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.
Blogger Widgets

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

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
Tonight, as I was finishing my walk, not having much of an answer to the questions that had sent me forth.  I noticed the tree.  The same tree that 24 hours earlier had a half a dozen open blooms looked like this:
Tulip Magnolia in Blossom 
I felt Him whisper in my heart, I can change things in a day.  I can bring forth all the buds in one moment.  I realized then, that I was called to keep blogging, to keep teaching, to keep writing, and to leave the day of the blossom to Him.  In our lives, we often look around and see buds everywhere but it's God that brings forth the flowers and the fruit.

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.

Mar 4, 2015

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

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.

Before Creation:
The Lord does give us some info and primarily seems to give us information about the enemy.  Here's what we do know:

We see that the angels were witnesses to the Creation (Job 38:4-7), so we know that they were around before the Earth.

Psalm 8 appears to be written from an angel's point of view, right after the Creation because it states that God walks with man (Psalm 8:4).

We do not know the timing of Satan's rebellion but we do know that by Genesis 3, he was already the enemy of God.  We know how the rebellion began in Satan's prideful heart (Ezekiel 28:17) and we know that he sought to exalt himself above the Most High (Isaiah 14:13-14).

Jesus says that he saw Satan thrown down from Heaven like lightening (Luke 10:18) but we are not quite sure when this took place!

In addition, we are not told much about eternity, except the most salient point which is the assurance that the church will be with the Lord always (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

Revelation 22:14-15 is totally confusing if you try to study it through the "eternity" filter.  Sin?  Unsaved people?  How can that be in eternity?

The mistake stems from Rev 21:1, the new Heaven and the new Earth.  This looks like eternity but it's not.  Like 42% of Revelation, it's taken directly from the Old Testament: Isaiah 65:17 and Isaiah 66:22.  Taken in context this is clearly the coming age of Israel - the thousand year reign of the Lord on the Earth; the Millennium.

Once we understand that the Bible was written for yesterday, today, and tomorrow and that tomorrow only goes as far as the end of the Millennial Kingdom, we can study the Scriptures with increased discernment and understanding.

Mar 3, 2015

Two Jerusalems? - Part 2 Millennial Bible Study

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:

How are they alike:

  • They are both physical places
  • God dwells with His People in both of them (Rev 21:3 and Rev 22:1)
  • They both shine with the Glory of God
  • There is no night in either place (Rev 21:25 and Rev 22:5)
  • Both have 12 gates (Rev 21:12 and Ezekiel 48:30)
  • Both descend from Heaven

How are they different:

  • Jerusalem the Holy City is on the Earth (Rev 21:3, Ezekiel 40:2, Rev 20:9)
  • New Jerusalem is above the Earth (See below for Scriptures)
  • The Holy City is 1 mile square (Ezekiel 48:30)
  • New Jerusalem is about 1400 miles square (Rev 21:16)
  • People in physical bodies can enter the Holy City (Ezekiel 46:16)
  • No one in a physical body can enter New Jerusalem (Rev 21:27)
  • The Holy City gives light to the region and its neighbors
  • New Jerusalem gives light to the Earth (Rev 21:24)
  • The Holy City has a functioning and working Old Testament Style Temple (Ezekiel 45:13-15,17)
  • New Jerusalem does not have a Temple (Rev 21:22)
  • The Gentile Nations will come and bring sacrifices to the Holy City
  • People in physical bodies, who keep God's commandments come and eat from the tree of life (Rev 22:14)

What happens to Jerusalem as we know it today?

