Monthly Archives: November 2012

This Christmas Season

viewerOn this Christmas season of 2012, I want to give praises to my Lord, who we Christians, celebrate his birth, dying later for the sins of all mankind.  There is dispute on our uses of the Christmas tree, history, below.  But, even though it wasn’t used in Christ’s time and he was probably born in the fall not December 25th, we still give Him our love and praises for Christmas IS about the birth of our Savior, afterall.  As you read below, it originated in Germany, with Martin Luther as well, once  miraculously transformed, left the Catholic Church after finally receiving salvation, God’s free gift to us.  Thus,  the great Reformation then begun in Christianity.

Please click link to read Billie Graham’s Advent:

https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B2ILMrCzcnHpRWJMVXF5NW1zQm8

History of our Christmas Tree:

The first decorated Christmas tree was in Riga, Latvia, in 1510, according to the Chesterfield, Mo.-based National Christmas Tree Association. It was decorated with cookies, sweets, paper and fruit.

In 1531, the first Christmas tree lots began in German cities. The decorations changed to ribbon, books, food, lace and other items by the 1600s.

In 1777, the association says the tradition was brought to America by Hessian troops.

The first tree lot in the United States opened in 1851 in New York City. The White House’s first Christmas tree was in 1856.

And:

Late in the Middle Ages, Germans and Scandinavians placed evergreen trees inside their homes or just outside their doors to show their hope in the forthcoming spring. Our modern Christmas tree evolved from these early traditions.

Legend has it that Martin Luther began the tradition of decorating trees to celebrate Christmas. One crisp Christmas Eve, about the year 1500, he was walking through snow-covered woods and was struck by the beauty of a group of small evergreens. Their branches, dusted with snow, shimmered in the moonlight. When he got home, he set up a little fir tree indoors so he could share this story with his children. He decorated it with candles, which he lighted in honor of Christ’s birth.

The Christmas tree tradition most likely came to the United States with Hessian troops during the American Revolution, or with German immigrants to Pennsylvania and Ohio, adds Robson.

But the custom spread slowly. The Puritans banned Christmas in New England. Even as late as 1851, a Cleveland minister nearly lost his job because he allowed a tree in his church. Schools in Boston stayed open on Christmas Day through 1870, and sometimes expelled students who stayed home.

The Christmas tree market was born in 1851 when Catskill farmer Mark Carr hauled two ox sleds of evergreens into New York City and sold them all. By 1900, one in five American families had a Christmas tree, and 20 years later, the custom was nearly universal.

Christmas tree farms sprang up during the depression. Nurserymen couldn’t sell their evergreens for landscaping, so they cut them for Christmas trees. Cultivated trees were preferred because they have a more symmetrical shape then wild ones.

Six species account for about 90 percent of the nation’s Christmas tree trade. Scotch pine ranks first, comprising about 40 percent of the market, followed by Douglas fir which accounts for about 35 percent. The other big sellers are noble fir, white pine, balsam fir and white spruce.

Premission was granted for Internet use by — Written by: David Robson, Extension Educator, Horticulture; Springfield Extension Center

http://www.christmastreehistory.net/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_tree

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God and GOP

The following was written by Pastor Jerry Woods of Bear Creek Baptist Church, TN.   I thought this important enough to put on this blog site. Something to ponder about.

“I’m not obligated on the pledge,” Senator Bob Corker replied. “The only thing I’m honoring is the oath I take when I serve when I’m sworn in this January.” Some will not be surprised to know that there are those who did not like his quote.

Please consider the Spiritual Cliff we are going over as a nation will make the Fiscal Cliff  irrelevant. Some are saying that the Republican Party is leaning too much to the Right-Wing Conservatives. That the GOP needs to modify its values to “get along” and “work with the Democrats on the left” who are controlling the Executive Branch and the Senate. Let me respectfully remind all of us that are a group of voters who were “Right-Wing Conservative Christians” prior to the election and as such will remain strong Bible-Believing Right-Wing Conservative Christians most likely until we see Jesus. Those values that we hold dear did not come from a politician nor a political party.

We, as our Founding Fathers, continue to hold to those values which did not originate with changing cultures of mankind or with a vote by the mob. Our values originated with the God of Nature and Nature’s God. They are values and standards that were written into the USA Constitution and have remained so for 236 years. Our Constitution stands next to the Bible in Sacredness to us. Perhaps that is why it has endured the test of time longer than any other national constitution in the world. Our Constitution reflects the wisdom of the Law of God and of Nature’s God. Scholars like Dr. Donald Lutz has described in his book Origins of American Constitutionalism that some 87% of our constitution originated from the Holy Word of God either directly or indirectly. Since those laws and truths do not come from Man, Man cannot break nor even bend those Eternal Truths. (This is also backed up on http://wallbuilders.com/ from original documents David Barton has wrote about.)

Should a man or a nation violate their covenant with God by passing laws contrary to God’s Eternal Righteous Truth, Holy God will deal with that man or nation accordingly. Ezekiel 14: 12 says so- “The word of the Lord came again to me, saying: “Son of man, when a country sins against Me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out My Hand against it; I will cut off its supply of bread, send famine on it, and cut off man and beast from it. Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness.” says the Lord”. Our nation has politicized many of God’s values by allowing man to decide the rightness and wrongness of a value, when in fact God has never amended His Laws nor His Values. Our Supreme Court has ruled it legal in this nation to kill a child an unborn child. God’s Standard glares at us from His Holy Word, “Thou shall not kill (shed innocent blood). The Divine Standard of defining the union between one man and one woman in Genesis 1; 2 has always been defined as marriage by Western Civilization. The word “marriage” has never changed in meaning since the beginning of time.

The Bible teaches that immorality as described in Romans 1 will always invite the wrath of God. Please consider that our Founding Fathers looked to the sacred Word of God for ideas and principles to put into our Constitution. Consider our three Branches of Government are described in Isaiah 33:22 – “For the Lord is our Judge, The Lord is our Lawgiver, The Lord is our King; He will save us.” Tax exemption for the churches did not begin with our Founding Fathers, but they got the idea from Ezra 7:24. Who would have thought about writing into our Constitution that the Leader of our nation should be a natural born citizen except they described the qualification in Deuteronomy 17:15. It is also interesting that a republican form of government is described in Exodus 18:21.

So when we go to church on Sunday and we study these eternal divine truths and many other principles written into the Word of God, those divine eternal truths will never change. God warned all nations about choosing the correct God when He said, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…” God says it is is important who is in power: “When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.” Paul commanded us in 1 Timothy 2 to pray for our President and all leaders so there can be peace and tranquility in the land so we will be free to share the testimony of the Gospel of Jesus. For Jesus is the one you shall know the Truth and the Truth will set you Free. It was Jesus who went to the Cross to forgive our sins and set us Free from the bondage of sin. Isaiah showed us that Freedom is required to worship God in Isaiah 6. When you walk into the Presence of God there are no boundaries or restrictions. Absolute Freedom is required. Thus, those early Baptists insisted that Our Constitution have a Bill of Rights and they begin with Freedom of Religion.

