Bible Study

Is God taking you to the next level?

Before God takes you to the next level, he needs to separate you! Do you ever wonder why you “don’t fit in” or “why you were put in a situation you never ask for”? God is calling you to do something great. I know it doesn’t look like it right now, but he needs you to be focused on him and not the noise around you. He needs you to rely solely on him. He needs you to hear his voice and not the voice of everyone around you. God separates us for three reasons! (Isaiah 41:10) He wants to give us the tools for our destiny. 1. You’re not alone, you’ve been separated! 2. He wants you to clearly know his voice. (Proverbs 3:5-6) He wants to put us in a season where he can teach us now to know his voice and hear it. 3. To mold us in his image. When you make wine, you first need to crush the grapes. You crush those grapes and press them, but by doing so you are changing them into something totally different than what they started out as. God does that to us. He will press us and send us into intense situations to mold us into his image. Paul tells in Romans 5:1-5 that, “we also rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance. Perserverance builds character, and character builds hope. , character; and character, hope.”

Some of us have lost touch with the Fruit’s of the Holy Spirit. In Galatians 5:22-23 there is a list of 9 Fruit’s of the Holy Spirit that each of us were given:

Fruit of the Spirit list:

  1. Love
  2. Joy
  3. Peace
  4. Patience
  5. Kindness
  6. Goodness
  7. Faithfulness
  8. Gentleness
  9. Self-control

When I was sent to prison, I learned that I needed to work on a few of these on the list. Other items on the list, I was able to show other’s and what it looked like to be kind, gentle and have joy and love in their lives. I had a roommate once tell me that she was jealous because I had so many people that truly loved and cared about me. She didn’t know what that felt like. It made me so sad because that is the same sentiment that many people in prison have. They are so far detached from their family, friends and loved ones that people have stopped caring all together once they end up in a place like that. People would ask me why I was always so happy. I heard the expression before that “sometimes people don’t like you because your gifts and calling agitate their demons.” I can say I believe that to be 100% true. People will purposely try to tick you off or rain on your parade to see you miserable. Rebuke that noise in Jesus name and send it back where it came from! You have every right to be happy and at peace. As God starts to elevate you, you will start to see these fruits grow inside of you. You’re going to want to spend more time with him, you’re going to want to please him. You are going to start to see your interests change. There are going to be friends that you’ve had for years that are no longer going to be able to be in this new season of your life. There is a song by Hillsong that explains about the grapes to wine and how God will press us into something better. Are you willing to allow God to use you and make new wine out of you?

New Wine

Words and Music by Brooke Ligertwood

VERSE 1:
In the crushing
In the pressing
You are making new wine
In the soil I now surrender
You are breaking new ground

PRE-CHORUS:
So I yield to You and to Your careful hand
When I trust You I don’t need to understand

CHORUS:
Make me Your vessel
Make me an offering
Make me whatever You want me to be
I came here with nothing
But all You have given me
Jesus bring new wine out of me

VERSE 2:
In the crushing
In the pressing
You are making new wine
In the soil I now surrender
You are breaking new ground

VERSE TAG:
You are breaking new ground

BRIDGE:
Where there is new wine
There is new power
There is new freedom
The Kingdom is here
I lay down my old flames
To carry Your new fire today

@HillsongWorship

#Hillsong, #HillsongWorship, #NewWine, #Trials, #TrustinGod, #Pressure

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Bible Study

The Devil’s Gateway

I have been sickened the last few weeks watching highlights of the Grammy’s, the Super Bowl half time show, as well as other highlights from various concerts and shows. I shouldn’t be surprised, but then again, I wasn’t as mature in my faith before as I am today in order to understand what I am seeing. Let me explain.

Our bodies are a fortress and belong to God. Like any fortress, we need to put gates up to close access to the enemy (or Satan) from being able to gain access. A gate protects. So what entrance ways am I referring to? There are the eyes, nose, mouth, touch, ears. We can do simple things to protect these areas like, walking away from gossip, choosing to not watch a certain show or listen to a certain broadcast, etc. These seem easy enough, but Satan knows that, so he finds ways to infiltrate in a way that we don’t easily notice. I’m going to refer you to another site: https://stonetablet.org/protecting-the-gates-the-ear-gates-part-3/ where you can read more about what I’m trying to explain here. I strongly encourage you to do your own research as well to be better informed.

