Where is Your Hope?

If your hope is not in Jesus Christ, you need to put it there right now.

Life was turned upside-down in 2020. Covid-19 affected everyone. Most are now wearing masks, safety distancing, and washing hands. We are now trained to stand on markers on the floor which help us to stay 6 feet apart. So many are desperate for life to return to “normal.” It is my opinion that life will never go back to the way it was a year ago. So many have lost their jobs. Businesses have gone under and will never come back. Lives have been destroyed.

The excitement over the vaccine has been incredible. People are waiting in line for hours to get it. Thousands are eagerly awaiting their turn to get the jab. They are grasping at the hope that this magic shot will help return life to normal. Their hopes are totally focused on this magical vaccine. Good luck with that.

I was watching a show the other day. A doctor had just received a second dose of the vaccine. A host on the show commented that the doctor was now protected for a year. Really?? This vaccine will have to be repeated every year??? What a windfall for the pharmaceutical companies who have rolled out the vaccine. First, Pfizer and then Moderna. AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson plan to distribute vaccines soon if not already.

It seems magical to me because of how fast they rolled it out. And it is using a new technology called mRNA. Call me a skeptic, but I’m just not sure that this vaccine will be the magic cure-all. The storage requirements make me believe that this vaccine is very fragile. I’m also not too crazy about the reported side effects. I am not planning to take this miracle shot. It just seems to be too convenient.

I also don’t believe that we will be returning to “normal” or the good ol’ days. Masks, safety distancing, and endless rules for everything are here to stay. I also would not be surprised for there to be a one-world government, and a global economic reset will be in place soon. Censorship is out of control. You can’t believe the news. Is it really the news or does someone control what you hear? Reminds me of Hitler in WWII. Have you ever heard of the Tribulation? I believe it is on the horizon. The world seems to be spiraling out of control.

My hope is not in a vaccine. My hope is placed securely in my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Where is your hope? If your hope is not in Jesus Christ, you need to put it there right now.

How do I do that?

  1. Admit you’re a sinner–Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23
  2. Believe in Jesus Christ–Romans 5:8, John 3:16, Acts 16:31
  3. Commit your life to Jesus Christ–Romans 10:9

Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

If you have placed your faith and hope in Jesus Christ, you have a place with Him for all eternity. That is where I want to be–in Heaven. You can keep your life here on earth and your dreams of returning to normal. When God sends Jesus to get his bride, the church, I’m outta here! I hope you’re outta here, too.

Look Up

We need to keep our focus on Jesus Christ our Savior.

Our world has been turned upside-down during the past few months. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to get better any time soon. We’ve had Covid-19, an election, a record breaking hurricane season, a record-breaking fire season, earthquakes, and that is just in the United States. Travel is difficult, our economy has suffered, and we’ve been shut up in our houses. Many have lost jobs, and businesses have gone under. Parents have had to decide between in-person learning or virtual learning. Working from home has been difficult.

There has been talk of returning to normal. But for many people there will never be a normal like it was before March of this year. In fact, the news I hear about the World Economic Forum meeting in 2021 is not good. Many powerful leaders are determined to have a great economic reset.

Chaos abounds. Many are depressed, struggling, and worried about what the future holds. My answer is, “Look up!”

Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and cross to the other side of the lake, while he sent the people home. After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

Meanwhile the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!”

Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.

Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him. “You have so little faith,” Jesus said. “Why did you doubt me?” When they climbed back into the boat, the wind stopped. Then the disciples worshipped him. “You really are the Son of God!” they exclaimed.

Matthew 14: 22-33 NLT

You have to love Peter. He was certainly passionate and impulsive. I noticed that he didn’t hesitate to get out of the boat. At first he was fine. It was when he took his eyes off of Jesus Christ that he began to sink. I believe that keeping our eyes on Jesus will get us through anything that comes our way. And I’m glad that when we take our eyes off of Him and see the storm around us, He is always there to rescue us when we start to sink. There is a beautiful hymn written by Helen Howarth Lemmel.

