Friday, February 17, 2017

The Inevitable Change

Change. Is it really a bad thing? I think the biggest reason why people get depressed or develop anxiety is the constant change that happens to all of us at any given moment. It's the unpredictable nature of life that leaves our hearts unsettled. Change happened to me when I found out my father was diagnosed with cancer. And even though you watch a loved one going through the struggles of an illness, and realize that their time is coming to an end, the inevitable change is almost still the same as if someone left your life suddenly. Many would disagree with that, only because there's the element of preparation involved. Nonetheless, it's a huge change -- the change that your life will take on once someone you love and known has gone away for good. It doesn't feel "normal" and creates a sense of fear. It's just a "new normal" for many of us.

Change can also mean a change in atmosphere -- a big move (whether moving on up or moving on down), getting married, divorce, finding out your pregnant, a new career -- all of these with the element of surprise and excitement, and some that causes anger, grief and anxiety. Think about this: if life were to remain the same all the time, how would we progress from point A to point B? We would have no challenges, eliminating strength and endurance, and even experience to make us strong and knowledgable. If you haven't let go to an unfortunate change, like clinging to the past of an ex lover or a loved one who has passed, your nostalgia will not only drive you nuts, it'll hold off your life. It'll prevent you from finding a new love, or it will leave you standing in the same emotional state (depressed and withdrawn) until you realize that everything needs to change. Everything needs to move on, pass on, so you can live on.

Your health can change at the drop of a hat. One day, you're able to run 2 miles or perhaps, do simple things like drive to the store, go shopping, cook and have a good time with your family and friends. Sometimes, a change in our health will prevent us from being able to do any of that. We take our health for granted. We sometimes complain over a simple cold (I'm guilty of this), and we sort of morph into big spoiled crybabies, when there are people out there doing more in their wheelchairs that we can ever imagine doing with our own healthy and able bodies.

Perspective. It's all how you see it. I've learned that you can actually have peace in the midst of chaos. You can change your thinking around in order to prevent you from going crazy. The myoclonic seizures that I was suffering from at night has been calming down. I do attribute much of it to the effects of the vitamin D, which I have now stopped, but most of it was due to the way I was thinking right before bedtime. Why is it that most of us start to overthink about negative things in our lives once we put our heads onto our pillows? I think about my mom, and how concerned I am about the cancer coming back. I get worried that she's sleeping alone, now that she lost my father. I worry about the next day, and the things I have to do or edit and publish. I especially overthink about preparations for guests coming over, which makes me insane, because I obsess over every detail. So now, I give all of those thoughts to God right before I sleep. One by one, I tell him, "Here, take this thought, and oh, here's another one, and don't forget to take care of this big one too." He grabs all of my worries for that evening and reassures me that they'll be taken care of, or at least, put on hold until tomorrow with tomorrow's own set of worries. After I adapted to this habit of giving my problems to God, I rarely get myoclonic seizures or "sleep jerks" any longer. I get them once or twice a week as opposed to every single night, leaving me awake until 5am. Big change! A good change!

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us--they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. --Romans 5:3-4

I wanted to share my thoughts with you in case you are having a dilemma with letting go or just simply accepting 'what is' -- accepting the change that occurs all the time in life.

Another note I want to say is that on my Facebook page, I will no longer be promoting it like I used to. For some reason, it is drawing a very young (13-18 years of age) from Vietnam that don't even speak English. I'm worried that the promotions are drawing 'bots' and I want to keep my site clean from unauthentic viewers, and more interactions with real people. Twitter and Facebook both have been dealing with this issue. Periscope just recently deleted millions of bots, so the follower count went down dramatically. As on mine, I lost 1,000 followers due to them being unauthentic. I am happy about this 'clean up' in social media. I hope that it'll bring in more of a meaningful discussion in the comment section.

Thanks for reading!

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

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day to My Country

Today, I saw a few posts and some live streams of a couple of my friends a little bummed out about today. There are three ways to enjoy love: give love, receive love, BE love. There are a number of ways of just BEING love. For instance, donating to an animal shelter, purchasing items for the person behind you in line at the supermarket, or even spreading some good positive vibes out there in the world. This world has become so angry, full of people with enormous amounts of resentment. To approach them on a bad day would be an explosive catastrophe. It didn't make things better once the election was over.

