The Matrix of Liberty: Part 2

Last week we read about the Matrix of Liberty. This week we’re going to look at the background of the pilgrims so that we can understand more fully why they were so willing to face dire circumstances to travel to America with little to no means to survive that pilgrimage. 


The major groups of faith in Christ, in Europe that the Pilgrims evolved from:


Protestants ~ my husband explained to me, “you can see the word PROTEST in Protestant.” They protested against the catholic church and wanted it to be reformed. The government officials were puppeteering the priests to control the people. In the early 1500’s the Bible was not something that people could own or read for themselves, that was illegal (((you know …. like it STILL IS in all of Asia and most all of N Africa TODAY …  2021)))). In 1517 on Oct 31st Martin Luther established what some now celebrate as Reformation Day. Side note: Ironic date or intentional take over of that date since Reformation Day? You decide but the enemy desires to take over what is good and change it for evil. Back on topic, Martin Luther was a divinity professor who proclaimed that Christian faith should be centered from the Bible, not centered from the church and that salvation comes from faith not from good works. This was huge and put his career and life on the line but it started a radical movement throughout Europe.


Anglicans ~ They were the Catholic Church of England. After the rise of the Protestants came a swell of Anglicans. In the mid 1500’s Queen Mary, a fierce Catholic known as “Bloody Mary” persecuted outspoken protestants with a vengeance according to “The First Thanksgiving” by Robert Tracy McKenzie. “She ordered the Archbishop of Canterbury to be burned at the stake, executed perhaps as many as 300 other committed Protestants and prompted 100s more to flee….” After 5 years of that she died and her sister became Queen Elizabeth from the mid 1500s through the early 1600s. She was a middle-of-the-road Catholic, luke-warm for the Catholics and the Protestants alike.


Puritans ~ See that word PURE? This subset of Protestants bucked against the middle-ground stance that Q Elizabeth provided for the Protestant reformation. The Puritans wanted more, so they refined things to the next level. Puritans were big fans of William Tyndale, the Cambridge U Scholar who was the first to translate the Bible in English. Hundreds of Puritans had been exiled from the UK to N Europe during the reign of Q Mary and experienced the reformation movement in it’s birthplace among which was now in the mid 1500s heavily influenced by Calvinism.


Calvinism ~ Calvin was this super smart theologian who became well known in his 20s for his guide, The Institues of the Christian Religion. He wrote it in Latin for academics in Europe. He then translated it in his native tongue, French, so that anyone could read it. His style was simple and straightforward. It was well received and cherished by many and translated in several other languages, it was one of the most read pieces of literature in the 1500s. Calvinism vs Puritanism: They are nearly the same but Calvin established the Presbyterian church government. Luther : Church structure with bishops. Calvin : Individual congregations elected representatives to the presbytery, a higher governing body. Well, THEN! Q Elizabeth dies and King James steps in to rule over England. A dear friend of mine pointed out that this was the guy that the King James version (KJV) of the Bible came from!!! He claimed to be a fan of the Protestants but the Puritans he believed to be downright menacing. Those who challenged the Anglican church were directly challenging his authority. One famous Puritan worth mentioning is John Bunyan who wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress. He was a very rough young man who became a Christian and was eventually led by the Holy Spirit to become a pastor but that went against the Anglican Church who appointed Catholic Priests. He was imprisoned for months at a time, many times, for giving sermons to his congregation.


Separatists ~ Now come the Separatists. I liken them to modern-day Republicans who are also Conservatives who also don’t wear masks at the store. See that word SEPARATE? They took it all the way out there in their beliefs and that’s what they did. The Separatists separated alright and it was a huge hot mess but they made it all the way!!! They fumbled and tumbled to Holland then finally found a way to get to America clandestine but it indebted and enslaved them to their sponsor. There was a lot of internal turmoil among themselves, their revolution was raw and evolving on the spot but God was their True North. It was brutal and they got incredibly sick on the ship, they lost most of each other in their first year in America. They arrived in the late fall with very little food and no time to plant a harvest before winter stormed in. They were in trouble and many of them arrived to America only to be buried straight away.


Pilgrims ~ That’s how you get the Pilgrims, they referred to themselves as “Saints” at the time, the term Pilgrim came some 100 years later. There was no place in the world that appealed to these Separatists. They put their families and their lives on the line. They wanted to find FREEDOM to worship God authentically and they went to every length to make that happen for them and for many generations to come.

If you find this fascinating go watch this trailer and if you get more pumped, get a DVD of Monumental and watch the whole thing. You’ll be blown away!!!! I’ll be back next Monday with more thoughts inspired by that movie and their workbooks that help to educate us just like the Matrix of Liberty is designed to do.


