20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


Clive the cat

Clive is a cat , he looked  like no other

He searched the world over , looking for mother

His coat was a wash , of gray and some white

When the moon glowed ,  he sure was a sight

He walk down the hill , to the pond so calm

Not a soul was found , especially his mom

He looked up with tears while god he did hear

Your moms up here , she didn’t disappear

He asked the great voice , as he started to walk

Can I see my mom , or can we just talk

The voice being slow was also real soft

As most of Clive’s wishes mostly were lost

grabbing and clawing scratching his chin

He replied to the voice as he started to grin

when I close my eyes and begin to dream

Thinking about our life, it will be supreme

God voice was bold as he said kinda loud

Clive I will tell you , your mother is proud


A Mother’s Child

When a mother’s child is hurting, or somehow is done wrong

The pain she feels for her dear child is wide and deep and strong

It matters not how old the child, if three or thirty-five

A mother’s child is still her child as long as she’s alive


A mother’s pain will come and go for hurts that she may feel

But a mother’s pain for her dear child cuts like a knife of steel

If you’re a mother with a child, you understand me well

There is no need to speak a word,  you know of what I tell


Be cautious of the mother whose dear child you may have hurt

I say this as a warning, please take heed to this alert

A mother’s like a lioness…with care she guards her young

Or maybe like a hornet’s nest…be careful, lest you’re stung.

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Happy Fathers day ….

Pam loved  Pete they  had it made

two little boys both named Wade

traveled the country in a big R V

so many sights the family did see

never setting roots like many we know

they moved around more than an Indians toe

learning from the world and mom and dad

soaking up nature , even lily pads

living a life that can’t be surpassed

the two little wades , one day asked

do you regret the things you let  slide

to be with us on this life long ride

dad turned to them a tear in his eye

wade and wade your both my prize

I’d relive these days with out delay

two wade’s grinning said happy fathers day


The man in the window…

It’s no secret , while I’m going through rehab and recovery I’m staying at my mom and dads . Growing up here was rather unsettling at times , and grand at others . An old story my dad would tell us was “Peg leg Wilson ” a made up tail about an old guy with a wooden leg . I wont lie , it scare the crap out of me and I think the other kids as well . We grew up in an old two-story house with plenty of noises on its own , without the manufacture of them . My younger brother and I shared a bedroom , it was the biggest bedroom in the house . It had a small closet in one of the corners that I was always scared of . When the lights went off the noises always began .

I have visited my mom and dad over the years many times and always felt a presence around me . This time visiting I am feeling this a little more , but i put it off due to my body healing . The other day I was wandering around the yard , Taking pictures of some flowers . I actually posted them on 20 lines under the heading of Sights of summer . Anyway , I walked into the garage and heard something , I listened a little closer , It was my name . Someone was calling my name in a weak whisper two or three times . I looked over towards the window of the garage and quickly took a picture . I couldn’t see anything so I blew it off to my imagination and returned inside . Today I looked at the picture , to my amazement there is someone in the window . Now I showed this to my mom ( it’s no one I know ) And she tells me it looks identical to a man who lived here before them . Here’s the thing that has my skin crawling …He died in this house the day I was born….

This is the presence following me….I know now I’m not crazy…..



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The First Time I Met Chef’s Entire Extended Family


Chef introduces me to The Family.

Originally posted on Everyone Has A Story...:

Mariachi en la ciudad de Guadalajara, Jalisco,...

Mariachi en la ciudad de Guadalajara, Jalisco, México. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chef is from a very, very large Hispanicfamily. His mother is the eldest child of 13 kids. How incredibly awesome is that?? Basically, her parents gave birth to their own football team, with alternates. I love that…Anyways, Chef’s white father left his family pretty early on in Chef’s life, and left his mom and her very large, close-knit family, to raise their four kids. Sad, but it was what it was.

