Dec 27, 2013

Finding God's Provision

This Christmas, I have learned, perhaps, the most valuable lesson of the year.  "What lesson?" You ask.  I have learned to recognize God's Provision.  We can do this by stopping, observing, and looking at what is in front of us instead of dwelling on what is not.  He meets our needs everyday but we miss it in the moment, only in hindsight do we see.  

My family determined this year, we were not going to make Christmas a consumption fest.  We were not going to run ourselves ragged or go broke buying gifts.  We kept that promise and the blessings of the Season were amazing.  By looking to the things He already had given us, we bagged all of our presents with last year's bags and tissue paper.  By praying for his provision, we had a bottle of wine when we needed to bring something to a friend's party, we had the ingredients for cookies and cake so we could bring some food.  When our son brought a friend home for dinner, unexpectedly, we cut the chicken breasts in half and shared the food we had on the table.  The next morning when there was four eggs and three slices of bacon, I made 5 omelets and toast and everyone went away full and satisfied.  As I am looking for wood chips, compost, and mulch for my new Back to Eden Garden, neighbors bag their leafs up and leave them on the side of the road, tree services deliver wood chips, and the neighbors who keep chickens say I can have as much manure as I want.  I've desired a compost bin for a while and I now have free pallets to use to make one.  Since the birth of my Sister's first baby in 2007, I have purchased special ornaments for each child.  This year, the $80 ornament was just not in the budget, I was sad about this and rationalized that I would buy it next year and he would never know the difference.  I got a promotional email and for a limited time the ornament was 50% off!  It was still the most expensive present I bought this year but I was so proud of it.  I was so thankful to the Lord that I was not embarrassed over my lack of funds and I was so blessed to be able to keep the tradition.  Looking back over this year, these are just a scant few examples, but I think you get the gist. 

In all of the above small situations, I could have looked at what I did not have, I could have bought what I wanted on credit, I could have tried to provide for myself but I would have failed.  Instead, I made a choice to appreciate what I did have and the experience was so much richer.  I felt blessed, I felt as if I was a good steward, and the excitement of Christmas has returned to my heart.

So dear friends, I implore you to make a paradigm shift in your thought life and learn to appreciate what God has given you.  It will take some creativity, it will take a humbleness, and it will give you back more than you can ever imagine.

Dec 23, 2013

Back To Eden Approach

Abigail and Dolley readers I have had a very interesting year, to be sure.  Personally and professionally, the ups and downs of 2013 have changed me, again.  I've learned to trust the Lord in a new way, it's an exercise, something I have to practice but it is there never the less.  As we approach Christmas, people will ask you what you want and in spite of three years of lack, I find that the Lord has supplied all of my needs.  When my husband asked me if I would like for him to build me a new vegetable garden, my eyes light up, well... like Christmas!

Some of my regular readers will know that I have seasons of "The Mad Gardener" in me.  Over the years, I have written often about the escapades in gardening and it is one of the activities I truly enjoy, sometimes....  I say sometimes because frankly it is often back breaking toil in the brutal heat.  I haven't been terribly healthy this year and I AM (horror) getting older.  Thus, I am looking for a simpler and less labor intensive method.

I am a beacon for mosquitoes.  This year, I could barely step outside without being attacked.  I would spray down with Deet for long afternoons in the garden but who wants to spray that stuff to take a simply mosey?  Merely stepping outside would bring a hoard of the blood suckers which result in painful fifty cent piece knots that itch for hours.

So, the garden, while weeded, trimmed, and freshly pine needled has not gotten my passionate attention or care.  It has been several years since the Kitchen Table Scholar in me set my mind to horticulture and in the intervening years I have come to embrace the organic lifestyle.  Hence, it was time to brush up and learn as much as I could about doing this chemical free.

Rabbit trailing around, I found the Back to Eden Garden Film which combines love of the Lord with gardening.  Hello!  You have my attention.  I was blessed beyond measure and have in the intervening weeks watched the film three times.  We are finishing another yard project in the coming days and after Christmas will begin the process of laying down our own Back to Eden Garden,  I promise to document the steps and the results along the way.  For your own enjoyment, please watch the film,



Dec 1, 2013

Peacock Christmas Tree

Abigail and Dolley readers I adore Christmas and look forward every year to creating a wonderful tree.  Here is this year's Peacock Inspired Tree.









Oct 27, 2013

Jesus Wept

Abigail and Dolley readers many of you know, John 11:35 is the shortest verse in the bible.  I have been contemplating this verse today and thought I might share a bit with you.  My pastor asked this morning, "Why did Jesus weep?"  I answered because He was fully man, he felt what we feel.  Someone else answered, "He had a family, too."  That got me to thinking.

Perhaps in those tears, were tears of pain for lost loved ones.  Jesus always submitted to the will of the Father and it stands to reason there were many whom he had lost to death.  Joseph immediately came to mind.  We know nothing of his teenage years or his twenties, there were certainly friends and family who died in those years.  It is entirely possible that Jesus himself had lost a brother to death.  We KNOW he had lost his Earthly father.

As they are walking to the grave, Jesus groaned.  In John 11:33 &38 the Greek word Embrimaomai is translated as groan but literally means to snort like a horse.  I think Jesus voice was cracking in pain as he listened to the sisters and the mourners cry.  Their mourning is described as klaio used 34 times in the New Testament.  It means bemoaning, wailing, weeping - klaio is loud and full of pain.  Then Jesus wept.  Literally, Jesus dakruo

If you look at the Greek, the word is Dakruo.  It is only used once in the Bible and it is here.  It means to begin to sob silently.  When the pain is so great, you can not even make a sound.  

We put ourselves in the midst of tragedy.  I do not think of death without feeling pain for my Father. I do not hear of anyone grieving without thinking of his passing. I have become well acquainted with dakruo and klaio in the 22 months since he went home.  I miss him.




Oct 9, 2013

"Chili-less" Cheeseburger

Abigail and Dolley readers I have previously written about Wednesday Night Cooking with my son.  These are always the best dinners of the week and the more we do it the more fun we have.  He has a great sense of flavor and I have let him get creative with several sauces that have knocked our socks off!  Tonight, we did something easy and I wanted to share the recipe with you.

He named it the Godzilla Burger, but since it was neither huge nor spicy, I thought the Chili-less Cheeseburger was a better title since the Cumin really is the star!  It tasted like a chili cheese burger without all the mess!

Chili-less Cheeseburger

Shredded Mexican Cheese
Soft Potato Rolls
Sliced Tomato

Burger:

1 lb of 80/20 Ground Beef (room temperature)
Salt
Pepper
1/2 tsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Liquid Smoke
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce

Mix all burger ingredients in a bowl and form into 4 x 4oz patties.


Sauce:

1/3 c mayo
1 tsp Taco Seasoning
1/4 tsp Cumin
About 5 Jalapenos minced + a little juice
Salt

Mix all in a bowl and spread on the top and bottom of a soft potato roll.

We love our George Foreman Grill - 5 minutes total cook time.  Take burgers off and top with cheese, let them rest a minute or two.  Add the burger to the bun with a tomato and enjoy!

