Friday, August 11, 2017

FLYING MESSAGES FROM HEAVEN

  FLYING MESSAGES FROM HEAVEN
                                          T. Wieland Allen

   Heavenly blessings manifest themselves in many different ways.  Several years ago My husband Steve was at MD Anderson Hospital being treated for a rare form of cancer.  He was in his second year of chemotherapy and while waiting for him to have some tests I visited a bookstore and saw a ledger that I felt would be perfect for him in which he could write his experiences about his treatments.  The title on the front of the ledger was "Just When the Caterpillar Thought Life was Over, It Became A Butterfly."  It was perfect for the situation.
   I bought the ledger and gave it to my husband.  The name on the front was meaningful to him.  Even though the ledger only had one entry in it at the time of his death, because my husband Steve was not a person who liked to read or write things, the importance of the name on the front of the ledger still lingers on.  Soon after I gave the ledger to him, a friend emailed to us a cartoon of a butterfly flying low while attempting to pull its heavy cocoon up some stone steps.  The butterfly was a blue morpho butterfly.  That particular butterfly with the name "morpho" was significant because Steve was struggling at the time with chemotherapy and he later changed from being a spiritual man in a physical body into a spirit in a new heavenly body.   He morphed from being merely a physical man into being a spirit in the presence of God in heaven. 
   The color of that particular butterfly became a symbol of my husband Steve after his body died and his spirit, the real Steve, went to heaven.  So you can see why the reason the blue morpho butterfly means so much to me, because Steve had actually morphed from a physical body into a spiritual body after getting rid of that old diseased body, which was represented by the cocoon in the cartoon.  There have been several miraculous instances where pictures of blue morpho butterflies have appeared out of nowhere on things as encouragement to members of my family and to me.  They were merely pictures, not a live butterfly.
    A few months ago when I was going to a doctor for some tests that were unfamiliar to me, I was a bit anxious.  I was not really worried, but just a little anxious because the tests were unfamiliar.  The morning of the tests, I just happened  to look out the kitchen window and there was a real, live blue morpho butterfly drinking pollen out of the many hundreds of red periwinkle flowers in a hanging basket that stretched at least three feet downward.  That butterfly went from flower to flower all the way up and down and all around the hanging basket taking its slow, easy time, as if waiting to be recognized.  I knew immediately that it was a message from God and Steve for me to relax, that the doctor's appointment was no big deal.  I went to the doctor's office very relaxed after seeing the live blue morpho butterfly for the first time after only seeing pictures of them for five years.  Sure enough, everything turned out fine in the tests.  It's been at least three months and no butterfly of any color has been back to that hanging basket since that event.  The appearance of the blue morpho butterfly  was especially for me as a cure for that anxious feeling that day.  Its appearance did what God intended.
   Several months later my granddaughter Lindsey told me that she, her boyfriend Major and Major's brother Kiefer were at the boys' grandpa's house in another city and while they were around the pool a blue butterfly landed on Kiefer's arm and stayed there.  It walked up and down his arm.  The butterfly was so sedate that Linz was easily able to get a great picture of it.  The blue butterfly stayed on Kiefer's arm a long time.  Lindsey put her hand close to Kiefer's arm and the butterfly walked right onto her hand and stayed there a few minutes, then flew back to Kiefer's arm, staying there a few minutes flittering its wings as if to say, "Notice me.  I'm sent to give you faith."  Lindsey texted to me a picture of the blue butterfly.  Yes, it was not just a blue butterfly, it was a blue morpho butterfly, a symbol to me that good supernatural changes are on the way.   
   Lindsey said that they could see the underside of its wings and they were orange and green.  It was definitely a supernatural experience for them.  It was God and her Grandpa Steve telling her and Major that Kiefer's future is going to be okay.  Kiefer is high on the autism spectrum and as an 18 year old he is having normal problems just like other 18 year old guys, but he also has the additional problems of having some limitations from being on the autism spectrum.  His hopes and their hopes for his future is that he will be able to live independently.  Decisions need to be made that will enable him to fulfill his dream of living independently, able to support himself, live alone and have a normal life with some supervision.
   Linz said that the blue morpho butterfly stayed around them a long time that day, flying around their heads and then landing on either Kiefer or Lindsey's shoulders for a while that afternoon.  There did not seem to be any sign that the blue morpho wanted to be anywhere else.  There is no doubt to me that the event was sent to encourage all three of them.  Major has guardianship of Kiefer so he is faced with a lot of decisions for both of their futures.
   Kiefer is a very spiritual young man.  He loves God and is a very loving person, even to people who bully him because of his limitations.  Some of his writings have wisdom and insights well beyond his years and abilities.  He has that extra faith and sensitivity that enables him to perceive spiritual things that other people his age and many of his elders don't perceive or understand.
    God told us to be on the watch to recognize when we are entertaining angels, that they are always around us even though we are not aware of them.  There is no doubt in my mind that in both instances, the blue morpho butterfly on my red periwinkles and also the blue morpho butterfly that visited Lindsey, Major and Kiefer, that they were sent from heaven to be an encouragement to us.  That is what the events produced, faith and encouragement when both were needed. 
   Both supernatural events are worthy of our praising God for sending messengers from heaven to bring good news to us and give us peace.
  That's what God does, always sends peace and love to us.  He uses what is important to us so that we recognize His presence.        
  We have a lot of faith now for Kiefer's future.  God's sending the special butterfly did what it was sent to do, give faith and encouragement to all of us.
  Both supernatural events resulted in My giving thanks and praise to God, who always meets our needs.  He knows our unique and special needs and He supplies what we need, even unusual butterflies to hang around until we recognize their presence as a supernatural visitation from heaven sent from a loving God to encourage us that He loves us and will meet our needs.  How fortunate we are to have eyes to recognize the special gifts.  Kiefer has always had had eyes to perceive and ears to understand spiritual things.  That's why he is so blessed.  He writes about them and spreads the good news.
  

