Biblical Prophecy Update: 1/12/20

Almost every week after listening to one of J.D.s prophecy updates, I think to myself: “Oh, this was the best update, yet!” I actually think they just keep getting better because we just keep getting closer to our Lord’s appearing. However, I do think this is one of those weeks you don’t want to miss.

So, I want to encourage you to make time to listen to this week’s Biblical Prophecy Update from Pastor J.D Farag (Calvary Chapel Kaneohe). J.D.’s stays focused, is concise, avoids political opinions, shares relevant news events our media may not report, and then applies the Word of God to it all. He isn’t trying to sell anything, and never asks for contributions.

NOTE: At about 14:00, he presents his “Prophecy Puzzle.” Be sure to watch this section. It’s very good, and ends at about 26:00.

God bless you all today!

Quotes to Consider: Love Is

1 Corinthians 13:4-7, CJB

Love
is patient
and kind,
not jealous,
not boastful,
not proud, rude or selfish,
not easily angered,

and it keeps no record of wrongs.

Love
does not gloat over other people’s sins
but takes its delight in the truth.

Love
always bears up,
always trusts,

always hopes,
always endures.

LOVE IS square

Don’t Trust the Devil with your Kids

TobyMac is a Christian musician. Our family has enjoyed his music for many, many years. He was the founder of the group D.C Talk, which was a groundbreaking Christian group in the 1990’s. His impact on contemporary Christian music can’t be overstated. His impact on the industry must be respected. He influenced many musical artists.

One artist he influenced was his first born son, Truett, whom he would have rap little bits in his songs over the years. We all got to hear Truett grow-up on his father’s albums, and eventually he began to make music of his own. Eventually, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in secular music.

Things weren’t going very well for Truett personally, though. In 2018, TobyMac released a song dedicated to Truett called “Scars.” The song was inspired by the changes he was witnessing in his son, and in their relationship. He tried to accept that these trials were just a part of the growth process.

“He moved to L.A. and he’s making music and he’s doing his thing,” TobyMac told The Tennessean last October of the song’s inspiration “But to watch him go through that, and watch him get bruised, it’s not easy. So that’s one of the ways life has changed. In that song, I just want him to know he’s not alone.”^

The lyrics to “Scars” are painful to read. They speak of a son who is falling deeper and deeper into the world, while his father tries desperately to reason away his son’s choices and somehow stay connected to him. You can read the lyrics here: SCARS

Just over a year after he released “Scars,” and just after Truett’s music seemed to find an audience, tragedy struck. A few months ago, Truett, who was 21, was found dead in his parents’ home. It isn’t yet known how he died*, though it has been reported as cardiac arrest. The autopsy was completed a few days ago, but toxicology test results will take more time.*^.


This week, TobyMac released a new song that speaks to this heartbreaking loss and his life-changing grief.

“Writing this song felt like an honest confession of the questions, pain, anger, doubt, mercy and promise that describes the journey I’m probably only beginning. One thing I know is that I am not alone. God didn’t promise us a life of no pain or even tragic death, but He did promise He would never leave us or forsake us. And I’m holding dearly to that promise for my son as well as myself.”^

This poor family. My heart aches for them. 

I think TobyMac, his wife, and their family would appreciate you saying a prayer for them. They are wearing heavy, heavy boots right now.  ❤


“21 Years”
by TobyMac

Woke up cuz the light poured in
Day 2 let the flood begin
Day 1 left me in my bed
I can barely remember it
Heart shattered in a thousand ways
They tell me pain gonna come in waves
They tell me I’m gonna be okay
I’m still waiting for the first to breakWhy would You give and then take him away
Suddenly end could You not let it fade
What I would give for a couple of days
A couple of days

Is it just across the Jordan
Or a city in the stars
Are you singing with the angels
Are you happy where you are
Well until this show is over
And you run into my arms
God has you in heaven
But I have you in my heart

