Golden QuillOctober 2010 Newsletter

If you are looking for my examination of the uncut Cultures of Revolution video, click on this link to go to the MAVI MARMARA report.

The year sure has sped by quickly, but I guess that is part of the phenomenon of getting older. Time crawls when we are young, works up to a jog in our twenties, and then sprints faster and faster after we hit thirty.

I can still remember being six–years–old and finding out shortly after I started school that there were eleven more grades ahead of me. It was such a stunning moment that I can even recall little details, just like people can recall where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news that JFK was assassinated or that 9/11 had happened. I was standing at the front door of our house, looking down the long flight of cement stairs below, but not really seeing them. Instead, I was looking down a loooong corridor of time and thinking incredulously, "Twelve more years of this?!!!"

It is funny how our perspective changes. When I got the chance to go back to school again, I loved it and made the most of it, working hard, aiming for high grades, not in the slightest bit worried that other people would think that I was an egghead when I got straight A's. Without a doubt, kids and teens are way better–looking than us older people, but I wouldn't care to trade places with them and be subjected again to any of the insecurities of youth. It feels so good to be free to be different, to not care (at least not very much) about what other people think about my singing, or whether they think my poems are good, or if they like the dress I am wearing.

Of course, there is such a thing as dressing appropriately for work and for various social occasions. I am not at all in favour of people showing off parts of the body that should remain private, but when it is a matter of colours and patterns and styles, it really is fun to develop one's own style, and know that it doesn't matter if people turn up their nose and say one's taste is ghastly. The fact of the matter is that one's taste is simply one's taste. It is part of what makes us unique. It is not good, it is not bad, it simply just is. Some may admire our taste, and some won't, but that's okay, too.

When I was young, people griped about East Indians because they wore their traditional clothes. They said, "If they want to live in this country, they should dress like we do." I used think, "What's wrong with how they dress? The women's saris are so pretty, all those bright colours." I thought that the men were rather good looking in their turbans, like in movies I saw about Sinbad the Sailor and Alladin's lamp. If people thought the heroes in those movies were handsome in their turbans, why would they not think so if they saw a person wearing a turban out on the street? It sounded rather boring to me for everyone to dress the same way, especially if they were going to stick to dull colours.

I wear East Indian clothes when I feel like it. Nobody says anything to me; they might criticize me for it behind my back, but who cares? I wore a fabulous beaded outfit to church and afterwards when I took the kids to their favourite park. A Muslim lady at the park told me that she loved it, and that it is the style that Muslims wear in India. I learned something that day about India that I didn't know and probably made a lot of immigrants feel happy that not all Anglos look down on them for the way they dress.

I go in for the pirate look, too. I have a black sweater with gold frogging on the collar and wide cuffs. It looks so cool. One day when I wore it to church accessorized with old–fashioned button boots, a very conservative acquaintance sarcastically remarked in passing, "Nice costume, Lanny." I just laughed. It is so much fun to not care. And I also thought something along the lines of, "Hey, fuddy duddy, that's part of the reason why I'm not interested in dating you."

When I was a teenager, it was very important to me to look sexy. I thought my value was in my looks. The girls I knew who were smart usually dressed rather dull. This did not appeal to my artistic inclinations. If being smart meant that I had to look like those girls, then I wanted no part of being a brainiac. Actually, I thought I had no chance of being a brainiac, so I might as well get the most I could out of my looks. A few years of being valued only for my looks, though, left me feeling empty and resentful.

It would not be accurate to say that nobody saw anything else of value about me; that just relates to boyfriends. I had an English teacher who thought I was rather smart, and the guidance counsellor in my school made me feel that there might be other things about me that were of value, but when it came to the people in my life who were the most important to me, my value to them was in conforming to what they thought I should be.

Life really isn't that much fun, if a person is afraid of being who God designed them to be. The Bible says that we are to train up children in the way they should go. That doesn't mean the way that we think they should go. It certainly does entail teaching them good morals, setting them a good example, making it as easy as possible for them to entrust their lives to the Lord, but it also means to make a study of the child, figuring out what they are good at, and then helping them to maximize their talents. It also means to make a study of their thinking processes, so that we can find more effective ways of communicating with them. Underlying this is a respect for the child, truly trying to do what will benefit them the most, rather than trying to control them for our personal benefit where it is to their detriment.

Of course, none of us have had a perfect upbringing, because parents are only human and make mistakes. To get a really good upbringing, we have to go to our Heavenly Father, because He is the only perfect parent. He brings us up to where we should be. It is in relating to God that I have developed a stronger sense of personal identity and become more secure. I used to be afraid to get close to Him, because I thought that He would tell me to do things that I didn't want to do, but it is only the flesh that doesn't want to do the things that God wants us to do. When we come to Christ, the flesh is no longer who we truly are. We have been made a new creation, and it is in our spirit that we find the real person. When Yehoshua comes into our hearts to take up residence there after we receive Him as our Saviour, He brings the blueprints with Him, the design for us that God mapped out even before He made the Universe.

