The family is the oldest institution
Family is the cornerstone of our society.
The family is the basis, the backbone,
the foundation, the infrastructure,
the root of civilization, and the bedrock
from which all other communities
and nations stem from.
The family is just as relevant as it ever was.
Our families carry our history with them.
A connection to a strong and godly family provides
a certain type of social support that you can't get from other people.
No matter how much life changes,
those strong families will probably continue to be needed…
in one form or another.
One of the most important
purposes of the family
is to impart a godly heritage.
Family should teach its members well...
filling our communities, cities, states, countries, and
the entire universe with God-fearing, decent, fair, honest,
upright, morally mature, emotionally sound, respectful,
Spirit-filled, righteous, productive citizens...
who will not have to recover
from their childhood,
but will in turn, teach and raise a godly heritage.
The challenges in life we encounter become easier to handle
when we have a godly family to encourage, comfort, and assist us.
When we have a loving family, if one falls,
those family members will be there to pull them up.
Strong families are able to work through things they disagree about
by focusing on the problems, rather than by
"tearing each other down."
Strong families provide the physical, emotional,
social, economic, and spiritual needs for its members
so that they can become productive members of our society.
Strong families are the most reliable unit in society.
Family teaches us how to function in the world.
It provides love and warmth to all of its members.
Strong families facilitate more rewarding sibling relationships.
They give its members the support they need
to make it through those tough times in life.
Strong families actively listen to what the other members are saying.
They allow members to communicate their side of the story
clearly and honestly.
Strong families have open lines of communication
where they can impart or exchange information,
news, or ideas… and all family members,
regardless of their station in life,
feel heard and respected.
Strong families allow all family members to talk things out...
no matter how young or old.
They are able talk about their thoughts and feelings...
expressing themselves, in appropriate ways,
and not having their honest expressions and ideas disrespected,
disregarded, or ridiculed.
One of the best ways to strengthen family
is to increase our listening skills
and those of other family members.
Until we can hear each other,
we cannot build strong relationships.
Family should be the birthplace of passion.
Family should encourage their members
to set and reach goals,
take on the assignments God has for their lives,
follow their dreams, travel,
or do whatever drives their passion in life!
Although family life is often been viewed as a safe haven, for some,
family can be difficult and painful…
always filled with conflicts and tension.
While we often expect families to be above the chaos that exists
in the rest of society… that outlook seems to be unrealistic
for my family of origin.
My family, since dad passed, has been filled with conflict.
Although stress and disagreements in families are common,
they can be destructive… especially when conflicts and clashes
are pushed and pulled in many directions and they get out of hand.
Consequently, what my family is realizing is...
toxic resentment, no support system,
no safe haven,
and sibling estrangement or... 'Cold war'.
This project is not intended to put my family on blast.
This project is about broken pieces
and God's power to turn those broken pieces
I believe this story has a purpose.
I have come to realize that the afflicted
can be most effectively used by God.
Afflictions, as painful as they are, can benefit us greatly.
Afflictions stir us to pray and keep us dependent on God.
As long as we can handle things in our own strength,
we won’t see God’s power.
It’s when the burden becomes unbearable...
that we see God's power made perfect in our weakness...
collectively and individually.
2 Corinthians 12:9
It has been demonstrated, across a variety of investigations,
that writing yields a number of intellectual,
and emotional benefits to individuals.
Tragedies, sorrows, and sufferings can be blessings in disguise.
The most terrible events seem to always contain hidden blessings.
While in the classroom of our season of pain…
these times of pain and disappointments
can give way to God's mighty appointments.
Through the ups and downs, one viable option that has proven
to be therapeutic for me time and time again is writing.
Writing allows brainstorming, logic, and other forms of complex thought
to be entered on my computer's notepad. It keeps me so engaged...
I have no time to get caught up in any long and negative discourse.
Writing is a powerful life tool that gives me an outlet of expression
and it helps to keep me grounded.
Writing helps me to better see, process,
find my voice, and understand certain experiences.
Writing seems to be an emotional release
which helps to unclutter the mind.
For me... writing also helps me to steer clear of the chaos
and create more positivity.
Taking those swirling thoughts and putting them on my notepad
helps to clarify my thoughts and feelings...
and put things into perspective.
Writing helps me release the emotions involved, de-stress,
and focus more on God... and how, even in the worst case scenario,
He is working all things together for the good.
Writing has allowed me to explore thoughts and feelings
of the events in my life, become more resilient, and give language
to dramatic experiences that may have deeply wounded me.
Writing empowers me to shift my viewpoint
so that I will not find myself backsliding
into a stressful pity party mode.
The mind, so I've been told, is for processing... not for storage.
Writing helps me clear the clutter from the mind
so that I am able to see all sides, objectively.
Others may be able to connect with my pain and struggles
and hopefully have a more insightful way to approach and resolve
their struggles and pain.
People in pain really just want to have validation that...
what they are going through is difficult.
They need to know that they are not alone.
If you feel strained in your relationship with your family...
trust... there are countless individuals who know
exactly what you are going through.
Those who have been there and done that...
know all too well what that feels like and
would never try to diminish your experience.
It is my firm conviction that in one way or another…
many of us need healing of our inner hurts.
I am sharing my story in hopes that it may help you and me
to patiently endure and see God's hand in our situation.
For those who have experienced life circumstances
that may have caused you great pain...
it is my prayer that you will come to realize
that your hurting is only temporary.
God knows your hurt, and
He will not ignore your need.
Right now, I am back on the battlefield, and
I decided... rather than allowing others to destroy my inner peace...
I would quiet myself and do some journaling.
When someone else does something bad or dishonest or unkind
we can only control our reaction to it.
The way we conduct ourselves in tough times
speaks volumes about who we are.
It is my prayer these offerings will be encouraging, useful, and substantial
for anyone who may also be subjected to family dysfunction.
For some, dysfunctional families have become
the breeding grounds for abuse and neglect.
Some members will do everything in their power
to keep you from attaining your goals.
There are people whose desire and aim is to wreak havoc, cause pain,
excommunicate family members, and outright destroy relationships.
In this instance, they are my family members
and/or their small circle of friends.
“If the world hates you, know that it has hated Me before it hated you.
If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own;
but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world,
therefore the world hates you.
Remember the word that I said to you:
'A servant is not greater than his Master.’
