Apr 25, 2015

The Gateway to Hell - Millennium Bible Study Part 9

Abigail and Dolley readers we just don't hear about Hell much anymore at least not from a Biblical perspective.  Hollywood produces tons of demonic and satanic "epic battle" films.  A recent example is the Seventh Son, released in February 2015.  It is about a portal opening and evil coming out in at the red moon.  We've been inundated with movies that give a glimpse of things to come, after all, when the world goes crazy, people will remember the plots they saw in movies and readily accept the new reality.  From Aliens, to Zombies, to Shape Shifters, to Super Humans, to the Apocalypse the world has been fed a steady diet of Hell on Earth.  There is coming a time, when there will indeed be Hell on Earth and people will readily receive the lies.

Hell is a real place, Jesus told the story of the rich man and Lazarus which is the most straight forward presentation of Hell in the Scriptures.  The basics of Hell are thus:  Prior to the cross, there was a Paradise section of Sheol where the righteous abide until Christ, after His death, He went and got them and took them to Heaven.   There is a torment section of Sheol or Hades is where the unrighteous and the wicked remain today.  Every unbeliever that has died in the church age have consigned themselves to this place of fire, sulfur, and eternal damnation.  The Paradise section is empty.  At the end of the Millennium, at the Great White Throne Judgement, Hades will give up its dead and all will face the final judgement.  Those not found in the Lamb's book of life will be cast forever into the Lake of Fire.

During the Millennium, there will be a literal gateway to Hell where men will look upon those who have transgressed against the Lord.  Isaiah 66:22-24 "For just as the new heavens and the new earth Which I make will endure before Me," declares the LORD, "So your offspring and your name will endure. And it shall be from new moon to new moon And from sabbath to sabbath, All mankind will come to bow down before Me," says the LORD. "Then they will go forth and look On the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm will not die And their fire will not be quenched; And they will be an abhorrence to all mankind."

You do not have to go there, you can repent of your sins and accept Christ today.  I beg of you, do not send yourself to this terrible place!

Blogger Widgets

Apr 23, 2015

No Last Tribes and the Regathering of Israel

Abigail and Dolley readers at some point in the future, all of the Jews will return to Israel; the Lord Himself will gather them back after the mighty miracle of Ezekiel 38/39.

This begun in the 1880's and continues today in accordance with Isaiah 11:11-12. And in that day the Lord shall again lift up His hand a second time to recover (acquire and deliver) the remnant of His people which is left, from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Pathros, from Ethiopia, from Elam [in Persia], from Shinar [Babylonia], from Hamath [in Upper Syria], and from the countries bordering on the [Mediterranean] Sea.  And He will raise up a signal for the nations and will assemble the outcasts of Israel and will gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. Note that the Scripture says that He will regather them a second time, the first being after their 70 year captivity in Babylon.  Many will say, "Yes, but the Northern Kingdom was lost 200 years before so the first regathering was of the Southern Kingdom."  Is this an accurate statement?  Are there really Lost Tribes of Israel?

DNA Does Not Lie:
In the last 15 years, the scientific advances in DNA testing and gene mapping have produced startling findings among scattered populations.  Some tests seems to suggest that an ancient line of Aaron has been found in India and testing of rabbis worldwide seem to all have the same unique genetic markers. An aggressive form of breast cancer has revealed hidden Jews in New Mexico who fled the Spanish Inquisition.

Apr 18, 2015

The Time Span of the Bible - Millennial Bible Study Part 1

Hi Friends!  The Lord has seen fit to lead me into a few insights recently.  I attempted to compile them all into one post but it was a discombobulated mess that seemed to go on for days!  Most of this is new territory for me and perhaps it will be for you, so I've decided to break this up into bite size parts.  Hopefully, this will allow us to spend the appropriate time, reference the applicable Scriptures, and let the Word of God accomplish what it will in our lives.  I'm excited to explore ideas, avenues and truths that are not your common Bible study fare and have not been exhausted, even among eschatology enthusiasts.  I will try to site Scriptures where new ideas are represented or to provide interesting context, I won't go into an exhaustive study on the basic doctrine.

The Period of the Bible:

Have you ever wondered about the war in Heaven when the Devil and his angels fell?  Have you ever wondered who or what demons are?  Have you ever wondered what we are going to be doing for eternity?  Have you ever contemplated why we don't have that information?

Here is a clear spiritual truth:  The Bible is specific to this 7000 year period of man on Earth.

That's it, no more, no less - we don't know much about what God was doing before the Earth was created and we don't know much about eternity after the Millennium.

Apr 17, 2015

Two Jerusalems? - Millennial Bible Study Part 2

Long term Abigail and Dolley readers will know that we love Bible Prophecy here.  We need to encourage one another and reassure our troubled souls that these days might be dark but there is a plan and there is a God and we do not lose.  But let's be frank, have you ever thought, "What the heck is going on at the end of the Book of Revelation?"  I have!

Here's today's big spiritual truth:  In the Book of Revelations, there are two cities named Jerusalem.

Like York and New York, they are different places!  New Jerusalem and Jerusalem aka the Holy City and hereafter referred to as such - they are not always specified in the text which is which, so the reader has to know the context and the differences to determine which place is being referred to in which passage.  Understanding the similarities and differences make that task easier.  So here goes:

Apr 16, 2015

How God Speaks Through the Ages - Millennial Bible Study Part 3

Hi Friends!  This is the Third Part of an ongoing study, I invite you come along while we look at the way God relates to people through the ages.

Our big spiritual truth in this lesson is:  The sealing and indwelling of the Holy Spirit is unique in all the ages and is reserved exclusively for the Church.

The Old Testament:
Pillar of Fire around the Tabernacle
God related to the Jews in the Old Testament through the prophets but also by direct contact, he poured out His Power in miraculous signs, wonders, and pillars of fire.  He spoke to the people from the Heavens (and scared them to near to death Exodus 19:19) so much so that they asked that He not do it anymore and speak through Moses, Exodus 20:19.

Christians often sit in judgment when they read about the failure of Israel in the Old Testament, but we have to consider that these people did not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes they would be temporary used by the Spirit (1 Samuel 11:6) but they were not indwelt, they couldn't be without the sanctification of the blood of Christ.  David, a man after God's own heart, had the Spirit on him but not in him. (1 Samuel 16:13).

Apr 15, 2015

Redeemer of the Bread

Abigail and Dolley readers bakers will tell you, that once you learn the science of bread baking, it becomes an art.  The nuisance of flour, water, yeast, humidity, and temperature insure that no loaf of bread is identical.   Much like the daily walk of faith, we experience the richness of our lives in the variety of the bread.   We bake a lot of bread around here; the theme of bread is spread through the Scripture.   Bible believing Christians should reject the evolutionary theory diets and consider the wholesome and heady art of homemade bread; we've never looked back.

