Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Truth is Out There

2018 Give Way!

Happy Independence Day!
Lake Michigan, Chicago Lakefront
Independence Day
July 4, 2017

One Man Gets Around by Charlie Peacock
They know of You in Hollywood, though that's up for debate!

"And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch." Acts 11:26

2018 Give Way! Well, the Dog Days of Summer officially started on July 4 in the Chinese Year of the Dog. Woof! And, it's HOT and HUMID already. It's another month though. It's summer. Work is going well and life is going well as well. I'm slowly trying to get back into the swing of things. This year I seem to being more consistent with my blogging. Hopefully if you're still reading there, I'm really hoping to convert over to Wordpress soon. I have it setup in my home environment. The only problem is finding a good theme! I guess that's where the problem comes in. I've always liked the theme I created here on Blogger and photo heading was one of my favorites too. I was thinking about using the same theme on Wordpress. I have a registered SAN on my SSL Cert for Wordpress. So, maybe soon I'll get over there. In fact, one thing I thought of was creating two blogs, copying the content from Blogger to Wordpress, and using the same photos there.

This might be my last Blogger blog, as I strive to get Wordpress working at home. Funny that... what the problem really with that is picking a theme and finding photos from my photography to use for the theme in the Wordpress site. The site is all ready for an addition to my Reverse Proxy. The site is built out [not public yet], however , I can't find the right theme for it. GoDaddy SAN Cert is in place and all ready to go. What theme should I pick, lol??? This month has been full of wonder and thought. Aware of Wonder by Geoff Moore & The Distance comes to mind here for this month. It is also specifically picked for my playlist this month. My friend, Michael Lawrence, also helped me pick out the song by Jeremy Camp, "Same Power." Such a powerful song about the Resurrection. As I strive and keep forward in my daily life here in Chicago, I found some moments of AWE and God's holiness... even on the mean streets of Chicago.

So, again, as I endeavor to make a full departure from social media like Facebook and Blogger, I am still here and still use Instagram. I have found Facebook very unpleasant lately. I need to re-focus on what's important now without all the noise in the background. I've also started a personal journal and devotional using OneDrive. 2018 Give Way. Now is the time. In fact today, I will sign up for the full subscription in eHarmony. Celebrate...





Independence Day Fireworks
Gillsonn Beach
Wilmette IL
July 3, 2018

I hope you all have a great Summer. I'm hoping soon to be on Wordpress. The server is setup at home here but I've just not put in the time to get a theme going or application setup on my proxy. What are your plans for the Summer? Any trips? With the new job here, I don't plan on taking any time off like I usually have done in times past with previous jobs. I won't have PTO/holiday time for awhile, and my new manager said we could work extra time to make up the difference for the holiday if we wanted since the office was closed on Independence Day.

The Dog Star in the Year of the Dog

This Summer, I'm going to try eHarmony again. I had to put it on hold before because I needed to find work. With the new job slowly coming back into full swing, I hope to put some $$ into it, although I'm still behind on my bills. The new job has also helped me setup my doctor appointments again and to get medical benefits. So, I'll be seeing my GP soon for a follow up. Photography hasn't been too extreme as of late, and I think a lot of that is due to mood and situation. Many of my shots have been done on my Android, so don't be disappointed.

"Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:5, 6

The Truth is Out There. One Man Gets Around Around. I entitled the blog with this opening song by Charlie Peacock because the Truth of the matter is, that One Man, the Son of Man, the Son of God, DOES get around. I want this year to continue on going to that "holy place" of Jesus and to rest in Him. I want Him to give me  peace, a peace that passes all understanding. Chicago is a very diverse city. There is a lot of tension here, especially with "...getting around." I want that peace inside, not tension. It's abrasive here, even just walking through my neighborhood on Lawrence Avenue. How can I be a light among angry people, people that show little regard for others or the earth they walk on? The blog was also entitled because Independence Day is usually when I begin my annual "X-Files Marathon" at home ha! This year will include TWO new seasons, so the marathon might go on a bit longer than September or October when I generally wrap up the marathon lol. The heart of the issue is JESUS.

Last month in Fly The Friendly Skies, I wrote my blog as a devotional-type. Hopefully, I will continue to do this from now on. I wrote about many things in that blog about faith and hope. Don't forget to open the Spotify Playlist and listen to some tunes when you read or look at pictures.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!
Sears Tower Tourist Trap!
Chicago Loop, Chicago IL
July 6, 2018

O'Lord by Lauren Daigle
I will stand my ground where hope can be found

"Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world." I Peter 5:6-9

Quincy is next. Doors open on the right at Quincy. This is a Brown Line train to Kimball. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!! This month was not too bad and one thing I'm really trying to get used to with the new job is the awful COMMUTE! Not only is the Brown Line a longer trip (2x extra stops), but the Sears Tower is a big building, so there are a lot people that work in there. Not only that, but it's a tourist trap. See picture, which was taken early in the morning around 9am. Whereas I had the benefit at my last job of my own Brown Line platform ala Merchandise Mart, the new station at Quincy is tough! A couple times, I almost had an anxiety attack just waiting for the train. This last Friday, I walked all way up to Merchandise Mart just to get on the train. I've never dealt extremely well with change, and this will be part of the theme of this month's blog. On top of the over-crowded platform, the Sears Tower is just the same. The picture collage in this heading say it all. This is the tourist line to the Skydeck in the Sears Tower. Tourists need to understand that people need to get their jobs. Look up from your PHONE! Pay attention!

