The Young Lad Down the Street

When I first met the 12 year old boy down the street, I found him to be quiet, pensive, and sweet. He was so tender towards his younger sister whom he often had the responsibility of supervising when both were hanging out in the cul-de-sac where Mr. Steve and I, Miss Julie, live. His 6 (now 7) year old sister was respectful of his authority. They got along quite well.

Then I saw another side to their relationship and perhaps his character. Nearly a year after that first meeting, my husband and I know more about each other’s families, living routines, schedules, activities, and personalities. We’ve had some fun activities together outside of the neighborhood as well as the opportunity to bless them with gifts, treats, etc. Kinda fun for us two older neighbors of grand parent age! (If our own grand kids only lived closer, eh? We rarely get to see them as they live several states away . . .)

One recent weekend afternoon, both H and E were staying on our side of town while visiting E’s Dad with their biological Mom. In other words, both boy H and girl E have the same Mom but two different Dads. H spent alternate weekends with his biological Father; E was virtually always down the street on Saturday and Sunday as her biological Mom and Dad often spent weekends together. So the two kids have the same Mom, 2 different Dads between them plus H has several half-brothers and sisters as well. The 2 kids seem to have adapted as well as can be expected with additional visits to some combination of biological grandparents sprinkled in over their weekends too. Somehow even with all of these adults in their lives, E then H came to develop a relationship with my husband, Mr. Steve. He taught H how to ride a big skateboard called a land paddle and raced E up and down the street on said land paddle as E provided the some pretty good competition on her pink 2-wheeler! “Want to race?” was all she said and off they went down the street and sidewalk, respectively.

Last weekend, the two children had spent the day with Mr. Steve in an EAA Young Eagles Introductory Flight experience while taking plane rides in a 4-seater Piper Archer. This was their second time riding in this airplane with Mr. Steve as the pilot. They each got to experience 3 flights on Saturday, a special lunch, and a mini ground school instruction. What a treat for each one of them! Well the extra banks and turns were a bit much for E’s tummy but overall they had a great time. I received them sitting on our patio at our home afterwards as they shared their stories of the day’s events. The kids had dozed off in the car on the 30-minute ride home from the airport; H was still tired and E was acting a bit “wired-tired.” But their “parents” weren’t home yet so hanging out with us would extend a little longer. That’s when I noticed some other dynamics of the relationship between this brother and sister that I had not seen before. Natural dynamics, of course. And yet perhaps a window into some of the stress they might feel when tired from more than this type of day’s events.

H was usually tender with his younger sister. This particular Saturday afternoon, H was relentless in his questioning of his younger sister on a trivial matter. I tried to change the subject and he returned to his chiding her shortly thereafter. Was there more to the stress of the moment than meets the eye? Surely he must get frustrated from time to time with the antics of a sister 5 years younger than him. I wondered, does he ever tire of his supervisory role and have enough time to just be a kid, be himself? Probably yes and possibly no. H is a very serious, thoughtful young lad who largely hides most emotions and speaks in somewhat measured speech at times. He is sure to correct himself to give the right response to a question. He’s the kind of kid a trusted adult male would do well to engage in playful wrestling or other physical stuff yet I get the idea it would be more horrifying than fun for him. Maybe he gets some of it with the land paddling with Mr. Steve? I hope so. I just wonder if there’s an outlet for what the heck he might be thinking or feeling inside. Does he feel loved? Does he have a place to let go or speak his mind freely like his little sister does (kind of all the time!)? He speaks of his babysitting responsibilities in the vernacular of that of a parent. It’s possible that the parental figures in his life expect this of him, to pseudo-parent her not just be a babysitter. That’s a lot of responsibility for a 12 year old boy from a broken home, at the beginning of so many other changes to come in his life as he matures into a teenager and young man. He takes this responsibility seriously. This particular day it was kinda wonky.

