Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Cancer Sucks!

What do you do when you hear news that your best friend has cancer?

As a believer, the first thing I do more than ever anymore is pray first. I open up the communication hotline with the only wireless provider in the world and ask for His help and guidance. Why now? What plans do He have in this? How can I help? Then the most important part of that prayer, "Please God, there isn't anything You can't do and she has already fought this battle twice before. Not again. Please remove this cup from her. Please! You are the only one who can help."

Yet it was the same thing I told her today when she asked, "Why?" Because she is exactly where she is supposed to be on God's timeline. It is where her and God's timeline met today. It certainly didn't come as a surprise to Him as it did for her. Yet God knew that even though this battle feels like it is hers, it is His. He has already won this battle and I am confident that He will do it again. She only needs to follow in His footsteps one day at a time. And today is a pretty bad day.

Oh how you want so much to be able to do something. Offer a cure. Pop a pill and simply wake up and hope this was all a really bad dream. But that is not how life is for anyone, even a great Christian wife, mom and sister in Christ. We still have to deal with things like cancer. Even three times if need be. Yet we have hope. We have hope in a God in whom anything is possible. He takes the impossible, and makes it "I'M possible." The Great I AM! Nothing is a stretch for Him and as far as the CT pictures proved there is something there, He can simply remove it.

I pray that that will be the case. Until then, you sit in the present. Crying with her if that is what is takes. I told her she can cry today. Today is that official pity party of crying, sobs and everything else that happens when the worse possible news smacks us in our otherwise normal days. You stand by them. You assure them, they will NOT go through this alone. You find ways to keep them busy. Busy starting up her home business that we believe God has blessed her with. You continue to make plans for her daughter's wedding in January. You keep moving forward.

But what about tomorrow?

You don't dwell there. As believers, God has promised His provisions for us to meet our daily needs and He has asked us not to dwell into tomorrow's worries because it robs of us of our blessings today. Sure you might ask, well how is cancer a blessing? I don't have the answer, but I know God does and while that answer might not sit well with others, I know God is still on the throne and still in control. We all need to continue to pray for this amazing woman of God in whom I know there is a Jesus because she has shown Him to me in what she says and does. Her life is that perfect mirror of what Jesus looks like. Even while crying and wiping away our tears. So please pray with me, that God will walk through this journey with her and remove this from her as of 4:11pm today. I still believe in miracles and if anyone deserves one it is this woman.

Please feel free to include her in your prayer groups, prayers and prayer chains. We know prayer works and will keep you updated on how it goes. Tomorrow she will have more answers than today and would appreciate you continuing to lift her up in prayer tomorrow for strength, clarity and above all the best peace she could possibly ask for.

For now... the best thing you can do is bring her some flowers and let her know she is not alone!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Evacuation Orders

You know when you see disasters on the news it doesn't really impact you until it happens to you or someone you know. Then you begin to live in this alternate reality of the life you're having to deal with and the life of everyone else who is going on without you it seems. This time, it impacted us to a degree as we made plans on Tuesday, August 16th to have lunch with my oldest daughter Caitlyn who lives in the small mountain community of Wrightwood. It was her day off and like any other day, my daughter Kailee and I offered to drive up to Wrightwood to have lunch at the Evergreen Cafe.

When we arrived nothing seemed out of the ordinary until we began to hear the conversations of those around us, from the cafe owner to other customers who had just received warning of a fire off the 15 freeway and Kenwood Avenue. The chilling part came after that, that the fire is headed towards Wrightwood. Looking outside the window we could see the layer of smoke beginning to build over the treelined mountains to the east of us, and it seemed like it might be a good time to simply forgo our lunch and head to her home to begin packing up. However the employee and other customers, Wrightwood residents, didn't seem at all panicked. They offered us drink refills while we waited for our food. We opted to stay put for the time being and enjoy lunch while Caitlyn texted her fiancè who was working in Apple Valley at the time to give him an update.

