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Thread: Bouncing Back from Trauma by Tito Idakula

Twitter/X @TitoIdakula

Original thread post on Twitter/X

When my daughter was 18 months old, she figured out how to get out of her crib. Every time we put her in it, she found her way out. She’ll turn up at our room grinning with pride because she “escaped.” It was frustrating, but we got used to it. Everything was okay until one day…

I was downstairs in the kitchen and heard a BANG! A few seconds later, I heard TEARS and it was all I needed to know that our special climber had fallen during one of her escape missions. I ran upstairs & was relieved because the fall wasn’t too bad. Her leg had simply slipped.

It was more the shock and the unexpected nature of the fall that had her CRYING so loudly. It was understandable. Of course I gave lots of hugs and kisses until she calmed down. Needless to say, she refused to climb out of her crib after that.

Her crib is big and she still uses it. So for a whole year, she never took the risk of climbing out of the crib. Not because she didn’t know how to but because the trauma from her previous fall had her locked in a prison of fear. I tried many times but it was always a NO!

I have thought about this often. How traumatic experiences keep us bound. We don’t become all that we have been created to be because the fear of failure or pain is overwhelming. We hide our potential and pretend we don’t know it exists because it is safer that way.

At some point, we have to decide: “Would I rather try & fail or stay where I am and never be more?” God has placed so much in our hearts, but like the children of Israel, we let the fear of the unknown stop us. We just keep thinking, “What if it doesn’t work?”

But what if it does?

Today, my daughter climbed out of her crib again after over a year of being too afraid. She was ready! I noticed she climbed with a bit more caution & with a new strategy. So maybe the fall was the lesson she needed to do things “better.” Her fall was not so bad after all.

I don’t know what you have experienced or what you are dealing with, but I feel I should remind you that what does not destroy you can only make you stronger. It is time for you to face your fear and try again. It’ll either work out brilliantly or you’ll learn something.

For that person who God is calling to take bold, scary steps of Faith! Don’t let past disappointment, trauma, or even “failure” make you doubt that God is on your side and He is with you. Greater is He who is in you than anything in this world. It’s time to go again!

P.S. This is also for me. I haven’t been able to write anything for weeks, and it got harder to try. I literally wrote this because I had to accept that it won’t be perfect, but I didn’t want my fear to stop me. Praying this helps someone!

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Thoughts from the Road: Purifying Change

Since mid-March, I’ve been traveling across the country. I hit the road after selling my home in Southern Arizona. There were no immediate thoughts on where to pitch my tent next, so I decided to roam a bit and see where the Spirit led.

Before Covid-19, I thought I’d travel abroad for a few months to a year. But even homeless and mostly untethered, I wanted to be in a land I understand how to move in during a global pandemic. So international travel was out. 

Driving across the United States was initially an exciting proposition. It’s been on my to-do list for over two decades, but I had hoped it would be done with a partner. A test of sorts of our compatibility and adaptive skills together. That thought was one of the first things I released as I began planning my post-Arizona life. No more shelving hopes for a future that isn’t rooted in today. No more putting things I want to do on the back burner because there’s no one to share the journey with. I released myself from that tether and the fear of becoming so comfortable in my singledom that I no longer allow space to accommodate another.

That’s when the opening began. As each tether and fear is released, hidden spaces are exposed and unexpected grace appears for my vulnerabilities.

I thought I would make time to write a lot while on the road, but of course that didn’t happen. All the “free” time I imagined was actually spent driving and sleeping. There was a lot of thinking and even more releasing. I focused on healing and opening. Still working on both, but more aware of how I’ve closed myself off over the years as a process of self-preservation. For a time it was necessary to remain isolated and nurture my solitude. That time has come to an end and its important to flow in the direction of life.

I don’t know how I’m being purified, but I know it’s happening.

I don’t know what the end result of this process will be, but I know I am already changed.

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Morning Stretch and Praise Break

Physical activity has been absent from my life. This morning, I decided to change that beginning with a walk, and a stretch and praise break.

Covid-19 isn’t to blame.

Over the last seven months I’ve rarely left the house and when I do, it is in a car.

