Battle For The Net

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If you woke up tomorrow, and your internet looked like this, what would you do?  Imagine all your favorite websites taking forever to load, while you get annoying notifications from your ISP suggesting you switch to one of their approved “Fast Lane” sites.  Think about what we would lose:  all the weird, alternative, interesting, and enlightening stuff that makes the Internet so much cooler than mainstream Cable TV.  What if the only news sites you could reliably connect to were the ones that had deals with companies like Comcast and Verizon?  On September 10th, 2014, just a few days before the FCC’s comment deadline, public interest organizations are issuing an open, international call for websites and internet users to unite for an “Internet Slowdown” to show the world what the web would be like if Team Cable gets their way and trashes net neutrality.  Net neutrality is hard to explain, so our hope is that this action will help SHOW the world what’s really at stake if we lose the open Internet.  If you’ve got a website, blog or tumblr, get the code to join the #InternetSlowdown here:  https://battleforthenet.com/sept10th

Everyone else, here’s a quick list of things you can do to help spread the word about the slowdown: http://tumblr.fightforthefuture.org/post/96020972118/be-a-part-of-the-great-internet-slowdown

Get creative! Don’t let us tell you what to do. See you on the net September 10th!

via Battle For The Net.

Wonderful Team Member Readership Award

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Since I’ve not been able to write anything for such a long period of time, I was slightly stunned to open my email a few days ago and find an award from an old blogging buddy of mine.  I was partially stunned to find that I had received an award at all.  I was also partially stunned because I had  not heard from him in quite a while.  This is probably because I haven’t written a post in quite a while.

It’s always a surprise to me to find anyone has given me and/or my blog any award.  It becomes an extra-special award when I receive it from others whose writings are so much better than mine.

This is one of those awards because it comes from Kevin at Voices of Glass.  You can find his blog and this award page by clicking onto:

http://voicesofglass.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/touched-and-honoured/

I was touched by what he said about my blog and me and I’d like to include his quote here:

” . . .  a blog which is very dear to my heart. As a blogger and part of the mental health writer’s community you sometimes get to know other bloggers and are honored to follow their fight. The blogger behind this blog is one such blogger and is dear to my heart. Her strength and faith coupled with her honesty and ‘realness’ is an inspiration to me.”

Thank you so much, Kevin, for such kind and encouraging words!!

According to the rules of this award, I am to:

1.   Display the “Wonderful Team Member Readership Award logo on my blog.

wonderful-readership-award2

2.  Nominate fourteen bloggers whom I admire over a period of seven days, all at once or little by little, linking to their blogs and informing them about the award.

Anyone who knows me and/or my blog will know the nomination part of any award I and/or my blog receive is the most difficult of all for me to complete.  I have followed countless numbers of blogs through the two and half years I’ve been blogging.  Some I stop following because they quit writing and some because what they write cuts too close to the bone and I simply cannot bear to read it even though they write well.

I usually look for more blogs whenever I stop following someone, but during the same time I have not been able to write I also have not been able to read other blogs.  This includes blogs I’ve been following since I started my own blog.

There are a couple of exceptions, however.  One of the exceptions was just nominated by Kevin for this award at the same time he nominated me.  This leaves me with just one person that I can nominate at this time:

Laura at Bipolar For Life which you can find by clicking onto this link:

http://bipolarforlife.me

Laura has led one of the most fascinating lives and one of the most horrible lives I have ever had the privilege to read.  I feel like she’s my dear friend and if ever my health and finances reach a good state, I want to fly somewhere to meet her and visit for a while.  I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that she will be discovered by a great editor who will lead her to a great publishing house.  This will begin the first of many books about her life to be published.  I’ve already made her promise to give me an autographed copy!! :)

Kevin, I again thank you for sending this award to me and my blog!!

Laura, I hope you will be able to accept this award and pass it on to others. I know you deserve it — both you and your blog!!

Writer’s Block: A Massive Ball of Multicolored Strings

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I have been trying for months on end to write a post . . . or two . . . or three.  There are so many things I want to write about because so many things have happened.  Yet encompassing all these things is the horrible black depression that has held me down and prevented me from doing anything.

I go spiraling down and get stuck there.  I do all I know to at least get my head above water and take a deep breath.  Then it seems once I get that breath inside me, I get sucked back down again.  It seems like since I went into that extremely bad depression that started coming in the final two weeks of the radiation and hit full force the next month, I haven’t been myself.  Instead I’ve been this person sucked down into the whirlpool of depression, covered up sometimes with despair and unable to see any horizon at all that I can hold onto with the faith that things will get better.  They don’t get better.  They are the same.  It’s only my soul slowing changing and my body growing older that is different.