After lunch we headed to her home and began the process of preparing to evacuate just in case it was needed so she wouldn't leave anything behind if she needed it and it couldn't be replaced. Since her wedding is in a few months, October, we opted to grab everything in the event the worst happens. From packing up boxes of wedding preparations, suits and accessories as well as important papers and files, pictures and other sentimental items all while the television broadcast the latest updates on the fire. Pretty intense sitting up in the mountains watching the skies to see the smoke plumes rise and darken.

She was able to reach her fiancè and his aunt who are also residents of Wrightwood and they were leaving Apple Valley headed home. Meanwhile the 15 Freeway was closed in both directions and that would mean a long detour for them without taking the freeway. So we continue to pack, watch the news and wait. We were informed we would be notified by the fire department or sheriff's office in our homes if we needed to leave or either a reverse 911 call so we continue to wait it out. After a couple of hours we got the news we dreaded to hear from a text message from a friend of mine informing me that Wrightwood was under a mandatory evacuation order and it was time to leave before the routes out of town became crowded or impassible.

So the work began of loading both my car and hers while we watched neighbors across the street and next to us begin to do the same thing. There was a sense of unusual quiet in the town that was a bit unnerving, no birds or the chatter you would normally hear. I opted to head to the village to top off my gas tank just in case we got diverted over Angeles Forest Highway into Little Rock. The line at the only gas station in town was long but everyone was extremely helpful. The owners were even outside helping people pump gas and taking gas payments so customers didn't have to go inside to pay to make the transactions run smoothly.

We finally headed out of town by around 5 pm when Steven made it home, packed up the final things and grabbed the cats in their carriers, and made our way home to the horror of seeing what you had been watching on television now become a reality. The thick wall of smoke hovered like a wall determined to keep us out as we made our way out of Wrightwood.

The smoke was so thick and black that it seemed to float over us all the way to Victorville as ash continued to rain down on us.

I can honestly say, living in the High Desert I had never seen it look so ominous in the 13 years of living here and dealing with the fires that seem to erupt every fire season in the Cajon Pass.

Now we sit at home and the waiting begins.

Will the town that has managed to remain unscathed continue to do so, or will this fire consume the small town of only about 4500 residents? Will my daughter have a home to return to? How will she start over again if they lose everything? What will happen to the wedding venue that they booked in Wrightwood? For now, we sit and watch the news. Read all the social media sites in our area and of course, pray. We pray for our first responders and the town and everyone affected who will return to some of the surrounding areas only to find out they have lost everything. If you can continue to keep us in prayer that the freeways will open so they can get to work down in Redlands, that the fire is contained for them to go home and remain safe, and for those that continue to battle this blaze whose cause yet remains unknown.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Let the Wedding Preparations Begin!

Hard to believe the first of my two daughters is getting married and wedding preparations have been in effect since last year but now that the October 8th day is creeping ever closer there is a frenzied pace that begins to set in. When you realize you might not always have enough time to ensure that everything goes as well as it can be. I am that person who is organized and loves to have it all ready, weeks before it all begins and actually plans for things to go wrong. Of course, I can't quite catch everything but I am trying.

To share with you some of these moments and perhaps even help you plan some of your own weddings in the future, I wanted to take some time to catch up on on what is going on, now that school is over and I am officially not doing much of anything except getting the wedding ready. The dress was purchased back in February and while I can't share it just yet, because the groom can't see it, we are good there. Just got back from getting the alterations in the works and a note to future brides, plan to do this about 2-3 months in advance as your wedding alterations person might not be able to get it done in time. Thankfully she is able to get ours done in about 2 weeks before her final fitting.

The groom has purchased his suit and shirt and bow tie and made arrangements for the remaining groomsmen to get their suits sometime in the next week or so, and they will get a discount on an amazing suit they can use later. Their colors for the wedding are Maid of Honor and Best Man will wear Teal, with the exception of the groomsman will wear a Charcoal Silver Suit with Teal accents. The remaining bridesmaids will wear their choice of style dress in mint green, with the groomsmen wearing grey suits with mint green accents.