My Mom tried to put this type of responsibility on me for my 2 younger brothers but it didn’t work. They wouldn’t listen to me! They wouldn’t listen to our babysitters either when my Mom (a single parent of three children along with a serial dating and drinking problem) had to leave us alone to go to work or couldn’t find a babysitter. I do believe she did the best she could to manage our difficult situation with the tools and life skills she had. The when she left us alone, however, all hell broke loose at home. We were probably out of control. Such is the way children under stress behave when the consistent routines that they need erode, when there’s no one in which to confide, when there’s no outlet for the hurt burning inside a tender heart living inside a broken home. I wish I could have been more like how H is to his sister than I was to Mike and Rob. I yelled a lot. My Mom yelled a lot. There’s more. Surely us kids were struggling with the changes in our lives that were decided by the most-trusted adults in our lives: our parents. We hardly ever saw our Dad and then he moved out of state when we were teenagers; we never heard from him again for a couple of decades. Probably our best aspect of consistency/security was living in the same house all of those years. But inside those doors was a lot of hurt and anger that made it harder for me and my brothers to relate to one another as a family let alone find our way after entering adulthood. I wish I had known the love of my Heavenly Father back then. It would have made such a difference!

H occasionally talks about the Bible with Mr. Steve. I love that. My husband had the insight to give H a student Bible as part of his Christmas presents this past year; we gave E a children’s Bible too. Steve and I both try to weave spiritual topics into our conversations with H and E as we play in our yard, sip endless bottles of water, and chase our old pup Elle. But is it enough? Are we being intentional in our teaching as my beloved use to instruct young families at church to do with their children? All four of Steve’s adult children are walking with the Lord today. What an incredible testimony and tribute this is to the parenting, the love, the Biblical teaching, the mentoring that Steve and his ex-wife poured into their lives. All four are also successful in their respective occupations, one is married with two children of his own. As we get to know H and E, as they continue to come around and knock on our door on a Saturday afternoon, please join us in praying how to best love on them in a Christ-centered way. We desire to encourage and support their parents as well and be a special kind of older friend to all of them that the Lord has ordained for this season of their lives.

As I think about H in particular, some scripture references have come to mind that I hope I get to share with him sometime soon.

Colossians 3:21 (NIV)

Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

If H is required to act as a pseudo parent/babysitter at times, these verses and passages speak to the authority and loving relationship of a Father to his children. They provide instruction which is tempered and guided in the manner described by the verses that surround each passage. (Hotlinks are provided to each chapter by clicking on the verse.) If unrealistic expectations have been placed on H to regularly care for his younger sibling then perhaps he still can learn to temper his tone with her as supernaturally guided by these verses and the Holy Spirit. Does H know Jesus as Lord and Savior, know the guidance that can come from the Holy Spirit? We are not sure. This is an area we need to explore further. With the possibility that the relationship of his Mom with E’s Dad is a tenuous one (as they have been apart for extended periods of time in the past), we cannot assume that we will always see H or E several times per month indefinitely. Each day is an opportunity to build our friendship with them and introduce them to Jesus Christ.

Romans 12:10 (ESV)

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

This verse speaks to the relationship of brothers and sisters in Christ, our eternal family. I love the idea of showing honor, deference to the other party. The older brother, just like the child’s Father or Mr. Steve as an older male Father-figure, have an opportunity to help build the worth of a young girl as Christ sees her, as her husband one day will see her someday in marriage. An important part of her identity comes from interaction with the older males in her life. Her older brother’s joking, teasing, and correcting behavior all have their place in good fun along with complimenting, encouraging, and supporting the younger, female as she grows up. We know from God’s design for the roles of men and women in marriage that the woman is to respect her husband; the woman must also receive respect in addition to being loved and cherished. To show honor is to show love.

Matthew 6:33 (Amplified)

But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.

