CHAPTER VII

GOD’S BLESSINGS
INVESTMENT

      "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of Hosts."  Malachi. 3: 10, 11.

In my church we have a project called investment.  In this project a person picks out something and gives it to the Lord. Then the person will sell what ever it is and give the money to the global mission work.

When I was a young girl my father planted several papaya trees in our back yard.  All the trees did well and produced fruit with the exception of one tree.  The tree was beautiful with very large leafs, and all signs of a healthy tree, but there was one problem.  The tree did not bear any fruit.  My father did everything he could to help the tree.  He made some grafts from other producing trees to see if that would solve the problem.  Nothing was happening with all his care so he decided to just cut down the tree.  We were all sitting at the table when he made the announcement that he was going to cut down the tree.  When my mother heard that immediately she responded with a plea to my father.  She said:

"Please Manoel don't cut down that tree.  Just give it to the Lord."

"What are you talking about?  How could I give a tree to God?.  God already owns everything. So, how could I give God a tree?"

"It is real simple.  You tell God that if He accepts the tree and the tree bears fruit, you will pay for the fruit. It is that simple.  Will you do it?"

"Yes, from now on that tree belongs to God, and if what you are telling me is true and the tree produces fruit I will pay diligently for each fruit.  And
anybody else that eats fruit from that tree will have to pay God his price.  I will pay one dollar for each papaya."

My father and the rest of the family were anxious to see what would happen.  We didn't have to wait too long.  God showed us that He had accepted the tree.  When the fruit season arrived, the tree was filled with flowers.  Mother and the children really believed that we were going to eat
papayas from that tree, but my father had his doubts.  He said the tree had flowers before, but they all fell down before the fruit came in.  Then mother said:

"No way dad, this tree is invested to God and He is going to make the tree to produce fruits."

Everyday we looked to the tree to see if any baby fruit was starting to form.  One day my father called us very excited. "There is a whole bunch of tiny little papayas on the tree."  We all ran to the tree to see the tiny little fruits.  That investment tree produced the biggest papayas we ever had in our yard.  This was a special kind of papaya the size of a watermelon  called, "Mamao Caiano". That summer we paid a big sum of money to God.

For the last three years I have been the investment leader in my church.  The church I belong is called The North Highland Seventh Day Adventists church.  In the first year we invested our weight.  The total weight loss was 200 pounds, and we paid God over $200.00.  Every person paid what they wanted to pay.  Some paid more, and some paid less.  I had so much problem losing weight before that I decided to pay five dollars per pound.  After two years I had lost twenty pounds, and God had gained His one hundred dollars for the missions.

I have lived in this country for forty three years, and I never bothered to really sit down and study English and spelling.  I have had more than fifteen hours of English in college, yet all my reading and writing did not help me with the spelling.  It was to easy to open the dictionary and copy everything I needed without memorizing the way each word was spelled.  Now I thought, if God could take away twenty unwanted pounds, then He could also teach me how to spell without the use of the dictionary.  I figured a method in how to test my spelling.  I would write letters to all my friends and ask them if they would correct the spelling for me.  For each letter without mistakes I would pay God fifty cents.

I also would do all the writing without the use of a dictionary.  This worked for a while, but my friends got tired of correcting letters, so I had to change my investment of spelling.  I asked a friend if he would give me a spelling test of one hundred words, and for each word spelled correctly I would pay God one cent, but he to got tired of that.  Now I have to ask God to give me a new system for my spelling.  I am sure He will.  He did.  The computer does the correcting for me.

At this writing, I have six investment projects.  For more information concerning investment call the Seventh Day Adventist Church of your area.  Make an investment project, for yourself, and start receiving God's blessings.

 CHAPTER VIII

GOD’S VOICE

Believe me! God is talking to us, the same way He spoke in old times to the prophets, He is speaking to us also today. The only difference is that they knew God’s voice, and we don’t know how to recognize it. If we learned to recognize the sound of His voice, soon we'll be able to listen to His voice and know that He is talking to us.

There are many ways in which God speaks.

1.  He may give a dream that has a mean, and will tell us what He wants for us to do. Most of king Solomon’s conversations with God were in dreams.

2.  He may give an impression, and if we follow that impression, we will find out that truly that was God telling us something.

3. He may place a song in our mind, and if we listen to the words of the song, we will see what is the message that God is giving us.

4.  He might use a regular person to say something to us, and, turnout to be God’s voice speaking to us true that person.

5. He might give you a visions which is the most important of all forms, for only His prophets received this kind of communication.

A vision is different from a dream because the dream is given when the person is asleep, and a vision is given with the person fully awaken.

God has been talking to me in four forms. One, He gives me impressions. Second and most often, I hear God’s voice true a song.  Third, and most  rare, for this happened to me only one time. I heard God’s voice through another person. And a few times He talked to me through a dream.

Once I was driving my car and I started to hum a hymn. I tried to change to another hymn, but the first continued in my mind. As the words came to me, I noticed that they had a message for me. I was on my way to a divorce court to get a divorce from my unfaithful husband, and I was totally uncertain of the future, and filled with fears of what might come to me.  When I stopped and listened to the words of the hymn, I recognized as a hymn in Portuguese. It says, “Cristo ti chama, ti quer salvar, e’ so’ um passo, a’ so’ confiar.” In English, it says, “Christ is calling you, and He wants to save you, for it is only one step, it is only, to trust in Him.” I started for the first time to pay attention to the words of the hymn that insisted to stay in my mind, and recognized also for the first time that this was a message for me, given directly to me by God. God was telling me not to fear, and know that all would be well if I just placed myself in God’s care.

It was only one step, all I had to do, was to trust in Him. Since then, every time I hum a hymn that stays persisting in my mind without my control, I stop,  and  I  listen to the message God is giving me true the hymn.

 Through someone else's voice.

A long time ago, when my son Gio was seven years old, we were running and crossing a railroad track to get the bus across the street, on the other side of the railroad, when I heard a voice loud and clear saying, “Stop!” I stopped and turned around to see who had called me. But I did  not locate the person that called. Also exactly at that time a train in great speed began to pass right in front of us. My son Gio was about four feet away from the train when  he also stoped. Remember that we were running when I heard the loud cry to stop. We were running to catch a bus on the corner of the street on the other side of the tracks.  In our hurry to catch the bus, we forgot to look for the coming train. That voice saved our lives.

After we got  on the bus on the other side of the street, we look everywhere for the person that saved our lives, but we did not find anybody on the other side of the tracks. There was one a lady that got in the bus at the same time we did. So I asked her if she was the person that cried out the “Stop,” that saved our lives, but she said that she also heard the voice, but it was not her voice that we had heard.  Thank God that I was holding my son’s hand, and that caused him to stop also, or he could have been killed.

 Through an impression.

Another time, I was in the washroom washing my hands. I heard a silent voice say to me: “Don’t get too close to the window.” Immediately, I looked at the window to see why I shouldn’t get close. I was horrified to see four bees on top of a ceramic dish, on the window sill. Since I am allergic to bee stings, I don’t even want to think what would have happened if four bees had stung me.

