The End Must Be Near!

The End Must Be Near!

What a time we live in!  With what I see every day, I truly believe the end must be near.  I don’t want to come across as overly pessimistic or negative.  I am very sensitive that the topic is tough for folks – especially as we continue to battle with a pandemic, record high inflation, nuclear threats, and food shortages.   People are looking for hope – and here I come and dash that hope with a claim that the End must be near.  The fact is, I think most folks have pondered that thought.

End of TimeI must state that for many years I’ve heard so many preachers and doomsday folks proclaim … “The End is Near”. That message has gotten louder with every difficulty that our world has faced over the years.  Today, it is blaring!  The Bible makes it clear that the closer to the return of the Messiah, the more turbulence, famines, and wars we would see.  No-one knows exactly when that will occur.

In my life-time I have never seen the intensity of difficulties like we’re now seeing on a global scale. Wars and rumors of wars are a daily reporting. Pandemics, famine, shootings … you name it, and we’re seeing it like no other time in history.

I personally believe we will soon be engulfed in another major war, NOT because the media says so – but because the stirring of anger and bitterness is rampant.

The toxic attitudes and callous abrasion has taken over our politics – and our churches.  As I went to the store today, I noticed so many people who’s countenance showed that they were bothered and worried.  You could hardly draw a smile out of them.  There seems to be so much anger and resentment in the hearts of people.

The Bible clearly proclaims that in the last days, this is what it will look like.  I can’t read the following scripture without seeing this very clearly and active in our world today.  You don’t have to look much farther than Social Media to see this very vividly.

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 

2 Timothy 3:1-3 (NLT)

I certainly do not claim to know “when” the end will come.  I know this … there are a lot of folks making “prophetic” claims based on signs and dreams they’ve had.  We must be extremely careful with what we are hearing and seeing.  The Bible makes it clear that in the last days there will be FALSE PROPHETS who will come and deceive many.

For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Matthew 24:24 NIV

For me, I do believe the end is near.  I believe we are also about to enter the most turbulent time we have seen in our Country.  We should be preparing ourselves and strengthening our families.  Be Careful who you follow – and get Prepared!

There is Major Loss in This Victory

There is Major Loss in This Victory

Today, I have a heavy heart and I just need to share and get it off my chest. 

The Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe V. Wade is being celebrated by the Pro-Lifers, Church, and people of Faith. Groups all over the Country are gathering in public places to celebrate this ruling. No doubt, Churches will be rejoicing at the good news that the life of a fetus is being given an opportunity to survive.

While I am happy that we have laws to protect life, I’m not sure I can really rejoice in the Supreme Court decision. I don’t see a great victory for the Church in this ruling. In fact, I see it as more of a defeat. If the courts legislate moral decision, will the courts also stand before God at judgement day to advocate our individual choices? Absolutely, I believe in the protection of life of the unborn. That’s not why my heart is so burdened.

I am also certainly NOT standing on the side of anyone’s right to take a life, whether it is a fetus, adult, or elderly person. But, I believe we have so politicized the issue and placed so much energy into protecting the voiceless, we have missed so many opportunities to witness and share the Gospel with those who perhaps need someone to give them love. I fear we often have chosen to stand in our hubris self-righteousness and proclaim the goodness of God to advocate for the unborn, while we ignore the hurts of the wounded adult facing a scary life decision.

Has the Church really won with the Supreme Court decision? Have we been doing all we can to show love, grace and mercy as our Messiah showed us? Are we welcoming to others into our congregations without judgement and per-conceived opinions based on how someone looks or dresses? If I am not showing true love and concern for others that might show them a desire and reason to get to know my Messiah, how can I gloat in a victory that I’ve somehow saved a life of a child? Perhaps if I had been more loving and caring, the mother of that child would have seen hope in giving birth.

Believers need to carefully examine their hearts. Taking a victory lap now is disgusting – when we as a body have miserably failed with sharing the good news of salvation with those who need our Messiah. We want people to come “pre-cleaned” into our sanctuaries and congregations. We are uncomfortable with the flaws that we see in others, while we often ignore our own filth and refuse to believe we are flawed ourselves.

A day of reckoning is coming and we need to be prepared. There are billions of unborn people who are walking by us every day that we can actually save from eternal death – and it won’t come through legislation or Supreme Court rulings. It comes with a personal decision each of us has to surrender. There will be no Republican, or Democrat, or Supreme Court justice standing for me when our Messiah returns. It will be me standing and answering for my own actions and decisions.

