• Tag Archives Prayer
  • #ImWithHer

    Tomorrow will decide whether America moves toward Liberty or into a hellish Tyranny.

     

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    From “The Crisis“, by Thomas Paine:

    December 23, 1776

    THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but “to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER” and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.

     

     

    As the old saying goes: Pray and don’t worry. So, here are some powerful prayers.

     

    The Holy Rosary:

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    I used to pray it daily, but have slacked off over the past year. Still, it’s my go to prayer in times of uncertainty.

    O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

     

    The Prayer to St. Michael the Archangel:

     

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    Saint Michael the Archangel, Pray for us.

     

     

    Saint Patrick’s Breastplate- (Lorica)

     

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    This prayer is so lyrical and mysterious. I’ve been praying it almost daily for some time. It’s also beautiful in song.

     

     

     

    Saint Patrick, pray for us.

     

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    Prayer for Religious Liberty:

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    #ImWithHer

    Mary Immaculate, Patroness of Our Country, Pray for Us.

     

    Divine Mercy:

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    Jesus, I trust in you.

     

     

     


  • I Wish You Peace

    During this time of terrible stress and division leading up to the most important election of our lives, many Americans are struggling to find peace.

    Especially people like me, who suffer from clinical depression and anxiety. Some days are so ridden with anxiety that I have great difficulty keeping myself calm. Today seems to be one of those days.

    This morning I got up early to go running and pray the Rosary, two things that usually set a positive foundation for the day. But now, at 7 pm, I find that I’m stressed out again.

    However, there are certain things that I have found to keep the anxiety at bay, even if they don’t always work, and so, I decided to write a list here in this post.

    To keep my anxiety levels as low as possible, here’s what I do.

    1) Reading Scripture and Prayer. This is a practice that helps immensely. I have quite a few apps installed on my phone, including Laudate, a Catholic resource with daily Mass readings, reflections and prayers. I also have the Bible app. This is of great help, because you can search for verses by typing in words, like peace, fear, love, trust, etc. There is always a verse at my fingertips to comfort me.

     

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    2) Turn off the TV. Yes, I mean really. This includes cable news. No TV, unless it’s for a quality program, movie or other entertainment.

    3) Silence. Most of the time my house is quiet, and when I’m working I sit next to the window, where all can hear are the sounds of birds, cicadas, the wind, and other peaceful country sounds.

    4) Limit news intake. I do not watch any mainstream news, and only listen to one program on talk radio. That’s it. Too much news/talk and debate is stressful. There are ways to keep informed without listening or watching news all day long.

    5) Be careful of social media. This is difficult for me, since I love being online, but too much of it hurts my health, since the trends are managed by leftists who try to demoralize people like me — we who do not want Hillary Clinton elected president.

    *note* When on Facebook, if the constant doom and gloom are too much for you, or you are a reluctant Trump supporter, and are voting AGAINST Hillary, please, do yourself a favor, and unfollow your Never Trump contacts.

    It is much too stressful to see the constant threads of name calling, scorn and derision. It’s very unfortunate that we are where we are, but it can’t be helped. It seems the differences are irreconcilable.

    If your friends constantly share nasty memes that deride the person running against Hillary (and/or the people who have chosen to vote for him, either as their first choice or as a last resort, like I am) please don’t feel that you must see it.

    If you see articles that cast aspersions on you or your family, perhaps suggesting that your conscience is in need of an overhaul, or that you are dumber than a box of hammers, you are not obligated to keep it coming through your newsfeed.

    The unfollow button is there for a reason. Use it, and don’t look back until after the election, when it may be safe to see what your friends are saying.

    6) Unfollow all clickbait sites, or other sites that cause stress. Yes. Just unfollow. Find some quality news that is as unbiased as possible, and weed out the crap.

    7) Stay off twitter trends. Do not look at trends. Twitter is in the tank for Hillary. They manage trends to make her look good, hiding her many crimes, her health problems, and other important news, while at the same time pushing the Republican candidate to the top of trends if he happens to say one wrong word.

    So, if you like twitter, just visit the accounts of friends, and of people who you trust to share the truth. Then leave.

    8) Exercise, fresh air and sunlight. Find some sort of activity, whether it be walking, running, a workout, the gym, or even sitting and lifting your arms up and down. Anything at all to get the stress off.

    Getting outside each day is very important too, even for just fifteen or twenty minutes.

     

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    9). Hug your family and spend time with them.

    10). Hug your pet.

    11) Try to find at least one thing to laugh about every day.

     

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    12) Read a good book. This is a must. Reading is an escape. Use it.

    13) Music. This one is one of my mainstays. Listen to the music you love every day, and get lost in it for awhile.

    14) Get plenty of sleep. This can mean the difference between a good day and a bad day, so hit the hay early every night.

    I have been using the disciplines above for some time, though I do at times backslide in some of them. These tricks do work to limit stress, and God knows everyone is suffering at least a little right now.

    Following is a song that is one of my favorites. It happened to come up on my playlist this morning, and has been in my head all day.

     

     

     

    I wish you peace, when times are hard
    The light to guide you through the dark
    And when storms are high and your dreams are low

    I wish you the strength to let love grow on,
    I wish you the strength to let love flow…

     

    So, in closing… I wish you peace.

     

     


  • Spring Cleaning

    My husband took a week off from work so we can get our house into shape. 

    Well, not only the house, but cars, motorcycle and other things. For the past few months we’ve been working on renovating and redecorating certain rooms of our home. It’s a work in progress, and won’t be complete for another year.

    The first thing we did was turn our old bathroom into a powder room by removing the shower stall. (It was approximately the size of a coffin, and I’m glad it’s gone). The powder room is beautiful, making up for the fact that I have to go all the way upstairs for a shower now, until we finally finish the home makeover with a new master bath.

