For the Love of Ivan

It had been the dream for years—to own a member of the doodle family, to experience and bestow the unconditional love I knew they were capable of. Plus, I believed he would be an emotional support for me as I dealt with the myriad of mental health issues on my plate.

Finally, on my birthday in 2020, I was notified I had been selected to have my own berniedoodle, whose name was Ivan. His cost was lower than his siblings because he didn’t have the so-sought-after tri-color markings. He was pretty much a black puppy with a little bit of white on his chest and under his nose and mouth. He had a sweet expression on beautiful face, and I fell instantly in love with just his picture.

My daughter and I took the 2-day road trip to the town where he was being socialized by a wonderful family. Neither Jordan nor I is familiar with driving in mountainous regions, and this part of the southeastern United States had plenty of them. But she didn’t complain, even in my 5-speed manual, and we arrived at our destination on a Friday morning.

Ivan was exactly like his pictures – only bigger and had lost some of his puppiness. But he was still absolutely gorgeous and so sweet.

We settled back in the car with Ivan on whom the middle name of Zoltov (because he looked a little Russian and both Ivan and Zoltov sounded Russian to me) was bestowed.

Over the next year and 2 months, Ivan was exactly the puppy I’d dreamed of.

Except. . . my young granddaughters were terrified of him because of his size. As of this writing he weighs 68 pounds and is quite muscular.

My cat never warmed up to him. He loves her; she hates him.

I came to believe I was the only human who truly loved him, and a big part of that was because of how beautiful he is.

Then came the cancer scare.

I am still under testing, and it is not known if the colon cancer has returned, but at some point I will more than likely be facing some type of abdominal surgery. 10 years ago, the colon cancer surgeries left me with a massive abdominal wound which took months to heal, an ostomy, and a bedsore which also took months to heal.

What would I do this time with my husband now gone and a 68-pound dog wanting to jump on me at every opportunity? I consulted my groomer. In the past, her partner had known someone who wanted a doodle. My groomer, who is also my cousin wanted a physical picture of him and an ad to try and rehome him. She also suggested I talk to my vet.

I called the vet, not really expecting anything. But the receptionist called me back after just a few minutes and told me one of the practice’s vets might be interested in Ivan. He called me that weekend, and I gave him the details about my puppy, but he did not call me back. . .

Until yesterday morning. Around a month later.

He said he couldn’t take Ivan because he already had a doodle, but he knew someone who might be interested. Could he give them my phone number? Yes.

I exchanged phone calls, texts, and emails with Ivan’s potential new mommy throughout the day at home and at work.

At 7 o’clock Ivan’s new family arrived. He and I were on the porch, he on his leash.

He was so excited when they got out of their SUV. It was the parents and the two younger children, an 11-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl. Ivan was all over them. They weren’t afraid of him. Ivan really liked the dad, too; and the dad seemed to like him. The mom told me they lived on a farm. The farm had goats and a small pond. Ivan would never have to be on a leash. He would be sleeping with the boy instead of in a crate. It sounded like doggy heaven.

We loaded all Ivan’s accoutrements into their vehicle and lastly Ivan. He went willingly. I blew him a kiss, and he was gone.

As expected, I was sad after they left. I turned to my old standby to make me feel better. The local pizza place delivered their specialty within 30 minutes. My intentions were to binge on the whole 13-inch pizza.

But I have been listening recently to a lot of YouTube videos and podcasts about the neuroplasticity of the brain (transformation of the mind (Romans 12:2) and how this plasticity can be used to help one with disordered eating. Even though I haven’t fully “grasped” or put one (Ephesians 4:24) the principals, I rarely binge anymore and my problems are more in the realm of overeating. I stopped with 3 of the 8 pieces and put the rest in the refrigerator.

