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Predictions

5 Sep

My friend Mike Atkinson emailed me (Dawn) some predictions of headlines from the year 2059. Among the predictions:

  • Baby conceived naturally! Scientists stumped. (LOL)
  • Castro finally dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking.
  • George Z. Bush says he will run for President in 2060.
  • Postal Service raises price of first class stamp to $17.89 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesdays only.
  • 85-year, $75.8 billion study:  Diet and exercise is the key to weight loss. [No fooling.]
  • Supreme Court rules punishment of criminals violates their civil rights.
  • Average height of NBA players is now nine feet seven inches.
  • IRS sets lowest tax rate at 75 percent.

I’m not sure whether to laugh or say “ouch” at those predictions ... especially that one about the tax rate!

I read with interest the 29 predictions made by John Elfreth Watkins, Jr.,  in December 1900 in The Ladies Home Journal. Some were right on, such as the fact that wireless telephone and telegraph circuits would span the world, and electricity would be used instead of coal for heating and cooking.No Mosquitos

Others were funny, such as his prediction that there would be no mosquitoes or flies, or that we would eat peas and beans as large as beets, or strawberries as large as apples. Watkins said there would be no “C,” “X,” or Q” in our everyday alphabet; they would be abandoned as unnecessary.

The Bible gives lots of predictions about the future, and students of biblical prophecy have learned to read the “signs” of the End Times.  Even people in the world who do not believe the Bible consider others’ Predictionspredictions, such as the prophecies of Nostradamus or the Mayan calendar and its dire predictions for 2012.

We humans are naturally curious about prophecy and predictions, because we want to know the future ~ we want to be prepared.

But some people are totally preoccupied with predictions out of fear.

Jesus answered the disciples concerns about “the end of the world” in Matthew 24:3-14. He shared various signs and He didn’t paint a pretty picture of things to come, but in the midst of His description, Jesus gave this word of comfort (v. 6): “see to it that you are not alarmed” ~ not frightened or troubled.

This is always the balance of scripture. 2 Timothy 3:1 tells us that “perilous times shall come,” but the Bible also tells us, in 2 Timothy 1:7, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”  We’re not to fear these scary times. We can respond with a calm, disciplined, strong mind if we keep a biblical perspective. We know who wins. We know the One who can empower us to respond in love and confidence, and the Spirit of God gives us the wisdom and strength to stand against the lies of the enemy in our generation.

Face it. As we get closer and closer to the End Times described in the Bible, we’re going to see more signs of His coming, and some are scary ~ like increasing wars in the Middle East, more weapons of mass destruction, the growth of a one-world power, and economic struggle that will lead to a global economy. I heard so many End Times Posterpredictions about the economy in the past weeks that my heart beat faster and I started thinking about how to “prepare” in case of disaster (and that’s not a bad idea).

But always, we need to remember that ~ no matter the circumstances ~ God is in control, and He loves and cares for His children. Anything that touches us is by His design and for His ultimate glory, and He gives us the power to endure in suffering. And if we suffer to the point of death, it’s a win for the believer. We get to spend eternity with God!

I love Jesus’ words in John 14:1. Jesus understood His disciples concerns about the future and where their Master was headed. He told them, “Do not let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated). You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God; believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me.” (Amplified Version)

Jesus said He was going home to prepare “a place” for His followers, and He promised the Holy Spirit would come to indwell, comfort, and guide (v. 26). But Jesus didn’t stop there. He bequeathed to the disciples (and to us) a special gift ~ His peace (v. 27). It is not the peace the world offers, but supernatural, God-blessed peace.

And then Jesus said something (in the middle of verse 27) to encourage them and us: “Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]” (Amplified Version)

Jesus wants us to respond to the predictions of troubling times in a way that is very different from the world. The world will naturally fear ~ maybe even panic. We see this in Luke 21:26, which tells us men’s hearts will fail for fear (they will faint in terror or worse) when they see the events of the End Times come to pass.

Perfect PeaceBut we who know God must respond in surrender to and trust in Him, and as we trust, an amazing thing will happen. Isaiah 26:3 says it well: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Psalm 112:7 says it another way ~ we will not fear “evil tidings” when our heart is “fixed [steadfast], trusting in the Lord.”

So when “evil tidings” ~ scary predictions ~ come, do something positive to focus in the right direction. Pray. Call out to God, your deliverer in trouble (Psalm 91:15-16). Memorize Bible passages about God’s provision and power. Sing to the Lord of your trust in Him. Read scriptures that will remind you of His goodness and care for His own. Remind yourself that the “spirit of fear” is not from Him, and choose to cast it out of your life by faith. Claim the promises of scripture.

May God give us all great freedom from fear in these days and those to come as we learn to lean hard on His loving care and faithfulness.

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Are You Covered?

30 Jul

Regarding Insurance Protection:

  • Did you hear about the woman who bought a group insurance plan? She thought everything was fine until she discovered she couldn’t collect until the whole group was sick.
  • Needing insurance is like needing a parachute. If it isn’t there the first time, chances are you won’t be needing it again.
  • Life insurance agent to a would-be client: “Don’t let me frighten you into a hasty decision. Sleep on it tonight. If you wake in the morning, give me a call then and let me know.” (1)
  • You know it’s going to be a bad cay when you wake up in a hospital all trussed up, and your insurance agent tells you that your accident policy covers falling off the roof … but not hitting the ground. (2)

InsuranceCoverageCar insurance … home insurance … fire insurance … medical insurance. Many of us are “insurance poor,” with much of our paycheck going out to “insure” our health and well-being.

