Friday, March 27, 2015

Is God Calling YOU to be a Prophet?



I love the Lord of the Rings trilogy and now even the addition of The Hobbit in all of its three parts as well.

It is the classic struggle of good versus evil. The battle is on to rid the world of the evil of Sauron and Saurman as they team up to bring the world in all its races to the brink of war for the destruction of all that is good. We have our Fellowship who have banded together with their different diversity of races from human, hobbit, elves and dwarves to escort Frodo to Mount Doom to toss in the One Ring that would guarantee that whoever possess it controls all the power. Almost like a ring of God's power right?

But greed gets the best of them and Frodo realizes the incredible draw of people to want to possess the ring. Even the rules of the Elves pass on possessing it, so Frodo parts company with his sidekick Sam to go it alone.

Isn't that the way of evil?

To get us to give up being around those who are there to help and instead get us to go it alone? Aren't we just more vulnerable alone? More inclined to temptation or in this case for capture from the enemy?

Even today, this same evil is attempting to replay history from the days of the prophet Isaiah. In those days Isaiah was facing his greatest challenge. He was coming on to the scene where Israel had turned their back on God and was now participating in every kind of imaginable idolatry and evil.

They had previous kings that introduced those Babylonian practices and worshiping of false gods of every type. They wanted to make sure that everyone was happy doing whatever they wanted. They didn't want to appear to be too judgmental over what someone else believed. Sound familiar?

Whenever a nation struggles economically, they will want to go to war. It helps revive a nation financially, just like what was going to befall Israel and Judah. Did you know that the city of Ninevah is the modern day city of Mosul? Did you know that it is the oldest dwelling place for Christians and that ISIS has wiped out every single Christian living there today? ISIS' goal is to control all the current kingdoms north of Israel today which include Turkey and Baghdad. ISIS is like the Orcs. They are building an army that will not stop until it has taken over the entire world.

Demonic powers are stirring countries to war again. Look at what is happening in Egypt and the Middle East even as you are reading this blog post.

The message is simple. Whenever God's people turn their backs on God, He will attempt to send them warning after warning. If we fail to listen, He will lift His hand of protection from us. When the Glory of the Lord departs, you're on your own. Not a place you want to be.

I believe God has lifted His hand from America.

Our military is making blunders and bombing targets that are useless. Generals are turning on our president.

When's the last time it has rained in California? We are currently in an 8 year drought!!!

Our entire nation is hurting right now.

God is waiting to bless America again, but will we turn to Him in time?  We are IN the end times!!!

We really have to know our Bible in the last days. We have to realize that the Bible contains the answers for any issues we face in life. America is living in a world where the problems we are facing are spiritual. We need to turn back to God and call upon Him. The Bible says that "we need to call upon God in our days of trouble and he will rescue us, and we will give Him the glory." ~ Psalm 50:15

So here is the answer to what will dramatically change what is happening in America today!

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land." ~ 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV

God is calling us as believers in Jesus to tell people the truth. When God's prophets of old spoke to the people, things changed, either as a curse or a blessing. People didn't like what the prophets had to say, and prophets were rejected, mocked and killed because people wanted to shut them up. Since they could shut God up, they silenced the people. 

Isn't that what is happening today to Christians around the world? People can't silence God so they are silencing his people. The name of Jesus provokes a reaction in people and it shows spiritual reality. We are living in the days of Ezekiel, and it's time to wake up. 

We need to turn back to God as individuals, as families, communities, states and as a nation, before it's too late. Look around, the signs are literally everywhere. Just because it isn't happening here yet, doesn't mean it won't. We can't wait until it does. 

Oh how things are evolving in the world today? Seems like we thought we had seen the worst of things yesterday only to wake up and see that they have gotten worse.

But I encourage you to NOT lose Hope! It is the greatest gift we have in this troubling world today. We can bring back the light into a dark world again!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Don't Worry About Israel, Pray for America!



Last night changed everything for me.

For so long, the fire within my Spirit has been dampened, the embers still alive but not knowing what to do to cause the spark that I had when I first became a believer.