I just can’t make sense of this
Everything is so dissonant
Somebody said he was meant for this
But I’m just straight missing him
I wanna wake up to your laugh at 2
Catch you when you steal my shoes
Say good morning, afternoon
Talk you through those “Alex blues”
Listen to your latest beats
Talk about what the lyrics mean
Venmo you another loan
See you do your second show

You said you’d turn, you would turn it around
Thought that you had time to straighten it out
Told me that you were my prodigal son
But this isn’t home

Is it just across the Jordan
Or a city in the stars
Are you singing with the angels
Are you happy where you are
Well until this show is over
And you run into my arms
God has you in heaven
But I have you in my heart

I have you in my heart

Did he see You from a long way off
Running to him with a Father’s heart
Did You wrap him up inside Your arms
And let him know, that he’s home

Did he see You from a long way off
Running to him with a Father’s heart
Did You wrap him up inside Your arms
And let him know, that he’s home

Is it just across the Jordan
Or a city in the stars
Are you singing with the angels
Are you happy where you are
Well until this show is over
And you run into my arms
God has you in heaven

21 years makes a man full-grown
21 years, what a beautiful loan
21 years, I love everyone
Thank you, Lord, for my beautiful son

^ Source: https://people.com/music/singer-and-songwriter-emisunshine-says-going-viral-for-yodeling-was-weird/

*This post was updated on 1/12/20 to correct cause of death. https://www.tennessean.com/story/entertainment/music/2019/10/24/tobymacs-son-death-what-we-know-about-truett-mckeehan-in-nashville/4083242002/

*^https://radaronline.com/videos/tobymac-christian-rapper-son-dead-autopsy-complete-toxicology-underway-truett-mckeehan/

Every Tool in the Box

“Oh, no.”

I could hear from the tone of the Saxophone Player’s voice that something really bad had just happened. 

Doug was installing a new shower head we’d received for Christmas,  when the water pipe that pokes out from the shower wall broke off right into his hand. It didn’t unscrew off, mind you. It was sheared right at the point where the threading starts and it screws into another pipe.

This was not good.

Doug texted our son-in-law, and asked if he could check it out the next day. Tim’s a handy fellow, and conveniently lives in the upstairs apartment. So, the next afternoon Tim came down with a pair of pliers in hand. I was surprised he only had a pair of pliers. I imagined the tub wall would have to be opened to get to the rest of pipe, and said so to Tim.

Cheerfully, (he’s a pretty upbeat guy) he said, “Well, maybe not. If I can remove the rest of the pipe, we shouldn’t have to open up the wall.” He explained that he’d checked on the situation earlier, before leaving for work, but the pliers he had used didn’t do the trick. “Hopefully, this pair will work.”

I went back to what I was doing (making applesauce), while he did his thing. About a minute later, he calls out: “I got it!”

“Oh, really?”

“Yeah, thanks to my grandfather’s pliers.” He laid them down to show me. “I couldn’t find them this morning, but I had a feeling they would do the trick.”

There are lots of pliers in the world, and they all work just fine, but that particular pair was just what Tim needed for that particular job.

I don’t use pliers often, but I use other tools. We all do. Some tools we reach for everyday, and some maybe only once a year. However, even that tool you only use once a year, like the hacksaw that Doug uses to make a fresh cut on our Christmas tree, is irreplaceable. Nothing else can do what it does. 

As I thought about tools, and how thoughtfully designed and carefully crafted they are for their particular purpose, I started to think about us—you and me. We’re actually tools, too. We were thoughtfully designed and carefully crafted, too. And, the Master Craftsman who designed us created us for a very particular purpose. 

Stop and think about that.

Now, no analogy is perfect, but I think there’s a measure of truth here. The Word of God tells us that we are gifted by God with certain talents: something we can do. These aren’t always talents like we normally think of talents—performance talents. It might be a talent for bringing order to chaos. Or, maybe you can turn a carrot and an egg it into a tasty and beautiful birthday cake. Maybe, you aren’t a singer, but you can make the singer’s voice heard above the drums in a room filled with 1,000 people.