I'll tell ya, God's design for us is way better than anything we could dream up. In comparison, we're like a bunch of little six–year–olds who get their hands on some old boards and few nails, and insist that we know what we are doing, so just get out of the way, God, and let us have a go at it. Then we slap together those old boards and make some ramshackle, little shanty that collapses on us eventually. If we would just be quiet, though, and take God's hand, He would lead us into a destiny that is absolutely perfect for us. He has designed us to be a mansion that is configured to the real essence of who we are. We should trust God, because He knows us better than we know ourselves, and He knows what would truly fulfill us.

I sure made a lot of mistakes as a parent, and I beat myself up over it for years, wishing that I could go back into time and do things differently. I wore myself out thinking about it, and then I realized that I just needed to humble myself and hand the whole mess over to God to straighten out, instead of wishing that I could do it myself. He can do in an instant what it would take me years and years, if it were possible to go back into time. I'd probably botch it up again anyway.

What a relief it is to just hand things over to God. That doesn't mean that we can't improve, though. One of the good things that came out of my fantasies about doing things over, is that it helped me be a better grandparent than what I would have been otherwise. I recognized my mistakes and thought about how I could improve, and then did it for the grandkids.

But even then, I don't totally live up to my fantasies about what I wished I had done for my kids. I wish I had never let my kids watch TV at all, but I let the grandkids watch some programs on my computer. At least, it isn't rubbish like I let my children watch and it is a lot less than what I let my kids watch; I do more stuff with my grandkids than what I did with my children, and I never let anyone play computer games on my laptop.

I remember sitting next to my son on the couch when he was six–years–old, and he was watching Masters of the Universe. I knew he shouldn't watch that junk; my fellow Christians were going on about how bad it was for kids to be exposed to the New Age messages in that show, but my husband and I were doing plenty of things that we knew we ought not to do. I was so apathetic that when my little boy picked up on my vibe and said, "I won't always watch this show, Mum," though his words chilled me to the bone, I still did not get up and turn the TV off.

The thing that really blew me away was that they were almost the exact same words his father said to me just a few weeks before, and Andrew hadn't even been in the room. I was sitting next to my husband on the couch while he was drinking beer, but not getting on his case about it. Nonetheless, he knew what I thought about his drinking and he said to me, "I won't always drink, Lanny."

Spiritual procrastination was a family disease, and I was infected with it, too. After my husband left me, I continued to backslide. I had a plaque on my wall that had belonged to my grandmother. It says, "Jesus Never Fails." Whenever I noticed it, I would take my glasses off and turn my head away because it convicted me. I thought, "Yeah, Jesus never fails, but I sure am failing Him." However, I intended that some day, I would get back on track.

That day came for me when I finished reading a book that I borrowed from a friend. It was about death bed experiences. I thought that it would be cheering to read some stories about people who saw visions of Heaven and angels before they died. Well, those kind of stories were in there, but there were also stories about people who were disobedient to the Lord to the point where His patience came to an end with them. They knew they were going to Hell, and they just wanted to die and get it over with. People begged them to repent of their sins, but the reply was that they couldn't because God had withdrawn the gift of repentance, and they could not find it in themselves to be sorry for their sins.

One story in particular stood out to me. It was about a young girl who knew that she ought to repent of her sins and receive Yehoshua as her Saviour, but she was reluctant to make changes in her lifestyle. Revival meetings were being held, and a dance was set up to try to counteract the revival. She decided to go to the dance and have one last fling before she started attending the revival meetings, where she intended to go to the altar to repent of her sins and start living a godly life.

Things didn't turn out the way she figured. She found that she could not enjoy herself at the dance. The conviction of the Holy Spirit was upon her, but instead of running out of that place and hurrying off to the revival meeting, she got angry. In her heart she snarled at the Lord that He was ruining the dance for her. She thought it was mean of Him to grudge her that one last good time before she became a Christian. In that instant, she felt the Holy Spirit withdraw from her. In the face of her disrespect for Him, He could no longer maintain His dignity, so He went away. And never came back. She had crossed the line and found out the truth of what God says in His Word that His Spirit shall not always strive with man. He is longsuffering, but that does not mean that His patience never comes to an end.

That evening, she caught a cold, and it turned very serious. She died three weeks later. The whole story hit me like a ton of bricks because I realized how close I had come to being like that girl. My husband had left me and I wanted to have some fun. I figured I was free to date (though I knew in my heart that I really wasn't, as we were still married), and I looked forward to being asked out by other men. It had been so long since I'd heard a man tell me that I was pretty.

