Friday, February 20, 2015

The Last Days

There is a lot of stuff going around about the end times. I'm part of many different groups and I see a lot of speculation on this subject. The most amusing thing is that it is all opinion without even a little Scripture to back it up. So, I figured I would post on this subject.
The image in Daniel 2 is a very interesting thing. It tells of our past history, Daniel's future history, and our future prophecy. The Bible tells us who the first 4 kingdoms are- Gold is Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar, Silver is Media Persia, Brass is Greece under Alexander the Great, and the Iron is Rome. That is our past history. Daniel gives the translation of this in Daniel 2, 10, and 11. The toes are part of iron and part of clay, and this is our future prophecy.
Daniel 2:37-38-  Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.  
Daniel 10:20- Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come.Daniel 11:4-  And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled: for his kingdom shall be plucked up, even for others beside those.

With this toes of iron and clay, this is referring to the AntiChrist's kingdom. He will have 10 kings that reign with him (Revelation 17:12- And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast.).  These ten kings are going to get together witht he AntiChrist and destroy Rome (Revelation 17:16-18- And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.). It is during this time that the covenant, spoken of in Daniel 9:27 and Daniel 11:22-32, will be established for 7 years. It is prophesied that the AntiChrist will break this covenant at the halfway point. We can really only speculate the terms of this covenant; we only know that it is suppose to bring peace to that region.
The AntiChrist is known as the son of perdition in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. This phrase is mentioned only one other time in the Bible- John 17:12- in reference to Judas Iscariot. Judas was a Syrian Jew (Iscariot means man of Kerioth, which is in Syria).  In Revelation 13 the man of sin (human body which will become the AntiChrist) will be killed, and then Satan will enter his body and take over as the AntiChrist (Revelation 17); just like the devil entered into Judas Iscariot at the Last Supper and betrayed Christ- John 13:27. When he is killed, he will have 2 things happen to him, he will lose sight in his right eye and his ability to use one of his arms (probably the right one)- Zechariah 11:17- Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.. This all happens during the Tribulation period, also known as the time of Jacob's trouble; the church will be raptured out before this happens- as in the days of Lot and Noe (both men were removed from the destruction and brought to a place of safety; a picture of the chruch). The people who endure the tribulation must not only call on the Lord to save their souls by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, but the must also keep the laws of Moses- Revelation 15:3. They also cannot take the mark of the beast- Revelation 15:2. 
Revelation 15:2-3-  And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
The stone that destroyed them and then became a moutain is a reference to the Second advent of Christ destroying the armies of the AntiChrist, and then Christ setting up his Millenial Kingdom and ruling for a thousand years (Revelation 20:1-6) while the devil is chained in the bottomless pit. Christ will rule for a thousand years and then the devil will be set loose to deceive for one last time (Revelation 20:7-8-  And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.).  They will gather together at the battle of Armageddon to go against Christ, but He will wipe them out (Revelation  20:9- And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.). That's when God will judge the entire world's population throughout history against His word (Revelation 20:11-15- And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.). The old universe will be destroyed (2 Peter 3:10,12-  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?) and a new one will be created (Revelation 21:1-  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.).
This is by no means an exhaustive study. There is much more. I recommend the book Dispensational Truth by Clarence Larkin for further study on this matter.
The end times may be near, but you do not have to go through the tribulation. You can avoid the time of Jacob's trouble by calling on the Lord Jesus Christ to save you while there is yet time. Do you know that you are a sinner? Sin is anything that we say, think or do that displeases God. It is what separates us from God. The Bible tells us that every person in this world has sinned.
Romans 3:23- For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Because we have sinned, the Bible tells us that we must be punished. God's punishment for our sin is death- Romans 6:23a- For the wages of sin is death. The payment for our sin is death. Because of our sin we deserve a terrible place called hell.
Romans 5:12- Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by son; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
God must punish sin. God is holy and perfect. 
Matthew 5:48- Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
Only a perfect and holy person can enter into heaven. But the Bible tells us that every person is a sinner. Who then can meet God's standard? Although God hates sin and must punish it, He loves us. He loves us so much that He is willing to offer us eternal life in heaven in place of eternal punishment in hell. God can do this because of what Jesus did.
John 3:16- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
God proved His love for us through Jesus Christ. He took our punishment for our sin. I Peter 2:24- Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree...
Jesus is the only way that we can come to God. Only through Jesus can we be forgiven of our sins by God. John 14:6- Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. This means that you are unable to do enough good things to get to heaven. Jesus is the only way.
God is offering us a gift. A free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Romans 6:23- For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. It's a free gift received by faith in Jesus Christ alone. Acts 16:31- Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.
Here's what you must do. You must make a choice to confess that you are a sinner; turn from your sin; place your faith in Jesus Christ alone; and ask Jesus to save you. Or you can make the choice to trust yourself.
Romans 10:9, 12- That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For  whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
All you have to do is to tell God the best way you know how that you are a sinner and you understand that you cannot make it to heaven on your own merit. Tell him that you accept the payment Christ made on Calvary for your sins.
If you meant what you prayed, then you are now a member of the family of God. Salvation doesn't make your life easier. It won't make everything perfect. It just means that when you go through troubles you won't go through it alone. And when you're life is over you'll go to heaven instead of hell. 
It's your choice. Choose wisely.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Healthy Minute- Being A Healthy Grown Up