As many tools are in any toolbox or kitchen drawer, it’s still just a drop in the bucket of how many different talents God has gifted His creation—you and me. Whether we have several, or have trouble thinking of even one, I can promise you that God has given you a talent, and He means for you to use it for the very purpose He intended.

So, what’s your talent? Does something come to mind? If you’re like I used to be, you might feel too insecure to say what you think your talent is, and that’s OK. I would probably still have a hard time admitting out loud that I have a talent for doing anything more than making gravy, and when I was younger—and so much more insecure—that’s the only talent I thought I had to offer the Lord. I baked cookies for the homeless, I cooked for church suppers, and I took meals to the sick. I took the only talent I thought I had, and used it every chance I could. As I kept serving the Lord with the talent I had, and doing anything else for the Lord—including things I was definitely not talented at doing—I discovered and acquired other talents.

Now, a reasonable question right now might be, “How do I find out what my talents are, and what God’s purpose is for my talent?”

Well, this is my simple answer: first, start doing whatsoever your hand finds to do for the Lord.

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.” Ecclesiastes 9:10 (NKJV)

That’s one reason we need to be in church. In church, there are so many opportunities to serve God. Some opportunities might not sound very appealing. Or, we might be tempted to say, “I don’t think I have a talent for that.” Yet, as we start doing whatsoever our hand finds to do, we start to discover there are some things we’re actually really good at, and really enjoy doing. That’s a good sign. Our leaders are going to recognize our talents, too. We might not think we’ve a talent for something, because we compare ourselves to others, but our leaders can be more objective.

Now, your next reasonable question might be: “How will I know God’s purpose for my talent?” That answer is even simpler that the last answer. The ultimate purpose for any talent is that it glorify God.

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NKJV)

Now, if we happen to attend a church that doesn’t have many opportunities, we can ask our pastor to help us find a local ministry that needs help. However, I suspect most pastors will have something for a willing person to do. We might start serving in just a small way, or in a way we really don’t think is using our talent (or that we are talented at doing), but that’s how God leads us to those works that He has prepared in advance for us to do. 

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10 (NKJV)

Start doing something, and see what God does next. 

 

 

Did Michelle Williams Just Eviscerate the Pro-Choice Movement, or Was That My Imagination?

Did Michelle Williams just eviscerate the Pro-Choice movement, or was that my imagination?

  • Did she just say that her abortions were elective, not for the safety of the mother or because the child was at risk?
  • Did she just say that she needed abortions, so that she could have unprotected intercourse with anyone at anytime? In other words, that she used her abortions as a form of birth control?
  • Did she just say she aborted her babies so that she could make even more money, and be even more successful, not because a child would force her into poverty?
  • Did she just say she had abortions for all the reasons the Pro-Choice movement tells us aren’t the real reasons we need to keep abortion legal?

Or, was that my imagination?

No. No, I think I heard correctly. I think she was pretty clear. Maybe, that’s why half the women they showed on camera looked so uncomfortable, because she decided to pull a Ricky Gervais and tell some uncomfortable truths.

lifechoices ig

 

On A Road That Faith Built

I sent a press release to the Portland Press Herald, when my mother decided to make a trip to Africa in 2000. I thought it might make an interesting story, and they agreed. They sent a photographer and reporter, and this is the resulting article, written by C. Kalimah Redd and published on November 11, 2000. For the record, the writer got a few facts wrong. We’ll ignore those for now.

Following the article are a few photos from her trip. On the day before her flight, Stella was hurrying downstairs to give Doug some information he needed to arrange the transportation of the three keyboards she was taking with her for the churches there. As she came downstairs, she missed a step and seriously injured her leg. We really thought she should cancel her trip, but she refused to do so. She even extended her trip, despite the pain and challenges she encountered once she was there. 

My mother was always a role model for me in life, but even in death she continues to remind me how to live.


ON A ROAD THAT FAITH BUILT
Author: C. Kalimah Redd

The Rev. Stella L. Mosqueda lives in pain.

A leg problem forces this 69-year-old Kittery resident to walk with a cane (though she walks an hour every day), and the severe arthritis in her joints has long slowed her down. But these things will not prevent her from stepping on a plane Wednesday for a two-day journey to Webuye, Kenya. There, she will work as a missionary and preach for a month.

