John tells us that his letter to the churches is written by God the Father, the Holy Spirit and Jesus the Son of God and that in the book of Revelation God wants to impart to us His grace and His peace. As Christians we know there is nothing on earth better than God’s promises and gifts.
I was on a cruise ship in the Gulf of Mexico, the seas were very choppy. We anchored off shore and took tenders onto the mainland, my excursion plan was to visit the Tulum ruins of an ancient Mayan civilization, in Cancun. I mentioned before that I have severe allergies to bug bites so I cover up to the max wherever we go. On this particular trip I’m certain I was the only person in a long sleeved buttoned up top, with long pants, a hat and almost everything on me completely covered – just a single spot on my neck was available for the nasty sting. The moment it happened I knew I was in trouble. I was on my honeymoon. Although I knew I had had reactions to stings before they were never life threatening. They were inconvenient, annoying and hurt a lot but that was the extent of the damage. This time however was different and God allowed me to know I was in trouble. I went immediately to the first pharmacy which was a stone’s throw from where I was stung and they were out of EpiPens. The only other pharmacy also failed to carry them. There were gift shops and restaurants but no clinics. The bus had taken us far from the center where help would have been more readily available and we were stuck there, still waiting for the others to return. My husband had no idea that this was so serious. I only knew because God placed the full knowledge of the predicament into my understanding, as though I had been through this a dozen times before. As symptoms progressed and each stage developed I knew without the help of proper medication I would die. I tried to tell the driver, but he didn’t understand English and kept thinking he would have time to get me back to the ship. The reaction just kept progressing, all the while I knew what to expect as my throat swelled, my lips grew ten times the normal size, then my eyes swelled shut, my panic was horrendous. I was scared my death would be blamed on my new husband. I was afraid my family would always suspect him, away on my honeymoon, dead, him with no finances and me secure. Just writing this sounds terrible. It looked bad. The bus driver waited while his friend told me to drink milk that it was a local cure for this bug bite. Between heaving sobs, mostly for the mess I would leave Mark in. The mess he would now have to contend with moving my body from a foreign land and my daughters responses, and leaving them without their Mom. I was devastated. I downed a half gallon of milk and then I went into full anaphylactic shock and died. Everything was calm, it radiated perfect peace, then I saw His face! It was so bright and close to mine I couldn’t make out a single feature but I knew it was Jesus, and then he breathed His peace and life back into me. From that moment on I was fine. I knew He would take care of everything. I told Mark I saw God’s face and I smiled. It was probably a scary looking smile, but I was filled with joy and peace that only comes from God. God’s peace trumps everything else. They put me in a red car and whisked me off to a clinic. I convulsed in the doctor’s office when he administered the intravenous adrenaline and nearly broke the needle in my arm. I ended up getting it in a softer part of my anatomy. The swelling slowly began to go down. The cruise line had held a ferry boat for us and the ship was waiting and when I walked on the ferry I was applauded. They were probably sick of waiting and wanted to finally get back on board the ship and I can’t say I blame them. Although I secretly hoped that some of them had prayed for me, were aware of the gift I had received from God, so they could praise Him for His goodness. I will never forget all that God did for me that day – from understanding the severity of the bite to seeing me through the entire experience right up to breathing His peace and life back into me. We are not alone and through the trials that are coming, we won’t be alone. God will never abandon us. God the Father sent His Son to save us and Jesus died for our sins and left the Holy Spirit so we will always have our God with us! In the book of Revelation He begins with that very reminder. In the trials that will come, we will be blessed. God reveals Himself in the Trinity – beginning with God the Father – “who is: who always was: and is still to come”, then the Holy Spirit is described “from the Sevenfold Spirit before His throne,” and Christ Jesus “He is the faithful witness the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world”. Revelation 1:4-5 We have the most amazing God. He has conquered death! Our adventure is truly just beginning.
Prophecy is a huge part of the Bible. You can’t just skip it (like commercials) if you want to understand the will, plans and promises of God! It’s God’s true word told perfectly through His messengers. Telling future events came from prophets not your average guy. More than a fourth of the Bible is prophecy. My agenda: #1 Read Revelation; #2 Study; like we are asked to do. There will be a time when it will be too late! This is the only biblical book that comes with a blessing for the one who reads it and the one who listens to it being read and explained and then responds in obedience.
Revelation 1:3 “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”
Because God knows and controls the future we can rest easy when we belong to Him. We don’t know the future and can’t even begin to predict future events. The weather person where we live with all the technology at their hands get the forecast wrong often. Our fluctuating economy is anyone’s guess. It’s been great with President Trump but who knows what the future holds. When you deposit an annuity fund investment reps tell you after so many years it could be worth anywhere from 7 percent or more. They have no clue what the market will do. So where do you place your trust? In God. In the Bible. If you read and study Revelation you can be comforted knowing God is still in control and He alone knows the future events and has you covered. The ultimate end, the fulfillment of God’s plan, is eternal life with Him and it’s in a new heaven and a new earth this one will….disappear, not by magic.