  • For all intents and purposes, the city is wiped out during the Tribulation. (Zechariah 14:2)
  • Zechariah 14:4 describes the gigantic earthquake that accompanies the Second Coming touch down
  • Fault lines have been discovered that run under Jerusalem
  • The rubble falls into the chasm and is buried forever with the living water that flows from the new temple and the new city.
  • Jeremiah 4:23-28 describes the condition of the Earth at the second coming, basically destroyed.
  • The latter part of Isaiah 61 describes the Millennial Kingdom and speaks of rebuilding the desolate and destroyed cities (Isaiah 61:4) 
Now for what I believe is a new revelation -

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

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.  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:
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).
Pillar of Fire around the Tabernacle
Christ's Ministry on Earth:
God continued to speak with the Jews through external sources, miracles, and the prophets until the Lord Jesus came.  Then He spoke directly to the Jews, not in a thunderous voice from the Heavens, but through His Son.  We have to realize that Christ's ministry was only to the Jews while He was on this Earth.  That's tough to swallow, especially if you come from a replacement theology background, but it is the truth.  Read Jesus own words to the Canaanite woman who was seeking healing for her daughter:  But He answered and said, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."  But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, "Lord, help me!" And He answered and said, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs."… (Matthew 15:24-26)  So His ministry was not to the Gentiles of the church, it was to the Jews, period.  The Lord related to the Jews directly until Pentecost, from that point forward - the Church Age began.
The Church Age:
During the Church Age, the Holy Spirit spiritually enters a believer, Jew or Gentile.  Jesus called the Holy Spirit, the Helper.  Through the Holy Spirit, believers testify to the truth and are instructed to do the work of the Lord here on the Earth.  There are no booming declarations from above, no pillars of fire leading the people forth in the Wilderness, no feeding of the 5000, no parting of the Red Sea.   Jesus himself ushers in this change, this truth, with the last beatitude, "Blessed are those who have believed and not seen." John 20:29.

Today, the Lord is quieter, gentler, more subtle.  He woos his Bride with kindness and gentleness.  Those who believe in Him during this time receive the greatest blessing of the age.  The church holds the highest position of honor and power.  In no other group of people does God indwell, not the Old Testament Saints, Tribulation Martyrs, Tribulation Believers, nor those that come to faith in the Millennium.  This honor belongs solely to the Church. (Let that sink in for a minute.)

The Lord is present on the Earth through His Church but because we are in the flesh, we have never fully manifested the Power that He promised; we don't move mountains, we see healing rarely if ever, we lose more often than we win in political and cultural battles.  We are, by and large, puny in power from a magnificence manifestation perspective.  Yet the Lord himself said he would lay the foundation of the church and the gates of hell shall not prevail upon it.  I believe our power will be perfected in the Millennial age - stay with me while I explain.

Mar 1, 2015

The Coming Temple - Part Four Millennial Bible Study

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.

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.

Jan 5, 2015

Tomboys - Our Girls are in Danger

Abigail and Dolley readers I've been reflecting on Donna Douglas, the starlet who passed away last weekend.  By all accounts, she was a lovely Christian woman of faith and integrity.  Usually, I would read something like this, ponder it for a moment and then move on.  Apparently though, the Lord wanted to bring something to mind and I kept thinking about her.  Over and over again through the weekend, I found I was drawn back to her story and her character of Ellie Mae Clampett.  Then it dawned on me, Ellie Mae was a tomboy and if she were alive today in Hollywood they would turn her from a beautiful young lady into a lesbian/transgender character.
Our Tomboys are in danger.  Girls of yesteryear who were rough and tumble were never told they were boys in girls bodies! We encouraged them to dress and act as girls, most grew up into fine ladies, wives, and mothers.  They did not dress as men and have their breasts cut off and their genitalia mutilated.  It is a dangerous time to be a tomboy today, because somebody is inevitably going to take it and tell those girls that they are lesbians or transgender.  What a truly evil thing to do to a little girl.

Instead, we should encourage them to enjoy catching frogs and building forts.  We should let them get muddy and play sports but we should remind them that they are young ladies.  We should teach them what a wonderful thing womanhood is and how God made her into a special person who will grow up to fulfill His plan for her.

By rejecting God and all His ways, our minds have become depraved and we no longer recognize right from wrong.  If you have a tomboy, nurture her and love her, guide her through this difficult culture.  Pray and the Lord will give you sound guidance and do not sell her out to the lies of the age, protect her.

