The Paranormal Conspiracy

Tags

, , , , ,

As a child, I had recurring nightmares about a little town a half hour away from my house. It was a charming area, full of art and history, but for some reason, whenever we drove through the century old homes and hairpin roads, the crawlies would follow me home. They stuck their slimy talons into my dreams, twisting them into terrors and woke me up with a thudding heart and a disdain for a very cool looking town. What the heck? In my teen years, I found out it was a hang-out for Satan worshipers.

People would laugh and joke about those rebellious kids who just wanted to do something cool and “dark,” by sneaking out at night and performing strange ceremonies. I laughed some too, but quietly remembered the crawlies I felt as a child and knew the skeptics were looking past the root of the issue. What was it?

Despite the small town values around me, it was still difficult for an individual to be 81hBaj0rCELbold when it came to beliefs of the supernatural realm. If you talked UFO’s too much, you were a weirdo, if you talked Jesus too much, you were a geek. It’s always safer standing in the shoes of skepticism.

Still is. According to The Paranormal Conspiracy by Timothy J. Dailey, when veteran UFO researcher Joe Jordan discovered a man had successfully halted an attempted abduction when he used the name of Jesus (bear with me here) he dug into those experiences a little deeper. After contacting researchers around the country, Joe discovered they all had similar stories, but purposely didn’t report them for fear of losing credibility.

Now at this point, most people would roll their eyes and throw out names like geek and weirdo, but I think most of us either have our own story or know someone credible who’s had their own experience with the paranormal realm. Maybe with a Ouija board, a spirit guide or a strange lights in the sky.

In his book, Dailey talks about the paranormal realm in great length. Of course, we know there are plenty of fakes out there, yes, but inside the web of mystery surrounding the paranormal, there is the real deal. Even the government has their own paranormal researchers.

Dailey talks about Bigfoot, aliens and new age philosophies in his book. What frustrates people most about these “sightings” is the lack of tangible evidence, but there are enough experiences by reputable people—people who could easily lose credibility by coming forward—that it’s important to lend a listening ear to this subject.
Many people have delved into Spiritualism (that goes by many different names—many celebrities practice some form of Spiritualism) such as Colonel Percy Fawcett. Fawcett undertook an expedition to the Amazonian jungle in 1925 to search for the lost city of Atlantis, or “Z” as he called it. On his last attempt, he disappeared, never to be found again. It was later discovered that he was involved in the occult, and communicated with spirits (aka Watchers or Shining Ones) who gave him detailed instructions on planning his expedition in order to found a new colony, code name “The Great Scheme.” He was to be the leader of this new nation.

Obviously, they never came through with their part of the bargain.

Joe Fisher is another man Dailey discusses in his book. Joe was a journalist who had abandoned his Christian roots in favor of Eastern Mysticism. He believed in reincarnation, and discovered his supposed soulmate from another time through the practice of hypnotism. Long story short, he withdrew from his family and friends to spend time with this spirit (who spoke through a hypnotized woman named Aviva), ultimately to discover, through intense research, that these past lives she talked about were fictional. His conclusion after spending years invested in this lifestyle was this: “Although they often spoke of ‘the good’ for humanity, love, and ‘forward development’, it became apparent that their true motives were to control and live vicariously through physical beings.”

Although a dark read, Dailey did a good job with research and showing the big picture behind the paranormal. The one thing that any spirit behind eastern mysticism, aliens, etc. is that they don’t like hearing the name Jesus. Fear and disdain of His name are always present. If He was just a man, as many say, why would paranormal beings fear Him?

“The enemy is never so deadly as when he is invisible—when one has no idea of his whereabouts. The skeptic is like a willfully blindfolded man stumbling around a battlefield, insisting that the exploding rounds are flashes of lightning and claps of thunder.” Timothy J. Dailey

I’m just glad I’m on team Jesus. Go ahead, call me a geek.

What do you think about the paranormal? Aliens…spirit guides…UFO’s….or plain old demons in disguise? Tell us in the comments.

 

The Paranormal Conspiracy is here.

For further reading on this subject, I recommend:

UFO’s and the Christian Worldview by Jeff Gerke

The Dark Side of the Supernatural by Bill Myers and David Wimbish

The Magic of Words

Tags

, , , ,

I’m pretty sure the devil invented legalism, and suspect he’s behind many regulations of HOAs. “No, it doesn’t matter that you own your house, you can’t paint it blue. The house you slaved for isn’t about you, it’s about everyone else judging you.”

