Christianity · Download

Download: Mental Health Courts

I decided to write about something I knew; mental health treatment, and so have written a short, two-page download about the process mentally ill patients go through when they are held “involuntarily”.  My thoughts were flooded with a job I had while in California, and I thought back about what I did as a Mental Health Clinician when patients came into the Crisis Unit, and I had to determine whether they should be held in a psychiatric hospital for three days, involuntarily.

If you’d like to read that document you may download it from the sidebar on the right.  It’s called, “A General Description Of An Involuntary Hold Process For Mentally Ill Patients”, and is a short description of “5150’ing” a person who is deemed to be a danger to themselves, a danger to others, or who is “gravely disabled” and unable to care for themselves.  Look for the link that says; Download: Mental Health Courts.

This is a helpful document I’ve created for those of you who have had someone you cared about become involuntarily hospitalized, and the process was a complete mystery to you and others.  

As I write more about mental illness, I want to keep this in mind: the way of the world is not the way of Christ Jesus.

God bless.

Christianity

What Is My Calling In Life?

organic-1280537_640Have you ever felt like you wanted to make a change from working for someone else’s company and starting your own and felt overwhelmed with the possibilities?  I have written a brief business plan but I still haven’t nailed down how a company I want to do would be profitable.  Marketing is important, and so is my main company product or service.  I could go many ways.

Today I’m wondering how I’ll incorporate what I wish to do into one company: counseling, which involves teaching, and the media.  I have an education in both counseling and journalism and I enjoyed teaching college at a University in California.

I think I enjoy teaching more than counseling, because counseling becomes physically taxing, and that is the reason I enjoy teaching more.  If I had my own classes, either bible classes or teaching counseling, I might enjoy that.

I’m still asking God what he wants me to do.

I’m running into issues finding mainstream work where I live.   All the jobs, the majority at least, are being offered for jobs in Seattle, a city I don’t want to work in.  The commuter traffic is almost as bad as San Francisco’s and taking buses does not save time.  And the parking is bad.  Parking in parking garages is too expenses, and not every company offers their employees parking and parking validation.  Bridge toll to get to Seattle from the East Side is also too expensive.  So I want to work on the East Side, meaning on the east side of Lake Washington where the MicroSoft campus is in Bellevue, up to Bothell which is on the north end of the lake.

Here’s a map:

Lake Washington googlemap
Lake Washington. Photo: google maps

Starting a profitable business is not something that I can do today; it takes time.  And therein lies a problem: I need money to live and pay the bills while I’m starting a business.  I have issues with working in the mainstream media or counseling because they do not hold values I can agree with.  It’s hard to say no to a possible job in industries I don’t agree with, at least how they’re running now.  I can’t say I agree with the treatment found in counseling, nor do I believe everything the mainstream media tells us.

I have fun envisioning a way I’d like to do media, or counseling and I see myself teaching as well.  It’s just, how do I combine what I love doing into a business where I can support myself?

Those are questions I’m working on getting answers for, today.

 


Christian counseling · Christianity · Transitioning life's choices

Transitioning To Lay-Counseling From Graduate Degree Training

pretty 3I’ve been thinking awhile now about promoting myself as a Christian Counselor, someone who has been trained in Counseling, but earned her degree in a mainstream, worldly university.  I thought I would share about how I am going about starting a company from my past experience as a counselor in mental health.

Once a registered intern in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling, earning a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology years ago, I studied theories and worked in the field along the path of becoming a licensed therapist.  But I had a special heart for the very mentally ill, and drug-addicted people adding complications to trying to figure out what had happened to those people.  In some of my therapy groups, some of my clients would ask me whether I thought they were mentally ill first, leading to their drug addiction, or whether they were drug addicted first, leading to their mental illness?  

These would be complicated questions, and I would ask them to provide detailed information about their life’s history’s, focusing on family relationships.  I would ask who in their families had mental illness, who had drug addictions, or other addictions and try to help them sort out what they suffered from, first: mental illness, such as depression, or drug addiction to medicate their pain.  It was an important question for many on their mental health journeys.

