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About Love

As I look upon the state of our nation and the entire world I am sad to recognize the fulfillment of Bible prophecy regarding the end times.  The stage is set for the Restrainer to be removed from planet Earth so that the Antichrist should be revealed.  He will spread his wicked agenda across the globe.

7For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the One who is holding it back steps out of the way. 8Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of His mouth and destroy him by the splendor of His coming. 9This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. 10He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. 11So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. 12Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth. ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12 NIV

Every heart of every person is driven by love.  Yes, even the wicked love something.

15Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. ~ 1 John 2:15-17 NKJV

Mankind is now standing on the edge of a timeline precipice.  We have a unique viewpoint of world events via media technology.   Those who are watching can view approaching fulfillment of God’s prophecy regarding the end of the age of man governing himself.  Soon Jesus Christ will return to Earth, conquer Satan, and set up His kingdom.  Yeshua, our Messiah Jesus, will reign for one thousand years upon this Earth.  He will reign with strong power over evil.  As we have seen, the wicked who do not love truth shall be destroyed at His coming.

Now would be a very good time to be sure that you do not believe Satan’s lies.  If you have not surrendered your love of worldly things to Jesus, there is no better time to take care of eternal business than right now.  Helpful guidance is available here, talk to another believer or Pastor that you respect, or email me with questions.

Prayer – Father, as we lift Your Name above the heavens and all of the planets, stars, and galaxies of Your creation, convict hearts today that love the lie rather than Your Truth.  In the Matchless and Wonderful Name of our Redeemer, Jesus, thank you for such an awesome gift of salvation for those who sincerely choose eternal life over death by asking You to replace love of the world with Your love of Truth in their hearts. Amen.

These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. ~ 1 John 2:26 NKJV

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Last Thing

There’s one last thing I need to do with Dad’s New Testament Bible.  It’s time to put it away.  Dad’s testimony is posted in several articles on this blog and will hopefully be read by many people in the coming years.  It hurts my heart, but the binding is pretty much shot.

Dad's Soul Winner's Bible

If I do this now, perhaps Dad’s great-grand kids will be able to investigate the message Dad left inside before the pages disintegrate.  It sure surprised me when I found it.

 

Dad's Bible Portrait

Sorting out the loose pages, I decided the last thing for me to do is the old-fashioned remedy – no, not duct tape!  A hair band will do fine –

 

Dad's Bible Banded

at least for now.  God’s Word lives on inside its covers and it is up to my Father in Heaven whether to use this relic as a witnessing tool in the future – or not.

The last thing left now is what some call closure.  I just chalk it up to another crying day in a tough but victorious year in our Lord Jesus:

“Thank you again, Dad.  The last thing you accomplished posthumously with your little Bible was this quote from page 381”:

For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before Him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. ~ Hebrews 4:12-13

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Dad’s New Testament Page 381

So hey!  It looks like God is still using Dad’s Bible to send His message out; and it’s not the last thing.

It’s a heart thing.

 

 

Inspiration Found

Stone of Inspiration
Stone of Inspiration ~ Proverbs 3:5

My daughter found this painted stone at Red Rock Canyon last week.  Soon it will be placed far, far from Nevada – for someone else who needs inspiration.

What is going on?  A project is trending about leaving a stone of inspiration for another person to find.  The message painted on the rock is meant to inspire that person who in turn leaves it in another location for the next person to find and so on; a paying it forward project, so to speak.

My daughter found a Proverbs 3:5 Inspiration Stone:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; ~ Proverbs 3:5 NKJV

If you are somewhere in Alaska, you could be the next person to find this rock:

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Flipside ~ Laugh Love Live

Proverbs 3:5 is a precious message.  Isn’t it miraculous how God’s Word ties us all together and binds us to Himself with a painted rock?  You know what is even more amazing?  This rock may have been created by God millions of years ago in order to be picked up and lovingly painted by someone living now; left in some random location for another special someone to find, who may be blessed in a personal way just by finding it.  Think of the journey of this one little stone.  This rock is about the size of a large egg and look what it can do!  God is using it as a witnessing tool to spread His love message to a vast number of people.

WOW!  What can you do compared to a rock?  Hmmmm …

I love the next verse:

In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6 NKJV

I believe God is doing a mighty work with this project by directing the paths of individuals all over the planet to read and to think about His Word; and to share in being God’s witnesses.  I like the word “laugh” painted on this rock.  I laughed when I realized how God keeps everything so simple for us.  He makes it so easy to witness for Him that sometimes it’s fun.

