Sandy

I am a writer and Manual Therapist focusing on pain problems as a whole body issue. I have created a unique technique and system to release pain; thus my purpose is to enlighten and educate the masses on what I see that is missing in our so called “health care system,” which refuses to educate realistically because there is no attention paid to finding the cause. My intention is to inform people on the various simple aspects of what causes pain, so that they can assess their lives for a solution and take back control, managing and maintaining their spirit, mind and body in such a way as to eliminate pain.

Why Does Pain Exist?

A few days ago, I was watching Star Trek Voyager on the Heroes & Icons channel. I saw an interesting episode I had never seen before. A vessel was found in which some aliens were in stasis chambers with their minds captured in a virtual world they had created via the computer system.

A physical representation of fear had been manifested by the combined minds of several of the aliens, and the surviving aliens were being held hostage by him. The atmosphere was chaotic and macabre; an endless circus-like carnival, with Fear as its host and ringmaster. The aliens were trapped in this virtual world because Fear refused to let them go.

He, Fear, could read their minds, and manipulated them through pain. He had already killed 2 of the aliens who had tried to escape this virtual world, because if they all escaped, the world would disappear. These aliens had already surpassed the time-frame originally ordained for the stasis chambers they were in, and the system was deteriorating.

Kathryn Janeway
Kathryn Janeway (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fear had already killed two of them; and only three were left hoping that some craft would find their vessel, and be able to deactivate the program and free them. This was their state when Voyager encountered them. After Captain Janeway realized that the system would soon fail; she sent Valana and Kim into the “arena” of that virtual world to find out why the aliens were trapped there; and they too were captured by the entity, Fear.

In the course of resolving this situation, Janeway was presented with several interesting questions. She wanted to know, “What is fear, really? When fear holds you hostage, how do you get it to let go? Why do people enjoy dangerous sports or rides? What is the purpose of fear?”

I thought these were excellent questions, and presented a great starting point for the study I want to do on fear and how it affects us, as well as how to deal with it. My reasoning has much to do with the discovery and release of pain. You see, when I’m dealing with hurting people, I want to know, not only what is causing their pain, but also, why so many people are afraid to truly address it?

Why are they afraid to make the natural changes needed? Why do some people allow fear to dominate them so much, that they follow the culture and allow cosmetic surgical procedures that create a worse pain condition for vanity’s sake? Why do some people just accept it, when a doctor claims that surgery is medically necessary, without researching it, or getting a few other opinions?

Why do so many people fear pain, when pain, in most cases, is just a data point? I know some of you are doing a double-take. Did she really just say that pain is a data point? Yes, I did. The problem I see as to why most people fail to recognize this, is because of current cultural programming. The dependence on people in the medical field; as opposed to mere consultation, and self-sufficient care for their own health; is a big part of the growing problems of pain.

Many people follow what their doctors tell them and never do one iota of personal research themselves. A perfect example of this was my youngest brother. Before he passed away in 2012, he had a bout of pneumonia, which weakened his immune system significantly. I had suggested a natural immune system booster that could raise immune levels 437%.

For some uneducated reasons, my brother shot that idea down, even when I offered to get the product for him. Within the next year, he found out that there were cancer cells in his prostate. He said that they had caught it early, but never questioned why his body had succumbed to the attack. Instead of doing any research on that as well, he simply read the booklet his doctor provided. He claimed that reading this booklet was the “research” he had done.

This was an ignorant approach; and it caused him to follow his doctor’s advice for a seeding procedure; which was a huge mistake, because his immune system had not recovered from the pneumonia. The seeding procedure was some form of radiation that killed the bad cancer cells, and good cells at the same time. As a result, his immune system was like the soil around my rented house; completely bereft of nutrients, and virtually like sand; good only for growing weeds. His immune system’s bio-molecular forrest was completely stripped.

There’s no chance for the system to recover fast enough, because of the onslaught of the chemical bombardment, and it’s prior weakened state. It’s not like we have the majority of food service suppliers and manufacturers providing chemical free food for us in their stores with the approval of the FDA. So with years of chemical dosing from our food and drug prescriptions, his already weakened immune system, and the radiation barrage from the seeding; my brother didn’t stand a chance.

All the other body systems; which weren’t that strong to begin with due to the previous pneumonia; were further taxed and strained due to the new extra deficiencies this chemical onslaught had cost the immune system. This further weakening, is what I believe, lead to the heart attack my brother eventually had; which took his life in 2012.

Every service provider creates documentation like the one in the link above, to support the services they provide. This does not necessarily mean that the information or solution they offer is what is the best for you. It is the best for them, and is part of the bottom line of their business. Your doctor is a business man first and foremost. His primary interest is not your health; its to keep his business going.

Think of how long you sit in your doctor’s waiting room, and then how long he spends with you. Usually, its a ratio of 1-2 hours for 15 minutes. It’s more like generic speed doctoring. The modern practice of central station, turnstile medical service, is not personalized service for the most important thing in your life…your health. Even though you may talk to your doctor, how often do you really understand what he’s telling you that the diagnosis is? How often does he really directly answer how or why the condition occurred, as opposed to generalizations?

That is why it is incumbent upon you to research the validity of the solutions being offered. Don’t be afraid of the big medical terminology. It’s not difficult to understand the nature of a condition. You can look up the word, but also, you can google the medical suffix and prefix definitions. Knowing that would help your understanding so much more.

For instance, if you knew that every time the suffix “itis” was attached to the end of a word, it means that inflammation was involved as part of the condition, that would help you decipher more of what your doctor is telling you. And if you were inclined towards a more natural approach in addressing the inflammatory condition, you would then increase you intake of berries, and decrease your intake of dairy and meat products.

The business of medicine is a “practice,” not an exact science. We all have responsibility over our own health and wellbeing. This is why, for a few extra minutes on your media device, you can get a clear understanding of what you are being told, and see if it makes logical sense to you. Don’t allow the doctor or the medical staff to intimidate you. You have to exercise some degree of control over your own health.

That brings us back to the issue of fear. If you are concerned about your own health and wellbeing, you would not be willing to let any thing or person hold you hostage, including fear. You wouldn’t shy away from searching yourself to find the truth, and to receive the answers you need about what is actually causing your pain condition. I’m here to help you with that process.

Even if there were extenuating circumstances involved, such as an accident of some sort, are you truly willing to search out your own culpability that lead up to the intersection of material bodies, which resulted in your accident situation? Most people adamantly blame the other party involved in the accident as being fully at fault. However, despite whatever culpability you have in any given accident situation; your level of injury is dictated by several factors.

First, what were the speeds of the intersecting variables; and why were they moving that fast? What was the condition of your muscle tissue or musculoskeletal system prior to this intersection deemed as “an accident?” How long has your body been in that condition? Why haven’t you addressed it previously? When will you start to address it? What has been holding you back from making these self-discoveries? How long are you going to allow your fear to keep holding you back? How long will you allow fear to rob you of your life by means of restrictive, crippling pain?

Are you willing to make the effort to turn back the clock; or undo the history of damage you may have unknowingly done to yourself to take back control? Are you willing to endure short term high level discomfort or pain, in order to attain long term high level comfort by eliminating your pain? Just how motivated to are you to naturally get rid of your pain?

In the Star Trek episode, in order to rescue the hostages and get rid of fear; Janeway had to figure out how to let fear go. In order to do that, she had to figure out both the purpose of fear, and why fear exists. Her conclusions? The purpose of fear is to motivate a protective response. Pain is part of that process, because it brings attention to the problem. Fear exists for only one purpose – to be conquered. What about your fear? What’s blocking you? Are you willing to conquer your fear of introspection, so that you can discover the real source and overcome your pain?

 


The Secret To Obtaining Grace At Tax Time

First let me start by saying that I am not an accountant. The information I’m about to explain is based on a spiritual principle, like the Law of Attraction. Depending on your circumstance and situation, you might be able to apply this to your tax situation; providing you fully understand the principle, and can find applicability; but my purpose is not to advise you about your taxes, but about the principle itself. There is an ultimate Tax required on everyone at the end of their days; and depending on what you choose, you could escape the penalties and interest that have been compounding all of your life.

Now, why would someone want grace at tax time? Paying taxes is a requirement by law. Laws are required to govern the land and provide boundaries. Having boundaries keeps us safe from harm. The purpose of law is to apprise us of what is right, and what is wrong. But, just because a law exists, does not mean that all people are capable of obeying it.

Rom 3 (HCSB – used throughout for better comprehension)

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, speaks to those who are subject to the law, so that every mouth may be shut and the whole world may become subject to God’s judgment.

20 For no one will be justified in His sight by the works of the law, because the knowledge of sin comes through the law.
21 But now, apart from the law, God’s righteousness has been revealed — attested by the Law and the Prophets

22  — that is, God’s righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe, since there is no distinction.
23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
24 They are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
25 God presented Him as a propitiation through faith in His blood, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His restraint, God passed over the sins previously committed.
26 God presented Him, to demonstrate His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be righteous and declare righteous the one who has faith in Jesus.

Therefore, it stands to reason that law alone does not justify us – obeying the law does not make us good people; because certainly, none of us could ever obey every law in existence. Somewhere, somehow, we will fall short and break some law.

The spiritual tax man – (deviant art- Neo)

Tax time is a time of accountability; something most people run from. And why do they try to avoid it? Because most people want freedom without responsibility, and they seek loopholes in the law to justify their illogical position.

Titus 3:4 But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared,
5 He saved us —not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy—through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
6 He poured out this Spirit on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior
7 so that, having been justified by His grace, we may become heirs with the hope of eternal life.
8 This saying is trustworthy. I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed God might be careful to devote themselves to good works. These are good and profitable for everyone.
9 But avoid foolish debates, genealogies, quarrels, and disputes about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.
10 Reject a divisive person after a first and second warning,
11 knowing that such a person is perverted and sins, being self-condemned

In the pursuit of escapism, people often go too far; so when tax time rolls around, they find that the IRS

does not have a lot of grace; because the law is the governing force. Thus, if they have not been accountable and have attempted to cheat the system, or have erred in some way; they end up having to pay not only what was due; but also with having to pay for penalties that are accruing with interest.

It is the same in the spiritual realm; in fact, this principle was birthed in the spiritual realm first, and then into the physical one. However, since we understand the purpose of law, let’s get an understanding of “grace.”

—noun

1. elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action: We watched her skate with effortless grace across the ice. Synonyms: attractiveness, charm, gracefulness, comeliness, ease, lissomeness, fluidity. Antonyms: stiffness, ugliness, awkwardness, clumsiness; klutziness.2. a pleasing or attractive quality or endowment: He lacked the manly graces.
favor or goodwill. Synonyms: kindness, kindliness, love, benignity; condescension.
3. a manifestation of favor, especially by a superior: It was only through the dean’s grace that I wasn’t expelled from school. Synonyms: forgiveness, charity, mercifulness. Antonyms: animosity, enmity, disfavor.
4. mercy; clemency; pardon: He was saved by an act of grace from the governor. Synonyms: lenity, leniency, reprieve. Antonyms: harshness.
5. favor shown in granting a delay or temporary immunity.
6. an allowance of time after a debt or bill has become payable granted to the debtor before suit can be brought against him or her or a penalty applied: The life insurance premium is due today, but we have 31 days’ grace before the policy lapses. (Compare grace period.)

Theology.
7. the freely given, unmerited favor and love of God.
8. the influence or spirit of God operating in humans to regenerate or strengthen them.
9. a virtue or excellence of divine origin: the Christian graces.
10. Also called state of grace. the condition of being in God’s favor or one of the elect.
11. moral strength: the grace to perform a duty.

12. a short prayer before or after a meal, in which a blessing is asked and thanks are given: Grandfather will now say grace.

13. (usually initial capital letter) a formal title used in addressing or mentioning a duke, duchess, or archbishop, and formerly also a sovereign (usually preceded by your, his, etc.).
14. Graces, Classical Mythology. the goddesses of beauty, daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, worshiped in Greece as the Charities and in Rome as the Gratiae.
Music. grace note.

