Life and Strength

I am your life and your strength. By My hand I am increasing your vitality and strength in this timeframe. The new wine of My Spirit is being poured out in a vintage that you have not tasted of in times past.” (The Father Says Today 11 October 2017)

Without wanting to sound dramatic, I think it’s fair to say that I’ve never enjoyed good health in my life, since I was a teenager.

At the age of 16, on board ship in the tropics, I was given a massive dose of every antibiotic the ship’s doctor had in his pharmacy. That got me on my feet in time to disembark, but only days later effects began to manifest. Before long, my parents sought medical help, but it was not forthcoming. “Spots on the face? That’s just teen-related,” was the verdict.

Well, of course, for a teenager, spots on the face is a serious business, whatever the cause. But they didn’t diminish with time, and soon other symptoms followed – tiredness, digestive problems, pain in the stomach, and more skin issues. The tiredness got to the point where I was tested for bilharzia (schistosomiasis) – negative.    Pains in the stomach had me tested for gall-bladder issues, and with a barium meal test – both negative. I had treatment for thyroid, and though that was helpful, it didn’t fix the problem. There was (almost) an endoscopy for stomach ulcer: aborted at the last minute.

I gave up on orthodox medicine, and tried to follow a diet that gave me the least digestive issues, while researching alternative health. I had no idea what was wrong with me, but I knew for sure it was not ‘all in the head‘, as some doctors alleged.

Through all this, I got 2 university degrees – the second in Law, while working  in a legal position in government. So one might say, “Well, you can’t have been that sick.”

True, I wasn’t confined to bed, or hospitalized, but I continually felt ‘under the weather’ and most of the time life was a struggle. In my first year of study after I got the government job, I only achieved 1 law unit – though I enrolled for the normal 4. That was because of exhaustion. The only way to combat that was to move my lodgings as close to the university as possible, to make evening study less of a hassle.

Time marched on – without letup in the problems. Finally one day, as Regional Solicitor for the ACC in the Waikato, I conducted a hearing into a complaint by a lady denied cover for an illness contracted while picking a bed of sprayed asparagus. I was impressed by the knowledge and open-minded approach of the doctor who gave evidence for her. I decided to consult him.

When I told him my story, he didn’t have to think twice. His immediate diagnosis was Candidiasis – ie an overgrowth of candida organisms in the gut: something I had never heard of before. He said the huge dose of antibiotics did indeed kill off all organisms in my gut – the friendly ones as well as the unfriendly ones. This gave the Candida carte blanche to take over the territory. “I can’t prove it”, he told me, “but I will put you on treatment and if I am right, you will be very sick for a while.”

Sick I was.

I was lecturing in business law at the Hamilton Polytechnic and some of my male students told me I didn’t look well (!). One day – fortunately while my parents were visiting – I woke up from a mid-morning sleep feeling so bad my father drove me to my afternoon lecture because I felt as if my head wasn’t attached to my body.   Definitely not safe to drive.

“Little green men….” the doctor had said.   Such is the effect of ‘die-off’, when the Candida organisms are killed off and their toxins flood the system. How I got through that lecture, I don’t know. For some weeks I was tired, slept a lot of the time,  generally felt horrible, and was difficult to live with.

But at least I had a diagnosis – after 27 years of trying.

It needs to be said that in those days, the general medical profession was in total denial about the implication of antibiotics in the spread of Candida.  Even today, very few accept it – especially health professionals.  This is largely the work of the pharmaceutical companies, who encourage doctors and veterinarians to administer antibiotics regularly as a backstop, whatever the problem may be – ‘just in case’.  Aaah alas, the mighty dollar…

It may be years before the issue is brought into the open.

I moved away from the Waikato to the family 10 acre property. As we all tend to do, I hoped as time went on that I had got over it. I swore off bread, mushrooms, and other yeast products (so that’s why beer never agreed with me).  I kept away from too much sugar, and boxed on. But still things were not right.

Then while working in a local health store the chance came to consult a visiting iridologist who was with one of the major health companies. She told me she could see signs of Candida throughout my body. That was a shock. My spleen, she said, was enlarged.

