Tuesday, April 18, 2017


The word simplicity is such a beautiful description regarding anything if you really think about it. Simplicity doesn't mean "easy" or implies that everything is just free-flowing goodness. Simplicity is when you don't need much in order to gain happiness and understanding. It's being grateful or what you have, not always grumbling for what you don't have. Simplicity means "just right" -- to be satisfied with all things that are good in your life. People seem to think you need to own a mansion and a yacht in order to obtain happiness. Take a peek into their lives and walk right into those closed doors and tell me what you see. In many cases, happiness is only short-lived, until they need something new...something better...to fill the void...to fill the pain.

Life is so much more than living in society's standards. I've always been simplistic. My wardrobe is pretty much classic, and usually, I'm not very dressed up because I work from home. I have never needed anything fancy, nor did I want anything spectacular. I was and am happy with my lot in life, where I am, who I am with, and most of all, my relationship with God. To truly know if you're content with yourself and if you have faith in God is to give up all possessions. My cousins did that years ago. They got rid of their homes and all possessions and joined a community. The description of the community explains it like this: "The group follows three basic tenets: 'leave, enter, become.' Before becoming a member, applicants must quit their job and give up all possessions, including houses, cars, and any cash in the bank. After being stripped of earthly possessions, they enter into a sacred covenant, similar to marriage, dedicating their lives to the entire community. Only then can they become a new person. The men adopt a new name and modify their appearance to resemble the Messiah, Yashua, the Hebrew term for the Savior."

How many of you could say that you could do something like this? And as simplistic as I am, I'm not sure if I would be willing to do this. I do have faith in God, and in no way am I materialistic -- but this is the extreme measures some people take to live a life without the complications of the world. I admire my relatives for doing something so amazing. I mean, some would call this a "cult" but more so, it's just a community of slipping out of today's society and living a life of....simplicity.

One day I had a friend ask me if I wanted more out of my life. She was under the impression that my life may have been too boring, because I work from home, cook at home, but the one thing is, I enjoy my home. "Well, maybe you should get out more," she said. But the thing is, I cook better, make better drinks, have a yard the size of a park with a beautiful view, and I'm quite content with the work I do. If I do go out, I either go out for dinner with my wife or to a friend's or relative's house to hang out. My kind of outing would be just going to the park to walk my dog or perhaps, buying some groceries so I can cook for the family. I don't have to be in a bar every weekend to prove that "I'm living a good life" -- in fact -- it's the total opposite in my opinion. If you're living in a bar, you have to ask yourself, why. I lived that life once, and it was a very lonely place, even if there were tons of people around me.  My favorite kind of evening is when I cook a nice dinner for my wife and we act silly and laugh for the rest of the evening. I'm so glad I picked my best friend as my long time companion.

My office.
To be perfectly honest with you, I wouldn't want to live anyone else's life but mine. I don't want the hassle of having children, making sure their schools are safe or going crazy because I can't even slip away for two seconds without hearing, "Ma, ma, ma, mommy, mommy, mommy, mama, mama, mama." No. It's just not for me. I want to be able to enjoy my work, to enjoy my life with my family and to have a quality of life, not a quantity of "things" in life. I used to think I needed to have all of these things in life, until one day I reached my limit at work and passed out right on the desk in my office. I was carried out by the ambulance for stress related chest pains. I was saving up for all the "nice things" that society deemed important. But honestly, that never mattered to me. What mattered to me more were people judging me due to their version of "lack" in my life.

When you care about what other people think of you, your life is totally ruined. And what I mean by that is, your primary focus is not only satisfying your life goals and obtainment of things and materialistic possessions, but it's for satisfying the judgment of people. When you live for others, you never live for yourself. You're never truly happy because it'll never be "good enough" for them. And that's just a sad fact of life.

And whether or not you have kids, isn't it a shame that some people need to compete with their own child? "Oh my child made it into the honor roll and applying for Harvard." Doesn't that get old? I see it all the time on Facebook with parents trying to 'one up' the other parents on their kids' achievements. It's almost as if they're bragging because they have no life of their own. They start living vicariously through the eyes of their children. Many parents go through this and it's actually quite normal. But some go through an obsessive phase where it can get a little nutty.

So, I'm just 'here' minding my own business and enjoying what I do for a living. What people may say about me or what they feel I "should" do in life is actually none of my business. If they feel like taking time out of their day to focus on my business, then let them waste time. Time is precious and every second should be enjoyed on the present moment. Many can say that they practice that, but I have yet to see someone who truly lives by this.

I once met up with an old friend for dinner and drinks nearby to catch up. Her husband agreed to watch their three younger kids at home so she could have a "girl's night out" and catch her breath so to speak. I'll never forget what she said to me sipping on her second martini. She looked at me and said, "Deb, you're going to think I'm a horrible person, but I know you'll understand..." I was kind of nervous about what she was about to tell me. She said, "I totally wish I didn't have my kids. It's not like I don't love them! I do!!! It's just that I miss my old life when it was just me and my husband. I never have time to myself and I can't take all of the screaming, fighting and midnight hospital visits because one of them came down with whatever bug was spreading around in the schools. I'm so tired! I want my old life back!"

I was in shock because she looked so happy! I didn't know what to say to her. And then she looked at me and said, "I envy you for your choices," and then laughed and said in jest, "I should've went for a woman!" We both chuckled and we left it at that. I reassured her that God blessed her with her beautiful children. She was just overwhelmed, as any mother would be. Sometimes, somebody else's life may seem like the perfect life, when it's actually the total opposite. We all have struggles, whether it seems like we're doing too much or maybe too little -- we are all living beings trying to do our best with what we have.

A second occurrence of someone opening up to me was very sad. I will never say names, but a very close person in my life --- her husband called me crying. He said he couldn't take it anymore. He didn't have time to himself. Again, stated that he loved his family but wished he had his life back. I suggested he go and get a massage or just sit in the tub with some calming music, but he said it was impossible. He said he felt like he was going to have a heart attack -- that's how stressed out he was.

And a few months later, he had a heart attack.

