A Divine Dream, Two Divine Signs, and A Confirmation About Huggabear Farm

The story which I am about to tell you, at least to me, is nothing short of amazing. A very clear message sent from God to myself, my husband and our children. You may not believe what I am about to write and that is okay. I thank you all the same for taking the time to read it. Never-the-less, whether anyone believes this story or not, it is all 100% true.

Before I begin the story I need to explain the reasoning for my writing it today.

In the month of March my oldest child, Aven Salei, turned 18 and my honorary niece Valerie Nerone had come to visit her. During her visit she shared with us the name of an inspiring pastor she had been watching online during the Covid months. His name is Pastor Michael Todd of the Transformation Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Our family watched a sermon he gave on the first Sunday of January 2020 and it was all about “Vision”. In the sermon he told us that when God gives you a vision of something that He wants you to do, you need to write it down. I had the idea to write this blog before I heard him say that, but felt more led to get it done after I heard his sermon. Then Easter came and with it our Huggabear Children’s Project work so the blog was delayed.

Then today we watched his sermon that was from the first Sunday of January 2021 called “Anchored” and in it he taught about how God speaks to us. To illustrate his sermon personally, he showed us how God had been speaking something directly to him about the work he was to do for the year 2021 and how God showed him not one, not two, but three clear and direct signs to confirm the work to him.

After seeing that sermon I knew that today would be the day I would write this blog. So, I want to say thank you to Valerie for sharing with us about Pastor Michael Todd, you were being used of God to speak to me and thank you to Pastor Michael Todd for those two powerful and personally significant sermons that you gave. God definitely used you to speak to me as well!

In order for you to have a solid understanding of this amazing story, how powerful God is, and how He can work in a person’s heart, I have to give you a little bit of my history with my homeland.

I was born on August, 26, 1971 in the Maricopa County Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona. I have lived in Phoenix all of my life, which up to now has been 49 years, 8 months and 11 days.

I have always loved Phoenix. I have had the blessing of traveling to many places in this world and always loved coming home to Phoenix. I even loved the heat, well, kind of.

If I am being totally honest, I dreaded the heat. Every year I dreaded it. But I repeated the words of others around me saying things like, “Yes, but it’s a dry heat.” (Which does make sense when you have experienced humidity!) or I would say things like, “You just stay inside and move from air conditioned place to air conditioned place!” or “Our summers are hard but our winters are beautiful!” (Which also is quite true.) Josh felt the exact same way as me and even said the exact same things I did. We both loved Phoenix, Arizona. It was home.

However, as time went by, every year of my life, the summers were killing my love for living in Phoenix… along with all my trees. 😦 This past summer 2020 really did me in.

Then something very peculiar and significant happened. I had a dream.

It was in the month of May 2020. It was the week after Mother’s Day. If you haven’t read it, I wrote a blog about that Mother’s Day and what an incredible day God blessed me with if you would like to read it as well.

The dream was of my family, Josh, Aven, MaCaedyn, Samuel and myself, all standing in a tightly bound circle with our arms wrapped around each other. Outside our circle was another larger circle of people. Some we were close to, some we were not so close to. Not all my relationships were in this circle, just certain ones.

The best way I could describe how this looked is to use the diagram of a nucleus with a ring of electrons around it. My family was the nucleus and all the people standing side by side in a ring around us were the electrons.

In the dream I looked up and I saw that slowly, one by one, those people were being spaced away from our family. Like they were slowly floating backward. As I watched, I saw a giant pair of white glowing hands in-between my family and the outer ring of people and I realized that the hands were separating the people from us, creating distance between us.

When I woke up the next morning, I shared the dream with Josh and my children. I also shared it with a few prayer warrior friends who found it very interesting, yet, none of us understood what it meant.

That was May 2020 and anyone who lives in Phoenix will tell you, the summer heat of Phoenix doesn’t wait until the typical summer months of June, July and August to arrive. It can begin in May… or even April. As I sit outside right now writing this blog April 11, 2020, I’m sweating. Bleh.

After my Mother’s Day 2020 adventure to visit Christopher Creek to escape the heat, my family wanted to have more of that time in the woods and out of the ‘flames’ of Phoenix. We couldn’t afford to take a trip anywhere so we would save up just enough money for gas, then we would pack a picnic and our baseball gear and head up to the woods just for a day. For us, it was thrilling! We were escaping the heat and could spend an entire day outdoors playing in the cool woods without boiling ourselves and burning our skin like we would in Phoenix.

It was during the Covid summer months of 2020 that a significant change began to take place inside my heart and Josh’s. Every morning that we got up to take one of our road trip adventures to the woods we were filled with so much pure joy and we discovered that joy wasn’t just because we wanted to escape the heat, it was because of the land we were going to.

Growing up, my Mema and Papa had three “homes”. One was their Phoenix residence, one was in Payson, Arizona and the other was a cabin that my Papa built out of internment camp sectionals from World War II at Mormon Lake nestled in the Ponderosa Pines.

When I had the blessing of being able to go to the cabin, all through my childhood and into my adult years, I felt something that I didn’t have when I was in Phoenix. It was like I was a different person. I was more peaceful. I slept better at night and had more energy during the day. I breathed in the clean air easy, and as a person who has dealt with asthma since the age of 3 months that is always a welcome relief. In the forest, I loved seeing the blue of the sky, the animals and most of all, the trees. I loved the sounds of the wind blowing through the trees and the crunch of the dry pine needles beneath my feet. I loved the sounds of the birds and forest critters. I also loved the lack of sounds from the city of constant traffic, sirens, and helicopters. I loved how the air smelled of pines as soon as I arrived and stepped out of the car. I loved how bright and brilliant the stars were at night and, most importantly, I loved how I could step outside and get away from man made things and submerge myself in God made things so quickly, so easily. I felt closer to God there. I still love all those things now, even more than when I was young.

When I am in the woods, on the beach, or in any other beautiful place of nature made by God, it cleanses me. My stresses melt away and even when there are circumstances of daily life that must be handled, it just seems so much easier for me when I am a beautiful place of God’s nature. Being out in the open reminds me just how big my Beautiful God is and seeing all He has created leaves me speechless.

