Do the Small Things

Do you remember those stories from the Bible where God asked people to do something relatively simple and then He all-out went supernatural on them?

He’s still in the same business today, and this blog is a great example of Him at work.

You are probably well aware that authors write not only because we are compelled to, but because we want to reach people, share our excitement about new things we’re learning, offer suggestions for life…whatever. In my case in particular, you get a true hodge podge of American History, living with a narcissist, aphantasia, my tiny house, a lot of Jesus, and we – even I – never know what randomness to expect.

But it’s not really totally random. I try to be led by God in all things. I have dreams, and for the most part they’re dreams He has given me. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” I firmly believe that He gives us those desires, meaning He plants them in our hearts, and then He fulfills them. He does that with me on a regular basis. Knowing this is how He operates, I really do consciously go to Him for direction, especially for this blog He has called me to maintain.

So, when he asks me to do the small things, I try to be faithful to do them, and in recent months He’s gone supernatural on – in a huge way.

First, He had me write Understanding Your Aphant. Then, right after I posted it, He had me share it in an aphantasia support group on Facebook to see if there were any ways in which I could improve it. There were some excellent suggestions, and I implemented a few.

I was unaware that someone in that group had contact with Aphantasia.com, and that person brought my blog post to their attention. The result was that they published it as an article on the website and started pushing traffic toward tammycardwell.com. I was blown away by the response. As I said, I write with a heart that desires to help people. And the more people you have reading what you write, the more people you can help!

But that was just a taste of what was to come. I still can’t get over this next one.

I recently joined a Small Spaces group on Facebook to get more ideas for my tiny house. After I’d been there a day or so, at His prompting, I shared about my home and what I’m doing in it. It was a simple post with a few photos, nothing great.

It was a small thing.

The simple post exploded with comments and questions. In answering, I shared the link to this blog, pointing out my Tiny House series, so that anyone who was interested could come read those posts and get far more details than I could offer up in post comments.

Again, I just shared a link. A small thing.

Within a very few minutes, I was getting notifications that I was experiencing “unprecedented traffic.” On that day this blog, which generally gets less than 100 views a day, got almost 9,000 views from nearly 4,000 visitors all over the world. That’s thousands of people seeing my website for the first time, visiting for one topic and hopefully getting some Jesus while they were here. (If you know me at all, you know where my true priorities lie.)

And, vitally important, because of one seemingly insignificant comment I made, I had the opportunity to encourage some women who are dealing with serious issues I’ve dealt with personally. This was a huge honor; one I cannot overemphasize. After all, the greatest thing about coming through trials is being able to help others see hope while they walk that same path.

So yes, I have recently had more reminders that God is our dream keeper, and have seen once again that all I have to do is what He tells me to. He didn’t tell me to do big things. He told me to do small things.

Do the small things.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

What’s Your Identity?

Photo Credit: Creative Heart Photography

The above photo is my current Facebook cover image. It asks an important question and gives my answer.

What is your identity?

Think carefully before responding, because identity is a precious thing, and we should be cautious about how we apply it to ourselves.

On the surface, we find our identity in a variety of places. Are you an avid Cowboys fan? Perhaps your children are your life right now and you identify as a loving parent. Maybe you spent years working on your medical career and wear the letters MD with pride.

Look at my graphic, at the purple words, and you see what most people would perceive as my identity. I rejoice in being a mother both to my sons and the daughters they gave me when they married. Being called Granna by my grandchildren and my grandson’s fiancé brings me joy; I adore all my kids! They are gifts from God to me.

I am also honored that I’ve been called by God to be a blogger and author. I try to serve Him well in these areas, being led by His Spirit to produce books and blog posts that bless! You could say, accurately, that they are my gift to God. So is my service in my local church where I’m a secretary and the coffee shop manager, and was an active volunteer for decades before being hired full time.

None of these are my core identity.

Which brings me to the white letters, the ones that are strategically repeated: Child of God. This is my core identity, the foundation on which everything else is built, the truth that infuses everything I do. While I do occasionally blow it and have to apologize to God or others, I try to always be led by God and His love. My goal is that every single thing I do bring Him glory in some way. I can no more separate my Christianity from my writing or parenting or anything else than I could separate the hydrogen from the oxygen in water.

