By Love's Hand

By Love's Hand

Fierce  Female Network And The We’73 Project

Vol 5 Apr 2024

Veteran Of The Month – James R. Petitpas

The Veteran of the Month is James R. Petitpas from Dorchester, Massachusetts. He joined the Army on February 28th, 1970, at 17 years old, and he got out 3 years later in 1973. James comes from a family of 10 and held a lot of responsibility for his sibling’s well-being. He was 17 and needed to get out of the house because he was becoming a disciplinary problem. He started attending Boson Technical School, but not long after found out school was not for him. The lecture halls and amount of work made him realize he wasn’t a good student. This is what led him to the recruiting office up the road for the school. Since James was only 17, he needed his parent’s signature and he got it from his step-father. When he returned to the recruiting station he made a friend in the office and the two boys signed up together through the buddy system.  

For basic training, he was in Fort Dix, New Jersey and after the 60-day advanced infantry training it was late May and he turned 18. This was a big deal for him because it meant he was eligible to go overseas and be part of the Vietnam War. He started learning more in-depth about rifles, equipment, chain of command, and choosing his MOS. James started in Vietnam as a cook for lieutenants, captains, colonel, and generals. This was a good fit for him because he was usually in charge of cooking meals for his family of 10 at home, so he had plenty of practice. However, he did not have practice in taking orders and resolving conflicts, so when an NCO asked him to paint a wall, he couldn’t wrap his head around how that was his job. When he refused to do so, he was turned into the head sergeant. The sergeant told him “Well Petitpas, usually I can give out an article 15, but I think the best thing would be to transfer you to the 88th transfer.” James wasn’t exactly sure what that meant, but he knew it had to do with trucks because he saw a few driving around the base.

Shortly after he packed his bags and changed locations. When he arrived, it took a few days to meet with the captain and when did he got his secondary MOS, truck driver, because they already had too many cooks. He was nervous about the change because he had no experience driving a truck, let alone a gun truck. After one of the trucks was hit and a few soldiers were lost, there was an opening that needed to be filled and he got the spot. His new job was on a gun truck, refueling the trucks and technical support. With the MOS change, he said his days were as follows – wake up, get your weapon from the ammunition bunker, put conveys together as needed, look for enemies, and help those who needed it. His main focus was to protect drivers, cargo, and giver cover during fire.

He was accustomed to working with a group, so being with 3 men every day and relying on each other for support wasn’t hard for him. A new skill he learned was taking advantage of an opportunity when it presented itself and this led to what he said was his proudest moment in the Army. He had the chance to go with the gunmen to check the perimeters of the base to make sure the security system was working accurately and to check if there was any sign of someone trying to enter the area. He stated, “Making PB and J’s didn’t seem like I was doing much so getting that experience made me feel like I was really doing my part.” He also expressed how his job wasn’t a matter of hurting people but saving others, and that’s when he felt most alive.

When asked about one of the most emotional moments in the army he shared a rather scary story. It was Easter Sunday, which fell at the end of March, and they took on mortar fire. It was the first time he encountered this type of first-hand battle and it was so close he could see where they were landing. The power of the motors was so strong one of the 5-ton trucks got flipped on its side. James’ job during this time was to make sure front-line men had what they needed and direct them back to the road towards the base. During this time, he remembers sitting there calling out “My God it’s Easter Sunday.”

James was in Vietnam for 1 year out of his 3-year contract and got out shortly after coming back to stateside. The reason he gave was that he isn’t the most ideal soldier. If given a job he would do that job, but he didn’t like to have all the extra work on the side, due to him not seeing a purpose for it. James admitted he had always been more of a rebel even throughout his childhood, so he wasn’t afraid to state his opinion or question situations that seemed off. His example was getting the job done. It always happened, but he would skip steps that didn’t seem important to him but would later face consequences for it.

The response to what the service taught him was rather an emotional question for him to answer and he began tearing up when speaking about it. This was an understandable response considering he was an 18-year-old man sitting in a 5-ton truck with an open top and a floorboard consisting of thousands of rounds of ammunition. He sat with a 60 caliber that had 1800 rounds and could fire hundreds of bullets at a time. He said the biggest thing it taught him was that he was capable of doing way more than he thought himself capable of. There are two types of people in this world those who run towards actions and those who run away and found himself running towards it. It was tough for him to sit there each day and wonder if he and the other men would make it, but he learned to live each moment and be ready for the unthinkable.