Then I had another realization… something that is so obvious to me that I am actually a bit embarrassed to say I didn’t recognized it sooner. I am the author of The Huggabears children’s books. I have created an entire imaginary land called the Bearwood Forest and a town called Bearford Falls where the Huggabear Family and all kinds of other woodland critters dwell. The idea for that book series came from God and the place that He had me create is based upon the woods of the Ponderosa Pines, the very same woods where my Mema would take me on long walks and teach me about the love of Jesus, the power of prayer and God’s Word. I write about the woods in every single story of The Huggabears and my love for it is clearly reflected in all those stories. I realized that deep down inside my heart, the woods have been calling to me for years and years, even through my ministry work. Yet, I still live in the desert.

I came to understand that I am so much happier in the woods, Josh is happier in the woods and so are our children. So why are we living in a city in the desert? Josh began to realize this it too. We came to this understanding at the exact same time and felt the exact same way. When we shared it with one another it was such a powerful, beautiful moment in our marriage. All these years we had shared a great love for living in Phoenix and then, all at once, we both had been changed and everything was different. We longed to lived someplace different.

We began sharing our thoughts about our feelings with the children and wondered what they would think about moving. Well… we wondered what MaCaedyn and Samuel would think about it. All of her life we knew that Aven hated the heat of Phoenix. Detested it. Loathed it. Despised it. All those adjectives would fit into her annual descriptions of her feelings about the summers when the heat came. Though she will admit she does love swimming and waterparks, she always wanted to go and be in the snow and loves being wrapped in warm clothes, fuzzy socks and her treasured sleeping bag. Still, I honestly didn’t know how Samuel and MaCaedyn felt about the heat. So, one day during school I began to share with them what was happening my heart and how daddy and I were feeling like we wanted to live in woods. Both MaCaedyn and Samuel immediately shared that they would love to live in the woods and Samuel was quite specific that we were going to live in Flagstaff. Not that he hoped to live in Flagstaff, not that he wished we would live in Flagstaff, but that we will be living in Flagstaff and that Huggabear Farm would be built there.

They also began to tell me how much they loved being in colder weather. Whenever we took winter trips, they loved bundling up in coats, hats, gloves and boots. It didn’t bother them at all. MaCaedyn said, “You know, in the cold you can always add more clothes, but in the heat you can only get so naked.” Ha! Samuel and Aven also pointed out that we spend so many days stuck inside during the summer so if we moved to a place where there was snow, we might not be able to go out everyday but you can still play in snow whereas you can’t play in heat unless it involved a pool–which we don’t have, or water of some kind.

We also learned during the summer of 2020 that Aven has health issues which arise during the heat which she doesn’t deal with during the cooler months. Josh and I also noticed that we have more pain and inflammation in our bodies during the summer than we do during the cold months. These reasons were added onto the pile of why we wanted to move to the forest.

Once we learned of our family’s feelings about living in Phoenix and the heat we began to pray about it to see what God’s will was for us. We asked very specifically in our prayers that if God wanted us to stay here to use us for His glory in Phoenix, Arizona, then that is exactly what we would do, and we asked Him that if it was not His will for us to move to the woods that He would remove the desire from all of our hearts and that we would be perfectly content to stay and get back to loving the heat. We also asked Him if it is was His will for us to move to woods that He would make that clear to us as well.

Every day we prayed and every day the yearning to move to the forest grew stronger and our desire to stay in Phoenix diminished. It is still that way now. During our family scripture reading almost every night Josh read a chapter that spoke “the land you are going to inherit” or “the land you are going to cross the Jordan to inherit”. I looked it up and there is a tiny little speck of a town that is called Jordan which we would be pass or “cross over” when traveling from Phoenix to Flagstaff. This inspired us even more!

We decided to use our time escaping the heat as time to explore some towns and places to see where it was that would be part of God’s plan for us to live. Samuel thought this a huge waste of time as he knew that we were going to live in Flagstaff. He said it over and over again, “It’s Flagstaff… Flagstaff… Flagstaff… You all are wrong, it’s Flagstaff.” Still, we went and explored and with every place we went, though we had fun together as a family, we also felt it together as a family: NO. This is not the town. This is not the place. I can’t explain it to you other than to say we just felt it in and knew in our hearts it wasn’t the place God had for us.

I hope all of that gives you a greater understanding of where we were and what we were praying for because NOW we get to the really cool part of the story! This is what I was supposed to write down and share with whomever will read it!

When I first began writing The Huggabears books, God gave me a dream of a place where children could come to be ministered to. It was a location that looked like the Bearwood Forest and had the town of Bearford Falls from my Huggabear books. A land full of imagination, joy and the love of Jesus as well as being the home base for The Huggabear Children’s Project, Inc. ministry.

I thought the place was going to be a small children’s amusement park like The Enchanted Island or something, but I could never come up with the right name for it. My vision lacked complete clarity so I just kept creating the stories, the songs, and doing the Huggabear nonprofit work.

When Samuel was a baby he was thrilled with farming. I remember when he was three years old he saw pumpkins in the store and asked me where they came from. I told him about farms and he began planting and growing pumpkins and other vegetables in the backyard. When he was five years old he told me, “Someday, when I grow up, I’m going to have a farm.”

God told me in that very moment the place He gave me a vision of for children was going to be called “Huggabear Farm”! I can tell you right where I was standing when it happened. We had been working in the garden and were coming in the house to wash up. Samuel turned to me and said what he said and I was standing on the patio. I stopped in my tracks as God spoke Huggabear Farm to my heart. After that, the kids and I talked about the dream of Huggabear Farm everyday. We discussed ideas in school, we made drawings and lists, we watched educational videos and we began praying for it to come. This would be a farm like no other the world has ever seen because it would be a ministry farm. It wouldn’t just be about things we grow from the ground, it would be about planting the seeds of the love of Jesus into the hearts of others. A place where all families could come to for free and never have to pay for admission. A place where children would play and make memories. A place that would have the Word of God all though it so that the people who came to visit would be submerged in the teachings and love of God’s Word while they were there. Huggabear Farm would be full of music and laughter. We would put on shows and programs that would teach the love, power, healing and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. It would be a place of education, imagination and salvation. God revealed to me that there are people in this world who might never step inside the doors of a church… but they would visit a farm. While they were there, we would gently plant the seeds of the love of Jesus into their hearts and spirits.

The children and I had a pretty good idea of all the things we should have on Huggabear Farm and when we would talk about it with Josh he always was very supportive, but I could tell he hadn’t seen the vision for it yet. So I prayed for him and asked God, if this was something that our family was meant to build together, please give Josh the vision for it because there was no way I could ever build it without him.