"Love Trumps Hate" doesn't work so well when you're displaying hate yourself. The definition of a "peaceful protest" doesn't include burning up our own flag, carrying protest signs that say "electrocute Pence" or romanticizing about assassinating our President. That's not love. When you preach love, your actions should prove it as well.

In 1 Corinthians 13:4-6, it speaks about the true definition of love.

Love is patient and kind.
(Patience hasn't been seen by the left. They haven't given the president a chance. And they're definitely not displaying kindness in any way.)

Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
(Rallies at the *Pride* Parades for the LGBT have become extremely boastful, *proud* and rude.) 

Love does not demand its own way.
(They demand quite a few things, including the death of our president.) 

Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged.
(How many times have you seen irritable protesters destroying other people's property, blocking traffic and harassing other bystanders and beating the living daylights out of other Trump supporters? How many times have they brought up the same rhetoric of past 'no nos' by our president?)

It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.

Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
(To endure in every circumstance is to realize that there was a fair voting system and that our president elect won fair and square. To not accept this is to protest -- fine. To become destructive because you didn't get your way is not OK. It demonstrates hatred, which is going against all that the  left preach.) 

Sometimes I think it would be better to be a kid -- too young to vote and too young to truly understand the madness of politics. I wish I could just 'go out 'n play' without thinking about how crazy this world really is. I don't remember anyone becoming so incredibly vile and toxic when their candidate lost an election. They voted, the person lost, and it was back to the grind as usual. I mean -- there were a few protestors here and there, but the average adult didn't get into it with one another about whose candidate was the better choice. I remember more love when I was a child -- more acceptance -- more tolerance.

"He's NOT my president!"

No. He is. You're in the U.S.? He is. You can always go to the 77 other countries where they don't value women, throw gays and lesbians off from rooftops, behead Christians and circumcise young women. Female genital mutilation (FGM), also known as female genital cutting and female circumcision, is the ritual removal of some or all of the external female genitalia. The practice is found in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and within communities from countries in which FGM is common.  The Women's March taken place all over the United States made me chuckle, thinking, "Wow, you really have no idea, do you?"

With that being said, I'm just going to say Happy Valentine's to my country! I am so happy that I am a born and raised citizen of the United States. I am very happy that we now have a president who not only wants to protect us and our rights, but wants to make our country a safer place to live in. We should LOVE that about America. But many who say they're all about "love" are truly all about hate.

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

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

By Faith Alone

Have you ever felt that intense heaviness on your heart -- the type of pain that only exists when you lose a loved one or when the love of your life parts ways with you? Some say that a breakup is very similar to a death, except the other person is still out there choosing not to be apart of your life. For some, that can be the most painful thing in the world. I wrote about the broken heart syndrome before in this post. It's similar to what I feel happened to Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. The pain was too much for Debbie Reynolds to bear -- to see her daughter go before her. No parent should ever see their child go first. In that article, I also had spoken about my dad's passing and how I reacted to it. I kept getting severe chest pains. I finally had to be hauled away by the ambulance because I passed out. The EMT said, "I was the one who helped your father in his last days, you're going through the broken heart syndrome." And that was the first I have ever heard of it.

The American Heart Association gives us the definition of it.

Breakdown of a Broken Heart Broken heart syndrome, also called stress-induced cardiomyopathy or takotsubo cardiomyopathy, can strike even if you’re healthy. (Tako tsubo, by the way, are octopus traps that resemble the pot-like shape of the stricken heart.) Women are more likely than men to experience the sudden, intense chest pain — the reaction to a surge of stress hormones — that can be caused by an emotionally stressful event. It could be the death of a loved one or even a divorce, breakup or physical separation, betrayal or romantic rejection. It could even happen after a good shock (like winning the lottery.) Broken heart syndrome may be misdiagnosed as a heart attack because the symptoms and test results are similar. In fact, tests show dramatic changes in rhythm and blood substances that are typical of a heart attack. But unlike a heart attack, there’s no evidence of blocked heart arteries in broken heart syndrome. In broken heart syndrome, a part of your heart temporarily enlarges and doesn’t pump well, while the rest of your heart functions normally or with even more forceful contractions. Researchers are just starting to learn the causes, and how to diagnose and treat it. The bad news: Broken heart syndrome can lead to severe, short-term heart muscle failure. The good news: Broken heart syndrome is usually treatable. Most people who experience it make a full recovery within weeks, and they’re at low risk for it happening again (although in rare cases in can be fatal). ---read more here.