When I lived in New York City, leaving home meant walking at least a mile a day, which would have been to/from subway stations, underground, up/down stairs, etc. Most work days meant five miles minimum by the end of the day. Some days I would grab a #Citibike for my eight mile commute – which took about as long as the subway did. If I was feeling really ambitious I would ride my own bike which meant 16 miles for the day if I didn’t detour for a ride in Central Park or around the City for more miles. All this to say, living in NYC meant physical activity was built into my day so I didn’t feel bad about not getting to the gym. There isn’t much I miss in life because I’m all about experiencing what I can when it’s in front of me, but I do miss the constant movement NYC requires of you.

Nature nature is different from Central Park nature

Now I live in a mountain suburb. Early on I was really excited about living close to nature. Once I got here, however, I realized I’m not comfortable riding my bike on curving one-lane mountain roads. Nor am I comfortable with the possibility of encountering wild animals. I’ve seen herds of javalinas, coyotes and cows. Granted the cows aren’t so scary, but I don’t know them! Snakes and scorpions are also abundant and they blend in with the dirt! Oh, boy!

Just over a year ago, I moved to Marana, Arizona full time. Being mostly inactive, i.e. not even a mile a day, has taken a toll on my body and health. Today I went for the third or fourth walk in my neighborhood and I plan on making this a daily habit. Goodness, I really do miss walking! In this video I share the stretches I did to relieve lower back pain. It became a bit of a praise break as well.

What changes are you determined to make in your life? Please share!

Some posts in memory of my former active life:

I used to be an athlete.

Bike the Boros: Staten Island

October in Westchester County

Last ride of the season.

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Living without permission

I’ve been feeling like a rebel in recent years. Marching to the beat of my own orchestra. Listening to the voice whispering to me through the wind. Choosing to grant myself permission to live on my own terms. Deciding to embrace the fear of doing such even as I continue to forge ahead. For a spell now, I’ve been bombarded with examples on why living without permission is so important for our overall well-being.


I have a male friend who has had an extremely hard time in New York City since he moved to the city fifteen years ago. We have periods of connection when we check on each other before falling off again. Shortly after I returned to New York City to relist and market my apartment myself, we spent a day together in my empty Harlem apartment. We caught up on years of missed conversations and hardships. By the end of the evening I became frustrated with him. The common theme throughout his constant hardship was his undying belief that others would look out for him and his interests therefore there was no need for him to take precautions for himself. He repeatedly put himself in situations that were not only unfavorable towards him, they were often dangerous and left him at the mercy of people who had no stake or concern for his well-being. Alternatively, when he was blessed with good work environments (perks, benefits, kind managers, etc.) he abused their generosity. My strong admonition was that he needs to make better decisions for himself.

It astonished me how much power he gave others over his life, livelihood and well-being. It sounded as if he didn’t make a move unless someone with no responsibility to him was ok with what he wanted to do.

He became a real estate agent a year before I did. He stayed with that agency for a whole year without doing anything, not even an open house, because they wouldn’t help him or answer his questions or give him his pocket card (proof of profession and associated agency in NYC). When we first spoke about this, I was in Arizona and had been a licensed agent for four months. In my first month, I hosted no less than ten open houses for other agents, most of whom I still haven’t met. I was genuinely perplexed by Guy. When I asked him why he didn’t simply change agencies if help was so important for him, he responded, “I didn’t think I could.”

Real estate agents are independent contractors. The only agents who may have difficulty switching firms are those who have property listings. Listings belong to the agency, not the agent. Sometimes agencies will allow you to pay a fee for your listings to take your clients with you. If you have done absolutely no business for an agency, you could literally walk out the door in the middle of a conversation and nobody will be calling to check on you. So for Guy to not even have this minimum amount of initiative to look after his professional interests as well as his ability to provide for himself sort of blew me away.


Last week, I met up with a former corporate colleague for dinner. We last saw each other the day I thought I had finally moved from New York City for good in February 2018. We had a good catch up. I shared some of my recent hardships concerning the delayed sale of my NYC apartment and how being in limbo through a long transition between two lives in two states has really shaken me loose from people and things I had long resisted letting go of. I shared that one of the ways I plan to commemorate the end of my life in NYC and the beginning of my life in Southern Arizona was by cutting off my hair and starting from scratch. I viewed it as a way for me to free myself to let go and grow.

Colleague immediately said, “No! Don’t do that! As a friend, I’m telling you that won’t be a good look. Don’t do it.”

I bit my lip, but the words on the tip of my tongue were, I’m not asking for your permission. I wasn’t even asking for your opinion. Instead my head tilted to the side and with a bemused look on my face I told her, “This isn’t a beauty decision. It has nothing to do with how I will look.”