Budgets are always an issue and this one was no exception. I mean how can a bride and groom get married without breaking the bank and charging up the credit cards unless you want a Las Vegas drive through wedding or your standard courthouse wedding. I guess if you have contacts in all the right places, you could do it pretty affordably, but of course that is not the case here. The wedding venue is set and thankfully that has been arranged at a local campground that decided wedding venues would help offset those costs of managing and running a camp in the off season if they rent out the facilities for an entire weekend. The rate is really affordable over your standard local wedding venue which would NOT be possible for us.

My daughter wanted to get married in the forest, so this is our affordable option and I think it is going to be exceptional, once we get all the decorations down. It really helps too to have the campground site on Facebook so you can get ideas from other weddings they are hosting there to what looks good and what doesn't. Pinterest is every brides saving grace. It really does help to envision what you want and how to pull that look off.

Amazon is my best friend although one of the vendors we purchased tulle from wants us to pay to have it shipped back when I informed them it wouldn't work in the venue site. NOT good on their end and hoping to resolve that issue with them soon as most vendors don't like unfavorable reviews on their site. HINT! HINT!

We just got the invitations in this weekend and spent Saturday evening addressing them and getting them ready to be mailed out today. Also got to try out my old high school calligraphy skills once again. What do you think?

Over this weekend, we spent Sunday working on building a wedding arbor for my daughter as the site doesn't offer anything and we found out that for about $20.00 more, my husband could build one for them. They agreed and will reuse it at their mountain cabin when the wedding is over. Win! Win!

Now we are simply waiting for the remainder of the items we have ordered to come in, and the final details on purchasing table linens and the cake will be more closer to the wedding, so stay tuned for more updates on wedding preparations.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Christian Voter's Guide for 2016 Election

I believe that this election of 2016 will be the one that causes more division among this nation than any other in this nations history. We have people voting based on their beliefs, their feelings, their political parties and just about everything in between. We see hate campaigns waged on both sides to slander the other in hopes of turning our vote to their side, while the nation as a whole becomes undone.

I have well meaning "Christian" friends tell me they will sit out the vote because their candidate is no longer in the running and they can't vote for who remains. That is just as bad as simply voting for the other candidate. What I want to know, is what are you really looking for in this next President. Forgo all their gender issues, and them as a person, based on what you have read from the media, (because we know how truthful they are) and look at what is really important to the next president who will run this country for the next 4 years.

While my candidate is not in the running, I have to look at what matters to me as a voter, do my own research and vote based on which of the candidates left line up biblically for me as a Christian voter. I suggest those of you that are considering a write in candidate of your cat, the candidate you had hoped would win, or sitting it out would reconsider. In fact, that is just what got us into the mess 8 years ago, and I shudder to think the same thing might happen again, if apathetic, self-righteous "Christians," "Conservatives, and every one in between doesn't do their own homework and vote.

Sure it's your right to sit it out, but honestly do you want 8 more years of what we have had or for that matter even worse? What would our Founding Fathers have to say? I fear, they would shake their heads at the American people and those we have let run this nation into the corrupt and economic bankrupt nation it is becoming. A nation not united but divided.

Here are the things I am weighing my vote against on whom I will vote for and hope you might consider the same issues when it boils down to it. By the way, those writing in Carson or Cruz, they won't win and by doing so you are voting for none of the above and again, that is your right in the end.

1. Marriage - Does either candidate support or oppose legislative and/or judicial actions necessary to reverse the Supreme Court's 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, which imposed same-sex marriage on all 50 states? (Trump - Unknown    Clinton - Oppose)

2. Abortion - Does either candidate support or oppose taxpayer funding of elective abortions? (Trump - Oppose    Clinton - Support)

3. Planned Parenthood - Does either candidate support or oppose giving tax dollars to Planned Parenthood? ( Trump - Oppose    Clinton - Support)

4. Religious Liberty - Does either candidate support or oppose legislation, like the First Amendment Defense Act, which will protect from government discrimination against Christians and others who have orthodox religious beliefs or moral convictions regarding marriage, sanctity of human life or human sexuality? (Trump - Support     Clinton - Oppose)

