Don’t Be Afraid of Your Fears.

One of my greatest fears has been to become sick enough to go to the hospital. I have social phobia and other mental problems, and the thought of being unclothed and being touched by people horrified me.

One evening, I started to have pain in my upper abdomen and down my right side. I thought it was another kidney stone. I had passed one many years ago and it felt the same. I knew what to do and waited for it to pass. But it didn’t. The pain wouldn’t let up, and in the morning, I called an ambulance.

The emergency was crowded and I was put in a waiting room. I didn’t ask for pain medication. I didn’t even think of it, I don’t know why. But later, they could see I was in pain and they gave me a shot of something.

I was there at 8:30 am and after tests I was told I needed my appendix out. I had surgery at 9:30 pm and it all went well. Then they took me to a room that had one other patient – a man.

I was molested by my father as a child, so usually I would have been terrified to be in a room alone with a man. But he had just had heart surgery and was in pain, so I figured he wasn’t a danger. He was arguing with the nurses and then a doctor about his pain medication. He said it wasn’t strong enough. I felt sorry for him and also the doctor and nurses. There are two sides to giving and getting pain killers and I understand the complexities.

After the medical staff left the room, this man began talking with me. He was very outgoing and personable. I’m usually upset when people talk to me, but I wasn’t this time. I felt comfortable, and we shared a lot of information about our lives. Also, he was polite enough to ask me if I minded talking and I told him I was fine with it.

I won’t give any details, suffice it to say his wife was in stage 4 cancer and he had a bad heart. He had just retired and they had bought an RV and kayak so they could enjoy their remaining life together. Then illness struck both of them.

I am not one to preach religion to others. I know most people do not appreciate that. But this man was very sad and contemplating the end of their lives. His hope was gone.

I had been praying silently for God to help me help him, and when he told me what he was feeling about death, I asked him, “Do you believe in God?” He told me he didn’t. He and his wife had been upset by the way religious people treated other people and they had left their church. Recently though, his wife had gone back.

He told me he figured he would be going to an eternal hell. I told him I did not believe God would torture people for an eternity. I told him I study the Bible for myself and make up my own mind what God is like. The Bible says the wicked will be ashes under the soles of our feet and that he will destroy the wicked and their works. It also says death and hell will be thrown into a lake of fire. This means death and the grave will be gone forever. I know there are a few verses that give the impression of an everlasting hell like: “The smoke of their torment will ascend forever.” But smoke is a result of fire and I believe this means the results of sin will always be remembered so that no one ever sins again. All of heaven will know the results of rebelling against God.

We talked a bit more about God and then went to sleep. I was happy I could share my belief in God with this man. My heart felt entwined with his since we were talking about the most important thing about life: why we are here and what happens after death. I thanked God for the opportunity.

I learned a lot by staying in the hospital. Number One: I don’t need to be afraid for God is with me. I didn’t feel afraid the whole time I was there. Number Two: There was a reason for my appendix problem. God wanted me to talk with that man.

What is interesting is that during my stay in the waiting room my daughter phoned the hospital to ask how I was doing. The staff told my daughter they had no one in the hospital by my name. She kept calling during the day and they kept saying the same thing. By the fourth call, my daughter got angry and insisted they look and see if they could find me.

They did finally find me. After the pain medication, a nurse had moved me to a recliner so I could lay back and rest. It was cold in there, so they gave me a blanked with which I covered my body and face. I promptly fell asleep. So, they could have called my name out and I wouldn’t have heard them.

Late in the afternoon, a nurse came and took the blanket off my face and asked my name. So, I guess that was when they found me. All this was quite an experience, and I want to add the nurses and doctors were wonderful and kind.

That’s the story of my hospital stay. My greatest fear came to me and God showed me he is stronger and wiser than my fear. I praise and thank him for everything. He is so much more than we could ever ask or think. He is King and Lord of the universe, my God, my Father, my Brother, my Counselor, my Comforter and Strength.

Describe Who You Are.