Our Heavenly Father knows what we need even before we ask anything of Him. He is ready, willing, and able to give us the best help possible! This is important to keep in mind when we are trying to figure out what to do, what to say, what decisions to make, how to think, which way to go. Then what about an unruly little sister or brother? Oh vey! I offer this verse as a reminder to pray, to seek the Lord for His wisdom as we interact with all of the other people in our lives. (How I wish I knew this and could take back all of those mean words I screeched at my brothers so many years ago!) Figuring out relationships is soooooo hard on our own sometimes! Our Lord will comfort our angst, guide us, and bring forth the best outcome for both how we want to come across and how we hope our brother, our sister in Christ will respond. We must stop ourselves, pause or take a deep breath for a moment, and ask for our Lord’s help. He will do so. This type of prayer also honors the Lord as well!

Hebrews 10:24 (NLT)

Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.

The Lord is faithful to see us through everything including the ups and downs of our relationships with others. He cares deeply about our relationships with the members of our immediate family (as well as the body of Christ). What a privilege it is to be in a position to mentor a loved one who seeks and respects our authority or influence in his or her life. H has managed this big responsibly well despite the challenges of his own young life. This process of mentoring happens naturally with younger siblings who look up to their oldest sibling, to older cousins with younger cousins and so on, when handled well. The love between brother and sister in particular is a special kind of fellowship unmatched by any other in our lives. Our brothers and sisters are the first friends we make in life, the longest friendships we may ever have in our lives. We can find mutual hobbies, games, sports, ministries, and other activities to share together despite differences in age. We can encourage our siblings in following their dreams, the unique ways that the Lord has crafted their giftedness, and even in his or her silliness if younger than we are! When it is safe to do so, let them be! We want the happiest, most fulfilling life for our friends, right? Such is the desire of our Heavenly Father for each of us on each day and each hour we shall live, until the day comes when He will return in the ultimate fellowship with all of us.

After all Jesus was once a brother too you know . . .

Stock Photo by Janko Ferlic on Pexels.com

What you have meant to me

When I started the Quicksilver Mercury Detox Group on Facebook, I was a hurting puppy. Here’s my mercury detox story as of February 23, 2021.

In 2014, I had been sick for nearly 3 years with what had become a very serious and complicated illness. You can read more about my journey here. I had fallen into the camp of persons on the earlier side of chronic illness who see a new Doctor or get a new test, get a new diagnosis, then put all of his or her hopes and dreams into the treatment for it in hopes of finding a cure. The results of the Tri-Mercury Test from Quicksilver Scientific put me above the 90th percentile for both types of mercury. A person with mercury toxicity can display a variety of severe neurological and other symptoms. In time I would learn that he or she often has concomitant infectious, gene expression, nutritional deficiency, and toxicity issues. Although the speciation ratios of the Tri Test showed that I would need to work on kidney and liver detox pathways to make any progress, I was hopeful that I had found my path to recovery by detoxing mercury. I started the Q Group on Facebook to find like-minded individuals who believed in the work of Dr. Christopher Shade and that his protocols and products could fix us. It wouldn’t be until 2016 that I would discover other serious dental issues including a hidden amalgam underneath a crown! There were other significant medical challenges and treatments I endured along the way that required more expense than most people pay for their automobiles or even their homes! I just had to keep searching for answers big and small, learning and revisiting protocols when needed (as required so often) . . . and not lose hope.

Well it’s over 6 years later and I have indeed made much progress. But I am not cured yet and may never be so this side of heaven. There are just too many other issues for me to address not the least of which is living in a fallen world mixed with evil, imperfection, disappointment, and finite resources along with the Lord’s goodness, mercy, and grace. All are true!  My total cure will be in eternity with Jesus Christ. Perhaps this realization also comes for all of us as we age and the aches and pains no longer go away? Regardless, there is more to life than what happens to our flesh for those of us who believe in Jesus Christ. He is our ultimate hope and salvation from the consequences of sin in this world, among which is chronic illness. We can live well with chronic illness, even around it.  (That includes seizures by the way).

