Party Animal to Disciple

A compelling story of the adverse effects of drugs and alcohol and divine intervention.

Testimony of Dan Masa

I learned much later that this combination was not a good mix. Coupled with my occasional bouts of epilepsy, I was flirting with death” – Dan Masa

 One might think that after attending Catholic school from first to eighth grade I’d have come away with some religious experience of reverential fear toward God. But, I didn’t. No spiritual impact had been imparted whatsoever. Perhaps, my family background played a role as to why. My parents were the epitome of party animals. I was thrust repeatedly into the mist of what they considered weekend fun. Yes, wild parties and drinking was the family staple. “Carouser” could have well been our last name, and we wore it proudly.

Well, as the saying goes, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Like my parent’s, I became a party animal in my adulthood. For me, drinking and all-night bashes were just a part of life, and of course, I didn’t see anything wrong with it. I grew into a heavy boozer, which led to a life of drugs. I learned much later that this combination was not a good mix. Coupled with my occasional bouts of epilepsy, I was flirting with death. However, even that didn’t stop me from my pursuit of drugs and alcohol. I was ignorant…totally oblivious as to the damage I was inflicting on my body. Only by the mercy of God was I spared during those times.

LIFE WITH DRUGS

I used cocaine in my high school years, and from then on, my life became a search for the next high. I had no idea how deep in I was – my moral compass was shot, and I had no one to give me the advice I needed to make better choices. Ironically, I was the go-toguy for counsel and support for others. Hmm, how funny, I never took my own advice.

 As a young man, I landed my first job at a convenience store. It was the perfect setup. Working as a clerk, I quickly found a convenient way to steal from the store shelves to support my habit. Each night, for the duration of my employment, I packed away bottles of alcohol and magazines and never got caught. Somehow, I ventured on to my chosen profession, which was plumbing –  an honest craft, but a lot of hard work at times.

Along the way, I met a guy named Scott, who was no novice to the drug and alcohol world. We soon became “best buds” drawn together like magnets. It was the worst hookup I could have made. And with neither of us the wiser, we went even further down the wrong road together. However, in spite of my addiction, I was able to function normally. You know, holding down a job and that sort of thing. Today it’s known as being a “functioning addict.” As for the seizuresI’d been having – well, I couldn’t have cared less.

Plumbing allotted me the means to support my habit. I reported for work daily and on time, performing my duties very well. I received promotions that lead to a bigger salary, and Ieven bought my first house. Things were going well, or so I thought.

THE ACCIDENT

The body can only take so much before things begin to malfunction. Little did I know, my life was about to take a turn for the worse. It was a typical work day, and I was driving a company pickup truck. I was heading down a four-lane road in a residential area. The night before, I’d been out indulging in my usual carousing, and I hadn’t had much sleep. I often functioned on four hours or less. This time, I’d only had two hours—and my body was still filled with drugs and alcohol. Half asleep with a good hangover, I blacked out.

I don’t remember anything after that, but here’s the story I was told: After blacking out, my truck went across all four traffic lanes. It missed two utility poles by a slim margin, went down an embankment, then into a retention pond where it flipped. I was submergedunder the waterof that pond, for forty-five minutes. During that time a passerby spotted my truck and called 911. The nearest hospital was two miles away, but the injuries I sustained were so severe that I had to be airlifted to a hospital fifteen miles away.

According to the medical staff,I was barely hanging on when I arrived. While the doctors worked frantically to save my life, I died multiple times and was brought back to life. It was no coincidence that the accident happened during the winter. I’ll never forget it. The date was December 16, 1988, in a suburb of Chicago. The doctors explained that the weatherwas in my favor because the cold temperature slowed down the process and miraculously preserved my brain. The next thing I remember is sitting in a wheelchair. I have absolutely no recollection of the trauma that my body went through.

ADJUSTING TO MY NEW LIFE

Recovery was a slow process. I was eventually assigned to rehab to learn how to function all over again. I would have years of painstaking exercises ahead. However, through all of this, I hadn’t given a single thought about God. I had no idea that it was He who’d spared my life – thanking Him for saving my life was out of the question. I was clueless. But over time, things slowly began to change.  