Dec 7, 2014

Why I Stopped Dieting for a Year

Abigail and Dolley readers I have been on a diet since I was 7.  On and off, of course, but for the vast majority of my life I have either been dieting or contemplating the next diet.  The weight struggle is never ending.  Like a gambling addict, I have had some great successes but most have been great failures; the great successes kept me going back for more. I have starved myself, given up entire food groups, counted calories, counted fat, counted carbs, counted fiber, counted points.  I have cleansed and fasted, I have taken medication, and in the last diet gave up wheat, corn, dairy, soy, and even my beloved coffee.  I have punished my body and my mind for not conforming to an ideal it was never made to comfortably be.  So this year, in April, after a particularly grueling diet (for which I lost 3 pounds that I regained while on the diet) I said enough is enough.

I declared that I was not going to diet or get on the scale for a full year.  A full year of not counting anything and not letting the scale determine my self worth.  I began going to a naturalistic doctor who is helping me heal.  I was a bit afraid, all chronic dieters have learned to not trust their own bodies, minds, and instincts.  Would I binge on every cookie and eat a quart of ice cream in one sitting?  I'd done that after a particular "elimination" diet.  To my surprise, I did none of that.

Nov 29, 2014

Red, Chartreuse, Gold Christmas Tree

This year's Christmas Tree has a warm theme.  My trees are normally cool colors but this year we went primarily with red.  The ribbons are wired and secured with floral wire.  Enjoy!

Nov 26, 2014

Heaven is for Real Movie Review

Abigail and Dolley readers last evening I settled down to watch "Heaven is for Real".  I came away with mixed emotions about the film.  Like much Christian entertainment these days it is Laodicean in it's theology, neither hot nor cold and thus unpalatable. There were times during the latter half of the film that I wondered if these folks on the screen were even Christians!  The total lack of Biblical understanding filled me with consternation and in the end serves no one.

We are so "seeker friendly" that we don't tell seekers the truth!  Afraid to offend and drive off anyone, we soft sell their eternal destiny so we don't hurt their feelings or make them uncomfortable.  This is dangerous theology friends.  "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'

There are some positive elements to the film.  I enjoyed the depiction of a believable Christian family.  The husband and wife have a real marriage, with tenderness, struggles, compassion, and physical affection.  The family sings bible songs in the car and then rocks out to Queen in the next breath.  Financial pressures are real and so is compassion for people going through difficult times.  People of faith suffer in this life, the pastor broke his leg and then subsequently suffered terribly with kidney stones.  The depiction of this suffering rang true.  The fellowship of the church body at the beginning of the film is heart warming, it shows a true caring Christian family.  The call to prayer when Colton was sick and in the hospital brought me to tears.  To see the Body of Christ respond as intercessors before the Lord was powerful.  The first half of the film was fantastic.

The second half?  Not so much.  Filled with real questions about belief, the Pastor and his congregation go through a seeking journey that is more suited to those who have never believed in Christ.  This journey is fine and necessary for those who have not professed Christ as their Savior but is troubling in this context because what in the world do these people believe?  They seem to struggle with basic doctrine, what is salvation and how do we achieve it?  Is the Word of God true and correct?  Do we actually believe in Christ or is this just a social club?

The scene at the graveyard is particularly troublesome.  The pastor tells the grieving mother that he has nothing for her.  He admits that he did not say or do anything to comfort her at the death of her 19 year old son.  What?  It isn't difficult, this is Christianity 101 and these folks are treating it like it is a deep mystery.

I surmise they had a Believer direct the first part of the film and a Seeker the second.  A moving film in the beginning had my brow furled in the end.  Instead of clearly presenting the truth of the Gospel which is in order to go to Heaven you must confess your sins, accept the death, resurrection, and atonement of the death of Christ for your sins.  You must accept that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and ask Him into your heart and your life.  There is no other way to the Father except through the Son.  That is straight up truth and it isn't complicated.  Instead, the film says to the seeker that God loves us and that is enough to get us into Heaven.  If that were true then why did Jesus have to die?