Nonetheless, the Quicksilver Mercury Detox Group and especially my Co-Admin, Marcia, and QS Practitioner Chris T who came alongside this effort early on, have meant so much to me. I can’t even number the times that I was very sick in bed with my head seizing to and fro, only to get the strength to check my phone for messages and find one from a member of the Q group. You needed hope and answers on a Tuesday, in the middle of the night. Sometimes you needed a nudge not to be a bully or a spammer; other times you were so anxious to find answers you nearly alienated yourself right out of the group! We tried to be patient and fair and understanding and helpful. In requiring a steady hand to reach out to others, your posts kept me alive at times. I hope I did o.k. Being an Admin of the Q Group gave me another purpose beyond my own survival. And I re-learned how to care for people again after losing my profession of 29 years. Surely my efforts weren’t perfect at times. Marcia and I had to play good cop/bad cop at times to calm the ruckus of some hurting members or compromise to come to an agreement between ourselves as Admins who met through this group. The membership grew just the same! People got well. We watched all of Dr. Shade’s webinars, built up our Files of resources, and tried to keep up on the latest QS products and protocols as they expanded from mercury detox to all aspects of recovery and wellness. It continues to be a tall order for sure.

An important point that I learned was that people from all walks of life worldwide have similar struggles. We all want to be well. We all have a tendency to shortcut the process because any amount of time in our lives spent feeling sick is too long. We ask “Dr. Google” for answers in addition to a number of Practitioners who we hope will help us and not harm us. We get angry or discouraged when either of them fail us or the process is either longer or more complicated or more expensive than we anticipated. But how could we have set expectations on a subject about which we knew little beforehand? Things are rarely what they seem, eh? Perhaps it is part of the human condition and especially the culture of modern societies to want it now! And what is “it?” It’s usually more than mercury detox as we want ALL of our problems to go away, especially this one.

I submit to you that the journey of recovery from serious illness is not only worth taking, it’s worth the struggle. For it’s in our struggle that we can learn who we really are, our strengths, the nature of the people around us, and what is really important in our lives. In this regard we can almost see our illness as a type of gift: one we would never ask for but one that will give us more than we could have ever imagined. Even our suffering, in the losses that inevitably come in the form of time, relationships, jobs, pain, status, finances, physical abilities, emotional trauma, and more can be worth the gains in our character, our resolve, our coming to understand that we can depend on Someone, Something greater than ourselves Who will never leave us or forsake us. We will not get through a serious illness successfully if we are alone or bitter or defeated. Getting to a place of internal victory as our world seems like it’s falling apart externally requires supernatural strength. That strength comes from the Giver of Life who loves you so and grieves your illness along with you (ref Romans 5:3-5). I have come to know His name as my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. You can learn more about Him by picking up a Bible and starting to read in the book of John. I hope that you do. Please contact me if you would like to chat more about what a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can bring.

Finding renewed focus and strength in my life as unto the Lord has opened up new opportunities for which I am exceedingly grateful. It’s not that my recovery from serious illness is over yet. It isn’t. Perhaps I have a better understanding of my limits and needing to re-focus what energies I do have in other areas of my life than on my role as the founding Admin of a large mercury detox Fan Club on Facebook. I’m letting go of some limited volunteer work at my community park as well. I do so humbly with massive gratitude for all that you who have chosen to follow the Q Group have given me just by being there. You trusted me and Marcia and Chris T and others to help you, to support you. I hope we did our jobs well as fellow sojourners and unpaid volunteers! Please forgive me if I fell short.  I will be contacting Marcia to problem-solve how to proceed before officially leaving the group then post an update to this blog post below.

You all and my Gentle Readers here at New Hope Beyond mean so much to me. Thank you for the opportunity to spend some time with you. To God be the glory for the good that has come from my time in the Q Group, my story, witness, failings, knowledge, experience, and now pointing each of you to the ultimate Admin: the Great Physician, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will see each of us through it all, of that we can be sure. JJ

UPDATE: On March 19, 2021, I announced my leave-taking from the Quicksilver Mercury Detox Group on Facebook. It’s been an honor to serve you. Godspeed one and all! JJ

Wence come forth a glimmer of light

When someone leans in to your speaking, ready and willing to help

It is a rare moment to catalog, to stack over times of disinterest.