I’ve been mulling over this topic since publishing “Understanding Your Aphant.” I’d asked for input from a group of aphantasics in hopes of making it as accurate as possible. I got great feedback and did take their suggestions seriously, making a couple of tweaks. One of the responses I received, though, said essentially that it was great except for the one mention of God.

I got what the person was saying, because they don’t believe in the God I serve. The thing is, I DO. Leaving out that one sentence would have meant editing ME, censoring not just what I believe, but who I am.

So, if this post is the first thing you’ve read of mine, know right now that God is front and center in my blog because He is front and center in my life. He is more important than anyone or anything else. I absolutely adore my family, but I would walk away from any or all of them before I would walk away from God. It would pain me to do it; it would be agony. Nonetheless, if any one of them were to give me an ultimatum, them or God, God would win hands down. 

So yeah, you’ll see Him mentioned many times here. Join my community and you’ll have me looking over your shoulder, encouraging you to find Him if you don’t know Him and get even closer to Him if you do. He is IT. He is everything to me. My treasure isn’t in anything here on earth, but is in Him, and my ultimate goal is to help every one of my readers reach the place where they can honestly say the same thing.

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:21 ) Our treasure doesn’t need to be in anything of this earth because this earth is temporary. Our treasure needs to be in Heaven where we’ll have access to it eternally.

Are you wondering what I’m even talking about? Ok, consider this.

Many Christians are watchful, more now than ever, expecting the Rapture of the Church to take place at any moment. We’re ready to hear that trumpet and Jesus call us to leave Earth behind and join Him in Heaven. (1 Thess. 4:16-18 gives you a glimpse of what I’m talking about.) However, there are some who don’t want Jesus to come back yet. To them, it’s more important that they have the chance to get married, or graduate college, or watch their kids grow up, or whatever. We can see where their hearts are. With that in mind, where is their treasure? Really?

I’m not judging, not accusing! I’m only asking. Yes, awesome things happen in this life, but nothing, absolutely nothing, that we can experience here holds a candle to what our lives will be once we, as I tend to think of it, really start living. In this life, we’re limited to the here and now. After this life, we have all eternity ahead of us.

So yes, “Child of God” is my identity, and all the other things are vital and precious parts of what I get to be and do as His child.

So, what about you? What is your identity?

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

Hitting the Hard Stuff

“Tammy, what are you doing? You know this is a topic best avoided.”

Perhaps, but drinking alcohol is a subject that comes up often among Christians, one I occasionally get asked about, which means fellow believers are honestly wondering where I stand. I’m not afraid to answer the question.

The Bible contains numerous, obvious warnings against drinking to excess, so let’s take that off the table entirely. Yes, I firmly believe that drinking to excess is wrong on many levels and is, indeed, sin. Having lived with alcoholics (and an abusive alcoholic at that), I had strong feelings on this topic long before I found confirmation in the Bible.

So today we’re talking about casual drinking, occasional drinking, social drinking.

And my simple answer is this: I’m not your Holy Ghost. If you are honestly and sincerely seeking God and a deeper relationship with Him, if you are asking the Holy Spirit for guidance with a heart that beats to please your Lord, you will get your answer straight from the Source. This is true about anything; you can take all things to God and get answers from Him. 

The fact is that God meets each of us as individuals, giving us many instructions about things to do and not to do that may or may not be clearly indicated in the Bible. Sometimes there is a concrete reason, like God telling me to back off the sodas because the addiction was harming my body. Yes, I said addiction, and giving in to addictions is a huge mistake: If you obey an addiction over God’s instruction, you are making the addiction an idol. Idol worship is sin.

Sometimes God instructs us to do, or not do, things simply so that we can practice obedience. I have literally had a conversation with God in which He asked me, “Will you give up ____?” It took me a minute, but I said, “Yes, if You want me to I will.” He then told me I didn’t need to, that He was asking to find out where my heart really was, and so that I could see where my heart really was.

