Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Father trains His Children

I'd just like to reiterate for the sake of its importance to me, what training of children looks like when done right and for the child's highest welfare. I'd also like to point out that there are deep, deep parallels in this book about how to train small children, and how the Lord handles our lives.... It's not hard to draw them out as you read.

I will also emphasize the most important point in the entire book.

There is much satisfaction in training up a child. It is easy and challenging. When my children were able to crawl (in the case of one, roll) around the room, I set up training sessions.

Try it yourself. Place an appealing object where they can reach it, maybe in a "No-no" corner or on an apple juice table (That's where the coffee table
once sat). When they spy it and make a dive for it, in a calm voice say, "No, don't touch it." They will already be familiar with the "No," so they will pause, look at you in wonder and then turn around and grab it. Switch their hand once and simultaneously say, "No." Remember, you are not disciplining, you are training. One spat with a little switch is enough. They will again pull back their hand and consider the relationship between the object, their desire, the command and the little reinforcing pain. It may take several times, but if you are consistent, they will learn to consistently obey,
even in your absence.


When God wanted to "train" his first two children not to touch, He did not place the forbidden object out of their reach. Instead, He placed the "tree of knowledge of good and evil" in the "midst of the garden (Gen. 3:3)." Being in the middle of the garden, they would pass it continually. God's purpose was not to save the tree rather, to train the couple. Note the name of the tree was not just "knowledge of evil," but, "knowledge of good and evil." By exercising their wills not to eat, they would have learned the meaning of "good" as well as "evil." The eating was a shortcut to the knowledge, but not a necessary path.

The beauty of this is that thereafter,

*every time the children pass the 'No-No' object (their "tree of knowledge of good and evil"), they are gaining knowledge of good and evil from the standpoint of an overcomer.*

As with Adam and Eve in the garden, the object and the touching of it is, in itself, of no consequence; but the attachment of a command to it makes it a moral "factory" where character is produced. By your enforcement, your children are learning about moral government, duty, responsibility and, in the event of failure, accountability, rewards and punishment. In the here and now, they are also learning not to touch, which makes a child's social life a lot more pleasant.

It just takes a few minutes to train a child not to touch a given object. Most children can be brought into complete and joyous subjection in just three
days. Thereafter, if you continue to be faithful, the children will remain happy and obedient. By obedient, I mean you will never need to tell them twice.
If you expect to receive instant obedience, and you train them to that end, you will be successful. It will take extra time to train, but once the children are in general subjection the time saved is extraordinary. Some people say, "Child-proof your home." I say, "Home-proof your child."

This young mother said to me, "My children want to please me. They try so hard to do everything I say. We have such fun together." She is looking forward to more children. They are the joy of her life. But there was a time when this was not the case.

By the grace of God and through the simple, Biblical principles found in these pages, with determination and an open heart this mother has trained up children who bring her joy and honor."

from "To Train Up a Child," by Michael and Debi Pearl http://www.foche.net/TUAC.htm

Saturday, July 16, 2005

'Pitchy, dawg'

Yeah, I haven't read that OT bible like I wanted and planned to.

Tonight while I've been online at some Christian sites I've been running into some material that Satan is trying to use to defraud me....

DEFRAUD: To take something by fraud; swindle: 'defrauded the immigrants by selling them worthless land deeds;' to deprive of by deceit.

It is the attempt to barter my satisfaction with life as I have it, for a superficially shiny, worthless and enslaving line of thinking and behavior.

I used to feel this kind of pressure coming on and be afraid. But I'm not tonight. I know I won't get stuck. Because as soon as I realized that the pressure to sin was coming on, I thought about all my recent bondage and remembered the lesson I learned:

===He wants me to stay close to him, and if I do He will let me be free of it.===

So I immediately turned to Him and said no to the sin. I am free as I write this. Praise God.

It's not so much about reading my bible--although if I were not busy then yes I ought to have been. It matters more about when I am in that moment when Satan sees the chance to pull my heart away and estrange me to God, which path do I take? The verge of the two paths was the point I was at, just a moment before I wrote this blog.... I could have hung out in the doorframe of the bad path for a bit, but I didn't.

Sin seems so easy to say no to now. Because of how clear He has made things to me so that I can be truly happy.

