Month: February 2013

  • And So It Begins

    Benedict Bids Goodbye……45.html

    Outgoing Pope Benedict has met with his cardinals ahead of boarding a helicopter and flying to the papal retreat south of Rome Thursday, where he will officially end his reign.

    In remarks Thursday to the cardinals, broadcast on Vatican television, the pope pledged to show “unconditional reverence and obedience” to the next pope. The vow could lay to rest fears that the presence of a living, retired pope in the Vatican would reduce the power of the next elected head of the Roman Catholic Church.

    Pope Benedict’s resignation officially goes into effect at 8 p.m. local time. At that hour, the doors of Castel Gandolfo will close and the Swiss Guards charged with guarding the reigning pope will go off duty.

    In the coming days, Roman Catholic cardinals under the age of 80 will gather in the Sistine Chapel for a conclave, the ceremonial selection of a new pope.

    On Wednesday, Benedict gave an emotional final audience in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. He told thousands of onlookers that despite troubles and “stormy waters” weathered by the church during his tenure, God will not let the institution sink.

    …church authorities insist the transition will be a peaceful one and that Benedict’s presence will not cast a shadow over the new leader.  Benedict has said his goal after stepping down is to live quietly in prayer and meditation , in his words “hidden to the world.”

    aNNa’S NoTe:  Brian said he heard something about the pope retiring because of a cross-dressing priest, but I think that’s too remotely unrelated to be true.  Personally my speculation is that he has the onset of Alzhiemers or some other form of dementia, and that he wants to step down with dignity while he can.  Besides, a pope that’s mentally incapacitated could be a problem for the RCC.

    In other news, my friend Ellen/GidgetPeke shared with me this photo this morning:

    Personally, I think that it will be ‘none of the above’, but I know a lot of people are looking for anyone with ‘Peter’ in their name (that’d be Scherer, Turkson, and Erdo).  I don’t know how many read my comment section here, but the last time I posted about Benny the Rat’s retirement, I wrote this in the comments:
    I’m not convinced it’s going to be a pope. I’m actually (personally) watching for someone NOT a pope to take the reins, next.  this is the only Malachay prediction that has an actual person’s name, it sets him apart from the popes preceeding him. But that’s just me. And I don’t believe he’ll be the anti-christ, either – I’m betting whoever this guy is, he could potentially be the false prophet as easily as the A/C.

    … Besides, people are freaking out about ‘Peter the Roman’… there’s a scare thing involved. To avoid that, they might just ‘skip’ the last pope and ‘unite’ Catholicism with other faiths by way of this non-pope guy. It makes some serious sense, and would be so ironic – that Malachay’s prophecy of the last pope would actually be the reason someone NOT a pope gets in to fulfill the misunderstood prophecy.

    We don’t know at the moment what’s going to happen, but by April, something is seriously going to go down.  Either:

    a) a new pope with the name (given or chosen) of Peter,
    b) a new unifying move with a non-pope leader
    c) an earthquake that will stall the election process
    d) a financial collapse that will send Europe into chaos and delay the process.

    It should be fun to watch, whatever happens.  As far as I’m concerned, though, we’re on the cusp of the Trump judgments.  We’re historically in the right place for Peter the Roman.

    And are you ready for a REAL laugh?

    Nic Cage and a Contentious
    ‘Left Behind’ Remake


    Methinks it might come out after the fact… LoL!!!  But for the record, it has Ashley Tisdale and Chad Michael Murray in it.  I’m just cracking up, partly because LaHaye hates the script (yet sold the rights out for cash, so shut up, already), and party because Hollywood will probably get closer to the true end times story than La Haye ever did.  Seriously… you can’t have gotten much further from the truth, anyhow.  And as I was telling my friend Trent, if you want to get a message out globally…?  Hollywood is your best option.  Maybe Balaam is about to be called in, again…?  The guy writing the script has written ‘chrischun’ movie scripts for 24 years… so my hope is that he’s abandoned LaHay’s retarded (and very wrong) pre-Trib stance and is going for a more pre-Wrath stance, this time.  Of course, it’s likely neither has ANY idea where we are.  And who knows, they might not even get the movie out in time.

    It’s definitely interesting times we’re living in…!!

  • Winter Wonderland

    This past weekend, I heard that a big snowstorm was going to hit Chicago on Tuesday.  That means that we get it on Wednesday, being just on the other side of the lake.  But y’know what?  It hit early.  And HARD.  And since I’m thinking I’m going to use what left of the week (now that’s I’m feeling slightly better… a shower this afternoon will REALLY help), and I’m going to work on pictures.  Here’s what I took of the snow this morning.

    View out Lydia’s window.
    It is THICK on the branches… and very, very heavy.

    Out by Brian’s barn, and the play yard.
    They go up like that another 20 feet.  It’s… wOw.

    Out the front window, to the drive/garden.
    That’s not a hosta, it’s one of my 8ft verbena bushes.
    The snow is so heavy, it collapsed it.  I’ve got some concerns!!

    I can’t tell if it’s coming down still, or not – there’s a steady stream of huge flakes descending, but it could be off the trees… I don’t know, though.  I almost think it’s still snowing.  It’s beautiful, I’ll give it that!  It’s like being back home in the Upper Penninsula (I grew up near Marquette).  Lower Michigan never gets THIS heavy, and my bushes have NEVER collapsed like that!

    Needless to say, there’s no public school in session in West Michigan.  Which means no dance class tonight – which is REALLY nice for me, because I’m better but not fully up-to-par, and wasn’t sure if I should a) stay home, b) go, and stay in the car, or c) just go and call myself over the contagious part.  Now I don’t have to worry – I can work on pictures, VACUUM (you have NO idea…), and bake something yummy… because nothing has smelled good around here in a few days, now, and that’s NOT how things roll in my home.  And of course the kids are SO excited about getting out today to play in this stuff. 

  • Sick, Sick, Sick.

    Just me, luckily, but…

    … no post today.

