Choose Faith or Choose Fear

It’s a cold, cold night. The winter storm is coming. Tomorrow is supposed to be -35 degrees. I am warm inside the house. I let my dogs out for 5 minutes and then bring them back inside. They whimper because the ice is frigid. It hurts their paws.

The storm is coming.

I could worry about everything. Will my car start? Will I make it through the snow and ice? What about the storms at work? What if someone else gets Covid? What will we do? What about this? What about that?

What if…What if…What if…

2022 is not starting out well. We are stuck in a bad, bad approaching storm. Think about the economy, think about Covid, think about the supply chain shortages, think about this, think about that…..think about all the bad stuff on the news…….get all filled up with anxiety and fear. Get all angry and frustrated and all worked up.

Or…..

choose to stay calm. Choose faith. Not the crazy blinding stupid faith that totally ignores the potential dangers. No the kind of faith that informs the serenity prayer.

Lord, help us to accept the things we cannot change and give us the courage to know the difference between what we can and what we cannot do.

I went to Galilee when I was 21. It was a study abroad for a summer. We took a rickety old metal bus up to the Golan Heights for the day and then on the way back, we stopped at an outside cafe. We got the wild notion to swim in the Sea with our clothes on. I still remember the joy of that moment swimming in the Sea with friends.

It really wasn’t that big, the Sea of Galilee. You could see the other side….much like a big Missouri lake. I wondered then what the disciples were so afraid of when the storms tossed their boat around and the waves threatened to come over the sides. Why did they panic? Jesus was asleep in the boat and they came to him and asked him to save them. Now, I realize that they probably didn’t know how to swim. That would be scary for sure.

Anyway, he got up and told them to have faith and then he calmed the waters to ease their minds.

We’re all kinda stuck in a Galilee boat and we don’t know what to do and we’re worried that this dang disease is gonna drown us. But remember what JFK said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Fear causes anxiety and procrastination and arguing and in-fighting and endless stupid drama which only serves to compound our problems. It causes the blame game and finger pointing. People stop fixing things and looking for solutions. Instead, they just throw shade and throw each other under the bus in an attempt to save their own hide. Every man for himself like we’re on the Titanic and there’s only one lifeboat left.

Admit it. You’ve done this. I’ve done it too. But this time…

Relax. Stay calm. Stay the course.

We’ll get out of this.

The man who wrote the song Amazing Grace was once in a storm too off the coast of England. He tied himself to the boat and he asked for mercy. He came through the storm and gave up his profession of slave trading. He went on to become a prolific preacher and hymn writer and we still sing his songs to this day.

It’s getting colder and colder outside. I could sit here and worry myself to death about the endless possibilities of what could go wrong. Or I could sit here and write something encouraging.

I choose to write.

Golden Child

By J. Speer

The sun was dying.  The scientists predicted there would be 15 more years of light and then nothing, just pitch blackness.  The galaxy and everything in it would be swallowed within seconds into an ominous black hole never to return.  As a result of the dying light, our world was ceasing to thrive.  It was grey.  The sky and clouds no longer bore their blue brilliance.  The trees were nearly all gone.  The only plants that grew in this dystopian future were created and maintained artificially.  They were precious and few.  They were devoted to the harvest to feed the population.  No parks existed, no gardens, nothing but concrete and clustered apartment buildings in this portion of old Chicago.  The year was 3049.

The United States had long since divided into tribal regions.  Chicago resided in the upper lakes quadrant and was the capital of quadrant 4.  Chicago was one of the oldest and still most productive capitals among the 6 quadrants.  

The former United States capital of Washington D.C. had been blown up in the World War of 2025.    Much of the West Coast had fallen into the Pacific Ocean after the great rumblings and massive Super volcano eruption of Yellowstone.  Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and much more of the Midwest were obliterated.  What wasn’t destroyed by the massive lava flows was devastated by the ash fallout.  Chicago sat on the new edge of humanity.  It was the farthest city west.

The tribal quadrants were run by Councils rather than a Congress and House of Representatives.  Certain activities were not permitted following the great wars including the practice of any type of religion, even meditation.    

Chen Li knew this and he also knew the consequences of his actions in Apartment 502 of the fifth floor of 1417 E Centennial Drive in Southside Chicago.  Chen Li lived in what was popularly referred to as the slums.  All the housing was low income and each apartment was heavily populated.  Chen Li often looked out from his balcony at the despairingly bleak grey of the sky, the polluted smog, the grey apartment buildings as far as the eye could see, and the other tenants as they engaged in their daily activities of work and play.  Everything was grey.  The clothes were grey.  The rooms of the apartments were grey.  It was an entire landscape of grey devoid of much color. 

