Warning Signs

A year ago, I got glasses for the first time.

I started experiencing headaches. They were mild at first and I thought they were sinus headaches because I get allergies, but this just didn’t go away. I began to get paranoid about what was causing it. Something serious or not?

I knew I couldn’t see long distances well. I hadn’t for as long as I can remember. But I was fine with closer up stuff. Or so I thought…

The change was so gradual that I didn’t realize how bad my eyes were. When I got glasses, I was amazed at how clear EVERYTHING was. Close up and far off. Now, without my glasses, I still get a headache in short order, and I can see why because of how blurry everything is.

I still ponder this at times when I take off my glasses and look around. Were my eyes THAT blurry before glasses and I just didn’t notice or have my eyes adjusted to the glasses and therefore, aren’t working as hard to focus which makes everything seem blurrier than I remember?

I don’t know for sure.

But I do know that sin can work the same way. Everything seemed great before, but then, little warning signs start to appear. A small headache, nah, it’ll go away if I ignore it. A little eye twitching, nah, it’ll be fine in time. But then the red flags get bigger and bigger until it can’t be ignored anymore.

And when the spiritual glasses are put on, suddenly everything is crystal clear. Those warning signs shouldn’t have been ignored. And the sin is seen for what it is. SIN.

And those painful little warning signs that were uncomfortable and stung a little was actually damage being done to the soul. It won’t go away. Sin has to be dealt with the same way.

And stopping sin is like putting on glasses for the first time and wearing them everywhere when not used to it. **It can make a person sick for a while. But sin is sin, it’s not something to slowly back away from (depending on what it is. For me and my gaming, I would be like, I’ll play it less today than yesterday and that will be fine. But I had no self-control and would end up playing for hours. Playing for 2 hours instead of 3 was still not good). I like how Brandon worded it – stop struggling with your sin and KILL IT.

We need to stop ignoring the warning signs and put on those spiritual glasses!


(**On an unrelated note, for me when I first put on my glasses, I ended up with an upset stomach like motion sickness. It shocked my whole system on the first day. The lady told me if it was my first time getting glasses, it might be a good idea to wait until the next morning and put them on first thing so the eyes will be rested and can get used to it. But I was so excited to see everything that I didn’t heed her warning. So I paid the consequences. 🥴🤣🤷🏻‍♀️)

Chosen – Dream Collab #2

Photo by Lennart kcotsttiw from Pexels

I was in what looked like a cave tunnel system. In this tunnel, I was running away from the undead. They were everywhere, coming for me. I was afraid; I was afraid of becoming like them. I knew that there was a weapon that would bring them back to life. It broke. I found Dad and he fixed it, but he warned me, it would only work once so choose well who I hit with the beam of my newly fixed weapon.

I saw a woman, and she was after me. I chose her, and used the weapon. It shot out a beam of light, hit her, and she fell to her knees. She came to life again. Her rotting flesh was recreated to stunning beauty, and she appeared to be a radiant 20-something with beautiful blonde hair. I grabbed her hand and pulled her to her feet. We had to keep moving or they would kill us.

Photo by Peter de Vink from Pexels

We came to the end of the tunnel – it ended as an opening into a cavern as large as an auditorium. If we jumped off, we would die. And if we didn’t, there was a horde of undead below us in the room. It looked like we would die either way – but then, out of the woman’s mouth, came a praise song. It filled the chambers and the people who heard were changed and came to life.

Photo by Blake Cheek on Unsplash

Not all were changed, but many were. The ones who didn’t come to life shrank into the tunnels to get away from the life-giving music.

The tunnel changed into a subway tunnel, where people were living normal lives again and the danger was gone.

Photo by Franz Spitaler on Unsplash


I got to ask a question at the end of the dream. I knew I could only ask one. I asked why I could only reach one when this one could reach many. The answer I got was, none would have been changed if I hadn’t reached her. And now that I think about it… what if I was the only one who could have reached her? God works in mysterious ways. So who knows. It just put in perspective how anyone could be used by God.