 I am reading a book called, Not Alone: Reflections on Faith and Depression, by Monica A. Coleman. The book is written as a 40-day devotional. At the end of each chapter, she asks questions. In Chapter 4 she asks, What are some of the names that help describe who you are?

I thought for a minute and said, “I am Daughter of the King of the Universe. I am Lover of the Sky. (Because when I go out on my balcony to smoke I look at the sky and feel happy to see blue sky, white or black clouds, sunsets, stars and planets.) I am Curious. I want to learn all I can about good things. I am Creative, I love making things of all kinds. I am Devoted, to God and my family.”

If I had been asked this question years ago while going through a time of agony and depression I would have said, “I am Broken – like a mirror shattered in a thousand pieces flying through the sky and landing in the dirt. I am Cursed, because my father’s family was evil. I am Hated, because I felt hated as a child. I am Crazy, because that was how I felt. I am Dirty, Ugly, Not Wanted, Irritating, Stupid, Not Known, Rejected.”

I was happily surprised at the new way I see myself now. I didn’t even know this change was happening in me! But 7 years of relying on God alone to be my everything has resulted in this wonderful new way of thinking.

I’ve heard this recently from preachers on podcasts; not to rely on what others think of you, say to you or how they talk about you to others. And not to rely on the voice of yourself that comes screeching into your mind telling you that you are worthless. No! All that truly matters is what God thinks of you. And if you have no one in your life who loves you well, he will.

What does God think of me? I think he is glad I want to know him. He asks us to ask, seek and find. I have sought and found. He says he knocks on the door of our hearts and waits for us to let him in. I have let him in.

I don’t have to be perfect I only have to ask him to cover me with his perfection. I fall many times, but he picks me up. “… for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes. Proverbs 24:16

The steps of a man are ordered by the LORD who takes delight in his journey. Though he falls, he will not be overwhelmed, for the LORD is holding his hand. 

Psalm 37:24

Well, I was so excited about how I see myself now, I just had to share it with you. I mean, therapy helped me get through a lot of hard stuff, but it was giving my bad thoughts to Jesus and refusing to hold them in my mind that helped the most. They still come; I will never be free of them in this life, but I now know God is the strength of my life and he can deal with them and I can have a happy life in spite of them. God alone is enough. If any of you are in the state I was in 7 years ago, I hope you will give Jesus a chance to help you.

Dreams and Visions from God: A Warning.

I give permission for any one to copy and distribute my blog posts.

Members of my family have had visions and dreams from God over the last two years. I am going to share all this with you because I now feel God wants me to do that.

My sister, who lives in the United States, heard God tell her that something big and terrible was going to happen soon. He told her to buy camping and survival gear.

She didn’t have much money, but every month she bought those items from Amazon. She had finished buying everything by last January. Because of her, my husband and I also bought camping stuff. We just finished buying our last item.

My sister got impatient waiting for God to tell her to leave her home and go. The Lord told her, “There is more for me to do. Your family is ready and in place.” She is content now to wait.

Meanwhile, I had a dream Jesus was returning, he was on his way here. There was a large sphere coming through the stars. I could see smoke, fire and lightening in the sphere.

My husband has had dreams of our family fleeing to the mountains. In one of the dreams there was a mob chasing us and as they almost reached us a wall of fire separated them from us and we ran. He has had three or four of these dreams this year.

We don’t know what is coming. But we believe God’s warnings and have prepared. I hope you will pray about this and ask God if it is true and what to do. May God bless you all.

Waiting on God and an Update on My Husband’s Stroke.

Andre Murray

I allow anyone to copy and publish what I write on this blog, “Who is God?”

“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Those who wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the land.”   Psalm 37:7,9

Thank you for your prayers for my husband. He is slowly recuperating from his stroke. This morning he said he noticed his brain isn’t as foggy as it used to be. He is walking and doing hand and arm exercises. His blood pressure is normal and his head doesn’t hurt as much when on the computer or watching TV.

It has been hard for him to wait patiently for healing. It is hard for all of us to wait on good things to come. Feeling impatient is just the way human beings are.