When I was in prison, I had a roommate start to tell me about how many of the stars, actors, actresses and musicians belong to the Illuminati. I thought she was joking. I had heard about them before, in the news, on the History Channel and after reading Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. Now that I’m home, this is all that I am hearing about. These people are coming out on stage to accept awards, sing and perform and the first thing they do is make this triangle sign with their two hands lifting it up above their heads. (You can see some more demonic symbolism here: https://www.themystica.com/satanic-symbols/). I had not watched the Grammy’s this year but was horrified to see people I enjoy listening to dressed like demons and just being blatant about it. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, Sam Smith’s performance was nuts. (https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/sam-smith-demonic-performance-leaves-many-grammy-viewers-horrified). I have recently seen videos of a concert by The Weeknd subliminally flashed the word SATAN during a concert in 2017. So, Rhianna’s Super Bowl half time show didn’t surprise me when she came out decked in all red and flashed the illuminating sign prior to signing. Even her eye looked filled with evil. I like Rhianna’s music and the Holy Spirit convicted me so much that I couldn’t watch it. Perhaps people either chose to not see what’s happening now, or maybe as a society we have grown callus and insensitive. Why has this become so normal that they can just waltz out on stage and perform a satanic ritual in front of the world? Ironically, there was a commercial that playing during the Super Bowl that was in reference to Jesus. That received a LOT of backlash. (ps://www.huffpost.com/entry/jesus-super-bowl-ads-backlash_n_63ea6463e4b022eb3e31aabb). So, if we want to believe that everyone can worship who they want, then why the fuss about this ad? Why the acceptance of these performers worshiping Satan? You can’t have it both ways!

We as a society have pushed God so far out of our lives, out of everything we do that we can’t be surprised when he doesn’t rush to our aid. We have made him second fiddle and only call on him when we need him. Our country was founded on trusting in him, and yet we’ve allowed him to be removed from everything. It only seems fitting that Satan would use music to entice us to him. Many don’t realize that Lucifer was the angel of music.

Photo by Mo Eid: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-in-black-shirt-walking-on-sand-8347501/

#Satan, #SatanicWorship, #2023SuperBowl, #Grammys

Bible Study

Spiritual Blindness

Growing up in the 80’s everyone wanted a Nissan Pulsar w/ the flip up lights. They were cool and futuristic. As time went on, people noticed a design flaw with the headlamps. They were the ones that would flip up when you turned them on. Over time, one would unfortunately remain stuck in the upright position. You drove around town with these cars essentially “winking” at you. This flashback came to mind yesterday after traveling to my sister and brothers-in-law’s home for Thanksgiving. I recently had eye surgery, AGAIN. I’ve lost count of the number of surgeries that I’ve had in my eyes from detached retina’s, cataract surgery, scar tissue removal, oil bubble removal. A habit that I’ve started because of these surgeries is closing my one eye, essentially using my “one good eye” to look at things. People notice that I squint or only have the one open. I’m walking around looking like a Nissan Pulsar, unknowingly winking at people. I’m really just trying to see out of whichever eye is working at the moment. One the trip here, and after asking several times if it was ok to fly, my surgeon assured that I would be fine. We boarded our flight out of Baltimore and after reaching maximum altitude it happened. I knew immediately my eye pressure was not right. When you have the problems that I’ve had, you know a thing or two about eyes. The feelings I was having, the feeling not only in my eye but the cold, clammy sweats. I was going to be sick. I didn’t want to do it, but if I did, I would probably feel better. I leaned forward, looking down and resting my head against the seat in front of me. It was all I could think of to do. A posture I had to do after my first detachment surgery, lying face down. I thought, maybe this would relieve some of the pressure. My wonderful husband was trying to comfort me, bringing me cold rags. I did essentially get sick, and I don’t know if that made me feel better, the leaning forward, or that we were descending by this time for landing. I was just happy to be feeling better and putting feet on the ground. During this time, I was also doing a lot of praying. “Lord, please protect my eye, get us there safely. Help relieve this pain.”

The Lord put this one my heart to share with all of you because as I suffer through temporary blindness, I can’t help but hurt for those who walk around spiritually blind every day. It reminded me of the story of Paul before he became Paul on the road to Damascus. If you’re unfamiliar with this story, you can read the full story in Acts 9. Saul was against Christianity and was persecuting early Christians. He had gone to the high priest asking for permission to arrest anyone to bring back to Jerusalem. The Lord shined a bright light down from Heaven asking him why he was persecuting him. Saul and his men just stood there astonished, hearing a voice but seeing no one. When he stood up and opened his eyes he couldn’t see. The Lord had told him to go, and he would tell him what he needed to do. The Lord had made Saul (Paul) blind. Ananias ended up restoring Saul’s sight, filling him with the Holy Spirit and converting him.