Just a few weeks before I read that book, I had intended to go to a Halloween party at my sister's house. Now what business does a Christian have going to a Halloween party? It is totally a pagan celebration, and especially at a party held by worldly people, I was bound to see people dressed up like witches and devils. I dressed as a gypsy, but I couldn't find a ride to get there. It kind of ticked me off, but by the grace of God, not to the point where I got mad at God about it. The Holy Spirit convicted me that I had no business going to that party anyway. And besides that, I had a cold. It would only get worse if I went out in the chilly air and stayed up late.

When I finished reading that book, I solemnly closed it and went into deep thought. I had been putting God off for a long time, figuring that where there is life, there is hope. The book blew that notion out of the water. Some of those people lived for another twenty years, but never could repent of their sins. Each of them knew the exact moment when God withdrew His Spirit from them. How could one know how much procrastination is too much? Some rebels die in their teens, after having heard the Gospel only a few times, whereas others live for a long time and hear the Gospel many times. God is the only one who knows when a person ought to give in and not push their chances any longer.

I lay on the couch pondering how I might get hit by a car and die instantly, without getting a chance to pray a final prayer of repentance. In fact, God can just suddenly withdraw life from us without accidents or disease having anything to do with it. Autopsies have been done on people where the coroner was not able to find any cause for their death. I heard the Lord speak to my heart and say, "Lanny, don't take me for granted." Then and there, I turned back to the Lord.

Afterwards as I was crying and thanking God for His mercy, totally giving Him all the credit for my repentance, He smiled and said, "Yes, but, Lanny, you turned!" I then saw in my spirit what He meant. I was going in the wrong direction, and He came alongside and put His arm around my shoulder, and gently put some pressure on it to get me to turn around and go the other way. Instead of fighting Him, I turned. I cooperated. Yes, repentance is a gift, but God gives us some credit for receiving that gift. It makes Him so happy when He can turn us away from destruction.

God is a loving God. I was speaking on Facebook recently with a young man who is very angry with God, and I could relate to him. I used to share his view that God is twisted and mean. But it was me who was twisted, because I put the blame on the wrong person for bad things that had happened in my life.

It sure is amazing how often people do that. There's the devil, going around stirring up trouble, getting people to steal, rape, kill, beat others up, say nasty stuff, and do all sorts of malice. But God gets blamed for it because He lets it happen. I address the question of why He lets bad stuff happen in my MAJESTY OF GOD series.

So what do most people do when bad stuff happens? They go off in a sulk and throw in their lot with the devil. Some people knowingly serve the devil, and that is just the nuttiest thing ever. Satan caused bad stuff to happen to them, so they figure that they will serve Him? Huh? You would have to be nuts for that to make sense to you.

Others figure that they will not serve either God or the devil. They choose to sit on the fence, but satan owns the fence. There is no neutral ground. Mankind is caught in a battle between good and evil, and we can be on only one side or the other. If you are on your own side, you are then on satan's side, because Self is in his territory; it's his hook.

We get all sorts of wrong ideas about God because satan is always standing ready to point his finger of accusation at God, so that we will attribute every bad thing that happens to it being the will of God. One time I had a dream where I was walking with the Lord, holding onto His hand. I couldn't see Him, but I could see His shadow on the ground in front of us. It looked like the shape of a monster, but I knew that the Person whose hand I was holding was not a monster. This is because my hand represented what I could sense in my spirit, whereas my eyes represented what I believed in the realm of my soul. We are not supposed to walk by sight, but by faith.

I knew that Yehoshua is totally trustworthy and it gave me great comfort to hold His hand. We walked through a lot of darkness together, but I always felt Him there, and so the darkness didn't matter. That was when I realized that the Valley of the Shadow of Death isn't just when we are dying; it is our whole life on Earth. Even if life is fairly easy for some people to cope with, full of good things and few trials, they can still end up in Hell if they don't put their trust in Yehoshua; that danger exists for everyone who is capable of being held accountable for their actions. They could be overtaken and swallowed up by a shadow (spirit) of self–righteousness or complacency. After a while, I did not feel Yehoshua's hand, but I still knew that He is real and that He was there with me. It was a lesson about faith. Faith isn't about feelings; it's about knowing.

When I woke up, I asked the Lord why His shadow looked like a monster. He replied, "That is how you view me, because of wrong things that you have been taught about me. As you get to know me better, you will see me more as I really am." It is true. I eventually came across Roger Sapp's books about healing and learned that God doesn't make people sick; the devil does that. Roger also teaches that it is always God's will to heal, and he shows from the Scriptures that this is so. It is satan who tells us that God wants to teach us something through having us be ill. There are some traditions in the Church that are evil, and this is one of them. ROGER SAPP and ANDREW WOMMACK have the best teaching on healing that I know of. Roger also has some excellent teaching on TITHING and CURSES. The article about curses takes a while to load, but it is well worth the wait.

