Apparently, in our God starved society these days, life is only life when convenient.
“For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.”
-= Deuteronomy 7:6
Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke to the United Nations and spoke out boldly about the Iran nuclear deal that has recently been put into motion. While the rest of the world seems to be in agreement that this nuclear deal is a step in the right direction, Israel and its people are being put in clear and present danger because a nuclear Iran poses an immediate and gravely concerning threat to the very existence of Israel as a nation. During this speech, Benjamin Netanyahu expertly proved one of his points on the subject in the most amazing and effective ways I have ever seen.
Immediately after calling out the most powerful nations in the world on their silence towards the open hostility and outright threats that have been issued about Israel and its people, he stands silently in front of them for 44 seconds. You can see it in his eyes, as he looks over the crowd of diplomats before him and nods his head a few times – he, and Israel, are standing alone.
But, this is nothing new when it comes to Israel as a people. Throughout its history, Israel and its people have constantly been under attack. Israel and its people have faced enemies hellbent on annihilating it more times than any other nation on the face of the earth – and they have persevered because God Himself protects them and ensures that they remain a strong, passionate, and faithful people for Him. It is my belief that this very fact is why Israel is constantly under attack. Israel is the constant reminder that God does exist, that He works miracles and protects those who keep to His commands and seek Him out in their lives – and it also serves as a constant reminder to the rest of the world that the quest for power and complete control is futile. There is only one who controls all things. God.
If you have not seen the entire speech that Benjamin Netanyahu gave to the United Nations, I encourage everyone to do so. This is the voice of a true and determined leader of his nation. Not the political strawman we currently have in the United States White House. You can view the entire speech, here.
Last year, Israel went on the offensive against terrorism in its nation by systematically destroying tunneling systems that were being created and used to complete terrorist activities in its country – bombings, murders, abductions, and many other incidents. During this time, Hezbollah, Hamas, and other Islamic terrorist organizations (funded and supported by Iran and its political figures) openly attacked Israel by constantly bombarding it with rockets, mines, and other deadly attacks. While Israel was carefully targeting Islamic terrorists bent on murder and destruction, Israel carefully eliminated the threats. Some could say they were downright surgical in their efforts. But, because Islamic terrorist militants are cowardly and without moral understanding, their approach to warfare is firing weapons from a distance and then hiding among innocent people. Israel issued several warnings to the people, advising them that an increased Israeli military response was going to be happening – and instead of heeding these warnings, many people stayed. Either out of loyalty to the Islamic terrorists who were being targeted, or because the Islamic terrorists were holding them hostage and using the innocent lives of the people around them as a form of cushion so that they would be killed instead of the terrorists. Either way, Israel acted with an amazing showcase of military organization, skill, and resolve. There were, unfortunately, innocent lives that were lost during this struggle – but the accountability for those lives lies strictly with the Islamic terrorists who insisted on using innocent lives to hide behind as they performed their acts of terrorism on the Nation of Israel.
Of course, all you ever saw on the news and in the United Nations was people calling for Israel to be held accountable and charged with war crimes. It seemed like everyone at the time was against Israel – including a vast majority of the voices from the United States. Israel acted to defend itself, and did so because no one else was offering any sort of support in the matter, and yet, the world seemed to put them on trial for protecting itself, its citizens, and its right to exist.
The world seemed to side with the Palestinians – the very people who have sworn to wipe Israel off the face of the earth time and time again. I am not suggesting that all Palestinians are anti-Semitic and wish to kill the Jewish people – but what I am saying is that their religion, Islam, suggests that anyone who is not of the Islamic faith should be killed. Here are just a few of the versus that clearly state any people who is not a follower of Islam should be hunted down and killed.
Quran (9:29) – “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”
Quran (9:30) – “And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!”
Quran (9:123) – “O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.”
Yet, Islam is a religion of peace and understanding – right? There are at least 109 separate verses in the Quran that state Muslims are to create war with the non-believers of their religion – some even go into great detail on how that should be accomplished. Cutting off of head, cutting off of fingers, and killing infidels wherever they are found. Infidels being anyone who does not believe in Allah and the Quran.
This is the foundation of the Islamic religion. Not peace and understanding – but murder and genocide. This is the threat that Israel faces each and every day – from ALL around it. The constant threat of being murdered, imprisoned, tortured, and even the blatant words of Iranian leadership stating that “they will wipe Israel off the face of the earth” and “Israel will not exist within the next 25 years”.
The solution to this is simple. Israel has always desired peace and has worked to achieve it many, many times with Iranian and Palestinian leadership. There is only one big problem that keeps these talks from bearing any fruit. Dennis Prager presented an absolutely fantastic video sharing this problem and it is spot on accurate.
