(name changed for privacy), a beautiful, singer, long-time friend and single mom has been surrendering to God. Over the years, I’ve been heartbroken and helpless on how to help her address  her relentless health struggles, oppressive opposition, spousal abuse/neglect and  financial crisis. Another precious woman friend was dealt a very bad hand and I wonder how these two have survived such overwhelming circumstances.

Looking back to my own life and seeing God’s gracious hand in all my crisis, I think about the endless succession of health battles, financial struggles, depression and marriage/relationship struggles. I was prone to acquiescing to defeat and thus spoke it out loud. I’m now emancipated  from my prison because of the recent teachers on Christian television who teach on working the word and decreeing it out loud!

I’ve  spent most of my Christian life ignorant of God’s power and the necessity of knowing and decreeing His word for warfare, victory and success. Many of God’s children daily decree death and lack through their own tongues unaware that the enemy uses their very words against them! Teacher Andrew Wommack speaks of working God’s word to claim healing, favor and provision. I’ve come to the conclusion that being a Child of God is  hard work, dedication and boldness. How often in my Christen life, I’ve despaired of my circumstance, rather than give him praise that He has already given me the victory over my situation, spiritual discernment to make a wise doeskin and the boldness to bring success into existence! Doors of help, favor and provision are opening and He gives me supernatural knowledge or understanding about a matter or situation, because I asked appropriately. God doesn’t answer prayers laden with doubt, forgiveness or fear.  The Bible says to put on the mind of Christ and He has NOT given us a spirit of fear, (timidity) but of power and might and a sound mind! 2 Tim 1:7

Today, many of God’s people are angry and miserable that they are suffering greatly! 1 Pet 4:12  We must remember that Christianity is all about massive spiritual warfare. Our most deadly foe, Satan’s MO is to kill, steal and destroy and accusing us daily before our Heavenly Father. Will we faint under the demonic assaults or do we oppose with our spiritual armor, the Word of God? I most certainly am sick and tired of moaning and circling my same spiritual mountain a hundred times for most of my Christian life! Rest assured that I have gagged on my spoiled, bad  fruits of uttering death decrees on my life.

“Oh….I can’t take it anymore. This poverty is killing me. I’m getting the flue, I’m so tired. I’m too old. I’ll be a spinster forever. I have cancer.”.The death decrees go on and on…But what does God’s word say I am?

I am the righteousness of Christ. My God shall supply all my needs according to His riches and glory. I am healed by Jesus stripes. I am the head and not the tail. I am the beloved of the Lord! There are hundreds of promises that we need to speak daily over our lives without doubting. He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek HIM with all their heart! Heb 11:6 We must understand the implication of diligence, faithfulness and trust. Abraham’s faith was rewarded by God after he waited many decades for his promised son! Do we have that kind of trust..to expect God’s promises even when the waiting seems like an eternity?

Are we willing to open our hearts, to forgive those who’ve wounded us, wait on His timing, (which, by the way…is never early, but always in His timetable) and be thankful in all things? Extreme suffering, hardship or even being born into misery does not negate God’s supreme power, ability or us fulfilling our destiny. In fact, some who have the most trial, challenges and suffering are so humbled by their circumstances that God is more able to use them as a magnificent vessel and testimony of His greatness. Now, that makes me feel so much better!

Joseph, St Paul, old testament prophets, Jeremiah,  Ezekiel and especially Job are examples of “working” the word faithfully and consistently Modern examples of faith heroes are Nick Vujicic, (http://www.lifewithoutlimbs.org) the armless, legless young evangelist and Joni Erickson-Tada, ( http://www.joniandfriends.org   paraplegic who have both  astounded the world with their amazing accomplishments, testimonies and witness for Christ!

God despises cowards and lazy people, (read your Bible and read about what happens to the doubting and fearful yourself) He tells Joshua to be not afraid and be a of a good courage. The fearful, doubting and unforgiving will not receive anything from the Lord. He is a unstable man in all his ways.  James 1:8

The secret of  victory and spiritual promotion is learning to saturate your mind with God’s word and promises, putting on the mind of Chris…. daily.  This is called working the WORD. The reality of faith and excellence in Christ is that we have some hard work ahead. We can’t expect God to magically drop provision, favor, answered prayers like candy in a gum machine. Like a starving coyote waiting for the mother hen to bear her offspring so he can immediately devour the newborn chick, so is satan laying wait for our mouths to speak death so he can use our very words to snare us and keep us bound and defeated!

Work the word, daily, (and for some of us, hourly) hourly people. You shall reap if you faint not! Gal 6:9  Those who believe and trust God with all their hearts and address Him in faith by the words of their mouth will receive. It may take many failed attempts to see results from speaking His word over your situation, but if you are persistent…God will see that you mean business. He loves it when we address Him in faith using His very word! He is faithful!

Two choices. Survive in misery or live in hope. Work the WORD and it will work for you!!