Am I Enough?

Have you ever been held back by self-doubt, procrastinated starting something because you weren’t sure you could accomplish what you envisioned…or even what you know for a fact God told you to do?

I have. In fact, I have this very week. God gave me an assignment while in prayer and my immediate reaction was, “But can I? Am I good enough? Who am I to think people should listen to me, to what I have to say?”

I’ve heard many times some version of “God doesn’t call the equipped. He equips the called,” and I know for a fact that it’s true. But still, I have my moments of feeling inadequate and if I don’t respond to those moments correctly they can lead to unproductive seasons.

That very thing happened with Experiencing the Bible. God told me to write it, and I began it, but more than once I stopped working on it because I felt so unqualified. It should have been available a long time ago, but I only actually published it in June of 2022 because I gave in to self-doubt so many times.

I’m currently working on a new book, a devotional. I also plan to start a newsletter in which, among other things, I’ll share some of the devotions that will be published when I finish the book. Yes, I have some definite pieces in mind to write, and I actually do quite a bit of writing in my head anyway, but l’m way behind schedule in part because I sometimes don’t feel like I’m enough.

I’ve learned that the mastery of self-doubt is the key to success.

Will Smith

Will Smith is right about mastering self-doubt. The fact is, most people do fight feelings of inadequacy, occasionally need a boost of self-confidence. Those who succeed are the ones who learn to master it, to lean on what God has to say about them rather than what the people around them say or even what they believe about themselves.

We were all sinners until Christ saved us. He didn’t care.
We are all inadequate when God calls us. He doesn’t care.

We may not realize it, but there’s no way we start out ready to accomplish all He has planned for us, because His plans will always be bigger than what we can do on our own. This is why He repeatedly offers assurance in His Word. One of my favorite verses on this topic, which I stand on all the time, is In 2 Corinthians.

And God is able to make all grace overflow to you so that because you have enough of everything in every way at all times, you will overflow in every good work.

2 Corinthians 9:8 NET

So here’s the answer to the question, “Am I enough?”

Maybe not right now, but if God has told you to do it he will also make you able to walk through it. He will provide everything you need to become enough. Today, when He hands you the assignment or gives you the dream, choose to start where you are and begin moving forward. He’ll make you able. In fact, since He is both Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End, as far and He’s concerned, you already are enough!

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C


            How poor an instrument
May do a noble deed,

During the Revolution, a young Shawanese Indian was captured by the Cherokees and sentenced to die at the stake. He was tied, and the usual preparations were made for his execution, when a Cherokee woman went to the warrior to whom the prisoner belonged, and throwing a parcel of goods at his feet, said she was a widow and would adopt the captive as her son, and earnestly plead for his deliverance. Her prayer was granted, and the prisoner taken under her care. He rewarded her by his fidelity, for, in spite of the entreaties of his friends, whom he was allowed to visit, he never left her.


Excerpted from Noble Deeds of American Women
(Patriotic Series for Boys and Girls)
Edited by J. Clement
With an Introduction by Mrs. L. H. Sigourney
BOSTON: Lee and Shepard, Publishers
Entered by Act of Congress, in the year of 1851,
by E. H. Derby and Co., in the Clerk’s Office of the Northern District of New York

What Made the Difference? A Question About the Book of Daniel.

I’m currently reading Amir Tsarfati’s new book Discovering Daniel, which is of course about the book of Daniel. It is proving to be every bit as good as his earlier book, Revealing Revelation, and there will be a review posted when I finish it. In the meantime, it’s got me doing a lot of thinking, and one of the paths my brain went down is demanding extra attention.

If you’re unfamiliar with the book of Daniel, the brief setup is that, because of its continual sin against God, Jerusalem was sacked and its best and brightest youth (boys, not men) were packed up and shipped back to Babylon. Well, they may very well have been forced to march those hundreds of miles, but you know what I mean.

My thoughts.

All these Hebrew boys had been taken from their homes, dragged hundreds of miles to a totally new world, made eunuchs (something I can’t believe I’d never realized before), and indoctrinated into a radically different way of life. Every one of them had been completely stripped of his identity and, as far as we know, fallen into the trap that was Babylonian culture – except the four God ended up using in supernatural ways. 

What made the difference?

That’s been my question for a few days, and it’s one I’m still asking because I believe the answer is significant for us in our day and time. Why do some of our children stand strong when they get out into the new culture that is college or some other aspect of “the world” while so many others crumble? Why do people who have been attending church for years “suddenly” walk away, and not just away from church but away from God?

I see many factors at play. Clearly those we know as Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and Daniel had genuine convictions about what they had been taught all their lives, including the fact that theirs was a God they dare not fail. They had truly learned from their nation’s history, and surely understood why judgement had fallen on Jerusalem. I personally feel God had probably already done things to validate their faith, too, since that seems to be His habit with those whose hearts are true to Him. 

Regarding their steadfastness, I’ve thought of several potential contributing factors. All things considered, however, I really believe one of the biggest reasons they stayed so faithful to God was their group relationship. The Bible says a companion of fools suffers harm, and I have a feeling these four had guarded against such companionship, that for years they had been supporting each other in their faith and helping one another grow. It is clear from the book of Daniel that they continued to support each other, encouraging one another to stay strong in their faith in this new setting.

Some people like to say, “I can worship God as well on the lake as in church,” as an excuse not to be involved in church, but it can be very hard to continue serving God in a relationship vacuum. Like these four amazing boys, we need each other. That three-fold cord that can’t be broken? (Eccl. 4:9-12) You don’t find it among those who are out there floundering. You find it in companionship with other people who are “of like precious faith,” people who will build you up while you build them up. 

That is one of the big reasons these four held fast when their entire visible identity was ripped away from them and a carefully planned course of brainwashing implemented. I’m convinced of it. 

Today, we do have God living inside us, teaching us, strengthening us, guiding us, and in general making the difference, but we still need that strong connection to other believers. We must have those true relationships that help us stay strong no matter what the world throws at us. God designed us to need such fellowship, and He commanded us to seek it out regularly in Hebrews 10:25.