Overall, the political rhetoric seems to be largely anti-Semitic, and this is only going to get worse. Israel has been through this before, and not all that long ago. In 1933 Hitler began his approach to systematically annihilate the Jewish people from the face of the earth – killing over 6 million of them before the world was able to stop him. Do we really need another Holocaust to happen before the world wakes up and realizes what it has done? Unfortunately, I don’t think the world will stop itself this time and it will be up to God and Jesus Christ to stop things before they destroy everything.
I stand with Israel. And, as I stated previously, I believe things in this world are moving quickly ahead to the time of Tribulation. We will see things get worse before they get better – but know that God is in control and He will see things made right.
“With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD: “He is good; His love toward Israel endures forever.” And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.”
-= Ezra 3:11
“But of the day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
-= Matthew 24:36 – 39
For, quite literally, hundreds of years now people have been proclaiming that the end of the world is near. It has become such a cultural cliche that people now quickly discount and laugh at anyone who makes such a claim. I am no different. But, not because I do not believe it is not going to happen, because it will; but rather because Jesus Christ was very clear in his teachings that no one would know when this time would come. However, that said, should a person carefully read the Bible, study its prophecies, and filter that information through a lens of current events and geopolitical understanding – it is clear that time on this earth is drawing very – very – short.
Let’s begin by setting a few things straight.
- One, it is a biblical fact that the world as we know it will end. There are many who have misunderstood the Bible and claim that our planet is always going to exist. Revelation 21 dispels that rather effectively.
“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. And I John say the holy city; new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
God makes it clear, this earth will end.
- There are also those who have misunderstood the Bible who claim that the rapture is not mentioned in its verses. And, yes, while it is true that the exact word “rapture” is not mentioned in the Bible, there are plenty of references made by Jesus Christ’s teachings, and from God, that there will be a time when those who follow Christ will be taken from this earth. Matthew 24, Matthew 25, I Thessalonians 4 and 5; plus many more. There will come a time when Christ will call his followers out from this world, and those who are left behind will endure hardships that have never before been encountered on this earth.
- Pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, and post-tribulation are more terms that many people seem to get caught up in; so much so that it causes discontent and arguments even amongst Christians. I do intend on diving into much greater depths as far as prophecy goes as I proceed with this site and its new direction – but to save time for now and, hopefully, confusion – I will present the quick version of what the tribulation means.
Seven years of turmoil and evil unleashed upon the earth. That is the quick version. Anti-christ is revealed, creates a false sense of peace in the Middle East (Israel is lured into a false peace agreement), when that agreement is finally revealed as being false, anti-christs’ true motives and destructive nature is unleashed upon the earth causing the world to tear itself apart – so much so that Jesus Christ Himself returns to put a stop to it before the entire world is destroyed by his hands.
There will come a time of trouble on this earth such has never been seen before. Pre-trib is the thought that “rapture” will occur prior to the tribulation beginning, mid-trib is the thought that “rapture” will occur sometime in the middle of this time, and post-trib is the thought that “rapture” will not happen until sometime after the end. Most people who have studied the Bible almost immediately dismiss post-tribulation because it just doesn’t make any sense when you put it in context with what happens during the time of tribulation. But, there is debate about pre and mid-trib because valid arguments can be made concerning each one. That said, no one knows and I firmly believe that the Bible is vague on this subject because THAT is not the point. Jesus Christ offers salvation through grace and mercy, to each and every person alive on this earth. As Christians, we are supposed to be aware and prepared for the coming events, but not so caught up in looking towards the end that we fail to affect the present.
Affecting the present is something that Christians have failed at; especially in America. As Christians in America, we are privileged to live in a society that – as of this point – is still somewhat tolerant of Christ and His word. I say somewhat tolerant because, clearly, that is something that has been eroding away beneath us for quite some time. And, it is our fault. We have become an ineffective people, and the state of this nation is all we need to look at to make that clear.
1.06 million abortions are performed in this nation, on average, every year. Breaking that down, that is an average of 2,756 children murdered each day. Add to this the fact that it is now known that locations offering abortions in this nation also butcher and sell the murdered childs body parts to the highest bidder, and it is nothing short of pure evil. America may not have invented abortion, but we did turn it from a naturally abhorrent and shameful act that should never be forgiven – into a multi-billion dollar a year industry.
For this, I firmly believe that the blood of each and every child murdered in this nation, in the name of convenience and irresponsibility, will be answered for shortly. How long do you expect God to allow such an evil practice to go on without being stopped? It has already been going on for far too long.