   

Saturday, June 10, 2017

FORGIVING AND FORGETTING

THE STRATEGIES OF FORGIVING AND FORGETTING
     The first time that I met Kiefer, who is my granddaughter's fiance's youngest brother, he had a spiral notebook in his hand ready to share with me some of his writings.  He is high on the autism scale but at 16 he was able to communicate at his age level with a few restrictions.  One of the restrictions is that he is impulsive and if a thought comes into his head that he thinks needs to be shared, he interrupts the conversation and insists on speaking his mind or give his opinion.  Sometimes his interruptions have nothing to do with the topic of conversation, but suffice it to say that he has a lot to comment, no matter who is present.
   At our first meeting Kiefer asked me if I would read some of his writings.  I was astounded by the first writing in the notebook.  It was about forgiveness, which to me was a subject that I thought would be the last one that he would have any insight into.  The subject was about bullying and how he learned to deal with forgiving bullies, which to a person of limited mental and physical abilities is a daily occurrence.  He did not tell about any specific instance of being bullied in his writings but the important subject matter was how he learned to forget an incident after forgiving someone for hateful words, demeaning words, physical abuse, mental abuse, fear after being shoved into lockers at school and other horrible instances that he had suffered every day of his school career. 
    The writing related to a particular day in which he had suffered a cruel event from a boy at school that not only hurt him emotionally and physically but also caused him much embarrassment in front of a gymnasium full of male and female students.  He wrote that people were always telling him that he just needs to forgive the bullies and then forget it. With his limited knowledge relating to psychological strategies, he wrote that he was confused about the forgetting part because it was impossible to erase from his mind the events that injured him so deeply.  After several people again told him to forgive and then forget, he needed some insight into the action of forgetting when the event was indelibly imprinted upon his mind, along with the mental pain and the physical pain.  He was determined to find out how to forget, which adults insinuated to him was so easy to do.
   He wrote that in his prayers that night he told God that he didn't understand why he was supposed to forgive and then forget when he had been so hurt.  Suddenly these words came to him, FORGIVE, ASSESS, LEARN and then FORGETt.  His insight into the strategy astounded me.  He wrote that it came to his mind that first he must as an act of his will decide to forgive a bully.  He said that it is a decision that he needed to make, just make up his mind to forgive the bully without feeling forgiveness.
   Then it came to his mind that after he decides to forgive a bully that he must assess the situation, think about the bully's objective, the bully's intelligence level, the bully's personality and anything else that comes to his mind relating to getting inside of the bully so as to understand him and his motivations, such as maybe the bully is just plain mean and bullies other people, people with disabilities and people without disabilities.  He wrote that assessing the situation brings understanding and will cause Kiefer to learn from the situation, learn not to get around the bully, learn how to react in a kind way to the bully so that Kiefer will win in the situation. 
   Kiefer wrote that then after forgiving, assessing and learning, the next step is that he would have the ability to forget the bullying because what he will remember is the lesson that he learned. 
  Kiefer's final paragraph in the essay proclaimed that the way to forgive and to forget is to first forgive merely by choosing to forgive as a decision, then assess the situation, learn the lesson that comes from the assessment, and then forget the incident but remember the lesson learned.  So the process is really to forgive, assess, learn and forget, not just merely to forgive and forget. 
   I learned a lesson from reading his heartfelt essay.  When I read about the assessing part, I was reminded of the scripture that says to reason together with God about everything in order to gain wisdom and insight which brings knowledge.  Combine that with the scripture that says people perish without knowledge.  Kiefer was perishing without knowledge of the real way to forgive and forget.  God explained to him that there are two other steps on the way to forgetting a hurtful incident after forgiving the bully.  Those two steps are assessing and learning.
    It's said that a little child will lead us. The simple little child inside of Kiefer allowed  him to do what he instinctively knew would help him, first go to God for His explanation.  When you hear truth from God, then you are free because truth makes you free.            
    Remember Kiefer's formula:  FORGIVE, ASSESS, LEARN AND FORGET.
    It works.

