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)

The Broadcast Of Fear

The other day, I was listening to a piece of news at night, in the form of a radio podcast. The topic was on people disappearing, and it started talking about the recent airplane that disappeared. The front of the youtube picture, had the radio numbers and other identifying items written across the screen. At the bottom of it, and towards the center, was a picture of a green alien, holding out his hand and making the ‘peace’ symbol with his fingers.

The news had come from one of my usual Christian sources, so I figured that those that put on the radio show, were also believers.

However, looking at that green alien drawn across their title page, made me wonder. As I stared at it, I sensed a slow insidious demonic attack coming from it, but I just figured that it was from someone who did not understand that aliens are demonic. So, to be safe, I kept the computer screen closed during the recording, so it could not affect me.

As I listened to the recording, about a half hour into the program, they changed the topic and began to discuss the thousands of unsolved missing person cases that have happened in the national parks. For the next half hour, I listened to them describe the profiles of those gone missing. Then with sudden chills in the back of my neck, I realized that I was not alone in the room.

Fear was there with me.

It tried to make me doubt the Lord’s protection over my family, and to question with great fear, a possible future vacation into one of the national parks.

I realized then, that simply closing the computer screen had not kept out the evil. Even though there was no openly evil or pagan things discussed on this show, somehow evil had still permeated the room.

So I opened back up the computer, and shut down the web link, right in the middle of the radio program. I then closed the portal (by claiming it to be so in Jesus name,) and then I cast out the demons that I sensed in the room.

But the whole thing left me feeling kind of uneasy.

So I went out into the kitchen to get a glass of water. Moments later, one of my kids had evidently woken up, and came out to see what was going on, for he had been attacked by demons in his dream. He told me, that he had a nightmare that our family was camping out in one of the national parks, and him and one of his brothers had gotten lost within the park, and that something very evil was chasing them.

I then quickly told him what I had been listening to, and we then cast out any remaining demons together, blessed each other with the blessed olive oil, and then my son went back to bed.

It wasn’t till the next day, that we realized that it had been during the first few hours of the spring equinox, that this had happened to us.

(Much evil in general is wrought during the spring equinox.)

It was interesting for me to discover, that simply closing the computer screen was not enough to keep any demonic interference from the room. It was also interesting, to find that even though the words themselves coming from the recording were not evil, (I still believe that the broadcast was created by Christians,) the story itself was still evil enough for satan to try to use against us.

The Lord Jesus then admonished me to listen to the Holy Spirit that He put inside me, and when I sense that something is not quite clean, to simply turn away from it completely, and have nothing to do with it. If the news message is that important for me to receive, Then the Lord Jesus will find another way to give it to me.

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Scripture:

“Abstain from all appearance of evil.” 1 Thessalonians 5:22 (KJV)

Psalm 23:4 “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

Psalm 34:13 “Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.”

Psalm 34:14 “Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.”

Psalm 121:7 “The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul.”

Psalm 140:1 “Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;”

Proverbs 3:7 “Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.”

Proverbs 16:17 “The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.”

Ecclesiastes 12:14 “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.”

Matthew 6:13 “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.”

 

Something Of Good Report

Something else happened during our vacation, something of good report that I would like to share with you. It happened in Morro Bay, California.

I was struggling to carry my purse, with all the water bottles in it, (enough for all of us to use for lunch,) so I had my kids take turns in helping me to carry it while we walked amongst the ocean front shops in Morro Bay. Normally I make sure to carry my own purse, for I usually feel somehow bereft without it.

When we came to the restaurant where we were to have lunch, the kids took their water out, and I went back to carrying it myself.

There were long lines to use the lady’s room, and as I stood in line waiting, I got to know a few of them who were nearest to me. We talked about general things, mostly about Morro Bay and how each of our days were going there. After I used the lady’s room, I went back out to where my family was still in line to order. We waited a while, till it was finally our turn to order. We ordered, and sat down to wait for the food. When it came up, and was brought back to our table, I suddenly realized that my purse was missing.

I quickly asked my kids and husband, but they did not have it either.

I knew then that I had left it somewhere.

I went back to the line at the lady’s bathrooms, and asked those who were next in line, if they could check for me if they had seen it in there. They answered me with a no. No one had seen it.

Do you know what it is like, to suddenly know that your whole life that was in your purse, is simply gone? It wasn’t the loss of cash that bothered me, (I only had fifteen dollars in it,) but it was the thought of having to cancel my three bank cards, re-apply for a driver’s license, somehow manage to order and re-pay for the three prescription eye glasses that had I kept in it, and of course having to deal with the loss of my cell phone. Then there was the concern that someone would steal my identity and write out checks from my check book.