You remember how it was, you were super excited to share your experience with others, to read your Bible, and you couldn't wait to get to church.

Well I got that back!!!

It came from a simple, powerful message that CAN NOT be ignored. The very future of America is sitting right on the precipice of death.

You've seen the signs right?

Or are you like I was, sitting on your couch, watching ISIS behead Christians and thinking to yourself, "You know that kind of thing should be stopped. Why isn't anyone doing anything to put an end to this?" Do you even know what ISLAM means?

Perhaps you recall a man named Hilter who attempted to wipe an entire race of people off the map! We vowed that if something like that should ever happen, we, as the United States, would not let that happen again!

But are we doing anything? Why are we letting a terrorist organization known as ISIS slowly creep ever closer and stand idly by and do nothing. Say nothing.

The one thing I will do is to please watch this moving video from Pastor Jack Hibb's of Calvary Chapel in Chino Hills who clearly spells out for ALL AMERICANS what WILL happen if we don't wake up to what is happening in the Middle East.

There is a reason why the United States isn't mentioned in the book of Revelation and I urge to to watch this. It was what our pastor opted to show up last night so we could wake up from our apathetic and complacent place and begin praying right now for a revival to come to America.

Will YOU watch it? Will you share this post or link with every single person and ask them to watch it for themselves and decide if it's worth doing anything about? It runs almost an hour, but trust me when I say it will be the best hour of your life ever spent!

We CAN NOT sit back and wait for our government to do something, WE all need to do our part to make sure our leaders move in the right direction. Look around, the enemy is running out of time, but he's moving swiftly for the harvest is ripe.

http://www.calvarycch.org/media_center.php?vimeo=1&p=JHX&s=382&fb_ref=Default 

Remember YOU have been warned! Only we can save this country!
Ezekiel 33: 1-6 NIV ~ The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, speak to your people and say to them: ‘When I bring the sword against a land, and the people of the land choose one of their men and make him their watchman, and he sees the sword coming against the land and blows the trumpet to warn the people, then if anyone hears the trumpet but does not heed the warning and the sword comes and takes their life, their blood will be on their own head. Since they heard the sound of the trumpet but did not heed the warning, their blood will be on their own head. If they had heeded the warning, they would have saved themselves. But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes someone’s life, that person’s life will be taken because of their sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for their blood.’


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Race Time!!!



It's that time again and yes, our family is officially a NASCAR family. Who would have ever thought we would want to sit and watch cars race around an oval track for almost three hours? Definitely NOT us.

But I have to say that this is truly a great sport to watch. I guess the one thing that I really respected about NASCAR was their commitment to faith in God and that they really support our service men and women. Not sure of many others that open their events with a word of prayer like NASCAR does but I absolutely LOVE it.

Steve and Kailee got the rare opportunity last week Friday to attend the races and they both arrived a bit early. Steve's job this year is working with the Motorsports division as a Senior Construction Manager that is working to upgrade the carriers like Verizon and AT&T to provide additional coverage for wireless device users and even to run fiber networks for NASCAR and the media when these events are televised live.



Trust me after Friday's experience, Steve has been elevated to a whole new level by our youngest daughter Kailee. She thinks her dad has the best job in the world now. She was invited by her dad to visit the AutoClub Speedway in Fontana to see some of the work he's been doing and while they were there, they got the very rare honor to meet some of the NASCAR drivers like Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and even Kyle Larson as they were getting to practice.



Just for Kailee to get the opportunity to talk with Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 car who is retiring this year and get his autograph was a true blessing.

Kailee will say her best part of the experience was one that brought a true smile to her face and that of her dad. After working on the NASCAR tracks for over two years, Steve has never met any of the drivers, much less his favorite, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 car. Until last Friday. Kailee managed to capture this moment on her camera. Needless to say, she said her dad smiled like a kid at Christmas the entire day.



They were even nice enough to capture pictures with my favorite driver, up and coming rookie driver Kyle Larson who drives the #42 car sponsored by Target. They got autographs from all the drivers they asked and said they were truly great people to talk with.