Faith is like loading a dishwasher

That is, if you are a procrastinator, like I am. Do you usually have a lot by the time you're putting them in? Then this is a parable for you too.

I gotta walk by faith in it. After all, how are they all going to fit into one load?

I have pans and trays, three different-sized plates, huge spatula thingies, a bizillion sippy cups, their lids and plastic inserts, etc. All different sizes, shapes, some can only go on the top shelf, and you always gotta check the way the bottom is loaded so that the bar can spin when it's on without getting stuck and immoblie.

Sometimes I when I concentrate on plates and pans for about ten minutes I realize that there's no room left on the bottom for my big bowl I was planning on.

Now what? Okay, God, should I just give up? Is this huge thing going to get clean like I thought it needed?? Then I have a revelation--the top is deep enough to hold it, and it fits perfectly. Hmm. The rest of the cups I was planning on putting on the top actually utilize the space in the cracks on the bottom rack a lot better.

It surprizes me, that I come up with an original and space-utlilizing solution for every scenario the dishes present.

With every dish it is best for me to just stop and say, 'I know I was thinking that bowls only go here, but let me look at the thing and determine the best fit for this load right now.'

In my faith-life I might have a set of plans to do some good things in my day. But what makes them good? Did they 'fit the need' of the persons I came into contact with? Did those people who saw me see a little bit more of their own value and worthwhile in the way that I treated them?

I think that ministering to needs as people come to be around you is true obedience to the will of the Spirit of God. Sometimes that kind of obedience can lead you into some pretty zany situations.

In my life when I consider God's will at any given moment I believe that He directs me through the people around me; their needs and concerns are the stuff of heavenly reward, and like my dishwasher, I am, to my own surprise, making the most of my daily commitments.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

It's Amazing

My counselors have been pleading with me to read my bible as opposed to do anything else, and to turn to Jesus alone in prayer as well, and not do anything else.

I knew this week was going to be hard. It wasn't going to just last the weekend, so last Sunday I asked my church to please pray for me, for the sake of spiritual warfare going on in my heart. My small group bible study is praying for me. The Fellowship Hall is praying for me.

This morning I felt healed, when I woke up.

I finally surrendered and decided to read my bible for the sake of what was happening with me. And I found an awesome answer.

I started in Joel and I read this passage where "nation" is a symbol for "demon":

"A nation has invaded my land
powerful and without number;
it has the teeth of a lion,
the fangs of a lioness.
It has laid waste my vines
and ruined my fig trees.
It has stripped off their bark
and thrown it away,
leaving their branches white." 1:6-7

-spiritual warfare-

And I kept reading into the next book, Amos, where I read:

"Woe to you who are complacent
in Zion,
and to you who feel secure on
Mount Samaria,
you noteable men of the foremost
to whom the people of Israel come!

The Sovereign Lord has sworn by himself--
the Lord God Almighty declares:

'I abhor the pride of Jacob
and detest his fortresses;
I will deliver up the city
and everything in it.'


'But you have turned justice into
and the fruit of righteousness into
you who delight in the conquest of Lo
and say, "Did we not take
Karnaim by our own

'For the Lord God Almighty declares,
"I will stir up a nation against
you, O house of Israel,
that will oppress you all the way
from Lebo Hamath to the valley
of the Arabah."'" 6:1, 8, 12-14

So God is using the oppressiveness of my sin to humble me. Well, it's more than obvious to me that I need humbling.

Way to go God.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Shaun Groves "Should I Tell Them"

Walking with you is not without hazards
Trippings this traveler's curse
Price paid for falling is more than my stumble
In a world that is watching and waiting for words

But I listened when You said to go
And I set out in spite of my fears
About truth mixed with my imperfection
And the question of what to say when I got here

And now that I'm here
Should I tell them that
You are the one who has made me
And saved me and set up a home there inside
Should I tell them that I am a perfect example
Of all You can do with a life.
What should I say to them?
What if I'm failing them?
What should i tell the tonight?

Now don't get me wrong
I'm thankful to be here
With this song to sing and a spotlight on me,
But lately I'm wondering if you are mistaken,
If you're seeing all of me there is to see.

Cause on every face I detect
The same questions I've posed to you
Like do you speak through the imperfect
Are we too dirty for your light to get through?
I want your light to get through.