If they persecuted Me,
they will also persecute you.”
In my family, it appears that nobody is happy
unless everyone stays in their place
and become a part of their twisted belief system…
where they redefine what truth is.
Unfortunately, the more some members grow and evolve,
the more others, who aren’t ready to do the same, will do...
to back the evolving member into a mental corner...
just so they might be able to hinder the evolving members' growth...
sometimes, even stooping to levels of serious dysfunction.
Some seem to relish in going over and above to
immobilize those growing members.
It is painful when you find those who should want the best for you...
resenting you instead.
Some family members will do whatever they can to hold members back.
They can be cunning, crafty, and quite deceitful in their scheming.
They seem threatened by a family member’s need to evolve.
When the old pattern is interrupted
by a change in the familiar functioning,
and a member begins to think differently...
it seems as if their sense of security feels challenged.
It’s like a big barrel of crabs…
whenever one of the crabs attempts to climb out and escape,
the other crabs will grab hold of him and pull him back down
in a useless "King of the hill" competition.
They get stuck in the competition rut,
which is often one-sided,
because the abuser is the only one competing!
All of the struggling crabs could easily escape from the barrel,
but instead as one ascends closer to the top of the barrel,
nearing their escape...
The entire system will shift in response
and clamp their claws to one's ankle and drag him back down
into the barrel.
They don't want to see him succeed.
This crabs in a barrel mentality has created the worst kind of loyalty.
It is like some honor code that prohibits anyone from changing or growing.
The mentality is...
“If I can’t get out of this barrel of crabs,
nobody is getting out.”
Some will do and have done unfathomable undermining
to control and contain family members.
Transformation of another seems to send some into a tailspin.
They continuously mock, belittle,
and discourage the others efforts
in hopes that they will finally cave
and rejoin them in their bucket of misery.
Once the member caves... they immediately accept
that individual back into the barrel of crabs.
When we try to walk in our calling... we will have "haters".
Their main objective is to get us off course...
to pull us down and keep us down.
Some people actually suffer from, the unfortunate,
crabs in a barrel syndrome.
Sometimes our own family can become our worst enemies
in an effort to derail our efforts and destroy our spirit.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where there are people
who will lash out just to be mean and ugly.
There will always be those who try to tear us down,
but regardless of the words or actions of the naysayers,
on the sidelines, we can always choose to take the high road.
At the end of the day...
it is taking the high road that will bring us inner peace,
even in the midst of the useless turmoil others may try to create.
No matter what obstacles come against us,
let us keep the Golden Rule of...
"Doing unto others as we would have others do unto us."
This is a command based on words of Jesus
in the Sermon on the Mount.
Treating others as we would like to be treated... works.
Let us press on... and not do evil for evil.
Let us keep our eyes on the prize...
and always stay true to ourselves and our God.
We tend to think of bullying as something that happens
in the schoolyard amongst kids
who are being mean and abusive to one another.
However, as incredible as it might seem,
verbal abuse and emotional abuse
through power, control, domination,
and subjugation are the weapons of choice
to gain control over others...
in some families.
There are families that scapegoat a loved one from childhood,
into and including adulthood.
One’s family of origin can target one member for accusations,
blame, criticism, and ostracism.
They belittle, excommunicate, and slander, in an attempt to
assassinate another’s character.
Why would a family choose a loved one to bully and scapegoat?
Scapegoating is often a way for families
to hide problems that they cannot face.
At times the scapegoat is targeted by the sibling
who was always the bully of the family.
In that way, the less favored sibling becomes the repository
of everything that is wrong in the family.
It’s sometimes right to defend your reputation
before those who have slandered you.
However, it is possible, when the scapegoat argues
and pleads their innocence before the family…
they can sometimes find themselves
further blamed and persecuted.
Some families are blessed, after a death,
to realize a closer-knit family unit.
Close-knit families leave no opportunity
for any of their members to fall through the cracks.
They are supportive, they share similar goals and values,
they are united by certain convictions and common characteristics,
and they, for the most part, work together as a unit.
In many cases, we find that the close-knit family
encourages every member to succeed,
lovingly uplifting each member on toward their destiny.
Some people come from very helpful families—
ones where the inhabitants form a helpful ladder
for the members to climb up and out.
The death of a loved one can have a major impact on families.
Each individual family member must reconcile
the end of their physical relationship with the person who died
and their ongoing grief over the loss.
Unfortunately, this often means that at a time
when the family could benefit from being closer than ever...
misunderstandings and differences set them at a distance.
Death can bring out the worst in families.
While some adult siblings bond more closely
after the death of their parents and or other siblings,
others find that the loss brings unresolved tensions
and old rivalries to the surface.
We all grieve in different ways
and for different periods of time.
It’s not uncommon for family resentments to boil over
in the wake of grief, which often leads to hurt feelings
and arguments after the death of a loved one.
greed is an even uglier
common reaction to death.
You can almost see the tentacles of materialism and greed
reaching and grabbing, pushing and shoving into every sphere.
There are those who take advantage of a death in the family
to line their own pockets, even if it means going against
the wishes of the deceased.
You might assume that a will or estate plan ensures
that money will go to the intended heirs —
but inheritance theft is a treacherous and underreported problem
that can cost families dearly.
And since inheritance thieves are usually family members,
the fallout often is not only about money, but also family ties.
There are many, like me, who see grief turn into greed,
the vulture mentality, or… out and out corruption.
Some people are opportunistic and greedy.
Money and things, for some, is thicker than blood.
Anything that gives some people a sense of gain
can bring out the most horrendous side of that person.
Some are clever enough, brazen enough,
and merciless enough to find a way to claim and seize
that which is not theirs. In a nutshell,
my older and only living sister and my younger brother
willingly and intentionally took advantage of the family
at our most vulnerable low point.
It’s never fun to have the realization
that someone has taken something from you,
but it really adds insult to the injury
when we discover that the thieves are family members.
It turned out that mother’s will was changed
months before she passed. She was confused and disoriented
and very close to death. She had been forced
to make changes to her will against her wishes
by our overbearing sister.
Mother told my oldest living brother and me
that she was not comfortable with my sister
and “That thing”, (mother's words), she is married to.
Mother expressed that she felt she was in some kind of danger
when they were around and she did not trust them.
My sister has always had a pathological need to control others
and she uses many lies to accomplish it.