Was I jealous I didn't go with them? Not really. In my mind, it's times like this that create lasting memories for both Kailee and her dad and there will always be other times in the future for me to go to. Just knowing that either one of them can look back on this day with fondness is a true blessing for me.



I did get the opportunity to join them for race day on Sunday, March 22 and thanks to Steve's credentials I got the opportunity to sign the start/finish line along with Kailee in the backwards ballcap and enjoyed the race as well.




While none of our favorites won, we were still blessed with treasured memories that will outlast this day and we got to cheer on our favorite drivers anyway. We were winners all the way!


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Living in a State of Readiness



Here is California, we are always being told that the "Big One" is slated to come at any moment. Living in an earthquake prone state, it's a fact of life to experience one. In fact, you can almost tell if you're a native Californian from a tourist by how one handles their earthquake experience. If you're a lot like me, we've had so many in our life time, we will sit when we feel one happening, and wait to see just how strong it will be. Most of the time it's the chandler rocking from side to side or a rolling wave-like motion, or even what can feel like a large truck passing in front of our home. Most of the time they are over within 30 seconds to a couple of minutes.

But specialists have been telling us, that one day, we will experience what is known as the "Big One." Something along the lines of 7.0 or greater that will cause quite a bit of damage and mostly impact our commuter freeways since most of us, drive a considerable amount from home. There is Earthquake insurance you can buy as a rider on your homeowners or renter's policy that will insure your personal property against earthquake damage that is often times not part of your insurance policy. There are Earthquake preparedness kits that promise food, water, and medical supplies for about 3 days or more in portable back packs you can store around your home, office or in the trunk of your car.

Yet, here I sit at 51 years of age, not the slightest bit prepared. Why? Part of me, doesn't believe it will ever happen, so why bother. Another part of me, wonders if one goes through all that preparation, what is the likelihood that you will even be in a place to be able to access your earthquake kit anyway. If you're at home, what if it's buried under debris? Same goes for the office or your car. So why don't we take these threats with the seriousness they were meant for?

I guess the same could be said of the reason a lot of Christians and believers in Jesus Christ are told to be in a state of readiness for the day the Lord will return for his chosen believers, known as the rapture. Why don't we take that as serious?

Is it because we have heard the rumors for so long yet nothing has happened so far? Is that seriously something we want to be waiting for the last moment to make preparations for?

I mean I know where my future home will reside in eternity whether I am raptured out of this life or are taken out through physical death. But isn't that an apathetic way to live my life? Believing I will have more time to make some major changes?

It's like telling yourself that if you win the lottery, you will do more to help those less fortunate than yourself. Only why is it when we get a slight bump in pay, don't we take that additional money and use it to help those people out in whatever way we can? Why instead to we add a few more luxuries or vacations to our ever growing pile of stuff we won't be able to take with us anyway. In fact, if we were to die right this moment and we had no living relatives, all that stuff would be given away or thrown out. That is how important all that stuff is.

We need to be living like Enoch did at the ripe old age of 65, in that he lived his life so closely connected with God that God simply took him away. Perhaps it was based on the name of Enoch's son, Methuselah which meant that judgement would come on the earth when he died or "one who has brought death into the world", so poor Enoch never knew when that day was coming. Every little sniffle or sickness that child had, kept Enoch on his toes because he never knew when God's judgement would come. Little did he know that Methuselah would live to be 900 years old before the flood came.

We need to begin to make changes right now, at whatever point we are at in life right now. The Bible has foretold that the generation that witnessed the Jewish people returning to their homeland in Israel in 1948 would not pass away without seeing the return of Christ. Does that mean that Jesus isn't coming until the very last person who was living when that event dies? The Bible doesn't say, it simply warns of a generation that would not pass away, and my dear friends and family, that could very well mean our parents or grandparents generation.

Do you realize where we sit on the cusp of the end times?

Does the fact that in all of earth's history there have only been 4 blood moon events and the last one is occurring this September 13th?

Does it make you wonder what the significance is between these 4 blood moons occurring on each of Israel's festival days like the Feast of Trumpets? Not to mention an eerie solar eclipse that has happening right in the middle of these blood moon events?

