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When God Renewed My Mind It Changed My Life

Know your identity. NO anxiety.

The other day I watched a live session with Graham Cooke, an author and spiritual teacher from the UK.

I love everything Graham. His teachings changed the way I understood God, and after that everything changed.

Why did everything change after my understanding of God changed?

Because my understanding of myself changed too.

Now, my mission is the same: to change your understanding of God and yourself, based on who He is and what He’s done.

Let me explain.

A few years ago I had really bad depression and anxiety. It’s pretty common these days. (There’s a reason for that.)

It was debilitating.

I didn’t drive. I began regularly experiencing panic attacks. I had anxiety about every little thing—and I wasn’t on any medication for it. I considered treatment but didn’t have the money or support to seek it out.

So instead, I lived with it, if you can call it that.

Anxiety became a part of me, the norm; ever present and always to be expected.

It was the devil on my shoulder; and it never took a day off.

You could say I was tired.

I couldn’t do this because of my anxiety. I had a hard time with that because of my anxiety. This being things like going to the grocery store or a night out and that being medial tasks like calling a business to ask their hours or ordering food at a restaurant. Anxiety turns molehills into insurmountable mountains.

I spent many days unable to get out of bed, and the days I did manage it were plagued with heart papiltations and nervousness that makes your cheeks burn. Those who know, know. When you’re depressed, a task as simple as brushing your teeth becomes monumental.

I was hollow, yet somehow felt everything.

It’s hard to even write about: suddenly I’m reliving the feeling of my throat closing and my heart fluttering and like I’m going to die for no reason at all.

I couldn’t go out in public. I couldn’t talk to people. I thought everyone was judging me, looking at me, and had a problem with me. I couldn’t forgive myself or move on from my past.

That’s exactly what anxiety does. It makes it all about you. It tells you are what you feel. And I felt—terrible.

Anxiety insists you are what you do or what you’ve done. It convinces you that you’re nothing more than what you can produce, and reminds you that what you produce is never enough.

I can’t believe I used to “live” like that every. single. day.

I felt completely hopeless. I didn’t see a way out.

But then, something miraculous happened.

God renewed my mind.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The Lord changed the way I saw myself by calling me up to who I am in Him. I began to understand that God isn’t a condemning God. He is holy and therefore he must and does hate sin—but He loves US deeply. He sees us over our sin, and He’s had a plan to redeem us and save us since the beginning of time. He values our freedom and desires us to experience it’s truest form, the kind that cannot be found apart from Him.

He made me aware of His spirit within me and that I was more than a conqueror with Him on my side. He reminded me that I was never alone, that He was always with me and would never forsake me. He showed me that I am forgiven—not only that but I am a completely new creation, and all of the old has passed away and everything has been made new.

“that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”

Ephesians‬ ‭4:22-24‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

He helped me to start living from my true identity.

It didn’t happen in the way most people expect a miracle too—it wasn’t instant. But it was a miracle nonetheless. I am a completely different person now—whole and 100% healed, free from anxiety and depression!

God did it for me. He wants to do it for you, too. It is for freedom He sets us free. Now, He has commissioned me to preach the gospel (the good news) to you so that you may be healed and set free!

Your worth is not based on earthly things. It’s not based on anything you’ve done or what you can do. You are loved despite your deepest darkest downfalls—you are deeply treasured by a Father in heaven who made you. Once you let that truth soak in, your life will change.

A Man named Jesus came and changed up the whole game. He changed it all, y’all. We are no longer subjected to live under wrath from God but have been given every free gift from heaven. This has always been God’s plan in Christ Jesus.

This may be the first time you’re hearing any of this. Even if you grew up in church, there’s a good chance you’ve percieved judgement and not freedom. If so, I’m so sorry for what the spirit of religion did to you. It was done to me as well, but I’m free now and I know that spirit wasn’t God. I know the real Jesus. I know what the truth says, and the truth says there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, who live by the Spirit and not by the flesh.

It’s a lot simpler than you’re imagining.

Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved.

A lot of us believe in the Lord for eternal salvation but fail to realize what salvation in Jesus means for us here and now.

You are free in Christ. You don’t have to live your life depressed, you don’t have try and escape your body any longer— you can trust in the Lord and be free from it all—simply by believing what He’s saying.

(Right when I wrote that the song in my store came on and said “if you’re thinking of the Holy Ghost” I WAS. Silly Holy Spirit loves to communicate in amazing ways!)

#1 Way to Partner with God in Renewing Your Mind

SPEAK His word over yourself. Yes, that means you have to get in the word of God. I know it’s the last thing you wanna do, but there’s a reason for that. There is LIFE in the word of the Lord; the enemy is trying to keep you away from LIFE.

One of the main ways the Lord renews your mind is through the reading, hearing, and studying of the word. Faith comes from hearing the word so get it in anyway you can.

At first you may have trouble understanding what you read. I know I did, that’s one of the reasons I didn’t read the bible in the first place. Ask the Lord for understanding and press on.

Do your research and find a translation that works for you. As you press in the Holy Spirit will give you understanding.

Seasoned believers: read your bibles!

Don’t fall victim to the curse of knowledge. No matter how much you’ve read you never stop needing daily bread. You wonder why you are so thirsty—go and drink!

I cannot express how important it is to stay in the word. God speaks through His word! If you want to hear what He’s saying you must read it! Start with the New Testament— I recommend the book of John. I find that I needed to understand what God did through Jesus and how it changed EVERYTHING before I was able to recieve Old Testament properly.

As you dive into the word, the Lord will write it on the tablet of your heart and your mind will be renewed day by day. You will physically feel different after you speak scripture over yourself. It may feel strange and you may get odd looks like I do if you do it in public, but I promise you things SHIFT when the word of the Lord is spoken.

Reach out to me— I’d love to walk with you on your journey to know Christ. In Him there is true peace and freedom from anxiety. In Him there is life!

Don’t forget to like and subscribe to my blog, so you can get more writings like this send straight to your inbox.

