LINKS TO BOOK PAGES TO ORDER
- Seventh Dimension - The Door, Book 1, A YA Fantasy
- Seventh Dimension - The King, Book 2, A YA Fantasy
- Seventh Dimension - The Castle, Book 3, A YA Fantasy
- Seventh Dimension - The City, Book 4, A YA Fantasy
- Seventh Dimension - The Prescience, Book 5, A YA Fantasy
- Seventh Dimension - The Howling, Book 6, A Young Adult Fantasy
- Seventh Dimension Inspirational - Am I Okay, God?
- Children of Dreams, An Adoption Memoir
- Food for Thought: Quick and Easy Recipes for Homeschooling Families
- The Donkey and the King, a Story of Redemption
Thursday, July 30, 2020
Thursday, June 25, 2020
The round clock at the front of the classroom struck 9:00 a.m. Sunlight streamed through the whitewash blinds and fell on my wooden desk. I clasped the newly sharpened pencil. Did I dare look to the back of the room?
I bit my lip as I studied the kids around me. The girls wore brand-new dresses, and the boys were in their Sunday best. Boys didn’t care how they looked—except for the first day of school.
I glanced at the calendar—August 28, 1966. My first day of fifth grade and the beginning of a new school year, a new classroom, and many new faces. However, it wasn’t like any other first day of school.
I eyed my new teacher sitting at her desk. Why didn’t she introduce the new students—the ones off by themselves? I supposed that would be awkward since other newcomers weren’t different from the rest of us. To point out those in the back would only draw attention to them—that they didn’t belong.
I stole a glance despite my conscience telling me I should quit staring. I was bothered by everyone who was ignoring the new kids in the back. The room was unusually quiet. I could only hear whispers. No laughter. No warm greetings. No jokes. Just—whispers.
I half turned in an attempt to see into the eyes of one of the two black girls who sat alongside a black boy. Could I read fear in her face? Could I sense shyness in her unwillingness to make eye contact? Or was it something else?
In a classroom of uncertainty and scorn, I knew what it was like to be the one who was different. Long-buried memories resurfaced—and I felt their discomfort, all alone in a sea of white faces.
The above story was my personal introduction to desegregation in Cobb County, Georgia, just north of Atlanta, in fifth grade. Much progress toward racial equality has been made in the years following. However, I fear the Black Lives Matter movement threatens to undermine what's been achieved. The founders spearheading the campaign have added an underlying agenda that has nothing to do with the core issue.
I’m not going to minimize the problem of prejudice and racism. I know it exists, but I genuinely believe it is a people problem and not a country problem. If one takes a hard look at America compared to other countries, racial equality is more substantial here than anywhere else. We are a rich and vibrant culture—mainly due to the vast number of people who have immigrated here. The truth is, except for the Indians, we are all immigrants.
For a moment, though, I want to focus on African-Americans. I was as disturbed as everyone else to witness the murder of George Floyd at the hands of three white Minneapolis police officers on May 25, 2020. What happened was pure evil. Regardless of what preceded such an atrocity, to hold a helpless man down on the ground for almost nine minutes and stand by and watch his life leave him was inhumane. It makes me wonder if those police officers were psychopaths. I hope all three of them are punished to the fullest extent of the law. In my mind, they should receive the death penalty.
But this is where I draw the line: Because three officers in Minneapolis used poor judgment cannot be used as a basis to judge all police officers.
One cannot use one injustice (killing George Floyd) to fix other wrongs (e,g., defunding the police), which would have a disastrous effect on society. To riot, set buildings on fire, create autonomous zones where police are forbidden to go, or to embrace and give credence to a movement like Black Lives Matter is only perpetuating evil.
I captioned the local news in Santa Monica when rioters were stealing and robbing from stores. The police stood by and did nothing. I am a single mother, and I found this appalling. It makes me consider that I need to arm myself and know how to shoot like a pro. Who knows when I might have to defend myself or my daughters because the police can’t or won’t. We live in dangerous times. If we continue on this path, we will have anarchy.