What should I tell them when
They're thirsty Lord
My cup is empty Lord
Come and lead me here in this place
Cuz I'm honest, yeah, but I'm unprepared
And I'm just plain afraid

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Not Innocent

I'm in a tough place right now. I am beginning to wonder if I am unusually hard on myself, to my own detriment. Maybe instead it is something I ought to be proud of; or rather, to be thankful for. The harsh light I use to examine my deeds....

I want to be perfect. It seems so wrong that such a losing sinner could be used to do anything for God. I can't believe that God has appointed me to have such an impact on so many people who need the love of God and I am positioned to give it. What if I stumble? What if I stumble, big time? What if it's all hidden--under wraps--nobody knows, but I do. What if underneath it all I delight in sins, and don't want them to come to an end? To see a vast hypocrisy of my life when everyone else thinks I am following Christ day after day? No no. I DO NOT WANT TO GET STUCK THERE. That would be a tormenting mess.

I have many new open spiritual sores, all of a sudden. Spiritual attack. Gotta call on His Name.

It can't be that I am too hard on myself. Why? Because I KNOW the standard by which I ought to live, and I OUGHT to do it. I'm not coming up with any new set of stricter standards or something. I was doing right before. Now I'm not. That's going backwards. Backwards is scary.

I'm really not okay with my sin. It bothers me. Big time. I've got to be okay with the idea that I am a sinner, who, left to their own choices, would do everything for themself. I see it, I see its pervasiveness in my life. I am glad that Paul said (rom7), "Now it is not I who is sinning, but the sinful nature inside me that sins." Whew. A little relief. It's not so much something I could have really had control over.

The thing that hurts the Spirit of God inside me the most is this: I'm not innocent. I don't know how to explain this. It's like the poor man versus the rich man. The poor man is happy to share his meager meal with the stranger. But the rich man gets angry when the stranger steals stuff from his garbage can, and starts yelling and calling the police because of the mess and trespassing. I care all of a sudden about "how much I have." I want more. I can't help it. I want to be innocent again. Carefree. Ready to serve God. Content with what I have, in the way it all comes together or doesn't come together. Like I was all last week. So odd.

I believe that He lives today because He was set free from the rule of death, and the ways of deathly living. And because He is set free, so am I, by faith. That, right there; my belief--transfers that same resurrection power into my life to aid my recovery.

Jesus said (do this to) "remember me." Remember what happened at calvary. I cannot forget two things. One, He is the source of innocence; purity. He never dwelled or engaged the wrong attitudes as He did his work. His outlook was always innocent. "To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted." (titus1:15) Gha! That's me. That's my prob. "Create in me a pure heart, O God." I will only have a pure mindset if I request it from God--Christ, for He is the only one in posession of it.

Two, purity is what He has given me in greater and greater amounts, since the beginning of my salvation. Suddenly I didn't see and seek sin; I sought out righteousness and its ways and thoughts. That's God's miracle Emmanuel, "God, with us." I know many times over that God is with me. I do not need worry about where this is heading. Could I turn away from God to my sin altogether? I hear this happening every day, but it can't happen to me; not according to what I believe about God. It's not that I have been given more grace than the next guy. It's just that I am more aware of its _depth_ than the next guy. I believe that once He's got me, I'm got forever, and as long as I believe it, it is indeed my reality. Strange how belief makes reality like that.

"Anyone who trusts in Him will not be put to shame." (rom10:11) Will the officials come out here and measure the depth of that one? I can't seem to see anything limiting its infinity. Except my own capacity to trust, of course. Which is why I think that power and righteousness is transferred by faith. That's one of my catch-all declarative provisions, for all my righteousness-shortages.

I can't over-trust God, on his desire and plan (promise) to sanctify those he has justified. To clean me up; to un-shame me.

After all, what man could ever hope to "finish the good race," if they did not have this deep faith in grace like I happen to have? The sinful nature can throw a lot of waste in one's general direction. It will finish off many Christians.

