All That And A Scoop of Honey!

My son and I have been reading in the book of Judges, and we came across the story of Samson. My son immediately waved is hand dismissively, stating, “I know that story.” He’s had these manga bible stories for quite some time, and references them frequently, but like I usually tell him, those are animated and much of the text is omitted. They stick to the basics of the more well-known stories, but there is much lost if only something like that is relied on, because everything in that bible is there for a reason and a purpose. So, knowing the basics of the story myself, I was interested to see what God might point out to me.

We had already covered the beginning of Samson’s story, concerning the foretelling of his birth. So we started this particular study on chapter 14 of the book of Judges. However, I just want to dip back into the last verse of the previous chapter. Jdg 13:25   And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol. The word Dan means “A judge.” Zorah means “hornet,” and Eshtaol means “entreaty.” It seems that this is statement of God’s displeasure and his mercy in spite of His anger. Chapter 14 opens up with Samson going down into Timnah, which means “a portion,” and saw a Philistine (immigrants) woman he wanted. When he returned, he just ordered his parents to “get her for me;” as if they were at his beck and call. This was the first thing that disturbed me about his disposition. brock_samson_face_detail_2_by_suarezartJdg 14:2   Then he came up, and told his father and mother, “I saw one of the daughters of the Philistines at Timnah; now get her for me as my wife.” I mean think about this. This guy was called to be a Nazarite for life, prior to his birth. I’m sure his parents followed what the angel instructed them to do in chapter 13, without question. So Samson’s hair was never cut. He never drank fermented drink or ate a grape of raisin a day in his life, and he was a vegetarian – he had never touched or been near anything dead. Now he’s grown and is arrogant. He shows a total lack of respect for his parents in the manner in which he speaks to them.

As a man of God, a Nazarite in particular, he was separated to be holy for God. Its a spiritual thing. God intended to use him for his purposes. The thing is, God can use anyone, but this guy was specifically set apart to be holy for God’s purposes. Apparently, his being set apart caused some measure of conceitedness in Samson, because this seems to be reflected in the manner in which he treated his parents, and the arrogance he displayed. Even after his parents questioned his choice in verses 3-4, he dismissed it, but regardless of his arrogance, this was about God’s intents and purposes.

But his arrogance was displayed again as he and his parents were going to Timnah again to see about this woman. As they approached these vineyards, a young lion came roaring towards him. We think that his parents ducked into the vineyard for safety per Samson’s directive, and he went charging towards the lion. The reason we think this is because after he killed this lion, he didn’t tell his parents what he had done. Obviously, he was not on the path or the road when he fought and killed that lion. His parents weren’t in the area with him when this happened, and I’m sure they would have reprimanded him, because, he’s not supposed to be near dead things. samson_by_willustration-d3i9ptlWhat’s worse is that he went back to that same carcass some time later (verse 8). He specifically turned aside to look at the dead carcass of that lion. If you read Numbers 6: 1-21, it details what a Nazarite is, what the requirements are, and what they can and cannot do, or eat or touch, etc;. One of the things specified is not only not touching any dead thing, but Nazarites cannot even be near a dead thing. So Samson, being raised as a Nazarite, was fully aware of these rules regarding Nazarite law, yet he chose to turn aside to look at this dead carcass.

Not only did he make this choice to turn aside and look at the carcass, but in addition, in verse 9 he saw a swarm of bees and honey inside the dead carcass, and he scooped out some of it and ate it, and took some for his parents; again, not telling them where he got it. Now obviously, the reason for the omission with his parents was because he had violated Nazarite law. What I don’t get is, why would you want to eat honey that is inside a dead carcass. I mean, that “some time later” was at least a full day according to Strong’s Concordance. That means that carcass has had time to decay. The minute something dies, it begins to decay; there is no holding period. Samson not only scooped honey from a decaying carcass, but then, he ate half and gave half to his parents, as if he needed collaborators with him in his sin.

Even if having collaborators could have excused him, his parents weren’t Nazarites like he was, and furthermore, they were unaware of where he obtained the honey from. I can’t imagine that anyone, apparently outside of Samson; would be willing to eat honey oozing from a dead carcass if they knew that that was where it came from. It’s disgusting. Apparently, he was so full of himself, that he thought he could just violate Nazarite law, and nothing would happen. But, death was attached to the honey.

While Samson was satisfying his appetites through the lust of his eyes and the lust of his flesh in violation of Nazarite law; that law would eventually catch up to him. What appeared to be so sweet and attractive at that moment would later materialize into death and destruction first in the spiritual realm and subsequently physical realm. Sometimes, all it takes is one thought; just one wrong decision can lead you down the path to destruction. For me, if I had found out that someone I loved and trusted brought me food from inside a decaying carcass (that, furthermore, had been cooking in the sun a day already); I would never trust that person again. Its inexcusable and difficult to imagine that he would do that to his parents, but it confirms the point I made earlier about his lack of respect for both his parents and for God. But what I see here is not only his arrogance and contempt, which eventually led to his downfall; but also the reasons for his downfall, which are found in Numbers 6.

Num 6:6   All the days that he separateth [himself] unto the LORD he shall come at no dead body.

Num 6:8   All the days of his separation he [is] holy unto the LORD.

What I see here is that his parents may have spoiled him a bit, considering their careful consideration of what the angel had told them about this child; and especially because they had waited so long, and tried for a long time to have a child. He was an only child, and I’m sure, because of his being set apart for the Lord, he was catered to – to some degree, because he was considered to be very special as a Nazarite. There are Nazarites that are separated for life, and some that simply choose to take the Nazarite vow for a certain period of time, like Paul did. However, the bible only mentions 3 people who were Nazarites for life: Samson, Samuel, and John the Baptist. The thing is, there is a certain procedure that is supposed to be followed if, for instance, someone dies in the presence of the Nazarite. This is detailed here:

Num 6:9   And if any man die very suddenly by him, and he hath defiled the head of his consecration; then he shall shave his head in the day of his cleansing, on the seventh day shall he shave it.

Num 6:10   And on the eighth day he shall bring two turtles, or two young pigeons, to the priest, to the door of the tabernacle of the congregation:

Num 6:11   And the priest shall offer the one for a sin offering, and the other for a burnt offering, and make an atonement for him, for that he sinned by the dead, and shall hallow his head that same day.