Getting up to my floor, there is a release after getting off the elevator. Luckily, we don't use the same elevators as the tourists do for the Skydeck, but even that is tough. When I finally sit at my seat, I just breathe a sigh of release.  "O'Lord. Help me stand my ground and hope in you, in a busy day of going to and fro. Help me keep my eyes on you, O'Lord!"

For now we look through a glass darkly!
Chicago River Locks
July 4, 2017

Independence Day by White Heart
I know where salvation can be found

"If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8:36 

"NOTHING IMPORTANT HAPPENED TODAY," attributed to Journal of King George III on July 4, 1776. If King George III had Twitter or Facebook, he would've tweeted this or made this his status on that day.

When I was watching fireworks July 3 with my friend Tom, I overheard a foreign family talk about the colors of the Star Spangled Banner. Did they know the history of our nation, OR were they just celebrating another day with the new generation that knows nothing about who we won Independence from, the sacrifice paid to make a nation, OR what the Deceleration of Independence is??? History is being subverted. Pay attention. How do you treat your freedom?

Nothing important happened today.

"Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again." Ronald Reagan.

"Liberty, once lost, is lost forever." John Adams

Did these men make a prophecy? Let's take a moment today and remember the importance of this day. It's apparent that the new generation is not being taught in school the importance of this day and how the USA became a nation. In a day and age where we find the Star Spangled Banner offensive or sung with vanity, do we stop and ponder on our freedoms in this nation? We're quickly turning those freedoms aside and dishonoring the men and women that fought to give us a home. In a day and age where we find everything offensive, where do you belong? Do you truly belong in a nation that celebrates freedom? So quickly now, our freedoms are dissolving before our very eyes. Instead we promote hatred in our society in whatever agenda you hold fast to. In a nation quickly becoming a jellyfish, we can't pull together and stand proud for a once strong nation. Instead, we cater to jellyfish and wishy-washy policies.

Troublesome Neighbor!
X-Files Main Opening Card
66 Exeter Street, Baltimore MY
"Squeeze," 1x02

Beyond The Sea By Bobby Darin
My heart will lead me there soon

"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." Revelation 19:7, 8

The Truth is Out There. The song picked accordingly for two reasons here: One, because as of today, that's where I'm at in my annual X-Files Marathon, "Beyond the Sea" 1x12; however, the song made think about the verses in Revelation 19 and the Marriage of the Lamb to the Church. Last month, I already used the main "X-Files Theme Song" for my Spotify list, so I didn't want to re-use it again. Interesting fact, but the name of that opening, ominous whistle tune for X-Files by Mark Snow is called Materia Primoris, or "Primordial Material." I never knew that until recently! After all these years having that as my default ringtone, I never knew the actual name of the song lol!

Every year, starting on Independence Day (or the weekend thereof), I start my annual X-Files marathon. I don't know exactly where that started but maybe 2009, because it also coincided with my annual Star Wars marathon which was also a Independence Day tradition. So, you're probably wondering how Bobby Darin fits in this section here. Well two things actually. This was the song that played when Scully's parents met and in the episode "Beyond the Sea," Scully's Dad passes away. They played the song when they spread his ashes on the sea. The second carries a spiritual meaning. Believers will pass through that "sea of glass" to be with the Lord forever. It's a marriage of the Lamb and His Church! Listen to the song in a spiritual context.

"But I... I found something I thought I'd lost. 
Faith to keep looking."
Mulder, Endgame (2x17)

Actually, while going through my annual X-Files marathon again, I see some spiritual truths in some of the episodes. No, it's not the Bible, but Chris Carter used aspects of faith and hope in the series. We see it in the opening title card, "The Truth is Out There." On top of the elements of faith in the series, aliens is a topic of discussion as well. Did Chris Carter have insight into the big picture here? Genesis 6 talks about the "sons of God coming down and intermingling with the daughters of men." There is mention of leviathan and the abyss...Jonah going to Hell, etc, in the Word. X-Files has episodes that touch on strange creatures, aliens and mutations. In the the last blog, I touched on the "Gap Theory" or GAP FACT! On the Pre-Adamic Earth, Lucifer reigned with these sons of God. Lucifer fell and the Earth was destroyed by a flood. So, we see dinosaur bones and fossils here. Hmmm. What else was on that Pre-Adamic Earth? In the movie, "Fight the Future," we get clues about these alien beings coming back to reclaim the Earth and the aliens dormant in Hell. Did Chris Carter even study the Bible? Just interesting. PLUS one thing I didn't mention is the movie itself. It sets in a GAP between Season 5 and Season 6. Season 5 finale episode is called "The End." Season 6 first episode is "The Beginning." The movie happens between this GAP! Just an interesting twist here and more than likely coincidence!

