We need the Apocalypse (Book of Revelation)

 

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing. 2Timothy 4:8

BookCoverImage for A moment in timeWell, I’m at it again—trying to take off those extra pounds that crept back on throughout the winter months; however, this time is different.  There’s no wedding or graduation on the horizon to motive me to do this.  There’s no scheduled doctor’s appointment looming in the near future.  It’s just time to do it, and to be quite honest, I’m not sure that I will be successful without those deadlines!  I’m really a deadline person.

The Apocalypse—the word exudes doom and horror!  It means disaster, catastrophe, destruction.  To the world, it is Judgement Day or Armageddon.  The Book of Revelation often takes that name as well, and rightly so—Revelation 1: 1 begins with these words: The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass…  And if you’ve have read any of the last book of the Bible, then you know that there’s a lot of doom and destruction written in its twenty-two chapters.

Does the knowledge of those prophecies help us to live a better Christian life? I mean, as Christians, the doom and gloom are not for us but for those who are left behind at Jesus’ Coming.  So, it’s not the doom that pushes the born-again believer, but the thought of seeing our God and Savior face to face which prompts us to live a life that pleases Him.  You remember that feeling: Dad and Mom have gone out and left specific instructions for you—the list!  You look at the clock and figure how long it will take to get the jobs done, and then either you choose to do the jobs first OR (most likely), you do what you want to do until the absolute least amount of time is left to finish the list!

The problem with Jesus’ return is that there’s no clock, not even a calendar to go by.  Paul and the other apostles looked for Him to return in their lifetime, and here we are, over two thousand years later, doing the same thing!  Did God not disclose the time and date of His appearing because He wanted to keep us on our toes?  I think not.  He created us; He knows us; He is constantly doing what is best for us.  We walk by faith, and if He gave us the due date, that would take a huge part of our faith out of the equation.

Reading about the Rapture and what it may be like should sharpen our desire to live for God, as well as hone our desperation to parent godly children and polish our vision to reach the lost.

In A Moment in Time, Carrie Spangler, a pastor’s daughter, has heard all her life BookCoverImage (1)that Jesus was coming; she just didn’t think He would come when He did. What was she doing?  Was
she looking for His return?  Not in the least.  She was busy living her life the way she wanted to live it.  She disregarded the years of Bible teaching which she had received at church and at her Christian school.  Notice, I didn’t say in her home.  The following is an excerpt from Chapter Five which gives us a glimpse into the Spangler household, but before you read it, may I give you several reasons why I wrote the Strong Delusion Trilogy(Book One: A Moment in Time; Book Two, Angel of Light; Book Three: Thy Kingdom Come):

  1. To see life through the eyes of a troubled “Christian” girl
  2. To learn about the End Times from a layman’s point of view
  3. To gain a burden for the lost
  4. To take a “salvation” check
  5. To understand the Lost’s way of thinking
  6. To be entertained

Chapter Five excerpt:

Betty turned to face him, propping herself on one elbow. “Charles, how do you think [Carrie’s] doing spiritually?”

The question hung in the air for a moment before he found the answer, “I guess that’s your department.” He sighed deeply. “Betty, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I can successfully lead ten pastors in an area-wide revival, pastor a church of six hundred, and run a Christian school, but I can’t talk to my own daughter. I guess I just don’t understand girls.”

“Don’t say that, Charles. I’m afraid for her. I’m not even sure that she’s saved.”

“But she said she was, and every time it comes up, she’s defending her decision.”

“That’s just it, that’s why I wonder if she really is. And we never talk about spiritual things with her.”

“Yes we do,” he said defensively. “At dinner, we often talk about…”

“…about church activities.”

“Yes, but we talk about what God is doing.”

We talk, Charles, but does she?” Betty could hear the hall clock ticking as Charles mulled the words over in his mind.

“Can’t you talk to her?” he asked.

“I’ve tried. I think I was getting somewhere tonight until you walked in.”  It was a simple statement, but it charged the room with energy by all the messages it carried.

“You always make it sound like it’s my fault.” The defenses were up.

“Charles. You come floating into the room on your own pride and never even see…,” but she didn’t get to finish.  Betty knew she had said too much.

“How dare you,” he shot back, getting off the bed and pacing the floor.

Carrie heard the conversation escalating and went to her door, cracking it just enough to catch their voices.

“Charles, I’m sorry; I’m just so worried. But I shouldn’t have said that.” She came around the bed to him, but he wasn’t ready to give in that easily.

Carrie could see the scene in her mind, and it sickened her. Dad is huffing and puffing while Mom grovels at his feet.  I hate him!

