1781

I am a small town girl from a very unique small town known as Cowpens. My little town is nestled in-between Spartanburg County and Cherokee County of a small state of South Carolina. People chuckle when I tell them where I was born and that there is literally one red light maybe two now, not really sure of that fact, but one fact I am sure of is the name itself raises a lot of questions, and today I am going to address the elephant in the room.

Cowpens! This is where I am smiling big because there is a lot of humor that is stirred up when Cowpens is mentioned. My little town was founded near a battlefield fought in the Revolutionary War back in January on the 17th, in 1781. That would make the anniversary on this past Monday, the 17th, 2022, 241 years ago. If you were to visit Cowpens, South Carolina, the best time to come would be in January if you wanted to get a taste of what occurred there 241 years earlier. There is a re-enactment of the battle fought between the Brits and American troops. The story goes, Lieutenant Colonel Benastre “Bloody” Tarleton (1754-1833) and his troops were routed by Brigadier General Daniel Morgan (whose statue still remains in tact in downtown Spartanburg, S.C.) and his American troops. The Americans went in heavy and inflicted heavy casualties on the British and this particular battle became a turning point in the war’s Southern campaign. This battle was fierce and only lasted less than an hour, but that hour would prove a huge victory throughout the pages of time.

As a child growing up in such a small town with a funny name, my father always told the story of the battle and how our town got its name. The story would began as Tarleton’s men came in and attacked, Morgan proceeded to instruct his men to leave the front line after firing two rounds. This military tactic by General Morgan is still taught today at West point. The story goes that the British misunderstood how the Americans repositioned themselves as a rout and they ran into an unexpected concentrated rifle fire that was accompanied by a cavalry charge, thus the return of the militia. However, Tarleton escaped but Morgan’s troops did their thing and decimated Tarleton’s army.

More than 800 British troops were killed, wounded or captured that day. As for the Americans, they only suffered less than 100 casualties. and this was their first Patriot victory that demonstrated they could outfight British forces without and incidences like a surprise attack or the geography itself to help them. There was a huge boost in morale that day and later the Americans would yet again defeat the British at Yorktown, Virginia which was the last major Revolutionary War battle. But the Battle that took place in Cowpens has a memorial with re-enactments every year and a walk through story line inside the building erected there on the property of the battle itself tagging it as The Battle of Cowpens. There is also a wreath-laying ceremony with 18th century weapons being fired and there are ranger-led battlefield walks and author lectures. But how did Cowpens get its name?

The battle took place near pastureland, simply a cow pasture where there were cow pens (pens for cattle) that were used by frontier farmers in northwestern South Carolina. This landed the town their name and not many people know about it nor the battle that took place there. Indeed Cowpens is littered with many humorous puns and jokes, but I remember it as a great town with wonderful history and a victory that makes me proud to say, “yeah, that’s my hometown!”

Death By Love

This is one of my poems, a brief prose narrative, written three years ago on this date, January 14th, 2019.

White wings fraught with cold black fate
the breath of wind howls a song of late.
Her soul longs to voyage through the light
from love slain by the thief of bitter night.

Love promised truth and etched upon the heart
broken now by lies, grey walks bare dispart.
Burdened and crowned with sorrow’s despair
time and chance seared from hope and prayer.

The rose she yearned but the thorn not spared
and the same wind sang hearts withering fare.
Love’s hand loosened and let slip the reigns
while the thorn pierced harshly and love bled pain.

His welding iron the tongue of death he played
luring lies, burning anger sent love to it’s grave.
Once was light against a world dark and void
but the wind blew strong, love and trust destroyed.

by Jane Hardin

Shackles Of The Darkness

This is a letter, perhaps a revelation to my scattered brothers and sisters who like me, thought we were as good as dead. We have felt like we had truly lost ourselves in the past few years especially since 2021. We’ve had many hardships to endure and battles to fight, and a hard truth that if we didn’t keep our heads on straight we would never survive. Then for many of us a time where death wanted to claim our very lives or where death did claim the life of our loved one and it was feeling like a vicious cycle that we could not free ourselves from. I’ll do my best to put into words through fragmentary thoughts and truths the experience I had early this morning. In retrospect, God has had me plastered against the potter’s wheel for four years now, remolding, reshaping, rebuilding that which He desires me to be. It’s not been easy at all. There have been times I prayed for death in it’s reality rather than just mere words. In fact, I reached a point in my life just very recently where I cried out to God, ” I feel like a part of me has died, I feel like I have died inside, Lord this pain inside me is overwhelming and I am exhausted!”

This morning, I received a prophecy in my inbox. As I read the words, instantly I knew this was directly from God;

” I heard your words and saw the tears that accompanied the depth of your prayers. I heard you when you said you felt like you have died and you felt dead inside. I heard you when you said the pain inside felt overwhelming and you were exhausted. But I have seen your tears and heard your utter groanings from the deep pain from the place of brokenness you have lived through. I know your grief and feeling of emptiness and loneliness. I’ve seen your disappointment, hopelessness and the trauma that has taken root in your very being. I know your dreams have all died, your passions have died and I know you have not been able to dream again. But I know that the enemy has tried to beat you down. He knows you have a destiny and he feels threatened by it. I will move in swiftly and suddenly upon you not only to revive you but to resuscitate you and reset you. There have been those in your life that have turned against you, those who betrayed you, therefore I had to remove them for they were a hindrance to your destiny. People have talked about you and mocked you because they are full of the spirit of jealousy and they are blind to what’s coming, and to those who place their trust and faith in me I will renew their spirit and prepare their hearts. But those who mock my name and choose to believe that I do not exist, those are the very people who will wander the earth in total darkness, groping about without discernment and believing only those things that tickle their ears. My daughter I am giving you a breath of fresh air a breath of new life. You will live again and your tears of sorrow and brokenness and your tears that have been shackled to your inward death will turn to tears of joy. Go forth in My Light and live. Your tears have been stories that no one else would dare to live through but they will read about. But now, I am doing a new thing.”