“Still – don’t do it.

“I’m doing it.”

“Don’t do it.”

And around we went for a few rounds until she convinced herself that I didn’t mean cutting everything down to a buzz cut. A short cut was fine, but a buzz or bald look wouldn’t do. I hadn’t really thought about how short I would cut so I let the conversation fall off there, but it amazed me that a casual work acquaintance felt comfortable telling me what I could and couldn’t do with my own hair.


Over the holiday weekend, I received a call from one of my aunts. She shared a story about my Grandma who has been suffering greatly from various health issues for the last decade. A few years ago, she was diagnosed with early onset dementia. Around that time she lost the home she had been living in for over thirty years which led to her being bounced from relative to relative. She is now in the fifth household in as many years. Grandma is a very strong-willed woman with a violent streak and a horrendous (though funny-to-me) potty mouth. When I visited her a couple of summers ago, she was completely subdued and scared to speak openly in front of her then “caretakers”, her youngest daughter and son-in-law. They had been abusive towards her which was the reason for my visit. My intention was to take Grandma home with me but she didn’t want to leave her hometown or her great-grandbabies. However, I let her know the choice was hers and it shouldn’t be made in fear. She chose to stay. A few months later she chose to move in with her oldest living daughter, the one who called me. They didn’t last long under the same roof and grandma was soon packed up and moved next door to my cousin’s house where she’s been for the last year. It was this cousin who received a call from senior day care informing her, “Your grandmother got into a fight today. You have to come pick her up.”

Sometime before the fight, Grandma had reported to her daughter and granddaughter that another woman (who is also suffering from dementia) in senior day care had been slapping her and pulling her hair. Both my aunt and cousin were horrified to hear this and both adamantly told her the next time that woman put her hands on her she could hit her back. Who knew Grandma would ever need permission before hitting someone back!? But she did. The day my cousin got the call, my grandma’s bully had pulled her hair hard and slapped her across the face. According to the day care workers, the next thing they saw was grandma slapping the woman back and choking her out. I’m told it took two workers to separate them.

Grandma is dependent on a walker. She’s had several strokes, she wobbles when she stands and half of her body has to be maneuvered by hand. I had picked her up from day care on my last visit and know what the set-up is. They seat everyone at a long table in the middle of the room. My questions to my aunt were, how was Grandma choking this woman out? Were they both on the ground or was Grandma balancing her weight against the woman’s throat? She can’t move without her walker. How long did it take for her to turn around, get up and get to the woman? Sadly, my aunt didn’t have my desired details.

All that said, Grandma has obviously been experiencing a great deal of abuse. My comfort here is that she tells people about it and so far we’ve helped her to help herself a bit. On the other hand, I’m extremely saddened that she has loss her voice to a great degree and her sense of autonomy overall. The woman I grew up knowing and whose roar mine mimics would have never waited for permission to defend herself.


Though I’m able to identify instances of permission expectations now, I’ve lived most of my adult life seeking permission like so many others. Permission in the form of acceptance, understanding, appreciation, acknowledgement, support and validation. We live in a global society where people think they have the right to minimize others and keep them in boxes for no other reason than their own experience of privilege. Privilege via hierarchy, status, appearance, position, proximity, birth order, relationship, etc. I can’t count how often I succumbed to the preferences of others to my own detriment, but I know I began fighting that conditioning before my tenth birthday. Thirty-four years later I’m still fighting to understand what it truly means for me to live as I believe, as I want, as I plan, as I hope and as I am able to provide for myself. As many lessons as it takes, I will continue to seek only my own permission to live my best life as my best self.

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No hero is coming to save me.

Culture: The customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a particular nation, people or other social group

Culture is an interesting thing. We get inundated with messages as we go about our days and lives. Yet most of the messages we consume and live are not really meant to do us any good. They’re intended to distract us, entertain us, aid our dream and fantasy formation. We are marketed forms of escapism twenty-four hours a day. Unfortunately, we don’t process the escapist marketing as illogical goods, or ideas with no practical application, or as fraud or even as useless rubbish.

