Monday, November 28, 2016

Looking Beyond the Election: Preparing for the Future

Here is part five and the final piece of this month's series on focusing on the power of God's word for the times to come. I love the layout of this. Michele uses tons of scripture and gives us points to concern for the future. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Politics in the last year have been crazy and not just with the American election.  Russia’s involvement in Syria, China taking claim of an island in international waters and the massive ISIS problem are just a few of the scary things that have happened in world politics this year.  So with all of that going on in the world, how does a Christian prepare for the future.

Christians, Politics and the Future

One of the big reasons people argue about politics is fear of the future.  Who has their finger on the big red button that could start World War 3?  Will North Korea bomb South Korea and then the US?
As political arguments swirl you need to ask yourself, “as a Christian, how involved should I be in these arguments?” The truth is, we shouldn’t concern ourselves with who is leading the country but remember that God is in control.
Romans 13:1 is pretty clear on the issue;  “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God”.
And in Titus 3:9 “But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.”
So as we think about our future, we need to stop worrying about who has their finger on the button, and let God handle it.  He has been putting Kings in power for a long time.  We need to trust him to put the right authority figures in the right spots for our future.

Planning Ahead

While it is true that God has got control of who is in control, he still does encourage man to plan for the future.  We do not just go around willy nilly figuring God will take care of everything. He encourages wise men to plan.
I have always heard the saying “if you want to make God laugh, make a plan”  but what that saying should have said was “if you want to make God laugh, make a plan, and don’t pray over it”  
These plans have got to be smart, balanced and prayed over.
Proverbs 16:1 The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord."
Proverbs 21:5 reads The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance,  but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty”.
And Proverbs 24:27 Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house”.
If we look a little deeper into these Scriptures, we see the Bible instructing us to prepare ourselves for the days ahead.  We should work diligently, pray daily, and make a plan that balances our lives today with planning for the future.
So what does that mean for us? Should we be stockpiling food and weapons?  Should we be building bomb shelters and buying gold?  I believe the answer to that is, no we shouldn’t.  In as much as we need to prepare and have a plan, we also need to be wary of hoarding our goods and not trusting in God.  
The parable of the rich fool in Luke 12:16-21 shows us the dangers of doing all of this stockpiling.  ” 16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God."

Find Wisdom

Proverbs 24:3-7 "3 By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; 4 by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. 5 A wise man is full of strength,and a man of knowledge enhances his might,6 for by wise guidance you can wage your war,and in abundance of counselors there is victory.7 Wisdom is too high for a fool; in the gate he does not open his mouth."
Wisdom, is how we should be planning for the future. We should learn about scripture and find worldly wisdom that will help us should the whole world go to pot.  Your wisdom and knowledge will save you, not a stockpile of canned foods and ammo.  
If you are concerned about food, learn how to plant a seed and watch it grow.  Learn how to take seeds from the food you grew, dry them and plant a crop for next year.  If you are concerned about water, learn how to collect rainwater and boil it.  If you are concerned about meat, learn to hunt, butcher and process meat.  Knowing how to do all of these things will mean you can survive and function, without being tied to one big store of food.  
Trust in God
If I were to list every verse in the Bible that asked us to trust in God, this article would suddenly become very, very long.  We are instructed repeatedly to trust in God, we are told we are worth more than many sparrows (Matt 10:31), we are told to give God our burdens (Matt 11:28-30) yet we still have a hard time saying “Here God, please handle this”.  
We still worry about where our next meal will come from even though we have watched the Lord feed thousands of people. First when Moses led the Jews out of Egypt (Exodus 16:15) and again when Jesus fed the four thousand with 7 loaves of bread and a few fish (Matt 15:32-38).  
Apart from what the Bible tells us is our own personal experiences.  There have been many times in my life where it seemed as if from nowhere, I got exactly what I needed, exactly when I needed it. I don’t believe in magic, but I do believe in God.  If you are concerned about something, pray about it. Give it to God and trust God will provide everything you need, exactly when you need it.  

Make Your Plan

Do not let politics over take your life.  There is a lot of very scary things going on in the world today, and it wise to be concerned about them.  Instead of hoarding goods, or getting in Facebook wars with your friends, ask God to give you wisdom.  James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him”  
The wisdom God gives you will be more powerful than any weapon, and more complete than any stockpile.  Focus on God, and you will win the most important battles every time.  
*All Bible verses are taken from the English Standard Version of the Bible

Michele Cook is the author behind Michele’s Finding Happiness, a website dedicated to helping people find their path to happiness.  She is a mom, a wife, a railroad signalman and a freelance writer.  Check out her site to find ways you can add a little more happiness to your life.