God answered that prayer while we were housesitting for our friends John and Gerry Dillingham. They live on a golf course and each night we would walk outside and be in the beauty of the green course with all the trees and landscaping. Then we would come inside and the kids and I would sit and draw plans for the farm. It was in the open space of the golf course that God gave Josh the vision. He saw it clearly before him and I knew it was God that did it and not us because after Josh saw the vision of it, that was all he could talk about!

We decided to take a step of faith and start building what we could where we lived. We knew it couldn’t be much as we have a small home and yards, but we were going to do the best we could with what we have. We began building in the summer of 2018 and we had the majority of it finished by that fall 2018. We wanted to show God how serious we were about doing this and prove to Him that He could trust us if He provided us the land and the funds, we would build the real Huggabear Farm. But for that time, we were thrilled to have the mini farm.

We began having events for children of all ages, from infants and toddlers to teens and young adults. We had an opening day celebration, two pumpkin parties, a “Boo Bash” teen party with home made haunted house, two Christmas parties, a few birthday parties for our kids and an Easter egg hunt… then came Covid. We had to stop holding events at home, but we have never stopped working, building, improving, planning, designing and adding to the “Mini” Huggabear Farm.

Before our hearts changed about having the farm in Phoenix, we had looked at land all over the place! Anywhere we saw land for sale that looked like a nice parcel, we would visit it, pray over it and ask God to reveal His will. We didn’t and still don’t have one dime to build this farm but that doesn’t worry or detract us in anyway at all. We know God does and He would supply the needs! As God changed our hearts about the farm being in Phoenix, He began showing us that we could never do all that we wanted to during the summer months. It is just too darn hot! And for us, summer was a very important time because kids were out of school and looking for things to do.

I went back and forth on that for several months. Should we stay here in Phoenix where there are so many kids in need? How would they get to us if we were someplace far away? I was praying about this while watering the garden one evening and I asked God that very question, “How would the children be able to afford to drive up to us if they are children in need?” Immediately I heard that ever familiar whisper inside my head, “Do you really think I can’t get the children to you?”

Talk about humble! Boy did I feast on humble pie that night! I went in and told Josh and from that night on, I haven’t worried one bit about the location and whether or not children could come to us. Wherever it is God places us, He will make a way for the children to get there.

We knew so many things that Huggabear Farm would have on it and that it would be a place where Samuel could grow pumpkins, but we knew he didn’t want to sell the pumpkins, he wanted to give them away to children. So the question kept coming to our minds, “What would we grow and sell on Huggabear Farm to help support it so we could keep admission free?”

We wondered about apples or pecans trees. We even planted ten pecan seeds to grow saplings. Not one of them sprouted. So we kept praying. We knew that God would reveal to us what He wanted us to grow to sell so we could support the farm and our family.

No to the amazing part of the story! Not that all that wasn’t amazing, but this is pretty cool!

One day in the year 2017, I was in Hobby Lobby buying some items for a new Huggabear book and I saw an old fashioned red truck. Now, if you don’t know about The Huggabear books, I create all of the illustrations for the stories with my family by building miniaturized scenes that I photograph. If you have never seen the Huggabears, you can visit our website at: huggabears.org to see what they look like.

The red truck that I saw at Hobby Lobby was perfect for Daddy bear to have as a work truck. It was the exact size I needed and looked like it would be a perfect fit for Daddy Huggabear to get in. It wasn’t fancy, just a plain red truck. The only problem was it cost $70 which was far more than I could afford at that time and, oddly enough, I didn’t know about the 40% coupons on their app.

Now, if you go to Hobby Lobby on a regular basis you know that eventually everything in that store gets marked down, but I never saw these red trucks get marked down. Never.

Then one day I went and they were all gone. I was disappointed but I thought, if God wants me to have a red truck for Daddy Huggabear, they will bring them back and He will provide the funds for it.

Two years passed by, it was now 2019. I went into Hobby Lobby and they had red trucks! They were a little different as they were a little bit smaller and they had a cute Christmas tree mounted in the back, but I checked the price and they were on sale! Only $25! MaCaedyn and I scooped one up and happily brought it home to show the rest of the family who all loved it.

I didn’t really pay a lot of attention to the outside of the truck itself. My main concern was whether or not Daddy Huggabear would fit inside and when I measure the windows and saw he would I was so happy! I gave thanks to God for making that purchase happen for the Huggabear Family. I knew I wasn’t going to be creating a book where Daddy Huggabear would drive the truck for a while, so I placed it in our workshop with some of my other story set props and went on my way.

Fast forward another full year. We are now in the year 2020.

I was working on my latest Huggabear book “The Ooky-Spooky, Creaky, Creepy, Scary Old House on Hallow’s Hill” which I released on October 31, 2020. This story doesn’t have Daddy Huggabear’s truck in it, but I was working around all of my story set props while creating it.

One day, I went out to get something from the workshop (or as Josh calls it the Huggarage) and I happened to look at the red truck as I passed by. I smiled and said, “Thank You again God for that truck.”

And then God said to me, “Go back and read what is on it.” I stopped in my tracks.

I didn’t hear an audible voice like when you or I speak. It was like a whisper in my brain. People who haven’t had this experience won’t understand that but for those who have had it, you will understand. The words were strong and clear. I have had this kind of experience before and I knew it was God, so I immediately turned around and went back to the truck. I pulled it out from it’s storage space and looked at it.

When I bought it, I had seen the Christmas tree, but was so focused upon the size of the window, the driver’s seat and steering wheel to make sure Daddy Huggabear would fit, I didn’t pay any attention to the side of the truck which had Christmas trees on it and read: “Farm Fresh Christmas Trees Fir, Spruce, Pine, Cedar”. I read the words aloud and after I did, God spoke to me again and said, “This is what Huggabear Farm will be. Christmas trees and Pumpkins.”

Of course! We could grow and sell Christmas trees to support the farm!

I grabbed hold of the truck and ran into the house! I was so excited and couldn’t wait to share with my family what God had just told me about Huggabear Farm… but everyone was on a device– some with headsets on and didn’t want to stop to listen to what I had to say. So I just took the truck back into the workshop and placed it back on the shelf and kept the Word from the Lord inside my heart.

That was in October 2020.

Time past and one day in November 2020, Josh went to do some grocery shopping for me. We have a game in our household that we love to play about staying on the budget. Whenever one of us goes shopping, we head out with our list in hand and usually come home bragging about how we stayed totally on budget or even came in under it. But this day Josh came home very excited and said, “I went $15 over budget today, but I had to get you something!”

