Happiness is not found in a bottle.

The dangers of antidepressants are well known to me. I know they reveal memories to those who are not ready to remember them. God reveals childhood memories that are blocked when it’s time to heal. The chemical interaction in the brain with serotonin that is not natural, is a mimicked happiness that is false. That happiness is found only through Jesus. So, with antidepressants, suicide will be far more prevalent. Man cannot recreate the joy and love of being saved eternally. Depression occurs when a person 1. Doesn’t know Jesus and doesn’t accept Him in their Heart 2. If you have Jesus already and you are depressed it’s because you are following your own selfish desires and not the will of God. The will of God is so simple to understand for me: Love. Above all Love God.

I tried three different antidepressants and the last gave me the inability to cry while on them. Crying is a natural emotion of life that is not meant to be taken away. Tears should never be taken for granted. If you are depressed and on antidepressants it is very important not to stop them suddenly. That is far dangerous than you might think. It will cause a psychotic break that makes the mind feel lost beyond control.

Sometimes it’s hard to be happy in the world that exists today, but each individual is tasked to live the best life they can and the best life is a life with Christ. A life without Jesus is a life of death, purpose is found in Jesus and your heart transforms when you accept Him. It is so very simple to invite Him into your heart.

Dear God,

Thank you for sending your one and only son Jesus Christ, the messiah, Yessuah, the one and only perfect man to walk the earth. Your perfect gift who died for each and every single one of us to wash away our sins and the evil in the world. I willingly accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal Savior. This leap of faith of inviting Christ into my heart I pray to you.

Amen

If you said this prayer with your heart I give all the glory to God. You are now a child of God and it will take learning through the Bible. Start with the New Testament and every answer to every question in life is found in the Bible, one only needs to look.

My Mother’s Love

IMG_0492I’ve been hurt the most by the people I loved the most, I try to love everyone the same but that causes so much hurt. I choose everyday to replace that hurt with hope and that is only through Jesus. Because Jesus is my hope and the number one love of my life. Without Him, I would cease to exist. My mom has taught me love, just as your mother has taught you love. I begged my mom while she was alive, to stay alive after her seventh attempt at suicide. She is an alcoholic and alcohol is a tool of the evil one. It affects the entire body except the cochlea. When you drink you are physically pushing out the Holy Spirit. Just as when you smoke weed, the frontal lobe of the brain ceases to function. This is the part of the brain that makes decisions. I was delivered from Alcohol this past November and I was delivered from weed on Christmas Day. It took a lifetime for me to realize I love my life in Christ and any other life is literally death. My mom attempted to stab me and slashed the back of my coat seven times. She came after me with a rifle to shoot me and I restrained her. She was in and out of my life growing up. All this because she was under the influence of alcohol. She can run fast and she is running from her past. Her life was far harder than the life I have had. As a young girl she was raped by a family member. She ran and ran and ran till her little legs gave out beneath her. She cried oh she cried. She saw Jesus Himself that day. He appeared to her. His love for her will never cease. She won’t talk about it. It is beautiful her soul. I will never give up on her and I will give her her hearts desire which is her very own home. I will give that to her if I have to build it with my bare hands. She is still a alcoholic and homeless in my village. I pray and talk to her every day. It was God Himself who told her in a dream that the only way her children will be safe is to dedicate them to God. When her children suffer her heart suffers, that is what she means when she says she wishes she never gave birth to us. It hurts her heart to see us grow up in poverty, but we are humble hearts willing to serve others because we know hard work. That was our lot in life, but we are far blessed beyond measure for we have the heart of our mother who’s heart was touched by Jesus Himself. The one unforgivable sin and there is only one is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. So I do not doubt in the works of our Father for that is unforgivable. I forgive my mom so easily because she is my heart just as Jesus is. Her ways are sinful because she may know Jesus but hasn’t fully accepted Him into her heart. The ways of the world destroy the heart of the innocent and those are the deeds of the evil one who doesn’t deserve any recognition for I do not fear anything other than God Himself. Every single day I subconsciously put on the armor of God, I was always willing to go to battle I just never felt the need to till now. My weapon is love and it is understanding of love that is powerful through Christ. I am the weakest soul but I draw my strength only from Jesus and through Him all things are possible. God is willing to lend his ear to all but He listens to those who don’t ever stop loving Him through trials and tribulations. In order to love Him fully you need to understand love. So when I say love and be beloved, it’s as simple as that.