Israel is constantly under attack, not only by nations who are openly aggressive towards it and want to see it destroyed – but also by nearly every other nation when it finally has enough and decides to defend itself. Last year, when Israel went on the offensive and began routing its borders from terrorists who were building tunnels into their country to enact bombings, murders, and other terrorist activities, it seemed as if the entire world was crying out over the Palestinians while very few stood with Israel and its right to defend itself. Israel is constantly under threat of terrorism, alienation, and even destruction – Iran has made it clear several times that the destruction of Israel is its primary goal. And yet, America is providing Iran with the option to develop their nuclear program. Iran is not only openly hostile to Israel, but towards America as well – and we have now paved the way for them so create weapons that they will use against us. Iran is constantly linked intimately with Islamic terrorism, and look what they did with a couple of planes in 2001. Israel mourned with us on that day, while Muslim nations rejoices in the streets. Imagine what they will be able to do when then finally develop a nuclear weapon. Both Israel and America are going to be under direct threat, and it will be because the leaders of this nation gave them the power to do it.
Russia is becoming more and more prevalent on the geopolitical stage; in fact, Putin is now held in higher regard than our own President. Putin has done amazing things with his political leadership and is very quickly leading Russia into a state of geopolitical power it has not had since the fall of the USSR. So much so, they are now stepping in to stop ISIS (something America has not been doing effectively), opening lines of communication and support with Israel (something that America has also failed at doing effectively), and it is garnering more and more support internationally as a major geopolitical power. This has all been a rather sudden development, but it is happening. The Bible states plainly that Russia (Gog) will be a formidable power at the time of Tribulation and, as will Magog – China.
China owns this nation. They own a vast majority of this nations debt, so therefore, they own this nation. If China were to make a call to the President today and say, “We’ve had enough of your rhetoric and chest thumping in affairs that you have no power over anymore, so we are demanding that you pay us for all of the debt we have in your countries name.” – America would be effectively turned into a third world country, and almost over night. It is clear that China has become more and more powerful on the international world stage, and personally, I am just waiting for them to figure that the time is right to make such a demand. China, as a nation, is very forward-thinking and methodical in its approach. As a nation, it thinks decades ahead, rather than weekly or daily. Because of this general political presence, China has successfully positioned itself in a way that could bring America to its knees with one act. And it wouldn’t require a single shot fired.
Additionally, China and Russia have already proven to be close and formidable allies in the geopolitical realm. In 2008, during the Olympics, Russia invaded Georgia. Our President voiced his concerns about such an open act of aggression towards a peaceful country, but because our President lacks any real political power in the world, Russia didn’t care and proceeded with its plans. Our President spoke out about it again, only this time, China had something to say in response. Essentially, China told America to shut it and stay out of it – and we did. That instance really opened my eyes to the state of world wide politics and just how far America’s position in it as fallen.
There are several more instances that I can reference to further my point that God’s judgment, and the time of tribulation, is close at hand. And, as this site progresses, I will likely delve into this matter more and more. Biblical prophecy and watching it unfold before my very eyes has always fascinated me and fueled my passion and excitement for Jesus Christ, God, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit.
All of the pieces are being put in place. Israel is under attack, America and its political power in the world is on the decline, Russia is stepping in as the more rational and powerful nation, China supports them and can effectively end us as a nation with a simple act of asking for their debt to be paid in full, Iran (Babylon) has been given the go ahead and the means to develop a nuclear weapon, and a vast majority of this world stands against Israel – God’s chosen and protected land.
Here is what I foresee happening in the near future. This is just my projection of the way things will go here directly and I am not stating this as a prophecy from God – just as a “thinking ahead” type of situation.
Russia will continue to gain power internationally, and this rise in power will go relatively unquestioned because China holds the key.
America as a political power will fade further and further away on the geopolitical world stage, not only because of our leadership and their actions, but because we have given the keys to our power away to China. China will hold our debt in ransom as a means to further whatever agenda Russia and China work together to create.
Iran will get a nuclear weapon – thereby giving ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups access to nuclear weaponry. This will effectively put Iran and ISIS in a position of power that will be unquestionable. Remember MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction?
A nuclear Iran will further destabilize the Middle East as a whole, causing great concern throughout the rest of the world.
Iran’s supreme leader will die, and a new one will be named. The current one is 76, so his time on this earth is drawing to a close. This new supreme leader will begin taking on a rhetoric of peace and disingenuous cooperation within the Middle East, such has never occurred before. It will be so refreshing to the rest of the world that this course of events will hardly be questioned. (A current Iranian political leader – Khamenei – spoke to the United Nations just the other day and voiced a rather surprising rhetoric of “new era” of understanding and communication)
Israel will be cautiously optimistic about the change of events and will therefore be lured into a false sense of security – especially with Russia presenting themselves as a nearby nation that will support Israel and its right to exist.
Israel will discover that there is a way to rebuild the Jewish Temple – possibly because Iran’s new supreme leader will pave the way for this to occur.
