Elder Swag

The greatest part of being old. You get to speak in code. Oh, the younger people think they have their very own language, i.e. Urban Dictionary. But I have just begun to realize the benefits of being old. I didn’t always look forward to it. But now I know, I’ve accepted my fate. I’m not worried. I know I have, what I like to call, ‘Elder Swag.’


I guess it came as quite a shock, that I am actually counted among these stodgy people. I never imagined this day. I think it hit me a few weeks back, when I was in Denny’s. I sat at a table, with my son, his father, my brother and my mother. As the waitress handed us our menus, my ex husband said, “You know, you get a senior discount.”

After I finished choking on my coffee, (which was also discounted) I commented, “But I’m only 55!” “Yea, it says right here,” he began to point at the menu, and had I not needed to put my glasses on, I would have missed it.

“What in the world? That is waaaaay too young!” I said. A little irritated and somewhat excited at the same time. As if winning some kind of a prize, only to find out it was a re-gift, of a bad fruitcake.

“I don’t know if I should be happy or mad!” I said. But at that moment Rick looked at me and said, “Be happy until you’re finished eating. Then get mad.”

At this point I looked around and thought, “Hey, wait a minute! Everyone at this table, except my son, qualified for this discount.” Now I don’t feel so bad. I seem to have a lot of company.Then I started feeling sorry for the poor kid. Having such old people for parents.

Today, as I walked with my mom, she continued talking about her kids. I felt bad when she said, “she really doesn’t hear from her kids.” I tried to convince her that I am her kid. I just don’t want her to feel she’s neglected. But to no avail. She’s just not believing that I belong to her. I have been sad at times and at others amused, that she really doesn’t remember. I find that after an argument, she forgets we had one. When I place her, ‘memory patch,’ on her, I rub a little off for myself.

I felt better to finally understand that I don’t have a need for her to know I’m her daughter, as it is important that she knows, her children haven’t forgotten her. I told her this. “Mom, I just want you to know your daughter hasn’t neglected you. I am your daughter.” “Oh, come on! Do you think I’ve lost my mind?” She asked. I didn’t answer, although it was sitting at the very edge of my mouth, (no, just a part of it)

I sat and watched some shows with her later and I was laughing at all the medical problems which seemed to be an epidemic now. Or am I just more aware, since I’m a senior? I wondered out loud, “Why do all these problems come in code now? Acronyms for something which I’ve never heard of as being a condition. I wouldn’t say that the inablity to keep your legs still is a problem. If it is, my son has it too. But then there has to be a condition for being stuck in the sofa, like my mom. I’m sure I haven’t heard of it yet.

OAB-overactive bladder? Why don’t they just say, “I pee a lot? Or call it IPAL?” “Hey man! Don’t use a long word, where a short one will do.” Didn’t Mark Twain say that? My mother was laughing. She has not lost her humor. That’s good. I said, “Mom, they say that if your legs move to much, you have “Restless Leg Syndrome.” She is incredulous, as she says, “What?” I said, “Yea, I’m convinced that the doctors are making this stuff up, so they can sell medication.”

I told her, I’m sure that AARP, had something to do with this code language too. They started the whole club mentality. Like we should covet the idea of being accepted. All these ailments with the leaky pipes and things which always were normal, for old people. I guess it’s more exciting in the old conversations too. It’s like a special club and if you don’t know what the codes stand for, you sure aren’t in it! I picture an old dude standing at the entrance to the senior center, like a spy thriller, “What do you got?” Hmmm, as the old guy with his walker looks down, “Oh yea, IBS, with a side of Gert!” “Okay, come on in.”

Then they tell us that, if you have one of these conditions and are prescribed medicine, You are the one responsible to tell your doctor about all your medical history. Hey, isn’t that the doctors job? Why do we have to pay them, if we have to tell them what’s wrong?

