Author Archives: NLLEx

Watch “An Attitude of Gratitude” on YouTube

Inspirational message for those battling depression.  A biblical look at the benefits of having a Thankful heart

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A Return To Respectable Femininity

In our politically correct culture there has been an assault on gender roles. Somehow it has become passe or a curse word to discuss gender roles and mostly pronounced by women then men.  For some reason both men and women have inadvertently diminished the prominent position women play in the family.  

Having an appropriate and biblically ordered family where the man is the head of the wife is associated with dishonor and is fought against with ill repute.  But for those of us on a rampage to erase these roles their seems to be a lack of thought concerning who will accomplish these very important tasks that still need to be done if we as women abandon them.  We sacrifice our children’s development on the table of institutional education which says career should come before love, being able to be “independent” is more desirable then trusting God.  Because it’s dependent on you to create wealth, although scripture reveals it is Yah who gives us power to create wealth. (Deut. 8:18) 

Yet all the women in our lives who we hold dear, albeit a grandma who raised us or an aunt who rescued us, or a mother who nurtured us, we respect and hold them dear not because of their education, but because of their presence, their sacrifices, and their love.  They didn’t give us lots of stuff but they gave us what they had.  However, we abandon their wisdom to follow our own path, make our own name, or to place the untested knowledge of book scholarship against the proven experience of a humbled life, then we’re surprised when scholarship failed us and our families suffer.  Marriages broken and children destroyed, we can’t figure out where we went wrong because our children received all the stuff our parents or grandparents couldn’t afford, but at the expense of the one thing that made a difference in our lives, relationship. 

Respectable femininity doesn’t have the new world perspective of success.  Its not quick to sacrifice its true assets for the paper substitute, nor the things that it can buy. It rejoices over teaching their children about God, sharing the importance of keeping their home, being there to share what’s important in life and willing to share both our failures and successes to protect and prepare children for life.  All of which can only be done by being present. 

This is the wife husbands should seek, a family man should be the husband a wife should want.  False understandings of security lead women to believe fat bank accounts will make them more secure, when the opposite is true.  In many cases more money attracts more women for men which usually result in infidelity and may end with you having some of the money, but no husband, thus no father in your home.  Interesting scripture doesn’t say a house is taken by freezing bank accounts, but by binding the strong man. (Matt. 12:29)  We foolishly believe we win in divorce if we get half of their assets, think nothing about how we’ve sacrificed our children’s security and how they lose their identity.

A virtuous bride, who desires to be a faithful and present mother is of greater value then riches. The world may never appreciate her, but the future is secure because of her.  She trains her children in the things of the Lord, and her reward continues even after she gets older.

Family Restructuring

While death has been as constant as life always, the older I get it seems as though funerals unite us more than weddings.  Times of mourning more than times of rejoicing.  Often many of us asking the question that scripture has already provided an answer for.  Why? From the time we enter this world we enter the race for the grave. Some choose to accelerate the race through suicide or suicidal choices that lead to homicide.  Others full of age having had the pleasure of experiencing all seasons of life give up the ghost to enter into either a place where time and aging doesn’t collide with aches and pains.  Others, in a place a thousand times worse then what this life could give.  Both wherever they are based on the choice they made while in this life.  To receive or not to receive the gift of eternal life made possible by Jesus Christ (Yehoshua Ha Machiach). 

The bottomline whatever their fate we feel the effects of their loss and our family’s must go on with the hole of that missing life within us. Many of us never asking the specific why question that is important, not why they died, for we all must walk this path, but why now? To which scripture also answers this question.  In the book of Isaiah Yah questions what we haven’t pondered through the process, the why now at least for the righteous

“The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.” Isa. 57:1

Most of us however will agree that things are getting worse in this world.  We are experiencing the shift scripture has told us about, understanding the blood of Jesus (Yehoshua) is greater then the umbilical chord of biology that connects us.  