We are getting closer and closer each day to the end of this world as we know it. As I have stated in my last post, the first time Jesus Christ came to earth, it was as our savior. When He returns, it will be as its righteous judge. I pray that each and every person open their eyes to see what is coming. But, as the Bible tells us – that will not happen. To many, this coming will be completely by surprise. I just hope that, through this site and its message, by the grace of God and the mercy of Jesus Christ, I am able to reach as many people as possible before the time of God’s judgment comes to this world.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him the overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am sat down with my Father in His throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”
-= Revelation 3:20 – 22
“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength in sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
-= 1 Corinthians 15:55 – 57
“All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death. We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.”
-= 1 John 5: 17 – 19
There are no gray areas in The Bible.
There are no gray areas with God.
There are no gray areas with Jesus Christ.
Both believers and non-believers like to put this hierarchy in place depicting that there are different levels of doing something wrong, but God makes it very clear.
There are no levels of mostly right or “It was only a little thing” when it comes to God’s laws; there is only right and wrong.
To God, there is no difference between the “little white lie” that we tell to someone in order to keep the peace or get out of a situation, and murdering someone. It is us, as humanity, whom have constructed these levels of sin in our minds in order to justify our immorality. We do it so that we can point to someone else when we are confronted with our sin and say “well, at least I didn’t do THAT”. But, there is no difference in God’s eyes. Sin is sin. It is a willful disobedience to God and his will. And, God makes it very clear as well that we are to hate the sin, but bring the message of love, salvation, and mercy to the sinner so that they may understand what they are doing, turn from it, and receive Jesus Christ as their savior.
Unfortunately, in this secular and worldly society that we have across the world, we have become so entrenched in the false idea that there is a hierarchical structure to sin – that we have now begun to use that as judgment against God! How many times have you heard someone say, “Well, if that is the type of God He is, then I want nothing to do with Him” or “If a God can allow such evil in this world, then I don’t want to know Him”? We hear it ALL the time, and it is because we have falsely become accustomed to the errant thinking that what we do wrong has different levels of wrong.
First, God does allow evil in the world, and He does so because He allows humankind free will. It is OUR decisions and OUR evil that have created such pain, suffering, and death in this world; not God’s.
God created heaven on earth, Eden, placed two perfect human beings within it and essentially said to them; go have fun, enjoy this place which I have made for you, just don’t do one thing. That’s it. Don’t do one thing, and everything will be fine. But, of course, the one thing was done and the rest of history was set into motion. It happened because of MAN’s will, not Gods. God was clear in His expectations, and WE decided not to follow that one simple rule. So, again, God allows evil in the world because in His grace, mercy, and love he created mankind with free will. He didn’t want a bunch of non-thinking slaves running around doing his every bidding; He wanted people to choose to love Him, to follow Him, and to recognize Him as the creator of all things. And what was the first sin ever committed against God and His will?
They ate a piece of fruit that they weren’t supposed to eat.
Now, in our current social construction of the hierarchy of sin, used as a means to justify our immoral nature, I don’t believe we even register eating fruit as one of those wrong choices; but to God, it was a clear choice to disobey His very simple rule – and because of that one choice, that one sin, God threw Adam and Eve from Eden, separated Himself from them, and watched as their choice to sin began to extend out into the world.
Think about this for a moment…Adam and Eve HAD ETERNAL LIFE. It was not until the point where they decided to go against God’s one simple rule that death even became something that humankind would have to go through. They had eternal life with God, and they chose to disobey Him. The evil and horrible things that happen on this earth are not because of God, they are because of OUR choices as humankind to go against Gods very simple rules.
They are simple, but they can also very difficult to follow because we now have a sinful nature to contend with. But, by judging God and His mercy, grace, and love because WE have sinned and brought pain, suffering, and death unto His perfect creation – those who do so are putting the wrong things as right, and the right things as wrong. We are justifying our immorality so much so that many people are comfortable with blaming God for their sin and the sins of this world.
Which leads me to the second point I want to make: anyone who says they believe in Jesus, and yet defends sin, may want to carefully reevaluate their core values, beliefs, and understanding of God, Jesus Christ, The Bible, and their stance on what sin means. Jesus said “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad” (Matthew 12: 30) – He goes on to say, in verse 34, “O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.”
Jesus is stating that what a person says is a reflection of what is in their hearts. He is also stating that there is no middle ground with Him; a person is either standing for Jesus and His righteousness, mercy, and grace – or they are standing against Him. Jesus forgives each and every person their sins once they admit they are a sinner and need Him to be saved. This does not save us from death, because that is what sin demands, but it does save us from eternal death – hell and separation from God due to our choices to disobey God and His laws. Yet, there are several secular ideals being accepted by Christians who justify their immorality by attempting to say that God and His laws are wrong, or can be changed. They cannot.