Chen Li worked as a book collector and book shop owner in the basement of a downtown Chicago building.  It was an older rummage shop full of musty worn books and other items that time had long since forgotten.  In the digital future, these artifacts of the past were considered undesirable or unnecessary.  So, Chen Li generally had very few customers.  Folks occasionally stopped into the shop out of curiosity and left quickly.  Others who shared Chen Li’s fascination with literature would, from time to time, stop in for a particular find.  But, otherwise, Chen Li was left alone which he actually preferred.  This gave him time to delve into the books with great enthusiasm. 

He had acquired a particular book through the underground market several years ago.  He read it in secret at the shop before and after work in order to not get caught.  Then, one day, he hid it in a leather briefcase and took it home.  It lay at the very back of the bookcase behind four other books on Architecture.  These were big and bulky books that were quite tedious reads but the hidden book…. that was the real treasure.  He had memorized parts of the book completely and begun to put it into practice.        

The door was locked.  Chen Li could hear occupants of the building run up and down the stairwell from time to time.  But he focused on clearing his mind, emptying out his thoughts and his being until there was nothing but the rhythm, the sound of the vibration emanating from his soul.  He went deeper and deeper into the sound until his third eye slowly opened. 

He began to travel in his mind through doorways and walls, through apartments and windows, searching and searching as he had done often lately.  He had stumbled upon this ability of recent and was still mastering the art of this meditative state.  He wanted to expand out his vibrations to others, those that would be receptive to the call.  He had been surprised to learn that the most receptive were the young children, ages 2 to 6.  So that day, Chen Li used his third eye to find the children that were alone in their grey dull rooms playing with their grey dull toys and dressed in their grey dull clothes. 

Chen Li first found a little 4-year old girl who was sitting on her bed and reading.  She had a very light blue aura surrounding her.  Chen Li raised his vibration to permeate the walls of the little room until the girl stopped reading.  She sat very still at first.  She could hear the ringing first in her right ear.  This had happened to her before.  She sat very, very still then because she knew if she listened harder and sat very still the ringing would increase and take over her body in vibration.  She did not understand it but she knew that it made her very happy and it felt like home.  She would sit still and let the vibration increase until her aura turned from light blue to blue, to purple, to pink, to rainbow.  The little girl felt the vibration for a good three minutes, holding it inside in a state of bliss, until it slowly faded away and then was gone.  Whatever it was, it made her feel better and she continued to her reading reluctantly, wishing the sound would come back.  But she was happier.  That was all that mattered. 

Chen Li searched for more children.  He liked to do this for them, to give them a moment of happiness in an otherwise bleak existence.  Throughout that evening, he searched the neighborhood raising the vibrations of 16 little children until they each glowed with a rainbow aura. 

Chen Li had been doing this in secret, in fact, every Saturday evening for several months.  It was not until he encountered the little boy in Apartment 133 of building 1419 that evening, that Chen Li questioned whether it was right or wrong.  He felt, however, in his gut that it was a noble thing to reach out to the little ones giving them happiness, that someday this would prove its merit.  He had no idea how important this would turn out to be.    

This little one had no family except his mother from what Chen Li could gather.  His bedroom was even more depressing than the others with barely any possessions at all.  The boy with curly brown locks sat coloring at a little table.  His aura was different from the others.  Chen Li noticed that it was even darker, almost to black itself.  Chen Li watched the despondent boy for a good five minutes before reaching out with his vibrations.  It took thirty minutes for Chen Li to break the barrier of the dark aura.  The boy paused his coloring and finally heard the distant sound.  He lifted his head and stopped coloring.  The vibrating sound entered his left ear and he held the sound in his mind.  The vibration filled his whole body.  He felt a strong tingling sensation from head to toe and traveling up his spine.  The dark aura slowly changed to light blue, and purple, and pink and……. that is when the boy started reacting differently. 

He closed his eyes in bliss and began to hum to the sound within him and all around him that enveloped him in happiness.  His humming grew louder and louder and Chen Li watched in surprise as his aura field expanded out further and further from the room, from the apartment, and from the building itself.  The pink aura changed to rainbow and then as the humming vibration increased dramatically, the color changed once more………a final time………to gold.  From that point, the aura field exploded into the sky. 

Chen Li’s third eye closed tightly.  He was thrown off balance and backwards.  In shock, he stood up and hurried to the balcony.  All the power in the city was out.  There was only darkness and the surprised and somewhat terrified voices of the other tenants.  Chen Li tried to look towards building 1419 but could not make out much details in the darkness.  He wanted to get a flashlight but was in darkness much himself.  He stumbled around the apartment until he found an old candle and managed to light it.  He went back to the balcony with the light but could see very little. 

