Update: Divine Encounters

This morning I’m hanging out in one of my favorite places for breakfast: Panera Bread. It’s cool in here but hot outside. It will be 100 degrees today, the hottest day yet.

I’ve been reading Killing the Killers, by Bill O’Reilly. So far in the reading it’s just been a lot of killing by terrorists. I’m waiting for the good guys to show up.

I’m taking some time off from work—my painting. I know I will have some jobs coming up soon. I always do. People will call. Actually, some have called but I said no. I like my days off too much.

Divine Encounters

I’ve been thinking some on “divine encounters.” What I mean is the encounters I would have with people as an ambassador for Christ—when I am walking in the Spirit. Thus, when he or she meets and engages with someone, since we as Christians have the Holy Spirit in us, we normally have a divine encounter with them. And so, everything we say to them is as if God is talking to them through us. We are the instrument of God bringing His message to them. This is a concept that we don’t always think about, but it is true. And we realize it most when we are walking in the Spirit—walking close to God in obedience.

I want to remind myself constantly of this idea—that I am always His ambassador and that normally every encounter I have with people is divine. I must not waste my time. I must make the most of it. If I am walking in the spirt, everything I say to people will be from His (God’s) mouth—from His heart. But if I say what is trivial and not of the Spirit, I am blocking the flow of His Spirit through me. That is a tragedy, and unfortunately, it happens too often in too many Christians. Too many of us are walking around as zombies (dead to the Spirit), and what we say is contrary to what the Spirit is trying to say in and through us. We must open our heart to Him; we must clean out our mouth and let the Spirt flow through us and out to others—so that we have those natural “divine encounters.”

Update: My dreams, My Reading, My Writing, About Zelensky

Well, I feel like Spring is officially here in Minnesota. I went for a long walk yesterday along the bank of the Mississippi river. The river is up from where it was last summer; it was almost all dried up. Hopefully, if we get more rain the river will be at its normal height again.

My Dreams

I had one of my re-occurring dreams last night. I very often have dreams where I am quite aggravated over painters that I have hired. I suppose it’s because of some unresolved things in my mind. Early in my painting business (in the 80s and early 90s) I hired a lot of painters. And some of them weren’t too experienced or reliable. So, I suppose that’s why I’m having these crazy dreams of painters doing crazy things where I end up getting very aggravated at them. I really should pray about it to resolve some of those issues—whatever they are, maybe anger issues.

My Reading

I’ve been reading books by Dinesh D’Souza, all about our country’s issues, like slavery and racism and lies our country’s leaders tell us, etc. D’Souza is very smart and I trust what he is saying, but, at the same time all of it is weighing on me. I know that God has opened the door for me to read this stuff; it’s almost like taking a class in American history and learning the truth about things—things that most history books won’t tell you. I hope and pray that I can put it to good use—maybe just blogging, which is what I have been doing.

My Writing on the Tribulation

I continue to write a book on the Tribulation. I write a little every day. I have a few sources, but I wish I had more. With future things I suppose it’s always hard to find material. My best source is the bible. But even the bible does not give me all that I want. God seems to hold back things that will happen. I’m now trying to write on the judgments: the seals, trumpets and bowls. But what the bible says is very brief. So, I am doing the best I can without extrapolating too much. Of course, I’m finding that the meaning of the seals for example will become clearer with the observation of what’s happening in the news—with wars and the economy, etc. For example, there is a lot of news now about how this Russia/Ukraine war could cause a global food shortage. And if that is occurring now, think of how it will certainly be a problem in the Tribulation.

What I have been hearing about Zelensky

Everybody seems to be really liking President Zelensky—for what he is saying and how he is encouraging his country to be strong and brave, and also how he is trying so hard to get counties to help. And have you heard of the latest song written about him, saying that he will be the superman of the world? Yes, I agree that he seems to be very antichrist-like. Yet he doesn’t appear to be boastful as we know the Antichrist will be. But maybe that will come later.

What I have been hearing lately is that he is not such a good fellow.

  • Someone from Ukraine reported that we can only believe half of what he says.
  • That he was installed with help of George Soros (a very evil and wealthy man, a thug)
  • That he is working for the World Economic Forum, which is pushing for a great Reset.
  • Since he is working toward The Great Reset (or build back better), that means that he may be trying to provoke Russia into war, and he may be intentionally trying to crash the economy and thus creating a world food crisis (which is what Biden is doing—with the aid of his advisors). Yes, it’s all in the plans: to tear everything down and start over.

Work Vs. Welfare: America Needs to Be Working

I grew up with a good work ethic. My Dad was a farmer and his dad was a farmer. On my mom’s side her dad was a house painter. Now I’m a house painter. I can truthfully say, I’m most happy when I’m working.