My whole life has been marked by stories of heroes with superhuman powers. I grew up with Christopher Reeves’ Superman and Margot Kidder’s Lois Lane. A line that has walked with me throughout my life was delivered by Lois after Superman caught her after a fall from a skyscraper, “You’ve got me, but who’s got you?” Every time I meditate on this line, the same thought comes to me: “You may have saved me but who’s gonna save you?” The underlining premise of the idea of Superman is that he doesn’t require a savior. Even when soundly defeated, he rises again and again stronger and more determined. But Lois Lane was able to see beyond that projection. She was always aware of his vulnerability not just to kryptonite but by widespread human destruction. 

Hero: a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities. 

I don’t remember the first time I saw Superman the movie, but it was first released when I was three years old. I spent a lot of my childhood waiting for Superman to swoop in and save me from the freefall that was my life. 

Enter Saturday morning cartoons during my adolescence. Superpowers became a bonding experience (X-men), a beauty and fashion exposition (G.E.M), a universal endowment (He-Man), a centering connection to a greater body (Thunder Cats). The narrative became one of not just individual greatness but a greatness that multiplied in partnership or a collective. For many years I thought my siblings and cousins were my partners and collective. But life will teach you things you are always ready to see. Most of my young adulthood was spent waiting for family to champion me.

Enter the working woman who’s determined to have it all. Claire Huxtable, Maggie Seaver, Elyse Keaton and Aunt Viv. We’re shown them all managing post-adolescent children in extremely hectic households while maintaining not only their careers but lovingly demonstrative marriages. Before they hit the screen they had built-in support systems – a partner, teen/adult children and sometimes a housekeeper. These women didn’t get into messes they needed saving from. They were the wise counselors, trusted confidants and heroes of their households. I spent my twenties and thirties trying to get to a point to begin building towards these fictional images.

As I look back on a life heavily influenced by narratives of superpowers, super transformations and collectives as a multiplier, I have to verbally tell myself: no hero is coming to save me. No one is going to show up at my door and swoop me and my troubles up into their arms. No family is going to adopt me fully into their tribe and share the burden of my worries. I am not going to return home tonight to a partner and children who alter the focus of my reality. The burdens, worries and reality are all mine to deal with. Alone. On my own. There’s no hiding. There’s no sharing. There’s no real way to stay balanced. It’s the nature of the world that we are distracted from.

In the center of these moments of realness is the knowledge and understanding that I am endowed by the life of Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit to show up for myself. I believe this is what we are being distracted from: the power we have within ourselves to right our corner of the world. To improve our existence by aligning with the Spirit that created us all. If we maintain a focus outside of ourselves it’s hard to recognize our own internal power. Without recognition, there is no focus or development. The world will keep us distracted. Perhaps my superpower is learning to occasionally quiet the world and amplify my spirit. 

We already know what to do, but we have to maintain a line of communication with the Spirit of Wisdom and Knowledge. One of my favorite reminders in the Bible takes place during the Exodus. The Israelites are fleeing the Egyptians. Moses makes a great speech about how there was no need to worry because God was going to fight their battle and defeat their enemy. God stepped in and said, “Nah. Why y’all crying out to me? Keep moving forward!” This is me moving forward.

As Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked back, and there were the Egyptians advancing on them. In great fear the Israelites cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the very thing we told you in Egypt, ‘Let us alone and let us serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” But Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.” Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry out to me? Tell the Israelites to go forward. But you lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the Israelites may go into the sea on dry ground. Then I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them; and so I will gain glory for myself over Pharaoh and all his army, his chariots, and his chariot drivers. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gained glory for myself over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his chariot drivers.”

Exodus 14:10-18

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“God Will Save Me”

A terrible storm came into a town and local officials sent out an emergency warning that the riverbanks would soon overflow and flood the nearby homes. They ordered everyone in the town to evacuate immediately.

A faithful Christian man heard the warning and decided to stay, saying to himself, “I will trust God and if I am in danger, then God will send a divine miracle to save me.”

The neighbors came by his house and said to him, “We’re leaving and there is room for you in our car, please come with us!” But the man declined. “I have faith that God will save me.”

As the man stood on his porch watching the water rise up the steps, a man in a canoe paddled by and called to him, “Hurry and come into my canoe, the waters are rising quickly!” But the man again said, “No thanks, God will save me.”

The floodwaters rose higher pouring water into his living room and the man had to retreat to the second floor. A police motorboat came by and saw him at the window. “We will come up and rescue you!” they shouted. But the man refused, waving them off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”

The flood waters rose higher and higher and the man had to climb up to his rooftop.