    We changed out two rooms. Off the kitchen, we had a sitting area with a tiny TV inside an antique sideboard. Since we don’t watch much TV, this was the perfect set up. We could catch the weather in the morning, and go downstairs to watch Netflix in the evenings.

    Now our dining room furniture occupies the space formerly known as a sitting room, and the room we used as a dining room is a formal living room.

    A new master bedroom is next on the list, before the master bath. It’s quite a project, so my husband took this week to finish some painting and other needed jobs, like changing the oil in his Harley-Davidson and my car, and installing shocks or something. Plus, getting some seedlings ready for the garden.

    I’m getting ready for Easter, and a baby shower for my son & daughter-in-law, whose little boy was born 10 weeks early. The baby is doing well in the NICU, and has already gained back all the weight he lost after birth, plus 3 ounces 🙂

    So, there is spring cleaning going on. I’ve been washing all my quilts as I take them off the walls. Today I washed a few I hadn’t gotten to.

     

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    A few of my quilts. I made all three. The Double Irish Chain quilt was my first. The Sunbonnet Girls were hand appliquéd and embroidered, using 1930s reproduction fabric. The other quilt is a Monkey Wrench or Churn Dash pattern which I made for my daughter, also using reproduction fabrics.

     

    I have always enjoyed hanging out my laundry. I take after my mother in this respect. (She lives next door and we share a clothesline). Mom has been hanging her laundry since she was married in 1956, and probably for much longer. She  loves hanging the laundry, and I do, too.

    I barely use a clothes dryer. I hang everything outside year round, unless the cold is too bitter or the snow is too deep. On those days I use the dryer, or a clothes rack. My mother hangs her clothes in her basement.

    Mom has a dryer now, but we never had one when I was growing up. This led to certain issues at times. During the winter, our jeans didn’t always get dry overnight on the basement clothesline, so every once in a while, my sister and I would go to school wearing damp jeans. Brrr.

    Cleaning the house is a pain, but after it’s finished, I always feel better.

     

    A comment on one of my recent posts stated that it was “all over the place,” and while it wasn’t true of that post, its seems it is with this post. Sometimes my mind needs a spring cleaning as well.

    Not really a cleaning; there’s nothing dirty there, or at least not that I know of. I just need some down time, or a change, to get myself out of the winter blues. This winter wasn’t bad weather-wise, in fact it was one of the best, but so many things have happened that I find I need to clear my head. If this post seems to be rambling, its because I’ve been under a lot of stress. Writing is therapy.

    Today I went running, which is also serious therapy.

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    Scenes from my run in White Clay Creek Preserve, here in Southern Chester Co., PA. The barn, top right, is not in the park, but on a road nearby.

     

    While running, I usually pray the Rosary and then listen to music. Today I prayed the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet, and then ran without the music for awhile, praying for my little grandson, and others who came to mind.

    It’s a terrible thing to see friends so torn up about the candidates for president. I hate the division. This time in America seems the worst in my lifetime, and I am so concerned that I find I must just let go and let God, or else worry myself sick.

    I have been praying for God to send us a leader every day for months now. I find that asking and then saying “Your will be done,” takes away my anxiety. I don’t know what His answer will be, but I do trust that whatever happens, it will be for my good, the good of my loved ones, and the good of everyone who follows Him.

    Trust in the Lord with all your heart
        and lean not on your own understanding;
    in all your ways submit to him,
        and he will make your paths straight.

    Proverbs 3: 5-6

    This verse has helped me tremendously. Any scripture regarding trust is a help to me, since I have spent parts of the past 7 years in a fog of crippling fear.

    Fear of Obamacare (which my family was blessed to have escaped), fear of my religious freedom being yanked away by the Democrats and their HHS mandate, fear of unemployment as my husbands job was outsourced, and when the contract was broken, watching him be forced to reapply for the same job he had been doing for over 20 years, seeing my sister struggle with unemployment, and the list goes on.

    The past 8 years have been a train wreck for many Americans. For me it culminated when I watched the man occupying the White House standing with his hand on his heart in front of a mural of Che Guevara in Cuba, alongside Fidel Castro’s brother.

    What a colossal slap in the face to all of us. And then the news of another terror attack in Europe. It’s too much, but I suppose I should get ready for more. Obama has almost a full year to further degrade us.

    I didn’t expect him to fly home from Cuba the way any other President would; I knew he would ever do that. I was sort of surprised to see him dancing the Tango in Argentina, though. Seems he can always go lower.

    The only consolation is that he will be gone next January. I hope God answers my prayers, and the the prayers of millions of other Americans who have suffered so much, and have been asking for a leader. We need a leader. We don’t need someone who believes it’s “her turn.”
    For those who vote with their vaginas, I hope you will not have to endure what many of us have had to endure. Even if some of your social issues do not progress in the way to which you have become accustomed, (my way or the highway) at least you will be safer with a strong Military, and counterterrorism measures put in place. So there will be an upside for you, as well as for the rest of us.

    Many prayers for the people of Brussels. I’m very sorry for what happened. America is weeping right along with you.

    Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
    and let perpetual light shine upon them.
    May the souls of the faithful departed,
    through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
    Amen.

     


  • Reflections on Lent

    It’s that time again… Lent begins tomorrow.

    It’s early this year; snow is falling here in Chester County, Pennsylvania, and I’m thankful to God that I don’t have to drive in it. It’s cold and damp outside, and I usually huddle near the heater so the cold doesn’t get into my hands and cause pain.

    But the snow is pretty, falling in large wet flakes. It’s the kind of snow children can make snowmen and snowballs with. Is it possible that this wintery weather will be done and over with in six short weeks?