Is that justice? What do people think when they say they want to defund the police? Look at what happened in the Chaz Zone (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone) in Seattle this past weekend. The area was off-limits to Seattle police. There were two shootings within forty-eight hours. One person was killed, and another was critically injured. I captioned Fox News last week, where businesses in the Chaz Zone were destroyed, and the police did nothing. Who knows how many rapes and assaults have taken place. I want to give these people the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps they are well-intentioned, but they are sorely misguided to come up with this ill-concocted solution. One person is needlessly dead and another critically injured.
These demonstrators, emboldened by the Black Lives Matter Movement, have exchanged God’s moral law or standard for one based on a tribe’s governing rules. Whatever the tribe says is right. If you have a different set of standards, then you are part of the problem. That makes what’s right and what’s wrong morally relative. What does that create? Lawlessness.
In Matthew 24:10-12, Jesus told his disciples, when they asked him when the end of all things would be:
...many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
In 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 (NKJV), the Apostle Paul wrote to the church:
...And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
And for this reason, God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
The Black Lives Matter Movement is dangerous. Their platform shreds the Bible—God’s moral law—and replaces it with the #BLM tribal standard. Sadly, many well-meaning organizations, Christians, and churches have bought into the Black Lives Matter agenda without carefully considering their real motive or platform.
The Bible predicted these events thousands of years ago. Those who know Biblical prophecy recognize what is happening now are the very things Jesus and the Apostle Paul predicted.
If the reader would like to read the platform of Black Lives Matter, CLICK HERE.
For those who don’t have time to read all of it, I will post a few excerpts.
We are guided by the fact that all Black lives matter, regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status, or location.
We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead.
We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.
We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.
...We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work.
We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families...
We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise)[i]
In contradiction to Biblical teachings, the last statement is disturbing: “We foster a queer-affirming network.” Nowhere in the Bible does God promote a “queer” lifestyle.
The definition of “queer” in Merriam-Webster is
1. a: Worthless, counterfeit - queer money; b: Questionable, suspicious.
2. a: Differing in some odd way from what is usual or normal; b: (1): eccentric, unconventional (2): mildly insane; c: absorbed or interested to an extreme or unreasonable degree; d: Often disparaging + offensive. (1): SEXUALLY ATTRACTED TO MEMBERS OF THE SAME SEX
3. Not quite well
As I wrote above, I remember my first day of class in fifth grade when three black students were seated in an all-white classroom. I became good friends with one of the girls. She was a B+ student and a kind person.
However, at that time, my parents were not comfortable with me bringing her home with me. My mother’s comment was, “What would the neighbors say?” That was almost fifty years ago. Most people, including my mother, today, would think nothing of it. Things have changed despite the fact some want to stir up hatred and prejudice.
I ask the reader if you embrace the Black Lives Matter platform, what will God say to you? If you kneel for George Floyd or anyone but Jesus Christ, what are you saying about your faith in God?
My mother has long since admitted her response was racist, and she is no longer like that. Most people aren’t. Just because a few rotten apples are racist should not taint the rest of us who are white, hard-working, pro-Trump supporters. I don’t know of anyone personally who has a predisposition to dislike anyone who isn’t white. However, we still need to talk about our differences in a constructive way.
One afternoon at a writer's conference, I went over to sit across the table from a black author whom I respected. I told her I wanted to talk about racial relations and get her thoughts. When I told her that I didn’t see color, she said that it was a racist comment—that I should see black because black is beautiful. Her response was not what I expected.
I have two daughters who come from another continent who look nothing like me and are not Caucasian. I don’t see their skin color. I don’t see their physical differences. I see my daughters. Why should I consciously try to see them as anything else? I disagree with my black author friend’s observation, but I respect what she said. I’m learning and listening. That’s the first step toward reconciliation.
In the twenty-plus years since I adopted my first non-white daughter, I have never heard a racist comment about my family. People have asked if we go together. But considering my daughters were born in two Far East countries and I’m about as white as they come, it’s a legitimate question.
Perhaps my author friend was right; I should see black. However, when you live in a diverse community (my community is more diverse than hers as she lives in another city), everyone blends in. The first thing I notice when I look at someone is not their skin color. I wonder if they are a Christian. I look at them as someone I might like to know better or as my sister or brother in Christ.