It is as if... every single action employed by her stems from...
habitual and compulsive lying
and a pathological need to control others.
She lies effectively and will go to any extent
to bring her agenda to extort supply to fruition.
She goes over and beyond to make people, in the family,
surrender their identity, their power, and individualism.
Her sense of entitlement is delusional...
much like Jacob offering Esau a bowl of stew for his birthright.
She would rather win the argument and push the point...
that she is right (which is usually not the case)...
and not ever consider respectfully attempting
to resolve the conflict.
Conflicts can escalate when the people involved
are too acrimonious to listen to each other.
Misunderstandings can fuel arguments.
When we are constantly interrupted
and the conversation is redirected by unrelated issues...
nothing gets resolved.
My sister acts as if her goal is to devalue family members,
take away their worth,
and have family accept her self-serving abuse as normal…
My sister has a desperate and debilitating love for family…
which has absolutely nothing to do with love.
I often wonder if her dishonest, pretentious,
manipulative behavior is due to crowded loneliness,
a desire for love, or a need for acceptance.
Her actions are unscrupulous and mean spirited with family,
but quite the opposite around those whom she feels the need to impress.
Because I knew what Mother’s concerns were...
regarding my sister and her partner... I became my sister’s whipping post,
scapegoat, and fall guy. She has treated me with disdain and disgust
in an attempt to manipulate me.
When I speak up for myself she attempts to "Gaslight" me ...
this is to impress upon others that I am crazy,
should not be listened to, respected, or taken seriously.
Trust, I did not volunteer for this position.
I was pretty much slam dunked into it.
My mom would say one thing to me...
and would be afraid to address my sister
and would say whatever my sister wanted to hear.
This power over mother was gained...
when dad passed, in 1992.
The conflicts and clashes have been brewing for decades
with my sister and younger brother versus me.
My older brother told me that she has disliked me since birth.
Sibling rivalry may sound like a stretch,
but it is as old and as unavoidable as time itself.
It is the "Bad blood" unfriendliness, malice, loathing,
tension, feuding, or hostility between brothers and/or sisters
which manifests itself in circumstances much like
the sibling rivalry as seen in the pages of the Bible.
Our family was held together by our now deceased parents.
When they died… the vultures came out to grab the spoils
without considering the pain and family strife that would unfold.
In the case of dad, mother, and the middle brother who died,
my only living sister and younger brother,
whom I shared the same parents with…
positioned themselves to benefit monetarily
from our loved one’s death.
These covetous two, now executors of the estate, sprung into action!
They engaged in criminal behavior, forging signatures,
creating strife, fighting about everything, hurling slanderous…
unfounded accusations, and they told out and out lies…
repeatedly, to cover their tracks.
These two appropriated inheritances not meant for them;
Where is the justice in this?
Tragedy in life can come with betrayal and compromise.
My siblings seemed to have been okay trading their integrity and dignity...
for thirty pieces of silver. The ugly deeds my siblings have performed...
are NOT okay. These terrible acts of lies and betrayal
have torn our whole family apart.
Their evil deeds had to require a strong stomach for dishonesty,
a willingness to submit to self-delusion,
and a heartless ability to ruin the future of legitimate heirs.
And in doing so… they showed blatant contempt and disrespect
for our middle brother, mother, and father’s final wishes.
Let’s face it, most thinking people know that these devilish deeds,
in any court of law, is considered as… outright thievery.
Isn’t it interesting how, supposedly, “overwhelming grief”
takes an immediate backseat to potential monetary gain?
As hard as it is for many of us to admit, countless families
who we never imagined... have found themselves in despicable conflicts
over material things.
They are suddenly overwhelmed by major disagreements
and power struggles over money and things.
Money and things can become a slave master and drive people
to do all sorts of things.
The love of money, not money itself,
is a source of all different kinds of trouble and evil.
Wealth is morally neutral; there is nothing wrong with money,
in and of itself, or the possession of money.
However, when money begins to control us,
that’s when trouble starts.
Greed causes people to do all sorts of things they wouldn’t normally do.
The love of money is what motivates people to lie, steal, cheat,
gamble, embezzle, and even murder.
According to Scripture, people who have a love for money
lack the godliness and contentment that is the true gain in God’s eyes.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said,
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one
and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one
and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money”
This verse comes at the end of a passage in which Jesus tells us to
“Lay up treasures in heaven” (v. 19).
Here, Jesus likens a “love of money” to idolatry.
He refers to money as a “master” we serve
at the expense of serving God.
We are commanded by God to have “no other gods”
before the only true and living God
(Exodus 20:3); the first commandment).
Unfortunately, not all siblings express love for one another.
Many of the famous sibling groups mentioned often
throughout the Old and New Testaments are known
for their interpersonal conflicts and even hatred for each other.
Cain killed Abel out of jealousy,
thereby committing the first murder
Jacob and Esau were at odds
from the time they were in the womb and into adulthood
(Genesis 25:23; 27).
Jacob was jealous of Esau's birthright
and his father's favoritism (Gen. 25:28-34).
Leah was jealous of Rachel's beauty (Gen. 29:17).
The rivalry between Leah and Rachel was bitter,
made worse by their father Laban, a devious and unscrupulous man.
Rebekah overheard Isaac's decision to bless Esau.
Rebekah loved her son Jacob more.
She schemed to get the blessing for Jacob
Joseph's brothers were jealous of him.
His brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt
Even Martha and Mary’s story contains
a disagreement between the sisters
Jesus Himself had siblings—
brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas,
and an unknown number of sisters
(Matthew 12:46; 13:55, 56).
Jesus once used His family
as a picture of His relationship with His followers:
“While Jesus was still talking to the crowd,
His mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to Him.
Someone told Him, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside,
wanting to speak to You.’ He replied to him,
‘Who is My mother, and who are My brothers?’
Pointing to His disciples, He said,
‘Here are My mother and My brothers.
For whoever does the Will of My Father in heaven
is My brother and sister and mother’”
Many, if not all, cases of birth-family abuse can be traced back
to jealousy, selfishness, parental partiality (real or perceived),
or envy in the abuser’s heart.
We know that in the real world sibling rivalry exists,
but we are often blindsided by it because it is the last thing
we would expect from a family member.
Brothers and sisters argue and fight each other, lie and trick each other,
and generally treat each other horribly at times.