    That’s doubtful. I remember snowstorms on Good Friday. Still, Spring, and with it our celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead, is on the horizon. Sometime before Easter, snowdrops and crocuses will bloom, and my hyacinths will begin poking through the mud. The days are getting longer, and my mood, overshadowed by depression, is brighter.
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    When I was a child, our family didn’t stress extra prayer or reflection during Lent. We skipped meat on Fridays and “gave up” something. Usually it was a food that we loved, like chocolate, or cookies. Doing this did make me aware of Lent, however it wasn’t until my mid thirties that I really came to the deep faith I have today. Which, by the way, has gone through dryness at times. Actually, I’m in the midst of a semi-desert, midway between a joyous feeling in my heart when contemplating Jesus, and the complete spiritual dryness I experienced during the worst of my episodes of depression. The joy does come, but it’s not a given, the way it once seemed to be. Still, I was blessed to come to a deeper faith, and will accept whatever God hands me, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

    For the last ten years or so, in addition to my everyday habit of reading the daily Mass readings and a reflection, I made it a point to do some extra spiritual reading during Lent. Past selections included The Story Of A Soul, St. Therese of Lisieux’s autobiography, What Jesus saw From The Cross, by A.G. Sertillanges, Jesus of Nazareth, by Pope Benedict XVI, (which I never finished, because it was difficult reading), and various collections of reflections and writings from others who lived holy lives.

    This year I will be reading Rediscover Jesus, by Michael Kelly. This book was given to us as a Christmas gift from our parish, and I decided to save it for Lent. It has 40 short chapters, one for each day.

    I also downloaded two new apps: 25 Days of Reflections by Father Benedict Groeschel of EWTN, and the Way of the Cross for the Unborn. These materials will give me lots of spiritual food. I always feel closer to God when I take extra time to read about Him, and to pray other prayers in addition to the Rosary.

    I hope to experience a Holy Lent, full of God’s beauty and grace, and I wish the same for everyone reading this.

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  • Our Prayers are not useless ~ Our God is with Us

    In the wake of the San Bernardino shooting, several prominent publications, including the NY Daily News and Huffington Post, are targeting traditional Americans, Republicans and Christians with blame and hate.

    The Daily News’ cover today showed tweets of prayers from Republicans. See for yourself what the daily news says about prayer, and people who support the 2nd Amendment.

     

    A Daily News story first focuses on the fact that the shooters obtained the weapons legally in America. Other pertinent information is mentioned in an offhand way near the end of the story.

    The Huffington Post declares that prayer is useless.

    The only thing most media is concerned with at this time is gun control. From their obsession stems their hatred. Hatred which makes itself seen and heard each and every day with their demonization of  Republicans, Conservatives, traditional Americans and God. That’s it.

    My prayers are certainly with the victims, their families, first responders, the police, and anyone else hurt by this terrible tragedy. And, my prayers are not useless. Neither are yours.

    Bald Eagles

    Our God is with us. He hears our prayers. Never doubt that. Now, this hate from the media has been going on for 8 years. It’s grinding. It makes people feel hopeless. It never stops; they never run out of hate, and they always let you know it. So, we must understand that if we feel bad about what they say we should take our hurt and confusion TO God. Never stop praying to Him!

    Never, ever let anyone tell you your prayers are useless. To God, all of this has been around before. He’s seen this time and again. Evil men choose the evil instead of the good. They did it on the day Christ was crucified, they continued on until the present day, and they will not stop until Jesus returns.

    This “world” that we must live in is not our true home. We are only here until we can be reunited with our Creator.  That is why we don’t feel comfortable here, especially now, with the hate, rage and blame which is thrown at us day after day after day.

    Please understand that all of their accusations and blame are simply lies. Don’t let them deceive you. 

    Shelter under God's wings
    Have mercy on me, God, have mercy on me. In you I seek refuge. In the shadow of your wings I seek refuge till harm pass by. Psalm 57:2

    We should never stop praying, and we should, in fact, pray more. What I plan to do from now on is to ask God to take away my fear and give me trust in its place. I’m going to make an effort to look for God everywhere. In nature, in my friends and family, in church, in my everyday tasks. We mustn’t believe the lies. We must believe the Truth, and live in the Freedom of Christ.

    You will come to know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32

    Look for God everywhere, and you will find the Truth. Never stop praying. You are a beloved child of God.

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  • Combining Prayer with Staying Fit & Healthy

    Prayer and staying physically fit and healthy are two big parts of my life.

    This has been the case since 2002. Even before that, but sporadically. However, 2002 was the year I was forced to come to grips with the fact that I was 50+ pounds overweight. My come to Jesus moment occurred in the doctor’s office, when he informed me that since I refused to follow his advice and lose the extra weight, I needed help other than his. Due to heredity I had high cholesterol and was in danger of developing heart disease. He advised me to see a specialist who could help me with my eating disorder so I could live a long and healthy life.

    I was never so mad at anyone as I was at that man. Still, he did the right thing. I needed a wake up call, and I received it that day. Sigh. The weight had been gained slowly, over a period of 2-3 years, and I knew it would take awhile to come off. Rather than call the therapist, I decided to try a popular weight loss program (Weight Watchers) with weigh-ins for accountability, weekly group support meetings and an eating plan that wasn’t insane. (Just healthy foods in normal portion sizes with allowances for treats and fun foods in moderation.) This was the best way for me. The program also included physical activity. I wasn’t a fan of exercise, but I knew that I needed to incorporate it for my own good and that of my family, who needed me to be healthy. So, with lots of hard work, many setbacks and thoughts of giving up I changed my bad eating habits into good ones and established a fitness routine.

    Back then I did workout videos in my TV room. The weight came off over 18 months. (It took me 6 months to lose the last 5 pounds, but I didn’t quit). After reaching my goal weight I began working for Weight Watchers and stayed for 10 years. I kept most of the weight off. I struggled with 5 pounds constantly, and upon resigning from my job last spring I was afraid I might gain the weight back. It hasn’t happened. The habits I formed stayed with me, including physical activity.

     

    So, what does all of this have to do with prayer?

    Quite a lot, actually.