Here's what I learned from God speaking to me. Whether you believe God spoke to me or not is up to you. I can only share what I heard, felt and what was impressed upon me. He told me that it's impossible to experience the broken heart syndrome if you have faith. See, when you have absolute faith in God and your afterlife, as well as other's afterlives, you know that they're going to be okay. More importantly, you're going to be okay too. Faith is the one thing that's been scientifically, (yes, scientifically) proven to show that people who had faith, are more likely to cope with grief much better than those who do not have faith.

Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory. -- Psalm 50:15

Since I know it is all for Christ's good, I am quite content with my weaknesses and with insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. -- 2 Corinthians 12:10

When you trust in God and have absolute faith in Him, there is nothing you cannot get through. As the ol' saying goes, if He brings you to it, He'll get you through it. It may sound cliché, but it's my truth -- it's my belief. Times of crisis and hardships can strengthen our character too.

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us--they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. -- Romans 5:3-4

Sometimes, I let my mind rule my emotions, especially when my mom's health is declining or she has to undergo some sort of procedure or struggle through the awful effects of the chemo. During this time, I'm very vulnerable. And even now, seeing her in such pain from her cancer and how the strongest of pain killers doesn't even help her much at all, it kills my heart, or at least, it feels that way. I've seen my dad suffer through this for some time, and now she's going through it -- almost in the same way.  Watching someone you love so much, suffer so terribly...really is painful. I wish I could take her pain away, I wish I could regenerate her cells to be healthy again, I wish...

My mom was losing a lot of blood due to her condition. We had to keep taking her to the hospital for blood transfusions all the time. Now she is taking iron intravenously every week. I thought about the story in the Bible about the woman with the issue of blood. Although these illnesses may have been different, I had faith that this can help us in our own situation. First, let me tell you the story about the woman Jesus healed who had an issue of blood.

As Jesus and the disciples were going to the official's home, a woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years came up behind him in a huge crowd of people surrounding Jesus. She touched the fringe of his robe, for she thought, "If I can just touch his robe, I will be healed." (So her faith was strong enough to believe this to be true!) Jesus turned around and asked, "Who touched my robe!" He knew exactly who it was, but the touch had so much faith in it, that he needed to find the woman that needed help. When he came up to her, he said, "Daughter, be encouraged! Your faith has made you well." And the woman was healed at that moment. Just by touching his tzitzis made her well. Tzitzis are specially knotted ritual fringes, or tassels, worn in antiquity by Israelites and today by observant Jews and Samaritans. So, I went out and bought a few Tzitzis and had them blessed. She placed them where her cancer is, and now her "issue of blood" has stopped, although she still needs her iron infusions. The story touched me because I believed that if my mom were to use these tzitzis, that her bleeding would at least stop for some time. By faith, she was healed in that respect. I still have hope.

My worst fear in the world is losing somebody I love. I'm sure I'm not alone with that fear. As I was praying, the sun was shining on my face, warming me in the midst of a cold day. I looked down and saw a bright silver heart made from the ice that was forming on one portion of the ground. I heard God speak to me and say, "The scripture in Psalm 91 that says, 'Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you.'" He said "these evils" can reference to the broken heart syndrome. Evils are anything that oppresses you emotionally: fear, grief, depression, anxiety, etc. And although this scripture references to a much larger scale of 'warfare' -- this applied to me at the time of my prayer. He promised that I would be okay. Even if I saw every single one of my loved ones go before me, that no "evils" should touch me. He said that there is no such thing as a "broken heart syndrome" for those who have complete faith in God. So by faith, I am saved from these terrifying thoughts and grief of what's to come. When people get physically ill or perhaps, die from losing a loved one, it means they have little to no faith in God and heaven. They don't believe or (doubt) that they're going to be okay.

They did a scientific experiment, showing people who were going through intense grief after the death of a loved one. One group had faith, while the other group did not.