And Mary said,
'My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
For he that is Mighty has done
mighty things in me.
Behold, from henceforth all generations
shall call me blessed.' paraphrased luke 1:46-49

I love that phrase and I have never forgotten it: 'my soul doth magnify the Lord.' I believe my understanding and use of grace, do the same. Meaning, my trust that God's grace is and will forever, hold me as judged clean and acceptable in His sight at judgment. No matter what I do. Blasphemous, to many religions. But if I care about obeying God, then it proves that I am worthy of such a grace. And as seared as my conscience is, compared to others, what man could judge me inadequate? I will have sin with me till the day I die; God made us all so, we are not delivered from the sinful nature until He returns. What makes any difference therefore is how much we love Him; how much sin we have put away from our man because He first loved us. And when I know He accepts and empowers me endlessly, I desire to obey Him endlessly. Powerful, this nearly-blasphemous state of grace.

I don't know what's going on this weekend, but I know God will not leave me stranded. He will not leave me alone. He'll move me back with His firm and gentle ways. He doesn't want a slob wearing the name of Christ.

"However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness." (rom4:5) The bible was written for people like me.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Preparing a Speech

Well, not just a speech, but a heartfelt line of thinking and logic.

Regarding the woman who thinks or knows she is pregnant, but who has been abandoned or unloved and supported by the father of the baby. ****This is the number one reason why women seek abortions.****

I am working on a speech to tell these ladies, who find so little love in close quarters to inspire their desires to give birth to a new way of life....

Yesterday, I was in Birthright all by myself because Sally is gone for a month. I sat there for 2+1/2 hours all by myself with not a single person coming in, and it was almost time to go. Then all of a sudden, in walked 5 women and their friends/families.

One was seven months along and is already 1 inch dialated, supposed to be on bedrest, but came in for a layette.

The only married woman so happened to be a Christian, and she brought her 2 yr. old boy and husband in, so I turned on Toy Story for the boy and took her back and talked with her about her due date and not having insurance for another three weeks. She said, I want to tell my church about Birthright. What kinds of things do you need help with? I told her, right now we're really short on volunteers.

The other four wanted pregnancy tests. One was a 16 yr. old girl who's been in a couple of times in the last six months. She has irregular periods (source of worry) but she is having unprotected sex. But this girl was easy to talk to in comparison to the last two.

A 17 & an 18 yr old walked in, friends, both saying that they had had sex last Sunday, and wanted a pregnancy test and a MAT. They said that they were at Planned Parenthood (yikes!) last Tuesday and they told them to come back for the MAT today. (By the way, a MAT is a morning-after-treatment. A form of abortion.) I told them, wow. I was throwing up for about five hours straight when I took it, and I was so sick I had to lay on the floor in the bathroom and I couldn't even take the second dose. It was horrible. If you don't even know if you're pregnant yet, that'd be unfortuante to have dumped all those chemicals into your body potentially for nothing. They were surprised. I said, we don't have MATs here, but we have preg. tests. How much? Free, I said; everything we do here is free.

The first girl said she didn't think that now was a good time for her to have a baby, but she hadn't made up her mind yet whether she wanted to have it or not. Things were rocky with the boyfriend and the mom would be unhappy at least at first. I told her "You may very well feel like you need to go and get that abortion. But if you're going to consider this, let me tell you some of the negative side-effects." I told her that later in a couple of years when you are ready to have babies you'll think about this baby in every one of those milestones, and that can be very hard to handle. They call it post-abortion syndrome. I should have mentioned that there is an increased risk of depression and thoughts of suicide which could have their onset either immediately following the procedure or up to several years later.

I told her that if she decides to go ahead with the pregnancy, we will be here to help. We know of resources for housing, money, classes, clothing, counseling... The motto of Birthright, I told her, is "A friend for life."

The next girl came in and she told me how she broke up with the guy two days previously, and at that point he introduced her to the girl he had made pregnant 2 months prior, and had been seeing the whole time. He apparently has made even another woman pregnant as well, somewhere else. She was obviously devastated. She even lost her virginity with this man. She started crying. I sat next to her and gave her a hug and a kleenex, and I told her how sorry I was that she had to go through that... But I didn't know what else to say. I remember at one point I told her something like "You deserve to be treated respectfully, to be treated right. I just wonder if anyone has ever told you that before, and in the case that no one has ever told you it, I want you to hear it at least from me."

Now I'm not a feminist. And I'm not a humanist. But something needs to be said to these women who have no capacity to turn to God, how much value there is in their own life. They need to be inspired.

