How I Was Stuck in My Own Head…

Over the last few months, I’ve been stuck in my own head. Living alone, I spend most days with just my thoughts anyway–whether good or bad, they’re the consistent friends I have besides God! But throughout that timeframe, I’d experienced issues sleeping and stressed that I started to use marijuana to alleviate my symptoms. When you don’t think about it, it would seem that something seemingly as innocuous as a plant that starts from a seed would not be as bad of a thing as say–something truly noxious that’s illegal. You see, I live in Colorado. It’s legal here and easy to obtain. While this isn’t the point I wanted to focus on in this post, I am just now realizing that sometimes the easiest things to access aren’t always the best things for us. And when you DO think about it, these things are often a precursor to even more backsliding and sin in Jesus’ arena. Maybe that’s a post all on its own, though. 

Being stuck in my head made me begin to start another spiral. Not only is it really bad for my Schizoaffective disorder, it forced me to live stagnantly instead of loudly and proudly. This is truly the enemy’s objective after all, so it makes sense that cannabis would be one of his tools to gain control and steal us away from God’s arms. First of all, I will not allow this any longer. I have to say that the withdrawal effects are so troublesome that they feel worse than the symptoms I was trying to alleviate in the first place. For me, it’s a changed mood and awful insomnia. This led me to forgetting about God’s hope for us as His children and living to serve Him. Another change I notice is I can absolutely attest to going against my life verse.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” (1 Timothy 6:6 NIV)

I’d begun forgetting about all I truly have in my life and started to dwell on all the things I don’t have. How could I dare even go down that road, right? Luckily this was not a permanent change. Because with God, all things are possible and we are able to halt the skirmishes in our spiritual lives as long as we admit our fault and aim to do better. That’s how redemption works. But according to author and faith teacher, Jennie Allen, one of our tools to fight with is admittance and confession. If we can admit the problem and give it to God, we can then forget and improve. So with that being said, I proclaim that cannabis and the enemy’s ploy to steal my thoughts will not have power over me.

The marijuana not only made me discontent with things I lacked, it also made me experience the other signs that the enemy was taking hold was he reintroduced me to one of the other earthly sins–pornography. Yikes right?? Yeah, I’m not proud of that one either. The effects of cannabis made me lose my self-control by plunging me into a pit of self importance and complacency. It’s something I definitely deserve to move beyond because nothing good really ever comes from the sort of self indulgences such as that. That in itself is enough to tell me how much of a slippery slope this “plant” was forcing me to tumble down. And to this I proclaim as well–pornography will not have a hold on me. All I can do now is thank God for lifting me back from that slump and making me reset my eyes on Him. 

In what ways are you stuck in your head and how is it preventing you from living a life as God wants you to? I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Why We’re All Lost Sheep…

“The Shack” (2017 | Lionsgate Films)

You’ve heard it before– Jesus is a friend of sinners. And there’s not much more truth to divulge in that statement than that. Jesus is irrevocably passionate about all God’s children and we all know that, or at least we all should.  This week I had the pleasure of watching a remarkable Christian drama titled “The Shack” and it really made me take a great pause. There’s a lot of complexity to this movie that it hits on many biblical points throughout, though one theme remains the integral part of its plot. 

After losing his youngest daughter, Missy, Mackenzie is finding himself in the pits of a deep depression which drives a wedge not only in his own spiritual life, but his personal life as well. With a deep seeded vendetta, he’s not given up on finding the man who abducted and killed Missy. This takes him on a mysterious journey to the original scene of the crime when he finds a personal invitation from a name signed, Papa. Armed with his friend’s gun and a bitter heart in his chest, he travels back to the abandoned shack where his daughter was presumed to be held captive and killed. However his steps turn around when he meets a man who leads him to the deep woods– a dreamy scene painted by a cabin and a woman named Papa. Papa turns out to be a humanlike shell of God who has come to dwell with a few close spiritual helpers including the Son of God himself, Jesus Christ. Throughout the course of what seemed like a weekend, Mackenzie is reassured of God’s values and the redemption we all deserve in our own hearts. God (Papa) shows Mackenzie how he’s leading a life of despair by not being able to move beyond his hurt, grief, and bitterness. 

The lesson of redemption and freeing ourselves of our own primal urge to be ‘judge and jury’ to society is what I find correlates to the parable of the lost sheep. In The Bible, this allegory can be found in the book of Luke 15.