Once back on my feet, I depended on a cane for stability. I’d come a long way. Shortly after this a friend invited me to a Wednesday night meeting at his church. By then, I’d decided I needed some religion, so I started attending a Catholic Bible study. Again, I’m sorry to say that I didn’t get much out of it. But unbeknownst to me, God was working out the particulars on my behalf.

SALVATION

 I happened to run across a long-time friend named Randy who had attended plumbing schoolwith me. I was surprised to learn that he was a born-again believer. He spoke to me about his church which was Christian and I was intrigued. After sitting in a few of the studies I was touched as the Word came alive. For the first time I heard the gospel taught on a regular basis. It was there I repented of my sins, accepted Christ, and was baptized.

The Bible study not only gave me more spiritual insight, but I was also blessed to meet my present wife Doris to boot. She was the next best thing that could have happened to me, after Christ.

When I look back, I’m so thankful for the great mercy of my heavenly Father. Just the thought that I was hell bound, and God miraculously stepped in and spared my life. In all of that, He was saying to me, “Death can’t have you because I love you too much, Dan – I’m not done with you yet.” For this reason, I will tell my story of God’s mercy wherever I go, for His glory.

Pastor Anita Joe: As I read Dan’s story, it clearly reveals the heavenly Father’s great mercy toward mankind. Daily, God commends His loving-kindness to us in spite of ourselves. There’s no sinner that is to far-gone that He will not reach down and save. As the prophet declares;

Behold the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear… – Isaiah 59:1.

Beloved, God’s hand is ever reaching. His ultimate plan is salvation, to save you and reveal his plan and purpose for your life that He may be glorified.

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Blessings!

Welcome!

Welcome to all, we hope to see you again and to be able to encourage you through the scriptures

Welcome my friend, You are at the right place, at the right time.

Welcome one and all. It is my desire to lift your spirit, give you words of encouragement while imparting some insight on certain topics you might not be familiar with. Note that my blog is spiritually based concerning the body and soul.

There will be personal stories and testaments of loved ones, as well as myself, regarding health and spiritual experiences. We learn from each other and you are encouraged to share your experiences with us as you please, for we are your friend, and we are your family in Christ beloved.

We encourage you to speak your truth, to encourage others to be better than ever in this life, and never allow pride to keep you from forgiving or seeking forgiveness. Truth and transparency are key elements in becoming a better you.

There will be discussions of many different religions but I believe there is only one true and living God. Know that diversity is necessary. We are melting pot of various beautiful people which will allow us to learn about others and their beliefs, lifestyle, and culture. But we must respect one another if we call ourselves Christians, or call ourselves mature adults.

We are here to encourage you and your friends and family, never to hurt or demonize anyone. We all have a voice to be heard on this platform. In the big scheme of things, we are one in the spirit, and we are one in His love.

Feel free to impart wisdom, leave comments and ask questions, we are willing to be transparent, and are willing to stand in agreement with you in prayer. I am excited you are here! I hope we meet again. Be well, my friend, for you are welcome. To the only wise God our Savior, both power and dominion. Welcome, Anita & Courtney

If God is God, Why Do Bad Things Happen? Pt. 1

Pt. 1 of 3

Have you ever ask the question, “If God is God why do bad things happen?

I’ve heard this question a million times, as I’m sure you have. I would venture to say few have adequately explained it. In this blog, I would like, as respectfully and intelligently as possible, to give my answer.

Initially, my intention was to stand up for the Almighty, who is always being blamed for what mankind considers mishaps in the world. After thinking it over, I’m not quite sure He needs defending.

I pondered this pertinent question, If God is God, then why do bad things happen? I sought the Lord for wisdom as to a correct biblical approach. He reminded me of the time the Spirit spoke a “Rhema” word to me while I was in my prayer closet. He said, “I have a burden for Tucson…”

God had expressed this same message to the Old Testament prophets concerning Israel. They carried this heavy prophetic utterance which weighed upon the heart until it was delivered.     