9/10 but the odds will always be in our favor.

IMG_6990The statistics aren’t favorable when we look at sheer numbers. 9 out of 10 people in this world do not know Jesus. All the more opportunity to continue that what others before us were so passionate about and that is being an example of love, extending that love to everyone and allowing those people to choose for themselves to make Jesus a part of their heart. It is all out of love and not fear where He truly shines. I met a young man from down south from the Georgia straight area of America back when I was a host for my ex husbands company. I would put together BBQs and we would invite his friends over. We were out back on the small deck grilling and Jesus became a part of the conversation. One of the young men was an atheist, the gentleman from down south was a Christian and I was an Eskimo with a different view of God and Jesus. I simply told them that the way I see it is so very simple. God sent Jesus to be a gift (sacrifice) to all man kind and we are forgiven of past, present and future sins. Our main goal is to be love. When Jesus is welcomed into the heart of a man, it’s Jesus who gets a perspective of this world through your heart because He became a part of it. The southern drawl on this lad was super cool to me. He looked at me and smiled and exclaimed “not once have I ever had a conversation about Jesus that didn’t end in a fist fight until now.” I was taken back not understanding what he meant. Apparently religion, which is not the same as being saved, is preached down south. To the point where people are fighting to be correct about Jesus who is nothing but love. It didn’t make sense to me. The rest of the BBQ went great. Bellies were made full right along with the heart and who can be happier than to feel a good love in both the body and the soul. I love to meet new people because when I hear stories from others it only broadens my horizons so that we can make way for a new Verizon. The world is being consumed by darkness but it is going to stop. When the light that we have in our hearts shines in unison it is brighter than the morning star. Only because it is the morning star emplified. Hope is not lost, it never will be. Love and be beloved.

Magnets

IMG_6504Last month, after I went to Soldotna to see my sister, I was praying on my way home for God to open doors. I wasn’t specific I meant doors of opportunity. Anyway, I was tasked to go pray at the Alaska Native Medical Center. I walked through the halls of the hospital on a Sunday and there was a mini church service in a meeting room by the Quyana Care wing, lovely singing. I paused for a moment to listen and my heart was happy. I brought with me my Bible, my sewing tin and a stuffed ducky from my sister that was meant for Duke, but she also gave him a lion and he would be happy with that. Duke was at the cabin with his dad. I knew I had to go up to the second floor “meditation” room I called it the prayer room. I walked up and tried to open the door. My heart sank, it was locked. I was infuriated because who would lock his special place? Where mother’s pleaded to God for their children, father’s prayed for their mother’s and where I begged God to save my brother Axel the first time he tried to commit suicide. His brain stem was decaying after he hung himself in Unalakleet. My cousin Ginger brought us the news, when she did I asked her “Doesn’t God make miracles happen?” And she looked me in the eyes and told me yes and I believed her. I went to this same prayer room that was now locked and pleaded to God for my brothers life. He pulled through miraculously. He commited suicide three months later. My world shattered and Jesus is still piecing it together. So you see, even to me, this prayer room meant a lot to me. So I walked up to the desk on the second floor, I asked the lady nicely to have security come and open the door to the meditation room. Then, THEN I asked her in a stern voice of authority “who locked this room and why?” She didn’t have the answers to my questions, but she said she would ask her supervisor. I went back to the common area where there was a display case with hand made grass baskets. I love to look at all the intricate handiwork at the Native Hospital. I am in awe every time and the two that I was drawn to were made by women from Hooper Bay. I have been there before and will return one day. The security guard came and I heard him talking with the lady at the desk. He opened the door and I politely thanked him. I told him that this door shouldn’t be locked, because most people won’t bother to ask for it to be opened. I went in and read my Bible and sang songs on my heart. Then I prayed to God at the alter and Thanked Him and loved Him. I let go of the hurt and the pain from my brothers death. And I sang for Him to create in me a clean heart and I pray that every day. Doors were opened.