Aug 26, 2013

Forgiveness

One of the hardest thing Scripture tells us to do is forgive people who have harmed us.  This is especially true when the grievance is fresh and the wound deep.  Walking in the Kingdom of God calls on believers to go against our natures:  pray for our enemies, bless those who curse us, and forgive our brothers who sin against us.  These are tough things to do.  The difficulty of forgiveness in the human heart is governed by several factors:  who sinned against you, how much time has elapsed, and the trespass itself.  Alas, all of these are influenced by the degree to which we forgive ourselves.  A human heart that holds grudges against itself will have an even harder time forgiving others. 

Fogiveness for deep wounds is often a daily activity.  I have experienced that lately.  I come to peace about something and find it rears it's ugly head days or weeks later and I have to forgive again.  Forgiving someone does not tell the person that what they did was okay, it just takes away that persons power over you to keep hurting you with their betrayal.  

We, as Christians, are forgiven everything we confess, we must not withhold from others that which is freely give to us.

Aug 24, 2013

Warning Signs

About 6 months after we moved into our neighborhood, the city put speed humps on the main drag.  I voted against them, but when my side lost I had to admit that in spite of careful intentions I did find myself going a lot faster than I should.  Since it was a familiar stretch of road, my mind would go on autopilot.  After a long day at work and a hellish commute, I would fly through the neighborhood in a hurry to get home.

The first day the road humps were there, it was a shock.  Had I not been paying attention I might have done some serious damage to my car.  The jet black humps stood out from the faded gray asphalt but the city crew did not paint the white arrows on the humps for several days.  Thankfully, there was a warning sign posted in the neighborhood and later that week the white arrows were painted.
Missing the Warning Signs
As the years have gone by, I don't notice the road humps any more.  The warning signs are obscured by tree branches and the dark black of the new asphalt has faded to nearly match the gray of the original road.  We putz through the neighborhood, going the speed limit and slowing for the obstacles automatically.  In many ways, I am thankful for the speed humps, they slow me down and have kept my neighborhood safe.

There is a lesson in these speed humps for every Christian.  Before the speed bumps and warning signs, we fly through life in a hurry to get home.  We know we should be slowing down and obeying the laws but we forget, get distracted, and end up going way too fast.  We don't want laws or rules to make us do those things but once they are there we realize they were for our own good.


When we first see the signs, we have to look carefully - they appear to be part of the road but we know there is something up ahead.  We cautiously approach them, testing their impact and slowly make our way along the path, recognizing the signs that God has put in our midst.  Preachers may begin to teach on these humps and the white lines of warning are painted on them.  In the beginning, we note the signs and the evidence of the obstacles.  We discuss them with our neighbors.  While they may appear to some as part of the road we recognize them for what they are.

After years though, the signs and the evidence become part of the journey.  The black asphalt fades to almost the same color of the road and we no longer pay attention to the signs.  As a body, we in the Church are used to the signs.  They are part of the road, part of the world, and we don't even notice them anymore.

The shame of this is that while the Body of Christ lies sleeping, the King is approaching.  Instead of shouting an alarm to the lost, we hunker down with false prophets and teach about "health and wealth", we condemn the lost instead of reaching out, or worse yet, we blaspheme and fall away in an apostasy that is astounding.

The vacuum left by the Body of Christ will be filled with something!  The world is lost and confused.  The believers in aliens see the imminent return.  The environmentalist believe the Earth is trying to tell us something because of climate change.  The fringe chemtrail, Nibiru, Lizard People believe the End is Near!  Even the folks that don't prescribe to any of these theories see what is going on around us and shake their head because something is going on....

The World sees these signs and they are trying to interpret them, all great lies from the Devil have grains of truth in them!  "Aliens" are showing themselves, but they are not what they claim to be.  The Earth IS groaning but not because of Global Warming.  There ARE strange things in the sky and many ARE controlled by "lizard people", but they aren't lizard people, they are ancient evil.

Everyone believes and sees the world through their own filter, everyone believes they are right.  Empirically, the Church has it right.  Not because we are smarter, or better, but because we base our worldview on the Bible, a 4000 year old book that has NEVER been wrong, it doesn't change, and it is a solid foundation for which man has governed himself and the world since Creation.  The Bible gives us the clear signs, it is up to us to point them out to each other and to explain them to the world and THAT my friends is what I have been trying to do.  Blessings to you and yours, In Christ! "Dolley".

Aug 21, 2013

Garden Patties

Abigail and Dolley readers every year my Sister puts in a wonderful organic garden, this year the squash and zucchini were abundant and we were looking for ways to cook the end of the season bounty.  I came up with this simple gem and thought I would share it. 

Squash
Zucchini
Potato
Egg
Bread Crumbs
Salt
Pepper
Paprika
Onion Powder

For this recipe I shredded 2 yellow neck squash, 1 medium zucchini, and 1 Yukon Gold potato.  I salted the veggies and let them sit in a fine mesh strainer so most of the water would leach out.  This takes about 20 minutes.  In a large bowl, I seasoned the veggies with salt, pepper, paprika, and onion powder.  Stir in two eggs and enough bread crumbs to soak up the egg. 

Heat a large pan over medium high heat with enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pan and up the side 1/4 inch.  Once the oil is hot, form the veggie mixture into patties, drop in the oil, flip when golden brown and crispy.

These were delightful and a great way to use up that squash and zucchini that was starting to "show a little age".

Aug 20, 2013

Weeds in the Garden


We have had the oddest Summer; wet, cool, and overcast.  Our Dog Days of 100+ degree days with no rain for weeks have simply not materialized.  Normally, the areas between the flower beds and the lawn looks like a terracotta pot that has cracked in the sun, this year it shows muddy 12 year old boy footprints.  Usually this time of year, the fescue is looking a bit singed and the crab grass is coming on strong, it looks like Augusta National out the front window...

The grass is so pretty, it highlighted the fact that the front flower bed needed some serious attention.  An entire wagon load of weeds came out of there today; a whole Radio Flyer full!  It was nasty, muddy, mosquito infested work and I've put it off all Summer; (sarcasm alert) perhaps that is why there was so many. 

The Black-eyed Susans are lovely but they have over taken way more of the front bed than they were intended, most of them had to go. There was a new bug eaten weed out there this year, I think it came from the pine straw.  It was shallow rooted and easy to pull out but boy was it everywhere!  With all the rain, I was able to get after some seriously established weed strongholds.  You know the ones, the trees that go undetected in the shrubbery.  Often, by the time you see them, they are well rooted and established.  Digging them out with a big shovel puts the shrub at risk so often the best you can do is prune it to the ground.  Year after year, it comes back.  This year with two hands and a strong back I uprooted a half a dozen of these suckers.  After my bath, I went out to admire my handy work and behold I had missed a thorny vine that was creeping up the back side of one of the shrubs.  The only way you can see it is from the landing above. 
The One I missed

Whilst I was supplying the nutritional needs for the neighborhood female mosquito population, it occurred to me that weeds in the garden are like sin in our lives.  Sometimes there are new ones that pop up out of nowhere, they may be easy to pluck up on their own but if left alone will spread like wildfire and become a real problem.  Some sins, like the Black-eyed Susans, are plants we intentionally set out but get out of balance. What started as something innocent begins to takes too much time, or money, or simply crowds out other  potentially good things in our lives.  These can be hobbies, friendships, that after dinner drink....  The hardest sins are like the trees growing undetected in the shrubbery.  During our dry times, the best we can do is prune it to the ground where nobody can see them.  We know the roots are still there but can't do much about it at the time and out of sight out of mind, right?  Only after a long period of rain and cool respite from the blistering Summer heat can we, with determination and hard work, get rid of the really deep ones.  Finally, even when we're dirty, bitten, and convinced we are done, a perspective from up above will reveal a hidden one we have missed.

