Seventy-three miles south of the community college where I teach is another community college that just this morning was invaded by a shooter who took the lives of (latest count) 10 people and injured more.

I’ve been much closer to a school shooting before. In the late nineties, a boy in the next town invaded his high school with weapons and likewise murdered and injured people. Only that time, I knew many of the students at that school which was just down the street from where I lived then.

Ever since that time I have made it a practice to “pray the perimeter” of whatever school I have been teaching in. Several times per term.

Likewise, before each term starts, at least once, I “pray the rooms” I will be teaching in, physically touching each chair, desk, the walls, doors and windows of the room, interceding for everyone who will come and go from there, taking authority in Jesus’ name for the “territory” within which He has called me to serve.

I have also asked my friends who are Christians to intercede for our schools, their schools, for the students and staff.

I am even more impressed to do this now, obviously. And I think it’s about time Christians stood up and took our rightful places in this effort to protect our children, spouses, parents, friends, and neighbors from the demonic presences that would invade educational institutions.

It’s time we stepped up our spiritual authority to do so.

Need a Scripture for encouragement? Here’s one for starters:

“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy,” (Luke 10:19).

Here’s another:

“I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18). Note: the Church is all those who are born again believers in Jesus Christ and filled with His spirit.

And I am posting this today to ask you, readers, to forward or Facebook this post to everyone you feel impressed to and then, get to it.

Enough is enough.

If the institutional churches are afraid to rise up and take a spiritual stand against this demonic threat in our communities, it doesn’t matter. There’s enough of the remnant alive and spiritually strong enough to get the work done.

Join me?


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On the Pope, Politics, and Cognitive Dissonance

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila


Many non-Catholics who are anti-socialist due to its premise and abysmal historical outcomes are likely scratching their heads over the seeming national homage to the Pope who is visiting the U.S. just now and promoting, many argue, that very political ideology [1].

Many Catholics who are anti-socialist are likely also scratching their heads for the same reason.

Only for Catholics, it might be a lot more difficult to extricate the Pope and his influence over them from the politics, the icon from the ideology. And the world Catholic count adds up to a LOT of people [2] to be in any kind of mental dilemma in a period in time when we especially need our wits about us.

There’s likely a third group that also might be stepping back from all the papal pomp and wondering: but wait a minute, whatever happened to “separation of Church and State”? as they listen to the religious leader address the secular Congress of the United States in exquisitely crafted though still undeniably didactic verbiage while he chides this nation for its worst elements and promotes the lofty sounding “ideals” of his political views and how America might come alongside. See [3] for the text of his full address.

However, as an ex-Catholic, it is because of my concern for the multiple effects of the Pope’s influence on the former group that I write this post. And to help others understand the power of that belief system to control its members via cognitive dissonance (defined below).

For although many outside the Catholic Church are strongly influenced by Pope Francis as well, it is not in the same powerful ways—the same thinking and behavior-influencing ways—that Catholics are.

And we are talking about his strong influence over roughly 16% of the world’s population.


One concern has to do with the phenomenon, noted above, called “cognitive dissonance,” i.e., “The psychological tension that occurs when one holds mutually exclusive beliefs or attitudes and that often motivates people to modify their thoughts or behaviors in order to reduce the tension” (free dictionary.com, emphasis mine). Thus, the intellectual difficulty of holding two opposing views for whatever reasons.

For non-Catholics and non-believers in general who might be pondering the church/state separation issue, there is a tried and true solution to alleviate this aspect of the pain of cognitive dissonance: critical thinking, although it might take turning off the memes and media for a while (also carefully crafted).

For someone in this camp, the thinking might go like this, if given voice:

Oh, I get it. The man is promoting globalism/socialism/Marxism/the New World Order.

Angst over. Dissonance resolved.

However, in the case of the Roman Catholic, the solution is not so easy, and this is my greater concern. His or her thinking, suffused with Roman Catholic doctrine and tradition, might go more like this, on some level, if given voice:

I can see that what the Pope is promoting aligns with classic socialism/Marxism, and from the research I know that the outcome of that system is devastating for nations and their people, BUT on the other hand the Pope is “the Vicar of Christ[4] as the Church teaches and when he speaks on “faith and morals,” (and that’s what he keeps talking about), he is infallible [5], especially when he speaks “ex cathedra [6]…

For the Catholic who truly understands his/her religion, and/or who has been taught none other, and/or told that to defy the Pope is to defy God, Himself in some significant, soul-damning way, THAT is a particularly potent triumvirate of beliefs.

Not only is their leader, as believed, the only representative of God, Himself in the world, he is also “without error” when teaching “in the chair,” so to speak, of his infallible authority

One suffering this kind of cognitive dissonance would have a particularly hard time resolving the mental, psychological and spiritual anxiety, given such Church-binding beliefs.