-M. Christian

The Screwtape Letters: Day 6

A 31 day commentary by Madelyn Christian Peterson

a lush fountain

Although fiction, beloved Christian apologetic novel The Screwtape Letters certainly does not lack spiritual truths. Its 31 chapters are a perfect format for a month long commentary series. Join me as we break down CS Lewis’s beloved novel and get insight on the spirit war in a creative and fun new way. Want more? Find a copy & read along as we dissect the letters of Screwtape!

Is it bad that I seriously thought today was the 9th?

I shuddered when Friday, January 10th, 2020 appeared as I clicked the time on my iMac, which read 7:55am. You’re familiar with the feeling. Today’s Friday?! I thought yesterday was Wednesday!

Losing time can be scary, like Memento scary. But in general it’s just a bit startling.

It felt like only a day or two, I told myself.

Then the enemy hissed his lies.

failure. your blog’s not serious. it won’t be missed. you don’t matter.

My response?

But God told me to do it.

And what God says WILL happen, His word will not come back void, Isaiah 55:11.

The enemy cannot stop what God is doing. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us, Romans 8:18.

Chapter 6

The enemy, satan, wishes you to live in a state of “maximum uncertainty, so his (your) mind will be filled with contradictory pictures of the future, every one of which arouses hope or fear.”

I might have this sickness. Maybe I don’t. My parent might die. Maybe they won’t. I might get the job. Maybe I won’t.

Screwtape writes, “There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human’s mind against the Enemy,” the demon rightly identifying God as his enemy.

squirrel dashes across a path

Uncertainty creates an atmosphere where we must choose faith or fear.

We can choose to believe God and His promises for our lives and walk with confident expectation of His goodness

OR we can worry.

Most of the time we choose worry. It’s the easy thing to do when we focus on the situation. But God wants us to look at Him and TRUST Him and His Word over what you see.

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.

Hebrews 11:1

Paul says that “hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly await for it with perseverance” (Romans 8:24).

We hope in what we do not see, and call things we do not see as if they exist because we have faith in the glorious promise and the word which God has spoken.

The sixth letter of Screwtape continues with ,”Your patient will, of course, have picked up the notion that he must submit with patience to the Enemy’s will.” I smirked at the hidden irony of being called ‘patients.’ They’re referring to us as the very gift we’ve been given to overcome their torment, patience.

The bible tells us to “let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” We glory tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

large bee collects pollen

“It is about this that he is to say ‘Thy will be done’, and for the daily task of bearing this that the daily bread will be provided.” Our response when the enemy comes knocking via anxiety and suspense?

Thy will be done.

We claim God’s will be done in our lives and the world, and the Spirit of the Lord provides strength to endure. You are not talking at God, you’re talking to yourself with God.

God is supremely confident in His ability to execute His word; He wants us to hold the same level of confidence in Him as well. When we behold Him we realize our troubles pale in comparison to the weight of His glory.

beautiful and vibrant flowers

Next Screwtape says something really interesting, “fear becomes easier to master when the patient’s mind is diverted from the thing feared to the fear itself.”

Does that not encapsulate anxiety perfectly?

If you watched my testimony, you know I suffered from anxiety most of my life. It gradually festered from a fear about something, a million things, to a general state of mind that was present in every thought.

When fear becomes a state of mind, it’s nearly impossible to see truth or believe it applies to you.

The enemy wants you oblivious to thoughts in his favour, but any thoughts in favour of the Lord he will try to discredit or distract.

Lewis provides an excellent example, in which I’ll paraphrase, ‘Let an insult or a woman’s body fix his attention outward where he doesn’t reflect He is now entering the state of anger or lust, but let a good thought like his increasing devoutness and charity fix his attention inward so he no longer looks beyond himself to the see God or his own neighbours.’

In this way, satan encourages the patient to direct “malice to his immediate neighbors…and benevolence out to the remote circumference, to people he does not know.” The enemy tries to twist the Lord’s work and word for evil.

Screwtape then alludes to a diagram, a gameplan if you will, of the demonic assignment on the human heart. See my demonstration below.

Screwtape’s described diagram

The goal is to make our virtues less active, less real in our own lives (like being nice to strangers but not our own families) and qualities of the enemy desires of us to the forefront of our hearts.

In this way one can still think themselves “good” while practicing evil.

Coincidentally the diagram Screwtape describes reflects the diagram of the heart detailed in the book Wired, which through His word the Lord used to free me of anxiety and ignite my relationship with Him.

Wired describes our heart as containing our mind, will, conscience, and emotions. Often we think of these attributes as part of our brain, “but the real centre, what the Enemy calls the Heart,” is what heaven and hell is fighting over.

Satan wishes to remove God’s virtues from our hearts and replace them with evil. But when we live by the spirit, we allow truth and goodness to flow effortlessly into every area of our lives. God’s truth will overflow from your spirit and guard your hearts and minds from anxiety.

The fountain of overflow, Wired

Screwtape ends his letter by stating any “virtues painted in the fantasy or approved by the intellect,” even those “loved and admired” will not keep a man from “Our Father’s house.”

God wants our hearts, not our religion.

Your affectionate saint


Want to connect to the life of God within you? You can get your copy of Wired here.

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Help me live from Your overflow. Guard my heart against anxiety.

In Jesus name I pray,


Meditation: I release the peace of Christ to guard my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.

The Screwtape Letters: Day 5

A 31 day commentary by Madelyn Christian Peterson

Although fiction, beloved Christian apologetic novel The Screwtape Letters certainly does not lack spiritual truths. Its 31 chapters are a perfect format for a month long commentary series. Join me as we break down CS Lewis’s beloved novel and get insight on the spirit war in a creative and fun new way. Want more? Find a copy & read along as we dissect the letters of Screwtape!

Chapter 5

As reports of the assassination of Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani swept across new outlets early Friday morning, rumors of war briskly followed. Instantly social media erupted with fears of an impending ‘World War III.’

As I studied the ST Letters, I couldn’t help but parallel our own weekend headlines to Screwtape’s fifth letter, which reveals Wormwood is ‘delirious with joy’ as “the European humans have started another of their wars,” referring to World War II.