*This series is contributed by a CLW anonymous writer

It’s Time for Righteous Anger

Lately, I’ve been drawn to the story in the Gospels where Jesus goes into the temple and overturns the tables of the people who were buying and selling in what was to be a house of prayer. Jesus got mad. He was like my dad circa 1991 when he came into my bedroom and tore the place up because he was so mad that I didn’t clean it when he told me to…or rather, what my dad did to my bedroom was like Jesus in the temple.

Righteous anger is a displeasure over sin. For us to be angry about sin such as racism, abuse, sex trafficking, deception and lies. Righteous anger doesn’t mean we get to “pop off” at someone on social media (or in real life). It means we take action. Our righteous anger motivates us to DO SOMETHING!

We have sat back for so long and watched these evil actions take place. We didn’t say anything publicly because we didn’t want to start a fight. We didn’t want to hear the predictable slanderous comments from people in our circle. It just wasn’t worth it. But now here we are. If we don’t feel that righteous anger by now…I don’t know what else it will take. It’s time to speak the truth. It’s time to speak out even when we are scared and know that our speaking out may cost us something. We do not have the luxury of silence any longer.

“Be angry but do not sin.” Ephesians 4:26

Oh this is a hard one. It’s so easy to get angry, especially these days and really pop off on social media. It takes all my will power to silence my fingers and scroll on. It’s so easy to cast judgement. And yet, we are told not to sin in our anger. So what do we do?

We share the truth in love and kindness. We resist engaging in fruitless debates and discussions with people who are just baiting us. It’s important to use discernment in our conversations with others – some people do not want their eyes to be opened. Move along, we don’t have time to engage with them.

I believe we need to ACT. What we need to do is likely not to be convenient. Maybe you feel a calling to run for a local office, your local school board or a national office. Pray about that. The best action we can take is to get conservatives (note: I did not say Republican) into elected position. Yes, it’s an uphill battle in this blue state, but I believe we CAN do it with the right people.

We can’t back down. We need to stand our ground – be it on social media, on the PTA, in the office. We stand for truth. If we do not stand strong, we lose. I’m not willing to lose without a fight. Are you?

In the words of Patriot Todd Beamer, LET’S ROLL!

The Great Barrington Declaration

The Other Side of the Medical Science Community

In October of 2020, three medical doctors and epidemiologists from the medical schools of Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford composed a manifesto called The Great Barrington Declaration in response to the rigorous COVID lockdown measures. Since then, over 20,000 infectious disease epidemiologists and medical scientists have signed it, supporting the idea of Focused Protection. Instead of a canned, one-size fits all answer to the threat of COVID, the doctors saw the problem as a whole – not just the virus itself, but the residual effects it would have with the medically compromised part of the population and the economic hit that our country would take.


The reason the Great Barrington Declaration was of such interest to me is that those who align themselves with the pro-lockdown will constantly purport that they support science and the experts But it doesn’t take much to realize that there has not been any such virus whereby the entire medical community seems to be divided – and not just divided, but one side seems to have much to say while enduring much censorship and sometimes even threats. It causes one to ask, “What do they know that Fauci and Friends don’t want us to know?”


For one, the doctors of The Great Barrington Declaration believe in the power of herd immunity, which has suddenly turned into a dirty term any time you dare mention it in the mainstream. But if you look closely, it’s not so easily dismissed. With most viruses or illnesses, our bodies are meant to build up a resistance to them, especially over time. Our bodies were actually made to do this. The more that extremely low risk people get a virus, the less they become carriers to infect those who are at higher risk. For instance, when a 25 year-old healthy woman contracts COVID with relatively mild symptoms, she becomes a “safe” link in the chain and increases the overall safety of the vulnerable. But whenever you ignore such a reality and lockdown and mask up, you just delay the inevitable. COVID 19, like all other viruses, doesn’t just magically disappear after everyone has been grounded to their homes after a period of time. This is basic knowledge for medical practice among those who treat infectious diseases, but yet, it’s been tritely dismissed.


In conjunction with herd immunity, the other elements of Focused Protection in addition to allowing the younger and stronger population to carry on with their lives, thus boosting herd immunity, is to have a strong focus on helping the older population, those in nursing homes, and those who are immuno-compromised. Things like frequent testing of nursing home staff and minimal staff rotation, developing more concentrated programs whereby retired people have their groceries and necessities delivered to them, keeping those who are at the highest risk from having to be out in public or heavily populated areas, such as stores and offices.