Num 6:12   And he shall consecrate unto the LORD the days of his separation, and shall bring a lamb of the first year for a trespass offering: but the days that were before shall be lost, because his separation was defiled.

Its not like you cannot begin your separation again, but there is a process; an order to how that works and it is the law of the Nazarites, which, no doubt, Samson was well aware of. However, Samson was so arrogant, and so full of contempt for God, that he disregarded the law regarding the separation process for holiness. Additionally, he refused to even acknowledge that he had made himself unclean. maxresdefaultSo in light of this, my question was why did God continue to use him? The simple answer is, God is able to use anyone He chooses to achieve His purposes, even someone who has violated this special law of holiness. My son and I discussed this at length, and determined that this law applies to a spiritual condition, but does not negate God’s ability to move in power through the vessel of his choice.

Samson’s arrogance and disregard of the privilege he had as a Nazarite was not lost on God, but there was work to be done first, to complete God’s purpose, prior to the time of Samson’s arrogance to be reconciled. God withheld judgment on the spiritual violation until later, so that He could use Samson to fulfill his purposes against the Philistines. Anyone can be used of God, but don’t think for a minute that He will allow a chosen vessel to escape judgment for blatant arrogance and disobedience to his law. He’ll be forgiven if he seeks forgiveness and repents. However, there will be a penalty. After all, Jesus said, Jhn 14:15   If ye love me, keep my commandments.

A Matter of Consideration

This world is so backwards. Last weekend the people that live a few buildings north of me had another of their big parties. Now normally, they aren’t too troublesome with their parties. Generally speaking, they tend to be respectful of the neighbors. They don’t play their music so loud that we hear it thundering through every room in our house. We hear it, but its not so bad as to be a disruption unless we are trying to sleep; and even then, its usually just the bass beat that we hear. I told them quite some time ago that their guests could not park in my yard, and for the most part, they have respected that. But every once in a while, there’s always one or two individual guests of theirs that want to give us a hard time about that. They act like they have the right to park anywhere they choose. Last week was an example of this.

So you are probably wondering why I don’t allow people to park in my yard. Its not because my grass is in such stellar condition. We’ve had a few issues with people both from our neighborhood, and outside it, with that same idea and disposition; the sentiment that they are entitled to park anywhere they choose. Unfortunately, I presently live in the neighborhood of necessity, instead of choice. That translates to mean that I live in an area where a lot of lawless types live or frequent. It is amplified by the fact that there is a good deal of cultural diversity, but predominantly, it is dominated by one outside culture.

Because of this, the level of civility and consideration for neighbors is almost non-existent. People from this particular dominant culture don’t tend to be in the habit of demonstrating respect for their neighbors; at least, I have yet to see evidence of this. Two years ago we had a blatant example of this. This little church down the street apparently was one of the havens of the independence celebration these people were having. My street became so filled with traffic that it was like I95. People who did not live in the neighborhood were just trolling – driving through with their flags flying from their cars; hanging out of windows, yelling and carrying on. There were so many people rolling through that police attendants were stationed throughout the neighborhood, including on the corner where I live.

Unbeknownst to me, people were parking in my yard, as apparently, they had been parking all down the street to where this little church was. I stepped outside to see cars lining my yard, and someone coming out of his car after parking in my yard. I immediately informed him that he needed to move his car; he could not park there. I then proceeded to ask the officers on the corner what was going on. I asked them what was to be done about all these vehicles parked in my yard, as I did not want them there. The officer said they would call the police, as these were simply from the city to help with the traffic problems.

The thing that gets me the most about them parking in my yard, is that there is a big empty lot directly across the street from my house, on the south east corner. It is not fenced in, and no one would be bothered if they parked there, but instead, they insist on parking in everyone’s yard. My neighbors directly south of me, belong to this cultural group, and the irate wife was standing outside when I spoke to the officers about the cars. She looked very angry but I didn’t care, because for one thing, she exemplifies the problems within this cultural group.

Her behavior is always very loud, rude, and disrespectful. She fails to control her children, (5) who are constantly a disturbance at all hours of the day and night; and her family members, including the kids, are very nosy, and have a habit of intruding into my yard and causing damage to my plants, trees, and the water sprinkler system. This is one of those people that you know on sight to leave alone; don’t just get involved with.

Needless to say, the police arrived with a tow truck, and they began telling people to move their vehicles out of my yard or risk being towed. The reason most of the people knew to come move their cars, is because aside from the woman looking at me with anger, there was a man from their same culture who was standing in the middle of the street between her house and mine, giving me the same angry look. He was calling on his cellphone to people to tell them to come move their cars.

Personally, I didn’t like the way this particular officer was addressing it. He came and spoke to me, telling me about how they’ve had problems with “these people” every year. This was the first time we had noticed this particular situation, so maybe the problems they had was on another street. However, I still thought his mannerisms with this one old guy was a bit harsh, because he failed to get there to move his truck before the tow truck loaded it. I was willing to let him go, but the officer told him he was trespassing when he tried to talk to me; and they told him he had to pay $100 to get the car now, or more at the lot if they towed it.

My reasons for having the cars moved, is that in every scenario that involves people parking on the swale, it is always first – a right they think they have, yet it is my yard. Second and most predominant, they cause damage and then drive away without regard for the damage. Either their tires have dug deep grooves into my grass; or worse, they have left my yard strewn with their discards and garbage.

It is not my job to clean up after someone else’s party; and I don’t say this because I wasn’t invited. These are not the type of people I choose to associate with, so its not like I care about their party nor want to go. I don’t want the mess in my yard, and currently, because my house is a corner lot, on the corner of a well travelled street for people trying to get to the main avenues, my yard is already being used as a garbage dump by pedestrians.

I saw the condition of the angry neighbor’s yard after this celebration was done. She had allowed a bunch of people, mostly teenagers, park on the side of her yard. They sat out there drinking, yelling and screaming for several hours, with their loud music blasting through my house; and when they had finally left, her yard was a disaster. Empty bottles and cans were everywhere.