Beyond the personal heart-challenge I’m wrestling with, I believe this new court decision has altered our opportunities as a body. We will see new oppression and violence. Those who are content to gather in the mega-comfort of a congregation and feel they have done their true service to God by sitting in a pew for an hour, may find the birth pangs a little more difficult going forward.

Preparing For the Worst Case Scenario

Preparing For the Worst Case Scenario

I have always been fascinated by the subject of preparedness and really have been impressed with a preparation call. I have never been one to panic, or go into a survival mode. I am not afraid to face my fears and I am certainly not afraid to die.  Of course, like most people, I am concerned for my family and friends. And I am concerned about the Country we live in.

I remember thinking how I wanted to be prepared, but I also felt like I did not know what to do. My dad had already started preparing for the worst case scenario. He had already purchased a small amount of food and supplies. But I did not feel comfortable with the idea of being forced to stay in a shelter underground. I was not comfortable with the idea of being separated from my wife and kids.

So I decided to take some classes on survival skills. I learned how to build a fire, how to find water, how to survive off the land. I even learned how to start a small farm. I felt much more prepared than I did when I was just learning the Bible.

My wife and I started to get ready for a possible emergency. We started to think about what we would need in case of an emergency. We bought a small generator so we could power up the radio. We purchased some camping gear so we could spend time together as a family. We purchased a few books on survival so we could learn how to be self sufficient.

But it was only after 9/11 that I really started to get serious about being prepared. It is funny how things happen. We were watching TV one day and saw a report on how people were being evacuated from New York City. They said that the terrorists were going to fly airplanes into buildings.

We immediately got scared. We decided that we needed to get prepared. So we went out and bought a couple of flashlights. We stocked up on food and water. We started to look for ways to be self sufficient.
And then it happened. The next day we watched the news and heard that the World Trade Center towers had collapsed.

That was the moment when we realized that this was no longer just a possibility. This was something that was happening. We were now in the middle of a war. And we were going to be involved in it.

I was not prepared for that. I did not know what to expect. But I knew that I had to be prepared. I had to be ready to defend myself. I had to be ready for anything.

Today I am very thankful that I took the time to prepare for the worst case scenario. Today I am very thankful that I was able to prepare my family and my home for whatever may come.

Are We in the End Times?

Are We in the End Times?

Open Bible with beautiful sunset

It is hard to find a topic that has more questions than “preparedness”. It is not only a matter of “what can I do”, but it is also a matter of “when will it happen”. There are those who believe that we are in the end times and there are others who think that it is all bunk. So, what do you believe? Do you have any idea what is going on with the world around you? Have you ever thought about how your family might be affected by what is happening around you? Are you prepared for the things that could happen? What are you going to do if there is a natural disaster? Will you be able to handle it? How will you survive without food, water, electricity, etc.?

What do I need to do?

First, you need to know what you need to do. This is not as easy as it sounds. You need to know what you need and then you need to get it. If you are like most people, you probably don’t even know where to begin. Where do you start? Where do you buy your supplies? What type of supplies should you buy? Do you need to get a generator? What about fuel? Should you get a solar panel? How do you protect yourself from the elements? How much money should you spend on supplies? How much should you spend on food? How much should you spend for your home?

The first thing that you should do is talk to someone who knows about this stuff. Find out what you need to do. Don’t rely on the Internet for answers. There are a lot of people who want to sell you stuff that you don’t need. They may tell you that they have the answer for you. They may even be able to help you get the supplies that you need. But, you have to ask the right questions. Don’t just go off of what you hear. Ask them if they have heard of a specific product or company that they would recommend. Don’t just rely on their opinion. Take their advice and then make an informed decision.

Are we in the end times?

Some people believe that the end times are upon us now. Others think that it will take place at some point in the future. If you are one of the people who thinks that the end times are coming soon, then you need to make sure that you are prepared. You need to be able to take care of yourself and your family. You need to know how to survive in case something happens.

If you are one of the people that believes that the end times are coming, then you need to do your research. You need to find out what the signs are that we are in the end time. You need to find out when these events will occur. You need to know what to expect. Then, you need to plan accordingly.

Is this Bible Prophesy?

Many people believe that the Bible prophecies are being fulfilled right now. Some people believe that they are already in the middle of the fulfillment. Others believe that they are still in the beginning stages of the fulfillment. Whatever you believe, you need to understand what the Bible says about these things. You need to understand what the signs are. Then, you need to decide if the Bible prophecies are being realized or not.