This year, holding tighter to my faith and faith's author, Jesus, I've found myself watching X-Files in a different way and I have found some blessing in the elements of faith used in the series, especially with words like "faith," "hope," "truth." Also, this year, I didn't do my annual Star Wars marathon like I usually do with the X-Files Marathon. At one time, I thought the Gap Theory in Genesis 1:1 and 2 was a theory, but going back to His Word, I'm learning through teachings and reading that the Gap Theory is a FACT! These "dormant aliens" in the earth will give rise again as seen in Revelation. These "aliens" will return to the Earth as well. 1/3 of the heavens will be swept to the Earth.

I'm a dork because I do this...
The masking tape X
Albany Park, Chicago

As the X-Files Marathon continues. Enter Mr X in Season 2 (The Host 2x02 which I've dubbed the grossest X-Files episode). Mr X is my favorite mysterious, shadowy character in the series. He replaced Deep Throat as Mulder's secret contact. This is where we start to see Mulder display the letter X with masking tape on his window when he needs his services. He's been my favorite mysterious character in the series by far. Yeah, Deep Throat was pretty cool, but Mr X has a darker side to him which we learn little by little as the series progresses. What drives him? Who does he work for? Who are his contacts? Mulder summons him by using the X with masking tape on his window.

The firmament was created on a Monday
Who actually likes Mondays?

Our world is full of secret societies, and many of these promote the New World Order and the One World Government. In the last blog, I touched up on Revelation 17 and the Roman Catholic Church. I've been ridiculed for that analogy even after pointing the fact it says ROME in the chapter. We need to be discerning of our leaders and our elected officials, but we're called to respect the government too, even when we don't like our elected leaders. Romans 13 talks about submitting to governing authorities ... even when we don't like it. I know this is true because I had to "bite my tongue" the eight years Mr Obama was in office. I'm doing that now with Mr Trump in office. July 19, 1952. Washington DC flap. February 25, 1942, the Battle for Los Angeles. July 7, 1947, Roswell. If going back to the Word and reading, it's understanding how "aliens" fit in with the times we live in. Genesis 6, Daniel 2, Revelation 12. God never said creating the firmament (outer space) was "good" in the six days of creation -- created on a Monday, mind you. Who likes Mondays? UFO activity heavily increased after World War II and right around Israel became a nation again. It's no mistake. One day those "bad guy" Christians will be gone and people will blame aliens. It wasn't "aliens." It was Jesus taking Christians home!

The Onslaught of a Storm
My back porch
Albany Park, Chicago IL
Sunday July 1, 2018

In The Light By Charlie Peacock
Oh, Lord be my Light and be my salvation

RAPTURED. I composed a Three-Part teaching on the Rapture and published on YouTube. I don't know about other believers, but when starts setting a date, I get on this "roller coaster" ride of anxiety. "Am I ready? Well, it's sunrise in Jerusalem, has He come yet." I have Moody Radio on all the time (90.1FM WMBI Chicago). I stop what I'm doing and put my ear to the radio. I don't think that's how God wants us to live. In my YouTube studies, I include many things where I think we're called to live, and to live with the immanency of His return. That's what the believers of the first church believed. They didn't set dates. I aimed the videos more towards believers but those who have not yet believed are welcome to watch as well. I'm not a good speaker, tried, and gave it my best. This was my airing of grievance, and I worked hard on this because I felt this was important for my friends and family! I'm not a great speaker and I've learned my expression best comes in Writing and Photography! I do believe we need to step outside our comfort zones though and this was one of those moments! I encourage you to listen.

Faith doesn't see numbers.
Faith is not a countdown!

You can click on a time in the description to jump to a section. I included the entire study here for you! Sometimes, commutes have a good cause! I looped in my train ride home one day in the opening card of the videos. Lol. The picture was taken at Diversey Station another day on June 18th. The funny thing about that is when you hear "doors closing" in the video, the first thing I thought was Rapture "all aboard, we're going to Heaven!" The first video is over 2 hours long. Please don't be dissuaded by that. In the decscription, you can click on a time slot and jump to a section. The second video is shorter version of the first one. The third one came because I wanted to stress "love His appearing," because He rewards those that love His return.

2018 Give Way - The Rapture is Tomorrow!
PART I
Albany Park, Chicago IL
June 29, 2018

STOP SETTING DATES! "Believe before you see... When you see a Rapture date, then it's not by faith or hope. Faith can't work, if you see a date. Think about it. If you see a date, it's no longer faith, and it can't work. Which means grace doesn't work and grace is vain, because grace only comes through faith. Stop setting dates!" I wanted to stress this sentence here from the Second Video. Where is your faith. Remember, faith is evidence of things NOT SEEN! And, with so many people on the YouTube putting out there suggested dates, it's only creating confusion.