The changes in my soul are so wonderful!!  They’re so marvelous!!  These various changes that have happened over time are what I’ve wanted to write down for anyone to read.  Yet I can’t even get so far as to start writing in my head before I’m sucked back down into that whirlpool where depression takes over completely.

As time has gone on, the things I’ve wanted to write about have become overwhelming.  I saw in my mind’s eye this morning a giant ball of strings of all sizes, lengths and colors.  I see one string and remember how much I want to write about simply that one string.  I try to pull on it, but it has become entangled with another string and I remember how much I felt like I needed to write about that string, so I began pulling on it.  I then discover that particular string is twined about a larger string that makes my heart fill with pain.  ‘Oh, yes,’ I think to myself, ‘I remember that string quite well.’  That’s the string that laid heavily upon my pain-filled heart.  That’s the string that I debated with myself on whether it was too personal to share with others or whether, because the revealing of the string in words would show more of my nakedness than I ever let anyone know about, I would be helping someone else who might stumble across my blog and be helped by my words.

Eventually, I’d get pulled down and enclosed by the depression so deeply I was not able to function or the ball of multicolored strings was becoming so large that I was overwhelmed by where to start, what to choose, what to keep only to myself, what was now dated, what was now forgotten, etc. that I simply felt the task too daunting.

This is why I’ve been silent.  This has been my life for over two years.  I know better things are coming.  I know better things have come.  Yet the bad parts still loom.  The depression has one of its longest-lasting holds on me that it has ever had.  The devils on this current level of my spiritual life are meaner than any I’ve met on any of the previous levels I’ve been on throughout my life.

For me, this just means that I have to keep staying here no matter what comes my way because I still belong to Jesus and He’s still right here by my side.  I feel like I’m having to prove that I really, truly, soul-deeply and forever have learned my previous lessons and will not forget them.  I think this is due to preparation for whatever might be waiting for me on the next level, if there is a next level for me and if I do leave this level and climb up to the next one.

Also, and I know this is silly, but I’m getting closer and closer to the age my dad was when he died.  I have this silly fear that I’ll die before I make it to sixty years old because that’s what happened to my dad.  I know it’s silly and it’s a lie from the enemy of my soul.  I have also spoken with my best sister about this and she said she felt the same way when she was my age.  So death has been on my mind a lot.

It’s also been on my mind because a dear friend’s daughter went to Heaven a little over a month ago.  She was only twenty-four.  My heart’s still full of sorrow for all who knew and love her.

Before anyone asks, yes, my meds are still working.  That’s why I’m still here on this planet.

Animal Friendship

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survivor55:

This video proves that animals have souls just as we have souls. A soul is a mind, a will and emotions. They don’t have the spirit that God placed inside of humans, but they do have souls!! Such a great video!!

Originally posted on MOONSIDE:

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I Get It

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Do you know how you can understand something even if on some level you know you really don’t understand it?  Then one day something happens and suddenly you get it.  You honestly understand it.  That just happened to me a few moments ago.

Anyone following my blog knows about the circumstances regarding my neighbors.  In a previous post I wrote, My Outer Limit, I talked about how God had enabled me to keep enduring their treatment until I had gone past my limits of what the old me would take from another person.  For those who haven’t read that post, I talked about how we all have a limit, a line drawn in the sand that we won’t let someone go beyond.  Phrases like, “If you ever . . . ” or “I’ve reached my limit with . . .” or “I’ve had all I can stand and I can’t stand any more!!” come to mind.

Since I wrote that post nothing has changed with the neighbors because they will not change.  It doesn’t matter to me because that’s between them and God.  What matters is how I’ve changed.  So as they went about their normal harassment all day and all night, some days I’d start to say, “God, I’ve about reached my limit with them.”  I’d stop myself before I got past calling on God’s name.  I realized I had gone past my limits and was still in my outer limits.  It is in this area that I find I have no limits because I’ve never been here before.  This is brand-new territory for me.  There are no lines drawn in the sand.  It would be equivalent to saying there is an end to infinity.  It’s an oxymoron.

For reasons I cannot comprehend, the weekends have always been the worst.  More evil machinations abound.  I’ve done the best I know how to change my part of it by asking God to enable me to live on the weekends the way I do during the weekdays.