Now, its not like her kids don’t throw all kinds of junk and trash around in her yard already. They throw junk into my yard as well, which is why I don’t want them in my yard. Her back yard, which is fenced in, is like a junk yard, literally. Her fence has big gaps and you can see all the junk back there, broken glass, huge metal drums…I mean, it is really like a junk yard. I don’t even understand how she lets her kids play back there, but like I said, she doesn’t seem to be too mindful of what they are doing.

This same disregard for people’s property is the reason why I don’t let anyone park in my yard for any of the neighbor’s parties. Like I said, there is a large empty lot right across the street that they could use without causing inconvenience to any of the neighbors, but that is the last thing these people want to do. Consideration is not at the top of their list in any circumstance.

So last week, a few of this neighbor’s party-goers began parking in my yard. I came outside and began telling them that they needed to move their vehicles. Two guys immediately moved without giving us any problems, as they were just pulling up when I came out. Smoker hip aggressiveTwo females sitting on a car parked across the street in my neighbor’s front yard began to give my son and I some abusive verbal lip service, and two guys decided that they needed to challenge us, so they decided to show out.

They approached us individually first, with the first guy posturing with aggressive body gestures like the dude from the smoking commercial. He wanted to get loud and boisterous, stating with his arms flailing, that this was “HIS NEIGHBORHOOD AND HE CAN DO WHAT HE WANTS!”  This guy doesn’t even live on our street.

I wasn’t impressed. I told my son to come in the house, but he was still trying to reason with them amidst all the verbal abuse. Then this other guy came up with even more aggressive behavior, that was meant to be threatening. He got in my son’s face, jabbing his hand at him, and according to my son, he actually stuck his hand in his mouth. I saw him jabbing at him, but until he came in the house, hot as he could be, I did not know the man actually touched him.

He was ready to get a weapon and confront the guy. He’s 19. I had to catch him and correct him. I told him that those guys were not worth him going to jail for and messing his life up over. That’s not how you handle this. You don’t stoop to their level. For all their noise and posturing, I simply told them that I’m not going to argue with them. If the cars weren’t removed, I would call the police. And that was all I needed to say. I have nothing to prove. I have no need to be concerned with impressing anyone. It’s just a fact.

They were infringing on my property, and I was within my rights to tell them to move their vehicles. Whether they like it or not, is not a concern. And, without having to showboat, I calmly got my point across, because 3 officers arrived, and an older woman from the apartments that were having the party, came running down the street to tell those people not to park in my yard. I told one officer that normally, the party hosts were respectful with their parties and generally not a problem, but they had some guests that got too disrespectful with my son and myself when we told them they could not park in our yard, and that necessitated the call to them.

They asked me for my name and if I was willing to call them back if anything else developed and press charges, because the dude who came at me talking smack about he could do what he wants, had already gotten in one officer’s face with a threatening gesture. I told them I’d call if there were any more problems. Simple. Done. And there were no more problems. The officers made everyone parked in a neighbor’s yard move their vehicles and directed them to the empty lot. The party was very quiet after that.

My mom got upset when I had told her a week or two ago about a similar situation with some people in the apartments just west of us.  She was upset over the fact that I went out there, or my son, to speak to these people, but in my mind, I was trying to be considerate of their party and give them the opportunity to adjust or modify the problem without calling the police first, which is normally my immediate action. It was the same thing with this other group.

They were having a party, and this started around 1 or 2 in the afternoon. By 11pm, we were tired of it, because they played their particular style of Caribbean music very loudly, and were generally very noisy. They were parking on the side of my yard in the back as the apartments were on the side of the well travelled street that runs next to my house. When I walked outside and past them, I was assessing first. As I came back, I asked whose vehicles were parked in my yard?

One tall guy came up to me and began to tell me that I must understand that they are having a birthday party. I told him I understood that, and had no problem with that, but I wanted to know how much longer this was going to go on, because the noise had been going on most of the day. I also told him that they had to move the cars. He started to get boisterous with me, because when he first responded about not moving the cars, I told him that it was very simple, and either the cars are moved, or I call the police.

He began getting louder and more physically aggressive and threatening, lying and claiming that he lives in the apartments. I interrupted him,  “Dude! Bring it down a few levels. I’m not going to argue with you. I know you don’t live around here because I’ve never seen you before. Listen, you are asking me to have consideration of the fact that you are having a party. I’m fine with your party. But at the same time you are asking me to consider your party, you are failing to consider that the neighbors here have been putting up with your party for hours now. All I want to know is how much longer are we going to have to put up with the noise. We’d like to get some sleep.”

At that, he calmed down and told me to give them one more hour. They moved their cars and as he said, they left after an hour. I do try to be reasonable, but I expect some consideration in return. When I go to parties my friends host, if I park in someone’s swale, I always check with the party host, to be sure its ok to park there. The parties I go to are never loud and noisy enough to disturb any of the host’s neighbors. We are always mindful of that. I don’t think its too unreasonable to expect the same in return.

A Slight Change in Direction

laptop_problems-300x199As I’m sure most of my readers have noticed, I have been incognito of late. There’s a reason for that. First of all, I was working two jobs for a little while. In addition, my laptop was apparently in pc hell, because of viruses. I found out the hard way that when a Microsoft system is in your computer, either McAfee or Norton security is included, even if you don’t want either of those products.

I already had Kaspersky, a security system I liked, but when I removed the system Windows included to install Kaspersky, it uninstalled everything, but left the files where the viruses were that it had quarantined. So those viruses were free to roam through my computer and infect it. A nice little parting gift from McAfee.

The worse part, according to the outsourced Kaspersky reps who were really undercover peddlers of Microsoft support packages; is that the Kaspersky security could not stop those viruses, because they were contained in a hidden McAfee file that Kaspersky could not access. So those viruses did a job on my computer because I was unwilling to buy into the con-job from the undercover Microsoft reps that were outsourced Kaspersky techs. Sound complicated? Yeah, I was a bit bamboozled at first too.

So my laptop was out of commission for about 6 months. First because I couldn’t afford to get it fixed. However, God blessed me with a (former) client at my job who was so appreciative of my massage technique, and how I was able to release her pain problem, that she offered to enlist her father, who is some sort of technical wizard with computers. She said she would have her daddy fix it for me, so I drove into the next county where she lived…miles away, mind you, to drop it off to her for the repairs. That was about 2 months into the 6 months.