The next dilemma is the whole Medicare/Social Security paperwork. My ex husband came over to ask for help in filling out his paperwork. Complicated more by his newly diagnosed cataracts. He said, “Don’t you think it’s kind of goofy, that when you’re this age, and you’re at the most difficult stage of your life, that you have to read and fill out all of this?” “Hmm, I said. That’s a valid point. Believe me, it’s designed to confuse. “Yea,” he said. “But think about someone like your poor mom trying to figure this out. The really take advantage of older people!” Incidentally, that’s a key strategy to point out old people which you consider much older than you. It minimizes the impact. (I do it all the time)

He sure is right about that. And it can only get worse. If I’m the one in charge of these other old people and we are all in this together; the trip to Denny’s is the easiest part of the journey. I’m thinking that the Old Fogies should have their own dictionary very soon. My mother has been telling my son for years, that, poop is not a word. “Poop deck or pooped out,” but no word such as poop!” She says. Well, I had to break the news about Al Roker’s own use of the word on national television. She was in shock at this. “See mom? It is now a part of our vocabulary. You know it is if someone like, Al Roker said it.”

In the old days, people just talked about their surgery’s and compared scars.These days the stars and football players alike, are modeling Depends. Oh sure, they say they’re not wearing them, just for advertising. (Yea, sure, whatever you say) But it won’t be long. May as well get comfortable.

We will be sitting in our rockers trying to text each other with those large print braille phones. Good thing we got a jump on the technology, so some of our abbreviations are part of normal conversation now. Since our arthritic fingers, just won’t be able to type on a keyboard and we sure want to tell our old buddies about the latest medical discovery. Which will most definitely be something cool. Like, BBS, (Butt, Boob Sag) With some great medication to tighten it all up.  Or perhaps, CFS, (Crooked Finger Syndrome) from all those fist bumps, or bird flipping, we did in our rebellious youth. Oh, and don’t forget about the PF(Purple Flurp) My son use this to describe the purple hue of bruising on our hands. All the years, of slapping our hands in ‘high fives.’ All the wear and tear, especially on those true sports jocks. How painful.


We will not be able to hear each other, since we’re part of that, “Teenage Wasteland,” which has now become an ‘Old Fart Dumping Ground.’ I’m already beginning to see the future. When I watched the Stones the other day, I was scared. Why haven’t I ever noticed that even Keith Richards looks ancient? Okay, he has always been scary. But for some reason, he was the one person I thought I could always count on, as just having the crazy look. How could he possible become old, when he was using the medicines, long before he needed them? That was a real dose of reality. No more denying.

I’ve made up my mind; I’m signing off and filling out my AARP, before I forget what it is!

My Father, Who Is In Heaven

He came for the sick

He came for the sick

When I pray this, I am addressing my heavenly father and my earthly father. It has become so personal to me and I have a picture of my father whenever I come before my heavenly father.

The longing in my heart is to see him again and to bring honor to him. I see all the little details of my life, woven together to form the fabric of my story. The purpose of my life. Defined by God, before my birth. It has taken me a while to see the calling and the plan. But I know that all of this pain is bringing me to the final conclusion. His promises are, “that all these things will work together for my good.”

I know that when we surrender our lives to Christ, we have been ransomed from the grave. I was bought with His blood. My life no longer belongs to me. But He is at work in me and through me.

I don’t represent myself on this earth, but Him. So though “I am in this world, I am not of this world”. I cannot be purchased by the material, since I’ve already been purchased by something which is more valuable than anything in this world. His blood.

Because of this, I don’t desire to have recognition or wealth. My desire is to fulfill His will for my life. This means to honor my father, even in his grave. Yes, I’ve screwed up many times. I’ve had my heart breaks and tantrums. I’ve screamed at my heavenly Father, “take this away! I don’t want it!” I’ve told Him, like the Israelites, “I was better off in Egypt.” The pain of these experiences have left me feeling abandoned and rejected. So much sorrow, that I can relate to His experience on the cross. I understand that cry of anguish, “Daddy, where are you? Why have you left me?” Sure, maybe Christ didn’t use this vernacular, but the meaning was the same.

My dad was a man who had faithfully served his country and his company. In the end of his tormented life, he was robbed by both. The only joy he had left was his job and his family. Now it had abruptly come to an end, by his own hand.

