Purple Predictions Part 2

It wasn’t a full 24 hours after the inauguration for the meme above to find its way around message circles on social media. By the following Sunday, message ministers had added it to their sermons and message followers were cheering.

It’s been more than six years since I have written. I took a much necessary step away from all things message related. Most days I do not want to hear that voice in my head anymore, I want to forget what it sounds like. I want to forget the stories and quotes, more so I’d like to forget all the lies that created the box I once lived in that captivates so many lives even still.

This is why I now write again, we must continue to hold these men accountable for their words. We must endeavor to hold them accountable for the lies. The only way to extinguish a lie is to speak truth.

I have been asked, “Do you ever doubt leaving?”  

“Do you ever wonder, what if? What if he was right?”


I have absolute confidence and can resolutely say William Branham is a false prophet and his teachings are heretical. I do not have any doubt. When I tell you I am not afraid, I am telling you truth. What bothers me deep inside my heart, my mind, and very soul is that I know the many who have left the message who have not escaped those fears. I want to find each one and bring them into my home, wrap my arms around them just like a small child, and sing softly while rocking back and forth; “Jesus loves you this I know, for the Bible tells me so…” 

I imagine them crumpling in my arms and I would tell them, “Don’t be afraid, you are loved. Don’t you be afraid.” 

I know of many who left the message before Believe the Sign published Humble Pie, before Seek the Truth, before all the research on Searching for Vindication. They left for various reasons. Some simply “backslid” and didn’t go to church anymore. Some didn’t want to live or follow the standards. A few I knew made it through college and left after “education from the devil got a hold of them.” For them, I am most hopeful. I hope they do not walk in the shadow of doubt or fear. The saddest ones were those who couldn’t understand what was said and believed they were without revelation.

One of the most heart breaking circumstances I witnessed while growing up in the message was in my pastor’s family. His daughter met a young man at work and ended up expecting a child around the young age of 16. When the baby was born my pastor and his wife raised and kept him while their daughter continued her education and later worked. My pastor and his grandchild were such good buddies, wherever my pastor went, his little grandson would be right with him. He rocked him, fed him, and loved him with every fiber of his being. One evening after service as I gathered up songbooks my pastor stood over the little one quietly sitting looking at books.

His gaze was thoughtful, uncertain, and sad. His eyes stayed on the child as he spoke to my dad. “Brother Branham says he can’t be bride. Did you know he said that?” I stopped what I was doing and looked at my dad to see him quietly nod and looking down toward the floor. My pastor went on, “I don’t understand it. He’s just a child.” He turned toward dad and their two gazes met, “He’s just a child.” My Pastor carried the concern for his children and grandchildren with him to his death.

This story isn’t unique. I know plenty who came into the message from broken families or had children from separate marriages prior. I often wondered what they were told when it came to the teachings in ‘Marriage and Divorce’. I wondered what interracial couples thought, more so, I wondered why they stayed. When I learned Meda Branham’s parents had been married and divorced prior to her birth I nearly choked. Where was that little nugget of information when so many asked about their illegitimate children and grand children? Thinking on this just makes my blood boil. Aside from the torment and sorrow he caused so many, his lies watered down the blood of Jesus Christ in the process.

The message mentality is mind boggling. Frankly it is disturbing. The damage I have seen and continue to see is enough to break a mind and heart beyond reconciliation. The longer I am out the more it all just becomes nonsense.

None of it is clear. It is all misquoted scriptures and dramatic stories and what teaching is in there is mostly plagiarized from someone or somewhere else. Message followers like to use his lack of education to excuse much of it. They will go so far to say that God used William Branham’s mistakes to “weed out the foolish virgins”. They need to be reminded that God is not the author of confusion.

To think God would send a prophet to speak a word to His people and it be so jumbled up it needed to be deciphered by revelation. Yes, I have heard that’s the Holy Spirit, but let’s be real- If we are gonna lean on the Holy Spirit, William Branham wasn’t needed in the first place. Hello New Covenant.

I believe this is why we hear things like “Just say what the tapes say.” Or when it gets especially sticky, “That wasn’t Thus Saith the Lord, that was just him as a man speaking.” I really had to laugh when I heard someone say, “Young message kids today don’t know the difference between the third seal and a wet seal.” It’s true most message believers don’t know what he said.

It’s only when you take each of his teachings, prophecies, and stories chronologically and line them up side by side with biblical scripture that the lies become visible.

At first glance when you see the quote next to Vice President Kamala’s photo, it is a little striking. Especially if you are not familiar with the prophecy or the full context. When you read the full quote, you’ll notice what else he said, “But I predict that that’ll all happen between right now, 1933, and 1977″.

207 Now, I predicted, and have said, “I saw a great woman stand up, beautiful-looking, dressed in real highly royal-like purple.” And I got little parenthesis down here, “(She was a great ruler in the United States; perhaps the Catholic church.)” A woman, some woman; I don’t know it’ll be the Catholic church. I don’t know. I can’t say. Only thing I seen, I seen the woman, that was all. 208 But this is a woman’s nation. This nation is number thirteen, in prophecy. She’s got thirteen stripes, thirteen stars. She started thirteen colonies. Thirteen, thirteen, everything is thirteen. Appears in the 13th chapter of Revelations, even. She is thirteen. And she is a woman nation. 209 The divorce courts in America produce more divorces, by our women, than all the rest of the nations. The morals in our country is lower, and divorces, than it is in France or Italy, where prostitution is on the street. So, but they are prostitutes; ours is married women trying to live with several men, and several married men trying to live with other women. 210 In the nations where they have polygamy, it’s a thousand times better. And, yet, polygamy is wrong, we know. But, just show how degraded we are. 211 I got a piece up there out of the paper, where it showed that when our American boys went overseas, in this last war, that over, I believe, it was around seventy percent…Why, now, wait a minute, I believe it was three out of four that went overseas, was divorced by their wife before they got back. And its great big headline says, “What’s happened to the morals of our American people?” You remember seeing it? [Congregation says, “Amen.”—Ed.] All of you did, I guess. “What’s happened to the morals of our American women?” Plants, working out yonder with other men. It’s a woman’s nation. What’s she going have? A woman god, or a goddess. 212 Now, then, after that, I turned and looked. And I saw this United States burning like a smolder, rocks had been blowed up. And it was burning like a—a heap of fire in logs, or something that just set it afire. And looked as far as I could see, and she had been blown up. And then the vision left me. Five out of the three has happened…or five out of the seven, rather, has happened. 213 And here comes around and shows. And then I predicted. I never said the Lord told me that, but, standing that morning in the church, I said, “The way progress…” I got back to one end of their wall, and run to the other end of the wall. I said, “The way progress is going on, I’ll predict that the time…I don’t know why I’m saying it. But I predict that that’ll all happen between right now, 1933, and 1977.”

William Branham

It is this type of quote taken out of context that give just enough room for his statements to appear legitimate. It breeds fear, re-enforces the teachings, and strengthens the indoctrination.

If only they would take the time to read just a few sentences further down any hope of truth in this statement would dissipate with his final words capturing his entire prediction summarizing it with a date: 1977.

Why on this earth did this statement not decimate this message itself when 1977 came and went? For heaven’s sake it is now 2021 and we find them taking a portion of his words, pasting it to their pages, adding it to their power point sermons, and cheering with excitement.

I don’t know whether to be sickened, baffled, bewildered, or amazed. We must hold them accountable!

N Prophecy: the foretelling or prediction of what is to come.something that is declared by a prophet, especially a divinely inspired prediction, instruction, or exhortation.a divinely inspired utterance or revelation:oracular prophecies.the action, function, or faculty of a prophet.

V Predict: to declare or tell in advance; prophesy; foretell:to predict the weather; to predict the fall of a civilization.