After her father contacted me to let me know that I needed a new drive, I sent a previous one that I had saved from my other laptop when the machine got damaged. So when I finally mailed one, it was still another few months without the laptop until I would get it back; mostly due to transportation issues I had, and scheduling conflicts trying to meet for me to retrieve it.

Nevertheless, in that time frame, I was back at the library to do my online interactions. But, when God wants to bring you into a new arena, certain of the old things in your life must change or else there is no room for the new. I was very dissatisfied with the first job I had at the doctor’s office. I liked the work, but not the conditions in which I worked. So I took another part-time job in lieu of leaving the first job.

That second job was at a very nice, new spa franchise that had a young, very nice manager. I really liked her, and the spa, even though it doesn’t fit with what I do. This issue was something I had brought to the manager’s attention when I was being interviewed, as I was surprised that, based on my resume, she had hired me for her spa. She explained that her customers were always requesting deep tissue massage; so knowing that I was more of a deep tissue specialist, she had emailed me twice after seeing my resume; before I responded.

After a month, she realized that I was right, as she determined that it was not a good fit; and that despite how much she liked me, she had to let me go. It was simply unfortunate that this happened to occur on the very evening after I had submitted a letter of resignation at the first job. She emailed it that same night, and I didn’t receive it until the following morning.

Right after I had gotten hired at that spa, my car, which I had felt was dying for some time, finally coughed up its last breath. It was simply not worth the investment to repair because there were too many major problems and repairs needed, so I let it go. I had been utilizing the public transportation, which I didn’t mind because I get more exercise from walking to catch the buses, and I have a tendency to bike ride more often. So aside from a few creepy, stinky people at the main terminal, it has not been bad.

Additionally, I had taken that second job at the spa, because it was on the same main road as the first job, and I took the same bus route to get there. When I submitted the letter of resignation, I had prayed about the situation for more than a week prior to submitting the letter. I was looking for the situation to play out a certain way, to make it conducive for me to leave the letter. The situation was exactly what I prayed for, which is why the email from the manager of the spa caught me so off guard the following day. I was so elated to have finally left the first job, as I had been aching to leave there for months prior.

Imagine my surprise, when I was at the library, about to leave for the second job, when I got the email. It was a big let down, especially because I had already submitted the resignation letter the evening before. Would I go back and beg for my job back? Heck no. I was done there. I had reached the point where I couldn’t stomach going into that office. There was no going back. But, what was I to do, having lost 2 jobs in the space of 24 hours?

Believe me when I tell you that the enemy attempted to attack me in that vulnerable moment. The thought he attacked me with was, “Wow! Two jobs in 1 day…what a loser you are!” So for about 5 minutes, I felt a little down. However, I recovered quickly when I realized, “Wait a minute! This is just too coincidental! God knew that the manager at the second job was intending to let me go Tuesday. He knew this long before I submitted that letter of resignation on Monday! Yet, He set everything up perfectly in order for me to do so! That was no coincidence. He’s got something better for me!”

Naturally, when I had this revelation at the end of April, I set out to find out what that new, better thing was…and I think I’ve found it. It is something I’ve been praying for a while now…something to do with my calling and purpose here. I know this because it is not only what I have been asking for, but also, it is a part of the meaning of my name, and I can’t wait to reveal it to you all.