We choose our own paths in life, and sometimes, we end up with a situation (a life choice) that we sometimes regret. There seems to be a stigma with living an "unconventional life." When your entire focus is on work work work, kids kids kids, tasks tasks tasks, then when do you have time to communicate with God? When do you have time to meditate and just BREATHE? There is a level of idolization {putting things before God} when it comes to putting too much on your plate to get from point A. to point B. When you give up God to get to your point B., you're also possibly choosing a way of life that isn't in God's will. Even if your marriage and family is blessed by God, your actions and 'going ons', especially your heart may not be in the right place. The people you've judged for either being gay, divorced, childless, or living a 'mediocre' life may have the better path to not only overall wellness, but eternal wellness.

There's another level of judgment that seems to get mixed up with "righteous judgement" -- and that's when those who think they're "better equipped" spiritually than you. They tear people apart because they don't approve of the way somebody else is living. This is a very dangerous territory, because most of the time, these people are just seething with anger, jealousy and/or resentment for whatever is brewing (or not brewing) in their own lives. When somebody gives you their undivided attention with ill will, this is not "righteous judgment" -- this is just an evil natured person who wants you to suffer in some way. Even if you say, "Oh they're going to find themselves in ruins soon," -- that only implies that it's your wish for them to fail or to be in "ruins." That is not God-like at all! Wishing bad karma on other people comes back to haunt you tenfold. It's a law. Jesus never tore down people who He thought were making poor choices. He spent time with them and lifted up their spirits. He didn't wish ill will on them, nor did he call them hurtful things. If you're being bullied by a 'so-called-Christian' -- this is not a Christian at all. It's a devil's spawn. It's pure evil. Protect yourself from them, because it's usually from someone who is not mentally well. Mental illness used to be confused with spiritual possession -- still is to this day. There's a fine line when it comes to dealing with someone with crazy manic episodes, and those who are demonically possessed. They actually believe they're doing the right thing, when actually, they have no clue they're wishing harm on another person's life.

But I digress... "Simplicity."  The meaning itself invokes a feeling of a lack of complications with anything in life. It doesn't mean to just quit and to not deal with problems and issues, but not to participate in the drama of unnecessary anger, resentment, unforgiveness, or hatred.

So don't worry about what I'm doing. Worry about why you're worried about what I'm doing.

And that's all you need to say. Nothing more, nothing less. Simplicity.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Things I Have Learned About "Friends" as an Adult

They say that if you don't like something about yourself or about your situation, then change it. Sometimes, it's easier said than done, and other times, it's just a matter of whose opinion is affecting your thought process. I can give you several examples. I love coffee, but I have insomnia. The logical answer would be to quit my caffeine intake, but it makes me happy in the morning (or afternoon if I went to bed at 5am.) Mainstream and medical opinion is "you should lose weight." Sounds healthy, right? My inside numbers: 110/70 bp, 210 cholesterol (not too shabby) and hormone levels, thyroid gland, every other organ in perfect shape. I run up and down the stairs 100 times a day, can lift fairly heavy things and still have my breath. Not too bad for 43 years old. I have no issue with my 'lumps & bumps' but sometimes other people do. So is that my problem or their problem? If I feel comfortable being "me" and being happy regardless if I'm a size 2 or a size 20 -- then it shouldn't make a difference to anyone. "It'll catch up with you," -- well so can any disease. Skinny people have heart attacks, cancer, diabetes, you name it -- what makes you think just because someone is overweight that they are more prone to catch a disease of any nature? It's funny, because I eat quite well. I usually stick to whole food -- foods that are from main sources and not boxed or canned goods. My downfall is my insomnia, which makes it difficult to not have a snack at night. But my snacks aren't ice cream or potato chips -- they're usually leftover veggies or salads from dinner or a cup of bone broth. If you ask me to give up my wine, you're asking me to give up my sanity. So there's that.

But why do people feel the need to change us?

The other day, someone suggested that I should have just settled with being "roommates" with my wife. The question was, "Why did you have to marry her? Why couldn't you have just lived together?" Well, I guess we could've done that, but like any other couple after 14 years of dating, you'd wanna ask WHY they didn't tie the knot. (Am I way off on this?) But it wasn't a matter of commitment they were asking about, it was a matter of them believing that being in a gay relationship is just wrong.  The same goes for someone who suggested that I should renounce my faith in Christianity (stop calling myself a Christian) if I'm going to continue living in a homosexual "lifestyle." They were basically telling me to reject God, which is the worst thing you can do in the Christian faith. To reject God is one of the biggest sins you could ever commit -- it's blasphemy. So they're suggesting that I commit a much larger sin, with no salvation available. This person also thought that I was a "false prophet," and that I was steering people down a very dangerous road. The thing is, even if I was a "false prophet," wouldn't they trust God enough to guide them His way. We are chosen by God. I was told to "Stop talking about your relationship and calling your girlfriend your wife. You're shoving your sexuality down our throats."

So what do I call Madelene? And when I say, "Oh, let me ask Madelene," to a complete stranger, they're going to ask, "Oh, who's that?" So then, do I like and say she's my roommate, and just stuff myself back into the back of that cluttered closet? Or can I do what every married PERSON does and call them my spouse, wife or husband? It's like a woman talking to a real estate broker, and she says, "Oh this apartment sounds great, let me just ask my husband first," and then the real estate broker says, "STOP PUTTING YOUR SEXUALITY IN MY FACE!" It's the same thing. So just by this person suggesting that I stop "putting my sexuality in other people's faces" suggests that SHE is very uncomfortable with anyone who is gay or lesbian. I didn't talk about my "wild lesbian sex" I had two nights ago -- I said "wife" to refer to Madelene. Most of this stems from severely sexually repressed people who are so overwhelmed by their "lack of" that they need to make other people feel uncomfortable in their own skin. Another thing I've noticed is that these people are usually religious and determined to "fix" everybody who isn't broken. It actually says a lot about their insecurities with their own faith in God. If they were confident in their walk with their god -- they wouldn't feel the need to correct other people. They would trust God enough to handle the situation. And if anyone thinks another person is sinning, then pray for them and leave it in God's hands.

But still, they try to change us.

Either you're not praying the right way, or you're not praying to the right God and you're not behaving the way God wants you to. The judgment and criticism of those who are fellow sinners seep into our minds making us think, "Hey, I'm not worthy of God's love." And so, that person ends up being "agnostic" and just believing that there is a higher power. I know that I know that I know that there is a God who I speak to. He hears me, He answers my prayers, and when He doesn't answer my prayers, he gives me something even better. There is absolutely zero proof of someone else's spiritual walk being better than another. There is no "right or wrong" road to travel on -- it's all about our own personal journey. Once you step into the area of believing that someone else's journey is going to be their downfall, then that tells me that you don't trust God at all. For instance, if God sees that one of his children love Him with all of their heart, He's not going to let them stumble. As it says in the scriptures, He will guide them along the right pathway.

