Annie Kirkwood, Author
Rte 1 Box 100
Bunch, OK 74931-9705
August/September 2000 ó Issue #53
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This is Annie's section
In preparing for August 15th, my inner guidance urged me to add more prayer to my day. In case youíre wondering about August 15th, itís that special day when Mother Mary makes an apparition near here. I began to prepare for it about mid-July. Due to the preparations, Iíve noticed a shift in my mind-set. Iíve been renewing my statements of faith to remind myself what I believe. I use some of the old familiar creeds I learned in the Methodist Church, then go on to state all that I believe today.
It has made me realize just how far Iíve come and how much nearer I am to complying with Mother Maryís early request to cleanse my heart and mind of depleting emotions of fear and anger. I still get angry, but now itís more like being testy or irritated. I used to go instantly into a rage, but I donít do that anymore. In the past ten years I can only remember raging once, and then with very good reason. I was protecting myself and my family.
Fear is something I want to deal with as fast as I can. So renewing my statements of faith has caused me to become very, very grateful to God for all my blessings. One thing Iím grateful for is that I no longer live my life in terror. Fear is still something I can deny, but at least I deal with it in a matter of weeks or months. I used to deny fear so well that it lingered for decades. One of the ways I recognize that there is fear or anger which Iím denying is that my energy level goes down. I fully understand why Mother Mary describes fear and anger as depleting emotions. They really do rob me of energy and vitality.
I truly believe in a God who is infinitely loving, not just some of the time, but all the time. I no longer view the events of my life, or the circumstances of my life, as punishments from God. But then, Iíve not believed that in decades. I remember when my oldest son was born with Downís Syndrome. I canít remember who it was, but a woman told me the reason he was born that way was that it was a punishment from God. I didnít believe it then, any more than I believe it now. He was an answer to many prayers. I prayed for a baby; I got one, and he has been with me for forty-four years. He definitely is one of my biggest blessings.
I acknowledge, and am grateful, that I have been more than blessed to have been chosen by Mother Mary to do my small part in her labor of love. One of the best blessings Iíve received through this work is to have met so many beautiful and wonderful people over the years. Through this work Iíve became friends with many good people, and have had many good times as Iíve traveled.
Because of this work, Iíve been able to heal old wounds that had kept me in unhappiness, terror, and raging anger. Mother Mary didnít wave a magic wand and heal meónot that I donít think that is possible, it just didnít happen that way. I had to do the work. I was required to dig deep into my heart and mind to bring up painful memories and to forgive what, at times, seemed like the unforgivable. What Iíve learned is that, in forgiving, I set myself free from the terror, raging anger, and unhappiness.
Iíve been blessed with a good husband, good children, and I think my grandchildren are the best. My great-granddaughters are even better than the best. The down side is living so far from them that we seldom see them. Each one of them has a special place in my heart. Even though we donít always see eye to eye, there is love. Iíve learned to love myself and them unconditionally. I donít have to like everything they do, or always agree with them, for there to be love among us. Even when there is alienation, there is love. And there is total acceptance. Neither do we have to become doormats to love unconditionally. To love as God loves us, we need to totally accept ourselves just like we are, and to totally accept our loved ones the same way. Then we will be able to accept people who are different, believe differently, or who donít like us.
One of my statements of faith is that I now believe in Godís complete and total acceptance of me and every other person on earth. He accepts me just as I am at this moment in time. This helps dissipate the doubts, guilt, and shame that have been prevalent in my life which could easily overtake my thoughts.
When we reaffirm our faith, we reaffirm ourselves. Thatís been happening to me through this process. Also, Iíve been able to see how far Iíve progressed in my goal to cleanse my heart. I see how I live my life today, as opposed to how I used to live in so much fear. Iíve also realized how much easier it is to love myself and others when Iím no longer afraid of people. I still have a tendency to hold back, especially in a crowd. Itís easier now that Iím not as afraid. Long ago a good friend of mine told me I wasnít afraid of dying, I was afraid of living. She was right. Sometimes living can be difficult; at times it takes guts, but once youíve settled issues, come out of denial, and faced what youíve been avoiding, life can be so good.