Or so it seems sometimes. Who decided that mud was a nice color for a housing development anyway?

Like I told you—it has to be the devil. Jealousy has inspired his influence. He didn’t get forgiven—we did. He can morph and change into any kind of beautiful shape—he can deceive countless numbers of people because of that, but us? We were made of mud (and offered an eternal home with The Sculptor Himself). That’s probably why he inspired someone to make mud the standard color of all southwestern houses. It’s his way of saying “in your face, mud-people.”

But pride gets everyone into trouble.

He’s done it with words too—even with the Christians. We can put violence into our books and movies, (mild) sensuality, conflicts of every kind. We can have fictional knights yielding otherworldly power from their swords, Nephilim dating humans, but there’s one word that many ban from the Christian scene.

Magic.image007

I believe it’s because people automatically equate it with evil. But should we? Does the devil own this word?

I don’t know, to me, when someone “gives” a word to the devil, they’ve sacrificed to the wrong supernatural force. Become superstitious. And given Satan undeserved power.

Did we not add ain’t to the dictionary? We can command our words, friends!

We’re the stewards of God’s creation, not the slaves of Satan’s tricks, and correct me if I’m wrong, but most of us don’t speak devil.

I, for one, like the word magic. God is sovereign, and He’s done some pretty magical stuff, making that word most appropriate. So if you’re on the fence, let’s remember that God can work with anything thrown at Him. Even Joseph thought so when faced with the brothers who sold him into slavery:

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. Genesis 50:20

In a culture where fantasy is highly revered, the word magic can be used to save many lives. So be bold (drab is for conformity)!

Do you agree or disagree? Tell us in the comments.

To Be A David

Tags

, , , , , ,

What would you think of as beautiful in your last season of this life?

I may take that question to work, where people go to live during this great transition. I learn a lot there, where most conversations revolve around family: theirs, mine, and whoever else has one.

Children are incontestably beautiful. They celebrate life in so many colors and

Am I not divinely beautiful?

Am I not divinely beautiful?

expressions, it’s hard not to look at them as canvases of the most divine kind of art. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to raise them—we don’t want to unintentionally shape a Monet into a Picasso if that’s not who they are meant to be.

Speaking of art—if my “ship” ever makes it through all the cactus and dust devils, bringing treasures beyond my expectations—I hope it’s full of art to fill my walls with. I can’t get enough—Impressionism, Renaissance art, Contemporary…maybe even an art studio of my own, because to me, life without art means a life without beauty.

At the retirement resort, there used to be a group of ladies who, at the first sign of a fire truck, would gather in one of the lobbies to watch the firemen walk by (unfortunately, they were usually accompanied by an ambulance). Young and fit people will always have an audience.

But really, when we reach that phase where our human side starts to peel away from the eternal—what will we remember as truly beautiful?

My daughter is seven, and in public school. She’s reached that point where she’s gaining that early foundation of experience. She’s a butterfly—sweet and quiet (at school), and full of color (strong-willed monkey at home). Her teachers would like to see her speak up more in class, speak louder—find her confidence. We do our best to build her up—we even signed her up for ballet where she can express her creative side within a group.

But a person has to uncover their light on their own accord.

When a boy in her class kept coming in without lunch, and worried about his parents “illnesses”, she found her voice, taking him to the lunchroom supervisors and asking if they would give him a free meal. For those of you who have never been shy this may seem like plain old common sense, but all those former and practicing wallflowers will recognize what a leap of faith this was for someone afraid to raise her hand.

This, to me, is beauty at its brightest. It’s reaching beyond our own comforts, switching on that stubborn lamp, and letting the eternal side shine through the human side.

King David, in his early years as a shepherd boy, was described as beautiful.

So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the LORD said, “Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!” 1 Samuel 16:12 (emphasis mine)

I’m sure he was made “good-looking” for a reason, but is that what made him “the one”?

When I look at Michelangelo’s David, I see the story of him—the slingshot, the strength of body and spirit—the shepherd boy who stepped forward to save his people.

The statue will eventually crumble, but the part of him that made him a legend came from the Divine.

What do you think is eternally beautiful? Tell us in the comments.