Surely, many can relate to “the patient’s sleepless night”, and with good reason: rumors of war, fires raging around the globe, growing environmental concerns and incredible political tension within our own nation. The world seems out of control. Television, media, and our own intuition points to the notion that things are getting worse.

The earth from space, courtesy of

Though I care deeply about environmental and humanitarian concerns, I’ve learned to no longer let them incite me to fear. Has there yet been a time when humans have not known war and famine, sickness and disease? Has our God not kept us through ice ages and asteroids and world flooding?

Could it be, perhaps, that the world’s actually not getting worse, only our perception of it?

I’m not alone in this thinking.

In his book Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World — and Why Things Are Better Than You Think, Swedish physician and professor Hans Rosling writes, “step by step, year by year the world is improving,” yet everyone he asks, “thinks the world is more frightening, more violent, and more hopeless–in short, more dramatic– than it really is.”

Photo courtesy of Paula Ghete, you can find her book review here.

Rosling relied on numbers to illuminate a clearer view of the world, which just so happens to be brighter than what we imagine, and showed us we can be ‘quite wrong about what we think we know’ (his TED talks blew my mind).

Still, concern arose within me as I read about the Iran conflict; each line regurgitating more uneasiness, fine thrills in the pit of my stomach, my mind invaded with images of death and destruction.

I had a choice to make, as we so often do: let fear take root or let peace cover me.

I chose peace.

Image courtesy of web universal

Screwtape hoped his “terror-pictures of the future” would ignite enough fear in me to spark a chain reaction, thrusting me towards becoming “an extreme patriot or an ardent pacifist.” Fear encourages your more extreme inclinations to take over.

Often we chose fear and worry because it feels like a logical, reasonable, appropriate response to bad news. After all, what we hear and see in the natural world tells us to sound the alarms.

But this morning as I read my chapter of Romans, I was reminded it is better to put my hope in God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did.


God took me through the story of Abraham and Sarah, who chose to believe God’s promise of a legitimate son even when everything in the natural pointed to the impossibility (being they were both in their nineties).

The rest of the chapter Screwtape warns Wormwood, “not to hope too much from a war.” He argues that though “the immediate fear and suffering of the humans” is entertaining, there is no value in war if its not “bringing souls to Our Father below.”

He reminds Wormwood of their true goal: “undermining faith and preventing the formation of virtues,” and that “the anguish and bewilderment of a human soul” is simply reward.

Illustration by Max Löffler, GQ magazine 2018

I knew demons hate us and they want us to die, but it wasn’t until today I realized they hate us so much that they don’t want us to die if we’re just gonna go to heaven.

Screwtape describes it like this, “When I see the temporal suffering of humans who finally escape us, I feel as if I had been allowed to taste the first course of a rich banquet and then denied the rest. It is worse than not to have tasted it at all.”

I always thought the enemy reveled in war, as he loves to steal, kill and destroy, but Screwtape’s view makes sense in light of the previous methods we discovered the enemy utilizes.

Although divisive and destructive by nature, the enemy recognizes war can:

  • band people together
  • divert attention “from themselves to values and causes which they believe to be higher than the self”
  • prepare people for death
  • make people think about what comes after death

inevitably turning people to seek out God.

Soldiers pray.

War wakes people out of the stream. It can cause us to stop thinking about ourselves and start thinking of things greater than ourselves, which we learned in Chapter 1 is a big no-no in the eyes of the enemy. He’d rather us die in nursing homes than on a battlefield exhibiting the self-sacrificial behavior of Christ, which I’m sure he finds disemboweling.

Although we may suffer a while, joy comes in the morning. The Lord didn’t promise us it’d be easy, that there’d be no pain; like Screwtape says, we were “plainly told by Him that suffering is an essential part of what He calls Redemption.”

But even in death we have hope that His promises of life will be fulfilled in us through Christ Jesus. All of His promises are yes and amen. So any kind of long-suffering you are in, know that God is there with you in the midst.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

‭‭John‬ ‭16:33‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”

‭‭I John‬ ‭5:4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬


“Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

‭‭I John‬ ‭5:5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

God uses what the enemy intends to harm us for good, and the enemy knows that. He’ll forever be one step behind God. You can imagine how this infuriates him, how exhausting it must be for his big plans to fail over and over again, and to know they always will; yet being so blinded by hatred and jealously he cannot stop.

Now that’s a crazy thought, the devil really is mad.

Lord Jesus,

Give me faith like Abraham to walk in full assurance of Your promises. I thank You I can walk in peace and victory, knowing You have overcome the world. I trust in your perfect plan God, even when I don’t see the whole picture, I trust in Your goodness.

In Jesus name,


What about you? Do you think the world’s getting better or worse? Let me know in the comments and

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The Screwtape Letters: Day 4

A 31 day commentary by Madelyn Christian Peterson

Although fiction, beloved Christian apologetic novel The Screwtape Letters certainly does not lack spiritual truths. Its 31 chapters are a perfect format for a month long commentary series. Join me as we break down CS Lewis’s beloved novel and get insight on the spirit war in a creative and fun new way. Want more? Find a copy & read along as we dissect the letters of Screwtape!

Well here we are almost five days into this series and I’m less on top of things than I’d like to admit, in my writing and in life. I’m sure most of you can relate, unless your like David Beckham or something. I feel like I never have it all together at one time. The closest I’ve ever felt was the middle of last year: together with my husband I was 7 weeks into an 8 week fitness program, eating healthy, practicing personal and business development, making new friends through a community group, and enjoying new hobbies. Needless to say I fell off that wagon for reasons we won’t get into for time’s sake but the rest of the year was a time of deeply relying on the Lord. He brought me to new levels of trust and reliance on Him. And though I am nowhere near on top of anything and I’ll probably never be on top of everything; He has become my peace in the midst of it all. I can be okay with imperfection because in it His strength is made known.

Onto Screwtape…

Chapter 4 dives deeper into the spiritual warfare behind prayer. We are fighting the misconceptions of our childhood, reversing the damage done to our understanding of the gospel that the enemy encouraged in our youth.