I had this dream over a year ago. At the time, I was struggling with wondering if my blog was making a difference or not. And this felt like a reassurance that it was. Reaching ONE can make all the difference. After all, I’ve heard it said, one man can make a difference – Jesus did! 🙂

I think the song that was sung was Amazing Grace. She was singing of once being lost, now was found. And I think that’s exactly what the “undead” in the dream was. Lost.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

I thought of asking why not all were saved, but the other question came out first. And I felt like I knew the reason. They didn’t want to change. The Light repulsed them, which is why they hid from it.


Funny how I stated in the last dream post how I rarely post about dreams, and here I am sharing another. XD This was another collab with T. R. Noble (click to read her post on this topic)! 🙂 I told her about this dream I had a while ago and encouraged me to share it.

And it’s been incredible already. The dream just now making a debut on my blog, but I told TR about it a couple of weeks ago. She wrote,  One Stone, Many Ripples, on Inside Cup. And after that, Hayley asked if she could turn it into a song.

I’m absolutely amazed at how this has already affected so many people. Blown away. Only God can do this. ❤ He is so good. 🙂

Wrath With A Side Order of Fruit – Gospel Study Notes

Notes And Thoughts On The Poem From Yesterday:


The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb – the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world. (Revelation 14:10 & John 1:29)

The idea to put those Revelation 14:10 and John 1:29 together came from this video:

**As a warning, there are some dark images in this video, but for me, they were used properly and it just highlighted the love of God, that because of Jesus, I will be spared God’s wrath.


Here are the other Scriptures that inspired the poem from yesterday here. I usually put them at the end of the poem, but I had so many thoughts I made a new post for the sake of length. 🙂

“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or else make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for a tree is known by its fruit.” (Matthew 12:30-32)

“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.’ “ (Rom 12:19)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith… Gal 5:22

(For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth…) Eph 5:9

And the entirety of Nahum 1 (I’ll just give a link to it Click!) but for the seventh and eighth stanzas, I pretty much took directly from

God is jealous, and the LORD avenges;
The LORD avenges and is furious.
The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries,
And He reserves wrath for His enemies;
The LORD is slow to anger and great in power,
And will not at all acquit the wicked.

(Nahum 1:2-3)

Who can stand before His indignation?
And who can endure the fierceness of His anger?
His fury is poured out like fire,
And the rocks are thrown down by Him.
(Nahum 1:6)

Interestingly, I didn’t find any Scripture that directly stated that Jesus took The Father’s wrath, as I expected to find. When Jesus said, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”, it is a direct quote from Psalm 22, but I guess I took it as it appeared – that God forsook Jesus. But then… Refreshing Spirit pointed out verse 24, “For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; nor has He hidden His face from Him; but when He cried to Him, He heard.” (New King James Version capitalized like that – I’m used to the KJV, so seeing these caps was a shock. XD) This seems to be clear that the Father never turned away from His Son.


“Thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will bring calamity on this place and on its inhabitants—all the words of the book which the king of Judah has read— ‘because they have forsaken Me and burned incense to other gods, that they might provoke Me to anger with all the works of their hands. Therefore My wrath shall be aroused against this place and shall not be quenched.’ ” ’ (Second Kings 22:17)

All the places I’ve found in which God forsook someone, the other person forsook Him first. Also, His wrath is toward cities such as Sodom and Gomorrah, which were totally wicked. Jesus never forsook the Father and was never wicked, so He doesn’t meet these criteria.

You are of purer eyes than to behold evil,
And cannot look on wickedness.
Why do You look on those who deal treacherously,
And hold Your tongue when the wicked devours
A person more righteous than he?