5. Stem Cell Research - Does either candidate support or oppose federal funding of embryo-destructive stem cell research? ( Trump - Unknown     Clinton - Support)

6. Estate Tax - Does either candidate support or oppose the repeal of the federal estate tax, also known as the "death tax"? ( Trump - Support   Clinton - Oppose )

7. Natural Marriage - Does either candidate support or oppose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that protects marriages as the union of one man and one woman? (Trump - Oppose    Clinton - Oppose)

8. ENDA/Equalilty Act - Does either candidate support or oppose federal legislation that creates special protections for LGBT categories, such as the ENDA or Equality Act? (Trump - Unknown    Clinton - Support)

9. Obamacare - Does either candidate support or oppose the repeal of ObamaCare? (Trump - Support    Clinton - Oppose)

10. Education - Does either candidate support or oppose Parental Rights in public and private education (educational choice)? (Trump - Support    Clinton - Oppose)

11. Military - Does either candidate support or oppose efforts to repeal the social policies of President Obama within the military, such as trangenderism, protected status based on sexual orientation, and the push the place women in frontline combat-units, which compromise readiness and have restricted religious liberty? (Trump - Mixed    Clinton - Oppose)

12. Women in the Draft - Does either candidate support or oppose a policy change that would require women to register for Selective Service when they turn 18 years old? (Trump - Unknown    Clinton - Unknown)

13. Veterans - Does either candidate support or oppose policies that would help garner benefits for health and others services for our veterans? ( Trump - Support    Clinton - Oppose)

The information I researched was provided as of 3/17/16, based on information the candidates campaign was able to provide with public documentation, be it on the candidate's website or a reputable news source. and I hope you will do the same to find out which of this issues matters to you and vote for the candidate that is at least willing to follow most of what you expect as a President and also lines up with what the Bible commands. For me, I believe, this is the only way we can best select a leader, not based on media fluff, or based on what I feel at that moment but who will best lead our country with the support of our prayers for the next 4 years. Feel free to pass this along to whomever might benefit. I hope and pray that you will continue to pray for this next election, above all else, God already knows how it turns out. They could all use our prayers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wizarding World of Harry Potter - Bucket List Item Complete

As a book lover since I was old enough to read, there is nothing more exciting then to be able to see an author's vision of their book world come to life. For years, I have been telling my husband I wanted to go back to Universal Studios. I haven't been since they used to offer 3 hour studio tours and much to my excitement in early May, my hubby managed to plan both a Mother's Day gift and fulfilling our Bucket List for California item all in one. I wanted to take the time to share some of that with you today.

Our first trip in so many years commenced with the official opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in April of 2016 at Universal Studios Hollywood. To be able not only to walk into the book of J.K. Rowlings but for all the employees to stay in character as well. Just walking under the arches of Hogsmeade almost brought tears to my eyes. Once you step within the borders, you are immediately transported to the world of Harry Potter. You begin with the Hogwarts Express, and even though it is merely a prop, it is still amazing to see it all in living color.

The first thing I noticed was the attention to detail in every place you looked. From the smoking chimney's to the props lined within the windows of all your favorite places in Hogsmeade. The soundtrack of the Harry Potter movies is consistently playing in the area, and it is hard not to believe you are walking around a imaginary world.

From seeing all the candy delights in Honeydukes, from Sherbert Lemons, to Bertie Botts every flavor Jelly Bean, and even Chocolate Frogs. I knew I had to bring these home.

The first thing I really wanted to do was try both Pumpkin Juice and Butter Beer. Pumpkin Juice is like a blend of Apple Juice with pumpkin pie spices added. You can get it cold off a cart in the area or getting it carbonated at the Three Broomsticks Restaurant. Butter Beer is served cold or frozen, and my recommendation is frozen. Kind of like an icee with a buttery caramel whipped topping. You can get it with a commemorative cup or simply in a plastic cup. I opted for just the plastic cup.