He was worried that he would be found out.  The penalty of religious studies was imprisonment.  He stepped back cautiously into the apartment and decided it would be best to wait until the morning. 

The next morning, at sunrise, Chen Li woke to the biggest surprise of his life.  He stumbled out of his bedroom and into the side kitchen for some coffee and was startled to see a flash of green from the window.  He paused to go back to the window and re-examine more closely what he saw.  Outside the window was a small haven of green. 

Chen Li rushed to the balcony and looked down below into the street.  Many other tenants were out looking in shock at what Chen Li was seeing.  Trees.  There were trees everywhere in the little neighborhood for at least three blocks.  Trees and grass and more plants dotted the grey landscape.  He opened the door to the stairwell and ran as fast as he could down to the apartment building entrance.  Near the entrance, he stood in awe under the shade of one very large tree that had busted through the concrete. 

From a distance in another part of Southside Chicago, Chen Li could hear the sound of sirens blaring.  They were coming.  Chen Li looked to building 1419 and then began running towards it.  All around him the other neighbors were out looking at the sudden growth of nature.  He bumped into one person by accident on his way to building 1419.  He apologized as he kept running. 

The little boy with the strange aura was standing on the steps to building 1419.  He was holding the hand of his mother who could not believe what was happening.  Chen Li had been rushing forward but when he saw the both of them, he stopped suddenly.  He did not know what to say or what to do.  The sirens were getting closer.  He had to do something.  He couldn’t run.  Neither could the boy. 

Chen Li sat down on the new grass and broken concrete.  He tried to calm himself again, to clear his mind and empty himself.  He took up the sound again, the low vibration, and gradually his third eye opened. 

The little boy was standing in front of him.  He was smiling and began slightly humming too.  He sat down across from Chen Li and the two reached out hands to each other.  Their palms touched in the air, the little ones resting lightly on the big hands.  The vibration began to take them both over.  The little boy’s eyes were closed but he was smiling and humming.  The vibration was all around them and both their auras expanded out while changing colors.  Meanwhile, from nearby, the other 16 children were gathering from various homes throughout the neighborhood.  They gathered around the two bodies in a circle and raised their vibration too.  A bright rainbow aura expanded out from all of them.  The adults looked at them all with amazement but not truly understanding what was going on.  They could not see the auras.     

The humming from the little boy was getting stronger again.  His whole body glowed and suddenly both Chen Li and the little boy lifted into the air, levitating just above the ground together.  Chen Li opened his eyes in surprise and the little boy smiled mischievously back at him.  Then the little boy laughed slightly as if completely happy.  He then hummed much louder, and the vibration once again exploded out of the beautiful golden aura.  There was again a massive explosion of light and a giant rising phoenix of light and gold rose out of the little boy and twirled three times up into the air above them.  Then it shot right into the sky, through the atmosphere and hurdled directly towards the sun.  When it connected with the sun, there was a big bang of light.  The sun burst into enormous energy again.

 It was no longer dying. 

On Earth, suddenly, the grey was fading away as brilliant hues of blue and purple and yellow and orange burst into the sky.  All across the Earth, green was expanding out across the continents. 

Chen Li looked in wonder at the little boy.  Who just smiled back at him.

“Let there be light,” said the little boy.  He smiled at Chen Li.  Chen Li smiled back at him.  Everyone was looking at them with amazement.  Again, the sirens picked up in the surrounding city.

“We must go,” said the boy.  “We can’t stay here anymore.”  He stood up now and gave his little hand to Chen Li who, likewise stood up.  Chen Li took the little boy’s hand in his own. 

The little boy led him to his mother.  They exchanged smiles.  Then the three walked hand in hand, the little boy in the middle between the woman and man.  They walked down the street amid the broken concrete and trees and disappeared into the beautiful and colorful distance beyond.    

The Trumpet

These are passages of the Bible that are important to read at this time. Notice the similarities in numbers among some of the passages:

Exodus 12: 12-13

Psalm 91

Deuteronomy 30-19

Joshua 7: 10-12

Job 1:9

Romans 10:9

2 Chronicles 7:13-22

Ezekiel 33:1-6

Notice the repeat of the numbers. For example 91, 10:9, and 1:9 = variations of 19. Also, several of the texts have the number 3 repeated which is mentioned later in this piece.

Exodus 12:12-13 speaks of the Passover and the Blood of the Lamb. “I will pass through the Land of Egypt at night and strike every firstborn male in the Land of Egypt, both man and beast. I am Yahweh; I will execute judgements against the Gods of Egypt. The blood on the houses where you are staying will be the distinguishing mark for you; when I see the blood I will pass over you. No plague will be among you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.”