I don’t believe the Black Lives Matter Movement is based on racial reconciliation as they want us to believe. Demonic forces in high places are at work, stirring up the #BLM Movement (and Antifa) to cause strife, unrest, and hate.
Tearing down statues of iconic figures from the past—people like Winston Churchill of England, Matahma Ghandi of India, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other American heroes—does nothing to help the more significant cause of promoting reconciliation and racial equality. Were these men perfect? No. But there was one man who was—Jesus Christ, and some now want to tear down statues depicting the only perfect human being who ever lived.
Jesus Christ is the Way the Truth and the Life. There is a song I love to sing, They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Love, and the words go like this:
We are one in the Spirit.
We are one in the Lord.
We are one in the Spirit.
We are one in the Lord.
And we pray that all unity
May one day be restored
And they’ll know we are Christians
By our love, by our love
Yes, they’ll know we are Christians
By our love.
I also want to point out one other important thing. Nowhere in the BLM platform is there any mention about abortion. The fact is they do nothing to condemn it. Like Stacey Abrams from Georgia, who served in the House of Representatives from 2007 to 2017, many leaders are pro-choice advocates and promote the #BLM agenda, including abortion. The Planned Parenthood Oregon website touts their commitment to Black Lives Matter in the article, “Our Commitment to Black Lives Matter.”[ii]
If they cared about black lives, shouldn’t they care about black babies? Do the lives of black babies not matter? The hypocrisy is sickening. How can #BLM advocates march (even peacefully) when they condone the killing of their black children?
According to the Arizona Capitol Times, in an article entitled: “Abortion: The Overlooked Tragedy for Black Americans,” the leading cause of death in the African-American population is abortion. Don’t Baby Black Lives Matter also? If so, then why do they promote abortion? The article states: “At a ratio of 474 abortions per 1,000 live births, black women have the highest ratio of any group in the country”[iii]
We will never have good racial relations in this country as long as African-Americans play the “race” card and continue to see themselves as victims. If they are victims, oftentimes, it’s because of their own choices. If they remain victims, I have to ask why. In America, out of all places, citizens have the freedom of upward mobility. That’s what makes America great. Travel to Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa—you won’t find a single country where people have as much opportunity to improve themselves and their families as you do in the United States.
Most people don’t realize the history of slavery. Slavery was an acceptable form of bondage that dates back thousands of years, even to before the time of Christ. Of the millions of Africans sold into slavery around the world, only 5% came to America, and they were the fortunate ones. Muslim countries relied heavily on slaves and castrated them and turned them into eunuchs. When the black slaves outlived their usefulness, they killed them.
The five percent that came to America married, had children, and formed their own culture. Many left paganism to embrace the true God, Jesus Christ, and became believers themselves. They wrote spirit-filled hymns and were allowed the freedom of worship.
Our country fought to end slavery in the Civil War. When that happened, we set the standard for everyone else to follow. Many countries did end slavery in the years and decades following. Our abolishment of slavery set a new worldwide standard. The last nation to outlaw slavery was Mauritania in 1981.
Again, as long as African-Americans see themselves as victims, they will never achieve their full potential as a distinct race with God-given creativity and potential. However, much progress has been made. Let’s not condemn the excellent work that has been done because a small number of people in the United States want to create division and chaos. We’ve even had a black man to serve two terms as President of the United States. That means there is no level of achievement that an African-American cannot attain. When you think about it, considering their humble beginnings in America, that’s pretty remarkable.
Hundreds of black athletes in the NBA, NHL, MLB, and other high-profile sports make millions of dollars each year. I doubt that any of them would have achieved their dream if they had not worked hard. Playing the “victim” card wouldn’t have earned them a spot on any team roster. Hard work, talent, and perseverance prevailed. There was a time when it didn’t, but that’s not true anymore. Team owners want the best athletes, and they will pay to get the most bang for their buck.
I can’t think of any profession in today’s world where African Americans have not contributed their gifts and talents in pursuit of the American dream. It’s there for the taking; my biggest fear is that our young people will settle for mediocrity rather than work hard to rise to the top. Socialism threatens to destroy the capitalist system, which is what has made America great. Those people who tout socialist virtues might not like it so much when Uncle Sam takes 90 percent of their paycheck. That’s socialism. Socialism is legalized theft through taxes.