I was excited to see what it was that made him so excited. “I saw these little Christmas barns for sale, and I started to get you one, but when I saw this, I just had to get it for you,” he said happily.

As he pulled the gift out of the bag it wasn’t just excitement that washed over me, it was the power of the Holy Spirit. Immediately, I clasped my hands over my mouth and stared at it in amazement.

“It’s a Christmas tree Farm!” he said with joy.

He had bought me a small, porcelain, light up, Christmas tree Farm that read at the top: “Farm Fresh Christmas Trees Fir, Spruce, Pine, Cedar”.

For a moment I could hardly speak or even breath as I knew that God was now speaking to Josh what He had spoken to me. Both items said the exact same thing, yet one was purchased by myself over a year ago at one location and the other was purchased by Josh at another. It was incredible!

I started jumping up and down and ran into the workshop to get the truck and began rattling off the story of how God had spoke to me that Huggabear Farm would be a Christmas tree farm. Josh and the kids listened intently and were astounded at the story and the two items which we clearly understood to be signs from God before us. I remember Josh saying, “I bet this is one time you are thankful that none of us listened to you! If we had, it wouldn’t make this so incredible!”

MaCaedyn told me that she actually had heard me tell my story so she knew that God had spoken to me first!

But Josh was right. If he had heard my story, then this sign wouldn’t really be a sign from God but just something that Josh did out of love and kindness. Josh NOT knowing my story and what God had shown me made it so much more powerful!

Right then and there we decided that we believed both of these things were signs from God and we also came to understand that the dream I had where the people were being distanced from us was also God communicating to us that we were going to be moving somewhere else. Somewhere other than Phoenix and that distance was going to be coming between us and the faces around us which were being moved back.

We decided that we were not going to tell a soul about what had happened with the two signs, but instead, we were going to pray nightly as a family for God to send us a third confirmation that Huggabear Farm was going to be a Christmas tree and pumpkin farm. We know God works in threes and we just wanted to make sure beyond a shadow of a doubt that what we were experiencing was communication from God, just like Gideon did in the book of Judges with the fleece. (Judges 6:33-40)

So we prayed and asked that God would send a third confirmation from someone outside of our family unit. It could be anyone and in anyway, from a relative, a friend or even better– total stranger! No one had ever said this to us before so we knew that if someone said it to us now it would be a clear confirmation. They could have had a vision, a dream, an idea, or whatever! However God wanted to give it to us, we asked that He could give us that third confirmation that Huggabear Farm would be a Christmas tree and pumpkin farm.

My family was so excited! We all love Christmas trees so much and use them to teach children about the everlasting love of Jesus just like the ancient German missionaries of the past did in the pagan regions. I even wrote a lesson about this from my character of Obadiah in my third Intercessors book “Confession”. In fact, part of our Huggabear work at Christmastime is to give Christmas trees to families in need so that their children can enjoy having a tree on Christmas day. The more we thought about it the more it made perfect sense! How could we not see this before? It was the perfect crop for Huggabear Farm! After all, bears live in the forest, we wanted to live in the forest and Christmas trees are something that could make a profit to support the farm every year! In my Huggabear books I never had given Daddy Huggabear a job, now I could! He would grow Christmas trees! It was all perfect!

Everyday we would spend time talking about it and everyday we went shopping we were surrounded by it! I have seen cute Christmas decorations that had a truck with a Christmas tree on it and say “Merry Christmas” in the past, but in the year 2020 they didn’t just say “Merry Christmas”. Everywhere it would say, “Christmas Tree Farm”!!!! It was in every store, everywhere we went! Then I had a wake up call, which again is embarrassing to admit I didn’t notice sooner… we keep Christmas trees up year round in and outside our house! Just little ones, but we decorate them for each holiday and we have two inside our home year round and FIVE outside on our patio year round! I also have three growing in our front yard! I used to have 7 but each summer the heat kills another one! (Boooo! Hissss!)

But still! Seeing all this was like that scene in the movie “I Can Only Imagine”. The writer of that song had been writing that phrase all around him for years and he didn’t see it until the time was right. And the time was God’s time. We were now seeing how God had been speaking this to us and preparing us for this for years! Which just added to our joy!!!

All of this excitement compiled with their dreams of experiencing a White Christmas (which is one of our holiday movie favorites) inspired the children to want to spend Christmas in the snow. They didn’t want to leave our home on Christmas Eve, they wanted to have dinner and our traditional events and our traditional Christmas morning but then they wanted to be packed and ready so that we could all–pups included, jump into the Huggamobile and head for the woods! And there was only one place they wanted to go: Flagstaff, naturally.

After weeks of searching, God led Josh to find the most darling cabin for rent where we could take the dogs. After opening gifts and having some breakfast, we headed for the glories of the forest in Flagstaff! There wasn’t much snow, but that didn’t stop us from having an incredible time! Our children were so happy. They said it had been one of the best Christmases of their lives– outside of Christmas at Disneyland of course. 😉 God blessed us so richly and we enjoyed every single minute of that trip!

A few days after we came home, I went outside and called my friend Gerry who couldn’t wait to hear all about our holiday and I about hers. After I had told her about our trip I said, “We all love it up there so much. It is such a great town! We also went to Williams because we love it there too! In Flagstaff we have all that we need up there as far as city needs go, even a university, but then a few minutes out, you are in the thick of the woods.” I conveyed how much we all want to live there–even the little dogs! They loved it! Reblen, who usually spends her days resting on our chaise was outside running and playing everyday. She was the first one out the door!

After a while of sharing how much we love it there and how we are begging God to let us move there if it is His will, Gerry said, “Angelique! Huggabear Farm should grow Christmas trees and pumpkins! It could be a Christmas tree and pumpkin farm!”

As soon as the words came out of her mouth I jumped up off my seat, ran to the house and started yelling in the door, “Gerry said it! Gerry said it! She said Huggabear Farm should grow Christmas trees and pumpkins!!”

My family was ecstatic! Poor Gerry probably thought I had gone crazy! I took the time to explain everything to her about what we had been praying for and when I did she too was amazed! God used my friend of so many years, to give us our third confirmation: Huggabear Farm will grow Christmas trees and pumpkins amidst lots and LOTS of love, joy and imagination!

We would love for it to be in Flagstaff because we have fallen in love with the town–and we love Williams and the Historic Route 66! But does the Huggabear Farm have to be in Flagstaff? No. That is a place we love and the forest I have known all my life. But we all agree, we want God’s perfect will to be fulfilled. Because when it is, wherever He leads us, it will be absolutely, totally and completely perfect! We are placing none of our limits on God’s plan because we know, He knows best. Our prayer right now is, “Lead us Lord, we will follow!”