Again, you can read the entire story in Acts 9. I read and heard this story many times, but it wasn’t until now that I could put it into context. Whether Paul was literally or not, it doesn’t matter when it comes down to the meaning of the story. Paul might not have been able to physically see with his eye, but his heart was blind. He didn’t want to believe in the Lord. Sometimes, it takes a circumstance in our life to enlighten us. The Lord everyday uses any way possible to bring us closer to him. To fully rely on him. He doesn’t want us to be spiritually blind and wander aimlessly. The Lord lights a path onto feet. Go to him, lean on him and let him open your eyes.

Photo by Monica Turlui: https://www.pexels.com/photo/unrecognizable-woman-with-blindfold-and-blooming-roses-7218408/

Bible Study

Hexes, Curses and Attachments

My husband and I have always loved to travel. Like many of us that go on vacations, we also like to pick up a souvenir or memento to bring back home. These small treasures become little reminders of the fun we had, a visual piece that can instantly take us back to that moment. As we grow in our Christian faith and dig deeper into ways that Satan and demonic energy gains access to us through open gateways, it amazed me the things that I never would have thought of before. Many other countries have different believes than we are used to. There are in fact, many religions and beliefs right here in our own country. I don’t know how many of you remember the episode on The Brady Bunch, when the entire family went to Hawaii? The kids were doing what all kids do and they ended up finding this tiki statue. After several misfortunes, they soon realized that a curse was attached to this thing. As a kid or even maybe some of you as an adult might scoff thinking that where I’m going with this is hog wash. Google if you will, but you will soon find plenty of sites across the internet stating items to NEVER bring home from certain areas. Here are a few examples:

Hawaiian Lava Rocks: It’s not exactly illegal to take one of these natural elements from Hawaii, but tradition says that you could anger the Hawaiian goddess of fire and incur Pele’s Curse. The modern explains says that if you remove a rock from the Hawaiian Islands, you’ll have bad luck until it has been returned (yes, this was the premise of a very special “Brady Bunch” episode). Don’t laugh it off — hundreds of tourists return rocks to Hawaii through the mail every year.

God also gave us clear instructions to never worship any other god or put one before him. you could knowingly or unknowingly be bringing home a replica of a god or idol that another culture or religion worships. It’s been found that some factories that produce these trinkets “pray” over them or quote some incantation over them before selling them to us travelers waiting to spend our money. One idol in particular that I never put together, until another Christian pointed it out to me was the Budda’s inside many Asian restaurants, salons. He’s sitting there, looking all innocent. He actually isn’t Budda at all, but he is a deity that is worshipped. Many times, you will notice that they are sitting in an almost alter like setting. So, when we purchase items from these locations, are we then paying homage to this jolly looking man? (Read more information here: https://people.howstuffworks.com/that-fat-jolly-fella-isnt-buddha.htm).

I don’t know if we should stop buying these items all together, or perhaps when we enter into these establishments or purchase these items, we can use the authority that God has given us to bind whatever is attached to them and ask the Lord to deal with it however he seems fit. We can then loose Gods will, love and protection over all items we own and bring into our home. If you are unfamiliar with binding & loosing-you can read about it in Matthew chapter 16. (Matthew 16:19: I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”    You need to educate yourselves regarding the authority that the Lord has given to us and start using it! Not only does this apply to items or nick knacks we bring home, but we need to discern who we are allowing into our home as well. People also can have “things” attached to them. So, the next time when someone comes to your door, and you get “that feeling”. It might be the Holy Spirit trying to tell you that the threshold is far enough! Start evaluating these feelings, pray to the Lord and ask him for wisdom.