What's in your garden, Friends?  I had a whole wagon load....

Wagon Load of Garden Weeds

Aug 19, 2013

Days of Awe

In the course of my research on Rosh Hashana, I learned about the Days of Awe.  This is the period between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur where tradition states that people whose name has been written in the Book of Death can seek God's mercy and forgiveness and have their names moved to the Book of Life.  The concept of Books is not merely traditional, the Scriptures hold many references.  Revelation 20:12 says, "I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God's throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books."  

I have discussed before that there are two schools of thought concerning those who will be saved after the Rapture and those who will receive the Great Deception and be lost forever.  One school says if you have heard the gospel and rejected it before the Rapture you are damned forever.  The other school says that each person has a chance after the Rapture, it's the last hope for all of eternity.  The Left Behind Series by Tim LeHaye and Jerry Jenkins takes the view that people that have heard the gospel and not accepted Christ will have an opportunity to be saved.  This is what Scripture says:


2 Thessalonians 2:6 And you know what is holding him back, for he can be revealed only when his time comes. 7 For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way. 8 Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will consume with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 This evil man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. 10 He will use every kind of wicked deception to fool those who are on their way to destruction because they refuse to believe the truth that would save them. 11 So God will send great deception upon them, and they will believe all these lies. 12 Then they will be condemned for not believing the truth and for enjoying the evil they do. 

So breaking this down in a time line:  the restrainer of the Anti-Christ, I believe, is the Holy Spirit living inside the Church or the Bride of Christ.  Once the Church is Raptured, the time of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit will be over and the Anti-Christ will be revealed.  Satan puts on his dog and pony show and fools those who are on their way to destruction because they refuse to believe the truth that would save them.  The Anti-Christ will put forth the lies but God sends a great deception.  There may be a time between the Rapture and the Anti-Christ revealing himself that all people have the opportunity to embrace the truth.  

So if the Rosh Hashana Rapture comes to pass the Days of Awe may come into play.  There may be a time period for which all men who have heard and rejected the Gospel of Christ will have a brief period to repent, accept the Lord and be saved.  I believe this will be the only hope for Americans left behind at the Rapture because unlike in most of the world, Americans are afforded every opportunity to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The Bible says that God reveals Himself to all people so that no one has an excuse, for my fellow countrymen, this is doubly true.    Men choose Hell.  I know many who are perishing and if they don't change their hearts and accept the free gift of salvation they will be at the Great White Throne Judgement and hear, "Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire."

Aug 15, 2013

Days of Noah

Matthew 24:37 "When the Son of Man returns, it will be like it was in Noah's day. 38 In those days before the Flood, the people were enjoying banquets and parties and weddings right up to the time Noah entered his boat. 39 People didn't realize what was going to happen until the Flood came and swept them all away. That is the way it will be when the Son of Man comes."

Serious prophecy buffs have delved deep into the "Days of Noah", perhaps so deep that we miss the easy meaning.  At the end of the day, Noah knew what was coming along with his wife, his sons, and their wives.  Eight people on the planet knew what was coming.  That's it, eight people.... From a percentage perspective that isn't many.

As I was walking today, I was praying, "Lord, why are you burdening me with all of this?  Why are you showing me all of these things?"  I am burning with a desire to DO something!  I now understand the street preachers who yell at people as they walk by, they are desperate to tell people, to help people, to save people.

My research has taken me to videos that are so compelling I want to shout it from the rooftops but who would hear me?  I look at the view count for these videos or my little blog, they are pitifully small.  This information is not made by crazy people nor are they nut job web sites, many are nothing more than compilations of news stories, like the one below:


There are hundreds of these types of videos, the odd behavior of the Earth has become so prevalent that many channels compile monthly chronicles of natural disasters.  World wide the planet is groaning, there are numerous stories of strange and unexplained sounds that seem to emanate from the ground or the sky, no one can tell.  There is some strong language on the video below, but it is freaky....


Let's not forget the UFO sightings.  Like the extreme weather, there are so many instances that they are making monthly compilations.  With the world armed with smart phones and video cameras, people are documenting UFO's at a rate of around one thousand per month.  Here's last month's compilation:


Our sun is behaving very oddly.  NASA has released tapes of major activity on the sun and this news cast from July 31, 2013 alarmed me... The analyst states, "Well, what you are seeing here is a weather map of the sun.  You'll notice that part of the sun is missing."  


So in the days of Noah, everybody was going about their business.  What do you want to bet that all Noah's facebook friends, oh I mean, his neighbors thought he had gone off the deep end....  This time we don't go out on an Ark, this time we go out with a trumpet.

Aug 13, 2013

The Rosh Hashanah Rapture

Abigail and Dolley readers it has long been speculated that the Rapture of the church will take place on God's Feast of the Trumpets.  The more I study, the more I am in agreement.  For modern American Christians, the first thought we have after reading the preceding sentence is, "No man knows the hour or the day..."  Until about three weeks ago, I thought the same.  Hang with me for a bit and perhaps we can look at this together.

Let's start with the Feast days. Leviticus 23:2-4 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts. Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein: it is the sabbath of the Lord in all your dwellings. These are the feasts of the Lord, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.

These are fullness of God's appointments with man.  These are the days God set aside to meet and speak with his people. "Notice the phrase, "holy convocation". The phrase in Hebrew is mikraw kodesh, better translated, "holy convocation and rehearsal". In other words, God's appointed times are actually "holy rehearsals" set apart to reflect events in the Messianic era. God said to the people, "Pay attention! On this day I am going to do something! Wake-up! The Jews were to know and practice all of God's mikraot or holy convocations." (sited from Hebrew roots.org)

It's important to note that God says, these are HIS feast days.  Somehow in modern Christianity we have this idea in our heads that these are only for the Jew; nowhere in Scripture are they designated as belonging to the Jews only, these are God's days.  As such, we as believers need to come into an understanding of them. 

The Feasts are broken up by season, the Spring and the Fall.  The first coming of the Lord Jesus completed messianic aspects of the Spring Feasts: Passover (when Messiah is killed), Unleaven Bread (when Messiah is buried), First Fruits (when Messiah is raised from the Dead), and Pentacost (when believers received the Holy Spirit).  These feast days were fulfilled with perfect accuracy and in order.

The prophetic calendar is not random; the religious leaders of the day knew when Messiah was born, they knew the times of Daniel were being fulfilled, they were not ignorant of the celestial signs in the Heavens nor of God's timetable.  God did not want them to be ignorant then and He does not want us to be ignorant now.

There is a season in between the Spring Feast and the Fall feast: Summer.  This waiting time represents and correlates with the church age for which we currently reside.  Daniel's 69 weeks for Israel were completed, we await the final 70th week, given for Israel.  The long hot Summer will not last forever, we know that the cooler days of Autumn are coming.  2 Timothy 3 describes exactly where we are right now:

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!  They are the kind who work their way into people’s homes and win the confidence of vulnerable women who are burdened with the guilt of sin and controlled by various desires. (Such women are forever following new teachings, but they are never able to understand the truth.) These teachers oppose the truth just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. They have depraved minds and a counterfeit faith. But they won’t get away with this for long. Someday everyone will recognize what fools they are, just as with Jannes and Jambres.