—verb (used with object), graced, grac·ing.
15. to lend or add grace to; adorn: Many fine paintings graced the rooms of the house. Synonyms: embellish, beautify, deck, decorate, ornament; enhance, honor. Antonyms: disfigure, desecrate, demean.
16. to favor or honor: to grace an occasion with one’s presence. Synonyms: glorify, elevate, exalt. Antonyms: disrespect, dishonor.

—Idioms

17. but for the grace of God, under less fortunate circumstances: But for the grace of God, the brick that just fell from the roof would have hit me on the head!
18. by the grace of God, thankfully; fortunately: By the grace of God, I won’t have to deal with tax returns for another year.
fall from grace,

Theology.

19. to relapse into sin or disfavor.
20. to lose favor; be discredited: He fell from grace when the boss found out he had lied.
have the grace to, to be so kind as to: Would you have the grace to help, please?
21. in someone’s good / bad graces, regarded with favor (or disfavor) by someone: It is a wonder that I have managed to stay in her good graces this long.

with bad grace, reluctantly; grudgingly: He apologized, but did so with bad grace. Also, with a bad grace.

with good grace, willingly; ungrudgingly: She took on the extra work with good grace

Unmerited favor

Grace. What would you do if you had…what could you do with unmerited favor? Favor that causes everything to work out on your behalf; regardless of oppressive systems devised to keep us enslaved, or people with selfish agendas meant to suppress your light. How does one obtain that?

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 (John testified concerning Him and exclaimed, “This was the One of whom I said, ‘The One coming after me has surpassed me, because He existed before me.’ ”)
16 Indeed, we have all received grace after grace from His fullness,
17 for the law was given through Moses, grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Grace is: the kindness and love of God our Savior – not because of anything (righteous) we had done; but because we are justified by His grace. As a principle, grace is in direct contrast with law; the difference being, under law, God demands righteousness from men.

Ti 3:1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work,
2 to slander no one, to avoid fighting, and to be kind, always showing gentleness to all people.
3 For we too were once foolish, disobedient, deceived, enslaved by various passions and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, detesting one another.

However, the church preaches obedience. They’re still focused on law because they seek to control. Well, I’m sorry if this offends anyone, but that’s not what God is all about. Anyone who understands His grace knows this. The church is a body of people who are supposed to lead by example; not an institution. But, let me help out those who don’t know yet.

Under law, favor or blessings accompanied obedience as in Deuteronomy 28, which lists the blessing for following God’s Word, as well as the curses for not following Him. The curses fall under self-affliction, and is evident in how the principle of law works, as explained previously.

Law is connected with Moses and works.

Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is from the law: The one who does these things will live by them.
6 But the righteousness that comes from faith speaks like this: Do not say in your heart, “Who will go up to heaven? ” that is, to bring Christ down
7 or, “Who will go down into the abyss? ” that is, to bring Christ up from the dead.
8 On the contrary, what does it say? The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. This is the message of faith that we proclaim:
9 If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation.

Under grace, God gives righteousness to men. The law can save no one. Under the previous dispensation (divinely appointed order or age), law was shown to be powerless to secure righteousness and life for a sinful race.

Gal 3:21 Is the law therefore contrary to God’s promises? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that was able to give life, then righteousness would certainly be by the law.
22 But the Scripture has imprisoned everything under sin’s power, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
23 Before this faith came, we were confined under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith was revealed.
24 The law, then, was our guardian until Christ, so that we could be justified by faith.
25 But since that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian,
26 for you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

The only way anyone is considered to be a “child of God” is if that person believes in Jesus Christ by faith. Everyone is not automatically considered to be a child of God. There’s a requirement for that honor.

Furthermore, there was grace before Christ came, and the evidence was the provision of communal sacrifice for sinners found in the customs of sacrificing a pure animal, the first fruits of one’s stock, as seen in Ex 20:24-26 and Lev 5:17-18; 17:11. The need for this practice was abolished once Christ fulfilled His mission and died on the cross for the sins of the world.

Prior to the cross, man’s salvation came through anticipatory faith of Christ’s forthcoming, atoning sacrifice, viewed by God, which was foretold, Gen 1:28; 15:6; and Rom 3:5 and 4:3.

Col 1:21 Once you were alienated and hostile in your minds because of your evil actions.
22 But now He has reconciled you by His physical body through His death, to present you holy, faultless, and blameless before Him —
23 if indeed you remain grounded and steadfast in the faith and are not shifted away from the hope of the gospel that you heard.

Col 2:14 He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross.

However, after His death, time was forever stamped, as we moved in the calendar accounting from B.C., before Christ, to A.D., Anno Domini, the Latin phrase that means “in the year of our Lord.” He became the ultimate sacrificial lamb for all time, to cover the sins and wrongdoings of everyone. There is no other designated way outside of faith in Him.

Grace is connected with Christ and faith.

Romans 8:1 Therefore, no condemnation now exists for those in Christ Jesus,

2 because the Spirit’s law of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
3 What the law could not do since it was limited by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending His own Son in flesh like ours under sin’s domain, and as a sin offering,
4 in order that the law’s requirement would be accomplished in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Grace bestows blessings as a free gift, as “unmerited favor.” Fullness (abundance of or completeness) of grace began with the ministry of Christ, and involved His death and resurrection, because He came to die for sinners. That was the purpose of Him coming in the first place.

Matt 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life — a ransom for many.”

Eph 2:8 For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift —
9 not from works, so that no one can boast.

The difference between the former age/dispensation and the current one, is that now, grace reigns – it’s in charge. At that time (B.C), the law reigned; therefore, it was not a matter of no grace or some grace, but of what was the ruling principle.

If you owed taxes with penalties and interest, and your advocate said that if you have faith in him; he would find a loophole that would nullify the IRS laws that are holding you hostage, and completely wipe out all taxes owed, penalties and interest; would you put your faith in him?

If you are paying someone to represent you, and he manages to get enough grace from the IRS that they agree to dismiss the penalties, but insist that you pay the amount owed with the interest, he’s still done his job and represented you. He may be able to get you some grace, but law reigns here in the natural, physical realm.

Spiritually speaking, however, Christ is the advocate for all of mankind, God the Father is the Supreme Ruler, but He has turned all judgement over to Christ, so He has all power, and everything is subject to Him.

2 Cor 5:18 Everything is from God, who reconciled (restored) us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:
19 That is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed the message of reconciliation to us.

Jn 5:22 The Father, in fact, judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son,

Lucifer (Satan) and his angels make up the IRS of the spiritual realm. And just like the IRS, Satan will find ways to make you pay over and over again. He will hit you with penalties at every turn, and he is always charging interest on our sins.

Heb 4:14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens — Jesus the Son of God — let us hold fast to the confession.
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tested in every way as we are, yet without sin.
16 Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.

Now that salvation has been revealed, the righteousness of it is revealed by faith in the resurrected Christ. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, grace reigns; because the only Being who has the right to judge sinners, sits upon a throne of grace not imputing (not holding accountable) unto the world their trespasses. During tax time or any other time, I want the one Advocate that can truly save me from judgement, penalties, or interest on my sins and errors.


How Does Stress Cause Your Pain?

People  always talk about stress and how stress affects us. But what is stress really? What causes us stress? Taoists believe that we should allow ourselves to float with the current of the river, at least, that is the message I got from reading the back cover of a book called The The Tao of Pooh.

While that certainly might seem like a less stressful path, it makes us a victim, not a victor. It removes our responsibility for ourselves and our own wellbeing, and basically says that we are the subject to the winds of life; apt to be blown about with every wind of change that comes along.

I used to call myself God’s tumbleweed because I was learning to trust in Him, and I saw myself as tumbleweed because I wanted to be open and flexible to whatever changes He brought me. That was my intention. However, a friend advised me against such a label, because ultimately, God gave us free will and the ability to choose; and with this gift of choice comes responsibility.

God provides the guidance, but ultimately, the responsibility of my choices are mine. The problem in today’s society is that we live in a culture of people who want the right to choose, but don’t want the responsibility of their choices. Is this then, the reason why so many people are suffering from stress?

There’s a scripture that advises against “kicking against the pricks.” It is a reference against resistance. Like Seven of Nine from Star Trek might say, “Resistance is futile.” It’s a statement of the futility of resisting inevitability. It brings me back to the river (I believe it was called Pi) of the Taoist, and the concept of flowing with the river.

Thing about that is, I don’t want to be in a canoe without a paddle just randomly floating along. Flowing with the river is ok, because sometimes that is required on a journey; provided you’ve made well thought-out decisions, and you are in the right waterway. As long as you have the ability of steering, and can exercise some control in directing your path, then you can move out of a violent current and into calmer waters.

But when you make thoughtless choices, you essentially throw your own paddles out of the boat, and then later panic when you see the waterfall ahead.  You are, therefore, creating your own stress. Some people are the type that waste a lot of time and energy trying to fly like salmon, leaping against the rushing current of what is the law of the land or even the natural laws and calling it freedom.

In the case of people suffering from stress, it is usually a situation of what we see currently in popular culture – the outcry of wanting freedom, without the recognition of what the consequences of the freedom they seek will be; and later remarking on their confusion as to how they got to a certain uncomfortable place in their lives.

But let’s really look at stress. What is it really? What does it result in? How does it affect our bodies? I believe that stress is a response to something that makes us uncomfortable in some way. When I checked the definition, the first noun definition was “the importance attached to a thing.”

So really, stress occurs in response to a threat against something that is important to us. As I continued to look at more definitions, I saw, “to experience stress or worry,” which confirms my thoughts. A threat and worry involve fear. Stress is a fear response. I’ve brought this up previously in some of my posts on muscle and how it gets tight and locked up.

I was speaking about this very issue to my mother on the weekend. She was a nurse for years, but my statements surprised her. You see, I now know that our bodies have many brains. They simply differ in level of importance, size, and specific function. The smallest brain of the body I am familiar with number in the millions.

They are contained in multiple systems and networks all over the body, and in the largest organ of the body, which most people take for granted and neglect. What am I talking about? These mini brains are part of every bit of the flesh of our bodies; our skin, every tissue, every muscle, every cell. Each and every cell of our bodies has a mini brain that has a memory.

Every time we have to confront something, someone, a situation or circumstance, event or change in our environment, those little brains kick in and record our responses. So every challenge and our response to it is recorded in our cells, tissue,  and muscle.

Thus, over time, and of course, depending on the number and frequency of these challenges; these memory bits build up forming the tightness and tension we all experience in our muscles, deemed as the result of stress.

But how does this happen? We have a Central Intelligence system. Our brain is the lead organ for controlling all systems, functions, impulses and messages, but in every system in the body, there is a division of the brain via the nervous system, that is transmitting messages back to Central Intelligence.

When we encounter a stress situation, what we are dealing with is a situation that confronts us. In this confrontational situation, we have decisions to make. By our choices, we rise or fall. How we handle and address a situation can determine how stressful our interactions will be at that moment, and in the future.

Prov 15:1 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.

Prov 20:3 It is to a man’s honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel.

Prov 20:11 Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right.

Our intentions will affect the outcome and thus, our level of stress, because the body will instinctively respond to choices that involve violations. Even when you secretly know that your intentions or actions are wrong, your body is reacting because it is confronting the idea of being caught or penalized, which results in a fear response. That fear response is then at the head of everything you do. All your actions will be driven by it, and ultimately, because it is fear and not faith that is driving you, you will make mistakes.

Furthermore, when confronted with problems; whether or not we actually use our brain to determine a viable solution that works for, or helps more than just ourselves, will also be a factor. The ability to think and reason was given for a reason…to saddle and hold the reins on the ability of choice.

Prov 24:32 I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw.

The heart in scripture often refers to the mind, because that is the battleground. You have two opposing sides to your personhood. Your spirit and body (flesh) oppose each other, which is why sometimes you may find yourself doing things you didn’t want to do.

If your spirit is not leading you, you are not in control of your body, and will succumb to anything that tempts it, or to any desire you have without thought. It’s a more animalistic nature, based more on desire and instinct.