The Bible speaks of many different things. It talks about wars, famines, earthquakes, floods, plagues, and many other things. These things are happening today. The question is, are they happening because of the end times? Is it possible that they are happening because of natural disasters? The Bible does say that there are signs that are being seen today. These signs include wars, earthquakes, and famines. These things are happening today, but are they happening because of the Bible prophesies?

Is it possible that these things are happening because of natural disasters and not because of the end times?

There are some who believe that the Bible prophecies have already been fulfilled. There are some who believe that the end times are already here. There are others who think that the end times are yet to come. What do you believe?

Seven Ways to Store Fresh Food Longer

Seven Ways to Store Fresh Food Longer

fresh veggiesAre there difficult days ahead?  Will there be food shortages, drought, and famine across the land?  What can I do to be prepared?

These are some of the questions I hear regularly from people as I am out-and-about.

Understandably, people all over are very concerned about what is going on in the world and are looking for ways to be prepare their families for the future.  Even the very wealthy are preparing for an uncertain future, as they are constructing elaborate “bug-out” facilities to provide safety for themselves and their families.

Obviously, I believe Preparedness is important.  In fact, throughout scripture we see how God offers preparedness planning.  Whether it was a flood or famine, God gave instruction to prepare.   Those who heeded the Call and instruction, were saved.

Regardless of what is ahead, I have great hope for the future.  That hope if firmly planted in our Returning Messiah.

20 We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.  21 In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.  22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord, even as we put our hope in you.

PSALM 33: 20-22

As we consider what may be coming in our future, there are prudent things we can (and should) do to prepare.  One of those things is to consider food storage.  Here are some seven suggestions for storing fresh food longer:

Experts say the average family throws out nearly 15 percent of all fresh foods they purchase each year. Depending upon where you live and the time of year, which could add up to quite a bit of money. It is important to find ways to store fresh food for longer. Here are seven ways to accomplish this.

  • Homemakers of years past had a root cellar to place root vegetables like potatoes, onions and carrots. They may have also used the root cellar to store home canned goods. Perhaps you do not have a root cellar, but you can use the same basic idea.  The goal is to keep these vegetables in a cool, dry place that is out of direct sunlight. Storing them in the refrigerator will actually make them spoil quicker. An alternative is to store root vegetables in paper bags stored in the cabinet. Be sure to keep onions and potatoes separate or they will spoil.
  • Cheese is another food that spoils if not used quickly. Wrap cheese in wax paper before storing it in the refrigerator. This will allow the cheese to breathe but will not allow excess moisture to reach it. Be sure to keep each type of cheese separate from the others to stop flavors from mixing.
  • Fresh herbs are similar to cut flowers; they need water to stay fresh. Keep herbs like basil, cilantro and parsley on the cabinet in a glass with about an inch of water. On the other hand, non-leafy herbs like thyme, sage and rosemary keep best if stored in a moistened paper towel and then put in a reusable bag. Put the bag in the refrigerator.
  • Canning fruits and vegetables is another way to store them for a longer period. Home canning really is not difficult and you know what you have added to the foods. Store-bought canned goods, however, may contain chemical preservatives to maintain freshness. Jelly, jam, sauces, fruit halves or vegetables can be stored for a year or longer if they are processed correctly.
  • A vacuum sealer is also a good investment for storing food. This option may cost more than others, but vacuum-sealed foods can last for months past the normal storage time. When you vacuum seal the food and then place it in the freezer, your storage time increases even further. A quality vacuum sealer will cost between $100 and $300, but they are definitely worth the price when you consider how much food you can save.
  • If you have stored as much of your food as you can and you still have fresh fruits or vegetables that are starting to look too ripe, find recipes that will use the food rather than letting it go to waste. Your family will enjoy a great meal and you will have saved money by keeping the food out of the trashcan.
  • Finally, if you do find some of the food is too far gone to eat, do not simply throw it away. Start a compost pile for all non-protein leftovers or foods that have gone bad. Composting the food will at least provide nutrition for the soil in a flower or vegetable garden.

By using these seven ideas for storing fresh food longer, you can save money, keep food out of your trashcan and in the stomachs of those you love.

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Preparation through Emotional Unity

Shared by Jeff Rowland

Think about the emotional stability that would be lost be facing economic collapse.  Think about our emotional stability during all-out war.  Can we even imagine the emotional structure of a nation or of any people during famine or a breakout of disease?