People reporting no spiritual belief had not resolved their grief by 14 months after the death. Participants with strong spiritual beliefs resolved their grief progressively over the same period. People with low levels of belief showed little change in the first nine months but thereafter resolved their grief. These differences approached significance in a repeated measures analysis of variance (F=2.42, P=0.058). Strength of spiritual belief remained an important predictor after the explanatory power of relevant confounding variables was controlled for. At 14 months the difference between the group with no beliefs and the combined low and high belief groups was 7.30 (95% confidence interval 0.86 to 13.73) points on the core bereavement items scale. Adjusting for confounders in the final model reduced this difference to 4.64 (1.04 to 10.32) points. Conclusion People who profess stronger spiritual beliefs seem to resolve their grief more rapidly and completely after the death of a close person than do people with no spiritual beliefs.----read more here.

There are many agnostics and atheists who don't have faith, or at least enough faith to get them through their challenges in life. I'm not saying it's an easy ride when you have faith, but the burden is much less. I can't make anybody believe in God, nor believe any of the awesome miracles that have happened to me. I can just hope that one day, someone sees me as an example and gets inspired to believe. We can't push "religion" down anyone's throats. God gave us free will, and with that, people are free to choose to believe or not to believe. But by example and scientific evidence that faith proves and improves the state of health, grief or pain. Prayer is the most powerful thing anyone can do for someone in my belief. Prayer is the link between you and God. And when it comes to healing, when two or more are gathered in prayer, God is there to heal and restore whoever needs it. Many atheists who were former pastors tell me, "Well, you know that what you are experiencing is oxytocin." Well, if it is, let me be happy with my chemicals flowing through my body, because I not only have faith that it's the Holy Spirit, I know that for me, it's truth. God will never let science prove Him. It's only by faith to which He exists. And that's only up to you.

"You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who haven't seen me and believe anyway." -- Jesus (John 20:29)

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

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Campaign Promises Kept, Trump Still Hated

No one is the same. Not one person can relate 100% to somebody else. It's just a fact. Sometimes, we have to agree to disagree, but in most cases, we see people's egos pummeling through an argument until they have won the final battle. Whose opinion is better? Time after time, I have seen people post up political arguments indicating, "My opinion is right! My opinion is better than yours!" And while their heart is truly for the better, there are instances where fear comes into play. Fear can mean voting for Trump simply because "you" do not like Mexicans or Muslims, without realizing that Trump himself, is not a racist. There is not one thing he has said to be qualified as a "racist." I do feel his extreme vetting is appropriate due to what we have seen with terrorism. The list of countries that have been put on a temporary ban are all the ones that Obama had picked. On top of that, Obama and Clinton were adamant about illegal immigration.

Listen to this video.

If you cannot view the video, please click here.

So now that you have seen both Barack Obama and Bill Clinton say the same exact thing on immigration as Donald Trump has, then why are you tearing Trump apart still? It was OK when they did it, but not Trump. And in my guestimation -- it all has to do with the misinterpreted "racist" remark he said about Mexico.

Tell me where you see "racism" in his commentary.

"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

I hear a wonderful statement by someone, and I'm not sure who that is (you can contact me with the full name if you have it) but it said, "I lock my doors at night, not because I hate the people on the outside, but because I love and want to protect the people on the inside." This is exactly what Trump wants for us: protection. He is not a racist, xenophobe, Islamphobe or homophobe.

What gets me is the fake news that's been spreading like wildfire. The biggest liars are LGBTQ Nation. They want to smear Trump's name and make him look like a bigot.

He's not.

In fact, he is more pro-LGBTQ than Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama ever was. Here's a clip of Hillary Clinton admitting she was against same-sex marriage.

If you cannot view the video, please click here.

LGBTQ Nation posted an article that read, "An executive order from President Donald Trump opening up discrimination against the LGBTQ community on the basis of religious belief is expected sometime this week, possibly as soon as today." ---read more here.

Soon after their fake news of Trump's so called "discrimination," a more reliable news source stated something entirely different. In fact, Trump is still enforcing Obama's anti-LGBTQ discrimination order and to protect their rights. And, the left went silent.

When facts are provided to those who have a deep hatred for Trump, the silence is deafening. This is not about opinions here. This is about credible facts that people just want to ignore. Well, what about Obama and Clinton being FOR the wall and being AGAINST same-sex marriage?  That doesn't matter because Trump said it so now it's just bad.