But I have learned there is a soul sickness that many of us have had; those of us who were raised without God and having no idea who He is.  He may have been a man in the sky which we resented because we’ve been treated as “less than” than men or we have been taught that he is a mean Father figure who can’t be figured out, or who supposedly punished us to make us hate him  Whatever the definition of God was to many of us who got the definition wrong, we didn’t want God in our lives.pretty2

My story took a bad turn, well several, and I came upon God who has changed my way of thinking about the counseling industry.  
As a reformed mental health clinician which is what I was referred to in my former life’s career, I have found God to be the most inspiring therapist in all the world.  I’ve been around long enough to know this, at least for myself.  He has shown me ways that I did not know existed, like a heart-felt love for strangers and people I’ve known, that I never knew I had!  The Holy Spirit is Precious and gives us life-sustaining love, encouragement and true comfort!

Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.  Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. ~ Psalm 25:04-5

 

What I want to do is to teach some of the skills I learned in graduate school that I think are still helpful as a counselor; be you a lay-counselor, or a mental health clinician like I was. Any form of counseling may be helpful, but I think God has to be in the relationship you have with the person you are supporting.  It’s not clinical diagnosing like I have been trained, but having an ear for listening, supporting, and being there for another person.  These are the traits I would expect from a counselor of any kind.

image prettyMaking a transition to a Godly lay-counselor from a mainstream academic, worldly, University degree program will be a huge change.  Like water is to wine; there is a big difference.  

If you step into a new field, there is plenty of preparation and laying of the groundwork. Like building any new house you have to have a strong foundation.

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. ~ Matthew 7:24-27

A strong biblical foundation will serve you in every new change made in your life.  Let the Lord Jesus Christ lead you, and you will live your life in ways that are satisfying, and well-spent.

Christianity

The Fallen Life Of So Many: Jesus Teaches How To Walk In Peace

It is very hard to make a way for yourself when you are confronted with mean, angry people.  I know that this is how God wants it; he has plans for the earth, and I know how it ends.  I have that benefit; I read the bible and have read Revelation several times.  I will continue to do so and engage less and less with these people who are mean, making it hard to go about my everyday activities without their taking offense.  It seems as though everything I do in a normal manner, will always make some people mad.  This is the mores of today.

I believe it is satan trying to hurt me since I became a Christian.  He never quits, he seeks to kill, steal and destroy us Christians.  We are warned in the bible that we will be in a spiritual battle all our lives and we should expect it.  And expect injustices against us.

I was at The Sophia Way at the Lutheran church again today, the program that serves homeless women, and men who identify as women.  It has been a little unnerving to have to go there for services, such as showering, and washing my laundry.  I do not enjoy having a man in the bathroom while I’m in there, who wanted to know how to put on make up and got into a conversation with a sympathetic woman who was sitting in the bathroom about this.

It’s the times that we are in, it’s getting worse and less civilized out here.  I’m a homeless woman living in a van who has no interest in talking with men who identify as women in the women’s bathroom.  It’s become a very public place where there seem to be no privacy or normal boundaries for the civilized, and we are all expected to go along with the loosening of boundaries that subject everyone to having to accept men in the women’s bathroom.  Where there are showers, and we have to spend our private time in these situation where we don’t want to expose ourselves, our bodies, to these perverted men.  That’s who I am as a Christian.

I just want to say that for a place that advertises that they keep everyone safe there, I did not feel safe today.

Today as I signed in at the front desk, I immediately hear a lady in the dining room, who was sitting at a table, shout, “yeah, ya gotta have your headphones on, and not hear anything we are saying!”, referring to my headphones being on while I was listening to my cell phone, signing in.  This was just uncalled for and very unfriendly.

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.  Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.  Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. ~ Colossians 4:2-6

I had to do my laundry, take a shower and eat my lunch.  The man who is usually sitting at the table in the meal room with everyone was not there today but I had to interact with a woman who walked in the laundry room and leaned against the counter right behind me.  She said, “Look what we have here!” as if I was some kind of problem or someone blocking her from using the laundry room.  Instead of answering, or stopping what I was doing to look over at her, I remained silent and ignored her.  She then shoved her way in to use the dryer, and it wasn’t her turn, while I was bent down loading my clothes in the washer under the dryer she was using.  Instead of allowing me a few minutes to finish and perhaps give me elbow room, since I was signed up and she was not and I had been there first, and she could of waited, all this happened and she began to yell at me.  She shouted right in my face that she had the right to start her dryer where the panel to turn on the dryer was right next to me.  She should have waited.  She shouldn’t have been in the dryers at all since she was not signed up.  But this did not stop her.

