Jesus Heals the Walking Dead

The Walking Dead is a highly successful television series that has just begun it’s 5th season. Why is it that so many people are interested in shows about Zombie apocalypse or an outbreak of illness creating zombies? Perhaps Hollywood can see what so many of us are refusing to acknowledge. Many of us are the walking dead.  Well to be fair some of us are the walking dead and some of us are the walking wounded. Drug addiction, alcoholism, porn addiction, food addiction, kids killing each other in school, people beheading other people for “God”.  What the heck is going on? It seems like we are living in a world filled with zombies.

What is interesting to me about all of these successful movies and sitcoms is how they parallel our own culture.  It is as if these movies are a commentary on our culture of death. We may not live in the biblical times of leprosy but we certainly live in a time of spiritual leprosy. We live in a fallen world and with fallen people. The new normal is not man and wife with three kids a dog, a house and a white picket fence. In fact, I am not even sure what the new normal is, but it is definitely not the “traditional” family.

The movies we watch that are depicting human beings as zombies, are closer to the truth than most tv sitcoms. We are all in need of healing.  We need to find a means from which to heal our wounds.  We are all wounded in some way. Some of us are living with the effects of sexual abuse or physical abuse; some of us were abandoned by our parents. Still others were emotionally abused or psychologically traumatized by alcoholic or drug addicted parents or even others were ritualistically abused. Whatever the your childhood, chances are you either experienced abuse or neglect yourself or someone very close to you did. The effects of abuse wounds us and it is in through these wounds that we begin to form our understandings and beliefs about who we are, who God is and whether or not we believe in anyone or anything.

The wounds that are inflicted upon us are openings to evil or negativity. Call it what you will, it is through wounds that we are opened up and it is at these moments we can become bound as prisoners to our pain, our fears and the vows that we make to ourselves. We also need friends that we can trust to love us despite our wounds.  We need friends to help encourage us and help us find joy and courage to persevere so that we can go into those dark places and bring healing to them.  The reason why we are struggling in this world is not because we are somehow strange or because we are not faithful or pious enough, it is because we live in a world that has been divided because of sin. Being faithful and growing in holiness can help us in our struggles but unless we address our wounds we may find ourselves carrying a larger struggle than God desires for us to carry by ourselves.

If you or someone you know feels they are nailed to their cross instead of carrying it, then perhaps you are in need of healing.

Here is the Good News! Christ came to restore us! He makes all things new! Am I saying that healing our wounds is as simple as bringing our suffering to Him on the cross? Yes I am. It is not simple or easy to do but it is simple in choice.

But wait a minute…have you been seeing Jesus as some wimpy guy walking around in an effeminate gown talking in gentle high pitched voice? Cause my Jesus is not wimpy, he is B.A.  He will kick some major butt if anyone tries to mess with his girl (that’s me).  Are you seeing Jesus as the laid down lover he is? He is ready and willing to run into the darkest of nights to bring in his lost bride (that’s you).  You just have to call out to him..

In scripture, it says we have a mighty savior that will wipe away every tear and comfort every infirmity and remove every sin for those who believe and trust in him.  Instead of despair we shall have the oil of gladness, instead of shame we shall have double honor, not just in heaven but here in our lives, progressively as grace perfects our nature. The zombies are the sin and the evil in the world and he wants to eradicate it so that you can be resurrected and made new!

Jesus wants your happiness in the world and in the next, he wants to set you free from all that has enslaved you! Everywhere you go he is with you and longs for you to trust in him.  He pursues all of us intensely because of his great love for us.  We are no surprise to God, he knew what he was getting when he made us! You are no surprise to God, I am no surprise to God yet he created us anyways! That is such a consolation!

When our wounds are redeemed and washed clean in the blood of Christ we are made new. The very places you feel the most broken become your most beautiful gifts. He will shine out of your wounds in ways that will not only transform you, but it will transform the people around you. His light shines through our wounds revealing hope and healing.  When we are set free from the healing power of Jesus Christ we are able to retain the graces He pours out to us and we will have Christ to give them in their own thirst.

How can one begin? Pray this prayer. Come Holy Spirit Come. Next ask for prayer ministry. Even Jesus had someone help him carry his cross.  Then, find a healing mass and receive the sacrament of the sick so that your wounds can be healed. The sacraments are means of grace that fills us.  Grace perfects our nature and healing ministry is the means from which to retain this grace so that we can be transformed. It will be through this transformation that the world will be reconciled to God.