It's a very tense time in the U.S., between family and friends and even coworkers. I had a woman tell me today that she was fired out of nowhere after a political conversation. They found out she was a Trump supporter and later that afternoon, before she tried leaving the office, she was fired for an undisclosed reason. And of course, you can be fired over anything at any given time. That's in the contract that you sign when you first get employed.

If you ask me what my opinion is, I will tell you and respect yours as well. But if you are giving me false information and telling me they're "facts," then I truly don't respect where your opinion is coming from. I don't want to read your "alternative news" and I don't respect misinterpreted quotes. I respect facts. We all should. Or maybe that's just my opinion...

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

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Purpose of My Lost Pages

Are you a control freak? Sometimes, you just gotta say, "I'm OK with it," and move on. There are so many things we want or need to control that it just overtakes our ability to see the message that's being sent. As cliché as this may sound, maybe it was just meant to be. Maybe God removed something in your life to give you something better. Or if you didn't see what the "better" was, then maybe He was trying to test your strength and endurance, especially your faith. Years ago, when I didn't get what I wanted, I'd turn into a huge crybaby, kicking and screaming like an undisciplined kid in a supermarket. But the more I fought and cried over the situation, the worse it got. My worrying, my tantrums, my crazy episodes weren't going to make anything better. To even top it off, sometimes I would get so upset over something that I had no control over, that my uncontrolled emotions would give me severe chest pains. So now, I had another problem: am I having a heart attack?

The other morning when we woke up, our entire driveway and road was iced up. Nobody could drive in or out of here. And on top of that, Madelene wasn't feeling well, so she stayed home. Me? I had to commute two rooms down into my office and still work. When I got all prepared to do some editing and continue working on my book that's supposed to be released this March, there was no book to be found. Nothing. I tried searching for it through other files. Zilch. Nada. I felt my heart begin to pound, as I scrolled through every single document I had. I checked the trash and it wasn't there. I tried to get back into my Pages on my Macbook to open my file, but again, it only gave me one option: new file.




Like any other writer, I'm going to say that I worked so hard on this book. I really did. It wasn't even about the work itself, but in some of these chapters, I felt God writing for me. Some of the content didn't even sound like me! It was the most amazing content I had ever written. The manuscript was weeks away from being edited professionally and then to be published by mid-March. I made my grievances on Facebook, where I could vent and hope that somebody out there could possibly tell me a quick solution. As many comments that came flooding in, nobody could truly help me. Many offered to call me and even have their spouses help me, which is incredibly nice of them. I was overwhelmed over the loss of this file, and overwhelmed with the beautiful offers of help from these wonderful people. I had to leave my office and make a drink. It was 3:30pm, a bit early for happy hour, but at this point, I needed something to calm my nerves. I went into the other room and cried my eyes out. I cried so hard, I began to get chest pains. Madelene came inside and hugged me. She assured me that it couldn't be completely lost. It just couldn't. But, it wasn't there either.

Coming to terms that Apple doesn't provide a service to retrieve lost or deleted files, I finally succumbed to the final decision of letting go. I have to come to terms with 'what is,' and to assimilate to my new realization: it's. just. gone. I could've tormented myself with another mini breakdown or had another one of my pity parties, but I did something else instead. I focused more on broadcasting and trying to uplift others around the world, as well as give some positive scriptures with some special inspiring words of my own. I'm also writing my book again. I don't care. I'm going to do it in such a different way -- a way that I was too scared to do it in. I think God was nudging me to be braver, instead of being conservative about it. He was also telling me to bring back my 'rawness' -- the type I had years ago when I first started writing. I tend to not let myself become vulnerable (enough) because I've been hurt deeply in the past. That should give me more reason to become vulnerable -- to relate more with my audience. They don't want some emotionless psychobabble or a "how to" book. They want to know what happened and they wanna know how can they get there too. What's in it for THEM? I think many writers forget that the person reading their content also has a need -- a desire to know, 'what's in it for me?' I know for myself, whenever I walk into a Barnes & Nobles and rummage through their shelves looking for the perfect book, I'm honestly looking for someone, an author who wrote something to help me with what I'm going through. Or maybe I just want a book to remove me from my own world -- to give me a little vacation from reality. It's about "me" -- but in this case, as a writer, it's about you.