I didn’t even know where my spleen was.   So I went home, consulted the books, and found the acupressure point for the spleen is under the bottom rib on the left. All of a sudden I realized here was the reason for the unexplained tenderness I had felt there for years, and which I had always put down to my bra “biting” me. It looked as if my immune system was shot.

By way of explanation: if you think you know all about ‘thrush’, you don’t know enough.   Candida being a yeast or fungus has roots similar to the white, silky roots of mushrooms and toadstools – roots that invade the bodily tissues: it is indeed a serious business if it gets the upper hand in your system.  It had had the upper hand in my system for 27 years.

It was frightening.

I had access to all the latest alternative products on the market, and tried many of the promising ones. Some helped, but still there was no final resolution. It was going to take more than that.

One Power was keeping His hand on me through all this, though I was only nominally a Christian and He had not yet openly come to my aid. That was soon to happen:

“…the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

There was a warfare going on in my life, that I hadn’t identified as such – a spiritual battle that started in my teens and had intensified as the years passed by.  I am truly grateful that throughout all the years of this drama, with the exception of one period of treatment with Nilstat, I was kept away from taking Big Pharma’s drugs: grateful, too, that in spite of the struggles and weariness, I managed to make a success out of the ‘corporate’ talents the Father gave me.

The Enemy was on my case:  I was truly under attack – mainly in the area of health, but there were other things happening also, of which I was totally unaware.  Indeed, if you had said the words ‘spiritual warfare‘ to me, I wouldn’t have had a clue what you were talking about.

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”  (Hosea 4:6)

More to follow

Patricia

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No Weapon Shall Prosper

weapon-lionIn the aftermath of the US election, a move is being orchestrated to incite lawlessness for the purpose of upsetting and intimidating the American people.

America has exercised its democratic right to choose, and (as it was to a lesser extent with Brexit) some folk are just not happy to see things not going their way.   Obviously, there were people with a big investment in achieving the alternative outcome, and that big investment has ramifications of One World Government and world domination.  This is serious:  a strong, vital, independent America has always been a bulwark against oppression.

But over the last few years, Americans and many others have had to witness the inexorable decline of American values and America’s integrity as a world power.  It was the intention of some people that that process should continue.

One has to ask, “Where is respect for democracy?”    Democracy is the very cornerstone of the American nation, the very foundation it was built on, and the basic reason that people emigrated to live in the States in the first place.  Democracy is also a huge threat to those who want to run the world to suit their own agendas.  The upheaval we see now is the clearest indication yet of the spiritual warfare that has gone on and is still going on behind the scenes to bring America down.

At this difficult time, I would like to stand with the American people and recall to mind the following:

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“No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord”      (Isaiah 54:17)

Stand strong, America – stand strong on your core values.  Remember where your Founding Fathers placed their trust, and how well that served America in years gone by.  Support your new President-elect, whether you voted for him or not, bearing in mind that your freedoms lie rooted in the democratic process.

I believe the Lord has His hand on Trump and that the Jezebel Curse over the USA is broken at last.   I am not an American, but I feel we all need to have the grace to lay aside prejudices, stand back, and let the Lord do His work on and through him. If we don’t have that grace, then we need to pray for it.

Blessings on America at this time.

Patricia

http://damascusroad.news

Black Night of the Soul – 2

black-night2-lionSo there I was, with all these worries about my mother’s alzheimers and the mental baggage weighing heavily.

I literally didn’t know any more what I wanted to achieve with my life.

All that stood before me seemed to be the slippery, downward slope. Even my art, my true, lifetime’s Heartland, looked like a hopeless cause.   It was very hard – impossible even – to settle down and create a painting that I could not be sure of selling quickly, when I badly needed to establish an income ‘NOW’.

Desperate, I analysed my situation, and decided I couldn’t do anything about having to look after my mom, but I could maybe do something about my thinking.  What we think – consciously or subconsciously – is the key to what we get in life, isn’t it?   I knew that much.  I also realised the way I was going, there was a real danger of bringing about the very situation I feared most.   Scary.

I turned again to my favourite self-help books – by John Kehoe, as it happens. ‘Goals and visualising‘ were the buzzwords, but even that was beyond me.  After all the crashes, I had no faith in my ability to come up with sensible goals.  ‘Visualising’ was a bad joke, setting goals was a bad joke – not to mention impossible.  So I laid the books aside – they didn’t inspire me anymore.