For the past 6 months I have had the honor and privilege to be apart of a healing ministry that has been offering a monthly healing mass as well as prayer ministry. People have been coming from all over the state of Wisconsin. If you cannot find a healing mass in your area then consider a pilgrimage to St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Greenville Wisconsin. We are offering a monthly healing mass to heal and free the oppressed.  If you need deliverance from the evil one, if you need healing for your afflictions then come to the living water! Come be healed! You will receive anointing with oil in the sacrament of the sick, there will be deliverance, there will be healing prayer ministry and you will be given an arsenal kit to take home so as to continue finding healing and freedom. Perhaps you are called to bring a healing mass and prayer ministry to your own parish. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern what it is you are being called to do and then ask for the grace to do it. I believe we are on the cusp of a revolution of laid down lovers willing to run into the darkness to bring in the lost bride. I believe that that Army is a Marian Army. Join the revolution. For more information you can check out our Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/TotusTuusHealing

Do You Have Time For Beauty?

JOSHUA BELL PLAYS DC SUBWAY

JOSHUA BELL PLAYS DC SUBWAY

“As an experiment,

The Washington Post

asked a concert violinist—

wearing jeans, tennis shoes,

and a baseball cap—

to stand near a trash can

at rush hour in the subway

and play Bach

on a Stradivarius.

Partita No. 2 in D Minor

called out to commuters

like an ocean to waves,

sang to the station

about why we should bother

to live…..” excerpt from “Bach in the DC Subway” by David Lee Garrison

 

On a cold January morning in the L’Enfant Plaza Station of the subway line in Washington, D.C. one of the worlds best violinist, Joshua Bell, played for 45 minutes on a violin worth 3.5 million dollars. It was a social experiment to see whether or not people would stop to appreciate beauty.

Over a thousand people passed him by as he played some of the most intricate pieces ever written for violin. Just that week he had performed at a theater in Boston, which sold out even though tickets were selling at $100 a seat. So how many people stopped to appreciate this free concert? Only seven.

Among the seven that stopped to receive the beautiful self-gift of his heart being poured out through his violin was a 3-year-old little boy. The boy tried to stop and take in what I can only describe as achingly beautiful music, when his mother can be seen on the YouTube video pushing him along, forcing him to move for what I must assume was a very important play date. Most of the children that walked by kept their face towards him, listening to the sweet sounds of the strings even though they were being marched away in the opposite direction.

Jesus says we must be like little children to enter into the Kingdom of God. I am not sure he was talking about the children of the 21st century. The children of the 21st century are quite different than those of even 20 years ago. Today those children are either on their phones, iPod’s or gaming device and on their way to select soccer, baseball, gymnastics, football, hockey or the like. Some how an appreciation for what is beautiful is being lost or perhaps replaced with “more important” things. However, as human beings I believe what sets us apart as unique and unrepeatable persons made in the image and likeness of God is that we create as well as take in beauty.

The Sistine Chapel, Mozart’s Requiem Mass, the Eiffel Tower are all examples of beautiful things man has created. Beautiful things elevate our minds and cause us to transcend this world to contemplate the divine. Beauty will save the world or at least that is what Dostoevsky has famously declared.

This social experiment done in Washington D. C. reminds me of the time I left the Theology of the Body Institute with a busload of other attendees and was dropped at the airport. After getting through security I began to look above my head to see which direction to go for my gate.

Several of my class attendees were with me and had gravitated to an interactive light puzzle projected onto the wall. It was at least six feet tall and at least 10 or 12 feet long. I watched as they moved the pieces by touching them and sliding them around. They laughed and giggled and played with this beautiful wall mural.

The truth is that I would not had even noticed it if I had been on my own. Was it because they were in there 20’s and I was in my 40’s that I had not even thought to try it? I went over to the puzzle and took my turn moving the pieces around. The entire time all I could think was “Why don’t I stop and look around more? What else am I missing?”

I made a decision right then to pursue what is beautiful. When it snows I tilt my head back and watch the flakes cascade down to my face. I pulled over on the side of the road and watch the sun setting. I get out of my car and take my shoes off and walk through fields with thick lush grass and I even lay down on a beach at night to behold the stars. I make time for beauty.

Do you have time for beauty? You and I are called to pursue what is beautiful, true and good, but are we? Perhaps the question we have to ask ourselves is that if we do not have time to stop and listen to a world class musician playing the most intricately written music on the best instrument ever made then maybe we need to re-prioritize our pursuits.

 ORIGINAL WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE WITH VIDEOS

 

I Grieve

Martin Hudáček’s sculpture entitled “Memorial for Unborn Children

Martin Hudáček’s sculpture entitled “Memorial for Unborn Children

SUNDAY, MAY 3:40PM

Before reading this post please listen to The Song “I Grieve” By Peter Gabriel. You can listen to it while you read my blog as it will open in a separate tab.  This song as it embodies the emotions that I am experiencing.  It captures the moment of my life that I am living, right now.  The lyrics are so perfect…  There is something beautiful and something so raw about embracing life even when it means that we embrace the intensity of suffering, sadness and grief.

I am working through my emotions as I experience this miscarriage by journaling here on my blog.  I have a hard time with allowing myself to cry, to feel.  It is easier to numb myself.  I have become quite good at.  When I wrote the last two posts the flood gates opened in a way that I realized I needed.  I only realized it after I opened to feeling the pain. It almost seems like I am not supposed to be grieving.  Some of the questions I get like “how far along are you” is just code for “your not far enough along to be so upset.”