In retrospect, I’d heard the many concerns about the widespread disunity among local churches and their leaders. After receiving this unction from the Lord, I felt a deep urgency to relay what the Spirit revealed. The same urgency followed in calling for corporate prayer among spiritual leadership. This was the first step in ending the divisions within the body.

The Spirit cannot work through fleshly vices; personalities or influence will never suffice. Only fervent prayer can and will prevail against spiritual enemies and bring about God’s perfect will. However, seeking His face would require prerequisites—humility and meekness. They are as essential as air, food, and water to the physical body.

I say with love that the struggle with humility is also widespread, especially among leadership. And for this reason, few are open to the resolution, because it would entail dying to the flesh and put one’s ego aside.

I began approaching different ones via phone calls about this spiritual matter. One particular brother I spoke with couldn’t have been any less pleasant. It goes without saying—with such an assignment there would, indeed, be opposition.

Arrangements were made to meet with this brother in his church office at a time convenient for his schedule. And so we met. A sister and I sat down across from his desk as he chomped down his lunch.

I proceeded with the message. It was apparent that he wasn’t the least bit interested in what was being communicated. There were no expressions of cordiality or eye contact and only a few brief questions here and there. It was as though I was summoned by a judge who found fault the moment I walked in.

Nevertheless, I delivered the message. “I have a burden for Tucson…come and gather for prayer and seek God’s face for His mind concerning the city.” I ended my speech. He then looked at me and began his statement with “If you are a pastor…?”

The devil darted this same question toward Christ while in the wilderness, stating: “If you are the Son of God…” (Matthew 4:6). What was his aim? To plant doubt about His deity by directly attacking His identity. The plan failed.

As did Christ, I perceived that the negative connotation assailed as a razor-sharp insult was sent by the adversary against my calling.  Immediately, I discerned a rival spirit. Therefore, I refused to engage. Analyzing the situation, there was no question that I was in the presence of a foolish man. So, standing firm in who called me, the attack rolled off me like water off a duck’s back. The Holy Ghost instructs not to tolerate such folly, as mentioned in Proverbs (see Proverbs 14:7).

As I contemplated the incident, the Spirit impressed upon me that throughout history, the majority of humankind arbitrarily rejects God’s answers. Why? Because it will always require a change of heart and obedience to the answer given. Even though many of God’s people possess such knowledge, He continually deals with this very thing, even today.

We insist that God give solutions suited for us, or else… This posture is displayed particularly during times of adversity. Although it’s not merely the question itself that poses a problem, it’s the attitude in which it is asked. As if God is intimidated into proving Himself based on our opinion of Him. Or perhaps we think He needs to guard His reputation.

Often, what men are actually displaying with this statement is pure disrespect. Behind their words is manipulation: God, if you’re really who you say you are…then you’d better do something!  The Lord will not be manipulated by anyone.

To add to this, we are not always open to accepting the answers to our questions. With conviction, I would earnestly petition all to be careful about how we approach a holy God, remembering that heaven is His throne and earth is His footstool (see Isaiah 66:1). to be continued…

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel… -Luke 4:18

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Fentanyl

Many are unfamiliar with Fentanyl, so I wanted to give you a little insight concerning this particular drug. This information will enlighten you in ways you had no knowledge of. Please read and continue to pray for loved ones and others you might be addicted to Fentanyl or any other drug.

Fentanyl is a narcotic that is commonly used for pain. Fentanyl is also a controlled substance that may be a high risk for addiction and dependence. Fentanyl can cause respiratory distress and death when taken in high doses or when combined with other substances, but especially alcohol.

Fentanyl should only be prescribed by doctors who are experienced in treating pain in cancer patients. It should be used only to treat breakthrough cancer pain (sudden episodes of pain that occur despite around-the-clock treatment with pain medication) in cancer patients at least 18 years of age (or at least 16 years of age if taking Actiq brand lozenges) who are taking regularly scheduled doses of another narcotic (opiate) pain medication, and who are tolerant (used to the effects of the medication) to narcotic pain medications.