The Realm of Moms

Tags

, , , , ,

Once upon a time in Wendy’s, a young mother experienced harassment of the most common kind. She sat with her three young children and happy meals, in what looked like a sea of white cotton candy—I’m guessing senior discount day—and a bored couple sitting side by side and facing her— judging her every move.

Her little boy, eager to fish his toy from his bag, spilled his entire box of chicken nuggets onto the floor.

The mother looked in the direction of the counter to her fully decked out table, to the little boy. She scolded him, maybe a little too harshly, but being a mom myself, I understand the dilemma. Does she leave her fully-loaded table, gather up her kids (she was out of sight from the counter, so she would have had to take her kids) and re-order the chicken nuggets or just share her meal with her son?

(Any mama or Nanny will understand how difficult a simple task

It's a glorious handful

It’s a glorious handful

becomes with small children.)

The couple who was fully immersed in her business decided the most helpful thing to do would be to tell the mom to go back to the counter and ask for more chicken nuggets. They didn’t offer any help, just their opinion—with attitude.

The mama decided to share her meal with her son—who refused to eat anything but French fries anyway—much to the disapproval of the nosy couple. The woman-half of the couple scoffed, took a swig of her drink and along with her husband, continued to stare and discuss the harried mom in front of them.

Selfish is the word.

And mean.

But it turns out that mothers of young children are in the highest category of stressed out people in the world (and all the moms say amen). Here’s a snippet from Randy and Nanci Alcorn in their book, Help For Women Under Stress:
“One doctor and stress lecturer has said that the most overstressed person in our society is the mother of small children. Our counseling experience, our family experience, and our conversations with many women confirm this.
Small children are takers. They require unceasing time, labor, and attention. They cry but can’t tell you what’s wrong, and when they’re old enough to talk they ask you the same question twenty-nine times in a row. They are delightful gifts of God, yes, but they demand and deserve more than you have left.”

Many people have asked me how I manage to juggle all that I do. I raise kids full-time (and have one of those awesome husbands that helps), write novels and do other freelance writing jobs, and when my husband is off work, I go from wrangling my kids all day to putting in a shift at my part time job. I drive home at midnight, literally slapping myself to stay awake. My son still gets up anywhere from midnight to 3am with nightmares, which means I do too. I’ve worked physically demanding jobs, I’ve worked in a school for troubled teenage girls, and I’ve scrubbed dishes by hand, in a small redneck restaurant (redneck as in the genuine thing…not the Hollywood version). And all I have to say is….

Motherhood is, by far, the most difficult and demanding job I’ve ever done. And those other things I do? Yes, they keep me busier than is probably healthy, but they also give me a break from the mommy stress.

In contrast to those who recognize my hectic schedule, there are those (like the couple who plagued my friend in Wendy’s) who have asked me: Is that all you do? Why do you look so tired?

Seriously, who taught you to poop in a toilet, people?

And for those of you that hold doors, and offer understanding smiles and patience to a mama when her kids act out in public? Bless you a thousand times.

Are you looking for a way to pay it forward? Help a mom today. Are you a mom? Tell us your story, give us your rant, or grace us with your advice in the comments.

Seeing through boxador colored glasses

Tags

, , , , ,

We found our Bella at a local shelter. A delightful Boxador, she lavishes joy every moment she’s awake. Maybe it’s a gift unique to dogs, maybe we just don’t spend enough time practicing it, but lavishing joy is certainly a lost art.

All it takes for her day to turn from great to out-of-this-world-awesome is a lizard, or the morning, people walking in the door, or just being alive. Bella finds reason to celebrate from every angle.

Lizards, awesome! *Lick*20150620_142518
A dirt pile, awesome! *Bounce*
Morning breath. *Slobber kiss*

Frankly, she’s a breath of fresh air after living inside a human’s skin all my life. When I wake up in the morning, bed head and pillow creases across my face aren’t something I brag about, but to Bella? It’s the best thing ever!

Dogs can wake up with half their face smooshed an inch higher, and people think they’re adorable. They have no hidden agenda, political differences, nor do they fume over something that someone said they said that might be offensive that grows to something several people are saying thatmayormaynotbetrue.

Dogs just love us anyway.

Yesterday, my daughter said, “the house looks so different with Bella in it.” And she’s right—it does! Her delightful nature continuously points us to the good things—some of them we didn’t think were so good until she came along.

