Monday, March 31, 2014

I Am Always Good

Psalm 34:8 - Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

John 20:19 - On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."

Colossians 3:15 - And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

I John 1:5 - This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. 

Dear God, I want to believe so much that You ARE good, but it is so hard right now. You are calling me to write a letter that will be very hard but very necessary to give certain individuals another opportunity to do the right thing and come together into a meeting to try to seek restoration. And of course, now dealing with some other challenges that have disrupted things, and feeling punished for being honest. Again. God, please hear the cry of my heart today and please move things and answer my needs and desires that are in line with Your word and Your will today and this week. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, a Amen!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Observation

Most Republicans on Facebook hate facts. Hardcore facts. How do I know? Because when presented with facts, they call others names. Very hurtful and often unrepeatable names. And they often claim to be Christians. 

Here is a little known fact about new ACA plans: Many do not require consumers to meet any of the deductible before covering services. How do I know? Because I have one. And shh.... But it means that insurance is actually working now! YES! 

Also, I now understand exactly what the phrase JUNK PLAN means. I had a classic example of it this past week as I was at the doctor's office dehydrated and in need of an IV treatment. A junk plan is one that when an emergency strikes isn't really there at all. How do I figure? Let me break it down.

Under the pre-ACA plan, one of two things would have been required for me to receive that life-saving IV fluid. Option one: Pre-approval. In the meantime, I was so dehydrated, my brain was literally becoming unresponsive. Option two: ER and wait until they decide when to finally get me in. Either way, we are talking a bare minimum of $500 in charges if not more.

BUT, get this: Under the new ACA-compliant plan, the oncologist's office ran it through the insurance and found that the treatment was covered at 100% of the allowed amount. I paid my copay. And the deductible did not have to be met first. And here's the kicker: The ACA put the power of care back in the hands of the doctor and the patient and the patient's family! Yes, you read at right! 

By the way, it is almost April, and I have a $500 deductible with my new plan and still have not met it even though I have had a lot of medical care this year. So continues the life of a patient wih chronic health conditions. For the first time in my life as an insured person, I have insurance that actually works for me. 

Now if only my representatives would actually follow suit, everything might have a chance of looking up. Haha.

By the way, I do not consider myself democrat, but I do have more liberal leanings of late. However, I am also conservative in other areas. Stop boxing people in unless they come right out and say what they are. I am a progressive thinking Christian who sees life from a different perspective because of how my life experiences have shaped me. And I follow Matthew 25:31-46 in all my ways. I am a Christian revolutionary if you would. I am a young adult sick of organized religion that has become abusive to the least of these and corrupted by leaders who are selfish and arrogant and refuse to acknowledge their faults when they are pointed out and called to more. That is what I am. 

Anyway, those are my observations today.

I Will Take Care of You

Deuteronomy 33:27 - The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms. And he thrust out the enemy before you and said, Destroy.

Proverbs 3:5 - Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Jeremiah 29:13-14 - You will seek me and find me. When you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I have sent you into exile.

Dear God, I thought I could trust Your provision for me but hateful people are out there harming me every time I turn around. Now I am being starved to death just because I am disabled, and it really hurts. Lazy people who CAN work get full benefits while disabled people get cut off from having food? And because of the abuse I suffered from a church for having autism, I have no resources for making sure I have food. Allergy free foods are not cheap! It isn't fair God! It isn't fair! The republicans have really screwed up big time. Yet they claim to be Christians. Well, if they were truly Christians, they would make sure I have enough resources to have enough food to eat, get the healthcare I need, and can save for emergencies! They have been sitting on the ABLE Act for over seven years now! Without that, I am not able to save for an emergency. If an emergency happened today, it could cost me $5000, but I am not allowed to even have $2000 in my name. Without proper food, I can get sick and die. But do they care? No! And now I am beginning to wonder if YOU care now as well. Just when I thought You cared, something else came along to mess things up for me and shake my trust in You. I am wavering today. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Everything in Its Own Time

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 - For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

John 16:33 - I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.

Dear God, Help me write the letter You have called me to do when it is the right time. I am waiting for You. And I am trying to trust that You WILL work things out from there. Thank You! In Jesus' Name, Amen!


A Journey to Trust

Trust is definitely a journey! But I will start with small things and eventually get to bigger things.

I prayed for healing and asked many others to pray for healing as I began to suffer from the dehydration that long term stomach viruses can sometimes cause. By the time I got to the doctor yesterday, even my blood pressure gave the telltale sign that I was too dehydrated to even have routine blood work done. They had to do an IV for hydration.

So now I am going to write something here. I know many of you know that I am a Christian and I do support the Affordable Care Act. Because it is personal for me. 

Before the ACA, I had a BCBS plan from 2003 that was a special open enrollment plan and heavily underwritten. In the end, it became nothing more than a catastrophic plan, essentially only covering major medical expenses. Under that plan, if I had needed the IV therapy I received yesterday, I would have either had to wait for pre-approval (which could have killed me) or been seen through the ER. Now, at that point, it would have cost $300 for facility plus $50 minimum for doctor plus the IV bag, IV tubing, needle, bandages, alcohol wipes. Grand total would have been a minimum of $500. 

But I have an ACA-compliant plan. And it is a gold level plan. And when they ran things through at the doctor's office (oncologist), it came back covered at 100% of the allowed amount. 

The ACA has essentially put the power back in the hands of the doctors and the patients and the patients' families! 

Now I want to express something here. You see a lot of people are intentionally spreading misinformation to dissuade people from signing up and getting insured. 

What the ACA is: 

1. A set of regulations by which all insurance companies must comply.
2. Protection for patients who have pre-existing conditions and for patients who get sick after getting insured. No more denials, no more drops, no more lifetime caps.
3. A list of ten essential benefits, though if I could change this I would make pediatric benefits optional and allow them to be exchanged with adult vision and dental. 

What the ACA is NOT: 

1. Insurance.

What the marketplace is:

1. A key to all available insurance plans in the area in which a person lives.

Who the marketplace is for:

1. People who make a minimum of $11,000 per year.
2. People who do not qualify for Medicaid either because their state did not expand the program or because they are not disabled.

What the marketplace does:

1. It uses the information the applicant provides to determine based on income and family dynamics whether a person is eligible to receive assistance with paying for his or her monthly premiums. 
2. It helps the applicant find the plan that best fits his or her needs and makes suggestions based on the provided information. 

Essentially, the ACA is still driven by the insurance industry. 

I used to think that the only place where Jesus really nails down exactly how the least of these is to be treated was in Matthew 25:31-46 until the other day when I ran into a passage in the book of Psalms where God said almost the exact same thing there too! It was Psalm 72:12-14.

Listen Christian, if you really are a Christian, then you need to throw yourself behind the ACA as much as you can. You need to throw yourself behind SNAP, SSI, SSDI, VA benefits, and any other social program that is helping the least of these. Are there parts of these programs that need to be fixed? Absolutely! But they need to be simply fixed. No more cries of repeals. No more cries of cuts. No more of that. Because when you do that, you are a bully and an abuser of the very people whom God says you need to show the most grace and compassion to.

Look, I experienced abuse and bullying as soon as a church learned that I have autism. It was wrong. And the friend I had knew it was wrong and did nothing about it and ended up committing an act of bullying and abuse himself. Instead of doing what God would have him to do and show me grace in a time when I needed it the most, he threw me under the bus and crushed me when I was already down.