Prayers like Now I lay me down to sleep…. that, at least for me, enforced the idea that we aren’t fully forgiven. I remember praying that prayer a few times in a row before bed each night, petrified that I might wake up in hell. The fear and condemnation I felt followed me into adulthood. Worst of all, I thought the shaming was coming from God, which made all of my prayer come from a place of fear and not love. I felt totally unworthy of His love and can’t express how afraid and ashamed I felt during prayer.

Somehow, I had completely missed the true gospel.

I was making it all about me and my sin. I couldn’t forgive myself, and I thought I somehow needed to fix myself, to clean myself up and pull my act together before going to God or being worthy.

I was confused and trapped in a dim, hopeless world; a bitter, pessimistic ‘victimy’ mindset and I saw no hope of escape.

I was exactly where Screwtape wanted me.

The enemy had done his job well. He had successfully kept me in the matrix, and distracted me with ‘real life’ as we talked about on day 1. In all his little subtle ways, he blinded me to who God really was and that there was more to life, that I was more, and I didn’t have to live defeated.

But, as Screwtape notes, God “will not in the meantime be idle.” As we discussed yesterday, God is working inside you to bring you into truth.

God revealed to me “the love of Christ which passes knowledge” (Ephesians 3:18), He showed me I was truly forgiven past, present, and future of my sin because of what Jesus did on the cross. He died for us while we were still sinners. What kind of love!

The reality is it’s all about Jesus. Though our sins were like scarlet, He made them white as snow. When He died, He took all of our sin and put it to death. His innocent blood provided a permanent sacrifice, permanently covering our sin before God. Like we spoke about on Day 2, God hid me in Christ (Colossians 3:3). He put me in Christ, Christ on the cross, then raised Christ, put Him in me, and sat me in heavenly places with Him.

Ultimate redemption plan, ultimate freedom, ultimate love!

The devil’s goal is to keep you from knowing God and knowing who you are because of God. He wants to keep you from learning your true identity in Christ, because your true identity means mass destruction to him and his kingdom.

He blinded me from the truth of the gospel which says that I am a new creation in Christ Jesus, that all of the old has passed away and all has become new.

I spent years praying for something I already had. I spent years ‘trying to feel forgiven’ instead of knowing I was forgiven. The enemy successfully disrupted my prayer life and straight up messed up my life life by having me believe a lie about God.

Misdirection is a major tactic the devils use, “The simplest (form) is to turn their gaze away from Him towards themselves,” as Screwtape writes Wormwood. Like Peter walking out to Jesus on the waves, fear distracts, that is, to pull our attention away, lose focus, from God.

Peter chose to see the problem, not the solution; the creation not the creator. He exchanged his hope in the Lord for fear, he moved his focus from what the Lord had told him to his own lack when he felt and saw the magnitude of the waves before him.

The enemy will try to have you stay in your feelings, like the Drake song. He’d rather you have your feelings guide you than the truth of God’s word. Fear is believing in your lack over His goodness. It’s believing the problem is bigger than God. It’s just not trusting and believing God.

I’m gonna skip some of the deep theological stuff Lewis touches on today because I’ve already completed my purpose for this post. The devil has targeted your mind since youth, but there is freedom in Christ. Trust in God and His word, what He says about you over your emotions. Don’t believe the lie that you are to live under shame.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:1‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

There is power in your identity in Christ to set you free from every place the enemy has attempted to hold you captive. You aren’t trying to feel forgiven, you are forgiven. You aren’t trying to feel brave, you are brave according to 2 Timothy 1:7.

The last thing I’ll quickly touch on- What image do you have while praying to God? Are you praying to a Man far away in the sky or are you praying to, “the crucifix on the wall?” Whatever it is, the devil wants you praying to it, “the thing that he has made, not the Person who made him.”

Often times we picture God as a bearded man in a cloud, but God put His Spirit inside us. He is closer than we can possibly imagine. He is in us, on us, and all around us. This revelation changed my life! It freed to interact with His presence in a whole new way. Now when I pray I don’t picture God far away but know He is right here with me.

Dear God,

Please give me revelation of what it means to have Your Spirit in me so I can access all of the abundant life you’ve freely given me. Help me understand I am free from condemnation, fully forgiven and washed clean permanently because Jesus took my place.

In Jesus name,


Do you struggle with forgiveness? Do you find yourself praying to God for peace and bravery instead of activating it by acknowledging He’s already given it to you? How will you pray and talk to God differently now? Let me know down in the comments and as always any other thoughts, prayer requests, etc. Be blessed in Jesus name!

The Screwtape Letters: Day 3

A 31 day commentary by Madelyn Christian Peterson

Beautiful mountain chapel on a dark stormy wedding day

Although fiction, beloved Christian apologetic novel The Screwtape Letters certainly does not lack spiritual truths. Its 31 chapters are a perfect format for a month long commentary series. Join me as we break down CS Lewis’s beloved novel and get insight on the spirit war in a creative and fun new way. Want more? Find a copy & read along as we dissect the letters of Screwtape!

Three days into the new year. What will this year hold? Yesterday’s chapter left me with more questions. I want to thoroughly understand the salvation process. Holy Spirit led me to do a study of Romans, which I learned is considered the most theological book in the bible. This made me very excited. I’ve read in Romans before, but I am developing the discipline of studying the Word book to book. There’s life breathing from within its living pages, and when I read them, life activates in me.

Chapter 3

The third letter begins, as each one does, with warm greetings, “My dear Wormwood,” and proceeds, “I am very pleased by what you tell me about this man’s relations with his mother.”

This chapter reveals how the enemy works to drive a wedge between families. Framed around the ‘patients’ relationship with his mother, we are given a glimpse into how the enemy uses small annoyances; “daily pinpricks”, as Screwtape says, to wreak havoc in relationships.

The arch on which the garland my mom handmade sits

Screwtape notes, “The Enemy will be working from the centre outwards, gradually bringing more and more of the patient’s conduct under the new standard,” no doubt speaking of the Holy Spirit developing the new life of the believer.