Biblical truths will never change and Jesus warned us there will be consequences as to how we play “the game”. In Matthew 25:32, Jesus declares that He will gather all nations together and separate the right from the left. To the nations on His right who chose Jesus, He promises “the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”. And to those on the left have rejected Him, He will say, Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire”.
Therefore, we, the Right-Wing Conservative Christians are part of “We The People”. We simply ask all our elected officials to remain true to God’s Word and We Right-Wing Conservative Christians portion of “We The People” will be pleased. And if you have accepted God’s Son, Jesus, for His Gift of Salvation, We Right-Winger Christians who believe Righteousness is to be the rule the land will see you in Heaven ! And after all is said and done, nothing else really matters at that time, does it?”

Will You Be Left Behind

Preface:

I have always said that not all who say they are saved and Christian will go up in the Rapture. Many have disagreed with me. But, I’ve been in this for a long time now. And I know that
Christ will spew some Christians out, while others say, “I never knew you.” I found this Web page and it says it all. Thank you Tim McHyde, its author. I pray you all read, and I pray you take this seriously. No one needs to be left behind, (as the old Tim LaHaye series.) I hope and pray we ALL make it. For the tribulation will be devastating, with perhaps even Anarchy. And once that Palestinian/Israeli peace agreement is signed? Look up! Jesus is coming!

Jw Adm.

By Tim McHyde / July 28, 2017

“The rapture is the hope of hundreds of millions of Christians. Unfortunately, according to Bible prophecy, most will be “left behind” weeping and gnashing their teeth because Jesus said “depart from me; I never knew you.” This will happen if we trust in what men have taught and not what Jesus actually said about belonging to him at his coming (1Co 15:23). Find out what most Christians are missing about the true requirements for the rapture so that you can be sure not to be left behind.

Automatic Rapture?
2 Peter 1:10-11 — Therefore, brothers, make every effort to confirm your calling and election, because if you do these things you will never stumble. For in this way, entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be richly supplied to you.
Among Christians, the rapture is the most focused on event in Bible prophecy. Without a doubt, the most discussed question about the rapture is when it will happen, in both absolute and relative terms. Absolute timing would be all the date speculation and date setting constantly made (that constantly fails). Then there is the endless debate over the rapture’s timing relative to the Great Tribulation. It would be an understatement to say Christians do not agree on whether the rapture will come before (“pretrib”), during (“mid-trib”) or after the tribulation (“post-trib” or “pre-wrath”). This debate will probably not die out until it actually happens.
But having that answer wrong is not a problem. Millions of saints (including Abraham, Moses, Elijah, David, etc.) have already secured their position in the Kingdom of God without ever knowing a single thing about the rapture—including the correct timing of it relative to the Great Tribulation.

The real problem with all this debate over the questions of timing is that it causes the truly important rapture issue to be overlooked:
Who will be in the rapture and how do they qualify for it?
Of course, Christians think that question is already settled. They think that simply by believing in Christ they are “rapture-ready” (as one prominent pretrib rapture site is named). In other words, the prevailing notion is that all believers will make it. But is this theory really grounded in Scripture? My study of Bible prophecy over the last decade has convinced me otherwise. I’m quite convinced that not all believers will be in the rapture.

Consider My Friend, Harold – Rapture Material?
Take my friend Harold, for example. He lives within walking distance of me so we see each other frequently and as a result, I know him well. He is a believer, however, few Christians would recognize him as such. He does not talk a lot about Jesus. If you asked him what church he goes to, he would answer, “None.” He does not keep Christmas or Easter, either. He has no pastor and therefore also does not tithe anywhere. He is mostly busy getting things done on Sundays since he sleeps in late with his wife on Saturday after a long hard work week at their jobs.
Based on this brief profile of him, would you expect to see Harold in the rapture? I bet most Christians would have their doubts. They would not be wrong in principle to wonder, but not for the reasons they think. For the Bible does teach that there will be believers left behind for other reasons (as we shall see).
“Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth” By Left Behind Believers
There is an abundance of passages in the New Testament teaching that some believers in Jesus are going to have the ultimate disappointment when Jesus comes back to rapture people up into the Kingdom of God:
Matthew 7:21-23 (HCSB) — 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but ⌊only⌋ the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ 23 Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!’
People are described as calling Jesus their Lord and even busy doing works in his name. These are clearly sincere, genuine Christians. Even above average if you compare them to typical do-nothing pew-warmers. Yet they are still rejected by Jesus. Although they clearly believe, they have some flaw that Jesus calls “lawbreaking” or ”lawlessness” that makes them unacceptable to inherit the Kingdom of God.
Next let’s look at the Letter to the Church of Laodicea. Of course, the Church of Laodicea is not made up of unbelievers. It’s made up of believers, like all seven of the churches of Revelation. Yet what do we find:
Revelation 3:15-18 (HCSB) — 15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of My mouth. …you don’t know that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked, 18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire so that you may be rich, white clothes so that you may be dressed and your shameful nakedness not be exposed, and ointment to spread on your eyes so that you may see.
The letter tells the lukewarm believers there that they are naked and need to buy “white clothes.” Their works have been examined and found to be flawed. Their central fault is called nakedness or a lack of white clothing. For this and other faults they are going to be vomited out of Jesus’ mouth. Obviously, vomit will not be going up in the rapture (although it might be found going down from the dizzying heights).
We see the same cause for rejection from the Kingdom in the Parable of the Wedding Banquet:
Matthew 22:12 (HCSB) — But when the king came in to view the guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed for a wedding. 12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. 13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him up hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
These wedding garments are clearly a key requirement for the rapture, but what are they meant to represent? We will see that they are equivalent to the works related to the law that some believers are accused of breaking in the verse above. Not All Believers Created Equal
The heart of the problem is a misunderstanding about what the Bible means by “believe.” To believe in Jesus is not simply to accept as fact the truth of his existence or deserved role as Lord and Savior. It’s not a purely mental acknowledgement. If you define it at that level, then even Satan and the demons can claim to be believers in God and Jesus by the following principle:
James 2:14 (HCSB) — 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can his faith save him? 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe—and they shudder.
The belief in Jesus as Lord that the Bible talks about is a strong conviction that leads you to action based on that position he has over you. Jesus shed light on the lawlessness of those who call him Lord in Luke:
Luke 6:46 (HCSB) — Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things I say?
Now we’re getting somewhere. To Jesus, if you believe he is your lord, then you better do what he says, otherwise you really don’t “believe” he is Lord. What does this Lord say to do? He said:
John 14:15 (HCSB) — If you love Me, you will keep My commands.
What are the commandments? He told us this, too:
John 15:10 (HCSB) — If you keep My commands you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love.

Matthew 22:36-40 (HCSB) — 36 “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and most important command. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
The commandment is to love God and neighbor. (To answer, “who is my neighbor?” read the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:29-37.)
Given all this, we can say there are two classes of people that Jesus considered believers or addressed in the “churches” (Rev 2-3).

