Eternal Midsummer Sun

“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.”

(John 3:16) 

 

sunrise

 

I sit here very reluctantly with the imminent threat of storms looming overhead… yet still I eagerly await another early rising midsummer sun…. As the darkness continues to linger into daybreak… I am attempting rather unsuccessfully to embrace the predicted series of slowly moving storms which hastily interrupts my early midsummer morning. Late night storms have left my water starved annuals laying on their uprooted mangled sides… and a scattering of white and pink petals now lay across my parched wooden deck….. My sleepless night thoughts persist and I wander just too long in anticipation of the approaching storms… and my wandering mind only complicates the mix of emotions I’m experiencing from yet another one of life’s greatest disappointments….. Just another “failure” to add to my repertoire…but like too many failures in my already overstuffed life….this failure comes from within a deep and painful crevice of spiritually rooted connections and convictions with fellow believers….. Yet I feel a remarkable and undeniable familiarity to this type of great disappointment as I glance out my patio door staring blankly at the searing sheets of endless rain just beginning to pound the south facing side of my home…..

My thoughts take another turn to not only my own failures, but also to the multiple losses I have suffered throughout my life… Trapped within the walls of this sadly wandering state of mind…..  My thoughts turn to my sister.   I struggle to envision a much happier time where she stood firmly beside me… bravely fighting with her diseased and ravaged body in tow…. It was an extremely aggressive intruder which hastily interrupted her late winter morning sun many years ago…and many months before she finally succumbed to this ultimate life-robbing enemy…this sickening invader who eventually won the hard fought battle against her constant desire to remain here in this familiar yet darkened place….her final and seemingly unanswered plea to witness yet another one of her own early rising midsummer suns…..and in this frozen memory…. my heart sinks even lower.

With much regret….I think of the many disagreements my sister and I once shared….. Far too many of our own life’s experiences stood between the two of us and the One and Only Truth and our many experiences almost separated us from creating a final spiritual truce.  I being the lost prodigal child of a Great Comforter not too long ago and she being the ever faithful and everlasting daughter of a Mighty King… born in the faith and never wavering.  Sometimes this uncomfortable wedge created too wide a space for a compromise to even take hold…for a conversation to take place and grow…and to at last realize…… the simple understanding that our belief in the One and Only Truth did indeed take very different roads…. But both roads led back home!!   There are varied paths of Light that occur in this life’s constant darkness.   My road being twisted with many unwanted, and sometimes self-inflicted roadblocks… my footprints disappearing at long intervals of time upon its jagged edge and teetering on a lack of trust and commitment …her road well-traveled and worn with the unbroken trust of her steadfast feet.. Scattered were her footprints but never ever too close to its well-developed edge… yet narrow and unbending along the border…

 

road 1

 

The rain is tapering as the sound of thunder rumbles off into the distance as the storms move to the unsuspecting East…and my sadly wandering thoughts are slowly turning to the present-tense as I sense the departing storms and begin to plan my day…..yet I pause and attempt to envision my sister’s present day view of her eternal midsummer sun….so Majestic….so Gracious…and so very Merciful……but I cannot envision it for both the current and departing storms here cause too much turmoil……And there is yet another winding road for me to travel… but I know my simple belief in Him gets me through one more storm and one more jagged edge along its path…and I seek…and I plead… and I’m given comfort by Him once again… and by this simple truth…..

My faithful sister is the daughter of a Mighty King and I am the rebellious child of a Great Comforter!

 

pic of road 3

 

Take comfort in knowing He is there with you on your current winding road…..and there is nothing that can separate you from Him as long as you are a believer and you continue to simply believe in His promise!  

 

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Two Simple Words

pic of im sorry

 

Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up His garments by casting lots.

Luke 23:34

 

Two words so honest… but only when spoken from the one who knows.  A simple apology, so hopeful and so pure… to amend a wrong….a sincere gesture of grace and reflective of a higher and unconditional love…the greatest type of love.

Two words so powerful… allowing the process of forgiveness to finally begin.  To mend the brokenhearted, the wronged, the abused…and all of those who believe.  A thickened salve to heal a past insult and lessen the pain of an unfortunate indiscretion…A sincere gesture of a higher greater mercy and reflective of a higher and unconditional love…the greatest type of love.

Two words so pure… but only if released from the lips of the one who speaks its continual song.  Its melody comforts not only the wounded, but also the one who holds the weapon.  Disarming the attacker and releasing the real prisoner from within dark and unforgiving walls…A sincere gesture of human love and reflective of the greatest type of love….a love which forgives a past unspoken apology.