At that very moment it was as if I was carried away. I saw darkness all around me. Pure darkness! There was nothing there, but I stood in that total blackness all alone. I could feel it. It felt like death. Finality. It felt like the darkness I’ve been living in the past four years. I saw no hope, and felt that feeling of utter despair I began to feel that death all over again. It felt familiar something I had become accustomed to feeling and therefore I didn’t bother giving those tears permission to fall. Suddenly, I heard sounds of rushing waters, like waves crashing all around me, then the sun broke through. It was pure gold and it didn’t hurt my eyes to look at it. It was rising quickly and the light emanating from it’s source shown on my surroundings and I found myself standing in the ocean. The blues and greens were stunning and the white foam swirling around my feet felt refreshing as never before. I felt waves wash over me filling me with hope and life. Instantly, I felt the presence of God. I knew in my spirit He was refreshing me with life, a new life. I felt surrounded in the spirit by a sense of transformation and a reviving fire. The death was being washed away and I felt tears bursts its banks but they were not tears of death, but tears of pure joy. For the first time in a very long time, I felt alive!

I looked upward, and the sky was dressed in the most beautiful colors I have ever seen. Bright and vivid, so many different hues and I felt myself wanting to fly high because the presence of God was washing over me, around me and through me. I raised my hands and began to give praise to our Father and then I heard the Lord speak into my spirit, ” it felt like the end to you, but its a New Birth! These trials and afflictions you have been passing through were to refine your character because you will need to be resolute for the days ahead. Everything you have been through will bring a rich fulfillment of My promises from within you. They have been sealed up to be released and birthed in my perfect timing. No matter what at this point forward, you will be victorious and will come out of everything unharmed. When you pass through those waters you know I am with you and you will not be burned when you go through the fire. Walk in Victory, walk in Triumph for the time is coming that those who have not believed in me and those who have believed and turned away will see the light in a whole new way and they will run to the light and be set free from the enemy’s shackles of darkness. Stand firm for I am doing a new thing and everyone will see…..”

Ode To Krampus

Some know of Krampus as the anthropomorphic beast in some enduring Eastern Alpine folklore who likes to scare children. I only know of the Krampus from the WarZone games my sons play who tries to kill people in the game. But my version of Krampus is the guy from my previous relationship who left me for another woman, and another woman, possibly another one in there too. Not much for commitment, but ace at browsing I should say. But I would love to send him a coloring page with a turtle on it explaining that three year old’s have trouble staying within the lines and maybe if he practiced coloring the turtle it would help him with his relationship skills of being faithful and loyal in a relationship and staying in those committed lines. He definitely has put a “Kramp” in my life.

I recently found out the love of my life was in a relationship without my knowing with another woman. Not only did I find out about her, but during this time he tried to convince yet another woman to move in with him. But because she has trust issues with men, she did not want to move too fast, but he tried to tell her in his most romantical way, he might be the guy to convince her to marry him. Needless to say, I became very sick to my stomach. Krampus had me blindly convinced he was not like other men who cheat on women. Yesterday, he threatened me with suicide saying, if I told the new woman in his life about “us” he would kill himself after sending out an email to everyone saying it was my fault. This did not go over very well with me. I did send him a hot-line number there in England for those who feel the need to end their lives and told him to get help. I then wrote a long email, a ” for the record” kind of email explaining my innocence for his sister and friends to see if he continued to threaten me with coercive control. This is clearly psychological and emotional abuse and in his little plan to take me emotionally hostage and try to force me to meet his demands revealed to me just how insane Krampus really is.

After several days of uncontrollable tears and a need to understand what happened and why, I feel relieved today that I am no longer his problem not that I was a problem to him, but I gave him ten years of my life, an entire decade and he threw it all away. Today, I shed no more tears and could care less who he is with or what he is doing with the one he is with. Instead, I am laughing at myself for the thoughts I’ve been thinking of him. Earlier, I took the garbage out to the bins and stared at the trash bag with a huge grin on my face. I said to the bag, “Krampus, this is you in the garbage bag, and this is me taking the garbage out, goodbye!” I know. I totally know you are thinking I’m the one who is insane and I would have to agree with you. After all, I have been to hell and back with everything he has put me through and I have every right to be coo coo for coa coa puffs right now. In fact, if I was in England right now, I would put a very nice, cordial note on his girlfriend’s car, only because he does not have a car, saying;

