Covid19 Pandemic – Entry 5 “The Soldiers of World War C”

World War C has begun. It is a war between Covid19 and citizens of the world.

The virus has no racism, prejudices, or preferences. If you are alive, that’s reason enough for it to attack you.

Those who are on “The Front” are not soldiers of the Army or Marines, they are not sailors in the Navy or the Coast Guard, and they are not pilots in the Air Force.

They do not carry rifles, they carry stethoscopes and thermometers.
They do not defend with tanks, but with ventilators.

They cannot order an airstrike before they send in boots on the ground, because they cannot see their foe.

These soldiers do not wear helmets or armor. They wear “P.P.E.”, masks, rubber gloves, and protective robes–and there is not enough of what they need. Still, united together and standing strong, they gather the defenses they have and engage in battle.

They have no refuge, no bunkers, no forts. There is no place they can retreat because their enemy is everywhere all over the world. For these soldiers there is no rest, there is no pause, and at present it seems as if there is no end. The battles rage on every minute, every hour, every day on a global scale.

The attack of the enemy crept in slowly at first. Many didn’t believe it was real… some still don’t. But these soldiers, even though they are afraid and even when they know they are outnumbered, have boldly answered the call for help and have stepped forward in courage to the front as their enemy spreads like wildfire.

Acting while scared displays the greatest form of courage. These soldiers are all the best of us, willingly putting their own lives at risk and displaying through their diligence the very definitions of bravery, compassion, and giving.

Right before our eyes “World War C” against Covid 19 is taking place. It is a new type of war, and a new type of soldier who says, “I am here to help you.” These soldiers don’t stop fighting because our enemy is invisible and constantly attacking, showing no mercy to any it encounters.

Covid 19 has been called “The Great Equalizer” taking old and young, rich and poor,
weak and strong, in people of every nation, of every race, of every faith and gender. All are prey to its destruction.

This enemy does not sleep. It does not stop. It shows no mercy and seeks to devour all that it encounters. But these soldiers will not quit. They know there is no military leave during this war, and they know the troop numbers are limited.

These soldiers are fighting the good fight with what resources of weaponry they have…
but the demand is greater than the supply and the weapons of warfare are scarce.

Though these soldiers are constantly calling for reinforcements for their kind of ammunition, production is gradual and some cannot be rushed.  Every weapon of defense must be created and tested with perfect functionality. There is no margin for error. All weapons must suffice the needs of the soldiers or else the fatalities will continue to increase.

As they days pass by and the numbers of those attacked by the enemy rise, it seems as if these soldiers will never see an end to World War C. I am quite sure they all feel totally overwhelmed, exhausted and scared.

They need our help.

Our doctors, nurses, first-responders, medical workers, care givers, hospital staff, all those who are facing the deadly Covid19 virus have been transformed overnight into soldiers and they are all facing it with courage, compassion, intelligence, creativity and excellence.

Every night after I tuck my kids in bed, yes, I am tucking in my teenagers with hugs and kisses on the head, I think of how blessed we are to be living in a place that is safe and peaceful. Yet, as I lay my head down to rest, all I can think about are these amazing soldiers on the front and what battles of hell they are constantly engaging in while the rest of us sleep.

So what I can I do to help them?

I don’t have funds to send.
I don’t have the medical equipment they need nor can I produce any.
I don’t have any knowledge that I can pass along to anyone trying to find a cure.
I don’t have the ability protect them.
I don’t have the means to give them any professional or sufficient hands on assistance.

So what can I do?

The best that I can do is stay home and pray.

I have a relationship and a direct line to the throne room of an incredible, powerful, loving, giving God who is still on His throne.

I have had dozens of personal miracles from my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! His power has not changed.

I can go to the Bible, the Word of God, the truth of God, and I can read the scriptures aloud, calling out for help.

I can read them out to Jehovah Jireh, our provider, Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”, to provide all the needs of these soldiers.

Jehovah Shammah, God with us, and know, without doubt that He will fulfill His promises. Genesis 28:15 “I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.”

There is power in prayer and those of us who understand that, and know how to boldly enter into the throne room of God, need to be calling out day, night and the minutes in between (1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without Ceasing”) for these soldiers, these incredible, amazing, courageous doctors, nurses and care givers. John 15:7 “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

We can intercede for them everyday and take their requests to Yahweh, our Mighty God.
We can ask the Holy Spirit to bring them strength, wisdom, and peace that passes all understanding.