These lessons followed him through life and shaped him into the person he is today. The army gave him the understanding that there’s not one person in this world who you can rely on more than yourself, but he also knew he was strong enough to be his own supporter. James learned this not in the service, but after he got out and had to live in civilization again. The hardest part for him was the transition back to normal life after seeing things he had seen and living in that constant state of fear. Keeping in mind that it was 1973 when he got out, there wasn’t a real concern about anyone’s mental health and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder wasn’t a real diagnosis. To this day he               suffers from nightmares, but over the years he has learned different ways to cope with it. One thing that helps him personally is reminding himself that even though some of the actions he and others were ordered to do are questionable, there was a bigger purpose he was fighting for. He looks at that time in his life as a test to figure out who he really is as a person. The closing remark he made is something that can be beneficial to anyone going through hard times, he said “I’m given this life and live it to the fullest, sort out the bad and keep the good.”

The last thing he talked about was a moment he enjoyed from the service and a good memory he has. The one story that seemed to bring him the most joy was about his first date. Between responsibilities at home and joining the Army, young James hadn’t had his first date yet and when the guys he had become close to found out about this, they set him up on a date. They locked him in a room with a woman he had never met, and they weren’t going to let him until he started having a good time. Not too long after the date had started he heard noises coming from above him and sure enough, when he looked up he saw his friends looking down at him, watching the date for themselves. The story made James erupt in laughter and you could hear the smile on his face.

He ended the interview by saying “I would do it again. I have freedom but it’s not free. We all have talents, and we are supposed to share those talents”

Written by,

Lindsay Martin             

Advent Homily – By Deacon Richard Benkovic

Column Maddie and the Deacon

Growing up I remember watching a cartoon show that featured a dog and his pet boy, their names were Dr. Peabody and Sherman. And they had this machine that could transport them back in time it was called the Way-back Machine. So let’s go back over 200 years to the year 1809. It was a period of history not greatly different from our own time. Military might was the dominant theme of the day. Napoleon and his armies seemed destined to rule the world. Their battles made the headlines of all the newspapers. And most people thought that these really were the most important events of the time.

But some other events took place in the year 1809 that never made the newspaper headlines and very few people noticed them. In that year Charles Darwin was born. As a result of his research, the thinking of the entire scientific world was reshaped. In that year Abraham Lincoln was born and his courage lead the United States in the darkest moments of its history. In that year, Cyrus McCormick was born and his invention changed the way the world harvest its crops. In that year Alfred Tennyson, Edgar Allen Poe and Oliver Wendell Homes were born, and their writings still inspire the minds of millions.

In a word, that year, 1809, was not known for its important battles, but rather for the babies that were born.

Let us use the Way-back Machine and go back a little more than 2000 years, when the armies of Caesar marched across the face of the known world and the people paid attention to this. No one really thought that the really important events of that time were taking place in the quiet and forgotten hills of Judea. Soon Elizabeth would give birth to a child and call him John and her cousin Mary would give birth to a child and call him Jesus. And those two men would literally reshape the thinking of the entire world.

But before these two important births we hear in today’s Gospel the story of Mary visiting with Elizabeth. Now Mary traveled in haste to the hill country. One does not travel slowly when filled with the Holy Spirit. The Lord’s presence is made clear for as soon as Elizabeth hears Mary’s greeting the child leapt in her womb and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.

Notice the contrast and the choice of words. Elizabeth is the first to hear Mary’s voice, but John is the first to be aware of her grace. She hears with the ears of the body, but he leaps for joy at the meaning of the mystery. She is aware of Mary’s presence but he is aware of the Lord’s. Elizabeth speaks of the grace they have received while John is aware of the pledge of our salvation.