1. There are those believers who believe in Jesus as Savior and this does not result in fundamentally different actions. They don’t repent, or turn to God’s ways.
2. There are those who believe Jesus is Savior to those who make him Lord also and focus on doing the things their Lord said to do (faith/love towards God and neighbor). They do repent and give up their own ways for God’s way of love.Your Fruits When You Really “Believe On”Jesus
Of course, love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself is just the starting point. Knowing how to do this in practice takes further information.
Thankfully, Jesus spent much of his time fleshing exactly this out. You can find most of the specifics of what to do listed in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5-7). Other parts of the Gospels repeat and flesh out areas of change further. Jesus describes them as “good fruit” you should have and bad fruit you shouldn’t have. Here are many examples of values and attributes of believers who love God and love neighbor that Jesus and the apostles gave:
• Loving (John 13:35)
• Compassionate (Mt 25:35-40; Lk 10:33)
• Service-oriented (Mt 23:11)
• Sacrificing (Mt 19:21; Jas 2:14)
• Giving, Generous (Mt 5:42; Lk 3:11; Jas 2:15-16)
• Merciful (Mt 5:7; 18:33)
• Long-suffering (Mt 5:41)
• Patient (Lk 8:15; Jas 1:3; 2Pe 1:6; Rev 2:2-3; 19)
• Peacemaking (Mt 5:9)
• Forgiving (Mt 18:21, 35; )
• Fidelity in marriage (Mt 5:27-32)
• Taking action on Jesus words (Mt 7:24-27)
• Meek, Gentle (Mt 5:5, 22)
• Humble (Mt 18:1-4; 23:12)
• Trusting, Faithful (Mt 6:25-34; Lk 12:21-24)
• Moral (Mt 15:19-20)
• Honorable, Having integrity (Mt 5:33-37)
• Prays (Mt 6:5)
• Fasts (Mt 6:16-18; 9:15)
• Value the Word of God (Lk 8:21; Mt 10:40-42)
• Not Materialistic (Mt 6:19-21; Rev 3:17; Lk 12:15)
• Not Judgmental (Mt 7:1-5)
• Not Self-righteous nor Hypocritical (Mt 24:51; 6:2, 5, 16; 23:13-29)
Unfortunately, these attributes are not exactly the words that roll off the tongue when you ask someone to characterize Christians (and I don’t just mean asking nonbelievers). Based on their dealings with Christians, even Christians themselves instead popularly characterize Christians as judgmental, hypocritical and self-righteous—labels you never see directed at Jesus or his true disciples in the Gospels. Instead, Jesus directed these very labels at the religious leaders of his day: the Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees. (Because Jesus was so upright and loving, those leaders in turn were left with only the option of inventing charges against Jesus; calling him a glutton, drunkard, and a associate of sinners).
James 2:14 (HCSB) — 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can his faith save him? 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe—and they shudder.
The belief in Jesus as Lord that the Bible talks about is a strong conviction that leads you to action based on that position he has over you. Jesus shed light on the lawlessness of those who call him Lord in Luke:
Luke 6:46 (HCSB) — Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things I say?
Now we’re getting somewhere. To Jesus, if you believe he is your lord, then you better do what he says, otherwise you really don’t “believe” he is Lord. What does this Lord say to do? He said:
John 14:15 (HCSB) — If you love Me, you will keep My commands.
What are the commandments? He told us this, too:
John 15:10 (HCSB) — If you keep My commands you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love.
Matthew 22:36-40 (HCSB) — 36 “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and most important command. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
The commandment is to love God and neighbor. (To answer, “who is my neighbor?” read the Parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:29-37.)
Given all this, we can say there are two classes of people that Jesus considered believers or addressed in the “churches” (Rev 2-3).

1. There are those believers who believe in Jesus as Savior and this does not result in fundamentally different actions. They don’t repent, or turn to God’s ways.
2. There are those who believe Jesus is Savior to those who make him Lord also and focus on doing the things their Lord said to do (faith/love towards God and neighbor). They do repent and give up their own ways for God’s way of love.
Your Fruits When You Really “Believe On”Jesus

Of course, love God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself is just the starting point. Knowing how to do this in practice takes further information.
Thankfully, Jesus spent much of his time fleshing exactly this out. You can find most of the specifics of what to do listed in the Sermon on the Mount (Mt 5-7). Other parts of the Gospels repeat and flesh out areas of change further. Jesus describes them as “good fruit” you should have and bad fruit you shouldn’t have. Here are many examples of values and attributes of believers who love God and love neighbor that Jesus and the apostles gave:
• Loving (John 13:35)
• Compassionate (Mt 25:35-40; Lk 10:33)
• Service-oriented (Mt 23:11)
• Sacrificing (Mt 19:21; Jas 2:14)
• Giving, Generous (Mt 5:42; Lk 3:11; Jas 2:15-16)
• Merciful (Mt 5:7; 18:33)
• Long-suffering (Mt 5:41)
• Patient (Lk 8:15; Jas 1:3; 2Pe 1:6; Rev 2:2-3; 19)
• Peacemaking (Mt 5:9)
• Forgiving (Mt 18:21, 35; )
• Fidelity in marriage (Mt 5:27-32)
• Taking action on Jesus words (Mt 7:24-27)
• Meek, Gentle (Mt 5:5, 22)
• Humble (Mt 18:1-4; 23:12)
• Trusting, Faithful (Mt 6:25-34; Lk 12:21-24)
• Moral (Mt 15:19-20)
• Honorable, Having integrity (Mt 5:33-37)
• Prays (Mt 6:5)
• Fasts (Mt 6:16-18; 9:15)
• Value the Word of God (Lk 8:21; Mt 10:40-42)
• Not Materialistic (Mt 6:19-21; Rev 3:17; Lk 12:15)
• Not Judgmental (Mt 7:1-5)
• Not Self-righteous nor Hypocritical (Mt 24:51; 6:2, 5, 16; 23:13-29)

Unfortunately, these attributes are not exactly the words that roll off the tongue when you ask someone to characterize Christians (and I don’t just mean asking nonbelievers). Based on their dealings with Christians, even Christians themselves instead popularly characterize Christians as judgmental, hypocritical and self-righteous—labels you never see directed at Jesus or his true disciples in the Gospels. Instead, Jesus directed these very labels at the religious leaders of his day: the Pharisees, Scribes, and Sadducees. (Because Jesus was so upright and loving, those leaders in turn were left with only the option of inventing charges against Jesus; calling him a glutton, drunkard, and a associate of sinners).

If this is the first time it has ever occurred to you that you might not qualify for the rapture, then this article has presented you with some shocking information. The classical first stage of response to traumatic information like this is denial. Since this new information implies that you may not make the rapture if you don’t make some changes, it’s natural to want to deny it. Thankfully, it’s not easy to deny what all the verses above so clearly say. Jesus constantly talked on these good works.
You may however, be tempted instead to simply ignore these verses. Not reading the Bible or ignoring what it says is something that following the tenets of Christianity often requires us to do. For example, I cannot believe in a pretrib rapture like most Christians do unless I ignore what Jesus and Paul taught on the timing of it in several verses (Mt 24:29-31; 2Th 2:1-4; 1Co 15:52). So I simply have to “obey God rather than man,” be a rebel in this area, and take the flack that will surely come with it. I recommend that approach of ignoring men rather than ignoring the Word of God.