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Philippians 4:7 “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

We can pray and ask the Lord Jesus to pour out His power of healing that He gave us through the stripes He bore upon His back.

Isaiah 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.”

Prayer and staying home are the best we can do to help these troops as they battle
World War C.

Intercessors. Prayer warriors. They need us. Let’s not fail them.

 

 

 

 

 

Covid 19 Pandemic – Entry 4 “Covid19 and the Ten Plagues. A Timing Observation.”

As I sit down to write this blog, my first thought, as is every thought right now, is upon all those in the world who are battling the Covid19 virus. Whether that be as patients, doctors, nurses (soldiers), medical or post death care workers, government leaders, whoever you are, our family’s constant thoughts and constant prayers are with you every single day.

Quarantine Life has brought a few changes for our family, but not like most. I home school my three children so we were not affected in the least in that way. I also work from home, so again, I wasn’t affected in that way either.

Right now, we are healthy, strong, and grateful. How we have been affected by Covid19 is in the same way as millions of people all over the globe. We are staying home. Quarantined. No basketball games. No outside lessons. No church or youth events. No Huggabear Children’s Project, Inc. events. No concerts or performances anywhere. No (regular) shopping. No dining out. No libraries. No movies. No parties or social events of any kind… you understand. BUT! We are thankful to be healthy and alive and not suffering like so many hundreds of thousands of people in our world today. May God bless them all.

While I have had this time without any extra running around or activities, I have had more time to read, study, write, sing, and create–which I love doing.

In order for you to get a better understanding of what I am going to write in this post, I need to explain a few things. First, one of my favorite nonfiction authors is Rabbi Jonathan Cahn who is a Christian Rabbi of New Jersey and founder of Hope of the World ministries.  www.HopeOfTheWorld.org

Rabbi Cahn has a church in New Jersey and is a New York Times best selling author. He has written several books and I, ironically, got the last one and am working my way backward to the first! His other works include, The Harbinger, The Mystery of the Shemitah, The Book of Mysteries, The Paradigm, and then most recently, The Oracle.

I highly recommend these books to anyone who is a believer in God and His Holy Word, the Bible. They will enlighten you in ways that I can’t describe well enough in written words. What reading his books has done for me is opened my eyes to see that God is still doing miraculous works of mystery all around us everyday. Prophesies are coming true all around us even though we don’t always see it as it is happening or even understand it. Rabbi Cahn has been given a gift of understanding and his works have inspired me to look deeper into the timings of events that occur in my life. For example, the Pandemic of Covid 19.

I learned from Rabbi Cahn’s books that our calendar, the “Gregorian Calendar” or Christian (western) Calendar, is not the calendar that God uses. While we are recording and tracking our days, weeks, months and years by the sun, God uses the moon to track and calculate time. Upon learning this I bought a calendar that has both the dates of the western world and the dates according to God; the Jewish calendar.

The Jewish calendar differs from ours in many ways. Let’s begin with the days and how a day begins and ends. Genesis 1 says, In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness He called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

What is key here is that first, there was darkness. Then God spoke and there was light.
So God doesn’t count days beginning and ending at midnight like we do. He counts the ending of the day when the sun goes down and at sunset that is the start of the next day. Let me explain it this way. Today is Thursday, March 26th and the time is 4:23 pm. When the sun goes down this evening at let’s say 6:45 pm, according to God’s clock, Thursday is over and Friday has begun during the evening of March 26th. I hope that makes sense!

Knowing this helped me understand many key points in the Bible and I hope it will help you too. In addition to how God tracks the timing of days, it is also interesting how He tracks the months.

According to God’s calendar, the beginning of a new year is not January 1st like we recognize and celebrate it. On God’s calendar, the first month of the new year is called Elul and it takes place during the month of September.

With every new moon there comes a new month which makes the Jewish calendar lose about 11.25 days from the western calendar. For the purposes of this blog I am not going to delve further into the understanding of how the days and months are distributed, you can Google that and find all kinds of excellent information on how that part of it works. For this article, I just needed to explain the basic timing of the days and months and how they differ from the calendar that the western world uses.

Our family has daily devotionals and Bible studies with our children, once in the morning at the beginning of school and once at night before we go to bed. Before the new year of 2020 came, I felt led by the Holy Spirit of God to have our nightly Bible reading start from the beginning of the Bible in Genesis. We were entering a new year, a new decade, and it made sense to start it with the beginning of God’s Word.

