My Thoughts

My Thoughts on Christianity and Other Things

Archive for the month “February, 2014”

Revelation 6: Opening 6 Of The 7 Seals

Mt Baker as seen from North Puget Sound

Mt Baker as seen from North Puget Sound

I find the Seven Seals interesting and a little bit curious. Like when will all this happen? There is a retired pastor I know in Southern California who I respect who says none of the seals will be opened until the beginning of the tribulations. Is this true? I’ll let you decide.

First what is this about the different color horses? I don’t know. I can find only two reference about them in Zechariah 1:8-10 and Zechariah 6:1-8. Basically they go on patrol and do the Lord’s work.

Revelation 6:2 is simply about the horse and rider out to win battles. Where the second rider takes away peace so there’s war and slaughter. Both of these seems a bit vague to me. A little too subtle. Maybe it’s the age we live in. In the third seal things are a little different. Now we have the cost of food going up.

Opening the fourth seal will give Death and the Grave the authority over a quarter of the earth to kill with sword, hunger, disease, and wild animals.

I don’t know if you have noticed this or not, but there is no end to this. It’s true that these things have been going on forever, but this is different. When God sent the different plagues to Egypt, they never happened all at once, and they always ended. The seven seals seems to start small, then grow, then build on another until: People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. Luke 21:26 NIV

Right now there are Muslim extremists who want to go to war and slaughter people. There has always been gangs and countries who wanted to do harm, but these Muslims are neither gangs nor countries. Also there are kids who want to kill others and sometimes brag about it. It’s a spiritual matter that causes people to do this.

There have been periods of famines through out history. Some of it was caused by drought, and some because of political reasons; either through oppression or war. But now we have weather problems through out most of North America, Europe and most likely other parts of the world. We have either drought, or frost where there shouldn’t be any, or floods to wash away the topsoil. Our climate is changing. Check out this link.

What’s next? Will all this bad weather cause war to start because of water shortage? Without water crops will not grow. We have already seen where floods causes diseases. Will animals attack us for food? Or for other reasons? Last summer there were raccoons attacking people without cause. Even though raccoons can be very vicious, this is very un-raccoon like.

Here is a question for you. Did I just described the first four seals in the last three paragraphs? Are we now in or just entering the opening of the four seal? Or is it still sometime off in the future?

I don’t know the time line to any of this. Are the seven seals being opened right now? And if they are, when did it start? I don’t know. Are the seven seals to be opened before or during the great tribulations? I don’t know. Remember I have never had any training in this. I am not a pastor in any way. But I would like to think that the seven seals are to be opened before the tribulations. Because Revelation 6:9-11. makes it sounds like Jesus could come at any moment.

In Genesis 19:1-29 the Lord removed the righteous people before he destroyed Sodom. In Egypt God protected the Israelites from judgment on Egypt. I believe (and hope) we will be removed by Jesus before the really bad stuff comes. I may be wrong, but what if we had already went through the fourth seal being opened? What if the fifth has been or will soon be opened. This means Jesus could be here any where from this moment to… who knows. Soon!

I do not want to be around when the sixth seal is opened. Many people believe this is about nuclear war. I don’t. I know it sounds like it, but I don’t believe it nuclear war, nuclear bomb, missile or anything like that. Why? Because of Revelation 6:16 And they cried to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb.
People know when a disaster is caused by man or not.

Mt Rainier as seen from near Yelm, Washington

Mt Rainier as seen from near Yelm, Washington

I live in what’s known as the Pacific Rim of Fire. The two beautiful mountain photos I took are both volcanoes. There are a few more in Washington State. When Mt. St Helens erupted on May 18, 1980 it acted like a nuclear bomb, and threw Yakima Washington and even Spokane Washington into complete darkness at mid-day. A week or two later I was standing on a fishing pier just south of Seattle on Puget Sound and I could see still see the ash raising into the sky. I was about 90 miles away from the mountain.

Consider the earthquake in Japan a couple of years ago. The whole island was moved 8 feet.

So has the opening of the seven seals started yet, or not? You decide. I believe they have.

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Dance Night

dance night

On February 15, 2014 there was a Sweetheart Dance at a community center in Kirkland, Washington put on by Friendship Adventures. Our church is active in Young Life Capernaum so a few weeks before, my wife and I as well as a few others from our church were asked to be chaperones. By the time my wife and I arrived at 5:30, it was already packed with people wanting to have fun. We waited in line for pasta with meat sauce, salad and a roll with cake afterward.

Soon a DJ was yelling something and people got excited, then there was music (I think it was music) and some dancing started. I asked my wife if she wanted to dance. But she said ‘later’.

