It’s That Time of Year Again…

Time to reblog my evergreen article, The Heart of the Christmas Controversy.

This is the original post from 2016:

I posted the following article to my FaceBook page the other day. I had a request to post it here as well.

It is here for your consideration only, not as an encouragement to argue, not as a judgment, not out of bitterness, nor an effort to try to make anyone look silly, etc. However, please do feel free to comment, because I am ever seeking for a greater understanding of the truth. I am still learning, so what may look like a pompous thesis is merely a collection of my current conclusions. Our God is eternal, and we will eternally be discovering His awesomeness, so I am under no delusion to have discovered everything about Him, His personality, His revelation, His great big wonderful plan of redemption, or even His will for my small role in the grand scheme of things. I am constantly studying, constantly learning, constantly facing my own misconceptions, constantly being broken down and built back up by the Word of God. And my efforts have not gone unrewarded. Our household is currently in a state of revival. “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” Psalm 42:1 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6
Feel free to say anything you like here, even if you do not believe in my God (Yahweh) at all. “Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.” Psalm 119:165. I am not offended that we are different people and have different values and ideologies. And I believe that most, if not all of us, are striving to find universal Truth. This is my journey.
A note: This discussion started over whether it was appropriate to worship Yahweh in the same ways that the pagans have worshipped their gods over the course of history. I have determined that the root of the matter has more to do with whether New Testament Christians should be keeping the Old Testament Laws, and that is what I will attempt to answer here. Once that conclusion is drawn, everything else falls easily into place. If more discussion is needed, we can talk about that at a later date.

In case there is anyone here who is seeking answers (anyone else will probably shy away from the length of this article, lol), I thought I would offer some support of the unpopular perspective. That way, when you are adhering to the following verse, you will have more to think about rather than a few chosen scriptures that seem to support the popular opinion. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” II Timothy 2:15
Be careful: Even the scriptures I quote here should not be enough to convince you. I may have inadvertantly taken some out of context. In order to reach a proper conclusion, you need to read every chapter and verse and beg God for clarity. (Good timing: the New Year is coming up, and you can commit to reading it all the way through.) The WHOLE Word of God must agree with itself, and that only happens when you understand that the Law has not been abolished, as Paul makes very clear. “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” Romans 3:31

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If the law were void, would anyone need saving? Consider the following passages, and try to follow my logic here: Sin is still defined as transgression of the Law. “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.” I John 3:4 “…but sin is not imputed when there is no law.” Romans 5:13 “What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, ‘thou shalt not covet.’” Romans 7:7 You would not be able to tell “sinners” that they need to repent and be washed in the blood of the Lamb if the Law was no longer in effect. If His death did away with the Law, then sin would not be imputed to anyone, and there is no longer any need to have our sins covered. However, sin is still very real, and the consequences are real as well. “…and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” James 1:15