This medication should not be used to treat pain other than chronic cancer pain, especially short-term pain such as migraines or other headaches, pain from an injury, or pain after a medical or dental procedure. Fentanyl may cause serious breathing problems or death if it is used by people who are not being treated with other narcotic medications or who are not tolerant to narcotic medications.

Fentanyl may cause serious harm or death if used accidentally by a child or by an adult who has not been prescribed the medication. Even partially used fentanyl may contain enough medication to cause serious harm or death to children or other adults. Keep fentanyl out of reach of children, and if you are using the lozenges, ask your doctor how to obtain a kit from the manufacturer containing child safety locks and other supplies to prevent children from getting the medication.

Dispose of partially used lozenges according to the manufacturer’s directions immediately after you remove them from your mouth. If fentanyl is used by a child or an adult who has not been prescribed the medication, try to remove the medication from the person’s mouth and get emergency medical help.

Fentanyl should be used along with your other pain medication(s). Do not stop taking your other pain medication(s) when you begin your treatment with fentanyl. If you stop taking your other pain medication(s) you will need to stop using fentanyl.

If you still have pain after using one lozenge or tablet, your doctor may tell you to use a second lozenge or tablet. You may use the second lozenge (Actiq) 15 minutes after you finish the first lozenge, or use the second tablet (Abstral, Fentora) 30 minutes after you started using the first tablet. Do not use a second lozenge or tablet to treat the same episode of pain unless your doctor instructs you that you should.

Double Dosing: You are using fentanyl film (Onsolis), you should not use a second dose to treat the same episode of pain. After you treat an episode of pain using 1 or 2 doses of fentanyl as directed, you must wait at least 2 hours after using fentanyl (Abstral or Onsolis) or 4 hours after using fentanyl (Actiq or Fentora) before treating another episode of breakthrough cancer pain.

Know that taking certain medications with fentanyl may increase the risk that you will develop serious or life-threatening breathing problems, sedation, or coma. Tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following medications: amiodarone (Nexterone, Pacerone); certain antibiotics such as clarithromycin (Biaxin, in PrevPac), erythromycin (Erythocin), telithromycin (Ketek), and troleandomycin (TAO) (not available in the US); certain antifungals such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Onmel, Sporanox), and ketoconazole (Nizoral); aprepitant (Emend); benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clonazepam (Klonopin), diazepam (Diastat, Valium), estazolam, flurazepam, lorazepam (Ativan), oxazepam, temazepam (Restoril), and triazolam (Halcion); cimetidine (Tagamet); diltiazem (Cardizem, Taztia, Tiazac, others); certain medications for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) such as amprenavir (Agenerase), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), indinavir (Crixivan), nelfinavir (Viracept), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra), and saquinavir (Invirase); medications for mental illness and nausea; muscle relaxants; nefazodone; sedatives; sleeping pills; tranquilizers; or verapamil (Calan, Covera, Verelan).

Your doctor may need to change the dosages of your medications and will monitor you carefully. If you use fentanyl with any of these medications and you develop any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical care: unusual dizziness, lightheadedness, extreme sleepiness, slowed or difficult breathing, or unresponsiveness. Be sure that your caregiver or family members know which symptoms may be serious so they can call the doctor or emergency medical care if you are unable to seek treatment on your own.

Fentanyl comes as four different transmucosal products and several other types of products. The medication in each product is absorbed differently by the body, so one product cannot be substituted for any other fentanyl product. If you are switching from one product to another, your doctor will prescribe a dose that is best for you.

A program has been set up for each fentanyl product to decrease the risk of using the medication. Your doctor will need to enroll in the program in order to prescribe fentanyl and you will need to have your prescription filled at a pharmacy that is enrolled in the program. As part of the program, your doctor will talk with you about the risks and benefits of using fentanyl and about how to safely use, store, and dispose of the medication.