It never feels good... in fact, it is very painful to be the target...
a whipping post for siblings or anyone else.
It can be very painful being on the receiving end
of another person’s verbal assaults.
Words laced with poison can be just as emotionally
and/or spiritually excruciating as physical blows,
and those that hurl words as a weapon
are often quite skilled at using them.
My siblings seem to constantly assume I am the rightful catch-all for
anger, criticism, and judgment.
To my siblings, it seems that the name “Carole”
is synonymous with “whipping post”.
Apparently, they do not realize that their words and deeds
have an impending doom.
They are blinded by the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:3–4),
bound in darkness (Col. 1:13, Acts 26:18),
and caught in Satan’s snare (2 Tim. 2:25–26).
One of the most sobering facts about life is that
all humans have a supernatural enemy whose aim is
to use pain and pleasure to make us blind, stupid, and miserable.
The Scriptures call him “the devil and Satan,
the deceiver of the whole world . . . the accuser” (Revelation 12:9–10),
“the ruler of this world” (John 12:31),
and “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Satan is our “adversary who prowls around like a roaring lion,
seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Yet, in the most appalling and unwitting bondage,
the whole world willingly “follows the prince of the power of the air,
the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:2).
At his most successful, his subjects march obliviously
to destruction and take as many with them as they can.
The Scriptures speak about the reality of a conflict
we face as believers.
We call that conflict “Spiritual warfare.”
Satan and his forces are real.
A tactic of manipulators is intentionally
setting up misdeeds and then questioning
the victims' sanity for reacting to those misdeeds.
They provoke negative emotions,
then dismiss the victims' legitimate concerns
with labels like “crazy”, insane”, and “sensitive”.
They are patronizing, unapologetic, and cowardly.
When they realize they are unable to manipulate a strong soul…
they begin to manufacture insanity and chaos.
I believe God has intentionally allowed me
to have more than I can handle
so that I'm forced into deeper dependence on Him.
Understanding my limitations frees me to put my trust
in God's limitless power and wisdom.
It allows me to live out my faith in front of my family.
When I come to the end of myself, I arrive at a divine opportunity
to see God's grace show up amid the chaos.
The devil has tried to bait us with false teaching,
lure us into sin, and turn us against each other.
He does this to keep us from glorifying God
and walking in our calling.
He seeks to devour us (1 Pet. 5:8)
so we can no longer be a light to a lost world.
The enemy wants us to mess up (fall into sin),
give up (get discouraged), get puffed up (live in arrogance),
split up (divide), or shut up and quit spreading the Good News.
Messed up people are used to mess up others.
People who are messed up seem to get some comfort
or consolation from knowing that others are messed up
and miserable too.
In spreading the Good News it requires intentionally
taking the light into the darkness.
Satan is fighting against us because
we are God’s witnesses to the world.
We must stand firm, press on,
and boldly march into the enemy’s kingdom
to do the work of we have been assigned to do.
Satan's goal is to keep us from proclaiming
and living out the Good News that sets people free.
One of Satan’s subtle strategies is to entice us to operate
in our own ability.
David the shepherd boy
took on the giant in faith and dependence,
knowing that the battle was not his in the first place,
but rather the Lord’s (1 Sam. 17:47).
When he became the king, though,
David sought to know just how mighty his own forces were
as he leaned more on himself than on God (1 Chron. 21:1–5).
Ego stepped in and steered him in the wrong direction.
By the way; here’s food for thought:
ego is the acronym for easing God out.
When God is not in the forefront...
our doom is near.
The enemy delights when we become full of ourselves—
when we’re much more like David the king...
than David the shepherd boy.
The very task of spreading the Good News
places us in the sights of the enemy.
The devil doesn’t want us to reach non-believers,
develop and plant healthy seeds of encouragement,
or see us cultivate a close, intimate relationship with God.
God tells us to “go ye”.
God sends us out where people are perishing!
The wider lesson is...
when we have been blessed, by God...
those spiritual blessings are not for us
to keep to ourselves or hide under a bushel basket.
God gives the bread of life to us
so that we might break it and share it with the world.
This means that we are offensively
engaging the enemy’s territory...
we can know that the enemy will fight back.
We do genuinely wrestle against principalities and powers (Eph. 6:12),
but the devil and his forces have never been outside of God’s control.
Warfare is the devil’s attempt to deceive and divide believers.
the enemy we face...
is a liar and a defeated foe!
We needn’t fear. In the power of God,
we must simply love God and live and speak for Him
in such a way that God is glorified...and an already-defeated Satan
is threatened (Acts 19:11–16).
After many years of pain and disgust
from the blatant and heinous acts of my
younger brother and only living sister…
the two older brothers who witnessed the hellish hand I was dealt...
did not have the guts to stand for truth and speak up,
yet, they speak of righteousness all the time.
They seem to be oblivious to the silent thief,
deceiver, destroyer, and murderer they have, naively, embraced.
The following quotes of Dr. Martin Luther King
are appropriate... for such a time as this:
The hottest place in Hell
is reserved for those who remain neutral
in times of great moral conflict."
"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light
of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."
"Nothing in all the world is more dangerous
than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity."
"If a man has not discovered something that he will die for,
he isn't fit to live."
"The ultimate measure of a man
is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience,
but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
"The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was:
'If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?'
But... the good Samaritan reversed the question:
'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?'"
"He who passively accepts evil
is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.
He who accepts evil without protesting against it
is really cooperating with it."
"In the end, we will remember
not the words of our enemies,
but the silence of our friends.”
"Our lives begin to end
the day we become silent
about things that matter."
"The ultimate tragedy is not
the oppression and cruelty by the bad people,
but the silence over that by the good people."
"There comes a time when silence is betrayal."
Where love, compassion, and support
were so desperately needed, instead, I found myself on another battlefield.
I wish I could answer that question intelligently.
I wish I knew why so many people go sideways
when death visits a family.
Now, I am being accused, criticized,
and lied on by the older brothers
whom I looked up to and respected.
Recently, the one brother that I shared
painful 50 plus year old memories with...
has not honored the truth…
and confidence was betrayed.
For years I believed he was a high soul,
a God-fearing man who was upright,
fair, and guided by integrity.
Obviously, his actions proved that he was unable
to be who I thought or needed him to be.