It is very interesting that this “prophecy” or “prediction” is one of the seven visions William Branham claimed to have had in 1933. Now he doesn’t mention them until many many years later and by that time five of them supposedly came to pass with just two left. One was the woman rising to power and the last was for the United States to be nothing but rubble. The end of the world. If it is a part of seven and five “came to pass” then one of the seven cannot be a mere prediction or not part of his “thus saith the Lord” prophecy. Oh yes, read on, he said it.

If you read all nineteen times this “woman” is mentioned, William Branham changes his interpretation from a woman rising to a powerful position to the catholic church several times. He even made reference to it already being fulfilled when President Kennedy was in office. You will also notice the color purple was only added in a few times.

Anyone in a position of authority ought to guard their words and speak carefully. Even more so for someone claiming to be God’s mouthpiece.

But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name that I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart, ‘How may we know the word that the LORD has not spoken? when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.

Deuteronomy 18:20-22

I fail to comprehend how a woman being president or vice president could even fall into the category of prophecy, prediction, or divinity. Women all over the world throughout time have risen to positions of great power. A female president or vice president was and is inevitable. Prophetic? No, it was and is just a matter of time. For goodness sakes, even the Simpsons knew that.

Purple and Pearls

The image of Lisa Simpson seen in the posts comes from the episode “Bart to the Future” that originally aired on March 19, 2000. In the episode, Lisa is president and speaks to her staff about the budget crunch she inherited from President Donald Trump.  CNN

“Just say what the tapes say.” Say all of it. Expose the lie. If we are going to repeat anything he said, repeat it in full context and then -Speak the Truth:

…when a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the LORD has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously. You need not be afraid of him.

If we do not hold them accountable, the lies continue to produce fear and we neglect to be a light shining in the darkness.

Now, so then I said, “There will be in that time, during that time the women will be permitted to vote, and they’ll elect the wrong person.” They did it on this last election. That’s right. “Which will start the stronghold. During that time it’ll come to pass that—that there’ll be a great woman rise up in the United States, she’ll be beautifully dressed,” and I got in parenthesis: “(perhaps the Catholic church).” See? “That’ll take rulership over the power, overpower the others in the United States. She’ll be beautiful to look at, but she’ll be cruel-hearted as she can be.” 199 I said, “Then I looked again, and I saw the United States just blowed to pieces. There wasn’t nothing left on it.” 200 And I predicted then. “Now this, that was THUS SAITH THE LORD.” 201 And think! Of five of those seven predictions, has already happened. 202 The church to take a hold, the Catholic church. And the coming of the end time. 203 And I said, “I seen, looked like there was stumps burning; rocks, blowed out; and the whole United States just looked bare, laying like that, as far as I could see where I was standing.” 204 And I said, “I predict, according to the way time is moving, it’ll be sometime between this year ’33 and ’77.” 60-1208

Town & Country Magazine

Purple Predictions Part 1

Vice President Kamala Harris -NY Times 1/20/21

My dad sent me a text asking me to call him about a week before the inauguration. The capital riot had just taken place and there was discussion about impeaching President Trump a second time. 

Dad also sent a link and asked me to watch a video on YouTube. I opened it up to find a man I’d never heard of speaking about his “connections” in Washington who had told him the country was going to declare martial law within the next few days. He told people not to be afraid but rather be prepared. He told them to have extra food on hand, cash, medications, fill up their gas tanks, and so on. 

I sighed. The man seemed fairly sincere. He spoke in a knowing manner almost like a father to his children. I scrolled through the comments below noting the responses were mixed with mockery and questions, almost fearfully asking if this was a prophecy.

I knew then what Dad wanted me to call about and I wasn’t certain how to respond or prepare for that call, an admitted sense of dread loomed as I dialed the number.

You know my daddy and I used to talk every day about Jesus and the message. But after my family and I parted ways with the message, he has decided it’s best that we not talk about that or anything to do with how either of us believe anymore. I know it is intended to keep things peaceful but often it’s what is not said along with just enough of what is that stings more than just a little.

Conversations are generally casual. Usually we talk about about the children or perhaps share a recipe. Once in a while he will make jokes and tease mom a bit. But usually he will only comment now and again as mom and I do most of the talking, I’ll have to ask them to repeat what he says each time because he is sitting too far away from the phone mom has on the speaker. I won’t ignore any of his statements, I know they are sensitive and I don’t want him to think I don’t want to talk to him. It is always, however, just a little bit awkward to work through.

Sometimes they act surprised when I call and always thank me at the end for calling. I do try to call regularly. I’ve always been the type of person to pick up right where I left off with someone no matter how long or short the time frame has been. So those little statements of surprise always manage to leave me feeling disjointed and more of a long lost relative than the daughter they used to speak with every single day.

Mom answered the phone and before I could say much she said Dad was the one that called and she took the phone to him. Knowing my mom the way I do, I could tell she was upset.

Dad opened the conversation by asking if I had watched the video from the link he shared. His voice was direct and I could tell he was trying to soften it, yet his words quickened in his excitement.

This time I heard Mom in the background and had to ask what she said, “Oh Momma is afraid. These things have always upset her.” Then he continued. I’ll tell you we were on the phone for more than an hour and a half. I paused more than once to breathe deeply and hold my tongue. I just listened.

I heard concern, worry, and love, but mostly I heard fear. He had all of these things on his heart and needed to make sure I heard it all. Carefully. Repeat back to me, and do you understand? “You are quiet. I hope you’re not upset. I don’t mean to make you upset, I just have all this on my heart and wanted to tell you.”

I asked him, “Why is Mom scared? Is she scared because of everything that is happening or scared because she’s afraid you are going to upset me?”

Before he could answer, Mom cut him off and said, “I don’t want you to get upset and stop talking to us.”

I listened to him talk about news, social media, evangelicals, and how things were all lining up just like “the teachings” said they would. He didn’t want to upset me or offend me, but he couldn’t not say anything.

The teachings.

My mind went from factual statements of rebuttals to movies we had watched when I was a small child. I remembered ‘Red Dawn’ with the teenagers fighting to survive while their parents were captured in enemy camps. Another was people left behind after the rapture and a woman being taken from a house to be beheaded. I know I’ve shared before how I used to have nightmares as a child about being left behind. I used to keep a JanSport backpack in my closet with plans for what I needed, you know, just in case.

I thought about my little backpack and the old nightmares and realized once again how long it had been since I had dreamed like that. I was reminded once again, that fear was gone. That way of thinking is so irrational to me now. If I could paraphrase just a little of his words:

I have watched everything I can get my hands on and it is all pointing to what we know to hold true. We are at the end. I know you don’t believe this message to be true or believe it’s prophet’s words. But I stand by these teachings. Momma and I want to know you and the girls will be okay. We won’t be able to help you and you know we have told others whatever is here, is yours if you need it. Can you just make sure you have 10 days worth of food on hand, and cash, fill up your cars just in case. These are not hard things to do, but if you need it, you will have it. And, if you do not need it, and nothing takes place, it will not hurt you to have done these things. We can only make things right and draw just as close to the Lord as possible….

My mind’s thoughts drifted back again and silently in my heart I acknowledged exactly what my daddy was saying. I closed my eyes to prevent the tears from falling and breathed deeply to recenter myself.

In my worst thoughts as a child I never imagined myself to be the child my parents daily cried out to God on their behalf for. I never imagined me to be the child that caused such a burdensome yoke about their necks and weight upon their hearts. Their fear, their pain, their sorrow, was me.

I had left their teachings and according to those teachings, I could no longer be bride. I would have to stay behind to die for my own faith and then be judged. Mom and Dad would leave soon and I would only know if I called and they didn’t answer. But how long would it take before I put these things together? What would happen to me and their grand daughters?

A cry for salvation, come back to the word! Get your life right now before it’s too late. We used to talk about ‘sighing and crying’ for the people and here I was: one of “those” people.