Other people's opinions...

When you're a public figure online (maybe not famous) but out there for everyone to see your life unfold, whether through a blog or live streaming, you are a "public figure" in a sense. People seem to get a gist of who you are, and sometimes, they feel they know you 100% after watching just a few live streams, or if they had read a few of your articles. What many people don't realize is, those who are in the public eye are not showing you 100% of their lives. I know that I never show 100% of my life. If anything at all, you get to see probably 30% of what I'm all about. I write and live stream about my faith and I also do discussions and cooking shows over on Periscope. I had a viewer say to me that she knows that I am not in love with my wife and how I should remove myself from the relationship (she refuses to call it a marriage.) I was kind of taken aback and asked why. (Who wouldn't ask why...) And she felt that it didn't seem right for me. Mind you, this person has never met me nor has she seen my offscreen life. But it goes to show you how imaginative some people can be while viewing other people who are pretty much public with their lives, or at least a portion of their lives. She doesn't get to see us cuddling at night while we fall asleep, or how we have hours and hours of conversations over coffee and breakfast on Sunday mornings. She doesn't see how we're there for one another when we fall ill or we need emotional support. Offscreen, we can be found at our favorite restaurant laughing and talking, having a great time, like two best friends do when they're out. She doesn't get to see the long walks in the park with our dog or the many rides into another town on our day off. She doesn't get to see how we connect with our family and bring them together for BBQs and outings. She only sees me cooking or having an online live stream discussion about relationships, religion and topics regarding the LGBT community. Even if you are friends with someone through the interwebs, it is not enough to judge them by.

And then again, no relationships is ever perfect.

And that's a beautiful thing. People will judge you according to how "bad" your relationship may seem because you two either had an argument or like us, had separated for a short time. Things like this happen in any relationship. When I think about the mind of a live stream viewer or a reader of mine, I think about what goes through their head while reading it all. Are they getting the full gist of what I mean and say, or are they coming to their own conclusions due to their own past experiences, which is very likely. I find it ironic how most people who are single and much older than I am who have a "say" in what my relationship and marriage should "be like." I always wonder why they're single....but it usually doesn't last for very long. I usually understand why.  Unhappy people hope to find other unhappy people to relate to, as well as that old saying goes, hurt people hurt. If you're not unhappy and having a few bumps in the road, they'll wanna see you drive through the sinkhole of life instead. They like to see the struggle because they thrive off of other people's misery. It is a sickness, because it makes them feel better about their own lives. And many people (even myself) can hold some of those traits. Have you ever watched COPS and thought, "Wow, I'm pretty damn lucky...?"  It's kind of like that, but on a larger and much closer scale since they know you personally, or so they think they do.

Be careful who you let inside your small circle. There are many people out to hurt you if they can't have you. The psychological damage that brings them to try and destroy your peace and joy is astounding. They'll do anything and everything to make you think that you're crazy. It's not only disturbing, but it's also very narcissistic. It's usually a "me me me" agenda, and they'll stop at nothing once they see you struggling somehow, some way, in some form. Have you ever thought about your life as a young man or woman and remember all of the many friends you had? And then you kind of take a look at your adult life, and you're lucky if you have at least 3-4 close friends who you can trust? I believe that come from learning how other people are, and how they can hurt you due to their own selfish motives. There are people in my life today, who I have "ghosted" on because they have used me, either financially, or to use me as a B&B getaway. Some used me as their own personal therapeutic sounding board. After some time, the therapy sessions wear thin on someone who is only playing the role of "the ear" to bend. There has to be a happy medium if you plan to unload on your friend. I'm always there for my friends when they need to talk, but there are some who truly take advantage of other people's good nature. I always pray to God to show me somebody's true intentions and He never lets me down.

Have you been ghosted by someone?
{Ghosting: When a friend or a person of interest has suddenly disappeared without a reason why.}

It's not always your fault. But ask yourself, "Did I come on too strong? Did I make awkward advances? Have I completely unloaded my emotional baggage onto this person too soon? Have I used this person for personal gain or for financial help? Am I always negative?" 

Speaking about negative people -- remember that if you are around somebody who is negative, that'll definitely rub off on you. I don't mean someone who needs a friend because she's going through a divorce -- but someone who never, and refuses to see the glass half full. You can't convince them no matter what and they'll even look at your life as an example of a "bad situation" when in fact, you're quite happy in your little messy life as most of us are. I'm not saying someone has to be all happy-go-lucky in order to hang out with me, but there's a fine line between friendship and therapy sessions. Know when to release the baggage.

Oh, one more thing. Another thing I get from many narcissistic people is that "this message if for them." Wrong. This message is from my own past experience with many who have tried to make my life a living hell by all of their judgments regarding what I do, how I do it and keeping me accountable for every single word that comes out of my mouth. I'm only human, and can only take so much before I come up to the surface and tell my story, as I always do. As much as people would like to think that my life is pretty much an open book -- there are many chapters that are marked "private."  And just because I give you a few inches of my life online, does not mean you're seeing the full yard of my daily living. I think it's safe to say that I can speak for a lot of people here. Just keep in mind that people are trying to share as much as they can sincerely, and once you hurt them or judge them harshly, they will flee far far away, or as the kiddies say, "they'll ghost."

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Indifference is the Opposite of Love

There's a fine love between love and hate. Love can quickly turn into hate, as well as hate turning into love. Are they one in the same, or do you truly think someone can "hate" on someone without some sort of feeling of sadness, (loss of the friendship or relationship) or a deep admiration for them? And what I mean is this: when somebody falls indifferent towards you, doesn't that imply a lack of interest? Which is worse? A deep seated hatred for someone (why) or a true lack of interest -- an uncaring feeling toward someone else? Hatred implies that there are underlining feelings -- or unresolved issues brewing.

About ten years ago, I had a falling out with a friend of mine. We were working on the same project together, so it was more work-related. She was talented, intelligent, funny and very compassionate. We disagreed on something so strongly, that one day it just tore our friendship apart. And although I had less respect for her stance in something that I felt totally differently about, I still cared about her. I admired the person she was and thought she was just amazing. But I "hated" her for a particular reason. (I never "hate" anyone, but I'm trying to make a point here.) I had a strong distaste in the way she handled her business, especially after she hurt someone really bad due to her own gain. She is not normally a selfish person, but I pointed something out and we had a huge argument over a conflict of interest, as with any coworkers or artists would have.

