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Blog, Faith, Fitness, prayer, Stress

To mask or unmask: Is that the question?

Young woman with mask. Image source: Unsplash

Young woman with mask
Image source: Unsplash

When you go on social media sites, you’ll read a lot of different strong opinions about wearing a mask vs. not wearing one regarding the Coronavirus —even by Christian believers. 

This week I watched as a friend on Facebook posted her beliefs about not wearing a mask. And then the unbelievably hateful attacks came as satan’s flaming arrows toward her, one after the other, rapidly. People who did not just disagree with her beliefs, but they were calling her stupid, an idiot, a hypocrite, making fun of for her for wearing glasses, makeup, tattoos, and a seatbelt, cussing at her, cursing her to die with the virus, telling her she was killing others with COVID-19, mocking God’s and Jesus’ existence, posting blasphemous cartoon memes about Jesus, and much more.

angry woman

angry woman

At the last count today, I saw that there were 1.3K comments under her post and 139 shares. What shocked me were some of the rude, mocking, hateful comments by believers!

Sherri is a beautiful person inside and out, and I observed how she responded in such grace to all the hate with God’s agape love, forgiveness, and mercy. Truly an example of Jesus Christ, whether you agree with her beliefs about a mask or not! You can visit Sherri’s website here.

Sherri Ohler - image on Facebook

Sherri Ohler – image on Facebook

Facebook comments to Sherri's mask post

Facebook comments to Sherri’s mask post

Hateful comments to Sherri's mask post

Hateful comments to Sherri’s mask post

Seatbelt comments to Sherri's mask post

Seatbelt comments to Sherri’s mask post

To wear a mask to protect either oneself against the virus, or to protect others vs. not wearing a mask: Is that really the important question?

Sherri believes it is. Her original post is below:

“People think I’m selfish because I refuse to wear a mask ?, but in actuality I would be selfish if I DID wear a mask. Here’s why….
The second I put a mask on I am laying down my supernatural faith in Jesus and entering into fear with the world. Fear of a virus, fear of getting in trouble, fear of people looking down on me, fear of conflict, etc. And the second I give up my faith and partner with fear there is one less person in the world spreading the truth and healing of Yeshua!
Me wearing a mask should scare you, me NOT wearing a mask should give you HOPE. Me not wearing a mask is me loving Yahweh more than life and me loving you in the most powerful way I know how, by keeping the faith and being ready to pray for you in the power of Holy Spirit in all confidence for healing and deliverance from evil.
It is getting more and more difficult here in IL to not wear one. I get stopped at the door almost everywhere I go. The mark is coming. I pray that the grace of Jesus would be with me, and you. This is only the beginning. Stay strong.
“And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ. Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
2 Thessalonians 3:5?, ?16?, ?18″

Sherri believes the mask-wearing (especially mask-wearing enforced by governors and other officials) is all part of planning and preparing for the One World government system, which will ultimately lead to the rise of anti-christ and the mark of the beast.

He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has  the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” (Revelation 13:16-17)

Russian dolls with masks. Image source: Unsplash

Russian dolls with masks
Image source: Unsplash

I personally do not wear a mask. Here are my personal reasons:

  1. I don’t believe God told me to do that. When Coronavirus first hit the USA and especially the state of Missouri where I live, a close friend told me to only go to the grocery store if absolutely necessary, to not leave town to see my kids in another bigger city, to not eat out at restaurants and fast food places, and to stay home as much as possible for protection against the virus. When I asked God if He wanted me to wear a mask to go to Walmart to buy groceries, God spoke to me in His still, small voice: “Beth, I want you to just trust Me.” This gave me peace and bore witness with my spirit. I did not feel that peace wearing a mask! I did stay home, once the Shelter In Place order was put into place, but not seeing my kids and my grandkids for over a month was the hardest part of me during this crisis! Right now, Missouri has not required mandatory masks, except in norther Kansas City (not my area). But I don’t put my faith and trust in a mask, but in Jesus Christ. Every day I pray the blood of Jesus and God’s protection over me and my family and loved ones. I believe it is the ONLY thing keeping us safe from this virus. If you are a believer and you wear a mask, I don’t judge or condemn you for doing so. This is just what I believe. I do believe in practical habits for optimum health, but we should do this anyway, not just during a pandemic: good habits like eating healthy, exercise, de-stressing, getting plenty of sleep and daily sunshine (that helps produce Vitamin D), and good hygiene like washing your hands.
  2. I don’t believe the masks really work to protect either myself or others against Coronavirus. The virus particles are very tiny and masks are porous. Surgeons began wearing surgical masks during operations to protect patients from wound infection and from contamination from the surgeon and the staff, not to keep from getting sick from the patient. While I believe the virus IS real and IS dangerous, I also believe the numbers are being hyped and even lied about, and that the mainstream media has been using the Coronavirus to create fear and even panic (hence, the insane toilet paper hoarding!). Because when people are panicking, you can control them! God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of love, of power, and of a sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7) There is much controversy over whether masks protect either the wearer or others from Coronavirus, and even about the virus itself and the numbers. If you Google this, and watch videos on YouTube, you’ll find 100’s and even 1000’s of different opinions, including among doctors, nurses, medical staffs, Dr. Faucci, our nations’ leaders, and more. Do research yourself and come to your own conclusions, asking God to show you HIS TRUTH. If you post hateful comments here or on my Facebook, they will be deleted. You’re welcome to a different opinion, but please be respectful and kind. Sadly, there’s not near enough going around of that kindess in this world today!
  3. I believe the masks are a form of the state governments trying to control people and violate our Constitutional rights and destroy our economy (for their own political agendas). For example, when Shelter in Place orders took place across the USA, people weren’t allowed to go to church, dine in at restaurants, attend sport rallies, go to hair salons or barber shops etc. But after George Floyd’s atrocious death, protests, riots, looting, and violence (in large crowds with people standing close to each other, not socially distancing) were allowed by certain (primarily liberal) governors and mayors. Either the Coronavirus was and is dangerous and contagious or not–not just while worshipping in church or while eating at your fave Mexican restaurant! The virus didn’t go away just because people were protesting murder and racial injustices. We need the states to re-open so small and large businesses can go forth and rebuild the economy, or it is going to cause the collapse of the USA economy (which I realize some people actually want to happen and it’s evil!). I am praying for our great nation and wisdom for our leaders! I don’t believe for a minuet that this demonic virus came from God, but He has allowed it for His purpose and glory. We should NOT walk in FEAR, but trust God! I do believe we need to repent as a nation (and the world), so God will forgive us of our sins and heal our land! (2 Chronicles 7:14)

A family member of mine works at a store which not only requires its employees to wear its masks for the entire shift (which can hinder oxygen supply), but also now requires its customers to wear masks when shopping there! When I tried to talk to my family member about this, the response in defense of required mask-wearing was that customers must wear shirts and shoes to enter and shop at the store, so the masks aren’t that big of a deal. The difference is that clothing is about public decency. The enforced mask-wearing, especially since it is not a law in the state of Missouri, is about control. 

Vaccine. Image: Unsplash

Vaccine. Image: Unsplash

Although I can’t change the family member’s mind about what to believe about masks (or about Jesus), or anyone else’s, I am very concerned about what would happen if there is a mandatory “anti-Coronavirus” vaccine. Would this person also go along with this, too, since wearing a mask is now required at work and this person believes wearing a mask might help protect against the virus, at least a little?

I believe enforced mask-wearing is a pretest for how much the government can control people, and this is going to eventually lead to a mandatory vaccine “for the better good”–to supposedly “stop the spread of the virus.” Never before has there been such a fast race to develop a vaccine against a disease in all of history, to be used globally. 

Those who oppose an “anti-Coronavirus” vaccine are already being given a negative-sounding name. Anti-vaxxers. Like anti-maskers. Such people are being viewed as “dangerous” and “crazy” to others, to all of society. I was given an evil glare by a woman at the store the other day, apparently for not having on a mask. She kept quite a physical distance from me (more than the six feet, even though I do practice social distancing and wash my hands), but her look-to-kill reached me without a problem.  She was wearing a mask as well as her child, who couldn’t have been more than 3 or 4 years old. All I could think about was, “Is that child getting enough oxygen?”

Will I wind up going to jail for this blog post or attacked like my Sherri was on Facebook? Will this post be blocked on Facebook? I pray not. (I acknowledge that I could be completely wrong in anything I am writing here!) Pray and ask God to hear His voice.