There even came a great change in my heart about my dream home. I had always hoped to have a home of my own someday, something that reflected our family with enough space for us all to be together and have places of our own as well. We would call it Huggabear House. I, sad to say, had placed another limitation on God where that dream home was concerned. I wanted it to be single story with no stairs, but even that desire began to change in my heart. I would take whatever home God wanted me to have, stairs and all, and if it was an old home that needed love and restoration, we would do that too.

God had transformed my heart during the year 2020 where this dream was concerned and I am so glad that He did because I understand that He has plans for me, my family, and our ministry work that far surpass anything that I could ever hope or imagine. I want God’s perfect will to be done in my life over my own will for I know He knows best, after all… He created me.

So that’s my amazing story! Some people may read this and not be impressed. They may say it is all just one big coincidence. But we know better. We know that there is no word in the Hebrew language that means coincidence. It is all God! And we know that He spoke to us direct three times. Once with a toy truck. Once with a porcelain Christmas decoration and once through a faithful, Jesus loving friend. He also spoke to me many times through my dreams!

The month is now April and we still haven’t heard from God about when or where He wants us to move. But He has given us work to do in the meantime while we wait on His perfect timing and plan. We took a little missions trip on Easter Sunday to do some Huggabear work for the homeless in Flagstaff, enjoyed a trek through the woods, had a picnic and even made a snowbear! There was no snow where we were on Christmas but we were blessed with a little on Easter! Samuel declared that we were the only people in the history of the world to create a snowbear and snow bearpaw on Easter Sunday!

We are still waiting on God and I admit it is hard sometimes in the waiting, especially when you are so excited to go and do something you know you are meant to do. It makes me think of Abraham and Sarah who had to wait 25 years for God to fulfill His promise that one day they would have a son. My waiting is much easier because I have my beautiful family waiting with me and while we wait together we are loving each other, praying together and seeking God’s perfect will for our future place of ministry.

I encourage you as Pastor Michael Todd encouraged me, if God has given you a vision for a work that you are to do, write it down! Share it with others so that when God brings that vision to fruition, not only you, but all you shared it with will know that God always keep His promises, He does speak to people, He has never changed and He is still able to perform miracles!

Oh yes, and Samuel wants me to make sure that everyone knows that he knew first that it was Flagstaff… just in case it really is Flagstaff!

The Last Twenty Dollars – A Story of Obedience, Faith and Trust

I have had many miracles performed by my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, throughout my life and it has been laid upon my heart to write them down for others to read. I know that faith lies within the heart of the believer, but I am hoping that through my family’s testimonies of miracles, people will learn that God, Jehovah, is real. He is alive. His only Son, Jesus Christ is real and He is alive. And the Holy Spirit of God is real and with us, helping and comforting us.

This is a true story that happened many years ago.

The year was 2007. Josh had just been laid off from Countrywide Financial. When the housing market crashed in 2006 and Josh had no work as a home appraiser, we tried to do our best to stay afloat and keep all we had… but that wasn’t part of God’s plan. We ended up losing our home, selling a truck, and declaring bankruptcy. It was a tough time for sure, but we would have rather lost those kinds of things as opposed to losing one of our babies or each other.

At this time we had three babies, Aven was almost five, MaCaedyn was two and Samuel Braeden was about a year old. We were living with my mom. She had a two-bedroom condo and we arranged all five of us in one of the rooms, which was (thank God!) a second master bedroom with a walk-in closet. It wasn’t what we dreamed of, but since the children were babies, they loved it and we were safe, had shelter, comfy beds, warmth in the winter and air conditioning in the summer–which in Phoenix is a great blessing!

Josh had been doing everything he could to find work, but the country was in a recession and there wasn’t much work to be found. Still, he got up every day and searched for a job, putting applications anywhere and everywhere he could. He took any day job he could find, big or small, no matter how much it paid.

There were some who thought we were a little bit crazy because during this time God had spoken to us to start a 501c3 nonprofit organization for children, which we did. It is called The Huggabear Children’s Project, Inc. www.huggabears.org

Although this work took a lot of time for both of us, we felt very strongly led by God that we would never take a salary for doing it and we never have. Doing the work for children in need brings us so much joy and taught us that even in the circumstances we were in, we were not poor. We serve children in other nations who live in poverty, children who are orphans or their parents have put them in orphanages because they can’t afford to care for them. In America we serve children who don’t have proper clothing, shoes, have medical or educational needs, children that don’t have proper housing or even a bed. We know what poverty is because of the work that we do. We have experienced financial struggles, but we have never poor.

We always had a place to live where we were sheltered and safe.
We always had electricity, running water and indoor plumbing.
We always had food and clean water to drink and bathe in.
We always had clothes, shoes, medical care, and warm beds to sleep in.
We had toys and educational tools for our children.
No. We have never poor.

Still, the Lord tests us from time to time, and I’m very thankful we had this test.

Although we had applied for different assistance programs, we received cards that had nothing on them. While Josh was trying to work this out, we had help from my family members and friends, but Josh wanted a job. He is a hard and dedicated worker and wanted to provide for his family again, just like so many millions of other Americans at that time.

Josh had done a day job one week that helped us along for several days, but when you have babies, there is a constant need for diapers, wipes, pullups, and milk–especially a big baby boy like Samuel B.!

We went to church one night to hear a special speaker who had come in to teach people about the power of giving and being obedient to God’s Word where our finances were concerned. It was a pretty full house that night. After church, we were going to stop by a Walmart and buy some diapers and milk. We had $20.

Sometimes when I say that people think $20 was all we had in our wallet.
No. Let me be very clear, that was all – we – had. The savings was gone, the home was gone, there was no income. The $20 bill that Josh had in his wallet was it.

During the sermon, the pastor taught that “When God tells you to do or give something, don’t put it off. Obedience is immediate, and if you delay in your obedience, you delay or completely miss the blessing God has for you.”

Then it was time to pray. We prayed for the people of our church and for so many others in the country who were struggling like we were. We prayed for the children of our organization and all the needs that we knew they had, and we prayed for Josh’s job.

When the prayer was over, I felt Josh grab hold of my hand. I looked at his face, and without saying one word, I knew was he was telling me. Tears began to well up in my eyes.

“I have to give it,” he whispered, “God told me to.”