In the past, partly because of a week’s worth of constant interrupted sleep each night and mostly because I didn’t want to have to face what they put me through on the weekends, I’d stay up as late as possible on Friday nights so I could spend as much time in bed on Saturday.  This action on my part would mean I’d be up all night Saturday and sometimes all day on Sunday, too.  I’d be too wired, too nervous, too anxious to be able to relax enough so my meds would work and I could go to bed and sleep as much as possible.

For a long time I wouldn’t admit to myself that I was hiding out in my bed. I finally did admit it after I began basically sticking to my normal schedule on Saturdays.  Sundays I still spend a lot of time in bed.  “One day at a time” applies here — first Saturdays are conquered and then Sundays!! :)

This past weekend was the worst it’s been in a long time.  I have never felt such hatred directed toward me.  It was as if I could feel it trying to enter into my home like venom trying to poison me.  I was sick Sunday, Monday and most of yesterday.  I was not physically ill nor was it the physical illness that often, for me, comes hand-in-hand with the mental/emotional illnesses I have.  This was different.  As my best sister said to me on the phone yesterday, “You were poisoned.”

I slept and rested last night.  Truly slept and truly rested.  It was wonderful!!  It was magnificent!!  It was a gift from God that I asked for in a way I don’t believe I’ve asked before.  When God comes through, He really comes through.  Jesus does not do things halfway.

The evil schemes of the enemy of our souls and of my neighbors was fierce today.  One neighbor gets so upset when she can’t awaken me.  Please remember these are people who have banged on my bedroom wall and screamed at me through the bedroom wall when I’ve been wide awake in the living room reading a book, when I’ve been in bed reading a book, when I’ve been in other rooms doing things one has to do and when I’ve been in bed talking to God before going to sleep.  Apparently my very existence angers these people.  It’s sad on so many levels.  One sad level is the fact that they have never taken the time to get to know me.  I’ve tried by being kind to them and by giving them opportunities to know me.  Needless to say, it has not worked.  They have accepted my gifts, my kindness and my friendliness but they have not accepted me.

Another thing the neighbor(s) do is whenever I shut and lock my front doors for the night, they really pour it on.  Darkness and evil have always gone hand-in-hand.  Since they are bullies, they are really cowards underneath.  Cowardly people who are evil perform their evil actions when they feel protected by the cover of darkness.

This evening before I shut and locked my front doors, one of the neighbors began doing what she usually saves for after sunset.  The ones she eggs on joined her.  Bullies need to have others on their side because they are truly afraid underneath and need the support of others in order to do their bullying.

I couldn’t help but chuckle because it is so ridiculous!!  When it didn’t end after a few hours I knew I had to talk with God.  I quoted Scripture about Who He is and who I am in Him.  I started talking to my God in my living room and continued the conversation as I walked into another room and kept talking to Him as I was doing what I needed to do.

As I continued talking — whispering actually, so I couldn’t be overheard by the neighbors since the walls are so thin — it dawned on me.  I finally got it by the time I sat back down in my chair in the living room.  By talking — or whispering — my thought processes as they progressed I found the Truth.

This is what life is!!  This is what each day of our life is all about!!

I know this.  I know the Scriptures where Jesus said, “In this world you will have troubles; but be of good cheer.  I have overcome the world.”  I know the Scripture where Jesus said, “If they treat the Master this way, how much worse will they treat the servant?”  I’ve had to memorize Scripture as a child, both in the denomination I was born into and at home as commanded by my dad.

Yet it took eight out of the ten going on eleven years I’ve lived here to be forced to endure, to learn how to persevere, to stay and obey God instead of saying, “To heck with this!!  I’m outa here!!”  Eight years of being “rubbed the wrong way” by these sandpaper people whom God put in my life for the purpose of teaching me, growing me up and rubbing off all the rough spots on this vessel of clay which He created.

Eight years of questions, eight years of doubt, eight years of complete faith, eight years of total trust.  Eight years of depression, anger, fear, PTSD, anxiety, nervousness, tension like you wouldn’t believe, upset stomachs, upset digestive system, upset nervous system, holding my breath the way I learned to do when I was a child in a dangerous environment, walking on eggshells the way I learned to do when I was a child in a dangerous environment.

Eight years of fighting God, eight years of yielding my will to His.  Eight years to get to the place of acceptance, eight years of reaching my outer limits and fifty-seven years to learn what Paul said is reality.  Paul said, “I have learned to be content in all situations.”

I’m not comparing myself to Paul whatsoever!!  He was an unbelievable man of God!!  What he endured was far worse than what I’ve endured, but his letters, his teachings, his life before He met Jesus on the road to Damascus and after He met Jesus is a shining example of what each of us could have.