What To Do If Your Landlord Breaches The Lease Contract

Landlord-Tenant-Disputes-_-Hollywood-FloridaAs a single mom, I’ve had quite a few run-ins with Landlords over the years, and the struggle is always in understanding and figuring out what your rights are when the Landlord is trying to strong-arm you or extort more money from you.To be frank, I’m sick of these guys I’m currently dealing with. The first offense was about two years ago, when my heel got caught in the doorway of my son’s room as the door was being shut. It caused a minor dent at the bottom of the door; one that could easily have been fixed by wood putty and some paint.
However, my Landlord chose instead, to replace the entire door; an unrequested service, for which, he charged me $170; what he called the “industry standard.” What bugged me more was that the son-of-a-biscuit kept the old door, which like I said, could easily be fixed and, I’m sure, he reused it elsewhere, charging someone else for a new door too. If I paid for a new door, the old door belongs to me, not him!
So last December, in the busyness of the season, I made an error on the check I wrote for that month’s rent. It was late, I was away from home, and did not have my rental portion on my person, to verify if the amount was correct. It had just recently been changed by HUD, so I still had the previous amount in my head. In my efforts to ensure the rent was submitted on time, I wrote out the check with the wrong amount, and put it the drop box for the Landlord the night of 11/30, and then caught the error two days later on 12/2. I immediately called the Landlord and left a message stating that I was unsure whether or not I had written the correct amount on the check, and wanted to verify it.
I requested that the Landlord contact me and let me know either way, if the check amount was correct; and if not, what was the difference outstanding, so that I could immediately give them another check to cover this error. No one responded. Mind you, I wasn’t sure if the check was wrong. I know what my checkbook stated, but I didn’t know if I had written the same on the check, or if I had written the check correctly, and simply erred in my checkbook. Since no one had contacted me, I sent an email with the same message on 12/5, and then I waited. Again, no one responded.
Those first two dates, were the only dates I definitely documented. I did call several more times leaving the same message, but I didn’t document those dates, and regardless, no response was ever given during the entire month of December. So I began to think that maybe I had just made an error in my checkbook. I kept looking for a rent payment of the normal amount being processed in my bank, but didn’t see any.
The Landlord, who had also tried to run a game on me with regard to an additional stipulation he had placed in the lease; failed to provide the lease for my review and signing until 5 days before it was due. He claimed in the lease that I was agreeing to it, because it involved an expense he was supposed to incur for days vacated for extermination that he was trying to push off onto me. He then emailed my case worker and falsely claiming difficulties with my email, which is an Outlook account with a Hotmail extension, so that he could justify not contacting me sooner, and have her email me to tell me about signing the lease.
He also tried to tell me at one point per his convenience, that he’s an IT tech, and that his server doesn’t receive emails from “free” email services. He stated that I’m “getting what I pay for.” His attempts to fabricate these issues started back in 2013. When I checked all my email communications with him, there were apparently no issues until about November of that year. He claimed to have changed his server close to that timeframe.
However, when I took his email extension (the part after @ and including the .net) and put it into the address bar, it pulled up his site. Funny thing is, the very front page of his site lists all the free email services which are good to use, my Hotmail account included.
cyndant_net1cyndant_net2But I didn’t stop there. I went to and looked up that same, and it pulled up info on who the server host was… So I went to GODADDY, and what did their first page show me? It lists their services, and what email service was listed there? Microsoft Office 365. When I clicked on that, it showed Q & A about Outlook…the exact same email service I have my Hotmail extension through.
godaddy_com main pagegodaddy_com support pageBut, I went a step further. I contacted a GODADDY tech who ran his email extension, the .net through their Outlook system, and confirmed that there was no problem with their system receiving any emails from GODADDY’S Outlook program or any extension listed within Outlook.
Lastly, I did a GOOGLE search to find out the timeframe of the Outlook takeover of the Hotmail accounts. It was about 6 months prior to the beginning of this fabrication by the Landlords about problems with my emails. Microsoft Outlook took over Hotmail in May of 2013, and the Landlords began complaining about issues with my email in November of that same year. You’d think an IT tech would have known this. It was all just a ploy to enable them to pick and choose what maintenance requests and messages they wanted to answer or acknowledge.
I thought that we would end up in court, so I gathered all this information, just in case. The Landlord finally contacted me on 1/12, but his message was only about the lease agreement. At that time, I was not taking calls due to illness. I did respond and leave him at least 2 messages, again requesting the information about the December rent. Each time he called and left me a message, he was intentionally vague, only stating that there was a discrepancy, but not giving me the amount as requested.
When I recovered, I spoke to him on 1/17, and finally on that date, he indicated the shortage; a month and a half later. He acted like he did me a favor, claiming that he waived the late fee for December on the 5th of that month, which meant that he did receive my messages; he just refused to answer them. This was so that he could snowball the situation into a perpetual late fee collection. He stated that he took my January rent, which was the full amount paid on time, and applied it to the December discrepancy; thereby causing January’s rent to be late, and charging me late fees for it.
At that point, he attempted to negotiate payment. I agreed to two payments to try to get the rent current, yet pointed out that it was his fault the situation happened in the first place. This effort failed because the first payment I made never cleared as a result of bank errors due to another dispute I was having since November with an insurance company. As a result, I stopped all payments to him; first because I was sure he had made some sort of legal violation with his actions, and second because I didn’t want to write a check I couldn’t guarantee, while the other dispute was still looming in the background.
He and his nasty partner began sending me threats via email and priority airmail; citing my responsibilities per the lease. I was pretty angry by this time, so I fired off a letter myself, exposing his lies and manipulation attempts, and the outright extortion he was blatantly attempting. I thought for sure we’d have to move, and I was ok with that. However, the logistics had me concerned, so I prayed about it. Not only did I pray about it, but I had my bible study group also praying about the situation for several weeks, as it was ongoing.
As soon as I gave it to God, I calmed down. I experienced such peace about the whole situation, even with the possibility of eviction looming; and answers started coming. Answers that showed me where we would go immediately should we have to move. A place was being made available and even storage provided by a friend that I had been helping for several months. So if we needed to vacate, we were covered.
Finally, I went to Legal Aid seeking some assistance. In truth, I only wanted to know what my options and rights were. I really wasn’t looking for them to take on my case. I also sought the same assistance via HUD, but neither of these agencies offered me a bit of help. One would think that at least HUD, who is also involved via a Section 8 voucher; would have at least explained my options and rights; especially to ensure that I was not violating their regulations with this situation. But they only fussed at me for giving them so much documentation, which I gave them to cover my “assets”. They only stated that they don’t get involved in disputes between Landlords and tenants.
Finally, when all those doors were closed, I went first to the Better Business Bureau, because after all, the Landlord has an incorporated business that he rents property through. I figured, if he’s a business, I can file a complaint against his business for public record, just like he would place information on my credit file for public record.
The Better Business Bureau’s site indicated that they only accept complaints regarding product and service issues in the marketplace. They referred other complaints to the consumer protection agency of the state; namely, the Attorney General’s office. So I filed a complaint there.
Additionally, I went to to see if I could get some legal advice. For $34, I could state my entire situation, and ask any questions I needed answered, to better understand my rights and options in the situation. Here is the answer I received from them:
It is not illegal for a landlord to wait to communicate, but it is a breach of contract if the tenant asks the landlord for a statement on the account balance, for the landlord to refuse to do so and then seek to charge any late fees for doing so. If there is a discrepancy in a Section 8 tenancy rent and the landlord will not communicate so that the discrepancy can be cleared up and late charges in the future can be avoided, first the tenant needs to contact the Section 8 office and notify them in writing about the landlord refusing to provide a correct accounting for the amount due by the tenant.
Second, if the landlord is trying to charge any late fees, you said they waived the late fee on this one time, based on the landlord’s refusal to communicate the accurate amount due so it could be corrected by the tenant, then the legal theory of “estoppel” applies. The legal theory of “estoppel” states that if the landlord’s own conduct, their refusal to tell you what the discrepancy is so you can correct it, causes the late payment then the landlord cannot seek to hold the tenant at fault for the late payments.

Then I asked if this breach gives me the right to move out. This was his answer:
He has breached the lease by refusing to provide you the proper information regarding balance due and correct monthly payment amount. The breach is not one that impairs the habitability of the premises, so no, it is not grounds to move, it is grounds to sue to force him to correct any issues with his billing process.
The great thing about this service is, the lawyer that answers your question usually specializes in the field that pertains to your issue. The other benefit is that you can email the attorney and respond with further questions if his answer did not clear up all matters pertaining to your inquiry. They ask you to rate your satisfaction with the attorney and give you the option to tip him, but I thought that $34 for 10-15 minutes of his time was enough. You also have the option of checking their system for previous answers on similar topics. If you do that, you pay nothing to get your answer, and believe me, there are tons of Q & A on their site that you can peruse to find the answers to your legal questions.
As soon as I got this answer, I immediately composed a letter to the Landlord, which I  sent priority post; telling him that I spoke with an attorney who told me that he breached the lease, and quoted the attorney’s statements above. I stated that I was not willing to negotiate any payment agreements, until it was understood and agreed upon by him, that he could not penalize me for ANY late payments while I was making payments on the arrears; until all arrears were caught up. Despite his efforts to find a way around it, he had no choice but to agree, and after 3.5 months, the matter is now resolved. I kept my peace, trusted God and waited and He took care of it. God is amazing!