Friday, March 3, 2017

                  A SYMPHONY PLAYED IN PERFECT TUNE
                                                         T. Wieland Allen
    God's orchestrations continue to amaze and thrill His children with surprises and harmonious events.  He never ceases in His ability to orchestrate situations for His children which work to answer their needs and solve their problems.  For the participants in all of His harmonious works that He performs, it often takes their breath away because the events are so supernatural in their perfectly designed schemes which are performed with such love and specificity.
    Such an orchestration happened recently in the lives of a group of ladies who meet weekly for prayers and studying God's Instruction Book.  We are used to magnificent happenings from Our Father which cause delight and joy.  Each event produces emotional results like it was the first time that we have seen His supernatural help appear so effortlessly in our behalf.  All that we do is believe that he is the designer of all good things and that He proves Himself as the great orchestra leader. 
    We were asked by a friend to meet at her house and bless her new house.  The husband of our friend is a minister and we were complimented to be asked to lead the house blessing.  The first thing we did was go on line and search for house blessings.  There are hundreds of them, Catholic ones, Protestant ones and  ones from other religious organizations.  All of them had the same type of blessings and prayers but they just didn't seem to fit this particular couple.  The ones that were on line seemed kind of cold and impersonal.  It kept coming to my mind that we should only depend upon the Holy Spirit to provide His words of blessing for the beautiful home.  While waiting for the appointed day to arrive, we occasionally would consult the printed blessings but there was still no feeling that they were right for this occasion.  It began to be exciting to see what the Holy Spirit was going to do when we arrived at the home on the specific day.
    A week before the event, I was in Hobby Lobby buying yarn to send to my granddaughter and while there I saw a large gray satin throw pillow upon which the words "Bless This House" was printed in white lettering.  The pillow had white satin piping around it and the lettering was encircled by a wreath of white cotton bolls.  It was provided by God for sure.  The only thing that concerned me was the presence of the cotton bolls, but the pillow was so beautiful and it had the right message on it, so I overrode my concern about the cotton bolls and bought it for the hostess of the home.    
    The night before we were to gather and drive to their home in another city, as I was going to bed I was talking to God about the blessings of the house, telling Him that I was excited to see what He was going to do to bless the particular new house.  As I laid down to sleep, words began coming to my mind relating to each room of the house, the husband's study, the wife's study, the den, the entry hall, the kitchen, the laundry room, the garage, the yard and even the front door.  I began to write on paper with a pencil the blessings that came to mind.  Even though I knew that God would provide the right words the next day, I surmised that maybe those blessings for each room that came to mind were the guidelines for the blessing.
     I slept like a baby that night, knowing that the guidelines were provided.  Waking early the next morning was no problem for me, it's my waking time in order to write a God blog, as I call it, every morning.  Instead of writing the blog, it came to my mind to type the blessings on the computer, the ones that had come to mind the night before, and I felt that I was to print out enough copies for the ladies and the homeowners.  I did it, typed them and printed copies to be used as a guide that day in blessing the house since it was a new experience for us to be asked to participate in blessing a house.
    About an hour after printing the copies, a gastrointestinal flu hit me, one which had been making its rounds in our town.  I began to have horrible symptoms, running back and forth to the bathroom as the symptoms progressed.  I knew it would be impossible for me to go with the ladies to bless the house.  They are spiritually astute ladies and are well able to carry on the work to which we were called.  I put the special pillow in a large gift bag, added the copies of the blessing for each room of the house and put them in a place for some of the ladies to pick up before leaving for the home of the friend who was anxiously waiting for us to help her bless her new house. 
    The orchestration continued with a little confusion because of the change in my plans, but several of the ladies were able to join with the hostess at noon.  Later the report came back to me that the individual room blessings that the Holy Spirit had given to me the night before were perfect in every way as the group of ladies entered each room and read God's blessing for that room.  As an act of celebration and generosity, the hostess had provided a banquet of delicious food for the ladies. 
    When the hostess opened our housewarming gift for her, she was overwhelmed with the light gray satin throw pillow.  Her couch is dark gray and the pillow enhanced the beauty of the couch.   The biggest surprise for me of God's perfect orchestration was that the hostess had been raised on a cotton farm and so the cotton bolls on the pillow were God's signature that the hostess needed, her sign from God that her house is definitely abundantly blessed.  Only God could design the perfect pillow and then send it to her with His signature on it that only she would recognize.  That's the way Our Heavenly Father does things.  He puts his signature on each personal symphony that He creates for the  harmonious and miraculous events in our lives.
     The blessings for each room of her house and the personally designed pillow are Our Father's confirmation to our dear friend and to us that He cares about every little detail in our lives.   His personally written blessings provided God's "amen," His "so be it" to the day, one which was very, very special for the hostess, for her husband, for the ladies who were in attendance, and for me.  I received the good news later about the success of the personal house blessings written by the Holy Spirit and the love of the hostess for the unique and special pillow which was personally designed for her without my knowledge of it.  It is a loving Father who creates that kind of harmonious orchestration.
     He wants to orchestrate every decision that we make, every step that we take and every word that we speak.  When we allow Him to do his designing and his orchestration, He creates heaven on earth for us.   Now, that is a loving, spiritually artistic Heavenly Father who is well tuned to our needs.
     Let Him lead and orchestrate your life.  He does a superior job!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