Dr. Rodney Story of Moscow, ID says that the virus is generally very predictable regarding who will contract it and who will have a harder time with recovery. He points out in an interview with Canon Calls (and I’ll post the link of this interview at the bottom) that while many other countries are very public and open about therapeutic measures to take to either prevent the virus or recovering – even passing out baggies with high concentrations of Vitamins C, D, and Zinc – the US has been deficient in available therapeutic drugs and information. In some states, it’s even illegal to procure some of these measures, therefore, exposing hospitals to unnecessary levels of patients who would otherwise recover more quickly or successfully had they been treated with therapeutic measures. The problem is, if we allow our medical institutions to explore these measures and make them more available, the necessity for constant masking and lockdown lessens.


So, you aren’t just “seeing things.” You are not mistaken to smell something fishy. Over 20,000 doctors and medical professionals say so. And many of these doctors have been educated at the same medical schools with those who are proclaiming that masks, lockdowns, and vaccines are our only saviors. Talk to your doctor about The Great Barrington Declaration. Or if you have the sense that you’ll be scoffed at, find a doctor or medical professional who will discuss this with you. The more you are informed about what is going on, the less likely you are to retreat or clam up when someone attempts to tell you that you are not for “science.”

*By Rebecca Nugent, Contributing Writer


To hear Dr. Story’s interview:

Why do “good” Christians vote for “evil” Trump?

By Juli Martinez, Contributing Writer

I don’t expect you to agree with everything or possibly anything I’ve written. I also don’t speak for all Christians or even conservatives in their entirety. I do implore you to read this with an open mind and with respect, if you truly intend to understand where a lot of Christians and conservatives are coming from, and why they vote for and support a man so many call “evil” and “vile.”

First, you have to look at the foundation of who Christians are, the morals and principles that they stand for, and know that they don’t vote for a person; they often vote for policy or a person who will ensure morals and integrity are instituted. They vote biblically. If they believe abortion is murder, which fundamental and evangelical Christians do, then they will be hard pressed to vote for a candidate who is pro-choice. Because conservatism primarily is pro-life, a good many evangelicals are Republican, but recently, a larger crowd won’t, or no longer, call themselves Republicans; they call themselves conservatives and vote accordingly, not according to party lines. Regardless, they vote for Trump because he is pro-life. He also stands for a lot of conservative values, regardless of whether he was a Democrat or a Republican prior to running for office.

Secondly, they are a forgiving lot. They don’t tend to hold grudges, and when you see despicable remarks made 14 years ago by someone who had no intention of running for President, they’re able to forgive and move on. They’re able to look at the human, see frailty and sin, overlook it in the form of grace and mercy, pray for them, then look at policy, action and what they do for the country and the individuals who make up this great nation. This doesn’t mean they agree with every word that comes out of his mouth, or every tweet or social media post, but when it comes down to action and following through on what he says, Christians take note.

Christians are a prayerful lot, and more-so recently than ever, due to the alleged election fraud rampant in 7 contested states. They rally to a candidate who stands for religious freedoms and will fight for them when push comes to shove. There’s a saying in conservative circles, and it’s ringing truer than ever today: there are four things you don’t mess with- my family, my freedom, my country, my religion. What you may be witnessing today, if you’ve seen what’s been touted as the “silent majority” rising up, is people whose family, freedom, country, religion, or any combination of the four, has been violated. They back a President who will stand up publicly and demand governors open churches if Costco and Walmart remain open. They fully support the one who says he wants formerly closed churches open by Easter, one of the holiest days in Christendom, and also one of the highest attended days of the year in churches across the US who believe in Jesus. They support a President who won’t interfere in government at the local level but allows the states to govern themselves, so they won’t be ruled by a dictator at the highest level. They support a President who stands for families making informed and best choices for themselves, not being dictated to by overlords who have gone bonkers on power trips.

Because a good portion of conservatives are Christians or faith-based, they take a lot of what they see on faith, and take it to their prayer closets to pray for the intended outcome. This is not to excuse bad behavior along the way, but when presented with two evils, they pray God will use the one standing for godly principles in authority for His purposes, just as they did for the liberal candidate sworn in previous to our current President. They pray for Trump to be used by God and when Trump is seen making godly decisions, this is a direct answer to their prayers. They are a strong community who network and share, and their faith is an integral part of their everyday lives; the two are not mutually exclusive.