“Charles. Let’s not fight,” Betty whispered realizing how loud their voices had become. She reached up and ran her fingers down his arm, squeezing his hand. She knew how to melt him. He was a good man, and she loved him so!

 

A Moment in Time is fiction but it is not a fairy tale in which everyone lived happily ever after.  This book was written with a heart and burden for Christian families.  It was written for us to take a good hard look at what is really going on in our homes and in the hearts and minds of our children.

Jesus is coming—we know that.  A Moment in Time just put’s it into a realistic setting.  What if He did come back right now, today?  Where would our children and grandchildren be?  Would we be glad to see Him?  What will it be like?   None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.  My prayer is that the

None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.  My prayer is that the Strong Delusion trilogy will help my readers to see the End Times events just a bit clearer and perhaps encourage them to take a look inside themselves as well.  It’s an exciting book—the plot continues to thicken until we reach the ultimate climax, and the characters are real, but that’s not the point.  Reading even a Christian novel gains merit when we take the lessons sewn into the fabric of the content and apply them to our hearts.

 

Advertisements

He IS Coming!!!!

Today!! He is coming today!  Today, I will see him.  TODAY, I will hold him!  This is the day that I’ve been waiting for for forty-one days, or nine hundred eighty-four hours, or fifty-nine thousand forty minutes.  Count it anyway you wish, but today is the day!  Today, I meet Caleb Thomas MacAvoy, face to face.  I’ve heard his cry, I’ve seen his picture, I’ve even facetimed his little face, but what is that but a very dim shadow of human touch?
Caleb is our youngest son and his sweet wife’s newborn, and he arrived on Christmas day!  What a joy! Because of several circumstances, we have not seen him yet. It really didn’t matter how much we wanted to see him, it just didn’t happen.  It probably could have happened, but life is full of choices, and no matter how much we would like for a circumstance to be different—a loved one suffering with an incurable disease, a wayward child, a stolen credit card—there are times when we must accept our situation as the will of God.  Does that make us like it any better? Honestly?  Probably not, but it does give us a sure footing amidst the storm of emotions which swirl around us! Of course, the challenge is there:

 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.Philippians 4:11

So, what am I doing to get ready?  In a moment, I’ll begin cleaning.  Then I’ll wash the dog.  I’ll save my favorite task for last: cooking!  I’ll bake a pie and slay the fatted calf (actually the fatted pig) and prepare for not only Caleb, but the beloved couple whom we haven’t seen since Thanksgiving.  Is this a happy day? Absolutely! Are we anticipating a wonderful weekend?  Yes!  Are there any trials surrounding their coming?  More than you can imagine, but today it doesn’t matter!  Today, they just keep getting closer and closer! All day, I’ll be playing that first moment of laying my eyes on my youngest grandson for the first time. And when it finally happens, I’ll probably blubber all over the place!

Jesus us coming.  And here’s the challenge, short and sweet because I’ve got lots to do!  Are you looking forward to His coming?  Of seeing Him face to face for the first time?  Can you even imagine it?  Does it send goosebumps down your spine just thinking about it?  Are you getting ready, because when He comes, there will be no more preparing.  This life, which He so graciously gave us, and then so sacrificially and miraculously redeemed with His own blood, will be our gift back to Him.  Everything we do with these hands, everywhere we go with these feet, everything these eyes watch and these ears hear is either preparing a better gift for Him or destroying it.

He is coming!

 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.  And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. Matthew 25:7,8

What’s Missing?

I always loved these drawings that have subtle differences, and your task is to find them!  It reminds me of these two verses in Joshua, except the differences aren’t too subtle!

But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the LORD charged you,

  • to love the LORD your God,
  • and to walk in all his ways,
  • and to keep his commandments,
  • and to cleave unto him,
  • and to serve him

with all your heart and with all your soul.:

Joshua 22:5

And the people said unto Joshua, The LORD our God

  • will we serve,
  • and his voice will we obey.

Joshua 24: 24

Do you see what is missing and what is added?  In Joshua 23 and 24, Joshua is giving the Israelites his farewell speech. He’s old and he knows his time has ended.  We often quote Joshua 24:15 and hang on our walls:

…choose you this day whom ye will serve… but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

The question is not ARE we choosing to serve God, but HOW are we serving Him.  We want to be successful in our walk with the Lord.  We want to please Him, but so often, it just isn’t the case.  The world comes crashing in around us demanding our attention.  Good activities and programs seem impossible to ignore, even though we cringe and hate the fact that perfect attendance is required and their meetings push into Sunday and Wednesday night.