The writings of Paul are confusing if you’ve been taught that the Law is void. In one place he says that circumcision doesn’t mean anything, and in another he says, “we establish the Law.” His seeming contradictions become perfectly clear when you understand that Paul was talking about the inability of the Law to save us. He isn’t saying it’s okay to sin as much as you want. “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” Romans 6:1&2 (Remember the definition of sin in this verse by again looking at I John 3:4.) He is just saying that the blood of Christ covers our sins. “Moreover the law entered, that the offence might about. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:” Romans 5:20 One of the contributors to the original argument summed it up perfectly when he said, “The fulfillment of the law means we don’t go to hell for those things.” (In referral to keeping the whole law, unless I misunderstood his point.) But consider this: we don’t go to hell for theft, murder, or anything else once we are under the blood of Christ. Nobody argues that these things are still sins. But Christians are no longer under the curse of the Law: in that sin brings forth death. We are covered under the spotless blood of the perfect Lamb. More on that later.
If you have time, read the book of Galatians. (Please make the time.) The problem Paul was facing was that the Jews were telling the Gentile converts that they couldn’t be saved unless they were physically circumcised (converted to the Jewish nation). The good news of the gospel is that you don’t have to be Jewish to be part of God’s covenant people. Paul knew that every Jewish person had failed to keep the Law. They were saved through the grace of God, and not by any action they had done. How could they, being disobedient Jews, then require the Gentiles to be obedient to the Law? “But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?” Galatians 2:14
Salvation does not hinge on works. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8&9. We all understand this – and that is the point Paul was making. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Galatians 5:1-6.
Is Paul saying that my son, Ian, who was circumcised when he was eight days old, is a debtor to do the whole law? Is he saying it’s bad to follow God’s law in the rite of circumcision? No, he makes it crystal clear that if you are trying to justify yourself through circumcision (as some of the Jews were demanding), that you would have to keep the entire Law to earn that justification. Read it again. It’s all or nothing. Only Christ was able to keep the entire Law. Only He was worthy to pay our sin debt, freeing us from the curse of the Law (death). If He is our example, let’s follow Him as closely as possible, even though it’s impossible to be perfect. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15 If Christ and Yahweh are one and the same, then Christ is telling us to keep Yahweh’s commandments. I have many verses proving the deity of Christ, if that is a hang-up for anyone. There isn’t an Old Testament God and a New Testament God. There is one God, and He doesn’t change, and His definition of sin doesn’t change.
In Colossians, which is another book that many people have difficulty with, Paul was giving people permission to keep the Holy Days if they wanted. They lived in a culture that emphasized neglect of the body and diet, etc. He’s not saying it’s okay to break God’s Law. It should go without saying that he isn’t making God’s Law void. When I tell my son that he can do whatever he wants after dinner, I’m not including murder, theft, and rape. Goes without saying. God tells us over and over again that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. I wanted to say that only the penalty for sin has changed, but that’s not really true either. If you are not under the blood of Christ, the penalty is still very much the same. And the penalty for our sins was paid for us, by the perfect Lamb of God. God’s Law has not changed. He also told them that they couldn’t take away or add to His Law: Deuteronomy 4:2 Why do we think this verse is meaningless, but hold so tightly to the almost identical one given in Revelation?
Psalm 19:7 says “The Law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul…” Did it then become imperfect? “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law…” Galatians 3:13. The curse of the Law is not the Law itself, as made clear by the Psalms and countless other passages. The curse comes through disobedience. Deuteronomy 27:26. “Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them…” That is the curse that the blood of Christ saves us from. The only thing “wrong” with the Law was its inability to save: “Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.” Galatians 3:21

I would like to specifically respond to this statement: “If your problem is in applying Old Testament law statements given clearly to the nation of Israel, then I do not know how to answer you.” This comment was made on FaceBook in response to my husband who posted the reference to this passage: “Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the LORD thy God. When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou goest to possess them, and thou succeedest them, and dwellest in their land; Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? Even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the LORD, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they have burnt in the fire to their gods. What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.” Deuteronomy 12:28-32 (Notice He isn’t concerning Himself here with the nation worshiping other gods, merely how they worship Him.)
Yes, God was speaking to the nation of Israel. They were the ones listening, writing down His Law, making an effort to keep His law (even though it had no power to save, not even then). However, the Law was for everyone: “Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.” Leviticus 24:22
If a stranger wanted to partake in the Passover, for instance, he had to be circumcised (become part of the Jewish nation). Read Exodus 12. Today, those who are spiritual Jews undergo a circumcision of the heart. (A physical circumcision for eating the physical Passover, and a spiritual circumcision for partaking in the spiritual Passover.) I am every bit as much a Jew in God’s eyes as Abraham’s natural children. Therefore, the Law applies to me. There has only ever been one Law for those who follow God, whether natural Jews or spiritual.
Also, all this talk about being New Testament Christians: It’s the same problem the Jews have. The Jews maintain that they are clinging to the Torah and prophets. Modern Christianity clings to the New. The fact is, once the preconceptions are cleared away, the entire Word of God is in harmony with itself. The entire Word of God is for all people of all times. Jesus is the Word, and He does not change. He is not a fickle, man-made God. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by EVERY word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4 There’s one you can look up in the Old and New Testaments both because Jesus is quoting the Old Testament here.
The Bereans were commended because they searched the Old Testament to confirm the gospel: “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11
Some closing verses to consider: Matthew 5:17-19 “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”
The Law is a blessing to those who follow it: Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
Psalm 1 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his seaon: his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