Then I watched the first episode of “The Chosen” once again. Even though I think I’ve seen it four times now, that last scene between Jesus and Mary Magdalene still touches something deep inside, and it did even last night. It made me forget about Ivan being gone from my life. When Jesus told Mary “You are mine,” he might have been speaking to me. It was an actor portraying Jesus, and even though he does a spectacular job, I suspect when Jesus says those to me, it will touch something even deeper within me. I eagerly await that day.

Meanwhile I used the money the family gave me for Ivan’s things to go to Menard’s for a window air conditioner. The central air at my house has not worked all summer, and I’ve limped along on fans; but I thought the window conditioner might be a good use of my “Ivan money”.

A lot of people call their air conditioners AC. My air conditioner will be called IZ which sounds a little bit like icy, and I trust that’s how I will feel tonight while going to sleep in cool comfort but without a doubt will still be missing my Ivan.

CODEX a Novel by Megan Fatheree

Although I don’t personally know Megan Fatheree well, I went to youth group with her father many moons ago. It is through him and his wife that I became aware of her writing.

This is the first book of Megan’s I’ve read. Hopefully, it will not be the last because there is a secondary character in Codex whose story needs to be told. This book is so well written it would be intriguing to see how Megan’s future works evolve. Add to that the fact that I am a word nerd, and she has a couple words in there I’d not previously known. It’s always good to learn as one reads.

Codex could easily fit within a genre popular in the 1970s called the gothic romance. There is a spooky mansion, an element of the supernatural, and an abundance of dark, brooding, mysterious men. If I hadn’t read the description of the book, I would not have been able to tell with 100% certainty until the end of the story which of the two principal male characters would wind up being the hero.

Amorette is a quintessential romantic heroine. She is a young, a bit naïve, brave, enthusiastic, too-curious-for-her-own-good woman who falls in love with an older–much older–man.

The ultimate winner of Amorette’s heart is not very likeable at the beginning of the book, but he becomes more charming as the story progresses; and he is clearly a genuine good guy by the end.

The secondary characters are more fleshed out than is common in a novel of this length; and, as mentioned previously, there is one I hope to see as a principal character in a future Megan Fatheree novel.

Any female over the age of 15 will be charmed by this well-crafted story. There is no sex or language, but there is quite a bit of violence; it is for that reason I would not recommend it for a younger reader.

Although the theme is not overtly Christian, and Jesus is not mentioned at all, the writer is a devout follower of Jesus; and good, evil, and redemption are well delineated throughout.

If you like investing in new authors in hopes of discovering a future best seller, as do I, pick up this book. It is available as an Ebook and paperback via your favorite bookseller. Thanks and God bless you.

PLEMD

Post-Loss Exponential Multiplication Disorder

I’m not advertising this post on Facebook or anywhere else. If you’re on my mailing list, you will, of course, read about it. Feel free to not even take a look at this one.

When I write anything–this blog, Facebook posts, and books–I try to be as transparent as possible. That is certainly true in this case; but, because depression has hit and it’s possible a meltdown is looming on the horizon you may want to ignore this.

And I have coined a new mental health acronym. (I know that’s not the correct term because PLEMD does not spell a pronounceable word, but please allow it just this once.)

PLEMD. I’ve got it big time.

Rod died over 5 years ago now. That was a not-unexpectedly huge loss.

But how many have there been in the ensuing years that were somewhat less expected?

Loss of couple friendships. (1×2=2)

Loss of a person with whom I could share anything (not just my husband but others in our circle of friends). (2x let’s say 10= 20)

Loss of any chance of ever being what the world would describe as a “normal” person. Rod’s presence lent an air of normalcy to my existence. (20×2=40)

Loss of home. (40×2=80)

And with the loss of a home the opportunity to be a hostess for family gatherings. This has happened more than once, but the last one was within the last week. (80×2 so far = 160)

It is the one that has given rise to the out-of-sort feelings today.

This is a pity-party post. If you come across it when you are reading a future more upbeat or at least hopefully teaching/enlightening post, please pass it by.

But. . .

