The official blog of author Jean Marie Bauhaus

Tag: 2022

The Armor of God and the War on Our Emotions

Image by Nadine Doerlé from Pixabay

I was originally going to title this post “The War on Frequencies and the Armor of God,” in response to the video I’ll share below. The first part of this post is going to focus on why I made the change.

I’ve become something of a fan of Dr. Laura Sanger, who is featured in the video, from her appearances on the Blurry Creatures podcast (possibly, weirdly, one of the most important podcasts of our time, and I’m not being hyperbolic). I have an enormous amount of respect for her abilities as a researcher and the way her mind works to put things together — not to mention her courage in sharing the things she finds that could get her into heap big trouble.

So when I first heard her on Blurry Creatures discussing the topic of the below video, I did a lot of nodding along. It all made sense, and I was intrigued enough to visit her YouTube channel and hear more on the subject. And based on that video, I was inspired with a lot of thoughts on how it all related to the armor of God in Ephesians 6. I outlined my thoughts in my journal, but before I could get around to turning said outline into an article, I got what I can only define as a check in my spirit that I needed to do my due diligence and “test the spirits” by taking a more careful look at some of her claims and where they were sourced from.

In both her video and blog post, she makes this claim:

“Thanks to the growing field of quantum physics, we know that all matter has frequency. In fact, every cell in our body carries a frequency, it’s the vibration of life. But not only does matter have frequency, emotions have frequencies as well.”

Even the first time I heard her on the podcast, I had some reservations about her use of frequencies and vibrations, which struck me as New Age concepts. The supposed tie to quantum physics seemed to give this concept some legitimacy, though, and I wanted to keep an open mind and not be knee-jerk dismissive. But then I almost went too far the other way and let myself believe that since a knowledgeable Christian whom I respect was saying this, then it must be true and spiritually safe. I’m glad I decided to listen to that check in my spirit, instead.

In support of this claim, she cites a video by Dr. Joe Dispenza, a supposed expert in the quantum vibrations created by our emotions and their impact on our overall health and wellbeing.

A bit of digging turned up that Dr. Dispenza is, in fact, a New Age chiropractor and self-help author of such books as “Becoming Supernatural,” which is all about how we can combine principles of quantum theory with “ancient wisdom” and New Age practices to step outside our physical reality and transcend our physical limitations.

Yikes.

So I decided to see if there was some actual scientific research out there regarding quantum theory, emotions, and vibrational frequencies.

The best I could do was several studies showing that frequency of positive and negative emotions — as in, how often they occur — impact both our mental and physical health. FrequentLY occuring negative emotions can have lasting negative impact on our health, and vice versa. Negative emotions cause stress that has both physiological and neurological impacts on our hormones and biological systems. That’s an established scientific fact. It’s also common sense.

But try as I might, I couldn’t dig up any actual studies regarding emotional frequency in the vibrational sense. And when I went spelunking for some scientific evidence tying quantum theory to emotions and to frequencies and vibrations in the human body, all I landed on were New Age websites and sources — and this Quora thread of actual physicists and experts on quantum mechanics saying that these claims are pseudoscientific nonsense that have nothing to do with actual quantum physics. So take that as you will.

I’m pointing all of this out by way of disclaimer, because despite the fact that Dr. Sanger unfortunately, and unnecessarily (and probably also unwittingly), felt the need to reach for unscientific New Age explanations to support her point, I still agree with her point, and think that just about everything else she’s saying in this video is spot on. Which is why I’m still sharing it and encouraging you to watch it.

But I’m also highlighting all of this to make my own point, which is how crucial it is in this day and age to be a Berean and to test everything. We can’t just stop at, “I like this person and what they’re saying sounds plausible, so I’m going to just trust them and go with it.” Where are they getting their information? What’s the primary source? What’s the motivation or agenda behind that source? Is this easily debunked? And etc. Not to mention, “How does this line up with scripture?” But as I’ve learned the hard way, that last question can’t be the only criterion, because the Enemy knows scripture, and knows how to use it to deceive us into believing his lies. And it is SO easy right now for even the most Biblically literate and spirit-led Christian to unknowingly walk right into this kind of trap if we’re not careful.