  • PatchWork Blog

    G’morning.  I haven’t done one of these in a coon’s age.  I don’t even remember the last time.  And so much has been going on around here, that I just… I have to try to throw it together, but it’s more than a bullet blog can handle!  So this’ll have to do.

    Backing Up.  Did I mention that my mom is in the process of selling her house and moving to the country?  Well, she is.  It’s been kind of a thing for them for a few years, and off and on they listed it, but suddenly around X-mess they got wildly freaked out and dropped the price to bargain basement and… well, it went right away.  I never liked that house, anyhow – it’s ugly, the layout was crappy, it was completely user-unfriendly, iand it had nothing for yard (which… she decimated, anyhow), the landscaping got more unsightly every year.  And it’s in a terrible neighborhood – there was a drug bust next door last week, and a cop chase thru their yard where the perp allegedly knocked over one of the girls in their backyard.  It wasn’t a good idea from moment one, but y’know, it’s not my place, so…

    History of ThatWhen Brian and I got our house up north back in 1997, my mom had decided she had to have a house (instead of the single wide in the trailer park that was BEAUTIFUL in and in a nicer neighborhood), and so she’d put the trailer up for sale and it went right away (It was beautiful. You’ve never seen a trailer like the one we lived in. It was amazing.).  But because it sold so fast, she FR-eaked out, and bought the first thing they could find in their price range… and it blew.  And there they’ve sat, for ten years.

    The New House.  The same thing happened this time.  You’d think they would learn from their mistakes, but they haven’t.  They threw the crappy house on the market at a clearance price, it sold fast, and they’ve FR-eaked out… A-Gain.  So they’ve done the SAME THING as last time… bought the first thing they could snag in their price range.  And… I haven’t been in it.  Heck, Pop hasn’t been in it, and it’s HIS money that bought it (I… can’t think like that).  You don’t buy a HOUSE sight unseen.  My mom’s been in it, but… wha.  It’s not in a location I’d call ‘country’, it’s not a pretty house from the pictures I’ve seen, the layout is NOT what they need.  My mom has really bad knees, and it’s a bi-level with a basement – she needs a ranch, so that everything was on one level.  But then, my mom isn’t driving the boat on this one… it seems very much like my sister is at the wheel.  There aren’t words for that.  They really want us to be happy for them, and… I’m really having to work hard at it.  But I keep telling myself that it’s NOT my life, not my choice, and they can do what they want.  I just don’t think this is the place for them.  But they refuse to rent for a few months until they find the right place, which is what I would do, in their shoes… but again, it’s not my choice.  So I guess… whatevs.

    Twisted Family.  My family is really dysfunctional, and it seems to get worse every day.  Now when they come over to talk ‘Moving’, it’s all about how they’re buying with the outlook that my mom is going to die or end up in a nursing home, so the house “is really for Pop, my sister, and her girls”.  Like my Pop is going to switch from being my mom’s husband/provider to my sister’s, when my mom is gone.  R’something.  It sounds SO wrong, when they talk about it… I can’t get the distaste out of my mouth.  That’s not a healthy, normal family dynamic.  And the crazy thing is that they aren’t helping my sister at all.  This is her fifth year living back home like a sixteen year old (with three kids) since the divorce… only it’s more like Mom and Pop have four girls, not that it’s Mom, Pop, my sister and HER girls.  It’s freaky weird.  And my sister is turning 36… she doesn’t work, doesn’t date, doesn’t go anywhere without my mom, has no hobbies and no friends.  She has no car, no phone (my mom gave hers to my sister to use)… it’s very, very strange. And this move seems to just be distorting it, even more.

    Enough of That.  As for us, we’re doing well.  School is going great, we’re celebrating just about everything under the sun, the kids are loving the snow, and Brian has had a good amount of side work.  The two of us are getting along better than we ever have before – it’s one of those marriages little girls dream of.  I had dreamed the same things, but for a long time, there, I thought it was elusive and stuff of faerie tales.  But we’re doing SO well together – so happy.  It’s been incredible.  It almost makes me nervous… people aren’t supposed to BE this happy, together, are they?   Do you see why I like to stay here, in my own little bubble, where we’re happy and creative and untouched by other people’s issues?  Anyhow, we have big plans for our homestead this summer (moving Critter Corner around, possibly adding a bedroom and schoolroom onto the house!)… and things are going great at Brian’s job, too.  We got a profit sharing check just this past week…. SO….

    FLATSCREEN!!  I am the world’s most un-technological person, ever.  Yes, I know I blog and Facebook and can even do basic HTML coding, and pick up on computer stuff fairly fast.  BUT… we don’t have cellphones, we don’t have television or modern gadgets like iStuff or Wii or that thing that plays Blu-Ray DVDs (please don’t ask me, I don’t know).  We watch VHS, play Atari and Nintendo NES, and listen to CDs on the player Brian bought when he was nineteen.  We’re stone age, seriously.  So imagine Brian’s surprise when I told him I wanted to buy a flatscreen TV on Friday.  Yeah, he didn’t believe it for a minute.  But the thing is, SIX of us have to climb all over each other, huddled around the laptop to watch our Salsa Spanish lessons or our Twebrew Hebrew lessons.  And I’m SICK of it – there’s no volume, the screen in tiny and wedged in a corner of the parlor, kids are elbowing each other… and if we got a flatscreen, they have high-tech cable thingers (HTCT, or something that starts with an ‘H’) that you can plug your PC into and play what’s on your laptop on the TV.  Besides, we got our TV off Craigslist, it’s a behemoth,  weighs a ton and a half, and came from the home of this little Chinaman who apparently liked sushi (because the TV smelled like that for a month).  And the picture tube r’something has been going out, because the picture shakes, and you have to stomp your foot to get it to stop.  We’ve been doing that for a while… it’s kind of annoying.