    Your body is a temple

    Being healthy in mind, body and spirit is extremely important. How we treat our bodies means something. The above verse pertains to many different behaviors, of course, however keeping healthy is as important as any.

    About 7 years ago I got bored with working out in front of my TV and decided to begin running. I choose to run in a State Park/Nature preserve near my home, (photo of creek next to trail, above). Sometimes I run while listening to music, and other times I pray the Rosary. Back when I began running I didn’t have an iPod, so the Rosary was always a part of my run. As many people know, sometimes prayers become rote. We know them so well that our mind wanders. This happens to me sometimes, and I recently found a way to combat it: Interval training while running and praying.

    What is interval training?

    It’s not as complicated as you might think. Interval training is simply alternating bursts of intense activity with intervals of lighter activity.

    For instance, if your exercise is walking — if you’re in good shape, you might incorporate short bursts of jogging into your regular brisk walks. If you’re less fit, you might alternate leisurely walking with periods of faster walking. For example, if you’re walking outdoors, you could walk faster between certain mailboxes, trees or other landmarks.

    (From linked article ~ Mayo Clinic)

     

    If you’re not Catholic don’t stop reading. Anyone can tailor praying and activity. If you haven’t begun an exercise program, don’t stop reading. Everyone has to start somewhere. Just get your doctors approval before beginning any activity. Always stretch and warm up before beginning and cool down and stretch at the end of your workout. Also, take all safety precautions, depending on your location, and remember to stay hydrated. Drink water before and during and after your workout.

    So, to incorporate prayer and activity I’ll begin with my go to prayer, the Holy Rosary. I have recently discovered the joy of Rosary apps. If you have a smart phone or iPod, there are plenty of free apps to chose from. I recently downloaded this free audio Scriptural Rosary app. I really like this one. The voices are pleasant and I love the scripture passages with each Hail Mary.  While running I thought of a way to work harder while paying more attention to the prayer. Remember, always start with a warm up. I normally run a 15 minute mile, and warm up for about 5 minutes at a slower jogging pace. To make this work with the Rosary, I would pray the Memorare and ask for intercession while stretching and warming up and then turn on the app.

    I begin my regular pace for the Apostles Creed, Our Father, 3 Hail Marys for an increase in Faith, Hope and Charity and the Glory be. This is where the intervals come in. At the announcement of the first Mystery of whatever day it is, I just start running at double my regular pace. If not double then a little less. I continue through the  Our Father, not slowing down and concentrating on the prayer. Then I return to my regular pace during the decade of Hail Marys with scripture. (There are also audio apps without the scripture-just look on the app store).

    At the end of the decade I begin the interval training again, running fast through the Glory Be, O My Jesus, Jesus Mary and Joseph, announcement of the second mystery and the Our Father. It’s difficult. It’s hard work, but it’s supposed to be hard; it’s only for a minute or so. I find that I’m deeply in prayer as I run at this fast pace. I’m depending on God to get me through it. Don’t slow down unless you must. Keep pushing through until the next decade begins. Then concentrate on the Hail Marys and scripture passages while breathing evenly and going at a regular pace. Repeat these intervals until the last decade is finished. Afterward, during the Hail Holy Queen and any other prayers, go a bit more slowly and cool down if you’re ready to stop, or else continue at your regular pace for however long you want before cooling down and stretching to end the workout.

    Queen of Peace

    What if I’m not a runner?

    Again, interval training can be tailored to whatever is your preference for activity. Biking, swimming, walking, the gym, a treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical trainer. Say your preferred activity is walking. You could incorporate intervals of power walking or slow jogging between the Mysteries. Same with a treadmill or other equipment. I’m not sure about swimming; phones cannot be submerged, but still… you could pray without the app.

    The important thing is to understand that keeping our bodies healthy to the best of our ability is very important, and the will of God for each of us. Praying while exercising is so therapeutic. I cannot describe how good it feels to pray while working out.

    Even for people who are sedentary there are ways to do what we can to begin some activity. Some people cannot run or walk. Perhaps, through no fault of their own, they have conditions that prevent doing so. Still, prayer and connecting to God is so good for the soul. And if walking or moving your lower body isn’t possible. strengthening your upper body may be. Perhaps praying the Rosary or another prayer while doing arm crunches and other upper body work is possible.

    For Catholics who aren’t devoted to the Rosary, perhaps you might pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, The Litany of the Saints or any other prayers that you love. Or, listen to a religious podcast while getting some activity in. For these prayers you can download an interval timer. This allows you to concentrate on your podcast, scripture or other audio prayer. Set it up for however many minutes/seconds of high intensity and then low intensity. When it beeps, speed up or slow down.

    What If I’m not Catholic? What if I’m not Christian?

    No problem at all! Perhaps download an audio version of the Bible or Torah. Maybe you could listen to a chapter at the regular pace of your chosen activity and then pray for a high intensity interval. I may do this myself. Use the timer app. No matter what our denomination or what religion we practice we can find spiritual material on TV, on radio, in music, podcasts and apps. Do whatever helps you to connect with God, and add your activity as part of your worship.

    You won’t be sorry. You will find that you have more energy and feel better than ever.

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  • U.S. House Votes to Defund Planned Parenthood ~ An Answered Prayer

    The U.S. House of Representatives voted to defund Planned Parenthood on Friday. I’m rejoicing, since this is an answer to my prayers.

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    All pertinent information on the reason Planned Parenthood must be defunded, the legislation, and the vote itself, including a breakdown of votes along party lines can be found here.

     

    I understand that some Americans disagree, and believe Planned Parenthood should continue getting taxpayer funding. They will eventually lose the fight though, because a majority of Americans simply can’t stomach what goes on in the abortion business. People know that Planned Parenthood has committed crimes against humanity on par with those committed during the III Reich. Since we are, for the most part, decent human beings who abhor the death and destruction of innocent unborn babies and the sale of their body parts to labs for use in questionable experiments such as humanizing mice, Planned Parenthood will be defunded at some point. It may take awhile, but it will happen.  I hope the people who fight FOR Planned Parenthood’s continued funding  will heal after their ultimate loss. I will continue to pray for all involved in this darkness.