Variance is fleshy work!

Enumerating the faith doesn't add up. Stop setting dates! To you Rapture-date setters, you're messing with Christian fruit, viz joy, peace, love, LONG-SUFFERING! We don't live on a countdown! Faith is not a countdown. It's imminent! I want to be blessed by His return and catching up, yes. but we get caught-up [no pun intended], in setting dates. Suffer long. Hope. Look for Him.

IS THIS THING RECORDING??? (0:00:45) "Keeping on track with one Diversey of a storm..." "...I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue." Moses
• Matt. 24. The great Tribulation and time of Wrath. This is the backbone of this message and Jesus talks to His disciples about His return, the time of wrath and the Millennial Kingdom. Israel's rebirth and 70 years. "Rightly dividing the Word of truth" with dispensations.

EVERY BLESSING! (0:06:46) "Give way to a spiritual highway..."
• Eph. 1:3. Spiritual truths in the Word.
• Acts 2:14-21. Peter tells us when the "Last Days" officially started!

THE MYSTERY OF THE RAPTURE! (0:20:04) "The Truth is out there. The Cloud has a secret to tell..."
• I Cor. 15:50-58. Something new revealed to the Church. Aliens did not take Christians. Christ caught them up. A mystery.

BE READY! (0:28:25) "Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let every heart, prepare Him room..."
• Matt. 24:36, Emphasis v. 42 and 44. Learning to watch and be ready.
• Ecc. 9:12. Man does not know the hour of death, according to the wisest man alive.
• Mark 13:33-35. Mark offers more insight to Matthew's ch 24 account of the Lord talking about his Second Coming. "...unto ALL, Watch!"

IT'S A JOYOUS TIME NOT A COUNTDOWN! (0:41:36) "Eat your fruit. An apple a day keeps the devil away..."
• I Ths. 4:14-18, 5:1-11. Caught up and "Harpazo." Be ready that the day. The day will come as a thief! Put on the full armor.
• Gal. 5:19-25. How are you living? Do you stop living on your predicted date? Do you give up the Christian life after the date comes to pass? Setting a date is "variance" and not fruit (v. 19). Walk in the Spirit.
• Eph 6:10-18. Paul instructs us to gird up in being ready for His return (I Ths. 5:8).

STOP EMBARRASSING CHRISTIANS! (1:03:49) "To thine own itchy ears: Enumerating the faith just doesn't add up..."
• II Tim. 3:14-17, 4:1-4. Bible is God-breathed, not a crossword puzzle. People leaving "sound doctrine" for "conspiracy theories." Teachers to itchy ears.
• II Tim 2:15. Study and be ready in good times or bad times. Rightly divide His truth. No contradictions.

FALSE PROPHETS AND HOW TO DEAL WITH THEM! (1:20:58) "Stoners, ready your stones..."
• Deut. 13. Woe unto the prophet or dreamer of dreams that turns the people of God to other idols. You shall be stoned to death.
• Deut. 18:15-22. Jesus is the Prophet to be heard; contrast to a the false prophet who tells something different that doesn't follow God's truths. Don't abide or dread them. They shall be put to death. This has spiritual truth although in another dispensation (Old Test)

THE FIRST COMMANDMENT! (1:37:05) "Amending the bill of rights for the first commandment..."
• Matt. 22:36. Love God; love people. The Gospel. Don't shirk your first duty! "Iniquity abounding, love waxing cold, variance..."

THEN THE END SHALL COME! (1:46:48)
• Matt. 24:14. The Gospel will be preached. God says it's done when He says it's done, not our dates.
• BLOG: Chicago Day 1973 (September 2017) 

THE FINAL COUNTDOWN! (1:56:17) "We're living on the edge. Though the Numbers are invisible to us..."
• Re-capping it all...
• John 14:1-7. Doubting Thomas has re-assurance, and we do as well.

MY STORY! (2:02:53) September 13, 1992. "Joy unspeakable. Jesus saved me; I saved the bulletin..." No, I'm not one of those people where you have to know the date. I saved the bulletin from that day.
• Heb 11:1, 12:1-2. My life verses. Jesus authors my faith and I'm in a race. Finish it. He will do the same for you!

NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION! (2:11:00) "What date will this salvation happen for me? Get ready, fall flat, and put your Flip Flops on. It's Now."
• II Cor. 6:1-2. Not July 4th, not June 17th. When? Now! Grace is not to be received with emptiness!
• Heb 1:10-12. God's garment is the Universe. He will take it off one day. Nowhere to hide at that time.
• BLOG: The Known Unknown Hour (May 2018)

BELIEVE BEFORE YOU SEE! (2:31:41) "If you see it here and now, it's not faith and it won't work. Pay attention to faith's Author..."
• Ps. 4. Commune with your heart. Be still and give reverence. Stand in awe!
• Heb 11:1. You see a Rapture date, then it's not by faith or hope. Faith can't work! Fruit of the Spirit. Variance is from the flesh.

