Casting Crowns Singing Faithless Songs

There is fear in some Christians that they could lose their soul. I listened to a song by Casting Crowns called Slow Fade and it made me really mad. In the song they claim that once you give yourself away there is a slow fade and then you turn evil and go to hell. Nothing makes me madder than faithless Christians. The bible guarantees that none of God’s children can fall from his hand and that nothing can separate us from God’s love. The bible also says that it will give Christians one heart that is good. In fact there is one heart that is good and it’s God’s heart. God gives us his own heart – Jesus Christ for us to wear so that we can become his righteousness. Certainly Jesus would not give his heart to anyone if he knew it could be stolen from them. He’s worth so much more than that and so are our hearts. The bible says that we are supposed to guard our hearts but that doesn’t mean they can be stolen from us. A leopard cannot change his spots any more that a Christian can lose his or her heart. What makes a Christian a Christian is his or her heart. What has been given to God cannot be lost. I would issue a stern rebuke to Casting Crowns for making such a shameful song. Also, I wonder how they know what happens when you give your heart away unless they’ve already thought they did.

I used to struggle with what I called “bad thoughts.” I thought that if I had one negative thought I would lose my soul and die. Can you imagine, if God had a thought that was negative and he lost his son? It can’t happen. Your body is the very temple of God. Do you think that someone could rob God’s temple without God putting up a fight? God and Jesus name has authority over all spirits. Why would they all of the sudden become weak and start letting people rob their temple? I am confident that even if the devil himself and all the demons came after God, God would keep them at bay because he is God. If God were weak and petty he wouldn’t be God. I feel bad for all the people that take Casting Crowns as gospel singers because they offer no gospel. They are clearly confused and living under condemnation for no reason. God has kept me alive for this long and I’ve made some terrible choices in my life. Maybe this is the purpose for which I came because I have been on death’s door several times and not died. I am confident that Jesus gives us eternal life and it starts now. It doesn’t start when we get to heaven. We’re meant to live good lives that change other people. If God wasn’t able to save someone he wouldn’t be God. What also makes me sad for Casting Crowns is that if they didn’t feel they lost their own heart they stood by and pretended to be superior to other Christians who were losing their heart or giving it away. I mean, if a thought can make you go to hell they are just as susceptible to losing their souls as they person they paint in a “Slow Fade.” It’s really sick and twisted when you think about it. As the body of Christ we are free to decide each moment what we will do. If at any moment you are weak, remember you have God’s essence and Spirit within you. That makes you God’s righteousness. Can a lamb be made a snake? No. Neither can we lose our souls.

Why would you put such negativity to music unless you find yourself in a superior position to other Christians who are also God’s temple? It’s no joke to rob God’s temple. Not only can it not happen I’m not giving my joy to Casting Crowns thinking I lost my soul. Unless Christians really believe that Christ is God, they are faithless and aren’t really living in the promise. If you aren’t living in the promise your life will be sad and pathetic. You’ll elevate yourself above others and then fall for hurting people that weren’t hurting you. Luckily, Christ is God and our sins are forgiven.

The reason this hits home for me so much is because I believed I lost my soul at one point. I had a negative thought and I thought I lost my soul. Jesus never gave up on me and neither will he give up on you because you are his reward. Jesus doesn’t lose his reward no matter what your faithless mind tells you.

Belief Shapes Reality

What you call yourself you become. Be careful how you talk to yourself. The definition of cursing someone is to speak negatively about them. Our words can leave a lifetime of legacy. Why does what someone says about you affect you? People, especially children tend to live up to the expectations of those around them, be they high or low. If you believe the negative things people speak about you you allow their curses to fester in your body and mind. In the body, curses cause disease and disregulation. In the mind, curses cause low energy and fear. If you were to give a curse a body, it would be similar to a snake. But a curse can only hurt you if you espouse it. When you believe the negative things people say about you, you limit your own value to their lowered expectations or negativity. Likewise, a snake can only hurt you if you pick it up or try to manipulate it in some way. In either circumstance belief sets intention.

We’ve all seen this principle at work in families. First borns tend to get the most praise from the family because they get the most undivided attention. They are often successful in their adulthood and often take on more responsibility than the other children because they have more faith in their successful outcome.