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His beautiful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”

We need to keep looking up. We need to keep our focus on Jesus Christ our Savior. God is on His throne. His plan will be carried out. Look up, for Jesus will be coming soon for His church.

The Count Goes On

God is still on His throne and very interested in what happens here on earth.

Election Day was 3 days ago, and the votes are still being counted. It has been a crazy election year. Covid-19 and the economy have been main concerns for most of this year, and they still remain uppermost in our minds.

I’m glad the election is over. I was tired of watching political ads. When I watched the news to see the weather forecast, there was political ad after ad during the commercial breaks. I got tired of hearing candidates harping on and on about what was wrong with their opponents. I would rather hear about what qualifies the candidate for the position he/she is seeking. I would rather hear about what the candidate stands for and believes in.

I do not know what the future holds. I do know that God is in control.

“Everyone must submit to governing authority. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.” (Romans 13:1 NLT)

“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.” (1 Timothy 2: 1-2 NLT)

God is still on His throne and very interested in what happens here on earth. God has a plan. I pray, as Jesus taught, that God’s will be done. Whoever wins the White House will need our prayers. I know he will be there because God allowed it.

May God’s perfect will be done in this and in everything which affects our lives.

Idols

Do you have idols other than God?

A definition for idol is as follows: 1. an object or image used as an object of worship, or 2. a person or thing that is greatly loved, admired, or revered.

“You must not have any other god but me. You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea. You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God who will not tolerate your affection for any other gods.” (Exodus 20: 3-5 NLT)

I have been reading the Old Testament prophets lately. God, through His prophets, warned the Jewish nation over and over to repent and return to Him. They had adopted the ways of the people who had lived in their land before they arrived from Egypt. They were worshipping idols and had left God. They were practicing other religions. What really makes this sad is that all God required in order to richly bless the Israelites was for them to obey and follow His decrees. They didn’t obey God and turned away from God which eventually led to destruction of Israel, Judah, and Jerusalem. Most of the Jewish people were sent into exile.

You may be thinking, “That will never happen to me. I could never worship a statue.” You may not worship a statue, but you may have other gods you pay homage to.

What about money? Do you work and slave in order to amass a lot of money? Do you neglect your family? Or even worse, do you neglect God? Many succumb to the lure of money. Do you care more about making money and what it can buy than about obeying God?

Do you idolize a celebrity or sports figure? Do you care more about a person, and what he/she says or does, than you care about what God says and does?

How about partying and spending time with your friends? Do your friends get more of your time than God? Do you spend more time listening to secular music, watching TV or movies, or reading novels, than you do with God?

One thing I really struggle with is spending too much money, and spending it on things I don’t really need. I know that I mostly spend money on my children and grandchildren. I can’t promise that I’ll completely change that habit. It gives me pleasure to buy things for my grandchildren and children. I’m sure God gets great pleasure giving gifts and blessings to His children. I’m the first to admit that I’ve been blessed far more than I deserve. I’m going to try to do better.

I believe that God wants us to keep our focus on HIM and not on worldly things. He also wants us to obey HIM and not be distracted by the world.

I believe that the rapture of the church is eminent. I want to be ready. Part of being ready is to shed love of this world and to long for our Heavenly home. Remember Lot’s wife. She turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back. She obviously was longing for the life she was leaving.

Do you have idols other than God? Start now to shed those idols. Yearn for Heaven.

I’m Certain

We are surrounded with uncertainty all around the world today.

We are surrounded with uncertainty all around the world today. We have a worldwide pandemic. There are devastating, historic wildfires along the Pacific coast. The world is on the cusp of unprecedented famine. Millions of people are facing hunger. Locusts are swarming in record numbers. There have been earthquakes. The hurricane season of 2020 is setting records. The United States has seen terrible rioting. Cities have been burned and looted. There are calls to defund the police. Our economy seems to be on the verge of complete collapse. We’ve had lockdowns and quarantines. We are also facing a very controversial and emotional presidential election.