With all of that said, here’s the video.

What she’s calling a war on frequencies is what I would instead call a war on our emotions — and I 100 percent agree that this is, in fact, a war that’s being waged on us by both our spiritual enemies and the human agents aligned with their agenda. Vibrational frequencies aside, she’s absolutely correct that keeping us perpetually locked in a state of fear and/or outrage is wearing us down, damaging our health, and making us easier to manipulate and control, as well as easier to kill.

I heard another podcast recently — the exact show and episode escapes me at the moment — in which they were talking about how spiritual warfare is a war of attrition, in which the enemy’s aim is to wear us down until we give up and surrender. What better or more effective way to do that than to keep us confused, angry and afraid?

And that’s where the armor of God comes in.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. – Ephesians 6:10-13

In those studies I mentioned above, as would make sense, the reverse is also true: frequently-experienced positive emotions, like love, joy, peace, gratitude, and so on, have healing effects on both our minds and bodies and a positive impact on our overall health. In light of that, it’s interesting that the armor and weapons we’re given in scripture to combat spiritual attacks seem designed to pull us out of negative thought spirals and get us into a more positive and hopeful frame of mind. Let’s look at what the armor of God entails:

The belt of truth – with ancient Roman armor, which was undoubtedly Paul’s model, the belt fastened around the waist and provided support for the heavy breastplate and the shield, as well as holding the sheath for the sword. Without this belt, the rest of the armor wouldn’t function. What is the belt? It’s the unchanging, unwavering, objective truth of God’s word.

Elsewhere, in Philippians 4:8, Paul provides a list of positive attributes to set our minds on in order to maintain internal peace. The first of these is “whatever is true.” The Enemy’s favorite mode of attack is to hurl lies at us — often very convincing lies. In order to effectively fight off such attacks, it’s imperative that we seek out the truth and saturate our minds with God’s word, which combats anxiety-inducing lies, replaces them with peace, and without which the rest of our armor will fail.

The breastplate of righteousness – There’s a corollary to this in 1 Thessalonians 5:8, where Paul instructs us to put on the breastplate of faith and love. “Faith” is the Greek word pistis, which can mean faith as in belief or trust, but can also mean faithfulness, as in fidelity or loyalty. So our breastplate, which guards our hearts, is our righteousness in Christ, which consists of trust in God, loyalty to him, and love for him and for others.

It’s hard to be angry and outraged all the time when you’re trusting God and walking in love.

The shoes of the readiness given by the gospel of peace – This is generally seen as being in a state of readiness to share the gospel, and sure, it can mean that. But sharing the gospel is an offensive move against the enemy, and armor is defensive equipment. I think this is more about the stability we receive from the peace brought by the gospel, the confidence we have in Christ, which makes us ready to stand and fight. God’s supernatural peace gives us stability that keeps us from being knocked back or blown over by the Enemy’s attacks.

How do we get that peace? Phillipians 4:4-7:

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 rdo not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication twith thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

It’s also important to note the verb tense regarding these items of armor:

14 Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.

In the Greek, it’s even more clear that the verb communicates a state of having already done something. As far as these first three items go, these are things we are to maintain and keep fitted on at all times so that we’re always ready for battle.

But then we’re told to take up the shield of faith and to take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, implying that these are things we grab hold of and make use of in the time of need. Let’s look at each of them.

The shield of faith – Again, this is pistis, which can mean both believing faith and faithfulness. Another way to look at faithfulness is obedience. So we take up our shield, which can extinguish every fiery arrow the enemy launches at us, by trusting and obeying God and his word. Which we’re told to do in every circumstance.

Funny thing — fear propaganda doesn’t really work on you when you’re trusting God with your whole heart and walking in obedience to Him.