The Devil is so busy. He knows he doesn’t have much time left, so he spends all his time making trouble and planning what to do next. God knows Satan’s plans and interferes on our behalf.

 Through a dreams.

A long time ago, when I was still living in Willow Springs Illinois, I had a dream that my whole basement was flooded. I did what I always do when I have a bad dream; I climbed out of bed onto my knees to pray. I begged, “Lord, please don’t let this dream come true.”  Then I went downstairs to the basement and found my laundry tub filled with water. The water softener was recharging, and the tub was plugged. Quickly I disconnected the water softener. If I hadn’t had that dream, I wouldn’t have gone to the basement in the middle of the night to check the water softener, and my basement would have been flooded.

Then another night, still in Willow Springs, I woke up at 2:00 am. I had a horrible dream that my car was stolen. In my dream, the garage door was open and the kitchen door that leads to the garage also was open letting a strong wind blow through the whole house. I jumped out of bed again, got down on my knees and said the same prayer, “Lord, please don’t let the dream happen; don’t let anybody take my car.” Again I ran downstairs and went straight to the garage. The door was locked but the chain was not on. I locked both doors and placed the chain on the hook, and went back to sleep. The next morning when I awoke, I ran to the garage to see if my car was still there.  Yes, my car was there, but the back door knob was broken and the door slightly opened, but not enough for a person to come in, for the chain was holding it form getting completely open, and that saved my car from been robbed. This time I got on my knees to thank God for showing me in a dream that someone was going to steal my car.
 I have so many dreams like those, that comes to be so close to what happens to me in the dreams, but some are so personal that I proffer not to tell.

 Dear friend, learn to listen to God’s voice. If you allow Him, He will speak to you just as He speaks to me.
 So, stop and listen, and you will hear God’s Voice.

 CHAPTER IX

  A CLOUD BURST

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.  A time to be born, and a time to die: a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted." Ecclesiastics 3: 1, 2.

I was fourteen years old when my parents agreed to send me to a boarding academy in Petropoles, Rio de Janeiro.  We were Seventh Day Adventists, and the only way I could attend an academy of our religion would be to go to Rio or Sao Paulo, nineteen hundred miles away from my home town Recife, in Brazil.  That is where I saw for the first time in my life the horrible devastation caused by a cloud burst.

When we arrived at the academy there was a huge entry gate with a sign over it that went from one side to the other.  The sign read "Instituto Teologico Adventista." "Adventist Institute of Theology." The gate was open, and we drove in.  The road was narrow and long.  On our left was a series of huge mountains, and on our right was a valley.  Beyond the valley were more mountains, and way down below in the valley was a narrow blue river that from a distance looked more like the body of a large serpent snaking its way in and out of the hills that surrounded the river.

After going around several mountains we came to a plateau where we saw a series of long white buildings.  They made a tremendous contrast to the black rocky mountain behind them.  The teachers had their houses all over the valley. There were two houses right by the river. The orchard and the vegetable gardens were also by the river's edge.  Behind the last building of the plateau there was another series of mountains.  Some of the mountains were covered with green vegetation giving an appearance of a large, green, upside down salad bowl.  The other mountains had different colors. Some had just a little vegetation scattered here and there, and some had no vegetation at all.  They were one solid rock, probably of black granite.  One of these mountains of solid rock was so high that it took all my attention.  I sat on top of a little rock contemplating its majestic lines, and the stone became a finger pointing to the sky.  I decided to call it, "The Other Finger of God."  I could not call it "The Finger of God" because in Rio there is another mountain with that name.  " Dedo de Deus."

 One day I was awakened in the middle of the night by some of my friends.  "What is going on?" I asked. "A cloud burst." They answered.

 I jumped out of my bed and ran to the window.  From my window I could see many people walking toward the river with flashlights in their hands.  I turned to my friends and asked:  "Why are so many people going to the river, this time of the night?"

"Prof. Rosa is missing." They answered.  Prof. Rosa was one of the teachers. Neighbors from around the school grounds came over to help with the search, but no one could find her.  After one week her body arose to the surface of the waters.

When everything was over, and there was no more rain several of us decided to go down to see the river.  The two houses, the orchards, and the vegetable garden had totally disappeared.  From the two houses all that was left was a flat slab of the cement floor of the basement.  We tried to walk, but we could not.  The topsy-turvy soil made it impossible to walk on. Some of the places at the edge of the river were covered with gravel and mud.

We walked back, and went to the back road where the mountain "The Other ‚Finger of God" was.  We could not believe our eyes, for our favored mountain also had disappeared, and all that was left was a heap of gravel that went all the way down into the river.  For miles in the river we could see small rocks that came out of that mountain.  Prof. Rosa husband came to our class one day and told us the story of what had happened. And this is what He said:  "We were sleeping when suddenly we were awakened by a horrifying noise of a crash on the rocks, and the noise of rushing waters.  I turned to my wife and said to her: "Let's run up to the plateau! Please! hurry."

"No, I want to pray, so, let's pray."  She answered.

We got down to our knees, and we had hardly started praying when a wall of water about ten feet high swept both of us into the angry river.  I saw my wife pass by me, so I tried to get her, but she was gone down into the waters.

I grabbed onto a fallen tree that was bent over the water and waited for help.  That is where I was when the boys saw me and came to my rescue.  I knew that there was no hope for my wife when I saw her go down into the waters."

    He stopped talking because his emotional state of mind did not allow him to continue.  I believe, that if king Solomon had known this story He would have included in his statement that: there is a time to pray, and there is a time to run.  I also believe that we cannot mix them up.  Prof. Rosa mixed them up by praying when it was the time to run.  She also could have run and prayed at the same time.  The teacher that lived next door to her ran out with her family, and not one of them was lost.

 No one can measure the strength and power of a horrifying cloud burst.

 CHAPTER X

ANGELS AROUND ME

"For He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways."  (Psalms 91:11).

An angel of God has been with me as long as I can remember. Many times I know that I have been protected by my angel. Here is a few examples of the times I felt the protection of my angel. The burned tractor. My trips to, Europe, California, and Chicago. Angels in the surgery room. Exposed wire in the dryer. And pastor Baracat’s life saved by an angel.

In the summer of 1979, the grass in my yard seemed to grow faster than any  other summer.  The other summers, Phil did all the grass cutting. Now I had to cut all the grass myself and I had a big yard—-three-quarters of an acre covered with grass.

One day when I was cutting the grass‚ I had just gone around the yard and was turning to make a second round.Every time I went around the corners of the yard I ooked back from of my slhouders to see if I had missed a spot or not. this time when when I made the corner I felt impressed to look to the yard from the ground, to see if I missed a spot. I jumped off the tractor to see how the grass was. I had barely touched the ground when the tractor exploded into flames. I ran to the house and called the fire department.  Two fire trucks came and put out the fire. I am positive that an angel of God told me to go check the grass from off of the tractor, not one minute too soon.