From a Biblical perspective, the rule of first mention finds the term to be one of struggle to feed.  Genesis 3:19 is where God is passing sentence on mankind and the earth for the fall.  The context of bread is that it will cause man to sweat to eat it, toil and hardship from the ground.  The world suffers from hunger and toil; the soil is cursed because of the fall.  The Hebrew word is Lechem and means bread, food, grain but the root word of Lacham means to fight and to do battle.  We also have Unleavened Bread with first mention in Genesis 19:3 of the word Matshsah, in context, Lot is hosting the two angels who have come to destroy Sodom and he feds them unleavened bread.  We also see Chametz in Exodus 12:15 used to describe unleavened bread and used in the same sentence as Matshsah.  Chametz has as it's root word Chamets which means to be cruel, sour, or red.  Manna in Exodus 16:15 from the Hebrew word Man which literally means, "What is it?" it's root word being Mah and is used the first time, when God says to Cain, "What have you done?" Genesis 4:10. Expanding further, we have Challah and Raquiyq as cakes and wafers introduced in Exodus 29:2 which was the consecrated bread of the priests.  For centuries, the Jews have celebrated the Passover Seder never realizing the Messianic significance of the breaking of the bread, the hidden bread broken and hidden away.  The matzah bread eaten on the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread is a symbol of the pierced, stripped, and broken body of Christ.  The process that Jewish bakers employ to insure there is absolutely no yeast or rising of the bread is heroic in its adherence to the law but yeast exists in the air, it grows on our bodies; it symbolizes sin.

Conversely, in the New Testament, the word is Artos which means bread or to eat – Matthew 4:4 the first mention being made by Satan, when he tempts the Lord to turn rocks into bread.  Christ quotes Deuteronomy 8:3 where the Hebrew word Lechem is used.  Jesus tells us he the bread of life, (John 6:35) that those who would partake of his sacrifice will live and reign with Him forever.   At the Last Supper, he took the bread and broke it, the giving it to his disciples and commanding them to partake in his body, broken for them.  After His resurrection, it was the breaking of the bread that revealed his identity to the two disciples that had walked with him on the road to Emmaus.  (Luke 24:30-31).

Where man has had to struggle since the fall under the weight of sin and death, Jesus Messiah's sacrifice did what no mere man could have ever done, He redeemed the bread.

To learn more about how Jews and Christians share in this celebration, I'd ask you to watch this video:

The Coming Temple - Millennial Bible Study Part 4

This is the 4th Study in a recent series that I've titled the Millennial Study, I'd invite you to study the first three as this blog builds on the work we've already done.

I am proposing four new ideas in this study:
  1. The Traditional location of the Temple is incorrect.
  2. There will be two more temples - The Tribulation Temple and the Millennial Temple.
  3. The Millennial Temple will descend from Heaven at the end of the Tribulation
  4. Jesus builds the Millennial Temple (Zechariah 6:12-14)
Solomon's Temple:
This is sometimes referred to as the first temple, built by King David's son Solomon.  Erected around 986 BC, it stood for about 400 years and was destroyed by the Babylonians as punishment for Israel's disobedience to the Lord.  (For more facts see The First Temple article)

Herod's Temple:
Often referred to as the second temple, this was built by King Herod the Great.  Built with permission from Rome, the temple was supposed to help pacify the Jews and make them easier to rule.  This is the temple that was in operation during Jesus time.  It is of note, that while God allowed the business of the Temple to move forward, He did not occupy this temple, nor did it container the Ark of the Covenant with the mercy seat.  Tradition holds that it was located on what today is called the Temple Mount, recent archaeological evidence, a reexamination of Scripture, and eye witness accounts from the first through the third century writing suggest that tradition is in error.  Before we continue, please watch the video below on this ground breaking discovery:

The implications of Robert Cornuke's recent discoveries are mind boggling and a perfect revelation for our time.  The Holy Spirit within me quickened to this video and a light bulb popped on when Cornuke points to Jesus Prophecy that no stone will be left standing, (Matthew 13:1-2) why have we as Christians thought that was to come?  Why have we not taken the Word of the Lord literally?  I believe it is because that was closed to us, like much of what is pouring out on the Body of Christ in these times.

Consider the irony of the Jews praying at a Roman wall instead of the Temple wall - God's chosen people, so blinded, are worshiping at a wall built by the spirit of Anti-Christ to dominate and control them.  For it is clear in prophetic scriptures that the city of the seven hills is Rome and will be home to the False Prophet during the Tribulation.  Perhaps this discovery will pave the way for the next Temple, not to be built beside the Dome of the Rock but either in Shiloh (where Ezekiel describes the Millennial Temple) or in the site they have uncovered in the Old City.  I cannot say, but it is absolutely clear in Scripture, that there is another temple coming.

Apr 13, 2015

The Ark of the Covenant is in Heaven - Millennial Bible Study Part 5

Abigail and Dolley readers in today's study, we are going to look at further Scriptural evidence for the ground we covered in Part 1 - 4.  As the eyes of my understanding have been opened, familiar words and Scriptures take on new meaning.  We've established a number of things mainly that there are two places named Jerusalem, that God makes both, and both come down from Heaven at the Second Coming and that the Jerusalem that exists today will be destroyed.  This study will look at references to the temple in the book of Revelation and shall elaborate and support the work we've already done.

Revelation 3:12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.. - In context, this Scripture is to the persecuted church at Philadelphia who is spared the hour of temptation upon the earth.  It seems those believers get their names carved on pillars in the temple that will come down from heaven.

Thank You Readers

Abigail and Dolley readers I want to take a moment to thank you for your faithful readership of this blog.  I know that many of you are visiting from the far reaches of the world and it is a humbling.  May the Lord bless you in your study and readership.  Please let me know if I can pray for you.

Apr 12, 2015

The Tribulation Saints - Millennial Bible Study Part 6

My heart has been troubled with thoughts of  the Tribulation Saints.  These people are probably alive right now and could even be reading these words, though I doubt it.

What is a Tribulation Saint?
  • A person who comes to Faith in Christ as the Messiah after the Rapture
  • Who stays faithful during the Tribulation (Matthew 24:13)
  • Who stays alive until the Second Coming 
Who could they be?
  • People who have heard the gospel and rejected it*
  • Those who never in their heart considered Christ
  • Those who have been deceived by a false religion. 
  • Some professed Christians who do not have a real relationship with the Redeemer. (Matthew 7:21-23)
*It is my belief that folks who have rejected the gospel may have a 10 day period to get right with the Lord.This is fleshed out in The Days of Awe.  Many unsaved people say they will wait, there is no hurry, they will come to Christ after the Rapture.  They are fools to count upon that chance, for the Word says those that have rejected the gospel will receive a powerful delusion. (2 Thessalonians 2:10-11)

The staying alive part is no easy task - the Scriptures lay out that most of the world's population will be killed during the Tribulation.

Psalm 27 is a perfect Scripture for those future Tribulation Saints.  It speaks of hiding from enemies, being separated even from mother and father, and depending on the Lord for protection.

Tribulation Saints will not have the assurance of eternal salvation - that in and of itself is horrifying but then add in the Tribulation and no one should desire to become a Tribulation Saint, martyred or otherwise.  These Tribulation believers are the 10 Virgins, who are given a bit of oil when they are saved but who are responsible for staying faithful.  (See: It's Not About the Church)

Once the church is Raptured, the age of Grace will end - no other group will ever have the "blessed assurance" that the church enjoys. (More on Tribulation and Millennial Salvation to come)

Tribulation Saints who are alive at the Second Coming will live on earth during the Millennium.  Their bodies will be restored and made healthy as man will once again attain pre-flood lifespans.  Isaiah 65:20

The Lord calls to you, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.…"

Apr 11, 2015

The Virgin's Cloth

Research into the marriage customs of ancient Jews as it relates to the Rapture and the Bride of Christ led me to an interesting thought.  I considered writing a blog about this but I try not to regurgitate other people's work so if you are unfamiliar with the marriage customs, I'd invite you to read The Bride and also Marriage in the Bible.  For our purposes here, I'd like to concentrate and study the Virginity Cloth in Hebrew call the Chuppah.  Did the Lord leave such a physical reminder?