We can barely keep the reins on our bodies. We need the head of the spiritual realm (of all realms), Jesus Christ, to help us grow our spirits out of its embryonic state, so that we can be governed by our spirit instead of our out of control flesh.

Prov 14:30 A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

A person who is not using the 3 lbs between their ears, setting aside time to think and seriously contemplating their steps, path, and course or journey in life; will experience a lot of stress. The mind is the battlefield because it is the place where your choices are made, beliefs are cemented, and your path is determined. Thoughts and concepts come through your level of faith from your spirit, and in your mind, you weigh these against your desires and experiences, which come primarily from your body.

Prov 21:16 A man who strays from the path of understanding comes to rest in the company of the dead.

This is not just a reference to physical demise. It is a reference also to a state of being. A person who is not actively pursuing their dreams…who no longer dreams or does not have faith is spiritually dead, because they lack hope. Such a person just exists, and has no life to speak of; again, a much more animalistic experience, which is not what we were created for.

A person who is constantly involved in confrontations, again, whether with life, people, circumstance, or situations; that will be a person with high stress levels, a very tension and pain filled body, and more than likely, some form of illness or disease that is developing or fully manifested. This is especially true if the person has been holding on to anger and bitterness for years; both of which are an offset of fear that has been invigorated.

Prov 19:23 The fear of the Lord leads to life; Then one rests content, untouched by trouble.

To Lower Your Stress

  • Choose to take time to Think
  • Choose to take Responsibility
  • Choose to add Value to others
  • Choose to make Wise decisions
  • Choose to stop Resisting the Truth
  • Choose to be Mindful of how you treat others
  • Choose to live in Peace by picking your battles carefully

Something to think about.


The Fruit Is Within The Seed

“Mine is not to question why, mine is just to do or die.”
Most people have probably heard this quote before, and understood the basics of it. I was one who understood the basics. It was, “Just do it.” “Quit yer yappin’.” “Stop your complainin’.” “Shuttup yu mout’,” (Jamaican colloquialism) “Git ‘er done.” “Just do the damn thang!”
The thing is, there’s no gratitude in that, and that theory of thought then leaves behind at least one question for anyone who’s really trying to pay attention. You see, at the time that I initially heard this quote, I wasn’t paying attention. I was just a teen trying to navigate the general flow of my life; trying to be flexible and roll with the punches.
Problem with that, is that most of us, whether conscious or not, were groomed to be somewhat inflexible. You hear it in statements like, “That’s just the way it is,” or, “That’s the way it’s always been,” or, “It is what it is.” All of these statements demonstrate a defeatist’s attitude. There’s no room for change in those statements.
And, if there’s no room for change in the spirit, there’s no room for anything new. There’s no room for blessings, and in spite of the fact that God’s unmerited favor can be bestowed; with an unmovable, defeated spirit, His unmerited favor can’t be received.
Years ago, prior to the initiation to my attempts to pay attention, God revealed a piece of the puzzle that is my purpose. At the age of 15, I received a revelation that I had a gift of healing. I had no idea how I knew this, I just knew. At the time, my interest was in being a veterinarian, and I thought that was my path. I have always loved animals, and have been able to gain their trust.

When I was attending the local college, I had a menagerie of wildlife always on the lookout for me by the lake. The ducks might hear the sound of my voice, or catch my scent in the wind, and come running…well, waddling as fast as their legs could go, or simply fly to me. The large ganders and geese would eat out of my hands, and peck at my legs if I didn’t deliver food to them fast enough. Even the turtles and the fish would hover by the shoreline, waiting for me to notice them.
Currently, I share the title of “Neighborhood Cat Lady,” with my neighbor, Joe; who’s gay, and has no problem being referred to as such. Despite no waterways in close proximity, we have a Muscovie duck who has adopted us as her people, and our house as her home base. She sleeps in our yard nightly, and loves when I rub under her neck, massage her tail and wings and tell her what a sweet baby girl she is. I make sure to put out fresh water for her and her own separate container with cat food, which she loves. I have also rescued 2 half grown pit bulls, and miraculously managed to find the owners of each one.
This being my nature, is it any surprise that I thought I’d be a vet? But 20+ years of hard knocks and struggle can wipe away the innocence, and any natural inclination towards trusting. I have always told my son that in order for a new plant to grow, the seed has to be pushed down to the ground first. Then as the seedling begins to burst forth, it has to struggle to lift itself up through that dirt, which strengthens its stalk. Additionally, its roots have to go down through the mud before it can come up.


Again, I reiterate that back then, I was not attentive. No one teaches children about the art of paying attention. In fact, in the drug filled, autistic spectrum based society that we live in today, attentiveness is a skill that only the wealthy have mastered, which is a major reason for their wealth. You see, the question is, “What is your focus?” What is it that each of us is supposed to pay attention to in order to find our path or life’s purpose?
At the start of a new year, many people make a bunch of “resolutions.” Most of their resolutions involve “not” doing something, that either they already knew was unhealthy for their life, and should have changed a while ago; or, after a New Year‘s night of craziness or debauchery; they suddenly realized how much they had endangered their life with thoughtless behavior, and resolve not to act so stupidly again.
Either way, most of the time, these “resolutions” are rendered ineffective because you can’t faithfully act on a negative sentiment. Additionally, there is no real spiritual awakening, and no new consciousness in the unconscious mind involved in this resolution process. In order for this new consciousness to occur, you have to renew or reprogram your mind, and a resolution alone will not accomplish that.
Some people manage to get past this world’s distractions enough to focus on a cause, path or purpose, but then waste too much time getting lost in the “how” of it all, especially if they are starting from a place of lack or limited resources. I started on my journey from such a place. In fact I was hovering in the starting zone of my path for quite a while, wondering how I could possibly do what I’m called to. I knew I needed a team; I knew I needed equipment; I knew I needed access.
I’ve wrestled with myself over my own self-doubts, inhibitions about being on film, my age, and the fact that I don’t look like a poster child for the fitness industry…all of these plagued me because I’m in the natural health industry, but haven’t fully mastered a green lifestyle yet. I’m still a work in progress on that front, but that fact takes absolutely nothing away from my gift for healing.
And, I had an epiphany. There are plenty of people out there just like me, who want to live and be healthier in their lifestyle choices, and, who want to live pain free. None of this prohibits me from reaching out to any of them, especially because the fruit is already in the seed. No one sits around wondering how The Seed will grow. (Outside of perhaps botanists and agriculturalists – bygones)

The point is that it is a known fact that if a Seed is tended to properly; if the correct attention is given to it, the growth process will undoubtedly occur. No one has to really ask how. There’s an expectation there…a faith…trust. Man always gets in his own way.  It’s simply time to bloom. It’s time to bear the Fruit that has been hibernating inside the Seed of you and I. There’s no better time than today to take the reigns. It’s time to get moving. Get your proverbial gardening hoe out…whatever your hoe maybe, and get to tending in the garden of your dream. Get focused. Take action. It’s time to move.


Holiday Thoughts And Memories

I was reminiscing about the holidays when I recalled something that resonated with the Nativity story; a movie that I recently re-watched. The holiday that came to mind was several years ago. My son was a young teenager, and my brother was still with us.

That night after leaving church, I took lil man to La Bamba for some good Mexican food, and then we took a drive and ended up in Hillsborough beach at the pier. I had never been on a pier and this one extended 700 ft into the water.

I really enjoyed just walking out onto that pier. When I got to the point that would be the farthest point that I’d go if in the water I started looking back at the shoreline because from that point on, it was like I was on a boat drifting away from the shore.

The difference in perspective was interesting, as I’ve never been out on a boat on the ocean before, so this gave me a bit of a view of what the shore would look like. I realized that going out on a boat was a serious step of faith, because you have no foundation under you. You are constantly in a state of flux.

On top of that, there are numerous creatures of all sizes under you that you cannot necessarily see. You are subject to things that are completely out of your control in nature, and there is nothing to hold on to, or hide in or under once nature gets started. To me…that is an extreme step of faith.

Now there are people who go out there without God…and without faith. I can’t understand that. In some cases…some go out as fools…throwing caution to the wind.

One such case, a guy told me about on the dock. He and his son went out  about 200-300 ft in a two man kayak. They had some kind of fish bait hanging in the water bleeding, and were just fishing. The father catches something, feels it pull out a bit, and then starts reeling it in.

It stops fighting then starts pulling out again. Then stops again. He thinks something is wrong and he’s right. A shark the size of the kayak has come back to see who has snagged him and is bumping the boat.

They start paddling like crazy for the shore, and cannot cut the shark loose because the line is tangled in the fishing bait. They finally manage to cut the line and break free of it, getting to shore, but I told him…”You’re crazy.” I can’t understand how they could go out that far in just a kayak. That to me is not faith…but foolhardiness.

Nevertheless, the view from this pier was great. The moon was full and beautiful. The clouds formed two precipices…looking like great cliffs. I thought I saw God’s army of millions of angels coming up to the edge, just as they might have done in waiting to rescue Christ during the crucifixion, at his command; which was never given.

Nevertheless I was sure that I had seen an army of angels at the edges of those clouds. I was thinking about that experience, while watching the Nativity story. I wondered if the legion of angels I had envisioned in the clouds had been there watching the events that unfurled leading up to the birth of Christ.

I had previously noticed that those that traveled to the place of Christ’s birth in Jerusalem, all left from their respective homes or starting points at different times, for different reasons. Mary and Joseph were going to Joseph’s hometown for the census. The shepherds were following the star looking for the miracle. The wise men were following a prophecy that spoke of the birth of a special King, evidenced by the appearance of a specific star.

What was fascinating was that the wise men stated that the star they were looking for was the result of the convergence of three planets that would seem to touch. Those were 3 stars were:

  • Venus – means Mother
  • Jupiter – means Shining Father
  • Third star – called Sharu – means King

Some astrologers have noted a similar coming together of stars in recent years, but they claim it’s Venus, Jupiter and Aries. But, in all the sights of similar conglomerations of stars since the birth of Christ, The third star called Sharu is never mentioned. That is because only one King was being announced this way; the King of kings.

Just as these stars seemed to intersect; likewise, those journeying toward Jerusalem also seemed to cross paths, meeting up at the birthplace of the King. They all met there around the same time period, despite having traveled from different regions, and leaving at different times. Whatever they may have encountered in their journeys, whether it was danger or delays; regardless, all of them ended up intersecting at the manger.

Some scholars claim that the wise men didn’t find Christ until he was about four years of age. However, I’ve seen nothing that supports the idea that this collusion of stars lasted for four years. In fact, it seems that the phenomenon that created that huge star is one that, from all the recent collusion, does not last longer that perhaps one night.

Additionally, Herod would have easily found them if he had four years to look for him, and they were still in that stable. Joseph probably would have built a house for them in that time, but I don’t believe that they lived there in the manger for four years.

Additionally, Herod went after children two years old and younger. It is believed that it took the wise men 3 years of travel before they found the child. That doesn’t mean they started their journey after the star appeared. They had been tracking the stars awaiting the appearance of this phenomenon, and started on their journey to where their studies predicted it would appear.

God will pull all the elements and resources together when He is creating our miracles. He is a planner, a master strategist, and starts collecting resources to deliver our blessings and miracles long before we even think to inquire about it. The birth of Christ was truly a miraculous event. Merry Christmas!


You Have A Purpose

All of us, no matter what our place, station, our lot in life or location in the world; get frustrated by the seeming futility of life. It seems as though we are constantly battling the riptides of this world’s corrupt systems; as we struggle to reach that ever elusive shore of our dreams.

Weigh Your Choices Carefully

At the first sign of waves and a rough current, some choose to give up and be swept away convincing themselves that they are too weak for their journey’s challenges. Others battle on bravely, but lack knowledge about the undertow, and eventually become exhausted fighting to keep their heads above water; they get pulled under.

Yet God, in His infinite wisdom, never gives us more than we can bear. Much of our suffering is self-induced by the aftermath of our decisions. One misguided thought has the capability to alter our path forever.