Like so many others, I had a DNA test to find out where my roots lie. I discovered I have African ancestors. One of my relatives on an ancestry website, who I share DNA links with, claims to be the first black postal worker in America.
The truth be told, we are all inter-related. We all go back to Noah and his descendants. There is beauty in diversity, and there is unity in Jesus Christ.
One day last week, when I returned home, I saw my African-American neighbor pulling my trash bins from the road and depositing them at my house. She didn’t have to do that. It was kindness.
I called her over and told her as I leaned out of the car window, “I don’t care what happens in the world. You will always be my friend and neighbor.” I ended the conversation by saying, “God looks at the heart, and you have a good heart.” I thought she might burst into tears.
When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, He replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind;” and, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27 NIV).
Who is your neighbor? It’s anyone in need. Just open your heart, and God will show you.
[ii] “Our Commitment to Black Lives Matter,” Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, June 1, 2020, https://www.ppaoregon.org/2020/06/01/our-commitment-black-lives-matter/
Friday, May 29, 2020
We were all locked up in our houses for Passover, in Israel, the United States, and around the world. This is the first time since the original Passover, when Moses lead the Israelites out of Egypt, that Passover has been a Festival when both Israelis and Christians have been hidden inside our homes.
I truly believe at Pentecost, or Shavuot, we will see something amazing happen. Will God heal our land? Will He send Covid-19 into oblivion?
As a Christian, I'm praying for God to do a miracle, one that the critics will not be able to refute, one that even the naysayers will be forced to admit can only be from God.
Even if nothing happens, we have made a difference simply by praying. We have been obedient by acknowledging God's power and purpose in all of this. God allowed the coronavirus to infect our planet. In a twist of fate, the globalists got what they wanted - globalism in a pandemic.
But God takes the works of evil and uses it to glorify Him in a way that is profound and shocking. I know my Redeemer lives, and I know He is returning, perhaps sooner than many think. I'm excited to see the signs spoken of in the Bible harkening His soon return.
Below is an excerpt from Seventh Dimension - The Prescience, the fifth book in the Seventh Dimension Series, where Shale and Daniel, time travelers, experience the first Shavuot fifty days after Passover when Yeshua died on the cross for the salvation of all.
The Jews rejected their Messiah. If only the Jews could recognize Yeshua's death on the cross as The Holocaust, but God will open their eyes at the appointed time. Until then, Christians must occupy, sharing the Gospel, revealing God's love, and acting as God's ambassadors all over the world. Time is short. Expect miracles. Pray for the salvation of many.
THE CROWDED STREETS of the Upper City soon grabbed my attention as every blade of green grass and stone walkway was occupied.
Near the Temple Mount, a long procession of worshippers filled the courtyard. Hundreds of oxen decorated in flowery garlands were loaded down with fruits and grains. Children carried small baskets of figs and dates.
“This reminds me of an American parade,” I said.
Daniel waved his hand. “This is the festival of Shavuot, more commonly known to Christians as Pentecost.” As we neared the Temple entrance, the breathtaking view overwhelmed me. Thousands of visitors could fit inside the courtyard, not counting the animals. The crowd extended past the city
gates and up the hills overlooking Jerusalem.
Daniel headed to the Temple entrance.
“Is it always like this?” I asked.
Daniel squeezed my hand. “Jewish travelers come from everywhere. It’s one of the three Jewish pilgrimages.”
How could Daniel share anything as significant as Jesus with Nidal here? Wouldn’t a quiet place be better? He spoke to Nidal, and I started to ask him to repeat it when the shofar blasted. Singing followed, and the praises of worshippers filled my ears. I caught some of the Hebrew words.
“He brought us to this place and has given us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey; and now, behold, I have brought the first fruits of the land which you, O Lord, have given me.”
“Let’s make our offering first, and then we’ll go to Solomon’s Porch,” Daniel said.
We waited our turn amongst hundreds of others. The air was cool despite the bright morning sun, and there was plenty of activity around us to fill the boredom of standing in line.