“What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, the dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter. What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever.” (Isaiah 5:20-21 NLT)

It looks like we are in the middle of Satan’s playground. Evil abounds.

How can we be certain in the midst of so much uncertainty? What can we be certain of?

There is a beautiful hymn, written by Daniel W. Whittle in 1883. The chorus: “For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able. To keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.”

I am certain that I will be safe in God’s hands until He calls me home to Heaven. And I know that Heaven will be more beautiful than anything humans can imagine. I’ve committed my soul into God’s keeping.

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and He is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” (John 10: 27-30 NLT)

I am certain that I will go to Heaven some day. I hope it’s soon. I am certain that Satan cannot touch me or take me from the Father’s hands. No matter what happens to my physical body, my soul is safe.

“He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon!’ Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20 NLT)

What a joyful reunion that will be! Are you certain that you will be there?

Heavenly Minded

So I will plan to keep working while keeping an eye on the sky and yearning for Heaven.

I heard a saying many years ago–“Don’t be so Heavenly minded that you’re no earthly good.” I don’t know where or when I heard this. It was brought to my mind by the Holy Spirit recently.

It should be hardly surprising that I’m thinking a lot about Heaven these days–wondering what it will be like. Life on Earth has turned upside-down. Who would have thought just a year ago that we would be wearing face masks, social distancing, experiencing lock downs, and have wide-spread virtual learning? Who would have thought just a year ago that we would be facing destruction of our communities from rioting. Who would have thought we would have communities defund their police departments? Who would have thought a year ago our economy would be in a mess? It boggles the mind.

I’m longing to go home.

“For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.” (Philippians 1: 21-24 NLT)

I have to keep reminding myself that I am here for a purpose. I have to keep working and fulfilling God’s purpose for me while I’m here. I’m certainly not as influential as Paul was, but what little I can do for Christ’s kingdom while I’m here I need to do. I can’t just sit around and wait for the Rapture. God is waiting for a reason. What do I need to do for God?

So I will plan to keep working while keeping an eye on the sky and yearning for Heaven. When I get there, and I see Jesus Christ face-to-face, I want to hear the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Are You Afraid?

Give your fears and concerns to God.

Today’s world is in chaos. There are so many things happening that can cause fear. Covid-19. Rioting. Shutdowns. Quarantine. Impeachment. Elections. Brexit. Wars. Wall Street. Olympics. Unemployment. Shortages. It’s enough to make anyone afraid.

Suddenly, a fierce storm stuck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, ‘Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!‘” (Matthew 8:24-26 NLT)

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NLT)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NLT)

We have been exhorted to have peace. When we get upset–pray. When we worry–pray. When we feel like we’re drowning–pray. When we feel alone–pray. No matter where we are. No matter what we are doing. God is just a prayer away. I have peace in knowing that God is in control and He will look after me.

When Covid-19 started getting more widespread, I was concerned. The news stories and the horrors they were experiencing in places like Italy tended to raise my fear level. I kept telling myself that my life is in God’s hands. During the shutdown, I kept telling myself that my life is in God’s hands. Then, in May, my husband came down with Covid symptoms. Then a couple of days later, I also came down with Covid symptoms. I started to get fearful, but told myself that my life is in God’s hands. We only had symptoms for about a week and they were mild. The flu I had about 2 1/2 years ago was much worse. I had some kind of cold or respiratory virus last September. That was much worse than Covid-19. God is in control. My life always has been, is, and always will be in God’s hands. I have nothing to fear.

I understand the worry. Especially now that it is nearly time for schools to reopen. I understand the concern of the teachers and parents. I can also understand the frustration since the rules seem to change every day.

Give your fears and concerns to God. God knows what you need and your situation.

“I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27 NLT)

“…And be sure of this; I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20 NLT)

Keep your focus on Jesus, and the cares of this world will fade.

