Posted in devotional, Inspirational, Tekoa Manning, TM, torah, Uncategorized

Wholly Illuminated

This week while scrolling through social media I read a meme (below) that described my week or parts of my whole existence.

survive

The meme, along with the raw words written by a friend, pierced me. Her vulnerability at that moment ministered to me. It went to a place in my soul that needed a bandage. It helped me cry. I believe there is rainwater from heaven in every droplet of our tears. Feelings are meant to be felt.
When I started this blog last week, I had no idea that I would add a portion exposing my vulnerability, but here I am.
I am a person that’s dealt with trauma in my lifetime. None of us are getting out alive.
When my husband and I go for short walks at night, he knows that if a dog barks, I will jump two feet. A loud horn blares. I squeeze his hand until my nails leave indentions. Earlier in the day, he walks behind me unannounced in the bathroom, and I scream bloody murder, my arms flaring and my heart pounding. Later, he wants to look at a property for sale in the country, secluded– and my first thought is a book written by Truman Capote called “In Cold Blood.” It would be funny if it weren’t true. Perhaps this is what helps me write fiction? I’ve lived a thousand lives under the sun. He briefly touches on the topic of my fears, and I blurt out,
“I am fearful of everything and nothing!”
“What?”
“I’m scared of people hurting me, dogs, going for walks, evil men, living in the middle of nowhere—living in the city. I’m petrified of hospitals, doctors, and the whole time we lived with my father I never once went on a walk with you for fear of a dog, a bobcat, a snake, or some ferocious animal attacking me.”
He’s listening, and I wonder what he is thinking, but I continue talking this through.
“At the age of 9 or 10, my brother had a paper route. If he missed a couple of houses, my father would toss me in the back of the truck. He would pull in the drive, and I’d place the paper on the porch and hop back in the bed. One particular house stands out. Before I could reach the porch, a large German shepherd lept over the fence and landed on top of me, gnashing his teeth. Luckily my dad got it off of me. I went on to babysit for our neighbor at 13, who had the most massive, loudest, German shepherd on the block. The fear started after a dream of hungry wolves surrounding me. I was 30, and they were there.
“I’m scared of everything and nothing, I say again.”
“I’m not scared of sickness, death, demons, or losing all my material possessions and becoming homeless.”
He looks confused.
“Honey, “Do you know how crazy that sounded? Do you even understand what you just said? You just named things most people in the world are scared to death of. Even death.”
“Maybe it’s because I have faced those things, I think to myself?”
Some of us have a point on a map, a calendar, a datebook locked in our brain, and we can tell you the exact moment of the car wreck, the diagnosis, or our child that died before it ever learned to talk or even before it exited the womb. There is a moment in time where we look back at the shattered glass, the addiction, the iron bars, the chemo, the foreclosure, the divorce papers, the bruises, the rape, the welfare department, the mental break down, or the charade of pretending to be put together when we were one button shy of EXPLODING!
Yes, we all have our moments, and some of us have another type of trauma. In World War II, with gunfire and bullets whipping around his head, my uncle, wading in freezing waters, stopped and threw his hands in the air and cried, “The war is over!” Of course, it wasn’t. He just had wishful thinking. He had seen too many bodies stacked in piles– stripped of all dignity— He had seen and smelled enough death.
But, some of us don’t have one memory or one vivid scar—it’s not one childhood adventure filled with nightmares, but more of a series of unfortunate events—sometimes it is an everyday battle just to get through.
Sometimes we wonder how we can take another step—breathe– trust again–go back out into the world and try and be a candle burning for someone else. We, too, cry and throw our arms to heaven, exclaiming, “The war is over!” I’m exhausted, Abba. Take the pain, sorrow, shame, guilt, confusion, debt, unbelief, sickness, and trauma and take my weapons of fear. Take the bars I have built to protect me. Take the suffering.

pottery job

Job took broken pottery, and he scraped his sores. He came to a place where he was okay with death. As a matter of fact, he welcomed death. He said the thing he feared the most had come upon him, but what was that thing?
He starts at the beginning of chapter three, cursing the day of his birth. He wishes that he had never been born because his pain is so deep. He explains how those in the grave are at rest. Job 3:16-17.
One morning, in the midst of some of the worst pain I have ever felt, I awoke to this pain in terror that I was going to have to get through another day of suffering. I prayed to die. I quoted Job verbatim. Then I heard an echo, “Do you not value the life I’ve given you? Do you not hope for better days?”
Job goes on to explain his fear.
“Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul, to those who long for death that does not come,” (Job 3:20-21).
And that is what he feared. A death that does not come. He feared he wasn’t going to get to escape such misery. He had lost children, cattle, oxen, servants, and he was suffering so severely. He wasn’t a man steeped in fear. He was a righteous man who wanted to go rest. I remember relating to such words. “Just take me Abba! I’m finished here. What good am I to anyone laying here suffering? I have nothing left here to do!” But I was much mistaken. I hadn’t even tasted what He had in store for me.
What does it look like when we use all our experiences and healing to help another heal? What does it look like when we embody Him and are a light? A candle. A burning flame that can’t be hidden because His light outshines all the darkness we’ve been through?

lightttttttt

What if The Father of Glory wanted to come to spend an evening with you? What would that look like? What did Shavuot and the tongues of fire sound like?
We often imagine what it would have been like to walk with Yeshua/ Jesus. To intently listen to Him tell parables, but what about as we go through our repetitious life? A typical workday or weekend. What would that look like to meet the risen Savior face to face? I’m talking about something fragrant. Something memorable. Something hard to even articulate.
You may have gathered from my previous blog that I don’t like to be at the hospital without my husband. Our first night back at the hospital, he slept on a couch next to me. By the second evening, between his back and his hip, he was ready to go home and get some much-needed rest. Before he left, he came over and said a simple prayer asking The Father to watch over me and protect me while we were apart. He also prayed for the Father to send compassionate people to care for me. What a very precious husband I have.
After he left, I was exhausted and a tad anxious, but I was prepared to try and rest until he returned. If you’ve ever spent much time in a hospital, you know it’s challenging to get any rest with pain, nurses coming in and out, beeping IV’s, as well as bathroom help, and so forth. On my second return to this hospital, I had some of the best nurses I’ve ever come in contact with. However, there was one that seemed explicitly handcrafted for me. I’ll call her Daffodil.