After waiting close to an hour, we made our offering. I’d never seen anything like this in America except at sporting events. Seeing humanity pressed in on all sides to worship was unprecedented. Getting students to attend our prayer meetings and Bible study at school paled in comparison.
Gradually at first, the wind began to stir. Soon it became stronger, but I was distracted by a woman’s voice. “Daniel!”
The voice was familiar. Seconds later, I recognized the young girl. Lilly waved her hand as she pressed toward us. I remembered Daniel praying with her in the synagogue over her father. Was she from this time or our future?
Daniel greeted her warmly. “Lilly, this is my betrothed, Shale.”
Lilly took my arm and nudged me as she shouted to Daniel. “Follow me. Peter and the disciples are at Solomon’s Porch. They have been here all morning praying.”
We picked our way through the masses as the wind increased. My anticipation mounted. However, it wasn’t a wild wind that blew. It went where it wanted.
“Daniel!” The wind circled over the Temple, descending as a whirlwind. I saw heaven open, and a voice that sounded like thunderous waters proclaimed, “And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
The disciples stood in a semicircle facing the crowd as hundreds gathered around. The Zephyr descended zigzagging through the Temple columns, and tongues of fire alighted upon the disciples and their followers.
Almost immediately, fire transformed them. Words of praise left their lips as hope danced on their faces. A supernatural peace settled over the Temple, and the disciples and others began to speak in tongues.
I heard English. How could that be? I lifted my eyes to heaven and raised my hands in celebration. Quite unexpectedly, I saw the risen Christ bathed in white light sitting on his throne.
Peter shouted for all to hear. “This Jesus has been exalted to the right hand of God, and we receive the Holy Spirit, that which you now see and hear.”
Several exclaimed, “I’m hearing you in my own tongue. How can that be?”
The people waved and stared as signs and wonders filled the Temple. Nidal shouted, “I’m hearing the words of Muhammad in Nepali. I’ve never heard Muhammad speak.”
I clasped Daniel’s arm, concerned that Nidal thought he was hearing Muhammad and not Jesus, but
Daniel reassured me. “Let God speak.”
People were talking at once. I caught bits and pieces of several conversations.
“I’m hearing Peter in Arabic,” a foreigner exclaimed.
“I’m hearing him in Greek,” another shouted.
“Peter can’t speak Greek,” a woman interrupted. “He’s a fisherman from Galilee.”
“He’s speaking Aramaic,” another man said.
“Then why am I hearing him in Parthian?” a visitor asked. “I thought worship in the Temple was only in Hebrew.”
The crowd swelled around Solomon’s Porch as the winds of fire soared over the heads of eyewitnesses. The tongues alighted on some of the listeners, and they spoke in other languages. The multitude questioned each other. “Are these not Galileans? How is it that we’re hearing them in our own tongue?”
A few standing nearby mocked the disciples. “They are full of new wine.”
Fear crossed the faces of the Roman guards as they stared into the heavens. Nothing in their plethora of Roman gods could explain this event. Did they consider this was related to the death of Jesus whom they’d crucified seven weeks earlier?
I felt the electricity in the air—a supernatural kind that settled over the Temple environs. We were witnessing the fulfillment of the fourth of God’s seven festivals. The next festival to be fulfilled would be the Feast of Trumpets—and my thoughts ran amok contemplating that future event.
The murmurs increased, and I feared a riot might erupt. Then Peter stood on a table and addressed the onlookers. “Men of Judea and those who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and heed my words.
“For these men and women are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day. But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: ‘It shall come to pass in the last days that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. Your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.’”
Peter raised his hands and quoted from God’s book. “‘And on my menservants and on my maidservants, I will pour out my spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy. I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood and fire and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”
I remembered my dream. The sun turning dark could be a solar eclipse, but what could a red moon mean except something in the atmosphere turning it red—like fire?
Peter explained what happened. “Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, seven weeks ago, was put to death by crucifixion. On the third day, he rose from the dead. Even now in heaven, Christ sits on the throne.”