I have been reading Beyond Biden, by Newt Gingrich. He has a few chapters on this subject of work and welfare. I will just give you the sections that I highlighted.

  • Historically, America has been on the side of earned freedom, and the heart of that is work.
  • We need to help poor people learn how to get a job, and to get better and better jobs.
  • Benjamin Franklin: “It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is a miserable man.”
  • The left (the socialists) wants to make poor people comfortable in poverty. They are willing to pay you more to do nothing than you can earn by going to work. Why? Because they want you to be dependent on the government. They want to control you.
  • Welfare teaches you to learn how to get money rather than how to earn money. They want you to find out all the ways that the government will pay you to stay home. They want you to find all the ways to get free money. Unfortunately, this welfare mentality creates a growing sickness of theft and corruption. For example, in the recent COVID bailout distributions in California, an estimated $31 billion was stolen from the unemployment compensation program.
  • Nationwide, during the COVID crisis $400 billion in tax dollars is now in the hands of criminals. But the sad thing about this is that they think they are just being smart or thrifty.
  • A culture that teaches people to get money without effort teaches a culture of indolence, poverty, and that looks for others to take care of them. But a culture of work leads to a constant search for learning and self-improvement.
  • Remember this adage? “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
  • When people come to expect something for nothing, it leads them to indolence. When they are used to getting something for nothing and have been reassured that they deserve the money just for being alive, many of them begin to believe it. Then they become aggressive in demanding money.

America is now on the brink of a decaying culture that demands to be taken care of without going to work.

Update: Time off, Reading, Writing, Publishing

It’s that time of year when I see muskrats on the lakes.

Time Off

I’m getting over a month off from my painting work. I’m loving it! I feel I deserve some days off after forty years in the business. Painting is hard work, especially those ceilings. Today I’m getting my hair cut and meeting with my son at Olive Garden to celebrate his birthday and just to see him.

Reading Beyond Biden

This book, by Newt Gingrich is quite good and well documented. He is so smart and really on top of things—for his age. It’s nice to have a book like this to get accurate information about what’s happening in America and what we need to do about it. I’m learning so much about wokeism and related subjects. Newt also Has a lot to say about getting people back to work and off of welfare. And you know, he did that when he was the Speaker.

My New Book:  The Tribulation

As is always the case, I learn so much by writing. I am really enjoying writing this book. I work on it every day—about forty-fiver minutes a day. In this book on the Tribulation, I am concentrating only on what I know to be true from the bible, and will focus on the Tribulation itself—that is, all the suffering of the seals, the trumpets, and the bowls. I am not going to worry about the order of things or to spend much time on things I don’t understand. I am just going to emphasize strongly those things that are clearly laid out in Scripture; and that the Tribulation is definitely coming soon for whose who are not saved!

Publishing

I’m a self-publisher and I suppose that’s the way it will stay. But I’ve been thinking lately that I need to make some changes. I love writing, but I hate all aspects of publishing; selling, marketing, all of it. So, I have been praying hard on it and looking over all my options. There are so many self-publishing companies I could use, or to do it myself. I’m feeling quite upset over it all and need to calm down and trust the Lord. He reminded me two days ago of a verse, Romans 8:32: “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things.” A wonderful verse. God gave His Son to die for me. How will He not also give me all things. That is, God will certainly give me everything that He wants me to have, everything that is good—good for His purposes and also good for me. So, if I keep trusting Him and follow His will, He will set me up with whatever He wants me to do as far as all this publishing nonsense. Oh, I still have a bad attitude about it. Hopefully, He will change that too. 

Managing Fear, Walking by Faith

When I heard my pastor say this morning that we need to manage our fears and walk by faith, my heart perked up. Will this be an answer to my prayers? For the last few days, I have felt aggravated by what’s going on at work, and I also know that I am struggling with fear; fear of the person that I work for. Well, last night I was not able to sleep and so I sat up in my bed with my bible in hand, trying to find a verse of Scripture to help me—but nothing. So, I prayed that God would soon show me a good Scripture passage and tell me what to do. Then this morning I really didn’t feel too good and almost didn’t go to church. Then I thought: well, maybe the Lord will give me something; maybe He will answer my prayers. And He surely did.

This morning’s sermon was from the book of Numbers, chapters 13 and 14. You may remember what happened. Twelve spies went into Canaan to spy out the land. They found that the land was very good, but that the people were huge and their cities were well-guarded. Ten out of the twelve spies had great fears; they reported that they were not able to go up against them, that they were not strong enough. They said, “We became like grasshoppers in our own sight and so we were in their sight.”