A helicopter spotted him and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue officer came down the ladder and pleaded with the man, “Grab my hand and I will pull you up!” But the man STILL refused, folding his arms tightly to his body. “No thank you! God will save me!” 

Shortly after, the house broke up and the floodwaters swept the man away and he drowned.

When in Heaven, the man stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?”

And God said, “Son, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?”


This cautionary tale has been on my mind for a couple of months. I am in the process of my own response to the reminder, but I feel compelled to share now rather than later.

Often we know what we need, but because of our preconceived notions of how we will receive it, we miss it when it’s right in front of us.

I’ve been ready to relocate since 2011. I arrived in New York City shortly after my thirtieth birthday in September 2005. It was a place I had always wanted to live. Since I hadn’t cultivated thoughts of other cities, I couldn’t envision myself anywhere else when I was ready to go. I began scouting cities as possible new homes in 2012. In September 2016, I visited Tucson for the first time. As I drove along the road leading to the first neighborhood on my list to visit, an incredible awe and peace came over me. My immediate internal response to the awe and peace was, “This is home.”

A couple if months later, in December I returned to put a deposit on a lot at the end of that road and began building my new home. I closed on it in June 2017 then returned to New York quietly excited but troubled.

There is no logical or mathematical way that I can explain my ability to purchase a second home – most certainly not one in a desert across the country. It was a very stressful year to say the least, but only because I chose to worry about money and my ability to to cover my debts. 🙂 It was blatantly obvious from the beginning of the process that God was leading. I was following. He wanted me to get some place and He wanted me to get moving now. Even while believing this, I still agonized over the details.

My spirit was willing but my flesh was weak.

Spiritually, I know everything that is happening in my life right now is God’s plan, positioning and timing. He’s about to perform His Word in my life and turbo boost me into my purpose. Spiritually, I know that the house and transcontinental move are not the “big thing.” Perhaps that’s the source of the underlining fear….

Physically, in my flesh, I can see myself barely staying above water with my current income spread across two mortgages and all associated expenses. My goal was to complete my move when all my ducks were in a row. Secure job in new city, secure renters and possible buyer for NYC apartment and perhaps a renter for the spare room in the new house. I wanted to be sure all my financial obligations were covered before I gave up my Big City job. I didn’t want to risk foreclosure after all the hard work and sweat equity I’ve put into acquiring what I have.

The missing detail is that I haven’t been able to secure a position in Tucson or a location-flexible (remote) role in the last fifteen months. As the months have passed following  my closing with no clear path to completing my move, I became despondent. I kept asking God to tell me what my next step was. My employment and NYC apartment concerns aren’t easy to disentangle from. These concerns overshadowed how much God had already glided me through.

My mental maneuvering immobilized me. I was gripped in a fear I didn’t recognize and therefore couldn’t acknowledge. My inability to secure employment on the other side of this move exposed the condition of my faith to me. This has humbled me greatly.

The rich young man grieved by the thought of selling all his possessions to follow Jesus has been on my mind lately (Matthew 19:16-26).  I’ve been ashamed much like Peter must have been when he realized that he did indeed deny Jesus three times before the rooster crowed.

I know that nothing I have is mine; that everything I’ve been blessed with has been received through grace. Even with that deep sure knowledge, I still thought I could pause what God has set in motion until I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish. Even with that deep sure knowledge, it’s a struggle to quit my job and go where I’ve been shown to go. Even with that deep sure knowledge, my salary keeps trying to trump my faith.

I wouldn’t have thought that my faith would ever be a weak link for me, but I should’ve known. How can we be strengthened if we aren’t tested?

A few weeks ago, I fell asleep in the middle of a prayer. My forlorn plea was, “Father, please tell me what my next step is.” For months, I had been asking Him to tell me what to do. I could see the big picture (or rather the mid-range picture), but I couldn’t see the strokes or the steps to get to that picture without losing ground. When I woke up the next morning, the answer in my spirit was a straight-forward, “I have already given you a way out.”

With that, I got up and went about my Father’s business.


