Christianity

My Life In A Van Has Come To A Close: I’m Still Catching Up To Life

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. ~ Joshua 1:9

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Me, wearing my headlamp when I lived in my van during those last few nights.

As I sit here, talking to God and thinking about the times I had in the van while living day to day all cramped up sitting for hours in the front seat, not having anywhere to go, I look back on those times as being closer to God than I’ve ever been.

He comforted me when I needed it the most, and helped me get through the day not knowing where my next paycheck was coming from.  Not knowing if I’d have enough gas for the day, or eating food that was going to sustain me for the night without going hungry.

It was a time of cramped and public living in a van where windows were where people looked in on me while I read in the front seat, looking at me while I sat in parking lots not knowing where to go in the daytime, sleeping with the windows covered up with blankets hanging down over the windows being pinned up and draped over bungee chords that were threaded through the handles over the doors.  I was a mess then, literally scrambling over the front seats, at first, to get to the back portion of the van with about a foot of space between the cot and the porta-potty I would open up so I didn’t have to use a porta-potty I assumed almost everyone else had to use, in the middle of the night.  I had my dignity to protect.

I had the passenger front seat removed where I put shelves and all my junk I had no room for toward the back of the van.  It was an obscene way to live with a bed fashioned on top of a cot, right there for anyone looking in my side windows to see.  The windows were tinted, but not dark enough to keep out the stares of the curious people who wanted to see how I lived.

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The cot with a sleeping bag on top, pillows stuffed underneath, to feel comfy at night.

Privacy was hard to come by, and even at night I had head lights that shined in the corners and cracks of space of the windows that I couldn’t quite cover completely.  I had drapes of various kinds and if I hadn’t been living in a parking lot with a bunch of other homeless people living in their cars, it would have been noticeably strange.  It was a very undignified way of life in every way, even though I felt God pressuring me to stay afloat mentally, psychologically and emotionally.  He was there with me, all the way.  I couldn’t have gone nine months living in a vehicle without God.

Reflecting on this tonight and working tomorrow as if I’ve lived in a house all this time, is really strange.  It’s being shell-shocked and yet happy to be alive.  I have survived.  Now to get normal, again, as if I ever was.  I see how living as a Christian brings you more close to God, and so you see how you were a wild child, in a manner of speaking, perhaps living like a weed in God’s eyes.  I think he knew I would want a normal life someday, but that’s another story.  I worked hard, all for naught.  Now I have another story that is beginning.  I have a dream, as Dr. Martin Luther King once said, famously…

I ponder how I wasted years of my life to wind up homeless, and this wasn’t the only time I became homeless in life.  There are more stories I can share, but at another time, but I have come face to face with the reality of living in a van, then living in this room in someone’s house, then possibly owning a home of my own in short order, would be ideal.

Looking back, I can see how much work I did just trying to remain normal, but being homeless and in a lot of pain. 

How did I go to work every morning, all the while being homeless, living in the van, with the insect screens draped on both sides over the windows, reminding me at all times that I was a homeless person, working for a company where no one knew I lived in my van, driving to work every day and parking in the parking lot of the company I now work for, having a manager asking about the window screens, and my having to answer him?  It all felt extremely awkward.  I felt like I lead a double-life and no one knew but it was harder than anyone could imagine, really.  It would have been an embarrassment of a lifetime, being that I was a temporary employee, to let them know I was living in the van I drove to work in, getting out of the van every day as if everything was normal.  Just me showing up for work like everyone else.  It was quite the struggle.

And looking back on all that I’ve had to realize that I’ve made a huge transition to living in a home from living nine months in a Corolla, then a Dodge Grand Caravan, to now living in this bedroom in some lady’s house? 

Looking back at my having been homeless when I started this job has been an amazing transition.  I may be going permanent.  It looks that way, at least.  A manager is going to ask my temporary agency I work for when my temporary contract will let me be freed up so that I could go permanent with the company.  Now that’s progress, all within a few month’s time.

So I know God’s involved, very much so.  He loves me like a father would who cares about how his daughter winds up.  That’s a lovely thought.  Take care of me, father God.

No one knew.  I didn’t tell anyone at work that I had been living in my van, although I wanted to.  I fantasized about telling a few women who had been friends early on while I was temping at the company that I was homeless and living in my van, but then I got afraid of how I would ever live that down if I wound up not liking the people, then feeling embarrassed that I had told them.  But that’s too complicated a tactic for God, I think.  He wanted me to go about my business as though nothing ever happened.