Again, anything that is more important to us than God is an idol, and where there are idols there is sin.

I know, a lot of words for a simple answer.

So, here’s my personal response.

Alcohol has never been a real draw for me, even on those rare occasions when I did drink. However, I’ve sought God on the topic a lot since I actively started serving Him, because I know it is a major issue for many others. I have God-loving Christian friends who think drinking is of the devil, and equally God-loving Christian friends who see no problem with it at all as long as it’s not to excess, as long as they’re not giving control over to the alcohol. (Yes, that’s a fine line to draw since you often do not recognize the point at which you lose control.)

For years, I’ve considered it best not to drink simply because I don’t want to set an example that causes anyone else to stumble. Jesus and Paul were both pretty firm on this point, a fact that was enough for me to choose not to drink just in case there was anyone watching who would be hurt. Then I saw something else several years ago while reading the book of Leviticus. In Leviticus 10:9-10, God commanded Aaron to ensure that none of the priests drank wine or strong drink when going into the Tabernacle.

There was no place for wine or strong drink, or one who was being influenced by such things, in the Tabernacle. Yes, that’s Old Testament; I get it. But here’s this.

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.”

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NLT – NOTE: New Testament

There it is: The connection. Tabernacle…temple…essentially the same thing.

You can look at this two ways. The first way I saw it was that I am essentially a priest who, 24/7, ministers in the temple that is my body. In that case, I have no business bringing wine or strong drink into the temple. Then there is the fact that my body IS the temple and, whether or not you think of me as a priest ministering in the temple, I have no business bringing alcohol inside.

Again, to make myself abundantly clear, I am not your Holy Ghost. I am merely sharing what God has shown me. I’m not judging anyone. Shoot, when I was visiting a friend’s church and accidently took communion from the cup that held real wine, I didn’t feel like I had done wrong and needed to repent. (It felt more like making a sacrifice, actually. To my tastebuds there is no good wine.)

 And yes, the tabernacle/temple analogy holds true in a lot of ways. I have great responsibility to take care of my body specifically because it is the temple of the Holy Ghost. That’s why I hardly drink any sodas anymore and have cut way back on sugar yet again.

“Yet again?” you ask? Right: Addiction is real. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve given up sodas, how many times I’ve cut back on sugar. I have to regulate my intake carefully because it’s far too easy to slip right back into that addiction. This is actually why I recently wrote my post entitled “Thankful for the Hard Things.” I am genuinely thankful that now, when those temptations arise, I can remind myself that I’ve already had a TIA and don’t want to do anything that might lead to another. I’ve had my wake up call. I will heed it.

So there it is. I’ve dared tackle one of the most controversial issues in Christianity. Feel free to disagree with me; many do.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

But This Will Never Change

When we were young, my sister and my favorite Christmas tradition was loading up on Christmas morning and heading to our grandparents’ house where the whole clan had gathered. But my grandparents eventually had to stop hosting, and that tradition changed.

As young kids, Christmas was a magical time and the gifts were great. Then came the year when, as a single mom, Mother could only give us each a skirt and a piece of candy. Through the decades, changing financial situations have had major effects on my Christmases.

Christmas, like everything else, is subject to change. We have to be able to shift and flex whether we like it or not, whether our kids like it or not. Even we change, in the ways we perceive the holiday and interact with those we spend time with, even just those who cross our paths.

But one thing remains constant; one thing will never change.

No matter what we think about Him, how we relate to Him or refuse to relate to Him, Jesus will always be there for us. We celebrate His birthday at Christmas for that reason.

And as long as we keep our focus on Him and the real reason for the season, we can handle all of those other changes. If we don’t get a single gift from man, we who have accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord have already received the greatest gift of all – forever with Him.

Celebrating Jesus!

Tammy C

He Let Everyone Hear

In Luke 23:34 NLT, you read, “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.‘“ This line always makes me pause, because it shows His tremendous love for the people, His mercy, and His grace, but there is another verse in this chapter that also makes me sit up and take notice.