So to recap:
  1. God makes appointments with His people
  2.  The Feasts are Messianic dress rehearsals
  3. The first coming of Jesus fulfilled the Spring Feasts in perfect order
  4. Prophetic time tables were known to the religious scholars ahead of time
  5. God does not want us to be ignorant and tells us to be ready
  6. God is not random
  7. 2 Timothy 3 perfectly describes the end times which we now live

So, if all of the above are true, they are applied to the first coming and the Spring Feasts then then we can apply the above truths to our discussion of the Fall Feasts and the second coming of the Lord.  (It is important to not confuse the Rapture of the Church and Christ's Second Coming - they are two separate events but will happen in the same "season".  When Jesus speaks of the End Times he is addressing Israel and warning of His Second Coming.  Paul tells the church of the Rapture.)

The first of the Fall Feasts is Rosh Hashanah, Leviticus 23:24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall ye have a sabbath, a memorial of blowing of trumpets, an holy convocation.

The Primary focus of this holiday is acknowledging God as our King.  Men and women seek to make God the king of their lives.  It is the first day of Creation; "Let there be Light and there was Light.  Jesus is the Light of the World and shines in all the darkness.  It is the Jewish New Year but it is not the beginning of the calendar, it is the beginning of the seventh month.  Seven is complete.  So it marks the beginning but also the completion of a Sabbath.  Rosh Hashanah is a day of Remembrance and marks the day when Abraham was to sacrifice Issac.  Prophetically, Abraham and Isaac are a foreshadowing and a type of a Father sacrificing his Son.  It was a ram who served as the substitute sacrifice that day and hence the blowing of the ram's horn in remembrance. 

Rosh Hashanah is a day of Judgement, where God records the names of those in the Book of Life and those in the Book of Death.  The verdict is not final until Yom Kippur, there are ten days of mercy that those in the Book of Death can repent and believe. It begins a period where men search their souls and repent of their sins and seek forgiveness from God and man.  Teshuvah (literal means Returning) is the process by which a sincere Jew seeks forgiveness, it is a foreshadow of the process of Salvation:  "First one must recognize that they have made a mistake and genuinely desire to change for the better. They must then seek to make amends for their actions in a sincere and meaningful way, and finally demonstrate they have learned from their mistakes by not repeating them. When a Jew is sincere in his or her efforts at teshuvah, it is the responsibility of other Jews to offer forgiveness." (sited from About.com).

The Feast of the Trumpets; we are told that the Rapture will be accompanied by the trumpet of God.  1 Corinthians 15:52 it indicates it will be the last trumpet.  "The blowing of the shofar announces and reaffirms God as ruler of all mankind. The "trumpet-like" sound of the shofar also serves to stir the soul of all Jews, to awaken the Jewish people to the omnipotence and omnipresence of God and the chance to receive his mercy through prayer and repentance." (sited from how stuff works.com)

Okay, so now we have to address the "No man knows the hour or the day of the coming of the Son of Man, only the Father knows."  Did you know that is an idiom for a Jewish Wedding?  If I say to you as modern American Christian, "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today..."  You know I am talking about a wedding.  The same is true for "No man knows the hour or the day."  In Jewish marital customs after the betrothal the groom returns to his Father's land to build his new bride a home.  He was not released to go pick up his bride until his father said the house was ready.  When people would ask when he was returning to his bride he would answer, "No man knows the hour or the day only my Father knows."

It is also a phrase that refers to the uncertain nature of exactly when Rosh Hashanah will occur.  Since it is a Lunar Holiday, the task of setting the date fell to the religious rulers of the day based on the testimony of two witnesses.  Rosh Hashanah is the only feast that occurs on the first of the month, thus the determination of the day was extremely important.  The phrase, "No man knows the hour or the day" is also specific to Rosh Hashanah. When Jesus said this to his disciples THEY understood that he was talking about Rosh Hashanah!

To use the proofs established for the Spring Feasts, we can apply to the Fall feasts in like manner.
  1. God makes appointments with His people, the next Messianic appointment is Rosh Hashanah
  2. Rosh Hashanah is a dress rehearsal for Israel's acceptance of Jesus as King
  3. It is a time of repentance, remembrance, and forgiveness
  4. Prophetic time tables are known and the prophetic Scriptures have all been fulfilled
  5. The Church is the Bride of Christ and Rosh Hashanah is mentioned by Jesus as his time of returning
  6. God is not random
  7. Feast of Trumpets and Trumpets of the Rapture
The weight of the evidence is substantial and supports the belief that the Rapture of the Church will occur on God's next appointed time.  Where people get in trouble is trying to name the year - that my friend, as of this writing, is still a mystery.  Could be this year, the year after, or the year after... it could be 25 years from now.  I am not naming dates, just simply trying to do my little part in getting the Church ready.

Aug 10, 2013

Falling on Grace

I don't accept help comfortably or well.  Fiercely independent and self sufficient, "By myself!" was one of my first sentences.  I have never been still.  My family tells me that while I was a loving child I would not sit on anyone's lap and cuddle, unless they had a book.  I wanted my own apartment at 13 and constructed, what I believed to be, an extremely compelling argument for the merits of such an arrangement.  I have accepted as little help as possible my entire life.  I prefer to be the giver:  the big sister, the loving wife, the generous mother, the benevolent boss, the helpful daughter, the faithful friend.  Those are roles I prefer to play.

My colleagues gave me a baby shower before my son was born and I do not know if I have ever been so uneasy in my entire life.  A faithful colleague commented, "Dolley is not used to having people do for her, look how uncomfortable she is!"  Perhaps that was the first time I ever registered that thought and for me, it was a source of pride.

God broke me in 2011 and in most ways I am still broken.  There is a beautiful country song called, "Glass" that resonates with me.  The refrain says, "We are fragile, we are human, we are shaped by the light we let through us, we break fast, we are glass."  In spite of the brokenness, I am still not comfortable asking for help.

Recently, the Lord has shown me I was not made to be self sufficient.  Today, He revealed that I am even uncomfortable receiving from Him.  My prayers are often prayers of mercy; I ask Him to take things from me but not DO things for me.  I am under such intense spiritual attack at this point in my life, I am humbled to ask for help.  I can not walk this path alone, I can not pick myself up when I stumble, I have to hold my hand up and take the help that is offered.

One of the most profound talents of our time was the singer Rich Mullins.  He walked a very deep spiritual path and I identify with him.  His song, If I Stand, followed me on my walk today and I realize that bruised and battered as I am no longer capable of standing, so I will fall on the grace.


Aug 7, 2013

Cooking with a 12 Year Old Boy

Several months ago, my Son and I began a family tradition:  Wednesday Night Cooking with Mom.  It has been one of the greatest blessings of the year.  I have to admit that even though it has been a fantastic experience, like most things in life you have to get through the struggle to enjoy the reward.

Alas, he's 12 and asking him to do ANYTHING at this point in his life is a major inconvenience.  He grumbles and complains and every week tries to procrastinate.  He cops an attitude about choosing the meal and calls the whole thing stupid.  "Why do we have to do this again?" he moans.  I have to admit that on occasion I have blown my top... the idyllic bonding and instruction time does not always materialize.

