Monthly Archives: September 2022

Anyone who has followed me for a long time knows that I am a follower of Jesus Christ. However, because of what has been occurring during the Evangelical Christmas movement, I have been silent about where I stand in all of this. I have talked around it, but now I can no longer talk around that elephant in the room. I must deal with it.

The Enemy is Not People

According to Ephesians 6:12, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

The rulers of the darkness of this world are not people, but there are people who are controlled by this darkness, but it is not those people who are the problem. It is their ideology.

Conspiracy Theories are Agendas

Conspiracy theories fall into that category as much as anything else does. They are almost always lies and are used to control us with fear. The first time I realized the insidiousness of conspiracy theories had to do with a military installation in Crane, IN. Someone had taken pictures of the parking lot that was inside the Naval Surface Warfare Center made the parking spaces look much smaller than what a normal parking lot would look like. The commentator pointed out that FEMA was going to use the installation for keeping people rather than for cars and that the fence around was to keep people in.

I knew that wasn’t the truth, because I worked with several reservists who would go to the installation for training and used classified information. The reason that there was a fence was to keep people OUT not to keep people in. The parking lot in the photo didn’t have any cars in it so it was hard to distinguish the actual size of the parking spaces inside the lot. A good photographer could position his camera so that it appeared that the parking spaces were smaller. The conspiracy promoted fear that the government was out to get them and that they would be put into concentration camps if they didn’t stay on top of this.

This incident taught me to be weary of conspiracy theories because people often have agendas that they are trying to promote. Sensational conspiracy videos offer the most outlandish ideologies that people believe because they want to believe that the government is out to get them and that the enemy is on every corner and wants to destroy them.

People become convinced that what they are watching is true because of algorithms. Algorithms on the internet feed you more of what you are watching and don’t give you the alternative so you keep hearing the same ideology over and over again until you think that it all must be true because it appears everywhere.

No King but Jesus

Another aspect of the lie that we are being fed is the idea that some one person is going to save us from those powers. Again, it’s the fear of the darkness that makes us look for a savior to save us from that darkness. The sad thing is that any savior that we see except for THE Savior is a phony. It has happened throughout history. We often are just too lazy to see that any person other than Jesus Christ, no matter how benevolent he might seem in the beginning will succumb to the dark powers.

I saw this happen firsthand under a pastor that I sat under. He was a young man who wanted to do something great for God. He encountered a man who was on the radio who convinced him that God had chosen him to lead a church to greatness in the town where I lived. He then picked up and insisted that our church read a book that insisted that churchgoers were required to follow and not question their leaders.

This started him on a campaign to kick out anyone from the church who did not completely agree with him including the church board. I stayed long enough for the pastor to say that the church secretary and her husband (he was on the board) were holding seances and conducting witchcraft incantations on Saturday evenings at their house! I knew that wasn’t true! I attended the Bible studies that occurred there every Saturday night. There were no evil things happening there! I continued going even after that and sat right in the front of the church and then the pastor came after me and said that I had no business sitting there judging him. I told God there was no way that I could sit another service there and I got the impression that God was telling me that he wasn’t the one keeping me there. I left.

A few months later I heard that he had chased everyone out of the church and that he had convinced the last of the parishioners that since there were so few of them that they should sign the parsonage over to him as payment for his services. Shortly after that he chased those last ones away and then one Sunday, he and his family were the only ones left so he took the keys to the church and sent it to the denomination leaders saying that the people in the area were a backslidden wash that wanted nothing to do with the truth. He had murdered the church body one by one. He sold the parsonage and moved away.

Developing True Faith

How can we know what is true and what isn’t? Well, first, you must realize that fear is the opposite of faith. “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17. “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6

When it comes to spiritual things, we tend to be lazy and depend on another person to tell us what God wants to tell us. We try to depend on someone else’s faith rather than developing our own faith in God and therefore we are duped by conspiracies and teachers who have their own agendas.

Our faith is developed through heart-knowledge of the God who saves us and I leave you with this from his word. “For God so Loved the World, that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him will not perish but have everlasting life for God sent not his son into the world but that the world through him might be saved.” John 3:16 & 17. I urge you to meditate on these words this week.

If your home looks like this, It’s time to declutter!

Too often when people declutter, they have a once-and-done attitude about the process only to discover that they must go through the whole process again in just a short time. It’s better to take time every day or at most every week to declutter your home.

Begin a Daily Decluttering Habit

Determine when the best time is to do your decluttering each day. Now, pick a second time in which you could do the decluttering during the day if you can’t do the first. Finally, pick a third time that you could declutter earlier in the day if you know ahead of time that you won’t be able to declutter at your scheduled time.

Now, gather what you need to organize what you’ll need to do the decluttering. First, you’ll need several boxes one for donated items, one for donated items to specific people, one for items to return to other parts of the house, and a trash bag as well as cleaning supplies.

Set an Alarm

Set an alarm to go off at the original time that you planned to do your decluttering and set it for that time every day. This reminder is important for making decluttering a habit.

Now determine what you want to declutter that day. If you were working in a specific area of the house the day before, you may want to continue in that area. If you simply want to work on a little here and a little there, you might want to designate a different part of the house.

Once you decided where you’re going to work, take all your decluttering tools into the room where you plan to start working. Set your phone alarm for fifteen minutes.

Pull Out One Item at a Time

Now take one item out of the area where you’re and determine whether you will keep it, toss it, donate to a general collection, or donate to a specific person. If you’re keeping it, put it into a pile ready to return to the area after fifteen minutes.

Keep removing items from the area you are decluttering and determine what you will do with each item until the alarm rings and the fifteen minutes are up.