I was almost ready to numb myself through this but then I realized that I really am hurting and if I don’t face into that hurt it is going to come out sideways.  It always does.   Rather than stay in denial, or turn to anger as a means to control my pain,  I am choosing to embrace the pain that comes from feeling everything, talking about it and processing it in the moment.  It hurts.  I still find I cannot stay in the moment with my feelings and allow myself the grief that is just below the surface because life does go on, and on and on and on.  My children need me, my house has chores and there is work to be done.  I keep having to push down the sadness and disappointment and grief.

I will keep updating this one post as I document the process of losing Kolbe.  If you are just happening upon this blog post then you can read the first two posts by clicking the links.  The first one, “I’m Having a Miscarriage” and “Deep Sorrow”  will get you up to speed and I will put headers of the day and or times of the new entries…

Where am I at right now? Well, this image helps to make that clear. Right now I am angry at my body and I feel very alone.

baby miscarriage

I am angry with my body for failing to protect this precious little person. I feel alone because not everyone sees a miscarriage as the loss of a child.  Instead it seems to be viewed as the way the body discards babies that were possibly genetically inferior and “for the best.”  I don’t know why I am miscarrying but I do know that the reality is that I am losing a baby.

So where am I at in the process today? I am still waiting. I have a terrible back-ache, I am cramping but as of right now I am still waiting for my body to complete this process it seems to have committed itself to.  There is light spotting of pinkish brown mucus. It  reminds me of when I would go into labor. The first stage was losing the mucus plug.   It was so exciting to see that process begin  because it meant the long wait to have a baby was finally going to be over.  It signaled that very soon, a baby would be placed into my arms.  It signaled that a process was starting.  It was a sign indicating that a process had begun in which the result would be my child leaving my body.

It means the same thing today but there is no joy in it for me.   There is only grief.  So I will walk into that.  I will grieve.

You Are Not a Disorder, You Are a Person

original art by Christina King

original art by Christina King

You are not a disorder, you are a person.

We are body, soul and spirit.  We must bring healing to our own “Trinitarian” being (in the sense of being body, soul and spirit).   Traditional therapy either wants to give pharmaceuticals or just discuss and manage symptoms of anxiety, thoughts or behavioral issues or perhaps to do all three but not to actually bring healing and restoration for the “whole” person.

Christ says He makes all things new. He promises us healing. Was He lying? Are we expecting too much? Are we giving the cross or God too much power?  I say no.  I say we do not expect enough. I believe Christ really has the power to work miracles.  In fact, He worked miracles of healing and told the apostles that they would do all of the things He did and more! We are called to bring healing and deliverance to those in misery, to be a sign of His power.  Christ desires to restore us.  Our healing is to be a visible sign to the world that our God is an awesome God and that He Reigns in Heaven and on earth.  He makes us whole.  I believe he wants to heal our emotions and our memories, not just our bodies.

“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things pass away; behold, he is made new.” 2 Cor 5:17

We are not disorders.  I believe many people who have been sexually abused or experienced traumatic childhoods like I did are actually dealing with identity wounds that distort their ability to know themselves and to know God. Being abused has a very real and powerful effect on shaping our identity.  To merely dismiss that and label someone as being “disordered” is, in my opinion, causing more damage and in a sense, keeps their pain and cries for help unheard.

I realize we can categorize and diagnose and give our psychological disorders a name but what good is it to give it a name if you do not understand it enough to help bring healing?

identity wounds Many of our disorders come from identity wounds. How do we get identity wounds? We get them when our true identity is distorted by shame. It may sound contradictory to say there is such a thing as “good shame” but in fact there is good shame and bad shame.

Good shame is felt when we are separating ourselves from God as well as others in a selfish way.  It “prickles” our conscience and in this way it helps us to address a something we are doing that we know is wrong so that we can self-correct.  This “prickling” of conscience is from our awareness that we have just separated ourselves from what is good and true.  This not only helps us shape our morality but it also protects our self-respect.  When we feel “good shame” we become aware that we have lost our innocence, motivates us to correct ourselves and turns us back to what we know is good.

Bad shame is more of an emotional torment and sickness to our very soul.  It is what begins to poison and divide us from within our whole self. All of us have shortcomings and when they are used to ridicule us or to inflict “bad shame”, we tend to believe the lie that we are bad or unworthy and this new “truth” sears into our heart, mind and soul.  We believe the lie that we are inferior, unworthy, undeserving and bad to the bone.  Bad shame causes us to despair separating us from our only cure to what ails us, which is God’s mercy.