I'm not sure if I can find the right words. I'm going to have to get pretty wacky here, with a touch of the feminist ideal or the humanism mentality thrown in and squished around in there.... I don't want to deny the truth of who God is. But I do want to meet their need. Who knows if I even have what it takes to say and mean such a speech when I am in the moment to potentially help someone??

Here are some of my starting points:

"IF you get to the end of the pregnancy, AND you find that you *like* being a mother AND that you *love* your baby, you will be proud of yourself that you went ahead and made it through that time ESPECIALLY WHEN it was so hard on you."

"The reason why a man isn't standing by your side and loving you right now is because he is weak. Or else it's fear.... But today is your day to be a woman of love. Let him go, but don't compromise the strength I know is right there inside of you to love even when it gets hard. I think there is something to be said that even courts rule in favor of mothers, having custody over children, when nothing else is considered, because women simply have more courage to love and be selfless than men do. Yes, you are weak because you are doing it alone. But if you weren't alone like this, how could you prove to the world what love really means? Women are the inspiration of the human race to see what can be done for the sake of the future. Men want to have a woman in their life because of the greatness of their love."

"I really don't think it's an accident that you are pregnant. These things don't just 'happen.' Women who aren't healthy can't conceive babies. Girls who are not ready for the strain of womanhood are usually not able to conceive. The same thing which made you want to be with a man, is the same progression that makes your tummy get big and make a baby. They are really inseparable. You can't have one without the other. Your sexual appeal is an outward picture of your ability to be a mature woman. To stop the nature of your 'being' at only sex, without conception, doesn't allow you to be the woman your body thinks you can, and should, be."

I think these are good starting points but you can see that they are really rough.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Lord of heaven and earth

I was singing along with my radio, praise songs, including this compilation track with the singers from Cademan's Call and Third Day.

When I sing praise songs, it takes me awhile sometimes for me to get real with God. Like the song we sing in church as a congregation is true:

"I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about you
All about you, Jesus
I'm sorry Lord for the thing I made it
When it's all about you
All about you, Jesus"

At first I'm just jiving because I get to listen to music, period. Then that part of me that loves to interpret and display music kicks in--still not real worship. Then I repent and get to focusing on God as I sing for Him instead of my own personal reasons. And I realized something in the way that I do this....

So I try and find God with my mind. I am trying to imagine the God or the ways I know of Him by which I can authentically praise Him for. And sometimes I have to blink a few times as I realize He is an actual person. Even though I can't see Him, he is very real. Isn't it odd that I am singing a song for a person I have never met, a person that I have so little evidence for? Maybe I'm crazy. At least that always runs through my mind as I travel through this line of thinking.

But the lyrics of this song helped me iron all of it out:

"Halleleujah to the
Lord of heaven and earth

Lord of all creation
Of water, earth and sky
The heavens are your tabernacle
Glory to the Lord on high
God of wonders beyond our galaxy
You are holy,
The universe declares your majesty
You are holy

Early in the morning
I will celebrate the light
When I stumble in the darkness
I will call your name by night"

At the time I was washing the dishes in my kitchen, looking out the window at the tall trees, the bright sunlight, the wind blowing the branches, the clouds.... Things I can *grasp*. Things that are *real*. I want to praise *that* God. Someone must have made all of it, and by His creation alone I can address my halleleujahs and they will be routed accordingly, because there is no confusion in the reality of the spirit-world who it is that made it all....

I also noticed the songwriter's description of that God who created the heavens and earth--"holy." Holy means "the state of being holy, that is, set apart to receive worship and service." My God is Lord of all. That is who I give my praise to.

Now I have my object clearly defined even when my mind is hazy with a lack of understanding.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Weak at His Will

Ohh. It is so hard to spend time away from praising God! It actually hurts. I wanna be there so bad.

I love God so much. I can feel his firm grip on my life. I can feel his close presence. I can sense he is there in everything. In everything that I do (when I am half-awake at least), He is there, watching the activity, as I do, around me. I don't have time to pray when I am in a conversation with someone. But God knows that. Yet my heart is longing for leading just the same and God meets my request. He gives me words everyday, and I am amazed.

