Caught Up

Caught Up

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

She's In The Mirror

Well, today 10 years ago a young woman in a distant country gave birth to a little girl. This woman was most likely alone and scared but had a mission. To nurture this little baby girl for the next nine days and get her safely to a nearby orphanage. Tired from childbirth and fearing the inpending goodby, she made her way to the closest safe place to leave her little bundle. An orphanage in nearby Changsha, China.

Most likely riding on a bicycle with her baby in a basket on her back she made her way miles from home. It is against the law to abandon a baby in China, also to have more than one. Kind of a Lose, Lose situation. Hiding in the dark, she left her precious baby girl in her basket with a note pinned to her shirt saying, " I'm Nine Days Old". Then she looked at and kissed that precious face for the very last time. Saying " I Love You" she walked away . Then she hid in the bushes and awaited her child's rescue by an orphanage nanny. One did finally come and took here little daughter into the building.

I'm sure that was a very lonely long ride home for this young mother. Knowing she would never see her daughter again but hoping that she did the right thing.

Today is our daughter Lily Xiao Fei's 10th Birthday. I am quite certain there is a mother 10 years older today imagining what that little baby girl looks like today. Is she safe. Is she happy. Does she know about me. She does know about you because we have told her that her birth mommy in China loves her soooo much that she gave her up so that she would have a better life.

Lily once asked," What Does My Birth Mommy Look Like". I told her .... Just Look In The Mirror.  And she does .... daily!

Thank you to that special woman who gave us such a precious gift. She is well, happy, and loves us both.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Now More Than Ever!

Having a rough week. Faith is being tested in such a hugh way. I remember the words of a dear friend whenever I question the Lord. She reminds me that His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and that I will not always understand what goes on around me.

I have a friend of 20 years who is battling cancer. She has been fighting for about a year and a half. She is now entering round 3 of Chemo. There are thousands of believers praying for her including me but she is now ill again. I just can't wrap my brain around it. I went to pray last night and literally could find no words. I did not like that feeling. I felt like I was failing my friend.

Now more than ever I need to cling to what I KNOW to be true. Jesus is still in control even though I will not always understand his hand, Jesus loves me, He does hear my cries and prayers, His will is perfect and He WILL return again some day to make all things new and for those believers who go on before us He will make whole. This I DO know and will meditate on.  Father, forgive me for my uncertainty and help me to lean on you and be strong for those around me.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Will We hear??

I used to keep my window cracked a bit when driving years ago. Why you ask? Well, I wanted to make sure that if the rapture happened at that time I would be SURE to hear the trumpet blast calling me home. I was a new Christian and thought like a child then. Haven't cracked my window in a while. Now I know that my window doesn't have to be open for me to actually hear the trumpet sound but I think in some way it was an act of faith telling the Lord and myself that I was watching, waiting and up for the trip. It always reminded me that the Lord's return is imminent and could happen at any time. Nothing else left in prophecy that has to happen to delay the event. I think I'm going to start cracking my window a bit again and think like and have child-like faith. What about you???

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Clear Signs of the End Times

It is my belief that we are in the last days. The signs of the times are everywhere. You can not watch the nightly news as a Christian and not notice prophecy being fufilled. It seems to be speeding up lately like a woman's labor pains do in the end. I have been a member of a really awsome website for about 13 years called Rapture Ready. Below is a page that shows some of the signs of the times we are living in. Thought I would pass it on.   Susan <//><

Clear Signs of the End Times  Source: Rapture Ready

Below is a list of seven clear signs of the end times, which highlight the nearness of Christ’s return.  In fact, He’s so close He’s knocking on the door:

1) The Holocaust and the Re-Emergence of Israel
One of the preeminent signs of the end times is the Jewish survival of the Holocaust and the re-emergence of the nation of Israel as a Jewish state.
Over 2,600 years ago, the prophet Ezekiel foretold these events:

"Then he said to me, 'Son of man, these bones represent the people of Israel. They are saying, 'We have become old, dry bones - all hope is gone.' Now give them this message from the Sovereign Lord: O my people, I will open your graves of exile and cause you to rise again. Then I will bring you back to the land of Israel. When this happens, O my people, you will know that I am the Lord." Ezekiel 37:11-13 (NLT)

As God says, the bones in Ezekiel 37 represent the people of Israel – otherwise known as the Jews.
Following the first century Roman conquest of the Holy Land, the Jews were banished from the land of Israel.  The Romans renamed the area Palestine, and exiled its people to farthest corners of the Roman Empire.
Yet, in Ezekiel 37, God promised to bring the Jews out of exile.  He promised to bring them back into the land of Israel.