We are advised to take out sufficient coverage, because we never know when circumstances will change, or when we might need it to face a tragedy. Some years ago, a firestorm broke out in our county, and many homes burned to the ground or were severely damaged. Those with fire insurance rebuilt their homes relatively quickly; those without it are, in many cases, still struggling ~ some living in small trailers.

None of us like to pay insurance premiums, but what we’re buying ~ the potential benefits ~ are peace of mind and the ability to restore most, if not all, of the earthly goods we’ve lost, or the ability to obtain services to possibly restore our health. We’re buying a measure of  “protection” for the misfortunes of life. The benefits of our insurance “coverage” are worth the cost.

But when is the last time you thought about SPIRITUAL insurance? I’m not talking about spiritual assurance here (knowing that we are Christ-followers, based on the Word of God), but rather, the promises of protection and provision in our times of need.  It’s God saying, “I’ve got you covered.”

We see this concept in Psalm 91:3-4. God “covers” us like a bird covers her babies under her feathers ~ MamaHenWithTwoChicksprotecting us. And also, in Deuteronomy 33:12, Moses said of Benjamin (representative of his tribe), “The Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between his shoulders.”

No matter what comes our way, God has the exact “coverage” we need. Spiritual insurance is a word from scripture that we know we can claim when troubles come. We know that God will give us encouragement, help, support, etc., to deal with our struggles and, if necessary, rebuild our lives. We don’t have to live in defeat.

We can’t avoid suffering and troublesome circumstances, but we can know that God will be with us, and out of His presence and promises come everything we need.

Mama Bird Covers with her WingsJust as many people failed to buy fire insurance (or couldn’t afford it) and they now struggle after the firestorm, many put off getting into the Word of God and discovering His plan for “coverage.” It’s far better to store up promises God has for us in the Word before we need them, so they are ready for us in times of trial. The only cost to us is to believe and receive the Word of the Lord. We can live this adventure of life with peace of mind and heart.

How’s your spiritual insurance policy, Friend? Can you quote at least three promises from the scriptures that relate to the protection, provision, and peace of God?

(1) http://www.barricksinsurance.com/insurance_jokes.html

(2) Michael Hodgin, 1001 Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking, #496, p. 194

Where R U LOL-ing?

22 Jul
LOL with God - Atlanta

Pam & Dawn "LOL with God" high over Atlanta at sunset.

Where are you LOL-ing with God?

One day a man took the train from Paris to Frankfurt. When he got in, he said to the ticket man:

“Sir, I really need you to do me a favor. I have to get off  this train in Mannheim, but I’m very tired, and it is for sure that I will fall asleep. So, what I want you to do is wake me up in Mannheim, because I have to close some business there, and it is very important to me.

“Here, you have 100 francs for the favor. I warn you sometimes when people wake me up, I get really violent, but no matter what I do or say, you’ve got to get me out of this train in Mannheim. Is that clear?”

So the ticket man agreed and took the 100 francs. Later, as the man had said, he fell asleep; and when he woke up he realized that he was in Frankfurt. He was so mad at the ticket man that he ran over and started yelling at him.

“Are you stupid or something?” he said. “I paid you 100 francs so that you would wake me up in Mannheim, and you didn’t, so I want my money back!”

While the man was yelling at the ticket man, two other guys who were also in the train were looking at them and couldn’t help commenting.

Man 1: “Look at this guy! He is mad!”

Man 2: “Yeah! He’s almost as mad as the guy they made get out of the train in Mannheim.”[i]

Travel can be grueling, but vacationing can also be restful, especially if you are LOL-ing with God no matter where you find yourself. This summer, many of us have been reading LOL with God, and we have just about 30 or so days left and you may have a day or two of R and R on the schedule. Send us a picture of the LOL with God book in the location you are reading it.

I’m including a few photos below of places where I (Pam) have had quiet times this summer: 

LOL with God - Alaska

A Meadow in Alaska

I also asked my Facebook friends to share some of their favorite places to LOL with God, and many of them were not far and exotic places rather their favorite chair, their own backyard, or in bed as the sun rose. Seewe can LOL with God any place, because it is communing with a friend.

In my book, Woman of Confidence, I share the meaning of the word “dwell” from Psalm 37:3-4: Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

“Dwell” is to abide safely and securely in the land of promise.

LOL with God - New Mexico

At a Marriage Conference

The Bible is full of promises, and if you dwell there you will feel the safety and security you long for. To me, to dwell is the feeling I get after a 22-hour flight across the ocean back home to my own bed … ahhhhhhh… precious, safe, secure, comfy rest. It’s the kind of rest God gives when you dwell – and LOL with Him.

LOL with God - Singapore

Returning from Singapore

So, email us a picture of where you are LOLing with God—at home or on vacation. E-mail to:  info@Love-wise.com or post it your Facebook page and @Pam Farrel and @Dawn Marie Wilson and we’ll see it on our page!

I (Pam) will give to TWO WINNERS (for the “Best LOL away from home” and “Best LOL at home”) a copy of Woman of Confidence, so you can gain even more skills at abiding, resting, and dwelling with God. (NOTE: Photos must be posted by midnight September 1st.)

If you can’t wait and want to begin your passage of dwelling confidently, or you’d like your small group or a “fine-tuning friend”/accountability partner to journey through Woman of Confidence, order at www.Love-wise.com. (Use the code “friend2” for discount.)

Happy LOLing!

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