I certainly couldn’t find any good which could come from this. But then again, when most people looked to the cross and our Lord’s crucifixion, I’m sure they thought the same. I’m sure that at the time, His disciples looked to His death as the end. That Satan’s plan had succeeded. But the end is only for those who have no hope.

This was really the beginning. Our Lord told us that this is His very name. “The Alpha and Omega-The Beginning and the End.” Yes, now I am starting to understand how profound this message really is to mankind.

First, I had to go through these trials to comprehend the depth of His love for all of us. I had to let go of fear and pain and learn to trust My Father. He reminded me that, Christ did not come into this world to condemn us, but that through Him, we might be saved.”

Saved from what? Well, if I rounded up everyone who had brought harm to my earthly father and brought about this suffering, there wouldn’t be a prison big enough to contain them. As the heart of man is full of corruption, what purpose does prison serve? Besides being a drain on taxpayers, it only makes criminals worse.

No, our Lord told us that, “we are anointed to set the captives free.” But this is not by the laws of man. The law does not make one free. As Paul so eloquently stated in scripture, “Until the law was given, I had no desire to sin.”

As I pursued lawyer after lawyer. One law enforcement official after another, to bring justice, I realize that man cannot offer the justice I seek. “One man cannot give his life for another.” This is not going to bring honor to my father or peace to him. Because we are in a corrupt world, our whole system is designed to reward criminals and punish the innocent. It is contrary to our God.

Our Lords plan is always redemptive. His life for ours. He told us, “that the punishment that was meant to bring us peace, was upon Him.”  This is not restoration, or reformation. These things are temporary and without power. But it is regeneration, which only comes by the power of the Holy Spirit of God. The same breath that our Lord breathed into Adam. This is only accessed through our true repentance and the acknowledgement of His sacrifice.

So I pray to my heavenly father, “That His will be done, on this earth as it is in heaven.” As I do this I believe I am bringing honor to my earthly father, and in due time, my Lord will bring forth a harvest.

So, with this in mind, I step out in faith. I allow Him to direct me in the plan. I pray that “He would open doors which no man can shut, and close doors that no man can open.” All with the complete faith that He is drawing the final harvest to a close. I am part of His plan and I am blessed to be His  partner. In the end, whatever it takes, I pray I that I make both of my father’s proud.

Our Lord will guide us!

A pillar of cloud to guide us!

A pillar of cloud to guide us!

As I watched the horror unfolding at the school in Connecticut, yesterday, I was reminded that our Lord holds this world in His hands. He told us that it would continue to become darker as the light would get brighter.

What does this mean? Well, if one is now forced to acknowledge evil in this world, then we must also understand that there is a force of good. A supreme being which controls this universe. The eyes of those in darkness are now opened to the Truth.

In the face of tragedy, those long-held beliefs of us becoming our own god, that truth is relative to each person.How can this be, when our own Lord tells us, “The heart of man is evil, who can know it?” We see that this cannot be. How can all of us live according to our own dictates? As this would mean that this horrible act of murder, is fine, if this was this man’s truth.

I was reading about Winston Churchill’s beliefs being challenged, when he was in the midst of war. All the philosophical ideas, which he purported, now came into question. As he realized none of them held up when facing his enemies. He revisted the Christian ideals which his nanny had instilled in him. He stated that it isn’t when times are easy, that people ponder the question of eternity.

No, we must acknowledge that there is a moral code, programmed into each human being. We know that these acts are evil. Our Lord told us in His Word, that “His laws have been written upon every mans heart, so that we have no excuse when we stand before Him.” (Hebrews 8:10)

Truth is absolute. It is one of our Lord’s names. He told us that by this Truth, we would also be hated, by those who choose to continue in their ways. But this Truth guides us and protects us. We must understand that we are in a world full of evil. But if we look to Him, for guidance, He will always lead us. He loves us and desires us to “turn to Him in our time of trouble. And He shall deliver us.”

The god of this present age, has tried to push Him out of the picture. Saying as the serpent did, in the garden, “Did God really say that you shouldn’t eat of this tree?” Questioning God’s authority is the beginning of our downward spiral. As a nation founded on God’s Word, and as a world system. We cannot move forward without His lead.