I praise God because He has made me so willing to be lead. Let me tell you--I was left confused by the good intentions of my parents, and five years ago I remember sitting on the kitchen floor admitting to God "I don't trust you enough. I need to lead my own life. I can't trust anyone anymore." But He has healed me and shown me His goodness. "Try my yoke," He keeps saying to me. Mmmm.

Some of my most favorite moments with God is when I get to be all by myself and go out of my home. I don't have any other obligations given by God. For instance, if children were with me I wouldn't be given a chance to serve Him in a way that would make me put the children's supervision or safety at stake. But when I am by myself, I walk slow. I watch the people around me. I wait. And God always uses me. How awesome is that?

I'm not one to toot my own horn (at least, I know it is a terrible weakness of mine to be prideful so I try very hard to play down what others would praise me for). When God says, "Go!" it is an exciting thing. Maybe I should leave it at that.

What greater thing can there be than this?

I was wondering this today. My Lord has one of the last major strongholds of my heart now. I am weak in the face of knowing His will. I am willing. What is left? Certainly nothing that can upset me. His love is too close and too great. So what must be left is only something more deep; future earth-shattering ways that God will use me to glorify Himself. I almost shudder to imagine....

Friday, July 01, 2005


What is a relationship with Jesus' fundamental function look like?

"because they will not turn to me and let me heal them."

It's so simple. The things I am hurt about, confused about, worried about--those are the things God wants from me. Not my "deeds." Not my "works." Just my heart. For out of the heart springs all the words and deeds which are most true to my identity and spiritual destination.

Any day, I say when I get hurt: "That hurt me, God, when that happened. Be there for me?? Make it go away. Make me whole and healed. Then, next time I see that person, I won't be still hurt, but it instead will be easy to make sure I am taking care of them. Then they will see that you are a good God; a healer."

And isn't this summarized by the greatest commandment? Examine the steps to greater exaultation: Love your neighbor. = Treat others as better than yourself. = Whoever loses his life will gain it. = This is how we know what love is; Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

It is easy to be "others-oriented" when all your own needs are met! When you're full-up on love, it's no sweat to smile! "Why do you fight and quarrel? Is it not because you do not have what you want?" Isn't that James, in the bible?

The way that we become like what the bible commands is through letting us be loved personally by the Lord God Almighty.

I have been warned in counsel to not be afraid to take help from others. To not think of it as diminishing God's chance to give me strength. It is not a sin against God to accept relief in human channels, because depending on the source, God is intending to use others to minister to me, and God wants me to be plain in my weakness to others.

But for now that is more theory and uninspiring, than noteworthy. I praise God that He has shown himself to be the only relationship that matters. I like it this way, especially now that I am more comfortable with his healing my brokenness. I really am growing to think that I like letting God alone meet my needs--the distressed without satisfaction-kind of needs. Which is formulated into almost every decision I make, really....

My husband is a tremendously godly man. I thank God for his every way. If there were any exception to this, my husband is exceptional for being so ready and so rightly placed by God to love me even in a way that mimics God and not mere mortals. He is so far ahead of me in that progression I outlined above--a minister to others instead of a "ministered-to"-type. I hope to mimic him with time.

You know what I love about God?

I love how he was so jealous that He has killed my sense for human oneness. Even six months ago I could watch any bit of any movie which had for example a love interest element, and my heart would be in it. Either a little bit or a lot. But I just don't have the room for it anymore. It doesn't make any emotional sense now. Is this weird? I find it to be quite relieving, actually. I listen to the lover in a movie say, "love is unkind--it tears apart and proves envy like nothing else." And I just think, "How foolish. He doesn't need to suffer so much. He's deluded. Go to God and you'll find real love."

It's not an anger or disillusionment which has caused the switch; that's the funny and interesting part. It's because I see how fragmented and unsoothing such a state of human connection always is. And I see it that way, because I currently have true love. I knew at the outset that there was good in my falling from grace in the sense of my search for human comradery... I began my thorough reorg under God's firm hand starting back in February. I wasn't afraid. Oh; yes, I was afraid, afraid for the depth of my evil, what I could be given or taken away, how I might hurt others... but I also was eager because I knew the miraculous end that was only a lofty goal then-now reality. I had a vision given by God that I would be free from misplaced human relationships through healing, and here I am, vision fulfilled.

People are spending all their time and effort making sketches of flowers to enjoy when they are living in a forest filled with them.

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