Preparing the necessities for life is only part of true preparation. You can have everything you need for survival but if we haven’t prepared our heart then we will radically be changed in our personality and begin to respond to adversity in ways we had not previously known was in us. One of the things I have learned concerning walking out my own salvation through Jesus Christ is that I was not only introduced to Him as my Redeemer and Lord, but He started me on a journey to introduce me to me. The more I know about me the less impressed I am. I’ve learned my vulnerabilities, weaknesses, and what I see lets me know that I need Jesus more today than ever.

The scriptures teach us a truth concerning the way we function as people. We do the things we do because we think the way we think, and we think the way we think because we feel the way we feel. The only way to change what we do is to change the way we think, and the only way to change the way we think is to change the way we feel. Now add the adversity that is sure to come in our lives and we have fed our emotions chaos and confusion which in turn will affect our thought life and will change our behavior. (more…)

When our Past is Past

Shared by Jeff Rowland.

Regardless of where we are in our lives everyone has something in their past that they often struggle with.  The past always rears its head when we are pressing toward a consistent walk in the Spirit of God.  Most are robbed of their present because they are still living under the bondage of their past.  As well we cannot look with hope toward our future if we are constantly going back to factor in our past to make decisions.  The past seems to affect every aspect of our life.  The sequence with which we look at things seems to be through the eyes of our past, then the present, then the future.  Somehow we need to be able to look at our future as a Child of God and factor our future into our present and this will release us of our past.

There is a problem as to why we cannot let go of our past.  The hurt our past has caused us and others should be enough of a motivator to let it go, but we seem to hold on to our past with a passion.  This perplexing problem has caused many in the body to lose control of their lives.  Paul teaches us in Phil 3:13 “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.”  By these words we understand the things before can play a significant role in forgetting the things behind.

We live in a society that is constantly asking the question why we do the things we do.  Often instead of dealing with what we do we just want to find out why we do them.  Now we have a place to put our past.  I have learned through the years of pastoring and dealing with people that the past seems to take the blame for just about all of our present.  While there may be some truth from a psychological standpoint concerning our past dictating action in our present we must learn to get past our past.

One of the reasons that we cannot let go of our past is that it becomes an excuse for our behavior in our present

If the hurts of our past are gone then we are left without excuse to act the way we do or to hold on to an attitude that we are afraid we cannot break.  What would we do if we have nothing to blame for our behavior.  Then we are left to face the reality of our own selfish motives and sinful imperfections.  This would mean we would have to change our lives in order to live with ourselves and let go of the pain and hurt that brings about other behavior that is not consistent with our belief structure.

Another reason we cannot let go of our past is it often is the only victory we can remember in our lives

How many are still trapped living in the past victories we have experienced.  We should always remember the victories of our past but never let them to cause us to stop pursuing more.  Again Paul reminds us that we are more than conquerors.  A conqueror is one who doesn’t stop at one victory but presses on to new battles and new victories.  Some are looking for what God done in the past because they are hung on past victories and not living as a conqueror.

May God give us the strength to appropriate our future into our present thus destroying our past and go on to new battles and new victories fulfilling the soldier calling of being more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Rev. Jeff Rowland offers more insights on Last Days Preparation on his website at:  www.jeffrowlandministry.com

Preparation Through Provision

Shared by Jeff Rowland.

It’s hard to talk about preparation without talking about provision.  Where our faith resides will determine where our provision will come from.  As well, our fear will define what we lean toward for our provision.

Part of proper preparation is to move from fear to faith.  We need understanding from a responsible perspective on the times we are living in and then the proper perspective on where our provision comes from.

A casual observation of the things that are happening in our world should lead all of us to the same conclusions.  We need to prepare.  However, if we inundate ourselves with the information that comes to us from the news outlets through all the various media then we can end up in great fear.  Although fear is a motivator to get us to action, fear can also corrupt our spirit.  Proper preparation should take fear away not add to our fears.

We understand that from the beginning of recorded time fear has played a major factor in the affairs of man.  The first response to sin when Adam rebelled against God was fear.  He said, “I hid myself because I was afraid.”  Therefore fear finds its source in wondering away from God’s prescribed order.

