Meet N Greet – Group Therapy

It’s time for a meet n greet with a twist. Today/tonight let’s lay our biggest struggles down here together and let’s be the family of God and let’s encourage each other, hold one another up and support each other. Since I came back into blogging, I’ve seen some hard things going down in people’s lives on here. And it’s breaking my heart.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Romans 12:15

So for today’s meet n greet, please introduce yourself and your blog, tell us a little about yourself and then tell us what you’re struggling with. What is breaking your heart? What can we pray over for you? Or if you don’t have something personally you are struggling with then what is going on in the world that is breaking your heart that we can come together in prayer here against? (Human trafficking, domestic violence, somebody in your life that is in bondage?) And then let’s pray over each other here. Let’s hold each other up in the Holy Spirit here in this space. Let’s be brothers and sisters in Christ and use our words for good and for healing. I encourage you all to comment on each other’s comments, these are your fellow siblings in Christ and we are all struggling! We are all hurting in some way. Let’s do some group therapy in the Spirit on WordPress!

I’ll go first…

My name is Joel here at In the Desert with Jesus. My wife and I of almost 10 years are adopting in October. We are adopting 3 kids that we have been fostering for 1 1/2 years. That brings us to 6 kids total! And boy oh boy, Satan has hit hard during the foster process. I’ve spent more times sobbing my eyes out in the closet in the last 16 months then probably ever. I’ve been in the furnace and God has been testing me hard at times.

I need prayer please for finishing the race well with adopting and for God to finish the work on my heart with our oldest foster daughter. What’s breaking my heart? Well I am. I’m struggling with the emotional component of overflowing fatherly love for one of our adopted kids. Our adopted kiddos come from a very hard place with just about every type of abuse and neglect. And that comes with a lot of difficult behavior. We definitely feel equiped to see them healed and restored, but it’s hard some days!! I need more patience sometimes in my life. And compassion when things get hard on the ground in this war against the kingdom of darkness. It can be hard because the frontlines of this war with Satan are inside my house. And it’s crazy. But Satan is not going to win! Jesus has already won!

Can’t wait to hear your story.



93 thoughts on “Meet N Greet – Group Therapy

  1. My name is Andrea and I have ADHD which means I’m struggling with everything but Jesus😉but particularly I’m struggling with myself because the fact that ADHD caused my parenting to be less than needed and aswell as my eldest hating me my youngest is in a mental health facility for borderline personality disorder and that is what the enemy attacks me with the most but each of my children has a very distinct anointing that my dodgy parenting also created and so I just gotta trust him I guess

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    1. Hi Andrea. Oh goodness that’s a lot. That’s really hard. That’s a lot. I really want to pray over you.

      Jesus I pray over Andrea. Bless her mind. I pray for blessing over her house. I pray for wisdom, your wisdom on her house. I pray for supernatural reordering of her youngest’s mind in their borderline personality disorder. I pray you give them a solid foundation in their mind, a solid, rock solid reality in the emotions and mind for calmness and clarity through and in you.

      I pray for her eldest. I pray for changed hearts, for your love to thaw the coldness and bring them back into a close family bond with their mother Andrea.

      I pray for Andrea. I pray to heal her ADHD as you are her Physician, you are our Counselor, Holy Spirit. Counsel her on how to manage it and navigate it in your wisdom and for it to be channeled in thr correct manner. Restore her house, her family into a close family bond with you at the center Father.

      Jesus we speak in your name and your power and demand Satan leave her life and her family alone.

      I pray for your annointing in each of her children to be brought to fruition here in this life, in this time and space in this world. Let it be Jesus. Please Jesus. Amen.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Thank you so much but Please, please don’t pray for my ADHD to be removed, it presents plenty of struggles but it is a REAL gift, God made me this way, to process things in a very diverse way that gives me a very unique anointing, it is also a major part of my personality that I never wish to lose, it truly makes me wholly dependent on him in a way neuro normal people could NEVER appreciate but still thank you for the thought! xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Understood! Prayers for God to lead you on his path for you and give you exactly what you need. i totally get that, i have a thorn in my side that I’m probably better with it than without.
        God bless Andrea!!

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    2. Lord, please be with Andrea and her family. Give her and her children a sense of Your powerful love and of what it means to be made in Your image. I ask that they would have the perfect peace which comes from a mind steadfast on the Lord (Isaiah 26:3), amen.

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  2. I’ll be praying for you and your family brother! You are doing a noble thing taking care of orphans in their distress! The Lord is with you like a mighty warrior!

    I am always struggling with Celiac Disease (diagnosed 1-6-12), so I definitely appreciate prayers for healing. God has already given me a great deal of healing, but I still suffer from Cachexia due to the damage Celiac did to my small intestine.

    I came to Jesus in October of 1996 and have been serving Him ever since! I came to Jesus because of a terrifying supernatural experience that I (along with my family) lived through for 4 years in High School. I wrote a book about it called “One Man’s Very Strange Supernatural Life” published on Amazon. My blog is a place to come to know Jesus, understand the Bible, and be ministered to in love and grace: Ryan Callahan’s Blog at

    Thanks brother! My prayers are with you, God is with you, and God is for you! Blessings!

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    1. Ryan great to hear from you! Oh that’s awful. I’m sorry to hear that you have Celiac and the damage it has done to your body. I will be in prayer for healing for you.

      I really want to hear this story of yours about your supernatural experience! I’m curious what happened! I’ll have to check out your book soon.

      Thank you for the encouragement Ryan. Our hearts are for the orphans. I didn’t know, much to my surprise, until we were deeply involved in this ministry that God was also working on my heart! I need it though. I’m so glad he uses all things for our good. He is a wonderful Father indeed!