These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come. So if you think you are standing, watch out that you do not fall. No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but with the testing He will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:11-13












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A week of prayer, fasting and protest

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”   

~ John 13:34-35


The third week of January 2017 will long be remembered. From the beginning of the month, I had planned to join the Women’s March on Washington. At the beginning of the week of the March, I thought it best that I also join my congregation in three days of fasting and prayer for healing for our nation. I’ve never been good at church-led fasts. In the past I fell off quick and felt loads of guilt for low will-power and focus. So, this is probably the first fast I joined a congregation in in nearly a decade. Three days, liquids only. During the work week. Within the first 24 hours, at the end of the first work day, I ate a bread roll my manager put on my desk. She shares her lunch with me every day and I usually pass on what I don’t eat. I put the roll in my cabinet but could not stop thinking about it for the next few hours. I eventually gave in to temptation and ate it. The next day when my cube mate shoved her lunch in my face to show me the delicious options in the cafeteria – one of my favs, Indian fare with red lentils, samosas and mango chutney – I blurted out, “I’m fasting! Since when do you shove food in my face?” She apologized profusely since she had no idea. I had no plans to share. But  I quickly realized the open sharing environment with my office chums dictated that I declare my goals for the week. I survived the remaining fast with no further incidents.


I attended each of the three nights of prayer service as well. Honestly, I thought I might fall off of that too. Attending service in person has not been one of my preferred activities over the last couple of years. I’ve streamed or played back far more services than I’ve shown up for. The general shallowness of interaction with congregation members has left me disenchanted and uninterested in showing up for “fellowship” that doesn’t last beyond a greeting and a song.

Inauguration week was different. I felt compelled to join my prayers to those of my congregation and lift my voice in praise and supplication. I didn’t want to go protest without first girding myself in worship. The third night of prayer service was the first night of inaugural protests and I was euphoric. I left work early to head to a rally in Columbus Circle that was essentially a call to action. The theme was 100 Days of Resistance. The goal is to get people to reach out to their representatives every day to voice their concerns and express their hopes for the direction this country moves in. I didn’t want to leave the rally but I didn’t want to miss prayer service either. After an hour and a half I high-tailed it down the street to my church. It was the perfect ending to a great day and a great send-off to the Women’s March on Washington.


The Women’s March was phenomenal. Overall the energy was amazing. Except for one instance. There was a Christian group posted up on Pennsylvania Ave down the street from the Capitol. In a space where crowds representing every imaginable issue in America today stretched as far as the eye could see in every direction, this was the only spot of contention, anger, disrespect and hatred that I encountered. I stood there observing for a bit, spellbound, trying to hear the words that were being shouted and chanted. Looking around in a daze to read the signs people were holding up. I walked around the circle of people to get a better vantage point and perspective on what was being said by whom. My heart ached. I wanted to grab the bull horn from the man in the middle and simply say to the angry crowd: God loves you! Ask me how much!

Jesus didn’t come to us to tell us how horrible we are. He didn’t walk through the streets pointing out people and calling out their sins. Where in the Bible does it say Jesus told people they were going straight to hell? Jesus has never been about condemnation. He is, and always has been, about hospitality, welcome and acceptance. He is a teacher. His lessons enlighten us as to our true nature and purpose in Him.

So, I stood there listening to protesters shout at the evangelists, “God Loves Me! God is about love!” To which the evangelist responded with a verse about love. Then there were those protesters who were mocking and cursing the evangelists for which they received further judgement for the evilness of their hearts.

I debated just walking up to the speaker and just pulling him aside. In the end I walked around to one of the men encircling the speaker and holding a banner. My conversation. With him can be heard on this video.

“Condemnation vs. Love”

Condemnation vs. Love from LaShawnda Jones (NS) on Vimeo.

I approached him with the words, “As a Christian Woman, this is hurting my heart. We are to proclaim God’s love to people. There has to be a softer way for you to deliver this message.” He brushed me off with, “We are each called differently. This is how we serve.” Yet when the speaker got tired of getting shouted down, he walked over to the man I was speaking to and essentially said, “I’ve had enough, your turn!” To which the man who was adamant about his service, declined with a sharp shake of his head and refuse to enter the center of the lion’s den. I called him out for that to. He wasn’t interested in anything I had to say.

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. We love because he first loved us. Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.  