    Best Buy!  So Friday night I announced that I thought we should get a new TV, and yesterday we went to Best Buy to look at some.  Apparently there are a lot of things to consider.  There’s plasma vs. LCD vs. LED, to start with.  Then there’s vertical resolution and screen refresh ratio and all these numbers that are supposed to make a HUGE difference, but really I just… want to play my You Tubes on something in the living room.  So I found a sales dude, and explained to him that we’re technologically impoverished, and need to know what there is to know about picking out a flatscreen.  I told the kid that I’m a homeschooler and just want to watch our Spanish and Hebrew lessons on a bigger screen than the laptop… which he thought was funny (and ironic – he was a pastor’s kid, and his dad is into the whole Hebrew thing).  He found us extremely amusing, and we walked away knowing WAY more about flatscreens than we wanted to… but we bought one!  It has TV channels that WORK, but  we’re keeping it on the ‘blue screen’… we do NOT do television at our house.  But it’s so exciting!  And… there’s this monster of a TV in the middle of the living room that we have to figure out how to get rid of, now.

    PoX Party!!  Friday was an adventure day for us, too – I’m in a group of people looking for the chicken pox, as you know.  Well, a lady over in Metro Detroit had a baby who came down with it, and was opening her home to anyone who wanted to come and get it.  Now… you have to know how stupid I think other mothers are, in general.  They’re posting DESPERATION over on the pox board, they’ll do ANYTHING to get the pox… but when someone announces a party?  “Oh, I don’t know if I can come this week… it’s a long way to drive… I’m really busy right now…”  WTHeck!?  I’m SO there, if I want something.  And so I called Brian Thursday at work the moment I read about it, and told him about the party, and… okay, I told him I’d go without him, but driving a 6+ hour round trip to Detroit alone with five littles?  I was hoping he might be able to get the day off and come with me.  And he did!  ((Did I mention our marriage is doing really, REALLY well, right now?))  So we all piled in the car and went for a play date.  In a snowstorm – all the schools in our area were closed when we left!  Across the STATE.  The lady was really nice, her baby so cute (he liked to give kisses), and my kids were pretty well behaved, considering we descended on her like a swarm – but everything was picked up and we were a short-n-sweet visit.  Crossing our fingers that we caught it… because I really just want to have it and be DONE with it.

    Red Vs. Blue.  Going to Detroit was SO WEIRD, I have to say.  The west side of the state where I live is NOTHING like the east side of the state where MoTown is.  Grand Rapids is the most kid-friendly/family oriented place in the nation.  Detroit has the most violence and crime and unemployment and… skank in the nation.  Grand Rapids has bible verses on the expressway billboards.  Detroit has words bleeped out.  Grand Rapids has sappy radio stations.  Detroit… well, let’s just say I got an education… we were laughing a LOT at the radio stations over there.  Grand Rapids has a pleasant, cleaner, more conservative, more organized feel.  Detroit is like a dumpster, tipped over and kicked around, with all the welfare people and nasties teeming around it.  It was… not someplace I would want to spend any amount of time.  It’s funny, how the Liberal people over there live are compared to the Constitutionalist/Conservatives on my side of the state.

    Scary Chick.  There’s the woman on my pox group that’s wigging me out.  Frankly, I think she’s a Xanga troll who read about the group and is trying to become a RL problem… thinks that she’s going to come to my house.  But then, I’m paranoid.  Anyhow, this woman is… strange.  She keeps messaging me, asking me if she can come over to my house for a pox party if my kids get it.  There’ve been something like FIVE messages… it’s pretty intense.  And weirder… she’s only a jog from the woman in Metro Detroit, but made up a ton of excuses not to go to her party… while begging to come to my house on the other side of the state the next day.  I’m not comfortable.  It almost makes me want to lie and say we didn’t get it, even if we end up contracting it.  I… feel really funny about it.  But then, I don’t trust a whole lotta anybody, and this woman is raising all of my red flags, and a few of Brian’s, too.  Hm.  I just wanted to put that out there.

    pUrIm.  Our Purim was wonderful.  We had blueberry, apple, and cherry mini-turnovers for our hamentaschen, we tried a spinach tortellini chicken bake that was SO good, we banged on pots and the kids did a ‘RiverDance’ Purimspiel for us.  ((Owen, 3, was the self-proclaimed ‘Yord o’ da dance’)).  Costumes are strewn everywhere, and we had a great time.  And we got to tell the Best Buy dude about it, too, so… that’s always good.

    Not Feeling Well.  I should go.  Mostly I’m just sitting here, writing the epic novel of my LIFE, because I don’t feel so good.  Isaac complained of stomach aches last night, Lydia first thing when she got up, and I’ve got them, now.  So I think maybe we brought more than a TV home from our Best Buy adventure.  I’m hoping a) it’ll pass quickly, and b) that it weakens the kids’ immune systems so the pox germs we ((((hopefully)))) got will have a better chance of infecting us.  But then… I’m a little one-tracked for ten days after a pox party.  LoL!! 

    Feel well.  Be productive for me.  And have a blessed day.
  • The Purim Vision

    I know – it’s WAY early for me, but the Lord gave me a message in the form of a vision/dream, and when I woke up, I was told to come and write.  So here I am.

    In the first vision/dream, I was standing in a very bleak place.  It was ‘empty’, but mostly because I wasn’t aware of what was around me, because I knew it wasn’t important, wasn’t necessary to know.  With me were ten elderly men.

    Ten is the number of humanity – ten fingers, ten toes, etc.  The ten men were the sum of humanity through the ages.

    The elderly men looked very somber, they were just standing very still, but then they all looked at me and said together “the time has almost come, and the end is very near”.  Then I startled awake, and my eyes landed directly on the clock.  It read 3:33am.  The Lord impressed on me immediately that this was from Him, and I was to remember it.

    Three is the number of Unity – I associate it with the Lord, very closely.  Also, 3:33 is – in superstitious circles – the ‘hour of the other realm’, or ‘the closest hour to spirituality’.  In other words, it’s a time when you’re closest to the higher power that you believe in.  I found that interesting.