Monday, November 21, 2016

Looking Beyond the Election- Having a Heavenly Perspective

Here is part four of my series focusing on looking pass the election and what it has brought us and what I focus should be, the word of God.

This is from Christine Miller, a very dear friend of mine who really isn't apart of the online world as a blogger but has been a huge impact on my worldview concerning the end times. Through studying God's word and praying, she has encouraged me to be aware of things but to know what the scripture says concerning the things to come. She is also a wife, mom to 3 older kids, and a encourager and teacher in our church. So I hope you enjoy what she has written as much as I did.

Jesus tells us in His word that we will have tribulation in this world, but that He wants us to find our peace in Him. He tells us to be of good cheer because He has overcome the world (John 16:33). Notice that it says He has (already) overcome the world.

God has an eternal perspective and all through scripture God encourages us to have this same perspective. We see this in Hebrews 12:1-2

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. KJV"
 Notice how Jesus endured the cross by looking beyond it to the joy that was set before Him. The joy of doing His Father's will, redeeming us, and sitting at the right hand of the throne of God. Jesus looked beyond the suffering. Jesus had an eternal perspective.
We are to live our life by looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. Romans 8:14-18 tells us about the Christian's hope and joy beyond the suffering in this world. It says,
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. KJV"
We must have an eternal perspective of suffering just as Jesus did. But we have Abba Father that we can cry out to for help, He doesn't want us to fear.

It is obvious that there are powers at work in our world- working towards a one world government. And this one world system we are heading towards is very anti-God or anti-Christ. God said there would be a one world system near the end. Revelation 13:16 sounds like an one world economic system. Revelation 13:3 says, "...the world wondered at the beast...". The beast is talking about the Antichrist.

Our world is growing darker. Matthew 24:12 says, "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." I believe we are seeing this and many other things in our day. But we have hope in Christ. Our future is secure. And He is with us as He has always been with His own throughout history. Romans 8:31 is encouraging, "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?"

The Lord is going to build His church, and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).

I believe scripture strongly teaches us to look for His coming. 1 John 3:2-3 tell us about Jesus appearing, and those that have this hope purifies themselves, even as He is pure. When we look for His coming it motivates us to live for Him.

Second Timothy 4:8 tells us that a crown of righteousness is given to all those who love His appearing.

First Thessalonians 4:16-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:52 tells us about the rapture of the church. The church saints will be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air, and we will be with Him forever.

In 1 Corinthians 15:19 Paul says, if in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. The following verse tells us that Christ is risen from the dead. Further along in the passage in verses 24-26, we are told about the end,

"Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. KJV"

Keep the vision of eternity with Christ close to your heart. Keep the eternal perspective. This is what the Lord wants for us.

Hebrews 11:16 tells us that God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Seek Him through His word and in prayer.

In John 15:7 Jesus says, "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you."

There is a verse in 1 Peter 4:7 I have clipped to my bedroom mirror to remind me how urgent the need is for prayer.

"But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. KJV"
Lets watch the people and events around us, not passively, but soberly, and pray. Pray for our spiritual needs, pray for our loved ones, leaders, political stuff going on, pray for lost souls. Ask God to give you the scriptures and discernment in praying for others and situations. Pray for His will to be done.
I love 2 Chronicles 16:9
"For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars. KJV"
Set your heart to know and obey His word. Be passionate about God. Ask God for a heart for Him. He wants to be strong on your behalf.
Finally remember Revelation 11:15,
"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. KJV"
Keep this vision in your hearts and minds in the coming days. Keep the eternal perspective. Our lives on earth are a mere dot on the timeline of eternity. Our eternity with Christ is near when you think about how short our lives are here. 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Looking Beyond the Election- The Best is Yet to Come!

I am proud to announce part three of this series. Teresa is straight to the point and lays it out as it is. I hope you enjoy reading it too

For many years, from birth until about 25 yrs old, I went to church every time the doors were open.  I heard many teachers and pastors speak messages through the years, yet few of them resonated and changed my thought process.  It was as James 1:21-25 describes “if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was.”  I had quickly forgotten what I had heard.  And the older I get, sometimes I can’t get to the parking lot before I’ve forgotten what I heard.  😃   It is important for me to be in the Word and to know what it said for myself.

Why is it important for us to use God’s word for our standard of truth?  A few reasons I rely on are:

2 Timothy 3:16-17 
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness
so that the man of God may be adequateequipped for every good work.
1) It’s God inspired  

2)  It’s profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness

3) so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Ephesians 6:17 includes the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God as part of the armor to be put on in order to fight the enemy.