My reaction was not remorse, doubt, regret, fear, or panic, I simply felt sad. So very sad to see how the message caused fear to encompass its believers lives and dictate actions that to anyone else would seem crazy.

They aren’t crazy, they are very sincere. Sincerely indoctrinated with ‘the teachings’. False teachings. I continue to not understand how the Love of Christ being without fear cannot help them to see how false these teachings are. I couldn’t be offended and in that moment, I couldn’t even be hurt. I only wanted to say something to relieve the pain, the fear, and worry.

Dad said, “You aren’t saying anything, you’ve been pretty quiet.” I heard my mom crying. Once again, I focused on what Dad was saying and knew I needed to say something back. Deep breath. Words. Please come. I finally broke my silence:

“Mom, I don’t want you to worry about me being upset or offended. Don’t let that be a concern. I have heard everything you have shared and believe it to be said out of love and concern. I don’t want you to ever be worried about sharing with me. I may not say much but I will ponder and consider what you say to me. I know we should be watchful, I’m watching.

No, we don’t believe the same way anymore and I understand what that means to you. I want you to know I am not afraid. Should the time come for me to stand or speak, I will do so. I am not afraid.

I have plenty of groceries. We just made a run and we’ve been purchasing extras to prevent frequent trips. I have cash on hand and the fuel tanks are full. The girls are all home with me. We are all okay and we will be okay.

I appreciate you sharing with me and I will continue to watch and see what takes place over the next few days.”

It felt like I was assuring someone on their deathbed holding on to let go. Don’t worry about me, I am going to be okay. You can go now.

I knew it was a better response than Mom had hoped for, but not quite what Dad wanted. He seemed satisfied that I wasn’t upset and pleased that I would at least think about what he said. I know he felt he had done his part and planted a seed. I wanted him to have that small win. I wanted him to have peace.

I cannot begin to tell you the heaviness of my heart in that moment. Heaviness I continue to carry. I long for the relationship we used to have. I would give anything for the pain and fear to leave their hearts.

We hung up and my husband asked me if I was okay and what did they say?

“Oh you know, I’m not bride, it’s almost time for the end, hurry up and get right with Jesus…”

His eyes widened, “Did they really say that?”

“Not in so many words.”

I have pondered his words and the conversation. I would not express as much to them, but I will share with you that it hurts. Those “teachings” he chooses to stand by are from a dead man that has come and gone, who’s ministry was built on falsehoods, dramatic stories, and hindsight prophecy. A man he’s never met. A man that pointed to himself as God’s mouth-piece when Jesus said the Comforter has come. This man defies the very New Covenant our Savior came to live, die, and raise from the dead to fulfill. And yet they “stand by the teachings.”

Apparently me being their own flesh and blood nor my character, honesty, or relationship with Christ as they have witnessed and known provide any weight to my words and opinions.

Yes. It stings.

I still love them. Nothing could prevent that. I know what they believe and I know their sincerity of heart and I continue to hope for unity and truth. I do take some comfort in knowing that phone call was their expression of love and concern. I hurt not at their words, but that my rejection of the teachings they hold so dear only increases their fear and hearts’ sorrow. I ache that those teachings divide the family I love and hold dear.

Suffice it to say we made it through the next few days without anyone declaring martial law. It would appear there has been a peaceful transition of power at the White House, and I’m pretty confident the rapture didn’t occur.

History was made with the swearing in of America’s first female Vice President. If you haven’t yet seen the meme with Kamala Harris making its way around social media quoting William Branham or the Book of Revelation. Hold on to your pearls, I”ll share more about that in the second post of “Purple Predictions.”

Testimony & Triumph

It has been quite some time since I have published any posts. I’ve taken the last year to focus mainly on my own family’s transitions.  The time that I have had to dedicate to the Bitter Belly over the last year has been dedicated to encouraging ladies in a private set of groups we’ve created to support women leaving fundamentalist religious groups.

I am so very pleased with the pace of transitions and new found freedom these ladies are experiencing. It’s absolutely beautiful to watch them blossom into the lovely individuals they were called to be. We feel as though we are picking up the broken pieces and building anew, putting our very selves back together. We’ve joined hand in hand sharing our struggles, heartaches, and our accomplishments. We laugh, cry, and share each and every step along the way lifting one another up as we go.

I thank God I am not alone.

Being able to share this experience has blessed me tremendously. When we reach the point where we find our voice and get past the initial shaking, an inner strength is born. We like to refer to this as flying.

Today I share one such voice who has found her wings, stepping forward with courage, she has shared her own experience with us. It’s often when we speak aloud these thoughts, from the confessions to the joyous achievements that true healing is recognized and acknowledged. That healing is very much needed for all.

I proudly give you one voice of many yet to come, Grace Henson.

Why I Choose To Be Modest In Pants, Skirts Or Dresses

Modest adj[1]

  • not very large in size or amount
  • not too proud or confident about yourself or your abilities : not showing or feeling great or excessive pride
  • of clothing : not showing too much of a person’s body

The very definition of modesty provides explanation that modesty cannot be accomplished by simply putting on a skirt or a dress. Attitude and one’s demeanor play a significant factor alongside one’s apparel. Considering many men find a skirt far more sexually appealing than pants, I asked the question, “What is at the root of wearing skirts?”

The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the Lord thy God.

Deuteronomy 22:5[2]

I grew up understanding this scripture as the answer to why I wore only skirts or dresses. However, as I grew older and began working jobs outside of the home with women of like faith (only wearing skirts and dresses) the opportunity to observe the reactions of men presented itself. Their reactions of absolutely disgusting commentary concerning the actions they desired to have with these women caused me to consider:

  1. There simply had to be more to modesty then wearing a skirt.
  2. In the Biblical time frame the scripture was written “pants” and “skirts” weren’t even optional garments.

I decided this scripture had to have more depth to its’ interpretation and as I looked into the original Hebrew, my discovery was quite enlightening.

I began to realize I only held to that interpretation of scripture’s verse never considering the entire chapter or it’s context. It contained a long line of things I was not supposed to do such as wearing clothes that are of mixed materials[3]. Why take one rule but not all of them?

It was at this time I desired to understand and search deeper for what my motives were for wearing only skirts. I asked myself, “Is it because I am proud”? I knew in my heart I would be just as modest in jeans but the concern of everyone I loved and held dear to me viewing me as less of a person overwhelmed me. My fear was that they would regard me as a sinner. My resolve was strong. For three more years I continued in this “holiness standard“. Feeling more confident and liking myself better in a skirt kept me from feeling any loss.

The Events That Convicted and Changed Me

My Husband and I began attending a church with “those people”. You know, the ones that wear pants to church? I wore my dresses proudly because, after all, it was more appropriate and I felt I looked more “holy”.

Approximately eight months into attendance at this church I recognized a family who faithfully attended each week. Every service the lady appeared in her raggedy jeans and t-shirt. I would think to myself, “Really! This is church, doesn’t she know better?”

This particular service as I noticed her was the first time I felt conviction for that thought. As God would have it, I sat directly behind this woman on that Sunday. The pastor asked us congregants to pray for one another. As she took my hand, tears began rolling down her face as she asked God to help me though my week.

I don’t know that I have ever felt more humbled. I realized in that moment that I was the proud Pharisee in the temple belittling others[4]. I was determined to change.

Our pastor’s sermon was on Abraham and Isaac. God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac because that was the one thing that he possibly put before God. At the end of the sermon he asked us all to bow our heads in prayer considering what the “Isaac” was in our own lives.

As I was praying and thinking that there really wasn’t anything that I would not give up, I was reminded that I would not give up my religious traditions. I felt that was the one thing that God was asking me to give up.

I left church in tears. This wasn’t just asking me to give up traditions. This was asking me to give up pride; to give up any lasting respect that I had from my family. This was God asking me to virtually become an outsider to follow him.