Scripture speaks consistently of brother turning against brother, the enemies of a man being the members of their own household. (Matt. 10:21; Matt. 10:36)  We are living in that time where the righteous are entering into rest and the offspring are undergoing the test.  Whether they will continue to walk in what they were taught by their parents or depart.  Will we stand in truth or fall in disbelief?  While there is nothing new under the sun there is an intensity of the evil in this hour then the one before.  

The enemy of our God is getting closer to earth as he is falling from the second heaven with great wrath, and we find ourselves in the tremors of this growing storm. (Rev. 12:12)  Yet the Lord has told us how we will overcome, and should we take heed we’ll fair well. (Rev. 12:11)  

Expect betrayal

We have already been forewarned that a restructuring in our family will take place close siblings will betray one another being hateful instead of loving, having been seduced by this world they will betray their own blood.  Make up in your mind right now no matter what happens to stay with the Lord.  Let NOTHING separate you from the love of God.  (Rom. 8:39) As the family members you love more than life will be brought home in this hour and God won’t be asking your permission, nor will you necessarily have time to brace yourself for the blow. Have your heart and mind on one accord that you will follow Him no matter what happens.  

Despite the prosperity message we are getting from the Western church the scripture reveals entering into the day of the Lord is marked by judgment and persecution.  In fact joy will come through persecution, and not in our blessings or our college degrees will we boast but rather in our weaknesses and infirmities. (2 Cor. 12:6) The hour where the body decreases that the head of the body (Yehoshua) should increase in His glory through his body.  

Entering into this time can separate even that which Yah has joined together.  Scripture teaches us that forsaking for Yehoshua’s sake be it houses, brothers, sisters, or even spouses shall receive a hefty reward, even everlasting life. (Matt. 19:29) 

Hopefully it doesn’t come to that but we have seen in scripture in fact the book of Job is the greatest example of a wife who attempted to turn the heart of her husband against God because of the persecution they were facing.  Yet Job made up in his mind he would NOT turn on God no matter what he lost.  This is what Messiah was telling us when he said, 

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (luke 14:26)

This is the point, if we put anything or anyone before him that thing or person will be what we will betray him for.  Consider Judas who betrayed Jesus for money, or Peter who when faced with the fear of losing his own life denied Christ three times.  We mustnt only conquer the fear of losing our loved ones, but we may have to consider losing our own life. Bringing new meaning to my life is not my own.  

So the real question considering the earlier scripture in Isaiah as a Believer should not be why was our loved one taken, but rather why were we spared?  Why am I still here? What is my assignment?  For the spirit we should have is that of Paul, to live is Christ and to die is gain. (Phil. 1:21)  Submission to Yah dictates who my sister, my brother, and who my mother is, and according to scripture these designations are based on those who have the same will as our heavenly Father. (Matt. 12:47-50)  

Don’t get too attached

The moral of this article is this don’t get too attached. Be ready to move with Yah, wear this world like a cheap garment and be ready for the restructuring. Ask not why this person but rather always consider why not you? Meaning why have I been spared? What is my assignment?  Because you are still here for a reason and if you are in the family of God recognizing he gets to decide when that family should be restructured whether through physical death or a death of a relationship. 

Allowing God to structure your family means you don’t have to be afraid of being hurt because your trust isn’t in man, but in God.  

Saints, it’s time to trust God to put our lives and our families together as He sees fit. To mature in our faith so that we can rejoice in the Lord, counting it all joy no matter what befalls us, because life does consist of more than the abundance of things we possess and the horizontal relationships we have been blessed by the Most High to enjoy.  Love family while you have them and continue to love God who allowed your life to be blessed by your loved one. Recognizing we lose nothing in Him.

Radical Femininity

Only in a society as twisted as ours is doing what is decent and right considered radical. Somehow loving God, loving our husbands or even desiring a husband for your child takes second, third, and fourth place to ourselves and our careers. So now obedience to God and His requirement of us to be help meet is considered radical. This is my challenge to the women of the word let’s be radical concerning the things of God and our role in his plan. Let us rediscover the fulfillment and satisfaction one should feel for successfully keeping their home, loving their family and bringing their children up in the admonition of the Lord. There are careers built around the role of women, but they fall short of the love that comes from us in delivering.  The things that truly matter are priceless to provide. 