When John leaps for joy Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit, but we know that though Mary’s spirit rejoices she does not need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Her son, who is beyond our understanding, is active in his mother in a way beyond our understanding. Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit after conceiving John, while Mary is filled with the Holy Spirit before conceiving the Lord. Elizabeth says: “Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.” We are also blessed because we have heard and believed. A soul that believes both conceives and brings forth the Word of God and acknowledges his works.

Let Mary’s soul be in each of us so we too can proclaim the greatness of the Lord. Let Mary’s spirit be in each of us so we too can rejoice in the Lord. Jesus has only one mother in the flesh, but we all bring forth Christ in our faith, if we remain pure and free from sin. And if we are faithful to God then we too can proclaim the greatness of the Lord, just as Mary’s soul magnified the Lord and her spirit rejoiced in God her Savior. 

Anti-Wrinkle Super Foods By Fierce Manson

Berries Are Your Bestfriends

Blueberries are my favorite and they are truly the best anti-aging, and anti-wrinkle food. This is the perfect anti-wrinkle food. Berries have natural fructose sugar that satisfies your longing for sweets and enough fiber so you absorb fewer calories that you eat. British researchers found that the high content of insoluble fiber in fruits, vegetables and whole grains reduces the absorption of calories from foods enough to promote weight loss without hampering nutrition.

BEANS – Great Anti-Aging Foods

Beans are one of the best sources of plant protein. Peas, beans and chickpeas are collectively known as legumes. Most common beans have 215 calories per cooked cup (lima beans go up to 260). They have the most protein with the least fat of any food, and they’re high in potassium but low in sodium.

Plant protein is incomplete, which means that you need to add something to make it complete. Combine beans with a whole grain – rice, barley, wheat and corn – to provide the amino acids necessary to form a complete protein. Then you get the same top-quality protein as in meat with just a fraction of the fat.

Tomatoes

Studies at the University of Kentucky and in the Netherlands show that eating beans regularly can lower cholesterol levels. The most common complaint about beans is that they cause gas. Here’s how to control that problem, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA):

Before cooking, rinse the beans and remove foreign particles, put in a kettle and cover with boiling water, soak for four hours or longer, remove any beans that float to the top, then cook the beans in fresh water.

A medium tomato (2.5″ diameter) has only about 25 calories. These garden delights are low in fat and sodium, high in potassium and rich in fiber.

A survey at Harvard Medical School found that the chances of dying of cancer are lowest among people who eat tomatoes (or strawberries) every week.

And don’t overlook canned crushed, peeled, whole or stewed tomatoes. They make sauces; casseroles and soups taste great while retaining their nutritional goodness and low-calorie status. Even plain old spaghetti sauce is a fat-burning bargain when served over pasta, so think about introducing tomatoes into your diet.

The Magic of Tofu

You just can’t say enough about this health food from Asia. Also called soybean curd, it’s basically tasteless, so any spice or flavoring you add blends with it nicely. A 2½ ” square has 86 calories and nine grams of protein. (Experts suggest an intake of about 40 grams per day.) Tofu contains calcium and iron, almost no sodium and not a bit of saturated fat. It makes your metabolism run on high and even lowers cholesterol. With different varieties available, the firmer tofus are good for stir-frying or adding to soups and sauces while the softer ones are good for mashing, chopping and adding to salads.


Cabbage

This Eastern Europe staple is a true wonder food. There are only 33 calories in a cup of cooked shredded cabbage, and it retains all its nutritional goodness no matter how long you cook it. Eating cabbage raw (18 calories per shredded cup), cooked, as sauerkraut (27 calories per drained cup) or coleslaw (calories depend on dressing) only once a week is enough to protect against colon cancer.And it may be a longevity-enhancing food. Surveys in the United States, Greece and Japan show that people who eat a lot of it have the least colon cancer and the lowest death rates overall.

Fish & Omega 3

The health benefits of fish are greater than experts imagined – and they’ve always considered it a health food. The calorie count in the average four-ounce serving of a deep-sea fish runs from a low of 90 calories in abalone to a high of 236 in herring. Water-packed tuna, for example, has 154 calories. It’s hard to gain weight while eating seafood.

As far back as 1985, articles in the New England Journal of Medicine showed a clear link between eating fish regularly and lower rates of heart disease. The reason is that oils in fish thin the blood, reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol.

