Andyouinvitedmein’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘Faith

Well, it has been 4-1/2 months and I’m sort of still in the middle of the haze. But clarity is there! At less than a week before we had to move, we found another place. And moved to a much smaller apartment…down from a 4 bedroom house to a one bedroom apartment. For the first two months I slept with my daughter in her bed. I had to file bankruptcy and seemingly all didn’t seem so well. Tonight I sit here with about $15 left for most of the week. But all IS well…

You see I didn’t know that last June the well-groomed young man with the big muscles and great manners had hooked my daughter on the big H. The first was all free. So while I’m wondering why God isn’t answering…He’s working things to stall, because I can’t receive a supply with a mess formulating on the side. Before it was over we had a few family tsunamis and an almost certain death. The last big H she bought was laced with a deadly drug. By way of a prayer request from someone at a former church I found out that someone died from where her purchase originated. The withdrawal was unreal…but we formulated a plan and are walking it out each day. So far so good…she’s clean and moving forward.

In these last 4-1/2 months…I realized I needed to move on from my job. I’ve retired. I put my daughter through a technical class and we’ve purchased a rinky-dink car…but it gets us where we need to go. The guy who sold it to us is a swindler….but God will handle him.

It’s all going to be okay. My girl is alive and I know God kept her alive through a fatal dose. Through fatal choices. And in the middle of it, she had a dream that certain people in a certain church were doing her harm. I went to the Courts of Heaven to have them release her. We are moving more toward the Lord being able to release His financial blessings. I’m totally blessed because I KNOW she is free. How? Because isn’t it foolish to think it after all we’ve gone through? No! Because of learning all I have about the Courts of Heaven I’ve been able to break bloodline curses. I’ve spoken to those things that have held her in this terrible place for so so long.

My word to all parents out there: do not allow a job to keep you from your family. Make sure you are present and participating. Not as a cranky ruler but someone your child can trust. There are days you draw a line…a month ago I said “no more drug dealers” are allowed in our house. I’m vocal and bold to them that I’ve got a hotline to the police and I’m not playing. I speak the Word to them with authority–they know I’m not afraid of them. I don’t make conversation, but give them the facts. I think it is readily known I will fight this to my dying breath. I speak life to my daughter. I don’t need to figure out why, when or how…I just know that Satan set a trap and the Lord has set her free!

Be vigilant. Break family curses. Speak life. And don’t be afraid to go after the enemy. As for the original guy…well, he’s out there giving folks freebies. One day he will end up dead…we actually tried to talk to his parents, but they just shrugged it off saying he was an addict and that’s what addicts do…I’m not willing to settle for that, because this is a war with principalities and powers.

So from someone who has fought the fight…family is the MOST precious earthly possession. DO NOT keep you from standing in the gap. Vet each person coming in your house–I’m not kidding. The best picture I can give is from the movie Uncle Buck…remember when he was looking for his niece and he had that drill to take apart a door…that’s who you need to be…

Blessings and may you continue to walk in His grace all the days of your life.


It’s Saturday. I got served an eviction notice. You see it appears that God didn’t come through. I’ll get a check in 13 days, but that check is spent finishing up something extremely important for my daughter. More important than a place to live, you ask? Yes.

You see she’s had a tough road. Some things happened because she made some bad decisions; however the decisions were made in light of a series of circumstances that crept into her life like a snake into a campsite. We all have those things happen.

Things happened to my money. In the course of two weeks, my only two cars were totaled–I wasn’t involved in either. Just a circumstance. My summer money was spent, and I borrowed a great sum and ended up repaying like I owed the mob. I began the next school year without signing up for 12-month pay, because I had a series of financial issues hitting. The next school year seemed to have one thing after another. One of the wrecks proved to be more expensive than just a totaled car. And here we are on this fine July day.

Here is the upside…last night my 20-year-old and I started a game. We pretended to be in a witness relocation program and had to leave. Actually it is about 1/3 correct…you see her former boyfriend who went to jail for abusing her knows where we live and we need to relocate. He has proven to be a constant thorn who appears like ants at a picnic. God said that He will handle him, and that is a future story.

Want to hear a God-thing…Three weeks ago, as I texted my mother when I’d write the word Blood (i.e. the Blood of Jesus), the name of my mom’s best friend would pop up instead. I called said friend’s daughter, and the day after my mom called the friend (she had changed phone numbers, and these gals are getting close to being centenarians), the friend’s daughter died. After that, my mom was texting me and the word “relocate” kept coming up instead of a word. Again…God uses everything. My daughter and I share a car, and we need two cars. We will be moving soon (and I have about 1/3 of the energy that a person my age normally has). but God is still on the throne.

I’ve found a new place in my relationship with Jesus…a place that is deeper than I’ve ever been in my 50+ years of being a Christian. And I’ve made changes: I’m on the 12-month plan now. And I’ve learned to pinch a penny beyond pinching. I’ve seen my daughter evolve in the last seven years from a very suicidal, hurt, angry girl into a defined woman with a plan. She also can stand up to all her non-Christian friends with a faith for Jesus.