“But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, ‘This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.’ Then Jesus told them this parable: ‘Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:2-7 NIV)

In life, we face these challenges almost daily without even realizing it. You know, judging others and holding onto such bitterness about what they may have done that we’ve forgotten that Jesus was a friend of sinners. While murder and the gamut of other detestable acts is inherently bad, God wants to seek out those who haven’t sought the redemption from [Him] because all children of God deserve salvation and all that [He] wants is for us to come to him and heartfully repent. In the film, Papa tells Mackenzie that all [He] wants is to have his daughter’s killer to come to [Him] with pleas of forgiveness and to accept Jesus back into his heart. 

Papa reminds Mackenzie about the hurt and bitterness he’s holding for the man is keeping him from moving on and healing himself because of all the contempt he holds circling his daughter’s death. While we may haven’t murdered anyone in our lives, this lesson can be adapted to fit any sinful scenario we find ourselves dealing with. All that matters to God is that we come to our senses and seek forgiveness and salvation from Jesus because He is a friend of ours– each one of us could be that one lost sheep so far out in the field, He’s the only one who can bring us back home. 

I can think of several things in my own personal life how this parable could be applied. I’ve been slighted by many people in my 35 years of living and it sure probably isn’t going to stop either. What I can choose to change is my outlook and how I approach the situations going forward. I can choose to hold onto grudges and spoil my soul into a deep, dark depression or I can choose to let God handle it and pray they find forgiveness in Jesus’ profound love. 

I turn 35 tomorrow and I have such joy in my heart that I’ve made it thus far. While there are some personally ailing things which affect the way I find comfort in my daily life, I’m still breathing and that is the second greatest blessing I could ever be given by our doting “Papa.” If you haven’t seen the film, please make some time this week to watch it on Netflix. This movie stars one of my favorite actresses– Octavia Spencer. So there’s that too!

Why I Was Away For Two Years…

Time is not selective. In fact, I’d be willing to wager that the past two years have been anything but out of the ordinary. It’s been two years since I last posted and I feel an overwhelming sense of neglect for this blog. So much has happened within just two years.  While this post may seem to be one large tangent, I felt it important to try catching you up on the past couple years. To start off where I left you last time in June of 2020, I must first say that my world has improved in a general sense. In 2020, I stayed in the mental health hospital three separate times where I found that what I thought was bipolar is actually a form of schizophrenia– schizoaffective disorder. It explains quite a lot and has helped me understand how I handle scenarios from now on. Having that sort of insight is helpful just as much as it was when my disability benefits were approved later in that year with thanks due to our Father who watches out for us diligently.

As 2020 came to a close, I found myself discovering new strengths and blessings. For example, remember that bed I had to send back because I couldn’t afford the payments anymore? Well, giving up something I valued greatly turned out to be a positive learning lesson like I anticipated. It may have taken me a year or so, but I finally was able to purchase my new bed that didn’t require payments. Through that time, I learned that it is always best to appreciate the little things and to trust that God is still there beneath the surface working like an operating system. Not seen but felt on occasion with a sense of reward.

2021 arrived and allowed me to evaluate in deep reflection about things in my life that still went unresolved. I found myself searching deep within to understand some people in my world on a deeper level, which for me was uncharted territory for sure. This wasn’t easy. Most of that year, I spent more time understanding why it was important that I look beyond people’s behaviors and see them as the children of God that they are. You would think this would come naturally to a Christian, but I have mentioned in the past that I am so not perfect and dealing with this aspect of life typically makes me uncomfortable at best. I was given more deafening medication in May of 2020, so I spent most of 2021 in a sort of zombie state because they numb whoever has to take them. This is part of the reason I fell off the blog again, because I wasn’t able to truly “feel.”

Fast forward to today. I am about to turn 35 in three days and I feel that there has been yet another shift within my soul based on new understandings. Or that’s probably because I stopped taking my medications last November. But in all seriousness, I can land a couple fingers on what I need to do now. Since I have my own feelings back, I felt it was crucial that I reconnect with you guys on this blog which I always find myself coming back to time and time again ever since its creation in 2014. The new parts of me will be tuning into Christ to develop life’s negatives. This means finding some new purpose. 