    When I went back to sleep, I was with internet friends.  The first one I was with was a boy I grew up with and now know only via FB.  He and I took very different directions – I’m uber spiritual n’ straight/narrow, and he went for drugs/alcohol, got in trouble with the law, was homeless, dabbled in unclean relationships, and generally had a rough go of it… or so I’ve heard.  He’s cleaned up, now, but I think he still has some struggles.  In my dream, he wanted to come with me, but he didn’t have the right paperwork.  I tried to help him fill it in, but the only pen I had was green and he was already too far behind.

    Green is a highly spiritual color – Yehovah’s throne is green, for example.  I think this friend was shown to me because he was a) male, b) someone from my real life, and c) on such a very different path.

    So I turned and saw another friend , one I met on Xanga and also keep up with via FB.  She and I also have vastly different life directions – I embrace Yehovah, and she… well, has a completely different belief system, a completely different way of living/looking at the world than I do.  She had a violin, and was very weak, almost sickly.  She was in a panic – she knew it was time, and she needed her violin, but she was terribly concerned that it would go out of tune if she put it down, and she had to drive, so I offered to hold it for her, careful not to let it get brushed or bumped as I rode with her in her SUV.

    This is the opposite of the first person, because a) she’s female, b) I don’t know her in real life, and c) while her life path is completely different, she subscribes to a higher power… just not the one I do.  So I believe these two people symbolize the totality of people who are in my life that aren’t on the same path.  I think the violin was the neat and ordered belief system she has created for herself, and her desire for a certain control.

    Suddenly I was in a library.  I gave her the violin right away, and she took off running, so I assumed that there was a presentation there, but nobody acted like it, and I wasn’t going there, if there was.  Instead I went to the counter, and a young man with blonde hair sat behind it on a stool.  He was cocky and arrogant, and he was leering at me.  I remember thinking ‘aren’t librarians usually women?  But that’s ridiculous, men take women’s roles and women take men’s roles all the time.’

    And I remember that striking me as important – that it was part of the reason that it was time – people didn’t know their places, didn’t obey, anymore.  Everything has blurred, there are no lines, these days.  People are belligerent and nasty, they push boundaries, have no manners, aren’t ‘good’, anymore.

    The library shook, and I hurried to the window, and saw that outside of the building was barren earth, with no grass, no trees, no structures.  It was shaped spherical, like our planet, or like I was to think of it as the planet.  It was rocky and the sky was completely overcast, but more ‘sad’ than ‘stormy’.  It was moving, but it was slightly rolling as it moved, as if it were still rotating (only north/south) even though it was being lowered.  I could see the water below, it was a beautiful color, from the storm, very teal and grey and amazingly calm, considering the earth was sinking into it. 

    Destruction of the earth, the end times.  The barren and stormy scene relates the hopelessness of it all.  It was very natural, not turbulent and catastrophic, to my point of view.

    Behind me something fell, and people were running.  It was enormous, a huge outcropping of earth, coming down as a skyscraper, as if it had been chopped to topple like a fallen tree.  It fell into the water, and I realized that I’d been separated from the rest of the people by this great wall of rock that was as long as I could see, and stood high out of the water, like the Great Wall of China.  The rest of the people were on the other side of it – I could see them as they slid off the earth into the water back before the wall, but wasn’t watching them… I knew they were running, some to try to get on or over the wall, others to get away.  Many were screaming.

    The broad and narrow way?  I don’t know, but it felt like a ‘veil’ as scripture uses it – a vast, impenetrable barrier keeping the other people from crossing.

    I saw in the water on my side of the rock barrier an island.  It wasn’t too far out in the water, but it felt as if it were far enough away to be safe, and I was impressed to swim.  So instead of running, I allowed myself to slide, and the rolling earth took me down into the water, swiftly and easily.  I wasn’t cut by the ground on my way down, it actually felt nice.

    In the water, I could still hear people screaming.  Behind me, I saw that the earth was sinking, but there was no tsunami, no waves.  I reminded myself that it wasn’t an earthquake, it was the total destruction of the planet… as if my mind was explaining it to me as I was seeing things play out.  The water wasn’t cold, and I wasn’t afraid – I felt confident that I would make it to the island.  It was covered in trees and looked inviting and safe to me, but I marveled that it was not visible over the rock barrier that fell and separated me from the other people.

    Now, I don’t know if this is Heaven or Paradise or some spiritual version of Goshen, but it definitely puts me in mind of that.  A safe haven in time of destruction?  Yup.

    Then I realized that I wasn’t alone in the water on this side of the rock wall.  Others were swimming with me, mostly elderly men, although I wasn’t sure if it was the ten I saw originally, and somehow I don’t think so.  They were moving through the water, and there was one very close to where I was treading/swimming.  He had no clothes on, but being in the water, I didn’t see anything – the water hid any body parts, just the image of his shape was apparent.  He wasn’t having any trouble swimming, in spite of his age – none of us were.

    I think they were mostly ‘elderly’ because they came from times long before mine.  I think these people came out of all the different eras, and the age I saw was just signifying their time was different from the present/current time.

    The elderly man closest by turned to me and said that the predators would be coming, soon, and that there was no escape for the others.  He seemed excited, and I wasn’t sure if it was fear or just being worked up from the situation that we were in.  He seemed as if he knew no more than I did, so I didn’t think he was a guardian to help encourage me – I think we were just in the same boat, going to the same place.

    Then he pointed in the water, and I saw swimming around us a great white shark.  It was so close, I could reach out and stroke it, but I was so startled at the sight of it, I didn’t dare.  I wasn’t terrified, not even afraid, just… had a very healthy ‘fear’ of it.  I considered for a second – a split second – going back to the earth, but it didn’t seem like where I really needed to go.  The island was my destination, and I was somehow sure that I wouldn’t die in the water.