I’m not sure if I’d qualify what I finally realized as “contentment.”  I think I’d qualify it as a deeper acceptance.  With that deeper acceptance came the realization that everything is fine.  Everything is good.  It doesn’t matter who does what or if they don’t do what.  It doesn’t matter who says what or if they say what.  It doesn’t matter who thinks what or if they don’t think what.  It doesn’t even matter what my best sister thinks, says, does or doesn’t think, say or do.

Nothing matters except Jesus and me.  Nothing whatsoever.

He has indeed, as it says in the twenty-third Psalm, prepared a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  I’ve known this for quite a while.  What I now understand is this is what it means to daily take up my cross and follow Jesus.  It seems so simple, yet I did not truly understand it until now.

I follow Jesus, my God, no matter what, no matter who, no matter.  I pick up my cross daily and choose for that one day to follow Jesus.  Then the next day I pick my cross up again and for that one day I choose to follow Jesus.  Then the next day . . . and on and on and on until He calls me Home.

For the past eight years my cross has been my neighbors, their attitudes against me, their false accusations, their hatred, their actions, etc.

Since I am choosing each day to follow Jesus, I will continue to follow Him and keep my eyes on Him and keep my thoughts on Him as much as I am able to do so.

My God and I walk this walk together.  Nobody else walks with me, but Jesus.  Nobody else can walk this walk for me.  Storms may come.  Storms may go.  I may have doubts.  I will have temptations.  Sometimes I’ll be able to overcome those temptations and sometimes I’ll give in and sin.  Yet no matter what and no matter who, I’ll repent, be forgiven, take my cross up again and follow Jesus.

This is life:  A one-day-at-a-time walk with God.  Again, it’s so simple once you truly realize what that means — what that involves.

The enemies don’t leave.  They may change, but there will always be enemies.  My circumstances, my friends, my family, my physical/mental/emotion health, my finances, my dwelling, my feelings, my thoughts — all these may change and most of them probably will.  Yet still my life is choosing to pick up my cross in whatever form that may be and choosing to follow Jesus daily.

This is life and it’s okay.  I’m going to be fine.  I AM fine!!

I’m strong.  I’m a survivor.  I’m a conqueror.  I’m one who endures.  I’m one who perseveres.

This is my life and I’m beginning to like it.

This is my life and I’m so very thankful to every single person who ever prayed for me, who ever encouraged me, who ever forgave me for sinning against them and for those who still pray for me, still encourage me and still forgive me.

Most especially I am thankful to my God — my Abba, my Jesus, my Holy Spirit — for getting me to this point.  It’s been miraculous, desperate, unimaginable, fun, exciting, scary, wild, calm, wonderful, horrible, strange odyssey and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything!!

25 WAYS TO STAY ALIVE IN A HORROR MOVIE

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survivor55:

I don’t reblog many posts, but this is absolutely hilarious and wonderful!! I hope everyone takes the time to read it and enjoy it . . . and that you enjoy it as much as I did!!

Originally posted on yadadarcyyada:

horror71. When you hear a noise down a dark alley, or basement, up in the attic, in the woods, in the shadows, or a cemetery – don’t go to check it out or call out things like “Is anyone there?” or “Who’s there?”. You probably don’t want to know.

2. When confronted by a serial killer or zombie, etc. don’t try to come up with an overly elaborate Scooby-Doo-type plan to kill them. Run awd44way.

3. If you’re in a good hiding space, don’t leave it right away or make a lot of noise. Shhh!

4. Don’t depend on someone coming to rescue you, they usually get killed.

5. Don’t go all hero and decide you’re going to go and fight the serial killer, zombie, demon, etc. It rarely works and usually ends in death, dismemberment, maiming, or all of the above.

horror66. Don’t check into a…

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What This Question Means To Me

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I started following a new blog a few weeks ago and one day the owner of the blog mentioned she grew up in the southeastern parts of America.  She said it was during that time she was asked the same question over and over:  “Are you saved?”

I wanted to have a discussion with her about what that particular phrase means to me, but that has not happened.  She is of a different spiritual belief system, but her core belief is also part of my spiritual belief system.

I realize there are many people who believe they are doing God’s work by going door-to-door, mailing flyers, inviting family, friends, co-workers, classmates and even strangers to “come to our church.”  As a child, I was made to believe this is what a “Christian” does.  As an adult, I do not believe this way.