Think about every crucifixion scene you’ve ever watched. Almost always, you hear Jesus gasp out words just before he dies.

But that’s not what happened.

“Then Jesus shouted, ‘Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!’ And with those words he breathed his last.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭23:46‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Did you see it?

Jesus SHOUTED.

At the end, He left no room for doubt. With a voice that could be heard by everyone present, this man for whom shouting should have been a physical impossibility (google crucifixion) let everyone know that God was His father and that He was still the one in control. By all rights, it should have taken several more hours for Him to die, but He very publicly died when HE chose.

Everyone present had to recognize the significance, so it’s really no surprise that the soldier made his declaration in verse 47.

They were all there either to mourn or to mock and jeer. They were also there, whether they liked it or not, to hear.

Celebrating Jesus!

Tammy C

Carry Your Own Cross

“And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me,
you cannot be my disciple.”

Luke 14:27 NLT

I’m reading through the book of Luke in preparation for Christmas, and after much thought decided I needed to back up to this verse for a bit.

We celebrate Christmas in honor of Jesus, who is the greatest gift. He came, by His own choice, to die so that we could live. It’s important to note that He didn’t come to bring salvation as it is sometimes casually viewed – essentially a get out of jail free card. He came so that we can LIVE. We aren’t only looking forward to eternity in His presence, but to a full and abundant life right here, a life that counts where His Kingdom is concerned.

Foundational to living, truly living, is being His disciple. Those who heard Him that day, in Luke 14, knew exactly what He was saying when He used the word “disciple.” To be someone’s disciple is to follow their example in all things. It is also to accept and act on their instruction and guidance as they strive to help you mature. Jesus was actually making the offer to all who heard Him, but few would accept the invitation. Why?

In verse 28 He commanded them, “But don’t begin until you count the cost.”

This is wisdom, as He warned in Luke 9:62 NLT: “But Jesus told him, ‘Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.'”

Jesus had already let them know in verse 26 that, if they wanted to be His disciples, they had to count Him as more important than everyone else in their lives, including themselves. And then came verse 27: “And if you do not carry your own cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple.”

This verse is quoted so often than I’m not sure we really see it anymore, that we’re not paying full attention to what He’s saying here. I even remember thinking, during one of the really bad times with my husband, “If he is my cross to bear, then I will bear it,” but this verse means so much more!

“But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the Law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse of our wrong doing. For it is written in the Scriptures, ‘Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.‘”

Galatians 3:13 NLT

As Christians, we look at this verse and we love it. And why not?! This amazing act of mercy, Christ taking all of our sins on Himself, washing them away with His own blood, changed our lives forever!

But let’s go back to the gathering in Luke 14 and think about where their heads were, where their thoughts must have gone. They couldn’t see what was coming. They were limited by their own knowledge and experience. In their world a cross served one purpose, and Jesus had just told them they would have to take up a cross that would be particularly their own. They wouldn’t be helping Him carry His cross as Simon the Cyrene was forced to do. He was asking each of them to take up their own cross.

This had to set them back, throw them for the proverbial loop. Because they knew.

They knew…
The cross was a sign of being cursed.
The cross was a very public tool of death.
The cross was a clear mark that you were a criminal.
The cross was intentionally demoralizing.
The cross was a cause of shame for the criminal’s family.
The cross was physically backbreaking before you were even put on it.
The cross was an incredibly slow and agonizing death.

If anyone wanted to be His disciple, they had to accept the reality that the cross, at least figuratively, could very well be in their future. Far from offering them the life of comfort many were currently enjoying, the life His abundant miracles might have implied, the life of sunshine and roses that Christians sometimes foolishly promise to potential converts today, He was laying out a heavy truth.

And here it is.

As Christians, genuine disciples of Jesus, while we look forward to the mountaintop experiences, it’s best to be prepared for the hard seasons that will inevitably come, to consider the cost ahead of time and be ready so that we won’t be tempted to look back. Like Jesus, we can expect to be hated, vilified, attacked unmercifully, laughed at, and more.

So… are you ready?

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

But Do You KNOW Jesus?