The inflicting of this debilitating shame comes from those closest to us and causes the deepest of wounds. When we are children, our beliefs are being shaped, especially our beliefs about who we are as persons. If the message we get is that we are bad or unlovable, it can become our identity.  Identity wounds distort our ability to love ourselves, to love others and to love or know God.

the worse thing we can do to a person with identity wounds is to give them an identity as being “disordered”.

borderline Personality Disorder

 

Lets think about the word “disorders” through the lens of Theology of the Body.  For something to be disordered it has to have been rightly ordered but then gotten twisted up.  When the John Paul II wrote about Original Man he reminds us that in Genesis that Adam was naked without shame.  He had no desire or intention to use Eve as an object of pleasure for his own selfish needs or wants.  They were both subjects of God and saw one another as persons.  When sin entered the garden they were no longer seeing one another as subjects but as objects.  They covered their “private parts” of their bodies in shame.

 

What was good and right became disordered due to sin.  This is the reality of the world we live in.  If this is true then we see we are all disordered in one way or another.  If we are all disordered in some way how helpful is it to give a person made in the image and likeness of God a label of being disordered as if this is their identity or who they are as a person? I am guessing it could be potentially destructive and could create further woundedness.  Let’s call disorders what they truly are, which is distortions of truth from which we base our lives and relationships upon.

We are complex human beings.  The teachings of Theology of the Body helps us to get a bigger picture as to who we are as persons and how we are made to love and be loved as self-gift whereas psychology bases “truth” in disorders or distortions.

Our experiences in and through our bodies shape our understandings and beliefs and those beliefs can bind us up.  We act on our beliefs and if those beliefs are disordered it goes to follow that so too may our actions be disordered. For example when I experienced the trauma of being sexually abused it created a deep wound that penetrated my identity, which distorted my whole “person”. Psychology may have helped me to understand the distortions and behaviors but Theology of The Body helped me to understand my wounds and their effect on my identity. It was this distorted identity that shaped my beliefs and those beliefs caused me to make the choices in my life that I did.

body

Looking at someone’s whole person, body, mind, emotions, memories, spirit etc is what needs to happen if we want a person to reclaim their greatness.  Seeing the whole person as opposed to a disorder is what gives true hope for healing.  Anything else merely treats a part of a person.  Christ comes to make all things new, not part of things new.

For information on finding freedom and healing with what is labeled as “Borderline Personality Disorder” order my book on LuLu  

 

Mary Is The Undoer of Knots Tied By Eve

Mary Of Knots, Pray for Us

Mary Of Knots, Pray for Us

 Bl Anne Catherine Emmerich writes in her diary that God desired to bring about His plan of redemption sooner but began with St. Joachim and St. Anne because, she says, they were the first to love one another as an icon of “Trinitarian love.”

 The trinity has been described through the lens of Theology of The Body as God giving Himself in perfect love as a free, full, faithful and fruitful gift to the Son and the Son giving Himself in a perfect love as a free, full, faithful and fruitful self-gift to the Father and the fire of this love between them IS the Holy Spirit.

 According to Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich it was St. Joachim giving himself in perfect love to St. Anne and St. Anne receiving that self gift and then giving herself in perfect love to St. Joachim and the fire of this love between them is what became the means from which Mary was then immaculately conceived.

 But “Immaculate Conception”? How is that possible and why was it necessary? For me her Immaculate Conception is further proof that God is indeed outside of time and space.  He is pure spirit so He is unaffected by time and space which exists in a physical world.  It is logical that God could take the graces of Calvary and apply it to Mary as her soul was infused into her at the moment she was conceived in St. Anne’s womb. He created a perfect vessel, Christ makes all things new and she became the under of knots.

 Perhaps it is in Mary’s unique capacity to be a reflection of the Holy Spirit that we can enter into the mystery of how she offers us a way in which to be most deeply permeated, espoused and penetrated by the Holy Spirit.  Scripture tells us that Mary was cable of being so receptive, so open to the Holy Spirit, that she was espoused and thus conceived of the Holy Spirit and we are to beg for this same gift of receptivity.

 We are called to open ourselves so completely that the Holy Spirit can find a dwelling place in which He can espouse Himself and conceive His divine life within us.  We are called to bring life into the world, to make the incarnation known and visible by becoming the body of Christ.  We are called to receive, conceive and birth Christ into the world through our Fiat, our yes! We are to be like living tabernacles, to be a monstrance from which Christ radiates to everyone who sees us.  We are to radiate Christ and to be a star of Bethlehem.  I have always desired this and because I am lazy and sinful I look for shortcuts.  I know how my own limitations are what keep me from being able to do these things yet I still desire to embrace this greatness that I have been made for.  That is why Marian Consecration is such a great gift to humanity.

 We can learn so much when we contemplate how God’s plan for redemption began with Mary.  Mary was free to choose sin just as Eve was.  So God began with Mary because He was going to untie all of the knots tied by Original Sin. It began in the virginal garden of her womb.  Like Eden, Mary’s garden was without sin or blemish.  Just as Eve was given a choice to love, so too was Mary. Whereas Eve took from the tree of knowledge and closed herself to the will of God, Mary yes began when she “let it be done unto her” and the fruit of all knowledge, the Alpha and Omega was given to her.  Mary’s yes to the Holy Spirit conceived the very life within her that would become the word made flesh and in His sacrifice of love, mankind would be saved from their sins.