On my trip to Israel, the Lord reminded me of this in a very profound picture. As we stood around the Menorah, in front of the Knesset, we began to pray. Suddenly, clouds appeared as pillars, above the Menorah. It was a most incredible sight and I was grateful that I caught it on my camera.

A reminder that, “He would guide us as a pillar of cloud by day, and fire by night.” Of course this was just a word picture, but I knew He had done this same thing for Moses and the Israelites. To give them a concrete picture of His presence. I have show these pictures to many people. I don’t need this reminder, as some people do. But the Lord wanted me to share this very powerful picture with others, so they know, He is always watching over us.

His desire is that we turn to Him, as children run to their father’s in times of distress. We need to go back to the foundation. The very beginning. Where things began to turn bad. As Nehemiah did, we must also recognize that it is only with our God, that we can and must rebuild.

If it were not for our Lord, no one would have been able to escape Egypt. It is for this reason, He told them to depend solely, on Him. For guidance and all their needs, while wandering. Yes, He delivered them from Egypt. A picture of our world in this day. But because of their stubbornness, He allowed them to wander. Even in the midst of their wandering, He taught them, that all of their provision comes from Him.

But we as people, like to repeat history. And it is; HIS story. He allows us each to go our own way. But in spite of this, He provides for us. Until we can come to the realization, that He is our Father. And like a Father, He doesn’t want us to turn to Him, as children who are caught doing wrong. Or to get something in return. But He wants us to turn to Him out of love and devotion. And as the Prodigal Son came running, He stands with His arms opened wide! Patiently waiting for us to realize that this world has nothing to offer us. He loves us. Stop running and turn to Him.

The Stranger Who Came to Stay





Well, today it happened. It came without any indication. The woman who has sat in the same place on my couch, for 2 years and 3 months, told me, “I’m not your mom!” As she laughed at me like I was crazy.

I fumbled for answers to this. Wait a minute, I thought I had the solution to jog her memory. I pointed at my brother, (her first-born son) and said, “he’s your son.” She answered, “He’s not my son!”

She looked incredulous as I asked her about her other son and daughter. “They’re not my kids!” Well, I was shocked as I tried to reason with her. She told me my other brother was just some guy that helped her move into her apartment in Milwaukee.

A little while later I pointed out the massive hurricane, headed for New York. “I’ve been to New York,” She said. “I know, I took you,” I responded. “You didn’t take me!” Again, with a look amusement, she stated, “My daughter, Carrie took me.” “Mom, that’s me!” I said, unwilling to believe this was actually happening. “You’re not Carrie!,” she said.

I couldn’t tell you how odd this was to me. A combination of bewilderment, mixed with pain. As if I was holding her by a rope, across a raging river, and she was losing her grasp. “Mom!” “Stop calling me that!” she says, “I’m not your mom!”

I know, I think, if I can just remind her of my brother she lost when I was so young. I bring up his name. “That’s Kim’s son!” “Yes, mom, but she named him after your son, my brother.” “What? That’s just crazy!” At this point she tells me that I don’t know what I’m talking about.

I go into the next room. There are the pictures we had just been looking at the other day. All her pictures which I had brought down from her room. I had hoped we could put them into albums and she would enjoy looking at all the memories. There is the photo album, I had put together after our trip to New York. I had taken her to see the Rockettes Christmas Show. I took my daughter as well. Here is where I will be able to help her ‘snap out of it.

I bring the album in and show her the pictures. With each picture she tells me that wasn’t my daughter and it isn’t our trip. I didn’t know what my motivation was anymore. “Am I trying to help her remember? Or am I trying to make myself forget…that she is slipping away from me.

I had taken her to her neurologist about two months ago. She had a complete personality change. Light-hearted and easy-going. Laughing constantly. She was a different person. “What happened to her?” I asked him. “Well, she’s declining, but it’s normal. At least at this point, you should be able to get her involved in a senior center with day care. She won’t fight you now.”