~ 1 John 4:16-21

From Behind. Womens March Jan 21 2017.jpg

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Devotional: A Lost Son Found

A Lost Son Found: Luke 19:1-10



[Zacchaeus] tried to get a look at Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree beside the road, for Jesus was going to pass that way. When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. But the people were displeased. “He has gone to be the guest of a notorious sinner,” they grumbled. Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” (Luke 19:3-10)


Judging from the crowd’s reaction to him, Zacchaeus must have been a very crooked tax collector. But after he met Jesus, he realized that his life needed straightening out. By giving to the poor and making restitution—with generous interest—to those he had cheated, Zacchaeus demonstrated inward change by outward action. When Jesus said Zacchaeus was a son of Abraham and yet was lost, he must have shocked his hearers in at least two ways. They would not have liked to acknowledge that this unpopular tax collector was a fellow son of Abraham, and they would not have wished to admit that sons of Abraham could be lost. But a person is not saved by a good heritage nor condemned by a bad one; faith is more important than genealogy. Jesus still loves to bring the lost into his kingdom, no matter what their background or previous way of life. Through faith, the lost can be forgiven and made new.


Zacchaeus demonstrated faith by his actions. It is not enough to follow Jesus in your head or heart alone. You must show your faith by changed behavior. How has your faith resulted in action or changed priorities? What, if any, changes do you need to make?

Source: Life Application Daily Devotional, October 10, 2016

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ACAD – Rejected: Psalm 78

God’s Goodness and Israel’s Ingratitude

A Maskil of Asaph.

Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
    incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in a parable;
    I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
    that our ancestors have told us.
We will not hide them from their children;
    we will tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the Lord, and his might,
    and the wonders that he has done.

He established a decree in Jacob,
    and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our ancestors
    to teach to their children;
that the next generation might know them,
    the children yet unborn,
and rise up and tell them to their children,
    so that they should set their hope in God,
and not forget the works of God,
    but keep his commandments;
and that they should not be like their ancestors,
    a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
    whose spirit was not faithful to God.

The Ephraimites, armed with[a] the bow,
    turned back on the day of battle.
They did not keep God’s covenant,
    but refused to walk according to his law.
They forgot what he had done,
    and the miracles that he had shown them.
In the sight of their ancestors he worked marvels
    in the land of Egypt, in the fields of Zoan.
He divided the sea and let them pass through it,
    and made the waters stand like a heap.
In the daytime he led them with a cloud,
    and all night long with a fiery light.
He split rocks open in the wilderness,
    and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep.
He made streams come out of the rock,
    and caused waters to flow down like rivers.

Yet they sinned still more against him,
    rebelling against the Most High in the desert.
They tested God in their heart
    by demanding the food they craved.
They spoke against God, saying,
    “Can God spread a table in the wilderness?
Even though he struck the rock so that water gushed out
    and torrents overflowed,
can he also give bread,
    or provide meat for his people?”

Therefore, when the Lord heard, he was full of rage;
    a fire was kindled against Jacob,
    his anger mounted against Israel,
because they had no faith in God,
    and did not trust his saving power.
Yet he commanded the skies above,
    and opened the doors of heaven;
he rained down on them manna to eat,
    and gave them the grain of heaven.
Mortals ate of the bread of angels;
    he sent them food in abundance.
He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens,
    and by his power he led out the south wind;
he rained flesh upon them like dust,
    winged birds like the sand of the seas;
he let them fall within their camp,
    all around their dwellings.
And they ate and were well filled,
    for he gave them what they craved.
But before they had satisfied their craving,
    while the food was still in their mouths,
the anger of God rose against them
    and he killed the strongest of them,
    and laid low the flower of Israel.

In spite of all this they still sinned;
    they did not believe in his wonders.
So he made their days vanish like a breath,
    and their years in terror.
When he killed them, they sought for him;
    they repented and sought God earnestly.
They remembered that God was their rock,
    the Most High God their redeemer.
But they flattered him with their mouths;
    they lied to him with their tongues.
Their heart was not steadfast toward him;
    they were not true to his covenant.
Yet he, being compassionate,
    forgave their iniquity,
    and did not destroy them;
often he restrained his anger,
    and did not stir up all his wrath.
He remembered that they were but flesh,
    a wind that passes and does not come again.
How often they rebelled against him in the wilderness
    and grieved him in the desert!
They tested God again and again,
    and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
They did not keep in mind his power,
    or the day when he redeemed them from the foe;
when he displayed his signs in Egypt,
    and his miracles in the fields of Zoan.
He turned their rivers to blood,
    so that they could not drink of their streams.
He sent among them swarms of flies, which devoured them,
    and frogs, which destroyed them.
He gave their crops to the caterpillar,
    and the fruit of their labor to the locust.
He destroyed their vines with hail,
    and their sycamores with frost.
He gave over their cattle to the hail,
    and their flocks to thunderbolts.
He let loose on them his fierce anger,
    wrath, indignation, and distress,
    a company of destroying angels.
He made a path for his anger;
    he did not spare them from death,
    but gave their lives over to the plague.
He struck all the firstborn in Egypt,
    the first issue of their strength in the tents of Ham.
Then he led out his people like sheep,
    and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
He led them in safety, so that they were not afraid;
    but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
And he brought them to his holy hill,
    to the mountain that his right hand had won.
He drove out nations before them;
    he apportioned them for a possession
    and settled the tribes of Israel in their tents.

