The Principles of Promise (and Another Test That Doesn’t Make Sense)

In the Bible, a man named Elkanah had two wives: Hannah and Peninnah. The latter had baby after baby, but Hannah couldn't get pregnant. Worse, the story says, "Because the Lord had closed Hannah’s womb, her rival kept provoking her in order to irritate her. This went on year after year. Whenever Hannah went up to … Continue reading The Principles of Promise (and Another Test That Doesn’t Make Sense)

How to Stop Doing Pretty Much Anything: Yield to God and Be the Hero of Your Story

When God gave me food allergies at age 38 to curb the binge eating I'd begun as a teen, I had to give up just about every food I'd ever loved. Six years later, I still whimper as I pass Little Debbie Banana Twins, Swiss Rolls, and Pumpkin Flips or Little Caesars Pizza. When I … Continue reading How to Stop Doing Pretty Much Anything: Yield to God and Be the Hero of Your Story

My Default Settings (Part One)

I hate daytime talk shows such as "The Talk," "The View," and "The Real," but I got sucked into TBN's "Better Together" before work July 19 because Laurie Crouch, Victoria Osteen, Deedee Freeman, and Holly Wagner were discussing bad habits. The fact the show aired the day after my birthday, when Charles Stanley started a … Continue reading My Default Settings (Part One)

How to Repent (God Wants You to Change Your Default Settings)

As last night's post stated, repentance is one of the keys to getting God to answer your prayers. Below, Bishop T.D. Jakes explains how to repent and how not to repent. How Not to Repent "Esau did something stupid. Now, everybody in here has made a dumb choice about something or someone or some moment, … Continue reading How to Repent (God Wants You to Change Your Default Settings)

God’s Name Is Riding on the Fact That You Will Succeed

Friday and Saturday, I spent hours crafting a tell-all post that I hoped would speed up the process of getting me out of the pit I fell in four-and-a-half years ago, shortly after I became a Christian. Sunday morning, Radio 1000 replayed a weeks-old sermon instructing me to wait and let God handle the wicked … Continue reading God’s Name Is Riding on the Fact That You Will Succeed

Christianity Is a Process (Phase One: The Love Test)

Once upon a time, a kid named Alexander had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Thanks to my parents, boyfriends, and bosses, many of whom I haven't even mentioned in this memoir yet, I've had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad life. To cope, I took diet pills to wake up, downed … Continue reading Christianity Is a Process (Phase One: The Love Test)

The Third Reason God Allowed Me to Become Homeless: My Foundation Had a Crack in It

If you read my last post, you know my cats were the only thing that kept me from walking into the ocean and never coming back when my first and only freelance client called during my trip to Kauai to tell me he didn't need me anymore because his partner was dissolving their partnership. Eight … Continue reading The Third Reason God Allowed Me to Become Homeless: My Foundation Had a Crack in It

How I Failed as a Freelance Writer (or, The Second Reason God Allowed Me to Become Homeless: I Stopped Using My Gifts and Talents — Part Three)

While working as a content manager for an abusive attorney who reminded me so much of my father that I went to my primary care physician for an antidepressant after swearing them off 10 years earlier and began binge eating in public, wolfing down entire boxes of Little Debbie Banana Twins at my desk, I … Continue reading How I Failed as a Freelance Writer (or, The Second Reason God Allowed Me to Become Homeless: I Stopped Using My Gifts and Talents — Part Three)

The Second Reason God Allowed Me to Become Homeless: I Stopped Using My Gifts and Talents (Part Two)

Until next Monday's post about gifts and talents, I will leave you with this: "I have never met anybody who was exceptional at anything who didn't have some experience somewhere in their life where they were crushed." - Bishop T.D. Jakes You'll recognize John Jenkins from many previous posts, including "Why Does God Allow Bad … Continue reading The Second Reason God Allowed Me to Become Homeless: I Stopped Using My Gifts and Talents (Part Two)

The Second Reason God Allowed Me to Become Homeless: I Stopped Using My Gifts and Talents (Part One)