I am tempted to also copy and paste Psalm 119 in its entirety, but you can look it up if you are so inclined.
In two previous posts (“The Law Is Not an Example of Planned Obsolescence” and “What Do I Really Believe?”), I talk about some of these things more in-depth, if you can believe that. Sorry for the thought-vomit, but I have been meaning to collect my research on this topic for a very long time, so here it is. I have many more verses to support these ideas, if there are any specific questions or responses.

photo credit: MTSOfan <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/8628862@N05/8624465192″>Recovered and On Display</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;

The Heart of the Christmas Controversy

It’s that time of the year again. I wrote this 4 years ago, and while I have changed my mind about a couple of details mentioned in the post, the “heart” of the matter is still very much the same. One thing I wanted to add, and that is the reason that God told the Israelites not to worship Him the way the pagans worship their gods. So even if you don’t acknowledge that we are all the same (neither bond nor free, Jew nor Greek, etc), and that we all fall under the same covenantal promises, and therefore the same covenantal restrictions, would you at least agree that Christians shouldn’t want to do things that God said He hates? It’s true that God looks on the heart, and that to the pure all things are pure, but if you refuse to adhere to the plain black and white words from the very mouth of the Creator, then I must ask – where is your heart? And how can you be pure if you have read the words and dismissed them out of hand?

Full Circle Homeschooling

I posted the following article to my FaceBook page the other day. I had a request to post it here as well.

It is here for your consideration only, not as an encouragement to argue, not as a judgment, not out of bitterness, nor an effort to try to make anyone look silly, etc. However, please do feel free to comment, because I am ever seeking for a greater understanding of the truth. I am still learning, so what may look like a pompous thesis is merely a collection of my current conclusions. Our God is eternal, and we will eternally be discovering His awesomeness, so I am under no delusion to have discovered everything about Him, His personality, His revelation, His great big wonderful plan of redemption, or even His will for my small role in the grand scheme of things. I am constantly studying, constantly learning, constantly facing…

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The Mark of the Beast?

Not claiming to “know” anything, but here’s what I saw in a vision and what I “think” it means, based on the research I’ve performed over the last few weeks.

Disclaimer: I was already thinking the vaccine might be associated with the mark of the beast, so the vision might have been a figment of my imagination. That being said, the things I have discovered since are most certainly not my imagination (although it’s possible that some of them are a leap to conclusions) See what you think:

I woke up in the middle of the night a few weeks ago, sat straight up, “saw” a floating STAR OF LIFE, and thought: the mark of the beast!

Star of Life

Then I immediately fell asleep and forgot about it. The next day, I didn’t remember it again until I went to put on my medical bracelet. After that,I remember Googling some gematria websites, trying to figure out which Hebrew names total 666 if you change the letters to their numerical values (which is numerology in many other languages, but not so much in Hebrew because they didn’t have numbers aside from their letters – in Hebrew, any word can be a number and vice versa). I still hate gematria – I think that people can use it to “prove” anything if they’re creative and persuasive enough, but I couldn’t figure out any other possible meaning of “the number of his name” from John’s revelation. Anyway, I was utterly shocked and inhaled sharply when my search landed me on a page that had the star of life at the top of it. I was NOT looking for the star of life, or a serpent around a pole, or ANYTHING related to my vision, other than to try to figure out the name of the beast. 

I read the website and was so disturbed that I cancelled a piano lesson and went to talk to my atheist sister. I knew that if I were imagining things, she would easily point out the holes in my theory. Her only idea was that since I had already been studying up on Azazel (more on that later), the beast of Revelation, and the mark of the beast, I just put it all together in my head while I was sleeping and woke up with an idea that connected all of the dots. Of course, being an atheist, she doesn’t believe the dots mean anything to begin with – just that I had thought of a way to draw them all together. What she couldn’t account for was the symbols of the mark of the beast actually looking like the star of life once they were super-imposed (neither of us knew that beforehand), or that I would land on that website while on a totally different trail.

Here’s what I discovered on that day and since then: some Greek manuscripts of Revelation have six hundred, sixty and six all spelled out in words that represent the numbers, but some of them have only 3 letters, and those letters correspond individually to 600, 60, and 6. One of those letters looks like a snake, one looks like an x, and the other one looks like half a snake (not convincing, right?). Well, the one that looks like half a snake originated as the Hebrew letter vav, which looks like a pole. Still seems like a stretch, right?