“Dear Krampus,
Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy life to interrupt mine with so much disruption. Really, you shouldn’t have you went way over and beyond your kindness to make sure my life was decorated with all those lovely, daunting memories I am now left with. It’s not like I have a heart or emotions and once again thank you so much for using your personal time to make my life harder. But when you screw around like a fool, you make people mad. When you make people mad, they write you notes and when they are writing you notes, they are wasting their time. When they waste their time, they get more mad or is it madder? Now they are doubting their grammar. Don’t make people doubt their grammar. Stop screwing around like a fool. You should really invest in ballet lessons and learn how to do those pump turns, you know, where the Ballerina dances around and around in circles, almost like she’s screwing herself into the floor. I mean that would seem to be right up your alley, the screw part anyway. You can thank me later for not going monster truck on the car. It’s not that nice of a car but those scratches down the side was a complete accident and I’m sure she is insured. Thank you so much for all the heartaches, lies and betrayals you have betrothed on me. Such a nice gesture and I’m forever scarred from your efforts to screw around like a fool. So please, don’t waste anymore time screwing around like a fool on your new love or she might get mad and when you make people mad they write notes and when they are writing notes, they are wasting their time. When they waste their time they get more mad or is it madder? You figure out the grammar part because making people doubt their grammar can be stressful and when people get stressed, they get mad and the cycle begins all over.
Sincerely,
Your ex fiance who doesn’t screw around like a fool.

I am tired now, and will go and have a hot tea and enjoy the rest of my evening wondering why poor ole frumpy Krampus, screwed around like a fool. If he was here, I would hand him a blank piece of paper and tell him, “so, you’re a cheater. Here, let me show you a list of people who still respect you.” I for one think it would be beyond deserving and acceptable. To all of you who have been cheated on, we all have that one thing in common, but that commonality would be against the law and land us in a nice padded cell or the jailhouse. Keep your cool and just write him or her a note.

Jane

Voice In The Dark

The world is dark and on edge and we seem to be a button away from annihilation. The world is very angry and for good reason and everyone is searching from their despaired lives for a miracle as hope continues to diminish. Father God, where are you? Please come to our rescue before the unthinkable happens…” This was my prayer before slipping off into my dream world two nights ago, but approximately two o’clock in the morning I was awakened by the voice.

I opened my eyes a bit startled, searching the room for the man who was calling my name, but no one was there. Suddenly, I heard him again, this time he did not call my name and the urgency coming from his tone grabbed my attention as I heard him say, “pray.” Then he repeated himself three times, very quickly as if it was a matter of life and death, “pray, pray, pray right now,” I knew then it was God! I began to question Him asking what did I need to pray about? He did not answer and with that, I got up, grabbed my Bible then started walking the floors not knowing what to pray about and immediately, I felt in my spirit that I needed to pray for strength. If you read my last blog you know I have been through hell and high water and from all that trauma I have been tender inside from all the brokenness. I definitely needed all the strength I could get.

After spending about an hour walking the floor, talking to God and asking Him to give me strength, I got back into my bed and fell fast asleep. I slept so hard and so long, I didn’t hear my son’s voice trying to wake me. When I finally cleared the blur in my eyes, I looked at the clock and it was noon. I have never slept that long and that alone upset me, but when I looked at my son who had a shaded expression etched across his face, a suit of somber if you will, I asked, “what’s wrong son?” He was very careful with his words when he said, ” mom I have some bad news.” I just laid there starring at him shaking my head letting him know I could not handle another blow in my life but it was too late, the tears already began to rain down my face and I braced myself:

I felt my heart speed up and the wringing of my hands told my son I was not up for this. He just stared at me and I knew he didn’t know what to do so I whispered to myself, “strength dear God. You told me to pray for strength.” I looked at my son and with a shaky voice I told him to tell me the news. He did! Very carefully he told me that my stepmother had died and all I could do was shake my head no. But that wasn’t all the news he needed to tell me, there was more. He continued to reiterate the problems his dad, my ex husband, was trying to stir up as he wanted so desperately to see me go to my grave. He is an evil man and so is his wife. I won’t go into details but the news was incredibly jarring and needless to say, my world flipped upside down. I felt my body’s defenses take effect and my response was nothing more that stress taking over. At this point, it was fight or flight.

My blood pressure shot up to dangerous levels and I swore my son could hear my heart beating out of my chest. I felt millions of butterflies in my stomach and a sudden urge to get to the bathroom to throw up. I sat in the floor by the toilet shadowed by shock and denial, then came the anger. I cried out to God reminding Him that He promised never to put on us more than we could handle. Haven’t I been through enough hell? I cannot even catch my breath, Lord. I cried! I cried so hard that it made me sore in my abdomen as if I had done a rigorous workout. I managed to pull myself up off the floor while my coping mechanisms began to kick in. I began to shut out my feelings and all those deficits of emotional responses became my front-line defenders. I had totally shut down! I felt nothing but numb, comfortably numb as Pink Floyd sung about. “A distant ship smoke on the horizon, you are only coming through in waves…” Yes, that was me and for the rest of the day I moped about saying nothing. I couldn’t. There were no words. I could not think. I could not eat nor drink. I had just officially been emptied of any emotions whatsoever. The only thing I felt was NOTHING!

Last night, after binge watching Escape To The Chateau, I finally laid down. I remember telling God from inside my spirit, please don’t let me wake up, I want to come home. Please let me come home I can’t do this anymore, I have no more life left in me.

