Annie Kirkwood, Author
Rte 1 Box 100
Bunch, OK 74931-9705
October/November 2000 ó Issue #54
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This is Annie's section
One of the Newsletter readers wrote asking that I explain the annual August 15th Mary Day. When I was receiving the information that became Maryís Message to The World, Mother Mary said, "I will appear in your area on August 15th after the book is published." This was about 1989. Since I didnít know if the material would be published I remember thinking, "Well, all right, weíll see." I continued to receive the information that became the book without giving it further thought.
The morning of August 15, 1991, a young man, who had read Maryís Message to the World, came to our door saying he wanted to stay with me that day in case Mother Mary appeared. I had not had any indication that She would appear, and didnít know what else to do, but welcomed him into our home. If my memory is correct, we had five or six people show up at our door unexpectedly. The only request Mother Mary made was for me to pray every hour. I interpreted that to mean I was to pray for a few minutes every hour...which is what I did.
The next year, I received a very cryptic message, and with the help of a lovely lady in California, deciphered it to mean that we were to go to Joe Pool Lake near Dallas at sunset. About one hundred people joined us that year. That was the year we began publishing the Newsletter to get Her messages out to people per Her request. In the beginning she would say, "It is time to send a message to my readers." So, for that reason, in my heart and soul, you are "Her readers" and not mine. Every year since then we have met by the shores of a lake at sunset on August 15th. In 1996, after we moved to Oklahoma, She said, "Go to the lake nearest you." To me that meant that on August 15th we were to go to Lake Tenkiller.
Each year she has appeared to me, not so much as a person, but as an image in the sky. She appears as the form and shape of the standing Madonna. I donít really see eyes, nose, or mouth, but there are shadows that indicate where they are. Inside the Madonna shape is filled with tones of teal blue. The tones give the shape its dimension and indicate a veil and robe. The face and hands are peachy tones. All around her the sky fills with a beautiful pink, that shimmers and twinkles.
Each year someone, and often many others, see Her too. Before August of 1992, Iíd requested that She please appear to other people at the same time. I was concerned that, if I was the only one to see Her, it could be discounted. In 1992, at Joe Pool Lake, two little girls saw Her standing in the sky. At the time they were perhaps six and seven years old. They have since grown into lovely young ladies. That was the first year the sun spun and pulsed. The miracle of the sun has been seen by many, including skeptics, and non-believers. But then each year believers have not seen a thing either, so what makes one person "see" and another not, I donít have a clue. Since that first year Mother Mary has also been in other places with people who gathered in their areas at the time of the apparition.
When the little girls began to describe Mother Mary as beautiful, I prayed to be able to see her face. The next year, 1993, again there were about one hundred people present. We were looking at the sunset when Byron came over to me to ask if I could see the "face in the clouds." As hard as I tried I could not detect a face in the clouds. He pointed and pointed and I still couldnít see anything. Our friend, Sally had distanced herself from the group and walked up a small rise. She had a clear view and says that she was so mesmerized that she forgot she had a camera in her hands, until the face began to crunch together. She took a picture of it, and itís on the back cover of the book Maryís Message of Hope.
One other interesting story about the face in the clouds is that my good friends Anita and Roger had gone to Austin, Texas that weekend and were on their way back to Dallas. They saw the face in the clouds and from 150 miles away. It was a very large face and at the beginning; Iím told it was so distinct you could see eyelashes and Her hairline. I had to wait to see the picture. Several other people saw it. I saw Her that year as I do every year as the standing Madonna.
There have been many other ways Iíve seen her. One year I saw the standing Madonna briefly, and then a huge, brilliant blue ball filled the upper half of the sky. It was a royal blue color that is seen in neon signs, but it shimmered with different tones. I sat and looked at it thinking, what is this? Then I heard Her. She said, "This is me in my true essence, beyond shape, or form, or any other earthly identity." To me it indicated that in our real identity we are balls of light--when we can go past all these earthly considerations.
Lately She has been asking me to identify with my spirit and not with my body, or persona. I often think of that ball of brilliant, shimmering blue light. She is beautiful, with or without, shape or form. She gives substance to the word tolerance. She has been most patient, kind, gentle, and loving in all Her interactions with me. I feel that Iím one of Her problem children, because I donít have the awe, or whatever it is, that many of my Catholic friends have. To me she is the loving mother, who loves beyond human comprehension of love, tolerance, understanding, or patience.