I recently bought a book called, “Waiting on God,” by Andrew Murray. I bought it because I was finding it hard waiting for Jesus to return. I long for the sin and pain of this world to be over and to see him face to face. The book has been a great help to me and I highly recommend it. I thought I would share part of it with you.

From Waiting on God: “Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire.”   James 1:4

“Such words of the Holy Spirit show us what an important element in the Christian life and character patience is. And nowhere is there a better place for cultivating or displaying it than in waiting on God. There we discover how impatient we are, and what our impatience means.

We confess at times that we are impatient with men, and circumstances that hinder us, or with ourselves and our slow progress in the Christian life. If we truly set ourselves to wait upon God, we shall find that it is with Him we are impatient, because he does not at once, or as soon as we could wish, do our bidding. It is in waiting upon God that our eyes are opened to believe in his wise and sovereign will, and to see that the sooner and more completely we yield absolutely to it, the more surely his blessing can come to us.

“It is not of him that wills, nor of him that runs, but of God that shows mercy.” Romans 9:16

We have as little power to increase or strengthen our spiritual life, as we had to originate it. We ‘were born not of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of the will of God.’ Even so, our willing and running, our desire and effort, avail nothing; all is ‘of God that shows mercy.’

All the exercises of the spiritual life, our reading and praying, our willing and doing, have their very great value. But they can go no farther than this, that they point the way and prepare us in humility to look to and to depend alone upon God Himself, and in patience to wait his good time and mercy.

The waiting is to teach us our absolute dependence upon God’s mighty working, and to make us in perfect patience place ourselves at his disposal. They that wait on the Lord shall inherit the land; the promised land and its blessing. The heirs must wait; they can afford to wait…”

“Give God his glory by resting in him, by trusting him fully, by waiting patiently for him. This patience honors him greatly; it leaves him as God on the throne, to do his work; it yields self wholly into his hands. It lets God be God.

From the book, “Waiting on God,” –  Day 11: Waiting on God: Patiently.

Hear God’s Words on Justice.

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.   Psalm 89:14

Some people wonder where God’s justice is in this world. The problem God has is he must work through his people to have justice on the earth. This is earth, not heaven, where justice reigns. Evil people outnumber the godly people and therefore there is injustice and horrible crimes committed every day. God does reach out himself to save many people’s lives, but he can’t turn this world into a heaven. Not yet. Evil must be played out to its bitter end so it never rises up again in the universe.

Isaiah, a prophet of God, wrote about the people of his time who questioned God. They asked him, “Why have we humbled ourselves and fasted but you have not noticed?” They didn’t understand why their prayers went unanswered.

This is God’s answer, “On the day of your fasting you do what you want and exploit all your workers. Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast like this and expect your voice to be heard on high!

Is that the kind of fast I want? Do you call this an acceptable day of the Lord?

This is the kind of fast I desire: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set free the oppressed. It is a day to share your food with the hungry, to provide the poor wanderer with shelter. When you see the naked, to clothe them and not turn away from your own flesh and blood.

If you do this, your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear. Then your goodness will go in front of you and I will bring up the rear. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help and he will say, ‘Here I am!’

If you get rid of the burden of oppression that goes with pointing your fingers and cruel words, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.

The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and strengthen your body. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a stream whose waters never fail.”   Isaiah 58:3-11

But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.   Amos 5:24

This is what the LORD says: Administer justice and righteousness. Rescue the victim of robbery from the hand of his oppressor. Do no wrong or violence to the foreigner, the fatherless, or the widow. Do not shed innocent blood in this place.   Jeremiah 22:3

The Last Days of Earth.

This is an extremely long post. I wrote it for those who have no idea of what is going to happen as the world draws to a close. I usually write about the great love God has for all people, but I believe the end is very near and have decided to share God’s warnings.

One thing about the Bible, I have learned that sometimes when God says he is doing something, it means he has allowed it to happen. God could have prevented the corona virus that has killed many and changed the world, but he didn’t. He did stop SARS. Through the years, I know God has protected us from utter destruction, but those days are waning.

