Thursday, August 29, 2013

Do You Pay Attention to Warning Lights?

Hopefully the answer to the title is yes! Or for some of you it could be "well it depends on just what the warning lights are saying and where they are!"

But I think it's safe to say we all pay attention to them right? I mean who would ignore their cars engine warning light right? Could you imagine if it bothered someone so much, but they didn't want to address the problem, they merely covered it up with a piece of electrical tape so they didn't have to see it glow any longer? Kinda funny right?!

What about freeway warning lights or signs? Perhaps warning you that the road is closed or the bridge is out? I guess people might say when they wound up in the river, they didn't see the sign warning them that the bridge is out or that the road is closed.

But warning signs are just that. A wake up call for us to pay attention to what's going on.

So have you been paying attention to what is happening in the world today?

Does it concern you that we could be literally sitting on what could be our final days as believers on Earth?

What? What are you talking about?

All the news talks about is stuff that doesn't concern us or it's not anything we should worry about.


Believe me, every single person, especially believers should be concerned with what is happening right now in the Middle East. Here's a slight recap just in case you've taped over the warning light or weren't paying attention and why it matters anyway.

Civil unrest has been breaking out all over Egypt.

As a result, a terrorist threat was issued for ALL US Embassies in the Middle East to close. ALL of them. (Odd, has that ever happened before  you ask, NO! Not all the US Embassies in the Middle East at the same time.)

Syria is believed to have used chemical weapons against their own people. No evidence at this time has been confirmed, although some say it has.

Russia meanwhile has been supplying enriched uranium to Iran to help them power up their "Nuclear Power Plant." (Yeah, sure that its for a power plant. Perhaps so they can become a world power!)

The US has issued a threat by Obama that if in fact Syria used chemical weapons against their people, we would launch a military strike against Syria.

Iran has announced along with the ally, Russia that if the US launches a military strike against Syria, they will launch an all out attack on Israel.

Israel has said it will defend itself against any attacks that come their way.

The UN and Britain announced they don't support a military strike against Syria and if the US does so it will be all on their own.

So what, big deal, what's all this got to do with me. It's half a world away. 

Really, doesn't something special a bit fishy here.

First of all let's look at what the Middle East looks like where the US has closed all it's military bases.

Algiers, Algeria, Sana'a, Yemen; Tel Aviv, Israel; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Dhaka, Bangladesh; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Ankara, Turkey; Muscat, Oman; Doha, Qatar; Cairo, Egypt; Kabul, Afghanistan; Baghdad, Iraq; Amman, Jordan; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Manama, Bahrain; Tripoli, Libya; Nouakchott, Mauritania; and Doha, Qatar.

If you located any of these places on a world map, they pretty much all surround the tiny country of Israel.

Next, our own President doesn't even announce he remains loyal to Israel since taking office. Often times pushing Israel off to the side. (No love loss there!)

Next we have to take a look at the only document that has a 100% accuracy rate of predicting world events. That's right, the Bible.

You might be rolling your eyes, but name one Bible prophecy that hasn't come true when it was predicted? NONE, even scientists now are beginning to back pedal their previous claims made that the stories in the Bible are in fact now coming true, as historical and archaeological proof continues to be discovered that validate what it says. 

So if we go to Ezekiel 38, where believe we are sitting and waiting for an event like no other to culminate, we are seeing the players getting ready to perform the war of all wars.

"And the Word of the Lord came to me saying, Son of man, set your face against Gog (ruler of Magog), of the land of Magog ( Muslim countries comprised of Azerbajian, Afghanistan, Turkestan, Chechnya, Turkey, Iran, Sudan and Dagestan), the prince of Rosh, of Meshech, and of Tubal, and prophesy against him.

And say, Thus say the Lord God: Behold I am against you, O Gog, chief prince ruler of Rosh, of Meshech, and of Tubal.(Rosh - Russia, Meshech - Moscow and Tubal - Tobolsk)

And I will turn you back and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you forth and all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them handling swords -

Persia (Iran), Cush (Ethiopia), and Put or Libya with them, all of them with shield and helmet,

Gomer and all his hordes, the house of Togarmah in the uttermost parts of the north and all his hordes - and many people are with you.

You (Gog) be prepared; yes, prepare yourself, you and all your companies that are assembled about you, and you be a guard and a commander for them.