While responsibility would teach us to do our due diligence to prepare in the manner that many our teaching concerning the ability to sustain through the chaos that is certainly ahead, we must not forget how to prepare our spirit.  You can have all the necessities laid in store but if your spirit is broken then hope is gone and there is no life.  This is not God’s plan for his people, Jesus said, “I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly.”  We must move from fear to faith in order to have life that is joyful and victorious in times of trouble.

Fear seems to touch believers and unbelievers alike.  I have never seen fear and concern in the hearts of people more than today.  Unbelievers that have their faith in government, money, security of jobs or relationships, now understand that all of these are crumpling and they no longer can find strength in any of their sources of faith.  Believers alike have exhibited faith in every source that unbelievers do because most have just a mere profession of faith in Christ instead of a genuine relationship with Christ which brings about real faith in him.

For years I have preached that God has already given us the provision before the need arrives.  I’m reminded of what Jesus told the woman at the well.  She was caught in the forms and cultures of her society.  She cited the feelings that Jews had toward the Samaritans and wondered why Jesus would have anything to do with her.  Jesus said, “drink of the water that I give you and you will never thirst again.”  The provision that comes through faith in Christ can prepare you not only for eternity but also for life today.  If we understood His power and the release of His power through the His Spirit in us I believe we could move from fear to faith and be able to bring order to a chaos that most can’t even imagine.

Amos the prophet of old said, “Prepare to meet thy God.”  Jesus said “I go to prepare you a place.”  The prepared place is for a prepared people therefore get plugged into His provision and your preparation can be complete in him.

Rev. Jeff Rowland offers more insights on Last Days Preparation on his website at:  www.jeffrowlandministry.com

Preparation Call and the Need to Share Love

Preparation Call and the Need to Share Love

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.   John 15:13

Preparation CallWith all the anger, fear, and violence around us, is it even possible to love in times like these?

With every new day there seems to be more pain, suffering, and dissension amongst peoples.  Innocent lives are taken by those who are driven by their own anger, hatred, intolerance, or extremist views.  How can we love in times when people are so consumed with themselves that they easily discard others – even family – when the relationship becomes an inconvenient burden?

We have to find ways to build relationships regardless of the lies that are hardening hearts and feeding self-preservationists.  We must never allow our efforts in preparedness to drive us to an isolated and ultra-protected lifestyle – dependent only on ourselves.   Being self-reliant in our lifestyle does not mean we must be self-focused to the exclusion of all others around us.

The truth is, if we are to find redemption in these difficult and uncertain times we MUST find love – and find the courage to share it.    I see the necessity to love – as part of the Preparation Call.  If we continue to harden our hearts toward others and deteriorate in our ability to love without conditions, I believe our lives will deteriorate into further bondage.  We are creatures created for relationships and to nourish those relationships we must have some reasonable ability to love.  Isolating ourselves will ultimately destroy us.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)

Preparation Call, and the need to share love” is not a suggestion that we should simply ignore the importance of preparedness and self-reliance.   By no means can – or should we – ignore the obvious responsibility to prepare our families for the things ahead.  The Bible clearly shows the importance of being prepared and understanding our responsibility of serving and loving others.  Preparedness is journey of Faith – and not a path that we walk in fear.

If you really listen carefully, you know that there is and abundance of fear and concern all over the world.  It seems that families (all over the globe) are pushing their preparedness planning because they see the uncertainties.  With bleak economic times, unemployment, natural disasters, rumors of wars, and distrust in politicians and government, people are very concerned about what lies ahead.  In every economic and social standing, families are beginning to prepare in anticipation of major disruptions in their “normal” life routines.

Unfortunately, what I am hearing is that many people are rushing their preparedness as a reaction to fear and, in some cases, conspiracy mongering.  In fact, many families are pushing forward with their preparation efforts because they are now hyper-sensitive to anything that sounds like doomsday news or end-of-the-world sensationalizing.

It seems with every news report that is released, more-and-more people are beginning to join the self-reliance and preparedness movement because they already sense that something is coming that will change life (as we know it) forever.  Certainly, in many ways that is a good thing.  I firmly believe we should all be getting prepared and more self-reliant, but I still have concerns about the path of fear that many families are jumping-on as they begin their preparedness.

Now more than ever, I see it is vital to prepare and to do so with courage and hope.  Contrary to what many critics suggest, Preparedness is not a pessimistic lack of hope for the future, but on the contrary, is very much an optimistic and prudent approach in protecting our families for what God has in store for us ahead.

So, with all the anger, fear, and violence around us, is it even possible to love in times like these?  The answer is an emphatic, YES.  We must.