TEACH US TO NUMBER OUR DAYS



bikini and white wicker chair

Journal Entry, October 1, 2018

A usual day, making my usual cup of Hazlenut coffee. But today I am eagerly waiting to see about the recovery of the baby squirrel I brought home yesterday.  I noticed a note from my husband, right next to the coffee maker. Mark usually didn’t leave me notes unless it was important or for me to do an errrand for him. He was  as concerend for the baby suqirrel as I was that she be hydrated and fed. The note said, “Honey bun, the baby suqirrel did not make it”.

I burst into tears and rusheed to the bedroom, in hopes that perhapos the baby squirrel was still asleep. She indeed had died during the night. Her eyes were partially closed and she looked so peaceful.  AS I stared at her tiny body and beautiful bushy tail,  I wondered why Father God did not choose to restore her. I had only known her a day and a half, but I was grieving as if she were a pet. I suddenly felt felt disturbed and nauseous.

3 kitties in a basket2
Just a short day and a half ago, I was enjoying the beautiful Indian summer Sunday afternoon on my scooter. My favorite place to roll down an incline was at a vacated building which used to be a bank. I was riding uphill on the driveway and a tiny baby squirrel stopped in in front of me, in the middle of the driveway. She was moving very slow and I got closer to take a look. She stared at me then stopped, as if she was too weak to walk. She then looked at me and gave a long sorrowful squeal as if to say, “Help me”. I melted. Then I watched her struggle to stand. She steadied herself and slowly walked to a grassy area where she lay down. Immediately a swarm of flies settled on her soft coat. I became angry that they were so greedy they couldn’t wait for her to die before laying larva to eat her. I scootered home as quickly as I could, praying that she would not die on me before I came back for her.

When I came back with the truck, she was laying on her side with those wretched flies all over her. I managed to scoop her up into a plastic tray. When I got her home, she was not afraid of me. I gave her a little water with an eye dropper and mixed some wet cat food. She didn’t even struggle or fight me. When I retired for the night, I believed when would be more chipper when I awoke the next morning to attend her.
The next morning, Mark was anxious to see Bitty, the baby squirrel I told him about. He also was smitten by her and mentioned that when she recovered she would join the other squirrels that frequented our back yard. I remembered the time I rescued to white ferret while on the way home from a recording session. It was a very dark night, but I was able to make out a small white creature rolling out from under the car ahead of me. I stopped my car to see if the animal survived and found it was a white ferret. There was no blood but I could tell she was terrified. I went to my car and grabbed a music stand and crate and was able to scoop her into the crate. When I got her home, she was relaxed and ended up adjusting beautifully to Mark and the other five cats. Ghost became a loved member of our family.

Fast Forward two days Later
Bitty’s demise made me feel disconnected and empty. I knew from experience that dying pets always made me fall into lengthy periods of nonproductively and since I was part of an intercessory prayer group, I had to stay somewhat sharp. The Bible was always my source of strength when I lost pets and my eyes fell on Moses .Psalm 90. Verse 12 always made me stop and ponder the concept of numbering our days. I wondered why Father didn’t choose to revive Bitty, our any of the precious cats who comforted me over the years. I’ve been walking with the Lord since 1983 and have come a long way in my perception and experiencing God. Today, the truth and reality of the brevity of life is crystal clear.

Bitty SQUIRREL

Whether in joy, celebration, soberness or accepting death, God is still God and His strength is made perfect in the fragility of our grieving.  Intimacy with Him is the only way we can address great losses in our lives and move forward in strength and purpose. For me and all those who passionately seek Jehovah God, the Eternal One and His son, Jesus the Christ, Life in Him is the only life worth living.

Bitty’s rescue and death reminded me of our life, friendships and existence, ever-changing., and sometimes ending.  As a journalist, I ask my heavenly Father to use my gifts, (both tragedies and triumphs) to guide, encourage and empower those He sends my way. How I desire to express my emotions, perceptions and responses through His divine perspective. One of the most precious attributes He tempers is compassion and tenderness. Mark remarked to me how he was moved to see me so gently try to nourish Bitty.

Bikini Dies, October 3, 2018
Two days after Bitty’s death and ready to greet another day,  Mark leaft me another note on the kitchen counter. This note said that he was taking Bikini, our long-haired, gentle tan and grey tabby, to the vet. While my coffee was brewing , I called him at work to see how Bikini made out. A  long pause, “Kini’s gone,”  he said softly. I burst out crying.

Mark described his dismal morning.  Our other cat, a male,  Tiny, was meowing despairingly  in the laundry room,. He found Bikini laying on the tile floor, convulsing in a pool of her urine. Alarmed, he took her to the car, in hopes of taking her to the vet near his job. When he arrived at the vets, two female attendants were there, but they weren’t allowed to open the door and let Mark in with Bikini. One, took one look at Bikini and said, “It’s too late. She’s clearly on the way out” It was about 5:30 am when Bikin expired. I was sobbing loudly as Mark described driving to work with Bikini dead on the passenger seat.