Briefly, the Bridegroom would pay the bride price for his wife and then would spirit her away to her bedroom where they would consummate the marriage.  The virgin bride would lay a cloth under her as proof of her virginity.  Afterward, the Bridegroom would pass the cloth to his waiting groomsmen and the witnesses would testify that the bride had been a virgin on her wedding night.  The cloth would then serve as proof thereafter.

Did the Lord leave his groomsmen such proof?  For as with all things in the church, we are not virgins and since virginity is required at the wedding, again the Lord had to do that for us.  His shed blood though, is the bride price and the proof all in one.  Hidden away in the tomb, symbolically, the Lord consummated the marriage with his church.  He then passes the cloth to his groomsman as witness.  (John 20:6-7)

This is a bit out of order for the marriage custom for the bride and the groom do not consummate until his return but I do not know of any teacher or theory that states we will consummate our marriage to the Lord after the Rapture, so in essence the theory is plausible.  Since the Lord was without sin, he was the virgin on the wedding night, his tomb was the bridal chamber.  He is the hero, he is the savior, he is the groom.

So what of these cloths that He passed to His closest friends?  Peter and John are undoubtedly the closest disciples and retrieve the cloths from the bedchamber.  Where are these now?  I present that they are in Spain and Italy.  The head cloth is called the Sudarium of Oviedo and is in Spain and the Shroud of Turin is in Italy.  Study of these two cloths can consume hours, days, and even decades but there is compelling evidence that these are indeed the articles retrieved from the tomb.

Is the cloth ever mentioned again in Scripture?  Perhaps, look at 2 Timothy 4:13, Paul asks Timothy the cloke that he left with Carpus.  The word for cloke in the Greek is phelones, (Strong's number 5341)  it is used only once, here.  The word is thought to be a derivative of phaino (Strong's number 5316) which does not mean clothing or garment but light - to bring forth the light.  It is extrapolated that the image on the shroud was caused by a pulse of light brighter than a nuclear explosion.  So Paul was not asking Timothy to bring him a coat, for he does not use the possessive mine but "the" and he does not use the Greek word for clothing, raiment, or robe.  It is highly likely that Paul in his travels would present the cloths as evidence of the Lord's sacrifice just as Fathers would produce the virginity cloth as proof of their daughters virginity.

So when scoffers come forth and claim that the Lord was not sacrificed, that he was not raised, we are called forth to present the evidence - the physical evidence of his sacrifice and suffering.  We can do so today with both cloths.

Parable of the Ten Virgins - Is Not About the Church - Millennium Bible Study Part 7

Abigail and Dolley readers I have been contemplating the parable of the Ten Virgins as outlined in Matthew 25 1:13 which reads, 1 "The Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 The five who were foolish took no oil for their lamps, 4 but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. 5 When the bridegroom was delayed, they all lay down and slept. 6 At midnight they were roused by the shout, 'Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and welcome him!' 7 "All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. 8 Then the five foolish ones asked the others, 'Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.' 9 But the others replied, 'We don't have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.' 10 "But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. 11 Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, 'Sir, open the door for us!' 12 But he called back, 'I don't know you!' 13 "So stay awake and be prepared, because you do not know the day or hour of my return.

For the purpose of this blog, I'd like to examine who the bridesmaids are in the parable.  For many years, I heard that the bridesmaids are the church at the time of the Rapture but it is interesting to note that the church is the Bride, not the Bridesmaid. Also the timing of the parable in the Olivet Discourse refers to the Second Coming, not the Rapture.  "In fact, the Bride is never mentioned anywhere in the parable, and in any case could never be refused admittance to her own wedding banquet.  She was obviously spirited away earlier while the bridesmaids slept. The bridesmaids represent people on Earth during the Great Tribulation after the church has gone." (source)
The Bridesmaids
A good understanding of Jewish weddings in the first century is helpful to interpretation. Also, understanding the symbolism in the Bible is essential to understanding the parable.  The bridegroom in Scripture is always Christ, oil is always the Holy Spirit. Through this parable we have a clear warning and understanding of the nature of salvation during the Tribulation.

Each virgin was given a portion of oil (Holy Spirit) at the time they come to faith. This is evidenced that when the Bridegroom (Christ) returns they all light their lamps but some do not have enough oil (Holy Spirit).  Salvation and the Holy Spirit can not be shared, I can not give you part of my salvation.  The foolish go to "buy" their oil at the market but faithfulness can not be bought and they are shut out.

This parable serves as a warning for those who come to faith during the Tribulation but then afterwards in the Millennium.

Apr 10, 2015

Promises of the Golden Age of Israel - Millennial Bible Study Part 8

Abigail and Dolley readers it is an error to think that we do not have many Scriptures on the Millennium, that belief comes from the short passages at the end of Revelation.  The Old Testament, though, is full of all sorts of Millennial prophecies, their presence is why many Jews failed to recognize Christs first coming.  In essence because Jesus did not fulfill the Golden Age prophecies Jews feel free to reject Him as Messiah. (On a side note, had they accepted Him as Messiah, He WOULD have fulfilled all of them.)   While the church will be in Heaven/New Jerusalem during the Millennial Reign, it is still exciting to read about the coming age.  Let us look at a few:

The Covenant with David:
Jeremiah 33:15-17 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch of David to spring forth; and He shall execute justice and righteousness on the earth. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell in safety; and this is the name by which she will be called: the LORD is our righteousness.' For thus says the LORD, 'David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel.

Establishment of His Kingdom:
Isaiah 2:1-5 "And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more."

Apr 9, 2015

Jesus Speaks of the Rapture

Abigail and Dolley readers some skeptics will say that they do not believe in the Rapture because the Lord never mentions it but is that true?  Let's look at some compelling Scriptures and you decide for yourself:

First let's lay out two primary Scriptures on the Rapture:

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 because the Lord himself, in a shout, in the voice of a chief-messenger, and in the trump of God, shall come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we who are living, who are remaining over, together with them shall be caught away in clouds to meet the Lord in air, and so always with the Lord we shall be.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52  lo, I tell you a secret; we indeed shall not all sleep, and we all shall be changed; in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, in the last trumpet, for it shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we -- we shall be changed:

Basics - if you are dead, you are raised first and then those who are alive will go to meet the Lord in the air.

Words of Jesus:

John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, `I am the rising again, and the life; he who is believing in me, even if he may die, shall live; and every one who is living and believing in me shall not die -- to the age;

The above says that the dead in Christ are raised and those that are alive shall not die.

John 14:1-4 `Let not your heart be troubled, believe in God, also in me believe;  in the house of my Father are many mansions; and if not, I would have told you; I go on to prepare a place for you; and if I go on and prepare for you a place, again do I come, and will receive you unto myself, that where I am ye also may be;
and whither I go away ye have known, and the way ye have known.'

This is Jesus promising to come again and receive us unto himself.  So there you go folks, short and sweet but a significant study and point to be made.

Apr 3, 2015

I Feel the Same Way About My Son - Good Friday Message

Abigail and Dolley readers I think it is universally accepted that the teenage years are difficult.  THE most difficult might very well be 13.  The last year of Middle School, the beginning of puberty, and the forming of the personality and social group identification that will steer most kids through their High School years and beyond.  It is a year of awkward growth spurts, or lack thereof - a year of acne, mean girls, and teenage angst.  As spheres of friendships move beyond the neighbors, life long friendships that once were close fade to a distant memory as kids grow up and apart.  No parent enjoys watching their kids struggle but it is part of life and to shield them from these trials can be detrimental to their development; compassion, perseverance, strength, and resilience can only be learned through trial.