After many days you shall be visited and mustered (for service); in the latter years (last days) you shall go against the land that is restored from the ravages of the sword, where people are gathered out of many nations upon the mountains of Israel, which has been a continual waste; but it's people are brought forth out out of the nations and they shall dwell securely, all of them (Isaiah 24:22).

You shall ascend and come like a storm; you shall be like a cloud to cover the land, you and all your hosts and many people with  you.

Thus says the Lord God: At the same time thoughts shall come into your mind, and you wil devise an evil plan.

And you will say, I will go up against an open country (the land of unwalled villages); I will fall upon those who are at rest, who dwell securely, all of them dwelling without walls and having neither bars nor gates,

To take spoil and prey, to turn your hand upon the desolate places now inhabited and assail the people gathered out of the nations, who have obtained livestock and goods, who dwell at the center of the earth. (Jerusalem is claimed to be the very center of the Earth)."

Let's skip to verse 14....

"Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog, Thus says the Lord God: In that day when My people Israel dwelll securely (Israel lives in confidence that they can counter attack any one who comes against them, look at their military status now), will you not know it and be aroused?

And you will come from your place out of the uttermost parts of the north, you and many peoples with you, all of them riding on horses, a great host, a might army.

And you shall come up against My people Israel like a cloud to cover the land. In the latter (last) days I will bring you against My land, that the nations may know, understand, and realize Me when My holiness shall be vindicated through you, O Gog, before their eyes."

So what does this all mean?


First look at all the players mentioned in scripture.

They are ALL muslim countries that hate Israel or ally with countries that do.

If the US launches a military strike against Syria (we know they have NO world support to do so), Iran and Russia will launch an attack against Israel and the proverbial match has been lit.

Of course, this is merely my speculation on what I glean from reading Ezekiel 38 and what is happening even now in the world, I believe there are no consequences. More than ever, I believe we are living in what could be our last days on earth.

If you aren't a believer, now more than ever, you should WAKE UP!

If you are not for Christ, the Bible says you are against Him. If you are, you will never see your loved ones you have gone on before you. They may be in heaven but if you don't believe in Christ, you will NEVER see them again. Are you ready for that?

Make a choice, believe Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to Heaven. Accept what He came here to do, 2013 years ago to die for your sins, so you won't have to.

Ask Him into your heart and ask Him to forgive you sins.

Believe that He was raised from the dead and in doing so, can raise you from your dead life into a new one with Him as your Savior.

Turn from your former ways, pick up a Bible, get plugged into a church, tell others what you have committed your life to, and welcome to the home of God. Without Jesus, there is NO OTHER WAY to Heaven.

Then keep your eyes on the horizon because God could be coming back for His people and we surely don't want to be left behind when He does. It will literally become Hell on Earth for those left behind. Hope you make the right choice today.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Why Should I Follow Christians? You Shouldn't!

Sometimes Christians can be the worst example of what our relationship with Jesus should look like! I've even heard some non believers call out the behaviors of Christians and asking them to explain their hypocritical actions or words. Not a pretty sight and perhaps one that defines why so many people run when you tell them your a Christian. In fact, no other religion is dissected as much or held up to such high standards as that of a Christian. Why is that?

First of all let us gain an understanding of what being a Christian really is? It is NOT a religion. It is a relationship with Jesus Christ. As followers of Jesus we are instructed to act in certain way that everything we do, say or even think, points to Christ. This is why others are so quick to judge our actions, words or even thoughts against those standards. Even they understand what we are so quick to defend.

However, we are forgiven when we fall short and trust me, we ALL fall short every single day. We are in no way perfect, but the world expects us to be. This is where we can all be a whole lot more humble in accepting criticism from others.

We ALL still live in a world filled with sin, which means that Christians are tempted in the very same way that unbelievers are, whether it's through addictions like smoking, alcohol, drugs, sex or even dealing with things like emotions such as anger, sadness or even impatience.

The Bible says that ALL have sinned which means every single one of us, even Christians still sin. Romans 3:23 (NIV) "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," However there is a difference in believers, which means we simply need to realize it and ask for forgiveness and attempt not to sin again.

Well you might say that you're a good person, you don't do anything wrong, you live a good life and help others whenever you can. But the Bible is very clear that just being a good person doesn't get you into Heaven. Only a belief in Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made in your behalf, a confession of your sins, and a willingness to live a different life will gain you a place in heaven. There is NO other way. None. John 14:6, "Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." If you don't like that statement, you'll have to take it up with Jesus, not other Christians. We follow what Jesus says because we believe the Bible and that it is the Word of God.