IN 1982 when I graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago, the school held a contest for all the graduating students. Entering the contest was optional. I love competing in art shows so I wouldn’t pass up the chance to compete.  Two hundred students also entered the competition. Of the 200 who entered, only 13 won, and I was one of them. The prize was a traveling fellowship, so the money awarded had to be used on a trip somewhere.  Just about that time, my church ‚was organizing a tour to Israel and five countries in Europe.  I requested that I might use the money for that trip, and my request was granted.

Going to Israel was wonderful.  The trip from Israel to Europe was great also, but the trip from Europe back home was a different story. On our return trip, our plane encountered an air turbulence. As we hit the air pockets, we felt we were going straight down to the ground. I prayed very hard that God would send His angels to protect us.  I know that He heard my prayer as  well as those of all the other passengers.  Before we got to Chicago, we flew into an electrical storm that was so bad that it put out all the lights inside of the plane.  We couldn't land in Chicago, so we went to Cleveland, Ohio, to get more fuel.  When we arrived in Chicago, we had to get off the airplane in the dark but we were all safe and sound.  God's angels saved all our lives.

In 1993, I went to California to to see my son and his family.  I didn't want to fly, so I took ‚a bus.  The trip was wonderful at first, but after the second day, the driver was very tired and began to doze off here and there.  I was sitting near him and could see him very well.  I started to talk with him to make sure he wouldn't fall asleep.  He kept drinking coffee, and thanks to God, we arrived safe in California.  The trip took three days and two nights. I slept the first night, but when I saw the driver dozing off I decided not to sleep.  I prayed very hard that God send His angels to protect us, and keep the driver awake. I am sure God heard me and sent His angels. I did not rest very much on that trip, but I know we had received God's protection.

My oldest son Gio and my daughter Liliana live in Chicago with their families. Last year, my daughter called to invite me to come to Chicago to celebrate my birthday with them.  I accepted the invitation and took a bus to Chicago.  I remembered very well what traveling by bus was like, especially at night, so I felt somewhat uneasy.  As soon as I got in the bus I started to pray. Suddenly a peace came over me; I felt the presence of God.  I could not see Him, but I knew He was there.  I felt the presence of six angels protecting us.  Four angels were flying outside the bus—two on each side-- and two angels were inside of the bus.

I always talk to my personal angel, so I have given him a name.  I call him Daniel, just like the name of the prophet in the Old Testament.  I know that’s not his real name, but I like to call him by name. I felt that my personal angel Daniel was at the front of the bus doing all the driving, while another angel was sitting by me.  Their presence was so real that I felt completely protected and went to sleep.  I slept the whole trip.  When I woke up, I was already in Chicago.  When I made the return trip from Chicago to Alabama, I had the same experience. I thanked God for sending six  angels to care for me, and thanked the angels for being  there when I needed them. Remember, I did not see them, I just new that they were there.

In November of 1995 I had a eye surgery. When I entered the room to be operated I felt the presence of ‚many angels in the room.  It seemed to me that God had sent one of His choir of angels to assist me during the surgery. The doctor gave me a local anesthetic, so I was free to ‚think.  All I could think at that time was how could God send so many angels just to help me.  I did not deserve that.  But  I also knew that God owned me and had made me for Himself, so  He was going to make sure that everything in the operation would go well.  That was the only time in my life that I have ever felt the presence of so many angels at one time.  I felt  so unworthy of that, but I know that God loves me more then I  will ever be able to understand.  He watches over me as a good mother caring for a baby.

Once I was washing some clothes, and i placed them in the dryer to dry.  I put all the wet clothe in the dryer and was about to connect it when I decided to move the dryer just a few inches away from where it was.  I had used that dryer for some time and I had never thought about changing the location of the dryer.  Why did I suddenly have that idea?  I was soon to find out.  In order to move the dryer I had to unplug the cord from the wall.  After I unplugged the cord I noticed that in the middle of the cord there was a piece of the cord's covering missing, about one inch in length, and the copper wire was completely exposed.  That appliance was on a 220 volts line, so I can imagine what would have happened to me if accidentally touched that part of the wire.  I know that the angel of God was there, and told me what to do.  Again I thanked God for saving my life one more time.

When I was seventeen years old, I had a pastor in my church that came from Egypt.  One summer he was asked if he would go to the interior of Brazil to give a series of evangelistic meetings.  The interior of Brazil is predominantly catholic, and they frown on Seventh Day ‚Adventists.  He measured all the facts and decided to accept the offer.  He was gone for some time.  When he came back, he preached the following sermon. This is what I could remeber of his sermon:

"When I arrived in Rio Branco,  (a city down deep in the interior of Brazil,) I went to look for a hotel to stay in. I found a place above a store on the outside of the city.  I went to the store to buy some items for myself, and you cannot imagine my surprise when I met the owner at the store, for he also was from Egypt.  We started to talk in our own language and had a good time.  I told him of my mission on that city, and asked him if he knew of a place to conduct the meetings.

He told me: "Turn right at the end of this street, and go through the alley, pass the tavern, and keep going, at the end of the alley you will find a wide street.  To your right you will see an old theater that has been vacated for a long time.  Go around the back and you will find the house of the proprietor.  Tell him that I sent you.  Also tell him that you need to rent his building to give lectures for the public, and that you want to teach the people how to live a better life".

I said OK and started down the alley.  I passed the tavern just like he had mentioned.  When I got to the end of the alley I saw the old abandoned theater.  I walked to the back and found the proprietor's house.  I told him exactly what my Egyptian friend had told me to say.  I got the building for practically nothing.  I went back to the store and asked him where could I find six young men to help me to fix the place for this purpose.  He said that he had six young men waiting for jobs of any kind, and He would get them by morning.  The next day there were six young men waiting for me at his store.  I hired them, and we went to work.  We remodeled the whole theater.  We made a great big sign announcing the opening day. We made banners of all kinds.  Some showed the beasts of the books of Daniel and Revelations, and some showed other things.

We painted the whole building, and cleaned all the seats.  The building looked like another building when we got through with it.  I told the men to pass out invitations to all the people in the city.  I also told them to go to the farms near by, and give them invitations also.  They did a fantastic job, yet, they themselves didn't know one thing about our doctrine, and they were just as enthusiastic as I was.  I was really happy.  Every night the building was packed with people.  All the seats were filled, and we had people standing up on the back of the seats, and we even had people on the outside listening from the doors and windows.  I never expected such a response in a city were the predominant region was Catholicism.

 In my joy I made my way back to the hotel singing hymns just about every night.  The alley was always deserted so I felt free to sing as loud as I wished.

One night I was coming home to the hotel, and was singing just as I did in the other nights when something strange happened.  I was singing a hymn, but the alley was not deserted as in the other nights, so instead of singing I started to hum them.  When I got to the tavern there was something unusual,  because this time the tavern was filled with men, but they were not drinking as they did on tother nights.  Instead they were all standing up in the middle of the tavern facing the alley.  I stopped a little and looked at them.  I heard one man say to the other.  "Go ahead, do it.  Are you going to do it or not?  Come on man, this is your chance."  Then I heard the same words spoken by another man.  But no one moved.  It appeared to me that they were all frozen in one place.  I continued to walk and to sing.  When I got to my friend's store he was as white as a ghost.  He could hardly speak, and he was holding two guns, one on each hand.