To introduce me to this large extended family, Chef thought it would be fun to take me to one of his family’s get-togethers. And these people throw a fantastic party. Good food, good locations, and Mariachi‘s for entertainment. And I was really nervous, but excited to be going. When we arrived, the family was really nice to me, especially my new mother-in-law. The only fly in the soup was that they all spoke Spanish

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God’s Little Gang

For the past 20 years, my husband has worked in the restaurant business. Recently, he and my daughter, who also works in the industry, have been telling me about a phenomena that makes me feel sad, and quite honestly, angry. Like anywhere in our lives, we are going to run into all kinds of people doing all kinds of things. We are all familiar with people cutting us off in traffic, the occasional obscene finger gestures thrown our way from a passing window, the rude comments from people in stores, theImage callous service we get from restaurant servers…the list goes on and on…

This new thing, though, is particularly disheartening. My husband and daughter hate it when the “Christians” come in to their restaurant. Armed with Bibles under their arms, they gather at the restaurant for Bible Study. They throw about God Bless You’s at the same time they complain about prices. They boldly ask for things for free, or act surprised that there would be a charge for the extras they have asked for. They loudly preach to their audience about Jesus’s love, and yet they steal…that’s right…steal  sweeteners and napkins, and whatever else that isn’t nailed down. Their orders are never right, not that it could possibly be their fault, and the employees are treated like second-class citizens. After taking up tables for extremely large periods of time, they leave nothing in way of compensation for their servers, but leave their tables totally thrashed, as if it is their right to have others clean up after them.  The employees hate to see them coming.

Sometimes I want so badly to go in on the nights these “holy” people come in and ask them what exactly their goal is. If the goal is to have some sort of exclusive country-club membership to a God club, then kudos…well done. No one wants to be in your God Gang. Maybe you could spread your elitist, self-serving agenda at some other restaurant. Evidently, the spirit of the Pharisees and the Sadducee‘s is alive and well in America today.

The fruits of the Holy Spirit are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. How do you propose to show Jesus to those around you when your actions are so demeaning, rude, arrogant, and self-serving? What is your purpose in the Kingdom of God? Are you a representative of Jesus, or are you using Christianity to further your own goals?

We should always assume people will be watching us when we least expect it. And it is of no consequence to God whether or not we think someone is worthy to be in our “club”. The girl taking your order at a drive-thru or the homeless man begging on the corner…both were created in God’s image, no more and no less than you or me. … This isn’t about club membership. It is about life and death, heaven and hell. It is war-time, with satan leading a very skilled attack on every aspect of our lives every single day. You’re a tool — we all are. But you should know who’s wielding you.

I completely understand that as Christians, we all have to start somewhere. And I emphatically agree with Bible studies. But my question is aimed at the leaders of these Bible studies. It would seem to me that if you are ready to teach other Christians, you’d be more sensitive to how your behaviors will reflect on your God. We are known by our fruits, are we not? We aren’t going to be perfect, but we should remember who we are representing….

What good is all of these theological discussions on Adam’s belly button if just eating a meal at a restaurant drives people away from God??

If you aren’t helping us, then you’re hurting us. If saving souls isn’t your goal, there are some serious questions you should be asking yourself.

– Bird


Money, Money, Money…Money!

Wealth” and a Challenge for the Contributors (and Followers!)
Tell us about wealth. What does it look like? Where should it go? What would you do with a half billion dollars, or any unexpected windfall for that matter?

I love it when I’m challenged to write about something specific. My mind churns out idea

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins (Photo credit: epSos.de)

after idea after idea until I’m exhausted before I even pick up my laptop. So, when this challenge was presented, I felt some relief!

And then I thought about it over and over and over, and I was exhausted all over again!

Money. All of us poor people have heard that it won’t make you happy. And all of us poor people would like the opportunity to learn that lesson through experience, if you don’t mind!

If you’ve read anything about me before, you know that my eldest daughter was born out-of-wedlock. I didn’t bother putting a father on her birth certificate, because I didn’t intend for that man to be in her life at all. He had campaigned enthusiastically for me to get an abortion, and if I didn’t, he would just take her from me and disappear into Mexico. I was 19, alone, and quite frankly, freaked out by his reaction. So, my answer was to make it almost legally impossible to fight me for her, as well as putting hundreds of miles between us. Rebekkah was mine….. And, as government tends to do, the State of Texas stuck it’s big, fat nose into my business, and put the man right back into my life, in the form of Child Support.