That moment when I surrendered and said, “I will give it up for you” was the hardest decision I have ever made in my walk with God. All said and done, this has been my journey.

It may seem strange to some that in my walk with God I was actually convicted about wearing dresses. I strongly believe wearing dresses had nothing to do with my clothing, yet it had everything to do with my attitude, pride, and my thinking that wearing skirts or dresses somehow had something to do with my salvation instead of completely trusting in the blood of Christ alone.

But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

Samuel 16:7[5]

My prayer for not only myself but for each and every one of my friends is that when God looks at our hearts he likes what he sees.

Contributed by Grace Henson

[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/modest

[2] King James Version

[3]Luke 18:11 King James Version

[4] Deuteronomy 22:11 Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woollen and linen together.

[5] King James Version

Love Me Anyway

I think we all may be able to relate to a moment in our lives where a sharp pain prevents us from breathing deep enough.  Our short quick breaths leave us gasping for air, wincing with pain, overwhelmed and unable to rationally deal with our surroundings.

These were moments I anticipated.  I thought about them a lot.  They would tumble and bounce through my mind interrupting sleep and causing my mind to never slow its pace.  No matter how many times I would play out the situations in my mind, no matter how well I thought it through; in the back of my mind I knew… better brace myself, because I knew it would knock me off my feet.

Choices aren’t always easy and certainly not always clear, but never the less, they must be made.  Leaving the message has opened a world of new choices.  It has actually made things so much more complicated.  

It may seem a simple task, but I assure you it has been one of the most complicated and difficult  things I have attempted.  It challenged my comfort zone, my pride, my upbringing, but most pointedly; it challenged my relationship with others.

Of course when one chooses to dress differently than they have their entire life, it’s bound to cause a reaction of which my personal favorite would be, “You know better than that.”

Do you? Do you really “know better”? Being told one thing all your life, I would say you have conformed to a standard, but convicted? More than likely not.

Sometime around age 13 or so I remember a visiting minister or perhaps it was at a church camp calling out specifically to us young girls.  He seemed to understand how hard it was to always be so different. To be singled out in school and never fit in, to never feel like “the other girls.” His soothing, kind, and understanding voice assured us of our purity, our love of God, and His word. We were predestined and called to perfection, set aside and Holy Ghost filled. All who looked upon us with our clean faces, uncut hair, and long skirts would see Jesus on display. This outward appearance clearly stated that we had something they did not.  You see, he told us, we could go out and cut our hair, wear make up, throw on a pair of pants, run around with boys…. why, we could be like them in five minutes.

“They” however, they could NEVER be like “us”.

I cannot begin to describe to you the mental separation that continued to take place in my life. It amplified what was already there. I was keenly aware how different I was at a very young age. This, though, seemed to bring a sense of pride in that separation. It made everything better and acceptable in my young mind. It wasn’t that I wanted to look like them or even that I disliked what I was wearing. It was the loneliness. It was somewhat easier to allow one’s self to believe they were just the true believer, the odd ball, that’s of course why you don’t fit in. It would seem the more secluded one became the more spiritual they felt. It was the excuse, the bandage that made “everything better”.

Pride, pride, pride.

My choice to wear a pair of pants was not because I desired it, I didn’t find them attractive, I didn’t even know how to find my size, let alone explain to a sales attendant I had never worn pants before. It was all so embarrassingly uncomfortable.

I’ve really had to challenge myself on modesty. It’s been a long tough road for me. One not so clear as it had always been before. That was a struggle in and of itself. The most difficult of all though, was allowing myself to dress differently around my family still in the message.

It was something that weighed heavily on my heart. No matter how clear my conscience felt, no matter how I prayed and talked to the Lord about it, I knew my family would be deeply hurt.

I would love to tell you that it blew over and they told me it wasn’t a big deal. I would love to tell you they told me I was beautiful to them even still, that clothing couldn’t separate their love for me or my children.

Sadly, I cannot.

What I can tell you is that I saw their tears, their disappointment, their heartache, and it hurt me deeply. I hated seeing their pain. Even though I tried to continue to act as though nothing had changed, we all knew it had. It grew silent, gazes dropped to the floor, and I felt like I had grown a third eye. 

Days have not healed this moment. Nights have not closed this new separation. Conversations attempting to bring closure have only resulted in regrets and hurtful words. Apparently, for message believer’s one’s choice of clothing differing from another is a result of “what is really on the inside”. Not looking the part is a lack of a holiness standard and a lack of the Holy Spirit in the life of the individual. This new choice of behavior or change in one’s appearance is the cause and reflection of any struggles or problems one may be having. After all, these things didn’t occur until after you left the message.

Yes, your choice of clothing now questions your salvation. And, just so you know, until you come “back”, you should continue to expect bad or questionable things to happen to you. God has removed His hand from you, you cannot be blessed, and all hell must be set loose for you to find your way “back”. Back of course meaning the confines of their interpretation of the holiness standard and of course what is modest. “Back to the word” “Back to the message.”

They have said, time heals all wounds.


For now, this one is open and still hurting.

Allow me to clarify that fear has not entered into my life. Nor sudden found conviction. If anything, their words have further confirmed my decisions. If one garment of clothing can halt love so abruptly that it disrupts a life long relationship in a matter of moments, something is dreadfully wrong.  If one garment causes you to treat me differently and change your previous thoughts about me, then perhaps your love was more shallow than I realized. 

I have read the Apostle Paul’s words over and over, they state:

Romans 8:35-38

“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?

As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

For too long I have separated myself from all that I considered unholy. I separated myself from this world and all who partook so freely in it. I was a stranger waiting to be called to a better place. I am ashamed to say in that same mindset of separation, I claimed to have more of God, to have been more revelated, and blessed of God than most. I claimed to be His bride, to have so very much of Him inside of me that I mustn’t blemish my spotless garment.

I now grimace at this thought. I cringe with regret. To be so full of God and refuse to share the love of God cannot go hand in hand. If I cannot reflect His love for all others, if I cannot love equally and unbiased upon my own convictions, I am nothing but a hypocrite.  How can I be the hands and feet of Jesus if I can not go near enough to make a difference?

Outward appearance has dominated the placement of one’s spirituality far too long. It is an absolute misconception to build one’s self up while pushing another down all based upon a garment. This judgmental attitude is a true reflection of not having the love of God to express in the first place.

We were taught to strive to a rapturing state of perfection. This teaching has brought condemnation and a “better than you” mentality. It neglects to tell you, you are human, created to be redeemed. Created to need a Savior. You were designed to be weak. Designed to fall down so He can pick you back up again. He is strong when we are weak. It is in our weakness, that we call out to our Savior, “Lord, help my unbelief.”

We have strived to achieve perfection, taught to be “little g-o-d-s”. Perfect love, perfect faith, speaking the word and creating our desires into existence. All that is holy outwardly expressing the inward working of revealed truth for our day.  I find this “perfection status” a ridiculous notion knowing these same holy temples neglect the basic simplicity of Christian expression: Love.

1 Corinthians 13

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

The love of God should unite us, unfortunately we have been far too busy allowing our garments to separate us from any form of unity whatsoever. Our garments declaring our spiritual status and modesty, have done nothing more than become a garment of separation drawing a line in the sand from you and all who could possibly need a little something we are all called to give. We are meant to express the same grace extended to us, and the same love. Love and grace that is unconditional, love that cannot separate or divide. Love that never fails.

A More Excellent Way

“If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.

      Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

      Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away. When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.”   – 1 Corinthians 13


Commandments of Men

“This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.”  -Matthew 15

Why is it a norm in the message to travel so far to church every Sunday and Wednesday?  Often driving two or three hours one way sometimes twice in a day.  Goodness, don’t miss, whatever you do, don’t miss a service.  Your spirituality depends on it. Or more pointedly- your reputation does.