For this reason, it is difficult to fathom that there are large masses of people who fail, on a regular basis, to utilize the 3lbs of tissue in their heads. Instead, they operate solely from the seat of their desires. From such a place, the soul, there is no control; only appetites.

old-school-scale

How Do You Handle Challenges?

However, there are others who choose to fight the riptides. Though the struggle is difficult, and seemingly endless and overwhelming, these brave few persevere in spite of the odds because they don’t give up. They keep that dream in front of them, and continue to push through, learning to ride the waves, and swim diagonally, following the wave’s path to the shore.

These are the ones who will do more than simply survive. They will thrive. They will make every effort to utilize those 3 lbs of brain tissue to think, imagine, create and dream. Our brains are so amazingly constructed. There are worlds within worlds…entire universes and galaxies of capacity there, if only we would learn to master ourselves and think.

New Life

In utilizing the infinite possibilities that lie within those 3 lbs, one must realize that our presence here is no accident. Deep within the darkness of space, an act of love was committed. A wormhole opened, and an army of 4 million of invaders flowed through. Their goal? “To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before.”

The wormhole closed, and these minions spread across the darkness of this new galaxy, seeking to complete their mission. Through the vast darkness they flew, carrying the gift of hope; seeking the vessel that contained The Spark that would enable them to join it in shaping destiny, and initiating new life.

That vessel had also been traveling on its own path, as a lone explorer in this same expanse of space. Finally, the explorer is found and surrounded by several of the invaders. Boarding parties are sent, and resistance is futile, but the explorer battles bravely against the minions.

Several are repelled, until one manages to break through and board the vessel. The two become one and the miracle of The Spark has been ignited. The vessel is sealed and protected from the temporal anomaly which wipes out the remaining millions of invaders, who all perish in a burst of photonic energy. You have arrived! You made it! Now, you have 9 months to get ready, to prepare yourself; and to wow us at your passage into our world.

Are You Acting Responsibly?

This wonderful experience is meant for two responsible, mature adults, who should have an established contractual relationship called marriage, so that they can properly care for a child. Unfortunately, most often this blessed event and arrival is marred by the irresponsible, and immature, out for an evening of careless debauchery or a casual encounter.

Regardless of who the participants, your parents are; and whatever the circumstances; you are here because you were meant to be here. You didn’t beat out 4 million others, just to languish here without a purpose. You are meant to think and thrive, and do far more than just survive. You are a miracle! You were blessed to be a blessing.

Part Of A Higher Plan

None of us are part of some cosmic accident. We are not part of some great experiment of God. We are a dream, a wonderful thought created within the mind of God. Each of us is a thought from God’s heart. That’s pretty amazing, and certainly makes you realize how valuable just one thought can be, especially in the mind of the One who created galaxies and universes all with a single thought. In the blink of an eye (God’s time, not ours), everything was made.

Gen 1:27 (KJV) So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female.

This clearly says that God created mankind from within Himself (the mind of God). Immediately after that, it indicates that He created us to resemble Him. Furthermore, it states that there’s a woman in the Godhead, because He created them as male and female (to look like or resemble Himself). Then He gave both dominion in the next verse, and later gave a commission and the responsibility to lead to Adam.

But, the point is, if we were created within the heart of God, His mind; and He made us to be a reflection of Himself; it stands to reason that He has given us the same capability. Each of us has that 3 lbs of flesh between our ears that enables us to create new worlds, universes, and galaxies of new life and opportunities in our efforts to serve others. We have limitless resources. We have but to utilize the gift and think. There is no cause for despair. There is only hope because He’s already given us the key.

Luke 11:9 (KJV) And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

You are important. You do have a reason to be here. You do have a purpose. Be encouraged. No matter what is happening in the world around you; God is still on the throne.


Remembering Why We Should Be Thankful

imageThere was a time when I felt like things always had to be equal or fair. There was a time when I stepped forth to exercise my rights, when I felt they were being trampled. During the time period, several years ago, when I was still in that mindset, I wrote this about Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving day was great! First of all, I went to see a friend in the hospital. He was recovering from a hernia. I boycotted dinner at moms. I know that sounds bad, but it was necessary. It was a matter of self-respect. Every year at either Easter, Thanksgiving, Xmas or New Years…at one of these I ask if I can invite a guest. There is always an excuse, justification or reason as to why I can’t. When I want to invite someone, it’s always, “We just want our family to be there,” or they come up with some other reason why I can’t invite the person; like, “I don’t want to be uncomfortable with someone I don’t know.”

However, if my brother wants to invite someone, it is always ok, even when it was already stated that it would just be our family. Every year I have complained about this discrepancy in treatment, but they have talked me into coming to dinner anyways. This time, I asked after being told that my brother’s friend who was depressed, and my brother had invited, had gone to his wife’s (they were separated). So my mom was already expecting my brother’s friend and it was OK, and then we found out he wasn’t coming after all. So I asked about my friend, who, to my knowledge at the time, had no family here and nowhere to go. All this I told my mother. At first my mom said yes after much prodding from me, then an hour later, she calls and leaves a message saying for me to tell my friend no. She just didn’t feel like making the “extra effort.”

I decided that I needed to make a stand…to make a statement, because I was tired of being disrespected in this manner by both of them. So I boycotted the dinner…sending a text message to my brother about 2 hours prior to the time I was supposed to be there. I told him that it was not a family occasion when respect and consideration was only being extended to some and not to all.

I didn’t go to the house again until Sat., and moms attempted to say it was a misunderstanding, and that it wasn’t fair of me to say that they never allowed me to bring a guest. She cited one occasion with my bf on thanksgiving. I didn’t recall that as being a thanksgiving dinner, just a dinner. Neither did my bf, but I gave her that one. But that was like…ten years ago. She tried to claim some other guy I had invited, but that never happened. Then she tried to claim my ex…well, hello…I married the guy! But again…I let it go. I let her say her piece and only stated firmly that they never let me invite anyone, and that my bf was the one exception to that rule.

Now granted, I was right about this, if I do say so myself. But, what wouldn’t I give to have my brother still here to celebrate with on this holiday? My point is, that although the situation seemed unfair to me at the time, and actually was unfair to me; I never thought about the possibility of getting together for the Thanksgiving holiday, with some family member or loved one missing from the equation.

Had I thought about the situation from that point of view, I would have realized what was truly important, and would not have taken that particular thanksgiving holiday that I could have spent with my brother and mom, for granted. You just don’t know what will happen. Tomorrow is not guaranteed for any of us, and there are more important things in life to focus on outside of simply our disappointments.

This has been the worse election year of my lifetime. The nation is split down the middle, because we have had two very imperfect people running for the highest office in the land. How did we get to a place like that in this country where people of so little moral fiber are our main candidates in a presidential election? Why do I feel like we will have hardened criminals or mafia types, or worse, more immoral Hollywood celeb types running next? Anyways, the point is, what the heck happened to the process, whereby people like these two even had a shot?

Now that the election is done and over with, there is still a trail of self-righteousness, snobbery, indignant anger, shame and disgust, and rebellious rage.

In all of the chaos of this year’s elections, there is a fraction who feel very thankful, and a fraction who feel there is nothing to be thankful for. As an Independent, I see both sides of the coin. I understand the jubilation of one side versus the disappointment of the other. But in all of this, there needs to be some thought and consideration.

image

Republicans like this (pictured) are the reason why. Just another alleged Christian who misses the point completely. First of all, I don’t worship or revere the pope. He’s not a part of my faith. However, I just want to say to people like Franks, “Do you actually read your bible?”

Mine clearly demonstrates that Jesus did not come for the rich and the powerful. He cursed Pharisees like this guy. He called them vipers. Don’t get me wrong. Jesus did not call them out specifically because of their wealth. It’s not against God’s law for people to be wealthy. It was the attitude of their hearts that was the issue. It was the fact that they’d trample their own mother if it meant that they could keep the majority underfoot and in need, so they could rule over them. They were self-centered instead of other-centered, so they served only their own self-interests at the cost of everyone else.

Mark 14:7 You always have the poor with you, and you can do what is good for them whenever you want, but you do not always have Me.

Jesus said we would always have the poor with us, not because everyone is viewed as shiftless and lazy due to guys like this setting the system up to create failure for the disenfranchised. It was because the attitudes of people like Franks is one of people who oppress more than they truly help. I also think this was a reference to the poor in spirit, more than an issue of lack of wealth. Being poor in spirit is also not a reference to lack of wealth.

Its about value, not price. The greatest wealth is not found in the things you possess, but in what you can do without. If you require a lot of material things to make you feel important or valuable, there is a great spiritual deficit in your life. But if you are happy and content no matter what your condition, you have the greatest wealth of all…peace.

Jesus was correcting the disciples for chastising the woman who had anointed His head with oil, because they were complaining about money that could have been gained instead of seeing the spiritual issue and the value of her actions in serving.

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Despite the fact that Mark 14:7 sounds like it is not a mandate to do what is good for the poor, kindness is a product of the Spirit. Jesus talked continually about considering others before yourself. Which means that you aren’t setting things up so that only you and your old boys network succeed, but you are enabling everyone to succeed.

It is this verse about the fruits of the Spirit that we should all bear in mind. While some are waiting for justice, be patient and demonstrate meekness. God is faithful, and if you have faith in Him, you needn’t worry. He will fight your battles, and bring justice to the unjust, even if you never get to witness it personally. So be at peace. And to those who have power and authority, show goodness and kindness. Be temperate and slow to condemn in your judgments of others.

Regardless of how anyone feels now, in a few hours, this too will be part of the past. You don’t need to focus on the past, but push on and move forward towards the future. Tomorrow is not promised to anyone. Therefore it behooves us all to stop focusing on unmet expectations and disappointments, because the biggest disappointment would be not being here to share yourself with the world, or be able to spend time with those you love and cherish. That is far more important than any disappointment. Keep your focus. Think on these things, be thankful, and enjoy those people who you’ve been blessed to have in your life.


Finding The Catalysts For Pain And Suffering

In order to find and understand problems that are the catalysts for causing pain and suffering in the body, one must view the situation from a Natural, Holistic viewpoint. From the Holistic perspective, the entire person and their personhood, must be included. The Holistic viewpoint does not separate, but brings together.

There is no division, such as in Western Medicine; wherein, not only are the internal relationships split up and severed, but even the approach to the physical body is split into individual parts, organs and systems; as if there is no causal relationship or even any connection one to another. Just as no man is an island, no part of our personhood or bodies are either.

Considering all of this, and considering that my approach is Holistic; I have to examine all facets of personhood, which means that I will be approaching every bit of information I provide as content, based upon a Spirit, Mind (Soul), or Body perspective, because all of them are infinitely linked and intertwined.

1-6In examining the spiritual aspect, I began thinking about The 7 Deadly Sins. Since the Thoughts and Decisions we make have a direct bearing on pain in the body, and since the Spirit is supposed to govern the mind, I decided to explore the connections.

Mind you, just because the Spirit is supposed to regulate the mind and body, doesn’t mean that everyone has activated their spirit. And furthermore, just because someone claims to be “spiritual,” is not necessarily an indicator of real spiritual activation.

Everything starts with the spirit, because that was created first in the dynasty of mankind.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

If we split this up by the commas, you can see the distinction in what is being said. Here, the words, “in his own image” is a reference to the creation of the spiritual man from within the spirit of God, Himself. God is a Spirit. He created our spirit within His Spirit. From inside the heart (mind) of God, our spirits were created at the same time, with equal authority.

We were a thought in the mind of God. Thoughts are the beginning point of creation, whether it manifests in the form of a dream conceived, a goal realized, or the manifestation of pain in one’s body. How we think has a direct correlation to the manifestation of pain, because our decisions are based off of our thoughts. So the question becomes, “Who’s governing your thoughts?” Who or what influences you? Whatever or whoever influences you is your master.