And the bottom line, given other teachings: no one wants to burn for eternity. For to disobey official Church doctrine is to have committed a sin, likely a “mortal sin,” i.e., the category of sin that damns one to Hell [7].

Even if one still has a few doubts, going along to avoid the mother of all consequences set in stone by the Mother Church is a powerful motivator to adjust one’s thinking—and to comply with whatever the Pope dictates.

In other words, keeping in mind the average Catholic believes his/her faith system to be to the saving or damning of his very soul in Heaven or Hell for all eternity (with likely a sojourn of indeterminate time in Purgatory even if destined for Heaven eventually [8], for the committed Catholic there is only one way out of the dissonance: follow Francis and do what he says.

Thus, the root of the behavior change power of cognitive dissonance when applied to the quandary in which many Roman Catholics may find themselves.

Non-Catholics, even unbelievers, might be very impressed by the beauty, bucks, and/or brawn, as it were, of the religious institution called the Roman Catholic Church, and all that is highly influential, but it’s the mental and spiritual beliefs connected to an eternity of consequences that leave but one option for devout followers of Francis: obey. And note: if you dissent, it will not be easy.

And of course for political opportunists of any belief system it would be hard to resist the alignment with one such as Pope Francis who controls such a large sector of global human resources, or what are we called now in New World Order-speak? “the human domain.”


Post script: On the hope of Christians and encouragement for all:

Word-smithers, meme-meisters, and cognitive-dissonance fabricators are quite clever, this is true. And they look good. And they have all that education and wealth and power…

Nevertheless, as believers in Jesus Christ we have this power—and comfort:

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7, KJV).

And this promise:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16)–popes, pomp, and politics notwithstanding.

Feeling a little “cognitively dissonant” lately because of the push-pull of worldly powers amping up for greater control?

Let me encourage you to ask the real God for clarification, in Whom there is “no variableness, neither shadow of turning (changing)” (James 1:17).

And regarding those who place their trust in Him–He will neither confuse nor monger fear.


[1] Type in “is the pope a socialist?” in your search engine and be prepared for many articles both pro and con. Or, by reviewing Francis’ statements and checking for the contemporary socialist buzzwords such as “sustainability,” “social justice,” “income/gender/environmental, etc., equality”, one can also easily connect the ideological dots.

[2] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-21443313

[3] From http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/09/24/pope-francis-full-address-congress/72728244/

[4] On the Catholic view of “the Vicar of Christ”: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15403b.htm

[5] On the Catholic view of “papal infallibility”: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07790a.htm

[6] On the Catholic view of “ex cathedra”: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05677a.htm

[7] On the Catholic teaching on mortal sin: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14004b.htm#III

[8] On the Catholic view of “Purgatory”: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12575a.htm

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To Serve…Americans? On A Recent Executive Order—Are We in the Twilight Zone Yet?

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

For those old enough to remember the1950s-60s The Twilight Zone television series, one episode likely stands out. It featured a friendly, as they seemed, group of aliens who visited the earth with an invitation for all to come aboard the mother ship and jet off to a utopian world where, as their promotional book touted, they intended “to serve man”. Continue reading

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Letters to The Remnant, 7: Beware of Spiritual “Gaslighting”

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila


The response of a technology expert to the concern over the damage computer hackers can do caught my attention. He said that we need to be far more worried about unwanted software that snakes into the grid by means of playing to human nature, thus gathering our data “with our permission,” as it were, than we should be concerned about hackers scaling firewalls to get at our stuff.

“It’s easier to trick than to hack,” he said. Continue reading

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Letters to The Remnant, 6: God’s “Prepper Store”

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila


I live in earthquake country. Other people live in floodquake country, so to speak. Still others live in hurricanequake, tornadoquake, and/or “warquake” countries (with a few despots thrown in for bad measure).

In short, it behoves us all to prepare because besides the normal mayhem, some of the stuff we need to be prepared for is/will be of Biblical proportions.


And, prophecy watchers warn, the really bad stuff is coming down soon.

A body should be afraid. Very afraid. Continue reading

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Letters to The Remnant, 5: There’s Always Something—Stay Focused

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila


Ever notice how many distractions evil can gin up at one time? Almost like a contest in Hell’s sandbox, er, ash heap. Picture, if you will:

Setting: Hell–hot, flamey. Background sounds of weeping, gnashing of teeth, screaming. Continue reading

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Letters to The Remnant, 4: God’s Antidote for CHAOS AND MAYHEM AND FEAR, OH MY!

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila


One thing the real “enemy” of us knows (the invisible one from the hot place below who commandeers the visible ones here) is the power of fear to control people.

Ever notice, for example, how compliant and easily herded we can become when some larger-than-life threat, even just the fear of it, snakes loose on the airwaves, in the politics, and/or off of the slick tongue of some would-be potentate who understands and employs the psychology of evil to hopefully become King of the Hill? Continue reading

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