There have been some nights we missed or some nights we re-read something, so the timing of us reading a chapter of God’s Word since the beginning of the new year has landed us, at present, in the book of Exodus and the ten plagues of Egypt.

One night this week while my husband, Josh, was reading, I started thinking about when the plagues began. I knew that next month, April 12, 2020 would be Easter, Resurrection Sunday, when Jesus rose from the grave after being crucified on the cross and Passover, which is the celebration of God “passing over the Hebrew nation” and protecting them from the angel death, would begin on April 8, 2020. This made me think, we are experiencing the Covid19 Pandemic, which some might call a “plague”, at the same time as the plagues took place during the days of Moses.

Here is the definition of the word plague according to Dictionary.com
Plague: a contagious bacterial disease characterized by fever and delirium, typically with the formation of buboes (bubonic plague ) and sometimes infection of the lungs (pneumonic plague). “an outbreak of plague”

The Biblical definition of a plague is a bit broader and is defined as anything that afflicts or troubles; calamity; scourge. Any contagious epidemic disease that is deadly. 

I began my research and according to AskMoses.com (and other sites) I found “The plague of blood began on the first of Av 2447, and continued at the rate of one plague per month.”

The month of Av is during the end of July and beginning of August.

I then broke out my Christian/Jewish calendar and charted what the time frame looked like when comparing the two calendars and events side by side. If the first plague of blood began in Av and each month there was another plague, this is how it breaks down:

Plague                                     Jewish Month                                      Gregorian Month

1. Blood                                      Av                                                           July/August
2. Frogs                                      Elul                                                         August/September
3. Lice                                         Tishri                                                     September/October
4. Flies                                        Cheshvan                                              October/November
5. Pestilence                              Kislev                                                     November/December
6. Boils                                        Tevet                                                      December/January
7. Hail/Fire                                 Shevat                                                   January/February
8. Locusts                                   Adar                                                       February/March
9. Darkness                                Nisan                                                     March/April
10.Death of 1st Born                 Iyar                                                       April/May

Credible websites such as, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, all list the beginning of Covid19 from Wuhan, China during the month of December 2019. 

When compared with the time frame of when the plague of pestilence (a fatal epidemic, disease) was cast upon the Egyptians as written in the book of Exodus, it would have been during the Jewish month of Kislev, which falls within the same time frame of the Covid19 emergence in December.

I want to make it very clear I do not believe that God placed the Covid19 virus into the world to punish us. NO. According to the scriptures, when Jesus Christ gave His life for all the sins of humanity upon the cross, He nullified the old covenant that sins must be paid for with other blood. His blood was enough to cover all the sins of all mankind for all time. He paid the price in full. The blood Jesus shed fulfilled the plan of salvation for the new covenant (promise), that mankind, when we humbled ourselves, repented of our sins, asked Jesus to forgive us, and to live in our heart as our Lord and Savior, would not have to die as a punishment, nor would God any longer place punishments upon us. Jesus took all our punishment.

I hope that makes it clear that I do not believe our good and loving God is punishing us with the Covid19 virus. Because of what is written in His Word and knowing His Word is truth, God is truth, I can trust that Jesus paid it all and God no longer send punishments to His children for their sins. God is for us. He wants to bring us to redemption, forgiveness, and healing, He does not want to destroy us.

After getting into the Word of God and reading about the ten plagues during the time of Moses, and confirming they were taking place during the same time as what we are experiencing in this world with the plague of Covid19, I found this verse:

Exodus 9:15-16 “Now if I had stretched out My hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, then you would have been cut off from the earth. But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.”

While I do not believe that Covid19 is a punishment of God, He is allowing it. Perhaps what He speaks to us in the verse above is why, to show His power in us and so we will declare His name.

My mind travels to John 13:7 “Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”  Again, just to be clear, I do not believe Jesus is placing this virus on people. Not at all. But for whatever reasons that we don’t understand at this time, He is allowing it to happen. I believe it is so that we will turn and cry out to Him.

My mind then goes to 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Perhaps this is another reason why it is being allowed. So that people of all nations, especially America whose foundation was built upon God, Jehovah, will turn back to Him, the God who loves them more than they will ever imagine.