This is why the position that some non-Christian people take, stating that Christianity is for weak-minded, wimpy people is a complete fallacy. Everyone is influenced by someone or something. It is not easy to submit to anyone. Its not easy to submit to rules. Submission is the choice to put your own desires aside in favor of and in consideration of another’s. I’d rather be a willing, knowledgeable participant; choosing Who and what I will submit my will to, than to never realize that I’m enslaved to some foreign influence I never imagined I would even be connected with in any way.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Here, the words “in the image of God,” is a reference to the “likeness” of God. It means that He created us to look like Him, as opposed to resembling an animal, or some other creature. In His own likeness, “created he him,” or He created him – him being mankind, and inclusive of females as the semi-colon and subsequent line indicates. He created “them” at the same time, with equal authority, as they were intended to rule the earth jointly.

Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Don’t you just hate it when a great, well-intentioned plan goes awry due to people who have chosen the wrong influences; who fail to understand because they have no insight or foresight, for that matter? They just can’t see beyond their own noses, because they are only concerned with satisfying their own selfish desires. Desires are the issue here, and most humans seem to be drawn to things that aren’t beneficial.

Once our spirits were created within The Spirit; the mind of God, Himself; the other two parts that make us complete still had to be manifested. The first chapter of Genesis is a generalization of the events, much like an outline of sorts. Chapter 2 starts to fill in more details.

Gen 2: 4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, 5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground. 6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. 7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. 8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

Here we see a distinct difference between the “creation” of the spirit man, and the formation of the physical body of mankind from the dust of the ground. Those are two distinctly different words that most people believe means the exact same thing. Here’s the difference:

Create—verb (used with object), cre•at•ed, cre•at•ing. 1. to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes. 2. to evolve from one’s own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention. 3. Theater. to perform (a role) for the first time or in the first production of a play. 4. to make by investing with new rank or by designating; constitute; appoint: to create a peer. 5. to be the cause or occasion of; give rise to: The announcement created confusion. 6. to cause to happen; bring about; arrange, as by intention or design: to create a revolution; to create an opportunity to ask for a raise.

Form—noun 1. external appearance of a clearly defined area, as distinguished from color or material; configuration: a triangular form. 2. the shape of a thing or person. 3. a body, especially that of a human being. 4. a dummy having the same measurements as a human body, used for fitting or displaying clothing: a dressmaker’s form. 5. something that gives or determines shape; a mold. 6. a particular condition, character, or mode in which something appears: water in the form of ice. 7. the manner or style of arranging and coordinating parts for a pleasing or effective result, as in literary or musical composition: a unique form for the novel.

I like this. We are both unique in form and also, first and foremost, a work of art; God’s great creation. This is why turning away from that which is natural is so wrong. It’s wrong for us spiritually, and physically.

Once God breathed the breath of life into that human form, man became a living soul. That breath of life encompassed the spirits He had already created, which may have been dormant (asleep) until this transfer occurred. The formed man became “alive” as a living soul, because he gained a spirit from The Great Spirit.

This is the manner in which the first level of the word “alive,” happens. The soul is the seat of desires. So this formed man with a spirit indwelling that connected him directly to God, became a living, breathing, hot-bed of desires. The problem was that sin was already in the world. Here is a man that doesn’t recognize who he is. He needed to be “alive” in the spirit, which is the second, and greater of the two levels of life.

He has no idea that he is a king, so he acts like a peasant. He’s got this wireless connection to the Divine, yet he doesn’t seek God out to learn who he is, nor for any guidance. His first desire was not to be alone, but Adam wasn’t alone. Even when Eve was pulled from within him, it was the same deal.

She too was a queen who acted like a peasant, falling victim to her base desires; living only in the realm of her soul. But, despite this, it was the thoughts and decision of her husband in violating the one rule he was given; that caused the fall of mankind. Imagine, the Jews had over 600 laws to obey in the Old Testament, yet Adam could not abide by and obey just one rule.

As I said earlier, submission is a choice, and certainly, not an easy one, but the rewards are great. This brings me back to the issue of pain. You see, by his thoughts and decision, Adam and all of mankind have suffered. The choice he and his wife made brought pain, suffering and death into the lives of all mankind.

This is why the first of The 7 Causes of Pain lies in your Thoughts and Decisions. How’s that you ask? We all make choices; and some of those choices not only direct our paths, but those same decisions direct the measure of stressors that come our way, affecting our spirit, mind and body.

Furthermore, when given sound reasoning and instruction that would help us, we choose whether or not to take that advice, to our own personal gain, or to our detriment in choosing not to change – to stick with the status quo. If those thoughts are not governed by a strong active spirit, they will be regulated in the realm of the soul (the mind), the seat of desires.

The question of your healing or the proper management of your pain condition rests upon your perspective. Who governs your thoughts and decisions? Is it an activated spirit, or the base desires of your soul? And how do The 7 Deadly Sins play into this whole picture of pain?


Fallen Asleep

Lately, I’ve been seriously contemplating something that I heard in a bible study group. I was thinking about this because it made me think about my brother’s passing. This was the scripture (HCSB) that caught my attention:

Jhn 5:28 Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear His voice Jhn 5:29 and come out — those who have done good things, to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked things, to the resurrection of judgment.

I know this to be true, but when I heard it, it caught my attention because typically in “the church” we don’t hear about resurrection, the end times or judgment in this way. What I mean is that usually, these things are separately discussed. Usually, resurrection is spoken of in one aspect, usually about Christ or resurrecting the “living dead” or those who are now asleep (sleep walking). Judgment is spoken about in another aspect, and since this particular note is about end times, that is also usually spoken of differently. We’ve heard about “The Judgment,” and “The Resurrection,” but I can tell you that I have not heard them together as in this verse.

And then again, when people are at funerals, many pastors say that if the person was saved or a believer, then they’ve gone to heaven and we’ll see them again. Particularly, parents tell their children this, as I heard my sister-in-law tell my nieces and nephew. Perhaps this is where this idea really develops from. Then you see people going to visit grave sites, continually crying and weeping over that person that passed like my mom does. When my mom gets into that depression and starts to cry, she says she has lost too much and cannot lose anything else. But the question for me is, is it really a loss?

AP_Film_Review_Snow_White_and_the_HuntsmanFor me, it’s a perspective issue once again. That verse just completely revolutionized my perspective, because it would only be a loss if the person that left this level was not in Christ. But before I even talk about levels, let me just go back to the departure issue. The person that read the verse to me, had a translation that said, “Those who are asleep…” instead of “Those who are in tombs (or graves).” When I heard the word “asleep” it flipped my perspective because that destroyed this false notion that people are in heaven immediately. The only ones I believe went right away were the ones like Enoch that Lord specifically brought into heaven. He never even saw death.
But everyone else is asleep.

People sleep all the time. It’s like living in a house. When people go to sleep, they simply go to another (a different) room in the house. I am now thinking that there are different levels of being awake and being asleep. So on a grander scale, in our atmosphere or plane, when someone “goes to sleep,” they simply move into another plane, realm or room that in our current state of “awake,” we cannot see.

crystal-cubeI’ve had this whole prism concept about the various planes and levels. It’s like a Rubix cube; each cube being a different room on a different level. The levels of where they are versus where we are, are constantly in fluctuation, because the cube is constantly moving, rotating, and turning in various directions.

What else caught my attention about this is that when I used to think of some of the most despicable despots and evil men in history, like Hitler, I always believed that they were burning in hell for centuries already. You know, people always say that. From the beginning of time, whoever didn’t believe, or whoever was really evil that died, would be burning all this time up to the judgment, and then they’d be judged and thrown into the “everlasting judgment.” I had always heard this while I was younger. Now, I don’t believe it. Everyone that has passed, whether good or evil, has fallen asleep.

That scripture says that there’s going to be a resurrection that calls up all of those who have fallen asleep…all those in the graves, whether good or evil. No one has jumped the gun and gone to heaven to chill out until that judgment in the end times. Everyone that has left this plane has gone to sleep. So the only question left is, can those that are asleep hear us? The reason that question comes up goes back to the visitors at grave sites. Aside from that, people who are asleep can hear things. Think about when you are sleeping. You hear the voice of the person trying to wake you. People who are in another state of sleep in hospitals are said by doctors to be able to hear when people talk around them or to them. Some of those people are in unconscious states or in some cases, a coma, but it is still a state of “sleep.”

So this makes me wonder, can those who are asleep in “another room” actually hear the voices of their loved ones when they speak to them? I don’t know the answers, but I know that this sleeping concept makes death a lot less scary. It is not specifically death that is frightening. The frightening aspect of “falling asleep” is, does my life philosophy or belief systems move me into the type of resurrection I want to be in? My beliefs give birth to my thoughts, which birth both my character and my actions which move me along on the path of my choices in my journey through this life. So, am I believing the right things that will lead me to the resurrection I really want to be in? That is the question. My prayer is that I am, and you are too.

Related articles


The Blessings of Faith

I needed a reminder. I’d been wallowing in self pity for a day or so. Got a bit depressed because I’ve been stuck in the house for four days straight, and was a bit frustrated at my progress in the direction I am now moving in.

One of the changes I’ve been making is reviewing and updating my sites. I actually want to combine them into one, and I’m trying to make sure that my text is all consistent and my content relevant to my stated purpose here. You know, i’s dotted and t’s crossed. 

I guess I needed the reminder of this particular incident that happened several years ago. It definitely caused me to reevaluate my present state of mind. My baby brother was still with us at that time, and this was one of those beautiful occasions that demonstrated his wonderful heart. I truly miss his presence, but am so grateful for the time we had.

I had taken my car to my mechanic to get the brakes done because I was hearing some pretty loud squeaking sounds. When my mechanic checked the brakes, the only ones that appeared to need changing was the front brakes, and even those still had padding on the brake pads. He was saying that I really didn’t need to change them yet, but I told him I didn’t like the shushing squeak.

He looked at the back brakes, but didn’t see any problem with those, so we did nothing with them. He did tell me that I’d probably have to change the rotors, but since I didn’t have the money for it then, he said there was no rush on it, since we changed the brake pads. After he changed the front brake pads, I left. They were fine at first, but then I began to hear that shushing sound again. So I called him and mentioned that it still sounded to me as if the brakes were grinding on the rotors, to which he said, “Impossible. I know we changed the brakes. The brakes are good. Don’t worry about it.”

A month or so passed, and I was still hearing this shushing grinding sound. Finally, two weeks ago, I just got a feeling, you know? I just became concerned that something was really wrong, because the sound had gotten a lot louder, and it really sounded like grinding…hard grinding. So I passed by the mechanic’s shop and spoke to him, telling him that I just had a bad feeling about the rotors, and that I really felt like they needed to be changed, but I had no money.

My mechanic told me not to worry, because my rotors weren’t that bad, and the brakes were new. He said that I could wait until the brakes wore out, and then change it all at once, so I didn’t need to worry about coming up with the money right away. I said, “Ok,” and left. That was two weeks ago.

That Wednesday, I was leaving my house, and as I drove slowly up my street; I was approaching the stop sign on the corner, and hit the brakes. Now I had been driving around quite a bit for that day already with no problems, but when I hit the brakes then, the pedal went all the way to the floor, and the car didn’t appear to be slowing down. I freaked out and quickly began to pump the brakes, and it slowed and stopped. It was especially frightening because this vehicle, a Mercury Grand Marquis, is considerably larger and heavier than any of the cars I’ve had previously, and the thought of being unable to stop in such a large vehicle really scared me.mercury-grand-marquis-1

After taking a deep breath, I slowly turned the corner to go to the next stop sign in my neighborhood. As I approached that sign, the same thing happened again when I hit the brakes. Needless to say, I was pretty nervous by this time, so I immediately called my mechanic, who told me to drive the car to him.

He had one of his guys check the brakes, and he confirmed that the front end was just fine. He started to check the back end, and as he put his hand under the driver’s side rear tire, all this fluid came out all over his hand. “The calipers are shot,” he told me. Then he pulled off the tires and the rotors and looked at everything. He showed my mechanic, who told me that I could not drive the car in this condition. It was too dangerous.