Looking around I saw a young woman in a wheelchair who comes to our church. She is part of the Young Life Capernaum group Bible study. Now before any of you get funny ideas, my wife and I did talk about it in the car on the way over there. So when the “music?” was going full volume and young people were kicking up their heels, I went to my wheelchair bound friend and asked her if she wanted to dance. She said “Yes”.

So I grabbed both of her hands and kicked up my heels. She was swinging her hands back and forth and was having fun. Then I let go of one hand and raised her other hand up above her head and gently spun the wheelchair around. She was surprised, but she loved it. After awhile another chaperone from our church danced with her for awhile.

Watching some of these young people was interesting. I watched one couple and the girl wanted to kiss the boy she was dancing with. But every time she tried, he would duck back. She was definitely more into him than he was into her. Most every one else either danced or watched, or ate more cake.

After awhile I decided to dance with the gal in the wheelchair again. So I went out to the dance floor, grabbed her hands and kicked up my heels again. Then the music paused and began again and after still kicking up my heels, I noticed every one else doing the… Slow dance??? Wait a minute! I may have a slight hearing problem, but I do know the music for a slow dance it should have a slower pace sound! Now what? I wasn’t planning on this.

Happy_Dancing_Cat_400x394_6916_png-1

Well I did the only thing I could do. I bent over, put my right hand on her left shoulder and held her right hand and slowly moved her around the dance floor. Guys let me tell you. When you stand at over 6 feet 3 inches (1.9 meters) tall, it’s not easy to bent over a wheelchair like that for the whole song!

I danced with my wife a few times, both a slow and otherwise. After awhile she told me to stop copying other people. But I couldn’t hear the music! How am I suppose to know how to dance if I don’t watch other people? Instead of music all I heard was noise, like that of an extra loud carnival. In fact the slow music and the fast music sounded the same to me. Once I was sitting watching the people, and with all the random noise, everyone on the dance floor jumped at once! Then with all the random noise they started doing the “YMCA” sign with their arms.

My wife and I left a half hour early. I couldn’t take any more of the sound. Before we left though I went over to my friend in the wheelchair and thanked her for the dance. Then my wife and I left and had a bite at a Mexican restaurant on the way home. I think it was quiet, I’m told it was. My ears were ringing. In fact they were still ringing all through church the next morning. But it was fun. After church I saw the gal in the wheelchair and she found the evening very enjoyable.

Revelation 5

The Monster, Gamera

The Monster, Gamera

In Revelation 5, we will start with the Seven Seals which are the doom and gloom to come. (Or have opening of the seven seals already started?)

Everyone enjoys disaster movies and monster movies. Even the flying monster turtle called Gamera. I found out that crazy turtle can fly at the speed of Mack 3. Monster movies are fun fantasies. The seven seals however are not fun and worst yet, they’re not fantasy. And there is nothing we can do about it but to turn to God through our Lord Jesus. I read through Revelation again the other day and well, there are a lot of things I’m thinking about now. I’m not sure where to start.

I’ll start with an article I read on February 9 from The Guardian. I wasn’t looking for the article, I just stumbled across it and thought it looked interesting with all the drought we’re having on the west coast. The article said “Egypt has demanded Ethiopia stop construction of a mega-dam on the Nile, vowing to protect its historical rights to the river at “any cost”.” Of course if you read the article you’ll see there is a water shortage even without the dam.

But what I found most interesting is that it reminded me of what I wrote in my post Into The Future III on August 1, 2013, when I said: “But what about Isaiah 19:5-10 where it talks about the Nile River drying up? I have done some research on this and found that the Nile River has never failed to flood. It also has never completely dried up either. So obviously this part of the prophecies hasn’t happened yet. But I wonder; will this be because of climate change, or because somebody built a dam.”

I believe this is prophecy that is about to come to pass now! I would like to start in with what I noticed about a couple of the seals. But I’m getting way ahead of myself now.

I will now start with Revelation 5. Remember John was in the presence of God as he was witnessing all this as the Lord (the one who sat on the throne) asked who is worthy to open the scroll. No one was worthy except the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, the Lord Jesus Himself. No surprise there.

What I notice though was what seems to be a ‘chain of command’ for the angels. Any one important, whether president or king would be surrounded by high ranking officials, then of those less important or of less authority. And they would be surrounded by even less important until you have the average citizen. So if I understand correctly; angels, since they are on the outer circle answers to the 24 elders who answers to the four beings who answers to Jesus since He is between them and God.

So what is our chain of command? Jesus answered this in John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. Why? Well you can find the answer to this in John 3:16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

I believe God loves us more than He loves the angels. After all Jesus didn’t die for them. He died us. We were made in His image. I don’t believe the angels ever were. God will do anything to bring us back to Him. And this is why I believe the scroll with the seven seals must be open.

