Thursday, December 18, 2008

God is Not Dead

About the time of my Introduction Post, when I was in the throes of depression over the future of our country, these words kept running through my head: “God is not dead, nor doth He sleep". I knew they were from a hymn but couldn't remember which one. So I "googled" it. When it came up with the answer and it was part of a Christmas carol I decided to wait until now to write about it. Now I wish I could make the music play automatically when you click on my blog, but I do not know how. Other people do that and, honestly, I hate being subjected to their musical choices, but it seems to me like it would be appropriate here. On the other hand, what if I could never get it off again? That would be annoying! So, if you want to listen to the music and/or see all of the words, here is the link:

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

By now I must admit I don't remember what it was I wanted to say about it. I do know this has never been anywhere close to my favorite Christmas song, but I like the words in this stanza:
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”
RIGHT PREVAIL! Those words helped me get past my feelings about Obama.
I still feel the same about Obama, I just don't care anymore. No matter what Obama does GOD IS NOT DEAD, NOR DOTH HE SLEEP! THE WRONG SHALL FAIL, THE RIGHT PREVAIL! Amen.

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Galations 6:7

Monday, December 15, 2008

Silent Night

I was laying in bed, unable to sleep, thinking about the fact that I have not "blogged" for so long. And I was thinking about the fact that the stated purpose of this blog is to share what God has been teaching me, because there had been so much. And so, I thought, if I haven't written, does that mean that God has been silent?

No, God has not been silent. But I have not been taking the time to listen. I am busy with "the season" as most everyone is. There has been one small jewel in the midst of my busy-ness.

As I said earlier, I have been thinking a lot about "the Rapture". That thinking includes talking some about it with my kids. So one day recently Anna told me that she thinks Jesus is going to come back on Christmas. At the time she said it it struck me in many ways - among them the fact that a 7 year old is thinking about the return of her Jesus, the fact that she "gets it". But for whatever reason I didn't have time to really THINK about it much when she said it. It was filed in my brain, thankfully not in the basket labelled "get to it eventually" but in the basket labelled something like "take care of this soon". The thought continually makes its way to the front of my brain and I think about it, but only for extremely short bits of time.

A few days ago the thought resurfaced, followed by something like this:

"What if Jesus really was going to come back on Christmas? What would I be doing differently?
How ironic that I am wondering what I would do differently if I knew Jesus was coming back on Christmas because, in fact, he DID come on Christmas but I don't see any reverence for that fact in my actions."

That's all. I have to admit I am still caught up in things I want to get done before Christmas. I want to take time to follow that thought out, to meditate on it, to get right before God. Perhaps now is the time, seeing as it's 1:30 a.m. and I am awake.

"Silent Night. Holy Night. Son of God. Loves pure light." God is not silent. But I think maybe He wants ME to be silent for awhile.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Personal Note...

...and a request for advice.

Two days before Thanksgiving, while picking Ethan up from preschool, it dawned on me that the family of one his classmates might be alone for the holiday. They only have 1 child, so it would be just the 3 of them. I asked and, sure enough, they had planned for a quiet holiday. I apologized for not thinking of them sooner and asked the mother if they would like to join us. She said she would talk to her husband about it. When I called the next day she said they were going to go ahead with their dinner at home (she had already thawed the turkey) but suggested they come over to visit after dinner. I agreed that that would be great, gave her directions to our house, and we agreed that we would talk the next day after our dinners.

She called me on Thanksgiving just as we were sitting down to dinner. I SHOULD have suggested they come over in an hour but for some reason I said I would call her back when we were finished. Well, dinner came and went; so did dessert, conversation and games. Guests left and Eric and I went to the kitchen to clean up about 8:30. It hit me then: I had completely forgotten to call her back. I called immediately, but what could I really say? I had forgotten them and that is all I could say. I apologized profusely. I could tell from her voice that they were really hurt. I don't blame them one bit for being hurt. Their 4 year old daughter had been looking forward to playing with her friend from school. What could they have told her?

I called her again on Sunday to see if they might want to come over. (That had been discussed before as a possibility.) I was told they were busy. I rather expected that.