At two o’clock in the morning, I heard my name being called yet again. My first thought was, this is it, God is bringing me home. I opened my eyes only to be disappointed that I was still where I was when I fell asleep earlier. This time, Milo, my youngest son’s dog was laying on my lap starring at me. I kind of chuckled and said, “Milo was that you calling my name?” I could have sworn I saw his eyes roll back in his head as if he knew I was going to say something only a dork would say. But at that exact moment, I heard that voice again. His voice. I knew it was God, the Bible says “His sheep knows His voice.” He begin to put in my spirit these words:

“You have gone through a season of loss, more than most can handle. You don’t realize it yet, but you will rise up armed with strength that I am putting on and in you. What you have lost this season, I will replace with something new and better. Out of this you will also receive a new identity and purpose. You are going to experience many miracles which you know not. I have been with you when you passed through the waters and they did not sweep over you nor take you under. I have walked through the fire with you and you were not burned, the flames did not set you ablaze. I was there with you through your many losses, I spared your life on that mountain and I spared your life through illness and choking. I spared your life in that automobile accident. I was also with you in your most traumatic innocent years, and I was there when you were betrayed. I was there when your heart was broken from the one who was full of lustful desires for someone else yet wanted to make you feel as if it was your fault, I was there nothing is secret from me for I know every heart, and nothing is said or done that I do not hear and see.

This is the time for you to fight and not be complacent. You will overcome and possess the spoils of the enemy. Your faith is your fight! And over the past four years, I have been growing your faith, stretching you and bringing you into alignment with what I have in store for you. The line has been drawn and you will stand and fight and contend for the cause of Christ and you will see complete victory! Your enemies will take a back seat as I am already putting guilt and shame in their hearts. I will prepare a table before you in the presence of those who have wronged you. I have a time of supernatural harvest, joy and happiness, no more weeping with a fresh anointing coming upon you and those who serve me with their whole hearts and who do not allow sin to rule their lives. I am going to restore what Satan has taken from you just like I did for my servant Job. Those dreams you have been carrying in your heart, I put them there because I love you and when I restore I will add value you will not only experience restoration of what has been taken from you but I will add value to your recovery. Get ready for recovery and acceleration, for I am your God, your Creator and my love for you is like a hurricane. Rise up my daughter from your ashes and live.”

After this encounter with God last night, everything is changing within me. I feel the healing taking place and I smile even laugh out loud with joy and anticipation of what my Father is doing and is going to do. I love His voice in the dark and the ways He speaks to me. All glory and praise belong to you, my Lord, my God!

JH

Just Breathe

Somewhere down inside of me there is still a rock-n-roll fantasy and today, I am feeling a bit nostalgia as I load up on some Def Leppard tunes. I opened my eyes this morning from a few hours of sleep with “Hysteria” forcing my ears to want more. Naively, I claim to myself that today I will be strong but quickly realize I am a failure in that department, thus my little tale begins….

This year is finally coming to an end and I am more than happy to accept that reality. I thought 2020 was one for the books, but 2021 made it bow down to her unfavorable events. The first half of the year started off with a bang as I dared to brave and embrace change in the form of allowing my hair to do its own dance. The dance was embracing the silver lining that was taking over my dark hair. For several years I fought that gray beast and Miss Clairol and I became a thing. But, I woke up one morning and found myself determined to accept those wisdom highlights and it so happened that it made me feel ever so extremely wise and off to the beauty salon I went to have my long dark hair chopped off to shorten my metamorphosis. Today, I am still loyal to my decision. There have been moments I have been tempted to go back to my long lost friend (Miss Clairol) but I have learned something about myself, I am good at retraction!

In June, my unemployment benefits came to a halt and I finally found a job only to become very sick in August with double pneumonia that was accompanied with Covid. My body began to shut down and death was lurking around the corner. I battled blood clots, severe dehydration and a cough that wound up disturbing nerve endings in my throat. For the longest, I could not talk and my doctor told me that it would take months to heal from that. I was also gracefully informed that I had long haulers symptoms that would also take months to get over. Not quite the outcome I was hoping for but I did survive! During the early stages of covid, my life began to fall apart. I lost my job that I fought so hard to get especially at my age. I could not even afford the medication needed to survive the brute that interrupted my life. Before I knew what hit me, I was facing homelessness which became reality. I lost everything including my car I was living in. I lost my cats which ripped my heart out, but they are fine as they have a good home until I can get back on my feet. I lost all of my art supplies which kept me sane since 2020 and ended up with absolutely nothing including my will to live.

So many events one right after the other slapped me in the face as if they were lined up awaiting their crowning moment. When I thought it was safe to breathe along came another punch. I honestly felt I was losing my mind. I kept that ole question close, “how can this be happening to me”? I have worked hard all of my life, have a good education and now, nothing to show for it. It’s enough to make anyone consider that dreadful alternative to life and therefore I secretly began to entertain those thoughts of my exit from here. But somewhere, somehow, God intervened and because of His love and compassion, I live today.

Even though I am learning to rise from my pit of ashes, I still feel life slapping me around. Yesterday, I was knocked down on a whim of trying to find out what the love of my life was up to since he last told me to go to hell which was a little over three weeks ago. For 10 years we have history most of it behind a keyboard being that we have a great big pond and 4,000 miles between us, but along the way, I developed this uninhibited overflowing affection, a feeling of being enraptured and utterly in love, but I had to wield that love many times rather than unleash it which was what I longed for. Yesterday was no exception. After three weeks of break-up, I ventured over to his Facebook wall only to see his profile pic with another woman and his status updated to “in a relationship.” If you want to talk about a blow below the belt, there you have it! Many questions filled my mind and a need to breathe. Just breathe, Jane, breathe.