And get this, I could go on being angry about it or I could do the one thing that I am now being advised and instructed to do. I could take the higher road and reach out to him with grace and love and compassion and forgiveness and then turn around and do the same for those people at his church that hurt me. And then I will have to trust that God will work things out. 

And all of this comes from the one simple act of trusting God to help heal me of the stomach virus that sent me into dehydration and caused me to need an IV that was covered by a new ACA compliant plan. 

One more thing: If you are a Christian, take note on this. Either you believe that God is sovereign and therefore everything under heaven that happens is part of His plan and His purpose including the fact that Obama is president and the ACA exists or you do not believe God is sovereign and you have to say it out loud in admission. For if God is sovereign, then you need to remember that Romans 13 says you are to pay your taxes and that you are to respect all authority under heaven that God places over you, and that includes the president, no matter how much you might not like him. Do you believe that God is sovereign? If so, stop the disrespect of the president. Stop calling him anything that is not his name. Stop complaining about a law that is helping millions of Americans every day. Stop complaining that some of your tax dollars are going to help people who may have fallen down on their luck. Just stop. Do you know what will happen if you truly embrace the sovereignty of God? You begin to feel at peace. About everything. And you begin to see God at work. In everything. And that is the most valuable thing that can possibly happen to someone. Trust me. I know. Because I am beginning to experience God in all His sovereignty now. 

Like a Little Child

Isaiah 26:3 - You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.

Mark 10:15 - "Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it."

Mark 10:15 (ICB) - I tell you the truth. You must accept the kingdom of God as a little child accepts things, or you will never enter it.

Philippians 2:14-18 - Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice.

Dear God, Please help me trust You like a little child and never to lose the innocence that I do have. Maybe it is that innocence of a little child that I still have that let's me believe that You will bring Tom and I into needed conversation. And maybe that is exactly what is needed. Thank you. In Jesus' Name, Amen!


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I Am the Greatest Blessing

Romans 12:2 - Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Colossians 1:27 - To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

Revelation 2:4 - But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.

Revelation 2:4 - Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.

Dear God, Thank You for Your love and for being in my life. Help me not lose focus on You and help me always desire the things You would have me desire and the things You say I should desire in Your Word - be it peace with others, restoration with others, forgiveness, for the least of threes to be treated right by others, or whatever. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

While You Wait

Psalm 16:11 - You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Isaiah 40:30-31 - Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Lamentations 3:24-27 - "The Lord is portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hpe in him." The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.

Lamentations 3:26 - It is good to wait quietly for the Lord to save. 

Dear God, Waiting is definitely not easy, especially when waiting for and on You to do what. You are going to do. But You are telling me that waiting for and trusting in You will bring great blessings. Help me move forward in trust to write the letter, print it out, and mail it off. And move in the hearts of the recipients to move them to do the right thing. Strengthen me and fill me with Your presence while I wait. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!


Monday, March 24, 2014

No Grumbling, Please

I Corinthians 10:9-10 - We must not put Christ to the test, as some of them did and were destroyed by serpents, nor grumble, as some of them did and were destroyed by the Destroyer. 

I Thessalonians 5:18 - give hanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 

Hebrews 12:28-29 - Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.

Dear God, Thank You God. But may I have permission to grumble today? Not about anything I know You would have me to do, but about the fact that I am down with a stomach virus that has not allowed me to absorb anything from what I have eaten or drank. Talk about rapid transit! And more about the fact that there are people on Facebook who claim to be Christians who attacked me yesterday. All I did was express my opinion about something that was posted by the al.com page and why I had that opinion. Then someone launched an attack by asking if I worked or was on government assistance. I didn't have to answer but I explained that I am disabled and was deemed unemployable right now. The next thing I know is that he and someone else had the nastiness enough to call me a lazy moocher! How does being disabled make me lazy?!? The guy who launched the attack claimed I showed ignorance. So I threw it back that his rude and wrongful assumption was what showed ignorance only to get attacked by someone else. How about this fact? In Alabama, the governor out politics over people in his refusal to expand Medicaid. Because of that if a person make less than $11,000, the ACA is not helping him/her. To make $11,000, one must be working. To make that and only have nontaxable income, one would have to make at least $1000 a month. So in Albama, if one has over $2000 in assets, one is screwed. And it doesn't matter if the person is disabled and unable to make income from a job either. Our Medicaid system in Alabama is messed up. It also doesn't favor disabled adults either as it is nothing more than a non-guaranteed supplement for private insurance. But in Alabama, if you end up qualified for Medicaid, suddenly the ACA is not your best friend anymore even if you do still need private insurance because you no longer qualify for assistance like all the other people do. Disabled does NOT equal lazy though and I think anyone who says stupid stuff like that needs to be hung by the toes and made to suffer like those of us who they insult like that. I challenge anyone to actually try to tell me that nonsense to my face. I mean that. But get this, being disabled is not a result of sin either. I was abused for having autism, the autism was treated as though it was a sin. Now part of what You are calling me to do is to rise above and offer Tom and his church another opportunity to REALLY work through the conflict in a way that does NOT involve exclusionary documents but inclusionary techniques and goals and to educate them on YOUR heart toward people like me and why it is important for them to embrace it and not resist it. You are calling me to more and asking me to call them to more. And just like the student in God's Not Dead, it is a mighty calling. And I accept it. And if You are calling me to do it, I know that You bring about results. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

I Won't Let You Down

Psalm 89:15-16 - Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face, who exult in your name all the day and in your righteousness are exalted.

Isaiah 41:13 - For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, "Fear not, I am the one who helps you."

Hebrews 13:8 - Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Dear God, Sometimes letting go is necessary but when letting go has had no closure or letting go involves unresolved conflict, it is impossible to let go. Because You said we need to aim for peace and restoration if we are believers. And it is harder still when I KNOW the other person did not decide to turn away from me on his own volition but because he was bullied to make the decision and to lie about what happened. God, I are to write the letter I have been advised to write. Well, now it is letters. Please let that be the door or the key to the door to healing and either closure or restoration. Thank You. In Jesus's Name, Amen!


Sunday, March 23, 2014

I Never Run Out

Psalm 36:7-9 - How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.

Psalm 132:15 - I will abundantly bless her provisions; I will satisfy her poor with bread.

Psalm 132:15 (ICB) - I will bless her with plenty of food. I will fill her poor with food.

John 6:1-15 - After this Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. And a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick. Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples. Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, "Where are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?" He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do. Philip answered him, "Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little." One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him, "There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are they for so many?" Jesus said, "Have the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, about five thousand in number. Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated. So also the fish, as much as they wanted. And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, "Gather up the leftover fragments, that nothing may be lost." So they gathered up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, "This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!" Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