I believe God sent us dogs as illustrations to help us understand this:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8
Even if they have bedhead and smell, because being able to wake each day to your families faces is lovely indeed.

 

P.S. It’s been a busy summer…I’m close to finishing my newest YA novel and would love a few more beta readers. Did you enjoy Faith Seekers? Do you like Christian YA fiction with that pushes the boundaries? If you’re interested in becoming a beta reader, contact me at srossbook@gmail.com. Have a great Monday!

Lessons from the Forbidden Realm

Tags

, , , , , , ,

Are Smurfs evil? Yes, I really asked myself that question when a childhood friend wouldn’t watch the show with me. Her parents equated any kind of “magic” with evil, even good ol’ Papa Smurf.

I must admit, after her anti-magic proclamation, I felt a little “wrong” like maybe my desire to watch the Smurfs came from the dark side. Was I missing something? Was it okay to watch The Thundercats and She-Ra, or did those shows make me a bad Christian too?

I’m happy to report that I didn’t turn blue or grow up to think I should summon the forces of anything in the supernatural world but God.

Did I question things? Sure, who doesn’t?20150622_083638

Did those shows influence me? You bet. My talents are not as broad as some, but I do have a great imagination. Fantasy inspires me—I get it. You wouldn’t believe the thoughts that whirl around in my head, but I know who gave me this imagination—I know Who runs it all, therefore…

I can relate to people who like fantasy movies and books, whether it’s Christian or secular. Fantasy-minded people like metaphors, deeper thinking and don’t have trouble believing that angels exist and that we rub shoulders with the spiritual world every day. God is not confined to the box of human logic and we get that too.

So it disappoints me when the loudest critics of Christian fantasy, whether in movies or books, are not anti-Christian, but Christians themselves.

What are we supposed to do as Christians? Despite the messages displayed in front of us every day, life is not about what we deserve (Jesus fixed that). It’s not about judging others, chasing after worldly ambition, or spending the majority of our time living up to each others expectations. Mankind is not God (and for heaven’s sake, don’t change who you are for man—man did not design you).

So what does the real God say?

Here it is: He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Mark 16:15 (emphasis mine)

What is your corner of creation? Is it in medicine, ministry, grounds work?

You are uniquely made, given a unique language in which to speak to your corner of creation.

A lot of people who don’t know God, read, watch, and breathe fantasy, so wouldn’t it make sense for God to get through to them with people who speak their language? Or is your world more black and white? I don’t get that at all, but my husband is (technical) and I love him (loads the dishwasher likes it the great physics experiment) and appreciate his (he thinks math is fun) talents.

Let’s all accept each others differences, shall we? We are a tapestry—different threads, colors, shades—God’s artwork.

Trying to unravel it is not God’s design—that’s the influence of what some call dark magic.

Or Satan. Whatever.

Who are you, and what is your ministry? Tell us in the comments.

Behold the Yellow Cup

Tags

, , , , , ,

About three decades ago, in the land of Yonder, an atrocity happened. Deep in play, running through our country yard of part grass, part goat heads, me and my two brothers were scarred for life. While in the midst of a game I no longer remember, our neighbor peed in his water cup. Our water cup—our yellow plastic, color of the brightest sun, water cup.

Being economically-minded, my mom thought some elbow grease and some bleach would do. She placed the yellow cup back in the cupboard.

Where it sat for YEARS, unused. It didn’t help that the cup happened to be yellow. For me, this color had been forever branded as the “ew” color.

I think my mom finally used it out of frustration—“we don’t waste”, she said.

“We don’t drink out of pee cups”, we said.20150615_084231

She wouldn’t throw it away, we wouldn’t use it, and there sat the most stubborn statement of all time, gathering dust in the cabinet.

Now that I have kids of my own, I understand the value of pasticware. It can withstand drops, punts, sword fights, rock collections and temper tantrums. When Costco displayed a beautiful, multicolored set of cups that looked like glasses straight from the colors on Claude Monet’s palette, we grabbed a box and nearly sang as we pulled them out, one by one.

Two of them are yellow.

One of the first things I did was serve water to my brother from one of the new yellow cups—just for my own entertainment. Heh.