The rest of the day,   I was nuaseous and sorrowful.. This was getting to be too much with losing three friends just last month. My daily battle with my condition and the incessant pulling of my Platysma and SCM muscles in my throat made my life all the more taxing. Every trauma took a lot out of me. The recent nights were terrible also as I’d be woken up several times during the night.  The stress of mourning Bitty’s and Bikin’s death didn’t help  my muscles. II was unable to  get REM sleep for hours.  I desperately needed a break.

I went out into the yard to rake leaves to vent my grief and called one of the matron intercessors from our prayer group. She had recently lost and was grieving over her beloved dog, Holly, so I knew I could confide in her about losing my sweet Bikini. Pastor Pam and I prayed and her prayer gave me comfort. She shared that God reminded her not to drown in her mourning and focus on moving forward. I then called another dear spiritual sister, Sandra, who was also all too familiar with losing her beloved cat right around the time she lost her mother. It was so grateful to be able to share my burden. I thought about Job crying out with the terrible news of losing all his children.

Bikini was with for about 12 years and was the subject of many beautiful photographs that I will cherish. Bikini’s meek and tender personality was unlike some other cats, who growled or scratched out if provoked or if their food bowl was threatened. Just last week, Bikini’ became more attached to me and would sit in the middle of the kitchen floor and stare up at me while I cooked our meals. Mark took Bikin’s death especially hard, blaming himself that he didn’t have her checked earlier. I assured him that Bikini died of Cancer and her symptoms were similar to my beloved white calico, Baby-Baby. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, but blessed be the name of the Lord. My comfort during the loss of a beloved loved on or pet is that one day we will see Jesus face to face. My scripture verse of great comfort is Revelation 21:4

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Those of us who have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior will be reunited with our loved ones and I believe our beloved pets. Oh, the joys of our covenant relationship with our Heavenly Father. We will enjoy the glorious blessings of eternity in Heaven in a glorified body where there is no decay, accidents, sin or death. I pray, my friend that you too will invite Christ into your heart and life. So you can be assured of reuniting with your loved ones.

MOVING FORWARD


Marchin forward

MOVING FORWARD From Offenses and Woundings

For many of us, conflict and strife are two of the most difficult areas to address. The inability to confidently address criticism and conflict  stifles our ability to soar upward into our divine fullness. The book of Proverbs is chock full of warnings to be cautious in our communication. Being slow to speak and waiting for divine wisdom for understanding has been challenging for me. I grew up in a family atmosphere of intense conflict between my German mother and Puerto-Rican father, whose relationship started to weaken when my father took on great responsibilities as the vice president of the Spanish Fraternity. His time and financial investments to the Spanish Community were straining our family and mom and dad argued constantly. I was very sensitive as a young girl and my parents arguing was very distressing for me. I also had to endure my mother’s temper tantrums where she regularly overturned the furniture, tore apart everything in my two younger sisters’ rooms and gave them beatings. This abusive environment of fear and anger became of stronghold in me. I was terrified of angry, mean people. At the first sign of a negative body language or facial expression, my stomach would turn and I became nauseous. I must admit,  my communication  style was challenged because of my nervousness in the presence of angry people.  This stronghold intensified during my first marriage where I endured domestic violence.  My fear to express disatisfaction or  uphold my boundaries  was firmly established. and my husband’s rage when I stated my opiinion caused me to keep m mouth shut because I didn’t want to be attacked.

We’ve all suffered rejection, abandonment and/or abuse and the extent of our spiritual growth-healing depends on our willingness to allow Christ to heal the deeply-embedded, negative strongholds of our mind and soul. In my life as a creative person,  (many artists, musicians and people in creative fields) feel a need to escape the sordid aspects of reality. Non creative people can also seek refuge in certain comforts such as sports, drugs, alcohol, shopping, food addictions and pornography. This is natural for us to feel safe from excruciating mental anguish or a sexual trauma such as molestation or rape. Those of us from extremely abusive backgrounds believe that the only way to cope with our painful past is to find refuge in the beauty and wonder of our creative endeavors and projects. Success in our careers and creativity is a good thing, but staying stuck in the plateau of woundedness and the trauma is not.

For me it has been a very long and painful road to spiritual freedom and joy because there were few intuitive and anointed pastors and/or deliverance counselors who could help me accurately identify negative strongholds. Even less to find are those who willingly guide a wounded individual to Christ’s wholeness. With the kingdom of hell becoming more aggressive than ever before, (satan knows his time is very short). God’s people are getting a triple dose of attacks in every area of life. It’s rare for any child of God not to be suffering some attack. Strife and division seems to be the main area satan has been using to create division and weakness in the body of Christ. The way around this is continual time in God’s presence, repentance and being accountable to elders.