I believe most disasters are man-made. Even earthquakes at this time are sometimes caused by fracking for oil. I believe that as the world ends it is we ourselves who have destroyed it, not God. We have destroyed it through pollution, clear-cutting trees and perhaps through biological warfare inventions. Let’s face it; we are guilty. Not all of us, mainly the rich and powerful people who want to keep up their horrible works on the earth to become even richer. Our Lord even says, “I will destroy those who destroy the earth.” Revelation 11:18.  He tells us the earth will wear out like a garment. “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail. “   Isaiah 51:6

I hope I haven’t left out any important details. I certainly could have; I’m not a scholar. Anyway, here are a lot of verses on the end of time, or Day of the Lord. I pray we will turn to God, who will abundantly pardon all our sins. He is calling and calling to us, and believe me, if you ever give your life over to God, you will never regret it. It is an awesome experience.

“Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him—even those who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. So shall it be! Amen.

 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and was and is to come—the Almighty.”   Revelation 1:7,8

“But you, beloved, remember what was foretold by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ when they said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow after their own ungodly desires.” These are the ones who cause divisions, who are worldly and devoid of the Spirit.

But you, beloved, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God as you await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you eternal life.”  Jude 1:17-24

“At that time (time of the end) shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. (Some believe this is Jesus. I do.) And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book.”  Daniel 12:1

“And afterward, I will pour out My Spirit on all people.

Your sons and daughters will prophesy,

your old men will dream dreams,

your young men will see visions.

Even on My menservants and maidservants,

I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth,

blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness

and the moon to blood

before the coming of the great and awesome Day of the LORD.

And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD

will be saved;

for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem

there will be deliverance, as the LORD has promised,

among the remnant called by the LORD.”   Acts 2:28-32

“Most importantly, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. “Where is the promise of His coming?” they will ask. “Ever since our fathers fell asleep, everything continues as it has from the beginning of creation.”  2 Peter 3:3

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”   2 Peter 3:9

“But the Day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar, the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and its works will be laid bare.

Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to conduct yourselves in holiness and godliness as you anticipate and hasten the coming of the day of God, when the heavens will be destroyed by fire and the elements will melt in the heat.  But in keeping with God’s promise, we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.”   2 Peter 3:10,11

“Brothers, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who are without hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, we also believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him.

By the word of the Lord, we declare to you that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will be the first to rise. After that, we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. 

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

“Therefore, this is what the LORD, the God of Hosts, the Lord, says:

“There will be wailing in all the public squares and cries of ‘Alas! Alas!’ in all the streets.

The farmer will be summoned to mourn, and the mourners to wail.

There will be wailing in all the vineyards, for I will pass through your midst,” says the LORD.

       Woe to you who long for the Day of the LORD! What will the Day of the LORD be for you?

It will be darkness and not light. It will be like a man who flees from a lion,

only to encounter a bear, or who enters his house and rests his hand against the wall, only to be bitten by a snake.

Will not the Day of the LORD be darkness and not light,

even gloom with no brightness in it?

 “I hate, I despise your feasts!  (Because even as they worshiped God they did evil and hurt people.) I cannot stand the stench of your solemn assemblies.

Even though you offer Me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; for your peace offerings of fattened cattle I will have no regard.

Take away from Me the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps.

But let justice roll on like a river, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.”   Amos 5:14-24

This is the word of the LORD that came to Zephaniah son of Cushi…

 “I will completely sweep away everything from the face of the earth,”

declares the LORD.

 “I will sweep away man and beast; I will sweep away the birds of the air,

and the fish of the sea, and the idols with their wicked worshipers.

I will cut off mankind from the face of the earth,”

declares the LORD.

 “I will stretch out My hand against Judah and against all who dwell in Jerusalem.

I will cut off from this place every remnant of Baal, the names of the idolatrous and pagan priests—

those who bow on the rooftops to worship the host of heaven,

those who bow down and swear by the LORD but also swear by Milcom,

and those who turn back from following the LORD,

neither seeking the LORD nor inquiring of Him.”   

