A Typical or Atypical Pastor's Wife-whichever one you come to believe

Welcome to the barnyard. Watch your step! The things written here are raw and unedited. Just my thoughts thrown on a page as they flow from my heart.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Can We Stop the Decline of America?

"But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. " 2 Tim. 3:1

We live in an unparalleled time in the history of our nation and the history of the world. We see prophecy being fulfilled like never before. Famines, Israel a nation, weather changes, sicknesses--all these are signs of the times. Many are frightened by what they see. Others preach that things are going to get better and better, that Christians are going to rise and take over so that the Lord can return. Others prophecy of a vast end times harvest of souls, which would, in itself spark revival and turn the nation.

Timothy tells us that things are not going to get better as we near the end, it will "grow worse and worse." We are living in "perilous" times. To think that things are going to get better requires that we live in a utopia of deception. As Christians we are not guaranteed easy times, but we are promised joy and peace, no matter what time we are living in. We may not be able to stop the decline of America, depending on where we are in end time events. No amount of prayer can stop the unfolding of prophecy. Positive attitudes do not keep prophecy from coming true. Faith is not believing God to do what WE want Him to do, if what we want is not according to His times and epochs.

One of the ways in which this is clearly seen is in the feasts of Israel. All the feasts of Israel are symbolic of the ministry of Christ.

Among the feasts of Israel, there are the spring feasts:
Passover--symbolic of salvation through the atonement of Christ
Unleavened Bread-- symbolic of sanctification
First Fruits--symbolic of the ressurection
Pentecost--symbolic of the Holy Spirit, and the beginning of the church age which will produce a great harvest of souls.

Then there are the fall feasts:
Feasts of Trumpets-- to celebrate the end of the harvest, and symbolic of the rapture of the church
Day of atonement--symbolic of Daniel's 70th week when the whole nation of Israel will turn to Christ in a day.
Feast of Tabernacles--symbolic of the new beginnings when David will rule Jerusalem and God will dwell among us.

Now we all know that in between spring and fall is summer, a time of harvest. That is where we are right now. And all farmers will tell you that the harvest is greater in the beginning of the summer and then tails off as fall approaches. So if we are close to the rapture, it makes sense that the harvest will be less and less. 2 Tim. tells us that in the last days, men will no longer endure sound doctrine and sound doctrine is essential for salvation, so if sound doctrine will no longer be endured by all those that call themselves "Christian", then the number of salvations will tail off, not increase.

Worser times will not destroy our faith, because we have a greater hope than anything that can be found in this world. But we must, "continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them;..." We must continue in sound doctrine, even as it grows less and less popular in "the church."

So, how do we live in these times? In 2 Tim 4:4 we see that:
1) People will be distraced by their desires.
2) People will turn from truth to fables of false doctrine. They will create inventions of their minds, "god's of their own making."

We, in response, must do the following things:
1) We must let doctrine dictate our desires.
2) We must be watchful, taking heed of what is around us, pusuing with a calm and steady Biblical manner.
3) We must endure afflictions. We cannot have a need to be liked and accepted. If we have a need to be liked, we must pray and ask God to sanctify that thing in us.

We must look ahead to the "better things" that will come after this age is over. We must let those better things dictate our thoughts, our desires, and our actions now. We must live IN the now, but we cannot live FOR the now. Living in the now means that we continue....continue to pray, continue to witness, continue to grow and mature in the things of God. The harvest is not over, but it could be becoming less as hearts are hard and the love for God grows cold as the Bible says it will in some. We must not quit because the Bible does say the "some" will be saved and it is our calling and command to find those "some." We will not be judged by our success, but by our diligence to the cause of Christ. The results are up to God.

But in that continuing we must keep an eternal perspective. There is something coming that is so much better, we will not even remember now as good in comparison. We must press on with more determination than ever before to preserve the doctrines of the church, especially as we see "doctrines of demons" penetrating even the professing Christian church of our nation. Without it, we cannot see God. We must prepare as if we have forever, but live as it it is our last day.

Lately many people that I know have asked me if I think we are living in the end times, close to the return of Christ. I just smile and say "we're closer than we've ever been." And I would add, we're probably closer than we think.

I'm looking for His soon return!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Right Back At Ya!

I spend a lot of time beating the road in a Ford F250 with a trailor attached, loaded with mowing equipment. Consequently, I have to drive slowly so that the mowers don't jump around and squash one another. It gives me more time to enjoy the beautiful valley that I live in.

The other day, I noticed an oddly shaped object by the side of the road. It appeared to be either a piece of driftwood or a varmint I'm not used to seeing. Anyway, at first glance I determined that it was going to require more effort to actually identify what I was looking at.

I slowed, leaned out the window, and strained my neck up and forward to get a good look. "What an oddly shaped animal", I thought to myself. "I wonder what it is."

Much to my surprise, I came eye to eye with a common groundhog. (I need to get my eyes checked!) He slowed his eating. He too leaned forward and strained his neck up and forward to get a good look at what was, oddly enough, looking at him.

What I'm now wondering is was he saying to himself, "What an oddly shaped animal. I wonder what it is?" I guess I'll never know.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Just Checkin' In

I just checked my blog counter. Although I haven't written anything since Ressurection Sunday, people are still checkin' in here at "a"typical Pastor's wife. Frankly, I'm amazed that anyone would take time to read my oft disjointed ramblings but it does help with the feelings of invisibility I've been having lately.

Life has been a zoo!