COMMUNE WITH YOUR OWN HEART! (2:38:49) "God sees the heart! Longest journey in life only 18 inches, head to heart!"
• Pray!
• Isaiah 45 and compare Phil 2:9-11. Every knee will bow and every tongue confess Jesus Christ is Lord!
• Rom 10:9. Confess it. Believe in His sacrifice and resurrection!
• BLOG: Fly The Friendly Skies (June 2018) 

CONCLUSION: I don't like date setters. God doesn't author confusion. He said be ready. I Thessalonians 4 AND 5 where Paul continues his Rapture instruction to the church with "you know already that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night." The moment someone puts a date, it's variance and no longer faith. We don't live by sight. We live by faith. Variance is of the flesh. Faith is walking in the Spirit. Stop setting dates! God looks to see if there are more souls to be saved first , which ties in with our First Duty, walking in the Spirit, and preaching the Gospel. Then, the end will come. II Pet. 3:9, 15

2018 Give Way - I missed the Rapture!
PART II
Albany Park, Chicago IL
July 7, 2018

Believe it. I written about this before and you can go back to many of my blogs about the Rapture topic, especially after last year with the Eclipse and the Revelation 12 sign on September 23, 2017, which I mentioned before was my 1973rd Day in Chicago and the year I was born. I used to be a Mid-Tribber. I'll explain. I have gone back to the Pre-Tribulational view.

This is a brown line to the clouds...
Doors closing. Are you Ready?

In the last days, which Peter says happened on the first day of Pentecost, Paul wrote a letter to the Thessalonians about the Rapture and they worried Christ came and they were missed by the event. Paul reassured them that the Lord hadn't come yet. At the time, "the mystery of iniquity" was already work in the Roman Empire and the Caesar was regarded and could've been the actual Antichrist, but God is not slack as we would consider slackness, not willing any should perish but all come to repentance. God is building His church. This was nearly 2000 years ago. The Rapture hasn't occured yet. The end is not yet. In the second video I read from II Thessalonians about the "mystery of iniquity" which Paul says is already at work when he wrote the letter. The work of the Holy Spirit holds back the Antichrist. I used to think the Rapture was in the middle of the Tribulation period but after going back and learning from scripture, the Tribulation and Wrath are the same thing. Paul says that we're not appointed to wrath to the Thessalonians. "The mystery of iniquity" seen today in hatred, spite, murder, evildoing, pride, variance, works of the flesh, as in the days of Noah before the flood came, this mystery is already at work. The Holy Spirit holds back the Antichrist appearance and his abomination which makes desolate.

The Resurrections and the Judgements
Photo: Clarence Larkin

The mid-tribulation view isn't biblical, and my understanding of it was not either. I just believed that Christians would be the outcasts by the middle of the tribulation that is where the Rapture would happen. After understanding though, that the period of tribulation and wrath (Matthew 24, Luke 21) is for Jews and it is a prelude to the Millennial, Messianic Kingdom of Christ. I don't truly don't know how Jesus will perform the Rapture and I don't want to be operating a vehicle when it happens, but He always makes a way.

Luke 21 talks about the Tribulation (as in Matthew 24) being a time of wrath. The 6th seal lines up with the 6th Vial of Wrath in Revelation. Note "I come as a thief" which coincides with Matthew 24:43, I Thessalonians 5. The whole tribulation is regarded as wrath, especially if the 6th vial is emptied at the point where the "mid rapture" takes place. So, originally, when I believed originally, I believed that the mid point where the beast sets up his marking system and the image, where he goes into perdition and when he becomes the abomination that makes desolate (Matthew 24:15), this is not where the rapture happens. The Tribulation completes a promise to Israel from Daniel 9, which is not about the Church.

2018 Give Way - Love His Appearing!
PART III
Albany Park, Chicago IL
July 14, 2018

RAPTURE DATE SETTERS, READ THIS. Love His appearing. How do we love His appearing and find Him? We don't find Him in our numbers or our calculations. The Bible is not your personal calculator to find out the next Rapture date. Is it that important we have a date, so we can have a countdown, and wait to the last minute to get right with Him? How are we living? STOP SETTING DATES! He calls us to walk in the Spirit, abide Him, etc. We find Him in His word and we listen to His voice there. In my study of Hebrews this month, I'm reminded that "faith is a substance, and evidence of what? THINGS NOT SEEN! We live by faith, NOT a countdown. Rapture-date setters, bear this in mind: If you take away faith by giving it a date to live by, how can you live by God's Grace since Grace only comes to us by faith! STOP SETTING DATES. Christ's return is imminent, and we should live every day as if it were our last, even just as tonight you could die or I could slip, fall and break my neck in my own bathtub accidentally.

Faith is not in your date!