After exchanging just a word with her, I told her she should wait, and that I would be done in a few minutes.  I told her “you don’t have to yell”, and “can’t you give me some space?”  

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. ~ Matthew 18:15

But instead of quietly waiting for me to get through, she seemed to stay angry.  My quiet confronting of this woman about her conduct went unheard.  She still acted angry and mean.  At this point with enough of these experiences, I no longer wait for them to understand; I left the laundry room once I had loaded my clothes.  Some people are so far overboard, that I can see that they are already gone to the side of satan.  It seems they want the fight, and I just don’t have time.  After loading my laundry, I went to take a shower in the shower stall I had signed up for, but there was someone showering in the stall I had reserved, and so she shouldn’t have been in there.   I calmly approached the staff to ask them if I should take a shower in another shower space.  She informed me what shower stall to use.  These are thankfully private with an additional drape to pull around the shower stall, beyond the shower curtain, so that there is a certain amount of privacy.  But I can still hear the conversations going on in the women’s restroom.

If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works. ~ 2 John 1:10-11

Back to my laundry to change the clothes awhile later and put them in my dryer, but there were clothes in my dryer from the lady who yelled at me.  I patiently asked the staff for help, but they dallied along, doing little to nothing, speaking to the lady who yelled at me who took her laundry out, but left clothes in the dryer.  Confused, I brought this up to the staff, and after they finished helping another client, one got up to again help me.  I told her in a low tone of voice about the lady who had yelled at me, and I didn’t feel comfortable about this.  She walked away, saying nothing to me.  “Is this crazy or what?”, I was thinking.  The staff doesn’t do much of anything, and they are deaf to my complaints.  The other staff person did the same thing when I told her quietly about the lady yelling at me.  I wasn’t satisfied; I felt that someone should have been protecting me from the bad behavior I had experienced.  I knew that in those places you have to go to the staff, because if anyone starts to complain that I did something or said something they didn’t like, that I would be the one punished and I didn’t want that happening to me.

I went to ask the other staff person if she could solve the problem of the person’s clothes being in the drying I had signed up for.  In the past the staff has directed me to make sure I use the washer and dryer that I have signed up to use so I suppose they thought it was important which dryer I used.  The washers and dryers are all numbered.  But nobody seemed to care who was using what laundry facilities or what shower today, nor were they worried that someone yelled at me, pushing there way in to crowd my space, adding insult to injury.

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. ~ Colossians 4:5-6

Finally I got my laundry done, got out of there, and am here in the library.  It’s really not a big deal, these things that happened to me, but I’m just noticing how everything seems to be more difficult for me, these daily things, in life even more than I am used to.   These agencies don’t do what they profess to do.  I actually think I could make a case for their discriminating against me by the way the staff treated me upon hearing how I was treated.  So many things going wrong in one day in one place, where they claim they make you safe, does seem like something is wrong, something is wrong in society today. 

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. ~ Ephesians 5:1 

We know what God has planned for the future of the world.  These will not be the people He has saved, at least not now.  I have to look at people such as these with empathy, for they will never know the peace of God but may go on in their lives yelling and being hostile toward peaceful people.  How they chase us away!  

I am hoping to have a chance to write more about the nonprofits I have worked for in the past, where people acted badly, sadly.  They are the agencies who claim to be the “helping agencies”, and these examples from today seem to punctuate the need for better staff who are willing to do what their agency says, to stand up and be counted about right behavior and treating all persons the same.  What hypocrisy that the staff gets away with going deaf when they hear a complaint about bad behavior, and other people not following the rules – and, not to be petty – they need to hold to normal, personal boundaries and civilized behavior, and uphold their own rules of conduct.