I’d say we don’t have a choice, but we do. We can do like the rest of those Hebrew boys did and let ourselves be molded by the world, becoming just like them and in essence unrecognizable to our God. As parents, we can let our kids do the same and watch them fall into the traps set in our universities and the other places young people hang out.

But why? Why would we?

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

May I Please Get Back to “Normal”?

Actually, if I can just get back to what passes for normal… Yes, that sounds good!

Seriously, it was one month ago today that I posted Why Has Tammy Been Quiet?
It was eleven days ago that I posted, Sometimes You Just Keep Fighting.

It was THIS WEEK that I finally felt RIGHT again. I really was recovering when I made that post on May 6th, but one thing this whole event has taught me is that you don’t recover as quickly at 62 as you do at, say, 42.

I fought and made it through the work weeks, though exhaustion followed me home. Weekend before last my body shut down on me, demanding true recovery time. Last weekend was some better, though I felt like my brain was mush and still didn’t have it in me to think seriously about anything beyond the most basic household chores.

This Monday, while at work, I abruptly realized I was back to thinking totally clearly. I’ve still not been sleeping right, or not consistently, so I was ready to go to bed long before bedtime on Monday, but I was only sleepy rather than exhausted as I had been after work every week for weeks. Also, my brain proved itself to be back in order over the past two days when it let me take some very important training and pass the final exam. YAY!

In “Sometimes You Just Keep Fighting,” I said, “When God gives you an assignment, the devil is going to try to distract you, derail you, stop you.” At that point, I was talking about my calling in the church and the importance of the fundraiser I was working on. Today, however, I realized just how completely the devil managed to derail me where this blog is concerned. This, too, is my calling. I’m here for a reason, to serve a purpose, and for the past month the only word you’ve had from me came in the form of posts I scheduled weeks and, in some cases, months ago.

I’m so sorry.

Yesterday, as I left the office, I actually had a list of “catch up” errands I really need to take care of this weekend, but the Houston area was the recipient of some insane weather yesterday evening that left much of our area without power thanks to straight line winds that left a wide path of destruction. (Thank God our town, to my knowledge, didn’t see the threatened tornadoes!) Yes, we were part of the power outage and downed trees; the power came on at about 6:30 this morning. Praise God, the outside temp had dropped so dramatically that I actually slept ok. Well, as ok as I have been. After all those weeks of interrupted sleep, my body seriously needs to reset.

Anyway, I decided this morning that it doesn’t make sense to run any errands in this tree-and-trash ridden, many-areas-without-power town, so I’ve come to do some important catching up here instead.

I’ve already answered several more questions for my web developer today, so we’re making some progress there. This is your official, rambling update, so yay me…sort of. LOL! Now I have to decide what to do next, and I’m so far behind in all areas that I’m a bit overwhelmed by the number of options, but I’ll get it figured out. More to the point, I’ll look to God and ask for the next step.

THAT is one of the biggest bits of advice I can give you today. When you’re overwhelmed to the point of not even being able to face your To Do list, just ask God, “Sir? What do I do next?” If you let Him, The Holy Spirit will step in and lead you by the hand. If I didn’t already know this truth, I would after the last six weeks or so: As bad as I got mentally, God’s step-by-step leading was what got me through many of my days.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C


Both men and women belie their nature
When they are not kind.
                                                            Bailey’s Festus

In the early settlement of Ohio, Daniel Convers was captured by the savages; but he had the good fortune to be purchased by a noble-hearted Indian whose wife possessed a kindred spirit. His condition, we are informed in the Pioneer History of Ohio, “was not that of a slave, but rather an adoption into the family as a son. The Indian’s wife, whom he was directed to call mother, was a model of all that is excellent in woman, being patient, kind-hearted, humane and considerate to the wants and comfort of all around her, and especially so to their newly adopted son. To sum up all her excellences in a brief sentence of the captive’s own language, she was ‘as good a woman as ever lived'” 

* Mr. Convers escaped from his Chippewa friends, at Detroit. Touching the treatment he received from his adopted mother, a writer says: “How few among the more civilized race of whites would ever imitate the Christian charities of this untaught daughter of nature!”


Excerpted from Noble Deeds of American Women
(Patriotic Series for Boys and Girls)
Edited by J. Clement
With an Introduction by Mrs. L. H. Sigourney
BOSTON: Lee and Shepard, Publishers
Entered by Act of Congress, in the year of 1851,
by E. H. Derby and Co., in the Clerk’s Office of the Northern District of New York


Love’s holy flame for ever burneth;
From heaven it came, to heaven returneth;
Too oft on earth a troubled guest,
 . . . at times oppressed.
It here is tried and purified,
Then hath in heaven its perfect rest.
It soweth here with toil and care,
But the harvest time of love is there.

No class of laborers in the broad harvest field of the world endure so many sacrifices of comfort and of home felicities as the missionaries to foreign countries. Of the trials peculiar to mothers who go forth on such an errand of humanity, the keenest must be their separation from their children. The pernicious habits and influences of a pagan community, often render it absolutely necessary that their offspring should be sent to a civilized land to be educated. This duty, however painful, is imperative, and they who accuse the mother of hardness because she does it, are either grossly ignorant, or haters of truth. Many instances of heroic firmness and almost superhuman calmness under such trials, are on record, but one may stand as a type of the whole.

Mrs. Comstock * of the Burmah Baptist mission felt called upon to part with her two children, whom God had given her while on the field of labor. The hour for separation came, and taking them by the hand, she led them down to the ship that was to bear them for ever from her sight. Having invoked the blessing of Heaven upon them, she gave each the parting kiss and, with streaming eyes, lifted her hands towards heaven and exclaimed: ” My Saviour! I do this for thee.”

Amid the jungles of the East,
  Where gloomiest forms of sin are rife,
Like flowerets in a desert drear,
  Her treasured ones had sprung to life.