Not only did He promise to restore their nation, but God promised to do so by opening their “graves” at a time when the Jews feel that “all hope is gone.”
The aftermath of Hitler’s Holocaust of the Jewish people created these very conditions, nearly destroying an entire race of people and draining the hope of countless survivors.
But out of the Holocaust, God brought the Jewish people back into the land of Israel, just as He had promised.
On May 14, 1948, the nation of Israel reappeared in fulfillment of not just Ezekiel 37:11-13, but countless Old Testament prophecies.
Of all the signs of the end times, the re-establishment of Israel as an independent nation is the clearest and most unmistakable sign that we are in the last of the last days.

2) Jerusalem is a Burden to the World
Another visible sign of the end times is the world diplomatic struggle over Jerusalem.
The prophet Zechariah foresaw this event centuries ago:
"I will make Jerusalem and Judah like an intoxicating drink to all the nearby nations that send their armies to besiege Jerusalem. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone, a burden for the world. None of the nations who try to lift it will escape unscathed." Zechariah 12:2-3 (NLT)
Since 1967 when the Israelis retook Jerusalem in the Six Day War, the division of Jerusalem and ownership of the Temple Mount in particular, have been a source of countless U.N. resolutions, diplomatic crises, and calls for war.

The struggle over the “Peace Process” in the Middle East is the stated number one priority of world diplomats, and Jerusalem resides at the center of discussions about “land for peace.”
With the threat of World War III casting a shadow over every decision to rebuild Jewish settlements or expand Israeli society, the City of Jerusalem is no doubt “a burden for the world.”
Is this “the way it’s always been”?
Until this generation, Jerusalem was not “a burden for the world.”  In fact, prior to 1948, world diplomatic leaders rarely mentioned it.

3) The Dramatic Increase in Travel and Knowledge
One of the signs of the end times that anyone can easily recognize is the recent explosive increase in travel and knowledge.
In a vision, God revealed to Daniel that in “the time of the end,” travel and knowledge will increase:
"But you, Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end. Many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase." Daniel 12:4 (NLT)
According to the book of Daniel, two things will increase in “the time of the end” – travel and knowledge.
Is this the case now?
At the time the Book of Daniel was written, horses were the world’s the fastest mode of transportation.
In fact, horses remained the world’s fastest mode of transportation for over 2,000 years until the Industrial Revolution spawned such innovations as the steam boat, the locomotive, and the horseless carriage.
Prior to the 20th Century, most people rarely traveled more than 30 miles from where they were born.  Today, people routinely travel from one continent to another within the same day.
Today’s world is definitely not “the way it’s always been.”
Frequency and speed of travel have markedly increased!

What about knowledge?
In Daniel’s time, few people received a formal education.  In fact, basic literacy was a foreign concept to all but an elite minority of the world until the past 100 to 150 years.
Yet, in the past century alone, human knowledge of science, biology, technology, and countless fields of endeavor has exploded.  And the advent of the Internet has created a worldwide archive of human knowledge that far exceeds even the wildest dreams of the great ancient civilizations.
Is humanity’s knowledge base today “the same as previous generations”?
Absolutely not.  Human knowledge has also markedly increased.
Given that all this can be ascertained from mere observation, how can anyone say with a straight face that “things today are the same as they’ve always been”?

4) Exponential Growth Marks the Times
If a marked increase in travel and knowledge constitute one of the most clearly observable signs of the end times, then the two are merely components of a much larger sign of the end times – exponential growth.
Jesus pointed to exponential growth as a sign of His Coming:
"Later, Jesus sat on the slopes of the Mount of Olives. His disciples came to him privately and asked, 'When will all this take place? And will there be any sign ahead of time to signal your return and the end of the world?' Jesus told them, 'Don't let anyone mislead you. For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Messiah.' They will lead many astray. And wars will break out near and far, but don't panic. Yes, these things must come, but the end won't follow immediately. The nations and kingdoms will proclaim war against each other, and there will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world. But all this will be only the beginning of the horrors to come.'" Matthew 24:3-8 (NLT)
This translation fails to communicate an important revelation from Jesus - that the end times will be analogous to the birthing process.