      Jesus I pray for my brother Ryan. I pray for complete healing from celiac disease. I pray for healing and restoration in his body. I pray for comfort and for him to be restored in your supernatural power oh Jesus. In your name amen.

      Hope you have a great week brother. Look forward to reading what comes through on your blog this week!

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      1. Thanks brother! I really appreciate that prayer! I appreciate the encouragement regarding my book as well! Yes, I have had a very strange supernatural life indeed!

        I’ll give you a quick run down: It started when we moved into a haunted house in January 1992, I got saved in 1996, had 2 angel encounters in 1998, and then I stopped breathing in 2012 and the Lord did a miracle in the wind of the Holy Spirit to save me! It has been a very nutty life brother, but God is so good and I have learned that He can do absolutely anything! When the Word says the angels will pick you up so that your feet won’t touch a stone, that is literal! They can literally touch us and pick us up!

        With all this prayer going on, we are livin’ in the power brother! I appreciate the prayers for healing. I have often been angry because of what I know God can do and I have asked why He won’t remove the thorn completely, but His grace really is sufficient. I know God has a purpose for this thorn stuck in me and I know He can remove it anytime He wants to. Thanks for praying!

        Always look forward to your blog too brother!

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Oh wow! Thats crazy! I would love to hear more. What were the encounters like with the angels and the demons in the haunted house? I got your message and will respond, yes I’d love a copy of your ebook brother!

        I understand the frustration knowing that God can do something but he won’t. For me that was my struggle with tinnitus. I know he can heal me but he chose not to for the (what seemed like) longest time. But I learned a deep lesson in it. That I had spiritual tinnitus that was blocking me hearing his voice. The whole process was very cathartic for me. And now its much better.

        Blessings to you too brother!

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      3. Cool, I look forward to your email! That is awesome how God healed your tinnitus!

        To answer your questions: well, it was terrifying living with the demon! I was only 13 when it started and that ended up being my entire high school years. It was like Poltergeist. Lights on and off, crayon marks on the walls, and worse. One thing I forgot to put in my book, which my Mom reminded me of after I had already published it, was the day two big framed pieces of art fell off the wall in the basement bedrooms and a candle was lit in my sister’s room. My sister and I had our rooms downstairs. One picture was in my room and the other in hers. Yes, they can do all kinds of crazy things in our realm!

        The angel encounters happened after I got saved and both happened in Denver in 1998. One saved me from a guy chasing me with a knife and the other time one appeared and spoke to me (in the presence of my two friends) and told me “God has something for you to do.” After that my friends and I got up and rescued this lady from a bad situation. It was all mind blowing brother, that’s what it was! My whole life is one big very strange supernatural mind blower! Glory to God for it all!

        It’s like God saved me through supernatural experiences and so they just kept happening. God knows it won’t freak me out because it has already happened before. It was very comforting to know God’s angels were with me and I didn’t have to worry about demons anymore.

        Then when I stopped breathing in 2012 from anaphylactic shock due to eating oats, the supernatural events came back into my life again after a 14 year hiatus! I was with the Lord brother! I should be dead. I didn’t have an epi pen and I did not receive medical attention. I didn’t see Him, but He was right next to me and He told me, “It’s okay.” I know I sound crazy, bu the Lord urges me to tell the world the truth no matter what it does to my name.

        I used to hate Christians and accepting Jesus was the last thing I thought I would ever do! Living with a demon ended up saving my whole family! I baptized my own mother–see my profile picture!

        God is more awesome than any of us can ever imagine! Grace and peace!

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Wow!! What a story. Goodness that sounds like a really good movie! Did you ever get any direction from the Spirit or any idea what was driving the demonic activity in the house? Or was it just God knew he had to let the barrier become a little more permeable for you for what he wanted to do through you?

        The angel encounters are amazing. I’ve had several suspected ones myself. And God saving your life! Wow! Seriously that is amazing. Glory to God!

        Grace and peace to you too brother! Can’t wait to read the whole story God has written out in your life!!

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Thanks Joel! My family and I were not Christians at the time, so we had no power over it yet. I’m not sure what went on in that house before we moved in. Whatever went on allowed a demon to live there. We definitely know why those people moved out though!

        Yes, I think God allowed those things to happen because He was preparing a mighty work of salvation for our whole family, and He was going to set me to preaching for the rest of my life. Praise the Lord!

        That is awesome! I would love to hear about your angel encounters too!

        Thanks for all the encouragement brother! Blessings to you and your family!

        Liked by 2 people

      6. That’s wild. In the kitchen in our first home I frequently got a bad feeling, especially at night. My wife had a bad dream about it too when we first moved in. Maybe nothing. Or maybe not. Either way there is lots of spiritual warfare going on around us

        I’m glad God will use anything to bring us to him. The alternative is much much worse. I’m glad he loves us as much as he does.

        We have a good Father. And a powerful Father!

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  3. On February 10, 1985, I accepted Christ Jesus as my Saviour, married in July 1987 and am still in love, as Jesus is central in our marriage. We have a son, an older daughter and two granddaughters.

    I started doing part-time mission work in 1985 but this became my full-time volunteer/freelance activity since 1998. I injured my spine in 1994 and escaped a permanent wheelchair ride but did become disabled. When I was medically retrenched in 1987, I went into my own way of spreading His Word on a friendship basis, but also once had 1.1 million readers on Google+.

    We live in beautiful Cape Town, South Africa. We are still freelancing and not associated with any church. I did visit the most evangelical church on my street, just for someone to pray with me, but was told to “come back week after next as we are too busy to feed the aliens.” I asked for water and they had great difficulty finding a styrofoam cup as I wasn’t allowed to use their coffee mugs. Mmm. I am not a vagrant….but was treated like I was a leper.