    I think this was Yehovah.  He sits, after all, on the ‘Great White’ throne.  He draws nigh unto us if we draw nigh unto Him.  We are commanded to ‘fear’ the Lord… in the ‘healthy respect’ definition of it.  But for those of us who trust in Him, we have nothing to fear.  As for the rest of humanity, they will be devoured by His wrath.

    Then the shark broke the surface beside me, and I thought, “This is it.”  It opened it’s mouth, and to my surprise, it didn’t attack, it just hung there, beside me, waiting.  I was stunned.  And I reached out my hand toward the rows and rows of razor sharp teeth, because no matter how terribly they could rip someone up, they were fascinating, beautiful, amazing, and awesome.  I wanted desperately to touch them… to touch the shark.  And it let me.  It was very still and patient, and allowed me to put my fingers to its teeth.  It was one of those moments where nothing else mattered – not the sinking earth behind, or the people swimming or the Island ahead.  It was… incredible.

    And of course then I woke up.  And felt the very, very urgent need to get up and post this.  I think something is about to happen that might be very exciting, and very prophetic.  I believe we’re on the cusp of a change that will alter everything for us!

  • What is Purim?

    I thought since it’s Purim (starting at sunset tomorrow – but I don’t post on Saturdays, so), I might tell you what the deal is about today:

    “And Mordecai wrote these things, and sent letters unto all the Jews that were in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus, both nigh and far, To establish this among them, that they should keep the fourteenth day of the month Adar, and the fifteenth day of the same, yearly, As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and of sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.  

    “And the Jews undertook to do as they had begun, and as Mordecai had written unto them;   Because Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised against the Jews to destroy them, and had cast Pur, that is, the lot, to consume them, and to destroy them;   But when Esther came before the king, he commanded by letters that his wicked device, which he devised against the Jews, should return upon his own head, and that he and his sons should be hanged on the gallows.  Wherefore, they called these days Purim after the name of Pur.

    “Therefore,  for all the words of this letter, and of that which they had seen concerning this matter, and which had come unto them,  The Jews ordained, and took upon them, and upon their seed, and upon all such as joined themselves unto them, so as it should not fail, that they would keep these two days according to their writing, and according to their appointed every year;  And that these days should be remembered and kept throughout every generation, every family, every province, and every city; and that these days of Purim should not fail from among the Jews, nor the memorial of them perish from their seed.”   Esther 9:17-28

    The festive meal made for this feast is called “Seudah”, and is celebrated with family and/or friends.  The traditional foods are “hamantashen” cookies  – they are triangle shaped cookies  filled with jam or honey or something sweet.  The word can mean “Haman’s Pockets” (Yiddish) or “Haman’s Ears” (Hebrew).  The treats are to remind people of the victory over this evil man.  ((I’m probably going to make pop-n-fresh rolls with grape jelly innards.  I’ll have two portions of rolls – one for my experimental Challah, and the other will be made into “Hamantashen”.))

    After the meal, the story of Esther is read, and costumes are encouraged for the reading time.  Children are given noisemakers (kazoos, pots/spoons, horns, etc.) and every time the name “Haman” is read they bang the pots and blow the horns (the ‘official’ noisemaker is a “grogger”, but you can improvise) and boo him.  Every time Mordecai’s name is read, everyone cheers.  Rabbinic tradition actually stresses the ‘joy factor’ of this feast to the point where they recommend people drink until they don’t know the difference between Haman and Mordecai (extreme, in my humble opinion, but you get the idea of how light hearted and ‘party-time’ this feast is.)

    In the spirit of giving, families often give plates of food to friends, neighbors, and family.  And we usually watch Veggie Tales: Esther for the sake of fun on a kid level for the chil’uns, banging pans whenever they say the name ‘Haman’.  We’ve also found a YouTube that the kids LOVE to watch:

    The secondary part of this holy day is to stress the responsibility of man to accomplish God’s will.  Esther is the only book of the Bible with no clear reference to God, yet He can be seen working out the details behind the scene.  So we eat tortellini for our feast meal – as the cheese is ‘hidden’ inside of the tortellini.  Besides, it’s something I don’t make everyday.

    Purim actually has THREE fulfillments, by the way.  The first was the Esther/Haman story.  The second fulfillment took place in 1946, and I wrote about it here (LINK)… It was a Hitler/Jews story.  But the last fulfillment is yet to come.  What will it be?  It will be the nations attacking the nation of Israel, but Israel wiping them out in a single moment.  I wrote about it here (LINK), because the Jews are quite sure Iran’s president is the future incarnation of Haman.  It’s very interesting to watch!

    This Weekend is Purim! 
    Hag Sameach!

  • Thursday Thankful

    • BIG news – we are taking a trip to Detroit for another CP play-date this weekend.  Oh, please, please pray that we get it, this time.  Three’s a charm, right?  We didn’t catch them in Muskegon, we weren’t able to get together with my old schoolchum in Indiana, but maybe Detroit?!  I’m all in a tizzy emotionally, today.  I really want Lydia to get them before she’s too old and it’s problematic!  But to be honest?  Driving all the way across the state alone with five children makes me nervous.  So please pray for us.  On more than one level.
    • I’m grateful for Brian getting all of the side-work jobs done for a while, again.  And a favorable quarterly meeting at his work yesterday (with a nice profit-sharing surprise for us).  And for cold weather to keep us in cozy and warm so we don’t spend as much $$, at the same time!
    • Healthy critters and healthy kidlets.  I’ve even almost kicked that never-ending cough of mine.  I’m so glad.  Except that I want chicken pox.  Which I don’t consider ‘getting sick’, I consider it ‘getting immune’.  Which is WAY more important.
    • Cold.  It. Is. Cold.  But the more it freezes/thaws, over and over, the worse the roads are, the worse the ice is, the worse the critter pens are.  I’m glad it’s just cold, now.  That’s the bummer about lower Michigan.  When I lived in the U.P., it got cold and STAYED cold.  Down here it’s… sloppy, a lot.  And I just like it to be cold in winter, and thaw when spring hits – not before!
    • I… had a WHOLE BUNCH of things to put on this grateful when I woke up this morning, and weirdly, as I sat down to type it, they all flew out of my head…  maybe I should add on, as the day progresses?
  • The Ghost Whisperer