And smiling round her, day by day,
  Though cares unnumbered weigh her heart,
Their prattle, full of music tones,
  Unceasing joy and hope impart.

Their little minds, like tender buds
  In vernal hours, she sees unfold,
And young affection in their eyes
  Is gleaming like a gem of gold.

But ‘mid the toils that press her sore –
  The spirit-wants of ‘wildered ones –
These buds must often miss the dew,
  And plead in vain for constant suns.

She sees their smiles, their music hears,
  And feels affection’s holy thrall;
But duty’s voice, from out the skies,
  In sweeter tones, is heard o’er all.

To Western climes, illumed by truth,
  And blest with learning’s sacred flowers,
These blossoms of her heart must go,
  To bloom henceforth in stranger bowers.

She leads them to the waiting ship;
  She kneels in anguish on the deck,
And while she breathes a silent prayer,
  Their arms like tendrils twine her neck.

She tears her from the loved away,
  Whom she on earth no more may see,

And looking up to heaven, exclaims,
  “My Saviour, I do this for thee!”

Then hastens to her task again,
  The pleasant task her Saviour’s given,
That, finished all, she may ascend,
  And lure the distant ones to heaven.

• Sarah Davis Comstock was the wife of the Rev. Grover § Comstock, who was stationed at Kyouk Phyoo in the province of Arracan, Burmah. She was born at Brookline, Massachusetts, in 1812 and died at Ramree, April twenty-eighth, 1843.


Excerpted from Noble Deeds of American Women
(Patriotic Series for Boys and Girls)
Edited by J. Clement
With an Introduction by Mrs. L. H. Sigourney
BOSTON: Lee and Shepard, Publishers
Entered by Act of Congress, in the year of 1851,
by E. H. Derby and Co., in the Clerk’s Office of the Northern District of New York

Sometimes You Just Keep Fighting

Last Saturday we had our annual crawfish boil and auction. It’s a massive fundraising event that provides the bulk of what we need for our many missions and outreach projects. The devil hates Operation BAM (The umbrella organization) and every year I remind my teams to keep the auction and everyone involved with it – our whole church, actually – in prayer because one thing that is consistent where this event it concerned is demonic attack.

This year we faced those attacks on a whole new level; members of our congregation were hit so often and so hard that I knew we were about to see something truly supernatural. The attacks kept on to even the day of, when a vital app crashed and required our silent auction team to pivot and make it work the old fashioned way.

That’s the big picture. Now mine.

At the end of March/early April, I discovered two things: Gnats had found their way into my apartment and I am terribly allergic to gnat bites. We started doing what we could to get rid of the gnats, and are still working on getting rid of them. (Many people have told me they’re exceptionally bad this year.) I also attacked my physical symptoms with everything I could – under my primary care’s supervision.

At one point, my chest and neck might as well have been one massive welt. Controlling the itch was a constant, 24/7 issue. At night, I was waking up every hour or hour and a half practically clawing my skin off, jumping up to re-medicate, suffering until the itching eased, and then trying to get a little sleep before it started again. In other words, I went weeks getting maybe three hours of sleep a night.

At the same time, I was taking massive doses of antihistamine. I was taking so much antihistamine that there was no way I could hydrate sufficiently. It was only near the end of this traumatic time that I remembered things like Liquid IV; I wasn’t thinking overly clearly. No surprise there; if you know anything about the dangers of sleep deprivation and dehydration, you can imagine where I was physically and emotionally. Actually, and mentally.

Demonic attack. Seriously.

This whole time, I was doing my part to prepare for the auction. This is part of my calling, and I intended to get the job done. I knew it was an attack, and I wasn’t going to let the devil win.

That last week before the auction was the worst. I was truly sick the whole week. In fact, there was a point at which I admitted, only to myself, that I might not make it through the whole week, much less through the event itself. Everything I did was a struggle, because I was physically drained and wasn’t able to think straight, and I was so concerned about making mistakes that I had someone check my work periodically. In point of fact, I did make some mistakes that I’ve had to clean up.

But I refused to give up the fight.

When God gives you an important assignment, the devil is going to try to distract you, derail you, stop you. I know this, and I was determined to give everything I had even if that everything wasn’t enough. I did make it through the week, and through the auction (with an unbelievably massive headache that didn’t respond to any medication), praying and relying on God to help me. I did what a good soldier does on the battlefield. I kept on fighting, moving forward one step at a time, convinced that God was in the process of working miracles. And He did.

We raised just under $200,000.00.

That sounds like a massive amount of money, and it is. The specific number was $197,500 which, if I remember correctly, is about $30,000 higher than our highest year to date. BAM stands for Be A Miracle, and this will enable us to be a miracle to even more people, more organizations, and more disaster areas than we ever have. And I was part of it!

Because I kept fighting.

The gnats are still around, though they don’t get in my apartment quite so easily now and the trap and spray I’m using pretty much kills them when they do. I also, thanks to the suggestion of a wise friend, bought a mosquito net for my bed and that’s kept me from being bitten while I slept. Now that it’s not being constantly irritated by new bites, my skin is clearing up and I’m definitely healing. Thursday night, for the first time in a month, I slept eight hours, and I’ve slept at least eight hours a night since then. This morning, driving to church, I realized that I finally felt right again – totally rested, thinking clearly, genuinely ready for another day.

All because I refused to give in and denied the devil the victory. As bad as it got, I won because I kept fighting.

Never give up!

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C


He is not worthy of the honey comb,
That shuns the hive because the bees have stings.

During the Revolution, Israel Israel, a true whig and a worthy farmer, residing on the banks of the Delaware, near Wilmington, was, for a short time, a prisoner on board the frigate Roebuck, directly opposite his own house and land. While thus situated, it was reported by some loyalists by whose treachery he had been betrayed into the hands of the enemy, that he had said repeatedly that “he would sooner drive his cattle as a present to George Washington, than receive thousands of dollars in British gold for them.” The commander hearing the report, to be revenged on the rebel, sent a small detachment of soldiers to drive his cattle, which were in plain sight of the frigate, down to the Delaware, and have them slaughtered before their owner’s eyes.