Peter said Jesus told them to wait in Jerusalem until he sent the gift of the Holy Spirit. Those present saw that outpouring. He quoted again from the Scriptures. “For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he said, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.’”
Thousands on the Temple Mount heard Peter’s sermon, and many threw up their hands in contrite prayers of repentance. When the people realized the truth of Peter’s words, many hearts trembled with fear. Some asked, “What must we do?”
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
Thousands came forward.
The mikvahs, large baths for ceremonial washing, were set up along the southern walls of the Temple Mount at the base of the double-gate stairs. Lines began to form. I’d never seen a turning to God by so many at one time. I leaned into Daniel. “This is the beginning of the church age.”
Daniel smiled. “I know.”
I glanced at Nidal who appeared stunned. Daniel draped his arm around his shoulder and spoke in his ear. I turned my attention to the Temple entrance. Some people were dispersing, unmoved by what they saw.
I shook my head in disbelief that anyone could walk away from God’s gift of the Holy Spirit. What else could God have done to show his perfect love to a perverse generation that missed his visitation? I remembered the words of Jesus, “For many are called, but few are chosen.”
After several minutes of intense discussion, Daniel relayed to me what Nidal said.
“Nidal wants to talk to me, and I can’t hear him here. Let’s go to another part of the Temple away from the noise.”
“Do you think he’ll tell you about your father?”
Daniel rubbed the nape of his neck. “If I don’t press too hard. He is quite shaken by what we’ve witnessed.”
Daniel led the way. I prayed as we walked that God would work a miracle. Since women weren’t allowed in the inner sanctum of the Temple, we stayed in the outer court. Daniel found a small portico, and we sat on some benches inside the columns that buttressed the wall.
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Tuesday, April 14, 2020
|Lorilyn and daughter Joy Easter 2020|
The closest semblance to this Easter is when I celebrated Shabbat in Israel in January 1991. That was a few days before the U.S. launched Operation Desert Storm. In stark contrast to the United States, Israel shuts everything down for the Sabbath. Restaurants, shops, and even grocery stores are closed, and there are very few cars on the road.
Only since I finished my cancer treatment have I come to appreciate how important a day of rest is. I no longer work seven days a week, and even today, I caught myself picking up sticks in the yard and moving a few rocks. God calls that work—and in the Old Testament, God struck down a man for gathering sticks on the Shabbat (Numbers 15:32-36). I stopped when God brought to mind I wasn’t resting from labor like He wanted me to.
We all struggle with different things, and for me, I tend not to know when to relax. So I appreciated this special Easter when I didn’t hear cars zooming by, lawn mowers blaring, or sirens screaming. The neighborhood was quiet, and there were cars in driveways because people were home. Some walked their dogs, and I’m sure many, as I did, spent quality time with their family instead of the frenzied pace that marks the way of life for most Americans.
I put on my favorite Christian movie, The Gospel of John, from 2003, which is a word-for-word rendition of the fourth Gospel in the New Testament. Every time I watch the reenactment, I come away with a new insight or something God shows me that I hadn’t seen before. This time it was from John 9:4 (KJV): Jesus said, “I must do the works of him that sent me while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work.”
|Disney World Parade|
That verse struck me because so many people can’t work during the coronavirus pandemic. Schools are closed. Restaurants are shut. All nonessential services are under lock and key, like dry cleaners, barbers, and clothing shops. Sports and entertainment have ceased. National parks and beaches are deserted, and theme parks, like DisneyWorld, are closed. Even places of worship are not allowed to meet in many cities, including my own.
To make a point, although it’s not my main point, but it is worth mentioning because it has never happened in our democracy, it’s like we are living in a socialist country. Our government, at the national, state, and municipal level, are determining what is essential and what isn’t. If you disobey the local authorities, you risk huge fines or worse.
And dare I even mention the shortages of certain items, like paper towels, toilet paper, and hand disinfectant. Could we have imagined anything like that happening in America? How many times have scoffers laughed at the preppers? But here we are, with millions of people unemployed, airports shut down, and our capitalist system in peril—all because of an invisible enemy we can’t see.
I’ve captioned this last month dozens of breaking news reports and updates at all levels of government, including Trump’s first major announcement concerning the coronavirus on Fox News. This is the world we live in right now, but it hits closer to home when your loved one or a dear friend is affected.