A Time of Testing

A friend and I have been helping each other out with a few things. We have been helping each other for a little while now, and he was supposed to hook me up 3 weeks ago as well as last week, but fell through again. That is the edited version of the situation.

When he was not able to reciprocate for me as agreed upon and give back per our general mutual agreement; I got frustrated, and thought to myself, “Really?!? I can’t believe this! Here I am providing x, y and z for him, and he’s not reciprocating and giving back…” and then it hit me.


Any time you are in a storm situation, any help that friends or family gives is like shelter in the midst of that storm, regardless of what the storm may be or what type. So when he didn’t come through after I had been “sheltering” him for several months now, I was quite upset. “Oh wow!” I thought. “This must be how God feels after He provides (shelter) for us time and again, and we don’t tithe and give back.”

After all, this relationship with God is reciprocal just like my relationship with this friend. God expects us to follow His ways and live according to His word; to obey. He has plenty of blessings for us, but He also has plenty of work for us to do on His behalf. The harvest is plentiful and the workers are few.

It’s like if my son was working, and did not contribute to the household, but simply kept his money because he thinks it belongs to him, or because he is simply being selfish; I would have had a similar reaction. I think my sentiment would be, “I can’t believe that this boy….again? He’s not giving me anything?!?! After I’ve been providing for him for 19 years?!?”

At the time that this thought had occurred to me about my friend, I was gearing up for full self-righteous mode, and as soon as the above sentiment hit my noggin, it was as if God whispered to me, “See how I feel?” Man! That was a very quick slap back into reality. After all, I’ve been reading Psalms 91 of late, and getting a real breakdown on what it is really saying and how explicit this covenant of protection actually is.

While visiting our church this past Sunday, Dr. Bob Barnes said that even if we think we are being taken advantage of by someone we try to help; we should be grateful, because even in that, God has privileged us with the opportunity to work for Him. We should actually hope that someone would try to take advantage, because it affords us that opportunity.

Funny thing is, it was this same friend that gave this Psalm 91 book to me, yet his family seems to be so under attack from all sides. I was surprised about it when I began reading the book, which he stated that certain family members have read; yet still they are under major attack that is doing some physical damage. I wondered about this same thing when it came to Job. You see, Job prayed daily for his family like he was worried about them.

Job 1:5

When these celebrations ended—sometimes after several days—Job would purify his children. He would get up early in the morning and offer a burnt offering for each of them. For Job said to himself, “Perhaps my children have sinned and have cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular practice.

My mom does the same thing. If she can’t reach me by phone for a day or two, she’s freaking out. She says she prays for us all the time, but it seems like its done out of worry, not faith. She worries because she already lost my baby brother in 2012. We are all she has left since my older brother has distanced himself.

So like Job, she prays out of fear. Job feared his kids had sinned and had cursed God in their hearts. She doesn’t think we do that. She is just constantly fearful about losing anything and anyone, especially us since my brother’s passing.

Psa 91:1

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

There should be no fear because if you are dwelling in the shelter of the Most High, you are at rest. So is my mom dwelling there? Was Job? The other question is, did Job know about these promises? Did he know about his faith being great enough to cover his family and protect them as well as him?

Psa 91:10

no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent

Your tent is representing your household; your family. So the question is, did Job know about this promise and more importantly, did he believe it? His actions say otherwise.

Psa 91:2

I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Trust is truly the issue, because if you really trust that God is a God of integrity; if you know that He never goes back on His word or any of His promises to us, then you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that He will protect both you and yours…if you are dwelling in that secret place; the shelter of the Most High that is.

If you live in fear, it will directly affect your kidneys, and indirectly affect your stomach through worry, and affect heart through sadness or distress. Speaking of distress, there’s a spider that has made its home on my side view mirror on my car. Not that I’m upset about it, but I have been observing it. I watched as it rolled up a breakfast snack in what looked like sheets of webbing; when I thought each roll of the webbing would only be threads and would take much longer.

But the thing about this spider is where he has chosen to position himself. Granted, the web he has woven near my mirror is an amazing work of art; so delicate and intricate. It manages to capture every leaf, bud or twig that falls from any trees I may park under. In normal city driving conditions, it seems to hold its own quite well.

However, when I get above 35 miles per hour, the web takes a serious hit. So it seems that pretty much every night, this spider must go to work, rebuilding his web; and he does this willingly. He doesn’t seem to mind at all. After all, he did position himself in what is, in essence, a wind tunnel.


Yet, imagine living your life day to day, or even year to year, and having to rebuild constantly like that. If you had a Job experience year after year, could you deal? My thought is that after a while, you must learn to live with a lot less, so that you lose a lot less, or…re-position yourself and move out of the wind tunnel.

With the spider, I think he actually enjoys it. It provides him with work…something to do. Building webs is his specialty. He probably takes pride in doing so (if a spider could take pride in such things) and enjoys the creative process of building a better, stronger, and more intricately designed web. And after he completes it, he gets to sit back and chill; rest and relax until his next meal comes along. Not a bad life, especially when you consider that a day is like a thousand years according to Genesis.

Two other observations I picked up on from this book on Psalms 91. The church tells us frequently to pray in the morning before starting our day. However, as the author of this book pointed out, Jesus did his praying at night, and walked in power with authority throughout the day.

Also, because Jesus was so much in the shelter of the Most High; because the relationship was so tight; he walked and lived in a realm in which evil did not, and could not come near him. We are protected from it. It is promised in the Psalm. Don’t mistake persecution for evil. Those are two different things.

So, right now, I’m in a wind tunnel position of sorts, however, like the spider, I know where to go. He goes in the crack of the side view mirror when the wind starts to kick up. I go to the Rock. And, I plan to reposition myself up out of that wind tunnel very, very soon.


Treacherous Insurance Companies

anger-rantlifestyle_comMan, was I hot a few weeks ago! These people from Esurance, an Allstate company; had me hoppin’ mad! Most of my day was spent addressing this nonsense they tried to pull on me. I’m sure this trap was the brain child of Allstate. It was clear that this is their standard process; part of their normal policy, and used on every person ignorant enough to purchase products or services from either company. It all started in November, when I naively purchased an insurance policy from Esurance for my car.