“If an opportunity comes up for me to do something , even though other people think I can’t do it, well — I’m Irish, and I can,” she said. “I’m stubborn and independent. I have no interest in doing the same thing every day.”

Mosqueda (pronounced Mos-ke-da), who technically retired from the ministry in the mid-1980s after her husband died, has lived a life reminiscent of a Hollywood script: A farmer’s daughter moves to Cuba as a missionary without knowing a word of Spanish, meets and marries a Cuban evangelical preacher, escapes the county during the 1959 revolution, then travels throughout South America and the United States championing missionary causes while raising three girls.

Steven Spielberg, eat your heart out.

But Mosqueda’s life is no fable, and her journey next week to the east African country represents a lifetime commitment to helping others. Her faith, she says, tells her that she will blend in and love the people there, that everything will be all right.

“God really has been good to me,” she said. “It’s easy for me to love people, so I expect to have the same result in the Kenya.”

Years ago, it was Mosqueda’s faith that led her to the decision that would change her life forever.

Then Stella Cooper, she left her house in Columbus, Ohio, for Miami, against her parents’ wishes and with less than $10 in her pocket. She had a one-way ticket to Cuba.

Until then, at 21, Mosqueda had never left her home state and had never even met a Spanish-speaking person. She grew up on a farm with no electricity, the fourth of 11 children. Her family had gone to the small church closest to her home and only once had she spoken from a pulpit, when she was 9 years old and was called upon to read from the Bible.

One day, Mosqueda briefly met with a Cuban missionary who came to visit her church. They kept in contact and he invited her to join his family in the tiny country to work as a missionary.

“I knew nothing about being a missionary but figured there are things that I could do, and those I didn’t know, I would learn,” Mosqueda recalled.

Getting to Cuba was the first challenge. It was 1952, and no one could enter the country with a one-way ticket, she said. The airport clerk receiving Mosqueda saw the discrepancy after first questioning why “a pretty girl like” her wanted to go to Cuba.
Telling the clerk of her goal to be a missionary produced an unlikely outcome: He paid for her two-way ticket in full.

Upon arriving in Cuba, she could not remember what her Cuban visitor looked like and she could not speak Spanish to ask. Luckily (Mosqueda would say miraculously) she ran into another missionary woman from Ohio who led her to the missionary’s home.

Within six months, Mosqueda had control of Spanish and began working throughout the country teaching children and spreading the gospel of the Pentecostal church.

In 1955, she married Ignacio Mosqueda, and the two canvassed the country preaching and establishing churches. Many of these congregations still operate today.

By 1959, the Cuban revolution was in full swing. Ignacio knew Fidel Castro personally, but that connection did not mean he and his wife had less to fear from an unpredictable government. The Mosquedas escaped the country that year by disguising themselves as tourists, donning colorful clothing, sun glasses and a camera while boarding a government plane. “I was shaking like a leaf,” Mosqueda remembered. “I could hardly get on that plane.”

Safely in America, the couple continued their missionary crusade. They lived in or traveled to Puerto Rico, Mexico, Costa Rica, Hawaii and throughout the United States. They settled in California, where they raised their three daughters and Stella Mosqueda received a bachelor’s degree from Latin American Theology Seminary.

Mosqueda’s husband died in 1986 of a heart attack, and she returned to nursing to support her children. In 1997, she moved to Kittery with her eldest daughter, Caroline. There, she has enjoyed helping to raise her two grandchildren and volunteering in the community.

Less than one year ago, she joined the Dover Church of the Assembly of God in New Hampshire, where she occasionally preaches. Her pastor, Glenn Hurley, 32, said he is in no way surprised by Mosqueda’s desire to travel to Africa, and he is confident her journey will be a success.

“It’s years and years of trusting God and years and years of Him supplying the need,” Glenn said. “Once you learn it, you never go back.”