I’ve known for a while that my son’s also have the gift of discernment. It’s fun as they get older, seeing them unknowingly utilizing this gift. Today, I had a conversation with my one son about something he said to me yesterday. I received a gift a few years ago a bracelet with beads from Africa. I almost forgot that I had it. I was going through some things and stumbled across it yesterday. I asked my son if he would like to have it to put away. he looked it over and said, “no I’m good”. I said, “why, what’s the matter?”. I could tell by his response that it was a normal, no thank you. He said to me, “mom, I don’t know what they did to make that thing, but it’s made out of some animal hide. The hide of an animal I don’t know of what, and whatever other voodoo crap they had going on when it was made”. I didn’t think anything about it at the time and laid it on top of my desk. Today, he came back, and I told him that I thought about what he said and that I’m proud of him for making that discernment. He said, what do you mean? I then explained to him the importance of what he noticed immediately that I failed in doing so. I had this picture of this little African girl making these cute bracelets to sell to support her family. He received a whole other vision. This is why it’s so important that Christians share and support each other. We are here to advance God’s kingdom. What one may fail to see, another can surely turn on the light. If this wasn’t enough, I pulled this bracelet down from where I sat it yesterday. I jokingly said, I agree it could be cursed or something, I should pray over it to cast it out. I went to lay it back in its spot and a picture it was next to fell and almost hit me in the head. We both looked at each other. I said, well obviously something isn’t happy that it’s getting its eviction notice! I immediately prayed over it, but I’m still considering getting rid of it. Have you ever had anything like this happen with an item you purchased or were given as a gift?

Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/asian-figure-stone-asia-50993/

Bible Study

Your Inner Voice

1 John 2:20-27 But you have an unction from the Holy One, and you know all things.

Some call it a gut feeling, intuition. Call it whatever you want, but I say it’s the Holy Spirit giving me unction to make a choice. Last night I taught an online Bible study and one of the things we talked about was choices. In fact, that was the theme. Making good choices. How do we know we’re making good choices or not? The first question I had to ask myself when preparing this Bible study, was, “who am I to be instructing someone how to make good choices when I didn’t do it myself?” The Holy Spirit quickly told me that I am the perfect person to teach others about making better choices. Sometimes we allow other things to influence our decisions. We don’t want to let someone down, we don’t want to look like a loser, or it quite frankly might be an easy out. Whatever our reason is, we should be consulting the Lord before we consult anyone else. Eventually, the decisions that we make will affect us now or later. It’ll just depend on who’s voice your listening to when you make it.

Luke 12:3

Bible Study

Happy Halloween

Halloween is a controversial holiday between Christians. I was raised that it was about having fun, trick or treating and that was about it. We never looked into any deeper meaning than what it was at face value. The history of Halloween goes back to ancient Ireland according the The History Channel (read more here: https://www.history.com/topics/halloween/history-of-halloween). Halloween or All Hallows Eve was a festival to ward off evil spirits. I’m not sure where it came into play that it was a holiday to worship satan and his minions. We all do know, however that there are cults that so practice this as part of their beliefs. As Christians we sometimes get too caught up in details such as Halloween but fail to look around us at the satanic symbolism being put right out in the open. Even some of the phrases used every day, have roots in the occult. What we must ask ourselves, is this an accident or is there a more sinister reason that these symbols keep appearing. I want to share some with you, and you be the judge.

Diva: Maria Carey, Whitney Houston, and female artists of all genres have been called a DIVA. We should NOT be calling women or anyone a diva. I have read what I’m about to tell you many times, but I’ll reference “The Power of the Pen” – https://www.thepowerofthepen.org/new-page-77 for further reading. Diva in Latin means “Deus”, which means devil. Diva is short for divination. You are asking to be worshipped and the Lord has specifically told us not to place any other gods before him.

So, you are probably thinking, “why do I need to know this?” The Bible tells us that we need to know who we are dealing with. In Mark 5:9- Jesus came across a demon and specifically asked it, “What is your name? The demon responded, I am Legion, for we are many.” In Luke, Chapter 11 we are introduced to “the strongman”. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parable_of_the_Strong_Man). So, if we are to know who we are dealing with, and if we are to know their name, then shouldn’t we know who’s on the hitlist? If a specific person was bothering you, you would tell them, “Hey so and so, you’re bugging me-get away from me!”. We need to do the same thing when satan is attacking us, our loved ones, and our property. A book that I highly recommend is by John Eckhardt, “The Demon Hitlist”. You can pick up a copy on Amazon or your local bookstore. (I’ve read the hard copy, but I found this here: https://www.operationezra.com/uploads/1/0/4/4/10446233/demon_hit_list_-_eckhardt.pdf). Dr. Jerry and Carol Robeson, also wrote a book called, “Strongman’s his name, what is his game”. (https://docviewer.xdocs.net/view.php). Here is another book from John Eckhardt (file:///C:/Users/Jodie/Downloads/Prayers-That-Rout-Demons-John-Eckhardt-Christiandiet.com_.ng_.pdf).