Because curses typically cause disease in the body, we would do well to ignore them. Everyone knows someone who should be dead for the way they take care of their body but they outlive the doctors and family’s expectations of them. You can look at a diagnosis as a type of curse. When you allow yourself to become your diagnosis you might as well dig your own grave.

I recently saw an ad for a blood test that is able to diagnose cancer immediately. The problem with that is that everyone has cancer in their body. At any given moment your blood could be diagnosed with cancer. However, the body is effective when a person has a positive mindset and healthy immune system at killing cancer cells. I also recently heard of a doctor that was treating patients with chemo who didn’t have cancer in order to profit from their treatment. The pharmaceutical companies would love to diagnose everyone with some sort of disease so that they can prescribe expensive medicines that only make people sicker and in need of more treatment with chemicals.

Some people believe that they will inherit familial sickness through their genes. New science tells us that our genes can be altered with thought. Placebos work in this way. Your mind is your own placebo. When you convince yourself that you are sick you will magnify your symptoms and signal your genes to wreak havoc on your body.

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder back in 1999. What happened ten years later changed the course of my symptoms forever. A woman in the hospital shared with me a secret that kept her healthy for many years. She said that when Christ died on the cross He took all curses upon us and granted us favor with God. This favor purchased us into a new family without disease. If Christians would only believe in what they’ve inherited they would no longer suffer from chronic illness. The body can heal itself we just need to tell it to. Needless to say I no longer have any bipolar symptoms. In fact, I am suspicious of people that do because it seems that it is a pharmaceutical company creation in order to addict young people to drugs that negatively impact the functioning of their entire body. When I was on medication I gained an excessive amount of weight and was tired all of the time. I lost self-confidence and began to think of myself as a victim. I was always tired and couldn’t do the things normal people could. It wasn’t until I got off all of the medication that I was able to regain my life and reclaim my true nature as a healthy body and mind not under any curse or diagnosis. I stopped telling people I had a disorder because I didn’t. I felt fine especially without medication. The meds made me feel sicker than the actual illness. I learned to manage chronic anxiety in healthy ways like yoga and meditation, exercise and good diet and I found myself in great condition.

Biblical Law Vs. Reality

I don’t believe people are good or bad by nature.  I do believe people do what is in their best interest, for survival purposes.  A few weeks ago, I would have told you the bible was nuts.  Now I have to say what I know to be true.  People need God.  We need Jesus.

I don’t know if it’s our cultural programming that tells us we are wicked or if it’s our parents and all of their parents and ancestors collective guilt but guilt has been laid upon us within our own minds.  This is the place where it does the most damage.  When people perceive themselves as bad people, they tend to do bad things or just act badly and make poor choices.  All the don’t do list becomes a to-do list.  It has been found in psychology exams on children that when given a command to not do (phrased as a “don’t do etc.”) their minds reacted in ways that produced the undesired outcome although it was forbidden.  That is the nature of the outcome of a negatory command.  It is, in essence, a command to do the forbidden.  Which leads me to wonder why the bible was even written – full of negatively phrased commands.

Parents, when trying to discipline their children, tell them what not to do after they do it.  The bible tells us who’ve grown up in the church what to do before we decide to do it.  Perhaps this is the reasoning for so many rebellious church raised children.  They are raised in a restrictive environment without the room for exploration of natural consequences; it feels prohibitive.  It is because of this collective mind poisoning that we need Christ – to cleanse our consciences.  The Jewish people who wrote the bible had the worst conscience burden out of all cultures.  Eventually, they became so legalistic, they even accepted the conscience burden of killing Christ.  It took Christ coming back from the dead to tell them they weren’t so powerful as to usurp God, law and kill their creator by their misbehavior.

It seems almost comical that they believe that the God who created the Red Sea, then parted it, could be killed.  They couldn’t forgive themselves, each other or their creator.  They had essentially given up on life.  Deep down, they knew their birth was not their fault.  Their placement in a sinful environment was not their fault, their sin was not their fault.  As the bible says, I created the destroyer.  I forged the blacksmith.  Yes, God says that in Isaiah.  People wanted to punish God and capitulate their guilt.  In their eyes, they were evil – as in God’s.  They had already done enough deserving of death, why not go all the way and kill the One who made them.  They didn’t believe in forgiveness.  Why should they have?  It was their God who instituted the laws of stoning each other for petty sins.  