Ethan went back to preschool yesterday. I debated whether or not to tell him about the mess I had made but decided not to. I don't think he could process the information correctly and I was afraid he might make the mess worse. When I picked him up from school he said "Ellen booed me today." I immediately told him what I had done and explained that Ellen had her feelings hurt by me. Today when we picked him up Anna asked "Did Ellen boo you again?" and he said "Yes." I suggested that he should tell Ellen that his Mom forgot to call and that we are really, really sorry. I don't think he will do that, although I can never be sure.

Does anyone have any suggestions of something I could do to make up for the mess I've made? I've been thinking and thinking about it but I am pretty much coming up blank. How would I feel if the roles were reversed? Pretty awful, and not in the mood to do anything with the offender. If nothing ever gets fixed I guess it won't be the end of the world - after the year of preschool is done we won't ever have to see Ellen or her family again. But 6 months seems like a long time for a little girl to be reminded of how she and her family were hurt, and a long time for my son to endure being "booed" by the girl who was his best friend in class.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Rapture

I have been thinking a lot in recent months about The Rapture. Many years ago there was a man who wrote a lot of books about end times prophecies; his name was Arthur Bloomfield. You can read a quick biography of him here. My Mom and I have been talking about end times and when we do Mom often refers to something out of one of Mr. Bloomfield's books because we trust his teaching. Mom has been re-reading the books lately and she recommended I pull out my copy of Mr. Bloomfield's book Signs of His Coming and read about it for myself. I did and I was really excited by something which I will attempt to share here.

Over the past 6 months I have experienced and read about disillusionment with the church. Christians are not happy with the church and so are leaving or contemplating leaving. There are books about it, people are blogging about it and talking about it. I have wondered where it would lead - this exodus of people from church bodies. And in what seemed to be unrelated thoughts I have wondered how Christians could be deceived in the end times. Here is the answer, all wrapped up and tied with a bow for me! I will quote Mr. Bloomfield:

"He (Jesus) had to warn Christians who would take heed not to be deceived by
the many new teachers that would come preaching the truths that were designed
for the church. The churches are not ready for what is coming on the world. They know a little area of truth which they repeat over and over again. There is a little circle of knowledge containing a few basic truths and a few Bible stories which are monotonously repeated year after year to the exclusion of all the rest of the Bible. It is the part of the Bible that has been left out of our thinking that is important today.

Possibly one-third of the Bible is prophecy. This is a large amount to leave out of our consideration, but when this part becomes vital because of world conditions, its omission creates a vacuum and false teachers rush in."

"The strength of false religions is the failure of the church to teach the whole Bible. Church people are not ready for the events of the end of this age. Yet when these events come suddenly upon us, we will not have time to instruct our own people. False teachers will have a field day and will deceive many."

What I see is that many Christians have left/are leaving/will leave the church. As the world gets crazier and crazier everyone will look for answers to the many problems they are faced with. I can see new churches cropping up - churches that will assuage all of the complaints Christians have with the current churches. The new churches probably will seem wonderful AND they preach about end times - explaining what is going on and lulling us into a false sense of security. I again quote Mr. Bloomfield:
"Preaching the second coming of Christ will be very common because of the things that are happening. A great number of sensational prophecies will be fulfilled. But the end is not yet.

Then the world will settle back into its former indifference and even skepticism with the taunt, "Where is the promise of His coming?" He did not come when they all thought He would, when everybody was thinking about it. Now it seems that all things are continuing as they always have, and the greater part of the church will dismiss the subject from its mind and teaching, and set about its supposed task of making the world a better place in which to live. It is when they think not, that the Son of man cometh."

Hebrews 10:25 says "not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

Stay in the church Christians! It is not perfect, but if you leave you will set yourself up to believe the lies that will come. Be a light within the church! And study the scriptures so that you will be able to distinguish truth from lie. I believe the time of the Rapture is close - be ready!