Once I get him in the kitchen, it becomes a lesson in patience.  The hubby knows dinner WILL be late; it takes time to teach and a 20 minute dinner always takes exponentially longer.  It's a balancing act between proper instruction and letting him try things on his own.  Knife skills are particularly nerve wracking, every 12 year old boy wants to use the biggest knife in the block and chop with sheer strength and force.  Hot stoves, hot pans, hot ovens all have to be managed.
The World's Ugliest but Most Delicious Christmas Cookies (Not Exactly What I Envisioned...)

The mess... oh my goodness, it is a sight to behold.  Vegetables scattered here and yonder, flour... (now, even I make a mess with that stuff), spices shaken all over the stove, empty containers everywhere, spilled milk, two dozen dirty spoons, hot pans on counter tops, salt on the floor, a jar of honey dripping onto the counter... oh yeah, I spend as much time cleaning up after him as I do teaching him.

We sometimes argue; he insists he knows how to do something, like cut a tomato, and I witness what can only be described as a tomahawk chop about to come down on the hapless vegetable.  He doesn't appreciate my near hysteria at the explosion he is about to cause and says, "Geez, Mom aren't you over reacting?"

I drink while we cook.

That's become another part of the tradition.  I even share a bit with him.  That's part of the educational process, teaching him how to properly drink a glass of wine, how little it actually takes to get a buzz, and how quickly it can sneak up on you.  If I don't teach him how to properly handle and moderate his alcohol he'll learn it for himself. 

Sounds like drudgery, right?  Not by a long shot.  It seems that God sneaks in the kitchen when we aren't looking and makes magic happen.  Our food is wonderful!  Almost everything we've made has been delicious.  The Wednesday family dinners are the best of the week.  My normally finicky kid eats EVERYTHING he makes and now has a new appreciation for how hard Mom works to put on a meal.

We don't cook easy meals, we don't heat things up in the microwave; we cook.  It would be a lot easier on both of us if I bought simple box dinners for him and he nuked a couple of things but what would he learn?  What's the value of heating up something?  Not much.  Thus, our walk with the Lord is very much like cooking with your kids.  It's messy at times, it takes a lot longer than it should, we think we know what to do but we really don't, and sometimes we've got to have a glass of wine along the way.

Aug 6, 2013

Little Red Wagon

There is a street in my neighborhood that I avoid.  Perhaps all older neighborhoods have one of these streets; where the collective inhabitants have lapsed into apathy and exterior maintenance defeat.  The yards are more weed than grass, the shrubbery overgrown, the natural areas sport thousands of baby trees; no one has put out mulch for a decade.  It has a neglected feel and I always get the vibe that the people that live there are struggling.  I do enough of my own struggling, so I tend to avoid taking on more.  I haven't been down there in several years.

Today, the Lord prompted me to take that path.  I had just turned the corner and was expecting to be as frustrated as I usually was on this particular lane when I saw a neighbor had cut a huge bunch of bamboo.  There is a floor vase sitting empty in my house and bamboo was just the thing!  "Hmmm," I thought, "I listened to the Lord and right off the bat I got a gift!"  I inspected the piles, they were cut in perfect four foot sections and there were dozens of pieces to choose from.  I started to pick up a couple but freshly cut bamboo is heavier than you think.  I continued the walk but decided to return home for my little red wagon.

To my surprise, the street was in much better shape than it's been in years.  Some houses still need major landscape revisions but the feeling of hopelessness that had pervaded was no longer present.  One of the neighbors has built a spectacular water garden in their front yard and it seems to have prompted the rest to at least make an effort.  The mature trees gave the road a cool, shady feel; I was pleasantly surprised.  Overall, the morning walk was a peaceful and productive venture.

So I high tailed it home to procure my red wagon and retrieve my "treasure".  As I headed back out, I noticed that the wagon was loud!  Pulling it behind me, it made a terrible racket.  It disturbed the peace, drowned out the singing birds, and the church bells.  I could barely hear myself think and I certainly could not hear the still small voice.  Driving it in grass offered no improvement and made the footfalls uncertain.  The faster I walked, the louder it got.

My Little Red Wagon
Several years ago, we were treated to a sermon about how we pull our sins behind us, like bags of dung.  We know that we are forgiven but refuse to forgive ourselves and others.  We hold ourselves to a higher standard of forgiveness than God does and we pull our sink behind us.  Think of how arrogant that is.... Hilariously, the Pastor painted a picture of the size of the dung heaps we pulled behind, some had a small paper bag, some a bucket, and some a wagon.  Unfortunately, some of us have a pick up, and others have a tractor trailer.  What are you pulling behind you?  What stinking pile of dung do you need to leave by the side of the road?

I pondered dung for a moment but that was not my lesson for the day.  The Lord prompts us to be obedient and ask for forgiveness everyday.  Emptied before him, I have worked very hard to leave dead stuff alone.  No I wasn't carrying dung behind me, I had an empty wagon.  What then?  Then it hit me, my destination was stuff... I never think of stuff without thinking of the classic George Carlin bit. His perspective on stuff is spot on.  (I'm not putting a link here because it has really foul language, but if you can stomach his filthy mouth, check it out.)

Anyway, I realized how much harder it is to hear God and find peace when we are in pursuit of possessions.  When the purpose of our journey is to get things we miss the serenity of the walk.  We can not think because the noise drowns everything else out.  These folks are in chains, their lives have become a constant quest for the next thing that is going to make them happy.  Possessions cause a ton of futile work: you buy the stuff, put the stuff together, learn how to use the stuff, store the stuff, repair the stuff, clean the stuff, worry if someone breaks or steals your stuff, talk about your new stuff, and lust after the next and the newest.  They buy bigger houses than they really need to have room for all everything.  They rent storage units to hold their extra stuff and when they die nobody wants their junk!  The Lord is very clear in Matthew 6:19-20 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. The constant lust for possessions crowds out charity, generosity, and enslaves those walking this path.  Revelation 3:17 You say, 'I am rich. I have everything I want. I don't need a thing!' And you don't realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. 

I prayed, "Are you asking me to give up my worldly possessions?"  The thought was uncomfortable.  I don't love my stuff like some but I do like it.... He then opened my eyes in a very personal way, I have surrendered my stuff to him on a number of occasions.  The first time when my husband lost his job and took up pro-bono prison ministry - we gave God our stuff and said we will follow Him.  He released us from the curse of the Name it and Claim it.  The second time we gave up our stuff was because the "gift" we had acquired in our Name it and Claim it days had become an albatross and the load was too heavy to carry.  He released us from the overwhelming worry and burden.  The third time we gave up our stuff was when I lost my job a couple years ago, He showed us His hand of provision in the midst of the impossible.  No, this time he wasn't asking me to give up my stuff, I'd done that... "What then Lord?"  I asked.

"What will you do if I bless you?"  I thought for a moment and smiled, "I will offer you my stuff not as a surrender, not as someone who is willing to lose it for you, not as the World takes away, but as a crown I lay at your feet.  I will do this as an honor and a gift that I give back to you as an offering." I felt His pleasure; that was the answer He wanted to hear, that is what He wanted to teach me, and that was my lesson for the day. 

This life is a journey, it is a path that each of us must walk.  Your path will be different from mine but perhaps these are guideposts along the way.  Are you listening and obeying when the Lord prompts you to take a route even though you don't really want to go that way?  Are there gifts He wants to give you for obedience, if you would just listen?  Are you missing those blessings? Will you be pleasantly surprised that the path is much nicer than you expected?  Are you pulling your old sins, hurts, and failures behind you?  You can never ascend the high places pulling those burdens and you will smell bad...  Is your journey one to obtain possessions?  You will never have peace and quiet on that road.  You will spend you time in vain.  Have you surrendered your stuff to Him?  It is a terrible burden to pull behind you if you haven't.