I must conclude, that indeed "Heaven is for Real" but this movie and it's theology are not.

Nov 18, 2014

Bias Check

Recently, I have begun a mental exercise that has proven quite enlightening.  The exercise is about finding my own bias.  We all have a worldview and critical thinking demands that we understand this in ourselves and others.  We are passionate about things we care about - plain and simple.  If there is an injustice against someone or something we value then we are more apt to give that situation weight.  If we inherently do not like the person or the cause, even if the same injustice occurs, we will not feel the same.  A well balanced person, must recognize this in themselves.

Brit Hume, the Washington Journalist, was the first person I ever heard speak about media bias in a way that made it seem less insidious.  Check out this video, it gives you the gist of his take on this issue:

So here's the exercise:  If I read a headline or the major issue of the day, I reverse the characters in the story.  If I still care about it then I recognize that the outrage is justified, if I become more apathetic then I realize it is my own bias kicking in.

I invite you to do the same, I think if all of us begin to think critically, without our inherent bias about right and wrong we may begin to make progress.  Here are some examples:

Lena Dunham is someone I find quite repellent under normal circumstances, she recently wrote a book and conservatives were in an uproar about some of the stories she told about her sister.  I was completely grossed out.  I used my bias trick and substituted Bristol Palin, who is someone I view in a positive light.  When I did that, I was still creeped out but did not view it with the vehemence I did when it was someone that I disagreed with.

I inherently do not care for President Obama.  When I hear a story about him that makes me crazy, I substitute Ronald Reagan in the story to see if I still care.  Most of the time, I can catch my party bias this way.  

At the end of the day, we are all biased.  We all approach circumstances or stories with our own preconceived notions of what is right and what is wrong.  We care about things that are important to us, this is perfectly all right but we must be honest with ourselves, we must critically think, we must look at ourselves with true glasses.  If we do this, we obtain a self awareness sorely lacking in Reality TV America.

Nov 2, 2014


Abigail and Dolley readers I have always loved magical stories.  As a child, I ate up Patricia Coombs, Dorrie the Little Witch books.  I was an avid fan of Betwitched and I Dream of Jeannie, stories of fantasy sparked my imagination and I knew that if I just thought happy thoughts that I was going to fly like Wendy in Peter Pan.  I went through the wardrobe with CS Lewis and fought trolls with the Hobbit.  As an adult, I fell in love with Harry Potter.  In the last few years, my favorite stories are from the Outlander series which has element of mystery and magic.  If I am honest, my vision of Heaven gives me some cool powers like flying or touching a plant and making it grow.  I see magic in the world, I see magic in my God but we are forbidden from witchcraft, sorcery, and divination, so I have always struggled with this part of me that just loves magic.

God doesn't deal in falsehoods so His prohibition against such things by the very nature of the prohibition tells me that this stuff is real.  In the end, my fantasy magic is just that, fantasy.  Real magic, real witches, real divination - well that's something all together different.  Those practices, whether the practitioner will admit or not, are grounded in evil.  So, if we stay away from the real thing I am not going to sweat it too much that I like the tales.

I have to admit though, certain times during magical tales I think, "Man, they need to pray."  Because in the end there doesn't seem to be room for God in these tales.  There is a scene in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix where Mr. Weasley is critically injured.  In the book, they are fretting and pacing and worrying but they are not praying - that struck me.  I've read some fantasy romances where they are fighting evil but they are not fighting with the only weapon we are given, the Word.  NBC has a new show, Contantine, and there is such a twisted theology abounding in the story it's hard to watch.  How do you fight the devil without the Lord?
Several authors have written great books that capture the magic from the Christian worldview.  This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness by Frank Peretti changed my life, by changing the way that I viewed everything.  Ted Dekker has written some great thrillers, Blink being one of my favorite to demonstrate the power of prayer.  There is magic all around us, there is power in our prayers and we DO serve a supernatural God.  We need not exchange the counterfeit for the real, I just wish there was more real well done stuff in the market.