When it’s a healthcare professional who actually knows her stuff

Then you have a shot at individualized care not the easiest answer.

When she orders a comprehensive plan with follow-up to boot

You start to melt into the possibility of hope and actual gain.

When the topic is real, bonified pain evidenced in test after test

The story hath become believable to more than your weary soul.

When someone really looks at you and can tell you speak your truth

That signs of wear and tear are obvious; why couldn’t others see it too?

When these answers come so late in the game but alas before life is over

There just might be a chance for better days outside of your king bed retreat.

When your tears drain the sorrows of past fails and let in the glimmering light

On an hour of sleep with topical pain remedies in hand, you drive like hell with rock-n-roll on the radio doing more than you really should to celebrate the baby turn for good, answered prayers, and wings to fly on that are not your own.

Witness the goodness of God. JJ

One day the earth will warm again. Until then the light doth illuminate the possibilities.

At the hands of professionals

Dodging of bullets has become a bit of a sport for me, achieved through the grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ. He alone gives me the presence of mind to LOOK, LISTEN, AND FEEL (as they used to say in the first step of administering CPR) when distraction or stress accompanies various medical procedures. This week I have already dodged two bullets and it’s barely Thursday morning!

BULLET #1

The first bullet came on Monday with a failed attempt to sedate me for a dental procedure. The adult dose of Halcion, administration of nitrous oxide gas, and even a second dose of Halcion wasn’t working correctly to put me down to tolerate the routine treatment of a cavity without seizures. Yeah, that’s my protocol these days and it was still a mess! I was awake during the numbing injections which triggered the onset of the first of many convulsive episodes that day. My gait was unsteady for hours after everything was over. A five-hour nap found me nauseous and weak, ravenously hungry, and traumatized from yet another medical fiasco within a month. The dentist wasn’t even able to complete everything planned that day and said I needed to return for a more involved procedure for the second tooth. The cavity was more extensive than originally expected and would require a crown. Holy cow. It took me self-administering a dose of a binder containing activated charcoal, more long naps, and IV fluids the next day (thank the Lord for the divine scheduling on that one!) to get me to a more stable place. I’m glad the dentist called personally today “to see what I remembered.” I’m not glad he kept giving me drugs so he could get the dental procedure done. I am sicker today than I needed to be. He knows I am a complex patient but whatever. Further, taking simple over-the-counter pain meds for the gum pain today triggered about 30 minutes of tazoring. Lord have mercy! We have crappy dental insurance that doesn’t cover any type of sedation nor more than half of routine office charges. But I digress. I did survive. The caries of one of the two teeth are filled. I have cried quite a bit as well.

BULLET #2

The second bullet came this afternoon during a routine infusion of IV fluids administered to treat autonomic dysfunction and chronic dehydration. These infusions have served to keep me out of the Emergency Room for most of these past 3 years; praise the Lord! The pandemic required me to shift from going to an outpatient clinic to home health services for regular administration of fluids. While services at home bring exposure to COVID-19 right into our living spaces and require more work on my part for set-up and management of both orders and supplies, overall it’s a better option. I can crash in bed afterwards if needed. No need to rally the energy to drive home 30 minutes when exhausted or bother my beloved to drop me off or come and pick me up during his work day. (I also get to watch HGTV when at the hospital which I sorely miss of late!)

The home health nurse who comes to our home is largely about the business of her infusion services when she’s here. She’ll chat some but overall tends to be rather private during her 2 1/2 hour visit. Today she was quite chatty after her delay due to a flat tire on her car, wonderful experience with a Good Samaritan who helped her along the side of the road, and story of her young niece who was undergoing surgery this afternoon for a displaced hip. E moved quickly as she prepared my infusion from supplies I had lain out for her in the mini hospital of our living room. I always have furniture covered with clean sheets and everything available that she needs including my own blood pressure cuff. This all appears to help her get down to business quickly: prepping my skin, setting up a sterile field, priming the Huber needle used to access my port, connecting the tubing and gravity system for the infusion, and organizing supplies for all of the steps in the process. I have hand sanitizer, gloves, a sharps disposal container, and small receptacle for trash at the ready. She gets the infusion going within a few minutes then sits down to do her documentation, take vitals, and schedule the next visit. It’s a routine we both know well.