I took my grocery bag of my sewing tin and the stuffed ducky and held my Bible close to my chest and proceeded to the main lobby of the hospital on the first floor. This lobby is circle with seating in the area in the shape of a circle where our people can drum and dance our native way. I had to go sit and listen. There was a elder couple sitting on one bench and that is where I sat. I started sewing my sealskin mitten ornament. Wow how I enjoyed each song and dance. There were two boys to the left of me, one playing on the floor by himself and a younger son with his dad who was drumming sitting on one of the inner benches. The women dancing made me smile, they were beautiful and dancing their heart out. My foot tapped along with the drum and I’m sure my head was bobbing while I was sewing. This group was from Kotlik area and they made my heart overflow with joy. I have relatives all over Alaska and no matter how distant, I will love them just the same. A man tapped me on my shoulder and asked what I was working on. He asked where I was from and I told him Unalakleet. He knew one of my Aunts who passed away from cancer. He had lost his wife six years prior. I listened to his story of hurt and he said “sometimes around the holidays it’s hard because we miss those who are gone, sometimes it’s hard to let go” and I told him “no, it is easy. You just have to remember that they are in a better place and they no longer live in pain and suffering.” He smiled at me and I smiled back. He wanted to say goodbye to my aunt but her daughter didn’t allow it. He loved her and just wanted to say goodbye. I told him to stay strong.

After we were done talking I had to go sit by the boy playing by himself on the floor. I asked him what he was doing. He had an awesome set of magnetic toys in the shape of squares and triangles. I was so fascinated and he wanted to show me something cool. He laid out a pattern and slowly and ever so gently the magnets linked together to form a sphere. I was in awe and thought it was an awesome toy. I loved magnets as a kid, but we didn’t have anything this cool. The younger boy by his dad was watching us. He didn’t have a toy and I asked him what his name was. Quinton. I was heading back to the cabin soon I told them both. The older boy looked sad I was going but I told him not to be sad and that it would soon be Christmas and he smiled. I explained that I had a son waiting for me at home. I gathered my sewing tin and Bible and gave the yellow stuffed Ducky to Quinton and wished them both an early Merry Christmas. My heart was overfilled with joy. Simple acts of kindness, making our future leaders smile.

Be a magnet by following your heart. It is made beautiful fully when you accept Jesus into your heart. Without Him in your heart there is pain and suffering, or if you have Him in your heart and are running in shame turn around and embrace Him. There is no need to run in shame, He washes the shame away. Your story has a purpose. You can change the world. Jesus wants YOU! Love and be beloved.

Tranquility

The gun control issue can be solved through a book idea I have had for a long time. Man will always need a weapon to feel safe, to feel that they are capable of protecting themselves. It’s not the weapon that needs to change, it’s a revolutionary idea of changing the ammunition from lethal to tranquil. Giving the option to subdue rather than destroy. As far as our way of life goes, hunting our own animals for our sustenance, that could be done like the days of old if you feel that is your lot in life. I will be an amazing archer one day when I have a daughter. We will have an amazing world together only because God is my world, Jesus is my everything and I don’t ever feel I need protection because He is my protector and there is nothing on this world more powerful than Jesus. IMG_6917