The Believer’s Unbelief

It’s been a minute since I have written on this page and partially because life has happened once again and as a result my life has been restructured.  Nevertheless, this is the most important blog I own as it deals with the matters that address our salvation.  While most of my other blogs are focused on enhancing our quality of life in these bodies, at the end of the day these bodies will only take us so far.  Which brings me to the importance of today’s topic.  It’s an area that we all struggle in and I pray that this article both convicts you and encourages you.

As the title suggest this article deals with a paradox many of us, as believer’s don’t think we have but is very pervasive.  When we think of “unbeliever’s” we typically think of those who have not made a confession of faith in Messiah who is called the Christ, Yehoshua (Jesus).  However, the passage of scripture I will be sharing with you today reveals the least likely person you would consider to be an unbeliever, Moses.

Num 20:12 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

Many of you would say if Moses is an unbeliever where in the world does that leave us?  While this is a reasonable thought, we don’t want to get side tracked on the lesson before us, which is that a person can be a believer in unbelief and understanding the context of this scripture sheds that light.  The verse above is the passage of scripture surrounding Moses smiting the rock when God specifically instructed him to speak to the rock that we know having read the end of the book was Christ.

1Co 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

This incident brings up two important points but for the sake of this article we will only focus on why God counted his action as unbelief.  If we are familiar with this scripture we know that there was once a command by God to Moses to smite the rock, (Exo. 17:6) however, in this instance the instruction to Moses was to speak to it.  Side bar if you are not familiar with this account in scripture I highly recommend reading it in its entirety because its important to pay attention to the details of God.  We never know how God is revealing Messiah through our actions as 1 Cor. 10 points out to us that the rock that they were drinking from was Christ.  Thus the significance of Moses unbelief in this area means that it painted a false picture of what the Messiah would do.  Jesus (YeHoshua) would only die once for all.  There would be no provision for him dying for our sin twice, and for Moses to smite that Rock twice distorts the picture.

Which brings up a very important point, if our obedience paints a picture of Messiah’s life to the world, what do you think a believing unbeliever’s disobedience paints a picture of concerning our Messiah?  I shutter to consider the thought, but the reality is whenever I disobey a direct or written command of the Almighty God counts it as unbelief and it’s a thought that should cause all of us to rethink how we sanctify God’s word in our lives.

It must be stated that Moses motivation however, was not to smite Christ, as this was not what was revealed to him concerning the rock he hit at the time but rather the context of scripture reveals that his anger concerning the murmuring of the people provoked him to wrath in such a way that he heeded not to the direct command of the Almighty.  This decision would cost him entrance to the Promised land on earth.  However, don’t make the mistake that many may be inclined to make that this flaw in judgment cost him eternity.  Here is where we can be encouraged because though we fail to follow God’s instructions fully our unbelief concerning him in areas of our faith doesn’t nullify our ability to have eternal life.  However, here is where the conviction should come because what this passage of scripture does make clear is that our disbelief does reap a temporal penalty that can cost us dearly.

Here is the lesson of Moses, while we as believers confess a faith in Jesus Christ (YeHoshua Ha Maschiach) in what ever area we don’t do what God has clearly instructed whether that is by his direct command as Moses did or by his written command as we see throughout scripture our failure to obey is considered in the sight of God as unbelief.  While for many of us entrance into the promise land is not the penalty we pay there is indeed a penalty for our unbelief.  What the example of Moses reveals to us is that it is clear that no man who saw God move in the way that God moved in his life and in the lives of others could be pegged an unbeliever in God, but it does reveal that we can be unbelieving as it relates to God based on our lack of belief in sanctifying him in certain areas of our life based on our obedience or disobedience to his commands and the leading of His Spirit.  While we may be doing so out of provoked anger or simply believing that his command doesn’t apply to us, or not understanding how a specific result can occur from keeping a specific command the effect is the same.