In Christ's Love,

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have some things I want to write about, but just do not have the time. Perhaps over the weekend. HOPEFULLY!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Brutally Honest

Thank goodness I write. Not HERE, but in a "real", paper journal. (With a REAL fountain pen, I must add. I love fountain pens!) Thank goodness because I have been learning so much. None of what I am learning is NEW, just new to me in the sense that He is becoming reality rather than just words in a book. And because I am learning, because I am seeking to know God and actually be obedient rather than just have knowledge, Satan has apparently felt it necessary to step in and get me off track. And let me tell you, Satan has been successful. But as I weakly try to pull myself out of the pit I have been dwelling in for the past week and a half, this morning I went back and read something I wrote on November 6th - the last day before the storm struck inside of me. And while what I wrote was true then, it was more helpful today. So I will share some of what I wrote and attempt to communicate what it means to me.

"God tells me to be a reservoir that He can fill with His strength and power and blessing so that it is readily available to the thirsty." I love this idea. I WANT to be someone through whom non-believers can see Jesus. I would love it if I could get to the point that people come to me with questions about God. (Of course I would also want to be fully ready to answer their questions!)

"If you have but a little, I will multiply it." I have "but a little". That's okay, God will multiply it!

"He will fill me so full of His Spirit that His water will overflow from me and give life to those around me!" Awesome, I truly believe God is going to do this in me.

"I want to be that vessel. I want all of the garbage that is currently in me dumped out so that there is room for overflowing abundance of the Holy Spirit." Ugh. Here comes the brutal honesty.

I am full of garbage. It is a dark, swirling, deep pool of junk. Some of it boiled up to the surface last week. Thank God for my sister-in-law, known here as "R", who kindly, graciously, wonderfully, stepped in and saved my kids from my ugliness. I wish I knew what all of the junk inside of me is. I think I wish that. Maybe I don't really want to know. The part that I can identify at this point is selfishness. I want what I want when I want it, how I want it, where I want it. For me that generally means I want everyone to either take care of themselves or go away. I am not a care-giver. I do not want to be a care-giver. I do not enjoy being a care-giver. So why on earth did I have kids? God knows, and I hope that at some point I will too. I had to leave my kids with R for a couple of days so that I could wallow in my selfishness and try to cool down. I wish I could say that I was on my knees seeking God but I was not. I was in no mood to be told what I should be doing. I wanted to wallow.

I have felt the garbage swirling inside me - almost physically. At times I have wanted to give in and just get sucked under. But somewhere inside of my head I knew that God wanted to help me out of it. I had just enough strength to get through the days robotically. Well finally today I went weakly back to the Lord. I re-read what I wrote on November 6th. I see a picture in my mind in which I am a big oak barrel. The barrel is, of course, full of nasty smelly garbage. I think it has to be described as sewage rather than garbage, because it is liquid and it is swirling. I believe God has poured a bit of His Holy Spirit into my barrel. It has gone to the bottom and pushed some of the sewage (my selfishness) to the top. I can envision Him pouring more and more of His Spirit into my barrel. That will force more of the sewage to overflow out of the barrel. Frightening to think what else needs to surface. HUGELY frightening. But as that nasty sewage spills out it will be replaced by the pleasant, peaceful, wonderful water of the Holy Spirit. And that is something I look forward to.

On a lighter note: Isn't it funny that I see myself as an oak barrel? The Bible often refers to us as "vessels of clay", but I am an oak barrel. I wonder what that means? If anything.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

I want to share something my Bible Study leader pointed out this week. It is a whole new way of looking at something in the Bible and, I hope you will agree, it is an awesome testament to God's love. It comes from Psalm 73, which I will include here:

Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart.

But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold.
For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong.
They are free from the burdens common to man; they are not plagued by human
Therefore pride is their necklace; they clothe themselves with
From their callous hearts come iniquity; the evil conceits of their minds
know no limits.
They scoff, and speak with malice; in their arrogance they threaten
Their mouths lay claim to heaven, and their tongues take possession of the
Therefore their people turn to them and drink up waters in abundance.
They say, "How can God know? Does the Most High have knowledge?"

This is what the wicked are like - always carefree, they increase in

Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in
All day long I have been plagued; I have been punished every

If I had said, "I will speak thus," I would have betrayed your
When I tried to understand all this, it was oppressive to me
till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final

Surely you place them on slippery ground; you cast them down to ruin.
How suddenly are they destroyed, completely swept away by terrors!
As a dream when one awakes, so when you arise, O Lord, you will despise
as fantasies.