     Be silent in the presence of the Lord GOD, for the Day of the LORD is near.

Indeed, the LORD has prepared a sacrifice; He has consecrated His guests.

 “On the Day of the LORD’s sacrifice I will punish the princes,

the sons of the king, and all who are dressed in foreign apparel.

On that day I will punish all who leap over the threshold,

who fill the house of their master with violence and deceit.

On that day,” declares the LORD, “a cry will go up from the Fish Gate,

a wail from the Second District, and a loud crashing from the hills.

Wail, O dwellers of the Hollow, for all your merchants will be silenced;

all who weigh out silver will be cut off. And at that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps and punish the men settled in complacency,

who say to themselves, ‘The LORD will do nothing, either good or bad.’

Their wealth will be plundered and their houses laid waste.

They will build houses but not inhabit them, and plant vineyards but never drink their wine.

The great Day of the LORD is near— near and coming quickly.

Listen, the Day of the LORD! Then the cry of the mighty will be bitter.

That day will be a day of wrath,

a day of trouble and distress, a day of destruction and desolation,

a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and blackness,

a day of horn blast and battle cry against the fortified cities, and against the high corner towers.

I will bring such distress on mankind that they will walk like the blind, because they have sinned against the LORD.

Their blood will be poured out like dust and their flesh like dung.

Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to deliver them on the Day of the LORD’s wrath.

The whole earth will be consumed by the fire of His jealousy.”

For indeed, He will make a sudden end of all who dwell on the earth.”   Book of Zephaniah

I am now including the entire chapter of Matthew 24, which is quite long. But it is Jesus himself speaking of the end of the world and his second coming. He is also speaking about the fall of Jerusalem, which took place in the year 70 AD. The Romans came and destroyed the temple and the city.

“As Jesus left the temple and was walking away, His disciples came up to Him to point out its buildings.

 “Do you see all these things?” He replied. “Truly I tell you, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

While Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming and of the end of the age?”

Jesus answered, “See to it that no one deceives you.  For many will come in My name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.  You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. These things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth pains.

Then they will deliver you over to be persecuted and killed, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name.  At that time many will fall away and will betray and hate one another, and many false prophets will arise and mislead many.

Because of the multiplication of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.

And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.

So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination of desolation,’ described by the prophet Daniel (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let no one on the housetop come down to retrieve anything from his house. And let no one in the field return for his cloak.

How miserable those days will be for pregnant and nursing mothers! Pray that your flight will not occur in the winter or on the Sabbath. For at that time there will be great tribulation, unmatched from the beginning of the world until now, and never to be seen again. If those days had not been cut short, nobody would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short.

At that time, if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There He is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders that would deceive even the elect, if that were possible. See, I have told you in advance.

So if they tell you, ‘There He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it.  For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

Immediately after the tribulation of those days:

‘The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light;

the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’

At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its branches become tender and sprout leaves, you know that summer is near. So also, when you see all these things, you will know that He is near, right at the door.  Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have happened. (This is a difficult verse since these things have not happened. But it seems Jesus was talking about showing his power and great glory, which he did show to Peter, James and John on the mountain where he was changed into glory and Elijah and Moses came down from heaven to talk with him.) Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.

No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark. And they were oblivious, until the flood came and swept them all away. So will it be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left.

Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know the day on which your Lord will come. But understand this: If the homeowner had known in which watch of the night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. For this reason, you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour you do not expect.”

Matthew 24

Seven Last Plagues: (I believe we bring these on ourselves through war and pollution.

Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go, pour out on the earth the seven bowls of God’s wrath.”

2So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and loathsome, malignant sores broke out on those who had the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.

And the second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it turned to blood like that of the dead, and every living thing in the sea died.

And the third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and springs of water, and they turned to blood. 5And I heard the angel of the waters say:

“Righteous are You, O Holy One,

who is and was,

because You have brought these judgments.

For they have spilled the blood of saints and prophets,

and You have given them blood to drink,

as they deserve.”

