It's All Redeemed

Yes I am a former Jehovah's Witness.
Yes I am disfellowshiped.
If you are a former Jehovah's Witness, or are a disfellowshiped Jehovah's Witness
 You know ALL of what that entails. 
Sooner or later you get to a point where you stop asking the "Why's" and the "How can they" or "Could they's?" 
You have the answers to the questions of what it is they believe and why they believe it.
 You know what they (Jehovah's Witnesses) put there
faith and hope in.
Because we are the people who have lived it, breathed it, and walked it out day to day, month to month, year to year, and turned in our reports for it.
 You may be like me where I have more years that I have lived my life as  a Jehovah's Witness
living my life and years NOT as a Jehovah's Witness.
 By that I mean:
  I was a Jehovah's Witness from birth to age 18.
Which ='s.
18 years as a Jehovah's Witness.
 Age 18 to 30.
Which ='s.
12 years lost.
 I was angry, I was hurt, I asked the
"Why's", the "How can they", and "How could they's?"
I would have to say that anytime in those given years if I had to make a decision, based on blood issues, heaven, any one of the multitude of manipulated truths from the bible, I would of fell back on what I was taught to believe as truth. 
Age 30 to 37.
Which ='s.
7 years born again! 
(Read the story of Nicodemous in John Chapter 3)
No longer lost, but found. No longer judged, but forgiven. 
No longer angry, but joyful!
Luke 15:4-7 NIV, 1 Corinthians 4:5 NIV, Psalm 30:11 NLT

  Every day I sit in awe of what God has revealed to me.  What he has shown me not only with my eyes but to my heart, the truth of his word.  How he as so delicately untangled the twisted lies I was forever thinking I would always believe.
Someone told me that it would take me the 18 years I was a Jehovah's Witness, those lost years, plus an additional 18 years, to retrain my brain to re-think differently, and lose all those old thought patterns.
Now I'm not very good at math but 18+18= 36.
 36 years to retrain my brain!
I believed that to be true, at the time I was told this.
 So o.k. I thought, here I go.  Brain let's retrain you!
Especially in those 12 years of being lost. I was ready for just about anything!
That means from age 30 (when I became born again) it would take me until I'm 66!
If I had to add those additional 12 years to that total above!
 (considering the math and the time!)
Forget it! No Hope for me!
That would've been my answer!

I share this with you today,
because God has been so good to me!

He out weighed that logic by a landslide.
He out mastered the psychologist.
He defied all odds.
He gave me back what was taken.
He took all the bad and made it good.
He sped up time for me when I needed it most and slowed down time for me when I needed it most.
He didn't have to wait on me,
but He did,
and for that I am forever thankful!
He delivered Me, and He will deliver you. If you let him.
He's offered me His wisdom.  He's given me  His strength to do things, and stand up for things that I NEVER thought I would be able to do.
He Redeemed Me! He Restored Me!
He is the One, when I needed answers, He gave them ALL  to me.

I know you have questions. 
  You might be at the stage of
 "Why's" and the "How can they" or "Could they's?" 
You might be at a place where you are questioning things about
 heaven, hell, the trinity, Christ, or the 144,000?
You might be at state of mind where you want absolutely nothing to do with religion!
You might preach, "It's how I live my life that matters, let my life speak for itself.
 I'm a good person, let God judge me."
There will come a day we will ALL stand in judgment for every single word that we have spoken.
There will come a day we will ALL  stand before God and give reason for EVERYTHING we've done.
 I know one thing for sure as being a former Jehovah's witness, you know with out a shadow of a doubt judgment day will come.
 Matthew 12:36 NIV,  Romans 2:16 NLT Romans 14:10 NIV

I have made every one of those statements.
I have asked everyone of those questions.
 I have been at every stage of the game.
 Because in all truth it is a game.
 To Satan!
  His day is made, when we still sit in question, and in doubt.  He enjoys the pride that exudes from us when we look to our self and the way we live our lives and think "Oh lets just let God be the judge on judgment day, and let him look at how I lived out my life."  
What are you going to do when your time has come, and your life is done and you have nothing you can stand on.
What will you say at that judgment throne?
 Do you really want to wait it out?
Wouldn't you want to be ready, and know NOW!
Know NOW the answers, to the questions.
Wouldn't you want to stand and already know the only things you can say are;
I Trusted Jesus, I Trusted Him.
I put my hope and trust in Jesus the Son of Man, the Son of God.
My Savior.  The One who delivered me from all the chaos, confusion, and questions.
The One who defended me when I was kicked down and knocked out.