All this said, it's still hard for a parent to feel warm and fuzzy about a child who has hurt yours.  Parents of children who are bullied, will immediately understand this sentiment.  I am dealing with such an instance, but this snub has come from child that has been in my house for many years; who I have been fond of, who I've fed, who I've carted around, and welcomed hundreds of times.  Over the last few years, my son would have appreciated his long term friend's support and companionship - instead this boy seized the fact that his major social competition was out of the way and began a nasty little war against my son.  Not only did he withdraw his friendship but then he sought to do my son harm, for which he has been quite successful.

As such, I've had to constantly pray and give this over to the Lord.  I am angry, the Mama Bear in me is riled, and I'd like to pinch his head off.  Yeah, keepin' it real around here at Abigail and Dolley.  I'm human.  So I'm in the yard today and I once again had to give it over to God.  I prayed, "I'm just so mad that he has hurt my son.  We've been good to him and this is how he acts?  Lord, I'm having a hard time."  Very clearly, I felt the Lord say, "Yes, I feel the same way about my Son."

Boom - there you have it, on Good Friday 2015, "I feel the same way about my Son."  Nothing brings home the reality of the cross like personal knowledge.  Nothing makes the judgement of unbelievers clearer than that statement.  John 3:16 is God's love, his way of Salvation, his Sacrifice for mankind - for those who reject it, reject the Son's sacrifice, and the Lord feels no compassion for them. Matthew 22:13.  I get that a little more today.  (Disclaimer - of course I am not comparing the temporary inconvenience of my son's teenage angst to the sacrifice of Christ.  The above is to demonstrate in a tiny way the enormity of the Lord's anger and inability to allow those who have rejected His Son into Heaven.)

Mar 31, 2015

The Year of the Sheep and Goat

Thursday, February 19 began the Chinese year of the Sheep and Goat.  Considering the Biblical significance of both creatures, current events, and the perilous times we now reside it did not seem like coincidence to me.  Volumes have been written about the both creatures; I'll not seek to regurgitate the works of others but try and bring a fresh perspective.

From an animal classification (taxonomy) perspective sheep and goats are identical all the way to the subfamily, they split from each other at the genus level.  Sheep are of the ovis and goats of the capra genus respectively.  So biologically, the creatures are close cousins, we know what we've read and watched on TV but first hand knowledge of these creatures is now reserved for farmers, so let's look at some basic facts.

Basic Facts:
Perhaps, the first thing you think of when you hear, "Sheep" is that they are stupid, I was surprised to learn that this is not actually the case (Reference).  On their own, sheep are defenseless and will run from what frightens them.  Their primary means of protection is to band together in a herd, even though they might not particularly like each, they are social.  Sheep follow each other, sticking together in the herd.  When the shepherd calls them, some sheep will respond to his voice and because of the herd instinct others will follow.  Some false shepherds may try and fool the sheep by calling them but when they arrive if they are not fed, sheep will quickly perceive the trick and no longer respond to the impostor.  Sheep tightly band together when they feel safe but when danger approaches they spread out and make room to run.  They know their names and will respond to the shepherd when called.  Sheep have excellent peripheral vision and can see 270° to 320°, but they have poor depth perception, so they can not always tell how close to danger they are.  They do not like the dark and will always move toward light.

Goats can be curious, intelligent, and loving creatures. (Reference)   Baby goats must be watched closely as they have an uncanny ability to get lost in hidey holes or small caves.  Goats are playful and the babies will jump all over their family members.  They climb to death defying heights with no fear of the consequences. They seem to be much more sexualized in their mating and rituals than sheep.  Females have dramatic orgasmic behavior after mating and the male buck becomes a filthy aggressive creature in the rut who urinates all over himself, including his face.  Goats relish the stench which will spread throughout the herd and into the milk if allowed to live together.  Herd life is different for goats that sheep.  A strong hierarchy is established in a goat herd through fighting and violence, even unto death. Newcomers are bullied and beaten up, goats take sides to determine the outcome. Herdsman may try to quell this behavior but it is inherent in them and can not be stopped.

As an interesting exercise, reread the above two paragraphs making these substitutions:
Sheep - Christian
Sheep Herd - Church
Shepherd - Jesus
Goat - Carnal Man
Goat Herd - Society
Herdsman - Government

In agriculture, the shepherd uses his dog, whom the animals view as a predator to control them through their herd protective instinct.  There is no mention of Jesus' sheepdog - he does not use a predator to control us but calls to us by name and expects us to listen to his voice.  Only false prophets and evil leaders must always have an enforcer to keep the flock in line.  The maniacal Muslims that kill over cartoons are a good examples of these wicked beings.  

In Scripture, we have the Sheep and the Goat Judgement.  That is often confused with the Rapture of the church, but if you look at it carefully, you will see that it takes place at the beginning of the Millennium just after the 2nd Coming.  In context, Matthew 25:31, is clearly the Second Coming, note that he is coming in His glory to sit on his throne.  The Sheep and Goat is a dual judgement of individuals alive after the Tribulation and the nations, with the wicked people and nations (goats) being cast aside and the sheep being welcomed into the kingdom.

The church of Jesus Christ worships the Lamb of God; conversely, the church of Satan uses the symbolism of a Goat but the object of their worship is anything but a goat - he is the viper, the serpent, the evil one who counterfeits all from the Living God.  So in the end, even now there are only two kinds of people on the earth the sheep and the goats.  

In closing, I find it interesting that the Chinese calendar would deem this the year of the sheep and goat.  The Lord is coming soon and He is not stranger to judgement between the sheep and the goats.  As we are in this age of grace, do not be a goat, for nothing will change you to a sheep once it is too late.  Seek Jesus as your Savior now, so that you might not hear, "Depart from me, I knew you not."

Mar 30, 2015

Top 8 Overlooked Household Cleaning Jobs

Abigail and Dolley readers if the house you are living in is older than a year, there are some things you need to clean that you might not have ever thought about.  Many of these, I have discovered purely by accident and then recoiled in disgust that this filth was in my house! (Disclaimer these are not pictures of my house but you will get the idea)  Here is a list of things that need to be cleaned that you might not have thought about:

  1. The coils under the refrigerator.  That's right folks, the vent on the bottom of the refrigerator is an air intake for the compressor coils and needs to be vacuumed out periodically.  Dust and dirt build up under there, eliminate airflow and burn out the compressor.  I am ashamed to admit that when I discovered this we'd lived in the house 10 years, I thought it was gray insulation...
  2. The top of the refrigerator, over the range microwave, and kitchen cabinets - grease particles and house hold dust combine to make a nasty layer of goo.
  3. The vents over your range and the mystery vent inside the microwave - again grease and goo.
  4. Under the beds - at least once every six months.
  5. Bathroom sink drains - if you've never done it, be prepared... you may need to release the drain under the sink to pull out the plug.
  6. Bathtub overflow cover - just too vile to even discuss... moving on.
  7. The tops of tall furniture and door frames
  8. Toilet bolt covers - those plastic covers on the seat and the floor, yeah they are disgusting if you lift them up.
There you go, Friends.  I'm vaguely nauseated now.

Happy Cleaning!

Mar 28, 2015

Interview Pit Falls

There are thousands of articles on the internet about interviewing, techniques, and ways to prepare for a meeting with a prospective employer.  This is not one of them, this is simply a collection of anecdotes and perhaps some interesting insights that are not the same ole same ole.