I found myself crawling through the darkest chambers of my mind fighting back tears that were bursting through my emotions. This slap in the face felt like finality and of course, it is final and with all the fire and love I had inside for my “forever” and my “happy ever after” I realized it was time to let go. Letting go is never easy for anyone especially when that someone crosses your mind every single day for an entire decade, a constant not to be reckoned with especially in my crazy, wild, somewhat untamed yet tamed messed up mind. So, in my quest to find somewhat of a bit of thread to cling too, songs began to pour into my soul. Musicians are notorious for this and I am no exception. Out of the blue, those lyrics began to roll off my lips, ” out of touch, out of reach, yeah you could try to get closer to me. I’m in luck, I’m in deep, yeah hypnotized, I’m shaking to my knees…” I shake myself out of that moment telling self, “what are you thinking you dork, get a grip and let it go!” For hours while begging to fall asleep, I found myself caught up in the early years of our relationship where love was brutal, beautiful, never-ending, always ending, the soul-mate that knew my every desire and I knew everything about him until finally, I slipped into slumber.

Upon awakening this morning, the song Hysteria by Def Leppard was in full force in my head and therefore I felt somewhat renewed. No tears soaking my face, no need to check on the new relationship status or the happy faces adorning the couple in the photos. I could breathe and I felt like having a rock-n-roll kind-of-day in honor of my now ex rock-n-roll fantasy which is what I called my love being that he was a drummer for an 80’s rock band for years. Yeah, my rock-in-roll fantasy… There is no rhyme nor reason as to why certain songs show up when they do but there is no doubt about it, I’ve always been a huge Def Leppard fan as I totally love their music and I get it! So in retrospect, I am letting my hair down and gearing up for new plans for the rest of my days on this planet. I do not know where I am going from here, but England is definitely marked off the list now and searching for a new love? No way! Not me! I cannot just toss 10 years of history to the wind and say, “here I am guys, back on the market.” For me, those days are over. But I will find a new adventure and will move forward with what little dignity I have left and I know in my heart God has something bigger and better and I smile and wish the ex and his new love the best. No, really I do. Life is fragile in so many aspects it includes, and all we need to do is just breathe…….if you find true love, fight tooth and nail for it and stay true and loyal giving it all you’ve got.

JH

Another Dream

For the past few weeks I’ve been battling double pneumonia and because of this intricate set-back I keep my Bible and a copy of Pride and Prejudice in the bed with me. However, my Bible gets most of my attention but I can’t help but be succumbed by Elizabeth’s feeling for Darcey and the stubbornness she portrays so well……… Ok! I know! I’m not going to indulge in my shade of epilogue on a story we all know too well. But nonetheless the book lies next to me.

I do want to share the dream I had last night. It was quite disturbing, yet ended with me feeling like I was leaving my body and I woke up with tears soaking my face and the name Jesus rolling off my lips:

It started with me and my family and a lot of friends gathered in a place that looked like Charleston, S.C. We were eating and laughing and talking about Heaven and how soon it would be and we would be there. The birds were chirping like I’ve never noticed before as if they knew something. The wind blew through the trees as if to be awakening them. I’ve never seen this before in nature and it caught me by surprise and I stood to my feet and felt something wasn’t right. At that very moment, the beautiful sunny sky disappeared and dark clouds rolled in fast. It began to rain. It didn’t start out lightly it came in viciously and within seconds, water began to rise around us.

We ran to our cars and I noticed there were those who became so afraid they froze and refused to run to safety. I was driving and all I could say was, “As it was in the days of Noah so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man.” That’s from Matthew 24:37. I drove to a huge bridge and as I got closer, I saw the bridge collapse. I turned and headed for high ground. I looked in my rear view mirror and buildings were already collapsing behind me. I kept driving until I came to what appeared to be a canyon. There were many people there. The rain had stopped and they were happy and full of joy. They ran up to the car and told us to get out because we were going to fly. I didn’t understand what they meant but I opened my car door and as soon as my feet touched the ground I could feel something happening in my body. They told us to run to the edge and not be afraid. They started running. So did we. I remember feeling so powerful and when I got to the edge I was not afraid at all and taking that step over the edge sent me flying into the atmosphere. I looked back and the world was smoking and was in chaos. I then turned to see all the people flying through the atmosphere and I looked beyond the masses, and to my amazement, there was Jesus. I felt my body transforming and I wanted so badly to beat everyone there and I yelled out JESUS! JESUS! JESUS! All I could see and feel was love like I’ve never known and then I woke up.

I’ve been having a lot of dreams lately, and they have been along these lines. I remember looking back to earth while flying through the atmosphere and there were so many people I knew that claimed to be Christian, yet they were left behind. There are so many who claim to love Jesus but it was so generic, more like lip service. There was no substance to their words and their testimony did not line up with their actions. There is a difference between knowing Jesus and knowing about Jesus. You can share a photo of a man with long hair and loving eyes perhaps holding sheep or children and we know that’s Jesus. But it’s not the same in knowing who and what He really is.

To truly know Jesus is to deny yourself and take up your cross and follow Him. Many folks don’t believe in God nor do they accept the fact His Son died on the cross for our sins. Eternity is real. Its imminent and we are sitting on the precipice of what awaits us. The bible says, “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess” that He is Lord. Even the most hardened atheist will bow and say those words in the very near future. We are in waiting right now and we need to get our house in order. We are living on borrowed time and God is giving us ample opportunity to make the choice between heaven or hell.