Conservative Christians also believe in repentance and the ability to do a 180 in life, and look for fruit on the tree. When President Trump was campaigning, he called in a large contingent of pastors to guide him, speak godly wisdom into his life and pray over and for him, and counsel him. No other modern-day President has done this, and it’s not been documented that any sitting President continued to be counseled by a contingent of evangelical pastors and leaders throughout their term, as Trump has. While the current President may shoot off at the mouth, and probably is more prolific on social media than any other President in history, he has not made the comments of his past. He has not disparaged women. He has raised successful and respectful children and grandchildren. He has followed through on more campaign promises than both his democratic and republican predecessors.

He’s done things no other President has been able to accomplish- striking multiple Middle East peace accords, ensured the US did not go to war in the 4 years he served as our leader. He stopped what looked like a sure-fire conflict with North Korea- in fact, Democrats promised if he was elected, he would start the war with North Korea, when in fact he was the first President to meet with the leader of the DPRK and effectively struck a peace deal, not war. He built up the armed forces that were decimated under the previous administration and created a new branch, the Space Force. He strengthened the economy, in fact, the stock markets saw highs multiple times in the last 4 years, breaking records even during a global pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, he lowered the unemployment rate lower than it has been.

Conservative Christians look for a strong leader, someone who will not say one thing and do another, but will do what they say, and they’ve found that in President Trump. They’re looking for a President who will fight when the enemy comes knocking, whether foreign or domestic, who will stand for truth and liberty, and will defend the constitution of the United States. They’re supporting a candidate and a President who backs and defends their liberties given to them constitutionally and according to the Bill of Rights. They look to the Rule of Law.

Christians are taught not to look at the outside, but look at the heart, and when they look at Donald Trump, all they see is heart. They see a man who loves his family, loves his country, loves his freedom, and loves his new-found religion. They see a man who has grit and is not afraid to fight. They see a man who won’t back down. They see a man who while vilified like no other President in our history by the media and talking heads, is loved by the people who voted for him. They see a man who is able to easily rally more than a million people from across the nation during a global pandemic to come to the nation’s Capitol and stand up to make sure their voices are heard when they believe justice is violated.

Christians see a fallible man, who needs grace and mercy just as badly, if not more, than they do, who leads this country with passion and a zeal for justice that hasn’t been seen since Ronald Reagan, who isn’t afraid of politicians and hasn’t been bought in one form or another. While a lot of what may come out of his mouth is hot air, a lot of what he is in politics is a breath of fresh air, because he isn’t a career politician. When the conservatives call for the draining of the swamp, they look to President Trump to lead, because he isn’t entrenched as so many others are.

Christians are in no way calling our President perfect or infallible, but they are angry at the way he’s been disrespected, shunned by the media and the left for four years. The First Lady is the first to never grace the cover of a US magazine as FLOTUS, simply because of who her husband is, and yet she’s a supermodel. Irony? They’ve had to turn to alternative sources for news because mainstream news refuses to report on anything that doesn’t fit the leftist agenda, or they spin it so much it’s a distorted semblance of the truth, and Christians are fed up. Trump is the only President to call the media on it and demand integral reporting. Then, when they cite a source outside of MSM, they’re ridiculed for reading untrustworthy sources, while all they’re doing is seeking truth in reporting- heck, simply reporting.

If you’ve read this far, I applaud you, as most these days won’t have a respectful debate, let alone hear what the other side is saying. Communication is one of the only things that will bridge this great divide, and it’s been utterly decimated in the past months. We must stop the vitriol, the hatred, the name calling. On all sides.

Conservatives and Christians have now accepted the term “deplorable” as status quo. They’re no longer offended when they’re called racist or bigot, sexist or misogynist. These terms have instead become synonymous with patriot, warrior, pray-er, constitutionalist, truth-seeker. They see a man, fallible and sinful, just as they are, and know they are no better than he. They don’t judge their deeds against his and expect to come out shining in comparison.

This is a sad day in America, but as so many have been doing for months, years, even, they’ll take this with them back to their prayer closets, get down on their knees, beseech the throne room of heaven, and pray God will hear and answer their prayers for the man who has led the charge in the fight to make America great again.

So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.”

Mark 10:18


US Constitution 101

By Janis Kristiansen, Contributing Writer

Past Attorney General Barr says the Constitution is not suspended in times of crisis.

With all this talk of the Constitution, here’s a basic and elementary understanding of the Constitution.


The word “Constitution” has been thrown around a lot in the news lately. It is the document that gives us our rights as citizens. Here in WA, we live under both the US Constitution and the Constitution of the State of WA.


If you were not paying much attention in high school history class, like me, when the dry and boring history teacher was droning on about the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, here’s a few reasons why the vital and life-giving document that describes and enumerates our freedoms and liberties was written. Many of the founders bled and died for this, so we could be a free people.


