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Thursday, December 20, 2012

End of the world and being ready

The end of the world is supposed to happen tomorrow, December 21, 2012.

It has been called the "Mayan apocalypse".  According to the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, December 21, 2012, is the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle.

It will usher in the catastrophic end of the world as the earth is swallowed by a black hole at the far end of the galaxy, or in a collision with another planet.

Others say that it will usher in a  new era of spiritual transformation. 

Many, many people around the world are taking this seriously, even in the United States.

I read an article today by James Emery White who writes, "In a blog post on USA. gov. the U.S. government announced that the "world will not end on December 21, 2012, or any day in 2012."

Why this emphatic declaration?  "Apparently NASA officials are getting messages from children as young as 11 who say that they are ill and/or contemplating suicide because of the coming doomsday."

How are we as Christians to respond?

Mr. White helps us with this.

First of all we are to get the facts.

The Mayans did not view time as linear, but cyclical - meaning that whatever was meant to be fore casted for December 21st was simply the end of one cycle and the beginning of another.

The "fact is" that the concept of "apocalypse" is not in the Mayan culture at all.

Secondly, know that the date itself has been disproved

Mr. White writes that, "an excavation of a Mayan timekeepers' work room in Guatemala recently revealed calendars that destroy any notion that the Mayans predicted the end of the world in 2012."

"Many speculate it is little more than profit.  It sells books, has created a booming tourism industry in Mexico, and is fostering a demand for survival kits, insurance policies and reserved seating in "doomsday-proof" bunkers."

Cultural historian Paul Boyer notes, "the more people feel marginalized or alienated from society, the more apocalyptic ideas will find fertile soil.

Thirdly, understand how we has Christian view time.

The Christian view of time is linear.  We had a beginning (Genesis 1) and we will have an end (Revelation 21).

Many Christians believe (as I do) that we are living in the "last days" and the the end is imminent.  A 2011 Pew Center poll found that 41% of Americans believe the rapture will occur before 2050.

Maranatha, even so, come Lord Jesus!

Finally, be prepared, no matter when the world ends.

We as Christians don't need to fear the end, or be anxious about an apocalypse, but rather we are to be spiritually ready and full of hope.

We are to "watch and be prepared", as Jesus teaches in Matthew 24 and 25.

We are to have hope.  Psalms 46:1-4 shares that "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging." 

So, yes, ultimately, this world as we know it will end.  The real question is whether or not it will be met with faith in the living God.

Do you have faith in God today?  Is your heart connected to Jesus Christ?  Are you a Christ-follower?

Why not come to one of our morning worship services this Sunday (8:30 A.M. or 10:30 A.M).  You will hear a clear presentation of how you can connect to God - and have hope for the future.

And....if we are not here.....for those who are Christians....I will see you in heaven!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Where was God?

Where was God during the brutal massacre of 20 Children and 6 adults last Friday?

Where are you God?

Craig Hoekenga is an industrialist on the East Coast, living in Connecticut just outside New York City.  Two of his grandchildren were at Sandy Hook elementary school when the shooting took place.

One of them was hidden in a closet by a teacher who was shot.

The two came out alive. 

Craig is a believer and a strong supporter of world missions for the Assemblies of God.

His son CC writes:

"So many people around the world are asking the question, "Where was God on the horrific morning of December 14, 2012?

Having lived this tragedy with Tracy and our boys, I can answer that question very easily without any reservation.

At 9:30 in the morning on December 14, 2012, God was at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Sandy Hook Connecticut. 

He could be seen in Mrs. Wexler (Matty's teacher) as she put all of the students in their cubbies, lined up chairs in front of them and then laid across those chairs so as to take any bullets should the gunman enter the room.

God could be seen in Mrs. Kristopik (CJ's music teacher) as she locked her students in a closet and prayed with them. 

God could be seen in Rick the custodian as he ran around the school shouting 'shooter" while he locked 75% of the classroom doors. 

God could be seen in principal Dawn Hochsprung as she attacked the gunman outside of Matty's door only to lose her own life but while most likely saving all of Matty's room as the police arrived shortly thereafter and the gunman took his own life.

God could be seen in all of the first responders who put their own lives at risk in order to save others.