One of my friends has metastatic lung cancer. Her condition has deteriorated during the CV pandemic, and strict rules are in effect in Gainesville, Florida, regarding healthcare.
My good friend had a brain MRI set up to diagnose the progressing paralysis on her left side. She went for her appointment on a hot day in a hot car. When they took her temperature, it was 1/10 of a degree higher than the acceptable range for incoming patients. They sent her home under the pretense she might have coronavirus.
When she told me this, sorrow filled my heart. Our healthcare has been triaged so that those who are most in need of care might get passed over. With only a hundred cases of coronavirus in Alachua County and a vast medical complex that services the entire Southeast, my friend was sent home for fear of a virus that’s barely touched Alachua County. The authorities deemed the threat of coronavirus more concerning to the public than her precarious health condition requiring immediate care.
I asked her, “Do those people have a brain?” Of course, they have a brain, but her desperate situation was not considered urgent. That’s socialized medicine.
But really, that’s not the point of why I’m writing this piece. The coronavirus has brought darkness over our country. People are afraid. Doctors and nurses must abide by a set of rules put in place by the government. The government is telling healthcare workers to triage patients and sending some home. Whoever could have imagined that a patient would be sent home because of a mild fever when she came in for an MRI appointment related to battling stage IV lung cancer? And I don’t need to ask, whoever thought a day would come when people wouldn’t be allowed to work?
As Jesus said over two thousand years ago, “…the night cometh, when no man can work.”
Often prophecies are cyclical. The stage has been set for additional fulfillment of this prophecy. We are seeing the “birth pangs” that Jesus spoke of in the Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24-25. Jesus also specifically referred to pestilences in Luke 21:10-11 (American KJV): ”Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: And great earthquakes shall be in divers’ places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.”
Notice what Jesus said, following pestilences are “fearful sights and great signs…from heaven.” Nobody that I’ve heard has suggested this might be referring to the rapture. When Jesus was taken into heaven, his disciples stood by and watched him disappear into the clouds. Imagine what a fearful sight that would be and a great sign from heaven. The fact that it directly follows “pestilences” in Jesus’ chronicle of events is worth noting. Could the rapture be sooner than any of us have anticipated?
The coronavirus has been a pestilence and fearful sight. One only has to look at news from around the world to see how much fear it has evoked. One only needs to go on YouTube to see mass graves dug in other parts of the world, even in New York City. The lack of ventilators has created widespread fear. Seeing people wearing face masks has been shocking, while thousands are huddled in their homes to escape an invisible enemy for which there is no vaccine or cure. What could be more frightening?
As I focused on Jesus’ words, “I must do the works of him that sent me while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work,” the Holy Spirit spoke to me about darkness.
Last summer, My daughters and I went on a week-long cruise in the Western Caribbean. One of the places we took a shore excursion to was the Rio Secreto in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. At sixty-three years of age, I have to admit, the trek through the caverns of the underground river was challenging. My daughters handled it with ease, but I had to watch my steps using the makeshift cane they gave us. I was glad I wore a helmet in case I fell.
I thought it would be like a stroll in the park. It wasn’t. However, I’m glad I went. After a brief walk through a spectacular rain forest, we came to the entrance of the underground river. We entered the cold water with great caution.
After about forty-minutes of climbing over rocks and through fissures in the cave system, we came to a beautiful underground lake. The only light was from our helmet lights and flashlights. I still find it hard to believe that the Rio Secreto existed in total darkness for thousands of years before it was discovered in the early 2000s by cave explorers.
Then the guide told us to do something unusual. He asked us to turn off the headlamps and flashlights and to lie down in the water on our backs. When everyone had complied, we created a circular formation joining hands with the person next to us on both sides. The idea was for us to be at one with nature. The guide took a photo of us in the dark with only his flashlight on for dramatic effect.
Being one with nature was not what I experienced. I had left my glasses behind in a locker in case I fell. I didn’t want to lose the only ones I brought on the cruise. That was probably a mistake as I could have seen better with my glasses.
