Catching your breath in suffocating times

Hi everyone! My book “Hope For Happily Ever After” is coming together and getting closer. I’m under contract with Illumify Media and we’re getting it written, organized and ready to go. The book focuses on “Finding connection in marriage,” and “developing the art of true love.” I’m praying it will bring hope and closeness to many, helping them identify disconnects, and remove the distance in their relationship. If you read this blog, (thank You,) and pray for me during this process. XO

Suffocating fires; Polluted air

I can see the mountains today from my house in Parker, Colorado, as a cold front blows through our state, that’s been burning for months. The smoke isn’t just from our state but from fires from California, Oregon, Wyoming, and probably every other state west and upstream from us.

Many years ago I lived in Casper, Wyoming. I was there when Mount Saint Helens blew. The smoke and ash drifted over the area. One morning I went out to my car and it was covered with volcanic ash. They said to wash it off with a hose because it would scratch the paint. Reports were that when St. Helens erupted that the water level in Yellowstone fluctuated by a third. It’s fascinating that it’s all interconnected.

The drought is severe, California seems to have suffered the greatest losses with whole subdivisions burning up. We’ve had the nuisance of the smoke, so many others have been displaced and have lost everything. I’ve been praying for rain, but it’s not coming. The drought is prolonged. Most of the state is under severe to moderate drought. It’s going to break one of these days. I want to be in a rain forest, but it’s an arid desert here.

I picked the picture above because you can almost taste the salty, fresh air from the ocean, and hear the gulls calling as they fly by. You can feel the cool wet sand squish under your feet, and hear the rush of the water as the waves relax onto the shore.

The fires are going to go out eventually, but it’s been hard to endure the smoke and has made breathing difficult. After breathing it all day, I feel a dull headache, and my throat is sore. Notice suffocation has to do with not getting enough air.

Suffocating Covid

Have you noticed it’s not going away? Once again I cry out to God, “How long oh Lord?” So what’s going on with 2020? It seems unrelenting. I was going to watch the Denver Bronco’s play a football game today but the game is cancelled because the New England Patriots got Covid. It will be played Monday night instead. Isn’t it bizzare seeing NFL games playing in empty or near empty stadiums? At least they’re playing and we’re getting some form of entertainment for which I’m thankful.

I recently took a week in Sedona, Arizona with some longtime friends. We decided to drive, spending a night in Moab, Utah visiting “The Arches” national monument. It was exhilarating to get away from the choking local smoke In Denver, and the views were magnificent.

As we drove south towards Arizona, we noticed more and more stores, stations, and restaurants closed. We ended up driving six hours, finding all the normal hangouts shut tightly down. The worst of the drive was through northern Arizona across the Navajo Indian reservation. Everything was closed. No food, no gas, no restrooms. It was like a ghost town. Apparently, the Indian population is hit hard with many deaths. We were sad for them and prayed for their communities. We were inconvenienced, many of them were dead.

COVID 19, as I understand it, is a respiratory disease attacking the ability to breathe, making breathing difficult. Notice it has to do with “breath.” From what I read, Black, Latino, and American Indians are more susceptible to the virus. For some it can manifest as a common cold with flu-like symptoms, with others it can be much more serious, involving the need for ventilators for one to make it through.

Common Sense; A breath of fresh air

Linda and I believe in using common sense as well as “faith,” so as not to be infected by COVID 19. We don’t attend indoor public gatherings, especially if masks are not being worn. We go out to eat, but wear a mask until we get to our table, then take it off. We prefer outside seating if it’s available. We observe social distancing, with most places open making it mandatory anyway, whether shopping or eating.

We’ve adopted this philosophy from observing the behavior of the populace and watching the numbers fluctuate accordingly. As soon as the “protests” started downtown the numbers spiked. Why? Large gatherings of people not wearing masks or observing distancing. The same thing in Boulder, parties, indoor and outdoor gatherings, no masks, no distancing, outbreaks. It’s like some are in denial that the virus is among us, or don’t care.

I don’t understand the foolishness of making mask-wearing some kind of political statement. It hacks me. Everyone has to make some kind of a statement these days. That’ll be the next paragraph as my rant gets going.

Breathing in a suffocating political environment

I know government, politics, and elections are necessary, but I hate what it does to people. I feel like I’m suffocating in the sickening time we live in politically. I feel I can hardly breathe at times, and I have to work harder at “breathing,” to get any air at all. I groan in my spirit, “How long oh Lord?” I ask “Where are you Lord in all of this?”

Last night a man was shot and killed in downtown Denver after a rally. I barely know who the opposing sides were, but this anger rises up inside of me saying, “why is this stupidity even going on?” It’s creating an escalated suffocating environment that is bearing the fruit of people getting killed. It seems to me the Devil is having his way, creating these environments that set the stage for mayhem.

I have a hard time finding God in it at all. All of society is being dragged through it. The crap slinging, demoralizing political adds are suffocating to me. I so wish things were being done with the Kingdom of God feel.

If your position is better and more powerful, state your position and stop trying to gain power by demoralizing and attacking your opponent. Sell your product, if it’s worth it, people will buy it or vote for it. Leave your competitors alone. I know politics don’t work that way, but I like the philosophy anyway, it feels softer and more fruitful. If God wants you in, you’ll be in, if he doesn’t don’t be a crybaby about it. What happened to good sportsmanship? Give that expectation up.