AMAZING ORCHESTRATIONS

                                            AMAZING ORCHESTRATIONS
                                                          T. Wieland Allen
    How does God do the things that He does?  It's just too much for the human mind to even explore.  I don't doubt that He is powerful and loving.  He has proved that to us over and over.  My problem is that I don't know how He gets humans to cooperate with Him in being at the right place at the right time.  We can't even arrive someplace when we need to be punctual, so my amazement is in the fact that He can get six women to be someplace at the same time so He can work one of His magnificent miracles in a time of need.
    The Prayer Posse, as we were labeled by a friend, meets every Tuesday for lunch, testimonies, praying and studying about our favorite subject, which is Our Heavenly Father.  We have experienced miracles after miracles too numerous to name here, and some are so supernatural that they have "blown our minds", as we often say.   We often just sit in awe of His magnificent works because words are inadequate to express our thankfulness and amazement at His wonderful ways.  Tears fall from our eyes because our hearts are too full to speak our gratitude but the awe that we feel has to be expressed some way, so tears of joy fall from our eyes as we reflect on His love and kindness.
      His latest divine orchestration is fresh on our minds so the story needs to be written before the next one occurs and we forget to give value to His mercy and love in the present one.  The actual first act of the heavenly appointment began a week before the situation arose in which God manifested His ability to gather six ladies together in order to be part of a divine appointment.  At the previous meeting the week before the divinely appointed gathering, we were discussing where we would meet the following week. The lady whose turn it was to host us at her house was recuperating from a bad fall, so we asked her if she would like to host us next week at Jim and Em's Coffee House where we meet every fourth Tuesday of the month.  It had only been a week since we had met at Jim and Em's Coffee House, but we knew that we would be welcome again at that wonderful establishment.  Jim and Emily, the father and daughter owners, graciously let us meet in a special room so that we can be alone to pray.  That loving act of kindness on their part has resulted in a harvest of blessings from God for them and for us.
    Yes, we decided to meet the next week at the coffee house instead of in the home of one of the members.  On the day of the next meeting, there were six ladies in attendance, one from far away in another city.  We ate our delicious quiches for lunch and enjoyed flavored coffees and teas to our hearts' content which were served to us by Jim.  We had given testimonies of answered prayers and were ready to pray when the door to the kitchen opened and Jim entered the room with tears streaming down his face.  He said, "I need you ladies.  Mary was just found dead."
    Mary was Jim's wife and Em's mom.  A more loving and kind family cannot be found in the earth, and Mary's passing was much too early for her 58 years.  As Jim stood there sobbing after just learning about the death of his dear wife, we sat in shock for a few seconds, but then as if being called by Our Father to the ministry of consoling a brother in the Lord, we all rushed to surround Jim with love, hugs, prayers and our own floods of tears.  All seven of us stood there in the room as a unified cluster of heartbreak and unbelief at the news of the passing of a beautiful and loving wife, mother and friend. 
   Prayers flowed from our mouths for God's peace to minister to this wonderful man whose wife of many years had been snatched out of his life.  After a few minutes, Jim broke free from our embrace and went into another room to tell Emily that her mom was no longer a part of their earthly lives.  It was a beautiful, yet horrible, sight to see the two of them locked in a loving embrace with each other, grieving from the depths of their beings.  It will be a long time before we stop hearing in our minds the heart wrenching, "No.  No.  No," that came from Emily's mouth which broke our hearts.  I know the words of agony reached into the ears of God, breaking his heart also. 
   There were things to do, and so their embrace released as Jim paced for a minute deciding what to do first.  Emily was immediately surrounded by the praying ladies and she was covered with God's love in the midst of the prayers for Our Father's wonderful mercy to comfort her. 
    We told the two of them to leave and we would clean the establishment and lock up.  They took our advice and left to go on to their unpleasant, sad, but necessary duties ahead of them.  We stood for a few minutes in awe of God that we had been there when we were so badly needed, even though we weren't supposed to be there in the normal course of events.  We could hardly move because we were in such awe of God, knowing that we had been afforded the pleasure of representing Our Loving Father God in the lives of people who love Him also and who had been so good to us for so long.
    Eventually we attacked the work at hand, washing the dishes, cleaning the premises, emptying the trash and leaving our blessings there for a wonderful family who has incorporated us into their own family and has always given us special treatment by allowing us to meet and pray at their business.  Nobody else would have done that for us. 
    We have needed Jim, Mary, Emily and Jimmy in the past, and they have graciously supplied our needs.  God arranged it so that we would be available to be with them when they needed solace, encouragement, prayers and, yes, communal tears when they received the horrible news that their beloved Mary had passed on from this world.  It seemed too soon to us, but the fact that He called us to be with Jim and Em when they needed special love was enough to comfort us.  We knew that Mary was in God's beautiful garden of love, but we also knew the burden was heavy for the family at the time. 
    Being part of God's perfect orchestration and divine appointment put us in such awe of Him that we were almost speechless.   That's unusual for our group, being speechless, but God's awesomeness makes a person void of words because no human words are adequate.  In those wonderful times, our spirits worship Him in spirit and in the truth of His majesty.  Yet, no human words suffice at those times.                               
    We will all miss Mary but our loss is nothing compared to the family's loss.  We hope that Jim and Em are comforted in the realization that God supplied six ladies to love and comfort them when they were so much in need of His comfort.  We merely supplied the hugs, kisses and loving words on a day when we weren't even supposed to be there.  It was the least we could do.  They have done so much for us.   
    God sees that everyone is reciprocated.  Love seeds produce love plants.  We can attest to that.   Mary is present in God's garden where the love plants grow.  We will see that her family is loved abundantly, maybe not as much as she was able to love them, but we will do our best.
    How does He do it?  How does He get six ladies who are never punctual to be at an appointed place at His appointed time to be part of His divine plan?   I don't know how He does it, but we are so fortunate to have been included in it so that we can continue to be in awe of Him.  It's the awe of Him that is the beginning of wisdom.  We should be the most wise women in the world because we stay in awe of God and His love continuously,  He is an awesome Father.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