After we were finished with our project, we discontinued communication and parted ways. We "said our peace," but it was time to move on. I didn't go on social media and bash her to smithereens or slander her character in any shape or form. I didn't badmouth her to anyone, perhaps complain to my wife about it, but that was the extent of it. She would write up on her Twitter that I hated her -- she became very vocal in airing out our disagreement. They were more or less jabs, and not these ugly statements made in anger. Just "take that" kinda jab, or perhaps just a subliminal type of tweet that would get my attention. And it did. Why?

Because I checked.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

Sometimes, you can actually "like" someone, but not have to communicate with them. In some cases, reconciliation happens, but if it doesn't, the act of "hating on someone" becomes transparent. It shows that you care more than you'd admit. To continually banter back and forth with someone are signs that the situation was never resolved or it didn't have any sort of proper closure. If I was ever a "lover" and "admirer" of yours, whether as friends or a colleague, (not romantically, but I guess you can go there too) -- then there is still that part of me that STILL admires you and what you're all about. I may not admire what you did to me, or agree with your actions and whatnot, but part of me will always admire that something that made me love you in the first place. I'm a firm believer that feelings for someone doesn't change that drastically, even if we were deeply hurt. They can morph into hateful words due to a broken heart or just being scorned -- but there's a much deeper level of hurt when somebody is still "hating on you" -- this implies constantly tweeting about you or talking about what happened. Vent, talk it out, yell it out, but remember one thing...

Let it go.

I always say that silence is your best weapon. I always feel that silence speaks much louder than words in most cases. But sometimes, it's necessary to say something. In the same regard, I think indifference shows a huge lack of interest -- where it's stronger than hatred. When somebody shows a huge indifference towards you, it means that it. is. done. and. over. with. Plain and simple. There are no 'jabs' or subliminal messages being relayed to you or within your circle of friends. There are no games being played, or attention given. It's just...silent.

I truly dislike confrontation. Who really does? It brings such negative feelings up to the surface, as well as negative thought patterns. It gives me so much anxiety to be in conflict with someone, especially if they're close to you. It's a fact of life that not everybody is going to like you -- and that's OKAY -- but not everyone has to agree or remain friends with you either. I'm not a perfect Christian, but I do believe in "praying for your enemies" -- in terms of those who are against you. I never truly had or have an "enemy" except a while back when I was going through a rough breakup, and a few of my ex's friends bashed me relentlessly. I don't even know what to call that.

There's this scripture that I TRY to live by. To me, it describes the perfect life. But read this and see if this resonates with you...

Sometimes it's hard to mind our business and live a quiet life. I also feel that with social media, you may think you're living a "quiet life" all the while making somebody else's life miserable over on social media. There are many people on social media, who would otherwise be quiet people if there was no such thing as social media. I think we need to step back from our phones and computers for a healthy amount of time (unless your work depends on it like mine does) and realize that there are real people with real feelings behind each screen. Every time you log onto a social network, picture yourself walking into a room with every single person you come across on social media. Think about the people you like, and then think about all the people you dislike. Reconciliation happens much faster when faced with the person who you either hurt you or who you hurt due to "feelings." Let's get out of our feelings and step into reality for one moment. What would you say to the person you dislike on Twitter or on Facebook?

Who cares about who votes for who? Who cares what religion they practice or if they're not practicing? Simple solution: if you truly dislike someone's politics or religious stance on social media, delete delete delete and move on. You can't force somebody to believe what you believe. Just be you and share your story, because nobody can argue about your story -- your truth -- your life. And if you get criticized for it -- delete and move on. Life doesn't have to be so complicated, so they say.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Friday, March 24, 2017

What Does It Mean to Be a Real Christian?

What does it mean to be a "real Christian?" Does it mean obeying all scriptural laws? Does it mean being perfect, like Jesus was? Does it mean you can't make any mistakes? If that's the case, then being a "real Christian" means that you have to be Jesus -- period. Nobody can fill His shoes. We all fall short, and it says so in the Bible. We are flawed through and through, which is why we should be dependent on Him. The word "independent" should be flung into the waste basket. To be DEPENDENT on Him means that we trust in God enough to be reassured that He will guide us. And of course, it's up to us to keep constant communication with Him, even when we fall short, again and again and again.

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times! --Matthew 18:22

Many people feel like their lives are just way too messy to even consider themselves a Christian. They can't be a Christian living whatever lifestyle they do. It's impossible. YES! It's impossible to be perfect, but it's possible to lay all of your cares onto God -- to trust Him in your worst circumstances -- in your worst stained sins. He is there to heal, restore and forgive. Humans are flawed, which is why Jesus died for us on the cross.

Christ took our punishment. Why can't people understand that?

"But now God has won us a different way of being right in His sight--not by obeying the law but by the way promised in the Scriptures long ago. We are made right in God's sight when we trust in Jesus Christ to take away our sins. And we all can be saved in this same way, no matter who we are or what we have done. -----BAM!

For all have sinned; all fall short of God's glorious standard. Yet now God in his gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins. For God sent Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and satisfy God's anger against us. We are made right with God when we believe that Jesus shed His blood, sacrificing His life for us. God was being entirely fair and just when He did not punish those who sinned in former times. And He is entirely fair and just in this present time when He declares sinners to be right in His sight because they believe in Jesus." --Romans 4:21-26

You do not have to act all "holier than thou" in order to be a true Christian. All you need to do is trust God with all your heart and communicate with Him as much as you can. My life has changed so much after I gave my life to Jesus. I trust him 100%  -- like that trust game, where if you fall back to see if your friend will catch you or if they'll let you fall to the ground? Jesus will always catch you. Always. Life isn't meant to be perfect, neither is being human. We're meant to make mistakes, we're meant to be flawed. There isn't one perfect Christian out there.

To be a "real Christian" is to be a real human being relying on Jesus. We're not supposed to BE Jesus. Our goal is to treat others the way Jesus would've treated them as best as humanly as possible. We all struggle with some kind of sin or cross to bear. We're not perfect.

This next scripture is about all of us who struggle with being a "real Christian."