I Corinthians 12:1 tells us not to be ignorant of spiritual things. 2 Corinthians 2:11 also tells us to not be ignorant of satan’s schemes so that he can’t have any advantage over us. I know this isn’t a subject people like to discuss. The world is getting uglier and uglier. As Christians, we need to be on guard and put on our full armor. I pray that each of you reading this will take the time to read the links that I’ve shared. Investigate on your own. Pray Psalms 91 over you and your loved ones daily. Be wise to the schemes of the enemy.

Photo by Alexa Popovich: https://www.pexels.com/photo/strongman-breaking-burning-bricks-with-hand-9510503/

Journey of Faith

Trust and Obey

Growing up I remember a song that we used to sing in Sunday school. It was called “Trust and Obey”. The lyrics went something like, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way. To be happy in Jesus is to trust and obey”. When life hits you sideways like it did for me, that was the only choice that I saw. I needed to completely trust in my Lord and Savior, as well as obey what he was instructing me to do. Romans 4:20 tell us “He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God.” When the Lord repeatedly showed me and told me that I was coming home, I had to be obedient in believing that what I was hearing was from the Lord. He does deserve all of the glory for everything good in my life. I sometimes look in the mirror, hard to believe that I’m actually home. Living in MY HOME. In the book of Hebrews 12:11 says, “For the moment, discipline seems painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” I believe that to be true, at least in my case. The Lord has put a calling on my life. I definitely wasn’t meant to “fit in”. If everything that I have been through in my life has been for his glory, well I’m ok with that. If every day that I get up, I can be an example to everyone that I encounter, then I’m ok with that too. I can only hope that others will then be their own examples to others, knowing that you never know who might be watching. Ask the Lord today, what his purpose is for your life and how he can use you to advance his Kingdom.

Photo by Kevin Malik: https://www.pexels.com/photo/text-on-canvas-9016981/

Journey of Faith

Ray of light

“YOU ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD A TOWN BUILT ON A HILL CANNOT BE HIDDEN”. MATTHEW 5:14.

I picked up these prayer cards at Dollar Tree several weeks back. I was excited when I found them, but unsure what exactly I would do with them. I figured for a dollar; I’d figure something out. I put them away because of moving and sort of forgot about them. Yesterday, I was looking for something in my office and there they were. The Lord has a way of doing things like that, showing you things when you need to see them. As I shuffled through the cards, the one with Matthew 5:14 jumped out at me immediately. That’s when I knew the Lord was putting it on my heart to share with you. My great uncle loved lighthouses. Some may not know that many times people will use a lighthouse when referring to verses in the Bible. My great uncle loved the Lord. I grew my love for the Lord from both sides of my family. When my uncle passed away several years ago, A lot of people attended his funeral. I was surprised how many got up to share stories about how he affected their lives one way or another. The repeating theme was that he loved talking about the Lord, and that he would share that love with you any chance he got. He wanted to know if you were saved, if you loved the Lord like he did. If you didn’t, he wanted to try to change that. My great grandparents were the same way from things my mom told me about them. I knew them both but didn’t get to understand them on a deeper level because I was 7 when my great grandma passed away and 16 when my great grandpa died. The reason that this verse struck me was because not only did he have a love for lighthouses, but he was the light that stood at the top of the hill leading lost souls to the Lord that he loved so much. That’s the purpose of a lighthouse, to help guide lost ships. His light shined so bright that admittingly, his friends and coworkers couldn’t ignore it. It was almost infectious. Perhaps that is why my great grandma named him Ray. His name wasn’t Raymond, but Ray. I felt that even 9+ years after my uncle’s passing, that he would still want us to share his Ray of hope, his Ray of sunshine, and ask each of us to be the Ray of light of the world. A town built on a hill that cannot be hidden.

Journey of Faith

You need a new lawyer!