After you talking with your doctor, you will sign a form acknowledging that you understand the risks of using fentanyl and that you will follow your doctor’s instructions to use the medication safely. Your doctor will give you more information about the program and how to get your medication and will answer any questions you have about the program and your treatment with fentanyl.

Your doctor or pharmacist will give you the manufacturer’s patient information sheet (Medication Guide) when you begin treatment with fentanyl and each time you get more medication. Please read carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist if there are any questions. You can also visit the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) website listed below (http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/ucm085729.htm) or the manufacturer’s website to obtain the Medication Guide.

Talk to your doctor about the many risks of using this Fentanyl.

I personally know someone who was addicted and passed from this drug. It is a horrible thing to be addicted to drugs; No! I don’t know through my own personal experience but through a friend/loved one. When someone dies from an overdose and there was nothing you could do. Along with the many questions that flood your thoughts daily for a long period of time, it is overwhelming to say the least.

The main question you want to know is why? A question that cannot be answered. But with leaning and trusting in God to get you through, it is the only way you will overcome this battle in your life. You may not always get the answer, but God gives you comfort and helps guide you throughout your day. One day becomes a year, and before you know it, all things are somewhat easier to cope with.

It is God, and only God! My Comfort, my Fortress, my Help, my Rock, my Strength, my Shield, my Friend. I call Him Jesus!

DIVINE PROTECTION III

DIVINE PROTECTION IN 2019 AND BEYOND…

My prayer for you: I declare God’s divine promises of protection over you and your family: May you dwell in the secret place of safety—May no evil come near you nor your loved ones—No disease shall posses your body—You shall not walk in terror but peace. I apply the blood of the everlasting covenant of Christ over your dwelling. I pray against all the evil forces assigned against you in 2019 and beyond in the mighty name of Jesus the Christ; Amen.

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because, He has anointed me to preach the gospel… – Luke 4:18

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Fear Not, for I am God!

According to Isaiah 41:10-13 the scriptures informs us to be not fearful, for our God is with us. No matter what situation lies before us, God will help us, He will never leave or forsake us. This is a promise we can count on.

Isaiah 41:10-13

10) Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

11)“Behold, all those who were incensed against you
Shall be ashamed and disgraced;
They shall be as nothing,
And those who strive with you shall perish.

12) You shall seek them and not find them—
[A]Those who contended with you.
Those who war against you
Shall be as nothing,
As a nonexistent thing.

13) For I, the Lord your God, will hold your right hand,
Saying to you, ‘Fear not, I will help you.’

Encourage Yourself In The Lord

(Numbers 23:19)

“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” 

Endometriosis

Signs and symptoms of endometriosis? (En·do·me·tri·o·sis)

  • Pain (usually pelvic) that usually occurs just before menstruation and lessens after menstruation.
  • Painful sexual intercourse.
  • Cramping during intercourse.
  • Cramping or pain during bowel movements or urination.
  • Infertility.
  • Pain with pelvic examinations.
  • Endometriosis causes painful periods and pain with deep penetration during sex. Since it can form scar tissue adhesions on the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus, it is often known to cause infertility in women. Endometriosis can be serious especially if it remains untreated.

Pelvic exam. During a pelvic exam, your doctor manually feels (palpates) areas in your pelvis for abnormalities, such as cysts on your reproductive organs or scars behind your uterus. Studies says it’s not possible to feel small areas of endometriosis, unless a cyst has form.

Left untreated, endometriosis can (however does not always) result in a range of symptoms, including: Dysmenorrhoea (pain during menstruation) Pelvic pain. Infertility (the inability to become pregnant) or subfertility (a reduced ability to become pregnant.

See your doctor if you have signs and symptoms that may indicate endometriosis.

Endometriosis can be a challenging condition to manage. An early diagnosis, a multidisciplinary medical team and an understanding of your diagnosis may result in better management of your symptoms.