Abortion, for instance, which is the murder and butchering of a child simply because he or she would be an inconvenience at the time, is a sin. It is murder. Every life is created because of God, and is done so with a purpose. The chosen murder of a child is a sin, plain and simple. There are many so-called Christians today that believe it is woman’s right to choose whether or not that child is born – they are justifying sin by attempting to make God fit into a secular mold the world has created. As Jesus stated, you cannot be both for Him, and against Him – and the words of your mouth reflect the state of your heart. If you, as a “Christian” believe that a woman has the right to choose whether or not her child lives or dies and therefore has the right to murder that child because they want to – then you are condoning murder. Plain and simple. There is no gray area in God’s law. I looked up a statistic the other day that stated, on average, there are 1.06 million abortions in the United States each year. That means that 1.06 million little lives have been murdered – on average – since our secular society has embraced it as an acceptable practice and so-called Christians have endorsed it. So much so, that men and women, so-called Christians and non-Christians, have labeled it as being a brave act, a praiseworthy act, and a protected right! Secular society has not only condoned the murder of children, but has somehow twisted it to be a GOD GIVEN RIGHT!
If you stand with abortion, then you are standing against God, Jesus, and the Bible; plain and simple. You are justifying immorality by endorsing child sacrifice. You are condoning sin; and you are condoning murdering innocent lives based on convenience, selfishness, and a gross misunderstanding of the laws of God.
Another one that has become a big deal lately is homosexual marriage. If you stand with homosexual marriage, then you are standing against God, Jesus, and the Bible; plain and simple. You are justifying immorality by endorsing an activity that God has called “a detestable act” (Leviticus 20:13). – I will get into the understanding of Old Testament law, and the fulfillment of that law by Jesus Christ in the New Testament in another post. It isn’t as difficult as people make it out to be.
If a person believes in God, the creator of all things and the master-planner of the entire universe, then with that belief comes the understanding that God’s design is perfect; it is what WE as humankind have chosen to do with it that turns it into evil. A man and a woman were designed by God to be perfectly complementary to each other. Our bodies fit together as they were designed. Our bodies inspire desire and pleasure from each other, as they were designed. And, they create new life, as they were designed. Homosexual relationships are against God and we were never designed to work that way. Whether the persons chosen understanding of the creation and population of the world is from God, or from the scientific myth of evolution, a man and a man together does not create life; nor does a woman and a woman. Homosexuality is a sin against God. And yet, secular society has, again, not only condoned the activity, but has also labeled it as brave, praiseworthy, and they are now attempting to turn that into a protected, God given right. Once again, they are justifying the immorality by using it against God and His will.
We cannot justify our immorality. Sin is sin; and all sin leads to death. And Jesus died for those sins so that we can be saved from eternal death and separation from God. All we have to do is accept that we have sinned, accept Jesus as our savior, and believe that He has a plan that is infinitely better than anything we could have come up with on our own. Being a Christian is NOT about judgment, and we are not called to judge anyone, but we ARE called to chastise, speak the truth, and show people what they are doing against God so that they can recognize their sin and repent from it.
What they do with the truth, is up to them.
Their choice will determine their eternity.
We are to love them with the love of Christ. Accept them as human beings, but hate the sin that they are shackled to. Jesus Christ offers so much more than that of the world, but the world seems so much bigger and relevant because Christians have been silent and ineffective for far too long as a people. Jesus Christ – God – loves each and every one of us. It is our choice to sin and be blind to that which causes us to be separated from Him and His perfect plan for our eternity. Do not let the few years of life we have on this earth cause you to live an eternity in separation from God. We all fail. We all sin. Even the most devout and committed follower of Jesus Christ stumbles from time to time because of our sinful and rebellious nature.
God does not demand perfection, just progress.
Turn your eyes to God. Read the words of The Bible, and study the words of Jesus Christ. He does not want to judge you, He wants to save you! And He offered Himself as a sacrifice for the entire world so that every single man, woman, and child would have access to God. A close, intimate, and fulfilling relationship with The One who created this entire universe! He wants you to simply acknowledge Him.
Choosing not to is your right, given to you by His amazing allowance of free will.
But, that is a choice that will be judged.
Next Post – Revelation and God’s Perfect Judgment
I have let this site lie dormant for quite some time. Partly because I have been lazy, but mainly because, although I had a voice and was anxious to use it to express my opinion and share facts with people, I really had no sense of direction. I didn’t know where I was going with it. I was relying on moments of spontaneous creativity to see me through; and although I can be very creative when I set my mind to it, it also meant that I had to sometimes force myself to being “spontaneous” and “creative”. Forcing spontaneity is a contradiction of terms, so as a natural course of events, my ability to do so immediately became compromised and slowly became less and less of a skill and more of a challenge. But, that has changed and I am anxious to use this established forum in a completely new way – but, hopefully, in a way that will be equally as entertaining, thought provoking, and conversation oriented as it was always meant to be in the first place. I have found my direction. I have rediscovered my voice.