Here are a few notes that I wrote down from the sermon:

  • When they went into Canaan and looked around, they didn’t manage their fears and so they didn’t walk by faith.
  • God said, enough of the whining, just trust Me.
  • We are to walk by faith, not by fear.
  • There is a high price for not managing our fear.
  • “Fear is a reaction; courage is a decision.” – Winton Churchill
  • The people of Israel wept all night at the peril they faced, but they didn’t turn to God in faith.
  • “If we do not fear God, we fear everything else.” – Oswald Chambers
  • When we fear and don’t trust God, we will miss His gifts.

So, what should I do with my situation at work? First of all, I will be praying and will trust God in what to do. I will not let fear rule my life. I will not let myself stew over any further potential problem. I will have a positive attitude as I manage my fears. And I will follow the example of Caleb who said (in Nu. 13:30), “We should by all means go up and take possession of it [the land], for we will surely overcome it.”

My Update: Work, Writing on Martyrs, Retirement

I think it’s time for another update. I’ll try to be positive, though I am having a few problems.

My Present Job

I’m a retired house painter, but I still do a little work. The job I am working on now is not going well. Actually, I thought I was finished, but when the owner got home (from a vacation) and looked it over, she was not pleased. I very rarely get complaints, but she had plenty. What went wrong?

Well, I’m not going to tell you everything, except to say that she let me know that I am not a perfect painter—as I sometimes think I am. I am feeling quite humbled. I have a lot to do over (second coats). I had Thanksgiving and today off, and Saturday I will try to finish up. My prayers this morning were three-fold: that I would do the work well; that my mind would be at peace and I will not worry about it; and that she (the owner) would settle down and not be so upset with me—to also be at peace.

Thanksgiving Day

My sister’s first husband invited me over to his house. He is a good friend, so I was excited to see him and his two kids, also to see some of his family I have never met. It was such a good time being together and making some new friends.

Reading and Writing about Christian Martyrs

I’ve been reading and blogging on Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. It’s been a struggle for two reasons: The reading is so difficult; the translation from that time period (about 1500) is not good. I will try to find a more modern translation. Also, though it is very inspiring to hear how the Martyrs believed and endured suffering, it is troubling to hear how evil things were in the Catholic church and how they were, and still are, so blinded by the devil.

I am also at the same time reading and writing about the coming Tribulation. I am now wondering if the Tribulation martyrdom will be a return of the same Catholic inquisition. I think it may be, but worse! I am so happy though, to know that when they die they will immediately be with the Lord and will be forever rejoicing with Him (as a few Revelation passaged tell us).

Old Age and Retirement

I don’t want to bore you or complain about things, but I do sense that my emotional make-up is breaking down. Maybe I should read a good book on retirement. I know that I need to learn how to relax more, etc. I don’t want to just sit and vegetate. But maybe there are some changes I need to make.

Well, that’s all for now in this update. I wish you all well—you who regularly follow my blog. And I will keep you all in my prayers.

Update: Life Changes

Church change. I have been praying about this and churning it over in my mind for a few months. And I finely now have made the change. I feel a little sad about it—not to see certain folks regularly. But I feel I must move on to what I think is the right move. I’m not going to talk about the reasons, but there are doctrinal reasons. So, I feel that I am following the Lord, but yet I am sad. I feel a peace about it. Yet I know there will be struggles, and I must endure them and push on.

Working less. This last summer I worked much more that I figured I would. And I was suffering in the heat—90-degree heat for many days. I think I have to push myself to slow down. I have resolved to take more days off between jobs—I’m a house painter; semi-retired. And I will take only easy jobs. I will not quit working completely, because I really like what I do. But I also like days off and having time to write and read more, etc.

Health issues. I’m finding that I’m having more and more health issues—because of my age I suppose. But it is also a challenge to concentrate more on good eating habits and regular exercise, etc. Nobody wants to be sick—unless you have a death wish. I know that much sickness in people is because of heredity. But we can’t use that as an excuse. We all, especially us older folks, must work extra hard to keep ourselves healthy—watch our diet, exercise, and deal with any illnesses. And I find that daily prayer is very helpful. I follow the Jabez prayer. Why not? He prayed that God would bless him and keep him from harm (1 Chron. 4:10).

Update: My Work, My Writing, the News

I bought these Petunias to brighten up my apartment.

My Work

Lately I’ve been staying busy, more than I want to be. For some reason I have gotten a lot of calls for jobs this year. I’m a house painter. That’s what I have been busy with. Though I am retired, I just keep working. But I’m not complaining—too much. The main complaint this year is the terrible heat. We are having a lot of 90-degree days.  Too hot to paint!

My latest book, The Tribulation

I’ve written a few books on prayer, a few books on bible prophecy, and my memoir.  Now I’m back to bible prophecy. I’m just getting started on this book on the Tribulation. I’m excited to know how it will turn out. I’ve done some research, but I know I will do more as I go along. I do have an outline, so I know what the content will be, but I also know that I will have some surprises—I will learn as I go. And, as is my custom, I will blog the content as I go. That will start soon.