I look back on the time that I had to get cleaned up for work and all that I had to go through to get dressed and ready with hair, makeup, and breakfast, all from a van.  It was quite incredible and maddening, all at the same time.  But I did it; I came through it, and now it’s over.  It’s living in the past to think about it now and I’ve moved on, quite rapidly.

It’s like I’ve flown out of the gate in some race I was held back from.  The gate was opened and I came flying out and now I can’t look back; it is a painful memory, and I am only able to think about moving forward from it these days. 

I’ve started another website that I have not published and I may have to think again about how I want to earn income if it were to become my business while living in this lady’s home.  She has her own way of doing things that do not compliment my way of doing things, so I’d like to get out of this living situation that I saw as only temporary and get into a house of my own. 

I have dreams of living a nice life, not one where I work for a company that sees me as merely an average office worker, but one where I own my own home, and build a business that I’ve dreamed of, working from home every day, happily, feeling fulfilled. 

It’s time to catch up on life, and with God’s help, I will. 

Budget · Christianity

Everything Goes As Planned: God’s Timing

bible-1149924__340I’ve been away from my blog for about two weeks and just thought I’d get back to write up a blog post.  This is going to be quick.

I am transitioning from being homeless to living in someone’s home, and my van is still not unpacked yet and I have much to bring in and get organized in a bedroom I am renting.  It’s not a clean house but the lady is the same age as me, so I am not expecting wild parties anytime soon.  That’s great.  But her grown sons keep coming over to mooch dinner and cable TV movies off of her.   They’re in the house a lot and must have their own keys or she keeps the door unlocked when she’s home for them to come in.  This morning while on my way out to work I found the front door unlocked.  This doesn’t make me feel safe.

I want to move soon and I will have to give a 45-day notice to move out since I signed a six-month rental agreement with her.  She is subleasing to me with the landlord’s permission but her boys could practically live there and sometime’s one spends the night. 

I would love my own home since this is the not the place I want to wind up.  If I get my business off the ground, and if I charged any money for anything on my website I’ve not yet published, I may earn enough income to live on my own somewhere.  I realize a lot of people have this same dream; to buy a house and live there for a long time.  The economy is getting better after a slow rise from the 2010 mortgage banking crash where everyone lost their homes and stood in unemployment lines.  Many lost their houses and some smaller mortgage loan banks folded.  Remember “too big to fail?”  Well, that was why.  Some of the bigger banks made it through that time like Chase bank, as I recall yet some of the smaller banks didn’t make it.  That seems harsh, but I have yet to pay back the student loans that have accrued since 1996 and beyond…

I guess I can’t cry over spilt milk as they say but I want to get on a financial budget and plan on saving my money so I can move out of this place, and find a new, affordable house I can buy with a loan I can afford while I pay back my student loans, and gradually.  I know many people face this same dream, and are in my same reality having to budget, plan and make dreams come true.

I’ve learned a lot with God’s help; I’ve quit the bank that charged me a high overdraft fee and found another bank that has high APY rates, and it ain’t Wells Fargo or Bank of America, for God’s sake!

Listening to God in my heart who nudges me along this road, saving, spending less and really thinking about what I need and planning ahead.  Making changes to my car insurance company and lowering my cell phone bill are small changes I’ve been making to live within my means.

We’ve got a glorious God to be thankful for, who patiently waits for us to catch up.  He beckons, at least that’s what I think… 

 

Cessationism · Christianity · Continuationists · Pagan religious beliefs

Audio About Following Pagans Trying To Make A Name For Themselves, Above Jesus

wp-image-980685902So I’m again speaking against those false prophets, which are deadly sin, in their words against God and who are trying to rise above the Lord Jesus Christ.  Beware!  They are leading you into sinful ways of life by following the doctrines of darkness.

Let me help you come away from those false prophets, and who speak falsely about God’s gifts.  Jesus performed miracles and he was the only one who was and is the son of God, who performed miracles, along with his Apostles and a few friends who were followers of God as a way to authenticate the beginning church.  

They were being informed about how Jesus saved them from their sins and how they should stop practicing sin through the letters and sermons of Paul the Apostle.  The church of Corinth practiced pagan feeling states, and he warned against them.