I do wonder whether this is a Jesus Christ action, where low morals get to be where they are in life, that the agencies perpetuating sin, of supporting the gay lifestyle and “gender fluidity” are able to “hear” with any understanding.  Do they have morals or are they so bought into the social standards of the day that they see no wrong in how they treat people, where some are treated with more respect than others.  Being a person with white skin, I have to wonder whether the liberal stronghold in my area of the country, here in Washington state, has given people of color more rights, respect and regard, than whether a person was born white.  Why were my complaints falling on seemingly deaf ears where none of these breaches in conduct according to their own rules were not being followed?  It makes me think that I can expect more bad behavior toward whites.  After all, it seems that the political mores of the day make it seem as if the white people of the world are guilty of all that’s wrong in the world.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. ~ Galatians 3:28

Did anyone choose the color of their skin?  I don’t remember doing so.  Does anyone remember?  Was there a menu I forgot about, where I could choose what color I wanted to be when I was born?  Okay, I’ve got to admit this is getting a little extreme, but I fear for the white, Christian, people of the world who live in very liberal states, that we will be blamed for what I believe the liberals are doing, supporting that destroy the cities and states they hold a majority in, where the government makes the laws that support the liberal ideology.  Remember Detroit and the fall of the automotive industry?  Detroit has been run by Democrats.  Other cities too show evidence of how Democrats are using their power to run a state into the ground.  But this is for someone else’s column.

We know that God does not look at the person’s outward appearance; he looks at the heart.

But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. ~ 1 Samuel 16:7

With all this turmoil in life for so many, we have to remember that Jesus has taught us some ways to walk in peace in this world.  But don’t let down His standards of conduct, and be wise, walking as He walked, to the best of our ability.  We do not have to give everything we own away, and I believe since Jesus went to the cross for us that we do not have to martyr ourselves.  His work is done.  Stay strong in the Christian walk with people, everywhere. As Jesus said in John 17:16,

They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  

We belong with Him in heaven, and are just passing through.

 

 

Belief · Christianity

Satan Can Keep People From Becoming True Believers: I Wish I’d Known This Then

bibleI wanted to write about my father today since I have suffered with Satanic spiritual warfare stemming from my childhood, ever since I can remember.  I have to say, I have not been able to rectify how I grew up as an atheist, when my mother had been a Methodist but apparently was stifled from all believing during my growing up years.

My father had been raised as a Roman Catholic but at some point, apparently due to the physical abuse by his alcoholic father who hit my father and my father’s two brothers while they lived at home.  My grandfather was French-Canadian and so it is no surprise that he drank a lot.  My grandmother was a mild-mannered coffee-shop hostess, from what I can remember when she and my grandfather met.  My grandfather came to America, barely speaking English, and became wealthy.  He became wealthy by owning a tug boat business and he approached the U.S. government who needed a company to pull the sunken boats and submarines out of the San Francisco bay that had live bombs on them “after the war”.  I assume this was the Korean war, but I’m not sure.  My dad never explained that.

When the government sought help with this, the company they asked said the job was too dangerous, and they declined.  That’s apparently when my grandfather, the drinking French-Canadian, volunteered to take on the job.  He apparently made a million dollars from pulling these boats and submarines out of the S.F. Bay.  From there he kept becoming more wealthy and I remember we had lavish meals during the holidays at my grandparent’s house with all the relatives enjoying a big dinner together.

My father told us that he somehow broke his neck when he was still at home, and he never revealed the secret about how he broke his neck.  Not to anyone, not even his mother. That was one of his selling points that he was tough, and didn’t need God.  God was for people who needed a crutch and my dad suffered two more major physical medical problems that he survived; and so he thought he was extra tough.  He said he did not believe in God, and whenever someone came to our house to speak to him about God, he had to hold his anger in, and speak to them privately, telling them he was not a believer and would never be.  Atheist was his belief of choice, and no one in my family was allowed to believe in God, let alone Jesus Christ, since I don’t believe my father truly ever believed in Christ, or he would probably have returned to Jesus if he had in his life.

This caused me great grief in my family life.  As we know, Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy, and my mother also having been raised in a religious family, being a Methodist, might have been a threat to Satan had she shared her faith with us.  But she wasn’t allowed to, because my dad would not allow it.  She must have given up her belief, or she never had a true belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.  I guess I’ll never know that until I get to Heaven.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. ~ John 10:10

The reason this is all so important is that I was raised in an atheist family, and sometimes went to church with a friend whose family was Christian.  They were not such a friendly family, and I remember her mother and her father, both, seemed extra strict.  They seemed full of themselves, and judgmental.  I never felt comfortable in their house.  I was part of the Brownies that met in their house, and my friend’s mother was the Brownies leader.  It wasn’t very fun, and it seemed like it was all work, such as learning measurements from a cup, to a quart, to a gallon, and what that all was.  When I came over for dinner a few times I had to wash the dishes by hand while my friend dried and put them away.  Fun household.  Not really.  We didn’t play like normal kids and the home wasn’t like other homes of my friends I played at.  Why I went, I’ll never know.  Maybe it was one of my older sister’s being friends with the oldest girl in the house that caused me to get to know the family.

demonsBut as I grew up I knew something was wrong.  I had spiritual experiences as a child.  Not only did I have nightmares, but I talked in my sleep, and one night I woke up and had been sleep walking.

