spam, scams or is God calling?

“The Divine Voice is not always expressed in words.
It is made known as a heart-consciousness”

A.J. Russell


(Robokiller symbol)

About a year or so ago, tired of the constant phone calls coming in from places like Belize,
California, Mexico, the Ukraine…places where I knew no one and no one knew me,
I decided to nip the madness in the bud.

I had seen an article about an app called Robokiller.
It’s an app that will filter out those mysterious and annoying calls…
as in it actually filters most all of your calls.

The only calls readily allowed are those numbers you have listed in your favorites…
any other call will face the scrutiny of the app.

When setting up the app you get to pick a type of voicemail message that you’d like to use.
Prerecorded silly messages or what I chose…a typical auto-recorded message that
states “the number you have dialed is currently no longer in service…”

The app works sometimes a little too well as it has dumped calls coming in from
various doctors or other offices that are attempting to get in touch with me–
all because it does not recognize the incoming numbers.

Of course, you can check the messages that are left, as well as the call numbers,
and choose whether you want to allow them to trickle through or not.

Overall, I am very pleased with the app and opted to renew my service.

I get an alert each time a call comes in and has been earmarked as spam…
allowing me to check it.

However, for the past several months, I’ve been getting the strangest call…
over and over, despite the spam net, of which this call does fall into on
an almost daily basis, the call persists.

It is immediately earmarked as spam but it keeps calling me.
And since it is earmarked as spam, it merely falls into the spam bucket—
yet I can still listen to the message.

When this “caller” first began calling me, I listened to the message only briefly
as it actually scared me.
Visions of some Russian downloading all my vital information that was encrypted
on my phone, while I was listening, raced around my vivid imagination.

But as the calls have continued, I opted to let my daughter-n-law listen
to the recording.

It is a foreign-sounding male’s voice.
Loud, forceful and angry.
The voice reminds me of some sort of nutty tel-evangelist who has his hand on my head
screaming, “BE HEALED”—think of a real-life scammer type Earnest Angely…with a
foreign accent.

It is a man who is vehemently and definitely stating that
“someone has spoken your name, leaving your name in my mouth.
There is a blessing that you are to receive.
Quick, you only have 5 seconds to receive it…”

During other calls, the messenger speaks of gifts and blessings.

What I’m to do within the 5 seconds continues to elude me…
Hence why I quickly click to end the recording.

I checked the area code…it’s listed as a middle Georgia number.

It never has asked for money and that’s probably why I fear Russia is downloading my
life as we speak, but then I’m left wondering…why.

Why is some sort of psycho “preacher” almost demanding that I act within 5 seconds time???
And as to how I am to be acting is uncertain but I get the distinct message that I am to act none
the less all in order to receive some sort of blessing…and if I don’t…well…
bad juju seems to be in the air.

An overactive imagination continues to wonder why this one particular call continues to come
through despite always reaching a pre-recorded message of a number out of commission.

A fleeting thought crosses my thinking…wonder if God is really trying
to tell me something??
Wonder if these calls are persisting for a deeper reason…??

But then I am quickly pulled back to reality…
I am reminded…God is a gentleman…forever and always.

He is persistent but He is not angry nor forceful.

He is not demanding…nor is His intent to frighten or coerce me into something strange.
God never coerces His children…He prefers to woo those He loves.

This particular caller, on the other hand, demands that I listen and then act.
It’s as if some unseen gun is being held to my head or to the head of a loved one..
act now or bad things will happen.

God has long stated the deal…
if one opts to follow, wonderful…if not, then that is the loss of the individual.
No pushing, not threats..it is what it is—

We are told that even Satan and his demons can recite scripture.
And so we must often test what comes our way.
Is it from God or not…

Robokiller helps, but nothing works like simply calling upon the name of Jesus Christ.

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God,
because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has
come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.
This is the spirit of the antichrist,
which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

1 John 4:1-6

Missed opportunity

“During their lifetimes, every man and woman will stumble across a great opportunity. Sadly, most of them will simply pick themselves up, dust themselves down and carry on as if nothing ever happened.”
― Winston Churchill

DSCN4581

DSCN4584

DSCN4585
(a very wet cardinal, seeking shelter from a spring downpour amongst the leaves of an ailing oak tree / Julie Cook / 2014)

Each day, as we wander about this thing we call life, we are offered a myriad of opportunities. Opportunities “to bless and to be blessed.”
Some may say it is an opportunity to be kind and to receive a kindness in return, while others may simply put it in a nutshell as “one good deed deserves another”. . .
How ever you choose to view the chances and opportunities offered to all of us on a daily basis, those chances to be nice, to be kind, to be giving. . .tragically are sometimes totally missed.