Things were black and I knew it.

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Finally a plan formed, born somehow out of the barren waste of the mind:  get right back to basics, none of this fancy visualising, goal setting nonsense.  Focus totally on weeding out the brain’s incessant chatter from day to day, minute to minute.

This wasn’t taken from any book or self-help course of the day.  It felt like entirely my own plan (although looking back I’m sure even then it was born with the Lord’s help) –  so I asked for guidance and monitored my thought patterns rigorously.

Every time I caught myself worrying about the future and losing my home, I looked around for things to give thanks for right there.

I gave thanks for the sky and the trees and the flowers and the house I live in, instead of looking at all the things about the place that needed doing (and they were many).  I gave thanks for my pets instead of reflecting that maybe they shouldn’t be in the house, or chiding myself and getting upset because someone had made a mess.  I gave thanks for my mother – alzheimers or no.  I tried to pick up on every single negative thought and turn it into thanks instead of a stress factor.

I didn’t realise then that I was following words written by St Paul to the believers in Corinth:
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  (2 Corinthians 10:5 – probably one of the most difficult letters he ever had to write.)

This is NOT an easy practice – it requires courage, concentration, much determination  and persistence, long term.  The brain loves wallowing in negativity and doesn’t like being disciplined – it will in fact try to make you feel like a fool for saying anything positive.  Yes, that happened to me, big time.

The answer is to just grit your teeth and say the positive, grateful stuff anyway, whether you believe in what you are saying or not – whether or not you feel like saying it, whether or not you feel like a fool.  Say it out loud, if possible.  The mental attitude will improve with practice, believe me.

I know for many people the idea of giving thanks does not go down well – they like to think that any good things they have are due solely to their own efforts.  That is a big mistake and is the root cause of dissatisfaction, limitations and unhappiness in life.

Believe me, gratitude is THE KEY to turning your life around, the key to improving your body chemistry and opening the door for more good things to flow in.   It is (as I found out later) completely scriptural, and I outline it here in the hope that this information will help someone else battling with problems and ingrained mental strongholds that seem completely overwhelming.

More next time

Patricia

http://damascusroad.news/

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Black Night of the Soul – 1

black-night-lionThis is an updated excerpt from my blog The Alzheimers Carer, written during and immediately after my 10 years stint as sole carer for my mother, whose life was taken over by alzheimers.

It follows on from comments I made in my last post about how readily the wrong kind of thoughts can overpower and dominate our minds.   Knowing what I know, this has still happened to me a second time.  The enemy is fully aware of our weaknesses – in my case a penchant for self-criticism – and he plays those to the max.

At the time of these events, I had no deep, personal relationship with the Lord, though I called myself a christian, and only a limited knowledge of the huge wealth of help and guidance to be found within the covers of the Bible, and in truly following Him.

About the year 2004, I could not see anything good left in life for me.  By way of background, I was a lawyer by profession and worked as a government lawyer and a law lecturer.  I was successful at my job, had my own home, and a comfortable income.  After my father’s early death (leukaemia), I was faced with the decision of staying put with a job, or moving home to the beloved family property in the country without one.  Never one to pass up a challenge, I chose the latter option.

This is not the place to go into details, but suffice to say for 17 years everything I touched to bring in an income had failed – largely for reasons outside my control.  I am reminded that after I got up here a number of people said to me, “Well, the saying is, ‘Come North and go broke.'”  As always, one hopes this kind of forecast isn’t true – but then, how did it get to be a forecast?   And so the seeds of doubt are sown.

The final failures were due to the growing restrictions imposed by my mom’s developing alzheimers condition.  Two promising attempts at setting up a real-life graphics and web design business fell under the wheels of THAT chariot.

It was like being thwarted at one turn after another. On top of that, my capital was gone, and my last attempt at business left me in debt.

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There I was, living on the benefit (for which I was grateful), with debts to meet, and completely tied to the house looking after my mom.  With almost 2/3 of our income derived from her – her own pension and a small army pension of my father’s –  I couldn’t see how in the long term I could afford to keep the beautiful place I had moved home to enjoy.  I felt I was staring down an endless black tunnel of my future – where had all the promise of my earlier years gone?  How was I going to survive if my mom died?

