Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Walmart's Not...

I drove by a local church and saw these words. I thought it was rather cute but how true, huh? I found the generator and made the sign...

Monday, May 19, 2008

That Small Still Voice

I read a really good post today and left a comment on,

"My Identity as a Harlot."

Sometimes, you know re-reading something before I post a comment, I realize that it just might be that, "Small Still Voice," distinct and loud and clear. Quite often, I have to remind myself of the truth. It's not a convincing factor but simply when God speaks I need to listen.

"The only answer, the only hope is to stay in the Word. I try to feed my soul nightly. I learned this unconventional time to read in Prison, yes, in Prison. I was plagued with nightmares, convictions of my sin. I’d gone to my Prison Pastor and she advised me to read the Word before I went to sleep and it has worked every since.
I am not above the same sin as yourself, it is my daily struggle with all you’ve mentioned and addiction. My problem, my realization is that Satan loves to continue to condemn me, even once I have asked for strength and forgiveness. He does his best to make me feel so grimy and unworthy of God’s love that it has and can pull me down. The cool part, is when we become aware of it, the scales fall from our eyes and allow us to see this condemnation. It allows us to see just how badly he’d love to destroy us. Yes, he’s tried to kill me, I see this now. After my 3 1/2 year Prison stint, I can smell evil when it walks in the door. Some would call me delusional for that statement, would they not? After sleeping with the enemy, walking, eating and living with the worst of the worst, those unrepentant and guilty of the most heinous crimes, I have stared true evil in the eye. I recognize it. That’s not to say that I do not have temptation nor am I above reproach. I wish I could say that. What I am saying is that the playing field is more apparent, more transparent and even more appalling. The key to all this is to realize that evil and it’s temptation do exist. It is not some Biblical myth of days gone by. It’s important to note that we must never decide what to believe or not to believe in the Word. Meaning we should never think that the Word in it’s entirety do not apply to today. The mistake we might make, in today’s Christian Society is to downplay it’s inhabitation. Our own demise is to not see it as it really is. Yes, some might call me fanatical in my view? But live my life, see what I have seen, walk in my shoes, eyes wide open and your perception is forever changed. I am in constant Spiritual warfare and it’s an ever present danger. I have been at the foot of the Cross and I was told, personally that He was dieing for my sins, not just everybody else but mine as well. The Oppressor would have me believe that my sin is too great and I am not forgiven. Quite often I have repeat sin, i.e. looking at porn or something less than tasteful. I have my convictions and I will ask for forgiveness and strength to carry on without shame and guilt. Those two words are so big they can kill me. I realize that it is the nature of the Beast to help me in that death, to promote those sins and fear and especially to rub them and other sins, from my past, in this huge smear campaign. I realized this as I walked around the Prison grounds in my prison uniform emblazoned with D.O.C.(Dept. of Corrections)on the back. All things changed when I began to realize the shame game. See, when you go to Prison, you either come out, one of two ways; Bitter or Blessed. I became the latter, learned from the experience, gained perspective and was given the gift of “God’s Goggles.” I was able to see things as they truly are/were with special emphasis on just how real, how stupendous but masked the evil is in our every day lives. We don’t wish to see it. I turned that D.O.C. into “Daughter of Christ.” All I can do is try to live my life in remembering this, doing my best to be a better person and learning from my mistakes. I am a repeat offender, a constant sinner. I must continually go to the foot of the cross and remind myself that He did it for me too. From that vantage point, I ask myself two questions; Does He know my name and would I die for Him as He did for me?"

Friday, May 09, 2008

Latitude of Gratitude

It looks like I started this blog in December 2005, shortly after moving to Long Island. I really thought it was started before this but that's what the archives say. I can look back and see such changes and turmoil. It's funny too to look back at those archives and see that quite often I would type in caps because I could see it better. I'd had the same glasses for 5 years and I do believe I was in serious need of new ones. I really stopped typing in caps when my Mom finally broke down and told me that when you typed in caps, it is considered "yelling." I did a lot of yelling back then...