As sure as the sun comes up, I signed her up for two days a week, and the other personality showed up. Sharp as could be, and fighting me as she always had before. “I’m not going back to that place!” She said. “That’s a nut house!” “Oh, this is great,”I thought. Just when I thought I ‘d get a little break.

I knew something had happened, because ever since she arrived at my home, she had checked off the days on her calendar. And then she stopped. As I shared this with her doctor he said, “Is it a Mayan calendar?” I cracked up, in spite of the loss I felt.

But this is the sign that something had happened. And her doctor never shared the true diagnosis until I had him fill out the paperwork for the senior center. With a listing of Dementia, and Alzheimer’s, I was in total shock. It wasn’t as if I didn’t know something was wrong. But he had told me she had TIA’s, which he explained were mini-strokes.

“Okay,” I thought, I can live with that. As if just hearing the word mini, made everything better. No need to worry. But there is no minimizing this. As I’ve watched her slowly lose ground and I give her round the clock care, I’m at a loss for how to deal with this woman, who is now stubborn and unwilling to take part in her life. Physically hitting me and calling me names, when I’ve tried taking her to, the retreat.

Each time I mention, just getting away for a few hours, and telling her she will have some friends, so she can talk about me. That’s just not enough of a bribe for her.

Today, as I listened to her talking about her daughter, ‘Carrie,’ I had the oddest feeling. I felt as if I was prying to ask her about this daughter. I could almost see a sense of pride in her, when she talked about her. I felt as if this was, “the fly on the wall.” eavesdropping on her conversation with someone else, as she bragged about me. For the first time in my life, I felt as if she was proud of me.

Perhaps this was the Lord’s way of showing me the affection which I never received from her. To show the side of my mother which left when I was a child. There was no time for this then. Too much tragedy and I had to grow up quickly. The roles were reversed.

But now I can hear, that she really does appreciate me. Even though we are becoming strangers. And I have found some humor in it, at times. When we were going through the pictures, at one point she had said, she didn’t know me. As I struggled to convince her that I was her daughter, she stubbornly refused to accept this nonsense. I finally said, “Well, then who am I?” To which she replied, “I don’t know who you are!” And I said, “Well, then I’m going to ask you what you’re doing here, living in a stranger’s house?”

She still manages to laugh at my son. And when he came in later, I mentioned something about him being her grandson. “Oh if you say so.” she said. Unwilling to hurt the boys feelings. She just decided to let us believe this.

She told me she could get ready for bed herself. So I let her. But when I went to check on her, I asked her, “Are you okay mom?” “Yes,” she said. And I did what I always do. I bent down and gave her a kiss on the cheek and a big hug. I said, “Goodnight mom.” “Goodnight,” She said. With the sweetest smile, and then she said, “See you in the morning.”

I guess in her mind, I may be a stranger. But a familiar stranger. And in some way, it’s security to her. She’s allowing me to call her, ‘mom,’ because she is staying here. I hope her daughter, Carrie doesn’t mind.

Push My Swing!

 I just dropped my mother off at a senior center the other day when I received a call about my brother. My brother with special needs, had been acting aggressively and hit someone. I found this shocking, as my brother never hits anyone. He does a lot of fist shaking and some obscenities may fly from his mouth, but hitting? I’ve never seen him do this.

His fist shaking between my son and him, started when he came to live with us. He lived in an abusive environment and this was a behavior he learned. Some things I’ll never know about. His scars, for example. He had no way of explaining, except to say that, “he had been burned, at a restaurant he worked at, and taken to the hospital. No incident reports ever came to the family. He has scars with no explanation.

I went to get him and the minute he saw me, he wept like a baby. I have rarely seen him cry like this. The only times, really, were the times he was returning after visits with his family. He would scream and cry. He never wanted to go back and always thought it was punishment.

I finished speaking with those in charge and turned to him. He told me, “Someone hit me!(the name I couldn’t understand), and he touched the back of his head. “He was bothering me!” Next he stood up and shook his fist at one of the women. I was in shock. But as I turned, I saw the woman standing behind me. She had a look of amusement. This bothered me. And it also seemed familiar.