You showed up too early - while some might appreciate the eagerness, I do not.  Corporate cuts have eliminated the receptionist in most small to medium offices.  This means that the person you are interviewing with is the one that will be called to greet you at the door and get you settled in.  A good executive prioritizes their tasks and runs a tight schedule.  If the prospective employee shows up 15 or 20 minutes early, they may put unnecessary pressure on the person they are interviewing with.  Small and growing offices may have expanded into the "lobby" and "the conference room" and there is no true place for the interviewee to sit and wait.  It's a good idea to arrive early but stay in your car until just a few minutes before you are supposed to meet with the hiring authority.

You peed on the seat - I swear this happened.  The candidate was not hired.

You did not follow directions to the facility and then called the interviewer to walk you through them because you were late and lost - I really don't even know why I sat down with this person when they finally made it to the office.  Our office was a bit difficult to find on a GPS, so I explained that in an email to the candidate and told them to follow these simple directions, they did not.  The candidate was not hired.

You spoke negatively about your old job/boss/co-workers - an interview is not a complaint session about your current or former situation - blaming or deflecting blame is a big warning sign.

You kept trying to fill in your ideas about the job you were interviewing for instead of listening to the need and requirements of the position - just because the title is same, it does not mean that the duties and expectations from one company to the next are.  Eagerness to demonstrate your qualifications is one thing but constantly going into specifics that don't apply the current position is a big no no.

There are dozens of other reasons but I suspect they have been covered ad nauseam .  These are a few interesting tid bits to help along the journey.

Mar 24, 2015

Death of the Branch Manager

Abigail and Dolley readers for a nice change of pace, let's look at the current mindset of corporate America.
 Keep in mind, big business by and large is now completely dominated by leftists.  They are running companies the way they run government - from the top down.

(Disclaimer:  This blog is a broad stroke observation of the last 15 years in corporate america, it is not necessarily my personal experience nor is it an indictment of a specific company, past or present.  It is inspired by observations, news reports, friends and colleagues who all share their tales of woe.  It is not industry specific as these stories come from banking to retail to manufacturing to logistics to education.)

They have embraced the "economy of scale buys efficiency and cost saving model" with a reckless abandon.  Ignoring lost revenues, lost business, low customer satisfaction, and low employee morale they venture forth adding more and more layers of bureaucracy and processes.  Ivory Tower executives double down on failure and assert it is the people, the customers, and the soft markets fault - never stopping to consider that their MBA inspired plan is wrong.

It started with the destruction of the Branch Manager.  At one point, being a Branch Manager was the best job around.  They were captains of their ships, miniature CEO's, empowered to make money for the company, take care of the customer, and attract the best talent.  Capitalism at it's finest.  Market pressure would drive quality and the best and the brightest would make themselves and their company a handsome profit.

Influence by socialist university professors and executive MBA's, the Branch Manager's pivotal position has been largely eliminated or reduced in power to be completely ineffective.  It is destroying American Capitalism.

Mar 22, 2015

The Latter Rain

The below is contributed by my friend and guest blogger, Abigail.  I know you will enjoy this insight.

"Jesus Will Come To Us Like Rain"

The Pre-tribulation Rapture in relation to The Feasts of the Lord.

Joel 2:23 "Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month."

This tells us our Messiah will come as the former rain (Spring feasts) and again as the latter rain (Fall feasts). The prophet Joel tells us this events will occur in the first month.

***The month of Nisan is the first month of the religious calendar.

***The month of Tishri is the first month of the civil calendar.

Spring Feasts/Former Rains (First month of the religious calendar)

1. Passover Nisan 14
2. Feast of Unleavened Bread Nisan 15-21
3. Feast of First Fruits Day after Shabbat of unleavened bread
4. Shavuot (Pentecost) 50 days from the same Shabbat

***These first four feasts have been fulfilled by Jesus.

Mar 21, 2015

Significance of Yom Kippur 2015

This blog was originally published in September 2014, but while factually correct, did not have much of a point other than to highlight interesting tidbits.  I hope time and recent study will open the subject further.  Two years ago, I stumbled upon the below fact and it has niggled around in my brain since:

June 7, 1967 - Jerusalem (recaptured for Israel)
17640 days = 49 years (360 day years)
September 23, 2015 - Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)

There are three interesting subjects here:  The Six Day War, 49 years, and Yom Kippur.

Being an American Christian, I didn't know much about any of these.  I doubt I am alone, perhaps you are in the same boat as me?  There is something there, some reason that this is important!  Let's see what we can find out together.

Mar 20, 2015

Beyond the Blood Moons - A Timeline for What is to Come

The Lord works in patterns, he holds to timelines, he is not random - from the foundations of creation his orderliness is observable.  From the precision math demonstrated in the perfect tilt of the earth, the perfect distance from the sun, the perfect size and orbit of the moon to the subatomic structures of all atoms - we see his hand.  He also does not operate in secret, a retrospective study of Scripture reveals that he has always told us what is to come, always.  There are types and shadows and prophetic warnings throughout Scripture that only a backward glance reveals their truth.  Since he is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow - it should come as no surprise that he has laid out for us the pattern and timing of his coming.

My long term readers will be familiar with my work on this subject, from the The Harbinger Continues, to the Blood Moons, to the Rosh Hashannah Rapture, to the Days of Awe, to the Convergence of Signs - I invite you to read and study those works for it will give you a foundation to understand the timeline of events that could manifest in our lifetimes.  Many of the items I am listing below completely fleshed out, sited, and backed up with Scriptures in the previous works.

The Prophet Daniel writes that 70 weeks are set aside for Israel.  All but one are fulfilled, one remains.  The last 7 years, the time of Jacob's trouble, the 70th week, the Tribulation - this event is foretold and set aside for the judgement of the nations and for the restoration of Israel.  The great and terrible time of the Lord and woe to the inhabitants of the Earth.  The 69th week ended when Messiah was cut off, the exact moment and hour that that occurred is obscured from history. - debate continues on exactly when that date occurred.

Careful study of the facts and dates indicate that Jesus was crucified somewhere between 27AD to 33AD.  The prophetic clock stopped - the time of Israel paused and the church age began.  What date would that have been?  Was it the moment that the Lord died and the temple curtain was torn?  How about when he was raised?  Could be when he Ascended to Heaven or even Pentecost?  Any time in that 40 days could be THE date when the clock stopped, I can not say for certain but I CAN tell you without a doubt that sometime in the future, on that day, the Jews will sign a peace treaty with Anti-Christ and the clock will start again.

Mar 17, 2015

Bring Forth in a Day

Abigail and Dolley was never intended to be much more than an outlet to write about whatever was on my mind at the time.  At the launch in 2009, I did much of what new bloggers do to build a following but quickly realized that building a blog is like building a business, and I have one of those.  So over the years, I shared with you what was on my heart not focusing on the stats.  Recently though, I feel like God has been teaching me and giving me revelations about His word that are important.

This is frustrating because, while loyal, the audience I reach is small.  I am small.  In the world of Bible teachers, I am the definition of a nobody.  I don't even teach a Sunday School Class.  There are no women teaching eschatology.  My influence in this world is limited to a few people, even people that know me and love me, don't understand what I teach - they don't walk the same path, and if I've heard once, I've heard it a hundred times, "I'm just not that deep, Dolley."  I feel as if I am going to explode with these new revelations and there is nobody to share them with; I miss my Dad.