"Wow!  What is going on?"  I said.   Slowly he talket,  but to ask me a question.

"Who is that tall man dressed in white that came with you?"

"I am sorry, but I don't know what man you are talking about.  I was just coming back from the meetings.  I was alone, and there was no man with me."

"Oh, yes, there was a big man all dressed in white. Around here no body dresses in white, but I know that a man was coming with you because his clothes were all white, and that is different than the rest of us.  That is how I know that you came with another man.  So, who is he?"

 I didn't know at the time of what they were talking about and said to him.

"Forget about the man, and just tell me what are you doing with two guns in your hands?"

"It is a long story.  Last night, I overheard two men talking to each other.  They were saying how much they would get paid if they killed you.  They were also saying that they had been hired by the Catholic priest to kill you, so I decided that I would not let any body kill you and armed myself with these two guns.  I was saying to myself.  The first one that attacks him will be mine.  I will kill them before they have a chance to touch him.  I was here waiting for that time when the man in white that came with you went inside of the tavern and stopped everybody."

"Oh!  There was someone going to kill me, and a man in white went inside and stopped everything?  OK, now I know who the man in white was.  See before when you told me that you saw a man dressed in white, it did not dawn on me what were you talking about, but now I know very well who he is."

"Please tell me?"

"See, God has promised to send His angels to protect us, and the man in white was non other than an angel of God. You saw a angel, a privilege that not to many people have.  You got armed to protect me, and God gave you the blessing of seeing an angel.

 In my mind I could see the angel standing inside of the tavern with both arms stretched out defying the men that wanted to kill me.

Because of God's deliverance many people accepted this faith and were baptized. When he finished the sermon everybody was crying including me.

God sent His angels to protect him, and I am proud to say that I also have;
Angels around me.

 CHAPTER XI
Working With Angels Around Me

"The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them."  Psalm. 34: 7.

When I was a student at the Art Institute of Chicago, I  heard of a program where we could work and get credit and grades at the same time.  I went to the office of Foreign Student Affairs and inquired about it.

I said:  "Susan, what is this that I heard?  Do we have a program where I could work and get credit for it, at the same time?"

"Yes."  She replied.  "You are talking about, On The Job Training." I asked her, "How could I get a job like this?"

And she answered, and said: "If you sit there and are willing to wait, I will look on my computer to see if there is something available in your field.  By the way what are your majors?"

Me: "My majors are, sculpture and photography."

Susan: "OK I will look for something in sculpturing."

After a moment checking she found a job sculpturing tomb stones.  I excitedly asked her:

"Where is this place?"

She smiled and said:  "Take it easy.  My, I can see you are really going to like this job." She called the company and made the arrangements for my interview.  She gave me the address and phone number, and told me to take my portfolio with me.  That is just what I did and I got the job.

At the job, the first thing I had to do, was to learn how to use the hydraulic tools.  At the end of the next room I saw a man banging with a hammer on a stone.  I walked to him and said: "Hi!  What are you doing?" And he answered:  "I am cutting a stone in half."  "Cutting a stone?"  I inquired.

"Why is it then that you don't have a saw or some other cutting tool in your hands?  All you have is a hammer and a chisel?"

He patiently told me that the hammer and the chisel was all that he needed to cut a stone, no matter how big. Then he said:  "See, let me show you how I do it." He drew a line in the middle of the stone, picked up his chisel and hammer and said:   "To cut this stone all I have to do is hammer on the chisel all along this line.  I will do that many times, over and over again until the stone breaks down."

He started to hammer away, and bingo, the stone broke in two symmetrical pieces.  I was absolutely amazed.  He gave me a little stone, handed me his tools and said: "Try it.  You can do it." I picked up the stone, drew a line in the middle and did the same things he had done.  Now I got even more amazed for my little stone split in half just like the big stone.  For the next few months I worked together with another sculptor.  We carved two images in a huge piece of granite, about ten feet high.  I would spend hours with the hydraulic tools carving on the stone and could not see any accomplishment.

The hydraulic tools would shake my whole body, my arms, my legs and especially my hands.  They would shake so much that they started to ache at night when I would go home.  The other sculptor was a man with big hands and arms and he was very strong all over.  The shaking of the hydraulic tools did not bother him at all.  He noticed one day how tired I was. I believe that he also realized that I was not strong enough for that kind of work.

"This is a man's job."  I said to him.

"I agree one hundred percent.  A woman is not built with large muscles like a man.  One needs to have very strong muscles to do this kind of work."

"You are right," I replied.  I walked away wondering what he was going to do.  I did not want to quit working yet, but I could not do the work physically.  Then he said to me: "I know how to solve this problem."

He called a man from a different room and said to him:  "This is Clelia Scopelite, I want you to teach her all about sand blasting."   The man took me to a room about five by five by eight feet high.  Inside there were many things, a table, two tanks of sand, three hoses hanging on the back wall, and a cabinet with all kinds of things to be used when sand blasting. Before starting to sand blast you must wear a helmet, goggles, rubber gloves, rubber coat and a very special shoe. He taught me all the techniques of the job, and helped me to get familiar with all the equipment.  I worked with him for several months.

One day I came to work and he was not there.  I knew what to do, so I proceeded with all caution I knew how.  I put on the special shoes, then the rubber coat, the helmet and the goggles.  I examined myself over and over to be sure that everything was safe before I started working.  I picked up the sand blasting hose from the wall and noticed that one hose was missing.  There were always three hoses on the wall, but now there were only two.  That quickly went out of my mind.  I picked up the hose and started to work.  Immediately I felt uneasy, and suspected that something was wrong. Suddenly, the hose jumped out of my hand as if an invisible hand took it away from me.  I bent over to pick it up and lo and behold, there was a hole in my shoe.  The hole was right by my big toe.  I jumped as fast as I could and stopped the machine.  See, inside of my shoe there was a metal protection covering all my toes.  There were two layers of thick leather over the metal.  The sand destroyed the leather, but was stopped by the metal saving my toe.  The hole was the size of a quarter.  One move in the wrong direction and the whole shoe could have been sand blasted.  I believe that whoever worked before me forgot to disconnect the hose and instead of turning it off, left it on, on the floor. I desided  that this work was not for me, and  quited working there..

In Psalm 91: 11, 12.  King David says, "He shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways.  They shall bear thee up on their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone."

I am positive that an angel took the hose out of my hand and caused me to look down and see what was happening to my foot.  I am sure that the angels did not let me place my foot where the sand would hit the flesh instead of the metal inside my shoe.  For all I know, and I am positive,  I was really  working with angels around me.

CHAPTER XII

THER ARE 100 PAGES OF PHOTOSGRAPHY OF MY ART WORK IN THE PAPER BOOK.
BUT YOU CAN SEE THEM HERE, JUST BY CLICKING ON THE LINK BELOW.

 To see all my art work click here and go back to the first page.