The context here is that Habakkuk is wondering why the wicked seem to be prospering (thanks Refreshing Spirit!). This is how the NASB translates the verse:

Your eyes are too pure to approve evil,
And You can not look on wickedness with favor.
Why do You look with favor
On those who deal treacherously?
Why are You silent when the wicked swallow up
Those more righteous than they?

This verse is saying God doesn’t approve of wickedness. Jesus wasn’t wicked. So this can’t really apply to God looking at Jesus on the cross.


At this point, I am thinking that when Jesus bore the punishment of the sins of the world, wrath was not included.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

…who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. (First Peter 2:24 – Thanks T.R. for bringing this verse to my attention.)

And He died in our place. But it doesn’t say He took God’s wrath. Jesus died for us so God won’t become wrathful toward us.

God still has wrath toward the wicked; so all of God’s wrath wasn’t poured out on Jesus. But I am thankful that the Ultimate Sacrifice saves the children from having the Father’s wrath poured on them. ❤

And His children crave the right fruit. The fruit from the Tree of Life. That fruit can’t save, but when Jesus is Savior, the Holy Spirit allows us to crave the right fruit from the right tree and we have the power to overcome temptations through Him.

If you are still reading, thanks for reading through these long notes, and be sure to check out Refreshing Spirit’s part two to her wrath post, here! ❤

Accomplishments and Achievements

(The poem I intended to post on Monday needed a bit more work, therefore it has been scheduled to Wednesday. In case you wondered what happened to it. 😉)

For me, it’s easy for a feeling of accomplishment to be an addiction that gets out of hand and turns into sin.

Finishing a level of Candy Crush and seeing the little girl cheering? Yup. I could play for HOURS. And having it on my iPod… now I see how easy it is to be addicted to a phone. I could carry the gaming addition wherever I went (that has WiFi).

Whenever there was a contest, I was waaaaaaaaay too focused on winning. I’d play for hours to win.

And this win led me to play for HOURS because I didn’t want to waste my prize. (Yes I took screenshots of my wins… I rediscovered them recently and cringed. I was THAT proud of my wins. 😅)

I had to offload all four games from the Candy Crush franchise from my iPod, and I may delete them completely soon.

After reading this post from my friend TR (Accomplishments Becoming An Idol), I realized just how deep this went. Accomplishments and achievements had a hold on me.

Accomplishment – level 13 on Memrise.

This achievement lost on Duolingo upset me more than it should have. I almost considered buying “plus” so I could fix it but… would it be worth it, just for that? The point was, I was learning Spanish. And I still am.

Progress is being made. If I miss a day, does it really matter? One day? Does the streak matter, or does the learning?

And when it comes to Candy Crush, I realized something…

When I stand before God, will this matter?

“God, I didn’t spend that much time with You and I’m sorry. I didn’t have a lot of free time.”

“What about all those hours playing games, child? You did have time.”

“…I was top of the leaderboard. That counts for something, right?”

Wrong.

Would He be proud of these achievements and accomplishments?

That’s probably a no.

Learning a new language has a point. Being able to speak to more of His children. But the games, even though they are so fun and addicting… weren’t worth the hours put into it.

I must admit, this achievement felt good. But I’m trying not to let it become an idol. I don’t use the website every day. On Duolingo, I have the streak freeze activated so if I do skip a day, I don’t lose my streak, but I’m also really enjoying the learning process there (they have Duolingo Stories which I really enjoy alongside their Spanish lessons), so I rarely skip a day. That’s why my streak is back into the 80s… 😅 I keep telling myself it’s not the numbers and if I lose this streak, I won’t be upset. It’s a struggle sometimes but:

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

I don’t want to get trapped in the snares of accomplishments and achievements; I want to run the race and keep my eyes on Jesus, my Prize. He is worth it! ❤

With Every Step (Dream Collab)

Image Credit: Pixabay

Mom and I were driving on the interstate, and we thought we saw the courthouse in the distance, in the fog. The closer we got, the more the large building resembled a huge mansion that had a castle look to it. And it kept growing bigger and bigger and bigger…

When we drove up onto a hill, our view of this large place was unobstructed and we could see it clearly, but the size didn’t match up to what it should have. It was huge, almost like a castle. And the courthouse didn’t look like that.

