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A Letter to Americans…

“In this world you will have trouble…”

Remember back in March when our greatest concern was running out of toilet paper? We searched high and low, rejoicing when we found a four pack of not so soft Angel Soft (I trust I’m not the only one). When Walmart finally started receiving regular shipments of Quilted Northern Ultra, we thought the worst was over.

Oh, how naive we were.

By April, the magnitude of our nation’s crisis was in full view – and I’m not talking about the coronavirus crisis. I’m talking about America’s constitutional crisis. The true COVID19 numbers never supported the 24/7 hysteria, doomsday panic sold by the media since the mortality rate for the virus is in the same ballpark as the seasonal flu. As April came to a close, this fact was coming into full view and yet that’s when our governors and state leaders doubled down on lock downs, business restrictions and mandates. We all watched as a virus called fear was further manipulated to achieve one end: usurp freedom from we the people and enlarge control of government and corporate entities.

As if that wasn’t trying enough, May came along and with it the case of George Floyd. While rule following, law-abiding citizens were still living under the restrictive thumb of tyrants, those same tyrants joined millions of protesters in the streets. They marched. They chanted. And at night they burned, rioted and looted our nation’s cities.

On the ground of cities such as Minneapolis, Portland and Chicago, the scene was like that of a war zone and, yet, something strange was happening during the violent outbreaks. Media silence. As those of us with the mind to search out the truth tuned into live feeds showing mass destruction and chaos, mainstream sources barely covered or falsely covered the uprisings. Instead, they called the rioters “justified” and classified the protesters as “peaceful” – even when cop cars were ablaze in the news anchor’s camera shot.

In between these major crises, there were murder hornets, talk of UFOs and a strange disappearance of hand soap from the store shelves. At one point, cancel culture went berserk, forcing Aunt Jeremiah and Uncle Ben off pancake mixes and boxes of rice nationwide. Then, in the heat of the summer, strictly enforced mask mandates mounted, despite dramatically falling COVID19 death rates.

And that was all before we said goodbye to August.

By the time September rolled around, devastating “wildfires” were raging all over the west coast. Some sources told us that the cause was global warming but the images of arsonists carrying gas tanks and chain saws revealed the truth. These fires were and continue to be yet another deliberate attempt to destabilize and destroy the land of the free and home of the brave.

Meanwhile, all around the country, families with kids have been steeped in confusion over bizarre school policies. Plexiglass shields, students seated six feet apart in the lunchroom and hybrid learning, we have been told, are all part of the “new normal.” But there never was and never will be anything normal about the dehumanizing rules imposed on man to keep him in an unending state of submission.

There is nothing normal about living in fear of germs, hiding behind plastic shields or being assaulted for dawning an unmasked smile in the grocery store.

There is nothing normal about burning down cities, demonizing and defunding police, and stocking the flames of racial division.

There is nothing normal about normalizing pedophilia and exploiting children’s sexuality (see California’s recent law and Cuties for more about this disturbing development).

If it wasn’t already clear to you, I hope it is now: we are at war.

Without a formal declaration or call to enlist, you and I and every person in America has been thrust into a battle for the heart of our nation and future of our republic. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are in the cross hairs. The fundamental truths that “all men are created equal” and “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights” are hanging in the balance.

The question is, which side are you fighting for? Are you standing for freedom or are you succumbing to the slavery of fear? Are you defending liberty or kneeling to the tyrants who seek to own and control your destiny?

There is no “GET OUT OF WAR FREE” card or exemption from this fight. There is nowhere to run and no place to hide. Like or not, we are all on one side of the battlefield or the other. There is no in-between or place of neutrality. We must all choose to stand with either the good or the evil; the freedom lovers or the freedom usurpers; the God-fearing or the godless.

Dear Reader, the time to awaken is here. The time to choose a side is upon us. The time to stand is now.

 

“But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – Jesus {John 16:33}

 

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Divine Disruption

In my hometown, a local business posts silly quotes and jokes on their roadside letter board. Nine times out of ten, the joke is a dud, but every now and again they hit the funny bone, like they did with their current message that reads, “My most useless purchase of 2019: a 2020 calendar.”

It’s funny and true, isn’t it? For all the years to commit to a planner, this was not one of them. There was simply no way to imagine, let alone plan for, the events of 2020. What has happened in American and around the world has been, for lack of a better word, unprecedented. For the well-organized planners out there, this year must be driving them completely bonkers.

And yet, in the midst of the chaos and confusion of 2020, I believe God is up to something truly remarkable. I believe He is taking our unused planners and weaving them together into a tapestry that will bring honor and glory to Jesus. I believe He is apprehending disrupted plans and working them together for the good of those who love Him.

My confidence in this belief is not baseless. It’s Biblical.

Throughout scripture we are provided historical examples of God using disruptions to accomplish His purposes here on earth. One such example is found in Mark’s gospel with the account of Jesus calling His first disciples:

As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him. When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets.  Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him. (Mark 1:16-20)

These verses in Mark demonstrate what I call “divine disruption.” A divine disruption is when God captures a person’s attention by interrupting their earthly plans and disturbing their routine life. You could call the year 2020 “The Great Disruption” because nearly everyone is in the same boat without a planner. We are all having our plans upended.