The law of Love

1 Cor. 13 4-8 is really the formula which builds and strengthens the body, but often harder than it seems. Agape love allows no pride and convicts us when refuse to be wrong. We say, “Why should I acquiesce to him/her?” The spirit of offense is strong and often uses the element of surprise. You’re caught off guard when he strikes and you’re trembling in anger. Offense must be taken captive by Christ’s authority.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

A fellow intercessor sister and I were praying about how to address various weak areas our brthren needed to address. I told her how disappointed II was about several incidents which occurred with very dear and mature prophetic Christian sisters in my circle. Each incident involved a disagreement where both parties responded in quick anger. There was no resolution and the two decided not to bother with each other again. This breaking of relationship and avoiding each other disturbs me and disturbs the delicate atmosphere of unity in God’s family. We may glibly disregard our decision to break relationship with a brother or sister, but that small offense breaches the circle of love. We may not immediately feel or see the sting of offense-rejection, but it’s seed  takes root nonetheless and it opens the door to other demonic strongholds.

Pastor Derrik Prince teaches how just one rejection can swing open a door allowing other demonic stronghold to take root. This is why repentance is so necessary. When we are unified in love, we operate in great power and achieve God’s greatest miracles, healing and deliverance. When we have disagreements so sharp that we cut off the relationship and go on our merry way, we lose the opportunity to grow in the area of resolving conflict. We are as iron sharpening iron and Father is pleased when we conquer that pride spirit and seek reconciliation and resolution. With God all things are possible and when we come together in prayer, with the intention of resolving and unifying, we will be building bridges and healing wounded or misunderstood hearts.

Let us never forget that satan is cunning and has studied mankind for eons. He knows exactly how to s get a toehold in even the most well-intentioned. Conquering offense can often be difficult for people raised in angry, alcoholic and dysfunctional backgrounds. They often have deep-rooted strongholds of unworthiness and inferiority. Their mothers may have scorned, “You’re no good” or “You’ll never amount to anything.” If these declarations are not renounced and broken off, those voices will continue to harass and maim. The child will grow up to be an adult who is fearful of constructive criticism of any kind. When questioned, they respond immediately with raised dukes to fend imagined, crippling blows to their fragile self-worth. Those voices taunt incessantly, threatening their marriage and/or family. These negative accusing voices come from the pits of hell.  Strongholds of rejection and unworthiness can only be banished by daily meditating and declaring God’s truth about His precious children  who are created to do good works!

Learn to address feelings of shame, anxiety and/or unworthiness with God’s word. For those of us who have been raised in abuse and unhealthy homes, we must make wholeness and God’s word a priority. Healing from unhealthy influences may need help from strong, positive mentors. Learn not to be ashamed and defensive when questioned or criticized. Learn to recognize pride when he it rises up. Pride separates, but love unites. Don’t let pride bar us from admitting we don’t have all the answers or we made a mistake. Be sensitive to Holy  Spirit’s nudge when ou quickly  respondi inappropriately, angrilly or with unwaranted suspicion. Give people the benefit of the doubt that they are not always out to get you.

Repentance (humility) are not dirty words and we should never be ashamed to get on our faces, cry out in deep humility and ask Father to reveal our shortcomings. Repentance is cleansing and we grow in His grace when we are transparent. In one of my group prayer battalions, we start out our conference call with confessing our sins and weaknesses to each other.  This was a new thing to me, but found after a few weeks, how it draew my sisters and I closer together and made us more compassionate and prayerful for each other!

Repentance should be as natural as doing a detox or fast for our physical bodies. When we cleanse our body through daily repenting, we do not hinder the flow of Holy Spirit or block Him from blessing us with His conviction and gracious deliverance! My prayer for the body of Christ, is that we work on being transparent and honest with each other. Sin and iniquities root and flourish when we keep our sins and weaknesses hidden. The Bible says we are to confess our sins and weaknesses with each other daily.  All too often,  I see and hear about episodes where our Christian brethren display rage and  are vindictive on Facebook and other public forums. This is a very poor witness to non-believers and grieves our heavenly Father. Especially damaging is strife and division about political issues and gossip. A wise, gracious person would have nothing to do with strife because it weakens the bond of fellowship. We need to share our views respectfully and if the disagreement is too intense, then we must agree to disagree and avoid the subject for the sake of peace.

Brothers and sisters, we need to get it together because we are in the end of the end times and time is short. The eternal destinies of millions are at the precipice of decision and our demeanor must be Christ-alluring, a fragrance in the stench of pride and worldliness. When we are dedicated to unity in our King Jesus, satan cannot get a toehold. Pride in us is insidious and let us remember that it sneaks up even in the best of us. Let us not be afraid to be wrong or uniformed and let us ask God for HIs divine wisdom!