Another stage of grief response is anger. To find out you have been deceived all these years on what Jesus really required of you would make anyone very angry. Or it might cause sadness or depression. What you have right there then is the weeping and gnashing of teeth that Jesus talked about people doing after they learn the rapture has passed and they missed it, only earlier. Regardless of when it comes, it’s still very hard to deal with this disappointing realization. The main encouragement I can give you is at least you are getting your weeping and teeth gnashing over with early before the rapture comes. You at least have time to get over the fact you were deceived and change what you are doing so that you don’t miss out.

My Friend Harold – Reconsidered
With this new understanding on proper belief in Jesus, let’s reassess my friend Harold. On the first evaluation above it would seem like there are many reasons to doubt his rapture-worthiness. He did not fit the criteria that Christians commonly understand for being a good Christian and therefore rapture-ready. But now that we have replaced the common Christian consensus on belief in Jesus with the actual criteria that Jesus gave, let me tell you the rest of the story about Harold…
Although Harold does not go to church, he does study the Bible at home and whenever we met we discussed Bible questions together. He clearly wanted to understand God’s Word better and to do it (Lk 8:21). In fact, one of the projects Harold did in his spare time was translating my book, Know the Future, into Spanish. He started doing this simply because he is excited at how the information makes Bible prophecy plain. Also it motivated him that by getting it into Spanish he can share it with more of his Costa Rican friends and family.
Many times we discussed these subjects when he was helping me. Since I didn’t have a car, Harold was always willing to help me out with things I can’t do by bike, such as shopping at PriceSmart. He also helped me move and to bring my bike to the bike mechanic. Yet he never let me pay for gas when I offered.

One time I asked him why he is willing to help so much like this without compensation. He told me that he tells his wife that they should not turn people down when they ask for help because you never know when you will be in need and he believes that if you help others, God will make sure you get help. (I hope everyone has friends like this.)

Given everything you know about what Jesus commanded, now what do you think Harold’s chances are if the rapture were to come today? None of us are the judge, of course, but I can say I have no doubts about him qualifying despite him not doing the typical Christian things. When you think about it, how does going to church on Sunday, celebrating Christmas and Easter, paying 10% of your income to a your church and maybe getting others to join your church fulfill the two great commandments, anyway? If Jesus commanded them, then yes they would fulfill them. However, you won’t find anywhere in the Bible that Jesus ever told anyone to do any of these things. Christians do them because that’s what the majority are doing who they assume are saved. Following men’s religious instructions like that does not save you or get you into the Kingdom.

Conclusion
To be included in the rapture is not as easy or as simple as just knowing and accepting a simple fact about Jesus’ role as savior or Lord. Jesus taught of the need to make major changes of attitude, character, and habits with love of God and fellows as the goal.
After understanding the real requirements for the rapture, to some Christians they might sound like too much to ask. Some of you might be thinking that you didn’t sign up for such an all-encompassing, sacrificial, life-changing commitment. Indeed, Jesus was not kidding when called believing in and following him the narrow path that few find:
Matthew 7:13-14 (HCSB) 13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the road is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who go through it. 14 How narrow is the gate and difficult the road that leads to life, and few find it.
Nevertheless, be encouraged because beyond any doubt the hard work and sacrifice it takes to be glorified in the rapture is worth it. Paul said it well:
Romans 8:18 (HCSB) — For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.

Update:
Q. “Do you mean only ‘true Christians’ will be raptured?”
I was emailed the following question about the article above which I think helps clarify a major point:
I read your article entitled “Why Most Christians Won’t be Raptured” and found it an interesting read. Am I correct in saying that when you use the term ‘Christian’ in the title you are really referring to people who profess belief in Christ (which as you rightly point out is very different from actually being a Christian).
To sum up what I took from your article, only true Christians will be raptured and many people who claim belief in Christ but are not truly saved will be ‘left behind’.
If this is correct, would your article be more correctly titled, “Why Most Believers Won’t be Raptured”?
My response is as follows:
No, the article title is exactly as intended. “A Christian is someone who adheres to the religion of Christianity,” rather than someone who merely believes in Christ. Although many Christians object to this definition, it is proper when you realize that not all believers in Christ follow the religion of Christianity(!).
Unfortunately, following Christianity does not automatically make you saved. Instead, people have been saved by acting on the word/will of God directly (Gen 15:6; Lk 8:21) since the beginning of time—before the religion of Christianity was organized (Mt 8:11; Lk 13:28). Christians tend to miss all of this and assume that they are saved just for “accepting Christ” but this is not what Christ himself taught.

Matthew 7:21-24 (HCSB) — 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to Me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ 23 Then I will announce to them, ‘I never knew you! Depart from Me, you lawbreakers!’
That’s why I used the term Christian in the title of the article, to underline that truth. Therefore, as to your point about true vs. false Christians, maybe now you can see that it does not matter. “Truly” following any religion does not save you! What saves you is doing the will of God (Mt 12:50; Mk 3:35), something that is often lost or missed in the mix of commandments of God and man that religions teach.

I might further add that the whole “true vs. false Christian/believer” line of thinking is inherently flawed anyway. You might find the No True Scotsman fallacy helpful to understand that.
In the end, Christians are just a subset of all believers and believers come in all forms, good and bad; serious and lukewarm. They still qualify as believers, even if not all are saved. Obviously, being a mere believer or Christian should not be our goal, but something beyond that. The prophetic description of our end time church age of Laodicean is dirty, blind and naked (Rev 3:17)…and yet it’s still addressed as “the church” (Rev 3:14). The Laodiceans who do not repent but remain naked or without the proper garment or righteousness of the saints (Mt 25:36=Rev 19:8) will be spit out (Rev 3:16) and told, “I never knew you” (Mt 7:23) and left weeping or gnashing their teeth (Mt 8:12; 25:30). Yet they again are still “the church”/ek-klesia = the “called out ones.” Don’t forget many are “called, few are chosen, few are faithful.” (Mt 22:14; Rev 17:14). We must all keep on our new direction and not give up in order to be fit for the kingdom (Lk 9:62). Doing this does not make us “true believers” but rather faithful servants of God.
Is this all just “semantics,” as many Christians claim in response to hearing this viewpoint? It’s understandable that no Christian wants to accept the dictionary definition of a Christian given above because it would mean they have chosen to be something less than what Jesus was talking about for his followers. Being a believer is not so great or special. The demons believe and tremble. Being a faithful, obedient servant of God is the real goal. Belonging to a church does not necessarily teach you this, because of all the traditions they teach instead.
Instead of admitting this hard truth, most Christians want to redefine the term Christian or the semantics so that all the Christians who only meet the low bar definition above “don’t count.” But they do count because all Christianity requires for people to be counted is to belong to a church and to profess orthodox Christian beliefs. Jesus himself required something different to be among those raptured which simply is not taught by Christianity. This is the reason for the problem with the fruits of Christianity and the desire among zealous, serving Christians to distinguish between “true Christians” like themselves and “false” ones.”