“Well, I’ve got to go and get my son from school,” I said. Then he told me that not only were the calipers shot, but the rotor on my driver’s side was paper thin, and could break at any sudden stop or hard press on the brakes. On top of that, he showed me the rotors. The one on the driver’s side had a groove ground into it, that was an inch thick. The passenger side rotor, which was a lot thicker, had two grooves ground into it of the same dimensions.

The reason they never saw this on the rotors previously, is because the inside brake pads were where this was happening, so it was not visible on the outside when they took off the tires originally to look at the brake pads two months ago. They would have had to dissemble the entire rotor from the car in order to have seen this damage.

So there I was sitting in the mechanic’s office, and we were both trying to figure out what to do. I told him that any time I come and say I feel concerned about something more than once, is a good sign that there is something serious going on, because I get warnings from above. The mechanic wanted to help me and take care of this problem, but he said he was not in a position to do so, having just paid his mortgage, and rent for the shop and so forth. I had no money to do the repairs, so we sat there thinking and trying to find a solution.

“What about your mother?” he asked me.

“I can’t go to her. She’s just barely making ends meet herself.”

“What about your brother?”

“My brother is married with 2 autistic children and a new baby. I can’t trouble him. He has his family and his own issues to deal with.”

So there we sat. Both of us sighed a deep sigh, and then I got up and told him there was nothing I could do. He told me that I could not drive the car, and I said I would have to park it, but that today, I had to get my son first, because he had no bus pass, nor any money to catch a bus.

They put everything back together, and he told me to drive very slowly, keeping a big distance between me and other cars, and to brake from a big distance away. I managed to go to my church to ask if I could speak to someone in Benevolence, but they told me that I would need to come back to service tonight, because Benevolence was only open after service.

I picked up my son, and went to church. As I was sitting there, listening to Pastor Jerry, I got another feeling that came over me. This time it was a feeling of assurance. It was done. God took care of it, and I just knew it was done. I began to question whether or not I really needed to go to Benevolence after all, except maybe for a grocery gift card, but I was instructed to go and tell them everything…the entire need; so I went.

I spent a long time with the two counselors, not (as I told them) because I was worried about whether or not they would help me, but because so much other information (non-related) was being shared, testimonies and the like, that we just had a really great conversation. Finally they prayed with me and I left.

I was totally confident that it was already a done deal, so even when I couldn’t reach my friend at work for a ride, I wasn’t worried. Another good friend called and said he’d pick me up and take me to work, but he couldn’t pick me up. It was cool, because my work friend took me home.

But 15 minutes after I got to work, I got a phone call. It was my brother. He said that he had called my mechanic to help another person and connect them with him. When he finished his business about this person he was helping, my mechanic asked him for a “really big favor.” He then told my brother about the damage to the rear braking system of my car, and that he could not sleep all night, because he was so worried about me driving it in that condition. He asked my brother if he could help me out, and said that he would even take a cut on the labor he would charge if my brother would just get the parts for me, so he could fix my car.

My brother agreed, and told me to take my car to the mechanic to be repaired, and then tell the mechanic to call him when it was fixed. He said, “I’ll take care of this. It’ll be your Christmas present.”

Can you believe that? I’m not at all surprized that it got taken care of, because I trust God. Additionally, I’ve had a great brother, so I’m not at all surprised that he stood by me. That’s not the astounding thing. The WOW factor here is in the route God went through to get it taken care of. I never told my family that I was in that situation. In fact, I only told the church Benevolence and a few friends of mine at church, that did not know my brother. God moved on my mechanic’s heart and sent my brother to him. Amazing. It was a $400 repair job, and all I did was ask God, and go to Benevolence as instructed. Yet, outside of prayer, they had nothing to do with the solution He brought. God is so amazing!


Lessons From The Birds…

Isn’t it funny how nature reflects God, life reflects art, and animals reflect people? I tend to pay a lot of attention to animals. My mother does too, especially now that she’s retired. She tells me regularly about the ducks, iguanas, waterfowl, birds and squirrels that come to her back patio to be fed on a daily basis.

It seems in all the communities of this earth, there are hierarchies, and oddly enough, if you pay attention, you can see that even in the animal kingdom, some of these hierarchies and the relative behaviors that accompany them is very much like how people act, usually when they aren’t being thoughtful and considerate of others.

Lately, I’ve been noticing birds. I was near a traffic light, and I noticed these birds to my left flying from tree to tree in a certain area. It looked at first, like one bird was the lead bird…a large black bird; and that a group of 8 to a dozen smaller brown birds were following his lead from tree to tree. But as I watched, it became increasingly obvious that this black bird was being bum-rushed by the brown birds.

It was very similar to what it might look like if a bunch of puny nerds at any given middle school, finally recognized their strength in numbers and brain power, and got together and attacked the larger school bully.

boat_tailed_grackle_sim_1This black bird was trying to fly quickly to a different tree – away from these brown birds; and the brown birds would swoop down after him in something resembling a Blue Angels, diamond like formation on either side of this bird and swoop where he swooped. They weren’t attacking the bird, but it looked a lot like harassment. This poor black bird couldn’t seem to break free of them. He was just caught up in what seemed a stressful situation.

The light changed and I had to move on…but this reminded me of another bird-related situation I saw at work. I had put some old muffins, in the grassy area in front of my office window across the drive in our parking lot. Right at the base of the curbs on both sides of this grassy area, the curb drops down in the center and ends in front of a small drain. I usually put nuts for the squirrels there, but the blue jays have gotten wind of the nuts, as well as a few black birds, and they have started to pick them off before my little squirrel friend can get there.

I also put some dry cat food and some of those chips you get at the Chinese restaurants, there for the birds…and the squirrel if he showed up. It seems that these birds recognize me…particularly the blue jays, as I often put food out for them. I no sooner got back into my office, when the 2 black birds and 2 blue jays were down in the grassy area picking at the muffins. Soon a fleet of brown birds showed up, and everyone was picking at the muffins, snatching the chips or the dry cat food, and flying off for a minute to enjoy their personal snack. This had been going on for several hours…taking up most of the morning.

However, a short time later, I noticed another black bird who had just arrived. By this time, most of the muffins were gone, and everyone was concentrating on the chips and cat food. This particular black bird got down in that little “V” where the food was; and had the nerve, after just arriving for the first time; to act all possessive as if he had made the great discovery of the food, and it was all his. He proceeded to chase off any of the brown birds who continued to return to get more of the cat food, so they began to hustle him. As he jumped after one, another jumped into the “V” and grabbed some food. He couldn’t turn and get after the food thief fast enough, then another would jump in and snatch some food.

I found this rather amusing, because this black bird so reminded me of people…how selfish they are…greedy, and stupid. The more he attempted to hoard the food, the more food he lost as the brown birds tag-teamed him. And I didn’t actually see him have time to eat any of it, because he was too busy being selfish and trying to keep the other birds away from it. So this crow had to eat crow, because he was unwilling to share as all the other birds had previously been doing.

Now, I tend to think that crows are among the smartest of the birds. I’ve seen these black birds find creative ways to get food; like the crow I saw at my college, that alighted onto a partly open trash container to grab a sealed ketchup packet. He then got down on the sidewalk, put his foot on the packet to hold it in place; and proceeded to peck at the packaging until he popped a hole into it. He then stuck his beak repeatedly into the hole to suck out the ketchup.

So they are smart, but it seems to me that they’re smartness and innovation has caused them to become blinded by pride and self-importance; and I could easily compare their interactions with other birds to this country’s interactions with other countries.

It seems like the black birds have a somewhat arrogant air about them (“We’re Amuricans!” GW); and perhaps lack effective communication skills in the world of the birds. I mean, if you do any research on crows, you will see that most of the information states that crows basically have a bad rep. I mean, they are like the lower level bad boys in the world of feathers; with vultures being above them in rank.

And then, just look at the stress dynamic of the situations. In two of the scenarios, the black birds were being pressured. In the first situation, I have no idea what that black bird did to get all those brown birds chasing him down like that; but apparently, the brown birds were completely in control and enjoying the game they played with the black bird. The second situation was more about the black bird frustrating himself out by being unrealistic, greedy, and selfish. I mean, there was no way he could have guarded that food from the rest of them, especially those who were regulars there in the first place. I see people act this foolishly on the regular; and they have no idea what they are doing to their spirits, minds and body through thoughtless, self-flagellating actions like that.ddd4fd3bfc3f64e86064790d8cf2fb55

I don’t think my imagination is on overdrive when I say this, but just like Revenge of the Nerds, it seems that the smaller brown birds have gotten more confident, and are rising from obscurity and asserting themselves to claim what’s theirs. The funniest thing was that one of the blue jays came back, and  hopped about the grassy area looking for more. After checking the “V,” he actually hopped across the drive, and came right up to my window and looked at me, as if he was asking me, “Is that it? You got any more?” When I didn’t get up to bring out more, he flew away.

Animals are so much more intelligent than people give them credit for, and it always amazes me how much of God’s nature is found in nature, as well as how much animals seem to mimic people. There’s so much to learn observing animals and plants.


Student Loan Mismanagement: Overcoming Lender Error – Pt 2

Considering the last tongue lashing I had given the lender via my letter, one would be inclined to think that they would have scrambled to ensure that they corrected all the mistakes and subsequent overcharges due to their “error.” Granted, I only had to wait 4 days for a response this time. No doubt, the threat of outside contacts had stirred their response, but was it enough? Would they correct the entire account situation or just kick out another series of incorrect billing statements?

After explaining all the additional actions they had taken, they stated, “In reviewing your account, it is apparent that our representatives mishandled your initial concerns.” You think? And I knew they had too many hands in the pot! They went on to elaborate on their training of their “team members” and how critical it is to their bottom line of providing “the level” of service they strive to achieve. Blah, blah, blah.

The kicker was the explanation about their two operating systems, which they claim are to originate loans, and handle loan servicing respectively. They claimed that their normal process is that a systematic transfer of the address from their origination system is made to the loan servicing system any time they made a new disbursement. They utilize the hard copy Promissory Note originally filed, and apparently, do not update their systems per additional subsequent electronic filings for loans. As they went on to state, they discovered that their loan servicing system was more current in its address information than the originating system, which held the original Promissory Note information.

This more current information in the loan servicing system makes sense, because this was indicated as the system that services new additional loans. One would naturally presume that if this system receives more current information as students apply for more disbursements, then this system should be the first one examined for updated contact information. They stated that they do not receive a new hard copy of the Promissory Note on any new disbursement agreements that are done electronically, and that many times, the information that they are receiving from the schools contain outdated demographic information. Of course, they recognized that this was not the case in my situation.

But, how much sense does that make? They told me that they are utilizing both electronic notes and the original hard copy paper Promissory Note; and that subsequent to the original hard copy, any additional loans are done electronically. Yet somehow, they neglected to update their files with the new incoming contact information on the newer loan requests simply because they are done electronically? This, in the “electronic” age? Are they serious?

Then they stated that as a result of this opposite situation in my case; this “systematic file transfer process” was canceled. How much sense does this make? Then they say that because of this, when the loans “transferred” the new address did not transfer with them. Did it sound like it would transfer in the regular procedure? My situation was allegedly the opposite of what “normally” happens, but I can’t see the “normal” setup working either. The bottom line is that the current contact information is not transferred under either of these scenarios.

After this asinine explanation of how their systems misfire and basically don’t work properly in conjunction with one another; they proceeded to tell me that this resulted in mail that was being generated from the servicing system being returned to their office. The next two statements put it all into perspective for me.

“Once your loan became “past due,” we were required to perform due diligence in order to try to obtain an updated address for you. We recognize now that we overlooked our origination system in trying to locate you.”

student-debt-consumeraffairs.com_student-lending-probes-and-lawsuitsThis was a joke. I thought I was being “punked.” They stated that despite all the returned mail that was sent out from the “servicing system,” they “waited” until the loan went into “past due status” before they did the “required due diligence” in an attempt to obtain an updated address on the borrower. Ain’t that somethin’! Additionally, they stated that they recognized that they “overlooked” their origination system in trying to locate me. They still hadn’t got it. The problem was not in their bypassing the origination system to find me.