    My suburb is predominantly Jewish, with two Catholic and a few Protestant churches, flanked by a Muslim suburb. And the Atlantic ocean with Table Mountain “in the back yard.”

    From March 2016 I can walk unaided but my legal disability remains due to the spine situation as well as diabetes and hypertension (high blood pressure.)

    My heart’s desire is to see the 1st century church of Jerusalem restored. Not the quarrelsome, divided one that had dissected His body into 38,000+ fragments. Unity in Love.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Hi Pete. Thank you for sharing your story. I also think of you as a strong warrior for Christ. You’ve taken your hits during this war, but you have endured and fought on, even in the face of persecution and physical pain. Bless you brother.

      Let me pray for you.
      Jesus I pray for my brother. I first thank you for his heart. When you told him to go in your name he went. He’s been obedient and followed you and loved his neighbor as himself even when shunned. I pray your Spirit bless him with your close presence. I pray for healing in his body. His spine and his heart. And I pray for a special blessing upon his entire home and the true church in South Africa and to see a revival using him in Cape Town. In your name amen!

      One other item I have to mention, Pete loves great coffee as much as I do – that’s saying something coming from me because I consider myself a connoisseur of fine coffee. Him being in S Africa gives him great acces to some of the highest quality beans in the world that we don’t see over here in the States.

      How has ministry been going recently in cape town for you?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Joel

        Thanks for that prayer!! Wow, exactly what I so much desired, needed. Bless you for that.

        Ministry in Cape Town? Without even the means to board a bus, I’m stuck at home and don’t go anywhere. The city sprawls over 126km… I am working in a book, that is my ministry for now. I must mythbust religion so that new or aspiring believers can see the wood for the trees. Then I have email outreaches and on WhatsApp where I teach & encourage. Right now, I don’t even have a phone to use except and night, had to sell my laptop to survive, so the book remains in concept/planning stage.

        I am yet again researching how the Bible came to be, I will post one day why that is absolutely essential.

        Send me your prayer requests to Anyone is free to do so


      2. This might be cumbersome but I wrote part of my last book on Word app on my phone. It was difficult without a keyboard but at least I got it transcribed. That might be an option for the short term to at least have it in a file?

        Absolutely you’re wrlcome for the prayer. Bless you too Pete!

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      3. I don’t have a phone except at night. My eyesight isn’t that great, am using my wife’s phone at night. Had to let go of my Huawei….a Christian brother wiped out four years hard work, we lost everything, even our home. He becane greedy, we were doing large community rebuilding projects. I helped him get funding, gave him a phone & a tablet, worked without pay and, when the big money came, he conveniently forgot about me.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. We are in temporary digs on a day to day basis and have to find daily rent. It isn’t easy as we have no body of believers supporting us. My wife has walked 3,600km since January, she is almost 54 and works seven days per week. Her blood ressure yesterday was 180/164 and she is dead on her feet, totally burnt out. We need God to intervene.

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      5. We have grown used to this kind of abuse, it really started 21 years ago, always get kicked, exploited by the very ones that should love & protect us BUT who are quick to “show love” to others further away. I can’t explain this in public. We have come to accept it and don’t expect any better, but we aren’t in great health and neither are we young, yet we must meet demands that fit, young people would shy away from. The weariness is wearing one out, it feels like one needs a break away from this routine.

        Liked by 1 person

      6. That sounds brutal. It almost sounds like they are neglecting of taking care of your own in order to show love to others far away. So sad. People are just as valuable near or far. We are all image bearers of God

        Liked by 1 person

      7. My current phone can’t transcribe, the Huawei did it quite well. I’m told the older iPhone SE is also good.

        Ministry: I believe God wants me to build His community online. I just added a Prayer Request Page where anyone can send me prayer requests. Check it out, please share freely.


    2. Lord, I echo this prayer about having Your Church restored. Forgive us for squabbling over crumbs when You offer the eternal feast of the Bread of Life. Please restore our unity and let the world know we are Yours by the love we have for each other, amen.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. My prayers are with each of you. And my respect. Your stories are inspiring!

    Without getting into too much personal detail, which are not only mine to share… My biggest struggle is, well, me. The last several years have had layer upon layer of hurts and disappointments. This year, my hubby and I took a huge leap of faith, right off a financial cliff. And God has been, as He always is, true and faithful. Yet, my mind that remembers the pain is having a hard time keeping focus on God instead of myself; my fear, impatience to see answers, traumas that I know are healed but still fresh in my mind. I am in the process of learning to truly die to self. I know that when we commit to really going deeper there is always a cost. The not knowing of what that cost will be is pretty scary.

    My requested prayer is for God’s will, not mine, in my life and family. And the courage and faithfulness to walk that out, no matter what.

    My blog is WeAreFreeIndeed and I started it to share encouragement and lessons God pours into me. He has given me so much and forgiven me so much more. I want every person I encounter, online or in the flesh, to know that He wants to and will do the same for them.

    May you be blessed, encouraged, and joyful!


    Liked by 4 people

    1. Hi Jamie! Gosh that sounds quite scary. And very difficult. God is always true and faithful but so much of what you said there I can really empathize with. You’re so right, when we commit to really going deeper there is always a cost.

      My wife and I got pushed off a financial cliff of our own earlier this year. It was one of a couple in recent years with layoffs at my job. The trauma with financial stress and fear is very real and very deep. And then also mash that up with everything else, fear and impatience and dying to ourselves like you said – it is so hard! Oh that sounds like a difficult test!

      God, I pray over Jamie and her family. For your complete and wonderful will and plan worked out on their lives and for them to have supernatural courage and faithfulness to walk it out no matter what may come. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

      May you be blessed in Christ, you and your entire family. You can preserve through this in Jesus!! Thank you for sharing Jamie!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thank you so much, Joel! Your words are so comforting and encouraging! May God bless you and your family! I know He has great plans for each of you. As your family grows so will your grace and compassion.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Thank you for encouraging me Jamie! I’m slowly getting there. It’s hard! But it’s so worth it.