And I heard the altar reply:

“Yes, Lord God Almighty,

true and just are Your judgments.”

8Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was given power to scorch the people with fire. 9And the people were scorched by intense heat, and they cursed the name of God, who had authority over these plagues; yet they did not repent and give Him glory.

10And the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness, and men began to gnaw their tongues in anguish 11and curse the God of heaven for their pains and sores; yet they did not repent of their deeds.

And the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings of the East.

And I saw three unclean spirits that looked like frogs coming out of the mouths of the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet. These are demonic spirits that perform signs and go out to all the kings of the earth, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty.

“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who remains awake and clothed, so that he will not go naked and let his shame be exposed.”

And they assembled the kings in the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

The Seventh Bowl of Wrath

Then the seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came from the throne in the temple, saying, “It is done!”

And there were flashes of lightning, and rumblings, and peals of thunder, and a great earthquake the likes of which had not occurred since men were upon the earth—so mighty was the great quake. 19The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. And God remembered Babylon the great and gave her the cup of the wine of the fury of His wrath.

Then every island fled, and no mountain could be found. And great hailstones weighing almost a hundred pounds each rained down on them from above. And men cursed God for the plague of hail, because it was so horrendous.

Love in the Old Testament.

I believe that whatever God said to the nation of Israel in the Old Testament was also a message to all God’s followers. I’ve been reading the book of Isaiah recently. I was reminded why this book was one of my favorites, even when I was in my twenties. The beauty of God’s relentless love shines out of this book.

These are some verses that have lifted me up the last few weeks:

“I have held you up since the day of your birth. I have carried you since you were born. Even to your old age and grey hairs, I am he. I am he who will sustain you. I have made you; I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

“Look, he (God) tends his flock like a shepherd; he gathers the lambs in his arms; he carries them close to his heart and leads those that have young.”

“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even young people grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall. But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.”

“Do not be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will hold you up by my righteous right hand.”

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, “Do not fear. I will help you. I myself will help you.”

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are mine.”

“I have swept away your sins like a cloud. Your sins, like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.”

“Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God and there is no other.”

“If only you had paid attention to me, your peace would have been like a river, your well-being like the waves of the sea.”

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast? Will she have no compassion on the child she has borne? Even though mothers can forget, yet I will not forget you. Your name is engraved on the palms of my hands. Your ways are always before me.”

I heard someone on a podcast say that God didn’t tell people in the Old Testament that he loved them. I’m not sure why he would have said that. The Old Testament is full of the love of God. Many times God said he loved us. The angel Gabriel told Daniel he was, “greatly beloved.”

No, there is lots of death and war in the Old Testament and people don’t understand why all that happened and seem to be afraid of the God of the Old Testament. I was that way too.

I knew from the way Jesus acted God was full of love, so I studied why these killings and wars happened. Now I understand God’s purposes. It was in mercy for the thousands of innocent people who lived among cruel, murderous people that he stepped in and stopped what the evil ones were doing. And I, for one, am grateful he did.

Why Does God Judge the World?

What do you think of people who lie to send innocent people to jail? What do you think about people who kidnap children and sell them for sex? What do you think of someone who would steal medical masks from a clinic, which happened at my daughter’s work place? What do you think of a man who would cheat a widow out of her inheritance, which happened to my grandmother? What do you think of someone who sexually abuses his daughter, which happened to me? What do you think of the rich who steal from the poor? What do you think of people who murder for money or revenge?

Would you want one of these people to be your best friend? Would you want to live next door to them? Do you think any of them would be happy in heaven, where everyone is in agreement with God’s laws and content with a peaceful, happy life with those they love?

Some people say, “Everyone will be saved.” This does not agree with the Bible. We have one life here on earth. One life to decide if we will love the good and hate the evil. One life to turn towards the light and turn away from evil. As the apostle John writes about Jesus, “…in him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.” God’s light shines into every person’s heart, no matter where they were born or what they believe, and their eternal life depends on what they do with that light.