My second baby, DJ, was a harrowing pregnancy. Over and over, it would seem that my body was trying to miscarry, and yet my little baby would hang on. Finally, just short of two months early, my son had to be delivered…He was a month old before he could leave the hospital.

The medical bills were as so high, I stopped opening the bills. What can you do when your husband makes a total of $20,000 a year, and the hospital is demanding $82,000 for the birth of your son? Finally, the hospital told me about this magical thing called Medicaid, and they walked me through the process, and the bill simply went away. Breathtaking!

Enter The State of Texas. Because I had used public assistance, the state now had the right to try to recoup some of the money they had spent on me. Well, duh. That makes sense now, but back then, it was never mentioned. And because I had a daughter already from someone I wasn’t married to, they saw the opportunity to collect some money from the biological father.

Let’s say that I was not all that forthcoming with information about Rebekkah’s father. The information I gave them was his name. That is all. And I’ll be damned if that state didn’t find him anyways. They ordered a paternity test, and the dominoes fell from there. Long story short, The Father made a pretty decent living, and the courts ordered him to pay me a nice amount each month, as well as owing me for the six years of Bek’s life, to the tune of $54,000.

Fast forward years later. Bekkie is half way through high school, and all that legal mumbo jumbo has been a thing of the past for a decade. I sit unsuspectingly at my computer to check bank balances and pay a few bills.

Boom! There is a really large amount of money in a bank account that barely makes it through the month. I was stunned. Actually, it made me feel a little afraid.

Before I told anyone about it, I immediately called to make sure it wasn’t an accident. I was  informed that The Father had been hiding money away in an account under his wife’s name and they had found, and seized it. And the money was mine. Oh.My.God.

And then the roller coaster ride really began. First, all those tiny voices in my head that whisper their worry about paying bills and still having enough money to make it to the next payday, went silent.

Second, for the first time in my life, I wanted to Protect my Money. I almost immediately became somewhat suspicious. And to some degree, with good reason. It wasn’t the Mega Lottery, but it was more than the rest of my extended family had, and after years and years of silence, suddenly there were family members that wanted to “re-connect”. And because back then I was somewhat naive, I believed that I could buy them all back. Oh please…It was like feeding a stray animal. They always came back for more, and when it was finally gone, they disappeared again. My husband and I argued over how to spend it, always afraid that we might end up spending it all. The kids wanted more and more things that their friends had…It felt great and horrible all at the same time. It seemed like money was all I could think about anymore, and it just felt wrong.

No. I didn’t invest it. My family and I gave a bunch of it away, bought things that people would normally have to buy on credit, shopped for things we wanted, and paid bills. And then it was gone. Along with that suspicious, creepy entitled feeling that had arrived with it. When the last dime of it had been spent, I felt relief. The users in my life went away, and the real friends that had always been my friends before, stayed. No more arguments with my husband over money. My kids settled back into being careful when picking what they really wanted.

My life had returned to normal, where I had to truly appreciate the paychecks that I was earning. I had to be careful to decide what we really needed as opposed to what we only wanted. In essence, we got our character back.

I don’t play the lottery, nor do I find millions and millions of dollars enticing. Since that first time, I’ve come into really large chunks of money from time to time, and I am pleased to say that I’ve gotten better at dealing with this odd turn of fortune. But I always remember that first experience, and I rely on the lessons I learned from it.

Money not only can’t buy you happiness; It can steal the happiness you already have. It can make you into a person you don’t even like yourself. It can become a god; more important than love, family, friendship, and God…It is wonderful and horrible all at the same time.

And we always think we are the ones that can tame that storm… ;-)

lol..and I know not one person who reads this would pass up the chance to learn this lesson themselves!!

– Bird


Conversations With My Dad

These are some stories my Dad told me. I get a kick out of the way he tells a story. In fact, most of the people in my family can tell a good story. There’s always an underlying competition going to “out-storytell” each other. Dad is still winning –

Here’s some of my Dad’s recent offerings to me….