When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and
I was a brute beast before you.

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into
Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and
my portion forever.

Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful
to you.
But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my
I will tell of all your deeds.

I have read this passage before. In fact, much of it is underlined in my Bible. In the past I have looked at it sort of from the angle that eventually God would take revenge on the wicked. ("I was a brute beast before you".) But here is the new perspective my Bible Study leader brought to me: God wants to bless the "wicked" (anyone who hasn't accepted Jesus as Saviour) while they are here. He loves them SO MUCH, and He knows that when they die they will be separated from Him forever, so He says "I just want to give them all the good things I can while they are on earth." Now I know this runs the risk of sounding a bit heretical. I am not putting this forth as a new teaching or an interpretation that says "you were wrong before, this is what is really means". But just think about it a bit. We know that God does love EVERYONE. John 3:16: "For God so loved THE WORLD" - everyone. Romans 5:8: "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." God doesn't just love us after we accept the gift of salvation, He loves us BEFORE we accept the gift. He loves the people who NEVER accept the gift. He knows they will not accept His gift and will, therefore, be apart from Him forever. So what if He wants to show them a bit of His goodness while they are here? Think of it as God saying to you "Rest assured, you are going to be with Me forever and I will give you blessings throughout eternity. But now, for this small, finite period of time, I want to give blessing to the others whom I also love but who do not love Me and will not be with Me in eternity."

For me, this thought process does two things. 1) It shows me in a new way the breadth of God's love; and, 2) It helps me to be less envious of the material things others have. "The wicked" may have lots of things I wish I had, but I have this:

"Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.
You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. "

In Christ's love,

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


For a lot of different reasons I pulled my old blog. I'm thinking of writing again, but with a different focus. Okay, I didn't actually have a "focus" before, I just wrote about whatever I felt like writing about. My very last post was about things God had been teaching me. It was up a short time before I shut the whole thing down. If I write again it will be focused on things God is teaching me. I may, however, intersperse it with pictures and a few personal stories because this is the best medium I have to share with my family who, sadly, live far away. I have been struggling with this - the idea of writing or not writing. I have found that I enjoy writing, although it takes time that I fear should be used for other things. So... I'm going to write today, and I will begin with one reason why I think maybe I should write:

"Write those things I say to you. Write and hold back nothing of all I shall say to you. For I shall speak to you in the darkness and shall make your way a path of light." I read this in "Come Away My Beloved" by Frances J. Roberts. (Other quotes interspersed throughout this post are from the same book.) This book, at this time in my life, is amazing and it feels like God wrote it just for me. (I have heard that several other people are reading it right now also and feeling the same about it.) It is full of reassurance that God will care for me DESPITE what may happen around me.

So here is how I feel today about what is going on around me:

I am in mourning for our country. I believe Obama will lead our country further down the path of evil that we have chosen. Nevertheless, God has said "My purposes will be fulfilled in spite of your weaknesses." and "You will walk in a way of victory though turmoil is on either hand." I feel as though America as a Christian nation died yesterday. But God was not surprised by this and, in fact, it is part of his plan for the history of the world. And so, while I mourn the death of the country I loved, I am working to come to grips with what God tells me about the government:

Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgement on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God's servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. Romans 13:1-5 TNIV

I have to confess, I fear. My mind runs through many scenarios of our future and I fear. But God has told me over and over again NOT to fear, to trust in Him, to lean hard upon Him. In fact, as I review some of the rich treasure He has given to me lately I find this: "Resist the pressures that would project you into conjectures about the future." And as I write I received an e-mail from my Mom saying God led her today to John 14:27 which says "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." And finally, last night I read this: "Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble." Psalm 119:165. So though I fear, I will trust in Him. And I have to admit that even in the midst of the fear there is a bit of excitement at the prospect of watching God work in amazing ways.

I will write when I can, but certainly not daily. If you are reading this, please "stop by" and say hello. ONE reason for ceasing the earlier blog was that it felt like I was talking to myself. Let me know if that is not the case.

In Christ's love,