Today I was looking for something unrelated to the post I was going to make today. I have been trying to look up ways to promote my cookbook that I wrote. (Check out this link here: https://amzn.to/3Qeb5dM) I stumbled upon a post that a friend of mine made, whom I’ve been friends with since middle school. The post was my address and inmate number for the county jail where I was staying. She had asked people to send me cards, letters, etc. to cheer me up! I didn’t know this, but even today it made me smile. The responses were even more heart-warming, as they were from some folks, I didn’t know at all. Other comments were from folks that I’ve known just as long. if not longer. The comments weren’t about the request, but instead asking first who I was. Once people realized who I was and put two and two together they immediately said they felt “I didn’t have a good lawyer”. A few things that I learned through this entire process was that you don’t hire a lawyer from the same county as your crime. That statement I heard from several folks while in county jail. I suppose if you want to know who a good lawyer is, ask someone who’s familiar with the process. Most people feel that by hiring a lawyer from the same county is a conflict of interest because they are all part of the same “boys club”, country club, social club, etc. They also have to face each other day in and day out in the court room. It’s believed that they save their “favors” to ask the prosecution for when they need to really cash them in. While I like to think that’s not the case, you can witness for yourself the joking and laughing going on in between court sessions. It’s a job to them and at the end of the day, they can go home and rest regardless. I found myself very frustrated by the entire court/justice system process. Again, “innocent before being proved guilty” isn’t quite true. It’s more like quality until you prove otherwise and good luck with that! When you are charged with a crime part of the process is to receive discovery from the DA’s office. As I received this information, I immediately started coming up with information for my lawyer to address that didn’t jibe. Some of the photos included weren’t from our home, the cell phone records were from only one person. I constantly asked for a subpoena to be done to request the cell records of another person involved. The account that we did have info from was a shared account and the info provided was cherry picked by the co-owner of the account. That part was at least addressed in a motion to the court; however, nothing was ever said about it. I knew for a fact that many records were deleted, and some were only part of the entire text (I had the entire text to bring the conversation into full context, that I provided). I could also never understand how all of the witnesses were allowed to continue to converse, even during the court proceedings. They all sat together, shared testimony, etc. I wasn’t allowed to have contact with any of them, but I didn’t understand how they were allowed to exchange what they said before the other testified. How is that right? Many of the witnesses changed their original story from the time they were interviewed by police, to the preliminary hearing and then eventually the main court hearing. We had text messages, and information that we weren’t allowed to present because it was considered hearsay. The reason it was hearsay was because they weren’t there to put into context what was said, yet the people who received the message were there and knew what the conversation was about. We had written documents stating by 3 offices that they didn’t know who was driving and yet the people who wrote the reports weren’t questioned as to why they testified differently. There were so many things that weren’t brought up or included that I could make this post longer than it should be. The point was, I did feel that my lawyer wasn’t as aggressive as he could have been. To his defense, I believe he was afraid to push too much because of coming across as bullying the victims. I can agree with that to a point; however, you have a person’s freedom on the line. Lawyers make mistakes and they are only human as the rest of us are. We can all look back and say we could have done this or that. I can even look back and say, “had I never allowed this or that, this would never have occurred to begin with”. They say that hindsight is 20/20. As much as all of this really sucked, and as much as I wish I could turn back time and change everything, I can’t. The Bible has a lot to say about perseverance under trial:

John 1:12: Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.

Romans 5:3-5: More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

James 1:2-4: Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Revelation 2:10: Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.

So, as you can see it was extremely important to me as a Christian to press on no matter what happened. I knew that in all of this that my Lord and Savior was with me. God had a plan! He continues to have a plan on my life. During my prayer times, I told him that I would use this for his good because he was good to me through all of it. I don’t know if I am helping someone else avoid the mistakes that I did, if I’m helping someone dealing with the same thing I went through, I don’t know if you need to become more mature in your faith. God knows what each of us need and sees to it that he nourishes us daily in some way. We often think that things are coincidence, but I believe there is no coincidence. God intervenes and puts people, places and things in our lives when we need them. Pay attention to these little ques each day and make sure that in all things tell him thank you for your current blessings and your blessings you haven’t received yet.

Journey of Faith

Here I go again on my own!