Oct 25, 2014

The Hectic Life of a Sports Family

Abigail and Dolley readers, today let's talk about something touchy, sports.   (Take a little ride with me, this is a not an attack on anyone but more of a dramatized tale.  Just pretend that I am the "Ghost of Christmas Present".  Even if your experience is not this extreme, perhaps you can find some truth in the below.)  Sports... the great American pastime, it evokes images of camaraderie, cheering spectators, and life's lessons learned on the ball field.  Just good plain fun, but is that the honest truth in today's world?  An idealized view of modern sports drive behavior and decision making in American families.  We maniacally throwing our children into one activity after the next, all in pursuit of a sports fantasy.  For countless families, the reality is far from fantastic.

In the not so distant past, kids played a variety of different sports.  Sports had seasons and kids moved from one season to another, not settling on a single sport until their late high school years, if ever.  This variety taught them different skill sets, types of movement, tempos, and paces.  Multiple sports insured kids had different friends, coaches, and experiences. Sports were a balanced part of a well rounded childhood, where the family did not revolve around the child or his activities. Today, it is widely believed and practiced that parents should select their "kid's sport" by age eight.  Once chosen, then the wholehearted investment, commitment/pressure, and expenses begin.  These kids embark on a journey of conditioning seasons during the heat of the Summer, special camps, travel teams, year round sports, clinics, personal trainers, and position coaches - for ten year olds.

Let's consider the time.  Public school demands more time from your child's life than ever before - 38 hours a week from bus ride to bus ride + homework.  Then we drag these kids to hours of sports practices and games.  Frazzled moms yell at tired kids to do their homework on the one hour commute to the "away" game and not get fast food mustard on the seat.  Are you tired yet?  Wait, there's more.  Now multiply this scenario by the number of kids, who play different sports, have different practice times, and different locations.  Mom takes one kid and Dad takes the other.  Other relatives are recruited and this insanity bleeds over into households that don't even have children.   Add in Scouts, Dance, Music, and Art because they need to be well rounded.  The truth is we try to give our kids everything that we wanted and didn't get.  Recently, I overheard a lady comment to a boy, "Where've you been, Justin?  We haven't seen you in weeks."  The young boy shook his head, sighed, and said, "I've had 11 games in the last 14 days."  This conversation took place as the 7th grade Junior Cotillion class that was dismissing at 8:30 pm.   That 12 year old boy had put in a 13 hour day and I'd bet he still had homework.

Oct 8, 2014

The Evolutionist World View of the Stars

Abigail and Dolley readers I was up early this morning to watch the second Lunar Eclipse of the Blood Moon Tetrad.  It was a glorious display but alas we live in a small valley with huge trees to the west and we lost sight of it about 6:40am.  Being an enterprising gal, I pulled up a live stream and watched it online.

One of the sites had commentators and I immediately had to mute them!  The evolutionist worldview came through in the first sentence they spoke.  It was entirely too early in the morning for yet another display of a lost world.  The exchange went like this."Well, I would not say the ancient Jews were astronomers, that's taking it a bit too far."

Boom - in one sentence the entire worldview is summed up.  First, the evolutionist thinks that ancient man was not as intelligent as he, the modern man, is.  The evidence, though, contradicts that assumption.  Archaeologists are constantly amazed at the complexity and intelligence they see in ancient ruins and civilizations.  If you read the articles, they are astounded by what they find and they can't quite wrap their worldview around the facts.  Second, the evolutionist ascribes the wisdom of the ancient Jews to the people themselves instead of the Creator.  By down playing the discoveries they deny both the Jews and their God.
Stairway to Heaven Nebula
Modern astronomers must struggle daily with the vast beauty before them.  The perfection of the universe, the complexities and the order displayed in the Heavens have for centuries drawn Man to God.  We instinctively know in our hearts, from the time we are children, that God is up there.  We lift our eyes in prayer, we lift our hands in praise, we gaze at the stars above and feel the vastness of the Creator.  I feel sorry for these scientists, the daily hardening of their hearts, the denial of God to His very face, must certainly take a toll on them.