"The law is good, then. The trouble is not with the law but with me, because I am sold into slavery, with sin as my master. I don't understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good. But I can't help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things.

I know that I am rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned. No matter which way I turn, I can't make myself do right. I want to, but I can't. When I want to do good, I don't. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway. But if I am doing what I don't want to do, I am not really the one doing it; the sin within me is doing it.

It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God's law with all my heart. But there is another law at work within me that is at war with my mind. This law wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin." --Romans7:14-25

There is a spiritual warfare going on that some people toss aside as some kinda 'crazy talk' -- and that's okay. But I take it very seriously, because whether you believe in God or not -- the constant struggle between good vs. evil is there. And just because the evil side won out inside of a "good person" means that the war is just that more intense. When a Christian sins, they automatically feel guilt and most likely, will draw further away from God due to their conscience. That's what Satan wants you to do -- to turn away from God. But if you ever feel guilty about your sin, RUN to God and keep closer to Him. Guilt, resentment, fear, depression, anger, non-forgiveness are not of God -- these are emotions that are only from the devil.

And when you feel too weak and tired to battle against your "sin" -- then remember, "My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness." -- Corinthians 12:9

Some people will say that because you're not "obeying God's laws" that you are not a "real Christian."

Wrong. The law was abolished once Jesus died on the cross for us.

"So we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be accepted by God because of our faith in Christ--and not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be saved by obeying the law." --Galatians 2:16

You will not get a ticket into heaven if all you do is "good deeds." Some good deeds come with an agenda, or an evil attempt. It's about your faith.

Continuing with Galatians:
But what if we seek to be made right with God through faith in Christ and then find out that we are still sinners? Has Christ led us into sin? Of course not! rather, I make myself guilty if I rebuild the old system I already tore down.

*For when I tried to keep the law, I realized I could never earn God's approval.*

So I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ. I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in this early body by trusting the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not one of those who treats the grace of God as meaningless.

For if we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die." --Galatians 2:15-21

I wrote that out in parts so you can see how important it is to know that the law will not save you. It's only through your own faith as a struggling Christian that will save you -- an "imperfect Christian" -- which as a result, is a "real Christian." In my opinion and experience, if someone is displaying a "holier than thou" type of behavior, or they are seemingly perfect -- something's brewing. That's only through what I have experienced from witnessing people, all people, who are flawed. Do you know how refreshing it is to sit with someone who is absolutely batsh*t crazy and seemingly sinful and still say, "I LOVE JESUS?" I smile when I see people like this. I absolutely love people who are not ashamed of their imperfections as a human, but most of all, not ashamed to say they love God.

Of course, there are times when people will test you in your walk with God by stating that you're not a "real Christian," just because you stood up for something that was wrong. "Oh you're judgmental and not a real Christian." Wrong. Sometimes, there isn't a need to point out the wrongs of others, but if someone is out to hurt another person and you stand up for them, that's what I call being a "real Christian" is. Fight the good fight and never lose hope that God is on your side. The things that are called out as the 7 Deadly Sins are marked as "sins" that can definitely affect your life in a negative way.

The Seven Deadly Sins

  1. Lust
  2. Gluttony
  3. Greed
  4. Sloth
  5. Wrath
  6. Envy
  7. Pride 
Let's be fair, we've all did the tango with at least one or two of these sins. Some of us are still struggling with some of them, and that's OK -- the term "deadly" only speaks about how unhealthy overall it is to be addicted to these kinds of things. 

Lust: It can be easily tempted. It can come in all forms of sexual pleasure. But the types of lust spoken about in the Bible are forms of the unhealthy nature of lust -- the promiscuity that can bring someone down with sickness, whether in mind or body. So, in turn, it's "deadly."

Gluttony: The habitual greed or excess in eating. This even means hoarding food in various definitions of this word.  Of course this has many risks: cancer, heart problems and diabetes, which can all be "deadly." Who hasn't taken seconds from time to time?

Greed: It's funny how greed and gluttony are pretty similar. It's the desire for wealth, power or food. Maya Angelou said it perfectly. She said, "I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back." When all you are doing is living life in the means to gain something, you will find that your life will soar downhill. Greed has been the ruins of many, and most have failed because they weren't able to give back. It wasn't in their character. Many greedy corporate bigwigs were thrown in the slammer or thrown out in the streets because everyone found out how corrupt they were.

Sloth: This is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work. It's when you do absolutely nothing for anyone but yourself. It's pure laziness. It's lackluster for a life that God gave to you. This can be confused with depression and overall mental health. Sloth is the desire for ease, even at the expense of doing the known will of God. It's the sluggishness of the mind which neglects to begin good, so it oppresses people to draw away entirely from doing good deeds or helping other people.

Wrath: To be short-tempered, angry, resentful, to seek out revenge -- this isn't only unhealthy for your mental state, but it's detrimental for your physical well-being. Have you ever heard somebody say, "Stop! Calm down -- you're gonna have a stroke!" This is very true. It creates high blood pressure, stress, heart issues, and the list goes on. It especially attracts cancer due to blockages. You can Google that on your own. Most cancers are caused by the extreme stress, anger, rage -- it clenches up your entire body creating cells that generate themselves into cancer. So, in turn, this is absolutely deadly.

Envy: The feeling of discontent or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck. Did you notice that the word "resentful" ties into this, which is also related to wrath. Refer to wrath to see how deadly this emotion can be.

Pride: The Sin of Pride is said by some to the the foremost of the Seven Deadly Sins. Hubris {pride} is the gateway through all other sin enters the mortal soul. Pride is excessive belief in one's own abilities, that interferes with the individual's recognition of the grace of God. It has been called the sin from which all others arise. Pride is also known as "vanity." This is not to be confused with self-love -- a non-conceited type of respect for yourself. When you're prideful, you may feel more superior than God, which is in turn, deadly.

When you rejoice over somebody else's struggles, you are wishing ill will on them. To wish ill will on someone is absolutely evil. It's a deep seated often unexplainable desire to see another person suffer terribly. It's a bitter persistent hatred that is likely to be expressed in malicious conduct (a look of dark malevolence). Ill will implies a feeling of antipathy of limited duration (ill will provoked by a careless remark). spite implies petty feelings of envy and resentment that are often expressed in small harassments (petty insults inspired by spite). Malignity implies deep passion and relentlessness (a life consumed by motiveless malignity). Spleen suggests the wrathful release of latent spite or persistent malice (venting his spleen against politicians). Grudge implies a harbored feeling of resentment or ill will that seeks satisfaction (never one to harbor a grudge).