But every time I look at those yellow cups, pee comes to mind. Why? Why, why why why? It’s been close to three decades, yet one offensive act from a neighbor has ruined yellow for me.
My kids don’t even like the yellow cups. I’ve never told them the story, but they must sense my revulsion when I go around it for any other color (even light green, which thanks to the 90’s craze about the color green, that color is (almost) ruined for me too).

But I don’t want to see the world through pee colored glasses, I mean, really, this is getting ridiculous.

So I started drinking from the yellow cups, and serving my kids drinks from the yellow cups (It’s like they’re learning my prejudices through osmosis). I must see yellow as beautiful again.

Time to train the brain. Yellow is sunshine, yellow is butter, yellow is jelly beans, sunflowers and Belle’s dress.

Yellow is the center stripe in the rainbow, the glint of gold, and is the best flavor in a package of skittles.

God made yellow and if anyone can take a yellow pee cup and make it into a lemonade cup, He can.

Do you have a reason why I should embrace yellow? Or maybe you have a similar story of your own? Tell us in the comments.

The Road to Greekdom, and Other Good Things

Tags

, , , ,

Since sugar has been named the super villain ingredient of all diets, my family has decided to cut down. It’s hard with kids, especially on our Harkins Summer Movie Fun Days. I let my two have a drink and a small bag of candy, which is still too much, but it keeps my son focused on the movie instead of turning the theater into his personal gymnasium. We’re working on an alternative.

But when they see the full popcorn/drink/candy/villain pack that many of the parents buy their kids, they think I’m denying them one of life’s greatest pleasures.

And the words cavities, illness, and tummy ache from planet Naseum don’t do much to placate them.

So we started with yogurt. I thought it was healthy—my son eats bucketsful of the 20150604_124252stuff—but when I actually read the sugar content, I nearly lost my Yoplait all over the kitchen. You could make sugar sculptures of superheroes eating the villains with the amount of sugar in one cup. So we’ve gone Greek.

It was a bit of a tough sell at first—I had to hunt down lemon meringue, Boston cream pie and pie flavors of all kinds to get them to eat it. But what motivated me to stick with it was my cousin. Recently diagnosed with leukemia, he cleaned the sugar and other “junk” from his diet, successfully lowering his white blood cell count. Motivated by this change, we’re taking one healthy step at a time.

After about two weeks of whining, they gave in and embraced the greek.

Then we took off for Disneyland, the land of regular sugar and more expensive sugar. Our hotel served a great breakfast, but they only had one kind of yogurt. That’s right; it was a giant bowl full of strawberry, sugar-dumped, disease-causing yogurt. But since we were on a rare vacation, I dug in, filled my bowl, and sat at our table with a view of Cars Land. Spoon to hungry mouth.

It. Was. Disgusting. I could finally taste the amount of sugar we had consumed day in and day out for years. It was like the time I switched from milk chocolate to dark chocolate, never being able to go back because the extra sugar in the m.c. makes me feel sick.

Should we do this with everything? I started thinking about the excess we surround ourselves with: dust covered stuff over all the shelves at home, over processed appearances (although we’re pretty good at keeping that to a minimum), food just as equally processed. I believe we’re consuming more hazards than actual sustenance.

This is the land of plenty, for sure. A great country, no doubt, but we’re all drowning in the additives.

I think good health is in shedding much of what we think we need.

My new goal, in between raising a family and working, is too take a good long look at our life, and really see what’s immediately good versus what’s everlasting good.

What about you? Have you stopped to reevaluate about the way you take care of your health? Tell us in the comments.

Oh Joy

Tags

, , , ,

Soon, we’ll be going to Disneyland. We’re going to step out of our worn-out work shoes and slide into our fun shoes as we shed our adulthood for a few days of wonder.

We will eat jelly beans.

We will ride roller coasters, and when our kids’ smiles stretch farther than they ever have, ours will stretch with them, because we’ll be kids too.

We’ll laugh, becoming drunk on sugar and freedom.tinkerbell

Our toes will tingle with delight in the haunted house, because unlike the horror that comes out of the TV news channel at home, the Disney version has a happy ending.

What work phone?

The only high-pitched tone we’ll respond to will be the whistle on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

We will play,

play,

play,

All day, until the knots loosen their grips in our shoulders.

We will dine with a mermaid and embrace a mouse

And when we return to our house…

Our shoes will be wings once again.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 143 other followers