https://escapeallthesethings.com/rapture-requirements/

BIBLE MYSTERIES
END TIME PROPHECY

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Prayer

The thirsty love of God reached down
To where I knelt in prayer,
Caressing tongue and lips and soul
With love beyond compare.
And oh, that love God placed in me
Reached out in words unknown,
Embracing souls who walk apart
In desert lands alone.
I see my soul an altar for
God’s Son to intercede.
He weeps His tears through eyes of clay,
My lips are His to lead.
How sweet to know Eternal God
Has housed Himself in me.
He prays my prayers; He thinks my thoughts;
I’m one with Royalty.
And someday when the straying sheep
Are safe on streets of gold,
I shall rejoice. I’ve had a part.
I prayed them to the fold.
–by Mary Mason —

In this Thanksgiving time, when we have so much
we are worried about, and so much around the world to
be concerned with, God wants us to just stop, in HIS
quiet time, and pray in the spirit thanking HIM for all
we DO have in spite of even desperate needs. We have
those in America, suffering after the recent hurricane,
those who lost homes in the west earlier, from raging
fires. We see needs on the news every night, and violence,
murders and such. But, God already sees all the pain in
the world including Israel now. So we come under the Holy
Spirit God, and at least for one day, heal us with your
blessings, and with your peace for such a time to give
Thanks.

For Romans 8:26-27 says, ” Likewise the spirit also helps our
infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought;
but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings
which cannot be uttered. And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Holy Spirit, because He makes intercession
for saints according to the will of God.”

Be therefore, filled with the Holy Spirit this Thanksgiving, and
give thanks to Him who sees all our joy, pain, and infirmities. Then we shall know the will of God, and such prayer is always victorious.
Thank you Lord Jesus, for the gifts, you provide those in need, and the peace desired throughout the world, America, and Israel. Thank you for your intercession in all our lives, and send us your total peace this season. Move on America Lord, and send your Spirit to comfort those in pain and need. Amen

 

 

Standing In Christ

Revelations 3:5 “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. 6 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” God also speaks about being overcomer in 3:12 “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of  God, and he shall go no more out. ” And in verse 21 ” To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne.”   So, being an overcomer, and letting God change us and our bad habits, sins, is really important in God’s eyes.

God also speaks of war.  Many do not think we as Christians should be involved in war.  But, what does the word of God say?  For Israel now in the news is being bombed and having to defend herself.   They have that sovereign right as does America or any other country.  In Ecclesiastes 3 the preacher ponders this too. “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.   A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted.  A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up.  A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;  A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.  A time to get, and a time to lose, a time to keep, and a time to cast away.  A time to rend and a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.   A time to love, and a time to hate, a time of war, and a time of peace. ”  I think that answers it very well.

II Chron. 6:34 “If your people go out to war against their enemies by the way that You shall send them, and pray unto You toward this city which You have chosen, and the House which I have built for Your Name. 35 Then hear thou from the Heavens their prayer and their supplication, and maintain their cause. ” (God does maintain the cause of HIS people, as long as they live right, but when sin is committed, He Himself becomes the Judge and metes out the penalty for sin.)

Psalm 144:1 “Blessed be the Lord my strength which teaches my hands to War, and my fingers to fight: ” (the time of this writing was after the putting down of the rebellion of Absolom in II Sam. 18. The ‘fight’ we are now to fight is the ‘good fight of faith) I Tim 6:12

II Cor. 10:3 “For though we walk in the flesh” (refers to the fact that we do not yet have Glorified Bodies), “we do not war after the flesh “(after our own ability, but rather by the power of the Spirit.) ” 4. (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal” (carnal weapons consist of those that are man devised) “but, mighty through God “(the Cross of Christ  I Cor 1:18) ” to the pulling down of strongholds; and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God” (all the pride of the human heart) and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” ( looking to the Cross) 6. And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience”  ( STANDING, even politically against all that is opposed to the cross; our Christian heritage in America, our beliefs, against abortion, holding on to the Constitution as our nation was founded!) “when your obedience is fulfilled.” (We must STAND; WAR against evil.  Christians should not be silent!  Speaking out against those that come against moral absolutes (terrorism, socialism and fascism, wickedness in high places [the government, evil, power and corruption.] vs freedom and democracy putting Godly values back in our country. and patriotism.)

I Tim. 1:18 “Warfare – holding faith!  (we are not to be apathetic and stay out of the politics of our country…Neither should churches not speak out!  That is exactly the censorship they want to impose on us now.  It is exactly the apathy that was prevalent in Germany before the 3rd Reich. No one spoke out against the evil one.  Even Martin Luther’s Lutheran Church was silent! And a madman was ushered in to the Holocaust.  Have we not learned from history?  From the past?   Do we tell the terrorist with a bomb strapped to him how much he is loved, when he’s going to blow Americans up?  Are we actually that naive to think “love” alone is going to change his mind?  That is ridiculous.  There is no balance.

Here is an excerpt from Hitler’s Cross by Erwin W. Lutzer, with a forward by Ravi Zacharias.  “The Conflict of Church and State.  The story of how Hitler crushed the church in Germany is of course, the primary focus.  He banned prayer in schools (so has America)  changed the Christian Holidays into pagan festivals ( as State after State is trying to eliminate Christmas and Easter and ban any nativity scene from being displayed), and eventually forced the church leadership to accept his outrageous demands.  His political machine (ie Obama and his Chicago thug cronies) swallowed the church whole because the church had LOST its biblical mission.  Thus the state not only interfered with religious practices but controlled them.  A powerful state has always been a threat to the existence and influence of the church.  Whether the threat be Nazism, Communism, or humanism, a state that is hostile to religion will always attempt to push the church toward forced irrelevancy.   Even without a dictatorship a state can marginalize the influence of the church’s freedoms. ”   ( We may not even be allowed soon to have prayer in our DAR meetings, not to mention that having “home fellowship’s” are now being attacked by different states, and going to court.)  ” The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, guarantees that government must stay out of our churches, yet it doesn’t.  What the ACLU does is instead of making it free for all religions, it makes it free for none.”  Still think we are not at war, and should not be Watchmen?

II Tim 2:4 “No man who wars entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please Him who has chosen him to be a soldier.”  (A soldier has one thing on his mind and that is to carry out his duty;  the Christian is to have the SAME motive, the SAME spirit, and the SAME consecration; hence, the Apostle using the word “soldier) “For even after love, then salvation, the WAR  continues.  ie James 4:1  “lust that war in your members.”…As we have seen sin constantly invades our church as well as Christian politicians.   Love alone cannot accomplish the mark Paul constantly struggled with.  All of Romans are the struggles Paul showed.  Was he being too righteous with attitude?  I Peter 2:11  “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against those in high places” (the government and evil greed, power and corruption!) I Tim 1:18   Said to “War a good warfare – holding faith!” (We are not to be apathetic and stay out of the politics of our country.  Neither should churches not speak out.  The repeat of history and the 3rd Reich, could be right here on American soil.