dafodils

I’m fast asleep, and around 8 pm, I hear my door open. I turn, sleepy-eyed, and look up at this woman who has just entered my room. She is tall– with a smile that made her eyes twinkle like stars in the night. She did not walk but seemed to sashay around the room in ballet slippers, softly checking this and that.
“I’m sorry Mrs. Manning; I’ll make a note that you’re an early sleeper so that I won’t disturb your rest.”
“Oh, I’m not an early sleeper. In fact, I’m a night owl. I was dozing from the medicine.”
We began to talk, and before we knew it, we were knee-deep in cooking shows. The Great British Bake-off! Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood were our first topic.
“Did you know that Mary contracted polio at the tender age of 13 and had a weaker arm due to it?
“No, I did not know that.”
“And did you know Paul would help her roll out her dough and prepare items?”
“Really,” I said, trying to sit up more.
“I think Paul looks like the guy from American Idol.”
“Oh, Simon!” Yes! Ha-ha!”
She laughed heartily, and then we were off to our next cooking adventure. Daffodil expressed her aspirations to create fabulous food. Her stories of family and grandparents who loved to bake were sprinkled throughout. I discussed my mom’s homemade carrot cake, and she described a delicate Italian cream cake made by her grandmother. The conversation was light but personal. We left baking and then traveled to World War II episodes on Netflix. Soon, we were reliving Foyle’s War, Land Girls, and Call the Midwives. Before I knew it, we were sailing on to authors and our all-time favorite books.
When Daffodil smiled, her light lit up the room. She exclaimed, “I love books! I love the smell of books!” I responded with an unquestionable, “YES!” Like fresh crayons in kindergarten! We giggled like school girls. Her phone buzzed, and she had to scurry off to another room. Suddenly, I felt revived. She was one of my people, and I was going to be blessed with her light for the next three days.
We discovered we lived very close to one another, right down the road from Barnes and Noble bookstore—a landmark. I mentioned my new grandson.
“Oh, I bet you just want to eat him up!”
She began to tell me about her nephew, who had high jacked her heart.
“Even if I have worked all night, need to clean, do laundry and catch up on things, one call from him “Aunt Daffodil can we go out?” and I am like “Baby, yes, we can!”
Suddenly, we laughed, and I had to hold my side, which was still very sore, to release the joy I felt. She caused me to forget my pain—my fear, and that my husband wasn’t coming back until morning.
Since the surgery, I have met two stoma nurses, both kind and good at what they do. Their profession is to try and prepare people to change a colostomy bag and empty it. For me, it was overwhelming and quite frightening to take in. It was humbling. You notice things and smells and the level of care. Since I had been back in the hospital with my wound, no one had helped me one on one yet, but Daffodil did. She took me in the bathroom and equipped me with gloves, tips for spraying, cleaning, and deodorizing the room, and she did it with the most compassion I’ve ever felt from any human. I wasn’t embarrassed, humiliated, or even scared to allow her to help me, help myself. This woman snuck into my room over and over again. She learned I was a writer of fiction and Torah teachings and wanted to know how to order my books.
She never told me about her religious beliefs. She never preached to me. She never quoted scriptures. No politics. No pushing or pulling, but her words held LIFE—her tongue FRUIT.

tekoa 8

Daffodil walked into my room like a candlelit burning brightly–like a flower pouring out fragrance. She bowed lowly. My husband witnessed her in her other patient’s chambers as he walked down the hall, and he said: “She is that bright no matter where she goes.” That BRIGHT. Like a candle on a lampstand. Oh, Saints, we can be those candles! We can be the hope of glory!”
When we are crucified with Messiah Yeshua/ Jesus, we no longer live, but He lives in us.
The Zohar states, “When a Jew utters one word of Torah, the light [in his soul] is kindled…and he sways to and fro like the flame of a candle.”
CCR, Credence Clearwater Revival, has a song called “Long as I can see the light.” John Fogerty bellows for us to put a candle in the window.
“If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays.” Luke 11:36.
What does Yeshua tell us before this? “No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.”
Thank you, Daffodil, for being a light to me, and thank you, Abba, for hearing my husband’s prayer and bringing light into my room.
We can heal from all the trauma by shining our lights on those in need. By listening. By praying. By giving sound counsel. By measuring our words. Even at our darkest moments in our most profound misery, we have LIGHT.
My husband’s picture below seemed to shine with extra light, and I wanted to personally thank him for being a bright light in my life for seven years now. Blessings friends. SHINE!

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Posted in devotional, Inspirational, Tekoa Manning, TM, Uncategorized

Retribution

I am seeing an ostomy nurse who specializes in patients with acute and chronic “wound” care. Things in the natural often mimic things in the spirit.

Wounds and pain are funny things. They have layers. They have smells and degrees of infection and pus. They can be covered up with a Band-Aid or douched in ointments, but if they keep getting infected, they never heal up to become scars. How do we deal with the people, situations, and traumas that have hurt us to the point we need an ostomy nurse?

Everyone I know has pain. A story. A wound. A past. We often try to take matters into our own hands and fix things that are causing us pain. We want to secretly punish our enemies or those who treat us with disrespect, contempt, isolation, jealousy, and hatred. We want our Father to expose them but cover us.

Many times we are standing in the face of a storm that’s so powerful the dust is stinging our eyes, and the tempest is shattering our peace. It’s during these times of difficulty that we scream, “Abba look what they are doing to me! Listen to what they are saying about me! Look how they have treated me in this relationship, this family, or on this job. We smugly add, “and after all, I have done for them!”

We keep track of their wrongs and our rights.

We want a God in those moments who looks a tad different than the God we want when we realize we have used our words to tarnish others. We have purposely treated others in a manner that was not with a servant’s heart but a selfish heart. We want this Father to overlook–to dismiss when we steal our brother’s birthright, or when we take our earthly father’s idols and hide them under our skirts. Yes, we want the compassionate and merciful Father at those times, but when we are wounded, we want a WARRIOR to stand and fight for us.

vein

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My first night home from the hospital was slippery. I am swollen and hurting, and there is this bag attached to me. In certain glimpses, I am reminded of an old vacuum cleaner bag that connects over a round circular tube. My stomach looks quite bruised and this bag swinging from my abdomen is a foreign object that frightens me. I am not used to this contraption that makes sounds and becomes heavy on my thigh. I’m a bit overwhelmed by the boxes sent home with me. There are gloves, odor drops, disinfectants, wipes for my rolled up Velcro tab and sweeper bags.  I’m thinking a million thoughts. Mostly will I ever feel human again or like a vibrant, sexy woman?

I am not second guessing the surgery or the fact that the surgeon found scar tissue and places where my colon and intestines were seared together due to another surgery from 2004. I’m reminded of this faint journey where I referred to myself as the woman with the issue of blood. “Endometrial ablation is a procedure that surgically destroys (ablates) the lining of your uterus. The tools vary, depending on the method used to ablate the endometrium. They might include extreme cold, heated fluids, microwave energy or high-energy radio frequencies.”

No amount of juicing, fasting, cutting out sugars and carbs, and so on, could have un seared or straightened the zigzagged mess the surgeon ran into, but let’s get back to wounds and enemies.

After spending four nights in the hospital and one night at home with my new sack, I awake in the morning with a knowing that my colostomy bag has to come off. This doesn’t make sense, but I am sure Holy Spirit wants my husband to help me remove the bag and look at my stoma. As we uncovered my stoma, we see that it is separating and there is a gaping place. Possibly from throwing up much the day after surgery.

manning room

We take pictures and send them to the doctor’s office, and they contact the home health care nurse who patches and changes the bag and makes an appointment for me to see the ostomy nurse. But by that evening my stoma isn’t working, and my stomach is as red and swollen as a watermelon. In the natural, it looks like they may be rushing me to the OR. In other matters, my husband and I are battling painful problems with those we love. There seems to be a separating going on in more ways than one, and the wounds we are feeling hurt horribly. No patching can fix the underlying issues. What is happening in the natural is happening in the spirit. The waste isn’t coming forth to bring healing as there is no communication.

