Jinger Duggar

Today I want to talk about Jinger Duggar.  In the last few weeks I have been appalled at things I have seen and read on  Facebook as well as Twitter.  Jinger is the fourth oldest Duggar daughter from the series 19 Kids and Counting.  Recently announcements of her courting then engagement were made.

I am so happy that their family does not rely on media as much as most of our society.  Her family does not watch TV and social media is restricted.  It would greatly sadden me to think she had viewed some of the things that I have been on my screen.  No one should have to endure the comments that have been made about her and her fiance, Jeremy  Vuolo.

There are those that are calling her a used bicycle and saying she was raped by Josh.  The first thing I want to say on that subject is Josh did not rape anyone.  The police report is clear on that.  The second point I will make is this.  She has never stepped forward and said she is a victim.  Therefore no one has the right to claim she is.  Thirdly  you re-victimize every one, who has ever been abused with that mentality.

One of the strongest Christian women I know is a survivor of years of abuse at the hands of her step father.  She is proof that you can turn tragedy into triumph.  She went on to raise her children as well as being a foster parent to many.  God is so awesome how he draws people into our lives. Her husband once told me that the majority of the children that walked through their doors had also been abused.

She could offer them something that folks, who had not walked that journey never could.  Training can not give you the empathy for a child trying to deal with self-worth and false guilt.  There is no degree that can teach you to feel what a person is emoting and say,  “I have been there.  God does love you and you will get through this.”  Victims are not used bicycles but people who deserve our prayers and words of encouragement.

Jinger’s fiance’s past has been all over social media.  Photographs of his youth published to make him look bad.  One in particular is being used to spread slander claiming that Jeremy is using Jinger as a cover of his gayness.  When my mother went to school, the word gay meant happy.  Times have changed and it sure does mean something different now.  Funny how we take a word that means joyful and give it to a form of sin.  Well the Bible does say there is fun in sin for a season.  Then comes the judgement.

I myself am glad Jinger has found someone,who makes her happy.  If she is a victim that is between her and Jeremy.  It is no one else’s business.  I am also glad for the testimony that Jeremy’s past gives our youth.  You can make mistakes but turn to a God, who promises to forgive when we confess.  He is faithful and just.  As always God bless you my readers.

 

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Thanking God for a Rainbow Baby

A little over a year ago I saw the term rainbow baby for the first time.  I read about how a child that is born after miscarriages is called a rainbow baby.  The story touched me deeply because of my friend that I have mentioned to you all in a previous blog.  I began to pray without her knowing to have a rainbow baby of her own.

Last Fall she told me she was pregnant again and I was so happy for her.  I told my then 7-year-old daughter and she began to pray for the baby.  My little girl said,  “She had one baby.  She is my best friend but the other babies went to heaven to be with Jesus.  Please God let her keep this baby in her belly until it is time for her to be born so we can hold it and play with it when it is bigger.

A little while later doctors told her she was miscarrying again.  She resigned herself to the fact that her little girl would be an only child.   However, weeks later she discovered that the doctors were wrong.  The baby was very much alive

For the rest of her pregnancy she was told a variety of health issues the child had.  I told her to stand strong and on faith.  She said she did not care what was wrong with the baby she would love it anyways.  After months of that doom and gloom, she went to an appointment where the doctor told her he believed the baby girl was fine.

A little over a month ago I told her I don’t know why God allows the things to happen he does.  I will never know the reason He chose to take the other babies home to be with him.  I do know that the Lord has big plans for this little girl though.

This week I held that little rainbow baby for the first time.  She is a wee one but she is here.  Little baby noises never sounded as beautiful and baby smells were never as sweet as when you hold a child you were told might never be.

If you are reading this and longing for a rainbow baby of your own, my prayers are with you.  While we don’t know why God allows what he does I am so glad that he holds ever tear we have ever cried in His nail pierced hands.  His heart breaks when ours do.  We are never alone.