The helmet of salvation – Again, 1 Thessalonians 5:8 fleshes this out a little bit — there Paul says the helmet is the hope of our salvation. Being secure in your salvation in Christ produces an unwavering sense of hope that guards your mind from the despair the Enemy keeps trying to put on you.

Looking around right now, in early May of 2022, this world looks really freakin’ hopeless. It would be so easy to fall into despair and be riddled with anxiety and depression — which is just what the Enemy wants. But we know our hope is not in this life. We know all of this has been prophesied and we know how it will end. We know our ultimate destiny, and that our lives are in God’s hands, and nothing and nobody can snatch us out of them. We know Jesus is coming. And we will not lose hope.

Finally, we’re given an offensive weapon:

The sword of the Spirit – The full line reads, “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication.”

When the Bible mentions the word of God, it tends to use two different words: Logos and Rhema. It’s often taught that “logos” means the written word and “rhema” means the spoken word, but that’s not actually correct. More accurately, rhema is the words themselves, and logos is the meaning or message that they convey.

The Greek word used here is rhema. The sword of the Spirit — the weapon He wields on our behalf when we lean on Him in the battle — is scripture. Any part of the totality of God’s logos is an effective weapon against the attacks of the Enemy.

Just look at how Jesus fought off Satan when he was tempted in the wilderness. How did he respond to Satan’s attacks? “It is written,” followed by scripture. Again and again and again.

But then it goes on to say, “praying at all times in the spirit, with all prayer and supplication.” So our sword is two-fold: scripture and prayer. Citing scripture–speaking the truth of God’s word into the Enemy’s lies–and praying are both offensive moves against the Enemy, which put him/them on the defensive and make them flee.

What does it mean to pray “in the Spirit”? Some will say this means praying in tongues. I reject that teaching. Regardless of what you believe about the gift of tongues, Paul makes it clear in 1 Corinthians that not all believers receive the gift of tongues. If praying in the Spirit meant praying in tongues, then that would mean only those gifted with tongues, or languages, would be able to access and wield the sword of the Spirit.

I believe instead that praying in the Spirit means to check ourselves before we pray to make sure we’re not quenching the Spirit’s ability to work in and through us because of unconfessed sin or unforgiveness–both of which can hinder our prayers. Prayer’s not a very effective weapon if it’s not even reaching God because we’re all up in our flesh instead of walking in the Spirit.

Taken all together, what we have is a highly effective set of tools for combating this barrage of attacks on our emotions that’s so clearly intended to keep us angry, divided, fearful, sick, worn down and exhausted. Putting on the armor of God means walking in His truth, abiding in His love, laying hold of His peace, and basking in His hope. And let’s not forget thanksgiving, which brings us supernatural peace and contentment in the midst of even the most dire circumstances.

Or as Paul put it more succinctly to the Thessalonians (1 Thess 5:16-18), “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. Give thanks in all circumstances.”

This is how we lay hold of victory in this spiritual war against our emotions, our health, our freedom, and our very lives.

Back and There Again (Happy 2022!)

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

Happy first Monday of the New Year, friends!

I wrote another version of this post last week. I deleted it because I was in an introspective and melancholy mood that day, and it showed. And also because I went into WAY too much detail recapping 2021, after which it occurred to me that I had already written posts about most of those things, and y’all can just scroll back and read if you actually care.

With all that said, despite everything happening *gestures vaguely* out there, on a personal level 2021 actually turned out to be a pretty good year. It got off to a rocky start, with a brief period of unemployment and the Ice Apocalypse killing our well pump and cancelling our plans to get both an Anatolian shepherd puppy and chicks, but by March everything started coming together. We ended up getting Dixie, work started to roll in from bigger and better clients, we got our garden bed built and actually had our first successful vegetable garden, and then come fall we finally got our chicks and built them a coop from scratch. We made big strides on the homesteading front, and as far as freelance income goes, I had my best year ever. All those setbacks at the start of the year turned out to be prepping us for things to come together and work out just as they were supposed to.