You dare not darken the doors of those “denominational churches”.   It is simply not an option to go to a non-message church.

I know people who pack their lunches to stay for the evening service.  They nap in their cars, the nursery floor, or wherever they can.  Some go without food until they are home.  Arriving back home on a Sunday can be as late as midnight just to get up for work and send the children off to school the next day.

Just recently I have read of message believers stating their loneliness and lack of connections in their churches.  Something is terribly wrong.  Those who don’t think so are more than likely in the ministry and on the “receiving” end.

Most sacrifice much to attend each service.  They might sing a song or two, smile, nod, shake a few hands, drop off their tithes, and then they go home.  The majority quietly asks within themselves, “What did he say?”

Those who “Amen!” the loudest every single service and sit on the front row (generally as their wives are in the nursery) are like the babbling brook.  They make a lot of noise, but they just don’t go deep.

They have fallen into a routine of the same songs, same sermons, and same quotes.  Guest ministers are invited on occasion for “special” weekend services.  I call this stirring the pot or pulpit swapping.  To make it more enjoyable a potluck is often held in between a set of services.  More than likely, it’s the most fellowship the people have had since the last “special” meeting.

Another favorite is the beloved camp meetings.  As a young vulnerable teenager there is nothing quite like a minister counting to ten calling everyone in the room to the alter attempting to strike fear into you.  But you go, look your best, and hope to meet “the one” before the week is over.

Message ministers preach for hours.  They take off their jackets, loosen their ties, take a swig of Gatorade, and off they go.  You know you have a while to go; he just isn’t loud enough yet. At least when they choose to play a tape you can count to see how many pages are left.

If you happen to attend a smaller church, you have the opportunity to view the tithes being dumped into the pastor’s wife’s purse for her to total the moment her car door closes.  The larger churches are a bit more discrete about it.  They receive a hefty salary and then hire family members to collect the rest.

Afraid to ask questions or doubt, concerned they didn’t “feel anything”, no one says a thing. They dare not, after all they should have come “expecting.”

“Brother, sister, what you need is a genuine refilling of the Holy Ghost!”

“I’m not sure when He left?”

When was the last time you left church and said:

“Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?” -Luke 24

Growing up I only heard the negative concerning churches of the “world”.  We were taught they were harlots. They didn’t worship Jesus, they rejected the true word.  Imagine my surprise when I got over my bias and heard a sermon from one of these “foolish virgins”.  I got more out of their 25 minute sermon than many, many, many three hour message sermons.

There are ministers, which are true students of the word, who actually know how to explain the scriptures.  No quotes, no handed down pulpits of family ministry.  God called men with a true heart for His people.  They serve the people without making themselves authoritative.  Rather it was prayed, “Let my tongue be as the pen of a writer.”

Tapes have been played and used to pull quotes, topics, and context to inspire message minister’s sermons for nearly 50 years.  People no longer study their Bibles; instead they listen to regurgitated words.  And you wonder where the anointing is?  The voice?  The tapes?  If that’s so, tell the minister to step down and save your 10%.  You’ve got your stored up food. You’ve got your mp3 carcass.

What then do you do with Jesus’ words telling you to take care of the widows, the orphans, or feed the poor?  You can’t even agree on the interpretation of the tapes, let alone minister to the body.

“God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.” – 1 Peter 4

More than likely this concept of ministry is foreign to you.   The body of Christ is many members in one body.  Gifts are for the building and encouragement of the saints.  The body does not consist solely of ministers nor is the ministry the head of the body.  Christ is the head.  At least He should be.  But you allow a man to replace that.  You sit under a ministry that tells you not to speak.  Just say “Amen”.  You are told it is blasphemy to question the prophet.  

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.”  – 2 Timothy 2

“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”  – Acts 17:11

Facebook and the internet is the undoing of those ministers.  It’s giving the people back their voice.  It tells them to reason and searching of the scripture is not only encouraged in the Bible, but they are admonished to do so.  Perhaps you should listen to your ministers: “Stay off of Facebook” and do not venture onto the websites full of material for your benefit.

Sunday service, a time we have traditionally set aside to worship, to be refreshed, to be encouraged… it has become a defense mechanism.  A taxation upon the people, a burden on their wallets and their time, all while the minister spends all of his time unsuccessfully defending William Branham and neglecting the call to  ”Feed my sheep”.

People are frustrated.  They are in a fog of confusion and lulled to sleep with a soothing voice.  They’ve lost their absolute.  Rather than the edification of the body, commandments of men are preached.  Rules, standards, regulations, a law without grace.

Sure, they will tell you they do not worship a man.  They will say, “We don’t pray to Jesus via Brother Branham!”  Maybe not.  But you take his words over Jesus’.  So who’s your mediator?

Stream into any message church, you will hear the defense of this message spoken with loud words and red faces.  The topic is what not to do, who is doing wrong, and who you shouldn’t be listening to.

You challenge the ex-message believer and you ask, “Where can you go now?”  You say, “They left to be free to dress any way they want and live any way they want.”

Allow me to clarify a bit of that.

We go to church, we worship the living God…. we are encouraged.  We look forward to the next service because we did leave and say: “Did not our hearts burn within us?”

No, we didn’t leave to be free to wear pants, cut our hair, or have a drink.  The freedom we speak of that we have found in Christ- that freedom allows us to be led of the Spirit and hold the Bible as our Absolute.  It allows the man to be the head of his home and Christ to be the head of His church.

You think you have that?  No.  Your head is your minister.  It’s the tapes.  It’s the words of a man and another private interpretation of it.  Those words are your standard.  They are your absolute.  Your understanding is based upon indoctrination.  Remember, “Just say what the tapes say.”

You think you are respecting authority.  That’s not respect.  It’s fear.  Don’t believe me?  Try challenging it.  It was said, “To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you’re not allowed to criticize.”

Sunday services should hold joy.  They should be looked forward to with anticipation. Worship should be enthusiastic.  You should leave edified, encouraged and refreshed.

I’ve experienced the message churches far too long.  I was told denominations and their membership was the mark of the beast.  Miss American church twisting to rock and roll attending her social club.

I’m amazed, those songs you are so fond of singing, who wrote them?  That “Christian” radio station you like, wonder what Jesus they serve?  The Christian book store you like to shop at, I wonder, who inspires all that they sell there?  Those authors you may like to read… just what God are they serving?  The movies you deem clean to watch, surely those are not ‘true’ Christians, no.  Sort of saved.  Almost.  But… you know… just not bride.

I am sure you are very familiar with those words.  How many times have you sang them? These words touch the heart.  You cannot help but sing them with great emotion.  It cries out for every believer.  It speaks for the redeemed.  You sing this song.  It moves you.  And yet, the man who wrote it, you would say: “Is he saved?  Oh, Yes.  Sure. Bride?  No, no.  Not bride.”

One body, one Spirit.  Many members.  All through the blood of Jesus.  All by grace.

Christ is the head of the church.  His church is not contained within the walls of a building. Its not a select group of people with a secret revelation for their day.  The body of Christ is whosoever will.  If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior then you are a part of His body.  You are His hands and His feet.  Go, and minister unto the needs of His body. Build up and encourage.  Speak life.

“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” -Hebrews 10


A New Life Has Begun

So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!  – 2 Corinthians 5

As a child, I never dreamed it possible to have come so far in life.  I never imagined my self a teenager, let alone a mother with children,  Each New Year’s Eve from as far back as I can remember I have closed out the year in prayer on my knees.  From a little girl I would be found in the living room with each family member kneeling over a chair praying.  My prayers consisted of reflection over the year, repentance of any wrong, and a promise to pray more.  After all, this would more than likely be the year of the rapture.