                                               HOPALONG CATHI
                                                                T. Wieland Allen
       I know, I know, the old cowboy hero was named Hopalong Cassidy but my friend who just went to heaven to live with God will, from now on, be referred to by the name Hopalong Cathi.  It's quite a story and one worth putting in black and white to memorialize her wonderful life and the sunshine she brought to so many people.
      It begins with a ladies prayer group who began meeting many years ago, over 30.  We are from different denominations, Baptists, Catholics, Assemblies of God, Episcopalians and Methodists.  We were supernaturally gathered together by God in various ways, each one unique in its orchestration.  We don't have any doctrine because doctrine separates people rather than gathering them together.We get together every week to study to get to know God better and to pray for the problems of people.  I got to know Cathi and her many talents in the group called the Prayer Posse.  All of us became close friends, more like sisters.
     Years later a terrible tragedy struck Cathi's family.  She had a massive stroke, a terrible thing to happen to a person.  Later on in the week Cathi had a series of other strokes.  Until hearing about the last series of small strokes, we were planning on her recovering completely and going home to live with her loyal and loving husband Steve. So, rather than getting her flowers for her return home, it came to me one day that her prayer partners, her spiritual sisters, should get her some form of yard art since she was a constant gardener of flowers and small patches of veggies.  Most of her days previous to the stroke had been spent outside with her hands in dirt.
   Yes, I surmised, yard art would please her more than a hothouse plant.  Our praying friends agreed wholeheartedly.  Fortunately a large display of Mexican style yard art was located close to our city.  I ventured to the area outside of town where a man had set up quite a large display of brightly colored and very intricately designed tin yard art.  As I stepped out of my car my eyes landed on a huge grasshopper, very realistic in its design and painted a dark green on the underbelly, the legs and the antennae and bright green/dark green on the upper belly and back. It was over three feet long.  The thing that caught my eyes at first were the bright red eyes.  Cathi had to have it.  To tell the truth, I wrestled with the decision for a few minutes; then, yes, I knew that it was something that she would enjoy.  I gleefully purchased it for our precious friend who was having difficulty holding on to life at the time.
    I genuinely thought that I had purchased the large tin green grasshopper with the bright red eyes to give to Cathi from her prayer sisters, expecting to take it to her house and leave it on her front  porch so that she would notice it when she returned home from the hospital.  I took it to my house to keep it until I heard good news that she was going home.  As I placed the large grasshopper along my front walk in a flower bed at my house to show our friends when they came for Bible study and intercessory prayers, I looked up in a tree bordering the flower bed and there, perched on a lower branch, were two giant green live grasshoppers.  They were four inches long.  They were so big they looked fake.  They had large red eyes, also, just like the tin one I had been drawn to buy.  I had never seen such huge live grasshoppers in my life as the ones who were perched in my crepe myrtle tree.  For some reason I immediately said to the grasshoppers, "Well, hello, Cathi."  Those large grasshoppers stayed in the tree for a long time, as if it was their tree and I had better get used to it. 
     I texted a note to the Bible study/prayer posse ladies and sent them a picture of the grasshopper that I had bought.  They were in agreement that it was a perfect gift from us to Cathi.  That evening as I was reading the local paper I noticed in the computer section an article about a new online business whose name was The Happy Grasshopper.  I was beginning to sense a theme, as is often said when similar things happen in succession.  Later I found out that one of our prayer posse members who lives in another town, and who had not been privy to the news about our buying the tin grasshopper for Cathi, had had two huge dark green grasshoppers come onto her patio every day for a short time.  Not knowing about the grasshopper that we had bought for Cathi, she had swept them off of her patio every day, but they kept coming back.  It's as if Cathi was sending the grasshoppers to check on her friends.  
     Do I really think that Cathi was in those large live grasshoppers?  Of course not, but I know that they can be symbols of something sent by God into our lives to encourage us to pray and to pay attention to those miraculous happenings.  To prove that to us, Marcia, one of our ladies in the prayer posse, consulted Google and found that grasshoppers are a symbol of complete freedom.  Oh, my word.  That discovery gave me God chills.  The reason for the grasshopper in our lives was to prepare us for Cathi's complete freedom from earthly sorrows and her entrance into heaven. 
     After Marcia's discovery that grasshoppers symbolize freedom, I decided to find out more about them so I went to a different website and found that grasshoppers in African folklore symbolize having one foot in the earth and one foot in the breezes of heaven.  That was another "wow" discovery.  Cathi at the time was partially conscious and then for periods of time she was unconscious.  Having heard many testimonies about out of body experiences when a person is very ill or about to die, I knew that she was, for sure, part of earth for a while and then part of heaven for a while.  Often, that is a gift from God, allowing people to choose which they wish at that time, whether to stay on earth or whether to move on eternally into heaven.
      Cathi's daughter Melissa and I had been texting back and forth every day since the first stroke.  In fact, Melissa had originally informed me about the stroke.  Knowing that Melissa is also a spiritual young lady who loves God, I had clued her in on the grasshopper that we had bought for Cathi and the two huge live  grasshoppers which had appeared in my tree.  Melissa informed me that she has a small grasshopper statue in her house to which her mom, Cathi, was always attracted, often picking the grasshopper up and caressing it.  Melissa texted to me a picture of her grasshopper statute.  It is very dark green in color.  A coincidence?  No.  We choose to think of it as a God-incident.
      God told us to welcome strangers because they are often angels in disguise.  Jesus entertained guests from heaven, Moses and Elijah, when he walked in the earth.  His disciples saw them and tried to build a tent for them.  When John the Baptist baptized Jesus in water, a descending dove appeared above the head of Jesus signifying the Holy Spirit's help in His life.   God is not limited to anything.  So the grasshopper being an image to us of our sister Cathi who has gone on to live with God is no small coincidence.  It's a personal symbol to us that she is part of the cloud of witnesses in heaven around us that is spoken of in the Bible.  It says all of the spirits of our loved ones are in that heavenly dimension, along with God and Jesus.   They have access to the earth and they have access to heaven.  They are one with God as He works with us to improve our earthly lives.  Their desires for us continue when they enter heaven and they are "as the angels", meaning spiritual beings, is what Jesus said.  I figure He ought to know.
     The more we know about the spiritual dimension of heaven that surrounds us the more faith we have.  Our loved one, Cathi, will always be known to me as Hopalong Cathi from now on, able to leap from heaven to earth with God's permission and orchestration to help her family and us in our daily lives.   If that were not true, God would not have influenced Me to buy the grasshopper yard art while being ignorant of Cathi's being fascinated with the grasshopper statue in her daughter's home.
     Since Cathi joined the saints in heaven, there have been other instances of grasshoppers becoming highlighted in the lives of her family.  Her daughter had a live grasshopper appear on the steering wheel of her car after she stopped her car.  Her daughter's boyfriend saw one on the wheel of his car and later on the white wall of his building.  Those were not normal grasshoppers.  They were huge green ones about four inches long.  Cathi is making calls from heaven to check on everybody before she goes on to complete rest in heaven.  On a tombstone next to where Cathi's ashes were to be scattered, a huge grasshopper perched itself so close as to be noticed by everyone in the family.   After being recognized, it flew off into the sky.  Upon seeing it, her granddaughter  immediately said, "Hi, Ma'am."  They are everywhere, but not in large groups, only one at a time or a pair.  We joked that Cathi was always late at Bible study so as to make her grand entrance.  We loved it.  
     Hop along, Cathi, my love.  Enjoy complete, everlasting peace.  We won't forget you.  We know you will never forget us.  You have manifested your heavenly life to all of your earthly family.
     God never ceases to amaze us.  He used a grasshopper to give peace to her family and her friends before her exit from this world.  That tin, brightly colored yard art grasshopper is a symbol to us of the magnificence of God's orchestrated plans and that He cares enough to use His supernatural abilities to send grasshoppers to symbolize Cathi's entrance into complete freedom, which is God's promise to us after the death of our worn out earthly bodies. 
     We are keeping our eyes open to God's other messages that bring peace to us. They will come hop, hop, hopping into our lives when we least expect them, much like Cathi's grasshoppers which were sent to calm our fears and give us joy.  Those grasshoppers that symbolize complete freedom caused us to concentrate  on God's promise to us of complete peace by keeping our minds on being happy for the new life of the real Cathi, as her spirit is happy in heaven, rather than our thoughts focusing on the death of her temporal body.  We were, and still are, focused on her freedom in Our Loving Father's presence. Can you imagine what she is experiencing?  She is being engulfed in pure unconditional love.  Cathi spread love while in the world.  Now she is the recipient of all of God's love, the Ultimate Love!                 
     Knowing her, the minute she saw the Lover of her soul, she hopped right up into His loving arms.  Yeah, that's Cathi.  First off, she probably asked Him, "Heavenly Dad, please explain to me about quantum physics.  It's always intrigued me."   Yes, that was definitely her first question to the Creator of the Universe.  I know for sure that's what happened because I heard her musing about that question many times,  
     Get ready, Heavenly Father.  She's full of questions but You can handle it.  She will be picking your magnificent brain for a long time!  Oh, yeah, there's no time in heaven.  That's fine.  She has enough questions for eternity.   It might be better if You just flood her mind with all of Your knowledge first thing.   Then you can get on with gracing the lives of others of your children with gifts from heaven which give them peace, faith and joy. 
    Thank you, Father, for the grasshopper gifts.  They fulfilled their intended purpose of making your spiritual dimension called heaven a thrilling reality to us.  You always do things perfectly. That's why your children love you so much.  Your love is powerful and overcomes everything, even the death of the earth suit of a loved one, sending beautiful green grasshoppers to cause us to focus on a person's spirit and her complete freedom from earth.  You keep life exciting and thrilling!  You are so clever! Cathi was kind of quirky in a good way.  Of course you would use grasshoppers to comfort us.   They have hers and Your signatures on all of them. 
              