I am hearby devoting this site to God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, The Bible, and the spreading of His word, His glory, His mercy, and His salvation. Instead of this site being a means to raise myself up, I am making this forum a place where God receives the glory and honor – so that, hopefully, the words I am able to put together serve Him. This is my direction.
And, as my first post in this new direction, I thought it more than fitting that my opening volley be my personal testimony of Jesus Christ and how He has never given up on me – even when I gave up on Him.
I have always been a better writer than a speaker. I can weave words together to make a great tapestry of ideas, thoughts, opinion, facts, humor, or drama. I am not boasting, at least I am not attempting to, I am just bringing that up because self-efficacy and confidence in what gifts I have is something that I know about myself. I can write.
But, put me on a stage where I am surrounded by people and I just don’t have the mindset available to me to speak while being clear and concise without tripping myself up in the process. If I have something prepared in front of me, I can read to you with the best of them. I have never had a “stage presence”. Although I do not fear public speaking as bad as most people do – it is the number one fear in the world – I do get rather apprehensive, nervous, and rattled by it; thus making the end result less than optimal and not as effective compared to my ability to write and/or read a prepared document. I know my stengths, and I know my weaknesses.
Hopefully, with this new direction, I will be able to use my stengths in a much more effective and meaningful way.
God is good, every day. Every day, God is good.
I ran from God for many, many years. Although I had accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior at a young age, I originally did so for the wrong reasons. It wasn’t because I was looking to Jesus Christ to save me from my sins, it was because I was tired of being left out of communion. But, although I may have went into the matter without thinking clearly and without a clear understanding of what I was doing – I believe God took the heart of a little boy that day and firmly placed a desire to understand and follow Him.
Fast forward several years and my family has moved from Wyoming to Arizona. Shortly after being moved from a place I knew and was comfortable in, to a place where I had no idea where to even begin to feel comfortable, my father desèrted my mother and I – left us in Arizona and returned to Wyoming without us. I remember the day I found out that my father was not coming home; not because he couldn’t or was not able to, but because he had chosen not to. I was with my grandparents (my fathers parents – miss you Granddad) and my mother pulled into the driveway. She came in the door, not crying, but she had obviously been doing so rather recently and was now attempting to hold it all together while she shared devastating news with a young man who had never seen it coming. I don’t remember how she told me, and I don’t remember what was said when she told me, in fact, all of the details of that moment are wiped from my memory altogether.
I couldn’t remember if I tried.
But, apparently, my first words after hearing that my father had just deserted his family where – what did I do wrong?
My first reaction to hearing that my own father had just decided to leave, without saying goodbye or offering any sort of explanation whatsoever to a young man who never saw it coming; was what did I do wrong. I took the blame. I figured it was my fault. All those times I didn’t agree to go out and spend time with him because I wanted to do something else. All those times I didn’t do what he asked. All of those times I had done the wrong thing. All the mistakes I made that caused him to get so angry with me all the time – to the point where he offered a nine year old boy to fight because he didn’t mow the lawn correctly, or shoved my face into the floor because I couldn’t figure out how to connect a video game console to the television that day.
He had, seemingly, went out of his way to make sure I knew how big of a disappointment I had been to him; so the fact that he just up and left his family so easily must have been my fault! At least, that is what I took upon myself. Add to that the understanding that I was adopted by my family – I was taking upon myself the perceived destruction of not only one family, but two. I was not good enough to hold together my original family, my parents who brought me into this world, and now I was taking upon myself the destruction of a family who had chosen me and I had failed as a son to be good enough at that to keep them together. Double-trouble.
This line of thinking was rather self-destructive in nature, and I therefore began taking a path of self-destruction. Not drugs, and not alcohol, but self-despisement and a complete lack of self-confidence or a sense of self worth. I was an empty shell inside, hollowed out by my understanding that my father saw nothing of value in me, so why should I?
Fortunately, my mother had begun getting quite involved in a local church and, gently, nudged me from time to time that I should join her. Most of the time I did so simply to please my mother. I figured an hour and a half of my wasted time would be worthwhile if she just laid off the whole God and Jesus stuff for a while. Afterall, I was already feeling useless and guilty for being the perceived cause of the destruction of my family, the last thing I needed was to go to church and feel guilty for being a horrible person there as well. Life is not like mathematics, and two negative experiences does not create positive – it just creates more and more negative. But, going from time to time and hearing the message of salvation, Gods mercy and love, slowly began to sink in. I slowly began to turn my eyes to see. I began to open my ears to hear. And, despite my efforts, I began to understand and appreciate God, Jesus Christ, and His salvation of the earth through sacrifice. I began to like myself again. I began to discover a new purpose. A new direction. So much so, that at age nineteen I stood in front of my church and gave a sermon which I had researched and prepared myself. God was working in me. Changing me. Speaking to me. And I loved it!