Well, here’s how I think it went down. John saw the star of life as a symbol of the beast and wrote it down as he saw it. Snake on a pole with an x in the background. People translating it into Greek (from its probable original Hebrew), saw what they thought was 2 Greek letters superimposed over a Hebrew one. They changed the vav to a stigma (not sigma) for Greek readers, who would not identify with the vav (both vav and stigma represented the number 6, btw), and wrote them one after another instead of superimposing them. Remember that the other two letters represent 60 and 600.

Here’s what I think it means. All people, small and great, rich and poor, will be compelled to get the vaccination. Without it, they will not be allowed to buy or sell. I think that the mark on the hand or forehead might be a literal mark, or it might be a point of vaccine insertion (may include a microscopic microchip for quick and easy validation at Walmart or places of employment, etc.).

I’m not saying that anyone who takes the vaccine will be doomed for an eternity on fire – but I do think they are doomed for physical torment as long as they remain alive (7 years?) – a direct result of being injected with an unproven vaccine that alters RNA. The smoke (remembrance) of that torment will continue forever, but I believe that every person’s suffering ends at death. I also believe that even those people receiving the mark will be resurrected and be given an option to choose life after a full enlightenment (Hebrews 6). (That is, I don’t believe anyone will be tricked into missing out on eternal life). Now, I have scriptures to back up everything I’m saying, but I’m not looking to write a book here – just get some of this laid out.

Oh, and I almost forgot the verse I read this morning that inspired me to write this post in the first place (at the risk of looking like a crazy person): And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Revelation 13:17 KJV. 

If the KJV gets the translation right here, the mark, the name, and the number are all individual things (any one of which someone could have to buy or sell), or it might mean that they are all one thing at once: a mark, a name, AND a number and that anyone having it has what can be thought of as either a mark, a name, or a number. (Maybe it’s saying, “call it what you want.”) It might also mean that John the revelator saw the symbol and didn’t know whether it was a mark, a name, or a number. He did recognize, however, that the individual components represented 600, 60, and 6.

Another option, however, is that most of the other translations get it right where the KJV gets it wrong: “so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark—the name of the beast or the number of its name.”

In this scenario, the mark is just a mark, and John doesn’t claim to know whether it’s a name or a number. He recognizes that it could be either one, and he also recognizes that it would total 666.

One more option. John drew a picture of the symbol that he saw, thinking of neither name nor number, and later, a translator’s gloss was added, and THEY didn’t know whether it was supposed to represent a number or a name either. They did leave a note for future readers, however, because they recognized the value of the number, and wanted us to be on the lookout, in case it does, in fact, turn out to be a number.

A few other interesting things: 

Satan is in the business of stealing our health from us, but making it look like he is doing us a favor. Think of the deception of Eve (who was later covered by the skin of a sacrificial animal – so I don’t think that deceived people are held eternally responsible for actions taken under deception); think of the pharmaceutical industry (who have begun to push immunizations at an almost exponential rate now that they can no longer be sued for them). They steal our health via immunizations early in life (from day 1), and then spend the rest of our lives selling our health back to us – making themselves out to be heroes in the process. Sounds just like Satan, doesn’t it?

The red dragon (China’s version is a red serpent with legs) of Revelation 12 has seven heads with seven crowns (coronas). Covid-19 is the 7th coronavirus that can affect human beings. The serpent is referred to as a beast in Genesis, so we know the term “beast” doesn’t exclude reptiles. It is also explicitly referred to as a serpent in Revelations 12:9.

In Enoch, the sins of the whole world will eventually end up on Azazel’s head (Azazel is the “scapegoat” of Leviticus, and the entire Day of Atonement ritual is better understood in light of the book of Enoch). In ancient Hebrew writings, Azazel also has 7 heads and is waiting in a pit as punishment for his pre-flood sins. The beast of Revelation was, and is not, and comes up from a pit.

My conclusions: I think China will eventually control the entire world, under the very symbol of the serpent before the fall (legs and all). I think that it may be controlled by a person possessed by Azazel. I think they will require a vaccine (under the symbol of the star of life) in order to work, buy, sell, or go into public places. I think those deceived or pressured into taking it will live a miserable existence for the next 7 or so years.