I asked Jesus, “Why are you crying?”
He answered, “So many are pretending.”

This really happened, during worship, at my church. Jesus was crying. No, I couldn’t see it with my eyes, but it was truly as if He were standing in front of me, looking over my shoulder with tears running down His face. I asked Him “Why?” twice before He answered me.

Are you like those who were making Him cry? Are you pretending? Do you go through the Christian motions thinking you’ve got all your bases covered while your heart is actually turned elsewhere?

Jesus, in Luke 6:46 (NLT), says, “So why do you keep calling me ‘Lord, Lord!’ when you don’t do what I say?” That is a profound question, and one that demands an answer. If we’re not doing what He’s saying, He is not our Lord. And if He isn’t our Lord, can He be our Savior?

This is hard, I know, but I’m seriously concerned about the Church. Anyone who has even a tiny bit of understanding of the times we’re living in, just a little bit of knowledge about End Times prophecy, can see clearly that we are on borrowed time. We are rushing toward the Tribulation at warp speed. Those who prefer to ignore End Times prophecy and toss off the same old, “People have been saying that my whole life,” are in grave danger.

Yes, I firmly believe in the Rapture of the Church, specifically in the pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church. My conviction has me praying constantly for people to be saved. I don’t want ANYONE to go through the Tribulation, even though I know the majority will.

“What if you’re wrong?” you may ask. Ok, what if I am wrong?

If I’m wrong then I go through the Tribulation too, or at least half of it. My faith is and always will be in God, and I know that He will keep me in all things; yes, even to death. So, if I go through the Tribulation, I go through it standing firmly on the Rock of my Salvation, having built my house on the Rock. (Read the rest of Luke 6 if you don’t know what I’m talking about.)

But what of the others? If you think it’s hard to live for God now… You’ve not seen anything yet.

Salvation is not just saying a prayer and accepting a “Get out of Hell free” card. Jesus is to be our Lord and Savior. He is LORD. What does that mean? It means He reigns supreme. If Jesus is my Lord, HE rules my life – not me. If He is my Lord, I do my utmost to always ensure my ways please Him. (Do I fail? Yes, and when I do I repent!)

How do I do that? Relationship! Get to KNOW Him. I do that through actively staying the Bible. (Jesus and the Word are one. Did you know that?) I do it by praying, by having an ongoing, ACTIVE relationship with God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. I do it by being actively in church – not just filling a pew and pretending, but by truly taking part in all that is church.

It’s nearly impossible to truly, consistently, please someone, to do what they want you to do, if you’re not close enough to them to learn their heart and voice. Pretend all you want, and you may fool those in the pews around you, but when the rubber meets the road, when it’s time to be caught away, it will be those whom Jesus KNOWS who hear the call.

Should that call come, should the Rapture happen and you find yourself still standing in a (hopefully) mostly empty church, repent, turn to God, and get just as close to Him as you possibly can, because the next seven years will be worse than anything you could possibly imagine, and those who don’t turn to God will fall in with the devil and the Antichrist. That road leads straight to Hell.

But don’t make that necessary. Don’t miss out, I implore you. If you don’t know Jesus, you can accept Him as your Savior and Lord right now. If you’ve known Him, but have backed away, you can repent right now. No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve done, He stands ready to accept your repentant heart and wash it in His own blood.

Some people think God hates the world, but He loves us all so much that He asked Jesus to die for us. And Jesus loves us so much that He did.

Accepting Salvation is simple. Just open up your mouth and talk to God. Let Him know that you accept the sacrifice that was made for you on the cross, and that you are unconditionally HIS. If you are uncomfortable right now and want to “cover all the bases” of prayer, you can say something like…

God, I know you love me, that you love me so much You asked Jesus to step down out of Heaven and live like me, facing every temptation I would ever face. And He never failed You. His birth was a miracle, His life was filled with miracles, He lived without ever committing even one sin so that He would be the perfect sacrifice you needed to make me right with You. I repent of my sins right now and accept you, Jesus, as my personal Savior and my Lord. I choose to serve You, not myself, and I ask You to help me walk every day doing what you tell me to do. I am determined to be right with you when you return to take your Church home. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Friend, I urge you, focus every day on getting to know Him better and better. A thousand years from now, it won’t matter who won the Word Series or what your paycheck was. What will matter will be who held your heart while you waited.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

I Don’t Believe It!