Missed opportunities.

I am ashamed to say, I totally missed one today.
In a big way.

Long story short, as I was cruising down the frozen food aisle, during my weekly grocery pilgrimage, while looking for frozen peaches for the blasted daily smoothie regime, a young woman pushing a shopping cart, with a cute little boy sitting in her buggy, comes up behind me. We’re the only two buggies on the aisle.
I hear a question being posed somewhere from behind me but it was such that I couldn’t tell if it was being directed to me or perhaps it was a phone conversation.

I turn slightly, looking over my left shoulder, acknowledging that someone is coming up right beside me. Sure enough, the young woman was talking to me.
“hey, can I ask you a question?”
I stop pushing my cart, smiling.
“I remember you, you’re a teacher at the high school. Do you have any money, maybe some change, some pennies?”

Whoa. . .What?
I’m knocked totally off guard—and I didn’t recognize this person telling me she recognized me.
Who asks for money on the frozen food aisle??

She had a lean cuisine sitting in her buggy. The little boy, who I assumed was her son, was cute and smartly dressed. Upon observation I could see that her teeth were not in the best of shape and she looked a bit ragged but was bubbly and quite personable. I was so taken aback that I stammered, telling her I just had a debit card.

She continued chatting. “You still teaching?”
“No” I replied, “I retired almost 2 years ago.”
“Retired?” she retorts incredulously, “you old enough?”
“Do you miss it?”
“I miss my kids but I don’t miss the hassles” I offer.
“Oh I miss it. I miss school a lot.”
This said as she scoots on down the aisle chatting and laughing.

I follow along behind her, working my way to a check out lane. Attempting to see in which direction she headed, as I now had had enough time to process what had just happened, I looked down in my bag for my change purse–wanting to offer her what I could find—but I couldn’t figure out where she went.

The checkout lanes aren’t that massive, but she wasn’t standing in one.
Hummmm.
I actually knew the lady in front of me at the check out lane who was in the process of putting her groceries on the checkout counter. Telling her quickly what had just happened, she helps me to scan the area as well, but couldn’t spot the young lady.

Missed opportunity.

I’m not a super quick thinker. Nor terribly fast on my feet when it comes to “confrontations”–always coming up with the perfect response after having had time to think about it all. . .
I actually had a little cash in my wallet, but was wanting to use it for the next stop of the day at the dry cleaners.

I felt terrible. I should have given her the cash. Why did I have to think about it first? Why couldn’t my response of giving have been immediate, one without thought or reservation? Why didn’t I offer to buy the lean cuisine?

No, I had to rummage in my brain as to why she’d be asking for change or pennies for a lean cuisine.
I had to ponder the potential for scams as the nightly news pounds that into our brains.
I had to be reserved, pulling inward, rather than letting go of self and flowing outward.

I dropped the proverbial ball.

What had I learned form Lent, from Easter and from all that I hold to profess as my faith–
Sadly, obviously, very little.

What I do know, is that we are to give, unabashedly.
We are to offer all we have.
The Pharisees gave greatly because they had greatly to give. . .but the poor widow had but pennies and gave all that she had. . .she didn’t think about it. . .she didn’t ponder whether she’d have enough for the dry cleaners, she didn’t worry about being scammed, she didn’t have to know the person. She didn’t have to have proof that the money was going to what was professed.
She simply gave.
No thoughts.
No waffling.
No holding back.

Missed opportunity.

Now I’m not advocating throwing caution to the wind.
I whole heartily recommend that one should take in the surroundings and circumstance before digging into wallets and pockets, all before handing over any money to strangers.
I certainly suggest using some common sense.
But I am hoping that for the next opportunity presented my way, that I may step up to the plate a bit more readily, without wrangling in my head and weighing the pros and cons, the shoulds and the shouldn’ts—being more giving than reserved.

Here’s to learning from a missed opportunity.