Thatís the blessing Iím experiencing nowóa good life. I still have challenges, Iím still working to eradicate things from my life that no longer serve me. But on the whole, itís a good life, and I am blessed.
In reaffirming what I believe, my faith is increasing. This gives me hope. Hope makes life so much more peaceful and fun. It has renewed my interest in many things. Not all of our problems are solved. But I now have hope that we will solve them, or will learn to cope with them, whichever is best.
Sometimes you just have to sit back and take a look at where you were in order to see how far youíve come. Every day we learn so much just by living our life. Invariably, when Iíve asked what I am supposed to be doing, the answer is ďlive.Ē As I live my life, and you live your life, with faith in a benevolent Creator, we make changes that affect our world. Our faith in a loving God, in the goodness of God, changes everything.
I really appreciate you. As much as I appreciate my family and love them, there is the niggling thought that, as family, it is almost a requirement to be supportive of me. Logically my mind tells me that isnít true. You, however, donít have to be in my life and your support, gifts, letters, calls, e-mails are deeply appreciated.
Guess Iím done enough rambling, so until next time, I remain your friend,
This is Mother Mary's section
My dear children,
I come to you in love and with a hopeful heart. The peace of the world is in your hands. It is determined by how you live your life and how well you live your faith. Believe me when I say that God is a loving God, that His love is abiding, everlasting, and enduring. I would not have you be ignorant of this. When you can believe in Godís love, you will cease to believe in anything else.
When you believe in Godís love, you will be compassionate, faithful, tolerant, and forgiving. God forgives those who ask for it. He forgives you even when you are steeped in anger. He forgives all manner of things. He requires that you forgive yourself in order for the forgiveness to be complete. So many of you are too unrelenting and ruthless with yourselves. In order to be peaceful, you must be forgiving. In order to be loving, you must be forgiving. Love is forgiving. To love is to forgive. This does not mean that who you forgive is absolved of the consequences of his/her mistakes, or he/she is not required to face his/her mistakes or sins. All of Godís children must face their mistakes and all are held accountable. When you forgive you give up your own pain, your own anger, and your intolerance.
Be careful, my children, not to concentrate on looking peaceful on the outside and hold bigotry and hatred in your heart. This is not peaceful at all. It is not in outer appearances that I call you to be peaceful. It is within your heart, your thoughts, your attitudes, your longings, your murmuring, and in your dreams that I call you to be peaceful. I call you to treat yourself with peacefulness, to attend to each other in peaceful ways. I call you to be kind-hearted and patient. I call you to be understanding and to release the old hurts from the past. I call you to be tender with yourself and with your loved ones. Then you will have a peaceful nature, one that will seek naturally to end the inner wars and the inner turmoil. You will have the forebearance to end, resolve, and clear away fear, anger, and all manner of depleting emotions.
Serenity comes from a close personal communication with God in your daily life. Accept that every person has this deep inner connection and that every person is responsible to maintain it. Accept that each person will be held accountable for their mistakes when they come to judgment. I would have you dispose of your own issues, addictions, and resentments within your heart and mind first. Then these things will fall away from your outer life for good. When you concentrate on outer appearances, you have changed that which is destroyable. When you change your inner self, you change that which is long-lasting and eternal. Inner changes are the basis of all outer changes in your life.
Remember, my children, you are more than your body, more than your thoughts, and more than your feelings. What happens in your spirit is what matters. What transpires in your spirit is eternal. What brings your spirit closer to God is what is of value. I call you to live from your spirit, to dwell in deep communion with God. Keep this communion active every day.
Your connection to God will be clear and freer when you have cleansed your heart and mind of old grievances, when you have forgiven yourself for mistakes of the past. Your communion with God will be more effective when you have forgiven your fellow man of his mistakes. Seek to find the peace, love, and hope within yourself. Seek to find the where with all to forgive all things. Seek to find serenity by facing the issues of your life with honesty, kindness and understanding.