All these Rapture Date setters came out last year with the Eclipse, the Revelation 12 sign and, now, May 14 with the 70th year birthday of Israel. Are we ready? Are you ready? Is it truly God's timing or our own? When we set dates, we are setting variance, a fleshy failing. Galatians 5 bids us to walk in the Spirit. Remember, Gentiles don't live by signs. The signs and wonders we see were not for Gentiles. These signs and wonders were meant for Jews mainly. 

We have Truth in God's Word and it will live forever and ever: "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope." Romans 15:4

I haven't witnessed the Resurrection with my own eyes, but like the Lord blessing Thomas, who doubted it, Jesus said, "...blessed are those that have not seen but yet believe." That's where Faith comes in TODAY and NOW! In fact, my study in Hebrews emphasizes hearing God voice and not hardening my heart.

"Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." I John 3:1-3

Be Ready. On the eighth day. Faith is Resurrection power. He is not slack. Abide in Him. Finally, love His Appearing.

The waiting game at CTA Tower 12
One L of a Commute
Chicago Loop, Chicago IL
July 10, 2018

Love Takes Time by Bryan Duncan
Were you ever mistaken? Please be kind!

HAPPY INDEPENDENTS' DAY. Do I even bother and try this like I planned before March? I think my lot in life is being single and I can't tell you how much of a struggle it is!!! I haven't found my missing "rib" yet. If I'm going to boast about a relationship since everybody's doing it, mine is Jesus. The best painted picture of a perfect marriage is found with Christ (Bridegroom) and His Church (the Bride). I have an eternal relationship with Him forever and, in the end, that's all that really matters. I'm finally going the eHarmony route this weekend, but I'm reminding myself that going to church and doing the eHarmony is not so God blesses me. The blessings are already there. I've spent my life single and without human companionship and it's difficult.

Love is Out There!

2018 Give Way. I don't have a Valentine or someone to share it with. I love the night sky especially Orion. Each year, I post this poem I wrote for her, that far off distant lover in the corner of the sky. The poem was based off a story in the Silmarillion, the story of Earendil and Elwing. The silmaril that Γ‹arandil bore would become our evening and morning star of today. I love gazing at the night sky! Reading that book 4x, I still can't get everything out of it. BUT I did get this... 

#skipvalentinesday #independent #single #silmaril #tolkien 

DISTANT STAR IN THE CORNER OF THE SKY

My ship sails ever into the heavenly night sky
Into the sea of stars that are up so high
Towards the distant shimmering star so prominent
I will finally reach you, your light so dominant

You glimmer so radiantly neither waxing or waning
Since the beginning, there you are ever remaining
You bid me to seek you out and find your glow
That your life and spark will fill my soul

You guide my course onward to hold your hand
One day this long quest will reach an end
I've dreamt and seen your beauty from the start
When I looked into your night sky, I see your heart

One day our paths will finally meet
Until then, good night my glimmering star, my sweet.

I set a goal about not finding love this year. Love Is Out There. So, at what point is it not looking and searching. A woman isn't going to smack on the head and say, "I'm here." If we want something, we work for it and we search. Where is the line drawn for going to far then? Longing? It's putting that above God. I recently was reminded of this. I'm not going to church to find her. I go to church to fellowship and worship with believers (Hebrews 10:25 reminds). So, I get upset when people say, "stop looking." Well, ok, she's not going to just appear out of nowhere and I still have to live my life like I've done for all the years I've been single, which is all my life actually. I think by now, I understand how it works. So, to those giving me petty advice, go back to your own relationship, because clearly you don't know what it's like to be single or do you even care!

2018 Goal: "Stop setting a goal to find love. It's out there." It's taken 11 seasons of X-Files for Mulder and Scully to get the truth and they still don't have it all. I will be signing up for the full membership on eHarmony but I need to stop making it goal. This almost sounds like a conundrum of a goal, but I know how I see it in my head lol.

So here I go and subscribe to eHarmony. Do I even bother with it? Do I wait awhile longer? I've striven this year to sign up for the full subscription but something always stops me; money, losing a job or just plain laziness. While I know this is not my ultimate focus, I have spent my life alone and I want to be in a relationship. I've asked God about this. I don't want to be alone. Love takes time as the song says here. Please be kind. Interesting enough, my favorite online YouTube Pastor, Gene Kim is doing a series on WOMEN, and how important the role of women is in the ministry and as supporters. One thing that was amazing was the verses on I Peter 3:1, the power of a woman's word. "...that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives." Whoa! WITHOUT THE WORD! Husbands can be won over by their wives without the word. The series by Pastor Kim were such a blessing and he stressed that the role of women should not be put on door mat or be made small or meaningless. It was also good to know that he, being a single pastor, there is some hope still for me even my age to find someone special. The power women have; men change when they are in relationship with them. I never considered this.