        God bless you and your family too! Hope you have a good start to the week! 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Hi Joel,
    I am Mounica from I came to believe in Christ and his salvation and accepted him 2 years back… which makes me a child in front of all of you wonderful people. I come from India and a religion of Many Gods (Hinduism). While God has been really faithful and through these years I have seen God miracles in my as well as people around me. I started my blog to share my experiences of how I am encountering God as well as ways I am learning more every day. As I am working on myself to be more like Christ and also praying for my family, who don’t yet know Christ and his salvation to know him, the thing my heart is most burdened with is with pornography in the world. People who are saved and in Christ who fall into sin more and more in this world.

    I pray for you as well as all the people out here sharing your struggles and trusting God to work. I pray that God will equip you with what you need through this time in your lives.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Hi Mounica!

      Thank you for sharing your story! Oh wow, so I have to ask, what is the spiritual climate like in India as a Christian with Hinduism in the surrounding culture?

      I wholeheartedly join the fight with you against pornography. When I was a teenager I struggled with this. But i got complete healing in Jesus. It is absolutely possible to get complete and total healing through Christ to break the addiction to porn. It’s brutally hard, but absolutely necessary.

      Just a word of encouragement I’ve found. I’ve met a lot of christians who were years, sometime decades younger than other believers, but they were many times more wise and knowledgeable than older believers. You seem like you might be that type of follower of Christ! God bless you!

      I thought your post about the Milgram experiment was very interesting. Terrifying too! It highlights how we are designed to be under authority – we’re sheep, but we are to have only Jesus as our Shepherd. It was a great read. Thanks for writing that post!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hi Joel,
        I forgot to mention that I stay in America though I come from India. Persecution has been going on for a long time to many people who have come to know Christ in India. I have many friends who go through so much because they have decided to follow Jesus. Christianity is considered something a low-level person would do and many parents disown their children or stop talking to them altogether when they accept Christ. Because of God’s grace, I did not face extreme persecution but I have many friends who are facing that. Also because of the current politics, the Church has been facing a lot of violent treatment.

        I too believe that complete healing is possible through Christ. I pray for many people who go through it that they may not lose their hope.

        Liked by 5 people

      2. I just, for the third or fourth time, read the Pakistani lady Bilqus Sheik’s book I DARED TO CALL HIM FATHER. It is a must-read for every true Christian.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. It is excellent, it tells of her journey from Islamic religion to an intimately close relationship with Jesus, the persecution that followed, how she had to flee for her life and God’s mysterious ways in between. Christians who have no persecutiion should read it to learn how much others sacrifice when accepting Jesus.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Oh that’s so sad to hear about how the church is treated there. I’m sorry for your friends who are facing persecution there. I lift them up in my heart before God for his protection!

        I’d love to hear your story of how you came to Christ in that kind of a spiritual environment. Did you accept Jesus in India or here in America?


  6. Prayed for you and your family. If anyone is guided please pray for husband to come to God through Christ. I know it will happen but I could use all the prayer! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Heather Davis, former homeschool mom of 3, now aspiring author and if that doesn’t work out, probably learning to write code and help my man with the financial burden of private school. All three kids are in high school and the oldest will graduate this spring, so we are in a busy, busy season. Currently, I am editing a novel which will become one of three if any publishing house accepts it.I also tutor a friend’s kid who is a senior in high school. And I do a lot of dishes.

    The thing which is breaking my heart right now are the three high school seniors I claim as either full-time (like my son) or part-time kids (like the girl I tutor and her twin). All three of these kids are rebelling in one way or another, and none of them take their walk with the Lord seriously. My prayer is for their salvation…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi friend, I will be praying for your children’s relationships with Jesus. For them to be completely drawn into the Father’s heart through Christ forever and that the cares of this world would be revealed for the emptiness that they are. I’m truly sorry you are going through that. This struggle – no this all out war- is the one I fear myself when my kiddos reach teenagehood and their young adult years. I pray God walls them in and the world and Satan are unable to get to them. Terrifying.

      You mentioned writing code if your books don’t make it? What language are you thinking of learning? I started programming a long long time ago and its once of my interests.

      Hope your weekend trip was fun! We’re taking our own family trip out of state on Friday to visit my in-laws. My father in law and mother in law adopt too. They have 4 kids in their house and 2 in college. So we’ll have 10 kids to 4 adults for the labor day weekend! They have a really big nice house so we’ll let the kids run around and play and my wife and I should be able to get some nice downtime. Should be fun!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you! The teen years can be heart-wrenching but then so can all of it. There are bright spots. One of my daughters is really in love with the Lord right now and that is glorious to see. We have some wonderful discussions.

        Wow, sounds like a fun weekend! My mom is coming in town later today, but that’s it for us. She’s easy to have around – even my husband says so. 😉

        As for which language, I’m not sure. Since my man is in IT, I will let him pick. It’s really just an easy way for me to get back into the workforce by letting him train me and working for the same company. That is, if the novel series doesn’t go anywhere…

        Lovely weekend to you! Enjoy some down time with your lady for sure…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. All of it can be heartwrenching. You’re right. Beautiful yet searing. It definitely gives us parents a taste of God’s heart for us while we struggle with the world.

        I think it will be a fun weekend! I’m excited for it. Its about a 5.5 hour drive to the inlaws. So we’ll load everyone up and hit the road. I love roadtrips -plus I’m going to get out of the office a little early 😉

        Haha so funny! That sounds like fun with your mom!