Risk Factors

Several factors place you at greater risk of developing endometriosis, such as:

  • Never giving birth
  • Starting your period at an early age
  • Going through menopause at an older age
  • Short menstrual cycles — for instance, less than 27 days
  • Having higher levels of estrogen in your body or a greater lifetime exposure to estrogen your body produces
  • Low body mass index
  • Alcohol consumption
  • One or more relatives (mother, aunt or sister) with endometriosis
  • Any medical condition that prevents the normal passage of menstrual flow out of the body
  • Uterine abnormalities

Endometriosis usually develops several years after the onset of menstruation (menarche). Signs and symptoms of endometriosis end temporarily with pregnancy and end permanently with menopause, unless you’re taking estrogen.

8 diet changes which might aid in managing Endometriosis.

  • Increase Your Intake of Omega-3 Fats. Share on Pinterest
  • Avoid Trans Fats
  • Cut Down on Red Meat
  • Eat Plenty of Fruits, Vegetables and Whole Grains
  • Limit Caffeine and Alcohol
  • Cut down on Processed Foods
  • Try a Gluten-Free or Low-FODMAP Diet
  • Soy May Be Beneficial

Self Healing

Can endometriosis heal on its own? In certain cases, symptoms may simply go away. About one-fourth of women with mild endometriosis will find that their symptoms will resolve on their own.

Foods that could have a positive affect endometriosis

  • Fibrous foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
  • Iron-rich foods, such as dark leafy greens, broccoli, beans, fortified grains, nuts, and seeds.
  • Foods rich in essential fatty acids, such as salmon, sardines, herring, trout, walnuts, chia, and flax seeds.

Getting rid of endometriosis

Conservative surgery aims to remove or destroy the deposits of endometriosis and is usually done via a laparoscopy (keyhole surgery). The surgeon can either cut out the endometriosis (known as excision) or destroy it using heat or laser. Although surgery can provide relief from symptoms, they can recur in time.

Home remedies

  1. Heat. If your symptoms are acting up and you need relief, heat is one of the best home remedies you have at your disposal.
  2. OTC anti-inflammatory drugs.
  3. Castor oil.
  4. Turmeric.
  5. Choose anti-inflammatory foods.
  6. Pelvic massages.
  7. Ginger tea.

Encourage Yourself

My personal story regarding Endometriosis. I was living in Denver, Colorado when I started having extreme pain in my abdominal area. I decided to visit a women’s health clinic. But after doing so, they couldn’t find anything wrong with me.

With time the pain persisted making it very difficult to walk, stand for long periods of time, or be intimate. Within a months time, I made my way back to Arizona. Immediately making an appointment with my gynecologist, who was able to diagnose my symptoms right away.

My option to receive a shot every three months to help reduce the pain felt like a good one at the moment, until my hair started falling out and the weight gain horrified me.

After the first three months I decided against the injections. I couldn’t bare the thought of being a obese bald headed woman. My locks were everything to me, and the very thought of not being the most beautiful me I felt I could be, would affect my mind set in a most terrifying way. It was an image I wasn’t willing to adapt to.

But as God would have it, I seem to be healed. The pain was no more! It was the best decision I ever made, to quit the injections every three months.

Remember that Endometriosis requires a medical diagnosis. The most common symptoms are pain and menstrual irregularities.

 

Watch “Life-threatening cold hits millions across the US” on YouTube

Be aware!

Hello my beautiful people, just a note to remind you to pray for our country. Pray for safety, wisdom, strength, and compassion, as people weather the extreme temperatures in states such as Chicago and Minnesota.

The life threatening cold has hit millions across our nation. To the point that if you throw boiling hot water into the air, it freezes and turns into snow. An incredible thing to see.

Be vigilant in your prayers for our fellow brothers and sisters. Pray for safe travels, or that individuals will exercise extreme caution in all their decisions. Continue to pray for an abundance of food, warmth, and countability of loved ones.

Above all else, know that the Lord is able to supply all their needs, in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen!

Encourage Yourself: To GOD be the glory!

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