I nodded and squeezed his hand. There has never been a time that I have experienced when Josh did not give when he was told to. I have been there when he jumped out of a car at an intersection with an umbrella in his hand to give to an old woman crossing the street, “Pick me up over there!” was all I heard as he took off. I have seen him jump out of our car to take off his coat, not checking the pockets or anything, and give it to a homeless man on the street who only had a small blanket during one of our coldest January days. I know his heart. It is beautiful, strong and giving. So when he told me that he had to give our last $20, I didn’t say one word. That was between God and Josh and I had nothing to speak to it.

When the offering plate came, I watched as Josh placed the crinkled, tattered $20 bill into the plate. As it passed by me, it was like it was moving in slow motion and all I could do was cry. I trusted God. I trusted Josh. Still, it was a hard moment. Obedience sometimes is.

After the service was over, the pastor’s wife came to me and said, “The Evangelist told me that I was to give this some families in the congregation that are in need. I know your situation and wanted to give this to you.”

She then handed me $220 in cash.

I’ll let that sink into your heart for a moment.

God tested us with something that might have seemed small to many, but for us, it was huge. God knew it was our last $20, no one else did, but He knew and He wanted to see if we would be obedient to give it when asked. Josh was obedient and I supported him.

Our God, Jehovah Jirah, blessed us ten times what we gave because we were obedient to Him. He turned our mourning into dancing– and danced we did! All through the Walmart as we stocked up on diapers, wipes, pullups, and milk! People were literally staring at us as we happily filled up our shopping cart with baby supplies, but we didn’t care. We were as giddy as kids going to Disneyland!

God not only blessed our family with a great gift that helped sustain our children and our needs during that time, He showed us that obedience brings great blessings. God loves us always. He wants to bless us always, but just like all children, we have to be obedient to what He says. If Josh had disobeyed and not given that money, we would had have enough to buy a little. But because he was obedient, we were sustained in baby needs for a few weeks… all because of God’s unending love.

God also wanted to let us know He hadn’t forgotten us. We were in the “Carpenter’s Shop” as one of my characters, Obadiah O’Sullivan, teaches about in The Intercessors books. The “Carpenter’s Shop” is a place where Jesus builds and shapes our lives to be beautiful and prepare us to do magnificent things for His Kingdom. Still, being shaped, cut, hammered on, sanded and stained can sometimes be a painful process. It is sometimes harder to understand why God allows the trial you are in, while you are in the midst of the trial. It is easier to see why He allowed it once the storm has passed.

If we hadn’t walked this road we would never have known what it is like for so many people out there who are in need of assistance and during this time, there were millions of people all over the world experiencing trials just like we were. This experience, along with many others, is an example of how God taught us to live with open hands. He wanted to teach us to be better givers and to trust Him completely and always be obedient–immediately.

God loves all of His children, whether they love Him or not. Jesus loves and died for everyone whether they believe in Him or not. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believed in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life!” John 3:16. Nothing can change the love Jesus, and Jehovah, our Heavenly Father God have for you. I hope to encourage you with this story and other stories that I write that having a relationship with the God who created you and His Son, Jesus who both adore you more than you will ever understand, is a decision you will not regret. My hope is that you will and when you do, always obey God’s Word and heed to the still small whisper of His Holy Spirit. If you do, your life will be filled with the sweet goodness and blessings of the Lord that you will never find anywhere else!

 

It’s Not Fireworks – Be Vigilant, Be Prepared, Have A Plan

When I first sat down to write this article, it was August 3rd, 2019, a horrible day when two mass shootings took place in two different US cities, El Paso, TX, and Dayton, OH. Since then, there was a new type of mass shooting in Odessa, Texas, one that was mobile. The shooter traveled on a highway randomly killing 7 and injuring 22, including a 17-month-old baby girl. Some of the information in this blog will hopefully be helpful but given the fact that evil is continuously on the move and changing methods of attack, I want to remind readers that the best form of defense we have in this darkening world, is through the power of the Holy Spirit of God, Jehovah, keeping His hand upon us, memorizing and speaking scriptures from the ‘Sword of the Spirit’, the Word of God, and praying over ourselves and our loved ones all throughout our days.

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This Saturday, August 3, 2019, we turned on the tv to learn there was yet, another mass public shooting in our nation. It took place in El Paso, TX. Twenty people were killed, and many were injured. My heart was still broken for the victims of the Garlic Festival shooting in CA that happened the Sunday prior. I had been praying for the families of the victims all week and was still grieving that one… then came another… and then that night, another.

I would like to make it very clear before I go on, that I belong to no political party. I am a registered independent voter. I am a Christian Humanitarian and minister to children internationally. This is not a political blog, so for those who have given so graciously of your time to read it, please do not turn it into one.

For those of you who don’t know me, my family has a nonprofit organization called
The Huggabear Children’s Project, Inc. Our full mission statement can be found on our website at huggabears.org Our mission is to listen for those who cry out in need, speak for those who have no voice, protect and help those who cannot protect and help themselves, and take the love, peace, and hope of Jesus Christ to those who don’t know how much He loves them.

I felt very led to put forth to those in the world–especially those who live in America, that we need to make a change in how we go about our daily lives publicly.  We must change the way we think and act when we go out now. It is very sad but very true.

For a normal, healthy mind, that has respect for others and would never dream of causing injury or death to their fellow man, it is difficult for us to think that each time we walk out the door we are stepping into a world where we honestly do not know if we will come home or not. We are living in a different time and age, an age that grows darker with each passing day. An age where public shootings are becoming more and more common, in schools… churches… synagogues… mosques… movie theaters… public parks… shopping malls… night clubs…  concerts… city streets… neighborhoods… restaurants… grocery stores… libraries… workplaces… sporting events… bars… have I left anything out? I’m quite sure I have, but hopefully, you get the point. (I now am adding highways and freeways to the ever-growing list.)

Whenever I see interviews being conducted with those who survived the horrors of public shootings, there is usually one person who says, “I heard a sound and I thought it was fireworks.” This is a very true statement and many people speak it because that is what they really think is happening. Why?

In my opinion, there are a couple of reasons for this. I believe that one of the reasons “fireworks” is a thought, is because a person with a healthy mind and good heart that has respect for others doesn’t think about going into a public place and taking people’s lives with a gun. It isn’t the way normal minds and good hearts function. Those of us in the world who are not filled with evil thoughts cannot relate to a mind that is.  In essence, healthy-minded, good-hearted people associate the popping sound they hear with fireworks because our minds can’t process why anyone would be firing a gun in a public place.