Like the song goes, “Here I go again on my own, going down the only road I’ve ever known”. That’s how it started to feel after a while. I no sooner go settled into another room, with another roommate, when my phone was shut off. I knew what that meant! It meant that I was getting ready to be transferred, AGAIN! Up until this point, I had been trying to see if I could remain at SCI Muncy. It’s only 2 hours from home, and they kept telling us they were going to take us back to Phoenix that spring/summer. When the transfer came, we knew that wasn’t going to happen. The other thing was by this time it was February of 2022 and that meant that I’d start my parole process by that August. If they did plan to return folks to Phoenix, I could’ve been on the fence about returning there and messing up that process in any way. they never did open it again, and no one returned there. We heard all sorts of things about what it was being used for. Most of the opportunities in prison (at least in Pa), are for the men. There are more facilities for them, more programs, more, more, more. It’s said around the female facilities “the men stick together”, and that’s how they end up with stuff. Well, the last thing most of us want to do was create a fuss and end up being accused of “rioting”. I personally think that there needs to be someone or a committee that makes sure that certain policies, programs, etc. should be consistent across the DOC regardless of male or female. (Ugh, that’s another soapbox). The whole process of being transferred was exactly the same. It sucks every time. Then comes getting situated again, getting your mail straightened out, worrying if any books that were sent will show up. The positive thing was that we all knew that to expect now, returning to SCI Cambridge Springs. The bad part was staff and some of the other inmates that didn’t realize we went to Phoenix; thought we came back as parole violators. We all spent about a month repeating the same story about how we were in Phoenix, and it was shut down. We had to go back into a 14-day quarantine again when we arrived. I was super lucky, because I ended up with my friend Jodie. They ended up moving us after this to C unit. So again, I returned where I started. I liked being back on C unit. I liked the location of it, I liked the staff assigned to work on it, and I liked the other inmates living there as well. We actually all seemed to get along for the most part. When someone came along that caused an issue, it’s like the one officer told me, “Just be patient because they’ll end up doing something to get themselves moved soon.” He was right. Living on an open unit is a privilege. If you can’t play nice, then they are going to move you. It’s your choice whether or not that move is via the “rhu” (restricted housing unit aka the hole). They may also just decide to move you during the next round of mass moves. The one time when I ended up on the block that are only behind doors (not an open unit), the officer’s kept asking me “why I was there”. Even the one counselor pulled up my file and asked me the same thing. Luckily, it was a temporary situation until I moved to Phoenix. I figure the Lord always had a plan and it wasn’t up to me where I lived. It was his. The Lord definitely took care of me while I was incarcerated. No one can tell me otherwise. I was always where he needed me and who he needed me to be roommates with. I got along with everyone. The average age for the most part seemed to be 25-40. I got along with all of them. The young girls respected me. The ones my own age became my friends. Some will say you can’t have “friends in jail”. I find that statement to be incorrect. You just need to be selective on who you call a friend because some people will smile in your face and then stab you in the back. if someone did try to harass me for whatever reason, a lot of times the younger girls would tell the person off saying, “leave Miss Jodie alone, she doesn’t bother anyone!” This was a true statement. I didn’t bother anyone. I stayed in my room 98% of the time and if someone needed me or wanted something they called me to come out. A day would not go by that someone wasn’t looking for me or asking for me because I possessed some bit of knowledge, they wanted to pick my brain on. I was the crochet lady, I was the recipe person, I had knowledge about technology, I was very prepared for the parole process that folks wanted me to help them get ready for. One day, my one roommate came in and said that a few young ladies were looking for me. She said it was something about that I knew a lot about genres of music and who sang certain songs. She told me that she had to laugh at first because she asked them again if they had the right person. She said, are you sure you are looking for Jodie? The girl said yes, I want Miss Jodie. She’s an older lady with gray hair (it was then), and sometimes walks with a cane. My roommate was so confused when she came to get me. She said, I just learned something new about you! lol. I just got along with everyone. They also knew too that if you did cross me that I wasn’t afraid to speak up and let you know about it. This was how my nickname “Spicy Annie” was born. I think we all have our limits on how much crap we will put up with. In prison, it’s very important to let people know right away that you’re not going to be a door mat. Most of the arguments that I started while I was there either over girlfriends and someone messing with their girl, or just the lack of respect for another person. My advice to anyone who is put into this situation is not to get a girlfriend while in jail. It’s going to get you in trouble and added time. Also, just be respectful to your roommates, your space, your housing unit, areas you use and respectful to staff and others in general. Stay in your own lane. Find a person you can truly rely on and call a friend and use them to vent to when you’re frustrated. The wonderful thing is, that the Lord is always my friend. He is always ready, willing and able to listen, and he doesn’t repeat my secrets. I could NEVER have done any of this without his unconditional love and forgiveness.