Is God announcing something coming very soon?

It's possible. The Bible warns what the end times would look like. That there will be signs in the sky and none more observable than what has been happening while people go about their days as if nothing is out of the ordinary.

Luke 21: 10-12 NIV - "  Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.
“But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name."


With the threat of ISIS and the recent beheadings happening all around the globe, are we not seeing such signs of people being persecuted for their faith in Jesus? The Bible predicted this is when the rapture would occur, when people least expect it. So what should we be doing?

We should be doing all we can to make sure we are living up to whatever plans God has in our life. If He has called you to do something, you need to be answering that call. Whether its  helping out in the mission field, helping out in the church or ministering in your own way to the "church" that you are responsible for, stay at home moms, working moms and dad, we have an important impact in our families and we will be held accountable for how we spent that time.

Just like the parable Jesus told of the worker in the vineyard in Matthew 20, who paid his people the same whether they worked a whole day or just an hour. Everything we have belongs to God. It's all His, we need to make sure we are being the very best stewards with everything He has blessed us with. We need to make sure we are making plans with God's will in mind, not merely asking God to bless our plans.

The clock is ticking, and it's time to wake up. Will you answer the call and begin to prepare?

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Heavenly Minded?



I remember a conversation I had read awhile back when someone referred to me, in a generic way as being so "heavenly minded, but no earthly good." At first, the comment really made me pretty upset, but the more I thought about it, I realized that it was probably one of the best compliments I could have ever asked for in a back handed way.

I know the person who wrote it was basically saying that I was too judgmental on my stance as a Christian and again, it should be something I could see as a good thing. It means my faith in what I believe is pretty cut and dry and I'm sorry if that offends people but I have found in today's ever changing culture, that too many people want us to sugar coat things or water them down as to not offend anyone. 

The Bible is pretty clear however when it comes to the truth and that, my friends, is where I get my definition of what is right and wrong. If God considers it wrong, guess what so do I.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not going around with my Bible, thumping people on the head, but I try and convince people of my faith solely based on my actions. There are some that don't want to be told what is what, and most of the time, I don't say anything. I simply chose to say nothing.

But there does come a time, when I simply can't sit idly by and let people go around thinking that my silence on the matter is acceptance. That is when I have to clarify things even if it means I make a few people a bit upset with me. Again not my intention, but if you don't like what God has to say, I'd advise you to take it up with Him when you see Him. You will see Him someday. We all will.

So back to the compliment I received, the part about being too heavenly minded to do any earthly good. Well let's see what the Bible has to say about that in context.

If you go to the Bible and find Colossians 3: 1-2, "Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things." (NIV). 

I think the Bible is pretty clear on that as believers in Jesus Christ, we are not to be concerned with the earthly things, material possessions. What it means in a nutshell, is I am not here to seek pleasure or happiness but only by seeking God. 

We need to keep eternity in focus at all times. What happens in heaven should affect me on earth!

So what is our purpose as believers during the time we remain on earth? We are here to bring glory to God, to worship Him and to seek Him daily. 

We want to make sure that we don't pursue such sins that will keep up bound to the earth, any sexual sin that goes against God's definition of marriage, which is one man/one woman only. Even if this goes against what is becoming increasingly politically correct in the world today. 

The sin of idolatry and coveting, the need for more basically. Someone who wants more is never satisfied with what they have. Getting something that someone else has is always on their minds. It's all about the hunt. Reference Hebrew 13:5 ~ "
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
    never will I forsake you.”

Be content, not in what you have, but in who you know. More of God. 

Thirdly the sin of anger, meanness, slandering others. Anger with the thought of revenge, "I don't get mad, I get even!" mentality. An unsettled anger, speaking ill of others. So what can you say? How about referencing the acronym T.H.I.N.K. Means T = is it truthful? H = is it helpful? I = Is it inspiring? N = Is it necessary? K = Is it kind? 

If not, don't say it or share it. 

Before we know it we'll be standing before God. Heaven is not the default destination of every person, but only for those who have the ticket to get there, and that is ONLY by putting your faith in Jesus Christ only!!! Bought and paid for by what Jesus did, lived, died and rose again. 