Dear God, Thank You God that You NEVER run out of time, love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, or anything else. Unlike Tom who ran out at the first sign of conflict instead of tryng to do what You say and trying to resolve things and ended up becoming an abuser and a bully just like the rest of the leadership at his church who ran out of grace as soon as they got back the autism diagnosis. As You fill me with Your love and grace and forgiveness and compassion and mercy though, it begins to overflow such that I must follow through on the next thing You have called me to do and reach out to them with an offer to meet me in the middle and talk through things. You see, in a way, when they chose to punish me for how YOU created me, they chose to punish YOU. And like that film, God's Not Dead, I need to prove You to them and to the world now. I have been challenged beyond measure because of them, because of Tom. Oh, and I can see characteristics of autism in Jesus. Looking at the passage in John 6 from today's devotional lesson, Jesus travels specifically with twelve disciples. Of those twelve, he has two or three that he truly considers to be His FRIENDS. And although He was a great speaker, whenever He was done, He always sought a place of solitude and isolation afterward. He had to separate from the crowds that tended to always follow Him or find Him. In the John 6 passage, He withdrew because He was afraid that the crowd would try to make Him a king. See, I got asked about why I thought You, God, have characteristics of autism, and then the argument was that Jesus was always with a crowd, and then I broke that down. The response I got was "very interesting way to look at it." Also, I mentioned about how no two colors are the exact same, no two white roses are the same, no two snowflakes the same, and even the platypus. Then I said, "What if we, who have autism, are the normal ones and the rest of the people are not?" In a way, that is true. I am not the weird one. Tom is. Mark is. I embrace my autism as a part of who I am. I embrace it as part of the big huge gift You gave me. It is part of the package of life that YOU gave me. But they tried to change me to fit their mold. And when they couldn't, they tried to isolate me and they punished me for being who YOU created me to be. They punished YOU. You don't run out. People do. Even the people who claim to follow You. Though to truly follow You, they would have to strive to resolve conflict with others. And that is where things are now. My next action that You are calling me to do is to prepare a letter and a chart for them and to send it to them. Then I have to trust that You will follow through on Your part since You are calling me to do this. And as hard as it is for me to trust You, I am going to do just that because You have been coming through on what some people might consider small things (though they are not small at all). Thank You God. In Jesus' Name, Amen!


Saturday, March 22, 2014

A Joyful Heart

Psalm 9:10 - And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek you. 

Psalm 95:1-2 - Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

Philippians 4:4 - Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.

Dear God, okay, so what else can I say other than help me to rejoice more in You? Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen! 


Friday, March 21, 2014

Don't Be Afraid

Psalm 21:6 - For you make him most blessed forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence.

Isaiah 12:2-3 - "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation." With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

Isaiah 12:2 - The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.

Dear God, Fill me with Your song and joy and peace and strength and courage. And help me to not be afraid to take this next step toward offering a key to conflict resolution with at least Tom. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!




Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Gift of the Spirit

Psalm 50:14 - Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High....

II Corinthians 3:17 - Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

II Corinthians 5:5 - He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee. 

II Corinthians 5:5 (ICB) - This is what God made for us. And he has given us the Spirit to be a guarantee for this new life.

Dear God, Thank You for giving me the Holy Spirit. And You are so right! I do not always recognize the blessings that You give me each day. Please multiply my faith and blessings. Thank You! In Jesus' Name, Amen!

I Speak to You in Love

Romans 8:1-2 - There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 

I Corinthians 6:19-20 - Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.

Colossians 1:27 - To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 

Dear God, When Tom basically belittled me and lied about me, he did not use Your words. When Christians ridicule and crush people with their words, they are not using Your words. Your words are loving, kind, gentle, and sometimes Your words rebuke, but they are still loving and kind and full of forgiveness and grace. Help me this week as I gather my words through You to present to the people who hurt me, including Tom. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Speak Life by TobyMac (YouTube)

Some days, life feels perfect
Other days it just ain't workin'
The good, the bad, the right, the wrong
And everything in between

Yo it's crazy, amazing
We can turn a heart through the words we say
Mountains crumble with every syllable 
Hope can live or die

So speak life, speak life
To the deadest darkest night
Speak life, speak life
When the sun won't shine and you don't know why
Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted
Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope
You speak love, you speak...
You speak life (oh oh oh oh oh oh) You speak life (oh oh oh oh oh oh)

Some days the tongue gets twisted
Other days my thoughts just fall apart
I do, I don't I will, I won't
It's like I'm drowning in the deep

Well it's crazy to imagine
Words from our lips as the arms of compassion
Mountains crumble with every syllable
Hope can live or die

So speak life, speak life
To the deadest darkest night
Speak life, speak life
When the sun won't shine and you don't know why
Look into the eyes of the broke hearted 
Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope
You speak love, you speak...
You speak life (oh oh oh oh oh oh) You speak life (oh oh oh oh oh oh)

Lift your head a little higher
Use your words to inspire
Joy will fall like rain
When you speak life with the things you say

Lift your head a little higher
Spread the love like fire
Hope will fall like rain
When you speak life with the words you say

So speak life, speak life
To the deadest darkest night
Speak life, speak life
When the sun won't shine and you don't know why
Look into the eyes of the brokenhearted 
Watch them come alive as soon as you speak hope
You speak love, you speak...
You speak life (oh oh oh oh oh oh) You speak life (oh oh oh oh oh oh)

You speak life (oh oh oh oh oh oh) You speak life (oh oh oh oh oh oh)

Some days life feels perfect


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Don't Get Caught in a Worry-Web

Psalm 84:12 - O Lord of hosts, blessed is the one who trusts in you!

Matthew 6:34 - "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

Matthew 6:34 (ICB) - So don't worry about tomorrow. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Tomorrow will have its own worries.

Dear God, Please take care of me today and take care of me tomorrow. Help me not feel so worried or anxious. Help me not get caught in the web or worries. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

I Understand You Completely

Joshua 1:5 - No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.

Psalm 139:1-4 - O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.

II Corinthians 1:21-22 - And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee (down payment).

Dear God, As much as I appreciate the fact that You understand me completely and will never leave me and will always love me no matter what because You have unconditional grace, it would be great if churches would be more understanding and would demonstrate Your love and Your grace. To have a pastor (Tom) do what he did the way he did it and to have a church leadership full of bullies and abuse and corruption? Well, none of them demonstrated or evidenced Your character. And to do that because of ignorance and hatred of people with special needs? Well, it hurts. Okay? But it would also help if I had a friend, a REAL friend, that would love me and understand me and demonstrate Your same kind of love and grace, a human friend that I can turn to when I need one. Tom claimed to be a friend, but then he turned on me when I most needed grace from him. He kicked me when I already down. He crushed my spirit. And he made me not ever want to have anything to do with You again. No more church for me ever again. Not until You draw him into conversation with me. Not until You open his church to accept me for me with no stupid documents or with a document that does not subject itself to being abused like they already have shown it does. Until that time comes, no more church for me ever again because in my heart, I know that that church IS the ONLY one for me. Which is why I have never been happier except when I was there. But Tom crushed me. And he hasn't repented of it. He hasn't demonstrated forgiveness toward me nor asked for forgiveness for his part. And until he does, there is no hope for me. God, I know You know my heart and my heart's desire, and I know You know my heart is right and good and in line with what You want for me. Make the way. Bring the conversation with Tom AND with his church leadership. Because, in that, healing can begin. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Healing Begins by Tenth Avenue North (YouTube)

So you thought you had to keep this up
All the work that you do
So we think that you're good
And you can't believe it's not enough
All the walls you built up
Are just glass on the outside

So let 'em fall down
There's freedom waiting in the sound
When you key your walls fall to the ground
We're here now

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

Afraid to let your secrets out
Everything that you hide
Can come crashing through the door now
But too scared to face all your fear
So you hide but you find
That the shame won't disappear

So let it fall down
There's freedom waiting in the sound
When you let your walls fall to the ground
We're here now
We're here now, oh

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

Sparks will fly as grace collides
With the dark inside of us
So please don't fight
This coming light
Let this blood come cover us
His blood can cover us

This is where the healing begins, oh
This is where the healing starts 
When you come to where you're broken within
The light meets the dark
The light meets the dark

You Are More by Tenth Avenue North (YouTube)

There's a girl in the corner
With tear stains on her eyes
From the places she's wandered
And the shame she can't hide

She says, "How did I get here?
I'm not who I once was.
And I'm crippled by the fear
That I've fallen too far to love."