It is hard enough when one is attacked
and conspired against by the enemy and the world,
but when the fiery arrows come from those whom we love
and have bared our soul to... the hurt becomes magnified.
Betrayal is one of life's hardest blows.
Jesus knew what betrayal felt like.
Jesus was betrayed into the hands of His enemies by Judas,
for thirty pieces of silver,
and Jesus was deserted by all the rest.
The very people Jesus had helped,
healed, fed, and encouraged cried…
The very ones Jesus blessed…
became His enemies.
Trust is the most vulnerable state of being.
When we give it away... all our weaknesses are exposed
to those who it has been given.
Betrayal is the vindictive violation of trust.
A betrayal is an act of double-crossing another.
The sting of betrayal can be dreadfully agonizing
and become so embedded in our subconscious mind...
that the betrayal may become too difficult to extract.
Betrayal is, therefore, pain...
and also a profound education.
Sometimes betrayals can be a blessing in disguise.
It can be that rude awakening that we so desperately needed.
To be betrayed by a person you fully trusted
is probably the most heartbreaking thing anyone can experience.
Recovering from it may take a while
or may affect our future judgments in meeting new people.
What makes it hurtful is the fact that our trust
was violated by someone we never knew
could do such a thing.
The one person who I told everything to,
was actually hiding everything from me.
This particular brother was verbally insulting and hurtful.
His words, tone, and actions were devilish.
He began venting these hostile, uncaring, mean,
destructive, and false accusations,
and the evil words he vented seemed
as if he had harbored those thoughts for a while.
The deepest scars are those we do not see.
The simplest little words, which we take for granted,
have the power to hurt or heal, to inspire or discourage,
to help or to hinder.
A thoughtless word...
downloaded into another’s head
can devastate one's life.
Words have great power and often the negative words
are remembered long after they are forgotten
by the one who spoke them.
Words can cause physical changes in our body
and change the Spiritual atmosphere.
Research shows that words have an emotional,
physical, and spiritual impact.
Words are messengers; they carry defeat,
they bring worry, and death...
or transmit victory, peace, and life for many!
Familial betrayal is, to me, the most heartbreaking kind –
because if you can’t trust your family to love you and protect you,
who can you really trust?
My older brother condemned and verbally abused me
without concern as to how harsh and brutally hurtful
his baseless allegations were.
Our thoughts are the seeds of our actions.
We need to notice and make sure the seeds we broadcast
are in alignment with what is righteous.
Betrayal gives tremendous insights
into one’s character as well.
My brother unleashed a cascade of slanderous remarks.
It was as if the truth he knew… mysteriously evaporated.
He totally disregarded the truth,
and did not appear to be interested in considering
the full ramifications of his rantings.
The lies he was spewing...
seemed to have been more welcomed than the truth.
His rage was really outrageous.
I always thought my brother was mature enough
to have a discussion without being petty
and stooping to the points of hurling such unkind name-calling
and untrue accusations.
He seemed locked into the lies he was spewing…
and seemed quite comfortable with it.
It felt like his main intention was to antagonize
and seriously wound me with those painful
and poisonous accusations.
His choice of descriptors for me were venomous and
certainly not indicative of the brother I thought I knew
or wanted him to be.
Being more conscious requires effort, and once we have made it a habit...
it becomes second nature, for most. I really thought he was there.
However, when we listen to the rantings of the wrong voices…
we tend to believe things we should not.
Listening to the wrong voices can have one unleashing
anger on someone undeserving of it.
Until we know what voices someone else has been listening to,
we don't know how to understand them.
Within each of us lies the power to direct
the flood of feelings that surges forth.
1 John 4:1 reminds us:
Beloved, do not believe every spirit,
but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.
For some, Satan’s lies become their truth.
My brother accused me, sentenced me,
and nailed me to the cross without thinking about
the awful accusations he was making …
versus, what he actually knows to be true.
It appears that both, 70 plus-year-old, brothers
are using this precious time of their lives
trying to find fault and making unkind remarks about me....
their baby sister!
They are making accusations of horrendous nature
where no evidence exists to substantiate those accusations.
Seventy plus years of life has to be and mean...
much more than that.
There are far greater things to dwell on.
The oldest living brother and I were very close.
In the midst of all of the family drama...
his girlfriend of over 20 plus years
decided she would express how much she hated me
and couldn’t wait to see me living under a bridge.
She apparently insisted that my brother
no longer communicate with me
and apparently he followed her lead.
So, now there is a wedge. We no longer communicate.
She told me never to call there, anymore.
I was floored that my brothers,
knowing and witnessing all of the hell I have gone through,
and not even understanding why these things were happening either,
would shrink back and not stand up for truth.
My question is...
how can a man allow someone,
that he has never said that he was in love with,
have that kind of control over him?
This woman seems to have taken his manhood and is now...
more like my oldest brother's puppeteer.
My oldest brother is unable to communicate with me.
This is baffling and also; yet, another dismal low
in my family dynamics...
to say the least.
My brother who spoke harshly to me now seems to be needy for acceptance,
from the older brother, and the klan of crabs.
Now, he has gone back into the barrel of crabs.
He is entertaining those, inside the barrel of crabs,
by gossiping and making unfounded,
slanderous remarks about me, in their presence.
It’s as if both older brothers, by their actions and words,
are projecting their pain onto me,
and slandering me for their unhappiness.
If my two older brothers would be honest...
they would tell the truth and admit that I’ve been vilified...
The only thing I have ever done is loved and respected them.
The only sense I can make out of this is that
they would rather quietly sneak back into the bucket of crabs
and not get involved or.
Apparently, someone has blown something way out of proportion...
and created something much deeper than it is, was, or should be.
The more they conspire and spread lies...
the more it is growing into this uncontrollable
avalanche of unfounded allegations!
I'm still confused about the events leading up to
the relationship breakdowns with my brothers.
I’m trying to make sense out of the nonsense…
to no avail.
Most incredibly, these senior members of my family have finally caved
and have been accepted back into the bucket of crabs.
It appears that they are deliberately trying to destroy my character,
my zest for life, and my desire to walk in my calling.
Is this part of their initiation
back into the bucket of crabs?
Don’t they realize they, too...
have a calling on their lives?
It is very disappointing to see these men, whom I looked up to...
and respected, have nothing to share with the world other than
devilish gossip and pettiness.