So what do you say to all those who call Christians hypocrites and that we shouldn't follow them? You agree with them. The Bible states clearly we are NOT to follow other Christians, but to follow Christ. He is the only person who lived a perfect life. All others will merely fall short of that perfection in this world. Jesus Christ is the standard we are all trying to live our lives more like. Let's make sure that everything we think, do or say speaks loudly of what Jesus Christ is doing in our lives and truly points the way to Him.

Matthew 16:24, "Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Seeing the World Through God's Eyes!

Being a parent has been such an incredible experience. Not only for the joy of watching our children grow into adults and able to hopefully begin a journey of their own, but it also gives one the very amazing and often unexpected insight into how God views us and our relationship with Him.

People often think that only those that have children are able to see things from that unique perspective, but I would beg to differ. I believe just being a part of a family allows you to see those very same things, if we are only willing to look for them. You don't have to be a parent of a child, I believe you can even gain that insight just with working with kids, as a teacher, counselor or even a church volunteer. Here's what God showed me through a conversation that literally sliced me through the heart this morning. Thanks Mike for being the one to shine the light in that dark place!

My brother and I talk on the phone quite a bit. We live some distance from one another so getting together with busy schedules often makes that a challenge, so we talk on the phone at least once a week. We were able to talk more during the summer but now that is taking a bit of a back seat to other priorities like work and home school. We were talking about what his son that just turned 21 over the weekend did for his birthday. You'd think he would have been in a hurry to head to a bar or possibly Vegas now that he has the legal right to do some things now, but he didn't. He instead got together with friends, went to a place and had dinner, he did order a beer just to see how it felt to get "carded" and hung out there playing video games and pool. I am sure his dad is breathing a sigh of relief he wasn't like most worldly young adults who take that day and make some foolish choices. He's a pretty grounded teen and loves the Lord with all his heart. But he still has to make his own personal choices on his own without parental guidance when he heads out for the night.

God is like that. He doesn't force His way into our lives. He waits patiently for us to seek Him. He is closer than we ever know, just waiting. Waiting for us to call out to Him.

We talked more about what my oldest daughter is up to these days, knowing that while our kids are still young, but now adults on their own, they occasionally ask for help. He asked if I had her talked to her lately and I commented that most times I only hear from her when she needs something. He laughed because we can both relate to that statement, but it was his comment that really shock me to the core. He said, "Kinda like how we talk to God huh?"

I had to stop and think about it for a moment, before I said, "Wow! You are so right! I mean how many times do we get up and as we rise, we thank God just for the opportunity to be here another day. That perhaps that headache or pain we prayed about is now gone, but we fail to mention it to God." I thanked my brother as well as God for that brief moment in time where I received a wonderful revelation from God I had to share with you through this post.

Friends and Family, I would encourage you to not only run and pray to God when the going gets rough, but also to take the time to not take God for granted when everything is going right in your life. The weather may be perfect, your finances are more than enough to get you through the day, you have enough food in your home to make it til the end of the day and if you can stay in the present and just think on today, thanking God for everything, it might just give you a different perspective. Maybe you will get that revelation that I got today.

That God patiently waits not only for us to ask for His help when the going gets tough, but He longs to connect with us and let Him know how the day is going. Try to see things from that perspective today and help give your relationship with your heavenly Father a much needed boost today. He's so willing to hear from you that He'll stop whatever He's doing just to give you His undivided attention. He cares and loves you that much that everything that happens in your life, good and bad, matter to Him.

Here's hoping you have a wonderful and truly blessed day.

Philippians 4:11-13, "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do all this through him who gives me strength."

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Are You a Secret Agent Christian?

Most of us understand the passage of scripture that bears the message that we would know a person by the type of fruit they produce. Being a huge garden lover, when it comes to spring time and planting of seeds, I have to make sure that I place signs in the area to help me identify the plants that will begin to sprout for and grow. Just like the other week, my husband and I both came across some extra seed packages we had left over from our previous move.

Having a few extra pots laying around with nothing growing in them, we each set about planting seeds in various pots. I took the time to carefully label mine so I would know if I was growing an herb or merely a flowering plant. My hubby however, just diligently got to the task at hand. Pushing seeds into the soil, covering them up, and watering them thoroughly. When we finished, I had three pots in which I had planted marigolds, carnations and sunflowers and each was labeled so I knew which was which.