Mrs. Israel, * who was young and sprightly, and brave as a Spartan, seeing the movements of the soldiers as she stood in her doorway, and divining their purpose as they marched towards the meadow where the cattle were grazing, called a boy about eight years old, and started off in great haste, to defeat, if possible, their marauding project. They threatened and she defied, till at last they fired at her. The cattle, more terrified than she, scattered over the fields; and as the balls flew thicker she called on the little boy “Joe” the louder and more earnestly to help, determined that the assailants should not have one of the cattle. They did not. She drove them all into the barn-yard, when the. soldiers, out of respect to her courage, or for some other cause, ceased their molestations and returned to the frigate.

• The maiden name of Mrs. Israel was Hannah Erwin. Her first meeting with her husband was romantic enough. Mr. Israel had sailed in a sloop, or packet, from Philadelphia, to visit New Castle where his mother and family resided. He observed on deck an extremely pretty girl, hardly seventeen years of age, and very neatly and tastefully dressed, with the finest turned foot and ankle in the world. All who went on such voyages were then obliged to furnish themselves with provisions; and his attention was drawn by the young girl’s kindly distribution of her little stock, handing it about from one to another, till but little was left for her own portion. In passing him, she modestly hesitated a moment, and then offered him a share. This led to conversation; he learned that she was the daughter of highly respectable parents, and resided in Wilmington. Love at first sight was as common in those days as now. After seeing his mother, he visited Wilmington; became better acquainted, offered himself and was accepted: and on his marriage, rented the farm above mentioned, and commenced life anew.- [ Mrs. Ellet.


Excerpted from Noble Deeds of American Women
(Patriotic Series for Boys and Girls)
Edited by J. Clement
With an Introduction by Mrs. L. H. Sigourney
BOSTON: Lee and Shepard, Publishers
Entered by Act of Congress, in the year of 1851,
by E. H. Derby and Co., in the Clerk’s Office of the Northern District of New York

Your Narcissist is Not Your Real Enemy

I know what you’re thinking. Yes, it definitely feels like the narcissist in your life is your biggest enemy. They’re not, though. The fact is, in the spiritual war you’re in, the narcissist is nothing more than a weapon in the devil’s arsenal. He or she is, in fact, just a tool the enemy uses in his attempts to keep you in fear, distracted from your relationship with God, and to ultimately defeat you. Still doubt me? Let’s look at Ephesians 6:12 in the New Living Translation.

For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in heavenly places.

THAT is where we find our true enemy. Again, the narcissist you deal with daily is nothing but a tool or weapon in the devil’s hands. I’m not saying don’t fight your narcissist; I’m just saying that if you invest all your efforts in fighting the human enemy you see, you will wear yourself out pointlessly. What we have to do, what we absolutely must do if we want to not just survive, but thrive, is put on our spiritual armor and go to battle.

It’s called Spiritual Warfare

In my experience, most Christians would rather avoid even thinking about spiritual warfare. I get it. I’ve been there. In those early years, when I was just starting to really walk with God, to be a growing Christian instead of a perpetually childlike Christian, I felt it was all I could do just to learn to truly walk the Christian walk; spiritual warfare was a whole new level I wasn’t interested in rising to.

But here’s the thing. I was in the middle of a war whether I liked it or not. I just couldn’t see the battles that were going on around me. It was only by the grace of God that I was protected as I was, walking through the battlefield, unarmed and clothed in nothing but my naivety. 

All of that changed when I admitted that my narcissistic husband was having an affair. Mind you, this may or may not have been his first affair; I don’t know. It was, however, the first affair I knew about, and by this point I was sensitive enough to what was going on in the spirit world that I recognized the evil he had brought back into our household. Yes, this is the first time I remember fully comprehending that this man I still loved was literally fighting on the devil’s side – though I guarantee you he would have denied it.

The affair, and its effects, drove me to my knees like never before. After the kids went to bed, while he was out with that other woman, I was spending hours in prayer. The prayers began out of a desperate need for God’s intervention. They continued hour after hour, day after day, week after week, because I learned that nothing on this earth even begins to compare to getting heart-close with God. Never mind stepping up to the next level; I experienced what I think of as “level leaping” during those months.



I’ve referred in previous blog posts to how my life radically changed when, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, I was thrown into the fiery furnace. This is the furnace I was referring to. Suddenly, like them, I was face-to-face with Jesus in the midst of an inferno – and the flames didn’t matter anymore.

That’s not to say I didn’t care that the man I was in covenant with had broken our covenant, that it meant nothing that our son was suddenly having walking night terrors… I simply mean that nothing – nothing you will ever experience here on this earth – can compare with spending intimate, focused time with Him. Nothing.

We don’t know what Jesus said to those Hebrew boys while they toured the inside of the furnace, but we do know the experience changed them. Actually, it changed a lot more than them; the whole nation was affected. But you know this time in the furnace impacted them for the rest of their lives; it made all the difference.

It made all the difference for me too.

God taught me so much during those months! Yes, part of our time together involved spiritual warfare, and that was huge, but He started by ensuring I learned the most important thing of all. He showed me who I am, and Whose I am, and I began to understand just how precious I am to Him. Listen to me, no matter what your narcissist tells you, or how they treat you, you are precious to God. He loves you so much that if you had been the only one in the world needing salvation, He would have sent Jesus to die on the cross for you and you alone. 

I mean that literally! Even after all the years I’ve been living close to Him I still realize I can’t even begin to comprehend how much God loves me, how much He treasures me. Decades of being married to a man who made it clear in many subtle ways that I wasn’t attractive, wasn’t love-worthy, wasn’t enough… That could have destroyed me completely. It did not because of the time I spent in the furnace, face to face with Jesus, and the intimate relationship that continued when we walked back out, the one we still enjoy to this day.

This is why I push so hard, encouraging you to get just as close as you can to Him, to pray and fellowship with Him, to spend time in His Word, to be active in the church He calls you to… It’s all necessary if you want to do more than just survive.