 Mary is the Undoer of Knots, she is our hope because she was mere creature, just as we are creature yet she did the will of God.  Mary was no different than Eve was before the fall in that both were immaculate and without sin.  Mary was completely capable of sinning and yet she did not.  Mary is our proof that we can give our yes to God and be transformed, permeated and espoused by the Holy Spirit.

 If you desire a double or triple portion of the Holy Spirit, then Consecrate yourself to Mary, she opens us wider than we can do on our own because she undoes the knot.  Mary was what God chose to start with when He set the plan of redemption for the world into motion.  He could have dropped Christ naked in the street, He could have chosen to come in flesh in any way He desired, yet the plan He chose was to undo the knots of the fall way back in the beginning.

When Christ makes All Things New, He makes ALL THINGS NEW. Mary, I ask that you intercede and show me how to open my heart to love like the Trinity and to help me to open myself in a bigger and more vulnerable way so that the Holy Spirit will find a home in my heart from which to bring life to the world in and through my yes to the Fathers plan. Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for us.  Amen

Hell Is Proof That God Loves Us

sign heaven hellThe fact that hell exists is proof of God’s love.  Without a choice to go to hell there is no free will, there are no choices, there is no love.  If there was not a hell, then God could not honor our choice to reject Him.  Hell makes choosing God possible, without there is no choice.  If there were not a choice to go to hell we would be animals, without choice, relying on our instincts to dictate our lives.

Does God pre-destine a soul to go to hell? The short answer is no.   According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church Predestined means that we are selected for divine adoption by an eternal decree of God (Eph 1:4). “Predestination is a mystery revealed but not fully understood; what we know for certain is that God is free to act as he chooses (Ps 135:6) and man is free to accept or reject his blessings (Rom 2:6-8; Sir 15:11-13). No one is predestined by God for eternal damnation” (CCC 1037).

hell

Predestined and predetermined are two different things.  We are in fact predestined for heaven.  The old Baltimore Catechism says this about why God created us: “God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.”  This goes against the argument that some protestants have used to say God predestines some people to go to hell and there is nothing they can do to change it.  They believe that some people are  chosen and brought into existence for this purpose, to go to hell.  This is false.  God does not desire it nor does He bring into being a person so he can then “send” them to hell.

It is a person’s free will that destines a person for hell.  God’s gift of free will allows each person to choose heaven or hell.  There are two choices really.  “I am a handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to they word” as Mary said or “Not my will but thine be done” as Jesus said.  The alternative is  “I will not serve” which was the response of Lucifer.

cartoon

So how is one to understand how a person is “predetermined” to go to hell? When we understand the immaculate conception we understand predetermined. Why is this? Because the Immaculate Conception reveals the very timelessness of God.  God is outside of time and space.  God applied the graces merited by Jesus Christ on the cross and applied it to Mary at the moment of her conception.

How could He do that? Because God knew Mary would say yes.  This did not mean she did not get to chose it, it just means that because He is God He exists outside of space and time.  He is past present and future.  God knows no boundaries.  He knew she would say yes it happened already outside of time and he preemptively applied the grace.  This is of course my laymen terms for such a complex theology that only a theologian (which I am not) could explain it concisely.

future past present

You could say that Mary was predetermined to say yes and be the mother of God.  Bl Anne Catherine Emerich talks about this in her 4 volumes that Mel Gibson used to write the screen play for “The Passion”.  She said in her writings that God desired to bring about the salvation of the world sooner but it was not until St. Anne and St. Joachim that two loved like the trinity into which Mary was brought and in which she would say yes to being the mother of God that God could then move forward with His divine plan.  That shows you how much God honors our free will.  He won’t even save us unless we allow Him to, that is how much He respects our free will.

It is hard to understand how the graces merited on the cross by Jesus Christ were given to His mother before she was even born.  Another way to wrap ones head around this mystery is to contemplate the Eucharist.   At mass we experience Calvary.  It is because the Holy Sacrifice of the mass is able to pass outside of space and time, literally making present the body of Jesus Christ, that this is possible.  We are not re-creating Christ’s death and crucifixion, nor are we re-sacrificing Him, rather we step through a mystical veil of time and space and Calvary is made present.  We are at the foot of the Cross.

This is why we pray for the dead or why we ask for the Communion of Saints to pray for us.  Our prayers can bestow graces to them before their deaths.  We can pray for those who died and our prayers can merit graces that outside of time can be given to them before they died to help perfect their nature.  It is this mystery of timelessness that many of us cannot understand because we are temporal beings. We are bound by space and time but God is not.  The spiritual is not.  Angels pass through this veil easily because they are not bound time space as we are.  Perhaps this is why some Saints could bi-locate.  They could pass through the veil because it is a reality created by God to govern the physical realm.  However, we are spiritual and physical beings.  Therefore, we too are able to pass through the veil in ways known only to God and in our Glorified bodies we will move as fast as our thoughts and will pass through walls much like Christ did when manifested into the upper room.  He passed through the veil, the dimension that separates us.