The main reason the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were written for this new nation called the United States of America was:

  • TO PROTECT THE CITIZENS FROM THE GOVERNMENT, not to give government rights over the people.
  • To ensure, as time passed and new people were elected to government, that their powers would remain strictly limited and this legal document would restrict their tendencies to take freedoms from the people.
  • Human nature loves power, and knowing this, the writers of the Constitution understood human nature and wrote into law a lot of detail on how to limit this lust for power government can so easily take from a free citizenry.
  • This document keeps government fearing the people, for we are equipped with the unalienable rights given to us by God, not by any government or sovereign. Government does not grand us our rights, God does, and this understanding is written into the Constitution and other founding documents.
  • Slaves fear their governments and masters; a free people cast fear onto the government and those elected to positions of power.
  • The Bill of Rights cleared up any ambiguity on what the intent and meaning of the Constitution said, and more clearly enumerates these rights.
  • The Constitution and the Bill of Rights is our “teeth” as citizens of this country, and without teeth, no one would fear the free citizens, thus our freedom could be easily stripped from us.
  • These principles transcend both time, cultural whims, and technology.
  • The Constitution applies to the particulars of each generation, regardless of time or advancement of progress,
  • WE the people must be vigilant to watch and hold accountable government officials to respect their oaths of office to uphold the Constitution of the United States and the State of WA.
  • As citizens, its our duty to hold elected officials accountable and to make sure they are not infringing upon our rights as free citizens.


Important note: The Constitution and the Bill of Rights does not care about anyone’s feelings, nor does it draw dividing lines between those elected to office and the governed based on feelings, emotion, current faddish trends and styles, or personal preferences. Popular faddish trends and emotions of today will be faint memories of tomorrow, yet the Constitution aptly applies through these changing times and seasons.


We as a nation must make decisions based on the laws of our land, and upon the ultimate law giver, God himself, in order to be a just and free people. Feelings and emotions should not set the law of the land, and distress, disease, fear, and the current wind of popular culture and its faddish ideas should not change or alter the time tested Constitution and the Bill of Rights that is the very foundation of our nation.


Fear should not be the basis for our decisions. If so, we stand to lose everything that the Constitution and the Bill of Rights guarantees us as a free and sovereign nation.


As Benjamin Franklin, one of our founding fathers said,

“Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”


In this pandemic, do not give up your essential liberty because of fear, and surrender your liberty to those who will not willingly restore it.


Our republic is a priceless gem that many have fought and died to establish and maintain. Let’s do our part to stand!

Be An Encourager

Why was Joshua able to enter into the Promised Land and chosen by God to be the next leader? How did Joshua continue on during the difficult times in the wilderness?

God commanded Israel to encourage Joshua! 

The Bible says in Deuteronomy 1:38 “But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thinther: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.” 


As Christians, we should be known as people who are always encouraging others to keep going, even through struggles and trial of life. So how are we supposed to encourage others? The answer is through the grace of God. 

God’s grace allows us to remain joyful in the midst of trials. God’s grace allows us to keep and encouraged spirit. God’s grace will motivate us to encourage others.


First, learn what encourages you. How do you pick yourself up when you are having a bad day or going through a trial? Focusing on God’s holy promises and praying are two great ways to encourage yourself in the Lord. Speaking with a godly family member or friend is another option to find encouragement.


Next, as you are looking to encourage others, always point them to Jesus. Sharing God’s promises with them and using scripture to help in their time of need is a sure way of cheering them up. Words can have a profound impact on a person’s life. Another way is showing them that you care about them. Is there a specific need that you are able to meet at this time? Having a servant’s heart and DOING for others can encourage them during a hardship.


Determine to be an encourager today!

*By Tammy Ann, CLW Contributing Writer

The Matrix of Liberty: Part 1

I cannot believe that I didn’t know about the Matrix of Liberty! Have you heard of it? 


Let’s get past the word Matrix and shake the vision of that guy from the movie with the trench coat and sunglasses. What is a Matrix? Mathematically it is a rectangular array of numbers that display definitions of mathematical operations. A definition from Merriam-Webster is “In ancient Rome, a matrix was a female animal kept for breeding, or a mother plant with fruitful seeds”. Dictionary . Com though explains that Matrix can also mean “something that constitutes the place or point from which something else originates, takes form or develops…” The Matrix of Liberty….How to propagate liberty….the formula for liberty….the conception of liberty!


Did you know that there is a National Monument in Plymouth, MASS that embodies the Matrix of Liberty???? There’s a movie and study guide all about it called “Monumental” presented by Kirk Cameron, book written by Stephen McDowell.