We get to the ER, and it’s a bustling Sabbath. It’s the last place we want to be. This ER is in an area of town laden with drugs, crime, and poverty. However, this hospital host some of the best doctors in the world. It’s touted for the first fully self-contained artificial heart transplant and the first successful hand transplantation.

We wait over an hour, and my pain is horrible. I’m crying and praying and looking around the room at many who needed set free from addiction, demons, and agony. Finally, I ask the lady at the desk how many are in front of me, and she says five. She then says let me check with the supervisor. Suddenly, a lady comes out and says, “Mrs. Manning we are not sure how this happened, but we show that you are already in a bed in the ER. Obviously, that is not you, but since you are already in our system, and you just had surgery, I’m going to get you a room. Hold still.” Baruch HaShem! He hears. He sees.

We sit back down, and a lady comes out to get my blood. She looks at my husband and says I’ll bring her right back,” I tell her I want my husband to come with me. She exhales roughly and says, “There is no reason for that ma’am, you are just getting blood drawn, and I’ll bring you back out–5 minutes tops.” I look at her again and mouth something like “I know the drill, or this isn’t my first rodeo.” She is quite ticked off now. I plead and explain that hospitals give me PTSD and she says “okay, come on, but this is ridiculous. He’s just going to walk right back out here in a second.” I feel the lack of compassion, and my heart hurts.

Both my arms are bruised from the I’V’s used before and after surgery. It seems my left arm went hard as a brick and they switched to my right. The phlebotomist finally finds a place on my right wrist. She places the tourniquet on tightly. I grimace with an “ouch!” To which she jabs the needle in my vein roughly. I look down, and the whole thing blows up like a balloon and turns greenish purple. It doesn’t really hurt, as the pain from my wound has overtaken any other pain in my body and made it minimal.  I secretly think she has done this on purpose, but I cannot be sure. I ask for a Kleenex as more tears come and she says harshly, “We don’t have any back here.” Suddenly, a lady two feet from her picks up a whole box and hands it to my husband and says “she can have the whole box.” The Phlebotomist ignores this. She is labeling vials and rummaging through things, and then she stands up and says something about getting us back out to the waiting room.

I look at my husband who is looking at my arm, the box of tissues and then back at Nurse Cullen from Twilight. He can tell people off without them realizing it until much later. I can tell that he is getting ready to let this lady have it. I say, “Don’t do it Chief. It’s not worth it. He looks at me and back at her. “Just let it go. It’s Shabbat.”  I see the wheels turning, and about the time his lips part to utter something, a male RN at the desk across from the blood station stops the commotion and says, “I will take them now.” He is quick to look at the photo of my stoma on my hubby’s phone. But as he is looking at my stomach and examining me, I see the Phlebotomist looking over and catching a bit of my colostomy bag and wondering what the picture might look like that my hubby was showing the RN. Had she overheard him say I might need surgery?

Next thing I know, I am in a bed in the hallway of the ER. Doctors and nurses are flying by and then suddenly the nurse who had drawn blood swoops over and says “oh, I’m so glad they got you a bed.” At a closer glance, I realize she is much older than me. She looks uncomfortable. I am looking at her strangely, like who are you? What is this nice act all the sudden? She looks at hubby and says let me get you a chair. She leaves and comes back carrying a black office chair. I can’t tell if this is genuine or if she’s scared we will complain about her. She offers to bring him water. Five minutes later she is back with a plea to bring me a heated blanket. She smiles exhaustedly, and I see it… That look that says I was wrong about you. I thought you were a wimp who couldn’t get poked without your hubby by your side.

She was saying she was sorry over and over, with no words. Hubby saw it too.

We’ve all heard this Torah verse quoted in an assembly or an old western movie, but what does it look like when it happens?

“Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord; I will repay.” Deuteronomy 32.35.

“Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord” Romans 12:17-19.

So many times we want to repay. My husband could have made that nurse feel small. He could have called her out—reported her, or even told her a thing or two, but would it have had the same result. Would she have brought him a chair in the ER? A warm blanket? Doubtful. So many times if we would just back off and say I’m going to let my Dad take care of it, He would. In His way. And His way will affect them much greater than we ever could.

1 Peter 3:9

“Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this, you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”

Some people are so wounded it doesn’t matter what we do or say; they take offense. Often the person just doesn’t know us. They take our words, actions, and our very hearts wrong. Like that nurse who had no idea that I have had over a 100 vials taken in one sitting. I’m not scared of needles. I just like my husband by my side. I pled for my husband to come back there with me, and both of them did. My earthly husband and my heavenly Husband. What happens in the natural is happening in the spirit.

Don’t let folks treat you like a doormat, but also discern when to let the Father swoop in and take care of things. He will fight for you and is fighting for you in the background. You may not see it or know about it up close and personal, but trust me, He sees you! He also saw that nurse and had compassion on her. Being a nurse/servant can be a tough job, and at times we can be harsher than we need to be because we haven’t taken the time to fill our empty vessels up so we will have something to pour out. We’ve all been Nurse Cullen at one time or another, bruising others and overlooking the tools around us. Hopefully, we will have the grace and humility to offer a chair, water, or a warm blanket of love to those who come to our tent looking for refreshing waters, when we are as empty as the foolish virgin’s lamps.

Posted in Health and wellness, Tekoa Manning, TM, Uncategorized

Ten Plus Things Not to Say to Sick People and Why

Before you get to the meat of the message below, I want to voice that I believe Our Father is Big enough to heal any manner of sickness and disease, and one day He will! We must teach the next generation to care for His fantastic earth and the food we grow.
I believe our children’s children will grieve over plastic, toxins, the way food is grown, chemicals spilling into our water, and each creature that sings and walks among us, from those extinct to those waiting to hatch or come forth.
I also believe that Our Father, at times, allows life to live. If He wanted to heal every child sitting in a Cancer hospital today, He could, but often this is not what we see. Why? If you wish to hear this or not, we need to look at things and experience things to be humbled and to gain compassion and pray. To all my friends and family out there in the medical industry, thank you for being a servant daily to those who are weak in body. May He use you mightily for His Glory. May you see miracles come forth in the natural and in the spiritual realm.
I pray this blog helps us, including myself, to taste our words to those suffering before we release them.
“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus replied: Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:2).