CHAPTER XIII

LIVING A PAIN FREE LIFE

Vegetarians suffer less pain than non-vegetarians, due to the following points:  less germ contamination, less cholesterol in the blood stream, lower
blood pressure, less hardening of the blood vessels, more vitamins from the vegetables.

Here are three examples of a pain free  life of individuals that did not eat meat, and my own experience with a pain free life.

When I say a pain free life, I am referring ro a physical pain, and not to an emotional pain.

When I was young, I used to buy meat for my dog, and one day I bought some meat, and the meat had a green spot in it, and when I cut into the spot the pus just drained out of it.  I threw the whole thing away, and bought another piece of meat for my dog.  The meat was in the market to be sold for the people's consumption.  I wouldn't even give that meat to my dog, but some people must have eaten the rest of that meat, with all the germs that were in it.  Today it is a common knowledge that some meats are highly contaminated with all kinds of germs.

When I met my first husband he used to eat meat, and his cholesterol count was 500.  At that time the hospital of that city was giving a free course on lowering cholesterol.  He enrolled himself in the course, and in less than one year his cholesterol dropped to a little over 200 There were one hundred enrolled in this class.  Every one had their cholesterol count lowered, and their hemoglobin count raised up.  I was at a class meeting when a person asked the doctor: "Why is it, that our hemoglobin count is going up after we quit eating meat?" And he answer them: "When you quit eating meat you become more conscious of your nutrition and you start eating more vegetables that makes a richer blood.  All the vegetables are rich in minerals and vitamins. Meat is just a second hand vegetable The animal eats the vegetables, and you eat the animal. The nutrition that you got from the animal, is the nutrition that the animal got from the vegetables that they ate.  Second hand nutrition is not as good as first hand nutrition.  So why not eat first hand nutrition when it is so much better for you?  That is why your hemoglobin count went up.  There are less cases of high blood pressure among vegetarians than non-vegetarians.  The same goes for arterial sclerosis or hardening of the blood vessels.  You will be healthier all the way around."

Many years ago when I was ten years old my cousin told me a story of one of his friends.  He said that his friend did not suffer pain because he was a vegetarian.  He said that his friend had just been released from the hospital for having some kind of surgery.  His friend had told him that while he was in the hospital he did mot take one pain pill. He also said that he did not remember when the last time was that he had suffered any pain.  He believed that the reason for living a pain free life was because he was a vegetarian. Then he said to my cousin: "Why don't you become a vegetarian?  You will have a pain free life just like me."

But my cousin Antonio never became a vegetarian.  Unfortunately when Antonio got older he became afflicted with arthritis, and he suffered until he died.

When I was fourteen years old I became a vegetarian.  I had completely forgotten my Antonio's story.  At the age of forty two, I became very sick, but I was saved by a radical mastectomy.  After the surgery a nurse came to me with some pain pills, but I asked her to wait until I had some pain.  I never took one pill.  I never suffered pain from that surgery.  I called my daughter in Chicago and asked her if she had suffered with any kind of pain.  I also asked her if she had headaches.  This is what she said:

"I never have headaches or any kind of pain, I am really lucky mom."

My daughter and my son are vegetarians eventhough they left our church.  I called my son in California, and asked him the same question.  I got the same answer again.  No headaches, and no other kind of pain.

My mother was mot a vegetarian, and when she had a hysterectomy she suffered severe pain.  When I had a hysterectomy I expected to have severe pain like my mother. But I never had pain from that surgery either.

Last year one of my friends (a non-vegetarian) had a hysterectomy, and she also suffered severe pain.  I came to the conclusion that vegetarians do better after a surgery than a non-vegetarian.

Last year four of my friends got leukemia.  Two were vegetarians, and two were non-vegetarians.  The two non-egetarians died within six months.  the vegetarias died after many years, and did  not suffer as much.

Recently I had a surgery on my eye lids.  The doctor told me to get Extra Strength Tylenol.  I had forgotten my previous experiences with surgery and no post-operative pain, and I bought the medication.  After the surgery, a nurse offered me a pain pill, and I said to her, "Wait for the pain to come before you give me that pill." But the pain never came, and I never took one pain pill.

Mr White a friend of mine, cannot believe that any body can live without pain regardless if they are vegetarians or not.  He said:  "Everybody suffers pain.  Our body is made with thousands of nerve cells with neutrons that produces pain. For example If I hit you on your head, you are going to feel pain.  I don't care if you are a vegetarian or not.  This is all non sense, and to say that vegetarians have less pain than non-vegetarian is ridiculous."

Well, I said,  "Maybe you are right, but I didn't have a headache in fifty years, and I didn't have a cold in thirty years.  Can you claim the same?"  But he did not answer, and I know why.

Mrs. Ress, another friend, heard us talking and said:  "I don't believe that a person can live eating only vegetables.  They will get so weak that they might even die. We have to have meat for our bones.  If I didn't eat meat I couldn't do all the things I do.  I would be so weak that I would rather die."

I told them that I had not eaten meat in fifty one years, and I was doing very well.  I also told them that my hemoglobin count was 15.6 and the normal for a woman is from 12 to 16. So 15.6 was very normal and very rich too.  Them I mentioned to them about my experiences with surgery and no after pain.

After I said that, I then remembered my cousin's story for the first time in fifty five years, and he was right.  Vegetarians don't suffer much pain.

The Lord said through king Solomon, "Be not among riotous eaters of flesh."  Proverbs. 23: 20

"Since the laws of nature are the laws of God, it is plainly our duty to give these laws careful study.  We should study their requirements in regard to our own bodies, and conform to them.  Ignorance in this things is sin." Counsels on Diet and Foods.  Page 18, paragraph 3.  By E.G.W.

Psalms 78: 22, 17-21, 23, 27, 31.
"Because they did not believe in God and did not trust in His salvation.  Yet He had commanded the clouds above, and opened the doors of heaven,   and rained down manna on them to eat, and had given them of the bread of Heaven. Men ate angels food; He sent them food to the full. But they sinned even more against Him by rebelling against the Most High in the wilderness. And they tested God in their heart by asking for the food of their fancy.  They said: "Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?  Can He provide MEAT for His people?"  Therefore the Lord heard this and was FURIOUS;  He rained MEAT on them like the dust, feathered fowl like the sand of the seas, and He let them fall in the midst of their camp, and all around their habitation.  So they ate and were filled, for He gave them their own desire.  They were not deprived of their craving.  BUT WHILE THEIR FOODWAS STILL IN THEIR MOUTHS, THE WRATH OF GOD CAME AGAINST THEM, AND SLEW THE STOUTEST OF THEM, AND STRUCK DOWN THE CHOICE MEN OF ISRAEL."

 Remember this, what you eat here, is what you will want in heaven, but there will be no meat there.  Because  theer  will  be no  more death in the kingdom os God, then there will be no more meat as food.  So we better get used to that, or we will not like the meat free meals of heaven.
I believe that vegetarians do live with less pain then non-vegetarians.  Who would not like to live a pain free lifeThink about it.