If there is anything about this post that resonates within you, know that I am praying for the fringe people, the misfits, the marginalized, all who feel like they will never truly belong anywhere.

Because we do.

Even though we can’t see it right now, Jesus loves us. Remember JLM in Euroclydon is Jesus Loves Me in Euroclydon. While it may seem like a small thing to you, what I’m going through is a Euroclydon for me. And even though I can’t feel it, I have to believe, Jesus is holding me right now.

And that means. . . Jesus is holding you.

Gratitude Journal

Intentional gratitude breeds joy. Try it. Here’s an example.

Tonight just a few minutes ago I was driving home from work in Raspberry Shortcake. The outside temperature must have been around 45F, cool enough to require turning up the heat to 85 but setting it on defrost so it wouldn’t blow cold air in my face. Since it wasn’t all that cold, after about 3 minutes, I knew the engine would be hot enough to blow warm air in my face, so I switched over to the face blower.

Absolute bliss.

A perfect opportunity to thank God.

For a car that has a working heater. I’ve driven many that did not. I thank him for those, too, because they got me and my kids where we needed to go.

But mostly for recognizing that moment of near euphoria which, likewise, is not experienced nearly as often as I would like. And for remembering that Gary Chapman (first husband of Amy Grant) song from probably 35 years ago which contains lines that go something like this: “Well, I know we can’t live by feelings, so please don’t get me wrong. But ain’t it kinda nice when the good feelings come along?”

Amen.

So I thank God for the good feelings.

And I think him for:

Rory

Jordan

Karen

Jessica

Brittney

Aaron

5 Years Ago

Mom and I like to watch the old Datelines on channel 49. Every single time, at some point, the narrator will say something like “Then nearly 5 years ago to the day. . . ” or “just over 8 years ago to the day”. If any qualifying adverb appears in a statement such as that, it pretty much nullifies what it is describing.

I am not qualifying my statement with a “nearly” or a “just over”.

Five years ago today, I sat in a chair at a beauty shop while Wendy made me as beautiful as possible so that I could do my husband proud. After doing my hair, she watched me apply my makeup and told me I had accomplished my goal.

Next, I headed over to the church to change into my new outfit bought especially for the occasion. I think the pastor was already there, but I’m not sure anyone else was. For a few quiet minutes, I had the whole place to myself, a bit of time to prepare my soul for what was to come.

The bathroom where I changed clothes was not far from the sanctuary and directly adjacent to the hallway leading to it, and when I heard the noises made by several people rearranging things, I knew it was time. As I write these words, it is 4:55 p.m. That is the time this occurred on February 11, 2016.

I asked my pastor if I could go ahead and go in, just for a minute before everyone else started to arrive.

“Of course.”

I opened the double metal doors leading to the sanctuary, the set that was nearest to me, half expecting to be blown away by the smell of chrysanthemums.

There were a few plants, and there may have been some flowers — I honestly don’t remember — but certainly not enough for the scent to permeate the air in the cavernous room.

My eyes were immediately drawn to the front.

There he was.

If he’d been there, really been there, he would have been annoyed with me. We had discussed this possibility, half-heartedly, of course, anticipating the occurrence sometime far in the nebulous future; and he always told me to just “throw him in a field somewhere.” Aside from that being illegal (I think), there was no way this would happen, and I told him so.

As was usually the case with me when we were together in public, at least for the previous 6 years anyway, I made my way toward him, the one whom God used so greatly to help heal my mind. He was my safety net. He was the one who helped me not be so afraid to socialize. The one who prayed for me daily in such a way that I could feel it. The one who not only thought I was beautiful but told me I was a blessing! He was my angel.

I took his hand. Rod was always hot, no matter the temperature; but I anticipated his hand this time being cold.

It wasn’t exceptionally so, but as I slipped my long fingers around the webspace between his massive right thumb and index finger inserting their tips into the space formed by the palm of his hand where it rested beside him, there were no similarities between any other time I’d held his hand.