Ten plus things not to say to Sick People and Why:

1. Have you tried organic, free-range, bone broth, essential oils, magnesium, flaxseed oil, fasting, juicing, raw foods, apple cider vinegar, castor oil, colon cleansers, yoga, Vitamin D, cutting out sugar and diet cokes, earthing, grounding, and so forth?
2. You need to have faith and accept healing.
3. We need to find some really anointed people to pray for you.
4. Have you been through deliverance because this could be a spiritual condition?
5. If you were serious about your health, you could be healed like I was.
6. Don’t speak it. You are snared by the words of your mouth.
7. Perhaps it’s mental?
8. You need to find a good church.
9. I feel so sorry for you, or I know an excellent doctor.
10. But you look great!
You look terrible!
You just need to go for a walk and get some sunlight.

blog hate

Number #1:

Most people who have a chronic illness or autoimmune disease have done much research, and if they’ve had it for any length of time, as in years, they’ve probably tried multiple things more than once.

We know these people mean well, and sometimes we may want to try the latest vitamin, supplement, protein, cabbage fermented juice, mineral water, alkaline water, acupuncture, biofeedback, chiropractic, yoga, kinesiology, homeopathy, aromatherapy iridology, massage, and other forms of bodywork, meditation and visualization, nutritional therapy, and so on. How a person words it can be helpful, so let’s watch our words.

Number #2:

Having faith is something most sick people have. Faith as in the sense of trusting in Our Father. Not some mental word that we practice until we believe it. Faith requires action. Most people who have an illness cry out for healing, and they probably are way past the name it and claim it gig. Even the Apostle Paul only asked three times for the thorn in his flesh to be removed.

“Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this, I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong” (2nd Corinthians 12:7-10 NASB).

Many believe his weakness was his eyesight. He was blinded for three days, but many of his letters hint at not being able to see well.

Several people in the Bible may not have had faith/trust, but their mother or father or even their master did. And some of them, like the servant girl below, and a young daughter vexed with demons, did not even have anyone touch them. They were healed in that very hour.

“When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him and, turning, said to the crowd following him, “I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith. When the messengers returned to the house, they found the slave in good health” (Luke 7:9-10).

Number # 3:

Yes, prayer is powerful. But again, if a person has been sick for a decade or more, they’ve probably had many people who were ‘anointed’ pray for them and with them. One of the most anointed people in the Bible died in his disease–a man who raised the dead. ” Now Elisha was fallen sick of his sickness whereof he died” (2nd Kings 13:14). Also, be careful with that word ‘anointed,’ as it may not mean what you were taught it did.

Number # 4:

Yes, deliverance is needed many times for not just the sick but those who are strong. Some of the most vexed with demonic issues have more strength than King Kong. Ask a police officer who has had a hard time even handcuffing a ninety-pound lady because of this. If a person has been sick for any length of time, and they love the Father, more than likely they have been through ‘deliverance’ or fasted for a length of time and had prayer for this issue. Again be careful how you word things. If we are walking the path of righteousness, we should be getting delivered of waste and our flesh daily, if not weekly, and indeed during the days of fasting and inner searching.

Number #5:

This is usually a plea for someone to stop eating bad food, drinking, not exercising, and making sure the person understands that if they would only drink purified water and food that is alive, they could be healed. Many times in my own life, it has appeared that I eat way too much due to medications or being pumped with steroids to regain strength. Other times due to gastroparesis, a stomach condition where the muscles do not work correctly, I cannot eat raw foods. I’ve been to the hospital before overeating grapes. Most of the time, what I eat when I am invited to a party or family function is not what I eat at home. Still, occasionally you have to enjoy something—my philosophy, not necessarily yours.

Number #6:

The name it and claim it prophesies. Blab it and grab it– Self-forecasting magical potion. All we have to do is proclaim our healing in the name of Jesus Yeshua and bingo-presto. Where does this come from? “You have been snared with the words of your mouth…” (Proverbs 6:2). But what does it say before this verse and after? “My son, if you guarantee a loan for your neighbor or pledge yourself for a stranger with a handshake, you are trapped by the words of your own mouth, caught by your own promise. Do the following things, my son, so that you may free yourself because you have fallen into your neighbor’s hands: Humble yourself, and pester your neighbor” (Proverbs 8:1-3 GWT). Yes, life and death are in the power of the tongue, but we can push this too far.

The Berean research had this to say,

“Fred Price may proclaim “we don’t allow sickness in our home,” but his wife still has cancer. Kenneth Hagin brags that he has not had a headache, the flu, or even “one sick day” in nearly 60 years, but he has had four cardiovascular crises. Paul Crouch (prayers) may have healed Oral Roberts of chest pains on a TBN Broadcast, but it didn’t stop Oral from having a heart attack a few hours later (Christianity in Crisis, pp. 237-238). How are these things explained away? Predictably, by blaming them on the devil. Sickness in the Word-Faith camp is usually seen as satanic attacks that must be repelled by words of faith (i.e., “positive confession”).”

Number #7:

Mental health and physical health, as well as spiritual health, go together. We are one complete person. We are not separated. “Beloved, I pray that in every way you may prosper and enjoy good health, as your soul also prospers.”3rd John 1:2. This verse is saying prosper in all ways. He is praying that these folks are complete—whole and in good health even in their spiritual walk.

When you look at what defines mental health, you may be surprised by what is on the list. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)– Anxiety/Panic Disorder–Bipolar Disorder—Depression–and even alcohol abuse is listed as a mental disorder. This is why we need to be careful with our words. I say ‘we,’ as I fail in this area as well.

If you have never been depressed, not even after childbirth or the death of a loved one, you may need to rethink your antidepressant. Our bodies are equipped with emotions. Numb people can’t feel anything. They are like walking dead. Mental illness comes in many different colors and also deserves all the empathy and compassion any other illness such as Cancer gets.

Number #8:

Many times, people, and especially the older generation, think of wholeness being attained by how many times you sit in a pew or place an amount of money in an offering plate. But the ‘church’ and even the word ‘church’ has been misconstrued in our Bibles. It was translated from the word assembly. We are to gather and, yes, not forsake gathering together, but what were they gathering together for? In Acts, it was a Feast day—Shavuot/ Pentecost. Three of these Feast are called foot festivals. They gathered together throughout the whole Bible for Feast days. He is returning on a Feast day. As a matter of fact, they were gathering at times in houses and other places of interest like hillsides and fishing boats.

Number #9:

Sick people don’t want pity. They used to juggle one, if not two jobs, school, homeschooling, single parents, possibly the CEO of a large company, and more. Many of them were and are fighters. They want empathy and compassion, but unless you have experienced debilitating physical illnesses, you may struggle with this one. Again, most people who have been chronically ill for a long time have had several doctors. Some, even like myself, have been to Mayo Clinic or other research hospitals. Unless the person asked you directly for advice on finding a new doctor, select your words carefully.

Number #10:

This one is by far the trickiest. Telling someone they look great shouldn’t be a problem, right? My mother had Parkinson’s disease, Hashimoto, and later on colon cancer, but most of the time, she looked great even while shaking and in great pain. Sometimes this comment sends an underlying message that the person must be fine and feel fine if they look good. I know many people in wheelchairs who look good but feel like death. The opposite of this is being told you look awful or horrible. Neither of these is the right approach for someone suffering. I know that may sound confusing, but trust me, it’s not helpful. Looks are often misleading.