CHAPTER XIV

CIRCUMSTANCIAL HANDCUFFS

"The trials of life are God's workmen, to remove the impurities and roughness from our character.  Their hewing,
squaring, and chiseling, their burnishing and polishing, is a painful process; it is hard to be pressed down to the
grinding wheel.  But the stone is brought forth prepared to fill its place in the heavenly temple.  Upon no useless
material does the Master bestow such careful, thorough work. Only His precious stones are polished after the similitude of a palace."
Thoughts From The Mount of Blessing, by E. G.White. page 10, fourth paragraph.

There is no measurement for the amount of trials a person may have, when they are handcuffed by mere circumstances.  My hands were tied, but not by me, and here are some of the causes:

1 - An accident, 2 - Mary and thirty small jobs, 3 - The University ofChicago. 4 -An Italian Teacher.

The accdent

One month after my divorce I started assorting my options.  Should I move back to Brazil, go back to school, or go look for a job?  I did not have to make any choice, for I had a horrible car accident.  A pick up truck hit my car from the back, and left me incapacitated for two years.  After being extricated from the car, I was taken to the hospital.  I stayed in the hospital thirteen days, and went home to be cared for by a nurse.  For two months I could not walk, but after six months I regained my walking abilities.  I dismissed the nurse and tried to do it on my own.  Although I could walk I still had to be very careful.  I had a terrible ringing noise in my ears; I could not focus my eyes, and I was very dizzy.  I also fell many times because of my loss of balance.  I could not read because the words danced in front of my eyes.  I asked a friend to take me to Dr. H. and I told him all my problems.

"That is all psychological, you are suffering from functional psychosis.  Just keep taking your medicines.  As soon as you get better, you can get out of the medicines, but when you do that you have to do it gradually.  It is too dangerous to leave them suddenly."

I went home, and decided that I had taken the medicines long anough and I had to do something to get better.  I knew that Dr. H. was treating me for the wrong cause.  I just couldn't believe that a ringing in my ear, dizziness, my eyes being out of focus and a loss of balance, could all be psychological.  I suffered these things for two years, and that was enough.  I threw away all the tranquilizers he had given me.  Within one week I was almost well.  I still had the ringing in my ears.  But everything else was gone. The anemy did not stoppe me from serving the Lord, even if  he placed circumstancial handcufs in me, I still could serve my Lord and I am still doing it. Ane I will serte the Lord as long as there is life im me.

Mary and thirty small jobs

Before the accident sculpturing was my profession.  But after the accident, I was too weak to do that.  I talked to some of my church friends about my problem, and they suggested that I should try taking care of elderly patients.

One of my patients was named Mary.  I worked with Mary for three years.  After three years working, the family knew me very well.  They used to go to Europe and leave Mary with me. One day her son told me that he did not need my services any more.  I asked him why, and he said that the woman that worked during the day, wanted my job for her daughter.  So I lost that job.  I started to work in different cases, but I kept losing the jobs.  Every time I lost a job, I asked them why they were letting me go, and they would answer the same thing:  "We want someone else."  I lost about thirty jobs.And not one gave me a good cause for dismissing me.  I lost the desire to work on this field and decided to move away from  Chicago.  I clung to God like never before.  I started to read the Bible more fervently.  I learned to be like the apostle St. Paul.  And I could say as he said in Philippians 4:  11 to 13.

"Not that I complain of want;for I have learned, in whatever state I am,  to be content.  I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want.
 I can do all things in Him Who strengthens me."

 This lest verse, I can do all things in Him Who strengthens me, became my every day motto.  It worked, and I became stronger and stronger.  I knew that I had not done one thing to be dismissed from those jobs, and I had no reason to be sad.  I decided to be happy no matter what.  I thought, as long as I can breathe I will say super; when somebody asked how I was doing.  I did that all the time.  Then one day a friend asked me how I was doing, and I said "super" I breathed in, but I couldn't breathe out.  I stopped, and relaxed a little.  I started to breathe again, but very shallow.  I went to the emergency room of a hospital, and stayed there for ten hours.  The doctors thought that I had a blood clot in my lungs.  But the X-ray did not show anything. My EKG was good also.  They were uncertain about my case. After ten hours I started to breathe normal again, and was released from the hospital.  No one knew my problem, but I did.  My adversary the Devil was after me, but I knew how to handle him.  I thought, he doesn't like the way I say "super" and took away my breath, so, now I still say "super" but with another reason.  My reason is: "Jesus is my friend."  So, as long as Jesus is my friend I will say "super."  Now I got him, for he cannot do one thing about that.

Now Dr. H. had said that I suffered from "functional psychosis."  But God was telling me something else.  He said to me:  Read second Timothy 1: 7.  I got my Bible and found the following:

"For God hath not given us the spirit of  fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."     So I clung to this text. I am still saying "super" when somebody asks me how I am. So you  can see that it always be THE LORD AND I

The University of Chicago.

After I got my bachelors degree at The School Of The Art Institute Of Chicago, I applied for a graduate degree of Master of Arts, at The University of Chicago.  But they denied my petition with the reason that they did not have a  teacher that knew more than me to teach me.  Then I went back to The Art Institute of Chicago, and again I got the same answer.  I tried many universities, but got the same answer from every one.  I received a letter from The University of Chicago advising me to go to Europe, because that would be the only place that I would find a teacher more capable than I, and that could teach me stone carving the field I had chosen.  But I did not have the money for that, and ended up with no master degree.  God must have a different plan for me, and I leave it in His hands.

"I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.  I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living. Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name.  The righteous shall compass me."   Psalms  142: 4, 5, 7.

An Italian Teacher

Because I could not do much scupturing after the accident, and could not go to Europe to get a masters degree, I decided to pursue a different field of study. I enrolled myself at a school to study dental technology.  I could not sculpt big things, so this would be sculpting little things, teeth to be exact.  I wanted to do crown & bridge, the field that did most of the sculpting.  The first year went fine with no problems, but on the second year was a different story.  There was an Italian teacher that did not care very much for me, I  think that was  because, I was always getting ahead of the class.

He put me in a different class for dentures only, and gave my seat to another student.  I went to his office and explained to him that I was a sculptor and that I only wanted to do crown & bridge, and that I was not interested in dentures, for  there was no scupturing in that field, for the teeth for the dentures were pre febricated, and we just bought them.

I begged him to let me go back to my class.  But he did not let me.  The action of this teacher abased me, and I stayed in the denture class.  Only God knows how poignant this was to me.  That was just another way that the enemy wanted to handcuff me. I manege to get to the end of the year and graduated as a partial especialist.

"Search me, O God, and know my heart:  try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and  lead me in the way everlasting." Psalms  139: 23, 24.

Now I have one more story that I did not mansion in the beginning.  I did not mansion it because it just happened right now.  I know that the Devil doesn't like anything that I do, and he doesn't want me to write this book.  So he broke all the computers around here. I  am writing this book in a library.  There are more then fifty computers in this building, but only the six computers where I work  got broken.  But God wants
me to write this book and just today I got the computer that I work on, fixed.  Thanks to God, and a real good friend that showed me what to do.