But don't you know who you are,
What's been done for you?
Yeah don't you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

Well she tries to believe it
That she's been given new life
But she can't shake the feeling
That it's not true tonight

She knows all the answers
And she's rehearsed all the lines
And so she'll try to do better
But them she's too weak to try

But don't you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

'Cause this is not about what you've done,
But what's been done for you.
This is not about where you've been,
But where your brokenness brings you to

This is not about what you feel, 
But what He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved.

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

You are more than the choices that you've made,
You are more than the sum of past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You've been remade.

You've been remade.
You've been remade.
You've been remade.
You've been remade.

Dear God, I am more than autism. Autism is forever a part of me. Autism can be both good and bad, just like regular people have good and bad days or times. I am gifted. I am smart. I am Yours. I am Your child, Your daughter, and You want me more than I tend to want You. Open the eyes and the minds and the hearts of Tom, Bob, and whoever else there to see that. Bring the conversation that will let the healing begin. In Jesus' Name, Amen!



Lighten Up!

Proverbs 17:22 - A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

Dear God, All I can say after reading this today is PLATYPUS. Why, yes, You do have a sense of humor. And it is a shame when people don't get it. I always say that You have autistic tendencies. After all, looking at Your creation, it is complex and diverse and odd at times. But it is still all very beautiful and evidences Your love and power and creativity. Art is Yours. Music is Yours. What we do with it is what determines where the glory goes. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Hear My Song

Psalm 46:10 - "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!"

Zephaniah 3:17 - The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

Matthew 7:7 - "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."

Dear God, I hear Your song. Probably more than most people. You call me to hear it in a variety of places and in a variety of ways. Sadly, many people do not hear Your song. When I go to the park, I can hear Your song in the gentle breeze that rustles the leaves, the chattering of the squirrels, the singing of the birds, the babbling of the creek. When the snow falls, I can Your song in that. When the rain is soft and gentle, I can hear Your song. When the puppy yaps or the kitten mews, Your song echoes through. Even in the sniffle, Your song breaks through. This is something that many people need to slow down and practice more of. Tom would benefit from this practice of listening for and to Your song. Maybe if he did, he could also hear Your words echo that he should talk with me so we can either have conflict resolution and restoration or at least closure. Maybe if the leaders at his church would learn to listen and practice it, they would actually hear those echoes of how much better it would be for everyone for them to listen to me and work on a better resolution than they have even dreamed of. Open their hearts, their minds, and their ears. Because Your song is coming. And when it does, it will be a beautiful symphony. And simply because this day was about Your song, I want to end with this:

"Let it go, let it go, the autism mind is coming through, let it go, let it go, never let the world stop you, I don't care, what they're going to say, let this mind grow strong, the truth never bothered me anyway."

Haha. God, many people are getting sick of that song. Which must actually be a good thing because the world gets sick of mostly good things and even though the song is not necessarily a Christian song, it is a good song with a good and powerful message. I have said it could be the new autism anthem song. Anything good and powerful has to come from You, for You are good. Thank You for the music, Your music, Your song, in the world and in my heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Quiet You With My Love by Rebecca St. James (YouTube)

Come to me, all who are weary
And I will give you rest
Come to me, all who are weary
And I will give your rest
Lay your head down on my shoulders
Be still my child, rest a while

And I'll quiet you with my love
Rejoice over you with my song, with my song
And I'll quiet you with my love
Rejoice over you with my song, with my song

Come to me, all who are weary
And take my yoke upon you
Come to me, all who are weary
My burden is easy and light

Lay your head down on my shoulders
Be still my child, rest a while

And I'll quiet you with my love
Rejoice over you with my song, with my song
And I'll quiet you with my love
Rejoice over you with my song, with my song

I'll quiet you with my love
Rejoice over you with my song, with my song
And I'll quiet you with my love
Rejoice over you with my song, with my song

And I'll quiet you with my love
Rejoice over you with my song, with my song
And I'll quiet you with my love

My Gift to You

II Corinthians 3:18 - And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:8-9 - For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Ephesians 3:14-19 - For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith--that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 

Ephesians 3:18 (ICB) - And I pray that you and all God's holy people will have the power to understand the greatness of Christ's love. I pray that you can understand how wide and how long and how high and how deep that love is.

Dear God, It is amazing that we can do NOTHING to earn Your love or grace or mercy yet You FREELY give it to us anyway. While the world has a distorted view of this. Tom and hai church displayed to me through what they did that grace either doesn't exist, that they don't truly understand grace, or that grace has to be earned somehow. And I think maybe that is where they have gone wrong. They place a lot of emphasis to people about being in small groups yet they took away the right for me to do that very thing. Then they guilted me over something that they did wrong with regard to it. When they found out about the autism, they punished me for it by taking away my rights to be a part of the body - you can't do this activity because you have autism and this might happen and then this might happen and this is what we think because supposedly autism is like this. Yet the thing is they were misinformed. They didn't bother to consider me or what I was capable of. They assumed that somehow the autism made me less capable. So yes, in a sense I gave up because they gave up on me and they excluded me. I will only put forth the amount of effort that one requires in some cases and when people don't expect much from me for some reason and don't give me the chance to grow and to do and to thrive, I won't try as hard. When they punished me for having autism, I quit trying. Because I figured that no matter how hard I try, it wouldn't matter anyway. Because I had already experienced that with that "team." While I had been trying, they only kept holding me back. So I quit trying. Thankfully God, You haven't given up on me, but now I am not ready because the one thing I know I need to do and the one place I know I need to be, well, it's in Your hands and You have to work on softening their hearts and preparing them for me. They have to be willing to sit down with me and listen to me and receive input from me. They have to be willing to listen without judgment. They have to open their eyes, their ears, and their hearts to listen to me and to work with me. Thank You God, that Your love and grace is not contingent on what I do or how hard I try. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Joy No One Can Steal

John 16:22 - "So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you."

John 16:22 (ICB) - Now you are sad. But I will see you again and you will be happy. And. No one will take away your joy.

John 16:33 - "I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart, I have overcome the world."

Dear God, Help me overcome the troubles in this world. Give me the wisdom to know what to do to do just that. Help me write the letters or e-mails or make the phone calls I need to do in order to aid in doing that. And please give me the peace and joy You have that no one is supposed to be able to take away from me. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Three Little Words

Psalm 27:14 - Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Psalm 27:14 (ICB) - Wait for the Lord's help. Be strong and brave and wait for the Lord's help.

John 14:1 - "Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me."

Hebrews 6:13-20 - For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, "Surely I will bless you and multiply you." And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.