Those are all my thoughts on spiritual topics for now. Things have been pretty quiet around here. I have had the kids over from time to time, but we are down to only one weekend a month now. Heather likes to do stuff with them on the weekend, too. They are pretty happy with their new place. The kids each have their own rooms; their bedroom at the last place was quite small and they were both squished into it. Connor loves his new school and was pretty excited about having two lockers, one for gym clothes.

I made a happy discovery recently. Someone gave me a jar of Tikka Masala sauce. I figured that they must have given it away because it tasted ghastly. Eventually, it occurred to me that it might taste okay on couscous, so I boiled some up and used that sauce. It is so good! It must be the same kind of sauce that I had one time when I visited El Caravan in Vancouver. I ordered Algerian Couscous, and it was so delicious that I vacuumed it all up in only five minutes. Then I tried to make it myself at home, but I couldn't get the sauce right, so I never made it again. This is it! This is the right sauce! Well, maybe it's not what they used at El Caravan, but it is close enough for me. Thanks, Gord, for that jar of Tikka Masala.

I am looking forward to Thanksgiving this month. Heather has invited me over for dinner, and she is a terrific cook. She gets it from her Dad. My son is good cook, too. Connor likes the way Uncle Andrew cooks chicken. Last Thanksgiving I was looking after the grandkids while my daughter went somewhere on the weekend with her friends, and it was a good thing that I took them out for dinner a day early. We had a delicous meal at Earl's. I made sure to ask that they not put salt on the kids' French fries because when I had fries before at Earl's, there was so much salt on them that they were practically toxic and it totally ruined the taste.

I enjoyed our dinner at Earl's, though I was fighting the flu. The next day the flu got worse, so I just set some crudité and other snacks out on the dining room table for the kids and their friend who was visiting, and then I spent the rest of the day on the couch. Uh! But boy oh boy, I am in pretty good health and it will be back to turkey and stuffing this Thanksgiving. Yum!

Speaking of restaurants reminds me of when my mother tried to warn me against taking the grandkids out for dinner a lot. This is one of the ways that I show them love, seeing as they are so rarely impressed with my cooking. Mom said that someone complained to her that their grandmother always took them out to cheap cafes, instead of making meals for them at home, and they hated it. I replied, "I do not take Connor and Jake to cheap cafes. I take them to nice places and they really enjoy themselves." Man, those kids have been so spoiled. Yes, I have taken them to McDonald's alot, but they love it and kiss up to me so that I will take them there. More often, we have been all over Vancouver and the Lower Mainland trying out different restaurants.

Connor really likes Viva Mexico in Langley. The food (the stuff we've ordered, anyway), is so delicious. I always order the Shrimp Quesadilla. The staff are friendly. They smile at the kids in a way that tells me that they genuinely like children. Most servers don't like waiting on children because they make so much mess to clean up afterwards. We don't normally leave a big mess, but there was that time when Jake threw up everything that he ate at Zeller's.

The boys always have to have fries with their meals, if they are on the menu. Connor likes the fries served at the Crystal Grille in the Hilton Hotel at Metrotown. He figures that they are the best ever, so we've gone back there for the French fries. The restaurant is kind of swank, but my guys can handle swank.

Not far from there is the Saffron Indian restaurant on Kingsway. They have a really good buffet with very reasonable prices at lunch time. No fries, but Connor tries out different stuff. Jake doesn't eat much, but I didn't have to pay for him. Jake likes the Okoman Japanese restaurant in Burnaby. It has semi–private booths and I like it that there is a buzzer to press at the table when you want service. I always order California Rolls and Dynamite rolls, and sometimes Goyoza and/or Yam Tempura. That's my speed; I think raw fish is disgusting.

The kids also urge me to take them to Denny's on Saturday after 4 p.m. because that is when kids get a free kids meal. They know that's a good selling point with Gramma when they want to go out to a restaurant. I take a few games along to keep them amused, such as Chess or a really cute game of Tic Tac Toe that has funny, little giraffes and gorillas as game pieces. I don't like the White Spot kids meals because I don't think they put enough food in there for Connor, so I get him a regular meal and ask them to serve it in a paper ship. That keeps him happy, and he can eat as many fries as he likes without me having to pay extra.