My previous insurer, Direct had proven to be totally unreliable due to extremely poor service. At the time I was still dealing with them, I couldn’t even get them to send me documentation they needed me to sign; neither via email or snail mail. Their website is a malfunctioning monster that I was extreme tired of fighting with on every renewal. The rapidly, ever changing quote amounts, even within the span of 1 hour, had infuriated me and I could not download or sign documents in their site; so I had requested several times with their reps that they send the documents. I even stated that I refused to make any further payments until they addressed this, so they had issued a cancellation notice.

Since I had no faith that they were going to get the documents to me on time, which I had been requesting for almost two months; I started looking for another company. I had just had enough. At the time I got the quote from Esurance, there was only about one week left on my previous policy. So I had an active car insurance policy at the time I processed the quote per their questionnaire. All I needed to do was pay the down-payment. My check was coming in two days after the cancellation date, and since I wanted to be sure funds were available, I had set the initiation date of the policy to 4 days after the cancellation date.

I wasn’t worried about the small gap because other insurance companies had told me previously that a canceled policy is not reported for about 30 days. Many previous insurers had told me that as long as the gap did not exceed 30 days, there was no rate increase. So I wasn’t worried about 4 days. On the 4th day, I purchased the insurance with Esurance. Their rate was just a few dollars above my previous insurance payment, so I accepted it because it was very close to the last low rate I had. I don’t need anything, but the most basic required insurance, because my car is old…a ’94. I still thought the cost was high for just PIP and liability, but this was the lowest price range I could find outside of Direct’s price.

Having previously had problems with Progressive a few years ago, I don’t even look in their direction for service. After I paid the down payment, Esurance contacted me stating that they needed to talk to me. Upon calling I found out that they wanted info from the previous insurer, and brought up a gap between insurance from the policy prior to the previous one. We called Direct and they gave them the info. No gap.

I thought that was it, but then the Esurance rep tells me that just the 4 day gap between the last policy and the initiation of theirs was going to cause my rate to increase over $100! I explained the reason for those 4 days, but she rudely informed me that that’s what the company was going to do, regardless. I was pretty ticked off, especially at her rude attitude with me about it. I told her to inform her managers that I wouldn’t be with the company long, since this was their position. So this brings us to what happened what really set me off.

You see, I had specifically given this company my Paypal credit card because I had been told by Paypal’s reps that since they have direct access to my account, they can verify if funds are available or not, and their system doesn’t process a payment if the funds are not available in my bank account. Since I had decided not to continue with Esurance, I never put funds in my online account. It is not linked to my main account, so I felt pretty assured that Esurance could not process and collect any more payments from my account. Paypal was supposed to be my safety net.

Imagine my surprise when I checked my account and found that Paypal had indeed processed the charge. So first, I fired off an email to Paypal, because if they don’t verify fund availability prior to processing a charge, their reps should not be misrepresenting information like that. Of course you know, that left a negative in my bank account, and, I realized, subsequent fees would be pending. Anger-driverlayer_comSo now you know why I was hot.

I called Esurance to cancel the policy, because I had already sent an email, but their site says you have to call them to cancel. That’s so they can attempt to manipulate you out of doing it. So I started off hot, but I went into ether….like sub-atomic levels of hotness after the runaround I got from the Esurance reps on the phone.

In the aggravation of going through their automated system, you get to a section where they say, if you have an account issue press 1. After that, you get three options. For cancellation, you press 2. Now, you’d think this would be where you get directed to a rep, but it isn’t. The automated system asks if you are cancelling and have already obtained another policy, press 1, but if you haven’t already gotten a policy, you press 2. This is where the manipulation begins, and thus the reason for this separation.

First you are left on hold for 15-20 minutes before an operator even picks up the line. This is every time, and even if you pressed 1 on that last question. If you are cancelling, they don’t care how long they leave you waiting. The rep finally came on the line. I stated very matter-of-factly that I was cancelling the policy. He asked for the policy info with all the coddling apologies for my wanting to cancel, then attempted to pry the reason out of me, but I was resolute. I told him I was not going into it with him, just cancel the policy. Then he asks me if I had another policy in place already. I stated that I had gotten my quote, and just had to pay and the policy would be activated.

So he said that what he could do is not to make the cancellation effective until midnight, that way, since I stated that I would be paying for the other policy that day, I would be covered until then. I agreed. Then he asked for my policy number, verified it, and upon seeing that I had not had the policy for more than 5 weeks, he began again to try to pry into the reason I was cancelling.

At that point I stated that I did not like the rate increase they did, and that I didn’t want to debate the issue; just cancel my policy. Here’s where his tune changed. He began to whine, like how someone might talk to a pet, pleading with it; stating that he had nothing to do with my issue with the billing dept. He was just trying his best to help me, so that I could keep my policy. I stated very firmly that I didn’t care what he said, I didn’t want the policy – to just cancel it! At that point, he stated that he couldn’t cancel my policy anyways, because of FL law that states that I cannot be uninsured!

He stated that I would have to supply him with a policy number from the new policy before he could cancel my insurance with Esurance. Five minutes ago, he was able to cancel it, but was allegedly doing me a favor, making the cancellation effective at midnight, but now suddenly, he can’t do it at all?!? And since when does an insurance company get to hold a customer hostage due to FL law? They refuse to cancel my policy??? I’ve never heard of such nonsense!

And let me tell you, if you want to cancel by allowing the policy to lapse, you can’t. They have their system set up so that you cannot change the charge card info in the website unless you put another card in there. You can’t erase the info, nor change it without replacing the info with another card’s info. So they are literally trying to hold people hostage. If I choose to cancel my policy, they don’t have the right to refuse to cancel it because FL law says I have to have insurance. If I don’t carry it, is the state of FL going to arrest the management of Esurance because they cancelled it when I had no other policy in place? No. I make my own decisions, and I would be held responsible. How dare they refuse to cancel it! So you know I was burning up by this time, right? mad as hell“Don’t worry!” I told the rep, “I’ll have that policy number for you in a few minutes!” Then I hung up on him while he was still yakking, attempting to manipulate me more. After I processed the payment on my new insurance, I called back. This time, I pressed 1 for cancelling with a policy in place already. I got a different rep with a different line of b.s. By this time, I had figured that I was going to cover my tush. I not only received a letter from my current car insurer to give to the former about cancelling, but I called Esurance to get a fax number so I could fax it to them. You would think that such a simple request like climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro!