As I stood there on the busy restaurant’s patio, I looked all around me, at all the faces of those who were eating there, and I suddenly struggled just to breathe.

“Oh Jesus!” I exclaimed under my breath. “Please help me!”
(I was thinking in terms of being able to breathe and not to pass out, but in the end the Lord helped me even beyond those immediate concerns.)

One of the workers there, had overheard me asking others about the missing purse, and he came up to me, and told me to check up front to see if it was in their lost and found.

I went up to ask them, but they did not have it. They told me to ask those at the next store, just in case.

When I asked them, they let me know that they had a purse given to them not too long ago, and they were just about to call out over their intercom system my name, in an effort to reach the owner of it.

They were reluctant to hand it over to me, and asked me for identification, to prove I was who I said I was. But all my identification was in my purse. (Sadly, my driver’s license photo has me with my hair down and all fuzzy, and not up in a pony tail as I wore on that day. So the likeness was not immediate to see.) Finally, I had given them so many other pieces of information about what was in the purse, that they came to believe that it really was mine, and so they returned it to me.

As I walked back to the place where our food was, I seen two ladies sitting there at another nearby table, no longer eating, but simply watching. One of them said to the other with great excitement: “See? That is her! She got it back!”

I walked up to them, and asked them if they were the ones who had found it and turned it in to that store.

They said yes, and then the one who had found it began to tell of how she found it in the lady’s room, and couldn’t find me to return it to me, and how she wasn’t really sure of what I exactly looked like. (She remembered me with my jacket on, but I had taken it off to eat.) She was concerned that I would think that she had gone through my purse, so she just handed it over to the restaurant, who brought it to the other shop. (Apparently the shops are owned by the same person.)
I then asked her if I could give her a hug, of which she returned somewhat reluctantly. But I sensed somehow, that she was spiritually clean, and therefore o.k. to hug. I heard her then tell me that the Lord told her what to do with it, for it had happened to her many times before in her life. “That’s why I don’t carry purses anymore!,” she exclaimed to me. I excitedly asked her “You ARE a believer, aren’t you!” She gave a startled nod of agreement, and I motioned to her to give me a high-five, which she reluctantly did. At this point, I realized that she must not be too comfortable with my displays of emotion, and was probably older than I was. Her friend had all gray hair, but hers was a solid brown color. (Mine is just beginning to get streaks in it.) I figured she must have colored her hair to conceal her age. (It worked!) So I thanked her profusely several times, blessed her even more times in the name of Jesus, before leaving.

After they had left, I suddenly realized that I had forgot to offer her a monetary reward. Twice before I had lost my purse, and each time it was returned to me, I would give the finder a few twenties, as a way of thanking them. But this time, I did not have that cash to offer. Just the fifteen dollars, which seemed to be a pittance in return to what she had done for me.

“Oh Lord!” I said under my breath, “I sure wished I could have offered her a monetary reward!”

But the Lord responded to me immediately. “No Ma Petite. She would have been insulted.”

I was shocked at this. “Really? She would have?”

“Yes.”

So I sat there, and wondered what else I could do for her. Then I figured that being a believer, prayers would be the logical answer. I could do that for her instead.

So several times, during the trip, and even to this day, whenever I feel my purse, or think of her good work that she did in Jesus name, I give thanks to God for her, and I then ask the Lord to please bless her and her friend greatly, and answer whatever prayers that they are petitioning Him for. Whatever that is on their heart, whatever they desire, may the Lord give it to them with overflowing abundance! I ask this in the name of Jesus! I sensed that their need was not monetary, but was more for a loved ones salvation. Whatever it is, I ask the Lord to please grant it to them on my behalf.

For “…if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:19 ESV)

Thank you Jesus for answering my prayers!

Even more than the return of my purse, I greatly appreciated the meeting of another believer. After surviving the stronghold of San Luis Obispo, just knowing that there was another believer near by, and being able to worship the Lord together with them, was a gem in and of itself!

Thank you sisters, where ever you are now. Your good deed in His name will not be forgotten. Indeed, I still give glory to the Father, for what He did in you both on that day!

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Matthew 5:16 (KJV)
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

John 14:13-14 (KJV)
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

John 16:23-24 (ESV)
“…Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”

John 15:16 (ESV)
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.”

John 15:7 (ESV)
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

James 1:5-6 (ESV)
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.”

1 John 3:22 (ESV)
“and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.”

1 John 5:14-15 (CJB)
“This is the confidence we have in his presence: if we ask anything that accords with his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — then we know that we have what we have asked from him.”

Hebrews 13:21 (NLT)
“may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.”

I Tim. 5:22, Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins; keep thyself pure.

Philippians 4:8 (KJV)
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
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