How can we do it?  How can we know that we are doing the right thing?  Well, I’m sharing this because it’s been so heavy on my heart, and the Lord has really been pounding me on it!

IT’S THE HEART! IT’S THE HEART! IT’S THE HEART!

Joshua is at the end of an incredible journey.  He knew slavery. He remembered the sting of the taskmaster’s whip! He SAW the Red Sea part and drank the sweetened waters of Marah.  He ate the manna and begged, cried, and wept when the other ten spies gave their evil report.  His heart ached for his leader as he watched him ascend Mt. Pisgah and gaze longingly into the Promised Land—a land he would never enter!

And now Joshua’s done.  Over and over, he urges the Israelites to do right, make right choices, have the right kind of heart.  And their response is this: We will serve. We will obey.  YIKES!  Something was missing!  Something very important: loving, walking, cleaving, and keeping!

Dear Christian, dear born-again believer, check your heart.  Without a whole-hearted love for God, service becomes drudgery and you may find yourself walking away from it.  Your walk becomes an uphill battle, and you don’t even understand cleaving.  Keeping the “law” becomes just that!  It turns into a bunch of “dos and don’ts” instead of a holy garment of praise.

Cleave – to cling closely, steadfastly, or faithfully to somebody or something.  If you have ever been a nursery worker, you understand cleaving, as you try to pry that child out of his mother’s arms!  He has a death grip on her clothing, and he’s not letting go—at least, not without a lot of kicking and crying!

How is my cleaving?  Am I holding on to God for dear life? It started with faith (Forsaking All I Trust Him). I may not have seen the yawning abyss at the edge of my cliff of pride or self-righteousness—the edge which dropped off into an eternal hell, but if I had, I would have clung or cleaved? or clove? or clave? to my precious Savior!

And am I still cleaving?  Is He so precious that I want Him more than anything else in this world?

Today, I offer you A Moment in Time for free.  What does that have to do with cleaving?  Well, I often shake my head in wonder and ask my daughter this question: Why did you and your brothers turn out?  Why do you love the Lord when so many pastors are losing their kids to the world?  She always says the same thing.  “Mom, you and Dad were genuine in your love for God and your service to Him.  It wasn’t just a show, but what Dad preached, you both lived at home.” Please know, it is not any credit to us, but all to the Lord!

The side-by-side drawings look so much alike, just like so many Christians.  They sit together in church, perhaps in the same class at the Christian school, but there’s something drastically different!  You may not be able to see the heart, but God does.

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, check out A Moment in Time is all about “What’s Missing.” In it, you’ll find an all too realistic side-by-side-drawing:  One pastor’s daughter, Carrie Spangler, who looked the part, and another, Esther Fleming, who lived it.

We Need the Apocalypse!

 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing 2 Timothy 4:8

Well, I’m at it again—trying to take off those extra pounds that crept back on throughout the winter months; however, this time is different.  There’s no wedding or graduation on the horizon to motivate me to do this.  There’s no scheduled doctor’s appointment looming in the near future.  It’s just time to do it, and to be quite honest, I’m not sure that I will be successful without those deadlines!  I’m really a deadline person.

The Apocalypse—the word exudes doom and horror!  It means disaster, catastrophe, destruction.  To the world, it is Judgement Day or Armageddon.  The Book of Revelation often takes that name as well, and rightly so—Revelation 1: 1 begins with these words: The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass…  And if you’ve have read any of the last book of the Bible, then you know that there’s a lot of doom and destruction written in its twenty-two chapters.

Does the knowledge of those prophecies help us to live a better Christian life? I mean, as Christians, the doom and gloom is not for us but for those who are left behind at Jesus’ Coming.  So, it’s not the doom that prods the born-again believer, but the thought of seeing our God and Savior face to face that prompts us to live a life that pleases Him.  You remember that feeling: Dad and Mom have gone out and left specific instructions for you—the list!  You look at the clock and figure how long it will take to get the jobs done, and then either choose to do the jobs first OR (most likely), you do what you want to do until the absolute least amount of time is left to finish the “to do” list!

The problem with Jesus’ return is that there’s no clock, not even a calendar.  Paul and the other apostles looked for Him to return in their lifetime, and here we are, over two thousand years later, doing the same thing!  Did God not disclose the time and date of His appearing because He wanted to keep us on our toes?  I think not.  He created us; He knows us; He is constantly doing what is best for us.  We walk by faith, and if He gave us the due date, that would take a huge part of our faith out of the equation.