My Anna LaMug

fullBy Gertie Ann

Ever since I was a little girl one of my favorite people to simply observe was Anna LaMug. She frequented our humble home when she traveled to Unalakleet. It was my one goal to make her smile while she visited, I won almost every time. Her stature and the way she carried herself is how I hold myself when I need to, only when I need to. I saw her beauty beyond her red stained lips and make-up. I knew she was making her rounds, meaning that I felt she was a prayer warrior. You could feel it, literally feel it. The best warriors make their rounds without telling a soul. But some of us just know. And she made my heart happy because she always looked ageless to me and her seriousness was what I strived for at times, only when I need to. Her smell was pleasant and sometimes I’d get a hug from her. When we observe people in their actions, you have the ability to learn from their actions. I call it learning through other’s actions. Taking advice to heart only to strive to be the very best person you were created to be. When I went to church for the first time after my brother Axel died, I did not want to go. I had just gotten over being sick for seven days where I only had strength to get out of bed only to tend to Duke’s needs. The Sunday before Christmas I got ready to go to the Mat-Su Covenant Church. In my mind I told myself to pretend to be Anna LaMug so I made myself presentable. The thinking behind that is that people are more willing to accept a message when it is made presentable. So i made myself presentable.

It was going to be Duke’s first time going to Church and after my brother died I refused to ever go again until that day. Our frankenvehicle did not have heat so we bundled up, the white car had engine problems so we were left with no choice but to dress warm. I took one look in the car and saw no car seat, I completely forgot it was left in my brother’s vehicle, he had invited us to Thanksgiving and that was the one time we saw people for three months, we were ever so thankful. So no car seat, yay we don’t need to go after all. Then the idea that my neighbor had a carseat was set in my mind. I sent her a text and she had a carseat but they weren’t home. No go. So maybe we didn’t have to go to Church after all. Then I remembered there was a booster seat we had for when Duke was old enough. I found it and the seat was covered in frost, I took the frost off and it fit him just right. It would work for the purpose of going to church, so we took off. It’s a forty minute drive from where we live.

On the way a thought that maybe we would be too late crossed my mind, so my next thought was just don’t look at the time. I didn’t look at the time. We kept going and maybe we were almost half way there and I felt like turning around and just going back to the cabin. Then a song that I never heard before came on. Be brave, say what you want to say do what you want to do and this lady singing this song gave me the gumption to keep going. I was on a mission. I brought my notebook that had a part of my testimony written in it. I was like, ok I will bring it but don’t expect me to share. First, no one invited me to church I just had to go  (Holy Spirit) Second, usually when people speak in Church it’s preorchestrated. We made it to Church. I took Duke to the Children’s play room and to my great surprise my cousin Ruth was watching the children. She invited me to stay in the play room with her and as much as I love children and adore them I had to say no. I had to go sit and listen and worship.

Duke had no problem letting me leave he had his two cousins to play with. No matter how much I try to be a kid with him he needs the social interactions of actual children. I was looking for a place to sit and my cousins husband was leading worship and he was seated up at the front. Oh gosh, really? I have to go sit up at the front? Any chance I get I will try to go unnoticed. I was wearing my Parka from my Aunt Harilynn and she recieved the Parka from her Aunt Agnes, I only had to do the fur work on it. I felt a little peacockish but not on purpose. No way was I going to walk down the middle isle so I walked up the left isle of the pews ALL the way up to the front. I felt the tugging of the Holy Spirit and went with His flow. I gave my cousin a hug and he was surprised to see me. His last name is Johnson and that is my maiden name, he married my first cousin so I call him my cousin, she got to keep our last name Johnson.

I wasn’t sure how I was going to share but worship was coming up soon so I asked my cousin if I could share something to the congregation. I said look, this is what I want to share and he skimmed my testimony and said to keep it around two minutes. I smiled and agreed. He called me up and I did not want to go up. It’s not like I wasn’t already praying for strength and for God to use me. I got up there and the congregation was among my favorite people, elders. I love elders because my mom taught me to. Anything my mom has ever taught me in love stayed in my heart, same with all the lessons of love people showed me simply by loving me.

I shared my testimony. Tears, heartache, then smiles and hope. Always a message of hope. It was good to go to church again. I met people who knew my dad and saw the Egli’s who used to live in Unalakleet. I gave them a hug becuase I love to give hugs to people I know and love. When so many people show you kindness, how do you not live to do the same thing. My heart was happy and I hope the one person who needed to hear hope heard it.