I have taken the boys a couple of times to a Greek restaurant on Columbia Street in New Westminster. It is next to the river and there is a good view out of the windows. We had a fairly pleasant meal, but then I had to use the ladies room, so I left Jake in Connor's care, not thinking that this would present a problem. Jake, however, becomes a different person when I am not around. When I returned to our table, nobody was sitting at it. Jake was at another table, where Connor had finally managed to corner him. Now he has to come with me to the ladies room; he keeps me entertained dancing to the music that is piped into the restrooms while I do my business. (Jake is only four–years–old, by the way.)

The Old Spaghetti Factory is another restaurant they enjoy, and, of course, we have to sit at a table in the street car. Red Robin's is also one of their faves, though I don't like the music; it's too loud. Sometimes, though, it hasn't been too bad and the fries are bottomless. I like to try out all sorts of places with the grandchildren to make happy memories for them and expose them to different types of foods. I can't recall that they have ever been badly behaved, except for that one time when Jake rampaged around the Greek restaurant. No, I don't think that there is any danger that my grandchildren will ever gripe about how Gramma dragged them around to restaurants. We are all on the same page there.

The problem with eating out a lot is that an adult can sure pack on the weight; my grandkids always stay normal weight because they are so lively. I have pulled back this year on our restaurant visits, and we have been managing to have a good time staying home and doing stuff around here. When I set up duct tape roads on my floor so that we could make Lego villages (I talked about this in the last newsletter), we stayed inside the whole time that the kids were over; Connor was so into it that he didn't even go visit his friends in the neighbourhood. Besides that, it was raining.

We have finally found Connor's Pixo's, which are little beads he uses to make a picture and then fuses them together with water. He is creative and likes to make things for his friends, but after playing with these only once and making an infocommercial on them, which I filmed, I couldn't find them again after I put them away, much to Connor's frustration. One morning when the search was yet again fruitless, I pointed out that he didn't have time for them anyway because he had to get ready for church. I laid out his clothes and insisted that he wear his tartan tie. He filmed himself, venting his disgust that I was making him wear a white shirt, light coloured pants, and a tie, which he flipped disdainfully at the camera.

He refused to unzip his jacket on the way to church, so that I could see how handsome he looks in his tie. He said that teenagers on the bus would make fun of how he was dressed. I grinned and asked, "What would they say? Maybe that you look snazzy? Nancy (our neighbour) thinks I dress you up cute. Don't you like the way I dress you?" He scowled and said, "No. I asked you this morning where my Pixo's were and you were CLUELESS!" I laughed my head off at the subtle way that he told me he thinks I'm clueless.

Anyway, on another occasion when he again asked me if I had found his Pixo's, yet, I prayed and asked the Lord to help me find them. Then I had a novel thought. Where was the most logical place for them to be, besides with the crafts? I remembered putting them in a tin. Aha! They might be where I was keeping my tin collection. And they were, so I guess I'm not so clueless after all. Connor was happy. He made some decorations for a couple of little girls in the neighbourhood whom he visits when he comes over to my place.

It is nice that I don't always have to spend a load of money to keep the grandkids happy. Connor is putting his orders in for birthday presents, though, something that costs a lot of money that he wants me to contribute to. I don't know what I will be getting for him, but it has been fun teasing him that all I intend to do is give him $5.00. And there is a new rule now, that when he loses a tooth, he has to tell his mother to email me the same day to verify it. I will have to get a description of which one. It was getting too confusing to keep track of whether or not I had already given him a dollar for losing a tooth. I would have thought that he had lost all his baby teeth by now, but he insisted that they are still dropping out.

Yup, grandkids are fun. If I didn't have these grandchildren, there are a lot of things that I would not have done, or at least not as often, like going to the Vancouver Aquarium or Fort Langley or Heritage Village. I would not have played with Lego, or run through the sprinklers at the water park, or made mud pies, or gotten on a sled again. Some things just aren't that much fun, unless you have a kid to do them with, and then the joy of those activities all come rushing back through the halls of memory.

I wonder what my life will look like ten years from now, when Jake is fourteen and Connor is twenty–one. Will they want to spend any time with me? Will they listen to anything that I have to say? When they are young, we have to make the most of the time that we get to spend with them, and teach them what they need to know to get through life without losing their soul.

Well, all that I said up until now covered the first half of October, and as the last few days of October unfolded, I was thrown for a loop about what to say about how it ended. Should I just edit the newsletter with an update that Thanksgiving Dinner was good, as usually can be expected of any dinner that my daughter cooks? Or should I disclose what happened on the last weekend of the month? Until today, I was so upset and worn out that I didn't want to say anything.

I have had an issue with my left arm for several months. Nobody in my family, except the grandkids, knew about it because I didn't want them to worry. The grandkids saw me recoil in pain one day when I tossed something with my left arm, so that was how they knew about it, and I had to caution them to not be rough with my arm, but they never thought to mention it to anyone.