Image Credit: Pixabay

It was surrounded not by fog, but by clouds. Clouds descending onto the Earth. Clouds, morphing into a stairway…

Then, I saw the large figure stepping out of the clouds. I couldn’t see His face, but… my soul knew.

And I had all these feelings. Mostly guilt. The closer He came, the more the world faded away. All man-made buildings, roads, cars, everything faded away and was replaced by trees, grass, and nature, like He was rejuvenating the Earth with every step.

Image Credit: Pixabay

And with His last step, the car my mom was in disappeared and I was no longer moving. The clouds descended and covered the Earth, and obstructed the view of my surroundings.

In horror, I understood – I was alone, awaiting judgment.

All I could think was every time I promised to spend time with Him and I didn’t. Every time I intended to pray and talk with Him, study with Him, and instead played some mystery game, chasing clues and discovering secrets, or played some matching game to kill time.

And now time was gone. I wished I could resurrect the time I had killed.

Image Credit: Me

The guilt was so much, I wanted mountains to fall on me to hide me from Him. I could not bear to see His face. It was too much! But He would still see me if mountains could fall on me. Even darkness is light to Him.

I broke down and prayed harder than ever before. I wasn’t able to cry because I was no longer in this body, but I still could feel the grief and despair. But no outlet. It just built up inside, knowing He was coming and I was out of chances, out of time…

I was so scared. I had this overwhelming feeling that when my turn came, He would say, “I never knew you.”

I wanted Him to know me. I wanted to know Him.

Image Credit: Me

Father, please give me a chance to fix this. Give me a chance to live for You. I know I blew it. I’m so sorry that I didn’t give You time and spent it on things that matter far less. I’m sorry I didn’t make time for You. I want to know You. I want You to know me. I’m sorry.

My soul was in a state of pure anguish.

Here, my prayer was answered, and I woke up.


I had this dream last summer. I wrote out the draft on July 18th, and Google Docs said I edited from 9:40PM until 9:56PM. 16 minutes. It was chock full of typos, which I’ve corrected. 😆

It hit me hard. I talked about it to a friend (Refreshing Spirit) who gave much-appreciated input – to read Isaiah 44:22, which was such a reassurance. 🙂 Also told my dad about it. Also noticed that the reaction I had was similar to Revelation 6:15-17. Beyond that, I didn’t explore it much further, though it still was at the forefront of my mind. I’m not the type of person who thought that I could get a warning out of a dream. I know some people do, I just didn’t think I was one of them.

This was one of the rare times I felt as if the dream wasn’t just a “normal” dream. Or a crazy dream from eating weird food before bed. It was too surreal. I know some dreams feel that real, but in this case, when I woke up, reality didn’t feel real. That’s how real this dream was.

Not even two days later, TR from Inside Cup (<– click to see one of her dreams! 😉), my close sister with whom I’m collabing with, messaged me on Pinterest out of the blue to see how I was. I was still processing this. And dreams are her thing… 😂 (She encouraged me to share this today. Thanks, TR!) We bonded over this and she gave me her thoughts. And that led to our friendship. 😊 It’s like this dream did double duty. It was a warning but also helped bring another sister in Christ into my life. ❤️ What a blessing!

So, in the end, I took away quite a bit from this dream. For one thing, I needed to spend more time with Him. I want to know Him. I want Him to know me.  (I’ll have a post next Monday and Tuesday going more in depth with this – mostly Tuesday’s. 😉)

For another thing, worldly things don’t matter. The worldly things were disappearing before His presence. The closer I get to Him, the more things of the world will fade. ❤️

O God, quicken to life every power within me, that I may lay hold on eternal things. Open my eyes that I may see; give me acute spiritual perception; enable me to taste Thee and know that Thou art good. Make heaven more real to me than any earthly thing has ever been. Amen.

