My Update: 5 things

Okay, I’ll get right to it…

My work. I’m a retired painter—not a lot going on. Tomorrow or the next day I will wash a deck and paint it. I do this particular deck every 3 or 4 years. The next two jobs are doors—to repaint a few doors—easy. After that I have a bedroom to paint. So, what I have lined up is easy, a little boring, but just enough to keep me out of trouble.

Bible reading. I always manage to keep myself busy, but for some reason I feel that I have sadly neglected my time in the word. Yesterday I decided that I would spend two half-hour periods reading the bible—where I am at in Exodus. I liked it. It did me good. I’m gonna try to keep doing that. I have sort of prided myself for being faithful to a morning quiet time. But recently I feel the need for more and something less structured. My goal is to fill my mind with the word of God; to meditate more on it.

My book writing. I’m sort of at a lull in my writing. I had two different books going, but I finished them. Now I’m going through them one at a time, editing them; so I am basically just checking grammar and spelling and to make sure everything is said right.

Photography and walking. For me those things go together. Without my camera walking would be too much of a chore. But walking with my camera is like hunting and an adventure. I’m always hunting with my eyes for the perfect shot. Yesterday while walking I was quite disappointed by all the overgrown weeds and grass, but I did spot two beautiful purple Morning Glories (pictured). My walk was worth it just to see them. And the way the light reflected out of the middle of the trumpet bell is gorgeous!

The Coronavirus and globalism. I am getting so turned off by all the hype and news that the pandemic is getting. I really don’t think that it is as serious as the media is telling us. But the globalists are ecstatic about it. Finally, something came along that will help unite the world. Now all they need is one vaccine for the whole world. The only disappointment they have is the US, Israel, and the Christians.

They are so angry at Donald Trump and his nationalist views. If only they could somehow get Biden to win the November election. We will see what happens. But I have a feeling that they will be in for a constant fight until the Rapture. But after the Rapture everything will change. The Rapture itself will be the driving force for globalism. It will propel all the world leaders to come together to strategize their global agenda. I think, instead of being horrified at all the disappearances the devil will cause them to be gleeful at the new global prospects.

My Retirement Years: Work, Writing, Kids

I officially began my retirement in 2015… so I’m five years into it. A few things remain the same, but most things are a little different. I’m intentionally trying to slow things down, relax more and enjoy what is left of my life. I’m still painting, but not as much. I sort of feel like I can work as hard as I always have, but I know I’m getting older, so I made the decision to get rid of all my tall 32 ft. ladders (I recycled them). I just work now with a 20-footer. Besides not doing high work, I have also cut down on my hours. Instead of 8 or 9-hour days, I limit it to six hours; and I also take a 3 or 4-day break between jobs. But I want to tell you that my work is just as good as it always was, maybe even better. Since I’m trying to slow things down, I’m paying more attention to details. I love my work and also my faithful customers; and I will be working just as long as I can hold a brush and do a good job.

As for my writing, I think I am writing more now than ever. I have more time to write and I think I’m even better at it. I guess the more you read and write and experience life, the better you get at it. At present I am just finishing up my book After the Rapture, and I am also almost finished with this book on my life story—although I haven’t thought of a title for it yet. What’s next? I don’t know, but I’m sure God will nudge me to write something. I have some ideas but nothing solid yet.

Another area of my life that is constantly changing is my relationship with my kids. They are all adults now and their families are multiplying. I already have seven, almost eight grandkids. They came so fast. Justina, the oldest of my children, age 35, is married to Rusty, and they have two kids. They live in Virginia and they both work as nurses. Anthony, age 33, is married to Crystal and they will have two kids in a month. They live in Bloomington, just a half hour drive from me. They also are both working at very good jobs. Joshua, age 31, is single. I keep telling him to remain that way—ha! He also lives fairly close to me and we get together as much as we can. Abigail (Abi) is the youngest, at 29, and she just had her fourth kid. She lives in Texas with her husband Aaron who seem to always have two or three jobs going.

