I’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.
Some of the most powerful war horses took a lot of breaking in. The native people of America knew to be patient with disobedient horses because once tamed, the hardest horse to break in was a gift to the chief. Patience. Oh how I lack patience, but He is patient. Anything that I lack, God will provide. It could be in the form of a song, a smile from a stranger or the beauty He paints each day in the sky for all to see.
Battle wounds were well taken care of on the chiefs war horse, the more wounds the fiercer the horse and the more willing to go to battle. When a bone is broken, they say it heals to be a stronger bone, harder to break. When a Spirit is broken only Jesus can restore it. When you break the spirit of a child, it may take a lifetime for that child’s spirit to be restored. We pray for restoration.
The war cries were not only heard, they were felt down to the bone where all the spirits were restored in unison. It is a Spirit of love, to defend what is sacred, noble and honest. When your bones are healing and your spirit feels broken, remember you are loved. Only when that what they loved was threatened was there the need for war. The indigenous people of America were not war hungry, in fact, they were peaceful as long as territories were respected. Only the greed for more led to war.
For those with a colorful past, do those array of colors not make you more beautiful? When the butterfly emerges from its cocoon, do you think it had a choice?
By 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.
When I hear that growing up in poverty means you do not have hope, that is a bold faced lie of the enemy. I grew up below the poverty line and accepted my lot in life but I also grew up in love beyond measure. I found my hope in Jesus. When I fell in love with Him and accepted Him I had nothing but hope and viewed the world through a new heart. It is only when I strayed in shame is when hope became less obvious but it was always there, never lost. Jesus knows I am willing to give up my lot in heaven for that one person because that one person means the world to Him. He died for all of us and loves all of us. It is putting His teachings into practice. I did imagine what would Jesus do growing up and that practice became a way of life. Simply put to love all. I am no better than the person to the right or the person to the left I am who I am and Jesus loves me for that in all my imperfections. Be willing, be hopeful be all consuming love so that when you walk down the street the darkness runs to hide but we know that darkness cannot hide in the light. Amen.
My three sons, my heart, my joy.
Everything you are brings my heart to its knees
My love passed down from my heart to yours
There is nothing in this world that can destroy my hopes, my dreams, my love for you
In God’s hands and care find rest
When this world doesn’t make sense remember you are all my understanding of love.
It’s a love sent from above the greatest
People of all nations are given a chance to be God’s chosen people. The ways of the world leads nations to tumble and fall. Our heritage and values beat in the hearts of the indigenous people who will never give up our way of life. The men provide sustenance through hunting and the women raise her children in endless love and teaching of how to survive when food can not be caught. We turn to Jesus to heal that what was stolen. An identity in the handprint of God. Appreciating the land and the creatures who dwell upon it. Helping our elders and our children who cannot fend for themselves. A proud people who’s pride is not one of viscous cycles who seek to destroy the earth. We are the healers of the world because our ancestors taught us how to protect our land and values. Those are built on foundations of love. My soul awakens when the stick hits the drums and my heart pours out love when I see our young ones dance to the beats of our native tongue. I cannot grasp the beauty of our creator but I see what I see and I’m filled with wonderment. The heartbeat of my ancestors lives on through me. I could walk into the woods alone and flourish only because I was taught to do so by my mother. My respect for the land and our elders is never ending because it is every breath I take in humble gratitude for the struggles of those who went on before us. Without a shadow of a doubt our people know the one true God, who’s son is Jesus and the Trinity through the Holy Spirit. I am who I am because of my lineage and the scars of the past are ripped opened as to heal to cause the winds of change for our future generations. My people, our people, God’s people this is our destiny to stand in unison in love because that is who we are. Rise. Awake. The soul being inside of us is all consuming love when we accept Jesus into our hearts. A love that knows no bounds, accepts all creeds and nations and upholds our beliefs and respect for all.