The other reason was given to me by my husband, Josh. He said he believed people thought the sound they heard was fireworks, for those of us in the world who do not fire guns or are around others who do, was because we have not had enough personal experience with gunfire to recognize what they really sound like.

Although I am not putting blame on Hollywood for this, I think it is important to state that many of us have only heard guns being fired in movies or television programs, and the sounds being portrayed are not always the same. While there may be some that are similar, many commonly used guns have a popping sound, more like the smaller fireworks that give a short sudden blast of sound that is a bit higher in pitch, as opposed to a thunderous, exploding sound that is deeper in pitch and timbre like what is  portrayed in movies and tv shows. I believe this is an important reason why people who survive public shootings could become confused as to what they are hearing. I would like to encourage readers to find some YouTube videos that demonstrate various sounds of gunfire so you can learn the difference and retrain your ears and minds to what actual gunfire sounds like.

I had the honor of sitting next to Marine Veteran, Rich Karren, who has served our country diligently for decades, on a plane ride to Texas after the El Paso and Dayton shootings. I discussed this theory with him about the differences in sound that people hear in movies or television programs. Since artillery and weapons are one of his specialties, he agreed, there are differences in what is portrayed in movies and television, for the sound of gunfire. He also agreed it would be beneficial for people to gain more understanding of what real gunfire sounds like, so they can quickly identify it and help protect themselves and their families.

I want to try and help people change their mindset so that their first reaction is not, “What is that? Fireworks?” Which takes time away from their escape. Therefore, I felt led to write this blog and start a special project for the HCP Inc. nonprofit children’s organization. The Project is called “Huggabear Cub Care” and is designed to provide parents information on a variety of safety topics for their children which will hopefully assist them in living safer lives in our increasingly dangerous world.

In the 24th chapter of Matthew, Jesus told us that as time went on and we drew closer to the end of days, things would get worse, not better in the world. Friends, I think we’re there. I encourage you to not take my word for it, but get into God’s Word, the Bible, and read the 24th chapter of Matthew, to enlighten your heart and mind.

So, here we go, for my first article on Huggabear Cub Care, this is what I would like to share with you.

FIRST…

PRAY.

Hebrews 4:16  “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”
Before you walk out the door to start your day, whether it be to get the kids to school, for you to go to work, run errands, or any time you walk out the front door of your home, take the time to PRAY.
I’m sure for those who do not believe or understand in the power of prayer, you might want to quit reading about now, or maybe you are still reading but with an eye roll and a sigh. I would like to gently say to you, there truly is power in prayer. Jesus is always there, loving us, longing to live in our hearts and have a close walk and relationship with us. I encourage you to pray over yourselves, your family members and friends, every – single – day. Ask God to keep His hand of protection upon you all and place His angels around you all while in the car, in school, at the office, the store, anywhere you go. Every single time you go out into the world, ask God, JEHOVAH SABAOTH – The LORD our Protector, for His protector. I pray Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon formed against me shall prosper!” and I pray it in the Name of Jesus.

There are dozens of scriptures that cry out to God for His protection and one of those that I recommend reading and praying over your family is Psalm 86, again, I encourage you to take the time to look it up and read it through. It is very easy to find the right scriptures for what you are you looking for, Google is an excellent tool to do that. Just type in: Bible verses for_____________ … and fill in the blank for what you are looking for, in this case, protection.

SECOND…

Be PREPARED Ephesians 6:10-18Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the Gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”

I am not a lover of cell phones. Still, I am very thankful to have such a device when I am out so that I can call for help in case of emergencies. Keeping pepper spray is a good idea and try to keep a tight grip on your keys when in a parking lot so that if you were to need them, you could at least have something to use to defend yourself. I know that doesn’t really apply to a public shooting situation, but it is good overall safety advice.

Another phrase that I hear constantly in personal interviews is: “I never thought something like this would happen here…” or “I never thought something like this would happen to me…”  We must stop thinking like that, period. Evil is what is ultimately behind all these hideous acts of violence and murder. The Bible tells us in
1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober-minded, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, prowls around, as a roaring lion, seeking some he may devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” That means anytime, anywhere, be prepared which brings me to my next point.

THIRD…

BE VIGILANT.  Luke 21:36 “But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

When our children were small, vigilance was the responsibility of my husband and myself. As our children grew, my husband would say, “Keep your head on a swivel. Don’t live in fear but stay alert and attentive to your surroundings.” This is also good advice for people when they are out and about on their own, especially young ladies. This is also very important when you are at an outdoor event. (And now, even when you are driving) I tell my children, “Have a good time when you are out, but think like a pirate and ‘keep a weathered eye open’ because we honestly never know when or where evil will strike next.”
While speaking with Marine Veteran, Rich Karren, he gave some tips about this. He explained that he always sits in a public place where he is facing the main entrance and although he is able to spend time engaging with his family and friends, he is also keeping watch over their protection.
While this kind of ability was certainly something Rich mastered while serving in the Marine Corps, this is something that we civilians need to start practicing and mastering so that we improve our tactics of keeping ourselves and our families safe.

FOURTH…

KNOW YOUR AREA AND HAVE A PLAN. Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do and He will establish your plans.”

Wherever it is that you are going, whether it is a location that you have been to a dozen times or are visiting for the first time, learn where the exits are. If you are in a store, know where the exit doors and the employee doors are located. Employee doors lead to storage rooms and there are usually back exits where the stores receive their merchandise. In a life and death situation, forget the formalities and utilize these doors for your escape. Restrooms are not always the answer, they are not usually connected to exits and you could become trapped. So, when you go to a public establishment, take a moment to get to know the place you are in and have a plan in place to get out should you need it. Rich Karren had an additional safety tip that I wanted to add and that is to know what uniforms employees wear in an establishment, this helps you be able to quickly identify who is who. It would also be helpful for parents to teach their children who security guards are, what they wear, and how they can be of help in case of a crisis.

When they are of the right age, and you know your child best, include them in on your plans. You may be thinking, “How could I do this without making my child feel scared?”
I can tell you from years of experience with raising and teaching children, when you are giving them information, how you speak, the tone of your voice, the words you chose, what your facial expressions are, how you act, and the feelings you convey will be how your children will react. Your confidence becomes their confidence. Your fears can become their fears. Don’t put this information into them fearfully, but with gentleness and with the assurance that you love them and just want to always keep them safe.
I have done this with my children since they were small. I would tell them when we were getting into the car to leave, “Let’s pray and ask Jesus to keep us safe while we are driving and all those who will be driving around us.” We pray and then are on our way. I do not make them feel afraid to ride in the car. At the same time, I teach them that accidents in cars can happen, so we must pray, always wear our seat belts and pay close attention to the road.