I caught a glimpse of the past in my mind. I knew this look. When my mother was trying to pick up the pieces of her life, after the loss of my baby brother, her marriage, and her home. She was trying desperately to find out the best solution to caring for a son with special needs, and all of us.

Memories of my brother on a harness, connected to our clothesline, came to mind. She would do her chores, and I would keep an eye on him. It was before I went to school, and the other school kids would walk by with taunts at my brother. He would get upset and I would get very angry. “Leave him alone!” I would yell from my bedroom window.

They thought it very funny to see this big kid, leashed to his back yard. With every teasing remark or look, I felt pain. I didn’t realize that the Lord was making my heart, so soft. With each experience. I didn’t realize that He was training me to champion the cause of the meekest of this earth.

When I shared my brother’s incident with friends and people who have known him, they all seemed surprised. “Yes, I know it isn’t in his character,” I said. “He seemed quite upset that someone was bothering him. But I’ll never know the whole story. I just want to help him to learn to cope with teasing.”

I’m very much aware of the transference of spirits. Our Lord, created Adam, by breathing His spirit into him. And not long after this incident, the enemy came to influence Adam and Eve to do evil. This is another spirit. We have these spirits all around us, and they can and do, influence behaviors.

I had the same experiences with my son. He would come home from places and I knew exactly where/who he had been with, because of the way he was acting and things he was saying. His behavior was so noticeably different. And at times I felt I would have to deprogram him from the world. After beginning high school, I saw more rebellion and aggressive behavior. Every day brought a new round of challenges. “I can hang out as long as I want. You’re too restrictive. ” All the things he was spouting. He felt he should be emancipated at 14 years old, because he was comparing to others the same age.

Then I prayed about this and found the Lord reminding me that our responsibility as parents, is not in academics. It is, “to train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he shall not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 He also reminded me of His Words, “And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. “Ephesians 6:4

I decided to home educate, and the change was almost immediate. He  has more joy and self-motivation. He has much more self-control.  I have thought how many times the Lord has warned us, as adults, to build a strong foundation on Him. So when the world’s problems and influence come, we can withstand the onslaught. How much more is it for children, or others like them? Of course I know this isn’t the answer for every parent. And it’s not always feasible. For me it was the only answer.

If we are committed believers in Christ, the Lords influence should be evident. “The old passes away.” We are transformed by the filling of His spirit, with our rebirth. The enables us to turn away from deeds of darkness. The fruits of the Holy Spirit are a positive influence in our character. One being self-control.

And conversely  the scriptures teach of the other spirits which will give evidence of the Last Days. “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy , without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-having a form of godliness, but denying His power. Have nothing to do with such people.” 2 Timothy3

I was upset to hear a woman at my brother’s school suggest the possibility of placing him in a Group Home. “I would not.” I told her. I’ve waited all my life to restore my brother to his family.” I was amazed that someone would even think, that it is better to have anyone other than a loving family member to care for these people.

Yes, it is a thankless job. It is exhausting at times. But my mother shared a story with me all my life. Me, in my baby swing and my brother cranking the handle. The minute the swing would stop, I would begin to cry. She says, “He would push your swing, the minute you began to cry. You were his baby.”

Now, on those dark days, when I feel worn out, I look at my brother. The unconditional love is flowing from him. He is so sweet and he will come give me a hug, when he senses I’m upset. Sometimes, I get a kiss on the cheek. “It’s okay, my sister,” he says.

I know that the Lord has promised, “I can do all things through Him, who strengthens me.”

That’s all I need. Another push of the swing.

Like a Roaring Lion

ImageI was reading about the Lord’s warning to every believer, and the Holy Spirit pressed upon my heart, to look carefully at this passage; ” Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

This takes quite a bit of discernment from the Holy Spirit, but at first glance we say to ourselves, “yea, I already know that. We’re in a spiritual battle, blah, blah, blah.” But the Lord wants us to remember certain things in scripture:

We do not wage war against people, but spirits, operating through people.

The enemy, is not The Lion (of Judah), but only seeks to imitate Him.

We will know the difference, because the true Lion, is full of love and seeks to build, not destroy.