According to Strong’s Concordance, the word “horrors” as translated above comes from the word “odin” which is best translated as “the pain of childbirth” or “birth pangs.”
This means that, much like birth pangs, signs of the end times will appear with greater frequency and intensity as Christ’s return draws near. This is why Jesus mentioned this sign first when answering his disciples' questions “When will all this take place? And will there be any sign ahead of time to signal your return and the end of the world?”
According to Jesus, three things in particular will increase in frequency and intensity as the world draws closer to His return:
1) Wars
2) Famines
3) Earthquakes
Have we seen these three things increase in frequency and intensity in the recent past?
Let’s take a brief look at wars, famines, and earthquakes over the past 500 years.
Wars – A Sign of the End Times
The first decade of the 21st Century has already witnessed 55 wars, putting humanity on course for 550  wars over the next one hundred year period.
Have these wars increased in intensity?
For most of human history, wars were fought through individual hand-to-hand combat.  But the past few hundred years have witnessed the ascension of more accurate guns, machine guns, and aerial bombing.  Today, a single weapon of mass destruction can kill hundreds of thousands of people.
Famines – A Sign of the End Times
According to a Wikipedia list of famines, the past 500 years have also witnessed an increase in the frequency of famines:
15th Century – 6 famines
16th Century – 10 famines
17th Century – 24 famines
18th Century – 28 famines
19th Century – 30 famines
20th Century – 44 famines
The first decade of the 21st Century alone has already witnessed 12 famines, putting humanity on course for 120 famines over the next one hundred year period.
Have these famines increased in intensity and severity?
As the population of the world has grown, famines have caused more and more death and destruction in their wake.
In fact, while the Roman Empire’s entire population at the time of Jesus is estimated to have been approximately 55 million people, the first half of the 20th Century alone witnessed these famines:
The 1921 famine in Russia (5 million+ dead)
The 1928-1929 famine in China (3 million+ dead)
The 1932-1933 famine in Ukraine (2.6 and 10 million+ dead)
The 1932-1933 famine in Kazakhstan (1.2 and 1.5 million+ dead)
The 1936 famine in China (5 million+ dead)
The 1942-1943 famine in China (1 million+ dead)
The 1946-1947 famine in the Soviet Union (1 million+ dead)
That’s an estimated 18.8 to 26.5 million who perished from famine just from these seven famines alone!
And from 1959 to 1961, the Great Chinese Famine is estimated to have killed more than 36 million people.
Famines have dramatically increased in both frequency and intensity since Jesus first answered His disciples’ questions.

Earthquakes – Another Sign of the End Times
According to a Wikipedia list of earthquakes, the past 500 years have witnessed the following number of earthquakes described as a magnitude 7.0 or greater:
15th Century – 2 earthquakes
16th Century – 3 earthquakes
17th Century – 7 earthquakes
18th Century – 13 earthquakes
19th Century – 29 earthquakes
20th Century – 123 earthquakes
The first decade of the 21st Century has already witnessed 144 earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.0 or greater, putting humanity on course for 1,440 such earthquakes over the next one hundred year period!
The dramatic increase in devastating wars, famines, and earthquakes from the time of Jesus until today is one of clearest signs of the end times.

5) Rise of the Gog / Magog Alliance
Yet another sign of the end times is the current rise of the Gog / Magog Alliance.
The details of this future military alliance against Israel are found in the Book of Ezekiel, Chapters 38 and 39:
"This is another message that came to me from the Lord: 'Son of man, prophesy against Gog of the land of Magog, the prince who rules over the nations of Meshech and Tubal. Give him this message from the Sovereign Lord: Gog, I am your enemy! I will turn you around and put hooks into your jaws to lead you out to your destruction. I will mobilize your troops and cavalry and make you a vast and mighty horde, all fully armed. Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya will join you, too, with all their weapons. Gomer and all its hordes will also join you, along with the armies of Beth-togarmah from the distant north and many others.'" Ezekiel 38:1-6 (NLT)
The nations cited in the verses above are associated with their Old Testament predecessors, but they all represent nations that exist today.
Below is a list of those nations, each followed by its modern day equivalent:
Magog, Meshech, and Tubal = Russia
Persia = Iran
Cush = Ethiopia
Put = Libya
Gomer = Turkey
Beth-togarmah = Turkey, Armenia, and the Turkish-speaking people of Asia Minor
According to God, Russia will mobilize a coalition that includes these nations in the last days.
Throughout human history, there’s never been a cooperative military alliance between the nations of Russia and Iran – at least until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Since then, a cooperative diplomatic and military alliance between Iran and Russia has formed and slowly expanded, ultimately leading to Russia’s assistance in providing Iran with the necessary support to make the Bushehr nuclear power plant operational in 2010.
So when does the Bible tell us this alliance will form?
It definitely says, “in the last days”:
"Get ready; be prepared! Keep all the armies around you mobilized, and take command of them. A long time from now you will be called into action. In the distant future you will swoop down on the land of Israel, which will be lying in peace after her recovery from war and after the return of her people from many lands. You and all your allies - a vast and awesome horde - will roll down on them like a storm and cover the land like a cloud." Ezekiel 38:7-9 (NLT)
According to Strong’s Concordance, “in the distant future” is better translated as “achariyth shaneh” which means “end years.”