I hope this list has been helpful, and if you or a loved one is dealing with chronic pain today, my heart goes out to you and them. My prayer is that He completely restores you, and I know one day, if not now, He will!

For more on this teaching, you can listen to my latest podcast on Lamb Messianic Radio via the BEKY Book show with a wonderful host and author, Dr. Robin Gould.

For more understanding of sickness and what the Bible has to say about it, read my free chapter from Doctrines of Demons # 1 here.

Sources: Painting by Tekoa Manning
Photo by Andrew Mushekov
The Berean Research: https://bereanresearch.org/word-faith-movement/
BEKY Books and Lamb Radio: http://www.bekybooks.com/beky-radio.html
Dr Robin Gould and latest release: https://www.amazon.com/Forgiveness-Tarts-Robin-Gould.
Dr. Robin Gould and her BEKY Books: https://www.amazon.com/Robin-Gould/e/B01L8ET7WS/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1518559571&sr=1-2

Listen to a recent interview of Tekoa with Dr. Robin Gould on The BEKY Books Show radio program. Program starts at the 8:47 timestamp.

Posted in poetry, Tekoa Manning, TM, Uncategorized

Off the Grid

grid

I want to go off the grid.

My mouth and fingers away from the eyes of a button marked click like, love, unlike.

A thumbs up.

An emoji that cannot equate the feelings in the heart created by Our King.

I want to go off the grid.

Away from the scrolls and scowls of the minds of men.

A million eyes stare back at me–

And I at them . . .

Go to a place—a space–

Where I am more than the Clichés and quotes, I post or link.

A place where I am me.

Free.

Learning.

Leaping.

Where my words are not shuffled and played like an accordion.

Where I am not judging selfies or scholars, or blue collars.

Where politics cease to exist.

Where religion is mute.

And the horns of the greatest are no more than a toot compared to HaShem and His shofar rebuke.

I want to hideaway.

Go off the grid.

We are all just broken men.

I must go off the grid.

Where a paintbrush sings in my hand.

Not to be applauded by man but by Him who gave me the gift.

Where I learn from the bread, I don’t eat.

The water I don’t drink.

To lower my camel and water the sheep.

To rise up as Gimel and still be small.

Like a dish with a chip–

Like soap dried suds–

Like waves of grain and sands of shores.

Like Dalet to an open door.

I must leave the grid and hold up my arms.

Like Moshe and rocks’

Oh, send me friends like Aharon and Chur.

Friends that bend an ear and whisper a prayer from a heart filled with doves.

I must fling–

Off of the screen!

When the cup overflows, and it’s not due to holes.

A sieve in a heart.

A snuff of dark or gilded thread to uncover the dead.

Casting a pole into the water.

Catching fish without dollars–

or signs,

or a title,

or a tale.

The sound of the birds and the trees that clap their hands.

The rocks cry out, and the mountains sing,

but I can’t even hear the buzz of a bee while sitting here looking at you from the face of a button–

A television.

A computer screen.

I need to go off the grid and write for my soul.

Touch the grass barefoot- the freshly fallen snow.

Drink the honey and eat the comb.

Samson leaves a Lion dead on the side of the road, and the old prophet requests to dine—stay and eat, he says, but I think I’ll pass.

On the side of the road lies the dead next to a donkeys ass

And a lion guards the way.

No, I’ll not eat with you today.

I must go off the grid.

“He went and found his body thrown on the road with the donkey and the lion standing beside the body; the lion had not eaten the body nor torn the donkey. So the prophet took up the body of the man of God and laid it on the donkey and brought it back, and he came to the city of the old prophet to mourn and to bury him. He laid his body in his own grave, and they mourned over him, saying, “Alas, my brother!” After he had buried him, he spoke to his sons, saying, “When I die, bury me in the grave in which the man of God is buried; lay my bones beside his bones. “For the thing shall surely come to pass which he cried by the word of the LORD against the altar in Bethel and against all the houses of the high places which are in the cities of Samaria.” 1st Kings 13:28-32 NASB.

Photo by me 🙂

Posted in fiction, Tekoa Manning, TM, Uncategorized

A bit of Jade

diner red

“Where you off to, Jade?” He looked past me kind of shy-like.

I had no idea what made me spill out my next words, except for fear of being alone and the urge to know him better. “Oh, I was just thinking about going down by Jupiter Lake and taking a stroll. It has been so humid and hot out today.” I stuck the side of my thumb in my mouth and chewed all the skin around my cuticle, a nervous habit of mine.

“I guess it’s a nice night ta go down by Jupita.” He scratched his head, “Thang is, see, I was thinkin’ more ’bout gettin’ a cheeseburger. You houngry?”

“Well, I can always eat somethin’,” I said and laughed nervously. I was seventeen years old, never had a boyfriend, or even been on a date. I felt about as gawky and ungraceful as a girl could be.

Dillon looked down the road and then back at his car. “I don’t want you to get into no trouble now, Jade. You knows how folks are in this town.” Tiny beads of sweat were forming just above his lip. He seemed as awkward and nervous as I felt.

“I can take us down to my territory, Nathan’s bowling alley. It’s colored, though. You might feel uncomfortable, Jade? How old is you now anyways?” His eyes scanned me kind of discreetly. I was wearing a cream-colored sundress with a pale blue short jacket. I had my hair in a ponytail to show off my newly pierced ears, another gift from Verdi.

“I’m eighteen.” I lied once more and then immediately started looking for more skin to chew, this time on my index finger. I didn’t want to lie to him but knew what he was thinking. If my daddy went to the sheriff, he would go to jail just for having me in his car. I had never really been alone with him. We just always talked at the store. He opened the passenger door and motioned for me to get in. It seemed like he had weighed the possible penalty against the chance to spend more time with me and made his decision. I slid across the mahogany seat cushion and bounced on the springs. He told me of his plans to go away to college and showed me his class ring. There was a real sense of pride in his voice.

“How’s your daddy been, Jade? I saw him with that Veronica woman last week. Is that goin’ okay?”

I must have rolled my eyes or made a face because Dillon let out a laugh that was hearty and knowing. “She’s something else, and Daddy’s drinking again. I try to stay away from them and their parties they throw every weekend.” My head filled with images of Conner, and my throat constricted at the thought. I changed the subject quickly. “I miss Johnny so much, but I guess everything happens for a reason.” No sooner than the thought escaped my mouth, I wondered the reason for Conner and his advances.

“Oh, girl, you is somethin’ else. I had my stepfather Leroy, in my life for some time now. He been good to my mama, a little strict with me at times, but, all in all, a good man. Course he ain’t never been one for the booze, nope, but he do like the ladies, the ladies be his downfall.”

“I was thinkin’ ’bout findin’ my real father. I think every chile need ta know who his parents is. I looks at every white man I meet. I looks into his eyes and I say to myself, ‘Dillon that could be your ol’ man, right there.’ The Negro man don’t accept me half the time ’cause I ain’t dark enough, and, course I ain’t light enough for the white folks neither. I did hear though in places like New York, Michigan, and California that theys more acceptin’. They says that the bigger states and the Northern states is not as racist like they is here in the South. I’s even heard tell all kinds of relationships occurs.”