Tonight, troubled in spirit, I sought the Lord on a walk - seeking what He would have me do.  Questioning if I am doing what I am supposed to do.  Asking if there is something more that I should be doing and am not - most of all, questioning why me?  Why show me things in His Word and then have 15 people read the most important posts of my life?  What do you want me to do?  I seemed to have more questions than I was getting answers.

Then, I walked by a tree in my yard.  I'd taken a picture of it yesterday.  It reminded me of a story: one day, after my Dad had moved into his new house, we were shooting baskets.  I asked him what kind of tree was by his driveway. He laughed, said he had no idea but that those cool fuzzy buds looked promising. It turned out to be a tulip magnolia. When we moved in this house he gave me one.
Tulip Magnolia in Bud

Mar 13, 2015

Satan is Prince of the Power of the Air

What Does it Mean that Satan is Prince of the Power of the Air  (Ephesians 2:2)?"

“And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:1–2). In this text the apostle Paul describes Satan first as a “prince” with power, because he has authentic power in the world (1 John 5:19). This power has been given him by God (Luke 4:6). Satan has power over some illnesses (Luke 13:16; see also 2 Corinthians 12:7—it’s unknown if Paul’s “thorn” was an illness or something else). In some sense, Satan has power over death (Hebrews 2:14). The reason Satan is called a prince rather than a king is because there is only one King—Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 6:15).

Satan also has power over some people. The “sons of disobedience” referred to in Ephesians 2:2 are those who have not trusted Christ as Lord and Savior (cf. Acts 26:18; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 13:12). The demons are also under the rule of Satan (Matthew 12:24), and one of his titles is “prince of demons” (Matthew 9:34). Satan has a kingdom (Matthew 12:26) and a throne (Revelation 2:13). Satan is called a prince because he is a ruler and possesses power to manifest evil in the world through influencing people and commanding demons.

“The air” in Ephesians 2:2 may refer to the invisible realm above the earth where Satan and his demons move and exist. This space, of course, is the location of the earth’s atmosphere or “air.” In Ephesians 6:12, Paul writes, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” This evil realm called the “air” could be an actual locality, but it could also be synonymous with the “world” of John 12:31. This whole world is Satan’s domain (Matthew 4:8–9).

Although Satan has power and authority in the current world system in which we exist, his power is limited, always under the sovereign control of God (Job 1:12), and it is temporary (Romans 16:20). God has not revealed all of the why’s and when’s concerning Satan’s rule, but He has made it clear that there is only one way to escape the power of Satan’s dominion, and that is through His Son, Jesus (Acts 26:18; Colossians 1:13–14). It is Jesus who, speaking of the impending cross, declared victory: “Now the prince of this world will be driven out” (John 12:31).

(from GotQuestions.org, CEO Michael Houdmann)

Mar 5, 2015

Prayer is not a Monologue

The other day, I was driving and praying... but was I really?  Out of nowhere, the Lord interrupted me with an answer.  I was shocked.  My prayer time that day was a monologue; a one sided conversation where I did all the talking.   Why was I startled when the Lord answered?

I couldn't get this out of my mind, I kept reflecting back on it and realized that perhaps there is a bigger picture to paint.  As the body of Christ, why do we give each other "the look" when someone says, "Well, I was praying and the Lord spoke to me....".  Why do we hesitate to share with one another when the Lord speaks to us?  When did we accept that prayer is a monologue?

Is it because, somewhere along the line, we stopped expecting to hear from God?  Perhaps it is because He just stopped saying "No" to a certain prayer we keep praying hoping He will change His mind?  Maybe it happened when we were little and some unthinking adult squashed the expectation we had that God would answer?  Or possibly, in our hearts, we are not quite sure He is there so we would be closed to any answer He might give?

Whatever the reason, each believer needs to ponder this.  What's your prayer life like anyway?  Are you a baby praying the same way you prayed as a 5 year old?  Does your mind wander to the grocery list, the errands, and what to cook for supper?  Has it become a duty and an obligation on your daily checklist?  Or are you just so far away from the Lord you don't even talk anymore?  It's time to get serious about this; it's time to pray.

We have but one offensive weapon in this war we are in, "The Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God."  We don't wield it effectively or often enough.  I beseech you faithful readers, find a group of people to pray with corporately.  Change your dead routine, step in faith, go deeper, and expect God to answer.  After all, He would like to get a word in edgewise.

Feb 28, 2015

The Destruction of America - Right Before Our Eyes

About 2 am on Election Day 2012, I crawled out of bed praying fervently that the news was better than it had been when I went to bed.  I opened my laptop and on the screen was a picture of the Obamas, walking on stage as a family with the headline, "Four More Years."  I wept bitterly, as you would over a terminal cancer diagnosis for a loved one.  It was in that moment that I realized that we were not going to remain the shining city on the hill, the beacon of light and hope for the world - we were going to fall away (2 Thessalonians 3).

Up until that very moment, I believed that the United States would cease to be a player in the End Times because the Rapture would wipe us out.  Who could have ever imagined we would be where we are today?  When Obama was first elected, I was sick to my stomach.  Speaking to my Sister the morning after, she confirmed that the Holy Spirit inside of her recoiled at the man, mine always has.  I have never listened to a speech of his; he has been in the public arena since 2007 and have never been able to hear him without major warning bells reverberating through my spirit.  The optimist in me hoped that it would be like the Clinton years and that the favorable press coverage would encourage the economy out of the downward spiral we were experiencing in the days after the crash.  I was wrong.

Feb 27, 2015

The Rapture - Basic Facts

Abigail and Dolley readers know that I don't often reproduce other's work or copy other commentary, but the recent Bible Study Series have created conversations between some friends and I regarding the doctrine of Pre-Tribulation Rapture.  This is an issue I studied with my Dad extensively, we spent a year or more investigating this specific doctrine and for most eschatology students and teachers the matter is settled.  I must remember though, that everyone else did not have the privilege of Friday night Bible Study with Jack Robinson, so I'd like to post the below commentary as a good tutorial and overview for those that don't have this doctrine settled in their minds. You can read the original here:  Pre-Rapture Commentary: Satan Hates The Rapture

Some say the word “rapture” is not in the Bible, so therefore there is no rapture of the Church. Neither is the word “trinity” in the Bible, but God is triune; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. He is one in three persons.

“Rapture” comes from the Latin word “rapturo.” It is the equivalent of the Greek “harpazo,” which is found in 2 Corinthians 12:2 and 1 Thessalonians 4:17 for “caught up.  Harpazo and rapture both mean: (a) to seize, carry off by force, (b) to seize on, claim for one’s self eagerly, and (c) to snatch out or away.

The Rapture (rapturo, Latin; harpazo, Greek) of Christ’s Church will happen on God’s time schedule. Some believe it will happen before Daniel’s 70th week (commonly called the seven year Tribulation), some in the middle and some at the end. It is clear to me that it is impossible for it to occur at any other time than prior to Daniel’s 70th week (the seven year Tribulation).

(Abigail and Dolley note, I believe the next event could conceivably be the fulfillment of Psalm 83 and even Isaiah 17/18 but neither has to occur before the Rapture and thus does not effect the basic doctrine of PreTribulation.)  The next event on God’s calendar is the Rapture of the Church. After that will follow Daniel’s  70th week, then Christ will return with His Church at the end of Daniel’s 70th week and set up His millennial kingdom, which is called the 1,000 year Millennium.

It does not upset me if others do not believe as I do regarding these events, but some folks really get uptight about these matters. For example, a few have tried to “straighten me out.” Others simply say I’m a false prophet and going to hell. Some question my salvation in very colorful ways, while others are just plain ticked off that I would believe in a Rapture at all.