Here is a preview. We bought the movie and study guide and was blown away by everything we learned. They go way back before the Mayflower and unpack information about the life for pilgrims before the USA but I will unpack some of those details next week.


This is how God established the Matrix of Liberty through weak, humble, thinned-out people despite all of the persecution they fled from and the debit they arrived to America with. Despite the little food and ill-equipped housing preparations. Despite traveling over with opportunists and non-Christians who wanted to stay with them in America:


1) Faith in the one true God of the Bible, faith in Jesus. He gives wisdom!  This is where we start, it is at the tippity top of the Monument because it is paramount to the individual and the nation.


2) Character/Morality that produces internal freedom. The transformation of the heart by the work of God. No more top-down morality imposed on people! Now morality comes from within and shines out.


3) Civil Authority/Civil Law. This is order in society, stemming from God’s law. It is merciful and just. No more laws from tyrants but civil authority born of grace. Civility in society is the needed foundation to educate your children.


4) Education. This is victory because when you show the next generations how to carry on this matrix of liberty it survives. Parents, Grandparents and elders teach this to their children.


5) Liberty Hero ~ He is the fruit of all the others before him. He has defeated tyranny. Liberty is a soldier, a defender and a conqueror. His chains have fallen and he is free at last because of God’s given inalienable rights!!!!


Bottom line I think that our enemy (Satan, Leftism, Marxism and Communism) knows the Matrix of Liberty better than most any of us do. Look at the destruction of the moral fabric in our country in the last century alone, seems targeted in light of this information. There’s still time to snap out of it and turn things around. We can still repent. We need God, we need to mature our faith in Him to gain wisdom. We need to cling to God to continually refine our character.  We need to be a part of establishing law.  We cannot remain spectators.  We have to watch over and communicate with our trusted servants constantly to make sure they know how WE THE PEOPLE want the laws to be. We need to generationally train up our children in The Lord and teach them about global politics, American history as well as Government in the USA. This is how we nourish and strengthen liberty and we must.


Go watch the preview and comment if you will get the Monumental DVD for your household.  I’ll be back next week to unpack more about Monumental and our history.


*This post and its series is written by a CLW contributing writer who prefers to remain anonymous for privacy reasons. 

Don’t Leave Your Pearls Before Swine

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” John 14:27 NLT

john 14

My husband and I decided to get out of town to the ocean for a few days to celebrate our anniversary in Seaside, OR.


We did a bit of research prior to leaving to see what social restrictions were in place so we could be prepared. I have a disability that is exacerbated by mask wearing, to the point it can case me to fall down and lose my ability to determine where I am in space. Therefore, I rarely go into establishments that require masks, as they pose a significant risk to my physical safety.


We arrived a bit before checkin, so we decided to shop at the outlet mall when we got into town. We arrived at the first store. Upon entering, I had the required mask on, but it was sitting slightly below my nose, so I could breathe. As soon as I entered, I was told by a sales associate to pull my mask over my nose. I immediately complied and mentioned I was struggling to breathe, hoping he might have a little compassion. Nope. He said they’re required to be worn over the mouth and nose while in the store.


I walked around the store as he proceeded to follow me as I perused the offerings. I wandered over to where my husband was looking and chatted with him, and as I did, my mask proceeded to slip down- which it does anytime I talk with it on. The associate immediately asked me to pull up my mask. I apologized and did so.


I wandered back over to the women’s section, still being followed, and unfortunately, as I was still looking around- and at this time both my husband and myself had clothes we intended to purchase in our arms, my mask slipped to the end of my nose. He immediately called me on it, I apologized again, and said that it was because I was talking and it slips down, which it was doing as I was speaking, and it wasn’t intentional, as was evident. He said he’d already asked me twice to pull it up, and I replied that I immediately complied. He then offered me a store mask that would fit better and wouldn’t fall down my nose. I readily agreed to switch out my mask for the proffered one and waited for him to get it for me.


At this point, he hadn’t moved to go get it, and a customer in the store came up, yelled out “It’s people like you who are the problem with this world. You’re a murderer and you need to leave the store! You can’t even keep a simple mask on your face.”


I was shocked and appalled. Who was this man and what business was it of his? I hadn’t even come anywhere near him. I replied that it was none of his concern, please stop yelling at me, and to mind his own business.


The store associate still hadn’t gone to get the mask he’d offered and then after the customer lit into me reiterated how he’d already asked me twice to pull up my mask. I responded that I readily agreed to wear the mask he offered, I was just waiting for it, and that I immediately pulled up my mask as soon as he said anything, so I had complied with his requests. What was the issue other than the customer interrupting when it was none of his concern.