The world has become very cold, being that we have so many reasons and options to say, "No thank you," to an invitation, because we can always meet up on social media or text. We don't even pick up the phone half the time because there's always text messaging. It's also become a world of narcissistic individuals who truly believe the world revolves around them just because they have over 5,000 followers, or more. Even if you have a million followers on whatever social media you're using -- use that huge platform to help people. Use that platform to share yourself -- but remember, share yourself in terms of showing someone what you've gone through, and how you can relate. I learned a valuable lesson from a very special author once. She said, "Nobody cares about your life." She wasn't speaking about me per se -- she was speaking about every single one of us -- in general. Unless you are a heartthrob idol of sorts, people will most likely be happy watching you scrub dirt under your refrigerator for an entire hour on a live stream. But if you're someone who's the everyday average Joe or Jane or even if you are getting up there in your publicity -- keep it humble. Make it helpful. Be sincere. And always have the strength to apologize if you are in the wrong.

There are many people who like me, have found their careers by means of the internet. I started writing back in 2003. My first book was published back in 2005, which was mainly about the trials I went through, in order to help those suffering with the same struggles too. I used that huge platform in order to teach about the Word of God, and to help teach about the Scriptures, in an easy-to-read type of way. Let's face it, the Bible is hard to read as it is -- why not share your beliefs and interpretations of what it means. I've helped many of the LGBTQ come to know God. I have even bought Bibles for a few of my friends in order to get to know God better. One of my atheist friends is a devout Christian because of that Bible. And it wasn't because of me -- it was because God led me to do this.

God has a plan. Have you ever felt like you didn't have a purpose and your life seemed like it was meaningless?

“Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

Did you ever think to yourself, how am I going to get from point A. to point B. if I keep on this same path? Remember the book or movie called, "The Five People You Meet in Heaven?" It's a novel by Mitch Albom. It follows the life and death of a maintenance man named Eddie. In a heroic attempt to save a little girl from being killed by an amusement park ride that is about to fall, Eddie is killed and sent to heaven, where he encounters five people who had a significant impact upon him while he was alive. He discovered how significant his life really was, even though he thought that his job was pretty insignificant. It really makes you think about your own purpose in life. The little things, like spending time with your elderly parent, or taking your child out to the park when you don't feel well. Little things like that can be the biggest thing in the world for somebody else. You are giving them joy. That's HUGE! To give somebody else joy and happiness is glorifying God Himself. That's not such a bad purpose, is it?

So, let my book be lost in glitch-heaven, I'm OK with it. In fact, it's better this way because between the time I lost that book right up to this present moment, I have so much more to write. I'll keep updating you on the progress of the book, but one thing's for sure, I will never give up. And I urge you to do the same. Never give up, even though it looks hopeless, keep doing what you're doing because someone somewhere is relying on you.

"My dear brothers and sisters, be strong and steady, always enthusiastic about the Lord's work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless." --1 Corinthians 15:58

"Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and the Master you are serving is Christ." --Colossians 3:23-24

Whatever you do for somebody else, you're doing for God. When they speak of "inheritances" and "rewards" -- it doesn't necessarily mean financial prosperity. It could mean living a nice, quiet and peaceful life, which many of us refuse to live. All things are possible. For me, even to just get another book out there doesn't mean I'm going to make loads of money from it. It means more to me to see how my last book helped so many. Just that alone is worth writing another.

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

Monday, January 23, 2017

I'm Sorry. I Messed Up...

In the midst of all this political chaos and divisiveness, I found myself becoming angry. I'm not sure what stirred up my anger, whether it was a contagious wave of political egomania, or if it was an underlining tinge of fear. I do believe whether you are on the right or left of the political arena, fear is the common denominator which ultimately divides us. We don't want our rights taken away. There are different set of rights on each side. From my standpoint, my first love is God, after that, the safety of our country, the 2nd amendment, pro-life, and many other views that lean mostly conservative. But then I have my social values. I'm an advocate for the gay, lesbian and transgender communities. I believe in marriage equality. I also believe in freedom of religion, whereas if a baker doesn't want to participate in my wedding, then I would respect their views and find another baker to help us. I try to understand each side, because even though many Christians believe that homosexuality is a sin, I do not. I've written and broadcasted about my views, biblical references to prove that it is not a sin, and to prove that everything we do is ultimately "sinful" in the bible. "Throw the first stone" comes to mind, and no one can toss one at anybody. With that being said, if another Christian believes that being gay is a sin to God, then ok -- don't be gay. What I don't agree with is bashing the LGBT for loving who they love in the name of God. If you think we're sinning, then pray for us. Isn't your God strong enough to fix us? But...we're not broken.