Screwtape speaks in military manner, encouraging Wormwood to stay one step ahead of ‘the Enemy’ and continues to list a few “useful” methods. We see the first mention of another demonic character named Glubose, “who is in charge of the (patient’s) mother.” The idea that we each have a specific demon assigned to destroying our lives is satirical, however not outside the realm of possibility Lewis imagines.

We know that “the thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy”(John 10:10, but Jesus has come so we may have life abundantly). And we know that “the prince of the power of the air” is a “spirit who works in the sons of disobedience”(Ephesians 2:2, BUT God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive together with Christ). Peter instructs us to “be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

Little accent wreaths I made for the backs of seats

Whether or not we have an individual demon assigned to us is of no importance; what is important is understanding how the enemy orchestrates his attacks, the methods he uses, which are almost always so subtle they go undetected, so we can counterstrike effectively. We are in an all out war that we can’t see. That is why we must be aware, grow in spiritual discernment, and grab hold of the weapons Christ has laid out for us to wield.

Lewis allows us inside the mind of the enemy, behind enemy lines in a sense, to help us identify when spiritual warfare is being used against us. Then, we can breakthrough in the power of Spirit and truth with the full armor of God and overcome his deception. We can learn to wield our weapons and rest under God’s protection and truth.

Screwtape instructs Wormwood to work together with Glubose, the man’s mother’s demon, to create a toxic environment between the mother and son. First, he tells Wormwood to “keep his mind on the inner life,” which sounded like bad advice to me, but Lewis exhibits how focus on your inner life does not translate to expressions of Godliness.

We don’t become Christians to fix ourselves, we become Christians and Jesus does the fixin’.

pinecone and cotton ornament

Sometimes I’ll spend hours reading my bible and fail to show love to my husband or neighbor or cats. I’ll neglect calling back friends or family members to finish what I’m working on. In this, I am allowing the enemy to direct my mind “to the most advanced and spiritual” duties why neglecting what Jesus would do. “Neglect of the obvious” is a “most useful human characteristic” to the enemy.

It’s important to get away with the Father, Jesus “often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” Time alone with the Father is how we fuel ourselves to minister to others. But if your ‘spiritual duty’ gets in the way of loving people, its being used as a tool for the enemy. Your time with God should fuel your love for others as much as it transforms your own inner life.

It’s certainly about allowing the Spirit to bring balance into your life and being aware of when your “spirituality” is getting in the way of you loving someone.

Floating bulbs suspended from the ceiling

Second, Screwtape insists Wormwood ensures his patients prayers for his mother are more “concerned with the state of her soul” than “her rheumatism,” that is, a painful health disorder. Screwtape is confronting me personally. It’s natural to pray for our friends and families to know Christ, but we shouldn’t let our idea of who they should be get in the way of loving them best.

Screwtape talks about how the man’s “attention will be kept on what he regards as her (his mother’s) sins, by which, with a little guidance from you, he can be induced to mean any of her actions which are inconvenient or irritating to himself.” The enemy will try to interrupt our prayer life and try to “render the prayers innocuous.” We don’t want our prayers to become complaints about people. We don’t want to let satan manipulate our good intentions to pray for others into fixating on their downfalls.

When this happens, we paint a picture of our loved one thats more imaginary than real. We (and I mean me) lash out at our loved ones when we feel they deserve it (even if they do deserve it) because we just got done focusing on how “bad” they are, or how they’ve negatively affected our lives.

Welcome to our wedding sign

I understand there’s a point when it may be necessary to cut people out of your life. But I try to give people the benefit of the doubt like Jesus did me. Jesus didn’t hold my sin against me on the cross two thousand years ago, and He doesn’t hold it against me today. He died so the men who beat Him and hung Him on the cross could be saved. With Jesus I am given the capability to forgive far past the extent which I could naturally do other wise or even wish to at times.

“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”

‭I John‬ ‭4:8‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Let not condemnation cloud our love for others.

Screwtape brags about once having a patient “so well in hand they could be turned from a moment’s notice from impassioned prayer for a wife or son’s ‘soul’ to beating or insulting the real wife or son without a qualm.” This passage echoes behavior I’ve seen in my own family. You see stories all the time of religious types who mistreat their wives. The enemy blinds you to your own madness, and tries to highlight the hypocrisy of men as proof of the folly of religion.

It’s clear that this chapter speaks of satan utilizing a religious spirit, a type of demonic spirit that influences a person, or group of people, to replace a genuine relationship with God with works and traditions. Here, we see the religious spirit come into play by “praying openly” in a sense, while secretly harboring resentment towards others and thinking of ourselves as “better” because of our ‘spiritual position’.

An article from Curt Landry Ministries states, “This spirit will skillfully mutter words of judgment toward others in a Believer’s life. This voice will become louder and louder until he or she feels completely justified to place blame and accuse their brethren. This, like the position of honor, isolates the Believer and can blind them of their own weaknesses.”

Little touches of love

Lastly the demon discusses the final methods of disruption: tones, looks, the misinterpretation of both, and a victim mentality.

“Let him think how much he dislikes it,” being the way his mother raises her eyebrow. “Let him assume that she knows how annoying it is and does it to annoy” So guilty of this with my own mother and spouse and brother and father. We let little things fester under the skin, we convince ourselves they are intent on annoying us, and we resent them for it. Of course, we never consider that we have “tones and looks that similarly annoy” them, too.

“Your patient must demand that all his own utterances are to be taken at their face value and judged simply on actual words, while at the same time judging all his mother’s utterances with the fullest and most over-sensitive interpretation of the tone and the context and the suspected intention,” Screwtape writes, Lewis confronting our self-serving bias. This leaves us convinced we “are quite innocent.”

The enemy will incite little arguments, that press on our wounds if we don’t allow the Lord to heal them. Screwtape gives the example of asking someone (I picture a man asking his wife), “what time dinner will be and she flies into a temper.” Once again, I experience this within my own family and am also guilty of having an “express purpose of offending and yet having a grievance when offence is taken.”

