The Aftermath of the Fire

For us, life will never be the same. We have learned so much from this experience, things that have changed us in our daily life. We look at others differently, and we look at our God differently. Jesus is much bigger to us now, for we have seen the salvation He can bring!

We have heard of twelve other instances, where a believer used those scriptures (John 15:7-8, John 16:23-24, and Psalm 91) to make a claim upon their house, and their house was also miraculously saved! Hallelujah! It was wonderful to watch their face as they testified to me about it. The Holy Spirit’s light shone forth from their face till it seemed as if they glowed.

I also discovered that having cursed items in your home did not remove the legal right to use those scriptures to save the home! (This is a big thing for those of my readers who are stuck living with other unbelievers or pagans!) I know that my believing neighbor has cursed items in her home, for I have seen them. Her and her children are believers, while her husband is not yet a believer. Sadly, their lives testify to the cursed items being there, for great have been the troubles upon those that lived in that home!

That is one thing I have witnessed through this fire. Those who practice deliverance have a peaceful and prosperous life. Those who do not believe in such things as demons affecting Christians, or those who simply do not practice deliverance for themselves, have a life filled with problems.

I had also wondered what it would be like, to stay on land that was not blessed. When we go to stay at a hotel, we bless it with blessed oil, for we know we have the legal jurisdiction over it due to the paying of rent for its use. But we didn’t have that while staying with others during the evacuation. Both homes that we stayed in, were not blessed homes. The Jehovah’s witness home was actually under a curse besides, for the woman of the house has had it blessed by the elders of that cult. I found that much time was spent in spiritual warfare; at the JW house, it was all I could do just to keep up with the attacks. After that incident with the fire demon nightmare and that playing card, (at the unbeliever’s house,) I went out and purchased some olive oil, and then blessed it for our use. I then blessed the beds we used, for the owners of both places stated that we could sleep there. I looked at it as a matter of a gift that was being given to us, and in that case, I hoped that the spiritual laws extended to such gifts from the owner.  It must have worked, for our sleep was much better after blessing the beds.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses contacted us, several weeks after they had kicked us out of their home, saying that they were sad at how things turned out, and that they wanted to get together with us for dinner. The Lord pointed out to me, that this was not an actual apology, (in essence, they were saying that they were sad that I had acted the way I did,) and besides it was the man who initiated the email, and not the woman herself. I found out from her son, that she still felt she was in the right and had done no wrong, and that the father was in agreeance with her. My husband and I prayed to the Lord and asked Him what we should do, and He told us to have nothing further to do with them. He gave me this piece of scripture as His reasoning: “Reject him that is an heretic, after once or twice admonition, Knowing that he that is such, is perverted, and sinneth, being damned of his own self.” (Titus 3:10-11, GNV) I thought to give them another chance, but the Lord reminded me that she had many chances over those two days, as I answered her questions with the scriptures, and that even my son, who is friends with her son, also got kicked out from her home before, because he was trying to answer her questions about hell. So they have had their two chances already. I need not do any more. The Lord told me that he does not want us to go out and dine with a bunch of demons, and that this is in essence what we would be doing if we got together with them. My heart has ached over this, for I hate to think of them being cut off from Jesus.

It has also been sad to see a man that I had hopes for, turn away from Christ yet again. He was doing landscaping for us at the time of the fire. I made the claim to him that the Lord Jesus would save our home from the fire, just moments before evacuating. When he seen that it was spared, he put it all down to luck. This man has had such bad luck, always getting ill in some way, or his kids being in accidents, that I have told him that he either needs a new profession or a new God. He laughed and told me he just needs to be able to hire a bunch of workers that he can order around and everything would be fine. He has yet to understand. I pray that he will come to see that what he really needs is Jesus.

I find myself wanting to go back to those believers who have lost their homes, and testify to them about the scriptures that they could have used to save their homes, so it won’t happen to them again. Yet one of my boys pointed out to me, that they would then feel like it was their fault that their house burnt down. And I can see his point. No one likes to find out that they could have saved their home if they had just used that piece of scripture and believed. So for now, I leave it be. But there may come a time when I might be called to testify to them about it. I pray that if and when that time comes, I will be courageous enough to do it. Hosea 4:6 says “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” Apparently their homes can be destroyed too.