As Trump made his way into the White House, there were several protests going on. One of them was called "The Queer Dance Party." It was held in front of Mike Pence's home. I've always felt that if you protest half naked, simulating sexual behavior in public to fight for your rights, that society and the government officials will never take the LGBT community seriously. I've stated many times that this sort of protesters don't represent what my wife and I stand for. I guess you could say I made it about me. Through the array of different and unique people, I recently found myself guilty of judging another person. It wasn't Jesus-like at all, yet I use that line to conservative Christians who judge me.

I took to Facebook and posted a photo of Firas Nasr, the Queer Dance Organizer.

I said in jest, "And this is how we beg for our rights."

Many people made their comments, chuckling and making cute remarks. Many saying they wish they had his figure and dance moves, which was cute. But then an old friend of mine made a comment. My old friend named, Dave. He was the one I went to the prom with. We shared something very interesting: we were both gay. He never knew I was gay, and I never knew he was gay. We had the best circle of friends and always respected one another. We even kept in touch throughout the years, even if it was a Facebook "hello." He married is longtime partner and adopted a beautiful baby girl named, Leah. See, in my head, when fighting for our rights, especially to marry and have children, these two gentlemen and their adorable baby girl are the ones I would love to see in the front of the protest. It would show that being gay isn't all about "sex" and "lust," but of love, loyalty and family.

Then I saw Dave's comment on my post.

"Oh look at the f*ggot. Nice, Deb."

He said it to imply that I was basically saying it myself. Maybe this was the last straw that broke the camel's back, but for whatever reason, I just went off on him on my post, even reprimanding him for using the derogatory word to imply I was mocking this man. But...I was mocking him in a way.

Although I have no excuse to do this, the point I was trying to make was is that this man dancing did not represent what I stand for. My old friend Dave and his family are the people I want to represent me. But is that fair? This guy dancing, Firas Nasr was fighting for my rights! Who am I to say anything when all I'm doing is making some outlandish remarks on social media? I'm not out there fighting with them and I'm not even supporting what he's so brave to do. I figured, well I write books and articles and broadcast for the LGBT community, which is a huge contribution in itself, but maybe it's not enough.

Circa 2003
I want to publicly apologize to my old friend Dave for my behavior. I want to also apologize to his husband Tim, and the rest of our mutual friends who were in that thread. This isn't who I am, and I'm not sure why I couldn't just keep my thoughts to myself. Maybe this is a learning curve for me. I'm still a work in progress here. I was trying so hard to insinuate that Dave and his family are the types of people I would love to see protesting for our rights, but it doesn't matter who, it matters why anyone is out there fighting for us. I dismissed the conversation like a coward and blocked my friends, to which I'm very regretful for. I hope that they can one day accept my apology, and if not, then this will definitely be a lesson learned.

I also want to sincerely apologize to Firas Nasr. To be brave enough to go out into that sh*tstorm of political madness and fight for me? THANK YOU. And I'm so sorry.

Even though my political and religious views may be different, it's a beautiful thing when people can act like adults and still treat each other with respect, which I failed to do. I didn't even realize what I was doing, until the next morning. Somehow, somewhere, I've become hard, my heart used to be softer. I preach about tolerance and acceptance, while not displaying any of it. I'm thankful for Tim, Dave's husband for pointing that out to me. He personally emailed me, and of course, I immediately got offended, when he was absolutely right.

Prom Circa 1991
Dave, I love you and I cherish every fun memory we've had together. You're a huge part of my childhood and helped me in so many ways. And even if we don't talk for months or years and we see one another after some time, it's as if time never slipped by. You were like a brother to me and I still feel that way. My apologies go out to you and Tim, with all my heart. And oh, please also forgive me for the big 90's feathered back hair!