Hubby's pots on the other hand we void of all identification. When I walked over to one of the pots and asked what was in this one, he looked at me and said, I think cilantro.

"Cilantro? Are you sure?"

"I think so. Wait! Maybe I planted peppers in that one and cilantro in this one."

You can see where this story is headed right?

Needless to say, it will remain a mystery until the plants are large enough to either show us what they are based on what they look like or the type of produce each one will bear. At that time, we won't have need of labels.

But it does bring to mind, if you're a Christian, are you encountering any time of persecution in your life right now?

Hmm, might be difficult if the answer is No, because perhaps it's the company you're keeping. Are you hanging out with only Christians like yourself. Could be the reason you are persecution or problem free right now.

Other reason is that you're a Secret Agent Christian!

Well we all know there isn't such a thing right?

Wrong! The Bible says we would know one another by the types of fruit we bear. In the end, we will all be judged. Let's look at that context in Matthew 25: 31-46 (NIV)

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

Perhaps if you are not going through any difficulty or trials right now, you might want to re-examine your life. The Bible speaks clearly in Matthew 7:15-17

“Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit."

Perhaps you might believe that simply being a good person and doing good things will be enough in this life. But trust me, when your life is over, you will be cast among the goats unless you have accepted Christ as your personal Savior. 

It is not through works that gain us a place in heaven but through believing that Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to get there. If you don't like that message, I guess you'll have to take it up with Jesus because He is the one, that claims that in John 14: 6 "Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." 

That is our ONLY guaranteed. Anything else is simply fooling ourselves that when we get to the end of this life, we will get to go to Heaven. 

So I would encourage you as a believer in Christ, we will ALL go through trials and tribulations, persecution, because of who we believe in. The only difference between our struggles and those of unbelievers is we have HOPE in ours. We know no matter how difficult things get we still have Jesus on our side. He will get us through it. If not on this side, then when we make it to our heavenly home. 

It might be a good time to ensure you aren't fulfilling your role as a Secret Agent Christian. Perhaps you don't want to "rock the boat" but trust me, time is running short. We need to stand firm, rooted in the truth of what God tells us, and if we are willing to do that, trust me, the world will let you know. 

Let's make sure we are bearing much fruit in our lives for God's glory. 

It is His goal that NONE shall perish and that ALL will come to know Him. Isn't time to make that choice today if you haven't and have come upon this message today. 

You didn't wind up here by chance. 

God had a purpose for you finding your way here. 

Don't leave today, without the eternal hope of knowing where you'll be spending your eternity. 

Trust me, there are two places where you will wind up. 

Either Heaven, my preference for everyone. 

Or Hell, and trust me, it's not going to be a party place for you and all your crazy friends. It will be a place of torment and punishment. There is no way out once you find yourself there. 

Ready to make a change? 

It's simple. 

God will hear you when you speak. It's simply a gift He's willing to extend to you. No matter what you've done in your life, God can erase it all and give you freedom from your sin. 

Ask Him into your life. Tell Him to make Himself known to You. 

Tell Him you're a sinner and need His forgiveness. 

Tell Him you believe His promises that He is the ONLY way to redemption and to show you the way. 

Tell Him you believe He is the Son of God who was sent here to die for your sins, to die on the cross for you as payment and was raised on the third day and now lives in Heaven at the right hand of God. 

Tell Him to keep you in His care and to show you a new life you can have to day. 

If you have done that and meant it with your heart, you are a NEW creation in Jesus Christ. 

I would encourage you to find a church and a friend who is a believer and let them know so they can help you on your way to learning more about where you'll be spending an eternity now. Welcome to the family!!

Feel free to share this message with anyone who needs it. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mirror Mirror On the Wall....

Who hasn't heard the famous quote from the wicked queen in the Disney animated movie, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves? Looking back, I wonder how many times a day the queen went to the mirror in search of answers. Yet far too often as our own lives grow far too complicated, we search for answers to what is happening in our lives in different sources. Some seek advice from parents or grandparents, looking for some sage advice from their personal experience through life's storms. Others search for answers in books, online radio programs, call in shows or even close personal friends looking for some professional help to their crisis. Some reach out into the great beyond through social media sites, preferring to remain anonymous but still looking for the right answer. Yet how many fail to go to the one source of information that can truly solve almost anything we walk through, God through prayer or through His written word in the Bible?