Abusive Employers:

After describing to my dad how my employer would lose his temper on me, then say not to take it personally–

Dad: Your grandpa Eddie told me this story once. One of the ole guys he got hired by told

Me and my Dad

him, ‘ Now, sometimes I lose my temper and I’ll cuss ya, but don’t take it personally. I don’t mean nothin’ by it.

And your grandpa told him, ‘ That’s okay. Sometimes when people cuss me, I break my foot off in their a**. But don’t take it personally. I don’t mean nothin’ by it either.’

The Debt:

Bobby was just one of those friends that gets away with s*** that I would beat anyone else’s a** over. Once I heard he was over somewhere gambling, and I headed over there to collect some of the $400 he owed me. When I left, he owed me another $20.

He got himself this motorcycle, and he came over to my house, and asked if I had a wheel, ’cause his back wheel needed replacing. I had all the motorcycle parts, so I said sure. We went out together and I took this wheel off this old bike of mine. He didn’t have any money, so I just let him have it.

The next day he came over and asked me how much for the whole bike. I said, “Well, how much you wanna pay?” He said, ” Well, it ain’t worth much without that wheel.”

Describing my grandmother’s side of the family:

The Kings were a dangerous lot. They’d cut your throat and tell God you died.

Chatter Box Daughter:

When you were little…about two or three, I’d say, I came home, and your mom was just tired. You’d talked her ears off all day. So, I said to myself, I’m just going to let her talk until she wears herself out. I said to you, “Cathie, come here. We’re gonna talk.”

A long time later, you were still going. I thought to myself, ” If I cover her mouth, her little rearend will blow right off.”

Handling Conflict:

Well, you know I didn’t get to spend much time with Michael. By the time I got to see him again, he’d forgotten who I was. Broke my heart.

He was pretty little, running around outside playing with some kids. He comes running in and says, ‘Dad, those kids took my ball away!’

I told him, ” You’re gonna be a man, someday. Go be a man and take it back from them.” I went to the window to watch him, in case those kids tried to hit him or something.

He ran outside and says in a loud voice, “That’s okay. Dad called the cops.” The little a**h*** kid that took Mike’s ball away threw it back at him, and ran away. Mike just kept on playing.”

I thought, “The kid is smarter than me…”

Our 2nd or 3rd Cousin Eddie - (This one is my favorite…)

Dad: Everbody’s got a story, Cathie. We have this cousin Eddie who had a mother who wasn’t going to settle for just one guy — she’s was tryin’ them all out first. She was hooked on dope, so the state gave her kids to her father. He wasn’t much better, but at least they ate. I think….

Anyways, he got money from the state for taking care of them. One day the mother showed up needing some money, and her dad wouldn’t give her any so she threaten to kill Eddie, and hit him in the head with a bottle. It didn’t kill him or nothin’, but it showed him where his place was in this world.

Eddie was a tough m****f****. Later, when he was twelve, he was hanging in a bar with his mom and one of his stepfathers. The sorry man started threatening Eddie, saying he was going to take him outside and beat his a**. Eddie told him, come on, I’m ready for you. Come outside and beat my a**. So, while the old guy swallowed the last of his beer, Eddie went on outside to wait for his a** kickin’. When ole boy walked out, Eddie hit him in the head with a two-by-four. Put him right in the hospital. Yeah, he was one tough little kid.

Me: This is a horrible story. These are our relatives, Dad??

Dad: No. But I wish they were.

Good parenting:

I don’t know if I would have been a good parent, Cathie. I just know I would have tried real hard.



Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire….

It would be fair to say that I have had a pretty complicated relationship with lying. Now, I’m sure that most people will readily admit that they’ve lied before. Because, seriously, we all have lied to some degree or another at least once in our lives. And for the majority of the rest of the human race, we’ve lied too many times over our lives to keep count.