I guess what I’m getting at is that the Jewish God and His miracles were too small in the minds of the Jews to eradicate and forgive their sins.  I would go so far as to say that they were shaped into monsters with the Jewish customs of bloody, violent and prohibitive by nature ways of absolving guilt.  Jewish people, as a society, were exclusive.  They didn’t allow association with people they believed were cursed or people that had flaws.  Even women were considered dirty and unclean or unfit to be in men’s presence when on their period.

The Ten Commandments

I will try to evaluate and dissect each of the Ten Commandments and some other properties of the laws in the book of Exodus.

First, I am going to make this a lot easier and simpler. The Ten are really based on the first three or even first two and all others flow from these pieces. Were the people to adhere to the first two laws they would easily be able to comply with the rest. These laws are:

Love and revere the Lord your God.
Love your neighbor as yourself.

Jesus gave these commandments when the “rich young ruler” asked him what were the most important commandments. I would like you to recognize that these laws are placed as affirmations and intentions rather than negative commands. This is because the mind of a child is pretty simple. When you tell it not to do something it does the very thing you asked it not to because the mind goes where the mouth leads. Saying do not do something is more complex and detailed than saying to do something. Anyway, to the mind they are no different – negative or positive commands. Our prayers are answered yes in Christ, right? That is because, as his brothers and sisters all of our requests are answered in the affirmative by God why would not all of God’s requests be answered as “yes” in our minds?

It is important to make the side note that minds matter to Jesus. He said that if you lust after a woman you have already committed adultery in your heart or if you hate your brother or sister you have already murdered them in your heart. He also asks us to suspend judgment – “Do not judge.”

The psychology of the Ten Commandments is oppressive and authoritative. It can only lead to a breakdown of trust, deceit, and violence. Had I understood Jewish culture at the time I would be able to tell you maybe why God chose to phrase the commandments and make them as excessive as he did but I don’t know anything about Jewish primal culture. I do know that societies that have been traumatized tend to pass on fear and stress hormones in the bloodstream to their offspring. That is what I suspect happened with the writing of the Ten Commandments. Writing commands ultimately leads to judgement and Jesus said that judgement was not our responsibility. In the bible, we see it lead to public execution and humiliation (execution by stoning).

The Top Two Commands

We all know the Ten Commandments are wanting. For instance, where is the command “Do not rape?” Or even, “Respect creation?” So why not focus on the two that actually encompass more than childish morality? As I read through the commandments, God says he will revisit curses on third and fourth generations of sinners. I don’t believe God would do that. Just being God, He has authority over what does or does not happen, whether the person even sins in the first place. He says he forged the blacksmith so why does he blame innocent people for sins they did not commit? Also, when you see what Jesus envisioned, sinless minds, you see that humans in the first writing of the commands didn’t stand a chance – they sinned just by imagining the carrying out of a sin. All people are deemed sinful according to the Ten Commandments. This is no way to start a culture. People were seeped in sin before birth. Death and murder are normal in this culture. Hardly something invented by an eternal God.

Jesus Himself supposedly breaks the laws of the Sabbath as outlined in Exodus but then He states that He is Lord of the Sabbath. Which is why I think we would do well to adhere to the two laws I have outlined above. Laws are meant to be broken. Mindsets hold for eternity. If you adopt a mindset of love for God, neighbor, and self you have just adopted an eternal way of living. A life that truly has no end. If you fuss and pick over commandments you adopt a system of passing judgment and ultimately, death. Bloodshed and violence only lead to shock fear and hatred that can linger for generations. Judgment kills, which is why Jesus advocated forgiveness.

Belief shapes intention, intention sets the framework for reality. Sometimes God is called intention by modern-day philosophers. This is why thoughts matter so much to Jesus and also why faith can save. Your thoughts about God matter as do your thoughts about other people and yourself. When these thoughts are shaped by love, they create a loving intention, a loved creation and a beloved Creator. When your thoughts are shaped by constriction and limiting belief systems your God will be punitive, fierce, deadly, and not worthy of respect. Who can respect a Creator that creates simply for the intent of destruction?

The Ten Commandments are an outflow of the first two because who would want to or even suggest violating another person or God when they are being loving? If God or another is disrespected, love quickly flows to reconcile it.