There was a silence in the car now. I didn’t know what to say. I could picture kissing his lips. I wanted him to see that I had feelings for him; before I knew it, I blurted out, “Well, I’d date anyone outside my race if I liked them.” My voice sounded strained, and I gave Dillon a matter of fact look, but inside I was scared.

Dillon looked at me with eyes that seemed sad and wiser than before. “Jade, you would have to put up with a lot of racism. You ever been called a ‘nigga lovah’? Ever had people stare you down, try to make you feels dirty inside over the color of your outside? Did you know children of a mixed race are badgered and treated like trash? They git it comin’ from both sides. They ain’t black, they ain’t white, so they is nuthin.’ I was lucky to be dark enough to be okay, so to speak. But some folks have children and the babies are almost white, kinda yella looking with a light brownish color hair, but always nappy. People is cruel today. If any of the white boys in this town seen you with me, they wouldn’t want nothin’ to do with you and they’d beat me and maybe kill me, before they’d let a nigger have ya.”

I thought about what he’d said, and it seemed an answer to my prayers, “No man would want you if they seen you with me.” But it was the last part I didn’t like. I didn’t want Dillon to get into trouble, but I wanted to make sure that Conner never wanted to touch me again.

I looked at Dillon as he pulled into the parking lot of Nathan’s. It was very busy from the looks of things. He turned to me and said, “Jade, I brought you here because they’s good people and you won’t be humiliated here. I won’t let anyone harm you, even if it were to cost me my life.” He reached his hand under my chin, and pulled my face up, looked into my eyes with a look that made me feel safe.

We grabbed a booth in the back, and Dillon went to the counter and ordered. There was a jukebox in the corner playing Aretha Franklin and bright red-checkered curtains in the windows. I loved soul music because it seemed to carry so much emotion. Dillon set down two Coke-a-Colas and a bottle of ketchup. “Two double cheeseburgers and fries is on the way! Miss Jade, I hopes you got an appetite because Lenny makes the best around.”

He smiled, and his teeth looked like a parade of polished pearls. Dillon was something foreign to me, and I loved to hear him talk and tell stories. Before I knew it, darkness had fallen outside the red covered window. I wished I could stay with him forever, but I knew Miss Rita would be worried about me, and I didn’t need her calling my daddy. “I best get goin’ Dillon, it’s gettin’ late and I don’t want to upset Miss Rita.” Dillon reached in his pocket and pulled out a crumpled mess of dollars to pay the tab.

We didn’t talk much on the ride back to the Taylor’s store. I guess I was busy trying to figure out how to deal with the emotions I was feeling. I was terrified of Conner and not very sure of what would happen if he caught wind of me being with Dillon. I wanted more than anything for Dillon to somehow wash all the pain away. I wanted to know what his soft lips felt like. I wanted to make love with him and let him replace every fingerprint of Conner’s and every piece of skin that he had brushed upon me. More than that, I wanted his spirit to cover all the evil Conner’s had placed over my soul.

“Jade, I’m just gonna drop you off a little ways from the store. Don’t want no static from the Taylors or with your pa. I’m not doin’ you no disrespect. I’ve had a fine evening with you, Jade. Just don’t want no worries.”

I knew the concern was genuine. I knew we were treading on dangerous ground, but I welcomed the opportunity no matter what. I felt alive and more normal again. We got out of the car, and I could see the store’s porch light glowing down the way.

“Good night, Jade,” he took my hand and kissed it. I reached up on my tiptoes and let my small thin lips brush across his warm, full mouth. I felt a ripple of electricity and then a warmth that I never wanted to forget. He hungrily kissed me back with such intensity that I ran, ran like the wind, and never looked back at Dillon. I carried the kiss all the way to the twin iron bed Miss Rita had fixed up for me. I replayed it over and over in my mind until I drifted off to sleep—my first real kiss.

“Dear God, it’s me again, Jade. Thank you for making Dillon’s lips so soft, and please help me to disappear. I still don’t like the Earth you created and I’m sorry for that.”

 

Photo:

Vintage Diner Interior

 
Posted in poetry, Tekoa Manning, TM, Uncategorized

Pink Cotton Candy

Image result for cotton candy

“There’s always a time to shine,” she said, curling her bottom lip.
“You need to let the light shoot out of your hair like cracked eggshells covered in glistening white yolks.”

Sparkles.

I pictured her hair standing up all over her head, illuminated and glistened like the moon draped over an armchair or a starfish on fire.
She looked up at me compellingly.

“What are you thinking?”

But before I can answer her, she continues . . .

“I like to take out my pastel pink shirts on these occasions when I feel shiny. It reminds me of cotton candy and the summer of 1972— or a breezy blouse that’s indigo blue.

“Whattaya think?’

She twirled around, showing me her new outfit.

I frown and reflect on the dozen black shirts hanging in a row on one side of my closet. Even the hangers looked tired and exhausted from holding them up. The other side has a smaller colorful section that used to hang off my thinner, more active body.

She looks up again with a glazed expression.
“Sometimes on rare occasions, I braid my hair like a fishtail and sit on a rock by the river.”

“Over there . . .”

She points down the hill past the briars and the thorns and the medicine.
“It’s best to go just before the Sun begins to bursts forth like Samson stretching and yawning his head full of fire.
The fish move their mouths above the glassy waters.
Do you like water?”
She said it as if I might be thirsty.

I’m always thirsty.

I try and answer her.

“Yes, sometimes the sea calls my name and the ocean crashes into my bed and pulls me upstream.”
I look down at my black shirt and notice a butterfly light on my shoe–just the corner of my flip-flop.
Its vibrant blue and the palest yellow.
“Did you see it?”
“See what?”
“Never mind.”
I sigh long and hard and stare at her ginger brown hair woven into the sun.
I cut my hair with a paring knife and a dull pair of scissors.
Choppy.
Suddenly, I feel gloomy despite her pink shirt and the trace of Dianthus on the wind, and I try and think of a song or something cool to say, but nothing comes to me.
I force it.
“Remember when we were nineteen? And you used to walk to the corner store with me to play Pac-Man. We’d eat ice cream and go to your house and play your Grease, Zeppelin, and Meatloaf albums until dark . . .”
It was 1982.
I wait for the spark and the engine to fire.
And then her hair lit up her smile, and the butterfly lit on my arm, just as she motioned with glee.
“I see it,” she says finally.
“You need a butterfly.”
“You need to shine.”
Suddenly I feel duller than the scissors I’d used the night before, like a sparkler that goes out on the 4th of July.
Her perfect white teeth look like choir boys rehearsing for an audition. She was forever telling me what “I needed.” As if she held all the answers.
“You need a black shirt,” I say rather curt with my nose crinkled up.”
“Just a hint of sorrow would be refreshing.”
Now the light coming from her had sizzled.
Her hair turned mossy brown, and her eyes faded.
Was I to blame?
I fold up my lips and tell her that the earth has eaten the trees, and we’ve killed the honeybees, and the oil has spilled into the Sea.
“Aren’t you starving for something tangible?”