Tozer, A. W. (Aiden Wilson). The Pursuit of God (p. 40). Kindle Edition.

What Doesn’t Blow You Down Makes You Stronger

Special thanks to Daily Thankful, Adrianna, and Angela (click to read their fantastic posts) for unknowingly helping to inspire the words in this image and in the post below – seems that we are on the same wavelength. ❤

For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit. (Jeremiah 17:8 KJV)

“He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.” Psalm 1:3 (NASB)


Grab a cup of tea or hot chocolate or coconut water or whatever beverage you enjoy sipping on while reading long articles because this is going to end up being a long one. 😅

Last fall, I put some apple seeds that I saved out of an apple into some dirt to allow it to naturally go through the winter. I also put some in the refrigerator last November and again in January. I took them out briefly for the photo below. The seeds are wrapped in a damp paper towel which I placed in a Ziploc bag so that they wouldn’t dry out.

This process is known as stratification.  “In horticulture, stratification is the process of pretreating seeds to simulate natural conditions that a seed must endure before germination. Many seed species have an embryonic dormancy phase, and generally will not sprout until this dormancy is broken.” — Wikipedia

When it comes to apple seeds, it usually takes, according to the linked article, 70 to 80 days. However, it looks like they can sprout too soon. I say that because one of the little apple trees  I planted to be stratified this winter sprung up too early instead of waiting for spring like it was supposed to. The silly thing. Anyway.

Johnny Appleseed the Second, in his pig pot under the plant light

I brought that one inside and left the rest to be good little seeds and go through the rest of stratification. The little tree (whose name is Johnny Appleseed the Second, by the way – because I name everything – and this was my dad’s suggestion for a name) is now about three inches tall; I didn’t expect it to survive because it sprouted at the wrong time. But it did. So I put it under my plant light with my citronella plant, garlic, rubber plant, daffodil, Aloe Vera, Venus flytrap, pitcher plant, tomatoes, peppers, lemon trees, Mandarin orange saplings, and one other citrus tree that I am unsure of what it is. I think I’ve turned our “Arts and Crafts room” into a nursery at this point. 😅 Oh, I’m digressing. Getting back on topic…

So far, Johnny Appleseed the Second looks healthy. However, since Johnny Appleseed the Second will be indoors until spring, I wanted to make sure I was taking proper care of him. The ones I had last year (that came up in the spring like good little seeds) nature took care of, except for the occasional watering, so that they would be used to being outdoors. I thought I remembered this, and so researched it:

“Wind greatly affects plants throughout their growth. When plants are seedlings, slight breezes help them grow more sturdy. ” — Gardening FAQ

Turns out I remembered correctly. Thus, if the little guy is constantly protected from the wind and then planted outside this spring, his trunk will be weak and the wind could break him.

Therefore, staking a plant or blocking the wind from reaching a plant can actually do more harm than good in the long run, as long as the wind is not storm-strength. Every other day or so, I blow on Johnny Appleseed the Second, trying to mimic wind to make him stronger.

Tree trunk silhouette at sunset

And then I realized… just like I am doing for little Johnny Appleseed the Second, God allows us to go through trials that make us bend and knocks us around so that we get stronger in Him. He allows the wind to blow, and with it, strengthens us so we don’t break when the stronger storms come later.

In conclusion to this long-winded (sorry bad pun) post: We’re like apple trees! 🍎 🍏 Okay, okay: Our Father in Heaven allows turbulence to strengthen His children because He loves them.


This poem by Lillian E. Barr was in Streams In The Desert in the January 16th devotional; it seems relevant here. I hope you enjoy her poem as much as I did:

THE TREE GOD PLANTS

The wind that blows can never kill
The tree God plants;
It bloweth east, it bloweth west,
The tender leaves have little rest,
But any wind that blows is best;
The tree God plants
Strikes deeper root, grows higher still,
Spreads wider boughs, for God’s good will
Meets all its wants.