Jewish law doesn’t even save Jews, how can we expect it to help us? Remember all of the Jewish people that died in the wilderness for complaining? Did they sin? No, but they violated loving intention and faith. When you weaken your intention with complaining, you weaken your life force and you die. It’s a natural consequence. But since all things are created for eternity with seeds of the eternal in them, those Jews didn’t die – as we see, their law still exists today. We can, however, kill the limiting beliefs that discourage and condemn by not putting so much weight on what not to do but by remembering that God is a loving force that whispers “Amen. Yes. Do. Create. Be holy as I am holy.” Or simply, “Be whole. Love one another. Do what you imagine me doing. Let your faith set your intention.”

I guess I do understand why the Ten Commandments were set out this way. Jewish culture had become accustomed to slavery and a victim mentality. God needed to set them back to their original nature as loving herders but had to use their language to do it which would have been restrictive and authoritative. Otherwise, they may have had no respect for God. They were not a nation of free thinkers, after all. They were a nation shaped by authoritative and constrictive rule. Their mentality was one that was used to playing the victim.

Renewal

Have you ever seen someone who has recovered from cancer and they seem to appear like they are glowing or at least healthier than before they were even diagnosed with cancer?  I have noticed this not just once or twice but as an almost sure phenomenon that happens to people.  It’s ironic that from they day you are born your mind is filled with images of death and society has a way of confirming that everyone and everything is going to die at some point.  Popular Christian teaching makes it clear that although Christ guarantees us eternal life we won’t be enjoying it any time soon. It also makes clear that “this too shall pass.”  It also makes it ok, especially in the USA to consume everything and destroy everything because earth will one day be destroyed, sometimes sooner than later (but usually before cheap oil runs out).

So, in essence, where does the truth stand?  Are we eternal or temporal beings?  Nature seems to indicate that everything dies.  At a swift glance, from television commercials about prescription drugs or shows with aging actors, we might assume that one day, we, too will die.  This is fear-based thinking.  The bible said that Christ never tasted death and that his followers wouldn’t have to either.  But, as you may have noticed, all of the great apostles and disciples the bible discusses, even the powerful rulers like Solomon and David, died.  So it seems that we are supposed to go somewhere when (not if) we die where we will enjoy eternal life.  It seems we transcend a physical state of death and pass into a spiritual state of life.

In my experience, we die every day.  Our body goes through a series of small deaths all the time but what we are experiencing, the now, is eternity.  Science confirms this.  Cells die and regenerate all the time.  As we are constantly dying, we are also constantly rebirthing.  We are given chance after chance at life but we never actually die and we are never actually born.  We are eternal beings with eternal minds.  We are housed in physical bodies but even these are constantly evolving while our consciousness remains eternally conscious.  We used to believe that the brain had only so many brain cells and we were always diminishing them with our activities and that more could never be produced.  Now we know that that is not so.  Brain cells do regenerate.  Stroke and heart damage are not necessarily permanent and lame people really can learn to walk.

If you see the world as somewhat of a Hollywood “Matrix” type experience, you can visualize this easily.  The world we perceive is pretty well formed by our sensory organs including the mind.  When we alter the mind, the world alters with it.  This sounds like hocus-pocus bullshit but listen for a minute.  When you think of history, you think of a set of fused events that happened on a timeline with a sense of permanence.  There seems to be no way of altering history.  However, it has and will continue to be done because there is no time.  We are eternity.  What do I mean by altering history?  Think about the propaganda that was put out by the Nazis about the Jewish people and how that shaped history.  History textbooks, from different publishers, to different nations they are been learned in consistently change.  Sometimes they change to fit the current political party agenda or the current religious norm.  Rarely are history books or even the news subjective in any way.  People have to know how societies work then make their own conclusions about what actually happened while putting in the research that it requires to actually learn history. Even if they did learn the correct and accurate history they will never know all of the contributing factors to those minds and perceptive organs of those who experienced the history to make a firm conclusion as to what actually happened.  The intent of the actors in time makes all the difference as to what their actions were.  Which leads me to another conclusion: there are no good or bad people.

The people that say there are good and bad people are typically religious leaders that use their influence to marginalize groups of people so that they can better control the outcome and thinking of the lives of those in their congregation or voting populous.  But truth continues to prevail because people know inherently that “God is no respecter of persons.”  All life has value because all life is eternal or it would not be life.  It comes from the breath of God Himself which is life eternal.  When God released His Spirit into the earth it went to all people, contrary to Jewish popular belief.