I’m not blaming everything on the devil, I wouldn’t ever attribute that much power to him. We are in charge of our own choices. In fact, that is precisely my point. We are more in charge of our own choices than we realize. Yet the enemy has somehow finagled us into ‘not seeing or hearing ourselves’, where we live under the impression we have little to no control over our instinctual reactions to adversity–what annoys us.

There are supernatural forces at work that influence us. If we are aware of it, we can fight back. I see where I’ve given the enemy leeway in my life and I shut it down. I let the Holy Spirit renew my mind to think like Him and speak peace and joy over my family and enjoy the gift Christ’s given me in them. I let go of resentment and a religious spirit and just love on people like Christ did and trust Holy Spirit to do His work.

Through Christ we can resist negativity, spitefulness, malice, anger, wrath, and instead release the fruit of the spirit which is peace, love, joy, faithfulness, kindness, gentleness, and self-control.

Screwtape ends his letter to his dear Wormwood as always, signed,

“Your affectionate Uncle, SCREWTAPE.”


Dear Lord,

Please unleash the kind of love in me that allows me to love others like you do. Hide my thoughts safely with You where the enemy can’t reach them. I submit my thoughts to make them obedient to You.

In Jesus mighty name,


What do you think of Screwtape so far? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Screwtape Letters: Day 2

A 31 day commentary by Madelyn Christian Peterson

Although fiction, beloved Christian apologetic novel The Screwtape Letters certainly does not lack spiritual truths. Its 31 chapters are a perfect format for a month long commentary series. Join me as we break down CS Lewis’s beloved novel and get insight on the spirit war in a creative and fun new way. Want more? Find a copy & read along as we dissect the letters of Screwtape!

Happy New Year! We spent our last moments of 2019 snuggled in a small tent, nestled high in the frigid north Georgia mountains, where I planned to write this blog. Yet, like so frequently, things did not go according to my plan. The enemy is certainly attacking with a ferocity that’s hard to ignore, which quite honestly I wasn’t expecting. I naively supposed that the turn of the clock would magically cease the adversity that’s poised against me. However as I take a deep breath I am reminded of His peace, and that even in the midst of trial I am more than a conqueror. I am reminded of His endless grace; all of His blessings and the many answered prayers of 2019 that the enemy so wishes to dilute in my mind while magnifying my problems and downfalls. I am reminded of His promise, and my hope is assured in Him. This will be a fruitful year.

On to Screwtape…

Chapter 2

To my surprise, Chapter 2 begins, much to Screwtapes “great displeasure”, with Wormwood’s patient becoming a Christian. Already, we are launched into a new dynamic of the war against us. From Chapter 1 we learned satan’s main tactic is to distract us from discovering the truth. Now we begin to see how the enemy operates towards new believers.

After promising there will be hell to pay for Wormwood’s failure, Screwtape comforts his nephew, “There is no need to despair; hundreds of these adult converts have been reclaimed after a brief sojourn in the Enemy’s camp and are now with us.”

The gothic architecture of Oglethorpe University

I was taken back by this statement and had to meditate for awhile on it’s scriptural validity and theological implications. In John 10:28 Jesus says, “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand.”

So how then can one be reclaimed by the enemy? To address this question we first must return to the preface of the book, where Lewis states, “the devil is a liar. Not everything that Screwtape says should be assumed to be true even from his own angle.”

We know this is true as John 8:44 states the devil “is a liar and the father of it”. Even so, if Screwtape was lying, why waste resources continuing to “treat” a patient that’s soul is safe with God?

Ruth looks up at her mother-in-law

I realized the disconnect in my thinking: Lewis is addressing belief, I was focused on behavior. This context of this statement is regarding the patient’s decision to believe in Jesus. The fact is, our behavior was handled at the cross. We died, and our life is now hidden with Christ in God. Jesus paid dearly for us to be reconciled to Him not through our own righteousness but through His. Therefore if our righteousness is found in Christ it cannot be taken away. We now live by faith. The devil can’t take us away from God by force, but he can try to trick us into abandoning Him by our own freewill.

“The Enemy (God) takes the risk because He has a curious fantasy of making all these disgusting little human vermin into what He calls His ‘free’ lovers and servants—‘sons’ is the word He uses”, Screwtape exclaims. His pure hatred for humanity–for me–is palpable. Like nails on a chalkboard it reverbs in my ears.

“Desiring their freedom, He therefore refuses to carry them, by their mere affection and habits, to any of the goals which He sets before them: He leaves them to “do it on their own”.

Remember, the devil is a liar. Scripture tells us God never leaves us or forsakes us. The best way to tell if something is a lie is to hold it up to scripture. The enemy loves to twist scripture but a part truth is still a lie. Lewis is simply giving us insight to God’s plan through freewill. God desires us to be with Him, but He is not a tyrant. He gave us freewill to choose to follow Him. God never really leaves us on our own, He just lets us take our own path to goals He sets before us. He uses the paths we choose to teach and strengthen us in Him.

Oglethorpe University Library

Early in the chapter, Screwtape notes, “All the habits of the patient, both mentally and bodily, are still in our favor.” The moment you believed in Jesus you were instantly made a new creation and are now holy and blameless in God’s sight. Yet we are still accustomed to our old nature, old thinking, and old way of life. Sanctification is the process of learning to live out the righteousness given to you as a free gift. It’s learning to live by the Spirit through the renewal of our minds and become more like Christ in every situation and every way. The enemy will try to use this process against us, however God uses it for our good.

Next Screwtape mentions a statement that I have long known to be true, and that is that one of the enemies great allies is the church itself. Screwtape distinguishes between the church that most humans see and the one that exists throughout “all time and space and rooted in eternity” which is the body of Christ.

The enemy is quite present in the earthly church, however all of hell is extremely terrified of the true body of Christ. Jesus said the gates of Hades would not prevail against His church (Matthew 16:18). We know the worldly church has gravely mistreated many, Jesus being the prime example when they repeatedly rejected Him and condemned Him to death. Scripture reveals to us that satan was present and working to destroy Jesus and the faith even then (before then, since the garden actually).

Oglethorpe University Library

Today is no different. Satan, as the current ruler of this world, has attempted to make the church in his image, but as he cannot touch the eternal church he has settled for muddying the earthly representation with twisted doctrine and evil practices.