God is Color Blind

What’s Going On

We are living in a country that was founded on Christian principles.  Yet our rights are being taken away a little more each day.  Past generations did not stand up and changes were made that have led to the downfall of this country.

Prayer was taken out of school.  Children were taught they descended from monkeys instead of being the creation God designed them to be.  As time has gone on other teachings have been introduced that glorify sin.  They are told that what God said is wrong is okay.

Now TLC is airing a show about a trans-gendered child.  I have not watched said show but I have seen promos.  Those alone give me insight.  I see where the family is being threatened.  Yet their search for fame and fortune keeps them in the limelight.

I have seen the upcoming episode clips showing the shots this young man receives to keep him from developing into a man.  Why would a kind and loving parent allow chemicals to be introduced into their healthy child’s body?

The most recent commercial I saw was one of the brothers reminding the mom that she had three other children.  Why did she have to be reminded?  Why does the child feel so left out he had to make that statement?  It sounds like a cry for attention and if she does not give it to him, we know the world will.  With the rates of teenage drug use and suicide being what it is, she needs to wake up.  She has one son begging to be seen and another pretending to be something he is not.

I pray for this family and the others out there buying the lies it is telling.  Folks God does not make mistakes.  He creates us all with a special purpose and by altering His creation we are treading on dangerous ground.  As always blessings to those reading this.

 

Who, What, When, Where and How

Way back in school they taught when writing there are five important questions to answer.  You all know the ones I am talking about: who, what, when, where and how.  I have been thinking lately about those questions regarding our relationship to God.  Before I start listing them I want to let you know all quotes are from the King James Bible.  It is what I was raised on.

Who are we?  We are His creation.  We are people who He loved so much He sent His Son to die for us “while we were yet sinners.”  John 3:16 and Romans 5:8 tell us that.  Second Peter 3:9 tells us that it is not His will that “any should perish.”  Instead it is His desire for us to “come to repentance.”

That leads us to the what questions.  What is repentance and what are we repenting of?  Repentance is asking God to forgive us of our sins and going on to being new creatures in Christ.  2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”  It is not easy and it is something one must do daily.

In answer to the second part of our what questions, we are repenting of sin.  Which of course gives us another what.  Sin is anything that displeases God.  It is the things we do that He tells us not to do.  It is also the things we don’t do that He tells us to.  God gives us unique talents and abilities that He wants us to use for His glory.  When we choose to ignore that calling,  that is sin.  It is also a  sin when we believe the lies of this world over the truth in His holy word.

That leads us to the when question.  There are a lot of folks that say the Old Testament does not apply today.  They try to make us believe that Jesus did not talk about certain issues we are facing today.  So folks wonder when God changes rules to fit in with the culture of the day.  The answer to that question is never.  Society changes but God’s standards never do.  Hebrews 13:8 tells us that He is the same yesterday, today and forever.  Revelations tells us that in the end times man will call what God calls bad good and vice versa.  Friends I believe those times are here.

Folks we have arrived at the where question.  Where are we to worship?  The answer is everywhere.  I saw a sign the other day that said  something like, If you are riding a fence.  It belongs to Satan.”  It is so true.  Remember God spits out the lukewarm(Rev 3:16).  You are either for Him or against Him.  The road to heaven is narrow according to Matt 7:13-14.  You can not be His on Sunday and the worlds on Monday through Saturday.

That brings us to how you show who’s we are.  Our tune can not change depending on our surroundings.  Our song should always be one of gratitude for a loving God, who gives His salvation to an undeserving people.  It does not mean we won’t have bad moments but in those times we will know who carries you.  We will show fruits of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23.  They are “love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, (and) temperance”  Yes we will all make mistakes but if we promptly bring those sins before God He will forgive us.  We must give ourselves to Him daily.  We need to be praying without ceasing and getting so much of His word in our hearts and heads that we can see the lies that are being thrown at us we will not fall.  We must remember at all times to love the sinner and hate the sin.  That is how we show who we belong to.  Here is a link of a good Bible tool.  https://www.biblegateway.com/   Blessings to all reading this.  As my pastor always says,  “These words were as much for me as you.”

Freedom is Not Free

This is a poem I wrote years ago.  It was inspired by a statement made from a part of our church family going off to war.  It took me back to a conversation a family member had with my mom about how she handled her son being in Nam.  My mom’s reply was “I never prayed as much or as hard as when he was in that war zone.”  Folks this is what Memorial Day is about.

She hangs a yellow ribbon on her door to remind her neighbors he does not live there anymore  The one she loves and has pledged to share her life with has gone off to war  She goes about her days as she has always done  Caring for her daughter and her son  Every now and then people ask her how her family’s been    She says okay

But what she really longs to say is He’s doing fine I don’t know about me   You’ll never know the endless days and the sleepless nights the longing to hold and be held tight  The countless prayers I’ve prayed that the Lord would bring him safely home to me  cause freedom is not free

A father ties a yellow ribbon on a tree  Where he use to watch his baby swing and play   He looks up to the sky and wipes the tears from his eyes As he begins to pray for his child’s safety He asked the Lord up above  To protect the one he loves  Every now and then people ask him how his family’s been  He says okay

But what he really longs to say is   She’s doing fine I don’t know about me  You’ll never know the endless days and the sleepless nights the longing to hold my baby tight   The countless prayers I’ve prayed that the Lord would bring her safely home to me   all her life I kept her safe   now my baby is protecting me

We will never know what freedom cost the Holy Trinity on that long ago day  when God the father had to turn his head away as God the Son hung on the cross   shedding His blood for the lost   and the sky turned black   while Jesus died to buy His children back   I’m curious to know if He was thinking way back then   as He gave His life for our sins    that freedom is not free

It was not free when Jesus hung there and bled for you and me  freedom was not free when Jesus died to give sinners victory   There is a price for liberty    Jesus paid it all  No greater gift could any man give  than to lay down his life that’s what Jesus did when he died to release sin’s captives  cause he knew that freedom is not free.

Parent’s Sorrow

Years ago when I wrote Promised Land on the anniversary of my mother’s death, the Lord directed me to redo the middle section on the loss of a child.  He told me that I needed to make it fit more people.  I had a conversation with Him.  I told Him that He knows I don’t like to share my work.  I worry too much about what others might think or say.  He reminded me that our talents are a gift from Him that He has the right and power to take away.  So I did what He said and shared those words.  I was amazed that so many were touched so deeply.

That was 16 years ago.  That poem has been altered to suit so many friends situations.  I have written others on the loss of a loved one but not until now has God laid it on my heart to write one especially on the topic of losing a child. I have to tell you this was the hardest one I have ever written.  I don’t mean that I had problems finding words to rhyme or line up.  This was emotionally draining.  I have had it in my head for months but feel the need to share it for Mothers’ Day.  I know tomorrow will be hard for some of you.  It is my prayer that the temporary discomfort I felt will bring peace to some of you with the words He has given me.  I no longer care of folks like my work but that they are touched by God through me.  I think my mom would be proud.

  • I was there for your first heartbeat
  • could not wait for the day we’d meet
  • I never expected to be here for your last
  • Time just seemed to go to fast
  • It was not part of my plans
  • when I counted the fingers on your tiny hands
  • There is joy mixed with my sorrow
  • of knowing for you there is no tomorrow
  • For to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord
  • the one, Who paid the price we could never afford
  • Yes His word gives the blessed assurance that you are
  • standing beside the maker of the sun, moon and stars
  • Today your with the author of our salvation, the giver of amazing grace
  • You have sung “Jesus Loves Me” right to His face
  • You’ve been reunited with every loved one
  • whose earthly race is done
  • I wonder as you’re walking on those streets of gold
  • Have you run into any of the saints of old
  • Did you have a chance to chat with the one you are named for?
  • or any of the other folks whose accounts you so adore
  • I know that I have to let you go
  • but some days the tears will just flow
  • However, there is such peace in knowing that I will see you again
  • Yes you and I will be back together after I have knelt before our God in heaven

John and Jana

After posting my blog yesterday I saw a long list of questions by a variety of folks.  Some showed a genuine interest in the family.  Others just revealed ignorance and hatred for that which they don’t understand.  I am going to try to address the queries from my years of watching the show.