Fish oil can bring about dramatic relief to the inflammation and stiff joints of rheumatoid arthritis.

Talking about fish oil is worth repeating over, and over again, not only does the oil in fish have anti-aging properties, but it has a bonus in what it does to your hair.

Did you know fish will give your hair a dark luster beyond what you could ever imagine. People constantly stare at my hair, and they ask me all the time do you color your, or what do you use on your hair? Just fish oil every day.

For years now I either take a fish oil supplement or have tuna, or salmon.

Water, Water and More Water, and Then Rest

Did you know if your body doesn’t get enough water your body fluids could very be thrown off balance. Believe it or not this can cause water retention. Keeping the body well hydrated is one of the best ways to keep the body well tuned up and ready for anti-aging prevention.

Water aids the body in maintaining a healthy muscle tone, and water flushes any waste from the body. Did you know water helps to prevent the skin from sagging.

In this age of bottled water–just because its in a bottle does not mean it is purified water. For me, steam distilled is the best for the, and does a better job of cleansing toxic from the body, which is a great wrinkle preventer.

For individuals who take medications, or any type of supplement, drinking water helps the liver to metabolize the medicine, and to do its job, and exit the body. After a dose of medication has been taken water is needed to effectively put the medicine to work, and then release it from the body. Not all medicines are broken down by the liver, this is just one example.

Rest is a must, nothing will have you wearing your age on your sleeve faster than a body that doesn’t get plenty of rest. I am true blue to a good night’s sleep, and when I don’t get it, I feel, and so will anyone else who comes across my path (lol).

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BELIEVER’S AUTHORITY: A RIGHT OR PRIVILEGE?

An article written by: Oluwatobi J. Omolewa

Believer’s authority is a concept that holds significant importance in many religious and spiritual practices. It refers to the power and ability that individuals who follow a specific faith possess, enabling them to exercise control and influence over different aspects of their lives. However, there is an ongoing debate about whether this authority is a right or a privilege. In this article, we will explore both perspectives to gain a comprehensive understanding of this intriguing topic.

To begin with, let us first define what believer’s authority entails. In various religious beliefs, believers are often taught that they have been given authority by a higher power – be it God, the universe, or any other deity. This authority grants them the ability to take charge of their circumstances, make decisions, and overcome challenges. It is believed that this authority comes directly from a divine source, and as faithful followers, individuals can tap into it to navigate their lives successfully.

Those who argue that believer’s authority is a right emphasize the inherent nature of this power. They view it as an entitlement bestowed upon believers by virtue of their faith. According to this perspective, the authority is an essential aspect of one’s spiritual journey and serves as a guiding force. Just as individuals have fundamental human rights, they believe that believers have a right to access and exercise this authority to shape their lives according to their religious convictions.

On the other hand, some argue that believer’s authority should be seen as a privilege rather than a right. This viewpoint asserts that individuals must earn and cultivate their authority through spiritual growth, deep introspection, and alignment with their chosen religious principles. From this perspective, believer’s authority is not automatically granted to all followers but is earned through dedication, devotion, and living in accordance with the teachings of their faith.

Proponents of this perspective see the journey towards attaining believer’s authority as an ongoing process. They believe that spiritual development and personal growth are necessary to unlock and expand one’s authority. This includes cultivating virtues such as humility, wisdom, and a deep sense of connection with the divine. Through this journey, individuals can gradually access higher levels of authority and empower themselves to create positive change in their lives and communities.

Ultimately, whether believer’s authority is seen as a right or a privilege may depend on the individual’s religious beliefs and interpretation of their faith. Some while others may perceive it as a reward for spiritual growth and alignment. The concept of believer’s authority offers individuals a framework through which they can understand and engage with their chosen religious teachings, providing them with a sense of purpose, guidance, and empowerment.

It is important to note that the understanding of believer’s authority can vary across different religious traditions and spiritual practices. Different faiths may have unique interpretations and teachings regarding this concept. Therefore, it is crucial to approach this topic with an open mind, respecting diverse perspectives and engaging in constructive dialogue.