Lately the subjects of love, truth and prophecy keep popping up daily. God keeps things simple. He wants me to love everyone completely. If God calls me to something it will be Him doing it since I’m not capable on my own – I’m not self sufficient. The next thing is Truth – one of the most perfect words that our God of Words made. He’s the Alpha and Omega and every letter in between. Truth is so sweet. I used to think of truth like a game, to be used at your own discretion, like the “little white lie” that I thought got me out of the firing line into which I wandered all the time. The ‘little white lie” that I learned doesn’t exist. A lie is a lie and the father of all lies is the devil. God HATES all lies. This brings me to prophecy. Through God’s love for us He shares the truth of prophecy. We have begun studying the book of Revelation at home on our own and it’s with great fear and trepidation along with a whole lot of help from some well known authors, like J Vernon McGee that we are daring to tackle the book. God calls us all to read Revelation. It’s the book of prophecy about the end times we are living in. God warns His children about what’s around the corner. Take heed. Prophecy posts are abundant and my favorite evangelists, like David Jeremiah, Max Lucado and Charles Stanley have all written on the subject. I even bought the book “Trumpography How Biblical Principles Paved the Way to the American Presidency”, which alludes to Biblical prophecy. There are 22 Chapters in Revelation. I’ll share my insights as we progress and look forward to your comments.
Bible Study Fellowship this past Wednesday was a jaw dropping spectacular experience. The testimonies of the women who spoke, told us of miracles happening daily in our midst from faithfulness to God. God is so wonderful and so present. He has plans for us and when we let Him into our lives there is no obstacle or difficulty that He can’t fix. We are all broken in need of repair. He is the Savior of fix it! Please if there is a BSF in your area or within a 70 mile drive – one way, I recommend going. It’s once a week for one and a half hours. The home study is daily and you experience the Bible in the way God intended you to. It draws you closer to Him and you’ll find His peace in the process. There is nothing to lose it’s all win win! It begins again in September but in preparation you can start by studying the book of Acts in your Bible.
I was born and raised a Roman Catholic in Massachusetts. It was the closest church to the Ruthenian Church that my Grandparents had been raised in. Their church closely resembled the Greek Orthodox Church. However there weren’t any Orthodox Churches in our location. So I was raised Roman Catholic. My Mother was a woman of great faith and set the best example. I was drawn to the Mother of God at a young age, she introduced me to her Son, Jesus. Children can have very active spiritual lives when given good instruction. I suffered from insomnia and my Aunt Anna taught me to pray ten Hail Mary’s to fall asleep. That was how I received my personal introduction to Jesus, in prayer. His Mother always points anyone who goes to her to Him! I married against my family’s wishes and that eventually led me to Greece (which is a whole other story). I lived on an island where the only churches were Greek Orthodox. Worshiping God and fellowship are important to me. I continued with the Orthodox Catholic Church when I got back to America, Texas to be exact. I remarried in the Greek Orthodox Church. My next move took me to a remote fishing village and the nearest church is Baptist. After praying and attempting the 140 mile drive to the nearest Orthodox church we decided to go local. I began with the Roman Catholic church but the priest spoke Spanish so spiritual direction was out and community fellowship was also to distant, 42 miles away. Our neighbor told us about the Church on the Arroyo that he had been attending and suggested we try it. It isn’t anything like the other churches we loved. We sing some lovely songs and we joined the choir. We attend their Bible Study on Wednesdays which I love too, and Sunday school, those two things we didn’t do at the other churches. We learn God’s Word from sermons on Sunday. The Bible has come alive and calls us to a deeper relationship with the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit! The fellowship that was lacking because of distance, is wonderful and I can say honestly that I love everyone in our church! This explains my Orthodox-Roman-Baptist background. We are all heading in the same direction. God takes His children through some unique paths but when we remain faithful to Him; have a relationship with Him; are lead by His grace; and saved by his death and resurrection we please God, and are beneficial to one another.
Spring has arrived with the nasty biting bugs along with the need to be outside. The yard is calling – planting, gardening, and limbing trees along with all the other outdoor tasks. The beauty of nature, all from God, echoes His perfect peace. The bugs are the problem for me, there aren’t many if any, that I’m not allergic to, so for me Spring becomes the perfect storm. When I realized the danger to me after a few runs to the hospital, for a couple of years I stayed in as much as possible, but isn’t that letting fear rule my life? This year I’m trusting God, taking sensible precautions and going back out. The more I know about God, the more I trust Him with everything, in this case with my life in the outdoors!