Yet they tested the Most High God,
    and rebelled against him.
    They did not observe his decrees,
but turned away and were faithless like their ancestors;
    they twisted like a treacherous bow.
For they provoked him to anger with their high places;
    they moved him to jealousy with their idols.
When God heard, he was full of wrath,
    and he utterly rejected Israel.
He abandoned his dwelling at Shiloh,
    the tent where he dwelt among mortals,
and delivered his power to captivity,
    his glory to the hand of the foe.
He gave his people to the sword,
    and vented his wrath on his heritage.
Fire devoured their young men,
    and their girls had no marriage song.
Their priests fell by the sword,
    and their widows made no lamentation.
Then the Lord awoke as from sleep,
    like a warrior shouting because of wine.
He put his adversaries to rout;
    he put them to everlasting disgrace.

He rejected the tent of Joseph,
    he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
but he chose the tribe of Judah,
    Mount Zion, which he loves.
He built his sanctuary like the high heavens,
    like the earth, which he has founded forever.
He chose his servant David,
    and took him from the sheepfolds;
from tending the nursing ewes he brought him
    to be the shepherd of his people Jacob,
    of Israel, his inheritance.
With upright heart he tended them,
    and guided them with skillful hand.


  1. Psalm 78:9 Heb armed with shooting

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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ACAD: Psalm 35

A Prayer for Help

Of David.

Lord, battle with those who battle with me.
Fight against those who fight against me.
Pick up the shield and armor.
Rise up and help me.
Lift up your spears, both large and small,
against those who chase me.
Tell me, “I will save you.”

Make those who want to kill me
be ashamed and disgraced.
Make those who plan to harm me
turn back and run away.
Make them like chaff blown by the wind
as the angel of the Lord forces them away.
Let their road be dark and slippery
as the angel of the Lord chases them.
For no reason they spread out their net to trap me;
for no reason they dug a pit for me.
So let ruin strike them suddenly.
Let them be caught in their own nets;
let them fall into the pit and die.
Then I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will be happy when he saves me.
Even my bones will say,
“Lord, who is like you?
You save the weak from the strong,
the weak and poor from robbers.”

Men without mercy stand up to testify.
They ask me things I do not know.
They repay me with evil for the good I have done,
and they make me very sad.
Yet when they were sick, I put on clothes of sadness
and showed my sorrow by fasting.
But my prayers were not answered.
I acted as if they were my friends or brothers.
I bowed in sadness as if I were crying for my mother.
But when I was in trouble, they gathered and laughed;
they gathered to attack before I knew it.
They insulted me without stopping.
They made fun of me and were cruel to me
and ground their teeth at me in anger.

Lord, how long will you watch this happen?
Save my life from their attacks;
save me from these people who are like lions.
I will praise you in the great meeting.
I will praise you among crowds of people.
Do not let my enemies laugh at me;
they hate me for no reason.
Do not let them make fun of me;
they have no cause to hate me.
Their words are not friendly
but are lies about peace-loving people.
They speak against me
and say, “Aha! We saw what you did!”

Lord, you have been watching. Do not keep quiet.
Lord, do not leave me alone.
Wake up! Come and defend me!
My God and Lord, fight for me!
Lord my God, defend me with your justice.
Don’t let them laugh at me.
Don’t let them think, “Aha! We got what we wanted!”
Don’t let them say, “We destroyed him.”
Let them be ashamed and embarrassed,
because they were happy when I hurt.
Cover them with shame and disgrace,
because they thought they were better than I was.
May my friends sing and shout for joy.
May they always say, “Praise the greatness of the Lord,
who loves to see his servants do well.”
I will tell of your goodness
and will praise you every day.

New Century Version (NCV)

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.