Dear God, Faith begins with TRUST. Trust is hard God. Really hard. Look at what happened with Tom. I trusted him to keep his promises. But he broke every single one of them in a moment when grace was most needed. Because he believed lies. Which he spread. Which severed some vital relationships. Which severed all chances I might have ever had at having friendships, church, and a job. In one moment where he had a chance to stand up against what he knew and acknowledged to be wrong, he failed and he allowed the abuse and the bullying to happen. And then he became the a user and the bully as a result. Trust? I trusted him because he said I could, and then he broke it when grace was most needed. He broke YOUR word God. He violated YOUR commands. And worse, the presbytery did too. And that really makes me angry and hurt because they know about the abuse that happened there and they did nothing and won't do anything. Which means MORE people will be abused, especially more people like me because Oak Mountain HATES YOU God or they would make effort to correct their wrongdoings and to listen about why what they did is wrong and take steps to make sure it doesn't happen again to others. So if Tom earned my trust and then broke it so badly, how can I truly trust YOU God? How can I trust You even though I want to and long to? I can't see You God and I can't hear Your voice God like I can with someone who has flesh. What can You do to help me KNOW that YOU CAN be trusted? WAIT? God, I need You to move. If the biggest proof that I can trust You might be found in You bringing about the much needed conversation with Tom either so there can be restoration or there can be closure I need in order to move forward, how much longer are You going to make me suffer before You make it happen? It has already been too long and I have to make a decision based on statute of limitations. Wait with HOPE? I have done nothing but hope God. And nothing has happened yet. Except for ONE thing and even that didn't lead to restoration or closure. That may have brought some financial relief for my family, but not a lot. We need a miracle for that to happen. Those words are NOT so little God. They are HUGE when everytime I have practice with them, someone DESTROYS all progress. But God, I will try this week to exercise those with You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Step Out

II Corinthians 5:6-7 - So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight.

Galatians 5:25 - If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Dear God, I don't have the energy to do it all. I am exhausted. Give me the strength You say You have for me and help me please. Thank You. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

You Are Safe

Psalm 18:30 - This God--his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.

Psalm 18:30 (ICB) - The ways of God are without fault. The Lord's words are pure. He is a shield to those who trust him.

Psalm 37:23-24 - The steps of a man are established by the Lord, when he delights in hiis way; though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the Lord upholds his hand.

Dear God, I took a leap of faith today and sent out a message to see about conflict resolution. It is not the first by any means, but it is the most sound. I am trusting You God to accompllish great things through it and throughout the day today. Trust is hard though! Thank You God. In Jesus' Name, Amen! 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Using Matthew 25 in Election Years


So, I have a confession. And to make this confession, I have to rewind to when I first came of age to vote. When I came of age, I was eager to register to vote. Why not? It is a rite of passage. Only one problem! I was young and naive and had no clue about the issues or why it should matter. At that time, I was in a Southern Baptist church and I thought I had to vote republican because that is what the church believed. So I voted for Bush. And it turned out to be some of the worst years I have ever seen for this country and my family. Constant struggles. People losing jobs left and right. People losing homes. People going broke for lack of health insurance. Hospitals becoming profit-driven instead of charity-based. Healthcare becoming more of a business than a service. I wrote countless e-mails to the president. Response: We'll fix it. We'll fix it. By the time the elections in 2008 came around, things were at their worst yet and still nothing had been done to fix anything. 

In 2008, two main candidates came up: Senator John McCain and Senator Barack Obama. Well, here is my confession. 1. I voted for McCain. He proposed the Affordable Care Act which was the answer I was looking for regarding the mess of insurance. He was republican. And I was supposed to vote republican if I am a Christian, right? 2. I figured Obama couldn't win because Amerrica wasn't ready for a black president. 

Well, guess what? Obama won. And guess what else? He passed the very same Affordable Care Act that McCain promised he was going to pass! And guess what else? The republicans let me down big time. The uprising of the tea party whose main mission was to obstruct anything and everything the black man in the president's office tried to accomplish no matter how good or right for the country it is or was ruined the Republican Party for me once and for all.

Here is what I have observed about the tea party:

They tend to be hateful extremists and they do it in the name of Jesus. They have distorted what the Bible says and they have criminalizes the poor, the sick, the hungry, children, the elderly, the disabled, and even the veterans. Just today alone, I saw them asserting that if a person doesn't pay taxes, then they should have no rights. Well, here is my response: IF they truly believe that, then they need to leave America right now and take their ungrateful butts elsewhere because many veterans do not pay taxes because as soon as they are done serving our country, many of them end up with no jobs, no homes, and very little income at all which is why they do not pay taxes. And disabled people are the same way. Matter of fact, until the ABLE Act passes, disabled people are kept in a state of low income because the ones who are lucky enough to get a job can only work part time if they need their benefits. And on top of that, between benefits and work, they cannot exceed $4000 in assets a year. But by the logic of the tea party comments I saw today, the disabled people and the veterans should have NO rights because they don't pay taxes. Right? 

Do you know what is happening? I used to be republican until the tea party extremists came along. And when Romney came along spreading his venomous vitriol around, I heard a great sermon issued called SWOOP. In that sermon, it was stated that if Christians really believe that mess about the 48%, they need to repent. Because that attitude wasn't helping to further the kingdom of God. The passage was Matthew 25. And it was because of that sermon that I prayed through Matthew 25 going into elections in 2012. And as a result, Obama was the choice I made. 

So, here's something. Romans 13 outlines our responsibility to government. Matthew 25 outlines our responsibility to those who are the least of these. And either God is sovereign and therefore everything happening right now is part of His will including Obama and the Affordable Care Act, or God is not sovereign. But if you believe in the sovereignty of God, then you need to trust that EVERYTHING is in His will. 

So this year, how am I voting? I don't know for sure, but I do know I will not be voting for Chad Mathis. Why? 1. He opposes the ACA. 2. He comes from a medical specialist background - orthopedist. 3. I know him from when I was seeing an orthopedist. He treated my broken foot in 2007. In 2008, he suddenly quit seeing me. No letter, no call, nothing. He committed abandonment which is unethical. And the way I reason that is like this: If he cannot ethically dismiss a patient, how can he practice ethical politics?

Oh, and at this point, if the only thing a candidate can say about the ACA is repeal, then they need to go home. Because by November, everyone who wants insurance and can get insurance will have insurance and will have already saved thousands of dollars on healthcare costs. No way will any of us want to ever regress! 

Do you know what happens to the money saved on healthcare costs? It goes into the economy. My own family has needed home repairs coming up. Long overdue. We have to buy goods that are needed to make the repairs and pay for services that are needed to make them. This means money is going back in the economy that didn't exist before because everything was being paid into healthcare. So the $300 saved in January because of more comprehensive insurance will pay down medical debt first. Then after that, it pays down other debts. Then it gets used to stimulate the economy. 

Who wouldn't want that?

What would Jesus do? Jesus would make sure that everyone is taken care of.

Is healthcare a right? If all men and women are created equal under God, and all men and women have the right to the pursuit of life, liberty, and justice, then yes, healthcare is a right. And if it takes insurance to make healthcare possible, then insurance is a right too. 

How do I figure? Because autism means I have a way of thinking literally and I am thinking literally right now. 

But Matthew 25 is how people should respond to the least of these! Government is comprised of people just like churches are comprised of people. So if Matthew 25 is about how people should respond to the least of these and government and churches are comprised of people, then government and churches are to follow Matthew 25. And when any sector of government or any church fails to respond according to Matthew 25, it brings the rest of them down. 

Want to win people over to the kingdom of God? Start following Matthew 25. And repent of your bad attitude toward the poor, the sick, the disabled, the hungry, the disenfranchised. Because not everyone on SNAP, SSI, SSDI, or even TANF (often called welfare) is a lazy, moocher. Many are veterans, retired, and disabled. Not all of them are drug users. Not all of them are gaming the system. Not all of them are takers. 