The cost of the commemorative cup was around $6.00, I believe. The only way to describe Butterbeer is that it tastes like cream soda topped with a buttery caramel topping on either the cold or frozen drink choice. I am still craving them. They also sell Gilly Water, which is simply their Bottled Water. Still it's fun to pick one up to keep for a souvenir. 

There are only 2 rides currently at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the Flight of the Hippogriff and Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.  Both of the rides employ a brilliant use of movie props to engage you while waiting in line. The Flight of the Hippogriff is a roller coaster ride for the whole family as long as you are 39 inches tall. It allows you to capture a breathtaking view of Hogwarts Castle set high on the hillside and gives riders a peek at seeing Buckbeak. It was my favorite ride of the park.

Harry Potter and The Forbidden Journey requires one to have a pretty strong stomach and not subject to motion sickness. I was feeling pretty poorly once I got off, but hey, I can say I rode it. For me, the best part was the ride queue. You get to venture into Herbology and see mandrakes keep behind their cages.

Then its off into Hogwarts castle, where you get to see the Hall of Portraits.

They actually talk and move just like in the movie. You get to go inside the Gryffindor common room, see the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, hear and see the Sorting Hat, along with the mirror of Erised. It is worth it just to walk through the line queue.

The ride takes riders of 4 into a 4D experience, where you get to follow Harry Potter riding his broomstick through the grounds of Hogwarts, battle a Dragon, and wrestle with both Dementors and the Whomping Willow. For me, I would recommend taking a dramamine before riding it to keep down the queasiness. All guests are required to check in their bags before riding as it really does twist you all over the place while watching the screen, like most motion sensor rides.

For meals, there is only one amazing place to visit and that is the Three Broomsticks. The prices are amazing for the quality and quantity of the food you get. Since we had a large party of 4, we opted for what is called the Feast, which garners you 4 spareribs, 4 chicken breasts, roasted potatoes, steamed vegetables and 4 ears of corn, along with a giant bowl of salad for about $50.00.

Drinks are extra but you can get Pumpkin Juice, Butter Beer and even Sparkling Pear Juice here. This is the only place you can get fizzing Pumpkin Juice. The food is brought out to you and you can sit inside, which is pretty loud, or sit outside where you can view the Hogwarts castle and enjoy the music.

For entertainment, there are a wide variety of things to do, from visiting Ollivander's wand shop and picking out either a wand from the movie's characters or one of your own. You can even get an interactive wand which comes with a map to let the users cast spells from the movie in the windows of the storefronts and cause things to move. It is pretty tricky to get it to work just right, but there are plenty of employees to help encourage you.

You can see a Tri-Wizard show or even listen to the Hogwarts choir during various times in Hogsmeade. I would recommend seeing them both, Afterwards, you can get pictures with both groups.

There are so many amazing opportunities to buy all your favorite props and apparel from your favorite house cloak, scarves, hats, and even Quidditch attire.

You can even purchase collectible autographed items like movie scripts, broomsticks, Deatheater masks and more, but simply just sitting in the area and watching the movie come to life was well worth the experience. I can't wait to go back in the fall and during Christmas to see how they bring it all to life in a unique way.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

A Season of Change

Thought I would take some time today and mix it up a bit and share with you what's been happening to the Smith family aside from my Bible Studies as well as Book and Product Reviews, which truly keeps me busy but it laying a firm foundation for our family's faith.

With my youngest, Kailee graduating this year as a Junior/graduating as a Senior, simply means she doubled up on her course work and completed two years in one so she could graduate early and hopefully begin her career in nursing a bit earlier than anticipated. Did I mention she graduated Valedictorian as well with a solid 4.0?  I am so proud of her, straight A's all through high school? Not an easy task to manage. She fell in love with the idea after my husband Steve's heart attack last year and felt God calling her to help. She has such a wonderful caregiver's heart and really had the chance to try out her angel wings a bit, when her boyfriend has leg corrective surgery and was hospitalized for a week with a long recovery time. It has challenged them both in their relationship aspects as they work through the limitations of free summer time, but without some mobility involved. Just causes them both to be a bit more creative. She is also preparing to get her driver's permit so that will mean another driver in the mix.

