Thursday, August 31, 2017

All Good Things ... (And "When Things Don't Turn Out The Way You Wanted")


You know what they say - that there's a time for every good thing to end.  Well, I would like to end this blog on these posts, some of my favorites (along with the “How I Broke” post and the series on predestination in April). 
 

But since I still have more posts from my other blog to break up into smaller pieces for this one, I will be adding new posts in random places throughout the past 8 months.  Just slipping them in anywhere I can.  (And I will be continuing to add posts to one of my other blogs - https://heathersgardenandhome.blogspot.com.)    
 

In general, it doesn’t matter when they are dated or where they are placed.  (But if it does, I will note the date that they were actually written.) 
 

I know this might make it a little inconvenient because it means sifting through the past 8 months for new posts BUT … it doesn’t really matter since no one is reading anyway.  So I am going to do this for me, to have the “ending” that I want yet still being able to add new stuff when I feel like it.



And now ... "When Things Don't Turn Out The Way You Wanted":


Starting Your Own Relationship with Jesus Christ (And Why We Need Him!)


             John 3: 16: “For God so loved the world that he sent his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

            God so loved the world.  He didn’t just love the world; He so loved the world.  He so loved the world that He (Jesus) would die in our place before He would miss out on an eternal relationship with us.  He knew that we would disappoint Him and hurt Him and fail Him, but He still so wanted a relationship with us that He made a way.  He knew that there would be many, many people that would reject His gift of love and salvation, but an eternity spent with those who would choose Him was worth the price of dying on the cross.  That is some amazing love!     
 
 

            Let me ask you something:  If you were to die today or if Jesus came back today, would you be ready?  Seriously!   This life, as we know it, isn't going to go on forever.  And we are not invincible.  People die every day, in every kind of way.  Are you ready to face eternity, what comes the moment after you take your last breath?  Have you figured out who Jesus is and why He matters so much? 

            Because this will be what matters most the moment after you die.  And, quite honestly, it's what matters most in this lifetime, too.

Atheism and World Religions (repost)


[This is also taken from the Bible study I wrote.  FYI – like the other reposts, it’s very long.]

            In this lesson, I combined parts of several posts from https://myimpressionisticlife.blogspot.com.  This lesson in not really an academic “study” of atheism and world religions, but it’s a very personal account of why I could never give up my faith in Jesus, why those other options are not for me, and how I would explain salvation and faith in Jesus to a non-believer. 

            Christianity isn’t a squeaky clean, “everything goes smoothly and life is always what I want it to be” kind of faith.  It can be messy and painful and difficult. 

            Due to many trials which have caused me to struggle deeply with my faith, I’ve become a little less polished and a lot more real over the years.  This is why I included this lesson and the depression one.  Because I really wanted to show the very real, human side of being a believer in Jesus, how we can struggle enormously with heartache and pain and doubt and fear . . . and yet still cling to Him.

            This will be a long lesson (I tried to cut it down as much as I could) because I will be looking at several different things which all relate to what we choose to believe and why: atheism, world religions, evidence to support the Bible and Jesus, and how I would describe salvation and faith in Jesus to someone.  

 

Why I Could Never be an Atheist

            “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”  (Psalm 14:1)
 

             “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”  (Romans 1:20)


The End Times (repost)


            (Reposted directly from a post about the End Times in the Bible Study I wrote.  I don’t know, but something about all the hurricanes and earthquakes and solar flares and society going more “cash-less” and the terrorism and the martyring of Christians and the disease epidemics and the technology to put little radio transmitters into people’s hands containing their information and the various celestial events and a fast-approaching “one-world system” and a brewing civil war and a brewing world war, etc. … I don’t know, but something about all that makes it seems worthwhile to repost this post at this time.
            And to all those scoffers who say "None of this has anything to do with the end of the world" or "There is no 'end of the world' and Jesus isn't coming back again," I would like to ask you ... "Are you so sure!?!  Are you so sure that there isn't a supernatural world out there?  That there isn't a God who will someday do exactly what He said He'd do in His Word?  That He isn't moving and working in this world and about to bring this time to an end?  Are you so sure!?!  Even if the end doesn't come in our lifetime, it will come someday - in our own lives and for the world as we know it.  Are you prepared to face the truth?  Will you find the truth before it's too late?"     
            FYI, I didn’t repost all the questions at the end of Bible study here, just the main content.  Warning:  Don’t read this unless you are ready for a headache, ‘cuz your head will be spinning.)