    Last night, Brian and I started season FOUR of the television series, ‘Ghost Whisperer’.  We’ve actually been TV-free for 16 years, but every once in a blue moon, we do a TV-series, just the two of us, together, after the kids go to bed.  Cuddle time.  We did ‘Alias’ in 2009… and come January of this year, I got the urge to try another series.  Why ‘Ghost Whisperer’?  I have no idea.  I’d never seen Jennifer Love Hewitt in anything before.  I had no idea what it was about (although the title gives a hint, no?), and while my friends said I might enjoy it, they cautioned me… because of my faith thing.  Ironically, this show has strengthened my ‘faith thing’ in ways that… well, I want to write about.

    Now in case you don’t know the premise of the show, it’s about a sweet, loving, somewhat quirky young woman who has – all her life – been able to see and communicate with ghosts.  When they come to her, they’re mostly confused about what happened, have unfinished business that they need her to help them complete, and usually start out looking REALLY nasty, but as they remember (and get closer to finding peace) they look more and more like their human self.  Their ‘residual self-image’, as Morpheus would say.  Always gotta add my Matrix references, LoL!!  Anyhow, it took me a few episodes to acclimate to that transformation from gunky to human, cuz… ew.  But Melinda (the Ghost Whisperer) is usually able to take it in stride.  Some of my friends have described it as ‘Dr. Quinn meets the old Twilight Zone’.  I don’t know if that’s true, as I’ve never seen Dr. Quinn or the Twilight Zone.  TV-free.  But I assume it to mean that it’s ‘sappy sweet meets kinda spooky’.

    At this point, it would behoove me to explain that I don’t do scary.  Not at all.  In fact, I spent most of my life absolutely terrified of things I couldn’t see.  It started way back before I can remember and went all the way until I moved out of my mother’s house.  I was terrified.  I couldn’t be alone in a room.  I hated mirrors and was always hearing noises.  ((I was also afraid of bathrooms, but that’s a different story.))  I couldn’t MOVE once I got in bed, and I wouldn’t go in closets or in the basement or by windows.  And weird things would happen to me – like a helium balloon in my sister’s room made it’s way across the entire room, OUT to the hallway, down the hall past two other rooms, and came to visit me in the living room when I was home alone.  Things (that were INSIDE of other things) would ‘fall out’ on the floor.  I had serious issues with this, fyi.  I lived terrified.  Which… bothered me, because my brother and sister had no problems, whatsoever.  Yet another sign that Anna was/is abnormal.  And then – ironically – I moved out into an apartment in a basement (!!)  and I was completely fine.  It took years to realize that it was an oppressive spirit attached to my mother/her stuff, and I wasn’t okay as long as I was there, because I being harassed by it.

    No, I don’t believe in ghosts, but I do believe in spirits.  As in, demons and angels.  I believe that they are all around us, and can affect us.  So do I buy the premise of ‘Ghost Whisperer’?  No.  It’s like watching a Tinkerbell movie or a superhero flick.  There’s no suchuva thing… it’s just for fun.  But I stay away from ouija boards (demons manipulate them), fortune tellers (their spirit guides are demons) and anything satanic – for obvious reasons.   Warriors of the Light don’t hang out in the enemy’s camp.  Besides, greater is He that is in me, so why would I waste my time with the losing team?  But I’ll tell you… because of my trouble in youth with conterminous oppression, I was SERIOUSLY concerned about watching this series.  I didn’t want anything that could’ve been attached to it coming into my life.  And demons can use the concept of ‘ghost’ to do some pretty wicked things to people – I’m convinced of that.  So perspective is everything.

    And I told Brian, going into it, that if it wigged me out, we were done.  He was good with that, and… well, frankly he was intrigued that I was even considering this subject matter.  You’d have to live with me to understand.  I’m… not normal about anything.  Heck, what am I saying, you read my BLOG, you HAVE to know that I’m not normal by now.  Which… we’ll get to in a moment.

    Now you’re probably scratching your head and asking me HOW in the WORLD a television series about ghosts and seeing the dead could strengthen my faith.  Yes, and well you should ask.  It’s because of Melinda’s story.  She was abandoned by her father as a child, and then again after she reconnected with him as an adult.  The same thing happened to me – both as a child and an adult.  Her mother has never liked her, doesn’t connect with her, and is often downright uncaring toward her.  Wow, does THAT sound familiar.  She had few friends in school, mostly she just didn’t fit in because she wasn’t like the other kids.  I’ve been there and done that, too.  She wants truth from people.  Truth is at the heart of everything with her.  Sound a little like me?  She believes in that which cannot be seen, and works for the winning team where the afterlife is concerned.  Yup… yup.

      And Jim.  Melinda has this husband who knows about her troubled childhood, the various kinds of rejections she’s experienced, and the unusual things she sees and is led to, everyday.  He loves her, anyhow, is there for her no matter what, and is her rock.  He believes her, helps her work thru things, and protects her from people who think she’s crazy or whatever.  It’s kind of amazing, because in television, most relationships are fickle and shallow, there are affairs and wandering thoughts… there’s a lot of crap.  But the relationship in this series is rare and beautiful.  And honestly?  It has really put into perspective for me what I am blessed with.  Jim is a fictional character – the guy who plays him just an actor reading a script.  But my Brian?  He’s the REAL thing.  I have the real Jim in my life, and I see Brian when I watch the episodes.  It’s really showed us – as a couple – what we have, and what we have to give thanks for.  ((And my Brian is handsomer, too.  But I digress.))