As I lay on my back with the water lapping gently underneath me, staring up at the darkness, I grew nauseated. I tried closing my eyes, but that didn’t help.
After what seemed like an eon of time, unbeknownst to me, the lights came back on. I had shut my eyes to shut out the darkness, and when I opened them, I saw several hikers were already standing, and the cave was more lit than dark. I thought my nausea would quickly dissipate when I had light again, but it didn’t.
Even when we exited the cave, in natural sunlight, my nausea continued. It lasted for an hour or more before finally going away.
I wondered for months why I got so dizzy and nauseous. Then someone pointed out to me, “It was because you had no sense of spatial awareness.” In everyday language, I didn't have a plumb line. In complete darkness, I had no frame of reference, and it made me disoriented and nauseous.
When I think about that experience, more than just the darkness bothered me. I had no sense of anything—up, down, left, right, what was near me, what was far away. Nothing. God did not create us to live in darkness. He is a God of light. Indeed, He is the light. He is our plumb line. When we are in darkness, we are blinded by darkness because we can’t see anything, and that makes us sick.
Matthew 24:22 (NIV) states: “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect, those days will be shortened.” Could Jesus be referring here to another darkness that is coming, once again when people won’t be able to work? Or could He be referring to the darkness we are experiencing now? Certainly, the CV pandemic has put us in darkness, darkness about the future and darkness sharing the Gospel.
This may be prescient of a future longer-lasting darkness where no one will be able to share the Good News of salvation or be about the Lord’s business. It’s easy to miss the flip side of Jesus’ words. If the days are shortened, that means the nights are longer—more darkness.
To quote John 9:4 again, Jesus said, “I must do the works of him that sent me, while it is day; the night cometh, when no man can work.”
I have no doubt the day is coming when we won't be able to witness, when we aren't able to share our faith or do the works of the Lord. The world will be in darkness, without God's light, because people will be blind, enveloped in the darkness of the prince of darkness that is soon coming.
God keeps bringing to my mind the word “occupy.” We don’t know how much time we have before the Lord’s return, but we are to occupy and be busy doing the Lord’s work until we aren’t able, just as Jesus said.
As an aside, and this is just a personal observation, the rapture could occur several years before the seven-year tribulation starts. As the Bible states, it will come at a time when it is not expected. Matthew 24:44 (NIV) says, “So you also must be ready because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
In the meantime, Christian writers need to be proclaiming salvation in their books. Speakers need to be sharing the Gospel from their platforms. Bloggers need to be writing blog posts about the Lord’s return, and Christian media producers need to be uploading Christian videos to YouTube while they still can.
Censoring is happening even as I write this post. Christian materials are being removed from social platforms at an alarming rate. Even on Facebook and Twitter, Christians are being silenced.
Strangely, we can’t share the Gospel with our neighbors right now. We aren’t even supposed to enter their houses. It’s not just in America. Half of the world has been enveloped in this pandemic, and millions are holed up in their homes.
If you have not accepted Yeshua (Jesus Christ) as your Savior, today is the day of salvation. When night comes, it may be too late. You may not be able to get on the Internet. You may not be able to work. You might not even have food to eat. John 3:16 states (KJV): “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son so that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”
At Christmas, just four months ago, no one could have imagined we would be engulfed in a global pandemic. I knew about the coronavirus in Wuhan from captioning RT News (American media did a poor job of covering it), but I never in my wildest dreams imagined that it would grip the whole world as it has.
Most of my broadcast captioning is sports-related, so my income has been affected. I wait for the pandemic to end, but I don't wait in vain. I expectantly wait for God to bring good out of all of this, and I pray that God will heal our nation, bring revival, and turn many to the Lord.
Please join me in praying for those in authority over us, for those healthcare workers on the frontline battling this pandemic, and for wisdom for our leaders—not a socialist one-shoe-fits-all kind of wisdom, but the wisdom that comes from God.
Out of the darkness, God shines His light, giving us hope and guidance. We can become, once again, one nation under God. May God be glorified as we seek to be His servants in these last days until He calls us home. Let us work while we can before total darkness comes and the light of Jesus is extinguished. As long as God keeps us here, we are that light unto salvation.