For her part, Mosqueda hopes to go back to Cuba to visit her family still living there soon. After her return in December from Africa, Mosqueda will likely tutor a Latin American family in English. She is considering avoiding the cold Maine winter by visiting one of her other daughters in Florida.

Mosqueda said she has no plans for any more big trips. Her physical limitations and increasing age turn simple tasks like packing into a major chore. “(But) who knows,” Mosqueda said. “My life is open.”

Copyright (c) 2000 Portland Press Herald


If anyone is interested, I would be happy to scan and share the rest of her photos from Africa. These are just the few that included her.

120 Hours & Counting

I’m 120 hours and 18 minutes into the new year, as I begin this blog post.  I am asking myself, “Am I making the most of my new year, so far?” I don’t really know, but I believe in being merciful with ourselves.

I’m not one for resolutions (I don’t even like the word), but I do have some objectives in 2020.

  1. Rest more.
  2. Make more.
  3. Pray a lot more. 
  4. Write more.
  5. Think more.

Pretty boring, but it is what it is right now. How about you? ❤

In Case You Missed Them

These are the two videos I mentioned in yesterday’s post. In case you missed them, or couldn’t find them, I am posting them here. 

Amir’s updates are very informative. He often fills in the blanks that we might have in our understanding. He is a teacher, and it shows in his updates. His updates offer a unique perspective, as he is a Christian Israeli and Bible prophecy teacher.

JD Farag is a pastor, and that is evident in how he communicates his updates. He speaks with a great concern for his congregation in the church, and online. 

 

P.S. I don’t listen to JD Farag’s regular sermons or teaching to his congregation, but I do listen to Amir Tsafarti’s teachings that he presents around the world. I would recommend every single one I’ve ever heard.

#2020YearOfPrayer

In November, I began having these moments where I thought it was already January 2020, and I was looking back at November, remembering it as thought it had already happened. This kept happening. It felt so real, that it was already January.

As the days turned into December, I kept having this experience, thinking it was already January 2020. It was such a strange experience, that I decided maybe the Holy Spirit was trying to draw my attention to January. I started to pray about January. I started to pray for our country, the Body of Christ, Israel, the Middle East, the world, the lost. I felt especially burdened for our country, and for the Body of Christ in America. I don’t feel afraid, but concerned. Can anyone relate? I don’t know if what’s happening in the Middle East right now is what I was praying about, but I can say I am definitely praying about it now.

  • If you are curious to know what is happening in the Middle East, I would encourage you to listen to Amir Tsafarti’s updates. He will be broadcasting a special update on Sunday. Amir is an Israeli citizen and Christian Jew. He teaches on Bible prophecy, and brings a unique perspective to Middle East events. Here is the link to his website: Behold Israel. I believe his update on January 5th will be very important. If you do not watch it live, be sure to check out his YouTube channel. It will be posted there. The link is: Middle East Updates
  • Pastor J.D. Farag posts a Bible prophecy update most weeks, and I expect his update tomorrow will be very informative. J.D. is a Christian Arab who pastors a Calvary Chapel church in Hawaii. His updates usually land on YouTube about 4PM EST. This is the link to his Bible prophecy updates on YouTube: Pastor J.D.

Wearing Heavy Boots

A post about grieving, originally published 2/22/13. 


Life has been different lately.

Seven-and-a-half weeks ago, my mother passed away. Really hard to even say that, much less write it. I hate that this happened. It’s actually been rather debilitating. I am, however, finally beginning to accept that she really is gone.

It’s been hard. She and I lived together almost my entire life. And, we were close. We weren’t the ‘best friends’ kind of Mom and Daughter, so we weren’t close like that. It was more like she was my hero. As I have passed these weeks since she has been gone, I’ve realized how often my decisions were all about pleasing her. Will Mother like this? Her satisfaction, her happiness, her contentment, her needs being met—this was a primary focus of my life.

Now, that she is not here to please, I’ve been pretty unmotivated. It’s been hard. I’ve done better the past week (obviously, because I am blogging), but it’s been a slow process.