When we would go into an establishment, I would not present my plan in fear, but I let them see that I respected their intelligence and strength. Never underestimate your children, they are like little sponges absorbing everything that is around them and they have a greater understanding of things than we give them credit for.
When I would speak to my children of my plan to leave if necessary, I did not present it to them with fear, but with wisdom and a calm spirit. They were not afraid. I simply told them there are some people in the world who are not good and should one of them come where we are and we need to leave, these are the ways we can do that. They understood.

FIFTH…

KEEP YOUR CHILDREN WITH YOU. Psalm 127:3 “Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.”

I believe that the first miraculous gift from our Heavenly Father is the gift of salvation and eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ. The second miraculous gift we receive from God is our children. They must be cherished and valued as the irreplaceable treasures that they are. From the moment that you are in the parking lot, you should have a hold of a young child’s hand or have them buckled in a shopping cart. I have had times when I was walking through a grocery store parking lot with my children and someone started backing up without checking their mirror. If I had not been holding my children’s hand, I would not have been able to pull them to safety in time. Also, the shooter in El Paso started in a Walmart parking lot, so start being vigilant as soon as you pull into an establishment’s parking lot. Again, don’t become complacent, thinking “It will never happen here or to me”. It can. Once inside the location, keep your children with you. Gone are the days of childhood when children could visit the toy sections of a store while the parent would shop. The world has changed, and to keep our families safe, we must change along with it.

Do not allow your children to go to a restroom by themselves, there are too many stories and videos of predators following children and women into public restrooms and attacking or killing them. It is the same for dressing rooms where people can try on clothing. If you need to check my facts, please feel free to do so. I encourage people to learn what is happening in the world their children live in so they can take precautions for their safety.

If you are in a grocery store, take the time to park the shopping cart or stop what you are doing and go with them to the restroom. The items you are purchasing or whatever it is you are doing is never more important than the safety and lives of your children. Keeping your children close to you is one of the best ways to make sure you can all move to safety quickly if a public shooting occurs. Good parents would never leave without their child(ren), so if the parent has their children with them, the moments of time they have in a shooting situation won’t be spent looking for their children, it will be in protecting them and getting them to safety.

SIXTH…

KEEP AS CALM AS POSSIBLE. Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

I know this is easier said than done, but remember, should a shooter come where you are, YOU are your immediate rescuer and, of course, the rescuer of your children. Police officers need time to travel and time will not be on your side. The shooter in Dayton, Ohio was able to shoot 26 people in 32 seconds. Try to keep calm and follow the plan that you already had in place IF it is possible to do so. Keeping yourself together will help you be able to think more clearly and if you have children with you, they will be kept calm too. Keeping calm also helps you keep QUIET which is vital. In the past, we would hear videos of people running and crying, a normal reaction for certain, but if the shooter hasn’t seen you, and doesn’t hear you, it will be a great help to your escape and survival if you are quiet.

SEVENTH….

RUN! HIDE! FIGHT! TELL! Instructions from Officers of the Law

If you are in a public place and can run, try to stay as low to the ground as possible so that you are not in the eye line of the shooter. If you have small children who cannot keep up, carry them. Do not worry about anything else. Purses, bags, phones, or whatever else you may have with you are replaceable. You and your family members are not. As you run, pray again and ask God, Jehovah Sabaoth, to shelter you, your family and those around you so that you can escape without injury.

If you are not able to run and can hide, police officers say that this is the second act of defense you have. For example, the shooter who went inside the movie theater in Aurora, Colorado had many people trapped. Some were able to run and escape, but some could not. Some of those who could not run said that they tried to hide or laid on the ground very still, as if dead, not making any sound and being very still. If by chance you find yourself in this horror with your child or children, lay down on top of the child to protect them. The shooter in El Paso shot and killed a beautiful, young mother and father and when the police moved the mother’s body, they found she was laying on top of her two-month-old son, who survived.

I will say it again if you ever find yourself in this kind of hell on earth, pray. If you are not a believer, it might be a good time to try Jesus and call out to Him for help. Jesus didn’t say that we wouldn’t have any trouble in the earth He told us directly in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Many schools are also teaching children to fight. If they are trapped inside a classroom and cannot escape or hide, they should find whatever items they possible could use to throw at their attacker: books, desks, chairs, if they were close to the shooter, to use a sharpened pencil or pen. They should look for anything that could possibly defend them from the shooter to bring him injury or distraction. Again, praying to Jesus Christ and calling out His name for help is always the most powerful thing a person can do.

If you were able to run outside of the location where the shooter is, then you can call 911 for help, but do not waste your time making that call until after you are out. Establishments are making great strides in how they keep their patrons safe. Many establishments now have systems in place which will notify the police to come. It is important that you get yourself, your children and influence as many others to follow you to safety as possible and get OUT. Do not delay. As soon as you hear shots, DO NOT ASSUME IT’S FIREWORKSDO NOT HESITATE to get you and your children out to safety.

As I sit here writing this blog, I am overwhelmed that I have spent so much time writing instructions to parents on how to try and keep their children safe in a public shooting. It is unfathomable for me. I remember when the shooting at Columbine shook the nation and we hoped we would never see the likes of it again. What once was an unbelievable incident of horror has now become a monthly, sometimes weekly occurrence in our country. An evil epidemic plaguing our nation that I am battling with the power of prayer. I wish my children could have known the world that I grew up in. It wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t this.

I know this blog won’t change the evil that is out there. My hope is that you will take to heart my only intention is to help keep you and your family safe. My hope is that you will talk to your children, who have probably already had as many training drills on how to handle a school shooter as they have had fire drills in their classrooms. My hope is you will teach your children the love of Jesus, the power of prayer, and how to speak God’s Word to battle against spirits of darkness that will certainly arise in the world they live in. My hope is you will teach them how to live on this beautiful earth that unfortunately has some very dark and evil people living in it. My hope is you will teach them to pray for the police officers, first responders and security guards who serve with their lives to protect our lives. My hope is you will teach your children to live vigilantly, to know their areas, make game plans, to run, hide, fight and be brave. For when you do the things you are most afraid of, especially to protect the life of someone else, you are very, very brave.

Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Acts 16:31 “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.”