How was I going to survive if she didn’t?

The property was still in her name because I had put my capital into developing  businesses.  In this country and probably in yours too, government has now empowered itself to sieze the property of elderly people going into fulltime care, to offset the cost of keeping them.

At the very least if I put her into care, they would impose a caveat on the place and out of their ‘largesse’ allow me to live there until I died.  Isn’t that nice?   Especially after I had saved them so much in fees for elderly care over the years.  I can tell you – it would be the last straw.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that if I had owned this property then and had absolutely nothing to lose by putting my mom into care, I would not have done a single thing differently.  In fact if I did own the place she and my father worked so hard to develop, it would probably have been even harder for me to consider institutionalising her.  And there were ‘friends’ who, to salve their own consciences, advised me to do just that, every time I saw them.

My real worries lay in the future.  The completely, totally and always uncertain future.  I was haunted by those elderly permanent residents I saw in our hospital/rest home, laid out in special padded, reclining chairs and fed with spoons.

Many people around me didn’t know how I carried on as it was.   My fear was how I would carry on if looking after my mother came to that.

More next time.

Patricia

http://damascusroad.news/

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Wonderful Counselor

come-lionGoing ‘through the mill’ is something I’m familiar with.  I came to the Lord in October 2006  at a time of great trial.

I had come north to live on the family’s 10 acre property following my father’s death.  I loved the place too much to sell, and at the time it seemed like a great adventure.  Stepping into my father’s shoes, getting a half-finished house completed, establishing a dairy goat stud (my idea), were all challanges that I ran with.  As a career soldier, my father had great all-round abilities – fencing, planning, building, planting.   I took all that on, and though I had the major fencing done by a contractor,  I was soon using the fence strainers and skillsaw – all helped by my mom, just as she had helped my dad over the years..

But by 1997 it became clear that my mother’s mental condition was deteriorating, and before long she was diagnosed with alzheimers.  There followed 10 years of caring for her sole charge.

I would be lying if I didn’t say that these were trying years.  Gradually, my options in life foreclosed.  From a past career as a highly-paid lawyer in government,  I had become a ‘handmaiden’.  Much as I loved my mom, that did not go down well.  My various options for making an income foreclosed also, though I clung tenaciously to the artistic skills I’d nurtured from childhood, and they and the internet helped me keep my sanity.  There were times when I considered running away – but to what?  My assets were all tied up in the land.  And with a horse, 2 dogs and 4 cats?

I won’t go into the dramas, the worries and the uncertainties.  These are well documented in the blog The Alzheimers Carer, which I wrote at the time.

My mom passed away in February 2007, and I was left with debt and a host of problems.  It was a blessing that I was ‘born again’ – above all else I had that lifeline.

Over the years I’ve been helped mightily by the Lord.  But right now I am in strife, following a decision in September 2014 that it’s time to move from here.  A huge step.

Something that Separates Us from God

Since then, I feel like every problem in the book has been thrown at me, from health issues to dramas around getting the place in order for sale. It has been a nightmare.

Why?

Without actually realising it, I have allowed myself to come under ongoing stress – in other words, attack.   Attack centered on my own feelings of guilt that I hadn’t maintained the property up to scratch during my mom’s illness – as if that were possible when she wouldn’t let me out of her sight.

The accuser has stood alongside, ceaselessly pointing the finger and finding fault.  Though intellectually I know better, I have let him do it.  He is already defeated, and I have been giving him power.  How foolish is that?

And though I ask the Lord for guidance daily, I know I have never really ‘let go’ on this particular issue.  And we absolutely have to do that:

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“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Knowing that and actually doing it, are two very different things.   If we do not let go, He cannot help us.  And that is where I am at.

Lack of faith of this type is actually a sin (by definition, something that separates us from God).

I’ve just enrolled for notifications about a Video Course called “Wonderful Counselor”, starting on 17 October.    Though the course can be bought, there is a brief opportunity to watch the video series free at this time, which is what I am going to do.  I’m passing this information on on for anyone who may feel need of it.

Note – I am not an affiliate of the Christian Leadership School – I have nothing to gain by recommending this.