As some of you know, I am co-owner, reluctantly, of a lawn and turf company. I first signed on to help with "a few" mowing jobs, not 3o-40 a week! And then I agreed to work pretty much full time from April until the end of school to be a "helpmate". Somehow I have ended up with the mowing, the fertilizing, the mulching, the bookkeeping, and the secretary/receptionist/bill collector. The only thing I don't do is plan what to do--I see a conspiracy at work here! Could it be that helpmate and slavemate have somehow been confused in the mind of my boss/husband/coworker? Bless his heart, he's working more jobs that I am. He rises earlier, to go to job #2. While at job #2, he does job #1--no, he's not cheating anyone. He gets paid to sit. Then he comes to job #3 (the lawns), stays awhile and then leaves to go back to job #2 and subsequently job #1. Then he returns to job #3 and when he's done that, he then works at job #1. I know, I'm just as confused as you are!

My typical day requires rising at 6:45. I then fix breakfast and start dinner. After getting my boys off to school, I attend to my homeschooler's previous day's work and assign her work for the present day. I then finish dinner, throw in a load of laundry, and try to clean something, usually the thing that is looking or smelling the worst. About that time, my hubby arrives home from job #2. I fix him breakfast unless he agrees to wine and dine me with a romantic breakfast burrito from Sheetz. Then we hit the yards.

Around lunch, he leaves to go back to job #2 and I remain behind to keep working. At about 2:30 pm, I call it a day and head for the shower only to emerge, miraculously changed into "the piano teacher". I leave the house and travel to my lessons, leaving the oven set to turn on and cook dinner so that when I get home, I can feed my family before the evening activities begin. I dare not stop, I dare not sit too long because I have found that I will be frozen in the position for the rest of the evening. (The family that I gave two lessons to did not appreciate having to help me back up the stairs and into my car!) Every evening is special in that it is almost always has a tylenol moment, without which I cannot fall asleep! I'm not getting any younger you know!

However, never to fear! Life on the tractor has been good to me, except that my ipod is drained and needs recharging! After several days of good sermons, soothing music, and several books of the New Testament, I have about 4 drafts sitting in my draft box. Several on my "ruminations", (that's ex-dairy farmer language for thoughts coined by my husband's somewhat twisted interest in bovine nutrition) on Phil 3:14. And there's a photo essay coming on the coming of age (13) of my youngest child. My baby is now officially a teenager!
And yes, there is a non-sensical observation that I made of a ground hog as I drove down the road! No! It wasn't Punxatawney Phil!! He would have waved!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Do You Know Him?

This was preached by a Baptist brother now in glory. It is fitting that we consider our King this resurrection weekend!!! Happy Resurrection Day!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Donut Faith

I like donuts! Who doesn't? I only eat them once a week, at church. My kids love donuts! One of their favorite donuts are the iced ones with Jimmies sprinkled on them. There is just something appealing about a donut sprinkled with red and green jimmies at Christmas time. Or ones sprinkled with blue sprinkles on Penn State football weekends. And of all the donuts they could choose, they just are drawn to those decorated with jimmies. Somehow those jimmies just seem to add a little extra appeal to the taste buds.

Donuts are good tasting, filling, and make tummies happy, but they have absolutely no nutritive value to our bodies, in fact they harm us in that they fill us with nothingness and leave us not hungering for the real nutrition that our bodies need. They give us that sugar rush and then drop us dead, like a lemming running over the edge of a cliff, into the depths of exhaustion! (It's like sin, pleasurable for season!) They add a lot of extra calories, which in turn add a lot of extra baggage to our waistlines (the wages of donut sin) which we must then drag around everywhere we go, stuff into our jeans every morning, and half kill ourselves to try to get rid of it.

Religious activity is very much like a donut! We can get so busy doing the religious activities like reading our Bibles, praying so many minutes a day, going to church, doing good to our fellow man--all periphery activities but not necessarily gaining us the favor of God. People work in the Kingdom for many different reasons. Some work to get to the cross, to gain the favor of God. Others work from the cross, because they have already gained the favor of God and live to please Him in gratitude for what He has done for them. (Stole that idea from D.L. Moody)

Problem is with religious activity, just like the donuts, the center is missing and in the case of Christianity, that center is Christ. That's a very big hole, by the way! We can get so busy doing Christianity that we totally lose touch with Christ!!! And like the doughnut, religion satisfies for awhile, but eventually you will realize that it has left you exhausted, empty and without strength!

Personally I think that donuts with a hole in the middle are a waste of good air space. I gravitate towards the ones that have that cream filling in the middle. As tasty as the outside is, there is just nothing like getting a bite of that sweet, creamy filling in the middle.

Once I told my Sunday school class that the ones with the hole in the middle were "Sauls" and the ones with the cream in the middle were "Pauls", hoping to increase the demand for cream fills in the weekly donut order. (just kidding! It was an illustration about the difference between religion and relationship). But I think it was fitting.

A young girl recently posted a question on her facebook account that could clearly identify where we fall in the donut box. The gist of it was "if I didn't have all the stuff I have, would I be content with just having Christ." What if we couldn't even do our religious activities? Would we still be just as happy and content in God as we are with them? Would we have that same sense of security that ministry to the body and others affords us? What if we were like Paul and Silas, chained to a wall, expecting to die at daylight? Would we feel a sense of nearness to God, a sense of completion in our walk of faith, even if we had never done anything except be born again?

A fitting question and one to ponder, especially with a cup of tea and a donut!