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.…

Sep 29, 2014

The Reckoning

As the world spirals ever downward and the signs of the times manifest on an hourly basis, I am utterly astounded at the slumber most of the population is in.  I am burdened beyond measure to shout at the top of my lungs that people need to wake up, Wake Up, WAKE UP!  The enemy of your soul is at the gate and this unhinged world bent on self satisfaction is gladly ushering him in.

There is no coincidence that in vampire lore evil needs permission to enter your house.  Thus too, supernatural evil requires permission and society is beckoning it in with exultation.  Dressed as a sexy angel, the foolish world celebrates the fleshly desires evil brings with him.  They are drunk on the blood of innocents and scoff at the most High God day and night.  

Do you feel the shaking?  Do you hear the howling wind?  Do you sense the storm raging?  For the unseen is greater than the seen and wicked and dying men are blind to the calamity approaching.  A faithful and merciful God calls for the lost to repent and the remnant cry continuously in the streets, "Repent, return to God for judgement is coming if you do not."  

Deluded men say to themselves, "I am a good person, I have nothing to repent for."  This is a lie, for judged against the standards of perfection we fall short.  We have lived in a society for so long that tries to understand and excuse evil that we are no longer conflicted or convicted in ourselves or others.  We make excuses for everything we do: Well, I was depressed when I abused those drugs.  I was lonely so I slept around.  I was can not be held accountable,  I was born this way.  The rationalizations are as endless as the sins they seek to excuse.  We all do it, our self esteem depends on it.  Our society has taught us that it is harmful to blame ourselves and injure our self esteem but I say the opposite is true.

"If we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."  Do you understand what that means?  That means that instead of making excuses and covering up for ourselves, we can be free of the bondage of sin and death, we can be cleansed and made whole.  We can be right with God and justified through faith in the Son, Jesus Christ.  

You are not damned unless you chose it.  God does not consign anyone to Hell, people chose it themselves.  They shake their fist at God, harden their hearts, and perish of their own volition.  For since the beginning of your life, "God has made himself known to you, through the rocks, the trees, the flowers, that at the end no man will be without excuse."  Seek the Lord, Repent, we have entered the time of the Reckoning.

Sep 27, 2014

Modern Idolatry

In Second Grade, the highlight of the week was Wednesday when the retired Senior Pastor would teach Old Testament Bible class.  He was gentle story teller who wove pictures and told tales that came alive in our imaginations.  We cheered the victories of the heroes and hung our heads in shame at their failures.  His stories about the Patriarchs, Moses, the Judges, and the Kings were fascinating.

The Old Testament is full of heroes and miracles but it is also full of idol worship.  Idol worship is strange to the modern mind, it seems silly.  As a kid, I always thought that I would never fall victim to all of the sins of the Israelites.  I mean who bows down to a cow statue, right?  I thought idolatry was dead, but is it?
Idol Worship - Then and Now
Idolatry is anything you love more than you should, where you devote your passion, your time, your money, and your thoughts.  Often your devotion will become part of who you are, your defining characteristic and part of how other people describe you.  Think about it for a second, what is the first adjective that comes out of someone's mouth describing your character?  Do they say: "He's an Executive", she's a "Sports Mom" or "She's in great shape"?  How do you describe yourself?  Be honest, what's the first adjective that you use?  How are you defining yourself?.

Now take it even deeper, what do you love?  Do you love your company, your work, your team, your children, your body?  Do you love them more than God?  Do you chose that activity over attending regular worship?  Will you drag yourself out of a sick bed to go to a game but pull the covers over your head for church?  Are you spending evenings reviewing spread sheets and reports but haven't picked up your Bible in years?  Will you drive two hours for a business appointment but not set aside a lunch hour a month to go to a men's Bible Study? Will you drive your exhausted children to football practice four days a week but let them sleep in on Sunday?

Where are your priorities?  Because, my Friends, I will tell you idolatry is not dead, it just wears a new face.  It has a business suit, a yoga bra. or a sports jersey, it might even be looking back at you from that selfie.  Is it in your children, who you try to give a perfect life free of the pain and failure you experienced as a kid?