Is it because we don't "see" God so we think He can't personally know what we are going through?

Is it because you think He's simply too busy handing some crisis in the world and can't be bothered to discuss what is troubling you?

Is it because we honestly don't believe God can help?

Or are we willing to take any advice just to help us weather the storm so we can make it frantically to the otherside with hopefully something of ourselves left intact?

I've heard a quote that our first response to any situation should be immediately to drop to our knees in prayer and then wait patiently for an answer. God has the most unique ways of "speaking to us." Sometimes it comes in the form of an unexpected phone call from a friend offering advice on just what we need to hear. Sometimes its in the form of lyrics to a song that just comes on the radio or a program we are watching. Other times He doesn't speak at all right away.

It's in those times, we think, He doesn't hear us.

I guess I need to go this one alone.

But He isn't saying that at all.

The most difficult response to our prayer besides No, when we were hoping for a "Yes" is simply to wait.

It's true! Waiting is the hardest part because we don't know how long God will ask us to wait. Will it be a few minutes. We can do that!

Will it be a couple of days?

Hmm, that one might be difficult but we can do it.

But what about a couple weeks? A month? A couple of years?

Are you feeling the stress just thinking about those responses? Then you're just like me.

Funny thing is when we seek God's help in prayer far too often we take back our petitions thinking God must want us to handle this problem on our own. Yet often times it doesn't turn out the way we had hoped. It would have been better at times if we simply waited. But waiting is hard to do.

Lately I've had to sit back and watch my friends, family and even strangers struggle with their own storms. It's hard not being able to help them or even to provide advice, but I do pray for them. I pray for them in case they haven't. I pray because I serve a God who understands ANYTHING we are going through. I pray for my own peace to understand and gain strength so I might be able to help them.

Life is tough. 

We weren't designed to go through it alone.

We all need help, but how often do we fail to ask for it?

Is is simply too much to call a friend and ask for support? For a shoulder to cry on? For a sympathetic ear to listen to what is going on in our life?

Let us leave pride behind and simply reach out more.

Let us be the hands and feet of Christ.

Let us be that light reflecting back to those in the shadows and show them the true love of Christ.

Let us leave our judging attitudes and comments behind and offer a support to those who are barely hanging on.

Let us change the way we see ourselves when we look into that mirror of life. Let us find Christ looking back at us with love, compassion, hope and understanding.

By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life. Psalm 42:8 NIV

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Is Today Your Last Day on Earth?

What would you do if Jesus Christ was returning today at 3pm. Something tells me that we'd all be looking our best at 2:45pm. Then why aren't we? What are we waiting for?

Reading all these posts about Bible Prophecy will do no good if we aren't willing to change. We are missing the point.
Revelation 19: 11-17 " I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white hourse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on Him that no one know but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Out his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter. He treads the wine press with his fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS." (NIV)

The second coming of Jesus Christ will be public and seen by all-unlike the surprise rapture of the church which takes place in the twinkling of an eye. There will be no question that you are witnessing the return of Jesus Christ.

This will be accompanied by sadness and weeping. There will be mourning in Jerusalem and throughout Israel that the Jews will realize that Jesus Christ really was their Messiah.

Zachariah 12:10, " And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a first born son."

Jesus Christ comes before judgment with the rapture of the church prior to the beginning of the Tribulation, while He comes with judgment when He returns to earth in His Second Coming. In the rapture He comes for His people, and in the Second Coming, He comes with His people.

Looking back at the description of Jesus Christ when we see Him at the Second Coming, his eyes are blazing, He is wearing many crowns, and His robe is dipped in blood.

His eyes blazing with fire, represent His power, His glory, His holiness and His wrath.

His many crowns signifies that He alone is ruler of all the universe.

The robe dipped in blood, signifies the price He paid when He died to save us all from our sins.

Yet Jesus is not coming alone. The scripture states that the armies of heaven are coming with Him. Who are these armies?

Jude 14: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones..." (NIV)

So who are the His holy ones? Colossians 3:4, "For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory."

It is speaking of those of us that believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God. We are the ones that will be accompanying Him. We will all get to see the Holy Land from ring side seats, so if we never get to go during our human lifetime, we will get the ultimate Holy Land tour when we return with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

So what should we be doing in the meantime?