My arm started getting sore near the beginning of the year. It felt like it was burning and then my shoulder went slightly out of joint. I got prayer for it, and the pain in my arm left, though my shoulder was still frozen, limiting my motion. I could raise my arm, but it did not reach as high as the other.

I went for x-rays and they showed that I had calcification in the muscle tissue. An appointment with a specialist was set that required a few months wait. I was hoping to get healed before the appointment came up, because the way God heals is a lot less painless than what the medical profession offers. And why not? God healed me earlier this year when my jaw was dislocated. It was getting very painful, but after it was prayed for, the next morning, it was fine. I didn't even feel it go back into place.

Then near the end of this month, I was leaning on the armrest of my chair while sitting at the computer, and when I got up, I discovered that my left arm was locked against my side. I couldn't lift it at all. I figured that the bone had shifted and gotten stuck in my rotor cuff. Jake's father was bringing him over that Thursday to leave him overnight and I was anxious to see him, so I just bore with the discomfort. Thankfully, Jake is an easy-going kid and he was quite happy to play with Lego a lot while I played Andrew Wommack's radio tapes on healing. I played Lego with Jake a little, cooked for us, and we watched some funny animal videos, but did not do much else during this visit. I consoled myself that at least he was getting some good information about healing from Andrew's tapes.

I was right desperate by the time Heather picked up Jake to go to the Emergency to get my shoulder looked after. I figured that all I would need was some laughing gas and that the doctor would put it back into position. I wanted to go there with the right person, though. Someone who had faith and a calm personality who would not annoy me with inane remarks when I was in pain. Only one person came to my mind, a lady who has been my friend for many years. I called her and discovered that she was in no shape to take anyone to the hospital. The night before, someone had run a red light and caused her to slam into a car ahead of her, and she and her son, though not needing to be hospitalized, were very sore with bone aches themselves.

Okay, so that put the kabosh on that plan. I sent out more emails for prayer and toughed it out another night, if you call lying on a bed and crying 'toughing' it out. Tylenol helped somewhat, but not much. At least from time to time, the pain subsided, particularly when I listened to worship music and slept. While asleep and keeping very still, my arm and shoulder did not hurt at all. That was such a break. When the pain was daggering away, though, listening to Andrew's teaching on the Internet was all that kept me from losing my mind because it gave me hope, and I know it is not a vain hope.

Sunday morning came and I was in no shape to take a bus to church, not unless I had firm confidence that if I went to church and was prayed for, I would be healed. But would they wait until the end of the service before they issued an invitation to pray for people? It would be a very uncomfortable service for me, if I had to wait until the end to get prayer, instead of being healed at the start of it. And besides, if I was going to be uncomfortable, it would be better to stay home and listen to a purer version of the Gospel, such as Andrew preaches because he has a better understanding of God's grace and the Scriptures than what most ministers do.

It seemed to me that none of the pastors in this area are operating, yet, at such a high level of faith that they see lots of miracles on a regular basis. Then it hit me that there is a minister who lives just a few blocks away who does fit that criteria, a travelling evangelist named Roy Durman. If Roy were to check his email before church, then surely he and his wife would stop by on their way to church to pray for me. If he was at home, that is. He travels so much.

In case he was home and checked his email, I figured that I would take a step of faith and get dressed for church, so that Roy and Georgette could drop me off at the one I wanted to go to, which is near the one they attend, as I ought to expect to get healed. I got dressed as much as I could, which did not include doing my hair, as I couldn't reach behind my back to put it in a ponytail. It would only take a minute, though, after I was healed! I was ready. But they did not come, so I gathered that they were travelling again.

I stayed home and listened all day to Andrew Wommack's preaching. It kept me hanging in there. Seriously, I wanted to die and even emailed a sort of last will and testament to a trusted friend, just in case the Lord granted my wish. I had been looking for work, but couldn't even go to an interview in this condition. I didn't want to get stuck on disability; I wanted to get healed. What was the point of having my bills paid, if I had to live in this kind of pain?

I prayed, "Oh, Lord, I am doing the best I know how to receive Your healing. I am doing the stuff that Andrew says to do, and doing it for the right reasons. I love You. You are good always, even though this is happening to me. It is the devil who comes to kill and steal and destroy; not You. I know that You have said that You have lots for me to do, yet, and I can't do it in this condition. I love my kids and grandkids and want to be a blessing to them, but maybe I should just hand them over to You completely, and trust You to take care of them, even if I am not here. After all, You can take better care of them than I ever can. Yes, Lord, please just let me die rather than have to live with this pain. No! That's not right. I shall not die, but live and declare Your mighty works. Well, maybe I have done that enough already. That was what You said to me 24 years ago, and I have declared Your mighty works. No, I think that there is more that I have to do, but I can't take this pain."