You do, don’t you? I mean, I spent years just surviving in my marriage. We’d been married over ten years before he had the affair that drove me deeply into God’s arms. Honestly, the first few years didn’t seem so very bad; I thought the way he treated me was normal. By the time of the affair, though, I was literally in survival mode.

So, while I wouldn’t wish the fire on anyone, I’m glad I was thrown into it, because that experience was a turning point for me. It opened my eyes to the reality of what I’d been dealing with – not that he was a narcissist (That I only admitted a few years ago) – but that I had been a passive Christian, refusing to acknowledge that I have spiritual responsibilities and I’d been choosing not to live up to them.

Child of God, you will not thrive as a toddler wandering around on a spiritual battlefield. Survive? Well, God is so merciful that He covers a lot. However, the toddler is easily distracted, easily drawn in the wrong direction, and all too easily destroyed. That sounds harsh, I know, but I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be your story.

I’m glad I entered the fire. I’m glad God taught me all He did during those months – much of it being about spiritual warfare. From that point onward, I was a totally different Christian. Yes, my husband sometimes hurt me like no one else on earth could have, but from then on I knew who I was really fighting, and though I definitely had times when I fell to the floor in agony I tried hard to focus my efforts on my true enemy. I concentrated on learning how to be a warrior.

I’ve said it before. A child married Jack Cardwell, but a warrior spread his ashes. I thrived during the last twenty-five years or so of our marriage. Yes, for reasons even I don’t understand, I never was able to walk away from him completely. However, I did outlive him, and now I’m free to help others learn to walk as warriors too.

Step One?
Let’s go back to Ephesians 6, verses 10 through 18.
Again, I’m in the New Living Translation.

“A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.”

Spiritual Warfare is a huge topic I’m not prepared to address fully here. However, I can point you in the direction of some excellent resources by someone I’ve learned to trust.

Dressed to Kill: A Biblical Approach to Spiritual Warfare and Armor, by Rick Renner, is a powerful resource, and it comes in ebook format as well as paperback, hardcover, and audiobook, so you can read without being obvious if you don’t want anyone to know what you’re researching.

Life in the Combat Zone: How to Survive, Thrive, & Overcome in the Midst of Difficult Situations, also by Rick Renner, is another excellent resource available in all four formats.

If you use YouTube, you can search for “Rick Renner Spiritual Warfare” and find several video options. 

You can also visit his website,

Let’s do this!

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C


Press on! it fortune play thee false
To-day, to-morrow she ‘ll be true.
                                                Park Benjamin

During the latter part of the Revolution, Thomas McCalla lived in Chester district, South Carolina. He removed thither from Pennsylvania, with his young wife, in 1778. He was a whole-hearted whig; served in the American army before moving to the south, and again enlisted soon after reaching his new home. He was in all the engagements attending Sumter’s operations against the enemy, till the seventeenth of August, 1780, when, by permission, he went to visit his family. A short time afterwards he again joined the fighting men, but was almost immediately taken prisoner, sent to Camden, thrown into jail and threatened daily with hanging. The persevering and heroic endeavors of his affectionate and patriotic wife, to obtain his release, are detailed in the following interesting manner by the author of the Women of the Revolution:

While this brave man was languishing in prison, expecting death from day to day, his wife remained in the most unhappy state of suspense. For about a month she was unable to obtain any tidings of him. The rumor of Sumter’s surprise, and that of Steel, came to her ears; she visited the places where those disasters had occurred, and sought for some trace of him, but without success. She inquired, in an agony of anxiety, of the women who had been to Charlotte for the purpose of carrying clothes or provisions to their husbands, brothers, or fathers, not knowing but that he had gone thither with the soldiers; but none could give her the least information. Imagination may depict the harrowing scenes that must have passed, when females returning to their homes and children after carrying aid to the soldiers, were met by such inquiries from those who were uncertain as to the fate of their kindred. To these hapless sufferers no consolation availed, and too often was their suspense terminated by more afflicting certainty.

In the midst of Mrs. McCalla’s distress, and before she had gained any information, she was called to another claim on her anxiety; her children took the small-pox. John was very ill for nine days with the disease, and his mother thought every day would be his last. During this terrible season of alarm, while her mind was distracted by cares, she had to depend altogether upon herself, for she saw but one among her neighbors. All the families in the vicinity were visited with the disease, and to many it proved fatal. As soon as her child was so far recovered as to be considered out of danger, Mrs. McCalla made preparations to go to Camden. She felt convinced that it was her duty to do so, for she clung to the hope that she might there learn something of her husband, or even find him among the prisoners.

With her to resolve was to act, and having set her house in order, she was in the saddle long before day, taking the old Charleston road leading down on the west side of the Catawba river. The mountain gap on Wateree creek was passed ere the sun rose, and by two o’clock she had crossed the river, passing the guard there stationed, and entered Camden. Pressing on with fearless determination, she passed the guard, and desiring to be conducted to the presence of Lord Rawdon, was escorted by Major Doyle to the headquarters of that commander. His Lordship then occupied a large, ancient looking house on the east side of the main street. The old site of the town is now in part deserted, and that building left standing alone some four hundred yards from any other, as if the memories associated with it had rendered the neighborhood undesirable. It was here that haughty and luxurious nobleman fixed his temporary residence, “sitting as a monarch,” while so many true-hearted unfortunates, whose fate hung on his will, were languishing out their lives in prison, or atoning for their patriotism on the scaffold.

Into the presence of this august personage Mrs. McCalla was conducted by the British major. Her impression at first sight was favorable; he was a fine looking young man, with a countenance not unprepossessing, which we may suppose was eagerly searched for the traces of human sympathy by one who felt that all her hopes depended on him. His aspect gave her some encouragement, and being desired to explain the object of her visit, she pleaded her cause with the eloquence of nature and feeling; making known the distressed situation of her family at home, the fearful anxiety of mind she had suffered on account of the prolonged absence of her husband and her ignorance of his fate, and her children’s urgent need of his care and protection. From Major Doyle she had at length learned that he was held a prisoner by his lordship’s orders. She had come, therefore, to entreat mercy for him; to pray that he might be released and permitted to go home with her. This appeal to compassion she made with all the address in her power, nor was the untaught language of distress wanting in power to excite pity in any feeling heart.