    As for the ‘faith thing’… I have a gift.  The church is really stupid about it… they give spiritual gift tests, and … ALL of those gifts are acceptable, except for mine.  Have you noticed this?  If you’re a servant, a teacher, a giver, an exhorter?  Praize Gawd!  If you can teach a class or Bible study or evangelize to Haitians for a week?  Glory on High!  If you’re headed to seminar to be a preacher, the congregants sing hallelujah.  Even tongues – as long as you do it in the quiet of your own home, sure.  Whatevs.  We don’t know what you’re saying, anyhow… but we’ll buy that it glorifies the Lord.  

    But if you even HINT that you’ve got the gift of prophecy?  Good Lord, look out – they’ll ostracize, hate on you, assign pastors to monitor you (BTDT)… it’s DANGEROUS.  It’s UNACCEPTABLE.  That doesn’t exist anymore, they say.  It’s wrong, it’s controversial.  Who do you think you are!  How dare you even SAY the word!  ‘Evangelist’ is a word that makes them jump up and clap.  ‘Prophet’ is a word that makes them reach for something sharp, with wariness in their eyes.  And WHY?!  

    But it’s true. I’ve watched preachers RUN away from me.  They look in my eyes and say, “Has anyone told you you have the gift of prophecy?” and I just smile… but when it sinks in, they freak out.  Try to get away.  Because they’re afraid of what it means.  What I might say to them.  ((And with good reason.  I rarely get good messages for pastors.  Okay, I’ve NEVER gotten anything but a rebuke to give to pastors.  Messiah said the church was an open grave, and I’ll add that the pastors therein are rotting corpses.  Oh, yes, I have more in common with Melinda than I should talk about.))

    Like Melinda learned not to use the word ‘ghost’, I have learned LONG ago that you don’t talk about your spiritual gift when it’s what I’ve got.  I don’t use that word.  It’s taboo.  Because it’s scary.  People can’t handle it.  They don’t understand that it’s got a valid place, that it’s god-given, that it’s a GOOD thing to have, per scripture.  They can’t accept that… it’s too much.  Unless you can help them, specifically, they don’t want anything to do with it.  It’s a touchy topic.  Another thing I can relate to in the ‘Ghost Whisperer’.

    So what do you do?  When your gift is green lights, red flags, and messages, when you see numbers and signs and are led to things… when a spirit comes and stands at the foot of your bed and takes your unborn baby’s spirit… what do you do?  Freak.  Loser.  Shut up.  Pompous, to even THINK such a thing.  It’s no wonder you don’t hear about people having that gift.  Most people who even have hints of it shove it away and claim something benign and acceptable like ‘servant’, instead.  This is why I miss Herb.  He’s the ONLY other one I’ve ever met.  The only other one!  Do you know how sad that is?  Everything about spirituality these days is a MESS.  I have no one to talk to who knows what I feel/see.

    But as for what ‘faith things’ I’ve taken away from the series, it includes being true to yourself.  Embracing what you’ve been given.  Seeking Truth and Light.  Being available, no matter how scary the news, how eerie the coincidences.  Putting the pieces together to see what needs to be seen.  Oh, yes, I can definitely relate.

    We’re starting season four.  I haven’t been afraid, haven’t had any oppression from it.  In fact, instead, I find myself watching Melinda’s struggles and seeing a kindred spirit (okay, FAKE – it’s TV, for pity’s sake – but kindred, nonetheless… because that’s about as close as I’m going to get, apparently).  But at this point, I feel as if I was led to the series for encouragement purposes.  That there was a deeper meaning to it, meant for me.  Her story is parallel to mine in SO many ways.  And yes, that’s coming from a person with a different perspective from… well, pretty much everyone else I’ve ever met, but… that’s why I love the show.

  • Retorno de Solana
    ((or, ‘The Return of Solana’))

    It. Has. Been. YEARS since I’ve posted much of anything about Javier Solana.  I haven’t had to.  He has been doing things very different than what had brought him to my attention, originally.  You could say that instead of filling the canvas, he’s spent the past three and a half years adding minute details.  Still vital to the overall picture, but less obvious to people.

    But wait, you say.  Who is Javier Solana?
    Well, frankly I believe that he’s the Anti-Christ.

    Javier Solana was in charge of NATO for years.  He was a Spanish diplomat who rose in power in Europe until he was the single most important living person on earth.  His colleagues told the press that Solana ‘played the dark side of politics’, and the amount of power this man wielded was incredible.  He was the High Representative of the European Union for ten years.  During that time, he humiliated Putin, turned the prime ministers of the WEU nations into buffoons, orchestrated ALL of the talks between Israel and Gaza (with Condoleeza and Blair), and he’s the guy who created the ENPI.

    Which is where I should back up.  Because likely you’re wondering what I’m talking about.  The ENPI was the European Neighborhood Policy Initiative.  What that was is a treaty.  You see, twenty-seven nations of Europe had united to form the Revived Roman Empire.  Nations were vying to join across the continent.  It was a viable, incredible, and vast empire that (in 2007) looked like it might surpass the United States as the next superpower.  The ‘hub’ of this empire was a 10-nation governing body called the WEU.  At the head of this ‘wheel’ was one man, driving the vehicle: the High Representative, Javier Solana.

    He drafted the ENPI, because so many nations wanted to join up with this empire, that they weren’t even European, anymore.  So the ENPI was the ‘middle eastern’ branch of the EU.  Solana drafted a 7-year ‘covenant’ with them, so that if these nations signed on, they would enjoy benefits from the Revived Roman Empire (EU) that other nations didn’t.  Israel was the first to sign on to the ENPI, followed soon after by the other middle eastern countries.  It went into effect 1/1/07.

    Now for those who don’t much pay attention to prophecy, in the book of Daniel, we are told that there will be FIVE empires:  The Egyptians, the Greeks, the Medo-Persians, the Romans, and then a future Revived Roman Empire – the EU.  We’re told that there will be ‘ten horns’ that run this last empire – the WEU.  We are told (Dan 9:27) that the coming prince will be from this last empire [Solana], and that he will make a covenant with many that will be set for seven years – the ENPI.