I might be having delusions of grandeur. I might be wrong about EVERYTHING. But, I cannot continue to sleep at night knowing that I MIGHT be onto something, and knowing that billions of people might suffer the consequences of a vaccine funded by the man who is known for his agenda of depopulating the world. I have to say what I’ve been thinking, even if I am crazy, ESPECIALLY in light of the fact that Israel is on the verge of having a legitimate red heifer for the dedication of the third temple. All things will eventually converge and happen according to the visions of John the revelator. Whether it happens in our lifetimes or not, it WILL eventually come to pass. Why not now? 

I’m ready for an end to all suffering. After the seven years of great tribulation, the prisoners will be set free. (I’m thinking trafficked children in particular.) I keep accidentally praying for things to go back to “normal” or at least for 4 more years to prepare myself – learn to live off the land, etc. But in reality, that would be 4 more years for pedophiles to have their way – and I would give my life today to put an end to that forever. So, no, I truly hope the tribulation is upon us, for their sakes.

The Sounds of the Trumpet

Yom Teruah (the day of trumpets) approaches. This year, it falls on the evening of September 18th and lasts until the evening of September 19th. For me, it signifies 4 things: an awakening, a call to repentance, a mustering of the troops or gathering of the people, and eternity. I am basing the significance on the 4 different trumpet blasts that are traditionally blown on the shofar, the Hebrew “trumpet.”
1. T’ruah: many short, urgent blasts that one could imagine might awaken the dead. I don’t know for sure, but I believe this to be the sound that will rouse us up at the resurrection. Personally, it was near this time a few years ago that I began to “wake up” to God’s everlasting covenant with Israel, and how I played into that covenant. I just felt like something in the back of my head was screaming, wake up! wake up! wake up! Nowadays, I liken this feeling to the one I’m having politically. I feel like we need to wake up to satan’s desperate struggle for power. The things going on around us are blatantly, obviously ludicrous and smack of extreme desperation. The powerful pedophiles in the upper echelons are about to be exposed and deposed, and they’ll stop at nothing to maintain status quo. “And because [lawlessness] shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Matthew 24:12).
2. Shevarim: sad, wailing blasts. In a word: repentance. After the resurrection, Israel will look on Him whom they have pierced, and it will be marvelous in their eyes. I believe repentance follows spiritual awakening, just as Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) follows Yom Teruah (Day of Trumpets) in the calendar that God gave to Israel at Sinai. Many years ago, I needed to turn back to the Father and His ways, following a phase of awakening. But before I could repent, I needed to know the TRUTH. Today, as evil grows ever bolder in the world, those who have awakened to it need to take action. Repent, turn back to the Father and his ways. Turn to Yeshua for salvation, because we have and will fall short. Politically, once people awaken to what’s boiling beneath the surface, they need to make plans to change the situation. We cannot allow the status quo to continue. Satan is a master of using evil politicians in an effort to win his battles. Take the crucifixion, if you need an example. That particular scheme completely backfired on him, and I have faith that this one will too.
3. Tekiah. One long blast. This one symbolizes the mustering of the troops or the gathering of the people. During Armageddon, the troops will be mustered, and all those who hate the Father and His ways will fight against Him and lose. I believe this to be the second death. The one from which there is no return because Yeshua will not be crucified again in the world to come. It also signifies a gathering of the people, and/or the coronation of a king. When Yeshua returns, He will take His place as our King, our Commander in Chief, our Husband. We will dine with Him at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, which I believe is symbolized in the Torah by Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles), which follows the last two feasts I mentioned. We know for sure that it symbolized God’s providence for Israel in the wilderness, because it was given to them as a memorial. However, I believe it prophetically pointed to Yeshua, who came and tabernacled among us (John 1:14). I think it also points to the Millennial Reign (Emmanuel – God with us). How this feast relates to the current political climate – I’m not a prophet, so I don’t know, but maybe God is getting ready to call more of the lost tribes to Israel? This is my genuine hope. In the meantime, we rely on the fact that He will never leave us nor forsake us, not even in these trying times.
4. Tekiah gedolah – similar to the tekiah, but the instrumentalist blows the longest sound he possibly can. And that’s the end. It’s victory. It’s eternity. It’s the day without night – the long day. I believe that the 8th Great Day, given in the Torah as the day immediately following the last day of the week-long feast of tabernacles, symbolizes the infinite future. This day may very well be on the horizon. It may very well be coming around the bend. Until that great day, let’s live like we believe it’s coming. Let’s allow our faith in that day to be evidenced by our actions in the here and now. Let’s fight for life, liberty, justice – knowing that even in the shadow of the valley of death, we need fear no evil. Our future is secure in the one who created and maintains us, and seals us until the day of redemption.