The Bible is full of warnings about the Day of Judgement, when God will show humanity why they are not allowed in heaven. I do not believe God will torture bad people in a place called Hell. I’ve written about that before. It says in the Bible hell will be destroyed in a lake of fire. I believe the imagery of fire means total destruction. It is clear in the Scriptures the wicked will be ashes under the soles of our feet. They will simply be no more. (Malachi 4:3)

God wants everyone to come live with him in heaven, but he knows, and we should know, that everyone who is dangerous to peace and love have no place there. He doesn’t magically make all people good, since that would mean we would all be robots with no choice at all except to worship him. He doesn’t want wind-up dolls who say, “I love you.” He wants those who come to him to get to know who he is and what he stands for.

 Over 50 years, I have studied the Bible. I have come to see the reasons God condemns the guilty, those who have never been sorry for what they have done to people. The pain and sorrow wicked people have brought to the world is incalculable. I decided to write a list of some of the reasons God finds them guilty.

They sacrificed children and adults to their gods, usually in the most horrific ways. The Canaanites put living children and babies in the red-hot arms of Baal. And we know how the Aztecs sacrificed people.

Nations fought against other nations to take their land and to have their people as slaves.  When the Midianites put Israel in subjection, they would come and raid their fields so the people of Israel went hungry.

They took bribes and robbed widows and orphans of their land and money.

They murdered people for money and land.

They lied about the innocent so they were found guilty and put to death.

They lied about the guilty so they could go free.

They committed sexual sins along with their worship of other gods.

They changed God’s laws and made up their own.

They persecuted believers of different churches. They killed them and tortured them. They had no tolerance or love for those who believe differently.

All these sins happened in ancient days and they happen now. But if a person comes to feel sorry for what he has done, he can come running to God and he will run to him. He loves all people, no matter what they have done. He knows we live in a world where we naturally drift towards evil, but he can overcome that in us. He can change our minds and hearts so we love what is good and hate what is evil.

How do I know this? Because it has happened to me, my family members and friends. I have seen it with my own eyes. Also, the Bible says it is true. If you are a person who doesn’t understand God and his ways, then please give him a chance. When you begin to pray and read the Bible, he will show himself to you. This is a gradual thing. Jesus talked about a person’s growth in understanding God. He said it is like growth of wheat. First the blade, then the head and then the mature grain in the head. (Mark 4:28) This is why people say, “Come as you are.” God doesn’t expect us to be good to come to him, because only he can make us truly good, little by little, day by day.

Although God does this, it isn’t how we are saved. We are saved by Jesus’ death. He took our place since someone must die because evil came into the universe. God chose himself to die. He is ultimately responsible for this universe. He brought it into being, and if the only way the universe can be cleaned up is for him to die, then so be it. He did it so those who agree with his government can come and live in it. After Judgement Day, every living being will be in one accord, every heart beating the same song, “God is good.”

A Neighbor’s Corona Virus Story.

“Therefore, my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled.”  Psalm 143:4

The verse above is from a prayer by David.

Today, a neighbor talked with me while I was getting my mail. We were careful, standing at least 15 feet apart. She poured out her heart to me about her mother-in-law, who has all the symptoms of Coronavirus and nothing is being done for her. They aren’t allowed to take her to the hospital, even though there are empty beds. She is suffering at her home, all alone. She is quarantined and in pain, gasping and trying to get her breath. She is 83. The hospital told her family, “It isn’t time yet.” My friend told her mother-in-law to dial 911 (which they did once already and no one came), when she felt she was dying so someone would come get her body.

I think hospitals here are doing this because they have run out of tests for the virus, nurses are becoming infected and she is 83 years old. I can’t think of any other reason they would not even try to relieve her suffering. I see statistics on the news that the curve is flattening here in Canada. Well, that makes sense since they aren’t taking tests and are leaving people to fend for themselves and die alone.  I felt so sad for this family.

My sister and I talk about the virus every day. She lives in Washington State and I live in BC, Canada. We think she has had the virus already. She was very sick a week ago, but is back to feeling awful instead of horrible. She has a lot of health problems and never feels normal.