As a nation, I can read back through history, including today and see where we have turned our back on God and have not been obedient to Him.  As a result, we’ve found ourselves in quite a predicament.  In lieu of our recent election, we were left with primarily 2 candidates who have seemingly left us wondering is this all there is?

I want to encourage you that this is NOT all there is.  There is a triune God.  God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit who desires a relationship with us.  He desires to make His mysteries known to us. 

As we dive into God’s Word, the Bible we can see and learn much of God’s character. How much He loves us and desires great things for us.

Do not grow weary in doing good.  There is a battle to fight, a spiritual battle.  The best way to fight spiritual battles, is with spiritual things. Stay focused on the Creator and not the created.  Submerge yourself in God’s word and let’s look forward to whats to come. 

The best is yet to come!

Teresa is a widowed mom of 3 girls, Kristin (Cody), Hannah and Cate. She recently became a proud grandma of 5 week old Logan.  Teresa is also a Dave Ramsey Certified Financial Coach.  She enjoys reading, watching sports, riding motorcycles and hanging out with friends and family. If you want to check her out, she is found on social media @rtstowell and have recently started blogging at

Monday, November 7, 2016

Looking Beyond the Election: Looking at the Kingdoms of the Bible

I am proud to announce part two of this series. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did.
Today is Election Day in the United States and we are all ready for it to be over. We have been scared silly with all of the possible outcomes. Some days it feels as if we are standing at the precipice of The Great Unknown.
But there is one thing that I do know, despite all of the spin, hype, drama, name calling, disappointment and politics. One thing will be true after every last vote is counted and half of America is elated and half is heartbroken.
God will still be on the throne.
God is in control.
God is sovereign.
God has a plan, and nothing can thwart it.
It appears that a lot of believers have forgotten those facts, and have slipped into a mindset of fear and dread about the coming times. We may even feel that way no matter who wins. America is an earthly kingdom. Many earthly kingdoms are woven into God’s account of His story with mankind in the Bible. God’s interactions with man within the kingdoms of history have shaped my perspective on the election and its outcome. The Bible shows us that powers rise and fall, and God will use them for His purposes and His glory. Here are a few “kingdom” lessons for our lives regardless of who wins the election.
The earliest great kingdoms of mankind arose in what we today call the Middle East. A man named Abram lived in this region, and his father was an idol maker. He and his wife could not have children. God spoke to Abram and called him to leave his home and travel to an unknown place. Abram obeyed. God promised to give Abram land and descendants. God even said that kings would come from Abram! Later, God changed his name to Abraham, and promised both to bless Abraham and that Abraham would become a blessing. Abraham left the life and home he knew and followed God’s command into the unknown. His descendants became the nation of
Israel which God built into a great kingdom.
No matter who wins the election, listen for the voice of God over the messages of the idols of this earthly kingdom, and be obedient to it.
A boy named Joseph, one of Abraham’s descendants, was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers and ended up in the powerful kingdom of Egypt. Joseph knew the Lord, and all of his behavior honored God, despite temptation and injustice. When Joseph interpreted a dream of the Pharaoh, the Egyptian King, he could see Joseph’s wisdom and trustworthiness. Pharaoh placed Joseph in charge of the storage of food for the entire kingdom, and he was second in power only to Pharaoh. Joseph made sure that Egypt and surrounding nations had access to grain during a terrible famine, saving thousands of lives. He was even able to save the lives of his brothers who had sold him into slavery and their families.
No matter who wins the election, focus on God’s character, and trust in it despite the circumstances, knowing that God is good, and that He has a plan. Do not let your circumstances drive you to sin or to behavior that dishonors God.
Four hundred years after Joseph, Abraham’s descendants were slaves in Egypt. Their growing population caused Pharaoh to fear that they would rise up against and revolt. He commanded the
midwives to kill all male children at birth. But the midwives feared God, and did not do it. Then Pharaoh commanded that all male children be thrown into the Nile River to drown as soon as they were born. But one woman took her newborn son and placed him in a basket in the river, where he was discovered and rescued by none other than Pharaoh’s daughter, given the name Moses and raised in the royal household. Later God called Moses to confront Pharaoh in order to free his people. Moses led them out of Egypt, and out of slavery.
No matter who wins the election, fear God’s commands above the authority of earthly kingdoms. Stand for sanctity of human life. No matter who wins the election, remember that God loves your children more than you do. Be brave enough to trust Him with their lives. Remember that God can and does organize circumstances for His plan and purpose.