Self-Inflicted Slavery, and What I Am Doing About It.

Image by orythys from Pixabay

There is a quote in circulation that is credited to JFK, 7 days before his assassination. I was not able to confirm whether he actually spoke these words, and I’m not trying to say that he did. However, the moment I read them, several issues in my own life immediately came to the surface in my mind. I have been wanting to discuss a few of those issues with you all. Here’s the “quote:”

 

There’s a Plot in This Country to Enslave Every Man, Woman, and Child.
Now, just for a moment, imagine that someone in-the-know did speak these words several decades ago. As an exercise, mentally list off three or four things in our current culture that you think may have come about as a result of this “plot.” No, actually stop and think before continuing to read.
This isn’t an exercise in futility, and let me tell you why. The things that sprang to your mind are the things that enslave YOU. Or, at least, they are the things that make you feel like a slave. Quite possibly, they are even things that you exert some control over in your life.
So when I read that quote the other day, I thought: what better way to enslave an entire nation than to make everyone fat, sick, distracted, dull-of-mind, lazy, and dependent on the government? What better way to enslave a nation than to make everyone completely dependent on the tracking devices in their pockets?
Let me tell you a few of the issues that surfaced for me personally:
My addiction to social media and entertainment.
My addiction to excessive sugar, excessive fats, and artificial additives.
My avoidance of saving money, exercising, and learning to plant, harvest, and put food by, etc. because I believe that my life and the world around me will maintain its status quo, and that I won’t ever really NEED to learn any true life skills.
My dependence on the system for survival in general.
These are the things that personally make me feel like a slave. Lately, I have been trying to do better. I’ve been totally failing in the social media department because I am keenly interested in the future of this country and what’s happening to push us toward socialism/communism/fascism or toward democracy.
But, I am doing better in a few of the other areas. Partly because I’m not sure what the future holds. I’m not sure of food supplies. I expect an actual plague in the upcoming months that may shut down our economy and way of life even if the people are willing to stand up to the government. Because of these things I’m learning to plant and grow, and will hopefully pick up the skills to harvest and preserve food later.
As far as my diet goes, I’m doing better in that department too. Here’s why: I expect revolution. I expect to have to pull a trigger to defend my freedoms. I am tired of dulling my mind with sugar and artificial additives. I am tired of weakening my immune system and my body’s physical strength by way of keeping it loaded up with toxins and not providing it with enough life-giving foods. I’ve even been strength training more faithfully because I now have purpose and resolve.
Now, I might be wrong about all of my “predictions,” and I sincerely hope that I am. However, changing these things about myself will at least help me be the most prepared I can possibly be, and none of these things depend on what anyone in power has to say about my personal freedoms. I should start by freeing myself from my own personal slavery, right? And even if we live in a perfect utopia beginning in May or June of 2020, these changes I am making to my life will only enhance my quality of life for the foreseeable future.
This is kind of a personal post, but I felt compelled to share it with you all in case you have been thinking about freeing yourself from some sort of self-inflicted slavery in your own life. And if you’re thinking about changing your diet, allow me to add just one more thing to encourage you:
When I ate clean for 14 months, just before my surgeries and slightly after, I didn’t get sick even once for the next three years, even though I had gone back to my old diet. Even the chemo didn’t make me as sick as it did most people. My mind was the sharpest it had ever been. My sight-reading capacity grew in leaps and bounds, and I got up at 7am every day because I just wasn’t tired any more! The dumbest thing I ever did was go back to eating “normally” after the threat of death had passed. I think that our diets will have more to do with surviving the next wave than anything the government is encouraging us to do at the moment.
Sorry this got long, but I’ve been meaning to get these things off of my mind. Hope it helps someone.

Late to the Party, Tip #1: Bread

Okay, so I have made a few recent “discoveries” lately, for lack of a better word. I’m sure that most of you have these figured out by now, so I feel a little silly sharing them here, but my goal in sharing these is to help other people who are late to the party, so to speak. Even if it makes me look a little dull, lol.

Tip #1. Knead your bread for the recommended time.