At this time, a second sales associate came over to me and said “he asked you twice to pull up your mask, and you still aren’t so you need to leave the store.” The customer then decided to pile on again and yelled “people like you are killing others and shouldn’t be out here. Stay home! We’re in the middle of a pandemic!”


My husband and I put the clothing on the closest table and walked out. I immediately began to cry. Within a short period of time my crying turned to sobbing. I had tried. I wasn’t trying to be a problem. I had pulled the mask up several times without being asked. We had barely started our week at the ocean and it was already ruined. Or it could have been if I let it.


I tried to call my sister (one of my best friends), who was also at the ocean with her family and our parents, but I was unable to reach her. I wanted to post in my private group of friends for some moral support and ask them to pray for me, but to get the story out seemed so exhausting at that time. I literally wanted to go home. We checked into the hotel and I went straight to the bathroom, continued my crying jag on the toilet seat and prayed instead. I felt homesick and couldn’t fathom how I was going to make it through the week like this.  But God whispered to me this was between me and Him, and we would work it out together. I prayed for Him to work in my heart, help me forgive, not hold a grudge, not feel panic at either wearing a mask or going shopping, and to want to stay and have a good attitude while I was at it.


My sister texted me back shortly after we checked in, I gave her the condensed version, and she said we’d write a Yelp review, but in the meantime, we should come over to their place for dinner. That’s exactly what I needed to pull myself together- family time.


We had a wonderful dinner, played some games, I pulled out of my funk, and God whispered to me it was going to be okay. And it was. But as I chatted with my sister and my mom at dinner, I confessed that it was purely the grace of God that I didn’t yell, I didn’t cuss at them, and I didn’t call them names. Honestly, I’m convinced if you could have seen me in the spirit, you would have seen duct tape over my mouth and chains restraining my arms- I kid you not! It was pure, unadulterated Holy Spirit restraint. I am so thankful for it, but I also marvel at it because I was so upset and angry.


When I told my sister about my miraculous restraint, she mentioned what her eldest daughter had said about it: “don’t cast your pearls before swine.” Wow, so true. We have been given such a precious gift and it’s not worth losing our peace to people who hold no value in the kingdom of God. I had texted my sister earlier when we were making our dinner plans that I was already upset because I was crying, as they weren’t worth my peace.


God was working in me to first of all show me that if we are submitted to Him, we can have restraint in the Holy Spirit. What a wonderful thing, and how wonderful to not have to ask forgiveness for doing something stupid to people who wouldn’t even recognize it as sin, but would automatically lump me in with the rest of the world! Secondly, He wanted me to rely on Him and His grace and peace alone to get through. I’m certain if I had reached out to my community and shared my story, it would have been fuel for a fire I was trying to quench, not build. I needed to calm down, find peace, not be angry and justified in my stance. I needed to let God be my justification.


We have a choice in this hour. Will we respond or will we react? Will we be salt and light or will we behave like the world and call names and cuss? Will we keep our peace or will we lose it?


Let’s pray:

Lord, help us not to waste what is holy on the unholy. Help us to keep what You’ve given us as sacred and precious, and treat it as such, not squander it. In this hour, it’s a challenge to be salt and light when there are so many examples of worldly behavior, but let us be reminded that we are in this world, not of it and we have been given a gift that the world does not have access to- the Holy Spirit, who will comfort, protect, battle for and befriend us. Thank You, Lord, that we are not alone, that we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus and that even if we stumble, there is grace and forgiveness, we only need ask. We ask You to be strong on our behalf so we can bring the Good News of the gospel to our neighborhood and cities.

Come, Holy Spirit, fill us up, bring refreshing and fire and cause us to burn with a holy fervor for You. Thank You that in You, we have nothing to fear, no reason to be afraid, and no need to panic.


We thank You for Your grace and strength in this time and we ask that You equip us for every good work You have called us to.

In Jesus’ Name we pray, amen.


Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

John 14:27 NKJV


Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.

Matthew 7:6 NKJV

*By Juli Martnez, Contributing Writer 

Get CLW Prayer Updates in your email 

Life With a Side of Jesus

*Originally published January 3, 2018

Have you noticed that Jesus is trending these days? Sort of like “on fleek”, “sorry not sorry”, “do you even”, “I can’t even”…and on and on I could go. Jesus and coffee. Jesus and football. Jesus and pizza (okay, I haven’t seen that one yet). What the *expletive* would Jesus do? Jesus is trending in our culture like He’s a celebrity, an addiction, a past time, or a terrible slang term that we can’t rid from our vocabulary soon enough.