Lord Rawdon heard her to the end. His reply was characteristic. “I would rather hang such —- rebels than eat my breakfast.” This insulting speech was addressed to his suppliant while her eyes were fixed on him in the agony of her entreaty, and the tears were streaming down her cheeks. His words dried up the fountain at once, and the spirit of the American matron was roused. “Would you?” was her answer, while she turned on him a look of the deepest scorn. A moment after, with a struggle to control her feelings, for she well knew how much depended on that -she said, “I crave of your lordship permission to see my husband.”

The haughty chief felt the look of scorn his cruel language had called up in her face, for his own conscience bore testimony against him, but pride forbade his yielding to the dictates of better feeling. “You should consider, madam,” he answered, “in whose presence you now stand. Your husband is a rebel-“

Mrs. McCalla was about to reply – but her companion, the Major, gave her a look warning her to be silent, and in truth the words that sprang to her lips would have ill pleased the Briton. Doyle now interposed, and requested his lordship to step aside with him for a moment. They left the apartment, and shortly afterwards returned. Rawdon then said to his visitor, with a stately coldness that precluded all hope of softening his determination: “Major Doyle, madam, has my permission to let you go into the prison. You may continue in the prison ten minutes only. Major, you have my orders.” So saying, he bowed politely both to her and the officer, as intimating that the business was ended, and they were dismissed. They accordingly quitted the room.

The sight of the prison-pen almost overcame the fortitude of the resolute wife. An enclosure like that constructed for animals, guarded by soldiers, was the habitation of the unfortunate prisoners, who sate within on the bare earth, many of them suffering with the prevalent distemper, and stretched helpless on the ground, with no shelter from the burning sun of September. “Is it possible,” cried the matron, turning to Doyle, ” that you shut up men in this manner, as you would a parcel of hogs!” She was then admitted into the jail, and welcome indeed was the sight of her familiar face to McCalla. The time allotted for the interview was too short to be wasted in condolement or complaint; she told him she must depart in a few minutes, informed him of the state of his family-inquired carefully what were his wants, and promised speedy relief. When the ten minutes had expired she again shook hands with him, assuring him she would shortly return with clothes for his use, and what provisions she could bring, then turning walked away with a firm step, stopping to shake hands with young John Adair and the other captives with whom she was acquainted. The word of encouragement was not wanting, and as she bade the prisoners adieu, she said: “Have no fear; the women are doing their part of the service.” ” I admire your spirit, madam,” Doyle observed to her, “but must request you to be a little more cautious.”

Mrs. McCalla was furnished by the Major with a pass, which she showed to the officer on duty as she passed the guard on her return, and to the officer at the ferry. She rode with all speed, and was at home before midnight; having had less than twenty-four hours for the accomplishment of her whole enterprise; in that time riding one hundred miles, crossing the river twice, and passing the guard four times – – visiting her husband, and having the interview with Lord Rawdon, in which probably for the first time in his life he felt uneasiness from a woman’s rebuke. It convinced him that even in the breast of woman a spirit of independence might dwell, which no oppression could subdue, and before which brute force must quail, as something of superior nature. How must the unexpected outbreaking of this spirit, from time to time, have dismayed those who imagined it was crushed forever throughout the conquered province!

It is proper to say that Mrs. McCalla met with kinder treatment from the other British officers to whom she had occasion to apply at this time, for they were favorably impressed by the courage and strength of affection evinced by her. Even the soldiers, as she passed them, paid her marks of respect. The tories alone showed no sympathy nor pity for her trials; it being constantly observed that there was deeper hostility towards the whigs on the part of their countrymen of different politics, than those of English birth.

Mrs. McCalla began her work immediately after her arrival at home; making new clothes, altering and mending others, and preparing provisions. Her preparations being completed, she again set out for Camden. This time she had the company of one of her neighbors, Mrs. Mary Nixon. Each of the women drove before her a pack-horse, laden with the articles provided for the use of their suffering friends. They were again admitted to the presence of Lord Rawdon to petition for leave to visit the prisoners, but nothing particular occurred at the interview. His lordship treated the matron who had offended him with much haughtiness, and she on her part felt for him a contempt not the less strong that it was not openly expressed. From this time she made her journeys about once a month to Camden, carrying clean clothes and provisions; being often accompanied by other women bound on similar errands, and conveying articles of food and clothing to their captive fathers, husbands, or brothers. They rode without escort, fearless of peril by the way, and regardless of fatigue, though the journey was usually performed in haste, and under the pressure of anxiety for those at home as well as those to whose relief they were going. On one occasion, when Mrs. McCalla was just about setting off alone upon her journey, news of a glorious event was brought to her; the news of the battle of King’s Mountain, which took place on the seventh of October. She did not stop to rejoice in the victory of her countrymen, but went on with a lightened heart, longing no doubt, to share the joy with him who might hope, from the changed aspect of affairs, some mitigation of his imprisonment.

. . . About the first of December, Mrs. McCalla went again to Camden. On the preceding trip she had met with Lord Cornwallis, by whom she was treated with kindness. Whatever hopes she had grounded on this, however, were doomed to disappointment; he was this time reserved and silent. She was afterwards informed by the Major that a considerable reverse had befallen his majesty’s troops at Clermont, and the annoyance felt on this account – Doyle said -was the cause of his not showing as much courtesy as he usually did to ladies. “You must excuse him,” observed the good-natured officer, who seems to have always acted the part of a peacemaker on these occasions; and he added that Cornwallis had never approved of the cruelties heretofore practised.