I read many books since the first of the year. All of Robert Henderson’s books about the Courts of Heaven. My financial situation might be in a holding pattern, but my younger daughter is free! Seven years of severe depression, using things to cope, and being abused by anyone who wanted to violate a kind soul. This summer the veil has been lifted and eyes of her understanding have been open. This is worth more than a billion dollars. The books by Praying Medic have opened a new door to seeing in the Spirit that I’ve never been part of before, and from that my mom has picked up the pace and is in a spiritual place she hasn’t been in years. My older daughter has the most wonderful brood of chicks, and she has a wonderful career that allows her to help mothers. So life is good. AND if God can change the world in a day with these, then He will make a way in this financial desert I’m walking now….

One more thing. Jesus is the only thing that matters. He is all and in all. And we must walk each day listening and acting on his behalf. We must do things to encourage people. We must be His voice no matter where we are headed…even when we are headed to the end of a dream, or when the bank account is dry.

A month ago my youngest got a citation and I went to court with her. The officer had written the citation in error and the reason for the traffic stop (running a stop sign) never was ticketed. There were no fines, fees or anything. However, as I waited in the court room I sat next to a young man and the Lord had a word for him. This young man looked like he was heading down a dark path. The Lord had me to ask if he had a praying grandmother. When the young man laughed and said yes, I said: The Lord would have you know that you need to listen to, and do what she has said.

Maybe we went to court just to deliver that message to a young man who’ll be dead in the streets if his life doesn’t change. God operates in ALL things. I honestly wish I had about $10,000 right now…but at the end of this day I know God is orchestrating everything for my good.

I started this summer knowing I would not have any money to live on. Due to a series of circumstances and a 10-month paycheck, I ended up with zero money. My mother could only help marginally. I have helped kids for years by providing a place to live and food to eat. This summer I was totally dependent on God. I will get my first check since June 2 in two weeks.

Each and every step God has moved. I’ve lost a couple of things, but overall I’ve really lost nothing. I could have used the $X,000 I would have made this summer but instead I’ve seen God move mightily.

When you are worried and put things in His hands, remember He might deliver at the last minute but He will deliver. Don’t give in to fear but press in and press forward. If you don’t have food–fast and pray.

OK…signing off…

I finished reading Jesus Is Better Than You Imagined and felt that I had been conversing with him. Each chapter is an experience from Merritt and(or) his friends. Each chapter gives you a time to touch the hem of His garment. It takes situations that could have happened to any of us, and allows us an opportunity to see Jesus in the middle. He’s the bridge over troubled waters. We say it, but less frequently do we allow ourselves to “go there.” In our fast-paced, McDonalds culture we want it all now.

Merritt marches to the beat of a different drummer….thank God! He’s faced his worst fears and now is an open book in his walk with Jesus. This might appear to be a bunch of Christianese on toast, but get yourself a cup of coffee and start on the first page. You won’t be disappointed.

I got saved/born again/embraced Christ when I was eight years old. Back in those days it was just about getting saved then being in the church. Nothing was extreme, except a few confessions here and there during a revival, and everything was a well-oiled 1960’s Christian machine. But the 60’s gave way to the 70’s, and life became different. We went from Mayberry to three tragic assassinations to Watergate to “what the hell happened?” And the white picket fence of our early years gave way to addictions, divorce, sickness, rebellion, and a strange wind of prosperity teaching in the church.

When your child leaves your home never to return…when your husband doesn’t love you anymore…when your mother doesn’t know you anymore…when your position at work is cut…where is Jesus? If you sit under the prosperity message, and all good things equals true faith then you’re dead. Or maybe you’re just believing the Christian version of Andrew Carnegie’s Social Darwinism. What happens when we find that we aren’t the fittest according to this message, then can we belong to Him when our walls are crumbling around us? Have we not had enough faith?

My walls began crumbling about four years ago. A very serious situation that trumped all the other situations drove into my house and planned to take up residency. Now it’s gone, but sometimes after a fire everything smells like smoke…and I’m still getting that smell out of my house. But, for me the good news was that I grabbed hold of Jesus and would not let go, and my life has changed for the better. I’ve changed…yes!…but you can’t help but change once you walk through the fire. And I think that is what I got from Merritt’s book.

Merritt’s book is a simple truth for anyone, but more specifically anyone who has felt that Jesus is distant. Give yourself a great Easter gift! Buy Jesus Is More Than You Imagined.

Follow Jonathan Merritt on Twitter @jonathanmerritt and look for the hashtag #jesusisbetter.

I know what happened to John Paulk in terms of logistics, because we are Facebook friends. I know he’s gone from a nerdy looking man to Chef Cuteness in the last 13 years. I know I’d like to cook like him. I know he’s a dedicated father and has gone through deep pain with recent changes in his life. But I’m here to talk about what happened to him…

You see I’m an unofficial expert in the way things look. I can see print and know if it’s off by a fraction of a millimeter. I’ve been given a good eye for balance and what looks right: too many words in a sentence, the balance of flowers in a centerpiece, too much fabric in a dress, and too little grace in our churches.