The key to this post lies in the introductory clause of my previous post. I started writing this blog four years ago. Four -- 4 -- yearrrrs ago. I should be done by now, at least with the memoir part. I've stopped and restarted for three reasons: I don't like thinking about all the bad … Continue reading The Second Reason God Allowed Me to Become Homeless: I Stopped Using My Gifts and Talents (Part One)

13 Ways to Achieve Success (Lessons from God’s Dealings with the Israelites)

From the previous four posts, you learned that God doesn't want you to fear anything, that God wants you to demonstrate your faith in him like the man with the withered hand demonstrated his faith to Jesus, and that God wants you to do your part before he steps into your situation to do his. … Continue reading 13 Ways to Achieve Success (Lessons from God’s Dealings with the Israelites)

What Faith + Doing Your Part Looks Like

My previous two posts stated God wants you to demonstrate your faith like the man with the withered hand demonstrated his to Jesus, and he wants you to do your part before he does his. The Israelites provided a great example, according to Dr. Darrell Scott. How the Israelites Demonstrated Their Faith in God "Hebrews … Continue reading What Faith + Doing Your Part Looks Like

God Wants You to Demonstrate Your Faith Like the Man with the Withered Hand

During a message titled "Demonstration of Faith," Bishop T.D. Jakes showed how the man with the withered, or shriveled, hand demonstrated his faith to Jesus. Mark 3:1-5 says the following: What Is a Hand? T.D. Jakes said a hand is a symbol of power. Here's the first thing I thought of: We also use our … Continue reading God Wants You to Demonstrate Your Faith Like the Man with the Withered Hand

One More Possible Reason You’re Suffering: God’s Shaking the Nest

Before I get back to the memoir and tell you why I've been suffering and how God delivered me today, here's one more possible reason you're suffering: God's shaking the nest. Some CliffsNotes: When God stirs the nest, you can't sit where you used to sit. You can't [lie] down where you used to [lie] … Continue reading One More Possible Reason You’re Suffering: God’s Shaking the Nest

The Most Obvious Reason You’re Suffering: You’re out of the Will of God (I.e., You.Don’t.Listen)

Life would be a lot easier for everyone if people listened to what God says via the Bible, a pastor, or another person he's opted to use. Sometimes, I just want to throttle people. God undoubtedly felt the same way about me during my buttercream frosting phase this summer, but as I shared with my … Continue reading The Most Obvious Reason You’re Suffering: You’re out of the Will of God (I.e., You.Don’t.Listen)

Confession Is Good for the Soul — and the Sweet Tooth (or How God Cured My Sugar Cravings)

Nothing in my life is ever easy. For example, I applied for a dream job yesterday and realized many links to writing samples were broken because one magazine changed its name, and the magazine that published articles I wrote for Napa River Inn in 2017 produced a 2018 version and removed the old one from … Continue reading Confession Is Good for the Soul — and the Sweet Tooth (or How God Cured My Sugar Cravings)

Are You Following God’s Timing and Will for Your Life? Or Are You Getting Ahead of God?

Sometimes, we think we’re doing the right thing, and biblically it even seems like the right thing, but it turns out to be the wrong thing. Soon after I had French fries with my father, I started thinking that driving to his place to reconcile after not seeing or speaking to him for 11 years … Continue reading Are You Following God’s Timing and Will for Your Life? Or Are You Getting Ahead of God?

Without Faith, It Is Impossible to Please God, but What Do You Do When He Gives You More Tests Instead of the Promise He Made You?

The Bible says, "Without faith, it is impossible to please God," but God will test your faith, and he doesn't play fair. For example: I became homeless with two cats Monday night; my freelance writing dried up, so I've only been making $8.80 per hour at a part-time retail gig; I'm almost out of money … Continue reading Without Faith, It Is Impossible to Please God, but What Do You Do When He Gives You More Tests Instead of the Promise He Made You?