Would love to hear your thoughts so please feel free to share them below and if you would love prayer, please email me at Stevenkat27@gmail.com. It would be an honor. 

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Makings of A Whimsical Garden



We've rented the home we are currently in almost two years now and we have had this side yard that measures about 12 feet by 40 feet. There has been nothing there since Google Earth took images, which we all know is quite up to date. NOT!

Many of you know that my oldest daughter is getting married in 2016 and she wants to have her engagement party at our home. So we decided since we plan on staying in our current rental for at least another 2 1/2 years, we might as well do something with the side yard.

Now I am sure some of you are questioning, why spend the money if it's not your home, and our reason is that while we are paying rent, why not really enjoy the space. As Christians, we always want to set excellent impressions on the people we interact with and it's always nicer to leave the home in better condition than when we first moved in.

We have an amazing covered patio that runs the width our home, almost, and this side yard would make for a fun project where we could extend the benefits of an additional outside living space. We've always wanted a fire pit but the only place we could use one might be if we added one to the side yard.



My husband and I, are pros now at laying concrete paving stones and decided on a perfect color, tan to match the dirt that is underneath it all. Plus it's such a neutral color, anything we add on top of it will match 100%. So that is where we decided to add 162 pavers to create a patio that isn't permanent, just in case the homeowners hate our vision.

My husband Steve decided that adding a little focal point of using 9 red pavers would be the ideal place for our temporary fire pit, one that will go with us whenever we decide to move. To add more dimension and to make use of a slanted dirt mound, we added wood planter boxes, that yes, are also temporary if the homeowner wants them removed. They are simply screwed together. We added quite the assortment of 6 different color hybrid tea roses to the planter for both color and fragrance.



For color we added some colorful Adirondack chairs in turquoise blue and corral, to compliment and draw others into the space for conversation or just a place to get away from it all.  We also added some lavender into pots and African daisies in colored pots. My daughter Kailee wanted Tulips so we added one in a colorful pot as a focal point on the patio. We are encouraging bees, butterflies and other pollinators into our space and are planting things that we know will draw them in. We refuse to use pesticides as we want natural predators to keep things neat and tidy.




We have added two apple trees into the remaining dirt space to create a barrier between our home and the house next door. It's two story and we always feel like they are looking down from their windows and it doesn't create the privacy you would want when sitting out there. We are currently looking for a lemon tree to complete the space.



I love gardens if you know me as a friend or family member and wanted to share what we are working on currently and would love ideas for what you think would look great there. I am creating a whimsical garden that people would really want to sit in and enjoy. Here is the space remaining that I could use your input on. Feel free to comment away or even share pictures. This is truly a labor of love to be working on this with my family. It's not easy and there are definitely a lot of blood, sweat and tears going into this project.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Staying Connected



I can't believe looking back, I've been a blogger since 2009 and I absolutely love it. It began as a way to journal my thoughts into the great unknown, the internet back then, and hoped in time, I could look back and see my life as it has progressed.

Something unusual I wasn't expecting happened instead. I met some really exceptional people. Women and men, just like me, that had so many things in common, most our faith in Jesus Christ. But also struggles, trials, storms, and issues that kept us bonded in a way that Facebook and all the other social media platforms can't.

Maybe it's that you can write more in the space provided. A way to personalize, just who you are from you page layouts, music preferences and photos.

But I have also noticed when looking at my blog list, that so many have simply left.

Maybe they don't blog any more.

Maybe they simply have chosen a different social media platform to connect.

Maybe they aren't here physically any longer and have passed away. I hope that isn't the case.

That is why it is extremely important to stay connected and even to make new connections as well. So whatever social media platform you're on, let's connect. It's simple too, if you follow me, I'll follow you. I hope to see you there but if you're just a blogger, lets connect as well and join me!

Here is how to find me:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kathleen.smith.92102
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Pirate2240
Instagram: https://instagram.com/reviewsfromtheheart/
Pinterest:  https://www.pinterest.com/ksmith2768/