Where does all this venomous hatred come from? The answer is obvious. Satan hates God’s Truth and will continue to fight against God and His chosen ones until his last breath.

Again, I strongly and without question believe in a Rapture of the true Church prior to the start of Daniel’s 70th week (the Tribulation). I would like to present the following for consideration. This is not original of course. Many others have presented these same arguments and I will use these same verses that others have pointed to.

Feb 16, 2015

A Movie Review of The Kingsmen

Abigail and Dolley readers I rarely go to action movies, like the Westerns of yesteryear they are largely passe' and trite.  Always full of huge explosions, thin plots, and improbable story lines, they bore me.  Since the introduction of CGI, film makers take the former overused devises and now assault your senses with dozens of slow motion "flying side kick" fight sequences.  The new technology has made it possible to portray women with equal or superior strength and skills to men.  ((Yawn)).  The Kingsmen Secret Service looked from the previews to be an exception. I joined the family for movie night, fully expecting a smart and well thought out action flick in The Kingsmen; I was sorely disappointed!  This movie is nothing but Propaganda with a British Accent - awful.

(Spoilers ahead) - Here are some of the messages:

The Green Agenda - people are killing the planet. The Earth has a fever and people are the cause.  There is nothing we can do to save it so people must be eliminated.

The Elite Agenda - Depopulation - there are only a few elite rich and powerful folks who will be saved from the coming Apocalypse.  They need to sign up with the evil organization and be saved or be eliminated with the rest of the lemmings.

Christians are Vile, Stupid, Bigots and need to be Destroyed  - The evil test case takes us in to a hate filled church, with rabid Christians spouting filthy words from the pulpit.  Plain looking, inbred congregants gladly cheer on the filth.  Consequently, the sound track to the mass murder scene is "Freebird".  For fun, let's take a Southern Rock Classic about a bird (maybe a dove) and free mankind from the evil Christians.  Even the hero can't resist the call to slaughter.

The Powerful Fighting Woman - The Kingsmen did add a surprising twist in that their superhuman villain enforcer who was a tiny woman with cut off legs - who through her superior legs was able to route any and all trained men who would fight her.

A Chip Implant will Save You - Straight out of the Book of Revelation, the elite have to take the implant chip to be immune from the coming chaos.  In a very sick twist, they end up being the ones destroyed just like in The Book.

A Scarred Savior - Lest it be completely unpalatable to the viewing public, we have the story of a fatherless kid from the wrong side of the tracks emerging as humankind's Savior.

The Nazis Where Not So Bad Agenda - this one is subtle and will fly under the radar for most people.  "Pick your Puppy" was a training and obedience tool purported to be part of training for the Nazi SS, in today's kinder and gentler portrayal of Nazis it is implied that the gun given to the new recruits was full of blanks.

Destroying the Human Race is not Evil - After all, nobody calls Noah a murderer, right?  These noble souls are just like Noah is the rallying cry as the elites wait somberly for the inhabitants of the Earth to destroy themselves.  Their leader gives a rousing speech and encourages them to Party!

The Deviant Sex/Sodomy Agenda - Just for a bonus, the very last shot of the film is of a woman offering her rectum as a reward for the hero saving the world.  Yes, that's right the Savior gets to sodomize a royal princess held in captivity - oh, yeah.

I was furious when we left the theater, sold a bill of goods!  The irony of the entire flick is that the elite are ultimately destroyed in their plot.  The enemy holds these pawns in as deep disdain as everyone else, he knows the future.  I believe that there are higher laws at work right now, a basic spiritual laws that fly under the radar.  You see, the Lord has told us what is going to happen, He has put it in writing and informed all who would read what the future holds.  The devil is bound by the same standard, he also has to tell you what the future holds, the lies that he tells.  Each of the above highlighted themes are lies, designed to destroy those who buy into them but ultimately to condition the public for the coming deception.  The only major theme missing from this drivel was alien intelligence but otherwise, it was all there.  This friends is the plan in a nutshell, this movie has nothing to do with the true King's Men.  Don't be fooled and don't waste your money.  The movie is a loser, just like the spirit behind it.

Feb 4, 2015

The 2015 Super Bowl Through a Christian's Eyes

Abigail and Dolley readers I married a football fanatic; a dyed in the wool, NY Giants #19 jersey wearing, face painting, LT stat quoting, New Jersey boy.  The first fall we were together, I was astounded at how much football a person could watch. Sunday mornings were about "Big Breakfast" and Sport's Center, rarely church.  Then the Panther's came to town and it was about tailgating and games.  In 1997, something happened.... my football fanatic got saved.  For a while he went to games but stopped his covert topless bar forays.  He kept watching but he started looking at coaching decisions, draft picks, and game plans in a more critical light.

In 2004, he led the decision to turn off our cable TV and with it any and all broadcast football.  We have effectively lived for 11 years without it. I write this back story, to properly frame the rest of this blog.  We are not football haters but the time we've spent removed from the game has given us a perspective that many do not have.  It is along that vein that I write about this year's Super Bowl from a spiritual perspective.

The League:

If sports in America is a god, then NFL football is chief among them, the American Zeus.  He commands sacrifice; time, money, and Sunday church.  We give allegiance to the under gods of teams; we wear their colors, we praise them loudly in the stands, we sing songs of worship to them in the form of "fight songs".  We adore the players, devote ourselves to study and commentary, and trust the appointed coaches to "Take us all the way".  It is in this spirit, this environment, that we enter the final frenzy of the year; The Superbowl.  Through discerning eyes this is a train wreck of American Society.  Let's look at each aspect:

The Commercials:

Through the guise of humor and just darn good fun, we see commercials mocking God and creation, poking fun at the coming judgement, elevating false religions of Scientology and Humanism, glamorizing a drug dealer, perpetuation of the coming deception of Alien life forms and super powered humans - throw in a bit of female exploitation and gender confusion and you've got quite a cocktail going!

Now, there were some great ones in the mix:  the Nissan commercial to Cat's in the Cradle, the Dove Real Men Care Commercial, the touching domestic violence pizza delivery call, the dark Nationwide commercial about childhood accidents, the McDonald's pay with love - those were all great.  What I am trying to do is point out the ones that are not, the ones that will fly under the radar, the ones that you might not ever consciously process.

The Half Time Show:

My son was quite keen to watch the half time show.  I was busy in the kitchen but said to him, "Watch for the Satanic signs and tell me what you see."  He rolled his eyes at me, and started watching.  "Hey, look Mom, she's wearing a dress like she's on fire and there is fire all around her.  Oh, and now she's riding some kind of beast with glowing red eyes and she's roaring!  Geez, Mom maybe you are right."

There is some good analysis by the Vigilant Christian and White Rabbit on the occult symbolism in this performance.  The overt reference to the Revelation 17: 3 of the woman riding the Beast, dressed in the fires of hell (Isaiah 66:24) and the roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8) well, those are right out of Scripture.  Later, they put dancing beach balls and surf boards all around her because "Hey, this is just good clean fun.  Nothing to see here."  As she sings about kissing girls, skin tight jeans, teenage dreams, and going all the way tonight... nope, nothing to see.

The Game:

I didn't watch it but I observed the hubby and son.  They were bored in the first half, my son went off and read his book.  The second half, something was wrong - it was wrong from the start.  Hubby kept exclaiming, "What are you doing?"  "I can't believe they are throwing the ball!"  "What is going on here?"  "You've got to be kidding me!  That is the worst play calling I have ever seen!" and finally, "WHAT?"  He closed the laptop, "That was just awful.  The NFL... it's just not a good product any more."