I always thought, “10 minutes? No, that can’t be right! Who would stand there and knead for 10 minutes?!?” So, I never did.

My bread-baking always failed, and I never could figure out why. Was my yeast bad, was the water temperature wrong, was the air temp too high or low for rising dough, did I cook it too long or not long enough? Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. I just needed to knead. I can’t believe I’m admitting this to you.

The first time I tried it the right way (last week), I succeeded! And I was back in the kitchen 2 days later doing it again, so I must not have minded the kneading process all that much. As a matter of fact, it worked muscles in my arms and abs that I could feel the next day, and that made me pretty happy with myself. If it weren’t for the calories involved, I think I would be baking some once a week! (But if I have bread in the house, I can’t NOT eat it… But wait – does kneading it negate some of those calories???)

ANYWAY, to get through the boredom of such a repetitive action for minutes on end, I borrowed my husband’s headphones and listened to a Matt D’Avella podcast. And guess what? I didn’t get bored after all! Magic!

Instead of uploading a beautiful stock image with you all, I am uploading the actual product of my kneading activities.

Okay, that’s all my pride will allow me to share for one day. But I’ve got more, and some are quite recent! I’ll humiliate myself again some other time. Hope to see you then. I guess…

My Best Tip for Writing Research Papers

This tip is for the actual writing process, which can sometimes be the most overwhelming part. I mean, you’ve checked out all your books, you’ve printed online articles, you’ve taken notes, and you’ve arranged everything into chronological order. You’ve discovered a ton of new things, and it was almost even fun. But now, the dreaded day has arrived. You must actually put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write the darn thing!

How to begin?

Here’s an activity that will warm you up and teach you how to write your paper without stress. I have all of my research paper students do this in our very first class together. I’ve named it Memory Writing, and I hope you find it useful!

Read a fairly-short, informative article at least three times over the course of one or two days. You can choose an article from a book, a magazine, or the internet. Later, put the article completely away and write about the topic in your own words, based on memory.

If there is a name, date, or some other detail that you can’t remember while writing, just leave a blank space. After you are finished, you can go back and insert facts like names and dates.

Write without stopping and without fretting too much over grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. These things can be corrected once you have something written. Sometimes, just getting started is the hard part, and that’s what this exercise will help you conquer.

Now take your research and apply this technique to it. You’ll find that writing from your head is much easier than writing from notes! You won’t have to worry about the drudgery of changing each note card into your own sentence or rearranging someone else’s words into your own. Just write down what you know, and fill in the blanks later. Happy writing!

A New Era of Health and Happiness

Strangely enough, I have entered an era in my life where my happiness seems directly related to something that I am purchasing on a regular basis. Now we all know that happiness can’t be purchased. But health? Health is largely dependent on the food we eat.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

In the last couple months, I have been using Instacart religiously. I have been waiting for it to come to our area for quite some time now. You see, I had all of these hopes and dreams of what my life would be like – how it would improve – if only I had access to Instacart.

Usually, the fantasy versions of our lives never quite match up with reality. The grass is always greener and all of that. However, I was actually right this time.

Here’s how Instacart has benefited our lives (and no, they aren’t sponsoring me or anything like that – life really has improved, and I’m wanting to share the reasons with you, in case you want to try it out for yourself.)