Since Kailee has graduated, it means that I graduated in a sense as well. It is hard to imagine that my life is changing as well. No longer do I have any more children to home school and when I think back on that, it makes me warm and fuzzy to know that I was there for 11 years of home schooling. I got to see where her strengths and weaknesses were but also see her overcome many of them. Now when September rolls around I get to prepare to spend a life with my husband more, something we never got to do when we married.

My oldest Caitlyn is well on her way in her career as a Cardiac Echo Tech, means she does ultrasounds of the heart and EKG's as well. She is based in Redlands hospital which is the same hospital she was born in. God's got quite the sense of humor to make that dream come true. She and her fiancè Steven are getting married in October this year in Wrightwood, so we are busy making wedding and bridal shower plans. The dress and venue as well as food has all been completed, so really it is just last minute preparations as family will make the trip in from the East coast soon. It also means a new addition to our family having Steven as my son. I don't use the terms inlaws because it sounds so outdated. He joins our family as a member, not an inlaw and we have loved having him for the last 4+ years during family events.

So where does that leave me? Besides continuing to streamline a lot of my book publishers, weeding out those who really aren't family friend and Christian, I have a host of product lines that have contacted me to try out their products and I can't wait to share them with you as well as Christian and family-friendly movies. Got travel plans with hubby after the October wedding and hope to bring you some of California's treasures as we venture forth on completing our California bucket list. Not sure what God has in store for our family, but we are always prepared to go wherever He calls. For now, just staying ever learning more about my faith in Jesus as I will be spending an eternity with Him, I want to know all about Him.

California is still suffering from horrible droughts again this year and so far not one summer thunderstorm. It gets downright depressing when you look at your Facebook feed and see how many days last year we had rain, but so far, nothing in the foreseeable future. That just makes me sad, because I am a rain lover at heart.

Well bloggers, that is all for now, got some chores to get done before picking up my youngest from her Beach Field Trip today. Hope she is having fun with her high school youth group! What are your summer plans?

Monday, July 18, 2016

Is Revival in America Even Possible?

These days it is hard to listen because of all of our distractions. If we have any hope for our nations, our communities, our churches, our marriages, our families or our homes, it has to start in the heart of believers first. We must develop a repentant heart and to learn how to listen to God. To do that, we must first read His Word. To follow His Word. We need to ask God how we can apply what we read to our lives. What does this mean for us today Lord? Ask God to reveal Himself to you, through His Word. What does God want you to do today? Why not ask Him?

As we continue our study today in Judges, it is vital that we need to hear from God, more so than ever before. We live in a world today where everything is instantaneous. We don't have to wait long for anything. But God isn't like that. We have to work at hearing from the Lord. These are the times when so many distractions are pulling at the believer. We need to find some quiet time, to listen and hear from God, away from all distractions.

A nation under God is a nation under a greater judgment.

Judges 2:14-15 ~ "And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of the plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. Wherever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for calamity, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD has sworn oto them. And they were greatly distressed."

"despoiled" means to take away your comforts, your rights, your achievements.
"plunderers" = the infiltrators, the invaders, those not welcome.

Do you think God would be disappointed in America? Think this isn't beginning to happen here in America? Let's look at His story. Those nations whom God had blessed in prosperity in history, Europe for one, then they turned their back on God. It's all in history of the world, if you don't want to use the Bible as your resource.

A nation can be revived if that nation, the people choose to listen.

Judges 2:16-17 ~ "Nevertheless, the LORD raised up judges who delivered them out of the hand of those who plundered them. yet they would not listen to their judges, but they played the harlot with other gods, and bowed down to them. They turned quickly from the way in which their fathers walked, in obeying the commandments of the LORD, they did not do so."

The LORD is always faithful to have a voice in a nation that is willing to listen. When there's no prophet in the land, it is a sobering announcement that judgment is near. Is there a strong, unwavering, uncompromising voice for God in our age? A real Biblical voice that kings and presidents hear?