I don't believe that I will ever be free from the Devil trying to put this circumstancial  handcuffs on me.   But I know that God is there to free me every time he does.  So friends if the Devil has put handcuffs on you, turn to God, and He will deliver you just like He delivered me.  So I will just accept them and thank God for all this circumstancial handcuffs.

CHAPTER XV

FRIVOLOUS

"Who cam find a virtuous woman?    For her price is far above rubies. She srengtheneth her arms.  She  openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness."Proverbs 31: 10, 17, 26.

  I have been accused of being frivolous, but, before you make a judgement, of guilty or not guilty I want you to examine me, and for that I will give you 13 facts to proove to you that I am not not guilty of being frivolous.

1-microwave,  2-stove,  3- my breakfast, 4 front-room heater, 5- no colds in thirty years and three colds in five years, 6- the light bill, a 29 cent stamp, 7- my most frustrating financial experience, 8- house in Willow Springs, 9- duplex, 10- new bathroom, 11- a leak in my kitchen sink, 12- my last new dress, and dess shoes, 13- tennis shoes, 14- freezing my food.

As a rule I get up about 6 a.m.  But I don't eat my breakfast until nine or ten.  As soon I get up I drink a glass of warm water.  I do my devotion, and drink another glass of water.  I take a shower, dress, and I drink two glasses of herb tea.  So you see, the time goes really fast and by the time I eat it is generally 9 or 10 am.

I - I have a microwave, and I use it all the time. One day I placed my food in the microwave and after a few minutes I heard a very strange noise.  For a few days I did not use it, and I hoped that after a few days of not using it the noise would stop.  But after a few days the noise was worse, so I started to use the stove top to defrost and warm up my food, and I completely disregarded the microwave.  I did not even want to know how much it would cost to repair.

2 -   I used the stove for about one week, and one day I was sitting in my dining room when I heard a noise like something exploding and it sent out a huge sparkle at the same time. Next all the lights went out. I went to the circuit breaker and turned it on, because the explosion turned it off. Immediately there was another explosion.  So, instead of turning everything on, I looked for the circuit breaker of the stove, turned it off, and then turned the main power on. It went well, but now I couldn't use the stove.  Fortunately I have a hot plate, and I am using that to do all my cooking.

3 -   Now I had no microwave and no stove, and I don't eat cold food for breakfast.  My breakfast consists of potatoes, peas, soy meat, and all kinds of vegetables.  I was not up to changing my diet because of my problems.  So I thanked God that I still had the hot plate to cook with.

4 -   Winter came and I started checking all my electric wall heaters.  There is a heater in each room of the house.  All the heaters were good except for one, the one in the front room.  Well I thought, that is not too much of a problem.  I just have to use a winter coat  when I go from my bedroom to the front room.  But I was wrong.  Without heat in the front room, the rest of the house did not warm up properly, and the whole house was cold except for my bedroom and washroom.  It was 70 degrees in those rooms, and it was 59 in the rest of the house.  Because it was too cold everywhere else I ate my meals in the bedroom.

5 -  When I was in Chicago I had central heat in the house, and I didn't have a cold in 38 years.  Now with this new system, I have already had three colds in 5 years.  I also don't have heat in my car, and when it is very cold I nearly freeze.

6 -  Last month I nearly fainted when I got my light bill in the mail.  My December bill was $ 149.00, and my January bill  was $395.00.  My alimony was late and I really didn't have the money to pay for my light bill.  I had $200.00 in my savings account.  So, I closed my savings account and went to the light company and told them about my problem.  I asked if they would take $200.00 and let me pay the rest in installments of $30.00 a month.  They agreed and I could see that God had rescued me again.

7 -   A few weeks ago my alimony check was late again, and I  made a foolish mistake to count on it, and paid all my bills.  After I finished putting stamps on all of the envelops, I was short of one stamp.  I then went to look for $0.29 to buy a stamp but I couldn't find even a dime, I had forgotten that I had given all my change to the investment fund the last time I was in church.   That frustrated me a little.  I couldn't believe that I was that poor, and not have even $0.29 for a stamp. Yet that was not my most frustrating financial moment, that one was yet to came.

In February of last year my tenant came to me and said:  "Mrs.  Scopelite, there is a leak in the roof of the porch.  You have to come and see.  It has to be fixed immediately, or the whole thing is going to fall down."

I hired a man, bought all the material and spent $250.00 on a new roof over the porch.  Then I was getting rent from the house and had a little money saved for emergencies.  After the porch was all done he came back to me with another complaint:

"Mrs. Scopelite, the sink in the bathroom has a leak, and needs repairing." Fortunately for me, I do all my own plumbing, so that did not alarm me very much.  I went over there and fixed the faucet, and stopped the leak.  After one week he came over again and said:

"Mrs. Scopelite, the sink in the kitchen also has a leak and you better come over to see what you can do about that." I went over there and repaired that leak also.

It wasn't one month yet since I had spent $250.00 on a new roof on the porch when again he came over and said:  "Mrs. Scopelite, there is another leak in the house. This time it is right inside of the house by the front door. You have got to fix that immediately." I called a roofing company and spent another $250.00 on that.

A few more weeks went by, and again I heard the same complain as before. "Mrs.  Scopelite, It is raining inside the house." I called the man of the roofing company and told them that the house was still leaking inside.  The man came over and repaired the roof again.  The man came three times to fix the same spot and never got it to stop leaking.  They refused to come back, and the tenant kept complaining.  If rained five days, he would come over five days to complain.  Then, one day he came over and said: "Mrs. Scopelite the ceiling is falling down in the foyer."

I went over and sure enough, the ceiling was falling down.  I went home and got my tools and took down the sheet-rock so it would not fall on somebody's head.  My tenant became really happy and said: "Mrs. Scopelite, sell me this house, I will buy this house right now, just the way it is.  How much do you want for this house?"

I looked at him quite surprised for his excitement about buying the house in its condition.  Very calmly I answered."This house is not for sale."

He looked very disappointed and said: "I am not paying the rent until this house is all fixed." I asked him to please move out so I could repair it.  But it took six months for him to move out, and he didn't give me a dime during that time.   After they moved out I repaired the whole house.  But to repair the house I had to use all that I had saved for emergencies, and had to close my savings account.  That has been my most frustrating financial experience, because of the amount of money I had to spend against my will.

 The 29 cents stamp problem came as a result of that.  Besides fixing the house, I made two clothes closets, and an enclosure for the hot water tank.  I hired another roofing company, and this time there was no more problem with the roof.  But I still had the ceiling to contend with.  I had made a few walls from scratch, and I knew how to make a frame with 2x4.  I also knew how to put the sheet-rock over the frame.  But, to put sheet-rock hanging upside down to make a ceiling, was a different story. So I called a carpenter and asked him for how much he would do that work.  " $150.00 with all my material."  He said.