    Of course, Friday’s vote must pass the Senate, and then be signed into law by President Obama. This is unlikely occurrence; Obama will probably veto any such legislation that lands on his desk, even if the bill passes the Senate. Obama’s support of the Planned Parenthood death machine is common knowledge for people who keep up with such things, so I don’t expect that PP will be defunded during his Presidency. Still, this is a first step.

    And again, it’s an answer to my prayer.

    I’ve been praying for the unborn and respect for all human life every day for many years. I understand that God works in His own time, not ours, and so, we must continue to pray. However, I have a deep faith that my prayers will eventually be answered.

    Christ and His Mother

    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~ Philippians 4: 13.

    prolife photo

    Please continue to pray for a deeper respect for all human life, from conception to natural death.

    Until recently, America always protected life. It was simply unthinkable for Americans to condone such brutality and disrespect of humanity, as evidenced by our role in defeating Hitler and liberating his death camps. We must go back to being a country known for compassion, a country that respects all human life.  Some American citizens and many elected to positions of supposed “leadership” have lost this. They are a shrinking minority. As news of the atrocities continues to trickle out, more and more Americans are turning away from Planned Parenthood and the culture of death. We will eventually overcome this loss and return to our former role as people of decency, generosity, bravery compassion, empathy, and love.

    Jesus Christ

    Thanks be to God, for answered prayers.


  • Down Syndrome Awareness 2015

    October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

    I already wrote my account of how Down Syndrome changed our family for the better. I published it last October, so there’s no need for me to rewrite it. You can read about my baby sister, Lori Ann, here. She was with us for only a few years, but she made us all better people.

     

    Amy, Lori. Ellen, 1970
    Amy, Lori Ann and me ~ 1970

     

    People with Down Syndrome live their lives just like you and I. 

    These days there is a push to stigmatize unborn children with Down Syndrome. I can’t understand why, but for some reason these special needs human beings are being aborted at an alarming rate. It’s very sad for families who have been blessed to have Down Syndrome people as members. We don’t understand why they are singled out, however I do not dwell on this unfortunate fact. I guess it’s a sign of the times. I pray that better days are ahead, since Americans are better than this. Americans have only recently begun to practice what amounts to eugenics. Again, we as a nation have always been champions of marginalized people for the most part, and perhaps we will rise above the current dark trend of using murder to rid ourselves of people who some deem “imperfect.”

     

    Children and adults with Down Syndrome are great gifts.

    They truly are wonderful people. Please read all about Down Syndrome Awareness Month, facts about Down Syndrome, resources and, if you are so inclined, how to help, at the National Down Syndrome Society’s website.

    I recently became aware of the following poem, entitled “Welcome To Holland” by Emily Perl Kingsley. It’s very profound. My parents knew all about the sentiment contained in this poem.

     

    WELCOME TO HOLLAND

    I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

    When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

    After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

    “Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

    But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

    The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

    So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

    It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

    But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.” 

    And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

    But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

    Holland seems a very lovely place. If ever you are given an unexpected chance to go there, even though you had planned to visit Italy, (where, after all, most parents go), don’t dismiss it too quickly. Lovely things happen there. You will learn much about compassion, patience, kindness and even holiness in Holland.

    Down Syndrome Creed


  • The “Win” of the Pro-Choice Catholics ~ A Pro-Life Perspective

    October is Respect Life Month, and today the Catholic Church Celebrates Respect Life Sunday a day for the Pro-Life Catholic community to celebrate life, and bring awareness about the dangers facing the unborn, elderly, handicapped and marginalized.

    I hardly know where to begin. As someone who worked for over 5 years to bring awareness to the plight of the unborn, I’m definitely happy, because I know that my efforts and the efforts of my dear pro-life friends and parishioners did actually do some good, probably more than we realize. We sponsored a women’s shelter for a year or so, and tried our best to truly help women and babies. For more on how hard we worked and the ultimate end of our ministry, please click here for details.

    The four of us organized trips to the annual March for Life, tried a pro life movie night, handed out pro life prayer cards, and sat at a table at the church bazaar and tried to interest parishioners in learning about unborn children. We raffled off handmade baby quilts, blankets and sweaters, and held a “baby shower” every spring. The baby items were then donated to a crisis pregnancy center.

    The previous post has additional relevance, since October is also Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

    I am truly trying my best not to be too upset today. I don’t want this post to be a litany of bitter grievances. That’s not my intent. However, I find that blogging about events and expressing my feelings in writing helps me to put things behind me. That’s what I’m doing now. Please understand that I am simply writing a true account. If my words make you cry, imagine how upset my friends and I feel. If my words make you snicker and laugh and pooh-pooh my feelings about today, thinking I’m just a sore loser and a backward American who needs to get with the times, then you’re probably a Liberal, or a Leftist, or a Progressive, or Pro-Choice, or just a cold person.  All of the previous may or may not be hyphenated with the word “Catholic.” Whatever.

    I just spoke to my husband on the phone, and described this morning’s Respect Life Sunday Mass at our parish church, and he and I both agree: The pro-choice Catholics have won, at least for now.

    Today’s Mass was a very beautiful Mass. The choir sang lovely songs in harmony, the readings were interesting, our priest’s homily was comforting and references were made to respecting all human life from conception to natural death. The gifts were presented by children. Two had Down Syndrome, and another little girl, a sweet, beautiful girl whom I have seen on numerous occasions also presented gifts. She does not have Down Syndrome. Still, she is very special. All in all it was a nice Mass.