Do You Ever Wonder?

I’ve been thinking a lot about Heaven and wondering what it will be like.

Maybe it’s the chaos around me or all the gloom and doom, but I’ve been thinking a lot about Heaven and wondering what it will be like.

In John 14, Jesus said that there are many mansions in His Father’s house, and He said He was going to prepare a place for us. Isn’t that cool? Those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will live in mansions in Heaven.

Revelation chapters 21 & 22 contain descriptions of Heaven and the new Jerusalem. Walls made of Jasper and gates made of a single pearl. Streets made out of gold which is so pure it is translucent. There is a river of the water of life which is crystal clear. The river flows from the throne of God. And on each side of the river there will be a tree of life.

There will be no need for the sun or moon because light will come from God and the Lamb. Imagine no darkness.

In Revelation, the Apostle John told of an angel measuring the size of the new Jerusalem. John described the city of Jerusalem as a square with each side measuring 1,400 miles. Think of a city wall as long as the distance between Dallas and New York City. Amazing! And the walls measured 216 feet thick. Everything made out of jewels. It will be beautiful beyond imagination.

There will be no sadness, pain, tears, or sickness. There will not be any evil of any kind. Our bodies will be indestructible because we will live forever. There will be no sense of time in Heaven. We will have eternity, so there is no more limitation by time. I’m sure there will be beautiful music in Heaven. Music more beautiful than any here on Earth. We will be surrounded by love.

I wonder sometimes what we will do in Heaven besides singing. Will there be any mosquitos or wasps in Heaven? Will there be any flies? How will we travel from place to place? Maybe we can think of a place and we’ll instantly be there. Will we remember our lives on Earth?

What kind of food will there be in Heaven? I can’t imagine Heaven without chocolate.

Of course, a lot of these questions come from my limited experiences and knowledge here on Earth. And the most important question that needs to be asked now is, “Will you be going to Heaven?” I hope so. The other destination is the lake of fire for eternity.

I believe the time is close when believers will be taken up to Heaven and the seven year tribulation will begin. We don’t know when that will happen, and we need to be prepared. Remember the parable of the 10 bridesmaids? (Matthew 25)

Now is the time to accept Christ as your savior and repent of your sins. Don’t be like those 5 foolish bridesmaids who were shut out.

The Rockets’ Red Glare

It’s that time of year again. The time when my neighborhood sounds like a war zone.

I live in a country neighborhood. I like living here except for two times a year–the 4th of July and New Year’s Eve. That’s when fireworks start going off. As soon as the fireworks stands open, they start going off in my neighborhood. Fireworks can go on sale from June 24-July 4 and from December 20-January 1. I know there are patrons eager to buy fireworks beginning on June 24 and on December 20 because I hear their purchases going off almost nightly. It also seems that they get louder every year. I can’t believe that those big boomers which sound like bombs are really safe. I also can’t believe how many thousands of dollars a person can waste on these annoyances.

First of all, fireworks mean fire. It can be really dry in July and December. There have been years that we have had a burn ban and extreme drought conditions. The county commissioners waited until the day before July 4 one year before banning fireworks. However, it’s one thing to ban the fireworks. It’s another to actually enforce it. Honestly, though, anyone with half a brain during that extreme drought should have known that it was way too dry to be shooting off fireworks. I live in fear that a stray spark will start a fire. I pray for rain during those holidays. It’s even scarier if those pyromaniacs have been drinking. One year, the neighbors across the street were shooting them across the street into my driveway. I told them not to shoot them toward my house at all. Insurance is great but it won’t replace things like the afghan my grandmother made for me before I went to college. Is it really worth it to possibly burn down someone’s house or several homes?

Secondly, the fireworks these days are LOUD, and they shoot them off sometimes until 2:00 AM or later. There are people who have to work.

Thirdly, how about those with an aversion to loud sounds? How about animals and pets? How about those with PTSD? My 6 year old grandson wears noise cancelling headphones because loud sounds really bother him.