I really love my kids and pray for a them, but I don’t really know them that well. I put the blame mostly on our divorce arrangement, not being able to see them except for two hours a week. But I can’t put all the blame on that. I really could have worked harder to see them more. I could have fought for it, but didn’t. I’m not real sure why. I have sort of a hermit-like nature. I naturally don’t have a great desire to connect with people, not even my own kids. It’s my own selfish nature.

But I still have hope that things will get better. I think we all are working on connecting more—texting and even calling. And I think the more we pray for each other the better it will be. I also want to make regular trips to see my kids and grandkids in Virginia and Texas. That would be good—for them and for me.

My Next Book: After the Rapture

Almost immediately after I published Biblical Evidence of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, I began working on my next book, After the Rapture: What Happens On Earth and In Heaven After the Rapture. I am almost finished with the book. I only have a little bit of the last chapter left and the introduction—I always leave the intro until last. I am so excited to get this book published. I think it is my best writing.  It flowed off my pen more than the previous books, and without much rewriting or editing. Also, it is more controversial, and allows for more guesswork. In other words, I go beyond what the Scripture gives us. I start with the Scriptures and then I make a good, educated guess at how things will play out. I put my imagination to work.

Okay, here is a rundown of the book, chapter by chapter. I begin in just three or four pages, describing what it will be like just before the Rapture. Much of it is what is going on right now: false prophets, evil, wars, famine, and lawlessness.

I outlined the book in two parts, part one is On Earth After the Rapture, in ten chapters; and part Two is In Heaven After the Rapture, in just two chapters. I begin the first chapter by describing what I think will be the immediate effects of the Rapture. I go fast and furious through this chapter, first describing automobile and airplane accidents, but I also talk about people’s fears and panic and grief and rioting. We know all about rioting, but it will be much worse than what we are experiencing now.

In chapter two I will talk about the different theories that will emerge as to why so many people have disappeared—especially in the more Christian countries like Kenya and the United States (and a few others). Of course, this is all guesswork on my part; but some ideas have already been expressed in writing. New Agers have written much on this. Here I delve into some very bizarre things such as alien abductions and parallel dimensions.

In chapter tree I discuss the probable collapses; economic, institutional, government and moral.

In chapter four through eight I write on the rise of a new global government, a new global religion, and the Antichrist. Many, I am aware, think that these things will not happen until the Tribulation period, but I argue that they will begin to happen in the period between the Rapture and the Tribulation, which is why I think that that period could be as long as ten years. It will be a very tumultuous time, seeing so much evil; yet for some, a very exciting time seeing so many changes take place all under the banner of unity (a false unity)—a world unified government and a world unified religion.

In chapter nine I talk about the Ezekiel Invasion (from Ezekiel 38-39). Many place this war during the Tribulation, but I see it happening just before the Tribulation, and I give my reasons.

Chapter ten covers the very exciting topic of the third temple. I discuss here how all the articles are already made and ready for use. I discuss the building progress but also the obstacles of the progress.

Then in chapter eleven I begin part two on what transpires in heaven after the Rapture. Here I point out that we will first face the Bema, which is when all we who have been raptured will be judged according to our works, whether good or bad.

The last chapter is on the Marriage of the Lamb, our marriage to Christ. Many will disagree with me here, but I argue that our marriage to Christ will be patterned after the typical Jewish wedding. And the reason for their disagreement is because it will set forth a biblical proof of the Rapture.

Now in a typical Jewish wedding ritual, after the groom establishes the marriage covenant with the bride, he then returns to his father’s house to prepare a place for the bride, but promises that he will soon come again to get her and take her to be with him in his father’s house. 

The key biblical passage here is John 14:2-3, where Jesus tells His disciples, “I go and prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” This passage, as you can see, follows the pattern of the Jewish wedding, and it is unmistakably, also what happens at the Rapture of the church.