A time to worship... Sunnyside
Ravenswood Baptist Church
Ravenswood, Chicago IL
July 15, 2018

Old Church Choir by Zach Williams
I got a sweet salvation and it's beautiful

I was going to Destination Church in Wrigleyville last summer, but I didn't feel like I fit in. I found it rather intimidating and especially when all the people were younger than I was. That led to some difficulty and I stopped going after their last Small Group studies in October. So, from that point on, I drifted... again. I was coming short of God's Glory and it was laid on me that I should be in fellowship with other believers. It hit hardest in March when I lost my job, when I was confronted with the reality check. I reached out multiple times to people in that church to pray with or talk to, but I was ignored. So, once again faced with loss, I didn't give up. God doesn't ignore me nor should His people. So, I prayed about it again. Actually, I have my online pastor Gene Kim who helped me find a KJV only church in Chicago and, believe you me, it is not easy here. Bible believing churches are scarce here, which leads into another trend (good trend) I've noticed. Destination Church was overwhelmed with people and I've never been one to fit into big churches. Gospel House in Bedford OH was one exception. I went to Addison Community Church in Ravenswood for Pentecost, but I still felt lacking. After finding Gene Kim on YouTube in May and started diving back into bible study, I realized how important KJV only truly is. This search with his help led me to Ravenswood Baptist Church. Destination Church is not my destination.

Enter on a Sunnyside of Damen

On July 8th, I finally attended, after kicking myself one Sunday morning to get out of bed and go. Going to church that morning, it was a short walk from CTA Damen brown line and Sunnyside. Going into the church, I was welcomed by a couple older gentlemen. They asked me how I found them. I told them a Bible-believing Pastor in San Jose led me to kjvchurches.com and I found this church wasn't far from where I lived. The older gentlemen said, "why that?" I told him that I'm seeing the importance of believing KJV only. His face lit up. "You have come to the right place." He went on and said KJV is pure English, the English of Shakespeare. The worship service was beautiful and it was great to see a wide diversity of age groups and ethnicity! I don't like sitting in church with just white people honestly, because the Gospel is for all races! I attended the 74th message on the Book of John done by Pastor Moore. I learned something valuable in the new church. Here is what I learned.

There is hope. The Son shines.
Cruising the Chicago River
Chicago River, Chicago IL
July 22, 2017

1. Last summer I was going to a "popular" church in the Chicago area. Popular is not always right, and I've never been popular. Destination Church may have not been my destination.

2. Here in Chicago, the church I've prayed about and striven to find (for 5 years) is tucked away underneath all that popularity; I'm not a popular person. My New Year goal "Can't! Can't? Can!"

3. When asked today at church how I heard about them, I told them through kjvchurches.com shared by a Pastor in San Francisco (an online pastor I listen to). For Chicago, the listings were very small.

4. Most important, but when I worship in a church with such a range of diversity in ethnicity, age groups, and marital statuses, MAYBE, just maybe, God is answering my prayer about finding a church here in Chicago to hear His Word and Fellowship with believers in those aforementioned ethnicity, age groups and marital statuses.

5. I'm putting this here because I want this on my Facebook profile before I deactivate it again. So, don't be surprised if you see me disappear again - for maybe the Summer. I will be in Blog-Land, Magazine Land and Wordpress Land. Next blog is titled: "The Truth is Out There," a title you would probably expect if you know me. http://shekinya.blogspot.com/2018/06/fly-friendly-skies.html

6. When asked why I was attending, I told them KJV. The response I got was from an older gentlemen in his 80s and they were words of wisdom. Shakespeare English was the purest English of the time. Many people today scoff at KJV and he only reaffirmed what I've been praying about in my faith and that was hearing God's Word and to be careful with modern translations. Yes, I did purchase a 100 year old Bible with my paycheck. 100 years doesn't mean it's outdated!!!

7. The closing of the sermon today had Hebrews 12:1, 2 listed. THAT'S my life verse I adopted as a believer so many years ago! The message was about "abiding in Christ." Plus, I'm studying in this book this month.

Actually, I had a warm welcome by the Pastor and his first heard sermon resounded with me through the week and climaxed back to Dr. Gene Kim who originally recommended checking out kjvchurches.com. I was blessed by God with John 15, but it's not about reading it. I truly believe there is something here for me to learn when abiding (living) in Christ. July 15th, the Pastor talked about election to ministry, loving the brethren, and "laying your life down for them." In doing so, we are called Jesus' friends. A servant lives with fear and duty. A friend lives with love and joy.

Cloudy Chicago Skyline
A glassy Lake
Museum Campus, Chicago IL
July 13, 2018

The Only Thing I Need by 4Him
The only thing I need... already have it.