Having salvation is not enough nor the end of the war Christians face, for the “sin nature” is STILL within us as Christians, too).   I Kings 14;19, Isa 37:8, Rom 7:23.  Ephesians 6:13 “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God” (because of the evil we as Christians face) “that you may be able to withstand in the evil day”, Paul said.  (Why? Opposing powers of darkness.) “and having done all, to STAND!”  (This means the believer, not giving ground,  nor a single inch!  14. “STAND therefore, having your loins girt about with TRUTH  ” (The truth of the Cross)”and having on the Breastplate of Righteousness; shield of Faith!  Wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. ” (temptations and assaults Satan hurls at us.)

God does not want us to be milquetoast Christians.  That’s why there is so much sin and apathy in Churches today.  Love isn’t enough!  If they aren’t taught, grounded in faith, preached sin, Heaven, Hell, prophesies and CONSEQUENCES,  they STILL  after salvation may not make the Rapture.  We are now an Apostate Church…And before Jesus comes we need to be purified, to meet the Bride.  And where is this purification going to begin?  THE CHURCHES…And whose responsibility is it to preach SIN…to clean us up? Pastors…Salvation too in a milquetoast church can go back to backsliding and iniquity.  Love and  salvation alone is NOT enough!  To not believe we are at war constantly against evil is a FALSE GOSPEL!  How do you fare?  Do you STAND for righteousness and speak out against evil?   There is a revolution for freedom and democracy brewing in Iran.  Meanwhile, America is losing hers.    For all the evangelism that was poured into Africa in the 80’s and 90’s….ie..Reinhardt Bonke and his massive salvation healing services. Now Africans are coming here to Evangelize America.  You can have billboards and advertise churches and Jesus in Africa. Here? It will put you in jail.  And  Christians shouldn’t STAND? Does it not say in Revelations, “I’d rather ye be hot or cold, for if you are lukewarm I will spue thee out of my mouth”…That applies to us who call ourselves Christians.  Christ wants us to stand up for HIS beliefs, in ALL areas of our lives, including politics, and against evil.

Dr. James Dobson, Focus on the Family  (from Hitler’s Cross pp 112) in a letter sent to his supporters, challenged his readers with a series of questions:  “At what  point will we be willing to defend what we believe?  Will parents object if their children are routinely indoctrinated in homosexual ideology or occultism in the public schools?  Will we object if the state tells pastors what they can or cannot say from the pulpit?  (In Sweden an evangelical pastor who preached on Sodom and Gomorrah was convicted of “verbal violence” against homosexuals an sentenced to a four week prison term.)  Will we object if the state assumes ownership of our children and tells us how to rear them, or else lose custody? Will we object if every church has to hire a homosexual to satisfy a quota obligation?  Whether in Nazi Germany or America today.. ” (look at Ms. CA- when this was written stood up and was persecuted for her Christian beliefs. ) Believers cannot choose to remain silent under the guise of preaching the gospel.   I had a preacher ask us once, “would you take a bullet for Jesus?” Yes, and like Yousef, the pastor arrested in Iran, refusing to denounce Jesus and turn Muslim, we all might face that persecution.  Would you stand?

When I was unsaved in my 20’s and 30’s (actually backslidden for I went to church as a child and taught Sunday School), I was a liberal, a democrat, and tried being a feminist when failed  marriages hurt me so much.  Instead of coming to God, I did what many are doing today, I rejected Him.  I was even in the Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom.  Go look that one up, as it is a hard core, feminist organization with a  Marxist agenda.   Yet, I received and read these newspapers once a month.  I was bitter, I was lonely, I was resentful and God had to break me.  And break me He did.  When I got saved, I’d had my last husband desert (he was bi-polar and I never knew), my father died, and I was stuck in Probate in 2 States, FL and NH, and I had a 2 year old son, who I never knew would end up bi-polar too.   When we get saved we kill the old man.  I left all the hates, resentment, my foolish ideologues at the CROSS.   Whatever political independence and feminism included, were quickly killed and replaced by BIBLICAL principals, that did not include abortion, women ruling over men, and I finally understood God’s ways in a scriptural context.  Then Ronald Reagan came into the scene, and I have been a conservative, with CHRISTIAN values ever since.  From this? I will not move!  I will STAND!  For I’ve been on the other side, and it is not of God.  The old man in me is DEAD!  And now, I will have Rivers of flowing waters!  If God in Deut. says homosexuality is wrong, then it is WRONG!  It is a sin!  God loves the sinner but hates the ACT!   WE HAVE TO STAND UP FOR WHAT IS NOT ONLY RIGHT, BUT RIGHTEOUS!   Wherefore if we vote for something like a candidate that is not a Christian and is for abortion, i believe with all my heart that God’s wrath will pour out HIS judgement on us!   I fear God, not man.  If a political candidate, does not have Godly principals, then no matter WHAT party, no Christian should vote for him….period the end!  We need to obey God’s word!

Hitler forced the church to adopt what he called “positive Christianity” …now in Congress, we have a “progressive ” movement..  Churches are already being scrutinized as radical right wing extremists. Well, they can add me to that list if they want.  As for me?  As a Christian I will put on the whole armour of God and fight the good fight and I will war against the evil besieging the America I loved.  For I want our Constitution preserved, and Judeo Christian values as our Founding Fathers intended, lest we find ourselves in a dictatorship.  I will STAND!  “God is my rock and my foundation.  I SHALL NOT BE MOVED!  ” Psalms 62:6

Still think love is enough?  We need to be Watchmen…and the Church needs to be purified! God bless America, our Republic, our Veterans…God protect our churches and convict them of your truths…and God heal our Land.  For as Israel is defending God’s Holy land, we too, may have to defend our own beliefs, and be overcomers.  I pray for peace in Israel..Thine will be done Lord, whichever comes first, the Rapture of death in the natural.   Amen

Seniors And Aging

“The trees of the Lord are full of sap, the cedars of Lebanon which He hath planted” Psalms 104:16.  For a tree to grow it must be full of sap.  Otherwise, it is certain to dry up and wither.  Trees get their sap from the moisture surrounding the roots, whereby, the roots of the Lord’s trees have a direct water supply since they are planted by rivers of living water, that brings forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” Psalm 1:1-3

So, we are told that we should be like a tree. The phrase symbolizes progressive growth.  Over a period of time, as he meditates in the word, he grows and becomes like a tree.  Therefore this man is blessed, and continually drinks from this river.  Therefore, he can bring forth good fruit, but, also leaves.  Fruit is for meat.  And a good tree bears fruit that feeds the hungry passerby.  Then, we also see that the leaf is for medicine which speaks of healing, deliverance, therapy, remedy, curative or restorative.  A good tree has leaves that heal and restore, where the enemy has tried to devour.  I feel I am like that tree, as I have overcome so much.