I would have you live a life free of violence. Too many families are at war. Too many people react in destructive ways. Where there is no forgiveness, there is destruction. In unforgiving states of mind you destroy yourselves and destroy your world. An intolerant person has no empathy or sympathy for his own life and does not respect the lives of others. The end of violence in this world will come when you, one by one, become peaceful and understanding in your hearts, nature, and lives.
Help each other in truly helpful ways. Too many people in the name of God become tyrants, inhospitable and indifferent to the plight of their fellow man. Find ways to be of real help. The highest and best way to help yourself and others is through prayer. So many, especially the aged and ill, despair and think they can do no good on earth. As long as you can pray with your whole mind and heart, you can work wonders. Many of you say I canít help or I donít have the money. I remind you that prayer requires no monetary outflow. Yet with your prayers you can effect great changes in the world.
Pray for peace to come, not only to nations or only to governmental negotiations, but to the hearts of the people who are negotiating and to the hearts of the people in nations who are at war. Wars are not caused by governments alone, but by the people those governments represent. Pray for there to be understanding and a coming together with a commitment to seek peace. Many times governments come together not to seek peace but to seek their own selfish means.
Pray not only for the sick of body, but for the sick of mind, and the sick of heart. Pray for a healing to come to parents, so they may live up to their responsibility with joy. Pray that people who father and mother children will put aside their own selfishness and dedicate themselves to the family they have created. Pray for souls still in the throes of their addictions, that they will have the courage to settle the underlying issues that these addictions hide. Pray for the criminally-minded that may find peace and love in their hearts. Pray for the hungry that they will receive not only food for their bodies, but also food for their souls. Pray for the leaders of the world to have integrity, honesty, and truth in their hearts so that, as they lead, they will do so from a compassionate and peaceful life. Pray that all men on earth will rise up in compassion, in honesty, and in peace. This is my call to you. This is my hope for you. This is my prayer for you.
I am loving you each day. Be peaceful, love yourselves, and live in hope.
Mary, Mother of Jesus
This is Byron's section
Power Outages and Emergency Backup GeneratorsSeveral times during July I kept hearing and reading about power outages. First, I received an email from a lady in Wisconsin thanking us for our books and she mentioned, ďI found out the hard way about power outagesówith thunderstorms raging outside, I couldnít do much except eat peanut butter and crackers and canned tuna. I didnít want to open the freezer and refrigerator until power was restored 16 hours later!Ē
That same day Annie was listening to The Weather Channel and they announced that FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) was warning people to prepare for power outages, as the power companies arenít able to keep up with demand.
Then ďThe Sunday OklahomanĒ had a front page article titled ďStorms set outages recordĒ (July 23, 2000). Storms in and around Oklahoma City had caused power outages ďthat surpassed utility damage in the May 3, 1999, tornadoesĒ (the big F5 tornado that hit Oklahoma City).
In a previous newsletter article Iíve discussed the basics of preparing for power outages (ďAre You Prepared for a Cold Winter and Power Outages?Ē, Dec 96/Jan 97). This included having a workable flashlight handy, keeping warm (in cold weather), having an emergency supply of water and food, and communications (radio receiver). In this article I just barely touched on having a backup generator, but left the details for a more in-depth article. So the topic for this newsletter is emergency backup generators and what you need to know before purchasing and installing one.
A backup generator is definitely not for everyone. If you live in the city, there may be laws prohibiting installing and operating a generator, and there are probably fire safety laws against storing fuel for the generator. So before purchasing a generator read this article and any others you can, then check out your cityís ordinances and fire codes that might limit your use of a generator.
When considering a generator, be aware that they are noisy, emit deadly carbon monoxide fumes, have to be properly installed and operated, and the fuel (gas, diesel, propane) is dangerous to store.