The first rep that I asked for the fax number, immediately puts me on hold for 10 minutes, then tells me she needs my policy number! Just to get the fax number?!? But, you see, it was because I stated that I was sending them my notice of cancellation. Then of course, she wants the reason for the cancellation. I told her that she doesn’t need to know that; just give me the fax number. Now, suddenly, she has to transfer the call because she’s not in that dept. She disconnected the line. I was see’n red.

I immediately called back. The next rep again asks me for the policy number, but I’m not falling for it this time. “You don’t need my policy number to give me the fax number,” I said. “Oh, but I need to know what dept. to send you to,” was her excuse. “I’m faxing a cancellation. You will NOT change my mind! I need the fax number, not a bunch of runaround!” She puts me on hold for 10 minutes again, then finally comes back with the fax number. I faxed the cancellation notice, got the receipt, then called to verify it had been received.

At first, the rep stated they had received a notice that I emailed the previous day that they deemed as unacceptable as a reason to cancel. That notice contained my complaint about the fact that they had raised my rate. So in other words, what they were saying is that they can randomly raise the rate on their customers, and if their customers decide that they don’t like it and don’t want to pay that higher rate, they can just refuse to cancel the contract per the customer’s request, if they deem it is not a good enough reason.

 So they use all this manipulation to try to keep your money, and when that fails and the customer is adamant about cancelling, they hold them hostage by refusing to accept the reason for the cancellation, and by locking you in via the credit card trap on their website. If you aren’t strong-willed and insistent, you would never escape their clutches! You’d have to cancel your credit card to avoid any further charges and initiate a cancellation! It’s ridiculous! How can the law even allow this sort of thing?

I told the rep that I had faxed another cancellation notice that was provided to me from my new insurer with December the 30th as the effective date. I mentioned this, because the next thing she would have told me is that the request would have to have their policy number, plus the new policy number from the new insurer on it before they would agree; as if they are looking out for my best interests, when they are really trying to hold me hostage. She tells me that the fax has not shown up in the system yet, and to call back and check later, but that even when it does show up, they can’t cancel my policy until 1/23/2015. This was their excuse so they could justify keeping the payment that they had just processed. I was thinking, “Uh-uh! That’s not happening!”

Meanwhile, I get a notice that they received the first cancellation request I sent on 12/28/2014. I go back to the website to see, per the notice, the cancellation fee, which the first rep had already told me was 10% of the remaining payments. I had paid a down-payment that was the equivalent of 2 months payment. Then they had increased the policy, and processed another payment; a process they started on the 9th, despite the due date being the 23. So they had 3 months of payments, with 3 months remaining, and I had only used 5 weeks.

So by my calculations, they owed me the payment they had just processed, plus whatever remained after the 10% of the final 3 payments had been subtracted from the 3 weeks of service I had not used for the second month. We’re talking about $250, but when I saw the notice of cancellation, they claimed that they only owed me $53 and some change! So if you believed I was hot before…. anger-trendistic_comI immediately filed a charge against them with the financial officer of FL who oversees insurance. They weren’t keeping my money! There was no way I was going to sit quietly while they attempted this maneuver, which was like a bank robbery in broad daylight! So when I said that my day was taken up with addressing this, you see what I mean, right? I was at work at the time, fitting this in during open times on my schedule. By the time I got home that night, I was exhausted from the stress of it all.

However, my remaining thought, which I told my son from another mother (what I call my son’s best friend); was that this was another of those situations that God had allowed so that I could inform all of you about how scandalous these companies are. Despite the lack of understanding that some Christians have about the fact that I out companies like this online; I believe that God wants people to know. He’s all about people, and he doesn’t like extortion on any level. Somehow or another, He was going to work it all out for me, but I had to experience this, because people needed to be aware, and I needed to write about these traps of the enemy.

So today, I already see His hand moving. First of all, I sent my bank an email to let them know that I was disputing that charge Esurance had made through my Paypal account. I asked them to consider removing any fees that might result from the situation. They sent a response, which was to update and inform them of the outcome, and they would try to dismiss the fees. I then updated them, informing them that I had indeed cancelled the policy, and would send the cancellation letter if they requested it. I also received a notice from the financial officer of FL and updated them. You see, that last charge that Esurance had processed, never went through.

Because I didn’t have the funds available in the account, the bank had not paid it, and Paypal notified me that they would attempt to process it again in three days. I had already contacted them about my dispute, and, knowing I could not stop this auto process, this info was in the update to my bank. Since the charge was not successful, I had to update the financial officer about the difference in the balance owed to me. A day or two ago I received an email from Esurance, which I’m sure was in response to the complaint I filed; stating that they had refunded my $150 payment, but the reality is, they never actually had that payment in the first place.  But the great thing was that it only took God less 24 hours to initiate the change.

In fact, He was already on it before I even ran into this snag with these deceptive companies. You see, the insurer I switched to gave me exactly what I had been seeking for quite some time. Straight insurance…no stacking. USAA is insurance available to military personnel and their families. I didn’t find out about this company until two days ago, but I’m so grateful I did. I’m talking about a difference in price like from $150 mthly to $50 mthly. As the adult child of a military father, I am eligible for this. And, there’s no stacking with this company.

They automatically gave me the minimal amount of insurance required, and the maximum discounts available according to my driving record, car type and the age of it. There was nothing about my credit, rental history, and all this other crap that these other insurers use as an excuse to jack your rate up. I was reminded yesterday about how a friend of mine’s mother always used to pray to God to make a way out of no way.

I did pray that, because when I thought about losing so much money, plus the likelihood of getting hit with bank fees, I was just dying inside. I don’t like to speak in the negative, so I don’t say times are hard; but they aren’t easy and who could afford such a loss? That’s why I’m so glad I’ve got God. He’s always got my back long before something hits me from the front. I don’t see how people live without Him.

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