Nonetheless, hold his hand I did. I talked to him. I don’t think I cried. Couldn’t mess up my makeup. Wanted to make him proud as he’d so often been throughout our 6-year marriage. To this day, he is the only person who has made me believe that is proud of me.

Then the people started coming. The woman in charge wanted me to take a place at Rod’s feet. I refused, wanting to be near his precious face. He had not been ill prior to his death–it was sudden– and he truly did look like he was simply asleep. The muscles of his face were so used to being in a smile, the person who prepared him for the viewing couldn’t completely get rid of it, and the left side of his mouth was tilted up ever so slightly.

Many people passed.

Some of his guy friends dropped things in with him. One young man came through the line early, and upon seeing the knives and hunting paraphernalia already there, went home to retrieve one of his favorite pocketknives, returned, and left it there as well.

Most said something along the lines of “If there’s anything I can do. . . “

Of course there wasn’t. Well, there was, and many of them were already doing it. Praying.

Not for Rod. No one who knew him could doubt he was now healthy and whole and happier than he’d ever been in the land of the living, happier than any of us could even imagine.

No, they were praying for me. His daughters. His sisters.

Those for whom this day and the day 4 days prior had created a tremendous hole in our worlds.

Rod was a Valentine’s Baby. He missed his 56th birthday by 7 days. This Sunday he would have been 61.

I didn’t know you were an angel when you were here. I do now. And even though I know you probably can’t hear this. . .

And don’t want to read it. . .

I miss you, my angel.

In Memory of

Roderick Lloyd McDougall

February 14, 1960 – February 7, 2016

Review

I just finished reading through this whole thing. That’s right — the whole ?? pages/words of this blog!

I was taken aback by how many grammatical and spelling errors were present. If you are an Aspie — and if you’re reading this you might be — see how many you can find.

More troubling was the fact there hasn’t been as much soul relinquishment and spiritual takeover as I’d hoped at the beginning.

But this is a journey. Or better, as Steven Curtis Chapman put it, a Great Adventure.

Usually my blogs are written out in a Word document before I ever even open up the blog. Not so this time. It’s truly seat of the pants writing and probably pretty boring. As a brief aside: I do not like to use the word “boring” and have tried to convince my 7-year-old granddaughter it actually means the same thing as “fun”. Neither she nor her 4-year-old sister believe this.

I implore you, reader, to read some of the previous blogs. 2 Corinthians chapter 1 tells me I have not gone through any hardships simply for the sake of going through them. These experiences are to help others.

One thing I noticed on my read-through was how many times I mentioned music. Therefore, I’ll conclude this short post with a Midnight Special live performance of my all-time favorite song. It was released in 1977, the year I took Behind the Wheel driver’s ed, and I can remember it playing in the training car. It is not a Christian song, and its message is a bit depressing, including the prominently and well but sung but disturbing line “I just don’t care”. Ignore the words if you can and just enjoy the music. And please, check out some of the previous posts (and the much more uplifting lyrically and nearly as wonderful musically songs).

God bless you always.

Clay

I am in the middle of an attempt at reading through the Bible in 90 days. Today I am in the book of Isaiah. Chapter 45 verse 9 just jumped off the page, and I felt my Father telling me to pause right there and write these words.

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. The most common word for one such as I is “Christian”. Over the centuries since He for whom we are named walked the earth, the word has lost much of its meaning. Now I sometimes just say I am a lover and follower of Jesus.

I also have Asperger’s. This is not a disease, a curse, or a disability. It is simply a difference. Because of the black and white thinking that often accompanies it (and certainly does in my case) some aspects of following Jesus are easier. It is quite easy for me to accept the Bible as the absolute Word of God. Jesus is called the Word. Both are absolute TRUTH.