At the moment of conception God creates a holy immortal soul and infuses it into the body of that child.  At that moment God knows all of the choices that person will make before they make them, never diminishing their free will.

choices

It is the choices they will make that will determine their final destination.  All souls are destined for heaven.  This is the the truth of the trinity because every person is created in the image and likeness of God who is Love.  God is love poured out and overflowing and in that excess of love He creates Holy immortal souls.  This means we are all created to love and be loved.  If we do not chose enter into that love we reject God (who is Love) and chose the alternative.

The fact that hell exists is another proof of God’s love.  Without a choice to go to hell there is no free will, there are no choices, there is no love.  If there was not a hell, then God could not honor our choice to reject Him.  Hell makes choosing God possible, without there is no choice.  If there were not a choice to go to hell we would be animals, without choice, relying on our instincts to dictate our lives.

God does not force himself on us but rather allows us to decide if we will be with Him forever in Heaven or if we will reject Him and spend eternity in Hell.  We will exist for all eternity, where we do it is up to us.

So if we are not predestined to go to hell are we predetermined to go to hell? What does predetermined mean? In this context predetermined means that before it happens it is already known to happen.   Souls are predetermined for hell because their choice of hell is known by God before they live it out.

James 1:13-15, “Let know one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted with evil and he himself tempts no one; but each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.”

c.s lewis

It is our choice to sin that determines whether or not we spend eternity in hell.  When a soul is pre-determined to go to hell it means that God knows that they would reject Him regardless of His invitations or intersessions.   He knows it because He sees their decisions, sees into their personhood, knows their hearts and understands all of their choices and gives them the freedom to choose.

Free will is a very powerful thing.  Even the devil has no real power other than what our free will gives him.  When we submit our will to evil and enflesh it, that is when the devil is able to oppress us.  Free will is something we should all contemplate more.  It transcends space and time and can condemn a person before they are born (because a birthday is a time and God is outside time).  On a positive note, it can also save the entire human race.  Jesus and Mary are proof of that.

Becoming an “Unbound” B.A.K.E.R.

ropes on wrists

This past weekend I attended the “Unbound Leadership Conference” put on by Heart of The Father Ministries. I was able to meet Neal Lozano, who has written a number of books helping people to find real freedom in Christ by utilizing this very simple and duplicable model of deliverance.

Me and Neal

The word deliverance can scare some people but I like what Neal say’s about it. To say that deliverance is about the devil is like saying that the Exodus story in Genesis is about Pharaoh. Deliverance is about Christ setting the captives free. It is about the power of Jesus Christ that is given to us in baptism, renewed and refreshed through repentance and reconciliation and empowered by the gifts of the Holy Spirit released in confirmation. However, some of us have not been renewed and refreshed. Some of us have not been reconciled and have not asked for the Holy Spirit to release the gifts of confirmation.

bird out of cage

When we are not free to love and be loved then we are not making the invisible visible through our lives and our example. We are to be the body of Christ, yet some of us are still bound up from the lies we believe, the vows we have made, the judgments of others and when this effects our identities we are cut off from the very life giving source that we must draw upon.

So how do we listen to the Holy Spirit? How do we find freedom? How do we refresh, reconcile and release the Holy Spirit in us and through us?

The first thing we have to do is pray to the Holy Spirit. COME HOLY SPIRIT COME! It can begin with simplest of prayers, really it can.

key whole

Before going through the 5 Keys of Unbound, we need to call upon the Holy Spirit and we need to learn to listen to what the Holy Spirit desires to do in our hearts. If you rush into the 5 keys without the Holy Spirit, the 5 keys can become like the keys you have in your junk drawers at home. You know they open something, but you don’t know what.

Here is how you begin. Call upon the Holy Spirit. Pray for Him to release the gifts within and through you.

I would like to show how those that use the examination of conscience taught in the book “33 Days to Morning Glory” can really benefit by incorporation the 5 keys taught in the Unbound model.

Fr. Michael Gaitley’s “B.A.K.E.R. examination of conscience, when utilizing the 5 keys of Unbound, can be truly effective because you can then hear what the Holy Spirit desire for you to know. Rather than just using introspection or merely “thinking” about your shortcomings or sinful patterns or behaviors.