I've already done 2 posts on having healthy babies and raising healthy children. It's hard to raise children! But, it's even harder when your not in a healthy condition. Our nutritional information doesn't change much from children into adulthood, and since I've already done the previous posts I'm just going to give you a small break down.
Much of my nutritional information stems from Dr. Weston Price's study done in the 1930's. Dr. Price was a dentist who visited indigenous peoples all around the world. He compared the health of their teeth to their diet, and came to a startling conclusion- what we eat really does matter!
Even though the location and food choices differed, there were some amazing similarities in their nutritional value. The first, and most obvious, was that there was nothing artificial or processed in their diets. Their food was all straight from the main source! All contained some sort of animal meat; the organs were the most prized. The way their foods were prepared were simple and yet scientific- fermenting, sprouting, and even boiling the bones for extra nutrition. And last, but not least, they ate their fats.
Our bodies have many different nutritional needs- water soluble vitamins, fat soluble vitamins,  minerals, enzymes, beneficial bacteria, etc. All of these things use to come from our food. But, since we have entered the industrial age, our food has become processed, bleached, and packaged out of nutritional existence!
So, how do we eat to remain healthy?
The recommended "Weston Price" diet is 20% carbohydrates, 20% protein, and 60% fats. Sounds weird, doesn't it? That's a lot of fats! But the sources of these fats are natural- whole milk, butter, nuts and seeds, avacados, lard and tallow, and cod liver oil and coconut oil- to name a few.
For more in-depth information on the dietary guidelines, click here. A summary would be to start with whole foods (unprocessed, without artificial anything), add in fermented vegetables (saurkraut, kimchi, etc) and probiotic foods (yogurt, kefir, kombucha), and cook with mineral supplying bone broth. For an extra boost, supplements like a daily vitamin, cod liver oil, and gelatin.
The most important thing you could do is add in organ meats- they have more nutrition per bite than regular meats. In our modern day America, this is an odd concept. But liver, sweetbreads, and other organs were eaten on a daily basis not too long ago- Marilyn Monroe actually loved organ meats (imagine my surprise to find that out!)
People today are obsessed with counting calories. Many people don't realize that "calorie" is just the measurement of energy food gives our bodies. The only reason I would say to count calories is to make sure you're getting enough. When we eat whole, nutrient dense foods throughout the day we may not be getting enough calories.
Example: My body needs 1700 calories per day to maintain regular function; if I do strenuous work I need more. I try to eat healthy and homemade as much as possible.
So, here's my day- 3 cups organic coffee with half n half (126 calories), 1 large egg, 1 oz liverwurst, cheddar mozzerella stick (195 calories), Multi-vitamin, Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Hydrolized collagen, cod liver/butter oil (45 calories), Flu Shot soup (219 calories), Blueberry Greek yougurt with a side of half an avacado and homemade salsa (305 calories), chili with beans and jasmine rice (244 calories)= 1,134 calories. I'm lacking 566 calories for my daily nutritional need! Add to that my 6 to 8 glasses of water, and I'm stuffed! When I'm about to go to bed, I'll add in some Natural Calm, which has no calories (for my magnesium).
I recommend you tally up how many calories you do eat for a few days and see if you're getting enough or too much. If you eat a lot of processed food or fast food it will add up faster.
Our bodies also need sleep! We can get all the nutrition we need, but we won't have the energy to get anything done if we aren't getting adequate rest. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep a night; though 8 hours would be better. I find my magnesium supplement helps me get a deeper, longer sleep.
Sleep helps us to be able to focus better on the tasks in front of us. Lack of sleep can interfere with our reflexes, hormones, immune system, and more. Suffice it to say, sleep is your friend!
And, don't forget exercise! Strength training and cardio are both important for your body. Strength training helps your bones and muscles maintain the right density and elasticity. It also helps you keep your balance (I am somewhat of a klutz!)
Adding strength training (weights, squats, push-ups, etc.) into your workout program can help improve glucose control, decrease arthritis pain, and let's not forget that it controls the "sagging" associated with aging! :) Over all, you will look and feel better.
Cardio is the fast paced moving exercises like running, boxing, aerobics, etc. The first mentioned benefit is usually heart health. Cardio gets your blood moving and your heart pumping! But it also helps your stress level by releasing endorphins.
If you're trying to lose weight, exercising will speed up your metabolism. But, don't forget to stretch. Stretching can help with the aches and soreness associated with exercise, plus it will increase your flexibility!
There are plenty of home workout systems you could use. YouTube has some full workouts available for free. Or, you could get a gym membership. A workout buddy would be a help in giving you encouragement and accountability.
Good nutrition, sleep, and exercise are the best way for you to be a healthy grown up!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