God of Creation

God of all creation,
God we give you praise.

Every heart, every nation,
sing for endless days.

You wrought beauty from ashes;
God you make us whole.

You’ll never leave or forsake us,
lover of our souls.

God of beauty and wonder,
in faith you delight.

You sent death asunder,
When you took it’s plight.

But the grave cannot hold you,
not even death availed.

With your mighty ascent,
you tore the veil.

Your voice reassures us.
You mend our wounds.

By yours we are healed.
Jesus your light opened our tombs.

God of beauty and light,
pursuer of our hearts,
winner of our fights.

May you be exhaulted.
Forever reign.

King of all that is good,
it is us you sustain.

The Importance of Music

The enemy will use every weapon he has to make you think you are not saved – even other Christians.  He can’t take you from God but he can make you think he did.  He usually uses all of the things that influence you to make you think you’re a goner.  I like to listen to music to hear from God.  I don’t always hear a distinct or loud voice in my head that sounds like God so I listen to music to make me feel connected to him.  It seems to calm my nerves and put a positive mantra in my head.  Many people don’t realize the potency of music.  It has the ability to do some amazing things.

All of our atoms operate on a vibration.  We consist of space and atoms but we are mostly space.  When our energy is off our vibration can become low.  Music has the power to change our vibration.  My advice: choose your music wisely.  If the music you listen to is negative, sad or angry you will automatically feel your body and mind respond to the music and the emotion it is evoking.  This is why I hate Christian music that has any type of negativity in it.  I don’t get mad when there is negative music that is secular because that originated with someone who was feeling negative.  However, I don’t think there is a place for negativity in Christian music.  I’m not saying that Christians never feel negative.  I’m saying there is no reason to put it to music.

Back to my opening statement about the enemy and my point: why Christian music should not be negative.  If you are worried about losing your soul, do not call yourself a Christian.  If you do not have the essential faith to say that Christ’s payment was enough for your sins don’t call yourself a Christian.  I’m tired of songs that say stupid stuff like “I don’t want to gain the whole world and lose my soul.”  If that were possible you wouldn’t be a Christian, right? Who is in power? God, who has the power to save your soul, or you, who have the power to lose it?  What do you believe?  Make it clear.  Don’t play secular music on the Christian station.  That’s about it.

Christian culture sometimes likes to cultivate negativity so that it can close with a positive note.  I notice this at my church.  They will oftentimes make you feel like you’re a piece of shit during the sermon then afterwards offer you the salvation to your troubles which they say is the particular prayer they are peddling that week.  Prayer works, don’t get me wrong but if you’re saying the same one every week expecting to get different results you’ve just defined insanity.  What the church I go to does is tell you you are bad then offer you a prayer to say to make you better.  However, ninety-nine percent of the people there are Christians in the first place so saying the same prayer every week is not going to save their souls.  Christ already did.  Instead of empowering them with ways they can start walking in their faith, they just offer a prayer and ask for money.  I don’t think this is enough.

Sometimes I get the sense, too, that the Christian church just wants us to have babies.  I don’t really understand why.  The world has so many orphans.  Why not encourage adoption?  Why is the culmination of the Christian church marriage?  As if marriage were the answer.  If it were the answer why did it not work for most of our divorced parents?  Why do churches expect broken people to make perfect marriages.  By broken, I mean those children that originally came from broken homes.  Songs say that love is the only thing that matters but by that they mean marital love that makes nuclear homes and consumes everything in sight.  That is the American way. I think the Christian church looks a lot different in Cambodia or China where commodities aren’t so easy to come by.

The Bible and Legalism

One of my pet peeves is people that don’t make sense and won’t admit it.  Yesterday was Thanksgiving and I was on my way to my boyfriend’s parents’ house to have dinner when I heard Toby Mac on the radio sing, “I don’t wanna gain the whole world and lose my soul.”  First of all, if Toby is a Christian, I feel sorry for him.  He’s obviously in his mind committed himself to Christ and yet still worries about losing his soul.  This is something Paul warns about in Hebrews.  The Apostle Paul talks about those that are recrucifying Christ by sinning after they are saved.  Nothing makes me angrier.  Why?  Let me explain.