    Until the end. That’s when I walked into the Narthex/gathering space where parishioners were socializing with donuts and coffee. It’s a monthly event after 9:30 Mass in our Parish. Our priest mentioned the hosts of today’s social, but I didn’t hear what he said, because this was the first Respect Life Sunday Social in 6 years that was not held for the purpose of bringing awareness to the pro-life cause, and I was actually trying not cry. Our priest did his best, and announced that pamphlets on the plight of the unborn and other respect life information would be available at a table in the Narthex.

    Educational fetal models at correct size for each moth of gestationIn previous years, we four friends tried to make the socials nice occasions. We bought juice and donuts and stood behind the table and passed them out. One of us, usually my friend, Angie, who was the unofficial head of our group, stood next to the table of information.

    Sometimes Angie borrowed a display of life-like human baby models from the state Pro-Life Federation, so people could see what unborn children looked like. The models Angie drove miles to pick up and then miles to return were similar to these, except all 9 months of gestation were represented. I have a fond memory of a fellow parishioner who showed her little granddaughters the baby models, while explaining to them about babies before they are born, and how they are real human beings.

    The interest of some parishioners made up a little for the parents who sent their children to our table to get donuts and juice, and then called them back so they could eat them in peace, undisturbed by references or images of children less fortunate, those whose moms lived in minority neighborhoods where Planned Parenthood clinics were located. I once, in a  moment of ingenuity, (or insanity depending on your viewpoint) suggested that one of us mingle with the crowd who had gotten their refreshments and then retreated to the other side of the room, as far away from us as they could get.

    Some people, perhaps understanding that stuffing their faces with Respect Life Sunday donuts without at least sauntering past the info table and pretending to give it a look was just plain rude, simply walked out without donuts, coffee, juice, prayer cards, or leaflets. (And who knows? Perhaps this was customary with some families. I remember when my kids were young and I didn’t want to stay for donuts. I didn’t want to be rude, allow my children to take donuts and then just run for the car, so I dragged my kids out while they griped that they wanted a donut, and why couldn’t we have just stayed?)

    Hooded, cabled baby sweaterThe Sunday I’m referring to was (I think) Respect Life Sunday 2012, right before President Obama was reelected. I had knitted a cute sweater to be be raffled off that weekend, similar to this one, which I knitted for a friend’s child.

    The sweater I knitted for that year’s Respect Life raffle was cream colored, with different cabling and buttons, not frogs. Still, it was warm and cute and hooded, suitable for either a boy or a girl. There were lots of people mingling after Mass, eating and talking, so Angie, being braver than I, took the sweater and went among the wolves trying to sell a few raffle tickets. I can’t remember how many she sold or who won the sweater. Our usual donations for events such as these ran anywhere between $25-$75, depending on the event. (I’m erring on the side of overestimating). I stood back and watched Angie speak to people. She must have gotten some interest, since we did get a few donations. However, you could see other people who didn’t want to be bothered. That was the atmosphere at the time, and it’s no better now.

    When I say “among the wolves” I am not exaggerating. There were, and are, wolves there. I’m hoping some of them have changed their hearts a bit, however, I will never know, because I keep away from them for the most part. I don’t know how many readers have ever felt uncomfortable among groups, but I can assure you I’m not exaggerating. This was not “all in my head” nor my friends’ heads. We all felt it at one time or another. I won’t mention which of us suffered the following bullshit from parishioners, but it’s all true. One of my friends stood handing out pro-life prayer cards with her children after a different Mass, and was approached by a pro-choice Catholic who should have had the decency to just walk out the door. Instead, she walked up to my friend who held out a card. Instead of accepting the card, and then perhaps tossing it in the trash at home, the woman laughed in my friend’s face, turned up her nose, and strutted out the front door. Same shit, different day.

    The most blatant wolf-like behavior occurred a year ago, when my dear friend Angie was backstabbed by parishioners at a school board meeting. These wolves allowed Angie to be likened to a Nazi in public, because Angie had the temerity to stand up for concerned parents and ask that a book– which basically gave blueprints for do it yourself abortions (including using knitting needles) and how to steal drugs from your parents medicine cabinet, hide them in your room, and save them up just in case you decide to commit suicide, among other questionable things–be put in the guidance office of the High School so kids 13-16 could be counseled about what they would read.

    Yes, you read that correctly. Three parishioners from our church hold positions on a school board. These three voted to keep a piece of trash masquerading as literature available without any age restrictions whatsoever, by crying “Book Banning!” These people go to church on Sunday and then go out on Monday and do the opposite of what Christ teaches. So be it. Everyone has free will. For more on the nonsense and SJW tactics of the Banned Books crowd, please see this PJ Media post by Megan Fox. (PS. The Banned books crowd actually bans certain books, those they decide should be “kicked to the curb.” There is a screenshot proving this in Megan’s article if you’re interested.)

    People like these populate my community. And, BTW, the town library near the High School which accused my friend of being a Nazi and a book banner operates under the same rules as the ALS mentioned in Megan’s article. This library was one of the places where a rumor was being spread about “some woman who is trying to ban books.”  It was easy to find out they are ALS sycophants by typing the name of the Library into a twitter search, and then finding the twitter account of one of the librarians, who is an ALS member. This library has been at odds with the community over the past year for one thing after another, including a failure to be transparent, and changing the name of the library against the wishes of residents. But this was to be expected.  That’s what you get when you start palling around with far Leftists who are pushing an anti-family anti-parent agenda in your school. You lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. And I, for one, have zero sympathy, unless it’s for people who truly were in the dark about this mess. For the people who sucked up to these types and used their lying dirty tactics on my friend, and who are now upset about the library being ripped out from under them, well… they got exactly what they deserved.

    The biggest backstabber is also a fellow parishioner who ran for SB as a CONSERVATIVE. She assured people that she would be a voice for a little sanity, since the school is overrun with texts full of errors in history, and other Common-Core style nonsense. But, when things got tough, this woman folded like a cheap suit, went along with the board and their “Nazi” insinuations and hung my friend out to dry. (A few months later, this cool and hip gal was made VP of the school board. Go figure.)