The family who’s son called mine to warn us about the fire in the first place, and who ended up losing their home, are cessationists; they believe that speaking in tongues, casting out demons, and healing all died off with the original apostles. We testified to them, that we claimed that piece of scripture and that is why our house was saved. They frowned, but said nothing. I can only pray that the seed takes root in fertile ground. The Lord had told us not to give them any money, and I am glad that we did not, for their insurance is paying them extremely well, though they are having quite a fight with their insurance to get the money. We got a new couch, and we had planned to throw out the old one in the dump, but they asked us for it instead. When I asked the Lord if I could give it to them, He responded with such contempt that it startled me. He said “They can have your garbage!” When I asked Him why He was so angry, He told me that He longs to give them the best, but they insist on relying on man (their church,) and the government, instead of relying on HIM. He feels slighted over their choice to ignore Him. They could have so much more, but they refuse His help and His gifts.

During the middle of the night, several weeks after we had returned, I awoke to the smell of fire. Panic then hit me in the chest so hard, that for a moment I was left breathless. Satan kept trying to convince me that I should get up and go out to see if the fire was close to our house. He told me that it was only luck that saved our house in the last fire, and it would not be saved in this one. At this absurdity the spell was broken, and I laughed out loud and told him that there was no way it was just luck. I then cast him out and claimed in Jesus name that no fire would ever even get close to our house again. I then contentedly fell back asleep.

I have really appreciated the prayers of the believers out there, said on my and my family’s behalf; I could feel them strengthening us as we went through this disaster. May the Lord Jesus Christ return unto you ten times the blessings that you have asked for me!

There is a favorite piece of scripture that I’d like to share with you, that I often like to say during my prayer time. “Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the LORD shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.” (Proverbs 3:25-26 KJV) Amen!

 

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Homecoming

Homecoming

As we drove back home, you could see the path the fire took. In it was total destruction. The earth was charred to a deep black, even the tall trees were just black toothpicks sticking up out of the ground. The smaller trees and brush that had filled up the void was completely gone. It looked like a Halloween ghost flick, complete with still smoky steam rising up to float over the surface.

Oh but our house never looked so good! However humble, there is no place like home. When we drove in, it felt like the house was holding its arms out to us in welcome.

All the chickens were there, though it took almost three months for them to come to trust me again, and about just as long before they started laying eggs again. We had gone on two week vacations before, and had a neighbor come and care for them while we were away, and found that they were no different when we returned. Not so this time. Something serious must have happened for them to distrust me so. They must have had quite the view to the fire, for their coop looks over the land that was scorched blackest. My heart aches for them; I wished I could have taken them with me when we left, but it was not possible. When we left, the automatic waterers were on, but when we returned, we found that the water to the house had been shut off. So the neighbors who stayed behind had been watering them as well as feeding them. Not an easy job when you have to truck the water in.

We could see that the fire had come right up to our driveway. Firemen had chopped down the nice trees that lined it, in an effort to preserve the house. The fence was charred black, with most of it missing.

The fire also chewed on one side of the shed, leaving quite a charred black spot. But it still stood, and everything inside it was safe.

We looked at the devastation all around us, and I found myself alternately crying and praising God. As I wandered around the property, I came across a pile of old hay that was still smoldering. We tried putting it out but we realized that the fire had moved underground, so we left the hose running (we had turned back on the water,) and hoped that it would be enough.

Inside the house everything was as we left it. The place reeked of smoke, and this did not go away for several weeks. Laundry had been left in the washer, and all the clothes were moldy and ruined, but the washer survived. All the contents of the fridges and freezers were rotten and full of mold.

We still had no power, but they got it up and running soon after we returned. The phone lines however remained down for months.

The place was crawling with people. It felt quite invasive, with so many strangers on our property. They claimed that they were “from the government and were here to help” us. They wanted to inspect things, to make sure that anything hazardous was taken care of.

Some firemen drove by, asking us if we had seen anything, so we told them about the fire on our property, so they came with their picks and dug out the ground till they reached the underground fire. They then used our water hose to put it out.

They told us that they were the ones who had camped out on our deck to keep a watch out for the fire. It was special for me, to be able to thank them in person for the work that they did. They told me that it was “no big deal” for them, and one of them told me that it was “fun” to put out the fires.