6) The Rise of Global Government
Another sign of the end times is the current trend toward globalization.
According to the Book of Revelation, globalization involves more than just multinational corporations and global commerce.  One day, a single man will rule all the people and nations on the earth:
"And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation." Revelation 13:7 (NLT)
With each passing day more and more nations are ceding their sovereignty to larger institutions such as the European Union, the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Court.
Given the current global financial crisis and the potential catastrophe of a global war, more and more diplomatic leaders and world politicians are calling for global government.
And as human technology continues to advance and mature, we’re quickly reaching a point where global totalitarian rule will be possible.

7) The Good News Preached Throughout the World
Jesus revealed the following sign of the end times to His disciples in response to their questions about the end of the age and the sign of His coming:
And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.”  Matthew 24:14 (NLT)
According to Christ, His Coming is preceded by the preaching of the Gospel “throughout the whole world.”
This idea is reiterated in the Book of Revelation.
“And I saw another angel flying through the sky, carrying the eternal Good News to proclaim to the people who belong to this world – to every nation, tribe, language, and people.  ‘Fear God,’ he shouted. ‘Give glory to him. For the time has come when he will sit as judge. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea, and all the springs of water.’”  Revelation 14:6-7 (NLT)
In the time of Jesus, the Gospel was confined to a relatively small number of people in and around Israel.  And much of the earth’s land mass was completely unknown to the disciples of Jesus, so the odds of the disciples preaching the Gospel of Christ “throughout the whole world” in their own time was quite remote.
Yet, 2,000 years later, the Gospel is preached in every nation, the Bible is translated in hundreds of languages, and the Gospel of Christ is delivered through thousands of ministries via radio, cable TV, satellite, and the Internet.
Is this “the way it’s always been?”
The truth is our generation is closer to preaching the Gospel “throughout the whole world” than any preceding generation.

Signs of the End Times
These are just seven signs of the end times, but they aren’t the only signs.
The Bible has much to say about the last days and the time of the end, and as followers of Christ, we are warned to recognize the signs of the times.
"Just as the gathering of vultures shows there is a carcass nearby, so these signs indicate that the end is near." Matthew 24:28 (NLT)
Because if we acknowledge the signs of the end times as well as our Lord’s command to stay awake and alert, we will be driven to live Godly lives. Paul emphasized this in his letter to the Romans:

"Another reason for right living is that you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for the coming of our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed." Romans 13:11 (NLT)
Remember, all prophecy exists to give a clear witness for Christ:
"For the essence of prophecy is to give a clear witness for Jesus." Revelation 19:10 (NLT)
And prophecy is telling us that Christ is coming.
“In the same way, when you see all these things, you can know his return is very near, right at the door.”  Matthew 24:33 (NLT)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Perhaps Today ???

For us Pre-Trib watchers, I think we always have a keen ear tuned into the heavenlies don't we?  We hear a train whistle, a siren or any trumpet type alarm and our little ears spring up with excitement. Is it??? Could it be??? And then we realize that it was just an uneventful tease in our quest for that one special moment in our future when it will actually be the Trumpet of Gabriel calling us home to be with our Lord.

I wake up every morning and say to myself ... Perhaps Today!!! Every day is a new opportunity for this glorious event we are anticipating. Until then, occupy until He comes. Share His message.Love your neighbor. Don't become weary in well doing. The Lord is not slack concerning His promises.....

Ears perked....
Susan <//><