    And no, I am not sorry for using words such as wolves and backstabber. If the shoe fits, freaking wear it and deal with it.

     

    If somehow, you are reading this and recognize yourself, and you are no longer a pro-choice Catholic, and regret acting the way you did, I hope you know I hold nothing against you. And even if you are still a Pro-choice Catholic now, today, with all of the horrid news and videos coming out about Planned Parenthood, and you think I’m a liar, and that everyone except Planned Parenthood’s champions are liars, I still hold nothing against you. Everyone makes choices, and everyone has free will.

     

    15007017201_285576edd6

     

    But as I said, I feel sad and hurt about things that happened. I found it hard to be at Mass this morning, knowing we gave up. I find it difficult to know that our battle in our own neighborhood was lost, when we were doing what we were supposed to be doing, according to the catechism and Catholic teaching. I find it terribly hard to attend Mass at our church at times, though I used to feel as comfortable there as I did in my own home. I’ve been a member there since I was a child.  Not that I hold a grudge, but to know that other Catholics do such things makes me skittish, and now I’m happier when I can go to Mass at churches where no one knows me.

    Writing about this is helping me to get through this day, so I’m doing it, and that is that. And I seriously doubt that anyone I’m referring to would ever read my blog, since I don’t publicize my books in my own parish or neighborhood. This is because I can’t. I cannot contact the local newspapers to ask for a press release because of the subject matter of my books. These media outlets are SJW in nature. They do not do their job while reporting, they do not report fairly, they take sides, and are simply not to be trusted.

    (And if you are a friend of mine, and perhaps you are bored at my retelling of all of this because you have heard it before, I apologize. Writing this is keeping me from descending into my bed, weeping, so thanks for your patience.)

    I might as well add couple of additional episodes, things that seemed a bit strange when they happened but which I forgot about quickly. They may have had something to do with hostility to the idea of a pro-life group getting too uppity in the parish or they may not have, but here they are: We also tried to have a presence at our parish holiday bazaar for a few years. We had a table where we sold Christmas cards and offered handmade bead rosaries for a small donation. My friend’s kids made the rosaries. We also had a sign-up sheet for the annual DC March For Life, and for a couple of years we raffled off hand made baby quilts. One year we were assigned a nice table, right at the entrance. But two women representing the Susan Komen Breast Cancer Foundation took issue with our prominent table.

    To make a long story short, they wanted it. They were bringing awareness to breast cancer, they said, and the position of their table wasn’t suitable, tucked among crafters in a long line of other tables. They wanted our table, and they told the event organizers to get us to trade tables. When the organizer approached Angie, she simply said: “No. There is no reason for us to move, and we are staying.”

    A different year, I’m not sure if it was before or after the pink ladies incident, I arrived at the bazaar to find Angie in a state of confusion and bewilderment. I was shocked to learn the reason.  Angie always got to events early, and upon her arrival she found that we had been moved into the front entryway, a place where we would freeze, since it opened directly into the November chill. My friend Gwen was pregnant with her sixth child, and Angie was freaking out, since she didn’t think a pregnant woman should sit for hours right next to the outer door, excluded from the rest of the bazaar. So, this time Angie complained. She told whoever organized the event that under no circumstances should human beings be stuck in a freezing entryway, when the table we occupied previously was now being used for…wait for it…mushrooms. Yes, that’s right. Mushrooms. A table of mushrooms for sale was inside in the warmth, and we had been stuck out in the cold.

    By the time I arrived, the mushrooms were in the cold entryway, and Angie was setting up our stuff inside, but still… what is your opinion? Which should be out in the cold? Mushrooms, or people? Unless mushroom theft was a worry. The mushrooms were unattended, and paid for inside, so perhaps that might have been what drove the decision. However, if so, why us? Or why couldn’t things have been shifted just a bit, to allow for both mushrooms and people to be inside? Meh. We’ll never know now. (After a few years, we stopped renting table space at the bazaar). We had some nice people who attend church with us who always donated and bought tickets, and gave us support, and then we had people who didn’t know us, strangers, who would also buy chances on the quilts, so at the bazaars, we usually made about $100 which we promptly donated to Birthright.

    So, while we did do good, and I am very thankful to God for the opportunity to have done such work, and also thankful even for the nonsense and hurt I felt personally, because no servant is better than his master, and if God himself suffered mocking and such while on earth, then I should not expect not to, I still admit we lost. We lost a battle in our church.

     

    f52d600f472b7a72714088d3324dc9fbI hope and pray that other churches are more successful, and that Respect Life Sunday is making people aware today, when it’s needed the most, since Planned Parenthood and the big business of abortion have been caught on video committing crimes against humanity.

    And I did notice one man at the table in back, who took some information, so perhaps there was some awareness brought today in my home Parish. I must look on the bright side whenever I can.

     

     

    But today I became aware of a new development.

     

    Christ and His MotherThe ACLU is suing a Catholic Hospital System for refusing to perform abortions. Why in God’s name won’t these people stop? Catholic hospitals have nothing to do with abortions. It’s always been that way. But here we go. Here is an article from the Huffington Post, instructing women to threaten to sue Catholic hospitals into performing elective surgery against Catholic principles. What is this? Catholic Hospitals care for 1 in 6 patients in the united States. 1 in 6. Catholic Hospitals provide excellent care and services. But now it begins: An effort to force these hospitals to comply with demands from people with no other agenda than to force Catholics to violate their consciences.