Have you found one of these rocks?  Be on the lookout –  Evidently, they are all over the place!

Sometimes we would like to participate in God’s work, but don’t know how.  In this case, I didn’t find the rock – my daughter did.  She was inspired to bring it to me so that I could tell you the story and then place the rock in a location frequented by lots of people.  So easy.  Praise God, I became part of all this, even though I didn’t go anywhere or find anything.

What can you do?  Suggestions:

  • If you know an “inspiration found” story, you can share it or post the link here in comments.
  • If you are God-favored and find an inspiration rock, please tell us!
  • Share this article and see who else knows about this.
  • Find a group doing this and join up.  Paint your own inspiration stone.  Get it circulating.

I am leaving this Proverbs 3:5 Rock somewhere in Alaska this week.  It will be found and another story will unfold.  Another person will be inspired – and another – and another …

If you need more inspiration, here is a link to my article, What Can You Do? 

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(If you don’t find a stone of inspiration, don’t worry.  The Bible is full of God’s messages to you.  The same important stuff is all in there.  Read it.  Live it.  Share it.)

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Anything

I just wanted more time together.  Just another hug . . . one more chance to hold his hand . . .  tell him how much I love him again . . . I would have given . . . anything.

My stepdad battled Alzheimer’s for over ten years.  Our last days with him have been crying days – mostly for him.

One family member said, “I hate what Alzheimer’s does to people.”

I agree.  As my stepdad slowly broke down under the insidious disease process, we crumpled emotionally beside him.  There were times as we held hands at the dining table that he would look away with a hurtful expression on his face and mutter to the wall, “Oh well . . . It is what it is.”

In my heart I waged war; won his battle by finding a miraculous cure; traded places; did more; did anything to prevent what we all knew was happening.  But in reality, I had no such ability or power.

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.  ~ 2 Tim. 4:18 NIV

My stepdad was a Christ believer.  His heart was huge for everyone he knew; and he was so loved in return.  Then our prayers for a miracle were painfully answered as our family expected – but dreaded.  My stepdad was released from Alzheimer’s torment a few days ago.  Even though I am mourning the loss, I am thankful to God for mercifully calling him Home.  He will no longer suffer.  He is leaping for joy in Heaven with Jesus, friends, and family in Glory.

My friend, John, called yesterday to pay his respects to Mom.  He told me to “just look at it as if he has graduated.”  Thank you, John.  That simple encouragement has comforted me more than anything else.  Graduation means a reward at the end of the struggle; the victory over life’s hurts.  His diploma is now a page in The Lamb’s Book of Life with his name written there for all to see.  It means honorably finishing the course and moving on to a new beginning.  Thanks to Jesus, It is finished!  Jesus paid the price for our sins and didn’t leave anything undone.  He has done everything that no one else is able to do.  Thank you, Jesus.  I know that I will see my stepdad again when it’s my turn to graduate.

My stepdad was a boxer as a young man – a fighter; and he fought the ravages of time (he was 85) and of Alzheimer’s right up until the end.  Even though he could no longer speak the Words, I will copy them here on his behalf; as I am confident he owned this scripture as he took his last breaths:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. ~ 2 Tim. 4:7-8 NIV

My stepdad was also a race car driver when he was young.  He always drove a pickup truck and never relinquished his set of keys after he quit driving.  I’m sure he hoped he would need those keys again someday because that truck is still parked in his garage.

Gosh!  I would give anything to see him driving it around in Heaven right now . . .

Do your best to come to me quickly, ~ 2 Tim. 4:9 NIV

 

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The Crying Days

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Everyone has them, and most of us just want them to end.  For me, that is not happening; so I am left with a journey I call “living through the crying days”.  At least I am not traveling this road alone.  Jesus fights my battles for me when I think to ask Him, and the Holy Spirit consoles me as the tears flow.

Whether illness, grief, loneliness, or unwelcome burdens – sometimes one can only cry.  Our Heavenly Father knew this, of course, before He even created the cosmos.  He lovingly created tears for all broken-hearted souls.  The ancients collected tears in bottles as highly prized keepsakes.

Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle, are they not in thy book? When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know, for Elohim (Supreme God) is for me. In Elohim will I praise his word: in Yahweh (Self-Existent; Eternal; Jehovah) will I praise his word. In Elohim have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. Thy vows are upon me, O Elohim: I will render praises unto thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before Elohim in the light of the living? ~ Psalms 56:8-13 RSB  (Parentheses added)

The act of crying has a bad rep in many circles.  “What good does it do?”  “Just buck up and take it on the chin!”  “Crying doesn’t solve anything!”  But God’s Word is clear:

The prophet Isaiah told King Hezekiah in 713 B.C. that Hezekiah would soon die.  Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed for mercy:

And Hezekiah wept sore. Then came the word of Yahweh to Isaiah, saying, “Go, and say to Hezekiah, Thus saith Yahweh, the Elohim of David, thy father, I have heard thy prayer, and I have seen thy tears: behold, I will add unto thy days fifteen years. And I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria: and I will defend this city.” ~ Isaiah 38:3b-6 RSB

So Almighty God not only added fifteen years to the life of Hezekiah, but He vowed to deliver the Israelites out of the hands of the invading Assyrians and to fight the battle for them.  Wow!  Hezekiah hadn’t even prayed for that!

Our God is SO GOOD!  He promises to one day create a new heaven and a new earth.  There will be no more crying days.

And Elohim shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. ~ Revelation 21:4 RSB

Today there are reported over 900,000 believers martyred every year on this earth.  These are Crying Days, folks.  Don’t hold back on the prayers or tears for our persecuted brethren suffering for their faith in Christ; for our nation in peril; and for those lost and on their way to eternal outer darkness.  These crying days are the last days before Christ returns.  Pray tearfully for the sick, the dying, the poor and the needy.  Remember to love one another as He loves us and in the words of Jesus, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).  Few of us are called upon to make that level of sacrifice, but prayer changes things.  Sincere prayer can even change the will of Almighty God, as we have seen in the case of Hezekiah.

Prayer:  Thank You, Lord, for meeting our every need with your tender Spirit of love and truth; for hearing the prayers of your church; and for noticing tears of the humble being shed during sorrowful days.  We look forward in faith to victory in the Only One Who Fights Our Battles For Us – our Savior and Redeemer, Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus The Anointed One.  In His Holy Precious Name Above All Names, Amen.

I pray that you are encouraged by God’s Word as you are living through your own crying days – whatever they may be.  God bless you, and thank you for following importantstuff.live.

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Unity|The Great Mystery

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Skyline of downtown New York, New York, USA

Today much of humanity is praying, hoping, and working for peace and unity.  There are many proposed solutions to global unrest; but unity continues to remain a great mystery to most of our world’s leadership.

Unity comes in many forms and shapes.  It is often tagged with titles including peace, freedom, or social reform – just words.  If anyone could solve the Middle East Crisis, avoid a dreadful WWIII, or somehow conquer pestilence and famine; that person would be worshiped as a god by many.  This will actually happen at the end of days during The Great Tribulation, according to Bible prophecy, but what does God’s Word say about our global divisions now?

Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands) – remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. ~ Ephesians 2:11-13 NIV

Yes, it is God’s miraculous gift to man who is the answer to all forms of unrest and human division – His name is Jesus Christ (Yeshua in the Hebrew), our Messiah:

For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in His flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of His household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the Chief Cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit. ~ Ephesians 2: 14-22 NIV

I love the fact that Paul makes it clear that we, too, are mortised right into the walls and foundations of God’s temple.  We will never be separated or divided again, as long as Jesus is our Lord.  That is true unity.  No peace treaty; no two state solution; no “barrier, the dividing wall of hostility”.  In Christ’s kingdom, we will have not only one global government but also a global economy that function perfectly in unity; because we will finally have Jesus, our King of Kings to rule with an iron hand against the current chaotic world view of divisive power and greed.

Paul goes on the say in Chapter Three:

For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles … Surely you have heard … that is, the mystery made known to me by revelation …This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus. ~ Ephesians 3: 1-6 NIV

I can’t make this up, people.  God’s Word is infallible and tells us His almighty solution to man’s sin problem without all the complexity of political deception.  The answer is simply Jesus.  Christ is God’s gift to redeem both the Jews and the Gentiles.  What a crying shame that the world is still unbelieving and nation is still against nation when Jesus already settled this over two thousand years ago at the cross!

I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love may have power together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. ~ Ephesians 3: 16-19 NIV

So how does being “rooted and established” in the power of God’s love for us bring about unity?