If you do not know Him, now would be a good time….

Be blessed!

Jh

In Times Like These

It’s a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The sky is full of white cotton, fluffy, cumulus clouds and if you know me, you know its hard to concentrate on anything else. But my mind wandered into territory that we all are very familiar with, a time that begun in 2020 and became a stark contrast to any other time past we have known. I have to ask myself, why is 2020 so different and why are we completely in the dark as to why? We have all heard the phrase, “we live in uncertain times.” I’ve repeated that particular phrase many times in the past several months as it has become commonplace, but in reality nothing could be further from the truth. The chaos that surrounds us like thick dark clouds ready to impose horrendous storms, has been prophesied thousands of years ago.

In the book of Luke, Jesus tells us “when you shall hear of wars and rumors and commotions, be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not by and by” (Luke 21:9 KJV). What exactly is meant by “commotions”? I think it would be safe to say it refers specifically to instability and disorder and if you just take a small look at the world right now, you would see nothing but instability and disorder even in the earth itself. Several conditions are mentioned biblically before the end is to come. We have always heard of wars and rumors of wars. We have heard of nations rising against nations and kingdoms against kingdoms and lets not forget about earthquakes in divers places, and famines, and pestilences. We are seeing it now. But, if you take a look at the word “Nation” which is the Greek word “ethnos” it means, race. Jesus Christ warned us about racial strife and not since the civil rights era have tensions been on the rise.

We are all familiar with that dreadful day, May 25th, when George Floyd suffered eight minutes and forty-six seconds to his death under the knee of a police officer. All hell broke loose and every demon was seemingly dispatched and everything changed! BLM protests swept the streets. Businesses were looted, vandalized and even destroyed. Historical monuments and statues were torn down across our nation. So much mayhem occurred and this was foretold in the book of Mark where Jesus Christ warned us of “troubles” which He meant troubles of every kind including mob sedition. Nation against Nation! Race against Race. Its even come down to the point where now CRT critical race theory, has become all the rage.

When God created us, He designed us in our mother’s womb to be born to think, live, dream, and awaken each day as individuals, not people defined in sections of groups. America is all about individual equality not a group equity and CRT which is nothing more than the work of Satan himself, is nothing more than groups defined by color of skin. We have a constitution that recognizes our individuality and gives each of us the same rights under the law and we are defined by free will. CRT is itself racist. They want to teach our children the old ways that race is all that matters. They want to teach our young minds resentment, blame and hopelessness. They want to teach your children to pin the past on the present! We Americans cleave by values not skin color.

My parents never taught me back in the 60’s that color was an issue. They never taught me to look at skin color and define according to skin tone. I was taught to love everyone unconditionally. This is how I raised my two sons. When we look at others, we see another human being not a color. Some of my closest friends have been those of a different race, nationality, even a different language. But CRT is radically being shoved down our children’s throats and they are being taught to hate and this is nothing more than Marxism and WE CANNOT BUY INTO THIS!

Earthquakes! They are happening everywhere in fact, many natural disasters of all kinds, including wind-driven fires fall fall under this category because the word “earthquake” in the New Testament means “commotion, gale (of the air) and earthquake ( of the ground). Of the air, hurricanes were record breaking in 2020 with 30 storms the most named in a single season in 170 years of record keeping. In September alone , 10 storms occurred which is the highest number for any one month on record. What about those fires in western North America? Last year was devastating but this year, 2021, fires all over our planet and I can’t help but be reminded of the book of Revelation where these things are prominently mentioned. Now we are seeing pestilences, diseases. Covid-19 got out attention! A global pandemic and this world has never seen nothing like it since the Spanish flu 103 years ago.

What about now? Our government has become a dictatorship enforcing mandates that they themselves do NOT comply with. It’s all about rule and control and more than anything, they want to make our nation a communist dwelling where we bow down and lay our freedoms at their feet. They will stop at nothing until the tyrants have killed the majority of us off and the rest will either comply or sent to FEMA camps. My friend, America is not free. Many lives were laid down for our freedoms and now they try to take those freedoms away. The issue now is the vaccine. I am not a vaccine dodger at all, in fact, I take a pneumonia vaccine every ten years. But something is amiss about the rhetoric itself. This vaccine has been controversial since day one and many threats have been issued to take our freedoms we enjoy if we don’t roll up our sleeves. My concerns? The evidence! The vaccine is nothing more than an experimental drug and in my very own personal opinion, it is unethical to force this vaccine on anyone especially since it is not FDA approved.

I have read countless stories and even know first hand from a family member that was effected by her first jab, and she’s a nurse! I already have some health issues and will NOT put something into my body that could possibly cause more harm. I have studied many reports from scientists and doctors who are warning people the best they can, because the main media refuses to get the truth out to the masses, that it is not safe to take this vaccine. In most cases, the ones now contracting Covid-19 are those who have already been vaccinated. Yet, they are blaming those of us who have not been vaccinated and saying we are the problem. If ever you need to wake up and pay attention, now is the time. I just recently read a post on in my Facebook feed, where a man was in the hospital with Covid and he had been fully vaccinated. Even though his organs are shutting down, he praises the vaccine saying “it would have been worse had I not been vaccinated.” Now we are facing the issue of our children being forced to be vaccinated without parental permission.