Screwtape talks about how the patient “has an idea of ‘Christians’ in his mind which he supposes to be spiritual but which in fact is largely pictorial.” This speaks to our preconceived biases of each other, specifically our idea of what a ‘Christian’ is supposed to look like. We somehow have this image of a perfect person, when Christianity is a about the imperfect person that needs Jesus. All throughout Jesus’ ministry we see Him choosing the 1 over the 99, yet Pharisees ( religious hierarchies of Israel) could not understand it.

Church isn’t going to to be full of perfect people. Jesus did not come to call the righteous but sinners.

“When Jesus heard it, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.””

‭‭Mark‬ ‭2:17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The enemy uses our own bias against us, attempting to “never let it come to the surface” and “keep everything hazy” in our minds. He hopes that our disappointment in the church will convince us the entire religion is ridiculous because it doesn’t live up to the skewed image we have in our heads.

Incredible display at Oglethorpe University

“All you then have to do is keep out of his mind the question ‘If I, being what I am, can consider that I am in some sense a Christian, why should the different vices of those people in the next pew prove that their religion is mere hypocrisy and convention?’”


If the enemy can keep us from confronting our biases, he can encourage them to fester into comparison, judgement, self-righteousness, and feelings of rejection.

As we grow in the Spirit of Truth, we begin to think more like Jesus and understand the things of God. We become “less dependent on emotion and therefore much harder to tempt” as Screwtape says.

I know this to be true in my own life. God has moved me from an anxious, chaotic mess to grounded in His peace, truth and word. Daily He is moving me and renewing my perception to match His and see myself and others in the right spirit.

Walt Whitman display, Oglethorpe University Library in Brookhaven

The enemy desires to divide us, detour us, and confuse us in his ultimate ploy to destroy us. But Jesus already paid the price for us. He came to give us abundant life. Hell won’t prevail against us and nothing can separate us from God’s love. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Let’s keep our focus on Him and defeat the devil with ease in 2020.

Cheers warriors!

Dear Father,

Thank You for Your Son Jesus. Thank you that because of Your great kindness I have redemption and peace with You through Him alone. Please create a new heart and a steadfast spirit within me.

In Jesus name,


I love to hear from you! Let me know your any of your thoughts, questions or prayer requests!

The Screwtape Letters: Day 1

A 31 day commentary by Madelyn Christian Peterson

Although fiction, beloved Christian apologetic novel The Screwtape Letters certainly does not lack spiritual truths. Its 31 chapters are a perfect format for a month long commentary series. Join me as we break down CS Lewis’s beloved novel and get insight on the spirit war in a creative and fun new way. Want more? Find a copy & read along as we dissect the letters of Screwtape!


Written in 1941 by atheist-turned-Christian author, theologian and intellectual CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters is a novel about a chief demon advising his demon nephew on securing the soul of one man, a “patient”, to satan, “the father below”. 

Composed from the perspective of Screwtape in the form of letters to his nephew Wormwood, the novel provides astonishing insight into the invisible war being waged all around us and within our minds.

CS Lewis, from the National Portrait Gallery in London

The novel launched a unique new style of writing Lewis coined “demonic ventriloquism” and many works have since followed in homage to it. Lewis went on to write the Chronicles of Narnia series from 1950-1956 before he passed away in November of 1963.

Reviews on the back of the book rave Lewis “speaks to people where they are” with “wisdom and wit, style and scholarship” and is “the ideal persuader for the half-convinced”, and I couldn’t agree more. His works force those who read them to confront their own “philosophical presuppositions” and open their eyes to spiritual realities.

Lewis’s impeccable writing makes him one of the most profound literary giants of the 20th century. His class and wisdom reminiscence days of the old with romanticism and pasquinade, yet his works pierce the hearts and minds of those today.

Preface & Chapter 1

Disbelief or obsession?

The preface states, “There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them.”

I’ve never not believed in the existence of demons. I’ve always known they exist. Yet many meander through life ignorantly bliss to their realness, instead finding it “impossible to believe in the unfamiliar while the familiar is before their eyes.” 

Demons love this. They love for us to get caught up in “the ordinariness of things” as it cuts down their workload immensely and saves the devil’s precious resources. The worst position you can take in this fight is not believing there is one. If you don’t believe in the fight, you won’t see a need for any weapons. You have no protection. You are living completely defenseless to the attacks of satan. And he loves it. His demons ensure your focus does not teeter “from that invaluable ‘real life’.”

So as the spectrum has it, either we don’t believe or we’re obsessed. I’ve never fallen into the first category, but I am certainly guilty of the latter. Anything of the demonic or occult realm piqued my interest like nothing else. I expressed this unhealthy interest by immersing myself in tv shows, movies, research, stories and lore about demons, witchcraft, and the paranormal. 

Even my favorite childhood show was Scooby doo, which may have influenced my interest growing up and was probably orchestrated by the enemy himself. He loves to masquerade as an angel of light.

In my adolescence and early adult years, I could of easily explored my interest and dived in to practicing magic for real, but my better judgement (and the Lord Jesus Himself) prevented me from even dipping a toe. Even though I found it incredibly spellbinding, for better use of a word, I knew messing with the occult for real was certainly inviting demonic activity into my life, so I stayed away. Even in my foolishness the Lord protected me. He held me by my shirt and kept me from running off a ledge. He upheld me with His right hand!

It’s not just the occult— obsession with serial killers, cults, conspiracy theories, or reality shows  that ooze sex, materialism and vanity reap spiritual darkness as well. As Lewis says,“ they themselves (demons) are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight”. 

Christian Bale in American Psycho, 2000

Whether ignored or glorified, demons use both positions to their advantage.

The Spiritual Matrix

As my passion for Jesus developed, my desire for the occult fell away, and now I watch maybe one scary movie every few months. I am more interested in defeating the enemy than glorifying him. It’s amazing because I still get to enjoy the supernatural, I’m just on God’s side now; and His side is more magical, mysterious, powerful and awe-inspiring than the falsehood of created things. I find it humorous, with my history, that the Lord’s called me to teach about spiritual warfare. He takes our brokenness and uses it for good and the advancement of His kingdom.