There were those talking about how the twins will soon no longer be allowed on their parents’ health insurance.  I recall an episode where some of the children were having dental work and Jim Bob was talking about insurance.  He mentioned being self insured because of the size of his family and the businesses they run.  Since both of the twins work for him in some capacity in the real estate business, he can cover them as his employees.  Also for further proof of insurance the book  A Love That Multiplies talks about Josie’s birth and the cost of 2009 and 2010 deductibles  There is also the possibility that TLC insures both Jana and John.  I am sure they are grateful for the worry of their non fans.

The next issue I see is whether either is in a courtship.  I have seen no mention of that on the show or the family’s blog.  I did hear John say he hopes someday his children can play in the tree house the family completed in the last episode.  You see he is waiting on God’s timing.  I am sure the Lord has a wonderful women in store for this hard-working man.

As for Jana.  For years we have seen the rumors of her being enslaved by her parents.  Yes the poor girl never gets out of the kitchen and away from day care duty.  (snide comment alert)  They claim the girls have no say in their future mates.  That is so untrue.  We have heard countless stories of Jana turning down courtships because she does not feel as if that is the man God has for her.  She and her twin are both doing what everyone would be wise to do and allowing God to pick their lifelong partners.

This season I was so glad to see her working on the tree house with her siblings.  She was designing it and cutting wood.  Previously we saw her working on electrical lighting issues at Jessa and Ben’s house.  Yes she drilled holes and did wiring.   In past years we have also seen her deftly tiling floors and showers. So in addition to running the sewing machine she is competent with power tools.  Her siblings all said how amazing and resourceful she is in figuring out how to do something if she does not know already.

The final comments I want to address are the ones where people were insinuating that because  Jana said she wants a man with dirt under his fingers she was somehow insulting her female relatives.  She was just stating her preference and saying she would like to work alongside her mate.  I wonder at the relationship some folks have with their siblings that every time a Duggar makes a comment someone thinks it is a dig at another one.

As for saying the other Duggar girls are staying home and doing nothing.  Those folks never saw Anna working at Josh’s office before she had their first child or when she was a baby.  There are many episodes showing the girls work ethic.  Let’s not forget that Jana has also spent time training to be an EMT as well as a Duala.  The Duggar women are not just puppets set to procreate.  They are children of God trying to do what He designed them to.  I think we could all learn a lesson or two from these young ladies.

Do The Next Right Thing

Over the last few months I have been watching the Jill and Jessa Counting  On specials and now the series.  Jill and Jessa airs Tuesday nights on TLC.  I have been touched by Anna Duggar’s statement to “Do the next right thing.”Anna says she got it from a  pastor.  It is such a wise piece of advice.

So many people tell us to live day by day but in reality sometimes that is too much to comprehend.  We have to go on a moment by moment bases.  We must choose our actions and reactions carefully.   Additionally, as Christians we are held responsible for our very thoughts.  Those that do not line up with Him we have to hold captive.

Anna has handled her situation with such grace.  She has been hurt yet she continues to rely on God for her strength.  She is allowing herself to be healed by her creator.  She shows such wisdom for her years.  Please join me in praying for this example of how to live life more peacefully.

Of course as often happens when a saying gets me thinking a poem ends up forming in my head.