Today E was about to puncture my chest with the 1 1/2-inch long Huber needle to access my infusa-port when I noticed what looked to be an air pocket at the top of the syringe attached to the needle. I’m used to seeing her push the fluid to the top of the 10 ml syringe before attaching it to the short length of tubing affixed to the Huber needle. She turned towards me to access my port without this important step. I didn’t realize her misstep until afterwards. I just saw a shadow of the air space and blurted out, “is that an air space at the top of the syringe?” She looked up at the syringe elevated in her right hand as I lain on the sectional beneath her. “Yes. Looks like I didn’t push enough fluid into the line.” She pressed the plunger of the syringe to remedy the situation then turned back towards me, bent over, and counted to 3 as the needle punctured my chest wall, largely numbed with compounded Emla cream. She said that it took some work to get a blood return. She drew a waste tube of blood then another for a lab before starting the IV. The entire process took less than 2 minutes.

I understand that they used to say in the old days that a bubble in an IV line could kill you. Or at least cause a stroke! This is no longer true for small amounts of air after extensive research proved this idiom incorrect and protocols were updated. Perhaps so, however virtually every nurse routinely does her due diligence to purge lines from unnecessary air in the lines. It’s part of their training. The filters in the IV systems help as well. The literature I researched today was variable as to how much air was needed in each type of application and venous vs. arterial vessel before damage could follow. Another consideration is the location of the vessel. Air in veins closer to the heart and brain are more susceptible to causing damage; the lungs can absorb an air bubble but it takes time and sometimes special positioning. It also takes time for symptoms to occur followed by testing to locate the culprit. Holy cow. Checking everything every time just seems like a better way to go. Or maybe the patient checking everything every time is a better way to go? It appears that I was below the threshold for known damage to occur. However I did find the following from the Art and Science of Infusion Nursing:

Good clinical practice includes aspiration of air from stopcocks and needle-free connectors before injection and expelling all air from syringes. Most important, even small volumes of air should be considered as potentially consequential.

This applies to intravenous pumps as wall as gravity infusion systems; I am treated in-home with the latter. The threshold appears to be amounts of air greater than 1 ml. If you add the amount in the syringe plus the tubing and Huber needle, I estimate that I would have been slightly above this threshold today. There is no stopcock on the Huber needle assembly before it is connected to the gravity infusion system. Having said this, most documentation of cardiac, pulmonary, stroke, and other damage in the literature appears to have occurred at much higher levels of air. The quote above follows from consideration that where the air bubble goes can determine the type and scope of damage that may follow. Will it be in the heart, brain, or lungs? The Lord only knows! All are to be avoided!

Thank the Lord that I dodged another bullet today! You gave me the presence of mind even after a traumatic dental appointment yesterday that left me with residual amounts of sedation possibly still running through my body, to see a potential risk to my life and ask a simple question. That action may have prevented an unforeseen disaster! I hesitated to question anything in the seconds before seeing the shadow-in-the-syringe and the needle on its way to my body. My nurse was upset already and who am I to question her expertise in administering a procedure she has completed hundreds of times before? I am the patient, the one who is to cooperate with the care being administered. Besides, it would be an exceedingly awkward 2 hours thereafter if I was wrong. But what if I was right? I asked anyways and am the better for it.