Well, like I said, I am not quite finished with the book, but I will be very soon. I anticipate it to be published maybe by Christmas, 2020.

10 Uses for Prayer A to Z

It took me about 20 years to finally finish writing Prayer A to Z (from 1992 to 2012). I won’t bore you with any of the details here. It would be too long even to try to summarize it. But if you will go to my blog, https://studyingprayer.com/, you will see not only a summary, but sections of the book itself. Most of the book is on the blog site—in short excerpts with just a few extra comments. I’ve gotten some very nice blog comments, and I have a suspicion that many have ordered the book, either the hard copy or the pdf free eBook version. Thanks to all who did.

Now in this post I will list all of the 52 chapters so you can get a good overview of the book. Then I will give you ten suggested uses of the book other than just reading it through.

All 52 Chapters of PRAYER A TO Z

  1. Answers to Prayer
  2. Aroma of Prayer
  3. Authority of Prayer
  4. Burden in Prayer
  5. Confidence in Prayer
  6. Definition of Prayer
  7. Desire of Prayer
  8. Earnestness in Prayer
  9. Evangelism and Prayer
  10. Failure in Prayer
  11. Faith and Prayer
  12. Fasting and Prayer
  13. Forgiveness and Prayer
  14. God’s Idea Prayer
  15. Holiness and Prayer
  16. Holy Spirit and Prayer
  17. How to Pray, Part 1
  18. How to Pray, Part 2
  19. Importunity in Prayer
  20. Intercession, Part 1
  21. Intercession, Part 2
  22. Intercession, Part 3
  23. Jesus Name
  24. Kneeling in Prayer
  25. Length of Prayer
  26. Ministry of Prayer
  27. Necessity of Prayer
  28. Obedience of Prayer
  29. Possibilities of Prayer
  30. Power of Prayer
  31. Praise and Prayer
  32. Praise and Prayer
  33. Prayerlessness
  34. Quietness of Prayer, Part 1
  35. Quietness of Prayer, Part 2
  36. Quietness of Prayer, Part 3
  37. Quietness of Prayer, Part 4
  38. Revival and Prayer
  39. Specific Prayer
  40. Survey of Prayer, Part 1
  41. Survey of Prayer, Part 2
  42. Survey of Prayer, Part 3
  43. Survey of Prayer, Part 4
  44. Survey of Prayer, part 5
  45. Travail in Prayer
  46. United Prayer
  47. Vigilance in Prayer
  48. Vigilance in Prayer
  49. Word and Prayer
  50. Xanadu
  51. Yielding in Prayer
  52. Zenith of Prayer

Ten Uses for Prayer A to Z

1. I suggest not reading it through as a regular book. The book is more like a textbook on the broad subject of prayer. But if you insist on reading it through, take your time and set some reading goals. You may even find it helpful to take some notes as you read in terms of application so you don’t get lost in the weeks.

2. Sunday School teachers or Bible School Teachers to use it as a text book for a class on prayer.

3. Use it as a comprehensive personal or group study on prayer. Its 52 chapters would make an excellent weekly year-long study. But some would prefer to lengthen it to a two-year study. Two pages of reading a day would take you through the book in two years.

4. Use it as a source book. It’s a great book to have handy setting on your shelf for any questions that may come up. The alphabetical table of contents will be helpful.

5. Use the pdf version as a good concordance. I have found that the pdf version is very helpful to look up key words or scripture references anywhere in the text. It is especially helpful if you are studying a particular prayer subject and want to see all the places in the book it has been mentioned. I offer the pdf version free.

6. Use for daily devotional reading. Besides your daily bible reading, Prayer A to Z may stimulate some good devotional thoughts.

7. Use as a character study. I would begin by using the pdf version to look up all the occurances of a particular character, like Moses or Daniel. You could also go to chapters 40 through 44 and check out the prayers of those characters.

8. Use it to study all the prayers of the bible from chapters 40 through 44.

9. Use it to start a prayer ministry. A good start would be to read chapter 26 in this book.

10. Use to improve your prayer life. Start by reading chapter 1 on Answers to prayer, then read any other chapter you see that you think would be helpful.