Is it too hard to believe that when we push God out of our nations, tell Him we don’t believe in Him, we don’t want to believe or obey His Word and instruction, and literally slap His beloved and mighty hand of protection away from us, that something like this could happen?

I have heard it taught that to fear God doesn’t mean that you are afraid of Who He is. God, Jehovah, Yahweh, calls us His children, His friends. He freely gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us whether we accepted His gift or not. He loves us more than we can possibly comprehend and wants to have a close relationship with us. There is no need to have fear of Him. The expression “to fear God”, means to revere Him, to respect Him, to trust, and believe what He teaches us in His Word. His Word is truth and to follow His path and direction is the way we can live a wonderful life!

The fear of God is not be afraid of Him, but to be afraid of living in this world without Him and the covering protection of His loving hand.

If ever there was ever a time for prayer–this is it. This is a time to humble ourselves and turn from the ways of the world to the ways of God and welcome His Holy Spirit to dwell in our lands and nations. I believe that God wants to do exactly as He has told us in Exodus 9:16: “But indeed for this purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth.”

I believe that is why God revealed the connection to the timing of the ten plagues and Covid19. What He said to the people then is what He is saying to the people now. He is the same and His Word remains true throughout all time.

Although I am a writer of Christian books, I am not a writer that is gifted for the task of discovering God’s mysteries like Rabbi Jonathan Cahn. That is not my calling. It is his. But I know that I was led to this information and to the verse above for this purpose, for this blog, for this time. Although I don’t know Rabbi Cahn personally, I believe that God is revealing things to him during this pandemic and I’m quite sure we will see it come forth in a future book!

I do want to encourage you to get into your Bibles and if you don’t have one, jump online! You can listen or read God’s Word in several different translations all over the internet. Listen to what it is God is trying to speak to your heart during this time. Heaven knows we have lots of it right now!

I also encourage you to pray. I already wrote a blog about prayer tips which you can find at “Daily Life During a Pandemic – Entry 2 A Call to Prayer.” Our family also created a display for the children of our neighborhood to reach out from our nonprofit children’s organization, The Huggabear Children’s Project, Inc. to let the world know WE ARE PRAYING FOR YOU every single day!

If you would like to see the display we created, you can find it on YouTube here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_1DZB3h_Gc

There is power in prayer! I say this from many, many years of personal experiences of miracles and answered prayers. Call out to Jesus. He will hear you and He will answer.

I also encourage you to get all of the books by Rabbi Jonathan Cahn! https://www.amazon.com/s?k=rabbi+jonathan+cahn+books&ref=nb_sb_noss_2
They are excellent and will shake you up–in a great way! They are mind blowing and proof that God is still on His throne! He is, was and always will be in control of all things!

Thank you for taking the time to read this post and if you would like any of my books, I am giving away FREE ebooks of all my titles for children, tweens, teens, and adults! Visit mastersmessengers.net for the list of titles. You can message me at that site or any of the other sites listed below to request free ebooks.

May God richly bless and keep you, your family, and your friends! Hold strong to God’s unchanging hand! HE WILL NOT FAIL US!!

huggabears.org
thehuggabears.com
theintercessors.org
mastersmessengers.net

 

 

 

Covid 19 Pandemic – Entry 2 “A Call to Prayer”

Calling all Intercessors: Warriors of God! The world needs YOU!

This is one of the greatest tests of faith that generations collectively have seen in a long time. It is not a war with people, it is a war with a microscopic enemy and one that has no particular requirements. If you’re human that’s good enough.

While we will show wisdom, respect and compassion to follow the recommendations for care that we are being told by the health experts, those of us who pray will place the supernatural power of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit into this situation like no one else can.

For those of you who don’t know me well, I am a Christian author and one of my book series is called The Intercessors, which I describe as Warriors of God. Why? Because there is power in prayer! Power to defeat all enemies, especially unseen ones. When you pray, whether you close yourself off in your room, kneel and bow your head, or drive around the city in your car, no matter where you are, Jesus hears you and He begins to work. Psalm 37:5 “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act.”

There is supernatural power in prayer. Never doubt that. When you pray, sincerely speaking from your heart to God, He will move on your behalf against the forces of darkness that come against you and your family and friends.