This year I was talking with Barbara, from California, about Mother Mary. Barbara, who is Catholic, cringed when I related some of my interactions with Mother Mary. Often people react that way. But Mother Mary has never made me feel less than, or lacking, in my way of relating to Her. She fully sees into my heart and knows that although Iíve never been Catholic, and donít relate to Her in the way my Catholic friends do, I love Her.
My experiences have been many and deeply moving. Because of my association and work with Mother Mary, Iíve changed. She has been my biggest supporter, but has not waved a magic wand my way. Iím told that I must live this life to the best of my ability, in my own way--remembering that the most important commandment that Christ gave was to love God above all else, and to love our neighbor as ourself. I love Her and know that some day I will see Her when this life ends, and the rest of my life continues. I pray you have a wonderful fall.
This is Mother Mary's section
My dear children,
I come to you with hope in my heart for you. Many of you are despairing as you find yourselves in different circumstances. It doesnít matter the cause of the circumstances, for one set of problems is equal to another. Itís in how you cope, how you face them, that makes the difference. When you are "in the problem," it feels insurmountable at times and can make you feel overwhelmed. It may be a struggle to live through trying times, and at best can be taxing. Today I bring you hope.
Remember that no matter what the problem entails, it can be completely eradicated or lessened to a great degree, if you solve it from the inside out. All your earthly problems have a beginning inside of you. There is an underlying cause, to all problems and issues, and when you tackle the underlying cause it can be healed, dissolved, and forgiven. This is true with all problems. You may be struggling with an addiction or abuse. It could be a health crisis, financial issues, divorce, death, loss, mental or emotional issues. All problems and issues are solvable or ameliorated through a correcting of your inner life.
This world is the place to express your inner strength, your inner power, and your inner connection to God. This is a world of expression. It was created for you to live according to Godís will. It is a world of choice, because God made it so. It is your choice to do Godís will or not. It is your choice to live in peace or not. It is your choice to be happy or not. It is your choice to love or hate. It is your choice to be tolerant or rigid. It is your choice to be understanding or unfeeling. It is your choice to be compassionate or merciful. And it is your choice to face your issues or not.
All things can be faced, resolved, and forgiven with hope. Hope, my children, gives you the expectancy of good. Hope can fill your mind and heart with trust. When you have hope in your heart, you can rely on God to bring good into all situations. There are no hopeless situations when you face them with Godís help. God has already filled you with His attributes. You have the strength deep inside you to face all manner of things: addictions, abuse, intolerance, fear, terror, rage, injustice, betrayal, even death. Hope is the essence that I wish you to harbor in your hearts and minds. It is important that you hold on to hope.
Hope will give you the faith to face the tough issues of life. Hope will give you the outlook of goodness and resolution. When you expect things to go well, they usually do. When you expect to have strength, it is called up from the depths of you. Hope opens the inner doors to the strength, the courage, the valor, that you need in order to change your life. It is much easier to change the outside of you than the inside. It is easy to buy new clothes, to change your outer appearance by changing hair style, body size, and muscle tone. But dear ones, these things do not change the real you. You can eat all the fashionable diets, adhere to new ways of acting, but these do not change the inner you. It is not the outer diet that I would have you cater to, but to the diet of your thoughts, of feelings.
Do you watch what you wear and neglect what you think? Do you eat what is today considered healthy and ignore what you are feeling? If your heart is filled with fear, with self-hate, with self-centeredness, then you are looking to change that which does not affect your spirit and soul. If you stay in despair and depression, you ignore the beauty of your soul. If you harbor hateful thoughts towards anyone, or anything, then you add to the violence that is in the world. If you refuse to forgive because of pride, you add to the injustices of the world. What you do in your own little area affects greatly what happens to everyone in the world.
The more hope you can maintain, the more the world moves towards peace. For hope is the expectation of good. Hope is the reliance on goodness which is God. Hope is the belief in a higher purpose and just outcome for all situations and circumstances. Hope hungers for a better resolution to situations and circumstances. No matter how good it is, it is wise to keep hope alive in your heart at all times. You may think, I donít need to be concerned with hope, because my life is good. But you do need to keep hope aliveóif not for you, do it for the people who are enslaved in addictions, prisons, tyranny, and in abusive circumstances not of their doing.