Blessings
Patricia

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Battlefield Of The Mind – 1

roaring-lionI read the other day an article in which the writer was rubbishing the use of ‘old-time fighting armor’ as irrelevant to present-day illustration of the full armor of God described by Paul in Ephesians 6: 13-17.

Over the centuries, many illustrators and artists (myself included) have used these symbols, and I believe for very good reason.  These depictions of ‘old-fashioned’ armor come closest to the truth of spiritual warfare.

Now let’s get real about this: because we are being deluded into losing touch with reality in so many areas of life.  For example, here in NZ total online schooling of children has now been legislated into being – called COOL schools – WHAT???  Where will these children learn to work together and socialise with their peers and adults?  And for most families – who is going to supervise them at home?  This is typical beaurocratic nonesense.

Our worship of present-day technological advances, beneficial enough in themselves, is bringing about an appalling separation from reality!

For many people, war today is not what it used to be.  Instead of getting kitted out and going forth to fight hand-to-hand with the enemy on the battlefield, many warriors are sitting in war-rooms or high-powered jet fighters, bombers and tanks, pressing buttons.  Obviously, they do not need the body-protecting armor of days gone by – until the war-room gets overrun, the fighters and bombers crash, or the tank’s armor is penetrated, that is.

So – the enemy is trying to tell us that the old armor concepts are outdated, is he?  He is probably also trying to tell us that spiritual armor isn’t necessary.  Lies, lies, as always – didn’t Jesus say (speaking, note, to the religious leaders of His day):

“You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and lived not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”  (John 8:44)

On the contrary, in spiritual warfare ‘body armor’ – and by that I mean the armor metaphors used by Paul in Ephesians 6 – are as essential today as they ever were.  No war-rooms, bunkers, jet fighters, bombers or tanks can protect us from spiritual attack – and of course most of the world’s population is without protection in war-time, or at any other time.  Spiritual warfare penetrates any form of physical defence – and the outcome of battles on the spiritual plane is actually far more crucial for a person than the outcome of physical war.

It is as essential today as it ever was for people to understand the Battlefield of the Mind.  For the individual, the mind is where the crucial battles take place – and one of the greatest problems people have in dealing with spiritual warfare is failure to recognize –

  • that there IS an attack; and
  • where it is coming from.

Because the enemy attacks by putting out ideas and thoughts that we take into our minds (often subconsciously), people have no idea where this stuff originates.  They most often think the thoughts came spontaneously, or that maybe they themselves are reponsible.  In other words, the enemy flies in under the radar.  And who is the enemy?

In 1 Peter 5:8 we are plainly told:

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, like a roaring lion, walks about, seeking whom he may devour.”

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I will talk more about this later, but let me say right now, if you do not believe in a supernatural principal of evil, also called the enemy or the devil, if you think evil ‘just happens’ or some folk ‘just are bad’, then you know a lot less than people in third world countries who deal with this power and its principalities on a daily basis, in a far more open manner than we do.   These people know it only too well.

Wake up!

Patricia

http://damascusroad.news/

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Full Armor of God -Sword Of The Spirit

warrior5-iconI have several of these ‘Warriors in Denim’.

St Paul said this about the full armor of God:
“Therefore take up the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore,

  1. having girded your waist with the belt of Truth,
  2. having put on the breastplate of Righteousness,
  3. having shod your feet with the sandals of the Gospel of Peace;
  4. above all, taking the shield of Faith, with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one,
  5. and take the helmet of Salvation,
  6. and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.”
    Ephesians 6: 13 -17

With the world as it is, we really need this now, AND what’s more…

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…we need ‘righteousness’, ie being in right standing with God (nothing to do with self-righteousness which is most surely the opposite) to avail ourselves of these weapons.

The Sword of The Spirit

Paul elucidates further on the Sword of the Spirit in Hebrews 4:12:

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spiritjoints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

What a powerful weapon that is!  Especially for discernment, which is much needed in today’s world.

In this regard, note the importance of being prepared for spiritual warfare,  emphasized in my post Changing The Battle Ground.

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Artwork and Products available in my Damascus Road Gallery. Or click on the images.

Patricia

http://damascusroad.news

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