Deuteronomy 30:19 uses the numbers 3 and 19 again. It is Moses’ message to the Isrealites. ” I call heaven and Earth as witnesses against you today that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants may live.”

Joshua 7: 10-12 refers to the Israelite defeat against Ai and explains why according to the Lord. ” The Lord then said to Joshua, “Stand up, why are you on the ground? Israel has sinned. They have violated my covenant that I appointed for them. They have taken some of what was set apart. They have stolen, deceived, and put the things with their belongings. This is why the Isrealites can not stand against their enemies. They will turn their backs and run from their enemies, because they have been set apart for destruction. I will no longer be with you unless you remove from you what was set apart.”

2 Chronicles 7: 13-22 is the discussion between wise Solomon and God about the temple. “If I close the sky so there is no rain, of if I command the grasshopper to consume the land, or if I send the pestilence on My people and My people who are called by my name humble themselves and seek my face and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. My eyes will now be open and my ears attentive to prayer from this place. And I have now chosen and consecrated this temple so that My name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there at all times. As for you, if you walk before me as your father David walked, doing everything I have commanded you, and if you keep my statutes and my ordinances, I will establish your royal throne, as I promised your father David. You will never fail to have a man ruling in Israel. However, if you turn away and abandon My statues and My commands that I have set before you and serve other gods and worship them, then I will uproot Israel from the soil I gave them, and this temple I have sanctified for My name I will banish from my presence. I will make it an object of scorn and ridicule among all the peoples. As for this temple, which was exalted, everyone who passes by will be appalled and will say, “Why did the Lord do this to the land and to this temple? Then they will say, “Because they abandoned the Lord God of their ancestors who brought them out of the land of Egypt. They clung to other gods and worshiped and served them. Because of this, he brought all this ruin on them.”

Job 1:9 explains God’s hedge of protection. Without the hedge, Job is tested. “Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Haven’t you placed a hedge around him, his household, and everything he owns? You have blessed the work of his hands, his possessions, and increased the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he owns, and he will surely curse you to your face.” Job needed the hedge of protection.

Psalm 91 is a spiritual warfare prayer against pestilence. It also uses the numbers of 1 and 9 as does Job1:9.

Ezekiel 33:1-6 is a message for the watchmen, those who discern these words of wisdom. “The word of the Lord came to me, Son of Man, speak to your people and tell them: Suppose I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land select a man from among them, appointing him as their watchman and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows his trumpet to warn the people. Then, if anyone hears the sound of the trumpet but ignores the warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood will be on his own head. Since he heard the sound of the trumpet but ignored the warning, his blood is on his own hands. If he had taken the warning, he would have saved his life. However, if the watchman see the sword coming but doesn’t blow the trumpet, so that the people are warned, and the sword comes and takes away their lives, then they have been taken away because of their iniquity, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.”

Romans 10:9 is a final message once again using the numbers 1 and 9. It is also called the Sinner’s Prayer. “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Conclusion to this message, these are very important:

Job 1:9 = pray for a hedge of protection around your family.

Psalm 91 = prayer against the pestilence, “the plague that stalks in darkness.”

Romans 10:9 = pray the sinner’s prayer. “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

All of these use the numbers 1 and 9 as does COVID-19.

Passover = pray for the blood of Jesus to cover your loved ones.

A Twist of Fate

I was having a really bad day.

I felt about as bad as Alexander….

It got pretty bad.

So I did something I don’t do enough. I talked to God and asked why he wasn’t helping me. I said, “This is too much, God. I just can’t carry this burden by myself. Could you please help me?”

It wasn’t much of a prayer but it was heartfelt, exhausted, and true. I’ll admit, I’m not much for religion anymore. I’ve seen my fair share of judgement from others and unkindness. It has left me quite bitter at times. But still, when push comes to shove and when my chips are down, I ask God for help.

I went back to work and it continued to be a terrible, horrible, no good, and very bad day. Plus it was raining.

But then something happened. I got to clock out and go home to my family. My husband informed me that some commissions from his sales would be coming in soon. Not much, but enough for us to cover Christmas presents for family in December. I also learned that my publishing company was almost done with my royalties report for the book Searching for Fire and they had direct deposited the amount owed from their website already. It made me feel better.

Next, I went to dinner with my husband and children and fortunately, through some good luck, we were put to the front of the line of folks waiting at the steakhouse. We had a nice meal and did a little Christmas shopping at Books A Million and Game Stop with the children and life seemed better.

Thank you, God for listening. Sorry I get frustrated and try to manage and control it all myself and then get overwhelmed and make a mess of things and end up begging for help again. Like a loyal friend, you come through time and time again. I so easily forget that I need to trust in you, God.

Anyways, I suppose I won’t move to Australia after all.