They already stated that they actually do refer to that system primarily because they claimed that newer information delivered electronically in subsequent loan requests from the schools, contained outdated demographic information. Clearly they had already stated that the address information in the origination systems are outdated, because that system only holds the information from the original Promissory Note, and does not contain any information in the newer electronically filed Promissory Notes. Those electronic Promissory Notes are recorded in the servicing system, which they made clear is disregarded for updated demographic information, despite the information in that system being more current. So basically, everything is outdated, yet just as clearly, they said that they refer to that outdated information.

Then they said, “We understand the confusion this information may have caused you.”

Really? How could they understand my confusion, when apparently, they couldn’t understand their own?

“We hope this additional information and the additional steps we have taken have helped to alleviate your concerns.”

Not really. If anything, I was having more “concerns.” They went on to state:

“Please be assured that your situation is “unique.” Generally, what would have occurred was a demographic update from you that would have updated our servicing system. Because the update came from your school, in the form of the electronic file to our origination system, it required a manual review. Because this is an uncommon scenario, “we are confident our existing process sufficiently covers the majority of our customers.”

Seriously? They are “confident” of this? Wow. So it was only because the update came from my school; the institution that the loan requests are made through, that this whole mess occurred? I would think that any update from any school would require a manual review to ensure that the correct, updated information was recorded into the correct system to avoid calamities such as this one.

Was it over? Not by a long shot. Within the next month, I received 3 more statements, all with different amounts due. The first was lower, but subsequent statements were higher, and in one they attempted to charge a late fee because it takes them 10 days to process my payment upon receipt. You know I was not going to let that stand. Again I let my fingers fly free as I let loose on them in yet another letter detailing my frustration. I told them that the appearance of correcting the problem while conducting back-door manipulations to charge me more were unacceptable.

I requested that one person be assigned to my account, and that they supply me with that person’s name, and a direct contact line so that I don’t have to continually see these issues cropping up. This accommodation was never addressed. They insisted that I needed to understand their problems in properly training their personnel. However, I informed them that this was not my problem because, were the situation reversed, and I didn’t get a payment to them on time; they would not be willing to accept any excuses or reasons why from me. They’d simply penalize me in fees and interest, saying in essence, “It’s not my problem.” The last few comments, I think, was what motivated the final complete correction of the overcharges on my account. After telling them they were incompetent and inept, I went for the jugular.

“From this point on, I will be contacting various entities within the federal government, and filing my complaints with them. I will be giving them the entire history of your mishandling of my account, which I still believe is with intent; as well as letting them know that I don’t feel that your organization should be entitled to get government contracts for financing student loans, because it is more than obvious that you cannot handle the responsibility within the scope of lawful business practices nor any integrity.

I can only imagine the millions of people you have ripped off…overcharging them due to this level of incompetence. This is just not acceptable on any level, and I will make sure that this is made public, much in the same way you would publicly report any negative info on my credit record.”

The last thing I stated in that letter, was a request for an amortization schedule on my account from the date of the first payment, until the loan was due to be paid in full. I wanted to make sure they were charging me the correct interest. Bear in mind that from the time of my first correspondence with them, three months had passed of this foolishness. Their next letter was to inform me that they had reapplied a payment and waived the late fees to make all loans due the following month.

Additionally, they included in this letter, an “Automatic Payment Plan Authorization Form.” Were they for real? After they bungled up my account like this, they actually thought that I’d allow them to put their hands into my bank account and automatically withdraw whatever they chose? Clearly, the lights were on but no one is home in that institution. What gall. They did send the amortization schedule, but the very next month, another two statements arrived and one came with a higher payment requirement. The letter that went out was three sentences.

“I am not sending any additional funds other than the current payment amount. Correct your own error, but it better not get charged to me in any way. Don’t say you weren’t forewarned.”

That, and the printout of my account history that they subsequently sent me, ended the entire drama. So, if you are a student, or know of one, have them read this article. You do have options. My situation could not possibly be an isolated one, but appears to be one that happens frequently due to the system processes that they so inadequately explained to justify their mess. The difference is that most people probably don’t catch it, or if they do, they don’t attack it with the voracity that I did. However, I’m of the belief that if more people were informed that financial institutions were operating like this; perhaps it would be stopped, or at the least, better regulated to ensure that millions are not being financially raped in this manner for years by these lenders. Be mindful.


Student Loan Mismanagement: Overcoming Lender Error – Pt 1

When dealing with the realm of pain problems, a major player is the mind, and the enemies, real or perceived that the mind has to deal with. Such experiences create a lot of stress which then plays out in one’s body in the form of pain due to anger or frustration. Having to deal with duplicitous systems, worlds within worlds, can become quite a turbulent battle ground; like the battle I had as a result of willful errors and overcharges made by a student loan lender for repayment.

Several years ago, educational initiatives were created that would not only increase educational opportunities, but also to enable more people to get student loans to get that education. These initiatives were intended to help us to compete in the worldwide arena in a technologically changing world. However, the government failed while creating these initiatives, to create better regulation and oversight, and to put in place protection for consumers from the deceptive practices of lenders.

2student-loans-182x300During that time, I took out three individual student loans so that I could complete my education. These were done by means of Stafford loans, which had a limit of $3500.00 per loan at that time. Students put in their applications and upon approval, the funds are then sent to the school of their choice to pay for classes, and optionally, books. I chose to seek out alternate sources online and buy used books, so that saved much of the funds remaining. These were then paid out to me, which I used for living expenses.

This process was not difficult nor complex. The schools assisted greatly with the entire process, and made it relatively easy for the student to obtain the loans. However, no one really prepared students for what happens later, after the student has completed their education.

For me, the problems started with no notification from the lender, Wells Fargo; who was supposed to start the billing process within 6 months of my completion.  At the time, I suspected that payments should have started and wondered why I had not been contacted. Since they failed to contact me, I began trying to find them, but I kept having difficulty in locating the correct company and subdivision.

I had all my loan papers, but could not find the one that named the lender. By the time I finally found them, I had another problem in gaining access to my account. I had to attempt this access based on total recall.  I had been so focused on school and my classes that I did not make sure I kept track of the access information. So the first point I want to make to potential or current students is, keep all this information and documentation in one, easy to locate place, so that later when needed it is immediately accessible.

When I finally gained access to my account and checked the messages, I found none. No notices of the start of repayment. So then I decided to check my listed account information, because it just didn’t make sense to me that my repayments were not to start. It was already 3 months beyond the time I suspected the payments should have started, but because of changes in my completion date based on additional classes, I just wasn’t 100% sure when it was to start.

I had already checked the site several times in the previous 3 months and there was no change; no messages or contact online telling me anything in this regard. Either way, a check of the personal account info was in order, just to ensure that everything was correct and they were able to contact me.

Sure enough, upon checking I discovered that changes had been made to my contact information that I had not made nor authorized. They had me listed in some city in the northern part of my state that I had never even heard of, and the phone information was a bunch of x’s, 1’s and 0’s. I immediately corrected all of the information, wondering how it had been changed; because I had not moved from the original address I had when I applied for all 3 loans.

Shortly after this change was made, I was bombarded with bills from Wells Fargo on all 3 loans individually as well as collectively, claiming that I owed them late fees and penalties exceeding $600.00. This amount did not include the monthly payments. This was above and beyond it, and these additional charges would steadily increase until all had been paid; which at that rate, was looking like never. I immediately contacted them online to inform them of the error in their system, which had nothing to do with me, and was beyond my control.

Meanwhile, I had also been bombarded with emails and snail mail from consolidation companies who wanted me to get a loan consolidation with them for my student loans. I chose not to take this option, because then it would mean that it would take a longer period of time for my credit to reflect that I had paid off any of the loans. Since I was trying to reestablish my credit, I felt that I could pay off one of the loans faster with additional payments.

Therefore, I wanted all three loans to stay separate, because my plan was to pay the monthly amount while making additional payments on the principle of one account, and therefore, have a reflection of a paid off loan on my credit. This would increase my credit rating, even if the other loans weren’t paid off yet, and then enable me to apply the principle payments from the first paid off loan to the second, and so forth until it was all paid off.

So that was my plan, but all of a sudden, I was facing months of late fees and penalties. Wells Fargo was kicking out notices several times a month with different balance amounts and different interest, penalties and minimum payment amounts. It got to the point where I could not assess what was the actual amount owed and how much were the fees and penalties.

In addition to this, I didn’t believe that I owed these fees and penalties, because I had not made any changes to my contact information preventing them from contacting me. It was my opinion and belief that this was an error in their systems, but how could I prove it? Well, they say you can’t fight city hall, but my name alone challenges that notion. My name means helper and defender, and this is part of my calling in life. I have no problem with challenging authorities.  And so…the fight began.

The resistance movement on this financial assault started with messages I sent online to the lender, Wells Fargo. In these messages, I attempted to explain the error that they had made, but these messages were intercepted by the regular reps, who simply kick out mindless responses much like a computer does, without any specific personal references or consideration.

They messaged me back claiming that my message was incomplete and suggesting that I fax it or call. I knew that calling was pointless for the same automated reasons stated above. I may be speaking with a person, but only a rep, who would not take the time, nor have the interest to really investigate my charges of lender error.

Certainly, they aren’t paid enough to investigate at the level required. So calling was out. Plus, I wanted to ensure that I had a paper trail of my charges against the lender, in the event that the lender decided to play hard ball, and insist that no error had been made; penalizing me relentlessly.

In faxing my charges, I made sure that I faxed it from a machine that could print a receipt which indicated their receipt of the information. In the charge, I informed the lender that there had apparently been a change or adjustment made to my account contact information, which I neither initiated nor authorized; and that this change replaced correct information with incorrect information.

I explained my efforts to contact them, and that upon discovering this incorrect information on their site; I immediately corrected it, giving them the exact same address and phone number that they previously had from the inception of the loans because I had never moved.

I further explained the fact that this correction after the fact then caused an onslaught of payment reminders which apparently were three months past due. As a result of this past due status that was due to their system error, I was sent another onslaught of payment demands, which included increasing late fees and penalties with each new demand per past due month.

I advised them that since the error was due to an unauthorized change in their system, that the responsibility for this was on them, and therefore, I would not be sending any payment with late fees or penalties included. It was up to them to correct their error.

What was their response to my counter attack at level 1?

“According to the Promissory Note that you had signed, it is your responsibility for notifying our office of any address or phone number changes as well as any changes to your account status.”

Then they included a copy “for my review.”  How thoughtful.

To say I was mad does not begin to describe the frustration. Clearly, I had explained the problem to the lender, yet clearly they had chosen to ignore my complaint, and hadn’t even investigated to see if there was any merit to my claim.

So I went right to the contract copy they had sent me to launch my counter attack, utilizing it to emphasis the fact that I was indeed responsible to notify them of changes in my contact information. This, I stated, was the exact point of the matter.

Until the date of the correction, I had made no changes because there were no changes to make. The last information they had received from me concerning my contact information, was on the third and final loan. No changes had been made since that time.

I was so happy that I had had the fore thought to copy and paste a copy of the error they had initiated in my contact information that I saw online. So I had a full copy of that information on the error; exactly what the unauthorized changes they made were, and I made sure to include it in the letter. I also copied the exact changes I had made when I corrected their error.

This leads me to my second point of advice. When dealing with a financial institution of any sort, do your utmost to have and maintain copies of any changes made to your account, whether authorized by you or not. Proper documentation is the key to winning, because it enables you to present proof of your charges.

At this point in my assault against their error, I put forth a challenge.

“You sent me the copy of the 1st loan paperwork I signed. The address on that form was the only other address I ever submitted to you aside from my current address, so again…if you wish to claim I am responsible for the error in your system, show me evidence that I gave you the erroneous address information you had in your system, and I will accept responsibility.

As I said before, I intend to pay this loan in full, but I don’t appreciate being accused or held accountable for something that I had no involvement in. If your system is faulty, you need to correct the system instead of holding your customers hostage with it.”

Within two weeks I had two responses one day apart.