Being an Aspie does come with hardships, such as fellowshipping with other believers and sometimes even understanding them. When my husband (neurotypical to the extreme) was alive, he was utterly confounded by my lack of desire to socialize between the two morning church services. I was so uncomfortable with this activity I would often go sit in the truck at the conclusion of the service and wait for him to finish speaking with everyone in the church. Now, of course, I just leave as soon as it’s over.

But for the purpose of this post, let’s talk about one of the potential positives of Asperger’s – black and white thinking.

What do you see in this picture?

How about this one?

This one?

Which is the most beautiful?

Which is the most useful?

With which do you most identify?

If you are an Aspie it is most likely the last picture.

I would. Throughout my nearly 60 years here in the land of the living, I’ve compared myself negatively to nearly everyone I’ve met, Christian and not. I’ve researched this tendency of mine to make comparisons and don’t think this is a trait of Asperger’s.

But compare I do. It’s probably one of those things God will spend the rest of my earthly life trying to correct.

So, what sets apart the last picture?

Different.

A little odd looking (at least to standard perceptions).

Maybe difficult to determine exactly what its purpose is.

However. . .

Do you think the person who created this last pot was not proud? Did he not find his creation utterly beautiful?

If the creator were not proud, surely he wouldn’t have shared it on the internet where everyone could behold its beauty and, yes, speculate on its utility.

I am God’s clay pot.

You are God’s clay pot.

His workmanship.

He is perfect and good and everything He makes is perfect and good. Yes, the perfection and goodness have been distorted and lost in a world that has rebelled against Him. But you, in the untouched form in which He created you, are perfect and good.

His masterpiece.

When you bemoan the fact that you are so “different” from everyone else, you are telling God He did it wrong. Ugghh. Not to say I haven’t done exactly that. Your thinking and mine have been distorted by the master of lies.

God created you beautiful, and He created you for a purpose. Quit arguing with God. Instead relish in your unique beauty while you seek out and perform His purpose for your life.

Extravagant Love

I originally wrote this in 2015. A few months later the BFF struggling with Alzheimer’s went to be with Jesus; a few months after that my angel Rod followed her. I hardly recognized the positive person who wrote what follows. Dear Father, help me find her again . . .

I John 3:1 (The Voice)  Consider the kind of extravagant love the Father has lavished on us—He calls us children of God! It’s true; we are His beloved children

Ephesians 5:2 (The Message)   Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.

Last night, I attended a bridal shower/Pampered Chef party.  There were probably a dozen ladies squeezed into the moderate-size dining and living rooms.  At one point, someone brought up my battle with cancer, and I told the group I am currently cancer free.  The Pampered Chef dealer, who is more friend than acquaintance, commented that had been a real trial in my life.  I agreed but told her it was pretty far down on the list of life storms I’ve encountered in the current century.  She seemed a bit taken aback by that.  How could anything be worse than a cancer that nearly took my life more than once?

I gave the matter considerable thought during the 15-minute drive home.  Why was that particular battle so far down on my list of “really bad things”?

Number one on my really-bad-things list is, of course, loved ones away from the Lord.  I’ve taken Jeremiah 31:16-17 as my Rhema Word, my personal promise from God, concerning my children and step-children.  Those verses say that “my eyes” will see my children return from the enemy’s land.  Note it doesn’t say my spiritual eyes.  Although I know my Father is well aware of these words in His Bible, I try to remind Him about them frequently.

Number two was the suicide of my father.

Number three was my divorce from the father of my children.

Number four is mental illness experienced by me and several loved ones.

Cancer is number five. 

And that’s only talking about what’s happened in the past 15 years.  There were some things from much farther back in my life which would go higher on the list.

Why?

How dare I treat cancer—a terrible disease with which so many have struggled, are struggling, or even have succumbed to—as a lesser evil than some of the other items listed above.

Love.

It’s the only explanation I can come up with.

Item #1 on the really-bad-things list occurs when someone rejects God’s love.

Item #2 occurs when a spouse is rejected by his/her mate.  The spouse’s love is rejected by the mate.  The mate’s love, for whatever reason, has died.