This tape expounds my thinking about the pagans of today who are trying to perform the miraculous, and who are gaining a following in order to elevate themselves, and who turn their following away from the Lord Jesus Christ.  

There is so much focus on the miraculous, speaking in tongues and the visions, dreams and magical thinking of paganism, the people following the flesh into sexual immorality, bizarre ideas about romanticizing Jesus, or other sexually immoral, bizarre, strange fleshly ideas of our Creator.

As they did when Jesus walked the earth people are seeking magical experiences and bizarre fleshly experiences, and are not focused upon the Words of the Lord.  As they did then, they still are doing today.

Here is my audio recording with my thoughts about this.  

Beware, it is not so nice.

Following the flesh instead of God, Jesus Christ

 

Christianity · Sign Gifts · Tongues

John MacArthur’s Notes From His Study Bible I Would Recommend Reading: Speaking In Tongues And Sign Gifts Have Ceased

wp-image-2094332492Today I’ve read from John MacArthur’s study bible where he has notes on speaking in tongues and also sign gifts from 1 Corinthians, and how these sign gifts have ceased.  It is what makes one a cessationist, knowing that the signs used back in the books of Acts have ceased, not to be confused by thinking that cessationists believe that the Lord Jesus or any facet of the Trinity can no longer perform miracles.

That is wrong thinking and the wrong teaching about cessationists, and an unfair portrayal of what they (including myself) believes.

Hear me read John MacArthur’s notes from his study bible on these issues.  They are a good handful of his notes, but they are not all of the notes he writes on these issues by any means.  They should give you a good understanding of where he comes from in saying that the sign gifts including tongues have ceased in this modern day.

Please listen and have yourself a field day proving to your friends that they are wrong and blaspheming the Holy Spirit in saying he is speaking in gibberish.

Christianity · Jesus Christ

Jesus, A Friend In Times Of Need

Jesus-names-ofTonight I’m just updating folks about my hopefully impending move out of my van into a house that I will share with another lady.  She is showing me her house this weekend.

It’s been a long road being homeless with few happy times, although I have gotten closer to the Lord Jesus Christ because of it.

I rely on him for everything.

I hope to make it up to heaven, dirty rags and all because he has been the best provider of all my needs.  

A friend sent me a check for almost all of a full month’s rent so that will help me with move-in costs; the full first, last and a deposit.  That makes it steep but now I have money for most of the first month’s rent.

I am very grateful to friends who have stood by my side and encouraged me to keep going in my walk with the Lord.

He has been a friend to me as I get to know him more.  

Praise the Lord Jesus!

Christianity

Lord Of My Life

Another thought about the business I have put on the back-burner; I wanted to start that school, now I’m wondering if I should pursue a job as a therapist and hang my own shingle, as they say.  The whole process might take me the next few years or more since it is a long process to get licensed in a new state when you’ve been out of the business for awhile.  Then, once you’re licensed, you have to jump through hoops to work independently.

It takes a long time; meeting your goals, setting goals and even figuring out what your long-term goals are.  My goal to end my homelessness may be ending in the next few weeks, and this has been a long time in coming.  I’ve been homeless living in a vehicle for about ten months.  That’s almost a year.  I have been counting the months that I have been hanging on, being short-tempered in this environment, and thanking God at the same time.  I’ve become closer to God than I ever have been and that’s been the biggest blessing I can think of ever having.

Being vulnerable and depending on God so much has enhanced my life.  I cannot describe how good it feels to know that Jesus Christ is real; that he watches over my life and takes care of me, my food and shelter, and has kept me safe.  I am very blessed to know that Jesus is a real God and he has blessed me with everlasting life.  I can only be grateful to his gracious kindness in helping me through the hard times.  I can never repay him; I only have my wishes of blessings I say to him mostly every day and I do not forget he is in charge.

Soon I may be moving in with a person who is my age, female, and she sounds very nice, a friend, hopefully, that I have not yet met.  A few correspondences tells me that she sounds on-the-ball, a kind person, and hopefully this will work out.

After managing to stay with friends during my transition, I have found work and have been asked if I would work as a permanent employee – to my delight – at this point.  Even though it’s not my line of work, it is a stable job.  It gives me the time to plan my life, where I go from here, as far as a promising career.  I may have to give up some cherished possessions but I’ve found that giving them up made room for a new life.  Where I go from here is up to God; he is the Lord of my life.