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. ~ Ephesians 4:1-5

So it is the unity of the Spirit that holds us together like mortar glues together the stone walls of God’s temple building.  Then why do divisions persist with the church?

Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of Him who is the head, that is, Christ. From Him, the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. ~ Ephesians 4: 14-16 NIV

If we stop chasing after the world but speak the truth in love, we will grow spiritually and experience God’s gift of unity.  God’s solution to global crisis is Jesus. The love of Jesus makes all people fit together perfectly into God’s plan for reconciliation.  Through faith in Jesus, we become one family and no one is excluded if he or she simply believes that Jesus is the true Son of God who gave Himself up to be crucified for man’s sin.  There is no other Name under heaven whereby we shall be redeemed or have eternal peace.

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Please don’t fall for the talk-talk-talk which produces no unifying solutions to world or national problems.  God has already provided the true solution in His Son, Jesus.

Do you feel lost and alone?  Or perhaps confused over world events and how they relate to you?  Does fear, guilt or shame rule over your life?  Are you tired of “looking for love in all the wrong places”?

If so, ask Jesus to forgive your sins and come into your life.  The Holy Spirit will enter your heart and live there forever.  He will guide you in all ways of holiness and righteousness in the eyes of God, the Father.  You will once and for all be reconciled to a right relationship to God through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

For he says, “In the time of My favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. ~ 2 Corinthians 6:2 NIV
This is why it is said: “Wake up sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”              ~ Ephesians 5:14

Unity does not have to remain the great mystery to you.  Be saved by the grace of God by faith in Jesus.  It is so simple and requires only a sincere act of confession.

If you are a Christ believer, you can have victory over church divisions by growing in grace the way God intended.  His Spirit power lives within you – just tap into it with prayer and daily study of God’s Word.

May your walk with Christ be guided by His Living Spirit and thank you for following Importantstuff.live!

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My Friend The Immigrant

Read Hebrews chapter 11

My friend immigrated to the United States many years ago.  He fled his country of origin, which is communistic and primarily atheistic.  His faith is Russian Orthodox.

While wandering through Europe broke and starving, my friend enlisted in the U.S. military through a program that offered legal U.S. citizenship for military service – so he is a Russian Orthodox legal immigrant, a U.S. citizen, and a veteran.

Along the way of his life he moved to Alaska, married, and raised a family.  He has children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  He built a business with nothing more than motivation and hard work, as he had no investment capital. He is far beyond typical retirement age and is still actively running the business.  Although he has some medical issues as do most seniors, he has not used his veteran’s medical benefits his entire life until just recently.  So he is a Russian Orthodox legal immigrant, a U.S. citizen, a veteran, an employer, a senior taxpayer, and a family man.

My friend’s brother complained that things were better back in the Old Country of their origins.

My friend offered, “I will buy you a one-way ticket back there today so you can leave the USA and be happier in the Old Country”.

His brother did not accept the kind offer of my friend, the Russian Orthodox-legal immigrant-patriotic U.S. citizen-veteran-employer-senior taxpayer-generous family man.

So why am I telling this story about my friend, the immigrant?

Because it reminded me of Someone Else; I have another Great Friend, Who was also an Immigrant.  He was a Foreigner who was the King of Heaven (Royalty) who came voluntarily to be born as a poor homeless naked baby in a strange town during tax time.  Only a few shepherds noticed His arrival.  Even though He was the Son of the Living God, His own countrymen rejected Him because He was not of their religion.  So He was Jesus Christ, the Promised Messiah, Son of the Living God (Founder and Head of the Christian Church), Legal Immigrant and World Citizen (Creator of All), who generously died for the sins of His followers (Veteran of All Wars) who He lovingly called His brothers (Family Man), and, oh yes! – Carpenter (Employed Taxpayer).

Jesus died so God’s children (the Church) would have a free one-way ticket to the Old Country (Heaven) where we truly will be happier than here in the good old USA or any other location on earth.  I am thankful that He so generously offered to redeem me from my sin and reward me with eternity in Heaven – something undeserved nor earned.  I accept the free gift Jesus offered to me by just believing in Him.  I know I will see Him in Heaven when my time on earth is done.  He will call me home and there will be no immigrants there – just holy citizens where Jesus will not be ashamed to be called their God.

Thank You Jesus, my Best Friend the Immigrant!  Thank you for loving me enough to die for me so I can live in Heaven with You forever.  I love you back.

But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them. ~ Hebrews 11:16 NASB