BookCoverImage A MomentA Moment in Time will be FREE on Amazon as an ebook for five days (April 18-22).  So, here’s another reason why you might want to take a look:

Reading about the Rapture and what it may be like sharpens my desire to live for God, hones my desperation to parent godly children, and polishes my vision to reach the lost.

In A Moment in Time, Carrie Spangler, a pastor’s daughter, had heard all her life that Jesus was coming; she just didn’t think He would come when He did. What was she doing?  Was she looking for His return?  Not in the least.  She was busy living her life the way she wanted to live it.  She disregarded the years of Bible teaching which she had received at church and at her Christian school.  Notice, I didn’t say in her home.  The following is an excerpt from Chapter Five which gives us a glimpse into the Spangler household:

Betty turned to face him, propping herself on one elbow. “Charles, how do you think [Carrie’s] doing spiritually?”

               The question hung in the air for a moment before he found the answer, “I guess that’s your department.” He sighed deeply. “Betty, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I can successfully lead ten pastors in an area-wide revival, pastor a church of six hundred, and run a Christian school, but I can’t talk to my own daughter. I guess I just don’t understand girls.”

               “Don’t say that, Charles. I’m afraid for her. I’m not even sure that she’s saved.”

               “But she said she was, and every time it comes up, she’s defending her decision.”

               “That’s just it, that’s why I wonder if she really is. And we never talk about spiritual things with her.”

               “Yes we do,” he said defensively. “At dinner, we often talk about…”

               “…about church activities.”

               “Yes, but we talk about what God is doing.”

               “We talk, Charles, but does she?” Betty could hear the hall clock ticking as Charles mulled the words over in his mind.

               “Can’t you talk to her?” he asked.

               “I’ve tried. I think I was getting somewhere tonight until you walked in.”  It was a simple statement, but it charged the room with energy by all the messages it carried.

               “You always make it sound like it’s my fault.” The defenses were up.

               “Charles. You come floating into the room on your own pride and never even see…,” but she didn’t get to finish.  Betty knew she had said too much.

               “How dare you,” he shot back, getting off the bed and pacing the floor.

               Carrie heard the conversation escalating and went to her door, cracking it just enough to catch their voices.

               “Charles, I’m sorry; I’m just so worried. But I shouldn’t have said that.” She came around the bed to him, but he wasn’t ready to give in that easily.

               Carrie could see the scene in her mind, and it sickened her. Dad is huffing and puffing while Mom grovels at his feet.  I hate him!

               “Charles. Let’s not fight,” Betty whispered realizing how loud their voices had become. She reached up and ran her fingers down his arm, squeezing his hand. She knew how to melt him. He was a good man, and she loved him so!

A Moment in Time is fiction but it is not a fairytale in which everyone lived happily ever after.  This book was written with a heart and burden for Christian families.  It was written for us to take a good hard look at what is really going on in our homes and in our children’s hearts and minds.

Jesus is coming—we know that.  A Moment in Time just puts it into a realistic setting.  What if He did come back right now, today?  Where would our children and grandchildren be?  Would we be glad to see Him?  What will it be like?  Writing these books has sharpened my focus and understanding about the End Times; it also gave me a greater burden for the lost.  None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.  My prayer is that the Strong Delusion trilogy will help my readers to see the End Times events just a bit clearer and perhaps encourage them to take a look inside themselves as well.  It’s an exciting book with an exciting plot and dynamic characters, but that’s not the point.  Reading even a Christian novel gains merit when we take the lessons sown into the fabric of its content and apply them to our hearts.

Seeing Life Through the Eyes of a Troubled Girl

BookCoverImage A MomentFor the next few days, I will try to entice you to get your FREE Kindle copy of A Moment in Time, by giving you several reasons why A Moment in Time may be a good book for you to read.  Honesty may not be the best policy in advertising, but it is my policy!  On April 18-22, A Moment in Time will be available FREE in Kindle form. 

I consider it a great responsibility every time I sit at my computer and pound on the keys. Whether it is for a post or a book, I truly consider it a calling of God, or I would not do it!  So, why should you even consider getting your copy of A Moment in Time? Let me share a corner of my heart concerning these books.

Recently, I talked with someone who had read my book, and the comment was made that the book hit too close to home.  This book was not just written to entertain. I write with a purpose, an overwhelming desire to teach, stretch, urge, grow, challenge, convict . . .  Life isn’t just about entertainment and happiness, so, consider the following:

Reason Number One: See Life Through the Eyes of a Troubled Girl

Carrie Spangler is a pastor’s daughter, but she is troubled by two major thoughts:

  • I was a mistake.
  • Am I really saved.