        
 
          

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

CREASES AND WRINKLES ASIDE

                                                CREASES AND WRINKLES ASIDE
                                                                 T. Wieland Allen    
    Laughing at myself gives me the greatest joy a person can have at my age.  Maybe that is a benefit of growing older.  The older we get, the more forgiving of our own actions we become and also the more experiences we have in life which free us from getting upset at either major or minor situations.
    I took a trip to the west coast recently to see two of my children.  In planning the trip, I wanted to first stop by the residential complex into which my good friend Dorothy had just moved.  The building is in the same nearby town as the airport.   I left three hours early from home before I needed to get to my plane to check in and go through security.  It takes an hour to get to the Tulsa Airport but I needed extra time to have lunch with my friend in Bixby which is in the far south end of the Tulsa area from the airport.  I figured that two extra hours would be plenty of time to spare, other than the time needed to get to the airport, check in and go through security.   Maybe I should have considered the "catching up" conversation time that is necessary when good friends get together. I arrived at her apartment with two hours to spare before I needed to arrive at the airport. 
   We ate lunch at her facility, had good tuna and potato salads.  Then we went to her lovely two bedroom apartment on the bottom floor which is beautifully decorated because she was a professional home decorator.  After my viewing her apartment she wanted me to teach her how to text on her cell phone.  I told her that I needed to leave at 2:00 to get to the airport on the north side of Tulsa so I would get to the check-in counter at 3:00 before the plane left at 4:00. We agreed that I needed to leave at least that early.
     Dorothy had a terrible time learning how to operate her phone, as did I in the beginning of my experiences with IPhones.  It took us much longer than expected and I should have set the alarm on my phone in order to have the right amount of time to drive to the airport an hour earlier than the departing time of my flight.  During our tutoring time, I looked at my watch and it said the time was 2:45.  I should have left 45 minutes before that.  Oh, dear.  I wasn't even sure what route to take to the airport. 
     I rushed down the hall of the complex, ran to my car, praying all the way, asking for a favor from God that the plane would be late and I would get there in time.  That took great faith on my part, but I know about God's goodness so I knew I wasn't asking for something frivolously. 
     The thought came to me about a short cut I had heard about, so I got on a loop around Tulsa, hoping it would take me to the airport in plenty of time.  Glory be, it did, although not in "plenty" of time.  I pulled into the long term parking lot at 3:30 instead of 2:45 or 3:00 which was my original plan.  I quickly unloaded my two suitcases and boogied as fast as I could to check in and get my boarding pass, dragging my two suitcases behind me, one which contained a small sewing machine for my daughter's birthday.
     I made it to the Southwest check-in counter at 3:40 and breathlessly said that I was going to San Francisco.  The lady said I was fortunate because the plane was 15 minutes late.  Thank you, God.  I knew You would do it for me. Praise You forever!
      Then she asked for my ID.  Oh, my gosh, I had left it at home in my other purse.  I had no identity except for my Medicare card, my Blue Cross card, plus a credit card.   I needed a card with a picture ID, driver's license preferred.  After giving her an excuse why I had forgotten to grab my license, she apologetically informed me that I would have to go through a thorough search and pat down in order to board the plane.  That was okay with me.  I knew that Southwest had to let me fly because I had a ticket, but Homeland Security might be a problem. 
      Sure enough, when I got to the check-in at Homeland Security, the attendant  looked at me like I had robbed a bank.  He called a supervisor who drilled me about the reason I did not follow instructions and bring my picture ID.  I joked with him about my age, suggesting that he give an 80 year old lady some leeway since I was so late in getting to the airport.  He was not swayed by my jokes and logic. 
He informed me that I would have to take off my jacket and shoes, jewelry, etc., and be personally patted down by a female security guard.  Considering that that was the only way I would be able to board the plane, I willingly yielded to the instructions.
      I have traditionally carried on airplanes a large fabric bag which fits underneath the seat in front of me and it has always been filled with things I really never need, but thinking that there might come a time when I will need them, I stuff them in that bag.  Problem was, the Homeland Security supervisor had to go through that 2 1/2 feet by four feet fabric bag completely with its six compartments, wiping down everything in there with a swatch of material containing something that identifies explosives.  He wiped my three lipstick tubes, my three magazines, my hand wipes, my tissue case, my address book, my hairbrush, my compact, my small wallet containing money, and other total nonessentials that I always think I might need.  Not only did those things have to be wiped with the swatches, but also my shoes, jacket, my jewelry, and my compression sleeve that I have to wear on my arm for lymphadema.  After each item was wiped down, he put that swatch into a machine which tested for explosives.  None were found, of course.  I was glad that they are so thorough.  Then the blue gloved young lady patted me down from head to toe, front to back, inside legs and under arms with my arms stretched straight out.  That entire ordeal took a good 20 minutes. 
    After they decided I was no threat to society, they released me to go.  I quickly got into my jacket, walking into my shoes at the same time, grabbed my large fabric bag and ran to the proper gate.  The line to board was beginning to walk onto the plane.  I made it.  God saved me again!  Thank Him forever!!!