A lot of you bruised and hurt peoples need my leaves.  A lot of you may have troubles of your own, may want to give up.  Don’t quit.  Apply life’s lessons here to yourselves.  Failure is refusing to get up one more time.  The medicine god speaks about is never a drying, dying, or withering ministry or word.  I may be getting old in years, but, I still have rivers of flowing waters.  I may start to shrivel in the natural with age, but, by my spirit of the living God, I am His tree next to that river.  It was awesome when I wrote my book, years ago, to see the revelation that He’s been giving me.  For even when my job is done with what I wanted in my son’s memory, and God takes me home one day, my rivers of flowing waters will still live along with my B.J. in my books and all my blogs here and other sites.

We need to have an inner healing that is of God, healed from inner hurts and wet with oil.  “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.  Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.  They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; to shew that the Lord is upright. He is my rock and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”  Psalms 92:12-15.  Whereby, when older people feel they have nothing to offer and leave it to the young?  They are wrong!  They can still bring forth fruit in old age, for the more we live and learn, and grow in the Lord, the more fruit we will bear.

So you think as a senior your withered up and all done?  That’s not what I just quoted on being a tree is it?  The following bits of trivia was published in Modern Maturity, and I found it extremely interesting.

“Poet Stanley Kunitz won a National book award in 1995, at age 90, for his book of poems “Passing Through”.  Another noted poet, Mark Strand exclaimed, “One of America’s great poets, “Most people dry up at 50.  For him to be writing poems at 90 is just incredible.”  William Butler Yeats published “Last Poems ” and two plays at age 73, in the year he died.  Playwright George Bernard Shaw won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1925 at age 69 and was at work on a new play when he died at 94.  Maya Angelou, born in 1928, is writing at the ripe- not dried up – age of 80.” Their trees grew branches and bore fruit.

Maturity goes on to say in this article by Ben Cohen, “Why does it matter?  Because creativity, which I define as our innate capacity for growth, is empowering.  (That is why I still write at 70.  I love it!..I love my art and oil painting, and other projects.)  It is the energy that allows us to think a different thought, express ourselves in a novel way, and knows no age!  Creativity is not just for geniuses.  Wisdom can’t be taught.  It is a developmental mix of age, knowledge, and practical life experience; plus the brain function that allows us to integrate those pieces to achieve insight, which we can then apply to a variety of life’s circumstances.  Well, we’ve already been there, done that, yet sadly, many won’t take our advice.

There are many “oldies” that are a witness to what age can do.  Look at George H. W. Bush, now  who at 85, just parachuted out of another airplane again at 85! And Tony Bennett was just part of the Christmas show in NYC Times Square, still swinging at 86!

My favorite of course was Eleanor Roosevelt.  A shy shy woman that had  to adapt to public life and her marriage to FDR.  In her 60’s she emerged in a new way int3rnationally.  In losing a spouse and in her pain when he had an affair, she still remained loyal and became his “legs”.  Mrs. Roosevelt was 61 when President Truman appointed her until she was 68 and was chairman of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.  She was an impressive figure, and continued speaking engagements and writing in her 70’s.

Verdi composed his masterpiece at age 74 (Othello) and Falstaff at 80.  Sarah Bernhardt despite losing a leg in her 70’s acted until her death at age 78.  Ella Fitzgerald in spite of diabetes, kept working in her 70’s when she later lost both her legs and died.  I have a video on my jazz blog, “Tribute”, of Ella being presented an award, with Nancy Wilson and Art Jarou, and the “lady” sang in her 80’s with all that music inside her..just radiating all the gifts God gave her and that music in her soul.  Age wasn’t even a consideration, while the crowd gave her a standing ovation.  How I still remember and loved my Ella I saw 7 times live.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed the Guggenheim Museum in NY at 91.  Dr. Seuss wrote Cat in the Hat at 53, and Your only Old Once at 82.  Beautiful Black author Toni Morrison, won her Pulitzer Prize for Beloved, at age 57, and received the Nobel prize for Literature at 62.  So who says we’re all washed up? (Politicians now in Washington…take note with your health plan!)  The list is endless.  Youth can learn from us older folks and we can learn from youth, and men can learn from women, and we can learn from races, and on it goes.  But, hatred to does not fit into this!

Black author James Baldwin, said once in “Tell me How Long the Trains Been Gone”, which I read in my 20’s, that the reason people can’t face their hates, is they can’t face their pain!”  Life isn’t necessarily fair or easy, but, we all have to face what is inside us, to keep on going productively and with a positive, loving attitude, to contribute to this life, not destroy it!  There is no limitations or restrictions on us to learn and help inspire others no matter what age we are.

I had an 85 year old neighbor who still wrote newspaper columns.  He has more degrees, and is a brilliant man who feeds his brain.  And he even has a web cam on his computer, to keep in touch with his family, which I haven’t even thought of yet.  I have 2 ladies in my DAR who are both 95.  My Elizabeth lives around the corner from me, and is STILL our treasurer, and let me tell you,  nothing gets passed her!  Plus she took a cruise in April and just came back from visiting her brother in TX.  These ladies have arthritic pain, but, they are still contributing to our town and society as many in our local Historical Society who are seniors.  We aren’t dead and buried yet!  And listen to me, Washington,  I want the same quality of life these people have.  At mid 70’s,  I have a way to go, and I want my Medicare left between me and my doctor!  Stay out of my life!  No darned bureaucrat in Washington is going to say how my doctor will treat me.. THAT IS ON THE LAWS ON THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE, AND FEDERAL AS ELDER ABUSE!  Did anyone ever think of that?

Too many of us conjure negative impressions of the elderly.  They are no longer physically attractive, they are unproductive, they overuse health care funds, they overpopulate hospitals and are an inconvenience?!!! God, that is offensive to me!  Many that are in nursing homes never even get visits from their families. Which is a shame.  We reap what we sow, and that goes for Washington bureaucrats and Congress!

So reach out!  Try new things.  Get on the bandwagon and tell this President you still have a life to live, and want quality care, and a quality of life, and not a euthanasia pill to drop dead like they do in Russia!  (And by the way here is a thought to that…Life insurance companies do not pay on suicide usually, so how would that work?  CALL, write, email, speak out, and tell the Congress you do not want this Health Care.  You still have dreams, plans, and want a life!  Don’t let yourself be defeated. Move!  Use your life experiences to help others.  Volunteer. Go to church, most provide rides. Get out of self!  But, more than anything? Don’t give up or give in!

Will I Wake in Heaven?
I am feeling slow;
I know someday soon
will be time to go.
Tomorrow when I wake,
Will I be here on earth;
Will I still face my death
Or will I know my rebirth?
I can’t tell you now
Because nobody knows
Whether I’ll dress in my clothes
Or in heavenly robes.
All I know is I’m tired
And life’s no longer sweet,
And I’m ready to rest
Lying safe at God’s feet.
author unknown

“Death ends a life, but it struggles for a resolution that it will never find.”
author unknown.