There is no frost hath power to blight
The tree God shields;
The roots are warm beneath soft snows,
And when Spring comes it surely knows,
And every bud to blossom grows.
The tree God shields
Grows on apace by day and night,
Till sweet to taste and fair to sight
Its fruit it yields.

There is no storm hath power to blast
The tree God knows;
No thunderbolt, nor beating rain,
Nor lightning flash, nor hurricane
When they are spent it doth remain.
The tree God knows
Through every tempest standeth fast,
And from its first day to its last
Still, fairer grows.

If in the soul’s still garden-place
A seed God sows
A little seed it soon will grow,
And far and near all men will know
For heavenly lands, he bids it blow.
A seed God sows,
And up it springs by day and night;
Through life, through death, it groweth right;
Forever grows.

The Origin Of Valentine’s Day

A lot of people celebrate Valentine’s Day. (Or if you are like me and you are single, this holiday is most likely S.A.D –  Singles Awareness Day.) But have you ever wondered why we celebrate it, and who this Valentine guy was? Well, wonder no more! (Click the links at the end of the quotes if you want to view the whole article where I found the information. 😉)

Image Credit: Pixabay

The history behind it is actually quite dark. Two people with the name of Valentine were martyred in different years in Ancient Rome on that day. The Catholic church recognized them as saints. And at this time, Lupercalia was already established by the ancient Romans to be celebrated from February 13th through the 15th. So, what is that celebrating?

Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons

Lupercalia was a very ancient, possibly pre-Roman pastoral annual festival, observed in the city of Rome on February 15, to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility. Lupercalia was also called “dies Februatus”, purified (literally “februated day”) after the instruments of purification called “februa”, which give the month of February (Februarius) its name. – Wikipedia on Lupercalia

Killing two birds with one stone: Now we know where February got its name from too…

Image Credit: Pixabay

Anyway…

The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain.

The Roman romantics “were drunk. They were naked,” says Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Young women would actually line up for the men to hit them, Lenski says. They believed this would make them fertile.

The brutal fete included a matchmaking lottery, in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then be, um, coupled up for the duration of the festival — or longer, if the match was right. – NPR

So… that’s awful. Those poor women. I don’t even want to think about it.

Later, Pope Gelasius I muddled things in the 5th century by combining St. Valentine’s Day with Lupercalia to expel the pagan rituals. But the festival was more of a theatrical interpretation of what it had once been. Lenski adds, “It was a little more of a drunken revel, but the Christians put clothes back on it. That didn’t stop it from being a day of fertility and love.”

Around the same time, the Normans celebrated Galatin’s Day. Galatin meant “lover of women.” That was likely confused with St. Valentine’s Day at some point, in part because they sound alike. – NPR

This sort of sounds like what happened with Christmas. Take a pagan holiday and combine it with a Christian holiday in an attempt to convert people. Or in this case, try to twist the pagan holiday to make it “Christian”.

Then I was curious about how the Valentine Cards were started:

Another embellishment suggests that Saint Valentine performed clandestine Christian weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry. The Roman Emperor Claudius II supposedly forbade this in order to grow his army, believing that married men did not make for good soldiers.  However, George Monger writes that this marriage ban was never issued and that Claudius II told his soldiers to take two or three women for themselves after his victory over the Goths.

According to legend, in order “to remind these men of their vows and God’s love, Saint Valentine is said to have cut hearts from parchment”, giving them to these soldiers and persecuted Christians, a possible origin of the widespread use of hearts on St. Valentine’s Day. – Wikipedia on Valentine’s Day

So that’s how Valentine’s Day got its start
And how people started sending Valentine’s Day hearts.
I do hope that you enjoyed and learned something new
Happy Valentine’s Day (or Singles Awareness Day) to you!

💘