Finally, the end analysis of this particular story is this, it is possible for us to be a Believer in Messiah, yet not believe his word and the evidence that reflects our unbelief is based on whether or not we are keeping his instruction (written or spoken) or ignoring it, and doing things our own way despite his instruction.  Like Moses, our unbelief in whatever area of our walk with Christ may not cost us eternal life, but like Moses rest assured that it is costing us and that cost should not be taken lightly.

Time Out For Games

Perhaps now we can stop playing long enough to realize it’s time out for games.

I’m not sure how to feel about this “Take a knee” stance. Oh don’t get it twisted I’m not saying I’m against it. The crazy thing is somehow this action which has to do with oppression is being equated to patriotism. Smoke screen for sure, but what’s more amazing is sports which in this nation has been like a god for people. I mean people will curtail the word of God on Sundays so they won’t miss Sunday night football. It would seem has met its match, and who knew a bended knee would be all it would take to get people out the stands.  The dilemma is they aren’t leaving in repentance towards God, but in bowing to what clearly is a bigger god then football in this nation, itself.  It’s called patriotism, and don’t shoot the messenger I’m not opposed to respecting your country, and if the bended knee action was an affront to the beloved anthem or flag salute I would get it, but it’s not. Just because someone calls something unpatriotic does that make it so? Or is this another cover to once again blow off the 400 year old topic that seems to continue to be ignored.  We can’t even be saved by Yah’s standard until we confess our sins, why is it suddenly being deemed a sin to merely point out we have a systemic sin issue in this nation that needs to be addressed? Our nation needs healing, but a sick person can’t be healed until they realize they are sick.  Nevertheless, America we can’t keep putting off the inevitable at some point we will have to address this issue and sooner better then later. I admit I’m not a fan of football so I am glad to see there is something that can remove its idolatrous force, it’s just sad that it wasn’t the love of Messiah that did it.  I just pray whatever this movement is becoming it some how some way leads to the Lord, otherwise it becomes another humanistic futile effort that leads to unbeneficial change.

TimeShare or Senior Continuum Care Communities

The current model of healthcare services provided for our elderly who require assisted living or skilled nursing is not only passe but depressing.  Anyone who loves their loved one who is faced with having to make a decision concerning where they will spend their golden years understands the heartbreaking options that await them.  Our current Medicaid system needs a revamp and Capitol hill is far behind on making the changes that are necessary to meet the growing need of care.  If you haven’t done any shopping in what the cost is for getting skilled nursing I would highly encourage you to begin shopping.  One of the major changes that need to take place is the choke hold that skilled nursing facilities has on medicaid provision as well as long term care insurance options.  Today, there are better options available to those who fall between the areas of skilled nursing and assisted living and quite frankly the cost for services of the better option comes with a much more reasonable price tag.

It makes more economic sense and common sense, especially if Medicaid is supposed to serve the people rather then the industry to encourage elderly people in need of assistance to stay in an assistant living facility as long as it is possible.  By leveling the playing field and widening the market as far as options the competition would actually push more skilled nursing facilities to provide higher levels of service recognizing that families get to not only choose between skilled nursing, but also assisted living and memory care facilities.  This provides a greater incentive for nursing homes to fix their own internal problems and fine tune their services.  Those who have persevered in working to build this country and make it what it is today deserve better then a place to hold them until they die.  A place that neither our loved ones want to be and their families want to visit them in.  After years of toiling and turning, making a way for your children and sacrificing to meet their needs it seems unfitting that the end game would lead to seclusion in a skilled nursing facility where your basic needs of health are neglected unless micromanaged by your family.