Many bad things happened in my family.  We did not seem to communicate much, at least with me my family members forgot I was there.  I seemed to be a literal wall flower that nobody talked to.  I don’t know why that happened.  As a child I could not understand, but I knew I felt the pain of being left out and not really a part of the family.  I always felt like I was “the third wheel”, and just never fit in.  I believe Satan was dividing our family to destroy any family life I could have had.

This was the start I had in life which scarred me terribly; I never felt comfortable talking to people, and I always felt afraid.  There was always fear about something that was the unknown.  I couldn’t understand what it was but I started out that way.  It poured into my growing up years, where as a young adult living alone, there was a time when I felt I had what’s known as agoraphobia, the fear of going outside your house.

425799_223926521071065_719118926_nI always felt something spiritual going wrong.  It felt like there were demons following me around, but I couldn’t know that because I could not read the bible; I wasn’t allowed to.  By the time I left home I had no interest in reading the bible, and my mother still had let go of whatever faith she had.  I believe now that she must be a “social churchgoer”, and not really a Christian, or she might have shared her faith at some point.  My father died over ten years ago and I don’t believe she has shared her faith nor picked up a bible during that time.  She apparently has been attending a church, since I found she was on a church board.  I believe she is still the social churchgoer and my guess is that she feels safe and comfortable in a church setting.  She’s in her 80’s now and probably being alone, feels she belongs in a church.

As an adult I remember many strange things happening to me that were unexplainable.  I never wanted to tell anyone for fear that they would say I was mentally ill.  But I remember a lady who I went to college with many years ago who informed me that she couldn’t read the bible, because it “made her feel mentally ill”.  That is the mark of Satan trying to keep a person away from reading the bible.  It seems obvious to me now years later, and I thought about this many times over the past many years since she told me this. I feel I know now what had been happening to me, it was Satan.  He was trying to kill, steal and destroy me to keep me from becoming a true believer in Christ.

Christianity · Homeless · Income

Making The Most Out Of Being Homeless

20171008_131012_resizedIt’s Sunday.  I live in my van, more than seven months now, trying to cope with living in the small space.  I realized last night while getting ready for bed on my cot in the back of my Grand Cherokee, just how odd it is to live this way; being a van dweller.  I had never heard the term until a friend told me she watched YouTube’s about van dwellers.  That’s where I learned the term when I first started living in my van.  So I spent time last night wondering about the direction my life would take; whether I could build a successful online business involving the media and Christian writing.  I also thought about Christian lay-counseling.  I thought about how I might bring something more to the table about counseling Christians who want to know what to do in their challenging situations.  How could I incorporate my training, skills, education and background into a company?

I keep a few notebooks with ideas I jot down from time to time, looking at my goals and priorities.  Little things like what supplements to buy, or where to get my hair cut and on what day.  It’s all so hard, not having my own home to do these things in at a desk, or a kitchen table.  It’s hard living in a van; make no mistake about it.

As I continue to wonder about life and what may be in my future I also know to keep busy working on the goals I have.  Inch closer and closer to what I want and ask God for His will.  I seek His counsel on a daily basis and I enjoy having the closeness that I have with the Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that if I had the luxury of living in an apartment, I would not struggle as much.  I would not need Him as much.  I see this time in life as a blessing; a time to get to know Jesus more and lean on Him.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. ~ Proverbs 3:5-6

I know my situation in life is the natural outcome of my not earning enough money for the rent I had to pay while at my last job.  I don’t see this as punishment; it is a learning about having enough to pay for the rent and keep a household before paying rent you can’t keep up with.  But of course, I knew that and paid the rent fine before the last job as security guard paid me so low that it was the reason I had to give notice and move out.

But I wasn’t happy with that outcome.  I wanted to have stability; a place to live for me and my cat and then move to a better housing situation once I got a better job, but getting a better job didn’t happen soon enough.  Now I’m on the East Side, and have been receiving oodles of job offers that are temporary, as usual, as that’s all I ever seem to get offered.  They are also mostly located in Seattle, which is a real bear during commute hours so I’m not willing to work there.