A generator that is connected to your household electrical system MUST be installed by a licensed electrician and have a special device called a TRANSFER SWITCH (see pictures) installed. The transfer switch is a heavy duty, double-pole switch, that disconnects your utility power when using the generator, and connects the generator power to your electrical system. Without this device there is a serious danger that electricity output by the generator would feed back into the power distribution system (the high-line wires), killing or injuring a repairman or anyone else that comes into contact with the power lines.
Small transfer switch installed
in B&A Products warehouse.
Large transfer switch installed into the wall of our home. The cable to the main breaker box is in the wall and the cable to the generator goes out through the wall to a connector box on the outside of the house.
A temporary, portable generator does not require a transfer switch, but should NEVER be directly connected into your homeís electrical system. There is a tendency to want to just plug the generator into a handy outlet to power your houseóWRONG! A portable generator is used where the device requiring electricity is plugged directly into the generatorís power outlets using an extension cord. This should be a heavy-duty extension cord, definitely NOT a small, cheap, two-wire lamp cord. I mentioned the use of the extension cord, because the generator must be located outside the house to operate. Remember, generators emit deadly carbon monoxide and must be situated outside the house where there is adequate ventilation.
In selecting a generator there are several issues to consider. One is power output, rated in watts or kilowatts (kw, meaning a thousand watts). Another is the fuel to power the generator, normally gasoline, diesel, propane, or natural gas. Another factor is the time the unit will run from one tank of fuel. And whether the unit is powered started from a battery, or uses a pull-cord to be manually started. Similarly a transfer switch can be automatic or manually switched.
Generators are available in power output ranges, from a small 800-watt unit with handles, to huge units to power a hospital during a power outage (1500 kilowatt or more). An 800-watt unit would be capable of powering eight 100-watt light bulbs, or equivalent, at one time. A popular size generator that is readily available from Samís, Sears, Home Depot, and such, is a unit built in a metal frame with power output of 4500 to 5000 watts (4.5 to 5 kw). This is what we have installed, and it is capable of powering the critical appliances in our house. We canít run the air conditioner, heater, or electric stoveóthey draw too much power for our 5 kw gasoline generator. We can power most of our lights, refrigerator and freezer, microwave oven, and it will operate our 240-volt water well pump. When we are using it, we try to keep power consumption to a minimum by not turning on lights and appliances when they are not needed. To exceed the 5000 watts rating would pop the generatorís circuit breaker at best, or possibly damage the generator.
Determining how big a generator you need can be done by adding up the wattages required by every device you want turned on at one time. This can be a little tricky, in that some appliances and devices cycle on and off, as needed; as an example, a well pump or refrigerator motor. And there are many devices in a normal home that tend to get overlooked: like clocks, devices that use plug-in transformers and power supplies, and devices like modern TVs with remotes that use a small amount of power, even when they are supposedly off. To determine how much power (wattage) a device uses, check the applianceís labels or the ownerís manual.
Generators that operate from gasoline are the least expensive, but are louder, and wear out faster than diesel, propane, or natural gas generators. However, the diesel, propane, and natural gas generators are a lot more expensive than gasoline driven generators.
Our 5 kw gasoline generator will run about 5 hours from a full tank of gas. When you suspect the gas is about to run out, go ahead and power everything in the house off, shut off the generator and let it cool down before refilling the tank with gas. Gasoline spilt on a hot generator engine could start a fire and/or explodeónot a good situation!
When you get a generator, read the ownerís manual carefully in regard to operating and maintaining the generator. The ownerís manual will probably suggest you drain the gas tank when not using the generator for long periods of time; and/or to shut off the gas line valve and run it until it stops, to empty the gas from inside the engine. Note: you can leave gas in the tank if you use a gasoline stabilizer (like PRI-G) to make sure the gas doesnít gum up inside the generatorís gas tank.
One other suggestion, when running a generator unattended outside, you might want to get a heavy chain and lock and secure it where it canít easily be stolen. Generator theft was popular during the long power outage in Montreal, Canada a few years ago.
Thereís probably more that could be said, but this should give you some idea what is involved in selecting, purchasing, installing, and using an emergency backup generator.
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