I recently read an article by Aphantasia Network entitled “John Green Aphantasia Discovery: Shining a Light on the Mind’s Eye.” It’s a fascinating article that I highly recommend.

In the article it appears, if I’m reading a particular quote correctly, that one aphant (One who has aphantasia) firmly believes that no one can truly visualize, seeing pictures or movies in their minds, that the problem must simply be an inability to properly communicate the way our brains work.

The bottom line being that, again if I’m reading the quote correctly, because he can’t see anything, has no visual imagination at all, then no one else does either. 

When I read that part of the article, I immediately thought back to a comment on one of my earliest Facebook posts in which an “expert” assured me that aphantasia isn’t real and of course I don’t have a permanent inability to vizualize. According to that person, I simply never trained my mind, and if I were willing to put forth the necessary effort I could develop my visual imagination. I didn’t even bother to respond to her because I knew she had no idea what she was talking about. Because she couldn’t see the condition, the condition didn’t exist; she didn’t believe in it.

After that memory asserted itself, I made a random connection. This is precisely the difference between those who have a relationship with God and those who don’t believe God exists. I have a relationship with God, and I know He exists just as surely as I know I’m a five on the aphantasia scale. Those who don’t know God can, and often do, refuse to believe He exists.

Whether or not I believe something doesn’t alter truth.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

I Need These Nights

I just got home from our church’s monthly worship night. It’s one hour of nothing but worship-me and God. I need these nights. I need them for a variety of reasons.

One is that it’s a service for which I have no staff responsibilities. If you are on staff at your church, you know this is huge. For regular services, although I am definitely taking part, I am also sensitive to anything I might need to deal with as a staff member. In services, for instance, my phone is by me at all times in case another staff member texts with a question or needing help. At WILD Worship, we all put our phones away so they can’t distract us.

Two, I’m a worshipper. Yes, I worship in service. Yes, I worship at home. The atmosphere on these nights, though, is distinctly different. There is no substitute for groups of people coming together for the express purpose of worshipping God. This is true unity and it is a blessing.

Three, there are no distractions. It’s more than just putting away cell phones. It’s low lighting that helps minimize visual distractions. It’s going in knowing people are free to get up and move around, which means you don’t even think about them. You can more easily focus on God and God alone.

Four, and this is the point of the night: God. This hour is ALL about my personal relationship with God. It’s not just me singing awesome words to a song I know or being uncomfortable with a song I’ve never heard. I would get into these nights if the songs were sung in a language I don’t even understand.

Why? It’s WORSHIP. It’s getting face to face with God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. Part of the time that means me singing the songs with an engaged heart. Part of the time it’s me singing or praying in tongues. Part of the time it’s just us, God and me, talking. A lot of the time it’s me listening while He talks.

And He does talk to me on these nights. While He has my undivided attention, He reveals things to me, gives me visions, explains things I’ve been wondering about, and more. I go into these nights knowing we will talk, expecting Him to be right there with me, and He has never failed to come.

Five, when He’s there with me, I have no choice but to self-check. I live an active God-focused life — praying, studying His Word, and in general spending time with Him every day, pretty much keeping up an ongoing conversation. Even so, knowing that I will sense Him there beside me during that hour, I start these evenings with my focus on me, checking my heart, seeing if I’ve let my attention shift in the past month, and repenting as needed. This is my monthly reality check, and I value it in part for that reason.

I value these nights. I treasure them. I need them. I dare say we all do.

Celebrating Jesus!

Tammy C

Can You Imagine?

In February, I posted “I Can’t Imagine,” in which I shared my recent revelation that I have aphantasia and the rest of you don’t. Quick explanation: I have zero visual imagination. When I learned that most of you can not only see pictures but also movies in your heads I was floored.