But, I still carried around the weight inside of my perceived destruction of my family – causing my father to leave by being such a disappointment. So, I decided – not openly and not consciously, but unconsciously – that I was going to leave God before He gets the chance to do it to me. I abandoned my walk with the Lord because I was afraid He would stop holding my hand and stop being there once He learned how big of a disappointment I was going to be. It was just a matter of time before He abandons me too, so I better make the first move to save myself some pain. I went from being focused, determined, and set on a path of His calling – to being back on a path of self-destruction and self-hatred.
I won’t go into each and every detail of my self-deprecating activities, but I now realize that a vast majority of my searching and wandering came from the fact that, although I knew God and Jesus as loving, patient, and worthy of my trust and dedication – I didn’t see myself as worthy of those things because I still sought the approval of a father who had left me and still asked myself the question I asked all those years prior – what did I do? Although I knew and studied The Bible and believed in its message, I was still searching for approval from a father who wasn’t there.
Throughout most of my life, I have lived within the shadow of that question over my head in each thing that I did. Sometimes consciously, but most of the time unconsciously, I would be asking myself – what did I do; and, would the decisions I have made since and the challenges I overcame as a self-made man be enough to make my father finally proud of the son he walked away from so easily. I joined the military. I got married. I had a daughter. I got divorced, because my ex-wife had committed adultery and was not a fit mother, fighting for and receiveing sole custody of our daughter because I had sworn to myself that I would never let my own child know the pain and loss of losing their father. Of dealing with those questions that naturally arise when a child is missing a parent. I was doing all these things for the love and acknowledgment of a father who shared a nominal interest in his son, and because I still held myself accountable for the destruction of my family – no matter what I achieved on a personal level, I still had this self-hatred, self-deprecating nature, and practiced self-admonishment for something of which I had absolutely no control over whatsoever. And even though I would tell myself that as a means to cope with my perceived shortcomings as a son to my father, it never sank in. I continued to reject God because inside I still felt that, sooner or later, He would get disappointed in me, leave me, and reject me. I knew that one of Gods promises to mankind was unconditional love, understanding, and devotion. But, I had heard all of that before from a man who was supposed to provide all of those things and instead walked away.
Fast forward several more years, more failed relationships, and a moving habit that could easily be described as that of a gypsy. I would keep my ties loose and easy to cut, never truly investing into anything or anyone because I lived by a very simple, but destructive, personal mantra.
What you love, leaves. So leave first.
Obviously, that does not generate a very healthy or welcoming worldview, and I found myself being more and more open to accepting secular and ungodly views of the world because I was still judging God and His word against the father who was supposed to be there and wasn’t. I became more and more involved with the world – therefore getting further and further away from God and His plan. I would talk to God, yell at God, cry to God – asking why. Why won’t you answer me?! Why am I not good enough?! Answer me?!
My favorite quote from the Bible was Jesus asking God, “why hast thou forsaken me?” It was my favorite because I could relate. Why had God forsaken me? Why wouldn’t He listen? Why, why, why?!
I would ask for answers from God, and then turn from Him. Looked for guidance from God, but refused to open the Bible and receive any answers. I was judging God because He seemed to never be there when I needed Him – just like my earthy father.
On March 17th of this year I was remarried to an amazing woman who has become my best friend, an active and loving mother to my daughter, and a partner in this world. Shortly after getting married, my job at the time told me that they were not going to renew my contracted employment so I would need to begin searching for other options. I had been thinking about moving back to Wyoming for quite some time, not only because it always felt like “home” to me, but also in an effort to try and rekindle my relationship with my father. My family and I discussed matters, and we came to the idea that I would move to Wyoming, get a job with my fathers employer in the area, work a few months to generate income and establish housing, then we would all move to the area together. At first, everything was great! My father and I were talking on less of a man-to-man basis and seemed to instead become more father and son again. We discussed topics together. We watched movies together. Had a few laughs, had a few drinks, and enjoyed each others company. I would get this sense of pride and fulfillment when he introduced me to others as his son.
I felt accepted.
Finally, what I had been looking for all those many years! A connection with my father.
Then, in a moment of slightly drunken courage, I asked him the question that had weighed so heavily on my mind all those years…
“Dad, do I make you proud? Are you proud of the man that I have become?” I asked, scared as a little boy, but optimistic that this time…this time, I had finally gained his approval. I had raised my child for the majority of her 12 years on this earth on my own. I had made my own decisions. Risen to the challenges in my life, faced them head-on, overcame obstacles instead of allowing them to overcome me. I had even moved closer to him, all in an effort to make it easier to love me. To accept me. To be proud of me. Me, as his son. Surely, I had accomplished enough.