For the past two decades... these 70 plus-year-old men
both witnessed all of the lies, slander, and forgeries
that caused so much pain and hurt for me; yet, they remained silent.
I really am disappointed because I really thought
they would be encouragers... not men determined to discourage
and go to this extent to break my spirit.
I don’t know what they have to gain
in being so hurtful and negative.
Now, the brother who recently made all of the hurtful remarks...
is attempting to minimize what happened
and deflect by playing the victim to the circumstances he,
along with his coaches, created.
Maybe their silence is due to fear
of our loud and brazen sister.
It seems they would rather surrender their dignity
and crawl back into the barrel of crabs
rather than assert themselves,
and tell the truth.
What they have shown me is…
they are not the men of bravery and brilliance
that I thought they were.
What a shame to all of a sudden land in a space
where you have caused yourself to be distrusted
and no longer respected as a man.
When someone whom you loved,
respected, and trusted is the betrayer... it can cause very deep wounds.
When a person can lie, slander, and betray someone who trusted them…
they won’t tell the truth… they don’t own their lies…
they won’t find the courage to speak up
against all of the ignorance and injustice…
or won’t man up and apologize for being hurtful and disrespectful…
one has to wonder…
where are those men who professed to be high souls?
High souls are one with Truth.
High souls would do what they could to make things right...
if it were in their power to do so.
Betrayal is common for men with no conscience.
Where are the men whom I thought were awake, aware, and upright?
The brother who was recently slandering me seemed possessed.
His words and deeds have been devilish.
The God I serve would never dispatch anyone
spewing the venomous remarks he did.
After my brother finished speaking,
I just stood there in shock and disbelief.
I tried to see who was speaking through him.
Certainly, it was a major blow for me, because he was someone
whom I held in high esteem.
I thought very highly of him and had great respect for him…
sadly, I trusted him.
It was as if he was trying to elicit a certain reaction from me
to make himself feel fulfilled.
Thank God, his rantings could not dictate or define
my reactions or behavior.
I have discovered the way to end a fight
is often by refusing to engage... period.
Yes, I had a rude awakening!
I guess I really had to be awakened to clearly see...
that my older brothers were not what I wanted
or expected them to be.
I had to see, as hurtful as it was,
who my brothers really are.
"He that has eyes to see and ears to hear
may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret.
If his lips are silent, he chatters with his fingertips;
betrayal oozes out of him at every pore."
– Sigmund Freud
Obviously none of us like to deal with the hurtful behavior
of someone who is lashing out at us.
It is heartbreaking when it happens; however,
I do believe with all my heart
that as much as it may cause us to feel bad,
it isn’t something we should ever allow to drive
how we feel about ourselves.
We should never let our view of ourselves
be determined by another person who is lashing out
because people aren’t perfect and people aren’t all-knowing –
Only God is.
By the grace of God rather than becoming enraged,
as probably expected by them,
God had me to remain still and silent.
He reminded me that this battle was not mine.
Jesus also knows the feeling of support falling away.
He is all too acquainted with having the very ones
who should stand up for Him…
to shrink back and turn against Him.
What a blessing it is to know that Jesus knows exactly how I feel.
Not only is He touched by our feelings of betrayal,
"He is that Friend who sticks closer than a brother."
It is easy for my siblings and others to sit and look in
from the outside and criticize, disparage,
or otherwise cast aspersion on me,
but God knows...
He has witnessed it all.
God is our Perfect Judge,
and we can trust God, implicitly.
I am reminded of a quote of Albert Einstein, he tells us,
“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil,
but by those who watch them without doing anything.”
I am now seeing how... even the people who betray us
are part of God’s Master Plan.
Jesus could not get to the cross
without Judas and his betrayal.
Of course, it is very disappointing to witness this kind of demonic behavior,
and it saddens me that after all was said and done...
I took a long look at my brother, and my heart ached.
What I saw was a confused and mean-spirited being
who appeared to be lost.
As this reality check soaked in,
I realize that I held my older brothers in higher regard
than they deserved.
The mistake was mine, for trusting them.…
by trusting where I shouldn’t have trusted.
They do not seem sorry they have been so devilish and petty,
but they may be sorry that I found out.
Truth is… they do not need to be sorry…
it is all on me. I trusted them.
That was my mistake, not theirs.
I thought that my brothers had high character
and my best interest at heart…
shame on me for being so gullible.
I have been prayerfully trying to find my way
through this hellish haze of madness.
I’ve tried to rise above the foolish distractions,
and I am trying to see my siblings…
not as demons, but as struggling souls.
True, they were attempting to hurt me by betraying me,
revealing confidences, slandering me, and concealing the truth,
but obviously, what they have not come to realize is
how they are betraying the God part of themselves.
Their participation with Satan and all of the noise,
confusion, and chaos that comes along with him,
is silencing and keeping them from hearing the directives
of the still small voice of God inside of them.
I am sure if they knew better...
they would begin to do better by resisting Satan...
and not falling for his evil schemes.
In this particular instance, I need not try to defend myself.
I will give it some time.
“Have no fear of them, for nothing is covered
that will not be revealed,
or hidden that will not be known”
The truth will win in the end.
I am trusting time will reveal the truth.
God is able to see behind enemy lines.
God knows exactly the strategies that will be used against us.
With God as our witness,
e will not be outwitted by Satan.
By the grace of God,
the truth is relentless, unyielding, inevitable, and invincible.
It’s the king of come-from-behind victories!
I love Spurgeon's metaphor:
“A great lie, if unnoticed, is like a big fish out of the water—
it dashes and plunges and beats itself to death in a short time.”
Thank God, time moves on.
The sting from all of this is giving way to accepting reality.
I know things will never be the same.
I also realize not everyone has the same value systems
as to how to treat others, and that it is easier to criticize
or abandon those in need rather than be
a positive part of the situation.
I’ve learned another important lesson as well —
the definition of “family” is not necessarily
what you were born into.
A real and true family are those who stand by you,
unconditionally and without reproach or judgment.
God is allowing me to rise above the madness
because He is with me...
physically, emotionally, spiritually
and every imaginable way that one can be there
for another in a most desperate time of need.
Furthermore, not only is God with me...
God has placed high souls all around me who encourage,
enlighten and support the calling God has placed on my life.
I know in my heart that God and these high souls…
will always be there for me.