A memory from about the age of eight or nine years old comes back to me, kneeling in prayer attempting to pray and not to fall asleep; I placed my head on my hands with eyes closed letting my mind wander. A loud gunshot went off jolting me back to reality and fear settled over me,  I began to pray with great fervency. Repentance for being lax and pleading, “Please dear Jesus, take me too.” Tears streamed down my little cheeks as I peeked around making sure my daddy was still there.  His gentle voice praying uninterrupted soothed me somewhat as I waited for us to finish.

As the years have passed I have kept the family tradition of praying out the year.  I’ve not missed once.  As 11:30 rolled around I would quietly sneak away and find a place to kneel and pray. I wanted to be ready for the new year, I wanted to be found prayed up and conditioned for the coming of the Lord.  While I believe my heart was sincere, this year I have stopped to re-evaluate this tradition.

There is no better way to start the New Year than with prayer, however, my motives have changed.  This holiday season I have spent much time reflecting on this last year and just what this new year will be to me. 2013 was certainly a year of discovery for me.  A year of searching, study, and change.  As I reflect on where I was at last year and where I now stand I have to confess I am not the same person.  I have let go, I have learned to bend while standing.  I have accepted that I am complete in Christ despite any circumstance I may find myself in.  There is no super power that comes with hidden knowledge, revelation, praying one’s self up, or anything one might attempt to do to draw themselves into a higher spirituality.  It simply is not earned.

The love of God is immeasurable.  His grace is sufficient.  His blood covers all sin.  You don’t need an extra dose of blood for one sin or less for another.  He won’t love you more if you belong to one group and less if you do not.  He loves me because I am His.  I can’t earn it, I can’t do anything to deserve it, I can only accept it and lowly confess I am nothing without Him. “Oh God be merciful to me a sinner!”

I have let go of all the old doctrines and in childlike faith I have come to Him and said, “Lord my hands are empty, my heart is broken, I am lost, and I need you. Be merciful to me Oh God, forgive me, and teach me Lord. Fill my heart’s desire to know you in all truth.”  I have started over.  I am teachable, willing to learn, bend, and change.

Change I have, I am stronger in many ways.  I have acquired a boldness backed by confidence in His word.  I have learned that I will disappoint those I love, but I can love them all the more.  I have learned that through His unmerited favor and grace I can be who He called me to be and do what He has called me to do.  I do not belong in a box. I am no less or any more than anyone else.  I am who I am because that is who He made me to be and I need Him.

This year is a new year full of new beginnings.  Old things are passed away and I am being made new.  A new heart full of love, concern, and a burden for people like never before.  A new mind: teachable, willing to learn, and change.  A new Spirit: Christ’s alone.  I am a new creature.

Last night I made a conscious effort to break my tradition.  I did not pray as the clock changed to midnight.  I was not found on my knees.  I didn’t  pray out the old year and condition myself for the new.  As the clock ticked, my mind reflected back on everything I had been through this year and what I wanted for the new year.  I was handed a card to fill out my resolution for the new year and I couldn’t think of one thing.  Not one.  I had Jesus and He was enough.  Lord I can’t ask for anything, I can’t vow to be more than I am.  My friend saw me pondering my blank card and laughed, telling me she hadn’t meant for it to be so difficult. I smiled, if she only knew.

Embracing the changes of 2013 and all that has been made new to me, holding all who were dear in my heart, I wrote down one word.  For me it represented everything drifting through my mind, continually spinning and refusing to stop.  In that one word I took all of it and placed it in a promise and a request,  God give me strength to take the next step.

If I were to make a New Years resolution I would say I will no longer allow myself to be influenced by the thoughts and opinions of a particular person.  I will not base my decisions upon their ideas.  I will not let them influence me or persuade me.  I will not look at the ministry as some type of mediator or “higher calling” above the laity, but rather, as another part in the body of Christ through which we can be edified and blessed.  I will look for the Spirit of Christ and I will seek the scriptures. No longer will I allow a standard of law to be placed in my life that removes grace.

Be disappointed, be hurt, cry.  Unfriend me, stop speaking to me.  Call me an apostate, tell me I can’t be bride; I’m over it.  I’m following Christ.  If it’s not in His word [the BIBLE] it is of no concern to me.  Keep your quotes.  Keep your revelations, keep your ministry… anytime the ministry is placed above the people instead of for the people I will run from it.  This year, I will be me in honesty and and authenticity.  I will strive to find the place to not offend my brother and yet stand firmly and boldly in truth.  This year… I may ask, “Just who is my brother?”

Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he looked at those around him and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”  – Mark 3

Welcome New Year.  Welcome 2014…. I’m embracing it with peace knowing I’m walking in His grace.  Yes, the old life is passed away and a life has begun.

What Does the Sheep Say?

“As a pastor I have proven to myself for 20 years that the best sheep are those who consume the prophet’s message’s on a daily basis. They are the lowest maintenance, easiest to teach, Word abiding sheep I can have.”   – A Message Minister

What is wrong with that statement? The “best sheep consume the prophet’s [message’s] on a daily basis.”  In other words, heavily indoctrinated by tapes.  Not much left for him to do, but reinforce the tapes.  Obviously that is low maintenance.  I think though, my largest problem with his statement is that fact that he refers to them not only as sheep, but ‘his’ sheep.  Rather than see himself as part of the fold, he emphasizes that the ‘best’ sheep are ‘lower maintenance’ and easier for him to teach.  He is not among the sheep, but separated from them, and in so placing himself as this ‘head’ emphasis on the true shepherd or head is then lost.  So much for “Follow me as I follow Christ.”  It’s certainly low maintenance when someone else does all the work.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own sheep, and they know me, just as my Father knows me and I know the Father. So I sacrifice my life for the sheep. I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” -John 10

“Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”
“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.
Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”
“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.
A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.” -John 21

Jesus called himself the Good Shepherd.  He likened his people to sheep, not because they were stupid or without reasoning.  He likened them to sheep because He cared for them.  Follow me, and I will feed you.  Come, and follow me and I will teach you.  Follow me, and I will provide for you.  I am all that you have need of.

Jesus said, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” I believe it is important for us to realize this ‘Comforter’ is a WHO and not a what.  He will teach us ALL things.

“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”

It is very clear that Jesus not only taught His disciples, He told them He wouldn’t leave them alone.  He would send them a helper.  This ‘helper’ is a WHO.  He is the Holy Spirit.  He lives inside of each of us and leads us in our daily walk as we learn to listen to Him. This seems like a very simple and uncomplicated matter.  However, when Jesus spoke with Peter, He told Peter to take care of His sheep, to feed them.  If we have the Comforter leading us into all truth, never leaving nor forsaking us; what then is this role Peter is given?

“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy, and say to them, even to the shepherds, Thus says the Lord GOD: Ah, shepherds of Israel who have been feeding yourselves! Should not shepherds feed the sheep?”  -Ezekiel 34

Thus says the Lord GOD, Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand and put a stop to their feeding the sheep. No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them. “For thus says the Lord GOD: Behold, I, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock when he is among his sheep that have been scattered, so will I seek out my sheep, and I will rescue them from all places where they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.   -Ezekiel 34

I find it ironic that in the message we are told to listen to “the voice”.  Just “say what the tapes say”.  You will fall in love with the voice, it will soothe you. You can listen to tape after tape, you can read it, search it, quote it, and live by it.  Ah yes, “He said it, I believe it, and that settles it.”

“Amen to every word.”

Yeah, you don’t have to understand it.  It doesn’t even have to make sense, just believe it.  Throw your reasoning out the window, your Bible too for that matter, and press play.

I have yet to find a scripture that instructs the ministers, pastors, shepherd(s), or any man for that matter to lead and guide the people into all truth.  Nowhere does it say to look for a man to tell you what is right or what is wrong.  Nowhere is it recorded that a man is to come and reveal mysteries to us. 