20171008_130939_resized

I have to make decisions and I don’t want to stretch myself in a long commute for a temporary job, when I can work a temporary job here closer to where I stay; in a parking lot at a church.  I’m grateful they offer this at no charge; it allows me to stay there indefinitely without paying anything so I can get back on my feet.  I am tired of this financial instability, I can tell you that.  But I see the benefit of knowing God more than I would have, had I had an easier lifestyle living in an apartment.  I can also enjoy dreaming about having a company I can be proud of that is sustaining, and that I enjoy doing.  Whatever that turns out to be, I pray for it’s success, and that it will bless other people in some way.

20171008_130931_resizedI spent the morning at the park, watching a video sermon of John MacArthur’s about forgiveness, which I thought was really good.  I feel surprisingly comfortable and am spending time here at the library in Kirkland, Washington.  It’s my favorite one.  I have spent the past several days, maybe up to a week, living within a five-mile radius because I am conserving the gas in my van.  I vent at times to the Lord, and ask that the Holy Spirit give me the strength to acclimate to this since I am used to being free to drive anywhere for as long as I want to like when I lived in California.

I miss California, and a few times I have vented to God that I could just pick up and drive to Silicon Valley, California, to find a better job.  They don’t seem to have as many permanent and decent jobs in Washington state here on the East Side, as I had hoped.  I’ve asked God why I seem to be the only one who is a good employee, shows up on time for work, has excellent skills, but yet can’t find a stable job.  I know that I have been stalked by satanic warfare, and I know this is what oppressed me the most.  

It may seem odd that I am an educated woman talking about satan, but once you become a bible believer you can’t deny all that is written in the bible.  The spiritual warfare against me has steadily declined, and I thank God for that.  Also that He is my Savior and Lord who has saved me from eternal damnation.  I can’t forget that when I feel I am being unfairly challenged by my lack of work in life.  I’m not unwilling, the jobs just don’t seem to materialize for me for some strange reason.  I know I have further to go, and it will be easier from here, as it has gotten, steadily, in recent years.

 

 

Christianity · Teaching

Acts, False Teachers, Making Christ Jesus The Center Of Our Lives

20171007_150034Today, I was sitting in my van that is my home, reading from the book of Acts.  I had made a commitment to God that if I lost everything, that, like the Apostles who had it so hard and had nothing, I would continue my quest to seek the Lord Jesus and give up everything I owned just to seek and know Him.

It was like I had read the verse about leaving everything and following Him, that I remembered at the time I had to give notice at my apartment, where I had lived for five years, because I did not earn the income I needed to stay and pay the bills.  The impending doom of not having enough income to pay the rent and all the bills made me face the reality of living in a car.  It was the only way for me to give up my apartment, my cat, and all that I owned.  It reminded me of the verse where Jesus tells the rich man to sell everything he had to follow Him, and that it would be easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.

On hearing this, Jesus told him, “You still lack one thing: Sell everything you own and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me.” ~ Matthew 19:21

And this verse:

And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. ~ Matthew 19:24

It taught me that knowing and believing in Christ Jesus was worth much more than anything I owned and I was glad that I had come to learn about Jesus’s saving grace, and that I had been saved.  I really believe I have been saved.

So I set out living in my car, which made sense because these verses came to mind and I’m sure the Holy Spirit helped teach me so that I would know, giving up material possessions would unfetter me from worldly ways and values.  That putting the Lord first in my life was the way to go.  I would not advocate that Christians give away everything to become homeless, but that is what I had to do at the time.

coinsMy budget would not allow me to live in an apartment at that time, and I regret having to re-home my cat, but I prayed many times for him, and that he would be cared for by someone who would love him, and take care of his medical issues.  He had something wrong with his teeth which began to fall out which I have never dealt with in a cat.  He also was covered with fleas which made it hard to live in my apartment.

After leaving my apartment for my car, I traded my car in a few month later for the van I now live in.  That was over seven months ago, starting on the first day of March, 2017, that I became homeless, living in my car.

In the book of Acts, I began thinking about how hard it would have been to go through the travels and troubles of Paul, and the other Apostles.  They must have walked long distances, rode horses, and sailed in ships to get to where they were going, to preach the gospel.  I wondered at how uncomfortable they would have been and I identified on some level with that.