 I started to figure out how much his material would cost in  my mind.  I figured, he will need two pieces of sheet-rock, and a can of joint compound.  About $12.00 for the whole thing, and $138.00 just for the labor.  "That is too much money, the material will be around $12.00, so you are asking me, to pay you $138.00 for the labor?" He looked at me surprised that I could figure out how much the material would cost.  Then he said: "I don't think that I asked for too much for a job as big as that.  Let me know your decision." The foyer was only a small room about 5´ feet wide by 13´ feet long.
I told him that I was sorry for taking his time, and that I was going to try to do it myself.

After he left, I started to think about the many things that God had taught me before.  He had taught me to do my own electric work, all my plumbing, how to put up walls, and for sure He could teach me how to fix a ceiling.  So I said to God:

"Lord! could You please teach me how to put up that ceiling?  I know that I cannot handle it by myself because of the weight.  But to You everything is possible.  I know that there must be a way on how to do that.  So thank you Lord for teaching me how to do that job." Then I sought, I always cut the sheet-rock in half before I bring it home, so that they can fit in the trunk of my car.  So instead of cutting it in two pieces, I will cut it in eight pieces.  Each piece will be 2x2 feet and I will be able to handle that.  It was a piece of cake.  The Lord sent his angels to help me, and  I repair the ceiling, just me and my angel.

8  -   God has always been my teacher, but some times He uses real human beings to teach me something.  When I lived in Willow Springs, I add a few things to the house.  Like an iron porch, a huge circle drive, a bathroom, plus placing ceramic tile all over the basement floor. I wanted to converte the basement into a dental laboratory.  When  the carpenter made the porch, I observed him.  When the electrician put the electricity in the new bathroom, I observed him also.  I did that to every person that came to work in the house.  When the plumber was working I said to him:

"Wow! that looks so difficult.  How do you do that?"  Then he said:  "Actually, this is very easy.  See, you sand down the pipe real good, then you put some soldering paste, next you fire a torch and heat the pipe until it is so hot that it changes color.  When the color has changed, you tried the soldering wire to see if it is melting.  If the soldering wire melts, it is ready to sod everything."

"Do you think that I could do that?"  I asked him.  "Of course, you could.  Here is a little left over pipe, try on that. I will help you." I did it.

I tried that same thing with the carpenter, and the electrician.  And I didn't feel bad about using this people because I knew, that the real teacher was God.  After that very seldom do I hire one of these people.  Most of the time I do the work myself.  With all the expenses I was having, I decided to rent some of the bedrooms and make some money to help with all my bills.  That was very nice for a while, until one tenant moved back to his native country and left me with his phone bill to pay.  He used my phone and paid for the long distance calls.  His long distances bill that he left for me to pay, was $300.00.

9 - I rented my extra house, but I still had a real big house just for me.  I didn't want to rent the  bedrooms and have another high phone bill from someone else. So I went to the city hall and got a permit to change my house into a duplex.  They gave  me the permition and I made the house  into a duplex. That was all real easy.  But when I finished the duplex, I didn't have a bathroom for myself.  The bathroom was included inside of the new apartment.  Well I thought, that is not a problem, I just have to build a bathroom for myself. And that is just what I did, just me my angel, and occasionally, a man to carry the heavy things like the tub, and the shower cabinet.  But my angel and I did the rest of the work.  Now I have a nice tenant, and my own privacy on my part of the house.  So you see it is still The Lord and I.

10 - I had just finished fixing all the leaks in the tenant's house, and I was hoping never to hear the word leak again when my kitchen sink started to leak.  I tried to fix it, but there were no washers in my sink faucet, so I could not fix the leak.  But I found a way out on how to use the sink without using the faucet.   See, under the faucet there is a shut off valve, so, every time I need to use the  water, I just get to my knees and use the shut off valve.  I know how to replace the faucet, but that will cost money, so instead of spending any money, I just keep on using the shut off valve under the sink.

11 - Sixteen years ago,  I treated myself with a brand new dress.  I also got a  new pair of shoes.  Some how, while most people enjoy new dresses, my enjoyment is to be able to fit in an old dress that I couldn't fit in before, maybe, for twenty years or so.  I remember when I graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1982 and I used an old dress for my graduation.  In those days I had the money to buy a new dress if I wanted to.  But I had a dress that I liked very much and I felt it was proper for the occasion.  That is exactly what I did.  Then I started a new hobby, making all my clothes even my own slacks.  When I said my last new dress, what I meant to say was, the last dress that I bought.  I have many new dresses, but they were not bought.  I made them.  Amazing as it seems, that was also the last time I bought a new pair of dress shoes. I don't know how to make shoes, but they just don't get old on me.  I just don't see the need to buy new dress shoes.  Even when I make my new dresses I always try to match the color of the dress I am making with the color of one of my dress shoes. So if I don't have one of that color I just paint the shoe to match the dress.

12 - Last month I noticed that my favorite pair of tennis shoes was getting real beat up on the top, yet the bottom was real good, like if it was not used at all.  I decided to fix it, so i got a piece of fabric, cut it to fit the shoe´s wholes, then, I glue it all over the top of the shoe.  After it dried,  I painted it with some white wall paint I had left from my tenant's house.  I was trilled with the resolt.  I was almost finished painting the shoe when a friend
of mine came over.  When she saw me painting the tennis shoes with house paint, she couldn't believe her eyes, and said:

"Clelia!  Why didn't you ask me to buy you a new pair of tennis shoes?  If you are that destitute, I will buy a pair of tennis shoes for you."

"Get over it, you don´t undertand!!! I  love repaireng things."  But she did not believe me. "You just don't like my new tennis shoes, and I just happened to love it."  I couldn't convince her enough that I really liked that pair of shoes.

13 - Almost every morning I make a tossed salad for myself. I take two leaves of the leaf lettuce , one slice of the green pepper, one fourth of a tomato, a little bit of onions, and garlic.  I put a pinch of salt and one teaspoon of olive oil, and I just love my breakfasts.  See the reason I gave this manu  is because I wanted you to notice how many ingredients I use.  Like for instance one head of lettuce lasts me from one to two weeks, because all I can eat is two leaves a day.  I generally do my grocery shopping every two weeks.  I buy one or two tomatos, one green pepper, and the rest of the vegetables are sold in bundles, so I buy one bundle of each vegetable.  Then I buy three bananas, three apples,  three oranges and so on.  One tomato lasts me four days.  I only use one fourth of it a day.  One green pepper lasts more than a week depending on the size of the pepper.  Remember, I only use one slice a day.  I don't do that to be economic.  I do that because that is all I can eat.  I have a very little stomach.  Most people prepare their meals every day.  I am a little different them most people because I cook once a week. I cook as much as my pot can hold, then I let it get cold and divide it in as many portion as I can.  I pour the food in reclosable freezing bags.  Then I put them in the freezer.  I freeze all of my fresh vegetables, and some fruits also. I am lost without my freezer.

Now you have all the facts about my life, so now I will let you pronounce the verdict, guilty or not guilty, and if these facts allow you to decide that my accusers were right by saying that I was FRIVOLOUS, then I will say that you don't know how to judge.

P. S.  I hope that you had a good laugh, because I did. Althou that was indid a true story.
 
 

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