Item #3 occurs when a person chooses to reject the love of God and the love of everyone else in his/her life.

Item #4 occurs when a mind, either through disease or abuse, becomes incapable of rational thought and will sometimes reject the love of God and other people.  Item #3 is the most serious extreme of this.

Cancer, though?  Most people who are victims of this are innocent victims having done nothing to bring about the situation.  They haven’t necessarily rejected love. 

In my own experience with cancer, I was surrounded by love.  First the love of my Heavenly Father whose mighty hands guided the human hands of my caretakers, the love of Jesus who sat one night in a rocking chair next to my hospital bed to keep me company, and the Holy Spirit whose Presence I could sense even in the lowest of lows physically.

Then there was the love of people. 

My husband was so angry at the devil for bringing this upon me that many of his friends were more worried and prayed more fervently about his emotional state than my physical one.  And, although he admittedly hates to read, he would often read to me out of the Bible, was quick to do so whenever I asked.  He is a concrete truck driver, my illness occurred in July and August, the busiest time of year for that business, but he would always rush home from work, shower, drive another 30 minutes to get to the hospital, and spend the evening with me.  His love, in part, is what drug me, sometimes kicking and screaming, back into the land of the living.

My mother.  If anything, she was even more stubborn than my husband in refusing to let me loose my sometimes fragile hold on earthly life.  Her love was the perfect mother’s love.

My children.  My son, as a man, is not real comfortable with expressing his emotions.  But he visited enough during my sickness there was no doubt that he loved me.  My daughter rode in the ambulance with me en route to my second hospital stay.  She worried about me.  She researched everything she could find on the internet about my form of cancer and learned that at the time I had a 5-year mortality rate of 60%.  Next July will be my 5-year-mark, and I have remained cancer free.

My sisters.  Before my first surgery, I charged both of them with the task of assuming motherhood for my children should anything go wrong.  They both tearfully but willingly accepted the assignment, promising to love and pray for my kids as though they were their own.

My best friends.  One of them was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s.  She would repeat to me over and over during this time that “a merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”  Amazing.  The other BFF was at my house the day after my first release from the hospital bearing a beautiful gift, a large piece of art which read, “Faith is not believing that God can answer prayer; it is knowing that He WILL.”  It has a prominent position in my house on the wall above the archway between my living room and kitchen, a constant reminder of what my soul frequently forgets.

My doctors.  Although I wouldn’t go so far as to say any of them “loved” me, the care they felt for me was tangible.  They were concerned not just with my physical health but with my emotional well being.

My pastor and his wife.  Pastor Larry visited me several times throughout all three of my hospitalizations.  He was there for every surgical procedure.  Wendy and the children came with him once during my second hospital stay.  He visited me during my homebound convalescence.  He prayed with me.  Those times were times when the supernatural peace of God flooded my being.  No matter the aches and downright pain I was feeling in so many places on my body; no matter the fact that a stranger had taken up residence in my head; there could be no discounting that overwhelming sense of well-being and—dare I say it—joy! that permeated my soul after those prayers.

Even my husband’s boss.  Dan loves Rod; there’s no doubt about that.  He also loves my sister, Jessie, who manages the office of his concrete plant.  He barely knew me.   But one day he visited me in the hospital when no one else was there.  Taking a seat in the chair next to the bed, he told me he was very worried about Jessie.  He told me flat out he didn’t know if I would live or die.  He was the only person ever brave enough to tell me that; he knew I didn’t fear death.  Indeed, I feared more the unknown entity of the stranger in my head than going to live with Jesus.  Dan reminded me I needed to consider how Jessie, and others, would handle the situation if the outcome of my illness was not the one they were praying for.  Toward that end he left me a packet of short scriptures on cards and a cute little stand to place them on.  I kept the same scripture right in front of me on the hospital tray throughout the remainder of that hospital stay.