The News

As Christians often say, “This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through.” That has more and more been my attitude, especially since the news is so bad. I listen to the radio—probably more than I should—to get a conservative slant on things. But you know, since the Dem’s control everything, there is not much good news. And can you believe this Critical Race theory they are pushing? Terrible. And there seems to be no end to the upsurge in crime and murder. The only good news of it all is that the Rapture will be coming soon!

Update: sadness, faith, walking, working and writing

Sadness. Lately I have been feeling depressed over the shootings and rioting. I’m not really on one side or the other, but I think if people would respect the police more and if parents would instill that respect in their kids, things would be better. If the police aren’t immediately obeyed, there is bound to be trouble; things could get out of control fast. I’m sick about all the riots and the deaths. But we can’t cancel the police. They are here to keep law and order and most of them do that well.

I should also say that God knows all about what is going on in the world, and so we (I) need not be anxious. So, I will pray about it and leave it to Him. I can only so much according to how He directs me, and then He will finish it up according to His will. God is in control of all things, and when we (I) understand that we (I) will have more peace.

Faith. The idea that most of our troubles result from our little faith has been churning in my mind. When Jesus was speaking about how to overcome anxiety and worry by observing the birds and the flowers, He concluded by saying, “O ye of little faith.” And that is the summation of most of our problems, isn’t it? We just fail to believe in Him, that He will take care of us and bring us hope and good things; that He will show us His love and put us at peace and in His joy.

The paths of the Lord are mercy and truth.

He pardons our iniquities

and teaches us to fear Him.

He tells us to keep looking to Him

and to trust Him to deliver us.

(from Psalm 25)

Walking, working and writing. I walk most to enjoy nature and to photograph nature. You will see my photos in my blogs. But I also walk for exercise and to feel better.

I’m a retired painter, but I still work once in a while just to keep busy and to see my customers. I have a few clients that I know and have worked for for a over twenty years. It is good to see them and to keep painting for them.

I’m also a writer and a self-publisher. I enjoy writing books, but I haven’t sold too many. Hopefully that will change soon when I go with a different publisher. I’m thinking of Xulon. They are a Christian company so I think that will help. I’m writing a book now on the Tribulation. Hopefully it won’t take long to write, and I’m sure you will soon be getting some of the book excerpts.

My Update (10/3/2020): Cleaning, Publishing, Prayer, Work

Its been a couple of weeks since I’ve given you an update. I’m not a diary person; I find that this personal blog kind of fulfills that purpose—and more. Anyway, I will start with my apartment…

Cleaning the apartment. I have been in my apartment for just over 20 years and now we have a new management company; and they are stricter. They recently came in—while I was gone—and did an inspection. They said I needed to clean my fridge and bathtub and bathroom floor; and they are coming back in a month to check it.  Well, I’m feeling kind of upset over it, but now that I’m getting busy cleaning, I think it’s a good thing for me—God’s will.

Publishing my book. I’m a self-publisher and I’m now in that process with my last book. Editing is easy, just reading it through and checking things. But yesterday I spent about three hours trying to delete the header info from a blank page! I finely figured it out. It helps to click on “help” on my MS word. They gave me a five-point answer, and it worked! Next, I will check it over one last time and then put it in a pdf form and send it to Lulu (a printing co.) to be printed and bound. Oh, and I also have to send them my designed cover page. Lulu does a good job at making the books, but they don’t do much to sell it for you. I’m gonna half to think of ways to sell my books myself. I just have to do it—even though it really isn’t my gift.

Trump and Country. I have a blog with that name, but I quit on it a few months ago. It was too stressful for me. But though I don’t blog on politics much anymore, I do keep up with watching the Fox videos and also some reading. More and more these days I have been feeling a strong burden to pray for President Trump and this country—in that order. Every morning when I pray, he is the first item on my list: for his health, strength, and wisdom. I also pray that just judgment would be done on all those evil forces (evil people) coming against him and this country. Please pray with me. Christians, please pray. It is your most important duty. Nothing but prayer will work to come against the darkness; only God is strong enough to come against it. And He chooses to work mostly through our prayers.

My healthy and work. I want to keep working in my painting business, but I am retired and I’m slowing down. In some respects, my work is good to give me exercise. But if I overdo it, which I always tend to do, my arthritis flares up and my muscles get really sore for a few days. The key is to find the right balance between work and rest. It’s kind of nice to not be bothered by work for a few days, because I like to just sit and read and do my writing. I hope and pray that my writing will be a benefit to others, that it won’t be a meaningless or just a self-fulfilling exercise.  I’ll be praying about it, and then commit it to Him—and wait for His peace.

God bless you my fellow bloggers and followers. Keep up your good work and encouraging words. Prayer to you always.

Stephen