Discernment to keep breathing

As I was sweeping up red Acer Maple leaves from the front yard tree, I thought of the song by Buffalo Springfield, “For what it’s worth.” Today is a repeat from the late ’60s and ’70s.

There’s battle line’s being drawn, and nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.”

What a field day for the heat, a thousand people in the street, singing songs and a carrying signs, mostly say hooray for our side.”

Cultural Conditioning

Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

I believe there are spirits of the world that are operating in our culture today that if Christians aren’t discerning, they will be caught up in those spirits and will be acting like the world and hating along with the rest of the world.

I look at it this way. We are all swimming in the same cultural sea as it were like fish. We are breathing the same air through our gills as the rest of the world. There is poison in the water in case anyone hasn’t noticed. We will be infected by the social virus that is in the very air we breathe unless we are discerning.

There are tormenting spirits involved with what is going on in our society today. To “go with the flow” of what’s going on is to be deceived, have you taking sides, and enter into a contest that God doesn’t call us to. The devil would love us to get out on his playing field to destroy us. Remember he’s the god of this world, and loves what’s going on now.

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

Think of this verse in the context of the present chaos and mayhem in our country and in our cities. I live in Denver and it’s awful here, what’s going on the attitudes of people.

Reports have it that ten per cent of the City of Aurora police force have resigned because of legislation defunding the police force. They are unwilling to continue having their authority taken away to do their job.

Suffocating Spirits

Political spirit

There is a political spirit, and it’s the one that says, demands, in your face, “You have to take sides!” “You have to have an opinion.” Battle lines being drawn. I can’t remember as much political and social unrest as there has been since the last election. The one elected hasn’t been the issue in my opinion, rather the extreme responses of the ones opposing him.

We’re called to pray for those who have authority over us, that we might live peacable lives. That’s the only thing I find we’re called to do. Voting is a good idea. It’s an awful time emotionally and spiritually in our political environment.

The defunding and stripping of authority of local police departments is what I believe to be an unravelling of the structure of our society. This will be replaced by lawlessness and anarchy as authority is stripped from the police force and hands of officers are tied so they are unable to protect themselves.

In a recent Fox 31 news story about the retirement of police officer Lt. Dave Cernich, and a letter he sent to City Council. the article reads; Quoting the letter directly,

“It is with great sadness that I inform you of my retirement after 25 years in law enforcement. I spent the last 20 years in aurora and it was a pleasure to do so, until this year.

I can honestly say that my retirement is a result of you, I am disheartened by your lack of respect for the occupation I’ve revered for so long”

“I’m leaving premature as a result of what’s going on in the community. What’s going on in the community is fostered by city council and the city manager…Ninety percent of my department wants to leave. They want to leave for the same reasons…They don’t feel appreciated by the community anymore. They don’t feel appreciated by city council anymore, there’s protests every single week-end, there’s people spitting on us, calling us all kinds of bad names.”

“The city thinks their First Amendment right is more important than my life. I can’t protect my cops anymore. City council is dictating what the cops do. I can’t protect my troops anymore; as a lieutenant, if I can’t protect my troops, I don’t need to be there,” he said.

“This is an agenda being politicized and it needs to stop. You’re going to lose a lot of good people who aren’t going to be there when you need help”

I interviewed a lady married to an Aurora police officer to get my facts straight. She said that many Aurora police officers have retired from the force to take up other trades and careers in the face of the increased risk and stripping of protections.

Also law suits can now be filed against officers with any complaints of “impropriety” entangling “offending officers” in court and potentially costly lawsuits up to 25,000,00. Many will “settle” out of court, not wanting to spend the time and money to drag through a lengthy trial. Cops have now become the criminals and the criminals are suing them.

” I don’t like the way he frisked me, it was sexual, or an “assault.”

Many feel the risk isn’t worth it with the protections that are being removed, and are leaving.

We know that there are offending officers, and bad, wrong things have been done by some, who should be brought to justice. We’ve seen the videos, over and over. Black lives do matter, as any other color does, but to dismantle the police force, and throw those who risk their lives for the public under the bus for the sake of First Amendment rights is not the answer. Look what happened to downtown Denver. It was disgraceful to all involved.

Government should protect us all, not put us at risk, taking away our protection. Will we repeat the mistakes of the sixties and seventies with this new “cultural revolution?” I think we already have that answer. We need to pray for America for God to heal our land.

Prayer

God help us not to suffocate in these difficult times. Give us air to breathe in our “oxygen starved” environment. Bring the rains that our land needs, put out the fires. You are good. Protect us from covid, help us make wise choices. Bring us a cure. Have mercy on us and our country, and heal our land. Bring humility and repentance. Heal the division in our country, and quench the incendiary, hateful party spirit that has been loosed over us. Grant us discernment to see when wrong attitudes and spirits are operating. Free us from hate and bitter hearts. Break negative agreement and death dealing words over our nation. Where there is hatred bring love, where there is strife, bring unity. In Jesus’ name, Amen

Love, Peace, and Grace. Dan XO

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