Now I’m not knocking having an interest in certain things, I’m a self-proclaimed-true-crime-junkie, myself. As we know, CS Lewis was no stranger to interesting topics, he was an incredible intellectual who wrote the epic fantasy series Chronicles of Narnia.

The key here is to be aware of the enemy. When I’m in a nasty mood I don’t listen to crime podcasts. When I need to get something done I cut off the reality show for a month. I am hyperaware of the tactics of the enemy so when I feel them coming or notice I’ve succumbed to them, I throw them off with the Word.

In the beginning of chapter 1, Screwtape tells his nephew Wormwood “I note what you say about guiding your patient’s reading and taking care that he sees a good deal of his materialist friend.” Right away we are given insight to how the enemy attempts to ‘guide’ what information we do and don’t take in. Screwtape suggests Wormwood incites his patient to believe materialism is “the philosophy of the future.”

The Iconic Matrix

The enemies goal is to keep you from the spiritual things of God by maintaining your focus on the seen world. If he has you obsessing over serial killers you aren’t thinking about God. If a demon can blind you with materialism your preoccupation lies there and not with God. For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.

Screwtape writes, “Even if a particular train of thought can be twisted so as to end in our favour, you will find that you have been strengthening in your patient the fatal habit of attending to universal issues and withdrawing his attention from the stream of immediate sense experiences. Your business is to fix his attention on the stream. Teach him to call it ‘real life’ and don’t let him ask what he means by ‘real’.” Humanity is living in the spiritual matrix.  

He then elaborates, recalling how he had an atheist ‘patient’s’ thoughts dabble down the ‘wrong’ road one day: “I saw a train of thought in his mind beginning to go the wrong way.” Screwtape mentions how the ‘Enemy’ (his enemy, God) appeared right there with the man, beckoning him to continue in his thought. This gives us insight to the truth that God is always with us. He is very involved in the war over us.

However Screwtape successfully wins the battle through the mans stomach. He grabs the man’s focus (distracts from God) and reigns it back to earthly matters. All the while the ‘patient’ knows nothing of God or satan, the war going on for his soul; he just knows he is hungry.

Screwtape ends his recollection of the atheist man with a chilling confirmation, “He is now safe in Our Father’s house”, meaning satan’s home, hell.

This war is no joke people. Souls are in jeopardy. But there is a Way, and His name is Jesus. The war is already won. All who come to Him will have salvation and eternal life with Him. Come and receive rest for your soul. He will arm you with protection and weapons to defeat daily battles with the enemy through His word. 

What about Science?

Chapter 1 ends with Screwtape instructing his nephew to not “use science as a defense against Christianity” as this “will positively encourage him (the human) to think about realties he can’t touch and see.” He continues to say, “There have been sad cases among the modern physicists.” Screwtape acknowledges cases where thought led intellectual atheists to the truth of God. 

Most intellectuals use science as a defense against Christianity. However the very definition of science is “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.” Wikipedia states science “organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.”

God is Spirit and invisible. If something must be tested to be confirmed science, then science by definition can never disprove God. It can try to provide explanations of how the universe and life came to be without a God, but it can never provide an answer to why, the meaning or purpose we are here, or where consciousness comes from.

Marcelo Gleiser, Theoretical Physicist and 2019 Templeton Prize Winner, states it like this, “I honestly think atheism is inconsistent with the scientific method. What I mean by that is, what is atheism? It’s a statement, a categorical statement that expresses belief in nonbelief. “I don’t believe even though I have no evidence for or against, simply I don’t believe.” Period. It’s a declaration. But in science we don’t really do declarations. We say, “Okay, you can have a hypothesis, you have to have some evidence against or for that.”

Image courtesy of Test Everything Blog

This very definition of science also destroys evolution theory, which millions accept as truth. But have we ever observed evolution? Have we ever even found a transitioning species? No, we have not. Evolution cannot be proven by science just as God cannot be proven by science, as science requires they must be observed and tested. 

Science writer, mathematician, and author of Why Science Does Not Disprove God Amir D. Aczel puts it wonderfully in an 2014 article from Time Magazine, “Science and religion are two sides of the same deep human impulse to understand the world, to know our place in it, and to marvel at the wonder of life and the infinite cosmos we are surrounded by. Let’s keep them that way, and not let one attempt to usurp the role of the other.”

Final Thoughts

God is the Creator of everything, including the science and math that is prevalent everywhere in the intelligent design of the universe. We shouldn’t use science or religion to disprove each other because truly, they go together. When your eyes are opened, the Bible reads Iike a science (and of course history) book! It is the smartest and most insightful book that presents neurological and bodily truths as well as spiritual (as they are severely connected!).

One of the greatest tragedies of our time is this impression that has been created that science and religion must be at war.

-Francis Collins, geneticist, author, and director of National Institutes of Health since 2009

Not only is the Bible a brilliant piece of literature, it is an intellectual book recorded and preserved with incredible accuracy, an abundance of historical documents, artifacts, and data to support its validity (see or read Case for Christ!), much more than that of the evolution theory. The Bible is the true work of God, and the answers to all of our problems lye within its living pages.

The enemy desires we remain ‘in the stream’, asleep to spiritual realities and the dangers of reason. However there is so much more than this stream of consciousness we live in. Lord give us eyes to see, ears to hear, mouths like swords, and mind’s like Christ.

Lord Jesus,

I thank you that there is more in You. Please open my eyes to spiritual realities, teach me to live and walk by the Spirit all the days of my life. Arm me against the attacks and lies of the evil one and bring Truth in to my heart.  I thank you for always being there and never leaving or forsaking me. In Jesus name,


How about you? Where do you land on Lewis’s spectrum? Do you believe demons exist, or are you a little too obsessed with them? Let me know your thoughts in the comments and have a blessed day!

Notable Online Sources:

Time Magazine Article by Amir D. Aczel,

Templeton Prize Winner Marcelo Gleiser Interview,

Additional resources: