Thursday, May 25, 2017

Where does the love of God go?


I apologize for taking so long to produce this next article. It is deeply personal and I wanted to make certain that it was just right. It is written from the perspective of a born again believer in our Savior Jesus Christ, yet I hope that Seekers will also find something of value here. Regardless, I hope that it ministers to you in some way. -Mark


“Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours?”
The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald - Gordon Lightfoot

As Christians it is a little embarrassing to admit this, but most of the time we have no idea what God is doing with our lives. His ways are so far beyond ours we often cannot grasp why this happens or that didn’t happen. Thankfully we are blessed to have His word, the Bible, and His Holy Spirit to help guide us. To help us understand as much as possible.

This is why it is so very important that we stay anchored in His word and in prayer every day and to regularly attend a solid, Bible based Church.

If we struggle to understand what God is doing in our day to day life how much more do we flounder when we are confronted with a truly devastating trial - and every Christian can expect this at some point or another. What sees us through those times?

Let’s begin with Faith. Faith is a gift from God. Faith is what helps us learn to trust God and to accept what we can neither see nor touch. It is what gives us the confidence to believe in the unseen, to believe in a hope and a promise made thousands of years ago. Faith and believing in the unseen doesn’t mean you have to throw your intellect into the garbage bin to believe the Bible or in God/Jesus Christ. There is ample evidence for the trustworthiness of the Bible, historical and otherwise.

In fact, the most powerful evidence for the accuracy and veracity of the Bible would be fulfilled prophecy. I’m not talking about flowery poetry that could be interpreted a million different ways. Instead I’m speaking of prophetic verses specific to exact days and events, verses including names and/or specific details that point to a specific person or historical event - all fulfilled precisely as foretold. And, this occurs not just once or twice, but over and over again. This is what sets the Bible apart from all other Religious texts. In fact God Himself declares this.

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure… Isaiah 46:9-10

There’s a line in the song ‘The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald’ that goes: “Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours?” This speaks to that question that confronts all of us. Whether we or a loved one is going through a devastating trial or we see or read about something tragic happening to decent people, believers or not, we can find ourselves asking where was God’s love?

Let me tell you a little story. (actually it’s kind of a long story…)

When I was seventeen, way back in 1979, I lived in a small town up in the pine and cedar forests located in a rural part of far Northern California. I won’t lie. My adolescent years were magical. I had a dirt bike that my dad bought me and there were trails and logging roads that went for miles and miles. My friends Alex and Kyle both had dirt bikes as well and we had many, many adventures riding until dark then setting up camp for the night with no one around for miles.

Before you question our parent’s sanity in allowing us to head off into the wilderness, I suppose I should note that the three of us grew up in those woods and knew them intimately. Besides, it was a different place and a different time. Our parents taught us to be self sufficient. They knew we were capable, responsible and, for our age, mature. We always made sure people knew where we would be and we watched out for each other.

Alex and Kyle were two of my best friends in the world. Alex was a kick. He was funny, irreverent and fearless. He was the best driver I knew and worked the pits at the City track on weekends. He wanted to be a stock car driver. He was a skilled mechanic and good with electronics. Kyle was the responsible one. He desperately wanted to please his parents and would do nothing to disappoint them unless girls were involved - Then all bets were off. He was definitely a ladies man and the girls loved him. As for me, I was just plain ornery. I was short and scrawny and growing up had to learn to fight the bullies who saw me as easy pickings. They didn’t know that I had been doing a man’s work wood cutting since I was 12 and, though I may have been scrawny, I was all muscle. I could hit hard and take a punch. By the middle of my Sophomore year there was no more problem with bullies.

One of the few drawbacks to living up in the “Sticks” was that the nearest City of any size was 30 miles away. This meant an hour on the school bus both ways to attend High School. However, there was an upside to going to “the City” for High School. It was there that we met the people who would be our friends for the rest of our lives.

During our freshman year Kyle and I formed a rock band with some guys from the City. We were all good musicians for our ages and played in the school jazz band as well. But our friend and lead guitar player, Jason… Well, he was a prodigy. At 17 he was playing at a professional level. He was a great rock guitar player but his love was Jazz Fusion. Al Dimeola & Jean Luc Ponty were among his favorites. The rest of us enjoyed Fusion as well so our band would throw in some Jazz-Rock along with Hendrix and Aerosmith covers. Any time he could, Jason would ride the bus home with us and spend the night at Kyle’s house where we would jam until Kyle’s parents pulled the plug. Those were great times. We were usually joined by the rest of our band members as well. In the summer, with the windows open you could hear us for miles. Most of our reviews were positive. (Chuckle)

In our small town everyone knew everyone else. We even had two deputy sheriffs who lived in town and we would hang out with them lifting weights or passing the time talking about guns and shooting. When I was 12 I got my first job working for an elderly couple cutting and splitting firewood. Despite being too young to have a license, I would, nevertheless, drive my dad’s pickup - with his permission - to work. Occasionally I passed by one of the deputies out on patrol. They would just wave. It was a different time and, more importantly, a different place.

As for God, well, we were all raised in non-Christian homes. The most any of us knew about God was from Christmas songs or the local Christians who talked about love and forgiveness yet glared at us and talked behind our backs because of our long hair and unkempt looks. We weren’t “bad” kids. Heck, for that day and age (the hedonistic drug filled 70’s) we were pretty tame. All of us had jobs of one sort or another, we got good grades, played in the school Jazz and marching band - you know, good kid stuff.

So now you know. That was the four of us. “Relatively” good kids with loving parents, stable family lives, jobs and a Band to keep us busy and out of as much trouble as possible. While we weren’t believers we still believed in doing the right thing and being respectful of others. So, with the exception of the local “Christians”, we were very well liked by everyone in our little town and life was sublime.

Then, on a beautiful July morning, very early, the four of us set out for a road trip to visit Kyle’s uncle and cousins in the San Francisco area. Alex was driving, I was next to him in the passenger seat. Kyle was behind me and Jason was behind Alex. We were all happy and excited to visit Kyle’s family and see the big city, but Alex and I were also very tired. The two of us had been up until close to dawn installing a stereo in his car for the trip.

I’m assuming that’s why Alex fell asleep at the wheel and missed a stop sign, colliding with an oncoming car killing both himself and Jason.

“Does anyone know where the love of God goes…?”

Most people with traumatic injuries have no memory of the incident. I remember almost every moment. I know that somewhere on the trip down out of the hills I must have dozed off because I woke to Jason’s blood curdling scream, “Look Out!” I opened my eyes just in time to see us hurtling towards the very large car right in front of us.

On impact, I was knocked unconscious by the collision of my head with the windshield. None of us were wearing seatbelts. Seatbelts weren’t mandatory then nor had they completely gained acceptance with us. If I recall correctly Alex’s car was older and didn’t even have them anyway.

After what must have been just a few minutes I woke to the smell of hot oil and radiator fluid. I remember excruciating pain and a loud ringing in my ears. I looked over at Alex to tell him we needed to get out of the car. I couldn’t see clearly for some reason and I couldn’t tell if he heard me because of the ringing. I finally scraped enough blood and chunks of glass out of my eyes to see Alex. It was clear from what was left of his head that he was dead. It was then that panic set in.

I tried to get out of the car but I was trapped. My left arm was stuck on something and my feet were pinned to the floor. I tried forcing my door open with my right hand but I lacked the strength. Even worse, for some reason it was getting harder and harder to breathe. I remember screaming for help. Then I blacked out.

“Does anyone know where the love of God goes…”

When I came to I couldn’t see again. I didn’t know it but I had a nasty head injury. Blood kept filling my eyes. I wiped my face again but still had a difficult time seeing and I was having more and more trouble breathing! I will say this, adrenalyn can do amazing things. The pain was gone, replaced with a tingling that ran throughout my body. You know the feeling when you slap your hand too hard on something - that sting. That’s how my whole body felt. And my mouth was dry. Bone dry. Shock and loss of blood do that. But I didn’t know that. At the time I knew only one thing. I had to get OUT of that car!

I cleared my eyes again and tried lunging for the door. Again, something had ahold of my left arm. This time I was able to see it was the shank of the gear shift. It had pierced my left bicep and was poking up on the other side. With my right hand I lifted my bicep up, sliding it free of the gear shift. During the entire ordeal I was fighting to stay conscious and it was getting ever more difficult to breath. “God! Jesus! Please Help me!” I gasped.

My left arm was free but I still couldn’t open my door and my feet were pinned by something heavy and sharp. Adrenalyn or something more gave me the strength I needed to rip and tear my feet out from under what turned out later to be the car’s after-market air conditioner. It had been dislodged and fallen on my feet pinning them between it and the floor.

Had the gear shift shank not impaled my arm and the air conditioner not pinned my feet I would have been ejected from the vehicle and died. Both Kyle, behind me and Jason, sitting behind Alex were ejected from the vehicle. Life Lesson: Use those seat belts people...

So, with my arm free and my feet torn and bloodied but free I was able to simply push at the door and ironically it opened easily and I tumbled out of the car onto the pavement. Then, the lights went out, this time for a while. When I next awoke I was laying in a large pool of sticky viscous liquid which, it turns out, was my own blood. I immediately realized that by now I could barely breathe. Unable to inhale, I felt like I was dying. Which, I was. A fireman was at my side trying to reassure me. I kept begging him to help me breathe. I could feel consciousness slipping away. As everything went gray I could see them doing CPR on Kyle just feet away from me.

“Does anyone know where the love of God goes…”

I next woke up in an Ambulance. The rear doors were open and I could see people running, fire engines and red flashing lights. I had an I.V. and a nasal cannula feeding me oxygen. The Paramedic attending me kept telling me to breathe through my nose but I was still panicking over being unable to inhale anything more than tiny agonizing gasps. Looking around in desperation I saw on the gurney next to me the still, lifeless form of Jason. The Paramedic quickly covered him with a white sheet. Jason and Alex. Gone. My mind couldn’t fully process that. Mercifully, I blacked out again.

“Does anyone know where the love of God goes…”

The Ambulance ride is a kaleidoscope of short video like memories. They had removed Jason’s body. They had also given me morphine which helped with the feelings of panic over not being able to breathe. Anyone who has had a near drowning incident or choked on something knows the panic I am talking about. It’s been almost 40 years and to this very day I suffer horrible anxiety if my nose is plugged from a cold or allergies. Along with being very, very cold from shock and a mouth so dry it felt like it was full of sand I also had a severe concussion and intracranial swelling which distorted my hearing and vision and made my head feel like it was about to explode.

I next woke in the Emergency Room. All around me was a hive of swirling activity. The first thing they needed to address was my punctured lung. On my left side a rib had been broken and driven through the bottom half of my left lung filling the chest cavity with air and blood. This caused a build up that pressed on the lung so that it couldn’t inflate and put pressure on my heart and my right lung as well. That’s why I couldn’t breathe. The doctor told me he was going to insert a chest tube and that it would really hurt. It did. But as soon as he inserted it there was an audible “POP” and suddenly I could breathe. I took the first full breath of air since I woke up in the car. “Ahhhh…” I said. It must have been pretty dramatic because the medical team working on me all expressed surprise at the extent of my reaction.

From this point time gets pretty distorted. Drugs... I was in and out of consciousness as they stitched up my head, removed glass from my eyes and prepped me for surgery. I remember at some point my mom looking at me through a window. She was crying. I remember my sister was there. Other familiar faces. My next memory was as they wheeled me off to surgery. I just remember telling my mom over and over not to worry. “Don’t worry Mom! I feel grrrreat!” It was the morphine talking.

I spent a week in intensive care and two weeks recovering before I could go home. Kyle survived as well though he was transported to a different hospital. We both got out of the hospital at about the same time but it would be a long, long while before either of us was well enough to visit the other.

What followed then was months of healing. Of talking to the families of our friends who passed away. Crying. Cursing God and the Christians who couldn’t be bothered with us before the crash but now couldn’t be kept away. They came with their tracts and their scaremongering of the devil and demons out to get me if I didn’t accept Christ. We had a lot of J.W.’s in my little town and my parents finally put up a sign asking visitors to call ahead for permission to visit.

Its probably time to clarify here. No, I’m no longer bitter about “those Christians.” I found out later that there were quite a number who sincerely cared about me and my friends and that through a number of prayer groups thousands of Christians were praying for us. There were a few though who were of the mind that us longhairs got taught a lesson by golly and now maybe we’d cut our hair and conform to their idea, not so much of what pleased God, but more of what was good and proper in their eyes.  

If only they knew just how far away from God they drove me, my family and the rest of us. The final blow, the incident that turned me against Christianity for years was the visit by the City’s well known Baptist Pastor. One afternoon he snuck into my hospital room and, after finding that neither I nor my friends were believers, told me I’d better get right with God or I’d be going to hell just like my two friends who died in the crash.

“Does anyone know where the love of God goes…”

Yes that really did happen. Needless to say I freaked. The nurses heard my screaming and escorted him from my room. This Pastor has since passed away and I forgive him. He is very loved to this day by those who knew him. I’m not certain why he approached me that way. But the damage was done.

I didn’t know much about God at the time but what those folks did, whether they meant well or not, was drive me as far from God as I could get. I was Judging Christ by the actions of a few misguided Christians. Not by who HE is. By the time I was in college I was a diehard atheist. If you’d like to read how a diehard atheist found his way to Christ after all of this then you will find that article here:


So, where does the love of God go? Was He even there?

I believe with all my heart that He was there. I believe that He arranged for me to be pinned in the car instead of killed instantly as I would have been had I hurled through the windshield to slam into the vehicle we collided with. I believe he breathed life back into Kyle as the paramedics did CPR on him there next to me.

I have found that God has a reason for everything. In fact, this is the part of the story that always gives me chills:
As they were doing exploratory surgery on me, closing up the bleeding inside my abdomen the surgeon noticed, hidden down deep, barely visible, what appeared to be the signs of an infection in my lower right abdomen. So they extended the incision down past my belly button and found to everyone’s great surprise that my appendix was infected and on the verge of rupturing. In fact, it was a miracle that it hadn’t ruptured in the crash, filling my abdomen with infected pus and causing a rampant, deadly infection.

Think about this. I hadn’t noticed any pain from my appendix. None. Why? And, because I didn’t feel ill or any pain what if we hadn’t crashed but had gone on our road trip and my appendix had burst while we were on the road? Would I have even noticed? I’m sure I would have noticed the onset of Peritonitis - infection, but would it have been in time to save my life? How long would it have taken to get to a hospital? Not wanting to ruin the trip would I have suffered in silence or just passed it off as the flu until it was too late? What if the surgeon had missed that one small tell tale sign of infection, sewed me up and once I got home my appendix burst? How long before we realized the illness I would have been feeling had nothing to do with recovering from the crash? Would the narcotics I was taking have masked the worsening infection? Would I have been saved only to die at home from septic infection?

Most of this didn’t really cross my mind until sometime much later. The gear shift shank and air conditioner saving my life made a good story but it wasn’t until many years later as I was studying to become an EMT that I realized how serious the situation could have become as a result of a ruptured appendix. It got me thinking.

Years later, after I completed my training and worked in the field with Search and Rescue I began to have flashbacks to that day. I asked why did I live and Alex and Jason die? The question would torment me for years, even more so after I became a Christian. Did they die so I could be saved? If so to what end? Around and around I would go.  They didn’t know much about PTSD then. Soldiers were considered shell shocked once they couldn’t function, but no one recognized or even knew how to treat those who could still function but were suffering horribly inside. Instead, you were expected to man up. Show no weakness. So that’s what I did.

I had no idea why I was suffering so much pain inside. For years and years I had nightmares of my friends burning in Hell and screaming for me to help them. It wasn’t until I received Christ as my savior that the Holy Spirit healed me of those old psychological wounds. I haven’t had those nightmares since. No more nightmares and I found peace as well. I learned not to assume anything where God is concerned. No, my friends weren’t believers but anything is possible with God.Matt19:26

For God every day is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day.2Pe 3:8
Are my friends in Hell? I don’t have an answer to that. But I do know this: God is completely Just. He is Holy and He is Jealous for every single Soul. None of us had rejected Jesus. We just didn’t know Him. Who knows what happened in that eternity between heartbeats, before the impact that took my friends. Only God knows. I won’t find out until I arrive in Heaven. I pray that in that split second before death, that second that was timeless for God, that my friends were introduced to Jesus Christ. I’ll just have to wait until I get to Heaven to see.

That, my friends is why, if you do not know Jesus as your Savior, your Lord, the one and only way to God the Father and eternal life, if you don’t know that your eternity in Heaven is assured then please, please consider doing so now. We do not know what might happen in that eternity between heartbeats. Each one may be our last. Don’t leave it to chance, to maybe. Don’t wait to get right with God. Do it now! Remove all doubt about where you’ll spend your eternity!!

“Why should I?” You ask.
“Look what He did to you and your friends. You weren’t bad kids. After all that, why are you even a Christian?”

Let’s talk about that for a minute. Why do bad things happen to “good” people? Where is the love of God when the waves turn the minutes to hours? As I said, that one bothered me for a long, long time. Studies show that this issue is one of the main reasons for people choosing not to become Christians. However, over the decades I have learned to trust God - to have Faith. I have seen Him work miracles that, to this day, blow my mind and yet, I have also seen the body of a little girl, raped and strangled by her mother’s boyfriend and left lying in a field. What is the deal?

The answer is simple. Yet as humans with our imperfections and sin nature, we have a hard time wrapping our head around it. So, I will do my best to explain what I have learned over the years since that tragic day in 1979.

The world we live in is under a curse. This curse was brought on when Adam and Eve rebelled against God and ate from the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. Where once man was in perfect unbroken communion with God, suddenly that relationship was broken and the world was broken with it. Before that act of rebellion every plant had been good for food and was pleasant in every way. After the curse weeds appeared and some plants became toxic. Prior to that all man’s nutritional needs were met by the fruits and vegetables readily available everywhere. Afterwards there was insufficient nutrients in the plant life and so it was necessary to harvest animals and to till the ground and tend crops for the necessary proteins, vitamins and minerals the body needs.

Not only was Man’s relationship with God changed but Man’s relationship with animals changed as well. They began to fear man. Others saw him as prey. Some animals which were once harmless had become venomous. In that act of rebellion everything had changed. From that first day of rebellion the world has been in a gradual decline from the Perfect world that it once was to the diseased, polluted, violent and corrupt place we call home.(See Genesis 1-3)

The breaking of Fellowship with God had another tragic result. It created a void that was filled by the architect of Mankind’s fall from grace, Satan - whose name means: Adversary or Accuser. Satan is now the God of the Earth2Cor4:4 until Christ returns and reclaims the Earth as His own.

The chaos and pain we see today are not God’s doing. God still has the final say - Satan can only do as much as God allows him to. We see that in JobJob1:12. However, Satan is, for now, in charge of this world. Remember when he was tempting Christ in the wilderness. He claimed the authority to give Christ the kingdoms of the world and all their glory if He would worship Satan. Jesus did not dispute this authority. Instead he replied “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”Matt 4:8-10 Keep that in mind and all the bad and evil things begin to make a lot more sense.

So, now we can understand why bad things happen. The evil one is running the show. But we also know that God can stop him - He still has the final say as we have seen in Job. We then have to ask: Is everything just random then? Or is there some sort of a plan?

Let’s start with what we know about God: He is ALL KNOWINGIsaiah 46:9-10, He is HOLY & JUST,Psa18:30 He is incapable of evil or malice, He is the essence of LOVEJames 1:13 itself and He DIED a horrifying death on the CROSS after enduring TORTURE via Roman Scourging to save mankind from their sin. This tells me right away that there must be a plan. Also, anyone who has been a Christian for any length of time has seen at least one miraculous event, whether it was an addict delivered instantly from a life of drugs or a cancerous tumor disappearing for no medical reason.

So, if God knows and He cares then what? Why does a Mafia hitman live to be 98 while a three year old dies in agony of cancer?

Why indeed! Perhaps we can look at it this way. Why does God let good things happen at all? After all, we are all sinners. Every good deed we do is just filthy ragsIsa64:6 when exposed to the blinding light of a Perfect, Holy God. God blesses us for one reason only. Because He chooses to. Because He is loving and He is merciful. Period. We know He has a plan for our life, a plan to prosper us and give us a good lifeJer29:11. Not because we earned it. But because He chooses to.

Knowing this how do we reconcile the fact that God is Holy and Just, that He loves us and has a plan for a good life for us with the fact that Christians die every day from horrible situations? Remember, I said the answer was simple yet we humans being so imperfect might have a difficult time wrapping our heads around it, well here it is:
It is part of the plan God has. Everything has a purpose. It may be for a single individual or someone they met seemingly at random along the way and/or it fits in with His ultimate Design for all of Mankind. Whatever the case, rest assured things happen for a reason!

There is nothing Random about God. NOTHING!1Cor14:33 Whether it is a stillborn baby or a Righteous Pastor with a fatal brain tumor, or something wonderful like a person receiving Christ as Savior, God is with each of those people and He is there with you right this second as you read this.Psalm 145:18 He was there in that car with me as I cried for help because, in my desperation, I called on Jesus Christ to save me.Isa65:24 We may not know God’s reasons for allowing bad things to happen or good things for that matter and sometimes we may be blessed with an immediate answer. We may not understand until we meet God - and by then it may not even matter.

The important thing to understand is that whatever you are going through is part of a plan and as painful as it may be - the loss of two best friends, the loss of a child, divorce, disease…, you name it, there is an end result that fits God’s plan and will, in some way, both bless and prosper you here on Earth and/or in Heaven. It would be easy if, like God, we knew the end from the beginning, but we are stuck in a linear time stream. We only see the NOW and the PAST. And, when the NOW hurts worse than you’ve ever experienced physically, emotionally or spiritually you can’t help but ask:

“Does anyone know where the love of God goes…”

In that car crash I lost two of my best friends. They were like brothers to me - you know the depth of the relationships you develop in High School. That was an indescribable pain. And though, in desperation, I called on Christ in that car and I truly believe he came to my aid and helped me get out of that car, it wasn’t until much much later that I finally became a Christian by giving my heart, soul and life to Christ. As it turns out, receiving Christ as Savior and Lord would save me from more than sin. Later on in life I would be struck by a Neurological Disorder that would change the course of everything in my life. Without Jesus and the strength of His Spirit carrying me through those first dark, dark years, I’m not certain I would have made it.

As a Christian, my illness caused me to question my faith. I asked that question, Where are you God?Heb13:5 I mean, hadn’t I already been through enough.

Now, decades later I look back on both of those events in my life and other events that were less dramatic perhaps but still very painful or difficult and I can see God’s hand there supporting and guiding me and my family. I can see one by one the dominos that had to fall in precisely the right order to bring me here, where I am right now, writing this article. I realize that there truly is a plan to everything that happens. Sometimes we just have to have Faith that this is true.We may not understand how that works, but it is not given to us to understand all the mysteries of God in this lifetime. We may not like that. But it is certainly not our place to judge God!!Isaiah 55:8-9

However, we can take comfort in the fact that God is in control and that whatever trial we may be enduring is for a reason, though we may not understand until we stand before Christ. We must also remember that He will never leave or forsake us and in our darkest hour He is there to light our way, to hold us in His arms and comfort us because He loves us.Deuteronomy 31:6 If we can just accept this simple truth then we can know the answer to that question of Where God’s love goes can’t we.

I believe that there is another time when God will intercede in one’s life. That is in answer to Fervent Prayer in Jesus’ name in full accordance with God’s will, with all our Heart, Mind and Strength, pure and in selfless Love.Jas5:16 Sometimes the answer may be “No,” but I have had many, many prayers answered - too many to discount as simple coincidence. In fact, I will go so far to say that, though the answer is sometimes no, far more often God has said yes! Jesus tells us that prayer in His name will be answered.1John 5:14-15

I know I addressed this but i want to once again remind you of the extent of God’s love by looking at just what was done for us on that lonely cross on Calvary. Jesus, God in flesh, endured the Roman torture of scourging, the flesh ripped from His back, flanks and legs. He endured humiliation at the hands of the Romans and the Jews and rejection as He followed the road out of the city to the hill called Golgatha.

There He was subjected to spikes hammered through His hands and feet, pinning Him to the cross. He was then lifted up to die a slow and agonizing death. He did this out of Love! Out of His Loving Sacrifice believers are now able to come directly to the Father without further shedding of blood, without an intermediary or priest. We can come without shame or hesitation because Jesus’ self-sacrifice on that cross payed the price of our sin and wiped any record of that sin clean. Because of the Cross we are as sinless as Jesus Himself. When God looks at us He doesn’t see our failures, He sees Christ’s perfection. Equally Important - upon His Resurrection, the bonds of hell and death were broken and the way was opened to Eternal Life with Jesus. As soon as we are free of this tent we inhabit, in the twinkling of an eye we pass from this life into the Eternal in the Heavens to be with our beloved Savior.2Cor5:1-5

Ultimately, realizing that, for now, Satan is the “god” of this world we know that bad things are going to happen. At the same time we understand that God can and does intervene in accordance with His perfect and just will. We know this isn’t random and that often it is in reply to prayers. We know He loves us with an incomparable love. We also know that God is merciful and just and while we may not understand His ways we can have Faith that He does nothing out of malice or lack of caring.

With all this in mind let’s get back to the answer to my question:

“Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours…?”

The answer is: Though we may not understand the reason for our circumstances we can know, beyond any doubt, that God’s love, His Presence, His Spirit, no matter the circumstance or how you came to be there, no matter the eventual outcome, GOD is right there with you through every single moment!Josh1:9


Psalm 46:1-2 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; NKJV

(Emphasis added)

In closing I will just add that in my darkest depths of Illness and despair, in the quiet of the night, I called out to Jesus and He answered me. I felt Him beside me. I took shelter in the refuge of the Savior’s arms and was comforted and strengthened. Daily Bible reading and Prayer prepare us for those tribulations that will come. In times of trial I make extra time for spending special quiet alone time with the Bible and in Prayer. Jesus always meets me there.

I hope this has blessed you in some way. Be well in Christ friend.
Mark



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

150,000 Chinese Troops Mass on N. Korean Border





Journalist Bill Still breaks down the issues as China masses 150,000 troops on the border of N. Korea just days after the "Productive" meeting with the Chinese President and US President Trump. At the same time the Carrier, Carl Vincent Task Force has been ordered to the waters off the Korean Peninsula. It's widely known that the Chinese have grown increasingly frustrated with the petulant and pudgy N. Korean dictator Kim Jong Il. Could he be about to receive the spanking he so richly deserves?



My guess is that even now the Chinese Ambassador to N. Korea is laying down the law to the Pedophile Dictator. 150,000 Chinese troops are hardly an invasion force. But they are enough to discourage any who might try to flee N. Korea in the face of impending war, which is the last thing the Chinese want or need at this point. This does, however, send a solid message that the Chinese will not support the North if they continue their aggressive posturing. Hopefully, caught between a rock and a hard place the tiny Dictator will turn to his beloved Scotch rather than his military. 



More wars and rumors of wars, something I discuss in Another Article.



Remember, our hope is in Jesus Christ. Be Blessed.

Mark


Monday, April 10, 2017

Wars & Rumors of Wars



This video is a summary of recent events which are of interest to those who follow Bible Prophecy as it relates to Today. I think you will find it interesting.

Biblical Eschatology or the study and teaching of Bible Prophecy has become extinct in most churches. For many reasons Pastors and Teachers are either unfamiliar with or uncomfortable with Bible Prophecy. This happens as End Times Prophecy is in the process of being fulfilled before our very eyes.

Even now, as we see the unholy alliance between Russia and Iran along with our former friend and ally, Turkey, we are witnessing the of the massing of the Peoples who will attack Israel only to be dramatically defeated in an End Times sign that Israel still belongs to God and His special people.

The recent events in Syria do even more to solidify Russia’s influence over the Middle East - filling a void left open by former President Obama who’s naive and destructive foreign policy completely destabilized the region opening the door for Russia to become the primary influence there.

The issue of Syria’s WMD was brought to the fore again just days ago. Once more, Obama’s feckless foreign policy resulted in Syrian dictator Bashar Assad retaining possession of a large cache of Chemical and Possibly other WMD. These weapons are holdovers from the huge shipments of ordinance etc moved at night by truck from the various Chemical Weapons facilities maintained by Saddam Hussein. CNN broadcast military night vision surveillance of convoys of trucks miles long leaving Iraq. Ironically, nobody seemed to remember this when the military found only small caches of WMD in Iraq during the 1999 Iraq invasion. Even today the common misconception is that Bush lied in order to steal Iraqi oil. This seems silly since Iraq was, and still is, one of our smallest suppliers of oil. There is little doubt left in my mind that the Enemy, Satan, has complete control of our Mainstream News and Information Networks.

But, I digress. These Wars and Rumors of Wars as well as the increasing persecution of Christians and Jews throughout the world (Palm Sunday a number of Coptic Christians were slaughtered by Muslim Jihadists as they worshiped in St. Mark’s church in Egypt.) the growing violence worldwide, the growing, all inclusive One World Religion embraced by Pope Francis along with a number of Mega-Church Pastors in the US and the destabilization being caused by the Muslim invasion of Europe, the European monetary crisis, BREXIT and the growing divisions here in the United States… I could go on.

Among those who study Bible Prophecy it is widely acknowledged that we are living in a time unlike any other before. It is true that many times in the past it seemed the “End” was near, however only now does the world possess the technology, the Weapons and the necessary alliances to completely fulfill all of the prophecies describing the end of the time of the Gentiles and the time of God’s Judgment and the pouring out of HIS wrath on a world that rejects HIM.


Those of us who believe this are often accused of being doomsayers, sensationalists and even un-Christian. All of this is as far from the truth as the East is from the West! The entire point of prophecy is to exhort the Body of Christ to focus on being about The Father’s business. It’s about the urgency of bringing the Gospel to as many as possible and it’s about the blessed and merciful hope we have in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

My prayer is that we study about the end times in such a way that it gives us a deeper passion for the people that do not know and are not following Jesus. That is where we all need to focus our efforts.

With that said I will leave you with the word of God. Be blessed.



2 Timothy 3:1-5 - This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.   (Read More...)

Mark 13:32 - But of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.

Matthew 24:7 - For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

Luke 21:11 - And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

Matthew 24:1-51 - And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to [him] for to shew him the buildings of the temple.   (Read More...)

Joel 2:28-32 - And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:   (Read More...)

1 Timothy 4:1 - Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

Matthew 24:6 - And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all [these things] must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Revelation 13:16-17 - And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:   (Read More...)

2 Timothy 3:1-4 - This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.   (Read More...)

Luke 21:25 - And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

Luke 21:36 - Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,   (Read More...)

Revelation 3:3 - Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Daniel 12:4 - But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, [even] to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

2 Timothy 3:1-17 - This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.   (Read More...)

Matthew 24:21-22 - For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.   (Read More...)

Matthew 24:36 - But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

2 Peter 3:3-4 - Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,   (Read More...)