My Writing: My Progression, My Ritual

As soon as I had all my topics decided on, the next step in the process of writing my book Prayer A to Z was easy. I just took one topic (a chapter) at a time, did whatever reading and bible study I thought was sufficient for that topic, and went from there. I always highlighted important material as I read, took some notes, and then made an outline.

At first my idea was to make the chapters short—about two typed pages. I was still using the material as an insert in the church bulletin, so I didn’t want it to be too long. Eventually, after about the first ten chapters, I changed my mind about the length. I could see that there was much more I could write on each topic. So, I made a big decision to go back and re-write all that I did before moving on. Now, instead of each chapter taking only a couple days to write, it took sometimes a couple weeks—or more. But it was what I wanted and it looked better. More importantly, I was sure that it was what God wanted; and more and more I regarded the entire project as His.

I remember so clearly those early days of the writing.  I didn’t have a computer yet, so I just used my typewriter, and then I managed to persuade the church secretary to go over it (retype it) using her computer. She didn’t seem to mind, and at the time, it was for the church. After a few years though she was no longer the secretary and I decided I needed to get a computer. What a difference that made.

Most writers spend hours at a time writing. Not me. I had a full-time painting business with employees, and I had to be to work by at least 8 A.M. So, I chose to write early before I went off to work, and for only about 20 minutes at the most. I would usually do my bible reading and prayer first, and then tag on the writing. It worked well that way; and since I rarely missed my morning devotions, I hardly ever missed my writing time. It became my regular morning ritual—or an extension of my devotional time. And though some days it was hard to get into, after each writing session I felt a sense of peace and accomplishment. And it helped to set a good tone for the work day.

I kept that same ritual for as long as it took me to write my first book (20 years), and even a few years after that. Now however, since I am semi-retired, things are a little different.  I still have my quiet time in the morning, but I prefer to do my writing at a separate time. For my more technical writing, it is always easier to be near my computer, because I do so much of the research on the computer. But for the writing I am doing at this present time, which is my own story, I find it easier for me to go to a restraint and write while drinking my coffee. I also—as I am doing at this very moment—like to sit in my truck under the shade of a tree, with a coffee or water. I found a place at a park and ride location where there are several shade trees, and I hear the noise of the highway just 50 yards away. Some may regard that nose as annoying, but I’ve gotten used to it and is even kind of soothing—a good noise for writing.

My Painting Business: Places I’ve Lived, Writing, Dating

During the first few years of my painting business, from 1981 to 1985, I lived in two different places. The first was in an apartment in south Minneapolis. The thing I remember about that place was that I got some of the cost of my rent taken off for doing some badly needed painting in a few apartments. I remember that I never felt pressured to finish a job—since I had an understanding with the landlord that I could only work a couple hours a week, because I was already working my painting business. I don’t know why I got such a kick out of it and felt so empowered to just walk away from a job half-way finished and to tell the people, “I’ll be back next Wednesday to finish up.” I would never do that today. But, part of me wishes that I could be more carefree as I was then, and not worry about finishing a job when the client wants it to be done. At the time of this writing I am semi-retired and I’m trying to be more like that—more carefree. I do try not to work such long hours and maybe take a few days off.

After a couple years I moved to a different apartment in northeast Minneapolis, What I remember most  about that place is that it was located right across from Zurbey’s bar, and quite often they would play loud polka music all night long; and they would always leave the front door wide open so the whole neighborhood could hear it. It was obnoxious, and it would keep me up when I was trying to sleep.

Another thing I remember about living there is that it was when I decided that I would get serious about writing. So, I began setting aside at least an hour a day just to write—a book. Yes, I had a topic and a book title—but I can’t remember what it was. Sadly, after a few years I got frustrated with it and tore the whole thing up. Looking back on it now, I know I did the right thing. If you are gong to write a book it really should be inspired by God, not just something you think could sell or make you some money—which was the case for that attempt.  In a few years down the road, in 1993, I was inspired to write a book, and I never was frustrated with it. I’ll write more about that in a future blog.