Folks, its your choice if you choose to be vaccinated. But don’t blame me if I choose not to be. There is something completely alarming happening here and seemingly no one is seeing what’s right in front of them. It’s almost barbarous how this experimental drug is being pushed on us. Why would anyone want to be an experimental rat for anyone? Look at our borders. Illegals flooding in by the masses, not being vaccinated and are being released all over our nation. Why aren’t they being forced to be jabbed? Why are those who have been tested positive for the virus being released freely into our society? There are many concerns, many unanswered questions, many strange things taking place and we just sit here waiting, not raising our concerns, not using our voices, just waiting for someone else to deal with it and we sit by while our nation is crumbling. I think we can all agree, that we ALL feel something is not right among us. Several months ago, I had dreams that I have not been able to forget. Things I saw in my dreams are now being realized. In my dreams, I saw distractions being imposed. Confusion among everyone and mandates being forced on us and this was before the vaccine was issued.

Bottom line: The entire world desperately needs God! The Kingdom of God! Every condition prophesied to precede it now exists. Only those with eyes to see and ears to hear can testify to this truth, all others are clueless. If we return to Luke, Jesus also said in chapter 21, “When you SEE these things come to pass, you know that the Kingdom of God is near at hand.” Get this, grasp this, YOU WILL KNOW you are near the end. We have seen these things for a while. Don’t think for one moment we are NOT close. If you do not know God, now would be a good time to ask Him into your hearts. When you ask, you will receive! He will come into your heart and when you ask Him to forgive you of your sins, He will! No matter what you have done or who you are, just ask and believe and you shall be saved! We are at the threshold of eternity. Where will you spend yours?

He Is Jealous For Me

While going through the drive through for my morning Joe (diet coke), I heard a song I’ve heard many times before but this morning it particularly spoke into the depths of my soul and I began to dwell on the love of the one who deeply loves me. This love I speak of is tender yet loves like a hurricane. It’s steadfast and never changing, nor does it fail me and its strong as death. He is strong and He doesn’t give up on me even when I don’t understand my own self and feel like giving up. He has etched His love across my being permanently and places a seal of His love over my heart. He carries a flame for me like I’ve never known and it burns like a blazing fire, and He loves me with every fiber of His being. His love is jealous and unyielding as the grave. His feelings towards me are astonishing and go beyond my comprehension and many waters cannot quench this love He has for me. This love I speak of is God’s love.

Upon awakening this morning, I sat by my bedroom window staring into the cloudy skies asking God to speak to me today, and He did. He sent me to Isaiah chapter 62, and for the record, Isaiah is my favorite book of the Old Testament as it brought me through many storms in my life. I read verse 3 and my mind wandered and I could not concentrate any further on the rest of the chapter. ” You will be a crown of splendor in the Lord’s hand, a royal diadem in the hand of God.” As I contemplated this verse, I tried to imagine God’s love for me that He would consider me to be a “crown of splendor” even a “royal diadem” in His hand. A diadem is a jeweled crown worn as a symbol of sovereignty. This symbolizes royalty and one day soon, in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, God is going to display the redeemed as a King would display his crown.

As I drove around this morning in the rain, I dwelt on this scripture until I heard the song by David Crowder.
“He is jealous for me, Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy. When all of a sudden, I am unaware of the afflictions eclipsed by His glory, and I realize just how beautiful You are, and how great Your affections are for me
…” This was a beautiful confirmation of God’s love to me and the meaning is taken from Exodus chapter 20 verses 4-6. It’s amazing that so many beautiful songs have been written straight from God’s word, and this one is no exception. In Exodus chapter 20 it talks about how we are not to make for ourselves any carved out images to bow down and worship. God wants our worship for Him and Him only because it shows our love for Him. And in verse 5 it says, ” I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God.”

His jealousy isn’t that of envy as in a negative connotation, but He is diligent to protect what He created and He created us to praise and worship Him and Him only, and He does not want to share His praises with another nor will He. He is not jealous of us, but for us. He loves us so much that His infinite power and His glory is concerned about us and He cares like a loving parent cares for their children and I find it totally amazing that God is jealous of my best interest. Let that sink in. God does not want our spirits to be consumed by the things of this world or by the god of this world for that matter. God wants a relationship with us and He will not settle for the back seat or second best, And once we truly, whole heartedly realize how much He really loves us, it changes our lives drastically. We no longer want to hold on to old habits, or things that take center stage in our lives.

There is a battle that rages over our human spirits and the god of this world, the devil himself, wants to be the god of your spirit so he can influence you to do his will. He comes to kill and destroy you, but God comes to bring life. He has breathed this life into every human on the face of this planet and God jealously yearns for this spirit in us. He wants us to depend solely on Him and if we do, we can’t go wrong. We were bought with a price therefore we should glorify God in our bodies. Corinthians 6:20. There is no greater love than that of our Father God the kind of love that hides you under the shadow of His wings when we go to Him for peace. His peace is unexplainable, you can only experience it because words are too few to describe what it really means to have that peace that passes all understanding and that kind of peace can only come from a compassionate and loving God. I think of those words, ” He is jealous for me” and my heart strings pull me into a different mindset knowing that His love transcends, it binds us, unites us and because of that, my God is jealous for you and me…

Be blessed

-Jane Hardin

Should The Truth Be Told

It’s no secret that I am a preacher’s kid nor is it a secret how strict the environment was I grew up in. In all the splendor and chaos combined, its no wonder my life was a total mess when I left for college. Don’t get me wrong, my parents were wonderful people and loved God and their family and they made sure we were loved and taken good care of and they did their best to raise us right, the way they knew how. But I grew up in a Pentecostal atmosphere, one that was very strict and full of legalism and I cannot begin to reiterate the many times I was told by different people that I was going to hell for this and that. Every thing that could be deemed a sin, was indeed deemed a sin. It wasn’t until God removed me from such chaos and taught me the truth and taught me more about Himself outside a church setting than I learned growing up in church, and that’s when my life changed drastically.