We who are in the working class need to have a shift in our priorities.  Rather then spending our money on a timeshare that gives you one week a year to escape the hustle and bustle of life we need to begin shifting our extravagant vacation fund into retirement property.  Obviously setting aside funds that can’t be touched such as a funeral trust or funeral insurance that would need to be at least $10,000 if you plan to be buried underground with a tombstone and as low as perhaps $6000 if your goal is to be cremated.  Whichever one you decide this needs to take high priority because you are not guaranteed to live long enough to be old and enjoy retirement living, but death is almost a certainty for most of us and having funds set aside to accommodate that need is key to having your wishes honored.  However, if you do live long enough to make it to old age, or even if you find yourself falling prey to a debilitating illness it is important that you be prepared for what the cost of living is for aided care.  This is a topic that many of you know I have been passionate about ever since my loved one suffered a debilitating sickness.  The options out there are few and far between and the compromises you have to make especially if you are not financially prepared for such a catastrophe is quite limiting.

The baby boomer generation are all reaching a point in their life where retirement services of some sort on some level are almost guaranteed to be a must.  Driving may become taxing or due to vision and reflexes could be completely out the question so being in a community that has other transportation options available will be very important.  Cooking and cleaning is another chore that many of our elderly people are less able to do, whether vertigo becomes a problem making looking up or down a challenge, or energy levels fluctuating causing the chores of doing daily tasks difficult, but you’re still able to use the bathroom, bathe yourself adequately, and the like then a senior community is an ideal situation to be in.  Having had to look for out of the box answers to meet caring for my loved one who lives hundreds of miles away, while meeting their desire to stay out of skilled nursing we had to  consider every possibility within his budget to provide for his care.  What I have found is that many places are heading in the right direction, with of course the most important ingredient to success being having quality workers who desire to provide quality care.  However, probably the perfect marriage between this rental based living is a full continuum care community that extends its reach to not just providing rental property, for assisted living and memory care residents but providing purchasable real estate property for self sustaining seniors who can still live independently or with their families in a 2 or 3 bedroom home.

Let’s face it many of us who are in the working class now live a certain lifestyle that we are accustomed to and certainly we aren’t working ourselves as hard as we are to end in the corner somewhere at a institutionalized nursing home if we can help it.  Thus, the next wise development would really be to provide senior living communities that incorporate short term rehab, nursing home, assisted living, and memory care within a housing community that also extends itself by providing cottage style housing options.  While assisted living apartments and memory care apartments would not be purchasable real estate property, many seniors would enjoy the amenities and environment of being in a senior community, but a steak they can actually buy not just sink their teeth into.  Which is where patio homes or cottages around the enclosed community would be an ideal situation.   This housing would require that selling of the property must be only provided to residents who meet the age criteria, but otherwise is a place that their children could inherit as they get older or as they require senior care needs.

As stated one thing is for sure we will get older and our ability to go up twenty stairs everyday will change, these luxurious garden tubs will become a pain, and cooking and cleaning well that will become as old to us as we are.  Having the ability to have a retirement community that extends its housekeeping, therapy plans, dining options, and community resources to those who own homes within the community is a major plus.

After selling your home nobody wants to find themselves in a rental situation again, and should your health decline the advantage of a senior living continuum care community is that your one time community fee paid when you first entered the community provides for you to transition to whatever level of care your physical state requires without having to pay a hefty fee when you are least financially prepared to do so.  By being proactive in your downsizing you have made it possible to be exactly where you need to be when changes occur and membership has its privileges as you would be able to easily transition to the next level of care at a membership rate, and because entrance is both limited and exclusive you have access to the most prime property which means that should you not financially be able to afford the next level of care, selling your home on site provides financial security for your transitional level.

Also, by being proactive by buying property onsite and paying your one time community fee at closing or at an age when you are receiving steady income versus a fixed income you forgo the community cost that is sure to go up over time to make the shift.

This model allows for greater affordability for even the middle class savvy senior to get in. By downsizing on a home that you may have paid off or come extremely close to paying off your equity plus your principal travels with you which will put you at a major advantage when starting fresh in our new community.  You could easily find yourself in a position where your new home could be bought out right or at least completely paid for before you are 65 if you move in at 55.