        Oh that’s neat that your husband is in IT! I never worked fully in IT but if I could go back to school, I might have went that route. Database management, architecture and developer jobs are hot these days. And super interesting!

        Hope you have a wonderful weekend too! And a good visit with your mom 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Wow, thank you so much! You’re too kind, my friend. Really.

        I just had a second to sit down after a whirlwind day. Somehow, I was thinking today was Friday when I sent my last comment. It feels like one because the kids are out of school tomorrow… haha! Thanks again and have a lovely family trip. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. You are so welcome!! Same here abiut the week. I’m worn out. I got hit with a huge project too today and its going to be a whirlwind until we hit the road tomorrow afternoon. But I will say this, I’ve found a lot of peace in the swirling items of the day with Jesus. I keep hearing, “Be still and know that I am God.”

        Anyways hope you have a fabulous weekend!!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Amen. And as my wide and I were talking on the drice home tonight – his plan for some of our kiddos might not be the same as our daydreamy plan for them. He might call some of them to do some hard things…if so we’ll walk that with then when the time comes. His grace will always be sufficient no matter what may come!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi you found my recent post, so I checked out your blog and read a couple posts, but I only just joined!

    Several years ago, possibly almost five, I reconnected with an old high school friend but it turned out that she had borderline. I wasn’t wise enough to navigate the relationship before it caused me some serious mental harm.

    About a year after that, my husband and I found out that we were expecting. We named our son Ezekiel, as I trusted to be strengthened by God with time. Then, I finally discovered that I have an autoimmune disorder (hashimoto’s) and verdict has been out on whether more is going on or not.

    I can’t find a good doctor, I can’t afford one, I never know when I will be too tired, medications worsen the situation exponentially, my moods are unstable and my diet is nearly impossible to manage with a toddler running around. It has been as hard on my husband as it is on me and it breaks my heart daily.

    Still though, I am learning how not to covet the things and accomplishments of this world, and to look to the next where I’ll have a new body! I am also learning to trust that he will keep his word.

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    1. Hi its so nice to meet you! Oh friend that sounds hard. On your old friend issue, that’s hard…I have some stories of my own with a close friend from high school who deeply loved Jesus and walked away. I tried to bring him back multiple times over the years and it broke my heart. Then he did come back and his wife cheated on him and it just emotionally destroyed him – so I walked with him through that. I was a wreck. God eventually called me out of that friendship as it was really one sided as far as affection. Brutal.

      I’ve never heard of Hashimoto’s – but I understand the thyroid issues. My mom had thyroid cancer – that went into remission over 30 years ago – and had to have her thyroid removed. Which means she’s been on a plethora of meds for years to make up for it. That can be a very hard road to walk in your body. I’m so sorry!! And having a toddler running around would definitely exacerbate the situation.

      I’m with you. I can’t wait for our new bodies! Our bodies today are the seeds that will grow into our spiritual bodies in the kingdom as it says in 1 corinthians 15.

      Bless you!

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      1. That’s a rough friendship as well! I am terrible at expressing affection myself, but my friend was probably worse at it so I understood her, and we shared several interests. Looking back though, I wish I had ended the friendship a year earlier than I did. By the time I broke ties I was having trouble caring, so sometimes it’s best to do it earlier. It feels like a distant scar now for me, and probably would have sooner if I had been listening to God!

        Funny fact, I actually took a break from church exactly between two Easters haha. I went regularly up until 2014 and then I missed three weeks due to my friendship (we were staying up too late to talk) and then I had a negative feeling about going so it was hard to convince myself. I kept missing church most weeks until the next Easter when my friend had just left for the month. It seems like demonic influence to me, actually. I wish I had ended the friendship then too, but it took a few months after that before I completely shut it down. I still think it’s kind of neat that it went exactly between two Easters.

        Hashi’s is autoimmune hypothyroidism. It’s definitely not as bad as cancer! I am so glad your mother got through it! My father also survived cancer almost 30 years ago while my mom was pregnant with me, and my brother was in and out of the hospital at the same time for serious burns. Meanwhile, my hormones even come up normal so I don’t have to take anything! I have all the symptoms and the antibodies, but it’s manageable with a strict diet.

        My chiropractor is the closest thing to a doctor that has been able to guide me through figuring everything out, but I’m starting to feel less like I need official medical help. Mostly I just don’t want doctors to ignore my thyroid when I go in for something generic!

        Sometimes I also get scared about if I have something else that isn’t being addressed because I’ve had several of these issues since childhood, but the thing I am worried about can’t be fixed and won’t necessarily kill me lol, so I think what I’m actually concerned about is the way people see me (as lazy and whiny) but that’s not something we’re called upon to worry about as Christians. I am learning how to complain less and trust God more. It’s hard to let people know the situation without going on a diatribe though!

        Yes! I should read that chapter today!

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      2. Mine is a distant scar too. I wish I had more wisdom in navigating that friendship. I think I had too much of the “darn the consequences full speed ahead” attitude and justified it with, “Well if I don’t intervene, they will go to hell.” And that’s just not accurate. God never needed me to save them. He was their Savior. And it did damage to my heart. But lesson learned and time to move on in my journey with Jesus.

        I took time off from church myself – partly when several of my kiddos were babies and it was misery taking them to the nursery – so we stayed home. Not that it was wrong, it wss just the season of life we were in. And we still kept the Sabbath just at home.

        That’s so good to hear that your hormones have normalized! That can be very hard! My mom spent years navigating the emotional turmoil that goes with the hormone swings. Shea a strong believer too and Jesus helped her there.

        I just read one of your old posts amd had to ask you: do you still write sci-fi or fantasy? I’m a huge fan of both genres. I’ve been in the knack of writing horror/apocalytpic shorts the past month or so. I used to write some fantasy. Also I have a tradition where I read Lord of the Rings all the way through starting I’m September every year and ending right before Christmas.