“I don’t know.”
That was his response. I don’t know.
What?! How could this be?! How could I have chased after this mans approval for all of those years, finally get the courage to ask the question I needed him to answer…and get that as an answer?
“I don’t know.” That isn’t an answer at all. It answers nothing! There is no closure when you get an answer like that – especially when the answer to that question has defined nearly everything you have done up until that point.
I was crushed. Again. And soon began to realize that my father was never interested in truly welcoming me into his new life that he created with welcomed arms and a proud smile on his face. At least, not proud enough to warrant an open admission of it to his own son. I was devastated. How do you recover from that? Where do you go from there? What do you do when you realize that the question that has defined you as a person doesn’t even register on the mind of the person who is supposed to have the answer? I didn’t ask my father anything more on the subject because I felt I had already received enough information and asking further would just hurt even more. I had just been told that I didn’t register enough within his realm of thought to consider whether or not he was proud of me as his son. That was enough.
I spoke to my wife a few nights later – I was avoiding speaking with her previous to that because I was, again, feeling self-admonishment, pain, and a strong sense of rejection. I told her what I had learned from speaking with my father and how low, useless, and damaged I was feeling. We decided at that time that moving our new family to Wyoming was not such a great idea afterall, especially if doing so was just going to hurt and be a constant reminder of how unworthy of even a proud thought I was to my father. I have never told my father the real reason why we decided not to move to Wyoming – we blamed it on the lack of housing and stating that my new wife was too hesitant to leave her family in Arizona. I never told him because I didn’t want to add one more reason to my fathers list why he should be disappointed in me, his son. Because I still fear being an even bigger dispointment in his life, I will likely never share this with him. The journey I took to get to my answer was mine, and mine alone. The answer, or lack thereof, is mine as well.
Shortly after this course of events, I found myself once again being gently called back to God and Jesus Christ. Not by my mother, although I have no doubt she prayed for me constantly and does so daily, but by noticing more and more Godly things making themselves known in my life. Just prior to moving back to Wyoming, a man I worked with named Johnny had been speaking with me about his church, played Christian music at work, and would become involved in theological discussions with me. I once again began to acknowlwdge my need for God in my life – not in a focused manner, but in a cursory, cosmetic manner of application. This was the first seed that God planted in my mind; that I needed to refocus on God and His will in my life. And, after the events in Wyoming, I was looking for answers.
My family and I sat down and watched Do You Believe? To anyone that hasn’t seen this film yet, I highly recommend it because it is powerful, emotional, and even challenging to anyone who claims a belief in God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, or The Bible. God used this film to challenge me. To gently show me how far I had truly come. From being a young man who was full of fire and desire to seek God’s will and purpose in my life, to becoming a man who had become lost and broken; knowing of God but not knowing God because I had spent so many years running from Him.
The change since has not been the one that many people talk about when they finally get it, recognizing that the God who created this earth and everything/everyone within it and yet still loves me, is watching over me, and…is proud of me. It wasn’t an immediate change where my life was drastically turned on a dime and I suddenly began charting a new path based on God and His plan rather than my flawed and historically bad decision making skills in terms of the decisions in life that truly matter – because I already knew of God. I already knew of the love and salvation of Jesus Christ. I had already accepted His salvation and grace years ago. I just needed to stop running from Him, and start focusing on Him. Stop asking Him why I wasn’t getting any answers, and shut up long enough to hear His reponse – while genuinely seeking it in the first place.
God is working on me and I am finally opening my eyes, opening my heart, and devoting my life to His will. His plan. His perfect love, mercy, and grace.
God does not demand perfection, just progress. And, I believe, things are progressing nicely.
This site, this forum, is now my ministry. I will use the Bible and its truth, its simplicity, and its decidedly politically incorrect stance on the world we live in today. I will share God’s word boldly, without fear of offending because those who feel God and the Bible are offensive are the very ones that need to hear the truth! There will be those, Christians and non-Christians, who will not like what I have to say. God has layed upon my heart a ministry of non-compromising biblical truth. As Christians, we know how the story is going to end. It is my duty as a Christian to share Christ with the world so that they may be saved – to provide a warning about what is to come – and this is the best way I could think of to publicly and fearlessly accomplish that.
I hope to use it effectively for the glory and honor of a God who will never leave or forsake me. Who was always there, gently nudging me along and whispering His will upon my heart – even when those who I wanted to please with my life weren’t paying attention.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son. That whosoever believe in Him shall not parish but have eternal life. For God did not send His son to condemn the world, but so that the world through Him might be saved.” – John 3:16 – 17
“Thy word I have hid in my heart, so I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11
Tomorrow’s post – Justifying our Immorality