God is good to me, even when I have nothing I feel as though I have everything because He loves me. I will never give up on my family, on generational healing and on spreading Love and that is allowing Jesus to continue to be the Lord of My Life, this time all the hurt and pain that caused me to run and hide is no longer there. I was never afraid, only ashamed and Jesus is not ashamed of me, He carried me through the darkest of hours and I spent a lot of time in dark places because I was following my own self desires and the further I strayed the harder life was. But, I wouldn’t trade any of it because I met amazing people through simply being someone experiencing the world through my own perspective. Always choosing good over evil when that is made clear.

If you feel ashamed of your life, give your life to Jesus and walk a life free of shame. I only want to be a sheep if Jesus is the Shepherd, and He is a good Shepherd. Amen.

 

Unalakleet, Alaska and the great Awakening

IMG_1636Way up in the Northern regions of Alaska is a small Inupiaq and Yu’pik community of Unalakleet. Growing up I was told the meaning of our town is “where the east wind blows.” Our community has been a hub for surrounding villages for a long time. A major trading village in the days of old. The old town site is historical and my mom took me there once, fascinating to imagine old sod houses where the ditches in the earth are now covered with tundra. We did not disturb the old home sites just carefully picking cranberries around the area. The village can be a good thing or a bad thing and I’m hoping to shed light on some of the dangers of living in such a small, isolated community. Most of all to portray the goodness.

The village of Unalakleet is nestled in a valley at the drainage of the Unalakleet River where it meets the Bering Sea. Growing up the road to the hillside was along the airport road which aligns with the beach. This was after the old bridge was gone and before the new bridge was built on the Gwethluq slough. The dike separating the slough from the two lakes in the village was man made but built to help with flooding. This is a sand spit and eventually the village will have to relocate, something those who are capable are already doing by building homes up on the hillside. There used to be the old army hill where there were run down buildings from an old army base. A road travels 11 miles parallel on the left side of the river and ends at the old White Alice site. There used to be three towers there and the view from our cabin growing up allowed us to watch first hand the explosions that tore the towers down. The land used to be riddled and may still be today with PCBs. Our land will heal as our people are continually healing as we strive for a better future for our children.

Our Native Corporation store was once a larger scale operation than what it is today. The Post Office is now located in the old store building. The post office used to be near the Alaska Commercial Company store that is located “downtown” or at the point of town where the mouth of the river is located. Along with the fish plant and Brown’s lodge. Once in it’s hay day of civilizing our culture there was a boarding school for students called Covenant High. In the middle area of town there is “the Igloo” a snack shop and hangout for locals.

Growing up we had Bill’s video, that was a VHS rental in Bill’s home then was moved to the back of the Igloo. There used to be Maggie’s shop next door to the old house, she also rented out VHS tapes and had snacks and soft serve ice cream. Before there was peace on earth pizza there was a man who made pizzas out of his home, if I recall correctly his name was Dan Masters.

Near the airport side of town there is Happy Valley, a subsection of homes that are similar to hud housing. I liked to think of it as the suburbs but that was far from the truth. A lot of my cousins and friends grew up in that part of town. The Tiqasuk library used to be close to the Unalakleet Schools. There was a headstart program in the building that is now a coffee shop. My first teachers were Millie, Margie and Kermit. I would ask my mom for “potato soup” because that’s what I loved to eat at headstart. It took my mom awhile to figure out that I was actually referring to tomato soup. I had to go to school with a pair of dark blue Velcro shoes and I was not happy with that. Some of the activities I loved were building with brick looking cardboard blocks, the reading nook not to read but to look at pictures in the children’s books and going outside to do the dome game where we worked together to fill a dome parachute looking contraption with air and going under to create a dome. My teacher Millie always had beautiful marks on her face like my mom, beauty marks. My teacher Margie was a delightful soul always so happy. My teacher Kermit had one finger missing but I was never scared of him because he wore the same white tee shirts my Grandpa Johnson wore. There were substitutes here and there but I remember these three teachers very well. I thought of Headstart as a play program where I got to do cool projects, learn how to brush my teeth properly and actually not get my way.