Put Everything Away

When the time is up, use cleaning supplies to clean the area if necessary or possible. Neatly put the items you’re keeping back into the area you are decluttering. Put the trash bag away. Put the items that belong in the other areas of the house away in those areas and put donated items in your car so you can deliver them when you get a chance.

Enjoy the Process

Do this every day and it won’t be long before clutter will no longer be a problem for you and your family. Do you have a method similar to this for decluttering or do you do something different?

My husband and his friends found pawpaws along the river this past weekend

This past weekend, my husband and some of his friends spent several days on the river, and on the bank they found a pawpaw tree. They brought me home a bag of them. I looked them up online. Here’s what I discovered.

The Pawpaw Tree

The pawpaw (Asimina triloba) is a temperate climate member of a large, mainly-tropical plant family (Annonaceae), and produces the largest edible fruit native to North America. It is a small, understory tree, unlikely to ever grow into the forest canopy.  

The Pawpaw Fruit

The pawpaw fruit is a late-season fruit, which begins to ripen in late summer and peaks in September and October. The flavor of raw pawpaw fruit is similar to bananas, but with hints of mango, vanilla, and citrus. The fruit looks like a small green potato and occurs in clusters on the tree. Successfully foraging for pawpaw fruits can be a challenge. Pawpaw is self-incompatible, which means that pollen produced on a plant cannot pollinate flowers on that same plant. Instead, to produce fruit, a pawpaw flower must receive pollen from flowers on another tree, and sometimes this “other tree” is farther away than it may appear at first glance! Although pawpaws frequently grow in patches, the trees in a patch are often genetically identical and connected underground making it the same plant. Pawpaw’s pollinators include flies and beetles and pollinate some flowers so that plant produces fruit.

Opossums, foxes, squirrels, raccoons, and birds all love pawpaw fruit and will be watching for ripe fruits. Pawpaw fruit can often be found on the ground under a fruiting tree.

Making Pawpaw Bread

When my husband brought the pawpaw into the house, I tasted the flesh of the pawpaw and it tasted like a cross between a papaya and a banana In my research of the pawpaw, discovered that the fruits don’t last more than 2-3 days once they are ripe, and since the pawpaws wouldn’t last more than a couple days and I knew I wouldn’t be able to eat all of them in that length of time, I decided to make it into a bread and because the flavor is so similar to bananas, I used my favorite banana bread recipe. Here’s how I made the bread. I made a double batch, but here’s the recipe for a single batch of pawpaw bread.

Pawpaw Bread Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Mix Ingredients:

1 ¾ cup of all-purpose flour

2 ¼ teaspoons double-acting baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup shortening or vegetable oil

2/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 to 1 ½ cups pawpaws (seeds removed)

1-2 beaten eggs

½ cup chopped nuts (optional, I used pecans, but I am sure English or black walnuts would also work)

Pour mixture into baking pans bake for one hour or until bread is done.


The resulting bread immediately after taking from the oven tastes like banana bread but had a hint of what reminded me of grapefruit.

Saving the Seed to Grow My Own Pawpaw Trees

I have decided that I enjoy pawpaws enough that I want to grow a few of my own here in my permaculture orchard. I plan to plant them in the flower bed on the back side of the orchard. The reason I’ll be planting them there is that it’s a shaded area and pawpaw trees don’t like direct sunlight. In the meantime, though, the seeds need to be stratified. To do this, I rinsed the seeds and placed them in damp (not wet) paper towels. The instructions I read recommend damp (not wet) sphagnum moss, but I don’t have any of that so I am using paper towels. I now have them in the refrigerator and will keep them there for 90-120 days or until spring when I will plant the seeds. They can be planted in 10-inch pots, but according to what I have read, they do best if planted directly into the ground about an inch deep.

I hope to let you know if the pawpaw seeds and resulting plants faired in a future article.

I’ll be adding another rough draft for The Locket Saga

When most people think about annual traditions in November here in the United States, Thanksgiving comes to mind. For me, the most significant tradition is NaNoWriMo. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month and I participate almost every year. NaNoWriMo occurs every November from 12:01 am on November first until 11:59 pm on November 30 and millions participate all over the world. The objective of the event is to write 50,000 words of the first draft of your novel during the month.  Most years I win, although one year I didn’t and another year I didn’t participate at all, but NaNoWriMo has been significant in getting the first drafts of my novel written.

Most years, I write the first draft of one of my novels in the Locket Saga series. The series is a historical fiction story about a family where the bride inherits a locket to wear when she weds. Each story is about the courtship of the relationship of that novel. Because the book is about the ups and downs of one family member’s courtship, (for lack of a better word), each book in the series is independent of the other stories in the series. Several of the books in the series was started on NaNoWriMo.

 One year I wrote a story that was more contemporary, and it is still sitting in the drawer waiting for me to dust it off and bring it back to life. (I don’t know if that will happen.)

This year I am thinking about writing a book that has been in my head to add to the Locket Saga for many years now, and since before I published When God Turned His Head, but I still haven’t written it yet. The story idea is set during the discovery of oil in 1859 in Titusville, Pennsylvania. Because it is considered unlucky to share too much of the plot at this point, I will let you know more about that later.

In the two months coming up to November, I will be working on certain aspects of the novel. These aspects include creating a summary of the book, adding character sketches to the series bible, the title, the outline for the book, doing research for the time of the book, and creating the rough draft blurb for the back of the book. I like to do as much of this as possible before writing the first draft because I like to have a working knowledge of what I want in my first draft before I write it. This saves a lot of the editing that I must do when I begin that process.

NaNoWriMo is an annual event that I don’t like to miss and I won’t this year either. Even though my son has his wedding this November, I can almost guarantee that I will have a successful win when I write the book. Are you participating NaNoWriMo this year?

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