In the book of Mark 3:22-30 Jesus teaches about “binding of strongman spirits”. What is a strongman spirit? In this parable Jesus is teaching us that strongman spirits are demons and evil spirits, and He teaches us how to bind them and cast them away so they cannot afflict you. In my second book, The Intercessors – Sword of Miracles, I list every single strongman spirit found in the scriptures and the specific scriptures on how to pray to bind them and also how to release or “loose” help from God. I am giving away free copies of all my books in the ebook format at this time. If you would like one, please email me at: thehuggabears@gmail.com

So how should we be praying right now against the Covid19 virus? By using the verses Jesus gave us in Matthew 16:18-19I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven”, and again He taught us in Matthew 18:18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” I firmly believe if something is taught to us even once in the Bible we need to pay attention to it, so for Jesus to teach this to us twice shows the emphasis on the importance of praying this way and the power that it holds.

What does it mean to “bind” something and “loose” something? When we are in prayer, and are asking, for this case specifically, to bring healing to our world, we say, “Jesus, I ask You to bind with Your power and the promises in God’s Word that this virus which has come to us in the form of the “spirit of infirmity” is bound in Jesus Name and sent back to the pits of hell where it came from.”

Once the spirit is bound, then we pray, “Jesus, I ask You to set forth loose the power of healing that You so willing gave us when You bore the stripes on Your back, in the name of Jesus.

When you are praying and asking for God to do something specific, praying in the “Name of Jesus” is very important. Jesus tells us in John 16:23  “Amen Amen I say to youwhatever you ask from the Father, He will give it to you in My name”. This is why we end all prayers of request “In Jesus’ Name I pray. Amen.” Or however you wish to speak to the Lord, just remember to ask your Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus and believe it will be done.

After we have bound the strongman spirit of infirmity, or whatever spirit you may be binding (there are many of them and I have them all listed in the book mentioned above), the next step is to set forth “loose” the power of God, and we can request that power to be specific. In the case of this pandemic, we are asking to set forth loose the power of healing, the power of protection, the power of God’s wisdom and guidance, the power of peace, the power of strength, and the oil of joy. The joy of the Lord is our strength! Neh. 8:10.

I hope that gives you a better understanding of how you can pray directly for requests during this time. It is also important that we remember to not just focus our prayers on ourselves. God loves a heart that seeks blessings for others first. So here is a list of needs that my family is praying daily during this time. I encourage you to speak your prayers out loud. Go boldly into the throne-room of God and lift up His children and their needs, then keep your faith in Jesus Christ that He has heard you and will act. 

  1. Pray for the healing power of Jesus to cover all those who are infected and battling the virus in every nation of the world.
  2. Pray for the families around the world who are grieving the loss of their loved ones from the virus.
  3. Pray for all medical personnel around the world who are working so hard to care for those who are ill and working to keep others healthy who do not have the virus.
  4. Pray for hospital staff/public safety workers in every nation who are not direct caregivers, that they are given wisdom during times of crisis.
  5. Pray for all those administering tests to be kept safe and testing to be provided and producing accurate results.
  6. Pray for all those who are working so hard to create the vaccine for Covid19 that God gives them His divine wisdom and victory.
  7. Pray for our President, Senators, Congressmen/women, Governors, all state government officials, etc. Whether you like or voted for them or not, they are the people who are in charge in this moment of time and they need strength, wisdom and direction from God.
  8. Pray for all the children who are in need of meals and cannot get them at school that all their needs are met and their care and shelter is provided.
  9. Pray for all those who are homeless and battling this on their own while living on the streets.
  10. Pray for all those who are out of work or are trying to keep their businesses alive that God meets their financial means, and provides all their needs, and removes from them anxiety and panic.

Of course, I could list more, but this gives you a good place to start. Something else that I encourage you to do, if when and if you go outside or even if you don’t, pray for your neighborhood directly. If you walk it, pray for every home you pass. If you drive, pray on every street. While you are home, pray for your city and state. Saturate your community with prayer. I can promise you this, you will feel so much peace while you pray for others that through your prayers you will gain strength and God promises you through His Word that He will hear you. He loves every single one of us and He will help us as His Word declares.

Psalm 34:17 “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.”

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Jesus gave us POWER through PRAYER people! Now it is a great time to use it!
God bless you, stay safe and healthy, you are in MY prayers and again, if you would like any of my books in ebook form, I am happy to send them out to anyone all over the world for FREE! We’re all in this together, let’s love our way through it!
thehuggabears@gmail.com

 

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.”