    Because of the stringent time consuming but necessary extra activities, I did not have time to go to the bathroom to empty my full bladder before boarding the airplane.  Dorothy and I had had two big glasses of peach tea, plus a glass of water.  Fortunately for me, the connecting flight was in Dallas, so I knew it wouldn't be long for the flight to arrive there and I could find a restroom in that airport. It was an uncomfortable flight to Dallas, full bladder and all.  
   When we landed in Dallas I was desperate, needing to empty from my bladder all of those liquids that I had unwisely consumed.  Fortunately, I was in the front of the airplane, and when it was my turn to exit, I ran to the closest ladies restroom, threw the door open, quickly hung my fabric carry-on bag on the hook on the door and crouched down over the toilet, straddling it because I didn't have time to get a paper seat cover applied.  I jerked my black trousers down to my ankles, pulled down my black panties to my knees, pulled my shirt up to my shoulders and started relieving my bladder into the toilet.
   I was so glad to make it there without urine running down my leg.  All of a sudden the weight of my carry-on bag somehow was able to swing the door to the stall outward.  I evidently had not securely locked the latch and so the weight of my bag caused the huge door of the toilet stall to swing outward, revealing me straddling the toilet in my crouched position with my bottom exposed for all the world to see.  There was a long line of ladies in front of me who were waiting in line to use the toilets and there I was, fully exposed.  The two ladies who were closest to the door had a birds eye view. 
    I said loudly, "Well, hello," without stopping the flow into the toilet because I couldn't.   One nice lady stepped over and closed the door and held it until I could grab the bottom of it and hold it until I finished my business.  I would have been so embarrassed if it hadn't been so funny. 
    Fortunately the two ladies who observed my entire bare lower anatomy in that crouched position while straddling the toilet had made it into a stall and I didn't have to face them.  I laughed at myself for an hour and decided it was material for a short story to put on my blog.
     I had to be patted down two more times for different flights so I got use to it.  All three times the Home Security officials treated me like a bank robber again.  How dare I go off without a picture ID was the attitude behind their stern looks.  I joked with them and they softened up a bit.  I had to be careful about the subject of my joking because they are very sensitive about that.
    It was an enjoyable adventure.  My son at home took a picture of my driver's license and texted it to my daughter in San Francisco and she printed out a big replica of it.  That got me through the two other Southwest check-ins, plus the first security check, but not the final Home Security ones.  I had to be patted down and the contents of my carry-on bag had to wiped for explosives again two times.  I became use to it.  I was just glad to know they are so efficient.  I thanked them for their efficiency and all three supervisors acted shocked.  Maybe no one has thanked them before. 
     Getting older means that one loses all sense of embarrassment.  We elders laugh at ourselves because nothing is that serious to us anymore.  Life is an adventure to be lived with joy and I have arrived at that point. 
     I have to give credit to God again for seeing that my flight was late and that the loop around Tulsa that He impressed me to take was the right one, getting me to the airport barely in time to get all of the extra duties done by Homeland Security.    
    I remained calm the whole time.  Hey, I had a ticket for a Southwest flight so they had to honor that ticket.  The problem was Homeland Security and their rules, which I appreciate because it makes me feel safe and secure.  Believe me, nobody will ever get anything dangerous past those supervisors.
    The experience has taught me never to leave my driver's license at home in my other wallet and also when in a ladies room to always lock the latch securely.  When in line waiting for a stall, I learned to look straight ahead in case one of the ladies in a stall has the same experience of the stall door swinging outward, revealing her complete lower anatomy.  I would be willing to close the door for her, like the nice lady did for me, but I would not relish the unpleasant sight of gazing on her exposed lower anatomy.
    Preparation is always the key.  I must remember to be fully prepared next month when I fly to the west coast again.  My anatomy is not what it used to be.  It has all slipped down several inches with lots of creases and wrinkles that I, myself, refrain from looking upon, even in mirrors.  Also, my driver's license will be in my bag along with money and necessary cards.
    "Always Be Prepared" was either the Boy Scout or the Girl Scout motto when I was young.  Great advice, no matter what your age is. I wasn't prepared this time but God saved me from my mistakes, like He always does.  I think "Be Prepared" is one of the instructions in His book of wisdom called the Proverbs. Of course He would think of it.  He's God.  He knows the mistakes that people make and He saves us every time from our own forgetfulness. Where would we be if He didn't?
     People only give each other three strikes and you're out, like in baseball.  Not God.  So far, I'm up to like four million strikes and he hasn't declared me out yet and He never will.  It's called forgiveness.  I think I'll practice forgiveness more.  As much as I've been forgiven, I owe it to Him for me to forgive others.  Forgiveness from Him and forgiveness for others clears our arteries and gives us things to laugh about. 
    Hey, getting older is a blast.  Refusing to fret about mistakes and misdeeds is a plus to a person's health and attitudes.  You've lived long enough to appreciate your own quirks and you don't sweat the small stuff, the medium stuff or the big stuff.  Why should we?  God doesn't. 
     I wish you happy traveling but don't forget your ID.  I didn't mind making the Homeland Security ladies work for their pay, as unpleasant as it is for them.  Be sure and appreciate their efficiency like I did.  They acted glad to be appreciated instead of being the subject of insults for causing delays. 
    Elderly people enjoy spreading sunshine around.  I do and it got me to my destination and home in a joyful and jolly mood.  Maybe I left a little sunshine at the security line.  They badly need it!  
    