Perhaps one or both of those thoughts give you panic attacks about yourself or someone you love.  Carrie was not a “planned” pregnancy.  Her two older brothers are out of the house by the time Carrie enters junior high, and she rightly senses that her life is interfering with Pastor Spangler’s ambitions. Unfortunately, Pastor Spangler doesn’t handle the situation well.  Instead of dealing with those thoughts, he tries to override them with activity, not willing to face the truth about his little girl.

Honesty in the home is such a vital aspect of parenting.  When we push our true feelings aside instead of dealing with them Biblically, we have no idea how big the problem will get or the fallout that may occur.  “My daughter would never . . .”  What is your guarantee? If you are basing your security on anything but an honest relationship with Jesus Christ, beware!  Do you know your heart?  Are you speaking the truth there? Is your son or daughter speaking the truth as well?  Notice, I did not ask about their appearance or their actions.  I’ve seen “good” kids cover their true feelings because that’s the example they were shown; and I’ve seen “bad” kids display their actions simply because they are trying to get someone’s–anyone’s attention!

Is A Moment in Time a “how to” book on building relationship?  No, but as you read it, may it challenge you to look inside and take a “truth-test” concerning your walk with Jesus!

What is truth? John 18:38

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.  John 8:32

How about a little taste?

BookCoverImage A MomentHere’s a little sample from ” A Moment in Time,”  if you would like just a sip!  Hopefully, you’ll find it’s “good to the last drop!”

Prologue

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump:

for the trumpet shall sound,

and the dead shall be raised incorruptible,

and we shall be changed.”

 1st Corinthians 15:52

Todd looked on as Carrie crumpled into a heap on the living room floor of her parent’s ranch style home—the only home she had ever known before going to college.

“No… no… NO,” she groaned.  “This can’t be happening.”

There had been an eerie foreboding when Todd and Carrie first heard the local fire company’s alarm sounding, and then the shrill sirens of police cars and ambulances explode all over the city. It seemed odd that so many accidents had happened on the way to her hometown.

“What’s wrong, Carrie,” Todd seemed hesitant to ask.  He had never seen her like this, and he had never been so afraid in all his life.

Carrie rocked back and forth, moaning as Todd knelt beside her. “What is it, babe,” he said as he stroked her hair and rubbed her back.

She looked up at him through mournful eyes. “They’re gone,” she whispered.

“I can see that,” he said almost impatiently. He needed some answers. “Do you think they’ll be back soon?” He watched as the torment turned to hysteria. She laughed as she threw her head back. She pushed him away and rose to walk to the door. She looked across the street as Mr. Baylor came from his house on the corner. He looked up at the sky, then down the street. Carrie quickly ducked behind the door and rolled her eyes.

“You would still be here.” She shook her head, “How many times did Dad witness to you?” she asked aloud but to herself.

Todd vacillated between being peeved that Carrie continued to shut him out and going crazy with the thought that the world was ending and she was losing her mind.

He came toward her, agitation in his voice, “Carrie, will you please tell me what is going on?”

She looked startled to see him, as though she was surprised to be coming back to a reality which included him. Her eyes darted from his face to the family portrait, to him then back to the picture. She sighed as though weighing which words to use. Would she finally tell him the truth about her family? Her gaze dropped to the floor. Another sigh…“The Rapture has taken place and my parents have gone to heaven.”

He looked at her in amazement. What was she saying?  What was she talking about? “The Rapture?” His look broke her heart and maddened her all at the same time. “I don’t know what you are talking about.”

“My parents are Christians. My dad is a pastor.”

He looked at her incredulously, shaking his head in disbelief and walked to the window. As his gaze traveled to the church beside them, he noticed the church’s signboard for the first time. Beneath the name: First Baptist Church was the pastor’s name: Pastor Charles E. Spangler.  Carrie Spangler. It made no sense. He turned to face her, questions written all over his face. “Are you a Christian?”

She rolled her eyes and huffed before spitting out her defiant answer. “No! If I were, then I wouldn’t be here.” Her thoughts flashed back to her fourth-grade classroom. Mrs. Beasley was standing before them, holding up an outdated picture. There were cars crashing and planes flying into buildings. A cemetery with ghost-like beings floating up into the air filled one bottom corner. The plane and the cars had the same beings floating up through the sky; and there above them all was The Man—Jesus was waiting with outstretched hands. Carrie dropped her hands in defeat, and stared into an empty spot on the wall.