Two words yet so painful when left unsung.  No reconciliation for the one who cannot utter a mere two words.  A growing silence which festers and destroys our only current hope.   The pride of humanity tried to slaughter this love…. …yet He asked for forgiveness for all those who could not find two words to say.   

When you looked out among the crowd of your vicious attackers…Did you see me standing there?

I am one of the forgiven,

I was present and silent among the crowd…

Debunking Anti-Christ Rhetoric Part B

tanti christ pic 2 FB

 

“But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.”

(Luke 19:27 ESV)

Just another Anti-Christ propaganda found on Facebook!

There are those who now want to target the Body of Christ with vengeance…targeting those who love Jesus….and also those who do not yet know Him.

They will deceive and twist… under the complete control of the deceiver….

Only hoping to break down those who have placed their trust in Christ.

And also mislead those who are yet wandering and lost.

The verse is part of a parable (story) that Jesus taught….This story that Jesus taught teaches about the judgement of God at this point….It does not suggest or imply that human governance should even follow this example.  Christ uses what could and often did happen to illustrate a point of Gods supreme governance!

His disciples were not a military group…in fact the overwhelming majority (excluding John) were slaughtered for their faith in Christ…. They were not equipped to fight or make war.

Jesus did NOT command His disciples to kill anyone….

“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgement”….. (Matthew 5: 21.22)

“But love your enemies, and do good and lend, hoping for nothing again, and your reward shall be great”… (Matthew 22: 37-40)

“A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another as I have loved you that you also love one another”… (John 13:34)

This verse has nothing to do with an individual turning the other check!

Jesus is teaching that mankind will one day face the judgement of God….

Those such as these people who post on Facebook and elsewhere… and who only intently want to discourage those who have placed their trust in Christ….

Those such as these…

Who hate and have rejected The Christ…..the One and Only One…..

God will punish…..

GOD WILL PUNISH

Yet there is still time……time also for you.

Time for all those who do not believe………

Time for those who continue to mock and denounce….

Time awaits for those who still deny and reject…..

Our One and Only Lord and Savior.

“In blazing fire, He will inflict vengeance on those who do not know God and do not obey the Gospel of our Lord Jesus.”

(2 Thessalonians 1:8)

 

Tear Bottle

A tear bottle…also known as a lachrymatory…is an ornamental vase piece…with a fixture at the opening that is formed to affix to the human eye… Tear bottles were fairly common in Christ’s time…the reference found in Psalms 56 actually predates Christ by over 1,000 years.

pic-of-tear-bottle

“You have kept count of my tossing’s; put my tears in your bottle.  Are they not in your book?”

(Psalm 56:8 ESV)

Where are you Jesus?

 Please come quickly.

I call out your Name….…

 And I have waited patiently for the sound of your voice within my own soul.

This somber waiting drips into deep crevices unknown and ricochets my whole inner being with unrest….

 Leaving me with temporary doubt and confusion. 

But still I will wait here for the quiet and somber sound of your affirming Voice….

My own tears are shedding continuously and are mounting mightily within your book. 

Yet I am waiting…

 We all are waiting…

Along the long and narrow way,

 Back home to you. 

 

Where are you Jesus?

Please come quickly. 

Rescue us from this impending doom…this utter darkness is swallowing us from inside out. 

The whole world is sinking into a lower ground…

Previously unknown to us

Yet is it really unknown to you?

 This hollow depth of unrest and complete anarchy…

Your people mocked, ridiculed, and slain. 

Your Holy Name mocked, ridiculed, and slain….

….with the utmost of arrogance and pride. 

 

Yet I am waiting…

 We all are waiting…

Along the long and narrow way,

 Back home to you. 

 

Where are you Jesus?

Please come quickly. 

You promise your children miraculous things…

Of an eternal paradise incomprehensible…where our tears will no longer flow. 

Death will cease and this present and continuous evil eradicated.  

But for now…

Our tears are shedding and mounting mightily within your book. 

Your tear bottle is overflowing with the tears of your children!

Yet we all are currently waiting…

We are patiently and desperately  waiting…

Along the long and narrow way,

Back home to you!