As of late, I’ve just been breathing and going about my days without much of a plan for anything. If any of you may know, autistics do not thrive in this type of environment. So a day would consist of laying on my bed watching hours of television and movies until I went to bed. Which if may add, sleep time has been the only routine I’ve carried out with regularity as I turn out the lights around 9 pm each night. Perhaps another area in my life will allow me to find a very part-time job somewhere close to home but not have the pressures that it must absolutely work out or I’ll feel the stinging effects of failure. This will allow me to find some of God’s newest miracles and allow me to build on my savings again. And if it doesn’t work out, that’s okay. It just means that I can take time to find another landing place where spending 10-15 hours a week isn’t so taxing. 

Thanks for spending some time with me today and later in the week I will have one of my more upbeat and lesson-providing posts after getting back into the groove of things. I hope you all have a fantastic start to the week and month of May. So, while time may not be selective, it always always goes on even if things do not make sense at the moment. 

How I’m Learning More of God’s Language…

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Simply put, God is amazing and great. Throughout the past few weeks, I’d been battling loneliness. Being abandoned by most people in my life, I haven’t pushed them out of my life first for either self preservation and safety of consciousness. But through all the darkness, I am being brought out of it with the light of God’s love and purest comfort possible. This is not to say I didn’t spend another week inside the mental health hospital for battling some of the side effects of darkness. Which, I just returned home from again yesterday. Mental health is such an extreme consequence for us in this society we find ourselves trying to march through. And that is not to say any of us are weak. I actually find it the opposite. It’s usually those of us with the most character whom God has chosen to give the biggest challenges. You know, those roadblocks He determines are appropriate for learning life lessons? If there’s any theme of my life, it’s been the consequence of disaster. That’s quite obvious. But I can recognize that God doesn’t give us anything He doesn’t think we can handle or things that of which won’t be used for our utmost good in the long run. And I may have touched on this subject before, but I will mention it again. And this is what I am doing today, catching you up to speed on some of the synchronicity I’ve experienced at the absolute hands of God this past week. And if anything, God certainly is not devoid of a sense of humor at times either. 🙂

Since the lonely component of living independently has ravaged through my being the past couple weeks, let me catch you up to speed. I have decided to get a cat. While I’d have loved a dog much more, having a dog comes with a lot more stressful responsibilities than than that of a cat who are such independent creatures of themselves. While they are pretty low maintenance, they are incredible sources of emotional support. I have owned a couple cats previously, and they were terrific to have in my little mother-in-law unit back when I was just 18 and 19. So, hopefully having a cat will help me with the detriments of darkness and not feel so alone. Something to cuddle up with me and give me some emotional support when I need it. But as for the synchronous events that led up to this decision, let’s dive into those.

My case managers were discussing the possibility of me getting into an assisted living facility and boy did he (Isaiah) ever work hard on getting through some of the hoopla to research a place I could go where I would feel less alone. Throughout the history of my adult life, I have loved living alone. Only until recently, has the light bulb of sociability just started to switch on at the speed of an ultraviolet ray. I prayed one night that if this assisted living idea was the ideal situation within his cards, let’s just play the deck. Well… the next day in one of our group therapies, we were given a playing card from a main deck of cards with the task of clarifying what thing was written on it by the peer group leader. Yes, it was essentially a playing card from a deck of cards similar to what you’d find in a casino. Not only that, but it was the 9 of diamonds. Nine is my life number, so many life events and other synchronous symbolisms center around the number 9. So that was God saying, “Hey you, keep your head up. We’re figuring this out.” But even more so, throughout the course of the week inside the mental health facility, God was playing the deck of options I had to choose from and led me to this decision I am at now, because ultimately the assisted living facility was not an option immediately possible anyway. Oh and by the way, we still played a deck of UNO cards as part of that day’s activity. If that’s not God’s language, I don’t know what is.

Well that night, after finding that an assisted living facility was interested in me but other factors were conditionally keeping it from coming to fruition, I prayed saying, “Whatever you choose, I will continue being your shining star, God.” That next day, in another group therapy, I sat next to a guy whom I believe is much life the character from the movie A Beautiful Mind. I glanced down at what he was doodling, and he was drawing a set of stars and one of them was shining. I made special attention to bring up how he was an incredible artist and in one of his more coherent spoken sentences, he clarified why he was making them look like they were “glittery and shiny” and that was because the two of us were sitting in front of the window with the sun shining directly through “allowing them to shine brightly.” Again, that was definitely God saying “Hey buckaroo, you’ve got this whatever happens.”