And if you have a problem with taxes helping people, then get off the roads, withdraw your children from public schools, and do not ever call 911 for anything because those are tax dollars helping people. 

Like I said, I use Matthew 25 when approaching elections, and I will continue to do so. And as long as any of the least of these are being attacked in any way whatsoever by any candidate, I will not vote for that person. At this point, that means that I cannot morally or biblically vote for any person who opposes the ACA because that is an attack on the sick and disabled (many disabilities are from sickness that went unchecked, untreated, or under treated). 

I am open to comments by the way. A healthy debate is always good. But bullying and harassment is never good.

1. Republicans don't own God and don't corner the market on Christianity.
2. Democrats can be Christians and Christians can be democrats.
3. Political leanings don't determine who a person is.
4. While I lean toward the democrat party right now, I am just as opposed to gay "marriage" and abortion as the next person who leans toward the republican party. The only difference is that my life experiences shaped my political beliefs in such a way that I have no choice but to consider those when I am choosing who gets my vote as opposed to just voting so generally. Because while republicans claim to be pro-life and spend all this time voting to make abortion illegal, they also keep voting to cut SNAP and SSI and SSDI and veterans benefits and they keep voting to repeal the ACA (50 times failed now), which makes them pro-birth and not pro-life because if you are going to force a woman to carry a baby, you must ensure that her healthcare and food is provided for as well as the baby's healthcare and food. Not everyone in any party believes 100% of the things that the party believes in. 
5. Right now the God the republicans, and mostly the tea party, is painting a picture of, is a God that contradicts the scriptures. While some democrats may not adhere to God as part of the party, the God I see through their actions is lining up more with scriptures each day. But perhaps, the reason that the democrats refuse to justify things by God is because you really cannot mix God and politics. Logically. So while the republicans are justifying hurting the least of these by misquoting scriptures and taking scriptures out of context, the democrats are not taking it there because things become too murky if they do. God is God. And all authority under heaven is appointed by God. But God is not to be mocked or contradicted. And if the republicans keep criminalizing the least of these, then they are no better than the democrats who don't mix politics and God at all. 

That is my honest opinion. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

I Make You Complete

Galatians 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

I John 4:12 - No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

Dear God, This world really does spin too fast. And people like Tom will make a person spin so fast that they fall down. He sure did that to me. With his abusive behavior which was evidenced when he chose to do what he did the way he did it. God, the comfort I find is that it sadly means that You do not abide in Tom for since what he did did not evidence You, the Bible is clear that one cannot say they love You yet not act with love toward another for You are love. So since what Tom did evidenced hate, then that was not You therefore I draw the conclusion that You are not in him and he does not love You. After all, if he did love You then he would obey You no matter what and that would mean that he would enter conflict resolution in an effort to seek peace and aim for restoration. As would the leaders of his church. But God, sadly You are NOT at Oak Mountain because they did not and still do not evidence You. If they had You then they would show love toward everyone, not hate. What they showed me was hate. God, please complete me. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Seek Me First

I Chronicles 16:11 - Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!

Matthew 6:33 - But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 

Matthew 6:33 - But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Dear God, I know You know my heart, so please make sure my goals are in line with Your plans for me. I know sometimes that means the goal posts have to change. God, one thing though, how am I supposed to reach goals that You clearly have in Your plans for me when other people (Tom) thwart everything and screw things up? In Jesus' Name, Amen!


Friday, March 7, 2014

Updated: Calling All Christians, a Baby in the Faith and One of the Least of These Needs Your Help!

So it was learned and revealed to me in no uncertain terms that this person:

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100007179613284

is running this FAKE page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Society-for-the-Real/760693193959548

which is STILL harassing me over at the following page:

https://www.facebook.com/Healthcare.gov?ref=ts&fref=ts

I am not the only one who has been harassed and he is not the only one who has harassed and bullied me. Many of the harassers have been blocked by many people, including me, for a variety of reasons. But they hate it so much they created FAKE pages so they can continue to bully and harass people.

And why? Because people are finally getting coverage for their healthcare? Because Jesus apparently would not deny anyone access to healthcare if they needed it? And because they are a group of extremists that make Christians look bad? 

So yes, I am running this post on this blog since it does get a lot of hits. And if the suspect comments, it will be another nail hit on the head. Also, because this blog gets more hits than my other blogs due to more activity, someone out there might be able to step in and intervene. 

UPDATE: 

I have not posted, commented, or liked anything on the Healthcare.gov page. And I have intentionally done that with expectation that the guy running the fake page would get bored and leave me alone. But here is a screen shot of what was posted:



And on this screen shot you can see some of the other FAKE pages that blocked people set up with the sole intent of harassing and bullying people. With any luck, he will be the one that is in whatever facility he thinks I am in. Because this is beyond disgusting! 

Don't Go It Alone

Psalm 63:5-8 - My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me. 

Psalm 63:7-8 (ICB) - You are my help. Because of your protection, I sing. I stay close to you. You support me with your right hand.

James 1:2-3 - Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.

Dear God, I know You know the desire of my heart to resolve the conflict. Please help. In Jesus' Name, Amen! 


Thursday, March 6, 2014

I Am Always

Psalm 37:3-4 - Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Hebrews 7:25 - Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

Dear God, I do not understand everything that has happened except that what Tom did and the way he did it was wrong and that he is acting AGAINST the scripture when it comes to conflict resolution. He hardened his and lied about what happened. Please open his heart and move him into biblical conflict resolution with me. And please keep holding me. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Hold Me by Jamie-Grace with TobyMac (YouTube)

I love, I love, I love, I love the way you hold me
I love, I love, I love, I love the way you hold me
I love, I love, I love, I love the way you hold me
I love, I love, I love, I love the way you, the way you

I've had a long day, I just wanna relax
Don't have time for my friends, no time for chit chat
Problems at my job, wonderin' what to do
I know I should be working but I'm thinking of you and

Just when I feel this crazy world is gonna bring me down
That's when your smile comes around

Oh, I love the way you hold me, by my side you'll always be
You take each and every day, make it special in some way
I love the way you hold me, in your arms I'll always be
You take each and every day, make it special in some way

I love you more than the words in my brain can express
I can't imagine loving you less

Lord, I love the way you hold me
Whoa, oh, I love the way you hold me
Whoa, oh

Well ya, took my day and you flipped it around
Calmed the tidal wave and put my feet on the ground
Forever in my heart, always on. My mind
It's crazy how I think about you all of the time

And just when I think I'm 'bout to figure you out
You make me wanna sing and shout

I love the way you hold me, by my side you'll always be
You take each and every day, make it special in some way
I love the way you hold me, by my side you'll always be
You take each and every day, make it special in some way

I love more than the words in my brain can express
I can't imagine even loving you less

Lord, I love the way you hold me
Whoa, oh, I love the way you hold me
Whoa, oh

I'm so grateful and thankful for all you've done
Wish I could tell you in a short story or poem
But all I have is my voice and this guitar
And you have my heart

Oh, I love the way you hold me, by my side you'll always be
You take each and every day, make it special in some way
I love the way you hold me, by my side you'll always be
You take each and every day, make it special in some way

I love you more than the words in my brain can express
I can't imagine even loving you less

Lord, I love the way you hold me
Whoa, oh, I love the way you hold me
Whoa, oh
Oh, I love

I love, I love, I love, I love the way you hold me
I love, I love, I love, I love the way you hold me
I love, I love, I love, I love the way you hold me, hold me, hold me

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

End the Word - the R Word

Stop using the word "retarded." Why? Because it is derogatory and demeaning. How many times have you said someone was "retarded" or that some thing was "retarded?" Well, stop it now! 