Have you met this person?

If you have met someone like this, pray for them. They need help. We all need help in various ways, but this type of person will not only wish harm on you, but sometimes, they wish harm onto themselves. And that's how the devil works. With enough bad intent on other people, will come bad intent on yourself. It's just a law -- not an opinion. Hatred for somebody else, is only hatred for yourself. It's Psychology 101. And if all you display is bitterness, wrath, vengeance and greed -- you will receive that in turn. When all of your greed and self-absorbed 'gluttony' of your deep desires trumps (yes I said "trumps) all people of different kinds, especially those who cannot make wise decisions, then you will be defeated by your own hatred.

When you are called out for being a "fake Christian" by someone who hates themselves deeply, just pray for that person. Wish them well. As it says in the Bible, "Pray for your enemies." Some would say, "Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer," which would mean "seek revenge and watch diligently."

I will leave you with these last scriptures...

Romans 12:17-21 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Matthew 5:38-39 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

Mark 11:25 And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

Luke 6:27 “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.

Love one another guys!

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Core Values

Most of my life growing up, I never ate dinner alone. We'd all sit around the table and eat dinner together. We were fortunate enough to always have had a homemade dinner made for us, and of course, the Friday night takeout was a given. I'd sometimes invite a friend over for dinner because their parents were both working, and there was always enough food to go around at our house. Mom was always gracious and hospitable, shoveling huge portions of food onto my friend's plate as their eyes bulged out from mere shock. I didn't understand how my friends could walk into an empty house after school, as I was always greeted by mom, making sure I got off the bus okay. There was never a day when she wasn't at the bus stop. Sometimes, we'd all get together in the living room and watch a movie that was rented from the local video store. That was like a huge event for us. Nobody was on their cell phones texting or SnapChatting  -- we were all together doing exactly the same thing as a family. It was really nice.

My parents with "Jumbo."

Dad going on about something at a family BBQ.
When I thought about my future, I never really thought "big and famous" or some bigwig at some corporate hellhole -- I thought more on the lines of my mom's position. I wanted to be someone who cared for other people, especially animals. She had nine Great Danes. We always grew up with dogs and cats. Summers were spent outside, while our Great Danes played on the lawn. Family BBQs included pool parties and extended family and friends visiting often. Mom cooked her butt off, making sure everyone had a drink (the adults of course) and people were fed beyond the comfort zones of feeling full. Coffee and dessert was served outside on the back patio overlooking the beautiful view of the lake and mountains. I've always admired what my mom did. Even during the week while all four of her daughters shuffled off to school, mom cleaned every corner and crevice of the house from top to bottom. When I came back home, my bedroom looked as though a hotel maid had been there. You'd expect to find a mint on the pillow.

I want to be my mom. I want to be that someone who takes care of everyone. I want to be the person my mom was: generous, welcoming, caring, strong and one helluva cook. And it wasn't like all she did was cater to people -- she went out a lot with my dad, went on vacations and did adventurous things. She had a nice balance. And isn't that what life's about? I remember working 12 hour shifts in a miserable office cubicle, wishing I had more time at home. And of course, vice/versa, when I was unemployed and miserable as well. Working from home after years of recouping from the corporate nightmare has not only changed my life for the better, but has given me an entire outlook of what I don't want in life, as well as what I do want in life.

Making vows to my best friend & life partner.

Before I started seriously dating, the most important thing in a person was their religion and faith. I wanted to be with somebody who believed in God. I didn't want some lukewarm believer or atheist -- I wanted a true believer. I have nothing against anyone of different faiths or lack thereof, but I would never want to spend my life with someone who didn't hold the same faith as myself. As friends, I would welcome anyone of any belief, but as a life partner, my choice is to have a person of faith. That's one of my biggest core values. When I get attacked by others accusing me that I'm not a "real Christian," it only demonstrates the lack of any faith they may have in themselves, as well as in any god they may seem to worship. A true Christian is Jesus -- perfect and flawless. Not one human can measure up to the perfection of Jesus. We can only hope to be more like Him, or at least, rely on His guidance.

Celebrating Madelene's birthday with family.
So when somebody belittles my beliefs as well as my political views, I try to explain the best I can where my core values come from. They come from my past upbringing, my true love for God, and my deep desire to have a good old fashioned 'little life', minding my own business and taking care of my loved ones. This world, in my eyes, is so fallen, cold, lonely and overworked. Nobody has time anymore to do the things they truly love. Everyone has to "look" busy, and if they don't, then they're somehow not contributing to society, sometimes even referred to a "loser." It's wrong on so many levels. I believe family should be close, visited often and loved with every fiber of your being. I believe that family can also be chosen as well. Your friends can totally be apart of your family in every way. I had "cousins" that weren't even related to me, but because we were so close, we became family. Nothing wrong with that.

Life is short. If all you ever do is try to make money to get from point A to point B, you'll find that you've walked past the most important things, like family, love, relationships, and even missing out on God's messages to you. In hospice, they had asked their dying patients what they would've done differently in their lives if they had to do it all over again. The most recorded answer was, "I wish I didn't work so much. I wish I would've spent more time with my family." And although work is important to survive, it has everything to do with the balance of life -- the healthy balance of doing what you love in life as well as sharing precious moments with loved ones and friends. Whenever my life gets a bit unbalanced, I try to correct it the best I can. As long as you're aware of it -- it can always level out to a perfect balance.

Just because I have old fashioned core values, does not mean that I'm a racist or a bigot, or that I wish to take away the rights of choosing what women do with their bodies. Just because I believe differently only means I come from a completely different place than you or anyone else who holds opposing views. I would never try to change anybody else's views, or make them feel 'less than' just because I don't agree with them. Once someone dismisses you because you have a completely different set of values, it only means that they're not 100% confident in their own core beliefs. We can only share with one another, we cannot change people's minds. We're not supposed to. We can however, coexist, if one chooses to do so. Sometimes, that's even asking for a lot.

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Confronting Friends About Delicate Issues - Is There Ever a Good Time?