The next day, after not mentioning anything truly specific to have come out through symbolism synchronicity in my prayer that night, I woke to them taking my blood pressure which read: 117/76. To some that’s just any number. But to me, that is significant to my mom’s numbers. 117 was the month and day she passed (January 17) and 76 was her birthday (July 6). So that was even more assurance from her as if to say “It’s going to be okay, you can calm down.”
Fast forward to this morning. I am following a daily journal that goes in with Joel Osteen’s book “Blessed in the Darkness” and the very next passages for today was so incredibly relevant to being dropped by people, circumstances, and events. And when it got personal to do with people in my life, that was when I raised my head and chuckled. “Ha ha, thank you God for your incredible sense of humor.” And that’s when I saw the next paragraph when Joel brings in the scripture:

“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are ever before me.” – Isaiah 49:16 NIV

So *you see,* there’s a clear language God uses in our lives. It’s called synchronicity. I think I am being called to write a book about my take on synchronicity and circumstances of coincidences. I don’t believe in them anymore because I believe everything happens for a set reason by God’s choosing. But, there’s also an already established book by Squire Rushnell, if you are interested in a current read–“When God Winks at You.” So it’s all going to be okay. I just needed another pause to be reassured where I could pay attention to God speaking directly through to me in order to get that reassurance I was needing.

I hope everyone has a tremendous day. Much love and affection….
C

Why I’m Still Here…

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Been a while, eh? Well I haven’t been too far. Although for some reason my spirit wanted to wander down a more spiritual path for a while and thought that it was okay if I still included my faith in God, until it wasn’t okay when I started ignoring scripture and the foundation of my entire Christian Adult life! But one thing to have not been lost, even though I thought I was “more spiritual” was my actual Faith. Thank goodness I realized I’d lost my screws at some point.

Throughout the last couple of months, the world has seen a pandemic. A pandemic of ridiculous proportions. Because if you follow this blog, then you should know that nothing is an accident and if it does seem like it’s in the form of suffering, don’t get too confused. The virus was a thing of the enemy. Of his mission to steal, kill, and destroy. And while God blocks 99.2% of the malice, if he feels the personal experience will be of some use as a learning tool for growth or otherwise, God is going to let it happen within a certain capacity. You’ll notice this virus was NOT respective to age or demographic, it typically was selective in who’s life unfortunately had been lost. In my eyes, and feel welcome to disagree with me, this was a virus sent to us a means of natural selection. If somebody passed because of it, then that was their time and expiration date. For those who survived it, it was meant as a tool to learn any myriad of lessons from. You know how God works, and there’s always a reason for everything that happens. We may not think these seasons of grief and hardship are fun or right in any way, but God will always use something intended for harm– to our greater good. Even IF that reward or benefit is a little further down the road than we’d like. I am certainly not being blessed with money right now in this current moment. Though it’s coming. I can FEEL IT! But as of the last couple weeks, I decided that I am made strongest in my weaknesses and I haven’t given up the faith that things will work out, because I know everything is on God’s timeline.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
(2 Corinthians 12:9-11 NIV)

So I decided I would sublimate some of my constant worrying about money into working on my blog. Publishing fresh content to help inspire you, but also to catch you up to speed with what’s going on in my world.
I was one several million people who had to mail their tax returns in. And because of the nationwide shutdown, the IRS mail-in processing centers were put on furlough. This resulted in the IRS receiving way more mail than they could hold in their PO Boxes, to where the postal service had to start locking up mail in trailers. Most of those centers have just returned to work this week. So as they navigate the fray, I’m confident my returns will be processed allowing me to receive the stimulus everyone else in the world received. See? God’s timing. I had my basic needs delivered to me throughout the last couple months… even if I had to back away from 2 people in my inner circle. That’s the other thing, it has come to my attention that people are so bent up about politics lately. We are all one human race and when we can learn to accept people as they are, and for who they are and love one another as Jesus intended, then perhaps the nation (largely, the world though I feel that is not happening anytime soon) will come to a greater sense of harmony and peace. Much as many of my fellow Christians, our eyes have opened dramatically at how congress is handling national events. This has caused me to take pause to my political views and what I once believed in order to analyze what makes sense to me now. Thanks shutdown, you really had my back after all! I won’t publicly share my political opinions because that doesn’t matter. What matters is if I love you for who you are as a child of God whether you have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior, or still on the train to G-town.