It is a gentle way to go into what I like to call the “bad neighborhoods” of our past. There may be many things we need to repent of. Where do we start so we do not get overwhelmed? I heard a Catholic Answers speaker say that our pasts are like bad neighborhoods, you would not want to go in there without some protection or you will get the cr*P beat out of you. So before we go looking at all the places we have failed and come up short or down right sinned, let us first begin by having the Holy Spirit remind us who God is and who we are. So we begin with B

B=Blessings

We begin by looking at the places in which we have seen the blessings in our lives. We begin with going to the truth and seeing who the Father is and how He has blessed us. This is our “consolations”. Our identities may have been beaten up by the broken people of the world sinning out of their own wounds and this can cause us to have difficulty with knowing who we truly are. Some of us self-justify, or have shame or feelings of unworthiness, we misinterpret God’s intentions or circumstances in our lives and others just do not believe God desires to share intimate secrets with their hearts alone. Whatever the struggles, we must begin with looking to our consolations and blessings and rest in the truth that God is good and that He loves us as we are, right now, today, faults and all.

A= Ask

Now we call once again upon the Holy Spirit and ask for the Holy Spirit to enlighten our minds as to what God desires for us to know about where there are barriers to Him, or where we are in need of repentance. This is the first Key of the Unbound Model.

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1. Repentance and Faith

When we ask the Holy Spirit He can reveal the root issue instead of the surface things that continue to plague us. For instance, if we have anger issues, raging when things feel out of control or when someone “attacks” us or our worth, we could think our issue is anger. This is how clever the Father of lies is. Anger and rage is a distress symptom of a deeper issue. The Holy Spirit knows the gentlest way to guide you to truth and freedom and He desires to woo His bride gently, He does not desire to kick in your doors or expose you in shame. When we ask Him to lead us to the root, we then can have our hearts moved by His tender Mercy to true repentance.

He can show us that the anger is a reaction to a lie in our heart, an inner vow we have made that locks His healing truth out or perhaps of a judgment we have made about other people or even about God Himself. Anger is a symptom of an idolatry of control. Control is an idol we use to protect ourselves or manage our fears due to powerless wounds or perhaps even fear bonds formed that cause us to believe that God does not save, or He does but will not save us.

When walked through the repentance key, it is so comforting to hear the words of the Prayer team acknowledging and affirming your fear and your deeper desire while at the same time, asking God to forgive you for your judgments, your lack of faith. “In the name of Jesus Christ, I ask your forgiveness for not believing I could trust you.” “Forgive me Jesus for using control as an idol instead of coming to you.” This “Asking” is a beautiful way to know what God desires to start with. If we merely think about our shortcomings, our failures and our limitations to love, we will soon despair. When we look at our sin without the Mercy of Jesus Christ and can easily be convinced by the father of lies that we are not forgiven, our sin is too big or perhaps our God will not save us. If we do not ask the Holy Spirit to lead us in this, those that do repent may do it out of shame, fear of judgment or to be “good” rather than to find healing and reconciliation. This will not set the captives free, but causes the lies to dig themselves in deeper. If the root wound is powerlessness and fear, then we find other ways to “control” so as to not open to God. Anger is symptom of an idolatry of control as a means to self-protect so you see repentance must come from the heart. It is handing the reigns over to Christ, both of them. If we continue to hold onto one of the reigns, we cannot go in the direction God desires to take us in.
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2. Forgiveness

When we ask the Holy Spirit to reveal where we need to forgive we become aware of places we are bound up that we may never have even realized we were not yet set free! He knows all and everything. He knows where pain has caused us to not yet forgiven someone. He knows where we still believe someone does not deserve our forgiveness. He knows where we still desire someone to make atonement for what they did to us. He knows where we are so afraid of dealing with our emotions or anger that we have made unforgiveness and our anger a means to protect our hearts. He sees past false humility to the pride that tries to justify our unforgiveness, He knows where we still do not understand the depths of His ocean of Mercy and He even knows which evil spirits are binding us up of our own free will. The Holy Spirit will gently reveal where we need to forgive, He will lead us there and He will help to set us free.

“In the name of Jesus I forgive my Father for leaving me as a baby and never getting to know me as a daughter. In the name of Jesus I forgive my father for not wanting to be in my life and for not coming to my graduation from high school or college”. In the name of Jesus, I forgive my father for not holding my hand, for not holding me in his arms and for not being there to protect me as a child.”

Forgiveness is not about giving up your rights or even excusing what someone has done to you. It is about allowing God to work it all out to His better good and glory and relinquishing it’s power over you by trusting in the Father. When an intercessor gives you the words, just hearing them said to you out loud is a validation that what was done to you requires forgiveness. When you repeat them, you can feel the healing salve being administered to your heart. It is freeing in that very moment.

K=Kills

What killed or desolated you today? When did your heart drop in your chest from what was done to you or what you had done to someone else? We are not to make major decisions in times of desolation because the father of lies is so good at manipulating our emotions that we are not free to see rightly. When we ask the Holy Spirit to show us the daily desolations, we see where we the wounds of others were at work and it may not have been our cross to carry. We also see the places the enemy is stirring up our emotions to cause us to believe his lies, to make more judgments or vows that separate us from God and in doing so cause us forget that our Father in Heaven knew what He was getting when He made us, we are no surprise to God, yet He so desired us that He willed us into existence despite how He knew we would fail Him. This leads me to the third key.