 

            No study on the “less clear” things of Scripture would be complete without a look into the End Times.  There are many different ideas about how the world will end.  Of course, most Christians believe that it will end when Christ returns and God makes all things new.  But what isn’t clear is the timing of everything.  And the biggest “unclear” thing: Will there be a rapture?  Will it come before, during, or after the tribulation?

            I have studied this really intensely at different times over the years.  Reading every book on the topic that I could find, studying the Bible, checking the original Greek meaning of the words, etc.   To me, it is a huge, complex, wonderfully-frustrating puzzle.  And I could never really understand it . . . until this last time that I studied it.  And I was finally able to settle this issue in my mind once and for all. 

Is the Rapture taught in the Bible?

             I believe there’s going to be rapture of the true believers before the tribulation starts (which I looked at in "The End Times" post, so some of this will be review of that).  

             In this post, I’m going to list which significant passages I think refer to the Rapture and which refer to the Visible Second Coming, which will happen at the 6th seal, during the tribulation.  This is all just my opinion.  I do not claim to have any special revelation from God.  It’s just the best way I make sense of Scripture.
 

             Before I get into the verses, keep this in mind:
          1.  All “coming of the Lord” passages that include something about Jesus coming in power and great glory and with angels pertain to the visible second coming of Jesus at the 6th seal during the tribulation.  (However, there are some passages that refer to the visible coming which don’t use those words, but you can tell by the context, by the fact that they were already talking about the big “end of time” visible second coming.  And He also comes again visibly at the end of the trib for the battle of Armageddon, so that coming is referred to at times.  But neither of these "visible comings" are the rapture.)
          2.  None of the passages that pertain to the rapture have the words “in power and great glory and with angels.” 
 

             This helps clear up a lot of confusion about which “coming” the passage is referring to.  


I Will Love You ... Always


            “How long, O Lord?  Will you forget me forever?  How long will you hide your face from me? . . . But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.  I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.”  (Psalm 13:1, 5-6)

            “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him, . . .”  (Job 13:15)

            “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”  (Job 1:21)

                       

            Years ago, I saw the movie Facing the Giants.  And it was a good movie.  Last night (April 16, 2015, this is obviously a repost), I saw it again . . . and it was a great movie.  It touched my heart in ways it didn’t before.  And I pretty much cried through the whole thing.  (Good thing the lights were off so my family couldn’t tell.) 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I Just Want To Finish Well


Once again, I found myself in an emotional funk (this is a repost from 2014, yet it still seems to be where I’m at in 2017), feeling like I can’t accomplish anything.  Can’t give any one thing the effort and time it needs.  I am so stretched-thin in places.  The housework never gets done.  The construction never gets done.  There’s not enough money to fix this place up.  My cooking has seen better days.  There’s not enough time to do everything I want when it comes to homeschooling … so, of course, my boys are going to grow up to be great big drains on society. 
 

I was feeling a little panicked that things were slipping away from me too fast, that I couldn’t get a grip on anything.  And then I picked up a movie from the library that really settled my heart.  Flywheel.  It’s an older one, the first one done by the people who made Courageous and Facing the Giants.  And I have to say that . . . it . . . is . . . good!  It’s really good, even if it’s a little old and primitive.
 

But the thing that sticks with me the most from it was the line that went like this: “I just want to finish well.”