Back about ten years ago, I would have considered myself a vigilant Christian.  Basically, this is someone who is always worried about losing their soul.  I went to church.  I studied the bible.  On the inside, all I did was worry.  I worried if I had sinned in my thoughts or if I had said or done something that would cause me to go to hell.  Either you want to go to hell or you don’t.  If you don’t you won’t worry because you know that your intention is to be with God.  My intention was to be with Christians.  I thought Christians were all on the right path because they were constantly peppering their conversations with, “I pray” or “I’ll pray for you” – you know the Christian legaleze.  Always, they and I would correct ourselves if ever we stepped out of line.  It was all bullshit.  Humans are not perfect even after we’re saved.  We are supposed to be in a process – a learning process.  No Christian pops out of the baptismal primordial water with a perfect, and actualized self.  If that were the case we all would have arrived because no one would consciously choose this hell of making mistakes and learning from them.

As I was riding in the car on the expressway, in the pouring rain and ominous-looking clouds overhead, I thought – just for a second, “Shit!  What if my soul is at home and I’m leaving it behind to be with my family on Thanksgiving?”  Which is about ten miles down the expressway.  Then I thought, no!  Why does this always happen when I go to go somewhere I want to go?  When I drive twelve miles down the road to go to church on Sunday Toby Mac isn’t belting some crap about me losing my soul.  I said to myself, “I am not going to worry,” only because it is in my nature and I have a tendency to worry about things like that.

My experience in earlier years was that I did go to hell.  I was in a pit of sulfur, brought there by a flying demon (in my sleep) when I prayed the Lord’s Prayer and woke up safely in my bed with my lungs still burning.  I really don’t even know what I did to get there.  I was living against the Lord’s Will but I was still a Christian.  I didn’t feel what I was doing was wrong so I didn’t stop doing it.  I was basically living a promiscuous lifestyle and wasting money.  I went to church.  No one was rebuking me.  My conscience wasn’t feeling convicted.  I just had a nightmare that I was in hell.  

I still had faith and God saw that as sufficient enough reason to save me.  I still believed God was good.  I had not arrived but I still believed, which, incidentally, is arrival enough to God.  This is why the Apostle Paul seemed like such a turd to me in years later.  He perpetuated the idea that Christ wasn’t enough.  If we didn’t hang on tight enough with our strict theology we could blaspheme against the Holy Spirit or some such nonsense and do the one thing that would send us to hell for eternity.  Don’t get me wrong, I know that Paul suffered in his ministry.  But so did Job and Job was saved by God, not his own precious knowledge or sufferings.  I think Paul suffered because the physical pain of his sufferings was more familiar and comfortable to him than the freedom and freefall of knowing he was safe.  These are more reasons why I think we are not wise to refer to the bible as the infallible Word of God.  Christ is the Word.  The red lettering in the bible – that’s the Word.  What Christ speaks to you – that is the Word.  Paul may have authority over the church but it’s a sick type of authority.  It’s an authority that believes it’s still ok to write curses on people that don’t agree with you.  What salvation does the bible offer those people with black skin?  Apparently, those under the curse can never inherit the promise of God.  But there is no curse, no black, no white, no sex, no gender, no slave or free – all are free under Christ.

When I was sinning and not listening to God and doing what the church (Paul’s following) tried to condemn me for I was only doing what was in my nature to do.  I thought it would make me happy, it didn’t and I suffered.  But when my conscience wasn’t convinced I was sinning it didn’t hurt and what doesn’t hurt us should certainly not have the power to condemn us.  But neither should Christians.  Even if we are Paul and have more “Apostolic Authority” because we’ve suffered more beatings, we don’t have the right to crucify other Christians because we still struggle with guilt.  I say, first absolve your own guilt by working out your salvation in a reasoning process in your own mind with God on one side and hell on the other then realize you are not guilty because Christ said so but for God’s sake Paul, quit pushing people over the edge you can’t manage to overcome.

The problem with the Bible is legalism.  I spent years conscious of every move I made and every breath I took and tried to be flawless.  All it gave me was a stomach-ache and an uneasy feeling.  I got sick of pretending to be perfect and started doing what I wanted.  This made people at my church unhappy.  They made me step down from responsibilities I had taken on and also they backed out of my life in terms of support.  I don’t know how they expected me to recover and I don’t think they cared.  But God still cared and my family still cared and for those reasons I am here today.  I wake up to every sunrise grateful and glad I didn’t give in.