Towards the last of December the indefatigable wife again performed the weary journey to Camden. McCalla’s health had been impaired for some months, and was now declining; it was therefore necessary to make a strenuous effort to move the compassion of his enemies, and procure his release. Rawdon was in command, and she once more applied to him to obtain permission for her husband to go home with her. As might have been anticipated, her petition was refused: his lordship informed her that he could do nothing in the premises; but that if she would go to Winnsboro’ and present her request to Lord Cornwallis, he might possibly be induced to give her an order for the liberation of the prisoner.

To Winnsboro’, accordingly, she made her way, determined to lose no time in presenting her application. It was on New Year’s morning that she entered the village. The troops were under parade, and his lordship was engaged in reviewing them; there could be no admission, therefore, to his presence for some time, and she had nothing to do but remain a silent spectator of the imposing scene. A woman less energetic, and less desirous of improving every opportunity for the good of others, might have sought rest after the fatigues of her journey, during the hours her business had to wait; Sarah McCalla was one of heroic stamp, whose private troubles never caused her to forget what she might do for her country. She passed the time in noticing particularly every thing she saw, not knowing but that her report might do service. After the lapse of several hours, the interview she craved with Cornwallis was granted. He received her with courtesy and kindness, listened attentively to all she had to say, and appeared to feel pity for her distresses. But his polished expression of sympathy, to which her hopes clung with desperation, was accompanied with regret that he could not, consistently with the duties of his Majesty’s service, comply unconditionally with her request. He expressed, nevertheless, entire willingness to enter into an exchange with General Sumter, releasing MaCalla for any prisoner he had in his possession. Or he would accept the pledge of General Sumter that MaCalla should not again serve until exchanged, and would liberate him on that security. “But, madam,” he added, “it is Sumter himself who must stand pledged for the keeping of the parole. We have been too lenient heretofore, and have let men go who immediately made use of their liberty to take up arms against us.”

With this the long-tried wife was forged to be content, and she now saw the way clear to the accomplishment of her enterprise. She lost no time in returning home, and immediately set out for Charlotte to seek aid from the American general. She found Sumter at this place, nearly recovered of the wounds he had received in the action at Blackstocks, in November, Her appeal to him was at once favorably received. He gave her a few lines stating that he would stand pledged for MaCalla’s continuance at home peaceably until he should be regularly exchanged. This paper was more precious than gold to the matron whose perseverance had obtained it; but it was destined to do her little good. She now made the best of her way homeward. After crossing the Catawba, she encountered the army of General Morgan, was stopped, being suspected to be a tory, and taken into his presence for examination. The idea that she could be thus suspected afforded her no little amusement, and she permitted the mistake to continue for some time, before she produced the paper in Sumter’s hand-writing which she well knew would remove every difficulty. She then informed the General of her visit to Winnsboro’ on the first of January, and her sight of the review of the troops. Morgan thanked her for the information and dismissed her, and without further adventure she arrived at her own house.

A few days after her return, the British army, being on its march from Winnsboro’, encamped on the plantation of John Service, in Chester district, and afterwards at Turkey creek. Mrs. McCalla went to one of those camps in the hope of seeing Lord Cornwallis. She succeeded in obtaining this privilege; his lordship recognised her as soon as she entered the camp, and greeted her courteously, questioning her as to her movements, and making many inquiries about Sumter and Morgan. On this last point she was on her guard, communicating no more information than she felt certain could give the enemy no manner of advantage, nor subject her friends to inconvenience.

At length she presented to the noble Briton the paper which she imagined would secure her husband’s freedom. What was her disappointment when he referred her to Lord Rawdon, as the proper person to take cognizance of the affair! The very name was a death-blow to her hopes, for she well knew she could expect nothing from his clemency. Remonstrance and entreaty were alike in vain; Cornwallis was a courteous man, but he knew how, with a bland smile and well-turned phrase of compliment, to refuse compliance even with a request that appealed so strongly to every feeling of humanity, as that of an anxious wife pleading for the suffering and imprisoned father of her children. She must submit, however, to the will of those in power; there was no resource but another journey to Camden, in worse than doubt of the success she had fancied just within her reach.

 It was a day or two after the battle of the Cowpens that she crossed the ferry on her way to Camden. She had not yet heard of that bloody action, but, observing that the guard was doubled at the ferry, concluded that something unusual had occurred. As she entered the village, she met her old friend Major Doyle, who stopped to speak to her. His first inquiry was if she had heard the news; and when she answered in the negative, he told her of the “melancholy affair” that had occurred at the Cowpens. The time, he observed, was most inauspicious for the business on which he knew she had come. “I fear, madam,” he said, “that his lordship will not treat you well.”

“I have no hope,” was her answer, “that he will let Thomas go home; but, sir, it is my duty to make efforts to save my husband. I will thank you to go with me to Lord Rawdon’s quarters.”

Her reception was such as she had expected. As soon as Rawdon saw her, he cried angrily, ” You here again, madam! Well–you want your husband -I dare say! Do you not know what the – rebels have been doing?”

“I do not, sir,” replied the dejected matron, for she saw that his mood was one of fury.

“If we had hung them,” he continued, “we should have been saved this. Madam! I order you most positively never to come into my presence again!”

It was useless, Mrs. McCalla knew, to attempt to stem the tide; she did not therefore produce, nor even mention the paper given her by Sumter, nor apologise for the intrusion by saying that Lord Cornwallis had directed her to apply to him; but merely answered in a subdued and respectful tone by asking what she had done.

“Enough!” exclaimed the irritated noble. “You go from one army to another, and Heaven only knows what mischief you do! Begone.”

She waited for no second dismissal, but could not refrain from saying, as she went out, in an audible voice, “My countrymen must right me.” Lord Rawdon called her back and demanded what she was saying. She had learned by this time some lessons in policy, and answered, with a smile, “We are but simple country folk.” His lordship probably saw through the deceit, for turning to his officer, he said, “Upon my life, Doyle, she is a wretch of a woman!” And thus she left him.