As E finished accessing my port, I stated as softly as I could, “how about if we all just relax a bit and re-group now?” She didn’t say anything for a very long time. Geez oh man. I find that it’s often the patient under grace (instead of shock and horror) that has the opportunity to save the moment from disaster while at the hands of the professional. I may be in trauma from all that has transpired this week but still present to what is going on around me. That’s a God-thing. Healthcare professionals are often just too distracted for their own good: from productivity expectations to long shift work and beyond. And they are humans just like me. Lord knows how often I have been the one who was distraught, making a situation more awkward if not dangerous in the Emergency Room, ambulance, or infusion suite. After all, we are all under the direction of the Great Physician who is writing the orders for each of us. Looks like I fulfilled my orders correctly today.

Shall I sign off on my chart/blog tonight with my credentials as a licensed healthcare professional? No, I am not a nurse. Tis better to be humble. Thank you Lord. Your grace sustains me. Whatcha got for tomorrow? (Or dare I ask?) JJ

A tough time to live out our faith

As if my health challenges weren’t enough of a challenge to the veracity of my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we Americans enter into the most tumultuous year in recent US history. A false impeachment proceeding of the President of the United States gave way to a pandemic, dramatic changes at every level of society, and social unrest. One could argue that the voices of darkness came out of the woodwork and into the light of day. Just when we thought we might start looking forward to the turn of the calendar into 2021, a tumultuous election process began the further destruction of our institutions. Words don’t even mean the same thing anymore so how may I describe it to those of you who don’t live here, to those who have chosen not to pay close attention? Let’s just say we have entered an exceedingly tough time in which to live.

The story of what is actually going on now depends upon whom you ask. The mainstream media claims that our President has incited a coup and the conservative media claims the opposite. While the majority of the citizenry acknowledge the multiple methods of election fraud that has dominated the courts and legislature since November 3rd, neither of the latter has been willing to hear the evidence in any meaningful way. Thousands of ordinary people giving sworn affidavits under penalty of perjury, expert witnesses, videotaped evidence, the breaking of state constitutional and election laws, manipulation of voting machines, and more suggest that some really bad things happened. But it wasn’t enough to change the outcome? Legislators who claim to support the President, the Republican party, and various causes of their constituents have turned their back on all three of them. This is true even when the President helped them get elected! So on January 6th when these “results” of sorts were set to be certified, a peaceful demonstration escalated into a riot and storming of our nation’s Capitol . . . while the Senate and Congress were in session! They all fled to the basement, the Capitol police eventually did their jobs clearing out the building, and who knows if the National Guard (which our nation was told would be at the ready) ever really showed up? Who were these rioters or who started it anyways? Why did the Capitol police let some of them in? The identities and details vary based upon which news report you view.

We could make the argument that a nation divided cannot stand and we have been divided as a nation for longer than the year 2020. News that lacks truth or even consistency on how basic language is used keeps all of us from communicating with one another and from knowing the truth. Some of our leaders are treating people like cattle to be controlled (or to be tossed little stimulus checks while other nations and special interests are fed gaga-millions), letting you know that we are already sliding from a republic FOR THE PEOPLE to one FOR THE ELITE IN CHARGE. I believe the latter is called socialism and it is now here. Personal freedoms and rights are eroding with each passing day and will accelerate if the democratic candidate actually finds his way into office on January 20th. That’s just 10 days from now. We see even more darkness coming in the policies of the “President-elect,” Republican rhinos, and the entire democratic party who now dominate the Congress, the Senate; the Supreme Court is no where to be found. The gains and goodness of the last 4 years will soon be gone. But wait, there’s more!

Unless a miracle happens, it appears that Republicans who supported President Trump especially conservatives will be punished, persecuted, and stripped of their Constitutional freedoms. This is already happening with restriction of the 1) operations of churches during the pandemic and 2) free speech once expressed on the largest social media platforms in our nation and world. Censorship worsened early in 2020 and it appears is here to stay; the Congress just voted to remove all gender-based language! Just like in the story of the King wearing no clothes, have we forgotten that “President-elect” Joe Biden has dementia? The main stream media that represents our nation to the world does not communicate facts just skewed narratives, blatant lies. And just when conservatives started to develop and pursue alternate platforms for communication, the big media companies started wielding their power to prevent posting information on their platforms; this weekend big tech companies such as Amazon and Google are clamping down further to prevent the download or meaningful use of social media alternatives such as Parler, Rumble, MeWe, and others. Twitter closed the account of and banned a sitting President! Holy cow! Some think that the internet itself will soon be shut down. How are we to communicate with one another much less function as a society? If we were playing a game of chess, we would hear the shriek of, “CHECK!!!” But let’s check our facts Gentle Reader. Is it CHECKMATE just yet? I don’t think so.