How Big Is Your God? (video sermon)

In Genesis, we read the account of creation. God created the world, the sun, the stars, the animals, atoms, molecules. God is an amazing God. And He loves us. He died for us. When we get saved, He makes us a new creature. He can change your life and make all things new.
We know how big God is. But, the question Bro. Garcia asks is, "How big is YOUR God?"
Has He changed your life? Does He show you how to dress, walk, or even who to hang out with? Do you tell your problems how big your God is? Did you know that everything that is big to you is small to God?
Do you have a pocket God? Do you think you can keep Him in your pocket and pull Him out when you think you need Him? If God were small enough to close up in your pocket He wouldn't be big enough for you to worship!

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Faith & Finance book review

There is a notion going around that if you are following the Lord all He wants for you is peace and prosperity. And yet, so many Christians are struggling with finances. If we follow this notion, it means that we are all out of the will of God.
Faith & Finance challenges this notion. Melissa Schworer has written a book that will guide you through the Scriptures to find out what God actually thinks and says about money. She will open your eyes to the financial principles that God wants His children to follow.
In going through this book, you will realize that it is possible to have peace in your financial decisions without having an abundance of prosperity. And you will begin to understand that everything God gives you has a purpose if only we will allow Him to guide us in it's use.
If you are looking for answers to what God thinks of budgets, credit cards, secured and unsecured debts, or your credit score then this is the book for you.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Hymn Of Thanksgiving (poem)

For the blessings of the field,
For the stores the gardens yield,
For the vine's exalted juice,
For the generous olive's use;

Flocks that whiten all the plain,
Yellow sheaves of ripened grain,
Clouds that drop their fattening dews,
Suns that temperate warmth diffuse;

All that Spring, with bounteous hand,
Scatters o'er the smiling land;
All that liberal Autumn pours
From her rich o'erflowing stores;

These to Thee, my God, we owe-
Source whence all our blessings flow!
And for these my soul shall raise
Grateful vows and solemn praise.

Yet should rising whirlwinds tear
From its stem the ripening ear,
Should the fig tree's blasted shoot
Drop her green untimely fruit-

Should the vine put forth no more,
Nor the olive yield her store,
Though the sickening flocks should fall,
And the herds desert the stall-

Should thine altered hand restrain
The early and the latter rain,
Blast each opening bud of joy,
And the rising year destroy-

Yet to Thee my should should raise
Grateful vows and solemn praise,
And, when every blessing's flown,
Love Thee- for Thyself alone.

-Anna Barbauld

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Believer's Heritage- Lester Roloff

This is an hour long video put together by the Roloff foundation that tells about Lester Roloff and his life, trials, and ministry. Bro. Roloff spent his time to help drug addicts and juvenile delinquents through the 1970's and 1980's. His calling has continued under other men, including Jack Patterson, to help hundreds of people that the world has turned it's back on.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Chicken Bacon Ranch Tomatoes recipe

This recipe is great for leftover chicken- you can use either fried or grilled, just make sure that it's boneless.

6 heirloom tomatoes
1 1/2 cup diced chicken
1 cup bacon crumbles
1 1/2 cup cheese
1 to 1 1/2 cup ranch dressing

Preheat the oven to 350* (If you want to bake them. They can be eaten cool.)
Cut the tops off the tomatoes and scoop the insides out. Dice the insides and throw them into a mixing bowl. Set the tomato "cups" aside.
Add your chicken, bacon, and cheese to the tomato insides. Add your ranch dressing; if you want it creamier add more. Mix well.
Stuff the insides of your tomato cups with the chicken mixture. The leftover mixture can be thrown into a small baking dish and baked along side of the tomato cups or eaten cold with tortilla chips.
If you want them baked, place on a cookie sheet with the baking dish in the center and bake for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Funny Happenings- Zombies

My days are filled with children and their antics. If it's not my own, it's my friend's children.
The other day, two of her kids were having a conversation about zombies. Garrett, the 13 year old, was trying to tell Kaleb, a 5 year old, that they didn't exist. Kaleb was quite certain that they did.
"Did you know there's zombies everywhere?" Kaleb stated matter-of-factly.
"No. There's no such thing." Garrett corrected.
"Yea!" Kaleb yelled back, "Haven't you seen Mrs. Penny when she doesn't drink her coffee?!?!"