  • Mother’s Prayer
  • Lord please let me do the next right thing
  • No matter what life may bring
  • I have to leave a legacy
  • for my girls and boys
  • I want them to look back and see
  • that no matter what the situation
  • Mom made the right choice.
  • It is important for them to know
  • I made each decision
  • with the one Who loves us so
  • Amen

 

Finding Peace Through Forgiveness

“Shh,”he whispered.  Married people do this but it is okay because we love each other.  Don’t tell anyone.  She looked at the light bulb dangling from the ceiling.  The light hurt her eyes.  So she turned to the green wall.  That was how she started a day she would never forget.

She woke up gasping for breath.  Then the tears started.  She tried to stop crying.  When that would not work, she tried to muffle the sound.   However, they were like a fountain that would not stop.

There was a knock at the door.  She heard  Pamela calling out, “Essie are you okay?”  She could not answer.  The door opened and Pammie came in.  She sat on the bed and put her arms around her Ester.  She said, “Essie what is wrong?  Talk to me.”  Ester could not speak.  The tears would not allow it and even if they had she could never tell her sister about the dream she had woken from.

How could she ever tell her sister that her mind had just played a cruel trick on her?  In the hours of sleep when she was resting from all the final exams and graduation activities, she had had a nightmare about what she thought was her favorite brother doing things to her as a small child.  Surely it could not be a memory.  If it was than the fuzzy face in that dream was not him.  It was NOT Paul.  It had to be a trick of some kind.

She finally got the tears to stop and they went about their day.  Pammie would ask her a few times about what had caused the crying spell but she would never tell her anything more than a  nightmare.

She blocked out the dream and went about her life.  A few times the memory of that nightmare came up and she would stuff it down.  Once when she was in a parent child group, there was a time set aside for adult group work.  Others in the group were telling about their traumatic childhoods and she mentioned the dream.  The councilors told her it was most likely a repressed memory.  However, if she wanted to know for certain she should be hypnotized.  She opted not to do that since she had enough painful memories without stirring more up.

She did not think about it any more for years.  It was too painful and she had a child to raise.  She went to college after her son, Jesse was in school.  It was tough being a single parent and a college student but she had her parents’ help.  They watched him while she was in class and her mother would help him with his school work as she was doing hers.  She took Summer classes to get her education quicker since she was having such a late start.  She was studying to be a Social Worker.  She took classes that would go towards her Bachelors degree as electives  as well as ones that would qualify for various certifications.

Her life got thrown off course with her mother’s illness but her dad was still there to watch her son if he got off the bus before her.  She she plugged on.  She did her associate’s work in a year and a half.  She was set to graduate with that degree but decided not to march since she was going on to do the Bachelor’s level and she did not want to march without her mother there to watch.  Then right after Mothers day her mother died.  Eventually, she would have to put her schooling on hold again.  Since she was not caring for her son, watching over her dad’s medicines and doctor’s appointments as well as her brother’s, who had recently been diagnosed with adult onset Muscular Dystrophy.  Her plate was full.

She became a personal care attendant through her brother’s care taking agency.  She got married.  Then the nightmare came back.  She placed a call a to the person that she thought was in the dream.  She told him about the dream without telling him she suspected him.  His first statement was,  “I know it was not John.”  She thought it was strange that was his reaction.  Then he said, “I guess you will never know unless you get hypnotized.  Of course he knew she would not do that.  Then he said, “I wonder how I am going to explain to Shelly why I have been on the phone so long.”  Ester told him it was okay to tell Shelly.

After the call she prayed a prayer that saved her sanity.  She asked the Lord to give her a peace that even if Paul was the one in the dream that he had not molested anyone else.  Ester asked God to put the dream behind her.  She did not bury again.  Instead she asked for help in forgiving whoever it was in that memory.  God gave her peace that passes all understanding.  When that nightmare comes back to her now, she has no fear that he molested someone else.  You see forgiveness is truly the gift we give ourselves.  We have to forgive to be forgiven.  Sometimes you have to give grace to those who refuse to ask for it.