1. Watching for Him - We are to be aware that Jesus could come at any minute. We need to be aware of the signs of the times.

2. Being Ready to Go - We need to make sure that if Jesus came back at any minute, would we be embarrassed or ashamed at where He would find us or what we are doing? If the answer to that is yes, then don't do it.

3. Be Anxiously Awaiting - Do not fear this coming of the Lord, but be excited, joyful and filled with hope. If you have any anxiety, fear or dread, perhaps something isn't right in your spiritual life.

If you aren't 100% guaranteed that your passport to Heaven has your name assigned to it, it's not too late, but you may not have a second change to make this decision. Are you ready to accept God? As a believer, are you ready to recommit your life to serving Him with the time we have left?

Christians. It's time to get right or get left. Ready? Pray this prayer!

Lord Jesus,

Come into my life!
I know that I am a sinner!
I thank You for dying on the cross for me and rising again from the dead.
Now fill me up with Your Spirit and write my name in Your Book of Life,
and help me follow You all the days of my life.
Thank you that my sins are forgiven and that I am now going to heaven.
In Jesus Name I pray! ~ AMEN!

If you just prayed that prayer, you are a new creation and a believer in Jesus Christ. This is the reason for His delaying of the rapture of the church. You will now be part of that ultimate family reunion and I can't wait to welcome you when I see you!

Join me tomorrow when we will look at what happens when Jesus begins His wrath here on Earth, you don't want to miss it!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Worry Got You Down Today?

Worries, everyone has them. We worry about whether or not today will be a good day or a bad day, whether that choice is the right one to make or the wrong one, we worry about our jobs, our financial situations, our families, our children, our health, the weather. As you can see, we almost worry every single day. Yet, is it possible to go without worry for a day? Just how do you weather the storm when worry begins to rear it's ugly head?

Let's define worry: To torment one's own self.

Hmmm, kinda harsh to hear huh? I bet when people call you on that bad day when worry is running rampant all over your day, they didn't expect to hear that you're tormenting yourself did they? Yet if you really think long and hard about it, that is just what worry is. We are imagining all the horrible outcomes of any particular situation we find ourselves dealing with. The doctor called and left us a message to call us right away about the results of a test. What do we do immediately? We start the worry game. What if it's bad? I mean if it was good, wouldn't they just say so? What if I am going to die? What if ....what if.....what if.... Oh I am sure you can fill in the blank with any number of things.

What worry really is, is making a down payment on a problem we may never have. It never solves anything, it just sets out to torture and torment us. It has absolutely nothing to do with faith. Want to know the real reason we worry?

We worry because we actually think WE can solve our problems. We can fix it. We can solve it.

Let's look at the story of Mark 4:35 - 40 to see how we can win against worry.

"That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, "Let us go over to the other side." Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?"

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?"

This portion of scripture deals with telling us how to deal with storms and what we need to be doing in the middle of them. We know how it all turns out. Mark 5:1, "They went across the lake..."

They didn't get stuck in the middle with no way out. Jesus took them through the storm and out the other side. He wasn't worried what was going to happen, because His confidence, and trust was with His Father. He knew He would take care of them all.

Yet how often in the middle of the storm do we feel like the disciples, calling out to Jesus and asking Him, "God! Don't you care?" Doesn't it feel like a silence has settled in our lives at that moment in time, no matter how much we pray it often feels like God is asleep, like He isn't at work in our lives???

So what do we do when we don't feel like God is listening or working on things? We worry! We ask advice from others, who often times, don't know how to solve their own problems.

We need to run to the throne and not to the phone!!! It's one thing to believe in Jesus, but it's another thing to put our faith to work. We need to believe the best in all our circumstances. God has wonderful things for us. We need to start living like we believe it and start accepting it.

God has given us peace, we just need to thank Him for it. Ask Him to show you what's getting in the way of receiving it. God wants us to lean on Him. When we try to tackle our problems ourselves, we get frustrated.

Now it's time to win. Starting today, make a declaration that you will not worry! No matter how many times the enemy throws more stuff at us to worry about. Instead of spending time worrying about things, start spending time in God's word and learning about His promises for you as His child, and His heir. Read it out loud to quiet those thoughts we are having on the inside.