Debunking Anti-Christ Rhetoric Part I-A

anti-christ-1

This anti-Christ image was found recently on social media…it is disturbing…it is offensive…it is damaging… but it may also be very persuasive.  The only purpose of these posts entitled, Debunking Anti-Christ Rhetoric is to expose the truth…and while I was prepared to research extensively these claims and then sharing all the references I use in order to debunk this type of rhetoric, I have now decided to conduct brief and informal online searches from reputable websites to replicate (and hopefully encourage) what the vast majority of people coming across these types of images can and should do.  As always, I strive to keep my blog truthful…honest…transparent… with no disrespect to anyone or anything…I will never personally attack those among us who (still) do not believe…

For I am a Sinner….

And I am always face down at His cross….begging for His mercy!!

Let’s first quickly examine the author……

Dr. Bart D. Ehrman….

pic-of-bart-ehrman

“I wonder if the fact that I left the faith is somehow seen as threatening, at least among people who have a gnawing suspicion.”

–Dr. Bart Ehrman

An American Professor, Author, and Scholar

Received his PhD, and M. Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary

Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Has written more than 30 books, including college textbooks

Became a Christian as a teenager and considered himself a Christian for more than 15 years

After struggling with the philosophical problems with evil and more specifically suffering…He then became an agnostic atheist…

“This was my view for many years, and I still consider it a powerful theological view. It would be a view that I would still hold on to, if I were still a Christian. But I’m not.

About nine or ten years ago I came to realize that I simply no longer believed the Christian message. A large part of my movement away from the faith was driven by my concern for suffering. I simply no longer could hold to the view—which I took to be essential to Christian faith—that God was active in the world, that he answered prayer, that he intervened on behalf of his faithful, that he brought salvation in the past and that in the future, eventually in the coming eschaton, he would set to rights all that was wrong, that he would vindicate his name and his people and bring in a good kingdom (either at our deaths or here on earth in a future utopian existence).

We live in a world in which a child dies every five seconds of starvation. Every five seconds. Every minute there are twenty-five people who die because they do not have clean water to drink. Every hour 700 people die of malaria. Where is God in all this? We live in a world in which earthquakes in the Himalayas kill 50,000 people and leave 3 million without shelter in the face of oncoming winter. We live in a world where a hurricane destroys New Orleans. Where a tsunami kills 300,000 people in one fell swoop. Where millions of children are born with horrible birth defects. And where is God? To say that he eventually will make right all that is wrong seems to me, now, to be pure wishful thinking.”

Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/blogalogue/2008/04/why-suffering-is-gods-problem.html#yAl4ESA5FrhGS7SB.99

 

 

…my heart goes out to Dr. Ehrman and I sincerely hope he can answer one day this question of why pain and suffering exists which has tested and destroyed his faith in God….I hope one day he is able to view the world through an “eternal” perspective and realize exactly what Christ promised His followers…..

My personal perspective so far…..

The claims made in this anti-Christ image by a self-professed atheist is nothing new

Having a M.Div. or PhD does not insure one believes in the Christian worldview

What we read/see/hear can be very deceiving…

To be continued….

 

The Great City of Nineveh

Dear Readers, 

I would like to share with you something I posted (a reply) on another Christians’ blog back in August.  I have always hoped my blog would be transparent and truthful, (that is why I am sharing this response) written mostly for the lost and hopeless among us!  A blog that intentionally does not mention denomination or religious creed! A blog I have shared my very personal life experiences with and shame!    A blog only to honor Christ… very little pics of me or my family….Christ only…Christ centered… and Christs’ love for all people… always!     The debate regarding homosexuality continues…never ending, sometimes (mostly) loveless and hateful toward each other.  This summer has been quite long and filled with utter hopelessness! I find myself now lost for words..unable to write anymore.  I have been the victim of attack from a Christian who I thought I was helping…I was also evaluated by a fellow Christian as to why I want to help people “spiritually”…and I lost!   God helps us all for thinking His Word…and His Gospel is only for a select group of people!  

I want to thank all of you for taking the time to read my blog!  It means more to me than you will ever know!  I have prayed for all of you and I love you all! I hope I have touched one soul… only one soul with my words…that truly was my only prayer!!  That was my intended purpose!!

The world we now live in is a very scary place…Christ did not promise this road..this life would be easy…but He does promise a glorious ending!  

again, I thank you and I love you all!! 