She laughs hysterically.

“Darling you’ve always been gloomy and extreme.”

I cup my hands that are now suddenly full of oil and swath my hair in it. I pick up my shoes and then barefoot run through the thorns licking up the straw-like grass, and throw myself into the river. It’s alive, and suddenly I can breathe.

I am the sea.

“Oh Abba, Mikvah me!”
The moon gleams from the now darkened heavens.
The waters tremble, and then the fish light up like light bulbs in the dark.
They’re as green as a cucumber salad.
I come shooting up out of the river like a sea creature. I’m covered in gold dust, and the waters turn pastel pink like cotton candy.
It tastes good on my skin.
I drink it in like pomegranate juice.

She yells something incoherent and then runs down the hill past the briars and the weeds. Her pastel shirt snagging on a shrub. Out of breath, she dips her foot in the pink waters that match her blouse.
“Are you thirsty?” I ask.
Her fishtail braid falls to one side of her shoulders, and with a just hint of candidness, she whispers.
“Parched”
And then she jumped into the deep.”

Posted in poetry, Tekoa Manning, TM, Uncategorized

Holes in my Soul

I wrote this poem in 1998 at a very painful time in my life. So thankful for the Father and His healing balm. I hope you enjoy it.

Holes in my Soul

My friends are now obsolete.
And time is bought painfully cheap.
I wonder what’s the score.
As you trickle down my thoughts
With your ever lofty charm
You trickle down my heart and pump away at my mind.
You’re clever, yes, clever.
And slowly goes time.
All along the street
A sidewalk steps on the cracks of my shoes
I can’t seem to spring back.
Can’t kill these lonely blues
My poor suffering soul
Of diluted chemicals taking control
What’s the name of these games?
We all play them in our minds.
And Spirit hides inside darken closets.
Filled with cobweb-infested shrines.
Holy, holy, holy,
Oh, please take a look around.
The world has become frozen.
And with melting, we’ll eventually drown.
“A penny for your thoughts,” he said.
A penny for your soul.
And all along, my tennis shoes are worn out tattered holes.
Who can fill me up again?
Replace this empty void?
Oh, who can patch these lonely blues without stepping on my heart?
Splat
Smoosh
Splatter
Someone grab a spatula, please.
For my heart is now a pancake that painfully lies beneath.
Beneath a sidewalk that’s stuck atop my shoes.
Shoes filled with tattered holes of loneliness and
Blues.
by Tekoa

foot

Posted in Author of the Month/Artist of the Month, TM, Uncategorized

Author of the Month

IMG_0914

 

This month’s author of the month is a young man my husband and I met while searching for a nice restaurant in our area. We live in a rural area now and getting a nice dinner seemed out of the question until we landed at a locally owned BBQ place with a unique menu. After our first visit we made friends with several  staff members, some more special than others.

Ryan was one those uncommon people who leave you better than they found you  and once you read his story you’ll understand why. He has a flare for words. Only “flare” is not a word to describe his gift for writing. Passionate, raw, and exquisite are far better adjectives. I must warn you, the story below will cause you to remember when someone touched you with angry hands or flung their words across your face with intensity and cruelty. It will take you inside the soul of a shattered young man who was rescued by a book  of all things. Words do have power, and this story will leave you wanting more. You can find Ryan Hunters on Tumblr and hopefully one day in a book store near you!

 

“Satan is a Bald Man Drinking Bud Light”

-Ryan Hunters

 

I don’t tend to talk about the past, or how I got to be who I am now. If you’ve heard my stories before they all tend to happen between the ages of sixteen to present. There’s always a reason for such a gap, but sometimes the story begs to be told anyway.

My mother and father divorced within a year of me being born, and despite them telling me repeatedly that it wasn’t my fault, after all I was just a baby, I couldn’t help but blame myself for their divorce growing up. My mother became the single mother, raising her son, while working sixty to eighty hours a week at two different jobs. Saturdays would come, her only day off, and my weekend. While I was young I learned that even if that was our day, there were rules. I did not wake her, and let her catch up on sleep. This required me learning to be self-sufficient very early on. Most parents would cringe at the thoughts of a four or five year old cooking in a kitchen unsupervised, but it allowed myself not only to eat, but for my mother to wake up sometime after noon to food already prepared for her. While often nothing more than slightly burned bacon, eggs, and toast it was the thought that mattered.

Yet we were still what you would call struggling poor, I never knew for certain why we moved so often, seventeen times in a few years, but I always assumed it was the money. Yet worries seemed to diminish for a few months after my fifth birthday my parents started seeing each other again. Those few months seemed great to me, yet like most fairy tales, it was not meant to last. Within the year they stopped seeing each other, and my mother and I moved in with another man, who I learned would soon be my step-father (a foreign concept for he was never a father to me), and that I would soon have a brother (or half brother, as he is not, nor ever will be my father). Welcome Home.

The first few memories I had once we moved in with him to this day stay vague, perhaps on purpose, just the smell of Marlboro reds and bud light everywhere, then my first black eye. When my mother asked about it, I blamed a boy in the neighborhood. She told me just to stay away from him, but there were no boys in our neighborhood beside myself, and she knew that. My mother went into labor on April fools day with my brother, and no one believed her, we did believe my step father was going to attack my father when he picked me up from the hospital that afternoon to take me for a few days, good deeds never go unpunished, but the fight was not that day. Slightly over a year later my (half, once more) sister was born. Once again the fight was delayed.

Shortly after she was born, we built our own home. This was it, the complete family abode, our place of safety, which was never quite safe. Meanwhile we had to invest in bigger trashcans, bud light cans take up a lot of space. Around the age of nine I stole my first Marlboro, and was promptly caught. When my mother saw the burn marks on my arm, I told her it was from the electric fence. I was told to be careful.

A year or so later, we constructed the first barn, and since I was getting older I was put to work to help in the construction. A “random” 2×4 slammed across my temple on the third day of construction, and I awoke on the ground with my head still ringing, seeing that I had fallen from the roof. I staggered off towards the house, yet never made it. I passed out from my first migraine, yet it would not be the last.

I open my eyes again and I am twelve years old. The divorce papers have stated since 1991 that I can choose which parent I wanted to live with at the age of thirteen, I’m counting down the days.   But I can’t leave my mother. I didn’t get a birthday party that year, I invited only male friends that had come the year before, I was promptly informed such behavior was gay, and had all previous plans cancelled. It was okay; my friends hated coming out anyway.   It was during this time that my mother got a job in the school systems. Our pantry began to hold the most food I had ever seen in it. But then my stepfather lost his job. Food went back to how it had always been. That was the year we had to kill three of our cows to eat. That was also the year that the knife hilts in the house began to crack, and the year of full body second-degree sunburns. When my father sees those pictures to this day he still cries.