  1. We are healthier. The minimum order in my area is $35, so I order fresh food two times a week. This is twice the frequency that I used to do my shopping, so we eat a lot more fresh fruits and vegetables. I only order 3 or 4 days worth at any given time, and we make sure to eat it all up before I place another order (or plan the next day’s meals around what’s left). Therefore, I’ve barely thrown any food away since using this service.
  2. We are happier. Health = happiness in a lot of ways. When we eat better, we feel better. Our minds are sharper, we don’t need as much sleep, we don’t have as many sugar cravings (because we’re meeting our nutritional needs), we feel better about ourselves because we aren’t as wasteful as we once were, and we look forward to each and every meal because we aren’t eating out of boxes as often. Oh, and the kitchen usually smells like a restaurant. Happiness! 🙂
  3. We are spending quality time together. It’s been way more fun to cook together lately. There really is something to be said about using fresh ingredients – it just seems…right…somehow – authentic. (I once read that when boxed cakes first came out, they contained powdered eggs, etc. All a person had to do was add water and bake. However, after a while, companies caught onto the fact that people like to be more involved in their food – we want to feel like we are actually responsible for what’s on the table. We want to be able to say, “I baked a cake!” Not, “I added water.”)
  4. We are more adventurous. We’ve been trying a lot of ethnic dishes – at least one or two new ones each week. Turns out, it’s a whole lot easier to rely on someone else to find the more obscure items in a store. I think that’s what had been preventing a lot of experimentation in my kitchen.
  5. We are more productive. I can get my shopping done at 6am, at the very beginning of my day. The Instacart shopper is the one that has to wait for ALDI to open, by which time I’m usually already teaching. Also, I don’t have the excuse of procrastinating until the weather warms up or until I have other things marked off my to-do list. I can shop first and just forget about it until the delivery person shows up at my front door.
  6. We are coming out ahead financially. On the surface, the extra costs of Instacart service (driver tip, price differences, and either delivery fees or yearly membership) seem extravagant. However, I really do believe we are spending less money on food nowadays. Maybe that requires some explanation:
    1. We almost never eat out anymore because I plan out my meals in advance. And because we’re incorporating so many fresh meats and vegetables into our meals, we can’t really skip a meal that I’ve planned without worrying about food going bad. (Last time my parents invited us to dinner, I took what I had been planning to make, and cooked it at their house. We had a feast because they made food too!)
    2. We are also eating our leftovers for lunch the next day, every day. That way, I can have an empty fridge before I begin cooking the next meal. Since we are so careful to do this on a daily basis, almost nothing goes bad.
    3. Since our health is improving, we’ll also see a reduced cost of doctor’s visits and medicine in the future. In fact, we have already had better luck staving off sore throats and the common cold.
    4. And last, but definitely not least – no more impulse purchases. This is the one benefit that I had been looking forward to all along – the one I needed in my life. I had actually hired my sister to shop for me a few times for that reason alone – which worked out until she got too busy. She wasn’t going to see a box of cookies and put them in the cart thinking, “Amy would really want these!” Guess what! My Instacart shoppers don’t do that either! If I wanted to, I could totally plan out my weekly calories in advance too, and have a better chance of sticking with it.

Okay, so that’s just a run-down of the benefits that I’m seeing. Does anyone have anything to add? Have you tried Instacart or Walmart Pickup? What do you think?

Already Breaking My Rule

Okay, even though I said yesterday that I didn’t want to post everything to two different blogs all the time, I’m just too excited about today’s post to keep it in one place.

Our little studio is beginning to offer workshop and classroom space to local teachers and experts. We’re hoping that 2020 will be full of guest speakers, community classes, etc. Well, we already have an engagement planned for January, and I couldn’t be more psyched!

To see what we have planned, check out my blog post at Crescenza Studio. (Hint: it’s a seminar for homeschooling high school and college prep.)

The Direction of this Blog vs My New Website

Hey, everyone! I posted yesterday about my new website. As you can probably tell, I’m super psyched about it, but I wanted to be upfront with you about how that might change things around here.

First of all, I haven’t been posting anywhere regularly (not even Facebook). I’ve just come back from a Facebook purge of sorts, and now I’m all set with new goals, a new outlook, and a new Facebook page to go along with it. (And it’s not even 2020 yet!)

I’d like to start blogging here again, and if the past couple days are any indication, I probably will. This will be my space to post about my beliefs, my life, homeschooling and second-generation homeschooling, and anything else I consider to be generally inspirational. I’ll also keep this blog up-to-date if I upload a new book to Amazon.com. So if you enjoy reading about those kinds of things, stick with me here at WordPress. If there are any other topics you’d like to see here, let me know that as well.

My business website, however, will collect all of my local events (workshops and classes), curricula that I’ve written, thoughts about productivity, writing, mathematics, teaching, brainstorming, and music – all of which are relevant to my business. (I’m a  musician, author, music teacher, language arts & math tutor, and entrepreneur. I also have a small venue that other local teachers can use for workshops and classes.) If you’re interested in reading my methods or thoughts about those kinds of topics, and especially if you’d like to get in on local classes (Franklin County, MO), follow me over at Crescenza Studio.

I’ll most likely talk about some of those things here from time to time, but I don’t want to feel obligated to update this blog every time we have a new event at the studio.