My thoughts on this matter stem back to my mother and my father. Both of them were in


the United States Marine Corp during the Vietnam war. And, as war tends to do, they found themselves in a marriage without really getting to know each other first. In my parents case, this was a pretty big problem for them, and later for my brother and me.

My father is so blatantly honest, even about the most private things we tend to lie to ourselves about, and my mother was not. Being from a somewhat wealthy family, image was everything to her, and little white lies were just tools to be used to create a favorable image for her, and for her family. Suffice it to say, it wasn’t a marriage made in heaven. When my brother was a toddler, and I was six, they parted forever, and I can honestly say, I was never really the same again. But maybe I’ll cover that another day…It isn’t my point today.

Now, I truly love to explore the history of a person, and of course, I have always been interested in why I do what I do. It isn’t that I want to blame one of my parents for my own bad behaviors…I don’t. Nor do I. I can own my mistakes without a problem. But, when your dad is the polar opposite of your mother, and they have a World War III custody battle for years over you, you start kind of rooting for a side when it comes to your own characteristics. But at the same time, you love both competitors, so it all can get kind of dramatic and confusing in a young girl’s head. And I am the kind of person that will believe what I want to believe; to hell with the proof. :-)

On the one hand, my father and I had a really close relationship punctuated with all kinds of little rituals we did together. He was a talker, (like me :-) ), and we both loved animals, Dennis the Menace, Honky-Tonk music, and the list goes on and on. We shared a lot of bad characteristics as well — quick tempers, rude presentation of opinions, somewhat careless attitude towards others. I was a consummate Daddy’s girl, no questions asked.

But on the other hand, my mother possessed the qualities that I didn’t have, but wished I did. She was stunningly beautiful — (she won Miss Congeniality in the Miss California beauty pageant before I was born), kind, gentle, soft-spoken, and lady-like. She oozed sophistication and dignity. People loved to be around her, and she always made a person feel like they were the best human being she had ever met….( until she divorced you. She could be a worthy enemy as well).

It is my opinion that we always think the grass is greener on the other side, and I was no exception. I looked like my dad — Irish — while my mother was exotic looking — Italian. She was able to command the attention of a room by simply walking into it; I commanded the attention by falling over something and breaking it. Her hair was long, dark, and straight. Mine is a long,reddish-blonde afro of curls that rarely do anything I want them to do. For a kid, it was really hard to see how that creature was really my mom.

But they say we get wiser with age, and I was able see some of the flaws of the two people I loved so much, and the blaring one I usually had to personally deal with was my mom’s habit of lying. To her, if her motivation for lying was to keep the peace, or to not hurt someone’s feelings, then it wasn’t really lying — It was Lying For The Better Good. But, to be honest, my brain never really could wrap around that…To me, if it wasn’t true, it was lying. The bad kind….

During the Custody Battle, my mother and father were enemies of the worst kind. My mother had remarried a week after their divorce was final, and my father was eternally bitter about her for the rest of his life up to this very day. Every time my dad would find out where we were living, we’d move, leaving him to try for months to track us down again. My mother frustrated him at every turn, and each time I was able to see him again briefly, he would be a little different — harder, more bitter.

Now, because of her priorities, my mother wanted to portray for the world a happy, well-adjusted cohesive family with her new husband. And a blended family image wouldn’t do. So, I went to first grade with my last name the same as my father’s, and the second grade, I was using my stepfather’s last name. There was no even mentioning my dad in the house or to anyone ever, and thus I began my journey down deciding if I wanted to be a liar or not. Life in my home with mom would be easier if I just went with the status quo. But my basic nature couldn’t fully embrace this, and I seemed to be in a constant flux of indecision and confusion. But, as I loved my mom, I learned what most people in my situation learn — I learned to be a chameleon and tell everyone what they wanted to hear.

After years of legal maneuvering, the judge had had enough, and a hearing was set to bring me in to see him, and the judge was going to decide who was going to get custody of me based on what I wanted. I am ashamed to admit that both of my parents were supremely confident that I was going to choose them, because obviously, I was a decent little liar by that time. And while they both were at ease with the up-coming hearing, I was flipping out. All that lying was coming back to bite my little butt, and ONE of my parents was going to be really, really pissed at me. And I was really having a hard time choosing which one was going to kill me in the least painful method. I most assuredly was going to devastate one of them, and it was up to me to choose which one. I loved both of them. This was going to really, really suck.