Our storms might look different in this life,
but they all offer the opportunity to change us, forever.
And God can take what seems tragic and devastating
and turn it around for good.
It may not happen as quickly as we'd like,
it may feel like a struggle, and we might find ourselves
longing for another way, but blessing will come from it.
For it's the way God works.
The "good" will shine through.
And we won’t ever be the same again.
For the person who eventually walks out of the storm
will be different than the one who walked in.
We can be assured, that God's work within us is never for harm,
but to strengthen us, to build deeper character and faith,
and to bring us out as "gold," leaving lasting impressions
for His glory in this world.
With God in the forefront of our lives nothing can truly harm us,
but this isn’t a guarantee that we will experience no pain.
It’s a promise that everything that comes to us,
including our trials,
is part of God’s Master Plan.
The truth is, God doesn’t promise certain limits to suffering.
He doesn’t guarantee personal happiness.
He doesn’t ensure our escape from pain,
but He gives us the strength to endure.
He will never give us more than
He has equipped us to handle.
God’s people are often crushed beyond measure:
the Bible makes that abundantly clear.
Here are some guarantees God’s Word does give us:
- Suffering will come,
- but we will also share in Christ’s glory (1 Peter 4:12-13).
- All that happens will be for our good,
- to make us more like Jesus
- (Rom 8:28-30).
- Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love
- (Rom 8:38-39).
- God won’t let us be tested –
- beyond what we can bear,
- but will provide a way for us to endure it
- (1 Cor 10:13).
- God will give us all we need for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3)
- In our weakness, He will give us strength
- (2 Cor 12:9-10 cf 2 Cor 4:7-12; Phil 4:11-13; Col 1:11-14).
God never promised us this life would be easy,
but He does promise that
He is bigger than any storm we face...
and He's always working for good.
The lessons garnered from all of this:
1. God knows what is in us, and even when others purposefully overlook us…
God is fully aware of the treasure He placed in us.
2. People are either part of the problem... or part of the solution.
3. We must be careful who we trust. We must tune into our own
intuitions... turning within to see what is true and false in any dynamic.
We need to trust those who are capable of being trusted.
We are not obligated to trust those that we love.
And we are not obligated to trust someone... just because other people do.
We must trust our own gut feelings.
Trust our ability to see what is happening without denial.
Trust can be lost within seconds,
takes a lifetime to regain,
and is never as strong again afterward.
4. Strong people lift others up; it’s beneath their dignity
to knowingly oppress, suppress, or depress others.
5. When people harshly judge others…
it is usually something within them… that they don’t want to face.
When one is a forward-thinker
and begins to make progressive moves in life...
some may see it as a threat to their goals and interests.
6. The one who follows the crowd… goes no further than the crowd.
One becomes who they spend time with.
7. If we are under attack, the blessings must be close.
The vaults are loaded and the thief is dying to rob us.
When we are betrayed, we must release disappointment at once…
so the bitterness has no time to take root in us.
We cannot waste time hoping someone will suffer
the consequences for what they did to our heart.
If we don’t let go of the crazy-makers and let God abide...
it allows them to hurt us a second time in our mind.
God knows... an God can handle them.
8. When God calls us… He fully equips us.
We are not expected to be perfect.
God equips us with everything good for doing His will.
Followers of Jesus have experienced this truth
through the centuries from the calling of the first disciples.
The disciples were ordinary people like you and me.
They were not the most highly educated, charismatic, perfect,
or influential people of their day.
They did not hold the highest positions with the best pedigree or
resume filled with accomplishments and awards.
Jesus called the ordinary and then did extraordinary things through them.
He changed the world and continues to change the world!
Without God, I know would fail, miserably.
I am totally dependent upon God...
moment by moment to give me what I need
and equip me to do what He calls me to do.
So naysayers, say what you will...
God is the greatest!
It would behoove you to find your calling and walk in it.
Wasting your precious time and energy trying to find
a spot or wrinkle on me or creating obstacles and roadblocks
is not helping you at all.
You’re doing nothing but exhausting yourselves.
Think About it, and you may see how necessary it is to
take care of your own journey.
You have a calling on your life
that you may not be able to answer
because you’re not in your lane.
Stay in you lane so that you can answer your call...
before it’s too late.
We will all have to answer.
9. If what we are doing is not fixing or improving the situation then…
it is time we open our eyes and see that
we are wasting precious moments of our life
that we will never be able to recoup.
10. No pressure no diamond.
Without manure, the plant may suffer and fail to grow.
11. When someone betrays you, it is the reflection of their character,
May we always remember and never forget:
Even if our pain is the teacher…
there lies an opportunity for growth.
12. People may make cutting remarks, make jokes about us,
gossip about us, dig up bones, or even hate us for being different
and not following the ways of the world,
but if the truth be told,
they would love to have the guts to face their fears,
dare to fail, and do the same.
13. Some people we need to forgive them in our heart
and allow them to get off the bus of our life,
and take all of their toxins with them.
Yes, we have to let go... and allow those who find joy
in creating pain in our lives... to get off the bus.
To allow them to exit... can be the best decision ever.
Sometimes we have to reward
loyalty with loyalty…
and disloyalty with distance.
14. If you have a dream for your life,
then a crab bucket is no place for you to remain.
If you feel like you’re suffocating, or have joy and spirit drainers...
it might be time to fight your way out...
quickly detaching from the toxic bucket of crabs.
I love my family because I know God is within them,
but until they come to that realization...
I will have to love them from a distance.
As I’ve told my older brother on numerous occasions...
I don’t like what my older sister and younger brother did
and what they continue doing,
but I don’t hate them.
Hating them would be beneath my dignity.
In fact, I have taken this matter to God
and God knows that, in my heart, I have forgiven my siblings
and wish them no ill will.
According to Scripture, I don’t need to let pride or ego
take me off course by trying to fix what God is handling.
Scripture reminds us:
“Do not take revenge, my dear friends,
but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written:
‘It is Mine to avenge;
I will repay,’ says the Lord.”
I have come to realize... We are often apprehensive about forgiving
because we feel that forgiveness means we must once again
expose ourselves to the same toxic, mean-spirited, destructive abusers...
and trust them again. To the contrary...
forgiveness does not mean denying reality...
forgiveness is based on grace.
Trust... is something one must earn.