Resort style living in safer locations.  Smart shopping for property would require looking for land that allowed for turning a forest into a goldmine with natural water features, and fertile land, being a plus situated in an area that is not prone to natural disasters being more ideal.  Let’s face it as beautiful as Florida is the constant threat of hurricanes and other natural calamities make it a recipe for disaster when you mix that in with seniors and especially senior citizens with disabilities.  So, the ideal spot for this senior continuum care community would require paying close attention to safe locations.

Everyone should have choices and a senior care continuum community ought to be able to offer that and that should extend beyond the walls of the assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing unit.  For this cause the next level of senior continuum care communities should include the following:

  1. Home Ownership for independent structures.
  2. A sliding scale association fee based on the amenities you choose to partake in. A base fee which covers the cost of the common area grounds, as well as your personal property, and in and outside home maintenance warranty, as well as supplemental services that can be added on for an additional fee.  This service can be added on a monthly or yearly basis.  Monthly services being able to be cancelled at any time and yearly services at a discount but nonrefundable.  Supplemental services such as:
    1. Weekly housecleaning
    2. Meal Plans (both dining in and carry out services)
    3. Personal Fitness Programs
    4. Club Activities (i.e. bridge club, golf club, pool club, etc…)
    5. Utility package – (Pay a one size fit all fee monthly for electricity, water, internet, landline phone service, and water)

Again the grounds should also offer some form of recreation, as we age we become less mobile so having things available at arms reach is key to keeping our baby boomers, booming with active, vibrant, and healthy lives.  For this reason these communities should offer shopping options, recreational options, and services.

  1. Shopping Options
    1. Dollar store
    2. Gift store
    3. Fresh market
    4. Bakery
    5. Clothing boutiques
    6. Video Store
  2. Recreational Options
    1. Pond for fishing
    2. Golf course
    3. Miniature golf
    4. Botanical garden
    5. Walking trail
    6. Park
    7. Movie Theatre
    8. Library
  3. Services
    1. Medical services on site (vision, hearing, dental, general practitioner, chiropractic, naturopathic doctors, o.t.,p.t., s.t., therapy)
    2. Spa & Beauty Salons
    3. Personal Fitness Services

These options are optional and should be based on the interest of the seniors of that area and should be considered on the front end of construction. The more rural the area the more likely you will have to provide services in house, the more centrally located the less amount of services you would need to provide onsite.  Consideration of location and the interests of the people in your area should always be the priority when planning.

The baby boomer generation has a much greater appreciation of home ownership and having something to pass down to their children, even if their children aren’t particularly interested in what they would like to pass down.  Nevertheless, this is a noble thing, and one thing for sure if their children keep living they will live long enough to appreciate the benefits of functional housing that is handicap accessible especially when in combination with a luxurious touch.  If children are too young to take advantage of living in a senior community then renting out the property to other seniors in need of the space is also an option.  Which in the end still makes this property a worthwhile investment attractive to anyone who fits the age criteria.  By having the amenities that are available at arms length they can decide whether or not at any given time if they would like to add on services, and those services will be billed to them beginning that next month for those still independent they still will enjoy the basic services of carefree living, not having to concern themselves with mowing, or major maintenance issues.  Either way this way of thinking and investment in Senior continuum care living is simply a wise choice offering amenities and options for both the independent senior and the assisted needs senior.

If you would like to continue to receive correspondence on this topic and dream with me just a little while longer in aging with dignity follow my blog.  I will be posting more food for thought on this topic as well as reviews of facilities that I have visited.  If you would be interested in investing in building a senior continuum care community also join in on the conversation, at some point it will be time to take what is being written on a blog and see it come to life on land.  The first phase being to invest in land, and the second phase being to invest in architecture and landscaping.  Finally, if financial investment is not something you can do you can begin changing legislation.  Start making your voice heard concerning widening the use of medicaid to include assisted living and memory care as viable placement options or some sort of voucher program for Seniors requiring 24 hour care to be made available for assisted living and memory care facilities.