As the days marched forward toward my nightmare, I did some soul-searching about myself. Of course, I was an 11-year-old kid, so it wasn’t all that poetic and earth-shattering. But, I knew I was going to have to decide what kind of person I really wanted to be. This playing for both teams garbage wasn’t working for me, and only my parents were peaceful with what I had been doing — I was in hell. Soon, neither of them were ever going to believe me again, anyways, but I couldn’t get away from myself. Big decisions were going to have to be made.

I decided to be honest and embrace the characteristics I had been naturally born with, instead of trying to mold myself into a pale version of the mother I idealized. All I had managed to do with the one rather glaring flaw she possessed was make a great big mess for myself. And it was just easier to be myself, than to deal with this whole disgust-for-myself emotion I would have to endure on a seemingly daily basis by saying what people wanted to hear, instead of just telling the truth.

At the last-minute, the hearing was called off. I don’t think I ever knew why, but I’d been given a reprieve. My road back to honesty did not happen over-night, and I was knocked off-course a few times growing up, but it was a good lesson for me in the end. Nothing like true terror to set you straight… :-)


– Bird



Disclaimer: I’m God’s Worst Child EVER

Me and Santa Claus at Tulsa Toy Run 2012. I have three pix that I like of myself. I'm using two on this post, and the other is my gravatar. Hence, the Santa Claus picture in March.

Hi, my name is Catherine, but people just call me Bird, or Cathie if you must. I appreciate the invitation and opportunity to contribute to this blog. I love to write, which in turn, has me posting two, sometimes three different posts on my own blog site daily (mainly when I get revved up), which is probably not much fun for my followers. So, I am really stoked about getting to write on two sites, instead of just my one. I just love collaborations.

I thought I would start out with two of my posts already published that kind of explain who I am, and how I think — This is important if you are a Christian that is really a holy person, because I am not holy, and I seriously don’t want to offend people, especially my fellow sisters and brothers in Christ. But I am finished being anything but what I am.  I am the wife of a guy in a notorious motorcycle club; I’ve been divorced once, I lived with my present husband for 10 of our 20 years together before I actually married him at a  justice of the peace; I’ve never had a real wedding in a church; I have three kids from two men, one with no father on the birth certificate because we weren’t married, and I wasn’t going to share her with him, and another one that was on the way before his father and I actually went on our third date, much less got married….AND none of which are biologically my husband’s kids, but they are his kids just the same (and will fight anyone who says otherwise) He raised them since they were toddlers, and he is every bit as much their father as I am their mother.

…In other words, I’m God‘s Worst Child Ever. Because I was a real Christian doing all this stuff.  I knew better. My conscience worked just fine back then, and it still does today. I have been molested and addicted (which can be convenient excuses for a person like me), neglected and frankly, for most of my life now, really, really loved…which has balanced me out to a workable kind of Christian who is loved unconditionally be quite a few Christians as well as even more non-Christians. I guess my life is a cautionary tale with a happy ending, and people tend to accept me the just the way I am, warts and all. Plus, my stupid mistakes probably make other people feel better about the not so stupid ones they had made. I’ve been in the trenches. I’m still here, manning my own little post. And I do have some street cred when it comes to really crappy things happening to us in this life. But you have to chart your own course…It’s your life, and you are the one who has to live in it…

I called the post below -The Motorcycle Club: ( written by me and posted on my personal site March 3, 2012 in answer to a rather snotty comment (in person, not on my blog) from someone who was a leading authority in her group on just who I was supposed to be..right after her motorcycle club boyfriend broke up with her…) The back story probably should have been included in the original post, as it is rather ironic, and kind of shows you the motivation behind her statement, but whatever…I’ve posted it here.