Please know and understand this one truth if anything for today.
There was nothing I could do (works) to get His forgiveness.
It is by His grace I am forgiven, healed, redeemed, that I may walk with dignity with my head looking up at Him.
The One and Only, Holy One, Jesus.
Ephesians 2:8-9 NLT

If you seek Him you will find Him, but you have to seek Him with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:13 NIV
Give Him all of your heart, not just pieces of it.
It's not a game to God.
It's about life. Eternal Life, for you with Him, its a promise.
1 John 2:25 ISV

This Post is in dedication to my brother Roger James Rein 


I have this picture on my wall it is a gift from my brother.
It reads:
If You Need Someone to Listen Then Just Pray.

Someone to listen.
To me?

Just Pray?
To think it's that easy.....

It wasn't so easy for me in the beginning to "Just Pray."


I remember the turmoil in my mind of not knowing
who to pray to.
I remember the hurt in my heart of not knowing
who to call out to.

Well he was the one who was angry at me because I left the "Organization."
Well he was the one who "I turned my back on".

And now in this very moment of prayer, 
was I turning to Him for the first time ever?

Was that even his name?
Pray even after all the wrong
I did and said.
If I prayed to him now
 would he even listen?
 Or could this possibly be the time he would turn his back on me?

I ended my prayers; "in Jesus name I pray, Amen."

Do I begin my prayer now with Dear Jesus?
or do I stick with Dear Jehovah?
What if I cried out Dear God!
Would I offend him, because He requested a formal name.

So many people pray.
So many people pray to all different types of gods.

Which one should I pray to?

 Take your pick now a days; our society and world tell us.
There's Buddha. There's Mohammad. 
There's Greek gods. There's Nature god's.
  There are War god's. There are goddess' of love.

Do they have the answers?
The answers to the things I'm searching for?

"Just pray to a higher power. Think positive thoughts.
You have the power in you. Just reach in and grab a hold of it."
No I never could agree to that.

My spirit, my mind, my heart, told me there was something more than me.

When all devastation and despair have entered your life,  you cry out, you cry out to something bigger than yourself.

Have you ever noticed we cry and look up.

Instead of wondering if your being heard...
Instead of wondering if that prayer is actually reaching a destination...
Instead of wondering if that prayer is being received by GOD.


NOW there is a God in heaven.
He is the creator of heaven and earth.
He is the same God who created you in His image.

NOW he is not angry with you.

NOW that he hears your every cry.

NOW that he can handle what ever you present to Him.

NOW that you are truly most honestly forgiven, if you ask Him for that forgiveness.

NOW he has a name. He is Jehovah, He is Jesus, He is the Holy Spirit, He is the great I AM.

NOW you can turn to Him in prayer.

Pray continually!
Never stop praying!
Pray without ceasing!
Continually be prayerful!
1 Thessalonians 5:17-NIV, NLT, ESV, ISV*

Prayer can change lives and circumstances like nothing else can.

 I dedicate this post to my Pastor.
Pastor Jerry at Living Hope Church.
There was a time I went to him out of concern on how to pray.
He asked me, " Melissa when your children address you as Mom,  Mommy or Mother, do you turn from them, looking to be addressed in a certain way?"  Just as you would never do that to one of your children, your Father in heaven would never turn his back on you, his child, based on how you address him."

Just do it.....Pray!

Genesis 1:1, Genesis 1:27, Psalm 56:8, Philippians 4:6

*NIV-New International Version
  NLT-New Living Translation
  ESV-English Standard Version
  ISV-International Standard Version

Old Stomping Grounds

It was the place to go...
It was the place you wanted to get invited to...
To feel like you were part of the "In" crowd. 
It was every Thursday night after the meeting.
The pizza place up the street.

I went there the other night with my family.
As I walked in, walked up to the counter to place our pizza order,
I looked over my shoulder and who do I see, but one of the Elders from the Kingdom Hall.
Of course, right?! To be expected.
Back on that "artificial  turf." The Old Stomping Grounds.

For the first time my mind, my body didn't react.
When I looked into the eyes of a very high authoritative figure in my life for so long.
I didn't look down.    I didn't look away. 
I didn't feel ashamed.    I didn't feel intimidated.
I didn't feel judged.    I didn't feel rejected.

I knew in my heart. 
I had been Redeemed.
  I knew in my heart.
Christ is for me so who can be against me. 
I knew they rejected Christ before they ever rejected me.
  I knew in my heart, and in my mind.
I had my Armour on.
  I knew in my heart and in that moment.
 Victory was won. And how Christ won that for me.
  He fought for me. He died for me.