Yes, we should be cautious of someone who knew we would be hurt...
and they did it anyway!
Detaching is not a decision that is easily made,
but I have had my fill of all of the sibling squabbling.
I will not engage further.
It’s important to remember that the reason for detaching
is not because we loathe family...
it is for the preservation of our emotional and spiritual health.
15. We must be careful who we vent to and listen to.
There are some individuals who may be knowledgeable in some areas,
but their spiritual practice may not line up.
My older brothers have often told me,
especially when I am talking about God, to “Save myself.”
According to Ephesians 2:8, the Scriptures tell us,
“For by grace we have been saved through faith.
And this is not our own doing;
it is the gift of God.”
I understand that I cannot save the world.
It is a fact that we cannot control what other people do.
We cannot make someone else act with integrity,
or make someone else do the right thing,
and we cannot make someone else be a good person,
but I do believe words and ideas can change things.
Having a personal realization and relationship with God
impels me to inspire others, encourage,
and share whatever God gives me to share with others...
with gentleness and respect.
I am not a preacher or teacher,
but I am willing and immensely honored
when God allows me to be used as His vessel to share...
not to put on a show.
I dare not go around and beat anyone down by
condescendingly quoting scripture
and trying to be holier than Thou...
that is not who I am.
I am grateful to God that I am blessed to have the liberty
to share edifying messages that can positively impact
and uplift lives internally, externally, and eternally.
It is not to secure applause and/or accolades
or to stimulate and flatter the ego.
My goal, at this juncture in my life,
is to trust God with all my heart
and not lean on my puny understanding,
to try my level best... to do God’s Will,
to honor God with my gifts and talents,
and not allow side liners
to attempt to be more knowledgeable than God
in an attempt to discourage me.
God has granted me with the breath of life,
and I dare not waste this precious and most valuable energy
creating obstacles and roadblocks for those
who have abandoned me or are otherwise sitting in judgment...
that’s not who I am or what I have ever desired to do or be.
I have asked myself, “Who is my real support?
Who has stood by me and continues to do so?
Who is a positive presence in my life?
Who has eased my journey?”
The answer is God.
God has been my healer,
God makes a way out of no way,
God loves me,
and God is.
God is my Pilot... I am the passenger.
With God as my Guide… evil doer’s are spinning their wheels.
They may have hoards of helpers,
but I know that...
one with God is the majority.
Life is too short to allow man’s evil words and deeds
to reside in our mind or spirit.
We must move past the past
and keep pressing on to higher ground
where people are progressive, growing spiritually,
and trying to do God’s Will.
High souls, who are trying to do God's Will,
would see gossiping and slandering as being petty,
a waste of precious time, and beneath their dignity.
I know I am far from perfect.
Actually, no one is perfect –
apart from Jesus.
Cultivating a close relationship with God
does not require one to be perfect.
I can’t and don't intend to deny the reality
of what God has done in my life.
When I reflect on my past
and the many times I made poor choices
and bad turns… I look and see...
undeserved grace and mercy...
all over me.
When I think about illnesses, prayers answered,
close calls in traffic,
and the many storms that we have weathered…
I see where God’s grace and mercy,
which I could never earn,
was there to keep us.
When I am reminded of the times I felt like I could not make it...
or take another step, but somehow I did… some may say it was “Luck”,
but Believers will say it was
the power of God’s Divine “Grace”
that imparted the strength
to help me endure and get through it.
God’s grace ignites gratitude within me.
Apart from God...I am nothing short of a broken woman.
I sincerely believe, anything less than full acknowledgement
of how powerful God’s love is for us,
and how He pours out His goodness on us
like we had never sinned…
renders one as a total ingrate.
How can one feel justified in praising man, the finite...
with his limited knowledge and understanding;
yet, shrink back and not share
The Good News about the Creator,
Who is Infinitely above
anything and everything, visible and invisible,
we can attempt to discern or express?
All things in Heaven and on earth are under God's
immeasurable, boundless, immense, endless,
forever, and Omnipresent authority.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice”
Hebrews 13:16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have,
for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Many times we want to shine, without the pain and uncertainty
of what those seasons of pain taught us.
We long to reflect beauty without the glaring weakness of deep cracks
that line our stories and fill us with holes.
We want to cover what was broken and scarred,
masking the struggles of a past
that took us down difficult pathways.
And yet, embracing the beauty of the broken
is what enables us to live free...
with greater purpose,
changed hearts, and renewed vision.
When we overcome,
we are able to strengthen others.
Out of our greatest tests comes our greatest testimony.
Proverbs 3:27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due
when it is in your power to do it.
Proverbs 11:25 Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
and one who waters will himself be watered.
Lifting God’s Name up, and even blogging… being a conduit,
a vessel for God to use doesn’t require one to be perfect.
One main command of the gospel is to spread it,
to tell the Good News.
The Gutenberg Bible contains these words:
“God suffers in the multitude of souls
whom His word cannot reach.”
God’s truth should not be confined or imprisoned.
Instead, God’s steadfast love and faithfulness
is the treasure that all of God’s Creation should be exposed to.
Mercy is the way grace in us reaches out to others.
Grace calls us to step out of ourselves.
Mercy shows us where to go.
Grace is our primary encounter with God.
Mercy extends that encounter to others.
Grace is the presence of God within.
Mercy is the action of God within.
Let us break the seal which seals up holy things
and give wings to Truth in order that she soars
and wins every soul that comes into the world.
May God’s truth be multiplied
and reach souls throughout all of God’s creation.
We can’t open someone’s heart
to the truth of the Gospel—
but God can.
Let us always remember and never forget:
God does not call the equipped;
He equips the called.
Sharing our faith isn’t just a suggestion,
it’s a command.
And God is with us when we obey Him.
For those sitting on the sidelines finding fault…
The questions become…
Are you afraid of what others will think of you?
Are you a fresh wind that causes the seed of the Good News to spread,
or are you an obstacle that keeps it from moving further and faster?
God is lavish in His grace, often liberally dispensing His favor
without even the least bit of cooperation and preparation on our part.
We can routinely avail ourselves of these revealed paths of blessing,
or neglect them to our detriment.
I am humbled and grateful to God for allowing us to remember
and cultivate our core calling and convictions.
Thank You, God, for allowing us to boldly
and indiscriminately proclaim The Good News!
Carole C. Good