“And the Lord said, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in a night and perished in a night.  And should not I pity Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than 120,000 persons who do not know their right hand for their left…”

(Jonah 4: 10-11 ESV)

wilted-plant-2

I was doing a Google search on heaven and came across this post and truly, I wish I hadn’t stumbled upon it!  This is so sad to read…to digest. To realize the length of time this post has survived…to read the hatred and bickering between Christians….the hatred from Christians to those who are still lost and in darkness…and in great need of our Savior….and to those few who were/ are struggling with same-sex attraction/ homosexual lifestyle….and decided to share their thoughts through their painfully honest and transparent testimony…..It is in times such as this….I must remind myself to keep my eyes focused on Christ alone….and not on a fallen humanity! 

We are all sinners, and we must remember that at our very best, we all have nothing but filthy rags to offer.  We all spat on Him and beat Him beyond recognition!   We ALL nailed Him to the cross!   We must love without compromising Truth.  We must be Christ- like in how we approach everyone!  God humbled himself and became one of us in a darkened and fallen world to save us all.  Jesus was approachable to the lowest members of society in His time…prostitutes and tax collectors….they felt very comfortable approaching Him….He never compromised truth yet He was able to serve those who were in greatest need. 

Please remember the story of Jonah…Jonah had an extraordinary calling to deal with a group of people he did not want to deal with…but he reluctantly went to this group of people and preached the worst evangelical sermon ever…..Destruction is coming!  Destruction is coming!  Then, Jonah went and purchased a front row seat to watch them burn….but Nineveh repented! Jonah wanted more than ever to see those people burn as He cared more for their destruction then for their repentance!  Let’s not become like Jonah….wanting complete destruction of an entire group of people instead of hoping for eventual repentance….no matter how long that repentance may take…..we are all currently under the state of grace….

The issue is…where do people stand?  Are they dead in sin or alive in Christ?  If they are dead in sin, it hardly matters what sin it is….the Gospel must be the priority of the homosexual just as it is for the heterosexual!  The church is the place to hear the gospel!  The church is a place for sinners! Jesus can and will transform lives! Transformation may take time!   Christians need to serve in truth!  Christians need to serve also…. in love.  We will all stand before the judgement seat of Christ!  We will all be asked about our lives while here on earth…..and how we all responded to the cultural issues and difficulties of our day…. Christ is not surprised by these issues….and He placed us as Christians in this exact moment in His creation for such a time as this!!  When I stand before Him, I pray I hear my Lord and Savior tell me…. “Well done good and faithful servant.”  As fellow Christians, I hope you all do too! 

 

 

 

 

Preface…Debunking Anti-Christ Rhetoric

antichrist pic 1

 

It’s everywhere…growing and flourishing in the very landscape of a growing post Christian Americana. If I am haphazardly becoming victim to its sinister message, surely others are too.  And what about our children?  It is upsetting, disheartening, it is filled with pure evil and ill intent.  I have wrestled with this for many months.  Should I attempt to debunk this anti-Christ rhetoric that seems to be prospering everywhere?  I am not a theologian or scholar.  So where are they?…  The modern day theologians, scholars, and apologists?… The great astute and intellectual minds who can easily give explanation to this new and growing mystery? Or can they?  Perhaps their silence on this subject should be of great concern. It is certainly difficult to view. What is really fueling this growing hatred of Christ? 

 

Coupled with the rise of anti-Christ rhetoric is the ever growing effort to shame, belittle, and label those for what they believe.  And for who they believe in! They silence their voices by bullying them into submission of their own disbelief.  There are now no debates in this new secular world of no truth. Absolutely no agreeing to disagree.  They demand tolerance yet have none..  The faithful have become the new minority…but without protective provisions afforded everyone else.  These millions of the majority have succumbed to their tactics….  They degrade them, they deface them…one by one. They slowly silence their beliefs….. Quite easily bullied into submission it appears….frightened and terrified of reprisal.

 

 

The ranks of martyrs are growing….in the East…and in the West, it is only a matter of time.  The quiet and discreet mention of genocide and then heard of no more.  The real and brutal enemies of religious freedom constantly planning calculated attacks and growing larger in number…Their weaponry of force are the written words of a deranged one who slaughtered many others.. And even some faithful fall victim to this incredible deceit.  And Americana is busy and distracted opening old wounds!  Fighting old wars of past generations.  Demanding payment… seeking lawlessness and disorder Casting away moral values and absolute truth. They make heroes out of villains…Their young so easily offended by mere words…Their old are withdrawn and discouraged by the new.  A perfect storm for the enemy to invade. A nation already in turmoil… a lost and struggling generation fighting from within…..

 

There seems to be a perfect storm brewing on the horizon…

 

On this diminishing Western Americana…..