The last couple months have been like a dramatically escalating climax if my life were a movie plot. One defining moment was when a series of psychotic episodes led me to begin medication for a condition I have suffered with for the greater part of eight years. And after I phoned in a house fire that didn’t exist to any other human eyes and noses, I spent another almost week in a psychiatric facility to seek treatment and begin some medication management. For which I had declined wanting to do for a while, even given my old pharmacy career in the old part of my adult life. And because of the reasons I did not want to, I am suffering the side effects big time. Largely of which keep me so doped up, I want to nap all day long. However the benefits sort of outweigh the cons in this case, since hallucinating a fire and things is not at all normal. Because of my Autism now combined with Schizophrenia, I’ve submitted officially for my disability benefits and am quite certain they will be approved this time because I have proven it is next to impossible (possibly even at the bottom of that spectrum of abilities) to hold down a full-time job with longevity. This gives me the time to focus on my faith. And with that, I will be (one day) converting my spare bedroom into a prayer room. If you have ideas and tips you wanna send my way, please do. I’m open to many suggestions in decor.

That pretty much catches you up on the details and consequences of my recent events. If you want, shoot me a message and let me know what you have been up to as of late. I’m interested in hearing from you. ❤
Love you all very, VERY MUCH!

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Why I’m Limber as the Tin-Man, but Not Willing to Speed Up with Society

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I just finished walking to work as the cold bite of winter froze anything with a permeable doubt of solidity. My fingers, still, are having issues warming up as I sit here in the small cafe of my workplace and enjoy some worship music before beginning work. It’s a busy season! I am speaking with some amazing people– both young and old and the element which I am picking up on most is that of a hurried and rushed society we seem to submit ourselves into. It’s absolutely amazing to witness people in New York who have such little regard to those serving them and said service hasn’t been delivered lickity split. Conversely, though, New York is not the only place I am witnessing such a disdain for going with a more Godly flow. You know, not rushing a good thing… eventually even the tortoise wins the race. And yet, while life shouldn’t be a race– I’m finding difficulties believing society has any patience left whatsoever. Ironically, it’s all around me and I can’t be the only one wishing the world would slow down just so I can catch my breath and let my joints relax to a more normal pace of living.

Just the other day, I’d originally had plans to go with a neighbor to a store so I could purchase wrapping paper and secret santa gifts for each day of this week. Yes, you read that right. Secret Santa is no longer just a one day occasion nor is it any closer to the true reason for the season. Commercializing on Christmas has surely been a widespread issue of this world for a while now, but as I mature and grow closer to Christ’s righteous arms, I’m noticing it even more. Not to mention, now that I can value the true gifts of what we in the Christian world would call Advent, I no longer appreciate the token and idolization of a santa. Are we praying to a jolly overweight man who is touted to span the Earth only one night every year, when we have a man who sacrificed himself so that we could be given freedom and life– whom happens to remain in us ALL 365 days of the year? I’d prefer the latter, most certainly. However, I am surrounded by darkness and my light burns out each night just in the nick of time for a battery recharge from the Almighty who gives new life in me every morning.

The above neighbor would not stop hounding me who I had drawn for “secret santa” and while I don’t care about the idolization of a fat, red suited guy, I am not the type of person to spoil a surprise. Whether I had her friend (whom works in the same building, and one who’s a self proclaimed satanist) or not, I was not going to give into gossip or feed into spoiling the surprise. This was to the point when I just decided to find my own way to the store that night after work and I advised said coworker to inform her friend I would be doing so. After having gotten off work nine minutes late, I see text messages proclaiming that I was wasting her time and that I should dare not waste her time every again. Sorry, but I rebuke that energy in the name of Jesus Christ! I will not be shamed for asserting a level of respect and peace about taking part in an event I barely wish to participate in for if anything to not be labeled a scrooge. I replied simply, “I apologize for any inconvenience incurred. May God bless you during this stressful time.”

While I didn’t expect a response, I certainly didn’t need one either. I remained still as a log and cool as a cucumber. Which raises me to my overall point today. You might be thinking, Thank the God Most High for Chuck arriving at his point already! This morning on my trot to work, I found myself slowing down and giving way to being still for just a moment. Letting my joints conform to the changing temperatures. While God might certainly be testing most of us and putting us through seasons of lessons, we must remain confident in His work and love for us that we keep moving even if the temperatures in our lives have been adjusted by the Almighty thermostat. God knows what He is doing and if there’s any gift I can accept with absolute gratitude– it’s the gift of God’s continuous adoration and His grander plan for our lives.