        Hope you are having a great day! Blessings in Christ!

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      3. Yes that newborn phase is especially difficult! We also weren’t too great about attending during that time. Neither of us could get enough sleep.

        I do! Sort of haha. The opportunity to really write is the main promise I’m waiting for God to fulfill. I believe he gave me a mind for stories and a few ideas to go along with it, so it would seem he intends me to write them down, but I’ve never had a stable enough lifestyle to complete one. I am always thinking about them though. Stories were my main connection to my negative friend and the reason it was so hard for me to recover, but I am back to normal with them as of this year.

        According to sci-fi fans my stories are more fantasy, and according to fantasy fans they are more sci-fi. I like a bit of whimsy but I also feel the need to make sense of everything haha. Horror and apocalyptic stuff is really fun! I intertwine those genres on occasion too. I also love to discuss ideas with people!

        LOTR is such a good story. After my friend thing I started listening to a lot of audiobooks so I could avoid thinking (a bit dangerous for a while) and I finally read the hobbit again and was inspired to actually finish LOTR which I hadn’t done yet. The movies were some of my first loves though. I always loved the darker stories with bittersweet or happy endings best, though after my friend I couldn’t watch them for a while and I still haven’t which is amazing. I have, however, played a lot of Skyrim.

        Hmm… I just put my kid down for a nap and I am torn because I should also nap, but Skyrim and LOTR are mighty tempting.

        Also, you should read Dawn of Wonder by Jonathan Renshaw! It’s currently my favorite book, a fantasy epic, coming of age sort of story, but he writes so well and the characters are amazingly well developed. The author is also a Christian, though a secular person might not notice until the end. I got it from audible, but it’s hard to find because he self-published. It is probably my favorite fiction novel so far, so I highly recommend it!

        You guys are troopers for caring for so many kids! I feel like I can barely take care of the dog, let alone six children! I’ll pray for your continued strength! If I am blessed, I might also try to foster/adopt some day, but currently it isn’t in the cards for obvious reasons.

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      4. Whoa hold up a second…”but Skyrim and LOTR are mighty temping.” You do realize you are awesome right now? Like seriously. You just became my new favorite commenter. Btw the Skyrim soundtrack is still on replay regularly in my headphones. My oldest is 8 and I wanted to play it with her last weekend but I couldnt find the CD to reinstall it (I’m keeping it old school with the CDs)

        Sci-fi and fantasy blend well IMO. I love a good crossover story between the two genres. I love to listen to Dr Creepin’s channel on YouTube. He narrates original horror short stories amd they are so good. Some are a little too much for me, but most are just great to listen to on the commute from the office.

        I could go on and on about LOTR (btw major props in my book – actual LOTR fans use the abbreviation). I adore the books. I wish I could buy a house in Bree…forgot that actually, I want a permanent room at the Prancing Pony.

        So I have to nerd out and ask you something that my father in law and I were discussing…who would win in a one on one fight…Sauron or Tom Bombadill?

        Haven’t heard of Dawn of Wonder! Ill need to check that out – sounds epic!!

        If God ever brings you to the point to do adoption/fostering go for it! Its awesome, super hard, the spiritual warfare is insane…but it is so worth it. Every bit of it.

        Great discussion!!

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      5. Yeah I prefer my horror mixed with some other genres because I don’t like being scared for too long. The spider scene in Return of the King is rather difficult to watch haha!

        I think it would depend on the situation. I can’t remember the theological setting exactly but as I recall there was still a benevolent creator god, and he would still have to be in ultimate control, so it would depend on his plan. Considering the character of Bombadill, I think he is humble enough to have the favor of such a god if the fight was ordained, and therefore he would probably be given the strength to win. I clearly have theological difficulty enjoying some more secular fantasies for this kind of reasoning hahaha.

        I admit to wanting to visit places from my own fantasy novels in addition to my favorite known geekdoms! Though if I were to build a house with no limitations it would either be a modest cottage-type home, or it would be a castle-mansion, mostly ancient looking, except with one modernized glass tower for looking over the countryside. I like a lot of space but I would probably only feel right about the castle if it were housing other people too.

        I wrote a chapter of one of my books after reading Dawn of Wonder because it inspired me to try a certain writing style and it worked out so well for introducing the scenery even though it was 100% action-based and it was only the exposition! I think I am going to employ it in the future. There are only a few writing styles I can read that mesh well with mine though. LOTR actually doesn’t, even though it’s well done, nor did Brandon Sanderson’s Way of Kings (which I had to quit reading), and neither do many modern young adult novels (the poorly written ones like Rick Riordan; his books are funny though). Does that happen with you as well?

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      6. Hahaha! That’s a good point about the benevolent creator god in LOTR…Bombadill would probably win that fight for that reason.

        Juat curious do you enjoy discussing theology? (Christian, not LOTR lol)

        I love your two types of fantasy homes. Cottage and castle-mansion. I definitely agree with those choices. I think of a cottage that maybe is covered in ivy set with mature trees surrounding it. A beautiful view of maybe a lake and some mountains in the background. And of course a forest. It would have multiple fireplaces (I’m obsessed with fireplaces) and a gorgeous library.

        Agreed on the castle – I could never live in one just for me. Unless world poverty had been eradicated and I was the duke or prince over my portioned kingdom. Then it’s on. I’d have a moat, but it would double as a lazy river 😂

        This happens to me a lot with writing style. Sometimes I have the vision for what type of world I want to create but I need inspiration for the vehicle to deliver it in – I will want to find a good style to piggyback off of. However since I’ve started writing short stories I’ve been more just winging it. And have gotten some good feedback from friends and family.