It is recorded, however, that Jesus was going to the Father.  He would send us the Comforter, and HE would teach us all things and remind us of what He previously (as in already, a long time ago) said. There were no gaps to fill in.  No blank spots, no editing necessary.

Jesus spoke it.  I believe it, and…… THAT settles it.

No interpretation.  No opinion.

Here’s the thing.  If you are a Christian, and you believe the Bible is the written, inspired, unadulterated Word of God, and it is without error, then tell me, please; Who’s voice are we supposed to be listening to?

Jesus said, He would send us the Comforter to teach us and remind us of what He said, and all these years people seemed okay with that, until 1947.  Then they needed to record the voice of a man, and ‘store up food’ for us to hear after He was not so graciously called off of the scene in 1965.  Really?  Was Jesus’ voice not good enough? Did the Comforter go on vacation?

  “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  “I am God and I change not.”  Jesus spoke the words “It is finished” on the cross.  Prior to that point, He spent three years ministering and preparing his disciples. Then He sent forth the Apostles, and we have their firsthand accounts of it.  I wasn’t there, but they were.  There is no lack of understanding, it is written down for us and brought to life by a God that dwells in the hearts of His people.

Yet, we have chosen to believe that after 2000 years God decided it really wasn’t finished, and needed to send another prophet….

A gentile one.

From the United States.


Adding to the Word and interpreting it.

And record his sermons on tape to call out a bride.

Yes, follow the voice of a man, let it soothe you, and lull you to sleep.  Press play.  Evidently the Bible isn’t enough, Jesus’ words aren’t enough.  Take the voice of a man, who is dead.

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorn-bushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”  -Matthew 7

I choose life.

Jesus, is risen, He is alive.  He speaks for Himself, His mouthpiece is the Comforter.  He didn’t die 50 years ago.  You don’t hear his voice on a tape, there are no “blank.spots-ed” and he isn’t buried under a pyramid tombstone.

He’s alive.  He’s Christ IN YOU, the hope of glory.

Jesus told us He was the Shepherd.  There is one Shepherd and one flock.  His sheep know His voice and they will not listen to anyone or anything else.

 Then Jesus told him, “Follow me.”

The Rapture of Fear

“If there is only one person that makes it into the rapture, you believe you will be that one.”

I sat with wide eyes as a child listening to that statement.  I squirmed in my chair looking around to count all the spiritual people that would make it before me.  How could the minister not make it?  His wife certainly would have to, and surely the song leader and the deacon.  It was going to be such a small number, how would there ever be enough room for me?

Nightmares of coming home to an empty house with no mommy or daddy met me night after night.  Vivid images of hideous beasts and demons haunted me.  The sermons of concentration camps and the terrors of the tribulation made their way into my little thoughts as I drifted off to sleep.

Tribulation.  Hell on earth.  The bride was to be such a small number.  Brother Branham always seemed to emphasize the number eight, just like Noah’s ark.  I began to count again: Brother Billy Paul, Brother Joseph, Brother Billy’s wife, Brother Joseph’s wife, their kids… I ran out of fingers.  Confused, I wondered just how many would be in the rapture.  Surely all of Brother Branham’s family, after all he said anyone who loved him would be there.  I began to reason that perhaps because they were family, I didn’t have to count them.  I started over: Brother Byskal, Brother Green, Brother Reagan, my pastor, the song leader… I ran out of fingers again.

I thought about Brother Branham’s horse and his green chair.  His dog was there.  Surely, just surely I could go too.  Night after night the nightmares came finally sending me crying to my parent’s room where my dad led me to the Lord at the very tender age of six.  I didn’t want to miss it.  I didn’t want my mommy and my daddy to leave me behind.

This was the beginning of fear.  Once I voiced this fear aloud and was told that the fear of the Lord was the beginning of wisdom.  This taught me that fear was okay.  It was normal to be afraid.  My nightmares followed me to into my adult life.  They changed from coming home to an empty house with no family, to my children being taken away from me and me being placed in a prison for not denying my faith.  I would wake up scared, everything was so vivid and real, often I rose to check on my babies and pause to listen to their steady breathing.  They were so peaceful and so unaware, just as it should be.

The Bible tells us “Do not fear” and “Do not be afraid” at least 365 times.

As a child I was taught demons were real, when someone was prayed for you were to bow your head so the demon did not jump on you.  I was told about the mark of the beast, the great tribulation, and the many imagined things that it would bring.  No food, prison camps, torture, be-headings, giant bugs eating women who cut their hair, numerous details I really don’t care to remember.  I was taught fear.

With this fear was the act of conforming and obedience to all that was said to be right.  You wanted to do what was right, what did the prophet say about that?  Quotes; they were beloved, spoken like scripture, recited, and ingrained in your mind from childhood.

“If there’s just going to go, be one, that’ll be me (Amen.), ’cause I believe.” See? That’s the way you want to believe it. “Be me.” 63-0320

Yes indeed, if there was only going to be one, you believe you will be that one. How?  How could you possibly make it with all of these spiritual ministers and people around you?  There wasn’t enough room; the number was just too small.  Doubt always lingered, and the plans of survival set in.  As a small child I kept a backpack in my closet with plans of escape. Looking back on that, it makes me sad.  No child should have to live in that fear.

There was always a statement that I held onto:

Just then, a voice spoke and said, “All that you ever loved, and all that ever loved you, God has given to you. We’re all here together.” Oh, my, my heart just melted within me. “All that you ever loved, and all that ever loved you, is gathered here with you to meet God.” 60-0608

That’s it? I just have to love Brother Branham and I’ll be there?  I love Brother Branham, I can do that.  I think perhaps this is the beginning of my veil between me and Christ.  I can remember prayers where I said something like, “Lord I believe, your prophet Brother Branham said…”  Why on this earth would God send His only Son to die in our stead to be the ONLY mediator between God and man for us to be sent a “prophet” to take his words and rely upon them above Jesus’? As though Jesus was not enough?

The elitism, the attitude that I was special; I was “one of them”…. I had a prophet.  How privileged I was to be called to the message, to know God sent a prophet in my day.  After all, it wasn’t for everyone, but it was for me.  This attempted to silence my doubts.

“If only one makes it, you believe you will be that one.”

I thought of all the people I would leave behind.  I was told not to worry about that, that it was just to build my faith.

Reflecting on these teachings from my childhood, I hesitate to share them.  I don’t want to hurt my parents or the people I grew up with.  I don’t think these are thoughts they intended me to have.  I honestly don’t think they even knew I had them.  I think had they known, they would have reassured me and done everything they could to relieve me of those fears.  If you can take anything away from me sharing this portion, perhaps you can relate, perhaps you cannot, but can you ask yourself, “What did the children grow up hearing?”  Children are so impressionable, what are they hearing?

Brother Branham said Noah was supposedly a ‘type’ of the bride that went in the ark.  In another ‘type’ Enoch was the bride and Noah and his family went through the tribulation.  This never made sense to me.  In my study, I’ve thought about Noah preaching to the people telling them what was coming.  They didn’t believe him.  They ignored him.  Many probably thought he was crazy and steered clear of even crossing paths with him.  I thought about Noah and his family walking into the ark and looking outside one last time to invite the people to come in.  Perhaps his sons pulled at his sleeve and said, “It will be okay Dad, just come in and sit down.” Noah didn’t shut the door.  I don’t think he could have.  Not because it was heavy or cumbersome, I think as he looked out on his family, friends, and neighbors, the people he had known all his life, grew up with, went to school with, worked with them, he knew them… how could he close the door on them?  Do you think that perhaps just maybe he wanted to drag them in by the hair of their head, bind them, and gag them until it was all over?

Or do you see him clinking glasses with Ham, Shem, and Japheth; “It was for us, it wasn’t for them anyway. Look! There goes another one!”