Why I am a City on a Hill and How I Intend to Let My Light Shine

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Morning arrived today in a timely fashion, allowing for a swift transition from twilight to dawn. I stepped out of bed with a smile on my heart as the whispers of promise in a new day entered my mind. It was then, when I spotted a white cloaked ground outside the window. Snow has finally came to Grand Junction and the combination of God’s blessings with my little brother’s gift of touching the human heart via his music, has my cup overflowing immensely.

The human growth process is entirely different in each person, and it’s this particular process I find myself evolving into, which has me finding joy in the little things. Those things which matter the most inside a sea of neverending doubt or struggle has me wanting to hold onto my britches for dear life. But choosing faith in our Creator’s plan? It’s such a deeply rooted feeling of warmth and happiness, and while my life is so far from being in the spot I want it to be, I definitely cannot complain one single bit. WIth faith, I just know my life is right in the spot God wants me. And who could really complain about the beauty in that?

I am diving head first into the busiest part of my company’s fiscal year, and I’m finding that the moods of some clients assigned to me are less than stellar. It’s probably this time of year when we need to constantly remind ourselves of the real reason for the season. I probably blog about this every year, and that’s okay because this should be a reminder 365 days a year, versus once every 12 months. But this post is maybe less about reminding any of you that Jesus is the reason for the season. This is about the human growth process within me, and thanks be to His Mighty patience, I have something to shout from the rooftops.

After years of fighting my own personal battles, merely over one thousand days after having strength in dealing with unhappy people from the pharmacy industry, I am finding that patience and love for every one of God’s children– may they be happy or as bitter as the cold snap outside. And for that, thanks be to Jesus. If any of you really knew me, you’d probably begin to wonder… Chuck, how in the world are you finding joy in unhappy people? Well, I don’t have any simpler answer to that than one word– Jesus.

The company I work for is very rooted deeply within the truth and the word Jesus Christ preached up on the Mt. of Olives. They’re community driven, and passionately operated day in and day out. The owners do so much good for humanity and I find myself looking up to them as positive influences for how a successful brand should be ran, instead of the many of thousands which don’t give glory to God– or believe in the idea of first fruits. We’re all taking part in decorating competitions for our desks and offices and the winners win a variety of prizes. I am not decorating for sport. I am decorating for celebrating the real reason of Christmas. Ironically, we have such an eclectic breed of human beings and faiths in our office, but I don’t fear being the light of the world. While one colleague advised me not to go the original route I planned by holding a bucket of scripture cards on my desk so anyone needing a bit of cheer each day after the verbal assault from clients who don’t find the beauty in our holiday as some of us do– I am certainly not ashamed of shining a light of Jesus so intently. Nor am I scared spreading the word of Jesus.

This week I decorated primarily with what I intended, with the exception of the scripture cards. But, come Monday of next week, I will be adding the true token of Advent– Jesus Christ’s birth in the manger. I pray that it arrives in good condition from Amazon, because it’s a glitter style snowglobe in the shape of a lantern as it proudly displays Mother Mary and Joseph standing over the newly birthed Son of God.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:14-16 ESV

Boy am I ever that city on a hill, and I refuse to be hidden. I proudly shine the light of Jesus Christ our Savior, because there’s way too much darkness cloaking the beauty of His mighty work. So come one, come all. I shine God’s light proudly, and boldy– and I will not be shaken.

This is why I’m content in the small things. This is why I have joy in any situation. This is the growth process God has instilled in me. I am happy in the midst of naysayers and exhausted non-believers, because as Jesus put it so clearly– a city on a hill cannot be hidden. If I can help turn even one frown upside down this season, then I’ve done my job.

Why I Won’t Be Shaken

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You guys, the enemy is trying to invade my life and home, and I’m not having it!! So last night, I was working on my book about overcoming Depression, which is my newest project I’m working on because I feel it’s important to share my stories and how I have overcome the hardest parts. Most books about mental health these days are from people who might have studied the subject for their degrees, but don’t actually suffer it firsthand. Anyway, so I’m sitting in the living room and I start hearing this scratching and dragging in the kitchen. I get up and walk around the corner into my kitchen and sure enough, there is an obvious moving object between my ceiling and the roof. Since I live in Western Colorado and NOT Sydney Australia, I knew it could only be ONE thing– mice! Uuuuuggggghhhhh. The horrors of unwanted pests in my house have riddled anxiety and truly shaken me in the past and I knew this time would be no exception.