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      7. My favorite scene out of all movies ever is still when Gandalf and the Rohirrim ride in to Helms Deep at dawn. I get goosebumps every time. It really makes me think of Jesus returning. Its so epic.

        For the most part ive had to shelve my writing too…not enough time. I have time to blog and write short stories but thats about it. I was writing a really dark apocalyptic thriller last year but once we started fostering I had to shelve it.

        Sleep is so necessary. One of my favorite movies is inception. Ive taken up pursuing lucid dreaming multiple times in thr past and I just started again. So I’m really trying to get good sleep these days…hopefully with lucid results. Crazy but my goal is to carve out a space in the night in my dreams for me to worship God. I thought it would be really personal just Him and I and it would be rrally interesting. We’ll see how it goes!

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      8. That’s awesome! I wanted to lucid dream once but maintaining habits os not a strong suit for me! I do get very vivid dreams on occasion and I really like them even when they freak me out haha. I want to keep a dream journal to encourage more of it; I hear that is the first step, isn’t it?

        I never did come up with many ideas so most ideas develop into full novels for me, but then the number grew and novels became series and I got overwhelmed and even bored with one series, but it has a sequel series/novel that I’m not bored of, so I recently decided to simplify the original four into shorts or novellas. I haven’t had the time for them either though. Some days I am too tired to do much thinking.

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      9. Yes so dream journaling is the first step. The next step are reality checks. Where just throughout the day you ask yourself, “Am i awake?” And try to do something that would be impossible in the waking world but possible in a dream (like trying to push your finger through your hand).

        Its always awful when you develop a book and midway through get bored with it. Gosh I’ve had that happen and I end up just wanting to rip it up, count it as a sunk cost, and start a new story.

        Are you going to try to publish them at all?

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      10. Yes I hope to publish every idea. Even a story I once wrote a draft of but later dropped, I took the pieces I still liked and fit them into another story. Even the story I got bored of has a certain nostalgia for me. I think it was overwhelming and for some reason it’s not as fun for me after the first draft. I have yet to figure out why that is. But I thought maybe if I shortened them it would help to streamline the essentials, and I wouldn’t be as daunted. I think I should do that first but I have been in the mood for something else.

        And yes I love talking theology. It’s probably my favorite topic. I have been listening to Josh McDowell’s Evidence book and I am almost done with it. I went through a phase of YouTube binging on Islamic theology lately which only bolstered my faith in Christianity. I can’t help but include theology in every story haha. It’s pretty obvious in most of them. My short story idea is a bit awkward with it though so I’m not sure where to go with it, but in other stories it’s clear, including the sequel to the short series.

        On the topic of homes, my real dream is to have both, I forgot, only the cottage is a little ways walk from the castle and serves as my office, so I must take a short journey through nature to reach it. Definitely lots of fireplaces and a library. Also an armory!

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      11. Have you ever listened to Nabeel Qureshi? He was Muslim convert and did some fantastic presentations defending Christianity against Islam. I binged him last year.

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      12. Yes! I actually started with David Wood, whose story is super fascinating. Do you know of him?

        I didn’t watch as many Nabeel videos but I listened to his testimony story (Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus) and another book he wrote called No God But One. I have taken a break from Islam though, because I started running into repeat info and had no one to share with. It did inspire me to get back into understanding the Old Testament though. I am reading slowly though Isaiah now.

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      13. I’ve haven’t heard of him. I’ll have yo check him out! Yes I’ve read Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus. It was good.

        I love the OT. Love it. Are you into biblical languages at all? I learned Hebrew in undergrad and took a Koine Greek class two years ago. I love reading the OT in the Hebrew and the Septuagint in the Greek. Its beautiful.

        Isaiah is one of my favorites of the prophets. It’s so good.

        Islam is weird…when you start digging into it you find all sorts of weird pre-islamic pagan influences and just really weird stuff with Muhammad. It definitely strengthen my faith in Jesus when I educates myself on it. Its definitely worth knowing about IMO.

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      14. I have tried learning Hebrew a few times but for some reason I find East Asian languages far easier so when I get the energy I am more likely to practice my Korean haha. I pronounce it a lot better than Hebrew for sure. I’ve never tried to learn Greek because it isn’t as old (haha) but I’m sure it’d be a similar story as the other Western languages I’ve tried. I may try again when I am healthier. As it is I am slowly forgetting my Korean as I leave my language apps unattended. I do remember the alphabet though, since I recorded all the names in my phone in it.

        My love of the Bible is probably rooted in my love of the fantastic. I literally decided to accept christ at 8 yrs old because I wanted to see miracles hahaha. Obviously it became a lot more to me than that after some time but I think God appreciates it when we view his work with wide eyes. Truly though, an ancient curse, supernatural apocalyptic disasters, prophecies, covenants, battles, evil kings, heroic kings, one true king, a scattered nation, resurrection from the dead? It can’t get better than that! 1 Samuel is my favorite thus far though I have more to read.

        David Wood was the friend Nabeel made that led him to investigate Christianity. David’s story is also interesting because he has a surprising personality disorder – sociopathy! But he proves that Christ can clearly work through even the people we think are the most hopeless. His debates are what got me into apologetics.

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      15. Oh yes!! Yes now I remember him – David Wood was his roommate in college. No way!! He was a sociopath! Haha that’s wild!! That’s so interesting. I have to listen to his stuff now. So true – Christ can work through anyone anywhere. I think about Paul talking about Jesus working through the so called super apostles.

        Isn’t 1 and 2 Samuel amazing?! Its got all the epic stuff that you would expect from a classic fantasy story but at the same time its like a crazy drama story too. Its like LOTR meets Days of our Lives lol. 1st and 2nd Samuel are two of my favorite books in the bible.