She and I are both negative people. We have always thought the worst would probably happen to us and people we love. We are “catastrophic thinkers.” Each event, we take to the nth degree of disaster. We don’t want any surprises. This has made life extra hard for us, but we have both been working on turning to God with these thoughts. Believe me, he comes through big-time.

You know how a person gets into that kind of thinking? My sister was threatened by a family member a few times by waking up with a sharp knife at her throat. I was abused by my father. If your life is threatened by someone close to you when you are a little child, you never feel safe again.

But this is where faith in God comes in. Not that we think God won’t let us get the virus and die, no, we just trust him to know what is best. If God doesn’t want you to die, you won’t. And if you are dying, he will be with you. This gives me peace. I wrote about this recently, but I feel I should share this again.

Also, there is hope for new medicine and a vaccine. I just read last night a university in Canada has experimented and found a drug that seems to help people get better from the virus. That made me so happy. I hope they will start using it on patients soon.

The prayer of David, at the beginning of my post goes on to say:

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works;

I consider the work of Your hands. I stretch out my hands to You;

my soul thirsts for You like a parched land.

Answer me quickly, O LORD; my spirit fails.

Do not hide Your face from me, or I will be like those who descend to the Pit.

Let me hear Your loving devotion in the morning, for I have put my trust in You.

Teach me the way I should walk, for to You I lift up my soul.

Deliver me from my enemies, O LORD; I flee to You for refuge.

Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God.

May Your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

This is a good prayer for this time in history. When we feel our spirit faint within us, consider the works of Jesus, stretch out your hands to him. Put your trust in him. Ask him to teach you how to live. Then rest in his love.

God says to all of us,Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God.

I will strengthen you; I will surely help you;

I will hold you up with My right hand of righteousness.”

Isaiah 41:10

Disunity in the Churches.

There is a lot of disunity among Christians these days. I have read about this and also heard about it on podcasts. Just the other day, I heard this: “People say Christianity isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship.”  The podcasters didn’t like this. They insisted Christianity is a religion. They didn’t understand what these other Christians meant. They thought they were putting down the Christian religion.

When Christians say, “It’s a relationship,” they mean that this is the most important facet of Christianity. Without the relationship with God the father, Son and Holy Spirit, and you say you are a Christian, you are just following the rules. As Jesus said, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.” Luke 11:39

We cannot become truly clean inside without a living relationship with God. It is impossible. He alone is the strength of our life, which even the writers of the Old Testament knew.

We are living in time of the end of the world. Jesus is returning soon and calling his children, “Come out of her my people, that you be not partakers of their sins.” Revelation 18:4

I believe this verse means God’s people who are in churches that are led by evil leaders. This verse is coming true right now. People are leaving the regular Christian churches and starting their own. They could not stay with people who said they were Christians and yet are full of hate.

I left my church because of the way the people there treated non-Christians. I also didn’t like they way they treated each other. I didn’t see love there; I saw harsh judgement and criticism.

Most religions or churches don’t want people in their community if that person disagrees with them on doctrine or life-style. Drinking, drugs and sex are the sins they think are the worst. Pride, greed, selfishness and unkindness aren’t really addressed. But their kind of teaching is the opposite of both the Old and New Testaments.

Jesus doesn’t care what church you go to. As he said to the woman at the well, “Sir,” the woman said, “I see that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped on this mountain, but you Jews say the place where one must worship is Jerusalem.”

Jesus said, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation comes through the Jews. But a time is coming and has now come, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is seeking these kinds of people to worship him. God is Spirit, and his worshiper must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:19-24

 “Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in Your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not accompany us.”

 “Do not stop him,” Jesus replied, “for whoever is not against you is for you.” Luke 9:49,50

Paul wrote, “All of us who are mature should embrace this point of view. And if you think differently about some issue, God will reveal this to you as well. Nevertheless, we must live up to what we have already attained.”   Philippians 3:15,16

Whatever church you belong to, whatever your beliefs about God, that is the freedom God has given us. We must give that freedom to others. If there is disunity among the churches, we should accept that with love.