So . . . love.

That’s the difference between items 1-4 and item #5.  Although love was undoubtedly present in each of those situations, it was soooo hard to find.  Remember that in your sharing love with God and the people He has placed in your life.  Don’t be stingy with your love.  It’s not like you can ever use it all up.

Be extravagant.

  1.  What do you think it means to love extravagantly.  How does such a thing feel?
  2. Have you ever been the recipient of this type of love?
  3. What will you do today to show this love to
    1. A family member?
    1. A friend?
    1. A stranger?

Abominable Snowman

As winter approaches, we see signs of it in the red and yellow leaves covering more of the ground than the trees. We see in in the people out and about bundled up for the season.

What we haven’t yet seen this year is. . . the snowman.

In the movies Frozen and Frosty, we see Olaf and Frosty “dying” and then coming back to life.

That also describes the follower of Jesus Christ. When the blood of Jesus is applied to his heart, what was stained dark with sin becomes white as snow (Revelation 7:14). He dies to himself and lives unto God (Galatians 2:20).

What about the abominable snowman?

God also tells us that we have been made the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).

We have our white clothes, We are the righteousness of God, How is it then that we from time to time turn into the abominable snowman?

In Proverbs 17:15 God says that he who condemns the righteous is an abomination to the Lord (just as much as he who justifies the wicked).

What do you speak?

About your brother?

About yourself?

Are you speaking condemnation? Romans 8:1 tells us there is no condemnation to those who belong to Christ Jesus.

So, Snowman, beloved of God, put off the abominable and walk in the righteousness you possess in this season of snow, the season when we first focus on all the reasons we are thankful and then celebrate the birth of our soon-coming King!

Angels Among Us?

gardenTaken from sermon streached on July 26, 2020:
In Genesis 1:31 “31 Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good!
And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day,
On the 6th day, the world was very good. So, what happened? Is it possible that angels were somehow involved?
’What are angels? Why did God create them? When did God create them? Why did God create the devil? Are they relevant to us at all today?
What are angels? Angels are beings who have greater power and ability than humans.
Why did God create them?
He created them to assist him in a variety of ways—as messengers, warriors, and protectors; and as ministers to Christians.
When did God create them? Angels existed prior to the creation of the earth because God tells Job in chapter 38:1-7 “Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:

     2 “Who is this that questions my wisdom
with such ignorant words?
    3 Brace yourself like a man,
because I have some questions for you,
and you must answer them.
     4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell me, if you know so much.
    5 Who determined its dimensions
and stretched out the surveying line?
    6 What supports its foundations,
and who laid its cornerstone
    7 as the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?”