The moment over, now lost in time.

As my family and I settled in to our table, I looked over and my eyes connected with this little girl.
This little girl was with the Elder.
I saw my old friend Dawn in her eyes.
I was looking into the eyes of Dawn's little girl.
Tears welled up.
I never got to say good-bye to Dawn.
When I left "the truth" or when she passed.
Dawn passed away at a very young age she was in need of a liver transplant.
From what I was told
"She was not granted one. Because of her parents beliefs."

When your in a place where you have left "the truth", but you have not found the real truth Christ,
you sit in limbo , you wonder, you search, and then for Dawn a critical time came in her life and decisions had to be made.
When your in a place like that you may tend to stick to what you know.  You may think maybe it is "the truth" and you may not have enough courage to make a decision for yourself. 
So then liberty is taken and a decision is made for you.

I called in those last days of Dawn's life and requested to see her.  I was told "Perhaps if we can get Dawn outside you can talk with her in your car."
See I'm disfellowshiped. So I am not allowed in a Jehovah's Witness home.
I know many of you reading this understand this all to well.
I waited about a week, called back and made another request to see Dawn.  It was denied. 
Dawn and I played house together, went camping together, played on the swings together, had many sleep overs. As it is called today. She was one of my BFF's when were little.

Now back to the pizza place.
I had a choice to make. I could respect and not go over and say anything to Dawn's step-dad.
 I know my place. I know the guidelines. I know the consequences. 
I could do what my heart was telling me.

See there was another man at the table with this little girl.
Was it-this little girls daddy?
Was it-the person Dawn loved and had a child with?
Moments went by and I was taken in by this little girl.
  She held eye contact with me.
Grandpa got up, Dawn's step dad the Elder. 
The thoughts:
Should I go over now and introduce myself. " Now's my chance." 
I heard the little girl say to this other man
"Daddy look at my picture." 
It was her daddy!  A pre-arranged visit?
I don't know. I waited.

My family and I enjoyed our pizza, played games, but as we were getting ready to leave I felt so impressed to go over to say something to this little girl. She is all of maybe 4 or 5.  All I wanted to say to her was, " I knew your mommy, we use to be friends, and play together."

So I did.
 I went up shook the elders hand.
Disappointement in his eyes when I told him who I was, perhaps. Anger, perhaps.
The chance to say what my heart was telling me.
The expression, the emotion, the moment.  Was all worth it!
Would I do it again. Put myself in a position of possible scornful words, rejection and humiliations?
Like my husband said; "What do you have to lose?" He's right.
 I have Christ.
  And maybe someday I can share the hope of Christ with Dawn's little girl and her daddy.
They need to hear and know The Truth.
That is why I'm here to share it with you also.
He died for me and He died for you.
So that we may be forgiven. So that we may be redeemed.
We have an inheritance in Heaven.

It's time for The Truth to be told.

Matthew 10:22, John 15:18, Romans 8:31, Ephesians 1:7, 
Ephesians 6:10-18, 1 Peter 3:18 , 1 Peter 1:4

Your Life is My Life

I know your story.
I've read it cover to cover.

I've gone to the index numerous of times. 
I've lived it from birth.
I know every day you try to shake it.
Shake it off.
That Tsunami that tripped me to my feet. I'm drenched in it.
I know you are to.

I see your scars.  I live with them to.  Each one tells a different story.  A story not many understand.
I do. I understand.
No matter how many times I wish it away or pray it away.
It's apart of me.

It no longer is my identity. 
Being raised as a Jehovah's Witness.

The reality.
It is a part of my life that will not change, but how I respond to it, that has changed.
See there were those who intended to harm me, but I see now, I know now, I believe now, God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

My identity is in Christ.
Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God's people.

I was born a Jehovah's Witness.
I was born!
My life, your life.  My upbringing, your upbringing.
Was taught to us. Was dictated to us. Was defined for us.
In the beliefs, in the teachings, in the ways of a Jehovah Witness.
I was born!
An infant, created to know GOD, created in His image.
God the Creator of me. God the Creator of you.
God made me who I am. I am His masterpiece made anew...

I know you've been fighting against the current.
And if you let it, it will take you under again. And again.
But until, until you bring it to Him, Christ.
  Until you release all control over to Him, you will keep going under.
That current is way to strong for any one human being to handle.

There will come a day where He will wipe away every tear and He will calm every storm.

Destroy that old tattered book.

Start writing a new one.
I'm waiting to read the 1st chapter.
   May it begin with a rainbow.  The calm after the storm. The promise after the storm.