I could go on and on but I think you understand."

Finally, C.C. writes, "Unfortunately evil was also present at Sandy Hook School that dreadful morning but I hope you are witnessing the people of Sandy Hook, the people of Newtown, the people of Connecticut, the people of the World rising up against this very evil and winning!!!! Thanks to all for the prayers and support and we hope you have a Merry Christmas!"

Good stuff for a Wednesday.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Family and Christmas

If Christmas is about anything, it is about spending time with family.

We slow down, put aside the things of this world, and focus on Jesus, and celebrating His birth with those closest to us.

More than any other Christmas season, I have heard it articulated this year that the most meaningful thing at Christmas is being with those whom you love.

On the TV show, "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?", they took a poll of 8 to 12 year olds and asked them, "What do you most enjoy about the holidays?"

A)  Decorating the house.

B) Spending time with family and relatives.

C) Receiving presents.

What do you think most of the children said?

Answer:  B.  Spending time with family and relatives.

Gifts and toys come and go - but the Christmas memories of family stay with  you forever.

I encourage you to create "memories" next week.  Memories that no one will forget.

Just a thought for a Tuesday.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Thoughts from the weekend

Thoughts from the weekend

My heart grieves over the adults and children brutally murdered in Newtown, Connecticut.

Let's all continue to pray for the families who have lost loved ones. 

Mental illness plays a role in this - but we also know there is a devil and his demons who are wrecking havoc on the world.  They hate us and are out to destroy us.

We can only stand strong in the strength and power of Jesus Christ.

May God continue to protect us all!

Angelic protection is real.  I encourage you to pray not only the "blood of Jesus" over your kids each day (as they go to school), I encourage you to pray that God will send his angels to watch over and protect them (I am mentioning angels this Sunday).

Thankful for all of those who prayed for me while I was in the hospital.

Thankful for great nurses and staff in the hospital (Silver Cross).

Being that I have not been in the hospital since 1989, I was reminded of not only the physical side of receiving being in the hospital, but the mental and emotional side as well.

Laying is bed, no matter how sick I am, for a person with the energy level I have - very, very difficult.

I am also grateful to Julia Vales, Joanna Campins and Lynn Whittal for bringing by some meals.  What a great ministry that is.  What a help to Debbie and I.  And great food at that!

I did not have malaria.  I did not have typhoid fever.  The results of the test were that I had a stomach parasite.  Given antibiotics.

I feel a lot, lot better today.

Would I go back to Indonesia knowing that I would leave there sick?  Probably not.  But did I thank God for the wonderful time of ministry I had there, while I was in the hospital?  Absolutely.

If Christmas is about anything - it is about missions.  "You shall call his name, Jesus, for he shall save the people from their sins," the scriptures say.

What a powerful presentation of the Christmas message we received yesterday.

I liked all of the tunes, especially the song about "fearing not."

There is a lot to fear out in the world today.  Yet with Jesus, we know that we can "fear not."

Thanks to Pastor Amanda, the choir, the actors, the "sound booth" guys.  Thanks for all of your time and hard work.

I am grateful to the Lord for the many who raised their hands for salvation.  More people in God's kingdom.  Praise God!

We are blessed not only with some great singers in the choir, but with people who desire to and enjoy ministry.

Great to be back with my wonderful church family.

Love you all,


Thursday, December 06, 2012


We talk about, and rightly so, the fiery darts of the enemy.
He attacks in all kinds of ways including a full attack directly at us.
He tries to deceive us.
But he also tries to distract us.
In Yellowstone National Park, there are large sign that say, “Don’t feed the bears!”
Tourist always disobey it.
They feed the bears, and every year the park rangers have to pick up dead bears.
The bears get used to being fed by the tourist and they lose their ability to fend for themselves in nature.
They wind up looking for a handout, and when the handout is no longer there, they die.
Satan offers us handouts – a party here, a relationship there, a thrill here, and he gets us so used to him that we forget God.  When he stops handing things out, when you lose the job, when life turns upside down on you, then you don’t know where to go.  Satan has a strategy of tricking people into relying on cheap substitutes.
I would suggest that you keep your focus on God.
Just a thought for a Thursday.