    Until my lifetime, there was never a Revived Roman Empire.  There wasn’t a 10-nation hub running it.  There wasn’t a prince, or a covenant with many with a duration of seven years.  But in 2007, there was the EU, the WEU, the ENPI… and Javier Solana.   The crazy thing was that NOBODY knew this guy.  He was the highest level diplomat on earth.  He had more power than Bush or Sharon or Putin.  When pompous ass Hilary Clinton replaced Condoleeza as Secretary of State, she swaggered overseas, and within five minutes, Solana was giving her orders to jump and she was asking how high on the way down.  This man… there is just something about him.  You’d have to read back to see, it’s freakin’ CRaZy how he works.

    Then, three and a half years into the treaty, Solana announced his ‘retirement’.  It was out of nowhere.  It was like he knew something was going to happen, and he didn’t want to be associated with it, so he bailed.  Or maybe (and more plausibly), he decided that it was time to show the empire how vital he was to them… for future use.  Regardless, immediately, Europe fell apart.  Diplomatic talks between Israel and Gaza were no longer making headway.  In fact, everything started to crumble, from the economy to the Israeli talks to Iranian nuclear dealings, and the EU was no longer a viable world power.  This is NOT coincidental.  Solana was up to something.  People like that have an agenda, and I might not be able to figure out what he’s thinking or what his plans are, but there’s never a ‘retirement’.  But the WEU disbanded in 2010 during the crumble… irony, considering that the book of Daniel says the 7-year covenant will be broken halfway thru.

    It’s been about three years, and Solana has all but fallen off the map.  Not that he was ever on it – I watched for him, and for a man with his authority, nobody even knew his name.  I’m pretty sure if I say ‘Putin’ or ‘Abbas’ or ‘Sharon’ or ‘Condoleeza’… or even ‘Kim Il Jong’, you know who I’m talking about.  If you mention the name ‘Solana’, it doesn’t ring a bell for anyone.  And ((((shocker)))) the church was completely oblivious to any of this.  Totally asleep and worthless.

    In these past three years, Solana has been on college boards, was involved in scientific think-tanks, was on minor committees, and involved in intellectual endeavors.  All really low-key stuff.  I haven’t bothered to look him up, because Bjorn (Farmer) watched him exclusively, and so if I want to see anything pertaining to Solana, I just go to Bjorn’s site.  Makes my life just that much easier.  I met Bjorn on Herb Peter’s site – Herb being the prophet that showed me all of these things, originally, when I was first called to my gift.  Of course Herb passed away just as these things were coming to pass (2007), and now Herb’s daughter has renounced everything Herb taught (the idiot).  With Herb gone, the EU failing, the WEU disbanded, the ENPI defunct, and Solana ‘retired’, it’s been a very quiet three years.

    Until today.  I popped in to check Bjorn’s site, because… well, the pope is retiring.  I’ve been thinking a lot on Peter the Roman, the coming leader in Rome.  I’ve been thinking of men with power.  And naturally, I thought of Solana.  So I jumped over to see if there was any news.  And this is what Bjorn posted:

    Trade Agreement between the U.S./EU possible in less than two years
    Madrid, 16 Feb (AP) – The former head of European diplomacy Javier Solana said today that it will be possible to reach an agreement to create a transatlantic free trade area in less than two years. Within a session on integrated Europe in the days of the Spanish socialists, former high representative for foreign policy community deemed the announced free trade area between the United States and the European Union (EU) as “an extraordinary idea”.
    Responding to questions from netizens, Javier Solana said he hoped that bilateral negotiations are rapid and stressed that the free trade area will be the biggest step ever taken in relations between the U.S. and EU.


    And I thought… “Wait. Solana is negotiating trade agreements?  NO. Way.”  It’s been so long since I’d seen him step up and say something like that – it was kind of a shocker.  That’s really something.  But the post just before this was even more interesting:

    FEBRUARY 02: …February 2, 2013 in Munich, Germany. The Munich Security Conference brings together senior figures from around the world to engage in an intensive debate on current and future security challenges and remains the most important independent forum for the exchange of views by international security policy decision-makers.

    some parts from the program:

    Saturday, 2 February 2013
    9:15 – 11:15 Statements & Discussion:     
    Venue: Conference Hall, Hotel Bayerischer Hof

    Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
    Vice President, United States of America, Washington, D.C.
    Dr. Guido Westerwelle
    Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs, Federal Republic of Germany, Berlin
    Sergey V. Lavrov
    Minister of Foreign Affairs, Russian Federation, Moscow
    Anders Fogh Rasmussen
    Secretary General, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Brussels…

    17:00 – 18:30 Breakout Session
    Venue: Kleine Komödie, Hotel Bayerischer Hof
    Chairman: Dr. Javier Solana
    Former Secretary General of NATO; former Secretary General of the European Council; former High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Madrid…

    Ho. Lee. Shit.  Will you look at that!  He’s back on the scene, with the heads of state, again.  And yes, Catherine Ass, er, um, Ashton was also in attendance, but we all know how ineffectual she is – her own colleagues have tried on more than one occasion to remove her from the scene, and even Solana said she wasn’t going to ever cut it in his old position.  Obviously, he was right:  Look who’s chairing the session – and it’s isn’t Lady Catherine!

    For a little extra fun, here’s an article showing Solana (okay, the back of his head) as he is part of the resuming of talks with Iran over their nuclear program.  What the heck?!?!?!  He’s not even High Rep and he’s doing High Rep stuff!!  You don’t see Catherine Ashton hugging the Iranian diplomat!

    I’m just… well, the timing is ironic, don’t you think?  February 2013: Solana steps back into the diplomatic scene, and eleven days later (luv THAT number), Pope Benny the Rat announces his resignation.  One stepping down, one stepping up.  I am SO watching what is happening with this.  Because I think we’re seeing the return of Solana.  And it could be very, very interesting!