Now, knowing all of this we must first begin with, the knowledge, that this imitation of the Lion, will be in our lives, but operating through people. We must look at what the characteristics of a lion are.

A lion is a predatory animal. It seeks the weakest, to prey upon.  It is nocturnal, which means, it is most alert in darkness.It loves darkness. When its prey is normally asleep it is hunting.  It is very proficient at hiding behind obstacles and stalks its prey. When the lion feels, its prey is unsuspecting, it pounces. It has a voracious appetite. It plays with its prey first, and then it tears it apart and devours it.

Now lets compare this to people and their behaviors. It may help you to discern the Lords warning. The news is full of stories, of predators. Yes, they use this particular word to describe the behaviors of certain people. So you can use this as your starting place.

They do the exact same things as the predatory animal. They usually seek the weakest, most vulnerable victims. They stalk, by excessive calls, and visits. They may hide in positions which give them full access to their victims. They hide behind positions of authority or other children, or they may use their own injustices committed against them,  as an excuse for their behavior.

Darkness, in the spiritual world, is lying, deception, and people covering for someone else. The person with this behavior, knows that the people that keep him/her in darkness, only proliferate the plans to bait their prey. So the predator is very good at manipulating to keep his secrets.

We’ve already been told by the Lord, that “it is the truth, which sets us free.” So with so many willing to keep the predator in darkness, there is no freedom. Not for the victims, nor the predator.

The predator uses gifts, trips, etc. to bait, or play with their prey, first.To engage a level of trust.  Then when this beast is feeling secure, the attack. And next it is the devouring.Abusive in every way possible. Bringing great harm to the soul and body. The nature of this lion, is to injure to the point of helplessness,hopelessness, and sometimes, physical or spiritual death.

I have visited many people over the years, who have been victims of the predator. Many are addicts, alcoholics, and suicidal. The statistics speak for themselves.It is a sad experience for many, and only with the Lords grace, can people be set free from the deep scars, on the soul, from the predators, attack.

I have been a victim of child molestation. I didn’t speak to my mother about this until I was 18 years old. It left me devastated, and brought all kinds of behaviors with it. Things I didn’t understand, that I had internalized, until much later in life. So, for me it hasn’t been difficult to spot the predator.

Most children are molested by family members.Statistics, say about 90%.  This is a fact. Most children do not report this, until adulthood, if at all. They have no advocate, and no understanding, that they are the victim, and they have done nothing wrong. Most think, and many are told, that they are the shameful ones, and threats are made to keep them in this prison.So they are the easiest of targets. In my own circumstance, the man was a babysitter’s boyfriend. And yet, the son, knowing what happened, continued to threaten me, “that we know what you did, and you are very bad.” Bringing shame, and terror to me. This allowed the son, to continue molesting me, as I was terrified, to tell anyone. I thought, I felt I was a worthless object, meant for other’s to use and dispose of, when finished.

I was exactly the type of child the predator loves. Already quite wounded from rejection and loss in my home life, I was the perfect candidate. And to be told that It was my own fault, was an easy sell. Children automatically take on guilt in a failed marriage, death, and separation. So the predator can speak this into a child, and they buy it. And as I said, who can they speak to, when they feel the whole episode came about because of them?

Many, of these children, if victims of family members, are terrified of being the ones to destroy the family unit. Or worse, be the one responsible, for holding an adult accountable. So they continue being prey for the beast.

But when we see the predator in our lives, we must be an advocate for these lost ones. And when presented with the truth, the predator also has a chance to turn to the Lord, in the fullness of truth, and repent. Or to die in their sin. There are absolutely no acts of service, nor amount of church, we can do, to cover for this. The Lord has already made it quite clear, that, “I desire obedience above sacrifice.” Remember when Saul, tried to justify himself, by doing what the Lord asked, yet deviating a smidgen? He didn’t kill Agag, the king of the Amalekites, as the Lord had commanded him. And he still took sheep and cattle, but hey, he was going to sacrifice the best ones to God. Hoping this in itself, was enough to keep God happy. It’s exactly what men do, when they cover themselves in their sin. Yet think somehow, the Lord, is going to give a pass on their acts of darkness. The key is and always has been, obedience. Without it, there is no salvation. “For those who love me, obey my commands.” The Lord is just to forgive, but He will absolutely not turn a blind eye to acts of darkness, because we are making some kind of penance on our own, apart from repentance.