My Twitter account has been blowing up with all kinds of religiously negative words about John. Everyone has their input, so I’ll tell you what happened to John Paulk: In 2000 he walked into a drag bar, if my memory serves me right. It was in DuPont Circle in DC, I know for sure. He was there for about 45 minutes before he was recognized by someone who told the press. Because of John’s position with Exodus it was a big deal. After that a series of official statements were made by the board of Exodus International—a board from a ministry based on high Christian standards.

This isn’t about Exodus, because I’m very impressed with the willingness of Alan Chambers to listen and embrace the hurt. No, this post is about the board that was overseeing the program in 2000 and what happened to John Paulk…

For a moment I will digress. We conservatives love to point fingers. We say our problems would be solved if only we had an Evangelical President, hadn’t let gay people marry, hadn’t legalized pot, and on it goes. Ironically our fingers never point to ourselves. There’s nothing ever said about getting before the Lord with sack cloth and ashes, and repenting for our sins. The top of our sins should include not being Jesus to others.

Where would John Paulk be today if one of the male humans on that board had been a man and washed John’s feet? What if they hadn’t sent him off into the vast wilderness called “excuses”. I have no idea what happened outside of all their weekly missives of “what really happened that day on DuPont Circle”, but soon John disappeared from our lives. These men went right on with their lives believing they had been the voice of God in the matter. Instead they abandoned him in his hour of greatest need. How could they sever ties as casually as one would unfriend someone on Facebook? But Jesus tells us a story like this in Luke 10. The priest and the Levite have nothing to do with the man wounded on the road, but the Samaritan comes along and helps.

Just recently John Paulk issued a statement about that time and the years since. His words were raw. As I read, I could feel the beat of his heart. Suddenly a new decade of gossips rise up to try to take John down: their words are condemning; their fingers are pointing. Some are close relations and some are self-proclaimed experts, but none are seeing through the telescope of grace. They offer no edification. I suggest they don’t know grace. The grace we saw when the Amish embraced the family of the shooter. The grace we love to see when the Bishop gives Jean Valjean the candlesticks.

What happened to John Paulk happens to countless others in our churches. They probably aren’t associated with Exodus, but they have hurts and stumble, and then we continue to pour salt into their wounds. We must remember that there’s only ONE difference in our faith and countless other religions: Jesus took our sins in an act of grace. We are told to walk in His Steps. Consider the verse below. Consider what would say if it means grace and grace only…

Matthew 28:18-20…Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.

Several days ago I took a minute away from a maximum-crazy day at work, and decided to check the local news. I saw a picture of a woman who looked like a good acquaintance from church…a bigger than life personality who entered our lives a year ago. This woman and her husband had been charged with a bigger than life crime and the trial began the day I was perusing the news. As details have rolled across my computer screen this week I’ve wanted to vomit. I’ve never had a reaction quite like this; however, I’ve never been around people who are regular John & Jane Q. Christians who’ve done something so terrible.

Before Tuesday I’d use expressions like exuberant, hard working and radiating with genuine concern for people to describe them. Watching them on the news I can only say: fragile. In hearing details of the crime my adjectives would be ghastly, inhuman and want to ask: “what the hell were you thinking—why didn’t you get help?”

Now this could be a situation where the media has worked overtime on hype. Or it could be a situation where it is a series of unfortunate circumstances that implicates the wrong people. However, it appears to be a situation where people are just plain guilty. From what I’ve read the defense lawyers haven’t arrived in the courtroom yet. Their only defense has been improper Mirandizing and the blame game. There isn’t a one-armed man in the wings on this one—I really wish there was.

Yet, the minute I read the first story, I immediately knew what God wanted me to do, and it was simply: give grace. Right now I’m sort of at Grace 101 with this. I love them, but my mind can’t wrap itself around the events for which they are charged. That makes grace all that more difficult…that is what makes it grace.

I’ve also learned something from this. When we’re in a place and see someone who’s bruised…ask about it. Don’t keep notes and hope one day to tell someone. Keep asking about the bruises and don’t stop. But don’t just ask about bruises: offer your help. Bruises on children or adults. Ask about it again and spend time to help relieve pressure. Help prevent another tragedy. Back in 1987 I had decided to report my neighbor for verbal abuse against her young children. I could hear her through our paper-thin walls. God whispered to me: help her.

I doubt if I will address this issue again, but if you should be reminded of this blog, and then pray for my friends. Pray for a big Jesus to wash away big tears and big regrets and open big doors.

In thinking about the Penn State mess I wondered if I would have enough courage to buck the system and be a whistle blower. Would you? It takes courage to swim against the established tide. JoePa was a force who didn’t want trouble, and to come against him didn’t happen. And because of that no one was a voice for those boys. As hindsight we can look back and say “oh yes”, but really??? Would you lose your job for someone?

Would you dare lose your standing in the community to stand up for someone…would you be like Jesus and love even though you might be called a sinner and be ridiculed? I think doing that would be radical for Jesus.

That’s grace and that’s hard.