There are no short cuts on this road, you do not get to jump on a high speed train and get to the end.  No, the road is long and at times difficult, perhaps these signs will help light the way. As for me, I long for the day when I lay it all at His feet.

Aug 2, 2013

Being an Ant

Life can run in parallels; sometimes we are faced with circumstances that seem eerily familiar.  If we repeat mistakes and continue along dead end paths, we should not be surprised that we achieved the same results.  Then there are times when things may seem the same but there are subtle and significant differences.  I am currently living the latter.

On the surface, it appears that once again history has repeated itself but as I dig deeper I realize that while the circumstances may be the same, I have changed.  I am not the same woman who went through this two and a half years ago.  On the mourning day, I wept before the Lord and cried out, "I have been a good girl!  I did not do anything to deserve this!"  He soothed my soul and comforted me in my grief.  He validated my assertion that I was not at fault and assured me that He would show me, in time, why this has happened and that He would sustained me every day.

Over the last three and a half weeks, I have spent countless hours with the Lord.  I walk and pray and write and blog and think and research and talk (my poor husband...).  I am peaceful and calm and am enjoying this fellowship with the Lord.  As we walked yesterday, He revealed to me that while I have given my heart to Him, surrendered my self to Him, and honored Him in my life and my work; I have  never really given Him control of my life.  Immediately, I thought, "Because your plans scare me!"

That's a heck of a thing to admit; God's plans scare me.  Surrender to Him fully scares me.  He is not safe, He is not a marionette that I control on a string, He is not tame, His way might be hard.  I guess I never really reasoned this out before now.

My way?  Oh, that's easy, my way involves being eternally beautiful, losing a few pounds, having enough money to do whatever I want,  a fabulous career, and a house on the beach.  My plans include no pain, no suffering, no obstacles.   His plans?  I am not sure but I bet they involve remote locations with stinky people that I need to feed or something...  Hey, I haven't thought this out before and I think this was the vague imagine in my head.  (Just keeping it real here in Abigail and Dolley World.)

What if God's plan for my life accomplishes many of the things my plan does but has the added bonus of being obedient, serving the King, and storing up treasures in Heaven?  What if God's plan work to my strengths and use my talents?  What if God's plan is a good one?  These were some Earth Shaking thoughts...

So I reason out, nobody is promised tomorrow.  The research I have been doing seems to indicate that the Rapture might be imminent.  What if there is just a short time left?  Could I give God six weeks?  Could I totally surrender my life and my future to His hands?  Does this mean not doing anything on my behalf? I don't think so, Proverbs tells us to behold the hard working ant.  I can be an ant.
Hard Working Ant

Jul 31, 2013

Don't Mess With Dead Things

Abigail and Dolley readers we got two kittens at Thanksgiving.  Little balls of fur barely 6 weeks old, uncared for, and ready for a nice warm and loving home.  What a joy they have been to our family!  They are mighty little hunters and remind me of the Raptors in Jurassic Park; they hunt as a team.  There is no wildlife on our back deck; no wood bees, no lizards, and no moles in the natural area.  Just about everyday, I go out on the patio and there is something dead out there.
Sox and Jinx

Today was no different, a vole was waiting for me.  I was praying and exercising back there, so I got a shovel and flung it in the natural area.  As I worked out, the kittens were playing in the area and I remembered a horrible story my sister told of her dogs getting violently ill from playing with a dead animal.  This seemed to me a prompting to bury that mole.

As I walked over to the carcass, I scolded one of the cats, "Don't mess with dead things!"  It hit me like a lightening bolt, "Neither should you..." the voice said.

Don't mess with dead things... I began to ponder.  With a memory that is tremendous, it is entirely possible that I mess with dead things.  Dead relationships, dead opportunities, dead sin, dead circumstances - just plain dead.  Dead things have no redeeming value, they don't edify, they don't teach, they don't do anything other than stink.

We are not called to have amnesia and if we do not remember we are destined to repeat, but lessons are not dead things.  Wisdom gained through struggle and hard times is not dead, what is dead are the mistakes that took you down those dark roads.  The people that hurt you, mistreated you, and did you wrong - they are among the dead.  Leave that garbage alone, recall it no more, do not allow the dead things in your life to pollute the air around you.

What are the dead things you have in your life?  Identify them and let them go, because you too should not mess with dead things!

Jul 23, 2013

Mary Poppins

Abigail and Dolley readers none of us are promised tomorrow.  I have had several fb friends pass away this Summer, all of them young, all of them tragic.  On my walk this morning, I was contemplating how short this life is and what if my life was asked of me today?  My husband and I faced that a couple of weeks ago.  I had complications after a routine surgery and had to have an emergency procedure.  Thankfully, things turned out fine but we did not know that going in.  Apparently, the doctors have to tell you the horrible things that can happen to you in surgery and get your consent.  This is perhaps one of the cruelest and scariest things you can do to a heavily sedated patient.  I thought there was a very good chance that I was going to die.

I had no one to call to make amends.  I didn't have anything I needed to say to my Husband.  I was ready to go.  I suppose that says something.  It reminded me of the week we spent with my Dad in the hospital, it just never seemed right to have "that" conversation with him.  We lived it, we knew, we loved.

In 2003, I read A Purpose Driven Life with the rest of America.  From that point on, I prayed "Lord, give me a ministry."  What I really wanted was to be a stay at home Mom and I wanted out of Corporate America.  After months of praying, one day He answered me, "I already have."  I got into my white Honda Accord and drove to the office, stunned.  How did I have a ministry?  I just went to work everyday.

As a new born again Christian, I had zealously shared my faith with everyone.  I was like a small flame that someone squirted lighter fluid on, I exploded with Christ.  Everyone got burned and that fire turned on me in the form of a woman at work I had been ministering to.  I gave her money, I helped her, I excused her bad behavior, I prayed for her and with her and in the end she turned on me like a rabid dog and I got in big trouble.  From that point forward, I was careful about directly witnessing to anyone at work.

Thus, four years later when I heard the words, "I already have." I was confused.  How was my job a ministry?  What in the world am I supposed to do with that Lord?  Slowly, he began to show me that it wasn't necessarily what I said, it was how I acted, how I loved, how I cared.  It was living my faith in color and honesty before an audience, who was watching.

Mary Poppins is a Temp
I was open with my struggles, I was honest about my mistakes, and my frailty and weaknesses have always been on display.  I try to play it close to the vest but the real me always comes out.  A few years ago as I was leaving a well loved job, a colleague compared me to Mary Poppins.  I love Mary Poppins, especially the I love to laugh song. 

See Mary Poppins flies in like a hurricane and blows the bad nannies away.  She marches in and takes charge, it's time to clean, it's time to repair, it's time to care for her charges.  The bosses don't know what to think of her, she often makes them uncomfortable.  In the end, everything is fixed and she leaves.  It was quite a compliment, it didn't occur to me until recently that Mary Poppins is a temp.

I have been a "temp" for the last few years, I have repeated the Mary Poppins routine several times.  I'm weary of it.  Mary Poppins is a tough job.  I asked the Lord, "Why?"  I was always stable; for the first 17 years of my career, I was with three companies... why have you moved me so many times these last five?  I knew the answer, there were many lives I was supposed to touch.  Part of me sneers at this, another part throws a fit that I don't want to do it anymore, and the other part is scared I did not do enough.  I think I did my best though, I know I tried.