I got some emotional relief after I emailed my last wishes to my friend, just in case something happened to me. I didn't want my website to disappear when the domain needed to be renewed, nor for my kids and grandkids to have none of my effects after my demise. I asked my friend to just let them have what they wanted, and she could have the rest, if there was anything left. I was in too much pain to care about any further details. I found more relief by imagining myself being held in Yehoshua's arms, leaning against His shoulder while He stroked my sore shoulder and arm. Leaning on the everlasting arms. My body still hurt, but my soul was soothed.

A while later, I figured I might as well get ready to go to Emergency in the morning, as something had to be done about this shoulder, if the healing wasn't going to occur right away. I couldn't sleep anyway. As I stood in the shower, I thought of what I had said earlier in the week on Facebook about Halloween. Various Christians were airing their views about what a contradiction it is for Christians to celebrate a satanic high holiday. I mentioned that instead of having Halloween parties, maybe they should have prayer meetings for the victims that satanists will be sacrificing that night.

I had prayed somewhat about this need already, asking the Lord to prevent victims from being taken. That could have stopped some, but there likely still were people who were being murdered this very night, and their pain was far worse than mine. My pain helped to add some fervency to my prayers for those precious people, that God would remove their pain and their fear, and that He would also move with conviction on the hearts of their murderers. I don't believe that God wanted me to be in pain, but since I was, He worked on my heart to get some good out of it. Praise the Lord!

Amazingly, when morning came and I went about to get some help for my shoulder problem, the pain subsided to a low level that was manageable. I could sense that the Lord was with me. I stopped at the clinic near my place, got an order to release my x-rays, went and picked them up, and then headed to the Emergency to see if they could fix my dislocated shoulder. Right off, the doctor did not think it was dislocated. He sent me for more x-rays and it turned out that he was right.

He said this is bursitis and explained it to me. Temporary relief might be obtained by draining the calcium out of my muscles, but it would eventually come back. My search for a job was apparently finished. He said that I would need to apply for disability. It was traumatizing to hear that I was a physical wreck at only 55–years–old.

I could hear Andrew Wommack's good teaching in the back of my mind, about not accepting what the doctor says because it is God who has the last word. I knew this was true and I was still going to contend for my healing, but I had not thought that my problem with my shoulder was as serious as this. I thought I would be given some laughing gas, the doctor would put my shoulder back into place, and then I could get on with my job search while being very, very careful to not let that shoulder get dislocated again while my friends and I continued to pray for healing, so that it would no longer be a problem.

It was a good thing that they had given me some powerful painkiller before sending me for x-rays. I could see that it worked far better than what I had been taking. If having this problem meant living in agony for the rest of my life, or even until I received my healing, I would have gone out of my mind.

I couldn't stop my tears. It was so embarassing. Here I am a Christian who knows that God wants all His children to be healed, yet I was crying, and in front of unbelievers, though all of them were very kind to me. And I had to ask for charity, too. I'd had help from Welfare at various times in the past, and had hoped that I was forever through with that.

And what would the pastors say whom I differed with on the tithe issue? They'd probably figure, "Well, that's what happens when you don't tithe; you're cursed with a curse. Crippled and on Welfare now. What else can you expect?" Never mind that there are people who tithe who get bursitis, and people who don't tithe, and live like the devil, as well, who are millionaires. Maybe they will think that it serves me right for being sassy and not calling them Pastor. (Yehoshua taught that we should not call religious leaders by elevating titles.) Then again, maybe such ugly thoughts would never cross their mind, but that was what I was thinking anyway.

One of my friends had suggested that to obtain my healing, I repent of any sins that were standing between me and God. Was this what she had in mind, that it was a sin for me to contend with pastors that they are teaching heresy when they teach that it is mandatory for Christians to tithe in order for them to be blessed? That it was disrespectful to them to contradict them on this? If I caved in to them, and said that they were right and I was wrong, would I get healed when they prayed for me? I wouldn't mean it in my heart, though, if I apologized. I know that they are wrong on this issue, and on several other issues, as well.

I emailed my friend back that nobody would get healed, if we had to be without sin in order to get healed, because none of us behave perfectly. My illness was not due to a sinful practice, which most certainly should be discontinued if one expects God to heal them. It wasn't caused by drugs or alcohol, but rather a lack of calcium and estrogen. Who knows if milk really is good for us? Some experts say it prevents bone disease and other experts say it causes bone disease. As for calcium supplements, who knows which kind really work? There are differing reports from experts on this, too, and some say that calcium supplements are actually harmful. It seems that the only safe way to get calcium is from eating leafy green vegetables. Since we just don't know enough about what we should take in order to maintain health, we have to have faith in God to fix us when our bodies break down, or to keep our bodies from breaking down, in spite of inadequate nutrition.