Our culture has minimized Jesus and for a large part, have rejected His message. We want to live by our own rules and write them as we go and as they fit the way we want to live. This is not the message of Jesus. We don’t get to have “a whole lotta life and little bit of Jesus.” We don’t get to write the rules, Jesus already did that. We don’t get to change the rules because “it’s a new day and age.” Jesus isn’t a “side chick”, he’s the main act, center stage.

Don’t get me wrong, I own a few shirts that have cute “Jesus sayings” on them but I also have them because I live them. I am far from perfect and I do a whole lot of wrong but I have learned that Jesus on the side just doesn’t work. Jesus on the side means I do it my way and maybe I’ll ask his opinion or seek him for a word of encouragement but let’s face it: I’m running the show. In all of my years, I have learned that this never ends well for me. The only way I get anything even remotely right is when Jesus is front and center in my life.

I hate seeing our social media age “selling” Jesus as a side order. The message I see all the time is that it’s okay to live how you want and just give Jesus a nod every so often. The hardest thing about being a Jesus-follower is surrendering it all to Him and admitting that there is nothing I can do in my own power. All I am and all I can do or be is only by the grace of God. Following Jesus means denying the world and denying myself. That may not sound very appealing to most people but it is absolutely the best way to live.

I’ve made it sound like following Jesus is a big bummer but it’s not. It’s the best thing in the world. It is knowing you are loved all the time, no matter what you do, no matter how “bigly” you mess up. It is casting all your cares on a God that is all-powerful and who has a good plan for your life. It is faith and trust that every single thing that happens in our life is for our good and serves a greater purpose – yes, even when God allows bad things to happen. Following Jesus means living life knowing that we are IN the world but we are not OF the world. When we follow Jesus it means we don’t follow the world and the expectations of man.

Jesus doesn’t want to be kicked off to the side, the outskirts of your life. He wants to be the center. He wants to love you and guide you and he wants you to live the amazing life he has given you.


Courage is a Command

A couple weeks ago I wrote a blog called “Courage is Contagious.” When I go into a store and see someone else not wearing a mask, I definitely feel empowered to take off my own mask and follow suit. Courage is like that…if one person shows courage it makes us want to step out as well.


It just so happens, that courage is a COMMAND we can find in the Bible. That’s powerful – God isn’t giving us a CHOICE to be courageous if we feel like it, He is COMMANDING us to be courageous.


Every Tuesday we meet at Bothell City Hall to pray for our nation. It’s been especially important these last couple months as we have been praying for truth to be exposed in our elections across the country. This week when we were praying my friend Elaine was praying specifically for courage for our leaders, for our president…for anyone who knows anything…to have the courage to come forward.


I came home from our time of prayer and opened my Bible to start looking up scriptures about courage because I could feel the Lord moving me to dig deeper into this word: courage.

God isn’t giving us a CHOICE to be courageous if we feel like it, He is COMMANDING us to be courageous.

With so much uncertainty ahead, courage seemed to be something we would all be needing in the coming days. And so I plunged into my Bible and started looking at every verse that contained the word “courage”. After reading numerous verses I came to Joshua where in just the first chapter I read over and over again about God’s command to be “strong and of good courage.”


“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NKJV

Over this last year, especially, I know we have been discouraged. We have lived through a time we probably never really imagined would ever happen. Life as we know it changed overnight and our “leaders” are telling us that this is the “new normal.” That’s a pretty scary thought.


But there is encouragement in knowing that God has commanded us to be of courage. He doesn’t tell us to go find it. He doesn’t tell us to ask for it. He doesn’t tell us to pray for it. He tells us to be of good courage. That implies only one thing: we already have courage, we just need to walk in it.


On this first day of a brand new year, it feels different. Most of us feel a sense of trepidation as we step into 2021…a little afraid to make plans, set goals and resolutions as we normally might at this time of year. We don’t know what’s coming tomorrow, next week or later this month. And while that’s technically always the case as we never truly know what tomorrow holds, this is very different kind of uncertainty. With courage…GOOD courage…we can step into 2021 with the confidence that God has a plan and He works ALL things for good. We know it may not look good. It may not feel good. It might even be painful. But we know that in the end His plan is for our good. We can take peace in that, we can gain strength from that and we can take courage from that knowledge.


I think it’s safe to say that courage appears to be in short supply as we look around our world right now. We need leaders and citizens to step up and be courageous – to open doors of their businesses, their churches, to speak out against lies and deception. We already know that courage is contagious, so I propose that we, as Conservative Ladies of Washington, be the ones to step up and take courage. I believe it can spread like wildfire.