A dear friend and colleague told me of a man and wife that came to the Lord through her witness, I had witnessed to her many years before.  Another confided to me that she would have left her husband and been a single Mother had I not shared my story of struggle with her.  Once a colleague commented that I was the most unique Christian he had ever known.  I know I have presented the Gospel to a couple folks who might not have ever heard it, I know that I was faithful in that one thing.

I feel small and defeated.  Potential employers looking at my resume will perhaps think something is terribly wrong with me... can I explain that I have simply gone where God has sent me?  I pray where ever He sends me next that I will have the strength to do what He asks of me....

Jul 22, 2013

Blessings

Abigail and Dolley readers I have been contemplating blessings, the gifts and talents we are all given.  Several weeks back, my son and I studied the parable of the servants and the talents.  We discussed how the Lord had given him many talents and that he was supposed to use them for God's glory, how he was never to become arrogant in the gifts, and how he needed to use them responsibly.  It was heavy teaching for a twelve year old but necessary to prepare him for life.

In the weeks that have followed, the Lord has brought this Scripture to my mind over and over again.  For it is every true believers desire to hear the words, "Well done good and faithful servant!  You were faithful with a little now I give you plenty."  But truly, in our sinful hearts, how many of us are truly humble about our blessings?  I think if you examine your heart, you will find pride, I know I do.

We as a society value money, beauty, and intelligence.  Some are gifted in all of these things, some two, others one, and for others their gifts lie elsewhere.  Let us take some examples, the financially blessed and the financial failure.  Two men with equal intelligence, beauty, and work ethic - one with a financial blessing on his life and one without.  The blessed one's work multiplies, everything he touches prospers; the other is a failure in all that he does.  Both work equally hard.  Two athletes are equally gifted, both work equally hard; one blows his knee out his Senior Year, the other is blessed with health, fame, and money.  One woman is blessed with a lovely figure; another is not.  Both work out at the gym, watch their caloric intake, both strive.  One is successful, the other a failure.

We could site hundreds of examples; students, singers, artists.... the point is that we all have our blessings and sometimes hard work has nothing to do with success.  The American Dream that if you just work hard enough at something you will be successful is not necessarily true.  If God chooses to withhold blessings from your life, no amount of toil is going to change that.
Blessings From God

Of course I am not advocating laziness, slothfulness, and apathy because sometimes in order to fully appreciate the blessing He calls us to labor long and hard as unto Him and not man.  What finer prize is there in this lifetime than to strive and work for something well beyond when most would give up to finally attain the dream.

Woe to us that forget that all blessings come from Him; all good things in life are His gift to you.  We are told to honor Him and to work hard but the failure I see is that we become proud.  The Pro Athlete looks at his college teammate who was hurt and thinks, "I am better than him."  The beautiful trim woman looks at her unattractive cousin with disdain.  The rich man looks at his brother with scorn and self righteousness.  We become arrogant in our blessings, they become our curses, we become their slaves.

I have been just as guilty as you.  There is no finger pointing in this blog, I can look in the mirror and read these words back to myself, the blessing I have been given here is clarity.  He saw this in me and arranged a fiery trial for me in 2011 to burn it out of me.  It hurt, it was painful, and gut wrenching, I didn't like it at all but it was for my good.  You see the blessings that so clearly flowed in my life before the trial have been withheld since.  My beauty is fading, my body is fat again, my health is precarious, my career has sputtered, the magnetism that I drew people to me has dimmed, the favor I have always sought has been tempered, and I have been humbled.

Perhaps this little blog is just for me, perhaps it will touch you, perhaps it will convict you and send you to your knees in repentance.  I hope so because humbling hurts.

Jul 19, 2013

Signs in the Heavens the Harbinger Continues

Abigail and Dolley readers I once again find myself looking to the sky, the infinite, the Creator.  Last month, the book, The Harbinger came into our household.  My husband was enthralled and encouraged me to read it; I was busy but committed that I would.  The Lord insured that I would be a lot less busy... I read it last week.  From the opening chapters, I was hooked.  I devoured it like a starving man who wanders into marriage supper of the Lamb.

The omniscience of the Lord, His guiding hand, and His divinity are scattered throughout the pages.  We know in our hearts that He is bigger than we understand but we tend to make Him pocket sized.  We do not trust the supernatural, we doubt the still small voice, we dismiss miracles as coincidence.  This is a grievous offense and has no place in a believer's heart or life.  For His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not our thoughts.

So God shows up in a BIG way and I begin to eat the strong meat of this Word.  I highly encourage everyone to read the prophetic word in the Harbinger, it is from that worldview that I write.  I will also assume that you have a fundamental understanding of End Times Prophecy because this will be a blog, not a scholarly article citing chapter and verse.  It is truth from this Pre-Tribulation believers point of reference and any small error I may make will be entirely my own.  My blog, my rules.

Every seven years Elul 29th is the end of the Shemittah or Sabbath year.  All accounts are wiped away and all debits and credits are returned to zero.  This command is only given to Israel but starting with 9/17/01, it came into play in America.  We had the largest stock market crash in our history to date, 6 days past 9/11.  This was our warning, repent and turn back to God.  We failed.  Seven years later, on Elul 29 (9/29/08), we had a global economic collapse.  We were called to repent as a nation, we did not.  Prophetic circles began to buzz, what would the next Shemittah year end Elul 29th bring?  What date is it?  (I need to remember to set a calendar reminder to divest before 9/13/15).  The date happens to always herald Rosh Hashanah, the Feast of the Trumpets.

This made me go, hmmmm.... it has long been surmised that the Rapture of the Church would take place on Rosh Hashanah, what better time than during all that trumpet blowing?  So I keep digging and I find there is a solar eclipse on the same date.  Sun signs are signs to the world and Moon signs are signs to Israel, so this date holds significance for both Jews and Gentiles.  The solar eclipse sent me to the Heavens....

Genesis clearly tells us that He created the stars, the sun, the moon to be signs for us. Not surprisingly, there is some pretty amazing stuff in the celestial calendars for the past few years and in the next couple of years; the researcher in me was on a roll.  Now, after the Fall, the Natural World was tainted by the stain of sin.  We live in a fallen world where EVERYTHING (except the Word of God) is tainted.  If you are going to investigate anything in truth, you must first deal with the sin element in it.  The sin element in astronomy is astrology and the Christian church has thrown the baby out with the bathwater.  We ignore it, we don't teach it, and frankly, we just don't understand it.  The Lord himself said numerous times that there will be signs in the heavens and that we are fools to not look for them.

This is where you need to be careful, well the whole subject requires care, but I have to point out here that when Jesus speaks directly about the Second Coming, he is talking to Israel not the Church.  The Second Coming and the Rapture are two different events, don't confuse them.  Now, I have to restate, when we are talking about the Moon, we are talking about Israel, keep that in mind.

Blood Moon
A Blood Moon Tetrad is an occurrence of 4 Lunar Eclipses on the Jewish Feast days of Passover and the Tabernacles.  They call it a total lunar eclipse a blood moon because the diffused rays of the sun through the Earth's atmosphere can make it appear red, historically this scared the crap out of everybody.  A BMT (as they are called) has occurred 7 times since Jesus ascended into Heaven and each time it was a sign to Israel.  BMT's herald a terrible period of trouble for Israel followed up in deliverance.  When you add in the solar eclipse calendar to the lunar eclipse calendar, you get an even deeper picture.  When you add in the Elul 29 Shemittah, you get something else all together.