The more we hold hope in our hearts and minds, the quicker we move into peace. Hope anticipates the best outcome. Hope helps you maintain a cheerful outlook in the face of disaster. Hope says all things are working towards good, because I believe in a loving God. Hope encourages you to be faithful. These are some of the reasons that I ask you to be hopeful at all times, in all circumstances and situations. The more you maintain hope for the goodness of all world situations, the quicker we move towards peace.
As you keep hopeful for world circumstances, you help raise the consciousness of man. You help people from all parts of the world to take a look at what is going on in their part of the world with truth. You change the outcome of world situations more than any war can. You change it with your prayers, your meditations, and your hopes. This is still a time of transition. It is a time for change, but to anticipate that the changes will bring disaster is to lose hope. No matter how the changes occur, it is up to you to stay hopeful. You are to be hopeful that every situation will work out to be good, that circumstances will always be good in the end.
When you are hopeful, you look beyond appearances. Where there is war, hope sees peace. Where there is hatred and prejudices, hope sees tolerance and compassion. Where there is addiction, hope sees healing. Where there is abuse, hope sees forgiveness. Where there is fear, hope sees love. Where there is violence, hope sees serenity. This is my charge to you. Hope and anticipate the best possible outcome to bad situations. Hope and trust in the goodness of God. Hope and desire for all people to have the assurance that God loves them more than anyone can fathom. He does! He loves each person unconditionally and without limit. His love is your peace, your trust, your power, and your hope. Remember this always.
Mary, Mother of Jesus.
This is Byron's section
(Note: this is an updated and revised version of the article
I wrote for the February/March 1997 edition of our newsletter.)
Having potable (drinkable) water is one of the most critical needs in a survival or emergency situation. It is said that we can go about 3 minutes without air, 3 days without water, and about 3 weeks without food ó meaning that water is more important to our existence than food. Some of us might argue about how long we can go without food, but this stresses the importance of potable water!
When storing water, I suggest the first choice of stored water to be your normal tap or well water. The second most desirable is rain water. Rain water is water that is naturally purified, but can be re-contaminated when falling back through the atmosphere and when it lands on a surface, like the roof of your house. The third, and least desirable, source of stored water is surface water: whether a pond, lake, stream or puddle. Flowing water, like a stream, is slightly better than stagnant water, like in a pond, because flowing water is somewhat aerated.
The need to filter, or purify, water is the opposite sequence. If you are going to be consuming (drinking) surface water, it definitely needs to be filtered. Whether you are on a daytime outing, camping trip, hunting, or in an emergency situation, if you are going to be drinking surface water, it needs to be purified or filtered. Even rain water should be filtered before being consumed. And in some emergencies, such as widespread flooding where the city water may be contaminated, you may need to filter the tap water.
There are several ways to purify water: by boiling, using chemicals, or using a water purifier. But the easiest, most reliable way to get safe drinking water, is to use a good water filter.
Although there are many "good" water filters available on the market, there are also some that are "not-so-good." The cheap "straw" and "water bottle" type filters may remove many of the contaminates; and in some cases make the water taste, look, and smell better -- itís just not worth the savings if you get sick. Many of the better water filters claim they remove 99.99% of the dangerous bacteria, and thatís a lot better than drinking the water without being filtered at all. But if that .01% gets through the filter and makes you sick, it is just not worth it. The doctor or hospital bill could easily pay for the difference between a cheap filter and a good water filter, not counting the agony of being sick, ruining a vacation, or even potentially death.
Sometime ago we decided to standardize on the Katadyn water filters made in Switzerland for over 50 years. Katadyn is the standard in water filters and is the preferred brand used by the International Red Cross, the World Health Organization, many military organizations, and missionaries worldwide -- basically anyone that has to drink potentially contaminated (dirty) water and not get sick.
The core to the Katadyn filter products is a porous ceramic filter element, where the pores are smaller than 0.2 microns. This blocks 100% of dangerous bacteria when the water is filtered.