This revelation has led to many conversations in various forums, and one thing has been consistent. Those who can see and experience everything that I’ve never known are genuinely sorry for me that I’m missing out on so much. Now, in reality, I don’t know what I’m missing. Do I kind of wish I could get in on the game? Sometimes, yeah, but I know it’s impossible and I tend to not waste my time on impossibilities.

There is one thing. If I do have a vision while in prayer or worship, if I find myself seeing something in my mind in similar fashion to what I’m guessing you all see, I know without a doubt that it’s from God because my imagination can’t create it. I don’t get these visions often, but now that I know what’s what I can have no doubts whatsoever about their origin, and that’s seriously cool.

Which brings me to a thought. If you’re a Christian, when I talk about my walk with God you can relate on at least some level. We both have the capability, as it were, to “see.”

If, on the other hand, you’ve never had a relationship with God, you’re like me in a sense. You can’t imagine the wonder and joy of having a relationship with Him because, like me with aphantasia, you’re blind to the possibility. And let me tell you, as much as those who have visual imaginations feel sorry for those of us who don’t, their feelings can’t touch what I feel for those who don’t have a relationship with God.

Listen, please. Unlike me, you don’t have to stay in the dark. You can reach out and accept the salvation that Jesus offers and enter into God’s very presence, learning how to walk closely with Him and know what it’s like to live inside His love and grace. I literally would not trade my relationship with God for anything – ANYTHING. I cannot express strongly enough what you are missing if you’re not walking with Him. Nothing compares, and knowing that this life is just the beginning, that I have eternity in His presence to look forward to… It’s wonderfully overwhelming just to think about.

So I encourage you to step out. Come to Jesus and accept what He did for you. He came and lived a sinless life specifically so that He would qualify as the perfect and final sacrifice. The blood of the lambs the Jews sacrificed covered their sins temporarily. When you accept the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross, that blood washes your sin away completely, and God never thinks about it again. This, the removal of that sin, opens the door for you to enter into a relationship like none you’ve ever known. Honestly, you cannot imagine what will happen when you take that step; it’s beyond human ability to predict.

If you’re ready to accept Jesus as your Savior and Lord, it’s easy. Primarily, it’s about what’s in your heart, that you’ve decided to repent of your sins (meaning to turn your back on them and walk away) and accept His sacrifice, trusting His work on the cross to save you. Open your mouth and pray, talk to Him. There is no official “Sinner’s Prayer” that you have to seek out. It’s as simple as saying something like, “Lord, I know I’m a sinner, and I know that I cannot pay the price for my own sins. I need a Savior. I need You, the One who lived without sin and then let Himself be crucified for me. I accept Your sacrifice on the cross as payment for my sins, and I invite you to come live in my heart, to fill me with Your love and be the Lord of my life. I choose to spend the rest of my days, the rest of eternity, living for You, and I ask You to lead me, to help me become who You want me to be. Amen.”

And then do what you’ve promised; learn to become more like Him. In Luke 6:46, Jesus says, “And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?” You’ve asked Him to be your Savior and Lord, so get into the Word of God (the Bible) and find out what He wants you to do. Get in a Bible-believing church, one where the minister actually preaches from the Bible (Sad, that I have to say that, but many ministers today don’t.), and learn from the man of God. Pray! That may sound intimidating, but think of it as talking to God on the phone without a phone. Seriously, when I’m praying, I’m real with my Creator…and He is real with me. Yes, He talks to me too! I spend most of my prayer time listening…or try to.

I promise you: While accepting Jesus in no way guarantees an easy life (On the contrary, the devil doesn’t like losing!), having Him by your side makes all the difference in the world…and more. I don’t have to imagine it; I live it daily. I hope you will choose to as well.

Celebrating Jesus!
Tammy C

If you want some help getting into the Bible, you may want to check out my book, Experiencing the Bible. It’s available in paperback, ebook, and audiobook, and it’s a practical answer to the question, “What do you mean, ‘Get into the Bible’?” It’s available in all formats on Amazon. The ebook can also be found at various retailers including Smashwords.com (where you can literally set your own price – even free).