With all the stuff going on, I spent the first half of the year in a bit of an existential crisis that was carried over from 2020, questioning whether I wanted to continue writing fiction and trying to make headway as an author in any way, shape or form, or if I just wanted to scrap it all and become a farmer. After a lot of prayer and soul searching, I realized that yes, I still want to write and publish novels, AND I want to be a farmer. And thanks in large part to Becca Symes and her Quitcast, I figured out what I needed to do both to get motivated to write again and to fit it back into my life. Which resulted in finally finishing my Dominion of the Damned trilogy and getting pretty darn close to finishing the romance novel I’d started in 2020.

(In my original draft of this post it took me more than 1200 words to tell you all of that. Seriously, be glad I deleted it.)

So what did I learn in 2021? A lot, actually. Too much to list here. But here are some highlights:

  • I learned a lot more about the Bible and theology, particularly around the areas of eschatology (end-times prophecy studies) and things pertaining to the Nephilim, the Tower of Babel, Enoch and all of that fun stuff. It didn’t really alter my views, but it all helped to refine and solidify my understanding of the Big Picture.
  • I went through a whole journey regarding conspiracy theories and trutherism and came out the other side feeling that it’s best to keep an eye on things with a healthy balance of open-mindedness and skepticism, testing and verifying everything to the best of your ability, and that overall my time and energy are better spent studying scripture and keeping my eyes on Jesus.
  • I learned a lot about the Thing that Shall Not Be Named, and also learned that when you find out information that’s contrary to the allowable beliefs about said thing, the only people who want to hear about it are those who already have their doubts and suspicions, and everyone else is happy to believe and go along with the sanctioned narrative and won’t appreciate you trying to educate them with facts, even if said facts could save their lives and/or long-term health. People are just gonna believe what they want to believe and do what they want to do. I tried, man. I guess I should just be glad that the officially sanctioned narrative is shifting and some of these facts are starting to be officially acknowledged and publicized–too late to help thousands, if not millions, of people make better-informed choices that could have saved lives, but whatever.
  • Relatedly, I discovered my voice this year and learned how to use it to say what I really think and believe.
  • I learned a lot about how I’m wired as a writer and what I need in order to become and remain consistently productive. And that, for me, showing up consistently to write a little each day is more effective than trying to do marathon writing sessions or cram in high daily word counts.
  • Related to that, I learned that I really am hardwired to need a lot of downtime to just think and process, and that I have to be careful not to cram so much into my schedule that I don’t have time for that. I need to spend at least as much time taking in and processing ideas and information as I do producing stories and content. Fortunately, I can get a lot of thinking done while still being productive at things like household chores and gardening, so it’s not like I have to just sit on my hinder and do nothing. But I do need to remember sometimes not to listen to podcasts while doing those things so I can give myself time to think instead.
  • Speaking of podcasts, and of learning about Nephilim and the pre-flood world, I learned that Blurry Creatures is an amazing podcast.
  • Finally, I learned that I’ve got a good life. I’ve always been plagued with a slight disassociation, a feeling of being somewhat removed from my own life, not feeling at home in my own skin, and feeling like I’m just biding my time and waiting for my real life to begin. But for the last couple of years those feelings have been steadily fading and I’ve been feeling more solidly grounded in my current life, more at peace with myself and at home in my skin, and more present and fully engaged. This last year I feel like I really turned a corner, and really felt for the first time in my almost-49 years how it feels to be truly alive and aware in the moment. There were a lot of moments this year, most of which involved being outdoors, covered in sunshine and surrounded by nature, soaked in sweat and covered in dirt and/or sawdust and/or chicken poop, many of which also involved doing a project with my husband, and just being filled with gratitude and thinking that I really, really love my life.

But all of that was last year. So what about 2022?