I imagine after the door shut they sat in silence with tears streaming down their faces listening to the cries of the people being washed away.  They sat there helpless.  Mothers with babies were washed away, small children, their family.  You realize Noah had in-laws.  His son’s wives had family. They left people behind.  They went into the ark full well knowing they would never see them again.

“If there is only one…”

I can’t help but see children running around in a circle playing musical chairs.  Too many children and not enough chairs.  The music keeps playing and the children eye the chair.  They are not about to give up that chair.  I’ve decided to walk away before the music stops playing.  More than I want the chair, more than I want the prize at the end, I want someone else to have the chair.  I want someone else to have the prize.

As I walked away the fear that had haunted me my entire life evaporated.  I no longer wanted to “escape”.  If there is a rapture, and I could offer my place to someone else, I would.  If there is a rapture, whether I go or stay no longer matters.

The “bride” so full of faith and the word was to leave the weak to die for their own testimony.  This baffles me. The word says there is just ONE body.  If the “bride” leaves how can the body be divided?  Will we take the hand and leave the foot?  Or are we actually saying those who aren’t bride aren’t His at all?

Further, if there is one way to heaven and that is through the blood of Jesus, why do these people need to seal their testimony with their own blood?  The ‘Book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ’ clearly says they were washed in the blood of the Lamb and given white robes.

No, I don’t understand this.  I don’t understand how I can leave one of His behind to fight just when the battle gets worse.  I can’t. I will be with them, I will encourage them.  I will tell them they are not alone, they are loved, and that He loves them.  We will fight unto the end together.  But I will not wait until the end to do so, I will tell them now.

The fear has left. In its place is a love I have never felt before; a love for all people and all creation.  I no longer see myself separate and apart from them.  No longer do I wish to be taken away from it all.  I feel like Abraham, “If there be one more Lord?  Can I help just one more?”

Every kindred. Every tongue. Every Nation.  His creation. His people.  Who are we to divide and say “It wasn’t for you.”

God said it was.

The rapture of fear has taken place. Do not fear.  Do not be afraid.  He is our rock, He is our portion, and He is our strength, our hope, our refuge.  He is everything.

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, what can stand against us?”  -Romans 8:31

“Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do, and don’t live in dread of what frightens them.” – Isaiah 8

Isaiah 43
But now, O Jacob, listen to the LORD who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
you will not be burned up;
the flames will not consume you.
For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.


I reached a place in my walk, where I became broken.  I felt so vulnerable.  I was scared and I couldn’t see what He was doing.  At that time, I just wanted answers.

I first wanted answers that lined up with what I knew, my own thinking.  I wanted God to back me up.  This was the beginning of my brokenness.   Desperation set in.  I couldn’t find what I was looking for, so I began to ask for anything.  “Lord, you told me to ask and you promised to answer, you told me to knock, and you would open the door.”

I had to be in a place that when He answered me, I could receive it, whatever it may be.  He prepared me to receive an answer despite what I wanted the answer to be or thought it already was.  I couldn’t see what He was doing, but as His answers came they brought peace and the courage to face another day.

I asked for truth.  He gave it to me.  It wasn’t what I was expecting, and it was hard to accept it.  I can’t say I didn’t try to push it away or reject it, I did.  But He kept bringing it back to me over and over. I started to feel like a child at the dinner table.  It wasn’t what I wanted, but when you get hungry enough; you will eat it.

I guess being human we can’t help but ask “Why”?  Sometimes we don’t know, but we just believe there is a purpose.  We don’t understand but we trust Him.  We know trials help us grow; they build our faith and mold our character.  This trial, seemed to have no end in sight and my question of why grew stronger each day.  I prayed, “Lord, I can’t see what you are doing.  I don’t understand but, I trust you and I know you are with me. I believe your word, help my unbelief.”

That was my prayer for months.  All the while things were surfacing and coming up before me.  Feelings of anger, bitterness, past hurts and heartaches, memories of things I hadn’t thought about in years.  Words would tumble out and catch me completely off guard, “Where on earth did that come from?”

When God breaks us, everything we are holding inside of us begins to spill out.  It’s a flood of emotions and they rise up one by one.  Circumstances and words that hurt us, the moments that we buried deep inside of us never wanting to think about again begin to tumble out.  Sometimes they come as an emotional outburst; other times it’s something someone else is going through that you are relating to.  However they may come, God is bringing them forward in His time and He tells us, “I want to heal that”.

Broken.  Let it all spill out, empty everything you’ve held inside.  Let go of the weight you have carried.  You might try to hold onto it, but He steps in and takes it from you.  You may think you’ve got this- I’m here to tell you, you don’t.

God does.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.”                                                                                                                                        Jeremiah 29

You think you understand.  You think you know.  You think you have it all figured out; you in your own understanding.  You have all the answers, you already know what is right.  You begin to walk and push forward and your weight gets heavier and heavier until you are so bogged down you can’t go any further.  All the while, He has been walking beside you saying, “Let me take that, let me carry that for you.”

But you aren’t listening to Him.  You are too busy giving all the answers, making your point, defending your stand, you can’t hear Him.  Did He not tell us to be still, that we might know that He is God?

Pride holds all that inside.  Pride speaks back and says, “No, I got it.”

Grace walks beside our pride and waits for us to fall.  It picks us up and carries us.  It takes all of our broken pieces, heals us, sets us back on our feet, and goes before us.  With each shaky step it’s ready to catch us like a safety net.  It surrounds us.

With each step strength finds us.  Not our strength, His.  We couldn’t go any further.  We fell.  We cried out, “God! I can’t do this.  Please, take this.  Help my unbelief.”

Courage brings another step.   This is just where He wants us.  Broken.  Dependent upon Him, and in need of all He wants to give us.  He can’t fill you up and set out His plans for your life until He empties you out.  We are so full of ourselves there isn’t any room for Jesus.  We have our own path, our own ideas, and our own plans.

“For I know the plans I have for you!”

Jesus set this example for us, “Not my will but Your will”.  Jesus was broken.  He gave everything; He submitted His will to the Father completely.  Jesus demonstrated what we are called to.  God can’t use us when we think we are strong.  God can’t move in our lives when we are so full of pride and callused over with hard hearts.  We must be broken and emptied out.

In that emptiness and vulnerability we can say, “What do you want for me?”  We can offer Him everything we are, all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.  What do you give a God who has everything?  He wants you, all of you; broken and empty, and ready to be filled with His plan for you.

When you can say to Him, “Lord I have nothing to give you but me, I am nothing.  I don’t deserve you, but I need you.  I can’t do this without you.  Lord, I’m human, I’m weak, and I need you.  I don’t want anything but you.  Be real to me, reveal yourself to me.    I’m so unworthy Lord, I have nothing to offer you but me, use me Lord.  Let me serve you.”  You are just where He wants you to be.  You are weak, that in your weakness He can be your strength.  You have nothing, that He can be your supplier.  You give Him you, that He can use you as He desires and planned from the beginning.

You are called for this moment to be placed into His body, under His headship.  You are called to serve Him.  You are called to be an active member of the body of Christ.  If you aren’t active, you aren’t living.  There isn’t a part of your body that would want to see inactive or dead.  I don’t care if it’s your toenail.  You think that’s insignificant?  Go ahead and rip it off.

You are His that He might use you.  Let Him be glorified in your life.  Surrender to all He has for you and serve Him.  Become broken before Him, let Him empty you out and heal you so He can fill you up again.

You aren’t happenstance, you aren’t an accident, you aren’t insignificant; you are created for a purpose.  He knew you before the world began; He has called you by name.  “For I know the plans I have for you.”  There is no age discrimination with Christ.  You are neither male nor female.  You were created for a purpose; He has a plan for your life.

David said, “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.”

If you are asking why, if you are feeling broken; this is the beginning of healing.  This is the beginning of restoration.  This is the beginning of an awakening.