    I really wish these people would just freaking stop. Just stop. Catholics will never perform abortions against their will. The hospitals will have to shut down if they lose these suits. Maybe not right away, of course, but eventually. Having spoken to other Catholics and freedom minded people about this, we sort of agree that that hospitals, even if ordered to perform abortions or tubal ligations lose the lawsuits, they will most likely simply continue to operate while defying the order. They have probably had plans in place for years, knowing this was coming. What needs to happen if the courts rule in favor of the abortion lobby, is simply to defy the court order and wait until men with guns arrive to enforce it. Put it out on youtube and other alternate media, since Leftist Democrat party media drones will not report such happenings.

    And then, if push comes to shove, Catholics will have go to jail and shut down the hospitals. This is the only option, and I have no doubt the leaders of our church WILL go to jail if push comes to shove. This idea of these progressives forcing everyone to bend to their will must be fought at some point. If ordinary Americans feel that abortion is of such importance that others must go to jail for their refusal to provide them, then so be it. If the Catholic Hospitals, which treat 1 out of every 6 people in America must close, thereby removing good care for Americans and causing a shortage, then perhaps that is what is needed to bring people out of their apathy. We have rights, too. This isn’t a game. This is the livelihood, rights and conscience of free Americans against a bunch of out of control SJWs on steroids.

    I knew this would happen. I knew it 2009, when I began writing my first book. With the advent of Obamacare and an ever growing government I knew it would happen, and here it is. I seriously doubt these people will back off of it, either. They will keep on and on and on with their lawsuits. The courts are iffy. Many judges lick their fingers an hold them up to the wind. What will be the fate of Catholic hospitals depends on ideology, not the law and the 1st amendment to the Constitution.

    Here’s an excerpt from Tears Of Paradox, published in May of 2014, written beginning in July, 2009:

    I couldn’t take her to the Catholic hospital in the next state either, not anymore. By law we were required to go to the ER assigned no matter what, but the Catholic hospital had closed eight months earlier anyway. I remembered the situation in agony. Why? Why did it happen? I could have her there in twenty minutes… Damn the HCA!

    There’d been a fight between the Bishop and the board of directors of the Catholic hospital over abortion, and the Bishop had stood his ground. The board fought him—along with the HCA of course—and the whole hospital shut down over it. Court cases were supposedly pending, but who knew? Everyone had already forgotten the reason for the fight. The drones had started their jamming immediately, and most people were now of the mind that the Bishop was nothing but a wicked old rich guy who wanted the hospital to close just to keep people from being treated. All he was good for now was a few jokes on late night TV. There was no help there.

    I know I shouldn’t be surprised, given the apathy and/or ignorance of Americans regarding the Planned Parenthood scandals, but it seems we do have a war on Christianity, no matter how much the tolerant crowd insists otherwise. I refuse not to believe my own eyes and ears, despite media blackouts or downright media lies.

    A few days ago, nine innocent people were murdered because they refused to deny Christ. That is a war.

    Before the bodies were cold, our President instructed his media minions to politicize the shooting, in hopes to push through gun control legislation. He did not mention that the victims were killed for their faith. As far as I know, he did not call the man who helped save people. He was concerned strictly with gun control. And my personal belief is that this is a plan to eventually deny Americans their 2nd amendment rights, something we will never give up, because history shows us what happens when citizens are disarmed by their socialist style governments and the governments have all the guns. Our current government is tending toward socialism. That is an undeniable fact. And socialism is the step between Freedom and small c communism, which can then become the stuff of nightmares: Communism. It never ends without mass murder. It never has and it never will. We already have a legal genocide of the unborn in America. Who is kidding who, here?

    I don’t care how many times Progressives insist that this is not their ultimate goal. I know what I know, the same as I knew that hospitals would be sued for not performing abortions. When America is being attacked from within what is the proper terminology to describe the event? Is this a cold civil war?

    We are losing battles in our communities, churches and courts. I don’t know how else to describe the events. This is turning into something bigger than what happened to my friends and me personally. Everyone has a story, everyone is affected in some way or other by these progressive bottom feeders. I don’t have much hope that they will stop on their own. I have a feeling Catholics are going to have to go to jail before it’s all over. And I hope worse things than that don’t happen.

    Jesus Christ
    We need to pray.


  • Palm Sunday

    Today, Palm Sunday, marks the beginning of Holy Week.

    Sometimes I wonder at humanity. The people of Jerusalem welcomed Jesus with praise. They waved palm fronds and sang hosannas. They loved Him.

    Many people spread their cloaks on the road,
    and others spread leafy branches
    that they had cut from the fields.
    Those preceding him as well as those following kept crying out:
    “Hosanna!
    Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
    Blessed is the kingdom of our father David that is to come!
    Hosanna in the highest!”

    A few days later He was betrayed, falsely accused and crucified. I wonder how many palm wavers screamed their condemnation the following Friday? I wonder what I would have done if I had been there?

    I like to think I would have tried to help Him, but who knows? Maybe we all have a touch of the mob in us. The only thing to do at this point is to thank Him for suffering to save us. Any one of us, had we been there on Good Friday, might have denied Him, or worse.

    R. (2a) My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
    All who see me scoff at me;
    they mock me with parted lips, they wag their heads:
    “He relied on the LORD; let him deliver him,
    let him rescue him, if he loves him.”
    R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
    Indeed, many dogs surround me,
    a pack of evildoers closes in upon me;
    They have pierced my hands and my feet;
    I can count all my bones.
    R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
    They divide my garments among them,
    and for my vesture they cast lots.
    But you, O LORD, be not far from me;
    O my help, hasten to aid me.
    R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
    I will proclaim your name to my brethren;
    in the midst of the assembly I will praise you:
    “You who fear the LORD, praise him;
    all you descendants of Jacob, give glory to him;
    revere him, all you descendants of Israel!”
    R. My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?

    The world seems terribly unstable today. Cruelty and hatred are at the forefront. Christians, Jews and Muslims are being killed for their faith. Some are suffering crucifixion, the same as Jesus did.

    In the face of such things there’s nothing we can do except pray for the victims, pray for deliverance, and understand that He already won.