The first two commandments state, you shall have no other God's before me and you shall not worship idols.  My friends, we are a nation that puts money, business, ourselves and sports above God.  We worship at the alter of the Dow Jones and fret over every jobs report.  We ecstatically worship in arenas, stadiums, and high school football bleachers and turn our noses up in disdain if the person beside us in church lifts their hand in worship and praise.  We care for our bodies in such a way that we are afraid to eat Salmon that has swum by a Salmon farm for fear of contamination.  We have become shallow, lame, and utterly boring in our inward focus and our worldly worship.

Sports Worship
We are a world of idolaters who thumb our noses at the Most High God.  We are a world ripe for judgement.  We are a world of scoffers and idolaters.  God will not be mocked, HE will not stand idly by forever.  Our world has been under a series of judgments for decades and they have escalated since 9/11.  I truly believe a third major judgement will soon befall this world soon if we do not repent and turn back to God.
We can not as individuals control the disintegration of this present darkness but we can change our own hears, we can change our families.  I implore you to look inside, look deeply inside, judge yourself harshly, judge yourself by the standard of perfection - look upon your life, repent, and change.  Ask God to be merciful to you and to your Nation.  Ask for His healing, return to Him.  He loves you, He'll take you back.

Sep 14, 2014

Convergence of Signs

Abigail and Dolley readers you might recall that last Summer I did a pretty extensive study on the Feasts of the Lord, the Blood Moons, Rosh Hashanah, and the Rapture.  We are gearing up again for the Fall Feasts and my expectations continue to mount that we are truly living in the last days.  The Church is admonished to keep looking up that our redemption draws nigh.  Here are some compelling reasons that seem to mark a convergence of prophetic signs, a gathering together of momentum and circumstances:

Signs in the Heavens - Blood Moons, Super Moons, Solar Eclipses, Meteors, Sun Spots, Magnetic Polar reversals, just to name a few.

Wars and Rumors of Wars - Ukraine and Russia and the Middle East are exploding

Right is Wrong and Wrong is Right - the utter reversal of what is considered good, right, and moral is astounding.

Men will become lovers of self - five years ago we did not even have a term for taking a picture of yourself, now the pervasive selfie has littered the landscape and promoted ever increasing levels of narcissism.

Pestilence - I am third or fourth line in the fight against the Ebola virus.  I can not even convey how awful this situation is right now and getting worse.

Earthquakes - The USGS has stopped keeping this chart, it would alarm the public if they were to put this out in a twitter style graphic.  You can see for yourself that up until 2000 earthquakes over 6.0 remained infrequent.  This year, 2014 we have had over 114 earthquakes over 6.0.

Convergence of numeric and prophetic dates - God is orderly, He does not do things in a haphazard manner and thus, if we can observe patterns from history we can extrapolate and observe the way He has worked in the past.  Since God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow we can rely on the constancy.

7 days of Creation
7 days of the Week.
The laws of Sabbath for the land are arranged in 7 year increments
7 Sabbath years times 7 = Jubilee years
The Jews stayed in exile 70 years. (the number of Sabbath years they did not uphold)
Daniel 9 lays out 490 weeks (years) for the redemption of Israel.
One week remains of Daniel's weeks, one 7 year period
The Tribulation is 7 years
Yom Kippur 2015 is 49 years to the day of Jerusalem's recapture by Israel
Rosh Hashanah 2015 marks the end of a Sabbath year.  (Historically a devastating day/year financially)
The final blood moon takes place on the Feast of Tabernacles 2015

Conclusion, I am not naming dates but it is a compelling fact that all of these things are indeed converging.  There are hundreds more signs, hundreds more studies and nuances that can be brought to bear, I simply wanted to lay out for you simple facts and observations.  It is the Lord's deepest desire that all will come to faith in Him, that none should perish.  Chose this day who you will serve for tomorrow is promised to no one.