We decided to walk around the neighborhood to see how others were doing. Black and grey soot covered everything. Whenever the wind blew, chunks of grey ash fell off the tree limbs, making it look like it was snowing. We found that in many places the ground was so hot that it still radiated heat upwards. It’s not like the hot asphalt on a hundred degree day. It comes at you in distinct waves, and is much hotter. Black toothpicks of leftover stumps surrounded us, and many homes were just burnt out concrete slabs with a fireplace skeleton remaining. A horrible stench of something rotten and dead filled the air. Dizziness kept assaulting me, so I had to hold on to my husband as we walked. I had not felt this kind of dizziness while we were evacuated, but here near the fire, I did. I really do wonder if something was used to help this fire along, for somehow it felt quite evil and unnatural.

On our way back, a cop car came along side of us and wanted to know where we lived. While we were telling them, they got a call on their CB radio from another group of officers, telling them about a suspect that they had just taken into custody. Apparently this man had driven onto someone’s property and tried to pull open the garage door to gain entrance to the house. As we overheard their description, we realized that the house was our own, and their suspect was one of our boys who had been staying with the other family offering us shelter. We told this to the officers we were with, but they refused to release him. The officers asked us to get into the car with them so they could drive us back home and see if this person really was our son.

When we got there, we asked my son why he did not show the police his driver’s license, to prove that he lived there. He said that he did, but the police still did not believe him.

Thankfully they believed us, especially when they watched my husband pull out his keys to unlock the front door.

Two days later two insurance men came out to access the damage. One of them began arguing with us on the cost of a large tub of sour cream, but then the other man he was with stopped him and suggested that he should go on to the next place, for that one would have a lot more to deal with than us, and that he could take care of the stuff here. So the one man left, and the other man remained. (Apparently one of them takes care of the inside of the home, and the other one takes care of the outside claims.) He asked us about the damages, and we told him and gave him our photos and lists, and he didn’t even look at them or argue about the price of things. He just asked for the totals and wrote it in his computer. He then asked us if he could just sit there on our deck and work for the afternoon. We told him yes. Later on, he asked for my husband and said he had a check ready for us. My husband didn’t think that we would even meet the deductible, so when the adjuster wrote him out a check for several thousand dollars, he found he had to sit down in the nearest chair from shock. Apparently all the huge dead and chopped down trees around our home were worth several hundred a piece.

My husband had been wondering how we would be able to make our monthly mortgage payment, (for my husband had not gotten his usual summer job,) and here the Lord Jesus uses an insurance man to deliver the money we desperately needed to make the payment. Thank You Jesus!

A few days after we had returned, I suddenly realized what day it was; it was the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles. This is a Holy Feast mentioned in the bible in several places, most notably in Leviticus 23:33-39 and in John 7:2-14. The first part of it is a solemn assembly, whereby an offering is made by fire to the Lord, and the people live in tents, as a sign that they are ready and willing to leave all that they have and follow God. The second part of it is on the eighth day, when a big feast (party) is held as a celebration for returning home. Our family usually takes out the old tent trailer to stay in, to celebrate the feast. But when I went to mention this to my husband, he became overwhelmed with all it entailed; the garage was still partially blocked from the downed trees, and the last thing anyone wanted to do was to go and live in a tent for a week. It would take several days just to clear everything out so we could get at the tent. I went back to the Lord and asked him (I was distressed with the thought of failing Him in this,) what we should do. But His calming voice slowly penetrated my mind.

“For more than a week you have tabernacled with Me, relying upon Me for your shelter and security. You made your sacrificial offering to Me and I have accepted it. You have met the requirements of the Feast of Tabernacles. You need do nothing more.”

I thought back to that dream of the colonel, and how we were safely residing in some kind of shield, and then relief washed through me, as I realized the truth of what He said. That night at the dinner table, we gave Him extra thanks and praise for all He does for us!

A week later, my stomach had settled back to normal, and my limbs no longer shook. I have been hit with tiredness in all that has happened to me. Yet I have also had great moments of profound joy.

I recently came across a piece of scripture that really summed it all up for me:

“The Word of the Lord is tried in the fire; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.” (Psalm 18:30, GNV)

TO BE CONTINUED… (Next post : The Aftermath)