Our Lord has told us that this is particularly grievous to Him. As these are “the least of these.” He had the most dire warning of all, for those who have brought injury to these. For those who would need a word picture, I have taken one on my trip to Israel. “It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea, with a millstone  tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.” (or harm)

I pray for the little ones, as I do the perpetrators. The Lord always gives us equal love and grace for repentance. Fortunately for those who have committed such acts, the Lord gives us a better deal than, man. But it always comes with a confession and repentance. So if you are a person, who has brought harm to a child, or you have any behaviors, which threaten, or disturb a child from his or her, well-being, turn and allow the Lord to set you free. Our God, is a God, of second chances. His blood has paved the way for everyone and our sins are the same in His eyes.

“Come now, let us reason together,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them whiter, than snow.” Isaiah 1:18

The Year of the Lord’s Favor

So what if this was it? The year where all debts were cancelled? A clean slate? Well, we are to preach the message as if it is the last hour. He has poured His Spirit out with this command.

It is His gift to mankind. In 2 Timothy4:2, we are told to, “Proclaim the message, in season and out. Point out errors, warn people, and encourage them. Be very patient when you teach them.”

As I said in my last post, some do not accept teaching. But I wanted to point out, not from a place of pride, teaching is only from the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. And it is with the genuine love for people and the concern for their soul, not for selfish ambition.

When I see people, striving to sell something as it relates to ministry, or self-promotion, I can only be a little bit suspicious. The enemy loves to get a foothold in this part of our soul. We are all very susceptible to this sin. I can see how many times he tripped me up with this. I almost smelled the smoke of my own burning flesh.

The other day I was thinking back to my rebellious youth. I had come into a department store and had started working with a girl who was very sweet and pretty naive. Another girl was a bit older than us and she was more worldly. She was a hard rocker, with a boyfriend in a rock band. So, I kind of fit right in the middle. She told us all about her escapades, as she went on the road with him and his band. Helen, shocked by all her stories, and me, just laughing at everything, as if I knew it all. I thought I was so cool. I saw Helen doing things she wouldn’t normally do, like smoke cigarettes.  Helen and I would go out after work to the place across the street. This is when I realized what it was to influence a persons behavior. Never thinking about the negative aspect. I just thought it was humorous.  I found this out at my performance interview.

My manager sat me down, and spoke. “Listen. You have tremendous leadership potential. You just need to channel this in the right direction.” There was another guy in a department who I would talk to when I would walk through the store. “You need to slow down.” He would tell me. “Hmm, whatever, that’s supposed to mean.” I thought. The guy was about in his 30’s and I thought he was older than dirt.

I was about 18, and I thought I had the world by the tail, and no one could tell me what to do. I sure had no idea what they were talking about. And no one could teach me anything about anything. Isn’t it funny how I can still remember their words now?

The Lord tells us, that the Holy Spirit calls all things into remembrance. He is our, “Paraklete,” or Counselor. So He had actually placed so many in my life all along my path, to guide me, to warn me, to encourage me. As my stubborn feet, kicked, and dug in. As I shook my own fist and questioned. He knew, I would one day bow my knee in repentance. But how much suffering came first. Yea, I had fun, but at what cost? Believe me, there’s a lot of very small print at the bottom of that bill of goods. There’s nothing in the end. With the Lord, there’s a much better deal. I’ll take the clean slate…Thank you! His blood, for my sins??? Why hesitate? Oh, and did I mention? It’s a FREE gift!

Now the Lord said to Peter that, “Satan had requested to sift him as wheat.” But he reminded him that He would pray his faith remain strong, and when he was finished, he turn and encourage his brothers.”

So we are all allowed the same opportunities. Our Heavenly Father, does not play favorites. And there is no sin too great to be forgiven. However, there is only one way up, and that is by bowing down. Repentance.

“Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord!

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