        Oh that is so cool about learning Korean! So how difficult is it for you to learn it? Korean is a level 5 langauge for a native English speaker right? So its among the most difficult languages for English speakers to pick up?

        Just wondering are you also really into Korean food also?

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      16. I haven’t eaten much but there is a place in town called Seoul Taco where they mix Mexican and Korean haha. I only went once but it was surprisingly good! I want to taste red bean paste buns but I am not supposed to eat any of the main ingredients haha.

        There are a lot of Korean people who live in town though, and my dad used to have a sort of ministry on his mail route where many families lived (they were going to school I think). My parents made friends with one of the families and agreed to keep their oldest son during the school year so they could go back to Korea, so I have a Korean “little brother” exchange student haha. He still comes for Christmas. I also just like east asian artwork and at one point I went through a Korean drama phase that got tired. I’ve always been good at pronouncing northeastern languages for some reason while western ones trip me up. As long as I can follow the grammar I think it’s fairly simple. The alphabet is a lot easier than Hebrew’s, that’s for sure!

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      17. Ive eaten at an Asian/mexican mashup place before. They did not do it well unfortunately. But I can imagine if it was done well it would be really good. What are red bean paste buns?

        Is it really easier than Hebrew? That’s cool! My family is Jewish (by blood, spiritually were all christian which makes me a messianic Jew technically I guess) so I grew up with Hebrew around in a limited capacity so I was sort of used to it. Hebrww is super cool. Its such a beautiful language. Greek too! I’m partial to Hebrew but thats just me. I took up Latin for a time also. Its interesting.

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      18. I find Korean easier but I can’t guarantee everyone would haha. Red bean paste buns are literally a type of bun baked with a red bean filling lol. The beans are sweet though, so it’s like a dessert. I could probably do okay to eat one if I made some gluten free but I think they usually use wheat. I’m technically not supposed to have beans or grains though!

        Ooh that is cool! I probably shouldn’t think it’s so much more interesting to have a Jewish heritage than anything else but I do haha. It is the only heritage that isn’t my own which affects me greatly I guess. I probably care more now than I used to also because my main character in my “life’s work” is for all intensive purposes Jewish (technically from the tribe of Benjamin but you know). He is also Christian for most of the story. I’ve been trying to determine what his relationship to Jewish traditions would be, but I expect I’ll find out as I study the Bible alongside how he would encounter the same information.

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      19. That’s interesting. I’ll have to try out a red bean paste bun when I have the chance.

        This might be up your alley…it’s not Korean but east Asian. Have you ever read The Discovery of Genesis by CH Chang and Ethel Nelson? If you haven’t I think you might find it very interesting. They do a study on ancient Chinese characters and determine that the character have a lot of the early chapters of genesis embedded in the pictographs. It is so cool!

        Ive always wondered what tribe my family is from. I think there’s a spit test or blood test maybe that could determine that?

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      20. That would be really neat if you could find out, but I’m not sure if they can get that specific… it’d probably be a tribe from the southern kingdom though, and there are fewer of those. Has your family been Christian for many generations or was it recent?

        I haven’t read that! I think he was quoted by McDowell in Evidence though, and it caught my attention. He described the character for desire being made up of a woman and two trees. I missed the mention of any books though (hard to keep up on details with audio). That might be my next nonfiction book.

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      21. On the Jewish side…no just 2 generations are Christian. The rest were actually orthodox Jewish. On the other side we’ve been christians since forever it seems haha.

        I haven’t read any of Josh mcdowells stuff. Is he really good? Btw I’m starting some david wood to settle into my afternoon workflow at the office. I’ll comment en masse here in a few once i start it haha!

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      22. McDowell is great! I have found the book really informative, but it’s massive. My foray into apologetics is pretty recent so this is the only book I have read, but apologetics has been good for my faith! I never felt the need to learn some of this stuff but it kind of seems to make God more real (and occasionally more alien at the same time).

        That’s really interesting! My family appears to have been Christian forever too. My mom’s side seems to have contained a lot of pastors, though only my maternal grandmother seems to have maintained much fire. My parents ended up discovering Christ on their own it seems like, and my brother is finally starting to get interested too so I guess it’s still being passed down!

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      23. Oh that’s neat about your family. That sounds like my moms side. I totally get what you’re saying about apologetics being good for your faith. It helped ground my faith in evidence which was refreshing. And helped me process internally some struggles I was going through at the time – I had just gone through a little existential crisis tight before I went into apologetics. I haven’t been big into it for a couple years though.

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      24. Yesss. I may or may not be playing Skyrim today during afternoon nap. I want to get the vampire quest over with (I don’t like vampires much lol) and do something less gross.

        I forewent my usual habit of playing sneaky assassin characters this time and play a moral imperial, using mostly two handed weapons. My sneak and archery are still really high though.

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      25. Haha! That’s awesome. Btw I nominated you for two blogger awards – because ive known your blog for a collective 2 days but it is so cool and you are awesome. Cant wait to see what you write in the future

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      26. Wow! I just saw that and I am so honored! I will have to make my own post for it. I am sort of new to following blogs too so I will have to pay closer attention to some blogs so I have 10 to nominate haha!

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  9. I thought I had left comment earlier but can’t find it now! Maybe I left it somewhere else?! Or deleted it instead of posting?! Ugh. I have a love/hate relationship with technology 😀

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    1. Hey thank you Jennifer! 🙂 I need to write an update on this. So so much has happened over the past 4 years, I’m not worthy, it’s all Jesus. It has been a wild ride with God haha!

      I also miss these kinds of posts! I enjoyed meeting all these wonderful writers and people in Christ. I need this type of fellowship with fellow authors. Hopefully, if it’s God’s will, we can get something like this started again!

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