Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Why Pre-Trib is the Most Merciful Option

            Studying the “end times” has always been a passion of mine.  It is like the most complex, giant puzzle that there is.  And I have always found it fascinating.  Of all the issues related to the end times, the rapture has always held the most intrigue for me.  And for years, I could never be really sure that a “pre-tribulation rapture” was the most biblically accurate idea.  I really wanted it to be so, but I was afraid that maybe my hope had tainted my view.  But I can now say that – after going through all of it over and over again – I am now fully convinced that there is indeed a rapture that happens before the tribulation starts. 
            Of course, I am not a scholar or theologian.  And many people fall on all sides of the question.  Some think pre-trib, some mid-trib, and some at the end.  Some think we’re waiting for the rapture, some think we’re waiting for the Anti-christ to be revealed, some think we’re waiting for Jesus’ final coming. 
            But in my heart of hearts, I think there is enough biblical support to say that the rapture will happen before the tribulation starts.  I talk about this in the Bible Study section (in the ISI 19: The End Times post, May 2015) where I also examine what will happen during the tribulation.  But for this post – in honor of the new Left Behind movie coming out – I want to share why I think it’s pre-trib and why this is the most merciful option.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My Humility Rock

            I want to tell you about something that I have at home.  It’s something I call my Humility Rock.  And for me, it’s a reminder of just how human I am, how I can easily rationalize or justify disobedience to God. 
            We went on vacation once, and I saw this gorgeous rock in the landscaping of this place.  It wasn’t huge or anything; I could hold it in my hand.  And it was obviously one of the multitudes of rocks that they brought in to make a border around their mini-golf course.  But it was beautiful.  And I wanted it. 
            I knew that if I took it, no one would miss it.  But I also heard the Holy Spirit’s conviction:  “It’s not yours.”  And I struggled with this dilemma.  But it’s just a rock.  They don’t care about it.  They’d laugh at me if I asked for it.  No one will miss it.    

Friday, July 11, 2014

Have You Seen The Song?

            I just went and saw the movie The Song.  (I saw it on 9-28, but posted it on an earlier date.)  There was only one other person in the theater with me.  What a shame.  It was a very well-done movie with emotionally-complex characters and a nice, thick storyline.  I love movies about life and relationships, especially when they are more complicated and thoughtful, like real life. 
            The movie leaves you feeling a bit emotional.  Heavy and light at the same time, hopeful and frustrated.  Oh, how that reflects how life feels.  Real life is not clean and straightforward and simplistic.  It is messy.  It is full of hopelessness and hope, joy and pain, broken and healed.  And this movie brought it all.  It felt like real life.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Thank You, Dr. Kent Brantly

            I just saw your interview last night (9-5-14) with Matt Lauer.  (I am posting this for an earlier date, though.)  And I want to say Thank You. 
            Thank you first of all for your selfless service over in South Africa.  And thank you to Nancy Writebol and the rest of the doctors and nurses also.  Whereas most of us give lip-service to wanting to help others and to take care of world problems, you put feet and hands on that desire.  You go out there (along with the rest of Samaritan’s Purse) and do the un-glamorous, difficult, risky jobs that many of us wouldn’t dream of touching, sadly enough.  God bless you! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hunting for Tomatoes

            Okay, I’m going to admit it . . . just say it out loud honestly . . . “It’s not fair.”
            It’s not fair . . . it’s not fair . . . it’s not fair! 
            My whole summer has been ruined by a careless neighbor.  The neighbor’s garage is right behind our property, just five feet from our lovely garden.  And every year, we have noticed a smell, but we never could figure out where it was coming from.  Well, this year, my husband finally realized that it’s the neighbor’s garage.  The windows are broken and it’s piled up with rotting, “hoarder” garbage.  Old appliances and boxes and papers.  And it reeks of mold so bad that we haven’t been able to go out in the garden for the last six weeks.  And since they are directly west of us, the smell (and spores) blows all over us almost every day.  And so we haven’t let our kids outside except for a handful of times in the last six weeks.  (This was written in late-September, but posted for an earlier date.) 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Shocking and Disturbing

            I’ve had this happen a couple times, and it never ceases to shock and disturb me.  I was watching a program on television that showed video footage from World War II and from areas in Africa where people were starving to death.  Bodies in the street, emaciated adults and children, children so skinny that they could barely hold their heads up, heart-broken looks on mother’s faces.  One starving child was chewing a piece of bread, and the way he chewed and reached for a glass of water reminded me so much of my own child that it broke my heart.  And I had to change the channel.
            But what I found on the other channels was even more shocking and disturbing than the heart-breaking footage of children dying of starvation and the ravages of war:  frivolousness, immorality, greed, excessive materialism, so much money wasted on stupid, mindless entertainment for us greedy, self-centered, entertainment-oriented Americans.  Ads about how “we deserve” whatever we want.  Promises of happiness if we buy bigger and better things.  Skimpier clothing, more makeup, fancier trinkets to wear.  Shows about all kinds of ungodly, demented stuff to tickle our fancy.  An abundance of nice restaurants to dine at, along with an abundance of food readily available at any store.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

It Happened on Oak Street

            Today, we were driving to my father-in-law’s house to say “Happy Father’s Day” (obviously this was posted on a later date) when we passed a man and a woman who were walking down our road carrying heavy bags.  I had never seen them before, but I didn’t think much of it.  They simply looked like they had taken a nice walk to the grocery store and were on their way home.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Rejoicing With Angels

            “. . . I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”  (Luke 15:10) 

            “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.”  (3 John, verse 4)

            I just had the incredible privilege of leading my fourth son in a prayer to make Jesus his Lord and Savior.  And he’s only four years old.  He’ll be five tomorrow.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Answered Prayers

            Whenever I go through one of these prayer funks where God seems to not be answering any prayers, it’s all too easy to begin listening to Satan’s lies that “God’s not listening anyway” or “He doesn’t care,” and to begin questioning Bible verses on prayer and on receiving what you ask for in faith and moving mountains with your prayers.  (Such as Mark 11:22-24, John 14:13-14)  I have questioned these verses many times over.  And I always come to the same conclusions:

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Prayer Funks are Okay

            Have you ever gone through times when you don’t feel like you know how to pray or like you just can’t pray well?  I’m in one of those times right now.  For a while now, actually.  Every time I open my mouth to pray, all I can say is, “Lord . . . (sigh) . . . Oh, Lord!?!”

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


            Many of us struggle at times with trying to make God answer our prayers our way.  We try to get the life we want or make things happen as we want them to happen.  I know I have over the years.  And while He has been very good to us and answered many prayers as I hoped He would, there are still many that He hasn’t.  For His own reasons.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Stupidest Thing I Ever Heard

            I was talking one day with an atheist friend.  And we were challenging (in a friendly way) each other’s reasons for believing what we do.  She, of course, said that she believes that there is no God and no eternity.  That we all just die and disappear, and the only lasting part of us is the effect we have on our children.  And challenging her to really consider the possibility that there might be a God, I asked her, “What if there really is a heaven and a hell?  What if you’re wrong?”
            And then she said the stupidest thing I have ever heard in my life . . .