Other words that are not demeaning:
Use the diagnosis
Slow 
Challenged
Has difficulties
Is learning
Is trying

Ridiculous
Unusual
Quirky
Off
Stupid
Dumb
Insane

Pledge today to end the word. The R Word that is. Visit r-word.org.

On a personal note, I have autism. It does not affect my intellect or my capacity to have emotions. When you use that word with me. it makes me sad and angry. It is devaluing. So please just stop using that word.


Make Friends with Your Problems

Romans 8:28 - And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28 (NLT) - And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

I Corinthians 1:22-24 - For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Dear God, So You are saying that You can make something good out of the evil of Tom Patton is what I understand. Thanks. In Jesus' Name, Amen! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Worry Worms

Luke 12:22-31 - And he said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown in the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you."

I Thessalonians 5:16-18 - Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Dear God, Replace my worry worms with thoughts of You. I have plenty of people who will be rooting for me if I reach out and talk with them right now about what is going on. In Jesus' Name, Amen!


Listen for My Voice

John 10:1-5 - "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls them by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers."

Ephesians 4:1-6 - I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit--just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call--one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Dear God, I am not sure where You are leading me right now, but I know what the calling is that You have placed in my heart. Now it's just a matter of finding the right path as to where to start. And You moving in the hearts of the people that would be involved, particularly Tom's heart because it has to start with him. In Jesus' Name, Amen!


Sunday, March 2, 2014

UPDATED: Why the Affordable Care Act Is Important to This Christian

I aged out of ChampVA. My mom is a disabled American veteran. Vietnam era. She was exposed to Agent Orange. She worked with the artillery.

I was still in college when I aged out. I was without insurance because the student health insurance wasn't much coverage for what it cost. At that time I was diagnosed only with allergies, exercise-induced asthma, ADHD, and mitral valve prolapse. 

In 2003 BCBS of Alabama did a special open enrollment plan for people who didn't qualify for insurance through work. We thought I was insured.

In 2004, my first set ear tubes went in. Okay. 

In 2005, I graduated from college with honors. Surprised us all!

In 2006, I started grad school. Ended up with an ear infection and hearing loss. The tubes had popped out and decided to just sit there. I had to have expedited surgery to get new tubes in. Oh yeah, that was the year I developed a new drug allergy. Giant welts all over. So now I have had two surgeries, not counting oral surgery or wisdom tooth surgery.

I began 2007 with appendicitis. January 25 to be precise. Three days after my last ever peanut butter and banana sandwich. My body repayed me with a peanut allergy. Haha. Stupid salmonella tainted peanut butter. We thought that I was done, but then I kept having pain. Three months in and out at the ER. A few of those saw an emanciated, dehydrated, nauseated young lady who couldn't really function. Then I finally learned my gall bladder hit failure stage and needed to be taken out. Later that year, I tried to start another semester of grad school but had to take a medical withdrawal because I had developed tonsillitis which got so bad it went to my vocal cords. And after two rounds of antibiotics, the swelling still hadn't gone down. They had to take them out sooner than later because I couldn't breathe. Developed a bladder infection (ouch) on too of that. The doctor took out the tonsils AND adenoids. He was shocked that I had huge adenoids. Said 27-year-olds don't usually have that much adenoids tissue left. So let's just say that 2007 was a big insurance year for me. At that time, I might have had a $7500 out-of-pocket, which of course I hit that year and then didn't have OOP obligation after that.

That was also the year a letter came saying prostate exams are now covered. Great. Now what about the women?

2008 didn't see a much better year though. I broke my foot Christmas Eve of 2007. Spent the greater part of the holidays mad at Santa for that one. Got the flu even though I had the flu shot. Tarmiflu made it worse for me. Contracted chicken pox that April heading into final exams. Most of them had to be delayed. Two weeks of that only to be told it was just a mild case. Oh yeah, the dermatologist said it was just acne. Right.... Acne causes a person to have a 100.6 degree fever that the doctors ignored and pops up on the top of my foot or in my mouth. The eye gel they give you for it. Painful. Later that year, developed what looked like heat rash at first. Then when it didn't go away, the dermatologist found I had a 100.6 fever again and called it folliculitis. Turned out that is was what I suspected. Measles. What young adult contracts both chicken pox and measles in the same year! Seriously.

Sometime around 2009 is when insurance rates went up really beyond belief. Less eventful until the H1N1 came around. I got my flu shot. The next week began getting ill. Found out two girls in one of my classes had H1N1. Couldn't go to class the next week because I had to spend time in the ER being spinal tapped and checked for possible meningitis. Doctor never thought to ask about exposure to H1N1 or we could have saved the trouble of the hospital nearly killing me. OOPS! But during that illness I was also exposed to probable mold in the main building where I had classes. I developed sick building syndrome as it was only that one building on campus where I would become violently ill. Ultimately, we ended up with me back in the ER after the Sunday morning I went to church only to have to leave early and arrive at home vomiting. That did get rid of the metallic taste in my mouth though. In December I was admitted to the hospital through the ER. Developed a very dangerous kidney stone that require surgery. It was huge and jagged and could have torn up a whole lot more if it had been allowed to pass on its own. 

In 2010, the ACA had finally passed. And guess what began? For me, personally, no longer did I have to worry about being dropped if I got sick and needed surgery again. No more lifetime caps either. I was in my early 30s. Too young to run out of insurance. I found out I had an immune deficiency which played a role in a lot of the problems I was having though. The only downside was that I still couldn't get new insurance. 

I did learn in 2011 that my iron levels were fatally low. I needed an iron infusion. Fortunately, I haven't hit that low again yet. That December I was confirmed to have autism. Insurance doesn't cover therapies and most therapists don't work with adults with autism in Birmingham. 

In 2012, the abuse at church began after the autism diagnosis came back. And Romney insulted half of America calling us lazy moochers if we didn't pay taxes. Who doesn't pay taxes: children, college students on financial aid, disabled people who cannot work full-time if at all, veterans who earned their benefits, elderly who are retired for the most part. And of those, there are four groups plus military on SNAP. Romney kept threatening repeal of the ACA. And I said no way. Went to bed on the night after elections after praying, "God let YOUR will be done. And may the person who best reflects a Matthew 25 heart win." I had a nightmare that Romney won and my mom and I got booted out of the house because of a high dollar medical bill after insurance dropped me. I woke up anxious. Obama won! I didn't vote for Obama in 2008 because McCain was the one who promised to pass the ACA. 

I will say this though. Whether I pay full or reduced rates doesn't matter (I only got a $114/month break and still pay over $200/month, so don't fuss at me). What matters now is that I have secured an insurance plan that is now worth every penny going into it. I chose gold because after spending a month comparing my old plan with the plan BCBS was going to switch me to and the gold plan, gold yielded over $7000/year in savings with $5000 of that in the OOP value alone. 

To be more precise, here are my figures:

Old non-compliant plan:
$298/month
$2500 deductible
$300 medicine deductible
$10,000 OOP
2 doctors (minimum) each month x $50 = $100
2 medicines (minimum) each month x $80 = $160
If I had hit the OOP, this would be equal to:
$3,576 in premiums + $2500 + $300 + $10,000 + $1200 + $1,920 = $19,496 minimum per year

Even the silver plan that was offered looked a little better:
$264/month (-$34/month)
$2500 deductible 
$6350 OOP (maximum allowed by law) (-$3,650)
2 doctors/month = $120 (+$20)
2 medicines/month at $100 each = $200 (+$40)
For grand total of $4,058 in savings but $720 in deficits resulting in $3,338 in savings.