The Winner:

By all accounts, the winner of the game was not the better team.  The Patriots did not win the game per se, the Sea Hawks seemed to have lost the game.  There is about the winners an air of cheating, the aura that they are shady, and not all together honest.

In all, there is a microcosm of America today, where the best don't win, where the cheaters come out ahead to everyone's surprise.  Where the evil behind the scenes invades your living room with smiling cartoon trees and catchy pop tunes but then you sprinkle in some of the good, some of what is left of us that is still worth celebrating.

It's sad to watch and for those of us who can see, it's hard to look at.

Jan 31, 2015

Skipping To The End

Abigail and Dolley readers do you skip to the end of a book to find out what happens?  Do you fast forward a movie to the closing scenes?  If you've missed a TV broadcast, do you search for a recap or do you wait for the episode post?  Most folks do not do any of these things, we enjoy vicariously watching others on their journey.  We like the story, the struggle, the growth, and the journey; but most of all we love the happy ending.  We know it's coming so we sit on pins and needles and watch the drama unfold.  Why then, in our own lives, do we want to skip to the end?

Missing Your Life for Work
In our own lives, the struggle is not that much fun.  We want to quickly skip through the pain and get to the good stuff.  Several years ago, Adam Sandler starred in a movie where he found a remote that would speed up his life.  At first, it was a blessing but towards the end it was heart breaking to see the result of a life not lived.  As Christians, the Lord will not allow our story to unfold that way.

In retrospect, most of the time, when we look back we would not trade who we became out of the struggle for an easier time.  Even some of the toughest times, if given long enough will dull in pain and we can see God's hand on us: guiding, forming, and changing.  We choose not to relive but we appreciate the journey.
Waiting in the Wilderness

Friends, I am guilty of fast forward prayers.  I am particularly impatient with long waits and no progress, like the camping section of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Languishing in the wilderness, isolated, confused, and tormented by the voice of the evil one - we desperately seek to escape those times but the Lord will use them for our good if we let Him.  So appreciate the day, enjoy the journey, find joy in today.  As Christians, we hold on to the certainty of a happy ending.

Jan 20, 2015

Not Another "Dear Church" Letter

Abigail and Dolley readers it has become all the rage to write open letters to the church about why people are leaving.  They all go something like this:

"Dear Church - I am leaving you because.... you are hypocrites, your music stinks, you have a big stage show, you don't have a big stage show, you haven't kept up with the times, my needs are not getting met, somebody was mean to me, you ask for money, you stand up for social issues that make people not like you, your ushers wear suits... wah wah wah, whatever."

As a member of a small body, this is what I'd like to say in response:

Dear Church Shopper,

We are not an Entertain Me Church, we are a serving church.  We are the Body of Christ, a working body that feeds people and clothes them.  We support missions and missionaries.  We love each other and we love the Lord.  If one of our members is having a problem, we gather around them and pray but we also give them a gift card to the grocery store and let them borrow a church van while their car is in the shop.  If you would like to come and join us, you are welcome.

We will pray for you and with you.  We will call you by name on Sunday.  We will invite you to Bible Study, Men's Group, Women's Group, Youth Group, Prayer Group, and Kid's Church.  We will ask you to come and join us for a potluck, somebody might even bake you a gluten free cake.  We would love to have you.

We won't however, overhaul our entire system because your old church used to do it that way.  We are sorry if that doesn't meet your needs.

We won't give you your own special ministry when you have not shown up or participated in a single event we already have going on.  We are sorry if that doesn't use your unique gifts and talents.

We will notice if you do not come anymore and might even reach out to ask you back, but we are sorry if one Sunday the Pastor did not hear you when you said good morning.

We won't compromise the Word of God, Jesus is pretty particular about adding or taking away Scripture, we are sorry if that makes us seem intolerant or not hip.

We will walk with you in this life.  We will support you during this journey, we will love you and laugh with you.  We will ask that you walk with us, that you help support us - you see, we are supposed to belong to a Body.  Belonging to a church is like being married, two imperfect beings coming together to love each other and make this life more fulfilling and pleasant.  It takes commitment, it takes love, and it takes forgiveness.

You can keep on church shopping, you can drop out and try to do it alone (even though that is not Biblical), you can watch your favorite preacher on TV every Sunday morning if you'd like - we are not going to force you to come but please do us a favor?  Stop writing letters to us telling us how bad we are and why you aren't coming back, we've got too much work to do.

Every Small Church in America

Jan 6, 2015

What I've Learned About Grief

Abigail and Dolley readers today we mark the three year anniversary of my Father's passing.  It was a cold, clear, beautiful January day exactly like it is today.  That he should leave us on such a day was a fitting tribute to him, because he was such a light in this world and his personality was bright and warm.  The world is a sadder and darker place without him and there has not been a day that has gone by that I have not missed him and wished he was still here.  I have come to realize a lot of things about grief these last few years and I'd like to share with you some of my lessons.

The first lesson is that everyone has to grieve in their own way.  There is no right or wrong way to grieve.  A quick internet search will yield many articles on the stages of grief but it is important to realize that they are not linear, predictable, or all inclusive.  A recently bereft person may go through three or four stages a day, some might never feel or experience one of the stages - grief is a personal thing.

Next, grief has it's own timing.  There is no chart that you can concoct that will say, you will grieve X amount of days for the loss of a parent, X amount of days for the loss of a spouse, ect.  It will simply be a personal experience and no amount of time, either personal or arbitrary will change that.  One of the best things I recall reading in the days afterwards were that you only get a chance to grieve right once.  If you try to rush through, push it down, move on before it is time, it will spring up in unexpected ways and times and can truly disrupt or disturb the rest of your life.  So do not rush this process, it will have it's own time whether you like it or not.

The pain closet... We have within our brains a space where we keep our most painful memories.  In the course of everyday life, we can walk by the closet, we know what is in there but we do not open the door.  We do not go inside.  When someone close to you dies, you have to go in there.  You do not have a choice, this loss belongs in that space.  If you are young, the closet might be empty, so you throw the item in there and shut the door.  If the closet is neat and tidy, you can box up this grief, add it to the inventory and get the heck out of there!  Unfortunately, most of us do not have a neat and tidy pain closet.  Some will open the door and an avalanche will ensue.  For those, there they stand with the deepest pain in their life surrounding them and the can not figure out why they are crying over something that happened 30 years before.  Some will shove the new box into the closet and like a traveler sitting on a suitcase will force the bolts closed.  Others may collapse in despair and stay in the closet way too long surrounded by misery.  Still others, will pick up the pieces and arrange them orderly on the shelf because it is the right time and they are strong enough to do it.  Again, each person is going to deal with this differently.

Everyone who loved the deceased has a right to grieve.  This is particularly sticky in the age of divorce or in the case of long term domestic partnerships.  Ex's are not expected to mourn.  If years have passed, it is even more shocking to them and everyone around them if they mourn deeply.  There is a shame in this type of grief, especially if they are remarried.  This was one of the most complicated aspects of the grieving process.

Lastly, people in mourning may react inappropriately, they might say things they should not, they may snap and be angry.  When the fog of grief begins to lift they may deeply regret those things, forgive them.  Be ready though, because it can take you by surprise.

In the end, you never get over it but you learn how to live with it.  If you and your loved ones are believers and followers of Christ, take comfort that you will see them again.  This is the greatest hope and the buttress that has seen me through.  For there is no death for those in Christ, just a brief parting before we join them again.