Being a Christian was something I took for granted and felt like I was automatically Christ-like because I was in church every time the doors were opened. In my youth, I was told who I could and could not hang out with. If you were not a Christian, then I was not allowed to go near you. If you were a gay person, I could not even speak to you. If you smoked cigarettes or drank liquor, that was a big no-no. My life was stained with “holier-than-thou” and I wasn’t anything near being holy myself, just a false pretense, a young soul locked in mortal struggle every single day of my life. In a way, I felt more like the beaten man in a ditch who was left for dead alongside the road in Luke chapter 10. Most church services were marked with absolute silence for me when I would hear how Jesus sat with a Samaritan woman at the well, or when He sat in the very dust with a woman who could not lift her head from shame after being caught in adultery. I remember hearing about Jesus calling down a thief in the form of a Tax collector from a sycamore tree and going to his house for lunch one day.

It seemed to me His (Jesus) choice of company made many of the high and mighty, holier than thou leaders during that time very upset and Jesus taught a very simple yet notable lesson for those who put Him under a microscope. Matthew 9: 12-13 (NIV) tells us, and this is Jesus speaking; “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Somewhere along the way we got it wrong! We didn’t go “into the world” rather, we saved ourselves from a bad name by secluding ourselves to only ourselves, and from the world. I asked the question then and still ask it today, “how can we be a witness to the lost when we have fully immunized ourselves from sinners to begin with? Who are we suppose to be a witness to when we are reduced to a circle of people just like us or better yet, just like the Pharisees?

I have seen with my own eyes people who desperately needed God come to church dressed like a hooker only to be asked to leave because of the way they were dressed. I’ve seen drunks and drug addicts come in only to be ridiculed in the altar where they stood asking Jesus for help. But because their breath wreaked of alcohol, or they weren’t acting quite like we thought they should act in a church setting, we doubted their sincerity even though they made the effort to walk down to the altar during an altar call. The sick came, and were ridiculed by the spirit of the Pharisees. It sickens me to the core how many professed Christians are so NOT like Jesus Christ.

During Jesus’ time on earth, He made it a point to correct this line of faulty thinking. He made a statement that in my opinion is the most important statement in the New Testament. It’s actually a commandment. Matthew 22: 37-40 (NIV), ” Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the law and Prophets hang on these two commandments.” I believe it is in our nature to avoid situations and people that make us uncomfortable. If you read about the good Samaritan in Luke 10: 30-37, you will find that it was fear that made a priest and a temple assistant ignore a beaten man in a ditch on the side of the road. But who finally showed up to help the poor man in need? An outcast! Someone who stopped to check on the beaten man and even went as far as seeing to it that he would have a place to stay and to heal from his wounds. That person whom we know to be the “good Samaritan.”

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” There is so much to learn from that statement. Our neighbor? Our neighbor with different religious beliefs. Our neighbor with different moral beliefs. Our neighbor who is a rebel. Our neighbor who drinks, who snorts lines, who commits adultery, that neighbor who is your enemy. How can you love a neighbor when you think you are too Christ-like for them? To be Christ-like would be to go to them and love them and do good to them. To sit with them and cry with them. To learn what and why they choose to do what they do. You have no idea the pain and struggles these folks have that drive them to the very things we detest. I know this for a fact because I became one of them. If you know me, you know I am friends with gay people. I am friends with alcoholics and drug addicts, those who do not live the way those of us in Christ live. I am even friends with known witches. I follow Jesus according to the example He set and the words He taught.

Following Jesus is not easy! It wasn’t even easy for Jesus when He was among us on this earth. I feel this next scripture sums up what we are commanded to do. Matthew 28: 19-20 (NIV) ” Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.” Go change the world! You cannot be the salt of the earth, nor the light on a hill if you are not out there among the smelly sheep who need you to rescue them from their “ditch.” We need to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ even if that means going into uncomfortable places and being around people who are not like you. Recently, I have found a way to break free from my comfort zone to witness to others, and that’s by sharing my arts as gifts with a hand written message of the good news of Jesus Christ. This was done during lockdown, after midnight when no one was watching. I took wrapped gifts and left it on the door of every neighbor in my area. I don’t say this for accolades or to be noticed, I say this because sometimes we just have to be creative. Now? I will speak to anyone face to face and tell them about Jesus because time is short and I believe we are at the end of the age. I share on social medias, etc., anyway God provides me to share the good news I share it.

My final thought is that if we step out of our own comforts we will be stepping out in faith and into God’s will just like Jesus did. My friends, there is absolutely nothing as fulfilling and exciting than following the Path Jesus took.

Be blessed.

-Jane Hardin