That was the kind of remark that narrowed my choice of which friend I wanted to accompany me to the Emergency. The one I chose was not likely to say something silly like that, but if she did, she knew me long enough and well enough to not take it personally if I made a cranky reply in return. When in pain, a person doesn't need someone giving them a lecture about good manners, but if this particular lady did it, I would most likely forgive her because she has done so many good things for me, above and beyond what most Christians do for others. It was ironic that we both got hit with a load of pain at the same time, particularly her, because she has been in numerous car accidents, and more injuries on top of old injuries is very hard on the body.

I spoke with a social worker at the hospital and obtained some information about my next steps. Then I went across the street and got a prescription filled for more anti–inflammatory/pain pills. I came back to the hospital and used a pay phone to call a friend to pick me up and take me home, and made a couple of other calls. I turned to wait by the front door for my ride, but a seat I had occupied before was taken, so I turned back to the Emergency ward to find a seat. That was when I saw Rosa.

Dear, darling Rosa! We had once attended the same church. She worked in the hospital as a Medical Transcriptionist. She had a sore on her lip that was causing her concern and had meant to get it looked at during her lunch break, but changed her mind and went to the Emergency after work instead. She was in the right place at the right time, just when I needed her.

I sat next to her without saying anything and her face showed delighted surprise, in spite of the fact that my face was blotchy and my nose a glowing red bulb, and I probably looked years older than when she saw me last because make–up is so good at disguising one's age, but I wasn't wearing any that day. I asked why she was there and she told me and I told her about my problem with my shoulder. I took her hand and prayed for her condition and she prayed for mine. When we finished, she told me that she'd had bursitis last year and she knew that pain that I was experiencing, but when she was watching the 700 Club, a guest on the show had a word of knowledge about someone who had a problem with their left rotor cuff and said to stretch forth their hand to receive their healing. So Rosa reached towards the TV screen and her arm was loosed and she was healed!

It was just what I needed to hear, and it was a hug from God, telling me that everything is going to be okay, that I am going to be healed. I stopped crying after that. This confirmed what God had been telling me earlier, that He had not led me to Andrew Wommack's excellent teaching on healing and faith for it to lead to a dead end. When my other friend arrived a few moments later, instead of finding me sobbing, as I had been doing on the phone, she found me filled with joy.

The next day I started the process of making arrangements for Income Assistance and had the opportunity to witness to the bank teller who filled out some of the forms for me, when she asked me what had happened to my arm, as it was in a sling. I told her what happened, and how I believe it is going to end, assuring her that God has healed me of other things before that doctors couldn't do much about. Yes indeed. Why should He have healed me all those other times, and stop now?

I went to see my daughter after doing my errands to tell her what was happening with my arm. She invited me to go grocery shopping with her and Connor. I couldn't move my arm away from my side, but as long as anyone didn't knock against it, I did not have any pain except for a very mild discomfort.

I found myself in very good spirits and startled Heather and Connor when I saw a mucky–looking glove on the sidewalk and said, "Look! A dead mitten!" Ha ha! They both jumped before they realized that it was just a glove.

When Connor insisted on riding in the cart because his ankle was sore, I kept cracking jokes about him being our hood ornament and teased another shopper who had a baby in her cart that she could look forward to ten more years of that. She laughed and other people looked at Connor in amusement to see a kid his age in the cart, though it was a one of those low ones, not a regular cart.

I had an awesome time just grocery shopping with my daughter and my grandson, and could hardly believe it that only two days before, I had wanted to die because I thought life would never be good for me again as long as I had that problem with my arm. Being relieved of terrible pain sure can make a person thankful. I can't do much with my hair just now and one of my arms is way skinnier than the other because, for several months, I haven't used it as much as I used to. I like to look pretty, but if I have to choose between looking pretty and being in pain or being pain free (but somewhat deformed and rumpled), I will go with the latter until I am offered the third option of looking pretty and being healthy.

Yes, because Yehoshua lives, I can deal with this. He's not dead! He lives and moves within His children, and He is teaching me to get the resurrection life that is in my spirit into my mind and heart, and from there into my body and beyond to where I will be more effective when praying for others. I saw people in that hospital, people in wheelchairs and some close to my age, who are in far worse shape, and I know God wants to help them, too. Satan comes to kill, and steal, and destroy, but for this reason was the Son of God manifest, to destroy the works of the evil one! Hallelujah!

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Page modified by Lanny Townsend on November 3, 2010

Scripture references on this website are closely paraphrased from e–Sword's King James Bible.