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3. Renounce

“In the Name of Jesus Christ, I renounce the spirit of control. In the name of Jesus Christ, I renounce the Spirit of Anger and unforgiveness”. When we renounce, we break any agreements we have made with the liar and turn our faces back to the Father. We are breaking the ties that bind us. I also believe the renewal of our baptismal vows is a powerful way to renounce the enemy and his lies. It is renouncing Satan, his pomps and works and empty promises. Many of us have had relationships outside of covenant marriage or have been involved with the occult. There are tarot cards, Ouiji boards, wearing crystals and more. These things must be renounced. “In the name of Jesus Christ I renounce any physical or spiritual ties with NAME and I take back what I gave to HIM/Her.” Every day we should be going through B.A.K.E.R. with the 5 Keys of Unbound. When we get to the 3rd key, we need to renounce anything that the Holy Spirit has inspired for us to renounce.

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4. Authority

“In the name of Jesus Christ, I command every evil spirit and spirits associated to it that I have renounced and every spirit behind the sins I have confessed to leave me right now and go directly to the foot of the cross”. “Thank you Jesus for setting me free from the influence of evil spirits. Thank you Father for sending your son to save me.” Amen

This is about being set free and Jesus Christ has that authority and power. We, by virtue of our baptism can call upon this power of Jesus Christ and command what we renounce in His name as well as any of the powers and principalities infesting or oppressing us to leave! We need to stand in the authority that we as Christians have been given. Christ said that we would do “all these things and even greater things than this” and He meant it.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” John 14:12

Greater works? Yes!!! We will be set free so that we can bring Christ to others so that they too can find healing and freedom!

E=Embrace

This coincides with the final key of Unbound. When we embrace the love of the Father we embrace the greatness of God’s love, the gifts He desires to share with the world through our yes, we embrace the Fathers Blessing.

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5. The Fathers Blessing

Did you know that your name is very important? For all of the years I have traveled and spoke around the country I have noticed that peoples names strangely revealed how God was using them as instruments of His divine will. I began experimenting and by telling people (before they told me) what it was that I thought they were doing in ministry. Not only would I be right but when I was wrong it was not because I was wrong at all but it was because it was on their hearts to do but they had not answered that stirring in their heart.

All throughout the bible we are shown that names matter so much that even Paul was renamed to ensure his name matched his calling. Isaac was so named because his mother laughed. All of us have names that were inspired in our parents because of the movements of the Holy Spirit because our name was written on God’s heart before it ever was uttered on our parents lips. At the moment He names us our name lit up the heavens and flashed like a comet through the stars and throughout the entire universe heralding our goodness as unique and unrepeatable persons with dignity, honor and great worth beyond price. I challenge you to look up your name. If you cannot find your name to mean something that reveals your call then email me because I guarantee I can. What is your confirmation name? I have been told we do not pick our confirmation Saint, the Saint picks us. The Holy Spirit attracts us to that Saint because they will help protect the mission in which we have been chosen to fulfill.

The Fathers blessing is something that all of us must embrace because it heals the wounds it fills the empty and formless void so that we can see what was always there but never realized, we have been chosen, we have been called by name.

R=Reconcile

The final examen peace is to reconcile. This is another word for being set free! When our hearts are freed to love we desire to reconcile, to bring healing and freedom to others. When we realize we reacted in a way to self-justify and in doing so hurt someone we love, our first inclination upon healing is to run to them like the prodigal son and say please, please forgive me! I desire to make amends and to restore what was broken between us.

If you have not heard of Unbound I challenge you to discover what has continued to bring me great freedom and healing. If you have not consecrated yourself to Mary I would prayerfully suggest you read my article on why she is the one that helps us to receive our triple portion of the Holy Spirit. If you desire for the Holy Spirit to permeate you, transform you and make you a new creature in Christ, then Mary is the perfect mold from which to pour ourselves into because she formed the body of Christ in her womb.

We are going to set the world ablaze with Fire of Christ’s love! Come and Join me as there are many, many captives that need to be set free. Will you join me?

heart of father

What is Heart of the Father Ministries? It say’s this on their website.

“Heart of the Father Ministries empowers people to reclaim their true identity in Christ as sons and daughters of the Father through Unbound:Freedom in Christ ministry.

Heart of the Father is dedicated to equipping people throughout the world to take hold of the freedom they have been given in Christ and to help others do the same by using the principles of the Five Keys as found in Unbound.

Unbound Guidebok

The Five Keys are taught and implemented at the Unbound: Freedom in Christ Conferences and through a growing network committed to proclaiming this message.”

The 5 Keys of Unbound

1. Repentance and Faith
2. Forgiveness
3. Renounce
4. Authority
5. Father’s Blessing