Middle Age
How oft we reflect to our youth back in time,
Remembering the beauty we once possessed when all was sublime.
A simpler life, with so ardent admirers,
Dreams and aspirations and all He bestowed us;
Through the wearing of years and all we endured,
Complexities and tragedies a  life that prevailed.
Now we made it through menopause and middle age,
Such an appreciation for life’s frail meaning we gained.
For middle age has a lot to be desired,
We’re back to simplicity, the struggles ended unmired.
JWorthen 5/2002
Copyright 2004, “Restoration Road”

Unfairness

Life isn’t fair all the time.  Helpless children suffer for their parents’ mistakes.  Some who work hard are cut down prematurely by accident or disease.  Others who hardly work inherit the wealth of someone else’s labor.  God is no respecter of persons, and Christians get hit as much as non-christians.

Solomon, wise as he was, observed long ago that life on earth fails the test of fairness.  In his later years he wrote, “I returned and saw under the sun that …the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to men of understanding, nor favor to men of skill; but time and chance happen to them all.”  Eccl. 9:11

For as long as possible we try to shield our children from the naked injustices of life.  We talk to them about the wisdom of hard work and good choices.  We teach our little ones that good things happen to good people and that bad things happen to bad people.  But in reflective moments, we know that the rules we teach only work for some of the people, some of the time.   I was saved, since 1982, with a small child then, (3 grown) I’d had at 40, little did I know as I gave my heart to Jesus Christ, that he would die of his own hand, in deep depression of bi-polar disease, and break my heart 9 1/2 years ago.  But, I never asked God why, and I stayed in such grief then searching scriptures in mourning, then giving thanks for this young man had been saved at 11 years old, 8/2/91.   I know where he is, with Jesus, and know one day I’ll see that grinning face again: healed, no more grief, no more depression, no more pain.

It is no wonder, that some feel that life and God is not fair.   We are not the first to have doubts about the fairness of God.  The author of Psalm 73 felt his faith crumbling under the weight of unfair circumstances.  At first he was afraid to say what he was thinking.  He was overwhelmed by injustices that shouted down his faith.  In the shadows of his mind he wondered whether his belief in God had been a waste of time and opportunity.  (v13) Then something happened.  From a window in “a sanctuary,” the songwriter saw further than he had ever seen before.   The future of those he had been envying came into focus.  A life that began like a street game took on the look of the end of a game of chess.  Suddenly the author of Psalm 73 remembered that no one out thinks God’s final moves.   Remember that!  No one out thinks God’s final moves…AND that also includes the reason, He has for allowing this election.  That realization when you think about it is a comfort..

As the songwriter wrote, “Thus my heart was grieved, and I was vexed in my mind.  I was so foolish and ignorant; I was like a beast before You.  Nevertheless I am continually with You; You hold me by my right hand.  You will guide me with You counsel, and afterward receive me to glory.  Whom have I in heaven but you?  And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.”  (v21-25)  In mourning, troubled, when jobless, in a recession, ailing, in desperation, hurt over losses or loves, there is only one that can give us a reason to continue living.   For no matter what we are not to give up.

But, look at Job.  Job is one of my favorite characters in the Bible, for we can learn much from him.  The story of a man who struggled for his very sanity in the aftermath of personal loss.   But, we also see in the very first Chapter that Satan too, has access to the throne of God, and God allows us sometimes to be tested.  Along the way all his well-meaning friends turned against him.  They accused him of hiding the wrong that would explain his suffering.  In long speeches and drawn-out arguments they insisted that Job couldn’t fool them by his false claims of innocence.  Together they condemned him with the logic of their theology.  They argued by theory and practice that God is fair.  They wanted him to admit that we experience happiness or pain in proportion to our own choices.  Or, as I used to hear many many years ago, but those in church, “where is your faith? ” or ” their must be sin in your life” .  Job didn’t buy it anymore than I did way back.  He knew they were wrong.   He wasn’t hiding a secret sin that would explain why he was suffering and they weren’t.

Finally, God used a violent thunderstorm rather than the quiet of a sanctuary.  As Job argued with his friends, dark clouds moved in (Job 37). Lightning flashed.  The ground shook. And out of the storm God broke His silence (38)  Yet, when God spoke, He didn’t give Job the answ4er of Psalm 73.  He didn’t tell Job to wait for a future day of judgment.  Neither did God point to the risks of living in a fallen world.  The Lord didn’t even blame Satan for sponsoring all the terrible things that had happened to Job, his wife , and his children.

Instead, God took Job to the forest.  He took him to the ocean.  To the mountains,.  To a midnight sky.  To the flashing violence of a thunderstorm.  To the shadow of His presence in nature.  To the natural wonder of a God who uses the blackness of night to give birth to the morning.  Job saw the natural world around him as he had never seen before.  I’ve been there where Job was after I lost my son.  God gave me art talent and writing talent.  Through all my tears for 3 1/2 years, sobbing alone, even enduring a mini stroke with a broken heart, I kept on in the word, and using what He gave me.  Then one day, I found myself healed..with a calmness of spirit, a deep sweetness of the Holy Spirit surrounding me, and I felt such an overwhelming presence of God knowing I would make it through and one day be totally renewed, when I come  home to Jesus.  Like Job, God said, “Look around you, look at what I already have done.  If you can hear My voice in this powerful storm, and if you can see MY signature and fingerprints all over the world around you, (and in the beauty of what I was painting), can you trust Me to know what is best for you now?

If we could have seen Job through the eyes of his friends, (as mine also who didn’t know what to do with me) we would have seen his muscles relax.  We would have heard him say to an invisible Presence, “I know that You can do everything, and that no  purpose of Yours can be withheld from You…I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but, now    my eye sees You.  Therefore, I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”  (Job 42:2-6)

I had no idea what God was doing in my life. But , this I do know.  Sometimes, us that are besieged with so much pain and grief, alone with God, no husband or wife or child beside us, can become so close to God.  We don’t have anyone else to answer to except Him.  I talk to him all day long.  He is my husband, my  father, my friend, my comforter, my confider, my judge, my encourager, my lover, my critic, my supporter, my everything…Here with me when I get up in the morning, and when I go to sleep, when I have troubled nights, or have too much arthritic pain, or whether I am joyful at some minute thing as seeing birds out on my feeder or listening to my Edie, purr and love me.  He is here in spirit and I may be closer to Him than in all my life young, and sometimes it takes what Job went through and a tragedy, but, never doubt His love.   But, I don’t have the other distractions or the business of the world, jobs, a mate, etc. anymore.  I can just languish in His love, which casts out all the unfairness the world has ever put on me.

Some may think this election wasn’t fair either.  Some still fighting, with ballots too, that may have been compromised in different states.   But, the ultimate judgement will come from God to deal with injustices.

I pray you seek a personal relationship with Jesus, and get to know how wonderful the Holy Spirit, our comforter He left behind is.  He never leaves me..and He’ll be there to walk me through Heaven’s door when God calls.  There is only one that I love, and His name is Jesus.  There is no unfairness of the world that He can’t overcome. Thank you Jesus, for seeing me through.  I pray my friend, you’ll let Him in your heart.

(excerpts from RBC ministries May 2003)