Over the years, I've learned several things 'not to do' while living in this crazy world. It's hard to make the right choices when you'r'e conflicted about what's "right" and what's "wrong" -- and granted, sometimes there is no right or wrong, it's just a matter of opinion in most cases. In most circumstances where I think I should let someone know my opinion, it usually is...until it isn't. And what I mean by that is -- have you ever told someone you care about that their spouse or significant other was cheating on them? 9 out of 10 times, you'll find that it will always backfire. You then become the "bad guy" -- and morally speaking, you would think that you should be able to go to your friend with this crucial info -- but the bearer of bad news can quickly become the enemy, or at least, "the one who told me" -- which gives them a bad feeling every time they see you. So in my opinion, it is best to remain silent with personal affairs. Move on. Eventually, the person being cheated on will find out. It always happens that way.

Keeping silent can be pretty hard, although the most seemingly easiest thing to do, it's so far from the truth. It's especially hard to keep silent when you feel a friend only comes around when they want something from you. And of course you can say that I took it the wrong way or that I'm overreacting -- but when it happens over and over again, two things have to happen: either silence or confrontation. I'm not a huge fan of people inviting themselves over, especially 'on the spot' with one phone call to ask if they can 'drop by' -- and in some cases, that's perfectly fine. But the one thing that always seems to get me is when one of my friends never acknowledges that my work during the day is "work" or that I can skip out and find the nearest bar to hang out with her in. I'm not upset that she wants to hang out with me, but upset that she thinks that I do nothing all day. Her visit usually requires weekend sleepovers. If we ever go out to eat, her arm never extends out to reach for the check. It's not that I mind paying for a friend's lunch or dinner, but out of the 100 times, it starts to get old. It starts to feel like you're being used. Another thing is when someone brings up their birthday for the umpteenth time as soon as the month starts, to remind you that you need to celebrate it or perhaps, run out and get that special gift. You don't have to remind me -- Facebook does a good job of it, however, Facebook only reminds people the day of, and well, that's just not good enough for some people. So I keep silent about it -- I mean, SUPER silent about it. That's my way of coping with it. And when her day comes, I shower her with love.

As an entrepreneur/artist/freelance kind of gal, you need to get creative of how you make your money. I was fortunate enough to have companies pay me for link placements within my archive articles inside my blog from all the way back from 2005. Advertisements, especially websites who mirror my blog onto their site as a "column" also trickle into my bank account, which is an awesome way to make a living while working from home. I make more money doing this than I did working in the finance department in a beautiful office for IBM. It's my dream come true! So on the side, I use Periscope as a way to communicate with my followers and readers on Twitter. I don't care if I have 5 - 50 people in there at a time, I'm just happy to have the live stream out there so that they can see and hear their author and columnist 'speak' instead of write. I think it's important to get to know who you are reading. I once had placed a PayPal link onto my profile, because I saw many others doing it. But what happened was, a random guy who found me on Periscope chipped in $400.00. At first I was very happy and super grateful. But it came with that $400 price tag. I started receiving 7am texts asking, "Good morning, how did you sleep," -- it was getting out of control. He felt that he had bought my friendship. So with that, I refunded his money. I graciously declined his "tip" and thanked him profusely.

Here's my point: this man wasn't quite 'well' mentally. I didn't realize this at first. When I say mentally unwell, I don't mean "crazy stalker guy" -- he has an intellectual disability from birth. I'm not sure what type -- I just know that he even lived in an assisted living home for a while. I believe this person gives other people money in hopes for the return of friendship. They usually cannot make healthy decisions, and I think it's unfair if anyone takes his money and then tosses him aside. You have to be careful when you decide to make your money off of social media, in terms of donations or tips. So yesterday, as I was live streaming, I noticed something strange in my room. I realized that one of my fellow live streaming friends was actually accepting money off of someone who was also intellectually disabled. I guess it's hard to know offhand if someone is or not, but with this person, they already admitted to living and now working in an assisted living type of situation, due to her having this disability, even though she is highly functioning. I guess you can say that I lost a little respect for this person when I learned of this. So instead of becoming silent, I confronted this person. It didn't go so well. It was shot back to me with vile words of anger, to which I returned the email with nothing but love, but more so for concern and the possibility of a misunderstanding. Nonetheless, if anyone is taking advantage of a person financially who happens to be intellectually disabled, my respect for you diminishes greatly. Is it any of my business? It is when that person is my friend too.

People "online" are real. They're sometimes lonely, and in some cases, their only source of communication with the world is through social media and live interactive streams. They feel like they have a place. Be careful if you're making money off of other people's tips, because you might come across someone who is begging for your friendship, who doesn't realize that a tip is a tip. I have no regrets confronting the person who did this. I'm just very disappointed that this "loving person" who speaks so much about "coexisting" all the time actually did this. So we ended our friendship because I chose to confront them. I wish this person well, but I also hope that in the future, when you receive a tip for your live streams, that you accept with discernment. Usually, if you're a live streamer, you get to know your viewers for a more interactive experience. When I received $400.00 -- it was no longer a "tip" -- it was a price tag on my friendship. Know the difference, because many people are expecting much more than what you're able to give.

Sometimes silence is the best answer, and sometimes, a confrontation is needed.

What do you think?

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

I'm OK With It

Sometimes it's hard to just write one word no less an entire article, so instead I'll just do a live stream and have that be my "blog post." Fortunately, I love to cook so I won't bore the heck outta people, well we can only hope. My schedule as I've yapped about before has been quite the rollercoaster. I'm awake until 6am. It used to 3am (no big deal) or even 4 or 5am. I decided to do most of my work at night now. I don't mind working at night, but I truly wish I was more of a day person like I used to be. Now, my body tires out when the birds are chirping outside. If I am not running around like a chicken with its head cut off, then my mind will do it instead. I constantly need to be busy, either cleaning like a lunatic or cooking for an army...of three, at most. Leftovers, right? My insomnia stems from anxiety. Someone asked me the other day if I was depressed. I'm not. I am incredibly grateful for every single thing, every single person and opportunity that has come into my life. Do I get sad when I hear my mom's in excruciating pain? Yes. It makes me cry. Do I get sad about still thinking about my dad here 'n there? Sure. I'll cry -- but it's healthy to get that all out. But it doesn't mean that I'm depressed.

"Well, maybe you're putting on a good face." 