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

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Lesbian Couple to be the New Pastors of Calvary Baptist Church

Sally Sarratt and Maria Swearingen who are a married lesbian couple, were announced as the co-pastors of Calvary Baptist Church in Washington last Sunday. They received a lot of heat from other Christians who believe that homosexuality is a sin. Most cringed, throwing stones and condemning them to hell for "false doctrine." As a Christian myself, I do not believe that homosexuality is a sin. It is listed in Leviticus, just like the other 613 commandments that were from the Old Law. New Christians believe that Jesus died on the cross and abolished the law. If you keep the Old Law, you must obey it, like steering away from lobster and shrimp scampi, not shaving your beard, not wearing clothing made out of different fabrics -- the list goes on.

In the Bible, it states:

"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 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 earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me an gave himself for me. I am not one for 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 2:17-21

Pretty huge statement if you think about it. “For if we could be saved by keeping the law, then there was no need for Christ to die.”

Another scriptures tells us that there are no more Jew or Gentile, male or female through faith.

"Let me put it in another way. The law was our guardian and teacher to lead us until Christ came. So now, through faith in Christ, we are made right with God. But now that faith in Christ has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian. So you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like him. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are ALL Christians—you are one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and now all the promises God gave to him belong to you." --Galatians 3:24-29

Another scriptures many Christians will throw at them is the story about Sodom & Gomorrah. This story references to rape and humiliation -- not a loving relationship between two people. But they will twist their scriptures to suit their own hatred and bigotry.

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is quite clear. Basically, God says that He's going to destroy cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, if two angels cannot find any good people within the towns. Once the angels arrive, a kind man named Lot invites these angels into his home and entertains them. This angers the cities' men, and the men rallied outside of Lot's home, wishing to do "perverse actions" to these male angels. Moments later, the two cities are destroyed by fiery rain. Many anti-gay Christian ministers use this passage to say that this is an example of God’s wrath against homosexuality -- as if the men of Sodom were all gay, and all trying to "be gay with" these male angels. Historians and sociologists tell us that gang rape was a very common form of brutal humiliation of the subjects, in the ancient Western world. The Sodomite men did not come to Lot’s house to have monogamous, committed, loving relationships with the male angels residing there. They came to rape these angels. Also, MULTIPLE parts of the Bible (Luke 10: 10-13; Isaiah 19: 13-14; Jeremiah 23: 14; Ezekiel 16: 49; Zephaniah 2: 8-11) tell us that God despised the greed and their wickedness toward outsiders as their sin, not that fact that men wanted to “have sex” with men.

Any references to homosexuality listed in Corinthians, Romans, Matthew -- any NT references -- are all describing promiscuity and lustful and reckless sex between both heterosexuals and homosexuals.

What truly bothers me about the flak that Sally and Maria have received is that they'd rather turn these two beautiful women away from God. Most say, "Denounce Christianity if you're going to continue your perverted lifestyle!" If you trust God enough, and you truly believe that homosexuality is in fact a sin, then pray for them. Don't you trust God? Don't you think God will handle any situation if He feels is unfit? By faith, these two women are preaching the word of God and inspiring many people. It is not "false doctrine" to spread God's word. It is false doctrine to judge people -- to throw stones -- to not acknowledge your own sinful ways.

Remember when the Pharisees brought in a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery?  They put her in front of a crowd and in front of Jesus and said, "Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery! The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?"

They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, "All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!' Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, "Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?"

"No Lord," she said.

And Jesus said, "Neither do I. Go and sin no more."

Many Christians will sift through that passage and read only one line: "Go and sin no more." Adultery is a sin, both for heterosexuals and homosexuals. We're talking about breaking a marital vow. Promiscuity is sinful, yes. It's also forgivable. But my point is, those who judge these new pastors of the Baptist church in Washington are acting like the Pharisees who threw that woman into the crowd to get stoned. They wanted to see her pay for her sinful act. Jesus was merciful. All of these awesome scriptures and stories about Jesus are overlooked by so many.

So my personal note to Sally Sarratt and Maria Swearingen is this...

May God bless the both of you as you inspire, encourage and teach the word of God. May the Holy Spirit guide you, flow through you, so that you can bless others with your faith. Stay strong, because remember -- Christians are the ones who get prosecuted! Real Christians of faith are the ones who will be stoned by many. Pray for a hedge of protection and remember, if God is on your side, then who can be against you? You are needed in this dark world, and I thank you. I wish I lived closer to be apart of your congregation. Blessings...

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