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Troubling Your Own House

Proverbs 11:29- He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.
What does this mean? We are bringing the fruits of our labor to nothing. It's like the wind blowing a lot of stuff around, but accomplishing nothing. We can trouble our house by doing some things that will destroy everything that we hope to achieve.
Proverbs 14:1- Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.
A wise person, specifically the wife in this passage, will build her house. She will instill some godly characteristics in the foundation of the home. The children will learn to be prudent and respectful by her example. However, the foolish woman destroys her home with her ahnds. It's through her own actions.
What actions will trouble our house and cause us to be the destroyer?
The first is rebellion.
Isaiah 15:23- For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
Wow! Saul certainly destroyed his house. He knew what God wanted and did his own thing. He lost out on his family being the line of kings in Israel. He missed the blessing of the Messiah coming through his lineage. His children followed him in death because of his stubborn rebellion.
If you follow his story, you'll find that he only spirals from here because he refused to repent and change his ways.
I don't care what God says, I'm going to have what I want when I want it, no matter the cost!
The second way to trouble your house is through covetousness.
Psalm 10:3- For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.
Luke 16:14- And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.
The wicked man in Psalms is boasting about his evil desires and his pursuit of them. He's blessing those who are going about to obtain what they shouldn't have- the covetous.
It was because of this sin that the Pharisees wouldn't accept the Messiah. And Psalms points out that the Lord abhors this type of person.
Why? A covetous person doesn't seem to be satisfied. They always want the next best thing, or person, no matter what it costs to get it. This will certainly destroy a home and family.
I want that. It's gonna help me out. It may cost more than I have, but I can't live without it!
The third way to destroy your home is through cruelty.
Proverbs 11:17- The merciful man doeth good to his own soul: but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh.
Cruelty will only bring harm to yourself. Many people ruin the happiness of their homes by being cruel.
What is cruelty? The proverb shows it contrasted to mercy. It's being hard and harsh for no reason. Going above and beyond in judgment and punishment when it isn't going to bring any change.
Hebrews 11:36 also uses the words "mocking" and "scourging" in the context of cruelty.
Many times as parents, we can destroy our homes by being too hard on our children. As spouses, we can trouble the peace of our homes by not forgiving, and by trying to seek vengeance. "Getting even" usually ends up in a cruel mistreatment of others.
I'll show them that they can't treat me like this and get away with it! They'll wish they had never done that.
Another way we can trouble our house is through laziness.
Proverbs 20:4- The sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold; therefore shall he beg in harvest, and have nothing.
A lazy person just won't put in the effort. And they can make up excuses for any given circumstance- I can't keep my house clean, or get a job, or take care of my family because...
Really, there are no good excuses for letting your home go down the drain because you just didn't want to bother with it.
 Kids are too hard, and take too much effort, and so I'm just gonna let the tv raise them.
The last way is through faithlessness.
John 20:27b- and be not faithless, but believing.
Not believing what God says. Not staying faithful. These things can trouble a house.
Staying faithful to God can get us through some really tough times. It can give us the strength to carry on when all around us seems to be falling apart. And it can give us wisdom to see past the wiles of the devil.
But, also, staying faithful to our spouses and our families. Divorce is on the rise because of all of these reasons listed above- someone wasn't faithful, each were being cruel, somebody was too lazy, there was fighting because of rebellion, and the covetousness just ripped away anything that was left to fight for.
We are destroying our homes and families with these sins. Our children are being tossed by the wayside because someone isn't willing to swallow their pride, grow up, and act like an adult. People choose to make vows and then break them because "they just weren't what I thought they'd be".
You don't understand, they aren't saved!
But, I just dodn't love them anymore!
As Paul recommends, seek not to be loosed from your marriage. If you need some counselling, get it! And remember, you aren't the same person they married either. You stood before God and man and promised. God doesn't hold you guiltless if you break that promise. He does give provision for those rare occasions- like adultery. But, he says if you divorce for any reason other than that, stay unmarried or reconcile (I Corinthians 7).
Lastly, think of your children. They need both their mother and their father. They don't need to have you two battling it out in a court room while they stand aside unable to do anything and watching their world crumble around them. They need a safe, happy, untroubled home to grow up in!
Well, my spouse is a terrible person! They don't treat me or my children right. I think I should leave to protect my children.
Sometimes, to spare our house trouble, we have to suffer some injustice. How are you going to keep your children safe if you aren't there? A divorce usually leaves children with each parent 50% of the time. You aren't thinking of your children if you divorce, you're thinking of yourself!
We have to learn to do without so that we don't destroy our homes with our hands. We need to be willing to labor to bring forth the fruits of righteousness. And we need to esteem others and their needs more than ourselves.
Or else, we may inherit the winds of nothingness!