Don’t worry. I haven’t started a petition to ban fireworks even though I would like to. There are many who would oppose me. However, I would like to see some stricter rules.

  1. Fireworks should be fired off on the day of the holiday only–July 4 and New Year’s Eve. Not 2 weeks before and/or 2 weeks after.
  2. There should be a limit to how loud the fireworks can be.
  3. Fireworks should be banned if there is a burn ban in place because of drought.
  4. Fireworks should cease by 11:00 PM on July 4 and by 1:00 AM on New Year’s Day. If you can’t shoot them all off by that time, then you’ve bought too much.

Please respect those who live around you. I think it’s far better to go see a professional fireworks display.

I’m not saying that you can’t have fun. Just make sure that your fun doesn’t harm others. Be safe and be courteous.

Random Thoughts of the Times

Christianity is not compatible with fear, racism, or hatred.

I have started several blogs over the past few weeks, but I haven’t finished any of them. Covid 19, the rioting, and the election have all caused major distractions. These issues are emotionally draining and overwhelming. I find myself not very motivated to write. What is there to say?

I know of some people who are paranoid about Covid-19. I don’t blame them. These people have compromised immune systems, and the number of Covid cases and deaths are not encouraging. Some places are still seeing an increase in the number of cases and deaths. Hospitals are still filling up. All I can say is to trust God. My life always has been, is, and always will be in God’s hands. That doesn’t mean to live recklessly, but for me it means that I shouldn’t live in fear.

The rioting is another area of concern. I understand the need for change. Racism is awful. Racism is taught by one’s environment. However, how does it make it right to riot, damage property, burn and loot businesses, and kill? Protesting peacefully is fine, but not criminal behavior. Just because someone is encouraging riots doesn’t mean that you have to participate. Leave those stacks of bricks untouched.

A man is shot in a Wendy’s parking lot. So you retaliate by burning down the Wendy’s? News flash–Wendy’s or its employees did not shoot that man. I think a lot of people have lost their ability to think rationally. Defund the police? Really? That’s the answer? I’m sure there’s a better answer out there somewhere.

One thing that has really concerned me lately, is the lack of tolerance for those who have differing opinions.

Four years ago, during the last presidential election, I made a statement on someone’s post that I liked a certain candidate. The spouse of this friend, replied to my statement saying, “He’s a snake!” Really? This person did not know me and yet felt free to attack me for my opinion.

Just recently a “friend” had posted an article on the evils of Trump. The title asked the question of why we were standing behind cruelty. Basically it was bashing Trump about his past. It did not give any information about why Biden was a better choice. I just stated that the alternative choice to Trump was not any better. I did not defend Trump in my posting. Wow! I was immediately attacked, insulted, told I had “my fingers in my ears,” and was a “humankind murderer.” This hurt me deeply. And my “friend” who had posted the original article even liked the posts assaulting my character. And these attacks were by people who did not know me. Most of the attacks are by people who profess to be Christians. There have been several incidents through the years of me being put down for my opinion. I can take it, but I also unfriend those who allow insulting posts on their newsfeeds.

I think we need to keep in mind the old saying, “If you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.” Why can’t people respect the opinions of others? All of us want to be respected. Show that respect toward others. Don’t be a cyber bully. I tend to think that people who act offensively are insecure. Why else would they need to be so aggressive?

While Satan is having a heyday, GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL. God is provider, healer, comforter, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, and anything else you need during these crazy times. God is all you need!

So the bottom line is this–give God all of your worries and fears. He is still strong enough to take care of you.

Please don’t take your anger at racism out on innocent people. Some of those businesses that have been destroyed may never reopen. Innocent people are having their lives ruined.

And be kind to others. A Christian should not be insulting or putting others down for their opinions. We should be about loving others no matter who they are. Jesus died for them, too. Christianity is not compatible with fear, racism, or hatred.