The gold plan I chose:
$321.75/month (+23.75/month)
$500 deductible (-$2000)
$5000 OOP (-$5000)
2 doctors/month = $100
2 medicines/month at $60 each = $120 (-$40)
For grand total of $285 in deficits and $7,480 in savings resulting in $7,195 in savings.

Assistance makes it $912 less from April to December and yields an $8,107 savings. 

This is minimum. Most of the services I have gotten this year have been $0 OOP after $50 copay. And I now have speech therapy covered AND get to start occupational therapy! And dental coverage!

What will happen with the savings, the ACA has given me because of the protections it now offers me?

1. Pay off old medical debt.
2. Needed home repairs.
3. Autism therapy not covered by insurance.
4. Vacation celebration. 
5. Conferences.
6. Donate to a church and charity.
7. Technology upgrades.
8. Loom bands for my Cra-Z-Looms so I can keep making autism bands to raise money for charity. 
9. Art supplies so I can paint. I want to sell art for charity.
10. Swimming pool, therapy/service dog, etc. 

Now if congress will just stop trying to impede the progress of the ACA already. They failed 40 times. And if they will just pass the ABLE Act. 

What does this have to do with a journey through theology?

Everything and nothing. 

Matthew 25:31-46

Okay, this took some thought, but I want to add some things to this.

First of all, for those who may not understand all the intricacies of the ACA or how or why it came about, let me share some thoughts.

Insurance companies were in need of an overhaul. The healthcare system in America because healthcare became more about the business of medicine rather than the practice of medicine. 

When this happened, many doctors could no longer afford to take on uninsured patients. As such, only the rich could afford doctors. Or the ones who had full time jobs with benefits (personally, I feel ALL full time employees should have health insurance as part of the package as it one of the benefits that I had come to know as being the bonus of working full time versus only working part time).

But even still, many patients were finding that when they needed insurance the most, it didn't cover what they needed and was nothing more than a catastrophic plan. Great in an emergency, not so great everyday.

But what is insurance? Insurance is protection of the future of your family finances. Don't believe me?

Look at what I experienced in 2007. Appendicitis, gall bladder removal, tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy, and a broken foot. Not counting any sinus infections, throat infections or allergy spells and asthma attacks. If I didn't have any kind of insurance at all that year, my mom and I would be homeless. The charges from the appendectomy just from the hospital alone was around $45,000. 

Let me explain something else. If you do not have $50,000 cash on hand for an emergency, then you need insurance. If you see a doctor more than 4 times a year for anything, then you need a minimum silver level plan.

Argument: But I now have less coverage. Defense: No you don't. You have TEN essential benefits. And depending on your plan, you may have even more than that. Argument: But I don't need maternity care or mammograms. Defense: Women don't need prostate exams. Argument: But my premiums went up. Defense: Yes, and no. Yes, they seem to have gone up, but with the end of the discrimination against customers who have pre-existing conditions comes a leveling of costs. Your costs now are what my costs were and still are. Argument: But I have all these expenses. Defense: Is there ANYTHING nonessential going on in your budget that you can eliminate? Say a Starbucks each week, a movie each month, eating out each day, less expensive clothing, etc. Don't steal from God, and definitely pay your BILLS, but just re-examine your priorities. 

Now I will say something else. Here are my thoughts for how it can be improved. 

Instead of a marketplace, I would redirect the purpose of the Healthcare.gov site to more of what the FAFSA for students seeking financial aid does. The applicant files the form, provides codes for schools the applicant is interested in, then the results are not only sent to the student but also to the schools. The schools then draw up a financial aid package based on that information. The student then accepts or rejects the offer. I would redesign the purpose of Healthcare.gov to follow the FAFSA and put more power back in the hands of the consumers and the insurance companies. 

Instead of stipulating that ALL policies have pediatric coverage or maternity coverage, I would make those opt in features and allow consumers to substitute in dental and vision coverage. Or better yet, I would add adult dental and adult vision care to be covered by all plans. 

I would make sure that all insurance plans carry an autism services rider. For all ages. My mom is now going to be tested to see if she has autism. And I have autism. And autism doesn't go away just because a child turns 21 even though that is what the churches and the schools seem to think. 

I would make the highest cost anyone can pay for a particular level of policy the lowest cost for that level in the nation. In other words, if a gold plan in California or New York costs $250, and that is the cheapest, then a person in Alabama would only pay $250 for a gold plan rather than $300. After all, why is one person paying more for the exact same level of coverage than someone else.

I would expand Medicaid in all states, no exceptions. 

I would cap the price a family pays in monthly premiums at $800 for four people and $1000 for five or more. Then I would lower the OOP for a family to $10,000 and the OOP for a single person to $5000. 

I would not allow any exceptions for the birth control coverage as part of a woman's preventive care. And just as BCBS does, limit abortion coverage to situations where the woman's life is endangered.

And instead of tax penalties, I would stipulate that doctors may not give discounts to people who do not have insurance (discounts are a benefit of insurance) and that an additional fee be assessed for every time a person shows up at the ER or the doctor's office without insurance. The fee might start at $25 and go up each time after to a maximum of $500 assessed at one time. 

The reason for there being a penalty for not having insurance? 

Because from the time you are born to the time you die, you will need healthcare at some point in your life. Because when you are uninsured and use the ER and them don't pay your whole bill because you cannot afford it, they pass the cost onto the insurance companies who pass it on to consumers in the form of higher premiums. 

And really, it is no different than being required to have car insurance save for the fact that you can get out of the requirement for car insurance by simply not buying or driving a car. But if cancer is going to happen, it will choose whom it wants when it wants.

No person living in America should ever be without healthcare and if it takes insurance to get affordable healthcare, then no person in America should ever be without health insurance either. 

Now that is that.

UPDATE:

So today, we decided as a family to cancel the plan through the marketplace because I will not need it as it looks as though since we won my fight, I will have other means in addition to the original BCBS plan. Still though, $7,195 in savings is AWESOME! And I am a big supporter of the Affordable Care Act.

What I am not a fan of is that there are people on Facebook that claim to be Republicans and "conservatives" that are harassing and bullying people on the Healthcare.gov Facebook page. Many of these people have been blocked and then they turn around and create these FAKE Facebook pages that cannot be blocked just so they can continue to harass and bully people. The page has taken a tragic turn for being helpful and supportive in the marketplace process to being unsafe for anyone who is in favor of the ACA. 

Look at this example:






And I am not the only one who has been targeted but this was an outright attempt to target me because the post was never made on a page but in a group. And when I went through my mom's account I saw the majority of the people doing the harassing were ones I had blocked for that very reason. 

So Tabatha thinks it is appropriate for her to create a fake page because people blocked her for harassment? And she uses it to harass them again? And yes, I was one of the targets of her harassment. Yep.... This definitely is an admission to illegal activity.

The reason I am sharing these screen shots on this post is to provide solid evidence of one of the reasons why not only the Republican Party is losing ground, but these people are also professing to be "Christians" yet are in blatant violation of the Facebook TOS:



Dear Christians and dear republicans, you will not win anyone over with this kind of malicious sermonizing behavior. 


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