From 1981 to 1985 was also the period when I was dating. Most people, I suppose, start dating quite early, from age 16 and continue until they are married. Not me. In high school there was a couple girls I liked, but I didn’t date them. Then after high school I went right into the Marines—no dating there. Then I was in the Navigators from 1971 to 1975, and they are notorious for not dating. In fact, they would keep the men’s ministry entirely separate from the women’s ministry. I hardly ever saw a girl. Then I went to Northwestern college and Western Seminary, and I was so dedicated to my studies that I hardly ever looked up from my books. So, after Western Seminary, in 1981, is the first real chance I had to start dating. I mean, I had nothing else to think about except my work—painting, and I didn’t really have to think about that too much.

I guess you could say, I was getting a late start at dating. I was already 30 years old. Good grief! Oh well. Better late than never. I really didn’t date a lot. There were actually only three girls that I can think of that I dated off and on. Elise was the main one. I was really crazy about her. Well, actually, she drove me crazy—because she couldn’t commit to me. Finally, I decided to break it off with her. I couldn’t handle it any more. Then in 1985 I met the girl I ended up marrying. I’ll talk more about that later.

My Retirement: Life Is Slower These Days

This is the trail I walked on just after I wrote this post.

My retirement. Let’s see. Where to start. Life is a little slower these days. Everything is in small increments. I plan it that way. I am 69 years old. I have been officially retired since I turned 63. Or was it 64? Actually, I’m only semi-retired. I still work a little. I have had a residential painting business since 1981, and I occasionally get calls from faithful clients. I am proud to say that most of them still like me and know I will do a good job for them—so if it’s a small job, I don’t mind doing it. I can always use the money.

It’s Saturday morning and I’m at Perkins, trying to decide if I should get pie. I may not be able to resist—even though I had a great breakfast. Yes, pie would be good. Pie and coffee. Ah, life is good. God is good!

Now that I’m on the subject, I will share my breakfast schedule. I don’t know why, but much of my doings is scheduled these days: my eating, my time, my jobs, my duties—everything. I like to think ahead and know what I’m doing. I guess it makes me feel more secure and in control. But I know that as a Christian I must also leave room for the Holy Spirit to lead me. So I will not be too set to my to do list.

 So my breakfast schedule is this: Saturday is Perkins, Sunday is coffee and doughnuts at church, Monday I will eat at Panera—Coffee and steel cut oatmeal, Tuesday at McDonalds (cheaper), Wednesday I will eat oatmeal with fresh pineapple at home (I make it), Thursday and Friday are a little more flexible, but I usually go back to Panera again. And when I go out to eat, I always stop at my favorite gas station to buy a newspaper, and I usually bring a book too. I do most of my reading when I eat.

I don’t think I mentioned that I am single—divorced. But I’m happy to be single. It gives me more freedom to do what I want to do. I don’t think I’m a selfish person. I like people. But I also enjoy living by myself.  I regard it as a gift of God; and I think He has called me to it.

I was reading this morning from Psalm 139:5, how God has enclosed me behind and before, and He has His hand on me. He not only keeps me safe; He keeps me feeling secure, and I know that He is always near me. He takes me gently through the different phases of life. He knows what I need, and even gives me things (services) that He wants me to do. He keeps me busy doing His work.

Mainly, I think that the service He has given me is writing. For the last 30 years I have been writing as a self-publisher. I also do blogs. I have two other blogs going besides this one. So writing keeps me very busy, and I am glad to be doing it. I don’t make much money on it, but I’m still glad to do it. It’s the Lord’s work and I know that the benefit people will get from it will be my heavenly reward. It is now filling up my heavenly treasure chest. Well, I think this post is finished, and I didn’t even have pie. But I feel fine—very content.