Beauty from Ashes.

Genesis 50:20 NIV, 1 Peter 2:10 NLT, Genesis 1:27 NIV,  
Ephesians 2:10a NLT, Revelation 21:4 NIV, Psalm 107:29 NLT,  Isaiah 61:3 NIV

Is The Grass Greener?

Is the grass really greener on the other side?
Depends where your standing.

If your anything like me, there has been, on more than one occasion, that you looked to the other side, and asked is the grass really greener over there?
On the other side?

The greener grass...
You wanted to see it up close. You wanted to touch it.
You wanted it, wanted it for your own.
I don't know what your greener was or is.  Maybe it's to celebrate holidays and birthdays. Maybe it was to have a social life out side of the organization, maybe it was to get a job and work.

For me the greener has always been the desire to get an education.
For me it was to be able to think for myself. To have some dignity. For me it was to see if I had any value or purpose outside of the organization.
For me most of all I wanted answers.
Answers to "The Truth".
Contemplating the greener side, the other side
I decided to jump...
All to many times I only got so far, that picket fence snagged me a time or two and I never made it over.
It was easier in some sense, and in some ways just to stay where I was at. I knew the consequences if I did jump and made it to the other side, and stayed.
  The loss of my family, my friends, the loss of my life all together.
The shunning, the rejection, being ostracized, the looks.
Then would come the wonder- who am I?
 The price is high. I know.

I was told and quite honestly I thought I was on the real thing, in the real thing, in "The Truth".
Fake-No Way!

According to Wikipedia...
Artificial turf 
is a surface manufactured from synthetic fibers made to look like natural grass.

Merriam-Webster Dictionary
-Synthetic 4b
-devised, arranged, or fabricated for special situations to imitate or replace usual realities

I discovered I was on Artificial Turf!

The main reason artificial turf is used is because of  maintenance—artificial turf resists heavy use... and requires no irrigation or trimming. Domed, covered, and partially covered stadiums may require artificial turf because of the difficulty of getting grass enough sunlight to stay healthy.

But artificial turf does have its downside: limited life... ... toxic chemicals from infill and some heightened health and safety concerns.

Artificial turf resists heavy use-
Resisted at every turn.  Every question I asked. Every answer I questioned. Resisted. 
I felt heavily used.
All I did-was never enough.  I couldn't study enough, witness enough, be good enough.  It never seemed I could knock on enough doors.

The Greener Side:
It is by grace I have been saved through faith and not the result of my works.  Ephesian 2:8-9 ISV

Artificial turf requires no irrigation or trimming-
No water, No lifelines, No growth, No life outside the organization.  I felt manufactured.

The Greener Side:
Jesus takes care of me if I remain in Him and Him in me I will produce fruit and every branch that doesn't he prunes me so that I will produce even more with his help. John 15 NLT

Places domed and covered, may require artificial turf because of the difficulty of getting grass enough sunlight to stay healthy-
Covered and secluded, cut-off from the outside world. I had great difficulty getting enough sunlight to stay healthy.  The light of the world- As a Jehovah's Witness, Christ was denied and stripped of His deity.  Little did I  know I needed the sun (Son) to stay healthy.

The Greener Side:
I didn't need to fear the Son of God, I could believe in Him fully.
I could believe in who He says He is.  He wouldn't judge me because of my frailties.
He came to save me.  If I chose to not believe in Him I already stood judged for not believing in
 God's one and only Son. John 3:17-18 NLT
Judged by God NOT man.

But artificial turf does have its downside: limited life.
My life was limited on that turf.  I didn't know "The Truth" the plan God had for me.

The Greener Side:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Artificial turf does have toxic chemicals from infill-
The toxic chemicals-A daily life in lies, manipulation, and judgment. False Prophets and Teachers an over abundance in my everyday life.

The Greener Side:
"Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.
You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Matthew 7:15, 16a NLT
But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves. 2 Peter 2:1 NIV

So my life on the turf was devised, arranged and fabricated for special situation to imitate truth and replace all the usual realities of life and truth.
There was a day I was determined more so than all the others. I jumped that fence, sure I got snagged, oh sure I fell again. The tears. The scratches. The scars to show it.
But I made it to the other side. I found out the grass is greener on the other side.  And I love it here!

There it is the real thing created by God.

We have roots, we belong, we were created for a purpose, created to grow, created to flourish, created to thrive, to live, to love and be loved.

Would you be able to tell the difference?
but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.
1 Thessalonians 5:21 NLT