But the beauty of the divine disruption is just that. It’s divine.

You see, God doesn’t disrupt our plans or our lives simply for the fun of it. He has a purpose for the interruptions and that purpose is invitation. When He silences the noise and presses pause on the world’s regular programming, our Lord extends a “come and follow me” offer to all who are listening. He grabs the sleeper’s attention, stirs them out of their stupor and calls them to the way, truth and life of Jesus Christ.

This is precisely what is occurring right now in America and all around the world. Sleepers are being awoken. The lost are being found. Dry bones are coming back to life. Distracted men and women who previously claimed to have no time for God have suddenly found that their planners are empty and their ears are attune to the still small voice of their Father God.

Friends, in this divine disruption, God is extending to each one of us the blessed opportunity to see this life and the next through the lens of His perfect 20/20 vision. He is calling us to leave our old ways of living behind, surrender fully to His Son and follow Him faithfully.

The only question that remains is will you heed the call?  

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A Decade in Review

As this decade comes to a close, I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting and thinking about all that has transpired in my life over the past ten years. In doing so, three words have kept returning to my mind:

  1. Sickness

  2. Singleness

  3. Salvation

When I received salvation in November of 2009, just two months before a new decade began, I thought I was living the final chapter of my rescue story. Little did I know, my story was just getting started.

As the 2010’s kicked off, so did my sickness. By the summer of that first year, a mystery illness consumed me. In 2010 I encountered major health disruptions that completely derailed my twenty-year-old self’s plans. By 2011, those disruptions turned into the destruction of dreams, plans and even love. That year I watched my status go from engaged to single – and that’s where it’s been ever since.

Over the next four years, I traversed the trying trail of chronic, undiagnosed illness as a single woman. Thankfully, I never walked alone. I was blessed with the support of a loving family, amazing Mom and incredible dog – my Pippy love.

But what truly kept me going throughout those chronic, undiagnosed illness wilderness years was Jesus.

Whenever I wanted to give up, I’d remember November 2, 2009 and the moment when my life was forever changed by receiving salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Just knowing that Jesus rescued me, redeemed my past and reconciled me to God filled my spirit with the hope and strength needed to carry on. Whether in sickness or in health, I belonged to Christ. He bought my life at the highest price and I had to believe that He didn’t die in vain.

If I believed God’s Word, then I had to trust that my illness wasn’t a mistake and I wasn’t forgotten or forsaken. I had to trust that God had a purpose and plan for my life. So I grabbed hold of these three foundational truths:

  1. God is good.
  2. God is faithful.
  3. And He isn’t finished yet.

By standing on the rock of salvation, I was indwelled with the spiritual strength needed to keep fighting for my life even when sickness ravaged my body and caused me to physically waste away.

In 2015, I was 25 years old and 72 pounds when I was finally diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Seeing lesions on my brain and hearing the letters “MS” was as reassuring as it was difficult. Reassuring because those scans confirmed that I wasn’t crazy – there truly was something wrong with my body. But difficult, too, because MS provided little hope, no cure and limited treatment options. The prognosis for MS is simply a steady, and possibly swift, decline.

My physical decline was swift. Thankfully, my hope didn’t follow such an ill-fated trajectory.

As the calendar turned to 2017, I watched the scale drop below 70 pounds. By that point my body was experiencing so many debilitating, life-altering symptoms it would take an entire notebook to catalogue them. My health was failing fast but, praise God, my faith was growing even faster.

As my body went plummeting towards death at a seemingly unstoppable clip, I was compelled to go on a hunt for further help. By the grace of God, I was led to a doctor who took a fresh look at my case and gave me life changing news. I wasn’t a multiple sclerosis case. I was a lymie and had been all along.

After receiving a Lyme diagnosis in 2017, I entered a disease killing battlefield prepared to endure an intense and lengthly fight for my life.

Defeating lyme proved to be much harder than five years of undiagnosed illness and two years of misdiagnosed illness – but much more rewarding, too. Organs that had been shut off for years were restored and turned back on. Chronic pains that had plagued me for almost an entire decade began reversed. It was like being reborn!

Although I had to fight hard for victory over my lyme foe, I’ve never fought alone. God, in His unfailing faithfulness, carried me and upheld me when I didn’t know if I could go one step further. The joy of Jesus renewed my strength when my faith was wearing thin. The hope of salvation restored my resolve when I felt like giving up.

Looking back on the past decade, I can hardly believe I survived it! There is no doubt in my mind that the overcoming strength, love and grace of God saved and sustained me so I could live to tell this rescue story. God charted this course specifically for me. He had a purpose for every pain and a plan for every setback. There wasn’t one single step wasted. God, in His unwavering goodness, produced fruit in every season and used every struggle to sanctify my faith, strengthen my hope and secure my footing on the rock of salvation.

As this decade comes to a close, I’m ready for whatever lies ahead in 2020 because I am still standing on these foundational truths:

God is good.

God is faithful.

And He isn’t finished yet.