I have a feeling things are about to get real interesting. That the last two years were just the tip of the iceberg. I would love to be wrong. I’m not going to make predictions, but with aliens and UFOs and CERN and small pox all making headlines lately, I’m thinking we’d all best buckle up. At any rate, I’ve got all those things on my 2022 bingo card.

But one of my intentions for the new year is to spend less time looking at and thinking about headlines and more time praying, studying the Word and living this pretty great life I’ve been blessed with.

My big goal for the year is to grow my publishing income to a point where it can replace my freelance writing income so I can retire from that. To that end, here’s what I’m hoping to accomplish this year:

  • Publish six new books. I’ve got a head start on this, with my romance novel nearly finished, two novellas I wrote in 2020 waiting in the queue to be edited, and another novella started and waiting to be finished. The first novella is a stand-alone horror story that I’m hoping to release in February. The other two are the start of an urban fantasy series that will live in Kindle Unlimited. And to those I want to add a follow-up to my first romance novel, and a third novella — either a romance novella for Christmas or the third installment of the urban fantasy series. If all goes well I may try to squeeze in both, but that might be getting into magical thinking. At any rate, as long as life remains stable enough to keep writing, I’m going to do my ever-lovin’ best to release a book every other month, starting in February.
  • Repackage existing books. This will include paperback versions of Dominion, and eventually a boxed set, as well as a boxed set and a paperback collection of my shorter works.
  • Substantially grow my mailing list(s), set up lengthy automated campaigns and get back to monthly newsletters for both of my pen names.
  • Learn what I need to learn to become effective at advertising on Facebook and Amazon.

I’m also playing around with my schedule to see if I can fit a second writing session into my mornings and increase my average daily word count from 500 to 1,000. If I can do that, I’ll finish my current WIP in a couple of weeks, and I’ll be able to write a novella in about a month. So far so good — this morning I was able to fit in another half-hour of writing after my morning chores and Bible study. The big question is whether I’ll be able to keep that up once freelance assignments start coming back in (the agencies I work for are still closed for the holidays), but hopefully by then it will be enough of a habit that it won’t be something I have to think about.

I spent a lot of time over the weekend examining my priorities as far as marketing efforts go, trying to determine what will get me the most results for the least amount of effort. Social media and blogging both fell pretty low on the ROI list, so those are going to get less attention this year. Not that I’m not going to do them, but they’re not something I’m going to stress myself out about fitting into my weekly schedule. I may also phase out these coffee talks. I enjoy them, but they haven’t gotten any engagement in a long time, so I may just stick to more thematic, evergreen content when I feel moved to write some, as well as book news updates. If you want to keep up with what’s doing around the ol’ homestead, you can follow my personal Instagram–at least until I get mad at Instagram/Facebook/Meta whatever and decide I’m taking my toys back to my own sandbox, or they cancel me for all my spicy opinions and sharing of unapproved facts.

(Another thing I learned is that my “Strategic” brain is always editing my plans on the fly. It’s not ADHD that makes me flip back and forth so much, it’s just my strategic thinker wiring trying to adapt to life’s twists and turns.)

Other than that, we don’t have any big plans for the year. We’re just going to maintain the status quo, try to keep our current animals alive and healthy, expand our garden and learn some new skills. I started a 30-day diet reset today, but that’s not really a NY resolution, just needing to get things back on track and recover my health after the holidays. It’s not anything major, just avoiding sugar, alcohol and processed junk for the next thirty days to get it all out of my system and lower my chronic inflammation. Today is actually my first day in a while without any sweets. I had a pretty intense chocolate craving earlier, but I got through it. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon are usually my most intense craving times, so I’ve just got one more to get through today. Usually when I do this sort of thing, by day three the cravings start to abate, so I’m pretty confident that I’ll make it.

How’s your 2022 shaping up? Do you have a word for the year? Resolutions? Goals? Intentions? Hopes? Plans? Tell meeeee!

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