Fencing being constructed in front of the White House, Google Earth, 1.10.2021

As I am writing this, there are reports that the President has prepared the US military for special operations in our nation’s capital and beyond. Insiders claim that our military is on the move and there are battleships off the shores of our coasts, military sorties being flown over our skies. Alternative media sources report that President Trump has evidence of illegal if not treasonous activities of government and corporate leaders that go beyond the election fraud or crimes of the Biden family. The insurrection at the Capitol building on Wednesday may have been incited by the same dark, leftist, paramilitary organizations who have destroyed numerous sections of democrat-run cities throughout our nation. However it also appears that individuals somewhere on the political right, maybe even infiltrated by our own special operations military may have been a part of the attempted invasion. All of them appeared to have broken many laws. Five people were killed in the process, personal artifacts may have been confiscated, and much damage was done to the Capitol building. There is evidence that some of the parties involved had a plan of attack that day, that it was not simple mob violence, as evidenced by the tools and riot gear utilized by some of these instigators. I could go on. There are no easy ways to explain what happened this week, this month, this year, or this 4-year term of the Office of the Presidency. We could even ask if all of this evil mayhem is part of a existential “reset” of the USA into a larger plan or world order? Orchestrated and funded by wordily oligarchs? What does it sound like to you?

Those of us in Jesus Christ know who the ruler of this world is and that is Satan. The Bible tells us in the book of Job that he goes about the earth, to and fro wreaking havoc on the lives of the living. His goal is to distract non-believers from coming to know the true and living God then discourage those who do come to faith through the Lord, Jesus Christ. He wants all of us to turn our backs on the truth and our Redeemer, the hope we can find that transcends the evil of our days. We shall see God and spend eternity with Him in glory! He forgets that we see in the Book of Revelation that Satan does not win; Jesus sends him off to be bound then forever tormented in the lake of fire! Forever!

What is going on in the United States of America is frightening. We are at the precipice of losing all we hold dear in our way of life. We may well deserve correction if not punishment in straying from God as a nation. However if we look to President Trump to be our savior from the wrongs in western society then we will be misled and disappointed. President Trump still has a job to do for 10 more days and I believe he will fulfill his leadership duties as best as he can. Maybe his term of office will somehow be extended and a new administration will form? But regardless let’s recognize that Donald J Trump is only a man with flaws just like you and me. He is not God. He will fall short of the lofty expectations we Christians have a tendency to place upon him. He is a sinner like you and me. And we sinners find true rest in the person of Jesus Christ alone. Let’s remember that Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the One with the power to win the battle against good and evil. Vengeance belongs to Him alone; we are to overcome by our belief, our pursuit of what is good and right as best we can and do so as we pray for the wayward, trust in the Lord. He sees and grieves our pain. He will supernaturally calm our fears.

Let’s continue to pray for our leaders, our President, and the resolve of fellow believers in the sovereignty and power of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Let’s pray that others who are scared, looking for direction will find it in Him through the testimony of our lives surrendered to the Lord. We all deserve judgement for our failings but we know where we can receive mercy, grace, salvation, hope. Let’s live like we believe it. This is a really tough time to live out our faith here in the United States of America. Persecuted Christians around the world have endured far worse and found peace in the God of the Bible. Their endurance through trials inspire us that, in His strength and through the leading of the Holy Spirit, we can live the way in which we are now called. Our God reigns! Let us pray without ceasing as we go for His glory! JJ

“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.” (1 Chronicles 29:11)