I will give you my honest face, but I will also give you my inner most hopeful face. I believe that in this fallen world, there needs to be a light that beams through the darkness. (Too deep?) Ok, there needs to be a little more lightheartedness, and less focus on the negative aspects of life, like politics and people fighting so viciously over it. Sometimes it's difficult to be lighthearted once you hear bad news. That's just being human. But what if there was a way, that even at our lowest point in our lives, that we can have a subtle, yet strong sense of peace within us? See, that's what God does for me. We have to go through all of these annoying and painful seasons in order to appreciate when there is a restful period. Do we take those restful periods for granted?

Last night (or early morning) at around 4:30 am, my wife woke up and looked over at me sitting on the edge of my bed holding my head. My heart was pounding and my anxiety was at its highest level -- thought my heart was gonna just blow up. When this happens, my entire face, mostly on the left, becomes completely numb, as if there was no feeling on it. I used to get scared about this, until a doctor told me that this was a common symptom of anxiety. I'll either splash some water onto my face, or I'll take an Advil which for whatever reason, helps it. Madelene said, "Why don't you go in the other room and read your bible, Deb?" Usually, in my state of panic, I don't become so agreeable, and I'll chuck it up that I'm too anxious, but this time, I actually walked out of the bedroom and sat in the living room, lit a candle and read my bible.

I could not believe all that it pointed out to me which I am going to share with you, because I think it's important for others to read when they're going through something so stressful.

So here's what I read below. It's a segment inside my bible that gives you scriptures about whatever topic you need. But I wasn't searching for this. I just opened it up -- and voila, it was staring me right in the face. I hope this may help someone reading this.
Does suffering mean God doesn't care about me?

Psalm 22:24 He has not ignored the suffering of the needy. He has not turned and walked away. He has listened to their cries for help.
Suffering is not a sign of God's absence; it is a fact of life in this fallen world. God is still with us in the midst of life's struggles. He may not remove them from us, but he does promise to help us get through them.

Psalm 56:8-9 You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. On the very day I call to you for help, my enemies will retreat. This I know: God is on my side.
God's care is such that not even a single tear goes unnoticed. He knows our every pain and will one day lead us to victory.
As of late, especially within the last year or so, I have kept in constant communication with Him more so than I ever have. I'm starting to 'get it' -- although there is so much I still have yet to learn. I now understand that there is a spiritual warfare going on, but many people either don't take it seriously, don't believe in that sort of stuff, or just mark it off as "fairytale-ish" and crazy. I used to blow it off as only those possessed by demons, like the Linda Blair kind. Have you ever heard of somebody is dealing with their demons? It's quite literal, although most people don't even use the word as literal. Perhaps they mean "issues" and "problems" in life. But it is very real. In fact, after the other night, I will never chuck it up to something that's nonexistent, because that's what the devil wants you to think. He also wants you to think that he doesn't exist, so you won't fear him so much or do things that are bad for your spirit. 

God would never put the spirit of fear in you. That's what anxiety disorder really is. Is it a disorder, or is it a spiritual attack? God will never put the spirit of anger, jealousy or bitterness in you. He also won't place the spirit of depression over you. These are all negative emotions that the devil gives to you in order to make your world look way too cloudy to even come to God. It's more or less, a distraction. But realizing what it is in the midst of the suffering is absolutely crucial, so that you can be prayed upon, and also ask God for help. I stopped resisting the anxiety, the insomnia, the fear -- I started to replace it with courage and bust through it. My communication with God became stronger, more intimate and fulfilling. Well guess who doesn't like that? 

What happened to me the other night is something I was hesitant to tell ANYONE. I mean, it just sounds completely crazy. But I have to tell it only because someone out there may have gone through this, and my story may make them feel a little less crazy. Who knows. But as I was flipping through the channels watching mindless TV around 3am, I clicked on Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Eh, this should bore me to sleep, so I thought. They switched the scene over to Bruce Jenner (this is before the transition) and he was being interviewed briefly on some drama going on. As he was sitting in his captain chair, the picture completely froze. It remained still for about ten seconds. Then, as everything else was still, his face came alive, and his eyes became watery, red, and focused on what it appeared to be on me. The face kept coming toward my screen, but this time, appearing as a demon! Something inside me rose up, not afraid, not timid toward this thing, and at that moment, my body jolted (as if some force inside me zapped him with something) and my cable and TV shut off at the same time with a loud popping noise. It wouldn't come back on for a good 30 minutes or so. I thought it completely knocked out my TV set. I knew right then, and by the way I felt (very light) -- that the Holy Spirit fought my demon. I know that sounds strange, but it happened! Funny that Bruce Jenner would be the "demon" to taunt me, but I guess they come through many sources.

Of course I had to look up if this happened to anybody else, and I got a slew of videos and articles about Bruce Jenner being possessed by demons. (Or were they just taunting Caitlyn for being trans?) One can only imagine. But they have seen the eyes of Bruce and saw something strange. I don't know what to tell you -- but my story is legit because Madelene woke up instantly once she heard the popping sound of my TV going off along with the cable. Afterwards, I slept like a baby. I felt like God fought whatever was attacking me that night and I was left in a long deep slumber. Something happened. I don't know what it was, but all I can say is, thank GOD. 

I realize that this part of my article will make me look a little crazy, but I don't care. This is something that I need to speak about. This is my testimony and my own valid proof that demons are real. Demons can attack you in ways that are so seemingly normal, like phobias, anxiety, depression, "disorders" and addictions. They come in forms of everyday life problems. It may come in a subtle way, or it may come on full steam ahead -- but try to overcome these 'spirits' with courage. Pray to God and trust in Him. He will fight for you. Fear never goes away, unless it is handled with courage. The courage will fight off the fear. And then, you'll no longer fear whatever it was you were scared of. It's really hard, but it's possible. For me, I have to stay close to God, live by the Word and focus on all of the things that I am blessed with. I have a gratitude list that I do every morning. It keeps your mind from focusing in on the negative aspects. Sometimes, we think that our life is so horrible due to ONE negative problem occurring, which will make you become oblivious to the many blessings you have right in front of you. Only one problem can erase all the good that you're missing out on. Focus on the good. While praying, God taught me something valuable. Learn to say while things are going really bad, "I'm OK with it." When you do this, you crush a demon.

"I'm OK with it." 

Say it.

This not only means that you are strong enough to endure this challenge, but you are also relying on God to handle your problems for you. Give your cares to God with thanksgiving. This is just one of my many testimonies, and I'm sure that there will be much more to come. And you know what? 

I'm OK with it. 

For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!