But this blog was created for gratitude and "We" all need to be more grateful, huh? I am guilty of looking at my life, as this rough road or possibly even feeling sorry for myself. I'm real good at that, actually.

I do suppose, if we spent more time in gratitude rather than attitude, we'd get some where, huh? I tell myself this or rather, I remind myself to stop all the belly aching and look at just a few things, possibly in a different light. After all, life is perspective, is it not?

I could start with the fact that in 1998 I was told that I had Hep C. I was all ready to die as I'd seen the devastating effects of the disease. Yes, my own husband succumbed to the rigors of this ugly life taker.

In many respects, I started dieing then and there. I mean, we're all dieing but this is also a matter of perspective. Surely, if we lived our lives as if we were dieing very soon, things would be different. If we said the things that needed to be said because we thought we'd die tomorrow, life as we know it would change. But we go on, with our everyday lives, our little routines thinking tomorrow will be there. We are not promised tomorrow, now are we?

It was then, in 1998 that I started my campaign of death but not in a good way. You might say, I went off the deep end. Oddly enough, I was dieing from the effects of Hep C, it was just going to take a minute. I was sick but had to work and had no insurance at work. I made too much money to qualify for Medicaid and was stuck in a rut which may have allowed me to die.

Yes, gratitude. How does one become grateful for going to Prison? Because of this campaign of death, my behaviors led me down a rather dark road. I was walking on the edge, leaning out, ready to fall, falling and not trying to catch myself.

A culmination of behavior, speckled with a cry in the dark, saved my life. I couldn't see any of this, at the time but even though I'd let go of Jesus' hand, he was still there. Yes, when I cried out for his help, when I was at the end of my rope, a chain of events began to come into play.

As I stood on that bridge, in the middle of one of the worst snow storms, the area had seen, ready, willing and able to end my life and the rancid days I was living, Jesus was there, even then. Dope sick beyond dope sick, I was out in this storm. I had to steal $50 worth of meat, on one side of town, then walk to the other side to sell it for $25, enough for one bag of heroin. No one was out, even at the bars and I was lucky enough to have sold the meat to the bartender just as he was about to close the bar. The hill to my dealers house was so steep, I kept sliding backwards. I hurt so bad, flu like symptoms x 10 fold, my stomach was cramping and the diarrhea was liver bile and it burned. I had to hold it in as I made my way on this trek through a blizzard.

My junkie husband waited for me to arrive back with that one bag, we'd share, which meant that there was no relief for me, no not until I got home. How much further could I sink before the fires of hell would consume me? As I stood on that bridge, watching the ice jams and wondering if it was cold enough to take me under the minute I hit the water, I found myself, in auto-pilot and had thrown my one leg over the bridge, ready to go through with this and end all this pain. My mind was as numb as my body would soon be, once I hit the water.

As I grasped the bridge to pull myself up, out of the corner of my eye, I saw headlights approaching. "Crap!" I pulled my one leg back over and righted myself, standing still, hoping whomever was in that car would not have seen me, maybe not even notice me. As the car approached, driving cautiously, the driver made eye contact with me. He smiled the warmest smile and winked.

As I watched him drive off and go around the corner, I fell to my knees and cried out, my "Silent Scream," heard in the heavens, from the depths of my soul. As I began my walk home and up the steep hill to my home, I prayed for help. A real prayer, real emotion, real conviction for real help.

He threw me in Jail and then on to Prison. He saved my life and He loved me and held my hand through it all. He comforted me as I went through the grueling Interferon and Ribiviron Treatment for six long months, injections in my stomach. Yes, my Lord gave me the Gift of Life. He heard my cries and He answered my prayers. That Gift was not wrapped up in a pretty box with a big red bow, no, it was better than that.

How do you become grateful for going to Prison? It's in the Latitude of my Gratitude...