We had a Blood Moon Tetrad that coincided with the rebirth of Israel in 1948.  So Holacaust, then birth of the nation, then BMT 1949-1950.  19 years later, 1967-1968 we have the Yom Kippur war or the 6 day war and Israel regains their capital, Jerusalem.  48 years later, we have another BMT 2014 - 2015.

Coincidentally this is the second time the spacing between triple occurrences has been 19-48, the year Israel was born again.  If you play with that number you see that by adding 1948 years to  the destruction of the temple in 70 AD you get 2018.  Folks in 2009 and 2010 were using this figure to predict a 2011 Rapture... we see where that got them... still here.  I am not trying to set dates, what I am trying to do is to get you to THINK.

There are youtube videos and charts everywhere but I couldn't find one that had everything I wanted to publish.  My handwritten notes and charts won't cut it, I may not be a professional, but I do have my standards...  I encourage you to watch the video and check out some of the charts, do your own research.  A number of charts have great info but some enterprising soul determined we were going to be Raptured in 2011 or 2012 and they may have false information on them.  Others are pdf formatted only and blogger won't let me embed a pdf file, so for all you visual folks check out the below:
Lunar and Solar Chart 2014-2015
The above chart fails to note the two solar eclipses that occur on 4/29/14 (Yom Hashoah/Holocaust Memorial Day) and 10/23/14 (Rosh Chodesh Chesvan).  Whether they are significant or not, I can not say but felt the above was not inclusive and they warranted mention.

It is also noteworthy that in the 7 weeks model of Daniel, the number of days in a 7 week period is 17640.  Using the Biblical calendar we see that  9/23/2015 is exactly 17640 days from the recapture of Jerusalem on 6/7/1967.  Which happens to be on Yom Kippur.

Now, I'd like to be Raptured as much as any believer reading this blog, I'd like it to be today.  While the above information is intriguing there are two celestial signs in Revelation 12 that I am not convinced we can pinpoint. It takes place at the exact middle of the Tribulation and corresponds chronologically with the Abomination of Desolation. "A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars".   Computer models can place the Woman but not "a huge red dragon,with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems" where "the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth."  Now can God make a dragon appear in the sky when he wants it too?  Yes, of course, he made the one below captured by the Hubble.  The point is we have no conclusive evidence of the Dragon that will appear at the same time as the Lady of the Apocalypse. 

Red Space Captured by Hubble

The Bible say there will be signs in the Heavens of His return.  We often hear quoted in Christendom that "That no man knows the hour or the day of Christs return, only my Father."  Did you know that is an idiom for a Jewish Wedding?  If I say to you as modern American Christian, "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today..."  You know I am talking about a wedding.  The same is true for "No man knows the hour or the day."  In Jewish marital customs after the betrothal the groom returns to his Father's land to build his new bride a home.  He was not released to go pick up his bride until his father said the house was ready.  When people would ask when he was returning to his bride he would answer, "No man knows the hour or the day only my Father knows."  Using that logic we can see that we are not be ignorant.  

1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters, we don’t really need to write you. For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night. When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape. But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. 

Again, we are told it is the uninformed that will be surprised, not the elect.   If you read carefully, you will see that each time Jesus talks about the End Times he notes the signs in the Heavens and says the wise will see the sights and not be ignorant of His coming, it is only the uninformed that will be surprised.  

We as a church are called to be waiting for his return, I for one am keeping my lamp full of oil, how about you?

Jul 15, 2013

Listening to the Still Small Voice

Abigail and Dolley readers I read the other day that the severity of trials and wilderness time is often commensurate with the importance of your calling.  That is indeed a double edged sword with great blessings on one side and great suffering on the other.  I don't know about ya'll, but I'd like to have the blessings without the suffering...  It just doesn't work that way.

1 Peter 4:12-13 tells us, "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." 

When I am going through trials, I am in constant communication with the Lord.  He talks to me, sometimes so clearly there is no doubt that it IS Him, other times it's the still small voice, and that is where I get into trouble.  Is it the still small voice or is that simply my own head?  How do you tell the difference?  It is paramount to a believer's walk to be able to differentiate between the two.

Falsehood has no place on this path I am walking.  I need to be able to trust, walk in faith, and step out in power for His purpose.  If I am double minded the whole thing could come off the tracks.  I would not accomplish what God has for me to do and that is in direct correlation with where I need to be.

Have you ever trusted the still small voice, made a life decision under absolute conviction that you've heard from God on the matter, and been spectacularly wrong?  Yes?  Yeah, me too.  I did it in a colossal way.  Thus, even when I am overwhelmed by the Spirit there is a certain wariness I bring.  I validate everything in the Word.  I pray about everything.

So where does that leave us as believers?  The blind faith of a Baby Christian is no longer an option.  What about the disappointed faith of a petulant Teen Christian that thought they knew the way and were disappointed?  How about the cynical Adult Christian who rejects all inspiration and lives completely in the natural, living like 2 Timothy 3:5, "having a form of godliness, but denying it's power." 

God is calling us to grow in faith, to move beyond the things of the flesh and become His disciples.  Hebrews 5:14 "But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."  The evil we are called to discern is from not only inside our own brains but from the lies of the enemy.

So here it is folks, confession time... I headed out today for my daily walk.  Walk with the Lord, prayer time, exercise, outside... all good things, right?  Usually they are very good things.  I look forward to them, I anticipate them, I live for these walks.  I made an unusual comment to my husband about safety we ignored it.  Pulling out of the driveway this morning, I had the first thought, "Don't go to your walking spot today."  I ignored it.

Arriving at my spot, I was upset, "You should go home."  I thought, "You are already here."  I started to feel sort of sick, "You shouldn't walk today."  I kept going.  My Spirit was in knots, I walked faster, I prayed harder.  I felt my body ache, "You should go home, it's not safe for you out here today."  I stopped and stretched, trying to ease the pain.  I walked another hundred yards and noticed my new shoes were sparkling white and the was mud ahead, I sat down on a bench.  My soul was restless and I wanted the peace I find on my walk, I got up and pressed on.

Now, as a reader you can guess something is coming up, but living it, being the one it's happening to would you heed the warning?  I've never been threatened on my walk, I have only ever found peace and comfort and if ever I needed peace it was on THIS walk....

So here's what happened, we've had rain three times a day for months.  The walking paths are flooded in places.  The floodplain's are full and the boardwalks are slippery.  I stepped on the edge of the boardwalk with my left foot to avoid a puddle.  My foot slipped off, I "racked" myself as I went down, and landed unceremoniously on my back in the muddy water three feet below.

I was immediately convicted that there WAS indeed real danger for me on that path today and if I wasn't going to listen He was going to make sure I turned around.  I was hurt.  I was humiliated.  I was dirty.  My shoes are not brilliantly white anymore.

Over the last few weeks, I have fought very hard for my peace.  I am guarding it in a manner I have never done so in the past.  I keep saying to folks, "This is what I am doing today.  Please don't ask me about tomorrow, I will deal with that then."  I think I have to go back to the first hours when this trial started and realize I have to walk in obedience every step, every minute, and finally listen to the "Still Small Voice".