Humans are the only species that worry. Pigs don't worry, trees don't worry, fish don't worry, birds don't worry. Yet we are the most intelligent species and we torment ourselves by worrying.

Matthew 6:25, "Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes?" Do not, can be translated as STOP!

When you begin to worry, tell yourself out loud, STOP IT! I'm not going to waste my energy on that!! Go and pray and lay it at God's feet and then go do something that will take your mind off it and makes you feel better.

Remember how long we remain in the storm is up to us, what we chose to do while in the middle of it. No matter how long it takes, God will bring us through it. We are one day, one minute, one second closer to getting to the top of our mountain then where we were one day, one minute, one second ago. He will never leave us or forsake us. Turn to Him! Remember the promises of Galatians 6:9 - "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up!"

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Game of Life

In our short time we exist from birth to death, we all have a series of crossroads and detours, choices and consequences that each of us must face. We are all like players in a variety of games as we move through our lives.

We all have a beginning, the moment when we inhaled our first, sweet fragrance of our birth, life began for us. Second by second, minute by minute, day after day and finally year upon year, we take a series of steps. Some bold, others more cautious. We seem to have an inherent reason to move forward, to not linger too long in any one place, and even a few times take a fall backwards.

Much like the board games we've all played, our lives parallel those in so many ways, perhaps none more so than the Game of Life. We are the pink or blue peg in the colored vehicle of our choice. We can choose what clothes we wear, how much to share with others through our words and our meetings, even where we work, go to school, or wear our hair. Our car is our outward body people see when they encounter us.

We all come to the proverbial forks in the road at different times requiring a choice to be made. When we decide our route, sometimes the choice isn't the right one or even one we had hoped for. We face life's challenges, a loss of a job, divorce, substance or physical abuse, and even ultimately in some extreme cases when to end our own game. Sometimes we are rewarded as well.

God becomes our spinner - counting off our steps 1- 10. He provides the direction, but the choice to stay in the game and move, or simply quit is up to us. Not all games have a winner in life, ours is but to journey on and finish. Not just to become a pink peg in a blue car and wonder, is that all there is, in our final moments. We are always hoping our paths will be carefree, fun, and worry-free. If every game became that easy to finish, why would you even want to play it?

Aren't these games suppose to strengthen us, make us better people, more filled with knowledge and wisdom that only staying in the game creates?

Life sometimes for some involves a Monopoly. Their main goal is to start off strong, learn ways to succeed along the way, stay ahead of the pack and ultimately win it all. Yet if you look at the bigger picture, the winner is only happy one. All the others are resentful at what his actions have cost them. Some are jealous it wasn't them. Some wonder why they bothered to play. Sacrifices are made during the game, by the winner, just to stay in it. The happiness for the winner is only temporary however, the people he had to walk over to get where he is, no longer want to be around him. He has nothing to offer anyone except, money or the stuff money can buy. This is where he feels he has to buy his way out or for someone to notice him.

Chances in life happen randomly along the way - some good, some bad; but when you land on the space you have to take the card and deal with the outcome. You don't get to opt out.

Life doesn't offer the opportunity to try it again if it doesn't come out like you want. Sure, you can get another job, move to another house, get married to someone else, but the playing piece remains the same. Once you start your game - there is no starting over at the beginning. What your life is at that point, is the experience you've gained along the way. How you apply it to your life is entirely up to you. Good or bad, we're all playing.

Some play fair, others prefer to cheat, yet ultimately how you finish will determine the type of character you have, what you value in it all, and who you've impacted along the way.

There are NO real cheat codes to help you avoid the pitfalls and failures that WILL come, but taking time to weigh out our decisions carefully before acting on them, may make the road a little less difficult to climb. Sometimes I just don't think that most of us get it, until the end draws closer. We look back with regrets on the opportunities we let slip away. Whether out of fear, indecision or perhaps even someone else telling us to go a different way - what lies ahead at the end and some of the journey along the way remains to be seen and is our walk of faith.

Without faith, we will remain stuck on the same space, losing turn after tun, while everyone else passes us by. Yet we will complain that it's always someone else's fault.

Our game of life is ours, and solely ours to play. How will you choose to see yours finish? With a life filled with regrets, should haves, and what ifs? Or will yours be filled with faith filled adventures everyday, and that you are happy with what you have achieved and the lives of the people you have met along the way?

Remember in the end, all the pieces go back in the box.