“Upon further review of your account and due to a system error, your address was inadvertently changed after your loans were disbursed on________. After your loans were disbursed, our office started to receive return mail and your account was flagged as having an incorrect address. In efforts to locate your address, our office updated your account several times; thus, explaining the erroneous or incorrect address information you never authorized.”

Naturally, it was followed by apologies, and a claim that they would waive one late fee they charged me for about $30.00. The second letter claimed that they had reviewed the information they had supplied to the credit reporting agencies which stated my account had been late for the previous three months, and that they had contacted them to remove this information and update my credit history to reflect the correct status as current and paid as agreed.

They claimed that this was situation was “unique” and “not reflective of the high standards that we strive to achieve.”  Yet my billing statements were still reflecting an increase in the monthly amount I was supposed to pay, and included interest charges and penalties for the previous five months, which were all related to their “error.”

It seemed more than apparent that none of this was going to be addressed or changed.  So once again, I wrote another letter, this time with a bit more fire. I stated that I didn’t think this was the first time a situation like this had occurred, and that from their handling of it, I didn’t see it as being the last. I wondered how many students had been ripped off by these so-called “errors” in their system, and how much they had been forced to pay in undue late fees and overcharged interest.

I insisted that they reset the date that the payments were to occur to correct this situation, as they had failed, in their alleged attempts to update my account, to even verify my address information with the school the payments had been disbursed through.

Since organizations like this have a slew of reps that randomly handle these accounts, I indicated that it was apparent that too many hands were in the pot, and that they needed to assign one person to handle this account to full correction and crediting of all fees, penalties and interest that were already charged to me out of my payments to date.

Lastly, I informed them that I was losing patience with their organization. I indicated that my senator and congressman were just a click away online, and that the Better Business Bureau and Dept. of Education might have a real interest in this “unique”  situation. I stated that I would not hesitate to inform them of it if this was not quickly resolved to my satisfaction. Then, I waited.


Conform, Perform or Transform

I’m currently aspiring to expand my mind. It’s a new phase that has me doing a lot of reading lately. And actually, I’m happy about that. I missed reading. This change has caused me to make time for that again, because I want to feed my mind to change my mindset.

Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

I am understanding this scripture more and more these days. Being caught up in the culture and the distractions is a state of conformity that I’m not interested in. So I’m trying to wean myself away from certain things, particularly certain media things that are not part of what I need to put my message out there.

Renewing your mind is a great process, and there’s so much to learn. There are so many areas to grow oneself. My only issue with all of this, is that I think I used to be tougher. What I mean is…I used to be able to contain myself, and hide my emotions to some degree. They were on lockdown. I had a lot of self-control, wherein very little phased me.

Considering my testimonies, my family and friends were always surprised by my lack of worry or failure to freak out during some of the situations that they thought were very difficult to handle; the ones they were certain they could never have handled.

Now, it irks me to no end that despite the character building that I’m experiencing, which I like; I’m becoming an emotional mess! Now, all sorts of things make me cry. I am not opposed to crying when needed, but I’m bugged and frustrated that now. I feel like one of those weepy, over-emotional people who cry on the drop of a dime. I never liked that, so the fact that I can’t seem to contain my emotions really annoys me to no end.

I know that it is the layers that the books I’m reading and the info I’m getting are peeling back. I’m not as closed off as I used to be. I’m becoming a little more vulnerable again, and compassionate, and although my spirit is growing, my flesh most certainly is not liking it.

happy-quotes-inspirational-quotesMy ability to be consistent has always been a battle, but now, it seems that I have become consistently weepy. I have been progressing slowly, and that has been a frustration as well, because I look at the progress of others around me, and stupidly, compare myself to them. My problem has been (past tense) my patterns. I’m one of those people, who can get focused for a period of time, and then…life just interferes, and I completely get off track. I guess many people are like that. When there is too much to focus on, it can be that way.

What I’m learning now, is that I don’t have to be perfect. I used to think as if my imperfections were reasons not to do something; that it wouldn’t be accepted and acceptable because I wasn’t. I just wasn’t perfect enough. I never realized that I had this perfectionism bug, but I now think there are levels to this.

It’s not that I needed to be perfect in everything. I’m not that sort of perfectionist. My fear had more to do with public things, like what I do online. Like my writing. Like the fact that I have wanted to go viral for 2 years now, but felt intimidated because I was conforming to the media’s projected standard of what’s cool or perfect. Like the fact that so many people seemed to understand the flow of how to do this blogging thing, and I still feel like I’m in the slow lane on it.

I confessed this fear of mine to my mentors, and they flipped the script on me by saying, “There are people out there that are waiting for you…for the unique information you have to share. They’ve been searching for it, and you need to get it out there, because there are people who need it.”

I remember reading a book a while back called, “I became a Christian and all I got was this lousy Tee-shirt.” It was an amusing book, and the pastor that wrote it has a sort of wacked sense of humor, but he does make his points.

As much as I can remember he was talking about walking with speed, versus walking with love. I guess it’s our goal-making mentality that causes us to place time restraints on everything. His example was when his sister’s baby had died, and he took the opportunity to minister to his mother and brother-in-law. He had an entire speech ready when he went into the hospital to be there for his sister, who had asked him to try to speak to them. None of it mattered. They were unmoved.

His wife went and was just there, and even after he left and flew back home, she stayed an extra week, just being there for them. His point was that his method was walking with speed, and hers was walking with love, because she demonstrated her faith by her actions, not by words. He figured that long term, she would have a greater effect than he did.

What was my point? I said this to point out the fact that those of us who aspire to something, like the fantastic organizational skills we see in others; are, in our backwardness, seeking to become goal-setting, everything-in-its-proper-place, perfect people, when in reality, God calls us to live life moment by moment, and not to sweat the small stuff. He calls us to walk in love, not speed.

I’ve seen a lot of nice pics showing a beautiful apartments and homes even from people I know. I, in my muddle of misery at my lack of organization, have looked at these pics and thought, “Why can’t I have a beautiful, spotless place like that?” Actually, some of those images are so spotless, they don’t look lived in, which is sort of the point. They are models for magazines. I’d rather have my home look lived in, than like a museum.

But I’ve seen the people, or moms that seem like they are just amazing with organizing. For instance, there are these moms out there that have 7 or more children, and they have their homes completely organized, clean…they have a system for those kids and the family. These are the women who have quintuplets all natural, no C-section, and no pain killers. Those are the ones that I look at and say, “Wow. Your more woman than me, cause I could never do this.”

stop-hating-start-loving-yourself-quote-motivational-quotes-pictures-picsNow admittedly, part of the problem, aside from too many things on the platter, is some degree of laziness, but that’s not the total issue. The real thing is, my focus is different, and because super moms are promoted in the media. Women that love being the housewife, or the super hostess always seem to be the ideal. I just don’t fit that ideal.

This is why I’ve determined that I actually need to be wealthy; because I have always known that there were so many more interesting things to be doing than to be bothered with something like housework, and I’d rather pay for catering. I do like things neat and organized, but I see no need for me to have to be the one to do all of that all of the time. I’m not the queen of domesticity.

So I’ve decided to not only stop focusing on what is not my forte, but to stop beating myself up in my self-talk about it. I’d rather focus on my strengths, instead of my weaknesses.

It’s like I always tell my son. We are all plants. When I try to get him to understand about his food choices, I tell him this. But I’ve also used this analogy in another context. Yes, we are all plants. We are beings of energy; the same energy that exists on this earth in everything around us. The same energy that plants reach skyward to absorb from the light of the sun.

And like plants, there are millions of species, each having a specific function and purpose. And all of them are able to grow and live and thrive on this same earth. Some have to be planted in certain areas, in certain types of soil, and in certain atmospheres, because they grow best in those areas.

be-yourselfThis is like all of us. There are some plants that have a specific purpose for creating or demonstrating beauty. Then, there are some that function to control the bug population, by being natural predators for them. There are some that function to give covering, shade for us. Some function to give certain natural chemicals that can heal us. Some function to give food for us. There are many varieties, functions, and purposes, yet all are useful when they stay within their purpose, and function as designed.

So basically, I just need to renew my mind on this, and develop some self-talk that is uplifting me in my purpose and for my function, because I don’t have to be like anyone else. In fact, I like being unique and different. And it is time for me to move past this struggle, so forward I go…

Phl 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.


An Expensive lesson

A couple of years ago, when I was taking my son for a play date at his friend’s house, my car’s front end started shaking and rattling real hard. I pulled over, thinking I had a flat, but the tires looked fine. So I slowly drove the rest of the way to my son’s friend’s, because once I hit 35mph, the shaking started again.

At the time, I was thinking, “Aw, c’mon Lord! I just spent $256.00 barely a week ago on this car, and it hit my budget hard. I was already pressed for that month, and definitely did not need another repair bill. I got to the mechanic a bit later, and ran into three (note the number-which I didn’t even realize until writing this) gentlemen sitting in the mechanic’s office.

They asked me if I’m a sister in the Lord, which I affirmed. The one said, “See, I told you she was. You can tell looking at her.” Well, I must admit that I liked the fact that it was finally that obvious. Now, of course, I was thinking that if it is that obvious, what do I look like when I’m mad or impatient? How’s the reflection then? Good question. I still don’t know the answer on that one.

Anyways, so I started talking with these guys and telling them about my books. In the course of the conversation, I let them know about the one that I was trying to publish, and the delays that kept occurring, “But,” I said, “I know that God has a reason and a purpose for all of these delays, so it’s cool.”

Then I told them about the current book that I’m halfway through writing, “In His Image.” I told them that in the last section I was working on, I was talking about Lucifer, and how he came to be. I described the difference in his origins versus mankind’s origins, and they asked me, what about the angels?

Song of the Angels by William Bouguereau, 1881.
Song of the Angels by William Bouguereau, 1881. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I told them that I hadn’t gotten to them yet, and they said that this information interested them because why did 1/3 of them fall away with Satan? After the mechanic returned, they got up to leave, and shook my hands saying they were glad to have met me. One fellow intended to contact a pastor that we both knew (I knew this pastor only as a homeschool evaluator), and let him know about my books; so that he could forward the name of a publisher to me that worked a good deal for him.

When they were gone, I was sitting in the mechanic’s office, and he had this big large print bible on the desk. Despite having brought my own reading material…some business info I needed to study, I kept thinking about what those guys asked me about the angels.

So I decided to peruse this bible, particularly the back to see if there was any concordance or subject information on angels. Sure enough, this bible had a whole section that listed quite a bit of information on angels. I immediately photocopied those pages to take home and review.

While sitting there, I say to God, “Lord, seriously, you need to address this bill for me, because things are too tight right now for me to be hit with another car repair bill like the last one.” Meanwhile, I say this, hoping that God will convince my mechanic to give me a freebie this time. The mechanic has done this sort of thing in the past, whenever God chose to grant me His unmerited favor.

The mechanic comes in and tells me that the problem was the ball bearings and the holder for them, which was damaged when the ball bearings locked. He handed me the bill. “Ouch!” I say, “Can I stop by tomorrow with a check?” So he ok’d that, and I left.

Later that night, I was at home looking at my banking in my computer program and trying to figure out how I might rob Peter to pay Paul. I finagled the numbers between several accounts and figured how I was going to move money into the main account to cover this…by hitting 4 other accounts for the funds. Heartbreaking.

Then I moved on to look at those sheets I copied on angels. I began to look up certain aspects of the information, and started finding some interesting facts that are extremely relevant to my book. This started the flow in me, and I ended up writing 3 more chapters to add in this new information.

When I was finally done with this exercise, it was late and I was exhausted, but I was still clear headed enough to realize something and I said to God, “That information cost me $213.00!” I’ve noticed that there are times when something that appears to be a problem, may inadvertently assist you to getting either a blessing or a victory in another area. We sometimes stress ourselves out over it, because we are looking at it through the eyes of the wrong perspective.

This was a pretty expensive lesson, but well worth it because it provided information I needed for the book. Apparently, I had a predestined appointment at the mechanic’s just to meet those 3 men, receive their questions, and get the information that pointed me to the answers for that section of the book. All part of the process. Peace and blessings.