In conclusion, believer’s authority is a fascinating concept religious beliefs. Whether it is perceived as a right or a privilege, it serves as a catalyst for personal growth, empowerment, and the ability to navigate life’s challenges. Understanding and positive changes in their lives and the world around them.

The Promise of God By Fierce Manson

©Abundant Waters Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved no parts of this content may be reproduced without the authors sole permission.

The promises of God already belong to you, you already own it. Think of it as being in your possession at this very moment. In this last hour before the return of Jesus Christ the people of God will receive what God has promised unto us.Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ desires that you receive from him. Beloved ones I can’t stress how important it is for you to walk in the spirit in this last hour. A lot depends on your church. Believe that you are walking in the promises of God. Someone may ask; what are the promises of God?

“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye Shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” -John 15:7 Beloved ones this is only one promise. Just by knowing this passage of scripture, as a believer you are able to walk in full confidence in Jesus knowing that what ever you ask shall be done unto you. Next I would like to share with you some key scriptures of the promises of God. First let me explain the difference between scriptural promises, and personal prophetic promises.1. Scripture promises:The Word of God is full of scriptures of promises to every believer but you have to activate the measure of faith God has given unto you in order to obtain that promise. (A promise can’t do you any good if you never receive it). So let’s receive all of God’s promises. There are scripture promises of health in the Word of God.

Isaiah 6:10 “Make the heart of this people fat, and make their eyes heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed.”Not only is this a promise, but a command to be healed.

1. Personal Prophetic Promises:There have been many personal prophesies that have went forth. First, and foremost be sure it was from the Lord. Too many times the people of God think that they are hearing from God when actually they didn’t. When it was spoken, did your spirit agree with what was said? Did it line up wit the Word of God?Secondly, if God said it is definitely going to come to pass, whether it takes two weeks, two months or two years, you can expect to see God move. In most cases people don’t have enough faith to believe God can bless them with things they never had before.

When Doubt Comes


When doubt is present you won’t receive anything from God. Therefore Satan snatches your blessing. In order to receive the promise you have to believe God from the moment it’s spoken until the very second you receive it no matter what the circumstances may look like.People of God know that God is working in your behalf no matter what kind of a picture the adversary paints before your eyes. Now then, people of God let me share this key scripture of promise:

“And I will give unto thee the KEYS of the Kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on Earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou Shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”-Matt. 16:19

Beloved ones so many times we acknowledge, oh yeah I know that scripture. Beloved get the scripture down in your spirit, because only then can the Word of God go out with power and accomplish what you speak it to go forth to do. Nothing can be accomplished in your flesh.The Word of God is powerful all by itself. Therefore, if you get the Word in your spirit man there is no promise that Satan can keep you from getting to. Many times we have the Word in our minds and not in our hearts, learn to receive the Word with your heart and spirit, and not just in your mind. If you only receive it in your mind you can soon forget it before it gets planted deep within your spirit.If you get it down in your spirit the Holy Ghost can always bring it back to your remembrance and use it at time of need. If someone gives you a set of keys that means you have the right and authority to use them whenever you want, and as many times as you please. So start using your keys to the Glory of God!There are some key things God wants to share with his people. In order for him to share these things he must use some willing and yielded vessels that are open to him. God has formed some ministries in this end-time that are especially anointed and equipped to share some unrevealed mysteries of the gospel with the Body of Christ. They also are especially prepared to do battle in the realm of the spirit to war against Satan. There are unsearchable riches in him.

Ephesians 3:8-10 says:”Unto me, who less than the least of all saints, in this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ: To the intent that now unto the principalites and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,”My friend by the great power of travail and intercession we will begin to see these things come to pass. We must begin to understand that God and only God has predestinated and ordained different ministries before the foundation of the world.Jesus also promised that he is coming quickly Revelations 22:7, “Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” This is another promise beloved ones Jesus is coming soon, he is coming quickly. “Watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.” (Mark 13:33) Jesus has commanded all that we are watchful and prayerful, if we don’t do what has been commanded we are subject to miss Jesus.Beloved, every written word was a warning that we all should watch for his coming. “He which testifieth these things saith, surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come Lord Jesus.”
-Revelation 22:20