Well, maybe not that slow. I mean, it’s not even been two months, you know? Seriously. Should I be expected to recover from that kind of loss in just a few weeks? I don’t know. I do keep wondering, though, how she would be handling this—or, what she would say if she was here, watching me. What if Doug had died first, and she was here watching me mourn his loss by wasting away my life doing nothing? I think she would have gotten pretty irritated at me.

So, I am trying to balance these things. I do wish someone could tell me how long it takes to move on. I am kind of legalistic that way. I follow instructions well. But, there don’t seem to be rules for this kind of thing. I googled it, and just found a lot of nothing. Basically, it can take forever to recover. Do I have forever?

Doug reminded me of something I said after I found out I had cancer. I talked about how much I wanted to be a faithful steward of the time the Lord had given me, and how much it grieved me to think that if I died in surgery and all I’d have to show for myself was what I had done up until then, that I would have been disappointed in what I would have to offer the Lord when I met Him face to face. It’s kind of hard to regain that kind of passion, once you lose it—or lay it down at the alter of self-indulgence.

And, that’s what I am beginning to fear, that I am becoming self-indulgent in my grief, and I hate that thought. Self-indulgence is such a sinful thing.

I do excuse myself a bit, in that caring for my Mother was my occupation for several years, and this past year it was a 24/7 job. So, I have lost more than just my Mother; I have lost a big part of my identity. You know what I mean? I was a caregiver. That became my job description. I woke up everyday with a Mother-centered purpose. I had things I had to do—someone depending on me to do them. Life and death dependence. And, now? Not so much. This is kind of challenging. A lot challenging.

Yet, I think of her and I remember her life, and I know she would be very displeased with some of my choices these past two months. I mean, seven-and-a-half weeks. She would appreciate my missing her, but then she would say, “Stop crying for me! I’m with Jesus. I’m with my friends. I’m having a great time! And, I have no pain. I don’t have to get shots, or take pills. I’m dancing with Jesus, Caroline. I’m OK! You’re the one you should be crying for right now. Look at you, wasting those two good legs and that strong mind and that lovely home. Get busy. Make me proud!”

It’s so hard to let go. To let go of grief. To let go of her. To let go of that life. I had no idea what her death would mean. When she died, I was just so relieved her suffering was over. This is still the hardest memory, remembering the pain in her face, the fear in her eyes. I still can’t bear the thought without so much pain and sadness. I hate how much she suffered. The last month was the very worst. It was so hard to know how hard it was for her—and I didn’t even really know. Just how miserable was she? My heart aches from the thought. I just want to comfort her and relieve that pain—

This is the hardest thing.

I couldn’t relieve her suffering. I couldn’t do anything for her, to make it better. I tried, but who knows if it really helped? And, I can’t stop thinking of all the things I could have done, or maybe, should have done. This is hard. The Lord is good, though. He reminds me each time of all the other times she recovered. She didn’t get better, because I did everything right. Her life was never really in my hands; it was always in His. In the end, her death was more merciful than it might have been any other time. I would have preferred it go differently, but is there a better way to die? Is death ever easy?

So, I am challenged. Very challenged. I need to move on, but these are such heavy boots. The sadness is still so great. Why aren’t I rejoicing in her triumph over sickness and eternal death? I seem to prefer feeling sorry for myself, which I disrespect so much. I don’t want to be that kind of person. I don’t want to be the hostess of my own personal pity party. I want to remember my Mother well. I want to honor her life. I want to celebrate her victory.

I have been reading a book called “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” by Jonathan Safran Foer. I began the book a long time ago, but picked it up in earnest after Mother died. It is the story of a boy whose father dies on 9/11. This author seems to understand grief and sadness very well.

“I didn’t understand why I needed help, because it seemed to me that you should wear heavy boots when your dad dies, and if you aren’t wearing heavy boots, then you need help.”

The sun will be down soon. I am trying to do things I couldn’t do before, and walking each day is one of them. So, I need to go.

You know, when the freezing cold wind hits my face, and I keep walking, I know there is a little bit of the best of my Mother in me. I want to build on that.