The classmates you grow up with are almost an every day part of your life. We had a pretty chill class. In Kindergarten I would pluck out one of my classmates hair to tease him and say “I’ve got your hair.” I did not like nap time but I loved anything having to do with “it’s time to line up” I remember Mrs. Brown and Ms. Haugen and mainly being interested in arts and crafts or play time. I do remember a puppet in a tool box that I loved when Ms. Haugen would teach us lessons through him. The bilingual teachers would stroll a cart to our classroom for our heritage learning. Mrs. Mary Ann Haugen and Mrs. Charles. They both wore glasses so I tried to always be in the front so they could see me better, silly for thinking they couldn’t because that is what glasses are for. There was a day our class invited our siblings for part of our day and I was taken back at one of the girls making rough movements on the corner of her chair. I asked the teacher to help her thinking she had an itch or something. She was more than likely one of so many little girls who were molested. Something prevalent today in the rural villages. This will no longer be swept under the rug. Part of my testimony is that I am a survivor of sexual assault, sexual molestation and later in life rape. It’s a harsh reality to come to terms with, let alone to heal from. It literally has lifelong effects but there is always hope for a better future. To create change we must identify or expose the problem, then it no longer becomes acceptable or hushed behavior.

In such small communities I do not know how our women can sit idle. It happened to them and they don’t care if it happens to their daughters? That is the worst mentality to be occurring. We can create change and hope. Most adult problems and depression stem from early childhood trauma. This trauma can be overcome.

School was mandatory and so was summers spent at our cabin but that was the best part of my childhood. There is such a deep love for nature in my heart because my summers were spent in nature. We were poor, so we had to work very hard to gather enough food to last us through the winter. Five children is no easy task when it comes to keeping our bellies full for the majority of the year. One of our main staples was fish, every sort, caught during it’s run and cut and hanged to dry on our fish rack. Berries in the order of salmon or cloud berries first, then blueberries, raspberries, crow berries, cranberries and currants. With each coming in to season after the other. We put away masu in the spring and that is a root from the tundra, reminiscent to me of carrots but sweeter and of white flesh. Our greens gathered included Elephant ears we dipped in milk and vinegar sauce was always a special treat around the time we would gather sourdock leaves, something sour that my mom magically turned into something sweet called achathluk. Sura was a willow leaf collected right after bloomage and it was sour but nutritious. We stored the picked leaves in seal oil. Beach greens were so easy to gather and fun because we could look for sea shells at the same time. My mom would have us pick rosehip petals sometimes for jellies or to mix in with our ayuu tea. Our meats consisted of Moose, Caribou, Beaver, Porcupine, Seal, Ducks, Geese, Swan, Crane and Muktuk (whale). All these riches gathered by our hands from the land to help sustain us through the winter months. It was the good life.

There is an awakening occurring in the rural villages of Alaska where the sin of man will no longer be swept under the rug, and that is hurting little children and those who cannot fend for themselves. It is going to stop. We are the generation of healing and forgiveness, both go hand in hand. But the wounds must be ripped open as to no longer fester but to be cleaned through Jesus and to heal through Him. I am on a mission of Love and it is so very simple, all I am required to do is smile each day and all else will follow. We work with what we have and what all of us have that are saved is love and a smile. Please pray for the Rural Villages of Alaska. There is such goodness in the people but we are healing from the loss of our cultural identity and that identity will be restored. A learned behavior is hard to break, a lot of hurt and suffering comes hand in hand with colonization and our blood is not used to the effects of alcohol. Our bodies are allergic to it in a sense that we are basically infants trying to consume alcohol. All this is relatively new. Retaining our knowledge of the land and the subsistence lifestyle will go hand in hand with healing of not only the people but the land as well.