There is something even better tonight, Vladmir Putin, George Bush, Tony Blair and even Obama, all have the same Bible as you do. They can read God's voice. God's Word. God's grace is there for that.

A nation can revived if that nation, the people are determined to follow.

Judges 2:18-19 ~ "And when the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed them and harassed them. And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they reverted and behaved more corruptly than their fathers, by following other gods, to serve them and bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings nor from their stubborn way."

God has always had a spokesman in America. Moody, Jonathan Edwards whose sermon, "Sinners in the Hands of An Angry God", is the most powerful sermon that this nation has ever heard. In each generation, there has always been a voice in America, where are we as a nation now? Has America divorced itself from God?

Who is behind Billy Graham? Age is slowly claiming what I believe is the last voice of God in America. Did you know that Billy Graham had access to presidents and kings of nations? He could walk into any nation, he could ask for a meeting and they would open the doors for him without question. Who is in his place now?

No one right now. There is no voice on the horizon. Can you see the cycle?

A nation can be revived if they commit themselves to obey the Lord.

Judges 2:20-23 ~ "Then the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and He said, "Because this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers, and has not heeded My voice, I also will no longer drive out from them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died., so that through them I may test Israel, whether they will keep the ways of the LORD, to walk in them as their fathers kept them or not." Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out immediately; not did He deliver them into the hand of Joshua."

Do you see any parallels in America? You might say, you don't see it. It hope not. Even when God sent the prophets the nation of Israel didn't see it either. The warnings in the message fell on deaf ears. I see God calling America, just like He called Israel. God's about ready to deal with Israel, one on one. It's why they became a nation on May 14, 1948. Time is about up! There will be no need for America any more. The book of Zechariah says that "ALL nations will turn against Israel." That includes the United States in the last days.

If we can say that God blesses America, then we need to understand that God disciplines those who are disobedient to Him as well. He must discipline America. Billy Graham has said, "If God does not discipline America, He will have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah." He will not apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.

As a nation, we can not worship pagan gods. The last couple of years in Washington, we have see things happen that are in complete opposition of God's Word, and yet we expect God's goodness. That is exactly what Israel expected and experienced. But make no mistake about it, just because nothing serious has happened yet, that God condones and approves what is happening in America. It is God's mercy that is allowing us time to turn things around.

So what is the answer?

If we love the Lord, not just those of you that are reading this, passionately cry out to the LORD, really intensely and ask God to spare us, to spare this country. The LORD isn't asking for all non-believers to pray, for Congress to pray or even every American citizen to pray, He is asking believers in Christ to pray, "Oh God, have mercy on America!" I believe He can stop the tide that is rushing in.

I find it very unnerving as a nation, the enemy that is coming to judge us. We don't even believe they are an enemy. We don't even believe we are under attack. Israel's enemy lived right next door to them. Those pagan nations, took them captive. Dont' you see the parody if things continue the way they are?

Our borders are being flooded with pagan gods from all nations, not just from Mexico, but internationally. In this nation, you can go and do business with companies that have pagan gods right in their office. They have food in front of their pagan idol with incense burning and adorned with flowers. You wouldn't dare say what they're doing is ridiculous as a Westerner, you'll hurt their feelings. What you should say is, "Jesus Christ can set you free!"

Don't think you can't say that because it isn't Christian? How would you like to be in bondage to a piece of plastic, porcelain or metal? That little god has to be positioned just right, did you know that?

These things are going on all around us in our communities. We might be able to stop them, but we shouldn't tip toe around them either. They need Jesus! Tell them what Jesus did. They don't need to wonder if they will come back again and again to get their life right, Jesus can set you free! God's Word is THEE Absolute Truth! We either believe the gospel or we don't. If we do, we will love, care and pray for those who remain lost.

America has no promise from God that it will survive in the future. I can not turn to one single verse in the Bible and say, "That's America's verse!" Unlike Israel, America has no promise.

Matthew 16:13-18 ~ "When Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, saying, "Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?" So they said, "Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it."

We have a glorious future. It looks bright for us because it is bright for us. Let us listen, obey and follow Jesus. He is our only hope!