In my book A Whole Mess Load Of Grace , I told how when I was on a Coast Guard ship in the Bering Sea, there was a time when we thought the ship would sink. We went to the only known active Christian to learn how we could get into Heaven when we die. What’s interesting was after the danger was over, everyone went back to their old life styles.

Years later when I was in the Army National Guard and we were playing war games (there was no war then except for the Cold War) people became interested in salvation. Me and another guy had even started a Bible study for some of the men on Sunday mornings. In those days that was perfectly OK. I have talked to many men about our Lord Jesus.

My point to all this is when things start to get difficult, some people will turn to God. When things get a little more difficult, a few more people will turn to Him. Unfortunately many people never will. When the seven seals are being opened, I believe we must help the poor, the hungry, the wounded. All through the four Gospels Jesus talked about this. And because Mark 16:15-16 says And then he told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.” We should spread God’s word while we still can.

Lip Reading?

Hearing Loss Symbol

Hearing Loss Symbol

Last Saturday at a men’s group at church, I was sitting at a table with a few guys eating breakfast. They were talking about football and then started talking about the deaf player on the Seattle’s Seahawks team. Then the guy across the table from me said “Steve here” (meaning me) “is really good at reading lips.” The men at the table knew I have a hearing loss, and that I do not wear hearing aids, (although I used to) and yet I can communicate very well with others. I told them I really don’t read lips that well. I got a lot of weird looks from them about that.

So… If I don’t hear well, and I don’t wear hearing aids, and I don’t read lips very well, how do I know what people are saying? I speech read.

First let me tell you about lip reading. Most people, whether they are hearing, deaf, or hard ‘of’ hearing, can not truly lip read. (I found out one day that there is the word ‘of’ between ‘hard’ and ‘hearing’) Lip reading is very difficult. Let’s say we’re on a farm and you’re deaf or very hard of hearing and someone says “We should butcher the ____.” You say “What?” Again you hear :Go butcher the ____!” now you’re wondering, were you told to butcher the cow, or the sow??? Look in the mirror. Both words look the same.

With football or any other sport, you already know the subject matter. That helps a lot. Another thing is you only need to see a few words to guess what the other team will do. Front, forward, back, right, left, all look very different from each other. In a restaurant I have seen and understood a waitress asking someone on the far side of the room if they want sugar or something else. But this is rare. One interesting thing I must add is women will move their lips more than men. Look around, you’ll see what I mean.

My outdoor power equipment repair (lawn mower repair) business has over 800 customers. Only a very few know I don’t really hear them fully. Even on the telephone. How do I get away with it? Sometimes I don’t and then things ends badly. Once a customer was upset with me because I didn’t fix the noise. I didn’t know there was a noise.

Speech reading is taking in everything. Lips, facial expression, body language, and what’s going on at the time. For an example; you know when eating in a restaurant and your mouth is full and the waitress comes up is says, “Blah-blah”. You’ll know she’s asking if everything is OK. Speech reading is much like that. Do I make mistakes? Yes.

When I see a customer and if I don’t understand them, I watch. (Some people I have no problems understanding. Others are impossible.) People always point to the problem and they talk with their hands. Soon I understand the problem with their equipment whether it is electrical, engine, transmission, or something else. I fix the problem and most of the people have no clue I didn’t understand them verbally.

The telephone presents another problem. Too many letters sounds the same. Numbers however all sound different. If they are a repeat customer I will ask for their phone number and look up on my Excel spreadsheet the information I have on them such as name, phone number, address, and the type of equipment they had last time I saw them. Also, fortunately many of the streets in this area are numbers, like 2nd, 3rd, even up to 320th. So I get by. Barely. I have great trouble with voice-mail. I have to listen to them 5 or 6 times and often I still won’t understand.

So if you are hard of hearing or even deaf, please take my customer’s advice, and tell people you don’t hear them. I finally started doing this a couple of years ago and life is so much easier now.

If you know someone who is hard of hearing or deaf, always look at them, let them see your face. And please don’t yell at us. We don’t like that. It’s often insulting. Also please don’t pull this stunt of turning up the car radio to hear your favorite song and then start mumbling before turning the radio down again.

If you would like to learn more about hearing loss, here are three places to check out. There are lots more of them out there.
Hearing Loss Association of America
Association of Late Deafened Adults
Hearing, Speech, & Deafness Center (servicing Western Washington)

Also if you’re interested, read the post I wrote: Not Hearing, Not Deaf

Leviticus 19:14
“Do not insult the deaf or cause the blind to stumble. You must fear your God; I am the Lord.
New Living Translation

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