Without hesitation, I pleaded with my neighbor to take me to Walmart to get an arsenal to protect me, even if just peace of mind knowing I have half a dozen traps to exterminate the problem as it comes. However, I also immediately prayed. And hard! If you truly knew me, you’d know that the autism in me cannot process inanimate noises like others can drown sounds out. Not this teddy bear. No, sir!

I return home with my plethora of products– a new age mousetrap which is loads better to set for humans because of a new locking mechanism, steel wool in case I have to plug up a hole or two, and glue traps. I know some people think glue traps are cruel… but honestly… this is the devil we’re dealing with here. Bugs and vermin are NOT a thing of God. They are of the enemy and I will use any means necessary to control the problem. Up to and including prayer, which after setting up 6 traps around my home, I shouted at the top of my lungs: 

Alright satan, you are not welcome here and I’m not having this! Jesus is by my side through this and you will NOT steal my joy. So buh-bye! 

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:10‭-‬12 ESV

And after I took a shower and prayed a prayer of benediction, a guided scripture meditation, I fell asleep a lot easier than I thought I originally would. After 24 hours have surely passed from this, I can say I’m more comfortable in my space again and if there’s one thing I know for sure– I won’t be shaken!! 

 

How I have a Soul-Season and Why It’s Useful

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It’s fall. The leaves are changing, the crisp bite of a dwindling morning cold snap warrants nothing more than a flannel over shirt, and I find myself walking in to work with a renewed sense of spirit. It doesn’t matter what nightmares I dream of in the cold hours of twilight, joy still comes in the morning.

If there’s a theme about autumn which I like the most, it’s probably the mild temperatures which energize my thirst for life and hunger for adventure. I’m not completely certain why I always feel like this in Fall, as opposed to the heart of Summer. But who am I to argue with my soul-season? That’s the penultimate metaphor, isn’t it? Soul season. Some people identify more with hot days in the blistering sun, and there are those like yours truly who feel more connected with themselves when the temperatures dip just enough to rise the inertia in our veins.

You see, ever since I boarded the express train to my roots, I’ve had this burning desire to go on a road trip from Riverside CA all the way to the heart of Tennessee. That’s pretty much the span of my family’s ancestral travels in our country, whether establishing whole colonies in the mid 1800’s or coming to America aboard some vessel marked with an S.S. And an even bigger mystery for the time being is who my real father even is. I’ve been told a story or two about why whom I’ve grown up with to know as “dad” is not listed as so on my birth certificate, and as I’m learning genealogy the RIGHT way, I’m not really comfortable going by hunches or “oh but I saw a picture of you as a baby and you looked so much like your daddy.” Ironically enough, I actually look way more like my mom. Even as an autistic, I crave cold, hard facts. And soon, I’m going to get some scientific evidence into my lineage once I swab an Ancestry DNA kit through this same part of my body which craves answers almost as much as a cold Sprite!

I might’ve mentioned on the blog a few days ago that doing this ancestry research has helped me feel more connected to something, and somewhere a guy like me can feel like he belongs. This world is crazy and as each day comes and goes, it gets even more so. But having the peace of a beautiful afternoon drowning in a sea of dates and names (by the way, did ANYONE at all have an original name in the 1800’s?) doesn’t give me the same vertigo it may someone else. Perhaps this is the facts and research part which I like most– and it’s a challenge to ensure I’m matching those names with proper details I know to be true about that ancestor.

As I prepare to bring my work week to a close, I pray that God help lead me to some more answers I’m seeking this weekend. I know quite a bit about a couple of my maternal ancestors, but my mom’s paternal ancestors– I basically just have names and a region of the United States, which pinpoint in the south as well. But so far, those are the great-great grandparents not speaking to me at all. For all I know right now, they could’ve been swamp water, alligator chasing whackadoodles! And I’d probably believe that because I’m of the awkward variety for certain.

(So… before I went to bed last night when I finished writing this entry, I did my usual scripture meditation and God sent me this message at precisely the right time… given my last paragraph! *see screenshot below*)

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Have a great Thursday, everyone!