Coin shortage. Image source: https://www.post-gazette.com/business/career-workplace/2020/07/18/coin-shortage-affecting-businesses/stories/202007160145

Coin shortage sign.
Image source: https://www.post-gazette.com/business/career-workplace/2020/07/18/coin-shortage-affecting-businesses/stories/202007160145

Maybe you’ve also been noticing signs at stores about a “coin shortage” (which I don’t believe. I think it’s a LIE!). This “shortage,” of course, will lead to people eventually using only their credit/debit cards, Paypal, Apple Pay, etc. Digital money. A cashless society. Does that sound familiar? (Revelation  13:16-17, from earlier in this post) All these things are related and it’s not an accident they’re occurring simultaneously!

What if you can’t work at your job, receive your paycheck to pay your bills, buy groceries at a store, pay your taxes, get on a plane to travel to another city, state, or nation, buy gas for your car, or do many other things that Americans are so used to in their daily lives without this vaccine? I believe this may be coming and am praying! I also believe that such a vaccine is the precursor to eventually the mark of the beast. (No, I don’t plan to get the vaccine and am praying for my family not to, either! You are entitled to your opinion and beliefs.)

So many vaccines have toxins with bad and even fatal side effects. Some vaccines like rabies, measles, Hepatitis A, and chickenpox include aborted fetal tissue.That is another blog post, but if you’re a believer, you don’t want to take a vaccine just for that reason alone, to obey your conscience before God. I don’t get the flu shot because my husband has been required to get them for his work as a paramedic, and he has gotten very sick every time from the shot! I believe the flu shot has toxins in it, and don’t want to be exposed to them.

Biometric identification in vaccines, like those launched in Seattle in March 2020, will be able to verify those who have had the virus infection and to keep track of those getting the vaccine.

Do you yet feel like it’s the Twilight Zone, like I do?

The Twilight Zone

The Twilight Zone

Larry Dohrs, Southeast head of the non-profit business iRespond in Seattle, WA, working on this, said, “National governments don’t have a very good record of giving up new powers once a crisis has passed. Technology we use for disease surveillance today should not become tools for state surveillance at a later date.”

State surveillance? Hello, as Adelle’s song says. There’s a big clue! Meaning such a thing is possible (and probably already is in place, ready to launch in the wrong evil hands!).

With USA liberal governors lusting for power and control already doing this type of controlling the masses with required mask-wearing of its citizens, what makes us think they won’t with a vaccine and a digital money system? Think again. Most of all, let’s pray!

hearts

hearts

Have you been saved through faith in Jesus Christ and are you living in obedience to Him, walking in His Love? That is the real, vital question. 

Please leave your (respectful) comments below.

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Blog, Faith, Featured, Marriage, Parenting, prayer

Depression and addiction during the holidays

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Woman putting ribbon on gift
Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

Lately I’ve talked with two different Christian women friends who shared that they become deeply depressed during the holidays–that period between Thanksgiving and Christmas, when so many people are joyful and excited, planning and cooking a big family meal, shopping, buying and wrapping Christmas gifts, and attending or hosting parties. These friends said they just want it over with as soon as possible!

http://www.promopro.com/shopping-tips/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Five-Best-Thanksgiving-Apps-for-Your-Perfect-Holiday-Meal.jpg

Thanksgiving meal

One friend cited the reason being that her dreams of a happy family have been shattered, after her husband left her for another woman, had a child with the mistress, and then divorced her, the wife. Although she makes an effort for the sake of her children to beautifully decorate the Christmas tree and their home’s rooms each year, she said their expensive, nice house feels empty and lonely without her husband there to celebrate  with her and their kids. 

The second friend, also divorced (her husband had an affair and was addicted to drugs), said that she feels she and her children don’t “fit in anywhere” when so many families are sitting together happily around the Christmas tree to open presents. Conversations with her aging, ailing father and her emotionally distant brothers are strained at restaurants eating a “holiday meal,” and she feels that she is imposing, asking to be with friends at their family gatherings.

Source: NDTV

Source: NDTV https://food.ndtv.com/food-drinks/lift-your-gloomy-mood-up-during-winters-with-these-5-foods-1797440

My friend also wonders if she has Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), related to changes in seasons. Researchers have yet to uncover the specific cause for SAD, but the reduction in sunlight in winter can throw your biological clock out of whack and reduce levels of serotonin (a brain chemical that regulates your mood) and melatonin (a chemical which regulates sleep and mood).

It’s not always “the most wonderful time of the year.” Many people struggle with depression and stress during the holidays.

 While the suicide rate is highest between April and August rather than the holidays, there are findings from surveys that people feel more stress, anxiety, and depression between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, according to Psychology Today.

pensive woman

depressed woman

Thirty-eight percent of people surveyed said their stress level increased during the holiday season, according to Psychology Today. Participants listed the top stressors as lack of time, lack of money, commercialism, the pressures of gift-giving, and family gatherings.

Another poll of more than 1,000 adults by a global investment company, Principal Financial Group, found that 53 percent of people experience financial stress due to holiday spending, despite the fact more than half set budgets for their holiday spending.

As Christian believers, we know that Christmas is supposed to be about celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, yet how many of us succumb to the pressure of spending lots of money on food and gifts at this time of year?

In fact, holiday retail sales in 2018 surpassed $1 trillion, and Americans spent an average of $1,536 during the Christmas holidays in 2018! INSANE! And 14.2% of Americans sell possessions to fund their Christmas shopping! No wonder people get depressed and stressed!

Alcohol. Source: Recovery Village

Whiskey
Source: The Recovery Village

The holidays are a stressful time for everyone. But for recovering addicts, or those struggling with an active addiction, the holidays can cause a relapse.

The same issues of money, family, and general stress are amplified for the addict. Addicts without a stable family or friends often feel alone, isolated, and bored, which can drive addictive behavior. 

Woman at ocean

Woman at ocean

Recovery is possible for the alcoholic/addict. One beautiful place offering treatment for addiction and co-occurring mental health disorders is The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake, Colorado, near Colorado Springs.

One thing which struck me about this place is that they have walking trails, an on-site gym for working out, and they offer equine therapy for clients to work with horses.

Equine Therapy Source: McCaskill Family Services, Michigan

Equine Therapy
Source: McCaskill Family Services, Michigan

Their 110-bed, clean, safe facility near the Colorado Rockies with luxurious rooms has a team of medical and clinical professionals to help adults get freedom from addiction and to live healthier, happier lives. They are a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers. 

You can see a virtual tour of the facility here

If you are struggling with addiction and/or depression, stress, and anxiety, especially during the holidays, consider a treatment facility like The Recovery Village. Other sources for help for you are below. Remember, you are not alone!

Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

Al-Anon (family members or friends of alcoholics/addicts)

Narcotics Anonymous (substance abuse addiction)

Teen Challenge ( Christian faith-based corporations intended to help teenagers, adults, and families with problems such as substance abuse or self-destructive behavior)

Suicide National Hotline

 

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Featured

God’s repair shop

This morning I had breakfast at Quick Dine III, an old-fashioned, mom-and-pop-type diner here in town, where you can get the best, crispiest bacon ever, a good, very cheesey omelette with hash browns (plenty of ketchup!), and a decent, creamy, hot cup of coffee. The waitress, Joanne, is amazing, remembering exactly what you want, including your drink and hazelnut creamer for your coffee. 

omelette and bacon

omelette and bacon

As I waited on my usual order, I watched part of The Repair Shop on the TV, where the expert craftsmen restore heirlooms and antiques like music boxes, vases, and clocks to prove anything can be restored to its former glory.

The craftsmen were completely restoring a family heirloom-a large writer’s desk. The original, antique wood had chips and big cracks in it, and the wood was fading and dull. 

After they restored it, the owners could hardly believe this was the same piece of furniture. The desk was shiny with ornate, gold handles for the drawers, and it looked brand new. “It looks wonderful!” the woman owner exclaimed, with tears in her eyes.

expert craftsmen on The Repair Shop

I thought about how God does this with you and me in God’s “Repair Shop.” He takes what is chipped, cracked, and even totally broken in our lives, and turns it into His beautiful masterpiece through His forgiveness, grace, and mercy. 

Woman caught in adultery and Jesus, The Passion Movie

Woman caught in adultery and Jesus
The Passion movie

The power of Jesus’ Love completely restores you and me, making us into a brand new creation.

I’m so thankful for this. It also gives me hope for others whom I love, who are broken right now and need His healing, restoring touch.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10, NLT)

 

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