The product for which Katadyn is famous is the "Pocket Filter." The PF, as it is known, is a "pump" unit, simple in function to a small, hand-held, bicycle pump; where a hose from the bottom of the unit, drops down into the dirty water, and has a spigot at the top of the unit where the clean, filtered water exits. The PF filters about 3/4 quarts of water per minute, weighs only 23 ounces, is 10" long by 2" in diameter, and is usable for about 13,000 gallons of filter water ó before the ceramic filter has to be replaced.
After using the PF a while, you will notice it begins to get harder to pump. This is because the ceramic filter element becomes clogged. This is the time to clean the filter. You open the unit, remove the actual ceramic filter element and wash it under running water, using a brush that is supplied with the unit. You then put the unit back together and youíre ready to go again. Each time you clean the filter with the brush (or on other units, a cleaning pad), a little of the ceramic is rubbed off. When enough ceramic is rubbed off, it is time to replace the ceramic element. This is easily determined by sliding a furnished, plastic "C" gauge over the filter. When "C" gauge fits over the filter, it is time to replace it. And of course, you can buy the replacement filter elements separately.
If you desire a somewhat smaller, lighter unit, Katadyn has the "Mini-Filter," model MF. The MF, like all Katadyn filters has the same ceramic filter, only smaller. Its useful life is only 2,000 gallons of filter water before the element has to be replaced. Some people balk at the 2,000 gallons specification, but I point out that this is like filling up thirty seven 55-gallon barrels with water by hand. From this perspective, thatís a lot of water. The MF is small enough to easily fit into a womanís purse, measuring only 1-3/4" by 2-3/4" (itís oval shaped) by 7" long. And it is less than half the price of the big bother PF. It is cleaned the same as the PF (and other Katadyn products).
If you need filtered water on a continuous basis, you may not want to pump a unit to get water. Katadyn has another model, called the "Drip Filter" and designated "TRK" that is a table top unit, built like two thermos jugs, one on top of the other. The top section has three filter elements mounted in it and you pour the dirty water into it. The filtered water then drips down into the bottom container that has a spigot. Each section holds 2-1/2 gallons of water. So basically you just pour the dirty water into the top unit and let gravity do the work. The flow rate is about 1/2 gallon per hour. The unit is good for 39,000 gallons before the elements need to be replaced, and the size is 11" in diameter by 26" tall. The TRK is great for groups.
Another technique to filter water is to use an activated carbon filter to remove contaminates that cause the water to smell bad, taste bad, and/or look bad. Carbon filters are common in household use, but do not protect you from things that can make you sick. But they tend to make people feel better about the water they are drinking. A few years ago, Katadyn designed several new units to also include an activated carbon stage in their filters.
The "Combi" filter is one such filter with two stages of filtration. It has the standard ceramic filter stage, and an activated carbon stage, built into a pump unit similar to a Pocket Filter. In the case of the Combi, the input hose comes out of the side of the unit, and the exit is at the bottom of the unit, but the operation is the same. Ironically, it is priced less than the PF. The ceramic stage is good for 14,000 gallons of water, but the carbon stage is only good for 60 gallons. The unit ships with two packages of the carbon, so the initial usage is 120 gallons for the carbon. If you ever get in a survival situation where you canít get more activated carbon packages, you can simply leave out the carbon and the ceramic stage provides the same filtering ability as the PF. The unit weighs 22 ounces, measures 10.4" long by 2.4" in diameter.
Katadynís latest carbon innovation is their new Gravidyn filter element. This is a tubular element that has both the carbon and ceramic elements together. With Gravidyn elements in a TRK package, you get the new Gravidyn Drip Filter with both types of filtration. The trade-off is that the filter elements are only good for about six months to a year (depending on how dirty the water is and how much is filtered). Otherwise the Gravidyn Drip Filter looks and functions like the standard TRK unit. So water filtered by the Gravidyn will not only be safe to drink, but look, smell, and taste better.
These are the most popular Katadyn units. However, Katadyn does have several others, including an inexpensive siphon filter, an expensive "Expedition" unit, and a couple of household units. If you desire information on these other units and have access to the Internet, please check our Katadyn web page at: http://www.baproducts.com/filters.htm
I hope this helps you understand the importance of having potable water and the different products available from the leader in water filters -- Katadyn.
Sincerely -- Byron
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Original date:Oct 8, 2000
Last updated: Oct 8, 2000