For my father love was a Toyota truck, in this truck is where we got to talk one weekend a month as he got his partial custody. Then one day he took me back to my moms, only to drive up to an angry storm of cheap hops wreaking destruction. He never forgave my step dad for the dents he put into his truck with his fists, my step dad never forgave my father for the teeth he lost that day. I went and cried that night; I slept with a knife under my pillow from then on, just in case.

If you could find my old chest of drawers, you’d have a hard time missing the massive dent on the front, the one that matches my brother’s back almost perfectly. I had never felt such rage, but had already learned I had no control.

I am finally thirteen…I can’t move. I can’t leave my mother in this beast’s cave alone. I keep wearing long sleeves in the summer, everyone calls me fashionable, I just wanted to keep their eyes off of me. This was the year that a horse almost liberated us all. One drunken Sunday (like they all were) my stepfather decided to take on an unbroken horse. The horse won, throwing him like a rag doll to the ground and proceeding to stomp him. The doctors said the horse missed his heart by four inches, and missed his skull by less than an inch, they could sew the ear that had been ripped off back on, but hearing would be missing on that side. I fed the horse many sugar cubes that day, that night he shot the horse.

It’s October, and I’m realizing I love my English class. My teacher seems to truly care and keeps holding me back, she seems suspicious of me for something. I put it out of my mind. She changes the syllabus and introduces us to the book The Outsiders, this became the only book I’ve never finished. I cannot truthfully tell you how far I got in the book before I started to cry, I can say it wasn’t much longer before I had a complete mental break down. I closed my eyes, when I opened them; it was only my English teacher and myself. I started telling my story as memories flooded back to me, she picked me up and took me to the counselor of the school. They both heard my story, and before I knew it police were guarding the door to this office, I feared what I had done, but knew I had no choice. I assumed (being young and naïve) that the cops would take me away, yet was assured they were there to protect me, and that I would not be touched. My dad appeared within twenty minutes. The counselor spoke with him; I don’t know what was said. Then cops escorted me to my fathers Toyota, and proceeded to escort us to Campbellsville.

I broke my mothers heart when I told her I couldn’t live with her as long as that man was there. I told her that I loved her but I couldn’t be in that house. Within a few years as my siblings went to college they offered similar responses, I always felt terrible, I abandoned them in seeking safety, they didn’t have that option.

I am who I am, because one teacher saw through my disguise and asked me to be open, and because a piece of literature saved me from something I was too afraid to face on my own. I realized I was not alone, and that no one deserves to be treated that way. I will always remember him asking me why I kept my nose in books and my head in the clouds; the answer was survival, for those “damned” books were my safe haven, a place he couldn’t invade. The books were my home.

Posted in author, book signing, Kentucky Book Fair, Tekoa Manning, TM, Uncategorized

Kentucky Book Fair

 

It was an honor to be invited to the KY Book Fair. To be seated in a room full of authors like Wendell Berry was surreal.  His poetry has gotten me through many difficult times and caused me to become more aware of the beauty in creation. I had the pleasure of meeting Mary McDonough, who played Erin on The Walton’s. She stopped by our table and greeted me on her way to the back. New York Times best-selling author Sharon McCrumb was there, Jacinda Townsend’s, Bobbie Ann Mason, Cheryl Della Pietra, and many other authors who are very well-known for their craft. However, I guess the authors that I came to admire most were the ones that were seated around me.

It was a treat to meet P. Anastasia and sit beside her for two days soaking up all her marketing wisdom. She had lovely simple ideas, such as using a fun fluorescent marker to sign her books. If you are a Young adult or love Science fiction, you can pick up a copy of her trilogy, which starts with book one, Fluorescence: Fire Starter. 

It was great to see an old friend from a previous book event. Ronald R. Van Stockum, Jr. is a lawyer, teacher, biologist, writer, guitarist, and recently an actor living on his family’s old farm in Shelbyville, Kentucky. He is always inspiring and full of humor. One of his books that’s popular is titled Cosmos the Stellar Stalker. You can find him on Amazon. I was also excited to meet a new and upcoming author named Lauren Brandenburg, who, like me, writes faith-based books and she was able to share some great tips and advice both days with me. Her trilogy is called Boone. Book one is Boone: The Ordinary (The Book of the Gardener.)

 The young lady to the left of me who seemed to light up like a strand of bulbs each time a person stopped by her table. If Elizabeth Fannin Crowe’s book is as captivating as her smile, she will sell a million copies! Her book is titled The Proving. If you are a fan of The Hunger Games, you will love this story.

 Of course, there are always people we meet unexpectantly, the ones who, for whatever reason, are placed across our path, and that leaves me with my next two introductions. While eating at the hotel lounge on Thursday night, my husband and I decided to step outside and look at the adjoining shops and storefronts. I was on my scooter and still weak. We were assured that the doors were unlocked and we could come and go. So as our food was being prepared, we went for a stroll and then went to enter the hotel again, but found we were locked out. There was no way to get back in without going down a couple of flights of steps and enter all the way around through the hotel lobby area. With me in the scooter, there was no way for me to get down the stairs, and so about the time my husband decided to leave me there and open the door, a very kind soul appeared and offered to do that for him. I will not mention this person’s name because I feel they are entirely private, but I must say it was such a pleasure to get to know him. He had a great sense of humor, acting as if he was leaving us in the cold, waving with a smile. He asked what brought us to the hotel and where we were from, and the next thing we knew, we were in deep conversation about Walter the Homeless Man, family, friends, and the journey we all take in this life. I felt led to take this kind man’s hand and pray some encouraging words over him. As I was finishing, a woman appeared. She had an enchanting accent and a beautiful smile. Her name was Julia. She said, “Were you guys just praying here in the lounge? I love it!” she boomed and laughed and shared. I asked her if she was an author, and sure enough, she was. Julia Smethurst had just landed in KY all the way from England. It was so great to run into this native Californian at the book fair. Her table was one of the cleverest I’ve seen. It was adorned with colorful knitted chicken hats for the little readers of her picture book, Finclucky from Kentucky. Here is a description. 

Finclucky from Kentucky is the story of a chicken, his banjo, and a barnyard full of animal friends who form a band. Even the farmer, who is always working, joins in to enjoy the rhythm-and-blues played by Finclucky and his friends. Some folks say the blues were first played in the deep South, but those who read Finclucky will know the truth behind the music.”

 We sold over thirty books. I was thrilled that several ladies picked up my novels for their book club of the month, and several invited me to come and meet with them. 

 I want to thank my friend and mentor, Dr. Jo Zausch. Jo was able to help me polish up (Polishing Jade) in time for the fair. She also made the road trip to see me. I would also like to thank my friend and mentor, Charlie Manning, for breathing new life into Ellen cotton. Of course, I must thank my husband, who supports my books and holds me up when I am ready to collapse, both physically and spiritually. All and all, I am blessed to have had this experience and hope I am invited again.

Blessings,

Tekoa Manning

 

 

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