What do I think when I hear the words “are you saved?”  I’m not talking about what others are asking of people they consider to be outside of their spiritual beliefs.  I’m talking about what those three words mean to me.

As a follower of Jesus, I first think of the salvation of my soul and spirit.  Then I have numerous flashes in my mind’s eye of events throughout my life where God has saved me in other ways.

I think of all my foolish choices when I was a teenager and in my early twenties.  I was saved from God only knows how many consequences of my bad behavior, bad choices, sins and of being around others whose bad behavior, bad choices and sins could have caused harm to my body in several ways, even to the point of death.

I was date-raped . . . except when it happened there was no such terminology and no one to turn to for help.  There were no rape kits, no understanding police officers, no understanding healthcare workers, no understanding from anyone.  So I kept my mouth shut afterwards and handled it the best way I knew how.

Why did this happen?  I chose to trust the wrong person.  I made a bad choice and chose a companion I never thought would treat me like that.  Thank God, and believe me I have done so and do so every time I think of it, I didn’t catch an STD — though that wasn’t what it was called back then — and I didn’t get pregnant.  It did change a basic part of who I was at the time.

When I think of the words “are you saved?” I also think of all the times I could easily have been in a car wreck and God alone knows what injuries I would have sustained or even if I would have lived at all.

I grew up with a father whom I now know was in a severe depression for most of my life.  Unfortunately, he chose to self-medicate with alcohol.  As a child I didn’t realize he was drunk when he drove.  I just knew the terror that gripped my heart and squeezed it whenever he’d drive too fast along the dirt and gravel roads of the country in order, I know now, not to be caught by the police.  To this day if I am a passenger in a car when a driver even slightly displays the tendencies my dad did — not because they’re drunk, but because they are driving too fast when the roads are slick with rain, snow or ice or they are talking and run through a light just as it’s turning red, etc. — that very same terror grips my heart and squeezes hard.

I do the same thing now that I guess I did as a child in a car I’m not driving:  I hold my breath, tense myself up awaiting an impending crash, press my foot hard into the floorboard, as if there was a brake pedal on my side, and pray.  In order not to scare whoever the driver might be, I have learned to always have one foot pressed against the floorboard from the time I buckle my seatbelt, just in case.  This way I won’t try to slam on a non-existent brake pedal when they scare me with their driving.  If I moved my leg and foot in a quick response to press down upon the non-existent brake pedal I might cause the very accident I’m trying to prevent.

I also think of the times I drove too fast on wet roads and the years I worked nights for the U.S.Postal Service.  I would drive without sleep on some of my weekends off to visit relatives.  Driving without sleep is as bad and sometimes worse than driving drunk.

I remember coming home from one of those weekends away and being so sleepy that I was tempted to shut my eyes and let my car swerve off into the ditch and hit the fence that ran parallel to the road I was on.  I think my dance with suicide throughout my life played a part in that particular temptation.

When I think of the phrase “are you saved?” I also think of how close I came to having to live out of my vehicle. At one point it was the only material possession I truly owned — if you exclude clothing, etc — because my doctor forced me to quit my job, I had to sell my home and was swiftly running out of money to pay my rent.  I’d applied over and over for Social Security Disability, the very fund I’d paid into all my working life, and had been turned down several times.  I wasn’t aware at the time that everyone is apparently turned down until persisting for an average of two and a half years to be given the help we need from the monies we — or most of us — paid into that fund all our lives.

It was one of the hardest lessons in trusting God I ever had to undergo because I’d always handled my finances from the time I was a child and learned about the right way to deal with money from the small allowance I received.  If I spent it all at once, my dad would not give me any more money for anything until he got paid the next month.  He taught me a valuable lesson.  While this helped me in my financial life, it made it more difficult to let go of my financial worries at the time and trust that God would take care of me.  I had to open my hands, let go of the money I had left and hold onto God’s hands.

He saved me from a life in my vehicle on the streets because when my hearing before the judge arrived I was granted Social Security Disability a few months later.  To my shock and absolute joy the check that was deposited into my checking account was retroactive to the day I first applied!!  Whew!!  God saved me and once again proved how trustworthy He is.

There are many other incidents I could write about, but I hope these are example enough to show how I view God’s salvation.  It didn’t begin nor did it end at the Cross.  I also think this topic is apropos for this Resurrection Sunday.

Whereas I realize the phrase “are you saved?” makes many people roll their eyes and let out a large sigh, groan, say or think something sarcastic, I am hoping these exact individuals will read this post and maybe get a new perspective on what this phrase could mean in their own lives.

 

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