Another Reason I Nearly Killed Myself One Christmas Morning: People Suck (or How My Parents and Boyfriends Caused PTSD: Part One)

A week into my underemployment at a grocery store this summer, a freshly tattooed 20-year-old in the deli department borrowed a pen from me in the bakery after showing me his forearm-long tribute to his grandfather and telling me he was tired from playing softball with his family before work. Maybe 10 minutes later, he … Continue reading Another Reason I Nearly Killed Myself One Christmas Morning: People Suck (or How My Parents and Boyfriends Caused PTSD: Part One)

God’s Purpose for Your Storm (A Darrell Scott Sermon)

We read Mark's gospel and John's gospel, but in Matthew as well, it states that after the feeding of the 5,000, the lord [told] his disciples to get into a ship and pass over to the other side, and the language of those gospel narratives [expresses an] unwillingness on the part of the disciples. They … Continue reading God’s Purpose for Your Storm (A Darrell Scott Sermon)

Few People Talk About Why They Want to Die Before They Commit Suicide. I Blame Journalists for Three Reasons

Last week, 104-year-old scientist David Goodall told the Associated Press he was going to "take advantage of Switzerland's assisted-suicide laws" after contemplating suicide for 20 years and bungling it three times. That night, 36-year-old Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison tweeted, "I'm away now. Thanks," before killing himself. Investigators found his body three days later. Last … Continue reading Few People Talk About Why They Want to Die Before They Commit Suicide. I Blame Journalists for Three Reasons

Chapter 12: How Domestic Violence Affected Me: The Never-Ending Search for Love and Stability: Part One (or Bad Boyfriends and Horrible Bosses: The Sum of My Experiences (Part One))

In addition to food, water, shelter, and clothing, parents are supposed to provide security and affection. If they don’t, any shrink will tell you, their children spend the rest of their life looking for what they lacked. Since my father threatened to burn down our house with my mom, brother, and me inside, to kidnap my … Continue reading Chapter 12: How Domestic Violence Affected Me: The Never-Ending Search for Love and Stability: Part One (or Bad Boyfriends and Horrible Bosses: The Sum of My Experiences (Part One))

My “Unique Blogger Award” Nomination (and the Importance of Telling Your Own Story)

I've been broke and unable to shop for anything beyond necessities since October 2014, so I didn't know tax-free weekend existed until I walked next door to Target during a break from my retail job a couple of weeks ago and saw a sign portending service workers' impending doom on the sliding glass door. Friday, … Continue reading My “Unique Blogger Award” Nomination (and the Importance of Telling Your Own Story)

Happy Birthday to Me?

Saturday, July 15, which was my abusive father's 64th birthday and the 10th anniversary of my mom's suicide, I walked three miles home from a library and grocery store in mid-day heat and humidity to find two bracelets that an ex left hanging from my doorknob in a gift bag. Having discovered some upsetting-yet-not-surprising information … Continue reading Happy Birthday to Me?

Chapter 11: How Domestic Violence and My Relationship with a Mama’s Boy Affected Me (Part V: An Outspoken Personality, Problems with Porn, and Trust Issues—or How I Became My Parents)

According to Psych Central, children of alcoholics typically suffer from low self-esteem, wind up in unhealthy relationships, and tolerate behaviors that other people find unacceptable—presumably because they're used to them. It got two out of three right where I'm concerned. If you read my blog post about Facebook Live killer Steve Stephens or any of … Continue reading Chapter 11: How Domestic Violence and My Relationship with a Mama’s Boy Affected Me (Part V: An Outspoken Personality, Problems with Porn, and Trust Issues—or How I Became My Parents)

Chapter 9: How Domestic Violence Affected Me (Part III: Unhealthy Relationships)

In high school, I envied girls who had boyfriends and developed crushes on football players and nerds who sat beside or in front of me and talked to me as they used my desk to do tricep dips or passed me papers. The year my mom said short stories I'd written to make her proud … Continue reading Chapter 9: How Domestic Violence Affected Me (Part III: Unhealthy Relationships)

Intermission: How a Teen with Low Self-Esteem Wound up Working Retail (or My Short Stint as a Kennel Assistant)

As a child, I aspired to become a vet because bad things always happened to my cats. Some disappeared, leaving me to wonder whether my father drowned them in our pool as he threatened with every litter. Most were killed while crossing the road in search of better food than the cheap kibble he allowed … Continue reading Intermission: How a Teen with Low Self-Esteem Wound up Working Retail (or My Short Stint as a Kennel Assistant)