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

 "WE NEED TO PRAY"
                                                        T. Wieland Allen
     "Praise God," "Glory to God," "Thank you, God" and "You are the greatest Father, ever," are exclamations of thanksgiving and joy that fell from the mouths of six ladies who had gathered together for our weekly prayer and study session.  We are used to having reasons to praise Him from the heart and we had just experienced another miracle that almost left us speechless.
      We always meet at noon on Tuesdays and are often referred to as the Tuesday Girls and at other times as the Prayer Posse, having been named the Posse by a friend in Wisconsin who knows about our penchants for going after healing and other solutions until we get the answers.  We rarely miss meeting together and, come hell or high water, we do manage to meet together, even if it's only one or two in attendance.   We know that Jesus told us that where two or three are gathered together, He is in our midst.  We regularly have six ladies with varying ages, from 55 to 85.  It makes no difference how many are able to come, we are called to eat lunch, pray and then study, laugh and occasionally cry when we marvel at His wonderful orchestrations in our lives.
    Such was the case when an unusal miracle happened.  It started with a mistake on my part.  The past Tuesday I had misunderstood that we were meeting at Marcia's house instead of Jane's house.   On Monday before the next meeting I called Jane and found that we had decided last week to meet at Marcia's house.  Even though it was Monday morning, I knew that Marcia would be amenable to meeting at her house.   I called her and she said what I knew she would say, "We will meet at my house.  We need to pray."  It was so gracious of her to offer, but that meant that she would have to fix a full meal for eight ladies who like to eat. 
    I suggested that she order pizzas and get a pizza dessert also. She was delighted with the suggestion and said that she had an engagement on the east side of town the next morning and it would be easy for her to swing by the pizza place and pick up the pizzas before going home.  The plan was for her to collect the pizzas at 11:30 in order to get across town in time to welcome the prayer partners into her house.  As they say, everything was copacetic. 
    You also know that good plans can fall through.  Well, suffice it to say that God knows all solutions to all problems.
     Early Monday evening I felt compelled to make an entire meal to take to Cathi, whose daughter had had hip surgery.  I knew that they would appreciate a meal and I had time to cook, so late in the afternoon I went into the kitchen and saw that I had spaghetti, two bottles of spaghetti sauce and a large package of meatballs in the freezer.  I had eight large cheese and garlic buns in the freezer also left over from last Tuesday's meeting at my house.  I remembered that I also had some tangerines in the fridge, too.  I had two packages of peanutbutter cookie mix and also had some icing I could put between two cookies and make special cookies out of by layering them.  There was the full meal and I didn't even have to go to the market.   In thirty minutes I had the full meal put into gallon ziplock bags, and placed into a large decorative basket to be taken to Cathi's home the next day after Bible study.  Yes, copacetic again!
       On Tuesday I had a busy morning so I had loaded the basket of food for Cathi's family into the car to be delivered later.  At 11:45 I had finished loading my Bible and the teaching material that I was teaching that day and I was on my way to Marcia's house for our Tuesday ritual.  My cell phone rang and it was Marcia who very calmly said, "Some man took our pizzas." 
      She had arrived at the pizza place at the appointed time only to find out that a man had picked up our pizzas.  She asked me if I could stop by the market and get some shaved ham and turkey and a loaf of bread and we would just have sandwiches.
      I had just passed the market so I said to Marcia, "I have spaghetti and meatballs in the back of my van to take to Cathi's family.  We will have it for lunch."  I must say, she uttered a sigh of relief. 
      When I arrived at her house, I saw that another Posse member named Kathy had arrived early and she was able to help with hostess duties, warming up the spaghetti, meatball and the bread while waiting on the other ladies to arrive. I needed to bring into the house my teaching material and Bible.
      It had all been orchestrated by God, who knew that the pizza would be gone when Marcia went to get it, so he compelled me the night before to fix a meal for Cathi's family so that we would have a new main dish delivered right to the door with no trouble.  It had been so easy on everyone, except maybe Marcia, who did have to handle the inconvenience at the last minute of not having a main course to feed six hungry women.  She had already fixed a salad, hot tea and cake for us.  She was so gracious to offer to be hostess at such a late time and she knew the importance of our gathering together to pray, so God just obliged her by sending her a main course to serve.
    He is such a wonderful Father. He sends answers to our [rayers to us from no where.  Dorothy said she thought maybe ravens from heaven had brought it.
When we expect the unexpected, it will show up.  It's called faith.
     Cathi's family did not miss out.  Marcia called the pizza place and had two large pizzas delivered to Cathi's house.  God meets the needs of everyone.   He's a great Dad! 
     And speaking of God being a great Dad, I am so glad that He is not the kind of dad who just waits until you mess up and then pounces with judgment and condemnation on you.  If He was, I would have been dead long ago.  In fact, human beings would have vanished from the earth by now if he was the judge.  The opposite is true.  He is the Father who helps people who make mistakes,   He helps people who miss the mark,  He is the rescuer, not the judge.  He is the problem solver, not the condemner.  He is the Blesser, not the judge.
     I messed up by thinking that Jane was having the Tuesday meeting.  Instead it was supposed to be Marcia.  My mistake caused a problem for Marcia, who had to rearrange a few things in her life to be able to host our meeting.  It also caused some confusion for her, having the center piece of her meal bought by the wrong person. BUT, never fear, God supplied the spaghetti and meatballs before the confusion set in by compelling me the night before to fix them for the family of another Posse member. Cathi. 
    That's the rest that he calls us into, knowing that He solves our problems and fixes our mistakes.  That is what it means when the scripture says that He knows what our needs are before we ask.  When we are in unity with Him with no strife, the problem is solved before it's apparent to you that there is a problem.
    Isn't that the most wonderful, loving, kind, generous, problem solving, solution providing Father!  I am so glad that we have that kind of a Heavenly Father, one who is completely involved in our daily lives.  That knowledge just takes your breath away.  Well, not really.  If we had no breath we could not praise Him.  His miracles are enough to praise Him continually.  That's what the songwriter David said, to let His praises be continually in your mouth.  The Posse has no problem doing that because His goodness to His children is everlasting.
    I thank him forever for fixing this problem before it began!