God had promised Abraham that Kings would come from him, and God raised up the Kingdom of Israel. Israel became powerful, and wealthy, but unfortunately it also failed to follow God’s commands. Instead of being the holy people that God intended them to be, they sinned, again and again. God sent prophets to call them to repentance. One of these was Elijah, and he confronted an evil king, Ahab. Ahab threatened Elijah’s life, but God hid Elijah and provided for him. While Elijah was in hiding, he was fed by ravens daily. Ravens were unclean birds! But God used them in this circumstance for His purpose, to sustain His prophet. Elijah had to trust God, choose to take the food, and live.
No matter who wins the election, remember that God will choose His own means to accomplish
His purposes, no matter how odd, upside down or confusing they may seem to us. He may actually use the thing we think is detestable to save us. 
God eventually judged Israel for its great wickedness. He did this through foreign kingdoms. Assyria and then Babylon become great powers. Assyria defeated the northern kingdom of Israel. God used a pagan, unholy nation to punish His chosen people. Later a second, unholy, pagan nation, Babylon, defeated the southern kingdom of Judah. In both cases, God allowed His chosen people to suffer and be defeated in order to bring them back to Him in repentance. 
No matter who wins the election, remember that God is in control of the rise and fall of nations. God can use the unholy for His sacred purpose. God’s goal is always to bring us back to Him.
A young Israelite man named Daniel was taken into captivity to Babylon. He was living in a foreign land among foreign customs and laws. Daniel was chosen to be educated at the royal court and was given royal food rations. According to Jewish law, this food would have made Daniel unclean and therefore sinful before God, and he was determined not to let this happen. Daniel was determined to follow God’s law even in though he was in a place where God’s laws were not recognized, understood or upheld. So he proposed a plan which allowed him to obey God, and eat different food. This was successful; Daniel thrived despite not having the rich food of the king’s rations. He continued in the king’s court, where he was educated and became a trusted official to the king. 
No matter who wins the election, determine to follow God’s laws and uphold them no matter what an earthly kingdom offers. Remember that God can provide a “Daniel option” which will
enable you to obey Him.
There are many more “kingdom” lessons we could learn from the Bible. But I want to close with this thought. There is a lot of conversation going on right now about God judging America. 
There is a lot of conversation going on about the potential loss of religious liberty. These conversations may cause fear, dread, uncertainty, and anxiety. But Scripture clearly shows that God allows many things into the lives of His children to accomplish His purposes. It shows that God brings judgment for sin. It shows that God may allow His people to enter exile, to lose freedoms, to suffer, to be confused at His ways. It also shows that God is always, always in control, and that He has a purpose and a desired outcome from every single thing that He causes or allows. I am choosing to fear God, and nothing else with regard to the election. I pray you will do the same. Because,
No matter who wins the election, as believers we are citizens of a different kingdom. That’s the kingdom we need to focus on.
Copywrite BPKearns 2016
Briane P. Kearns is a Jesus loving first born who celebrates being a daughter, wife, mother,
grandmother and breast cancer survivor. She loves teaching others that the Bible is relevant for
today, her family, laughing with friends, encouraging women in their faith walk and being a
southerner. After 20+ years in the corporate world, in 2012 the Lord called her to attend
seminary. She will complete a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies in May 2017. She lives, writes,
teaches and avoids cooking as much as possible in central North Carolina.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Five Minute friday- Journey- The Journey We walk with God

Here is to another Five Minute Friday. The word is "journey"

Life is a journey. Life as a Christian is a journey with God. It is journey of learning and changing by God's word and His love for us.

I was thinking about this a little bit this morning. It was an off morning. Totally off my routine. The big kid was just extra clingy and whiny. So I wasn't able to have my quiet time or even to think much on the day to come. The big kid needed some extra mommy time and I felt God beckoning me to foster that neediness into some loving time even though it was hard. We cuddle. I read some books. Got her some food to eat. Did some stickers in our sticker book.

All the meanwhile, I thought about how my relationship with my big kid should be close enough to the journey I take with God. Sometimes I am needy and whiny. Sometimes I get upset when I don't get my way. Sometimes I am just tired and in a bad mood. Do I want God to be annoyed with me like how I struggled with my big kid this morning? Of course not.

This journey called the Christian life is meant for God to be the stronger one and I am the weak one in need of depending constantly on Him. He lovingly shows that to me even when the journey is hard. I am so appreciative of that. I want to show my big kid the same thing.  
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