That great event – the battle of the Cowpens-revived the spirits of the patriots throughout the country. Every where, as the news spread, men who had before been discouraged flew to arms. The action took place on the seventeenth of January, 1781; on the twenty-second of the same month, six wagons were loaded with corn at Wade’s island, sixty miles down the Catawba for the use of General Davison’s division. The whole whig country of Chester, York and Lancaster may be said to have risen in mass, and was rallying to arms. Mecklenburg, North Carolina, was again the scene of warlike preparation; for the whigs hoped to give the enemy another defeat at Cowans or Batisford on the Catawba. On the twenty-fourth of January, General Sumter crossed this river at Landsford, and received a supply of corn from Wade’s island, His object was to cross the districts to the west, in the rear of the advancing British army, to arouse the country and gather forces as he went, threaten the English posts at Ninety-Six and Granby, and go on to recover the State. While Cornwallis marched from his encampment on Service’s plantation, the whigs of Chester, under the gallant Captains John Mills and James Johnston, were hovering near, watching the movements of the hostile army as keenly as the eagle watches his intended prey. Choosing a fit opportunity, as they followed in the rear, they pounced upon a couple of British officers, one of whom was Major McCarter, at a moment when they had not the least suspicion of danger, took them prisoners in sight of the enemy, and made good their retreat. By means of this bold exploit the liberation of MaCalla was brought about, at a time when his wife was wholly disheartened by her repeated and grievous disappointments. When General Sumter passed through the country, a cartel of exchange was effected, giving the two British officers in exchange for the prisoners of Chester district in Camden and Charleston.

The person sent with the flag to accomplish this exchange in Camden, was Samuel Neely of Fishing creek. As he passed through the town to the quarters of Lord Rawdon, he was seen and recognized by the prisoners, and it may be supposed their hearts beat with joy at the prospect of speedy release. But in consequence of some mismanagement of the business, the unfortunate men were detained in jail several weeks longer. Neely was in haste to proceed to Charleston, being anxious, in the accomplishment of his mission in that city, to get his son Thomas out of the prison-ship, and in his hurry probably neglected some necessary formalities. His countrymen in Camden were kept in confinement after his return from Charleston with his son. Captain Mills was informed of this, and indignant at the supposed disrespect shown by Lord Rawdon to the cartel of General Sumter, wrote a letter of remonstrance to Rawdon, which he entrusted to Mrs. McCalla to be conveyed to him.

Our heroine was accompanied on this journey by Mrs. Mary Dixon, for she judged it impolitic that the letter should be delivered by one so obnoxious to his lordship as herself. Still she deemed it her duty to be on the spot to welcome her liberated husband, supply all his wants, and conduct him home. The distance was traversed this time with lighter heart than before, for now she had no reason to fear disappointment. When they arrived at Camden, they went to the jail. John Adair was standing at a window; they saw and greeted each other, the women standing in the yard below. Perhaps in consequence of his advice, or prudential considerations on their part, they determined not to avail themselves of the good offices of Major Doyle on this occasion. Adair directed them to send the jailor up to him, and wrote a note introducing his sister to the acquaintance of Lord Rawdon. The two women then proceeded to the quarters of that nobleman. When they arrived at the gate, Mrs. McCalla stopped, saying she would wait there, and her companion proceeded by herself. She was admitted into the presence of Lord Rawdon, who read the note of introduction she handed to him, and observed, referring to the writer – that the small-pox had almost finished him; still, he had come very near escaping from the jail; that he was “a grand ‘scape-gallows.” On reading the letter of Captain Mille his color changed, and when he had finished it, turning to Mrs. Nixon, he said in an altered tone: “I am sorry these men have not been dismissed, as of right they ought.” He immediately wrote a discharge for eleven of the prisoners, and put it into her hands, saying: “You can get them out, madam. I am very sorry they have been confined so many weeks longer than they should have been.” At the same time he gave Mrs. Nixon a guinea. “This,” he said, “will bear your expenses.”

His lordship accompanied her on her way out, and as she passed through the gate his eye fell on Mrs. MeCalla, whom he instantly recognized. Walking to the spot where she stood near the gate, he said fiercely: “Did I not order you, madam, to keep out of my presence?” The matron’s independent spirit flashed from her eyes, as she answered:

“I had no wish, sir, to intrude myself on your presence; I stopped at the gate on purpose to avoid you.” Unable to resist the temptation of speaking her mind for once, now that she had a last opportunity, she added: “I might turn the tables on you, sir, and ask, why did you come out to the gate to insult a woman? I have received from you nothing but abuse. My distresses you have made sport of, and I ceased long since to expect anything from you but ill-treatment. I am now not your supplicant; I came to demand, as a right, the release of my husband!” So saying, she bowed to him contemptuously, wheeled about, and deliberately walked off, without stopping to see how her bold language was received. Mrs. Nixon hastened after her, pale as death, and at first too much frightened to speak. As soon as she found voice, she exclaimed: “Sally you have ruined us, I am afraid! Why, he may put us both in jail!”

Mrs. McCalla laughed outright. “It is not the first time, Mary,” she replied, “that I have given him to understand I thought him a villain!” The two made their way back to the prison, but even after they got there Mrs. Nixon had not recovered from her terror. She was informed that it would be some time before the prisoners could be released.

The blacksmith was then sent for, and came with his tools. The sound of the hammering in the appartments of the jail, gave the first intimation to the women who waited to greet their friends, that the helpless captives were chained to the floor. This precaution had been adopted not long before, in consequence of some of the prisoners having attempted an escape. They were then put in handcuffs or chained by the ankle. These men left the place of their long imprisonment and suffering in company with the two women, and as they marched through the streets of Camden, passing the British guard, they sang at the top of their voices the songs of the “liberty-men.”


Excerpted from Noble Deeds of American Women
(Patriotic Series for Boys and Girls)
Edited by J. Clement
With an Introduction by Mrs. L. H. Sigourney
BOSTON: Lee and Shepard, Publishers
Entered by Act of Congress, in the year of 1851,
by E. H. Derby and Co., in the Clerk’s Office of the Northern District of New York