How hard they had it, speaking to people who were hostile to their teaching.  They lived in houses that people provided, like nomads, going from home to home in each city they visited.  How uncomfortable that would have been.  How easy it is to enjoy having your own privacy in your own home, never thinking about how hard it would be to stay with people you may have never met before.  That is what the Apostles did.  Maybe sometimes they knew the people they stayed with, but sending letters was a slow way of introduction and communication was so slow in those days.  

They had the Holy Spirit to guide them, reminding them of the words of the Lord Jesus Christ:

But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything that I have told you. ~ John 14:26 

I thought about the verse that says that knowledge shall increase, and I thought about how today we have the Internet, and can learn the scripture quicker than in the times of the bible.  They went from home to home and preached, and met secretly in homes and buildings, preaching the gospel.  Now, we have it so easy, we have bible teachings online. We can watch video teachings, listen to preachers and study well-written articles online, all for free.  It is certainly faster for us to learn what the bible teaches these days, then when Paul the Apostle traveled around under extreme threat of being murdered or attacked, teaching the gospel of Christ Jesus verbally to people like Jesus did.  What a hard life that would have been.

Daniel’s prophetic words spoke to this, where in the last days we would have knowledge available to us more rapidly: 

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. ~ Daniel 12:4

Knowledge being increased speaks to me of today’s internet.  We are in the Information Age.  Even books and the bible being found online speaks of how knowledge shall Internet-Bible-Studybe increased.  We can learn how to take care of our bodies and minds through online teaching; beyond books in the library, we can learn practically anything we want by researching online.

I was struck by how Paul declared to them “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27b).  He was warning the Ephesian Elders to watch over and protect the flock from the false teaching that would enter into the church.  I have a problem with all the false teaching going on today.

I feel it is incumbent upon all of us to learn the Word, to rightly divide the Word, and to learn about the false teaching, and if not directly call out a person who teaches falsely, then to at least warn our Christian family about the false teachers of the world.  The United States is full of them.  It is too important to leave people out there who think they know God, and who follow false prophets and preachers who are giving them wrong information, who are wrongly dividing the Word.  

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Photo: twilightsentinel.com

In his teaching to the Ephesians, Paul said:

Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.  I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.  Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.  ~ Acts 20:28-31

Is it because they are too lazy to learn?  Is it because of their corporate, religious affiliation that they cannot leave, making them feel isolated and uncomfortable that they won’t teach more correctly?  They do not strive to learn the Word, learning the history of the bible characters, the days and times, and who the people in the bible are speaking to, rather than saying that everything spoken in the bible is directed toward us?  

The more I have learned, the more aghast I am at my error in thinking that verses mean me; although verses may have been meant for the Jews, or for the Christians of another time.  The way verses are explained is many times wrong.  A favorite healing verse that is misconstrued, is Isaiah 53:5, which says:

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.

Christians in the The New Apostolic Church (NAC) movement and those churches that take on the teaching of the NAC explain this verse to mean that we will be healed in the physical body, and not that we will be healed spiritually.  This verse is taken out of the context that it was intended, although I know this will make people mad to read this.  If we are healed spiritually, it is far more important than whether we get healed physically. My spiritual fitness is far more important than my physical fitness.  After all, Paul wrote: 

For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. ~ 1 Timothy 4:8

A quick reference where you can read that this verse is talking about spiritual healing is found in an article online where you may begin to search out the meaning of this verse:

However, the contexts of Isaiah 53 and 1 Peter 2 make it clear that they are referring to spiritual healing, not physical.

I pray for my health almost every day, and I certainly want to walk the earth in good health, so I understand the desire of everyone who wants good health.  I am not trying to take away from this.  But shouldn’t we seek the Kingdom of Heaven first, and let things follow from there.  I trust Jesus and the guidance of his Holy Spirit enough, to trust that He is going to provide for my needs here on earth.  And He has.  Even living in my van, He has met my every need.

But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. ~ John 16:13

Let’s learn to rightly divide the word, never stopping our learning.  Jesus should be the center point of our lives, the moral compass we need in order to follow in His Holy footsteps.  Let’s also trust that the Holy Spirit will guide us in everything we need to know about His Word.  Peace be with you.