This is me at the Tulsa Toys For Tots Bike Run 2012. I love to take pictures, but I really hate having mine taken. Hence, the goofy smile. Please note the cigarette: you'll rarely find a picture without me holding one...I think they wait to take it until I light up....Oh, and yes. I still smoke cigarettes, and I have been drunk once during 2012. I probably will never be "holy" until I die.

“As anyone can probably tell from my pictures, my husband belongs to a well-known motorcycle club. I don’t write much about this in my posts because frankly, I don’t think about it much. But, it is probably worth a minute to clarify where this culture and my Christian beliefs come together.

I once had a proclaimed Christian tell me that because I was part of this 1% culture, she could not in good conscience hang out with me anymore. This “Christian” opinion always angers me to no end. And I always refer back to Matthew 9:10-13.

“Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, ‘ Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?’ But when Jesus heard this, He said, ‘ It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: “I desire compassion, and not sacrifice”, for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'”

I was understandably nervous when my husband first began to associate with what the world would consider “undesirables”, but as I got to know each of these people, I had a powerful compassion on them. I also had to put aside preconceived opinions that I’d gathered from television, internet, and books. I had to open my mind up to the possibility that I had ended up here for a reason, and Jesus thought that His work was more important than what the Christian community around here thought.

This is my husband, Don. He is a biker, not a criminal. Don't believe everything you hear on tv, the internet, or other news media. Oh, And Thanks, Gangland, for telling everyone that I am a prostitute and/or stripper...Oh please. I know hundreds of these people, and I think I've met maybe 2 girls that said they were strippers. Most of us women work in offices, retail, administration, or are simply at-home mothers. Just my little caption rant!

As with any large group of people, there are going to be the good, the bad, and the ugly. But, just from the ones I know on a personal basis, I see that God hasn’t written off these men and women. Evidently, God isn’t bound by our social standards, and I have come to feel that He has put my husband and I here for a purpose.

Where in the Bible does Jesus say we are to only associate with those who already know Him? What purpose would that serve? If you insulate your whole existence away from those who are dying, who do you save? And what is your worth in this kingdom? Isn’t that a little like hiding your light under a bush?

My brother is a pastor of a church, and he recently wrote a book that I sincerely love. It isn’t because it is a masterpiece of wordplay. It is because in it, he chronicles the building of his church by fighting Satan in a real world setting. He talks about getting out in the real world and stealing from Satan what belongs to God. His church doesn’t put on a pious, religious front. They instead, are warriors, pillaging from Satan’s camp using every method they can think of. There aren’t great discussions on whether or not viewing Harry Potter is going to make everyone into a witch; there is a restaurant operated for the sole purpose of getting to know the people they hope to lead to the Lord. He talks about websites set up as the first taste of any church. He is fighting fire with fire.

From the time my babies were small, I’ve tried to impart to them the understanding that living a Christian life is choosing to be a soldier. The enemy doesn’t fight fair. It is a bloody, exhausting, but satisfying existence. Jesus has us here for a purpose — and working up enough faith to own mansions, labeling yourself a god (creepy, and blasphemous), and be healed of every hiccup isn’t it. We’re in a battle for souls, and everything in our lives are circulating around that. And if you, as a Christian, are leading a quiet, uneventful, rich life going to church, eating potato salad as you pat your righteous self on the back, attending seminars with other like-minded brothers and sisters, and nothing is ever going wrong for you — well, then you have been neutralized by the enemy. However, if you find yourself in the Valley of the Shadow of Death on a pretty consistent basis, then you are probably a threat, and you should be happy that at least you aren’t wasting away the talents God gave you. I find the most dangerous Christians in the world these days, emotionally exhausted, but spiritually powerful. Sometimes, you can almost see them lying in a crumpled, bloody pile with a big smile on their face. There is nothing like defeating the enemy! And the true warriors always untangle themselves, stand up, brush off the dust, bind up their wounds, and jump right back into the battle.

I am a Christian. My battlefields are no more or less important than anyone else’s. If the proclaimed Christian community has objections to my orders, they can take it up with our commander — Jesus Christ.

Ride it like ya stole it!!!

– Cathie M. (or Bird) whichever you prefer…



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