create satanThis is a question I’ve pondered for years. Several preachers have told me that they didn’t know the answer; and I respected them for their honesty. Recently, maybe within the past year, it has come to my attention that angels, like humans, were created with free will. There is the answer.
Lucifer believed he was God and no longer wished to serve the real God. For this transgression, he and his followers were cast down to earth where they immediately began to wreak havoc on the beautiful world God had created. The devil, and the other fallen angels who followed him, were created, like those who still serve God—before the creation of the world.
The first thing satan did, of course, was get man to sin. He succeeded in getting Adam and Eve cast out of the beautiful and perfect garden God had created for them.
Just after that, satan learned that God (Genesis 3:15) was going to use one of the woman’s children to strike his head (kill him). So, he set to work trying to eliminate this possibility, first by getting Cain to kill Abel thereby eliminating both of these children as contenders. Of course, Adam and Eve went on to have more children, including Seth.
By Genesis 6, there were many people on the earth. In those days people lived for hundreds of years and kept having children well into their hundreds. Imagine how many children that might have produced. These children would have included the descendants of Seth from whom the Savior would come.
According to Genesis 6:1-4, the angels who had followed satan in his desertion and had been cast to the earth chose the fair women of earth to be their wives; thereby polluting human DNA with that of angels. The offspring of the human and angels were giants who became the “heroes and warriors of the ancient past.” These were called Nephilim and later Rephaim and Anakim.
God saw that between the natural proclivity of humans to sin and the additional scourge of the presence of both the fallen angels and the Nephilim, Rephaim, and Anakim, the world he created had been completely corrupted and needed to be destroyed. Yet, there was a man in the lineage of Seth who had found grace in God’s eyes. This is the same grace God bestows on us through faith in Jesus. Noah was not a perfect man any more than we are perfect.
It is speculated, and this is not stated in the Bible, that neither Noah nor his wife nor their 3 sons had Nephilim in their bloodlines. Considering the way the patriarchs who would come later would choose their wives, this would make sense.
God saved these 8 people from the destruction of the rest of the world including the humans, angels, and Nephilim who all drowned in the flood.
One purpose of the flood usually overlooked was that it preserved the fully human bloodline from whom the Messiah would come. The fact that God put Noah’s story in the Bible immediately after the story of the Nephilim backs this up. How many of those killed in the flood were tainted with Nephilim DNA? It is not possible to know, but it could have been a majority. Those who were not were undeniably still affected in the negative by the acts of the godlike creatures because Genesis 6:5-6 says    “The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart.”
Do you not think God’s heart is broken today by what he sees going on in the world. Two of the greatest evils, abortion and the children kidnapped and/or sold into the sex slave industry, alone have to be so much worse than anything that was going on in the pre-flood era. But. . . to my knowledge there are no half-human/half-angel hybrids living among us.
So where do the Nephilim and Anakim mentioned after the flood in the Bible come from? Remember, Goliath whom David slew, was such a giant. Were those who existed before the flood tall enough to survive it?
That is doubtful because even mountains were covered by the flood.

flood
Although this is not stated in the Bible, consider this: What if one of Noah’s daughters-in-law carried the Nephilim blood line? Her children would also carry the Nephilim DNA. The Bible does say in Genesis 9:25 “25 Then he (Noah) cursed Canaan, the son of Ham:

“May Canaan be cursed!
May he be the lowest of servants to his relatives.””

This curse was pronounced by Noah just after Ham had discovered him drunk and naked in his tent. So why not just curse Ham? That would cover Ham and all his sons, of who Canaan was the 4th.
Is it possible that Canaan displayed some characteristics of the Nephilim? Canaan, the son of Ham, settled in the land that would become Israel. Before it was known as Israel, though, it was known as the Promised land, and before that it was known as Canaan. Remember, in the time of Moses, the spies sent to explore this land reported that “the people living there are powerful, and their towns are large and fortified. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak!” (or Anakim). Where did these Anakim come from if they were all killed in the flood?
In between the time of Noah and the time of Moses, we have the time of the patriarchs: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Remember, each of them (or their parents) were very careful to choose wives for them who were not Canaanite.
Jesus was to come from the seed of the woman. Woman is called “woman” because she was taken out of “man”. Nephilim were not “men”; therefore, they were not women. The Seed promised by God could not come from them. The patriarchs themselves may not have known why they were to stay away from the Canaanite women, but God made sure that they did.
What is the relevance of angels in today’s world?
nephilimThe fallen angels are no longer capable of breeding with humans, and presumably Goliath was the last of their offspring. Clearly, though, they are still hard at work in the spiritual realm sewing seeds of evil throughout the world in whatever way is deemed most effective.
The messengers of God are also still active in the spiritual realm and sometimes are even visible to us (Hebrews 13:2).  But remember, although angels and fallen angels have more power than we do, God is much more powerful than any of them.
One of the jobs of the angels is to serve Christians, or followers of the Way. Jesus is the Way and every word in the Bible (God’s love letter to us), including the verses concerning Nephilim and Rephaim/Anakim points us to Him. He is the reason we are here today, and it is in Him that we live and move and breathe. Glory be to God the Father, Jesus the Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

jesus is the way