John 15. Three times in one week after attending the new church in Ravenswood on July 8th, I heard the message of John 15, abiding (living) in the Lord. Abide in Him. So, It happened like this. Sunday, at new church, the pastor is preaching out of John. Verse by verse. This was the next chapter in his preaching. This was my first Sunday attending the church after finding it on kjvchurches.com. Chuck Swindoll preached from it on Moody Radio Thursday, July 12. Then, as I was doing my devotional, I asked God, "please fill me in awe!" Then, I tuned in to Pastor Gene Kim on YouTube and he preached it. Truly that prayer was answered instantly!!! I was filled with awe. I reached out to Pastor Kim after that. He had helped me to find a KJV Bible believing church in Chicago through kjvchurches.com. I emailed after that. God is amazing

Hello Pastor Kim,


I have a story to share with you a story from the previous week. Thank you for helping me find a KJV church. Last Sunday, I attended one I found on kjvchurches.org. Ravenswood Baptist Church in Chicago. Interesting this.


Last Sunday [July 8], the pastor preached from John 15:1-11, abiding (LIVING) in Christ, bearing much fruit, then tying it up with “the branches that were burned,” which he explained was not about salvation but the Judgement Seat of Christ. So, I go into a new week with various studying in Hebrews…


I have Moody Radio on consistently in my kitchen and bedroom. So, I’m making a snack Thursday night (7-12). Chuck Swindoll was preaching from those SAME verses! His study ended though at v.6 about the “branches burned up.” So, having my ear to the radio, I was upset that the sermon ended and I wanted to hear what his explanation of v.6 was.


I get my snack, go to my bedroom, make note of the day and study. Then, I write in my devotional, “God, fill me with awe” and prayed as typing it. Well, bed time is when I usually tune in to your online YouTube channels. Then, I tuned in and WHOA, you were preaching the same verses in John 15. WHOA. God answered that prayer with fill me with awe! I sat on the edge of my bed and I was filled with awe! It’s like God is saying, you want awe, here it is. John 15 for you again!


Thank you much for your ministry and I know God uses your ministry. God has blessed you and it has helped me dive back into studying his word … even on a CTA Brown Line commute to work in the morning. Thank you again Pastor.

In Him,
Eric.

That being said, the song I picked for this section has some meaning as well. I first heard this song on Moody Radio (103.3FM WCRF Cleveland). It came when my life was in a pits in 2003. I was reminded of the lyrics to the song.

Set your things on heavenly things.
Magnify the Lord
Back Porch Beauty
Albany Park, Chicago IL
July 15, 2018

RETURN TO YOUR FIRST LOVE. In Revelation 2:2-5. Lord, in my daily life of labor and faith, I need to keep in mind the things above. I get so caught up in the cares of this world. I go through the motions most times and don't stop and take time to truly magnify You, to truly know what it means to completely be surrounded by your holiness and your majesty. Lord, teach me in my daily life and remind me that the works I do for you, that without you and your love they are meaningless and vain. You ask that my service be unto you with my heart and not with my head. You ask me to sing your praises with my heart, and not with my mouth.

I come to you by night. Teach me this awesome majesty and holiness of yours during the day when your sun is shining down upon me. Remind me that your Son does shine down on me in the sunlight and by Jesus all things were made. "For by Him, all things were made, in Heaven and on Earth, visible and invisible." With thou outstretched arm, nothing is too difficult for thee. Teach me the wonder of your mercies.

Lord, you have brought me to my knees with trembling and repentance. Your holiness humbles my spirit. I'm surrounded by it and it keeps me from lofty eyes. You teach me that your chastisement is righteous and good and to walk in your Spirit and peaceable fruit. Continue to remind me of my sin and bring me to the foot of Your Cross and Your empty Tomb. Like Thomas Lord, I desire one day to thrust my fingers into Your nail prints and into Your side and exclaim with full joy, "My LORD and my God!" Truly Lord. You make intercession for me before the Father day and day out. Your mercies and Grace are unending, and You have saved me to the utter most. Though I may die or though you may take me, Your promise to eternally make intercession before the Father forever with your eternal order.

Lord, thank you for the studying of Hebrews this month. Thank you for helping me find a church to worship and praise You in. Thank you for the fellowship of other believers. Thank you for paying my sin debt in which I could never do myself or at all. Thank you for saving me. In my daily life Lord, mold my heart into love for the brethren. In my anxious of hearts, fill me with your Spirit that I might bear fruit to purge forth. Lord, I wish and desire to do Your will and to walk in love. In an angry city such as Chicago, help me in my walk. Help me to turn my eyes on you, for you are the author of my faith and the finisher of it. Let me continue on with faith, in this race, that I may one day see that finish line. Help me to get back up when I fall. Give me a persevering heart and spirit not to give up. Like David said when he was on the run from Saul, "I will bless the LORD at all times. His praise shall continually be in my mouth. O magnify the LORD and let us exalt His name together."

Chicago River Locking System
Chicago River & Lake Michigan
Chicago Lakefront, Chicago IL
July 4, 2017

There Is Power In The Blood by Alan Jackson
Would you o'er evil a victory win?

JULY STUDY IN HEBREWS. One thing the pastor of the new church suggested was starting a prayer journal and devotional. When I first became a Christian, I fell in love with the book of Hebrews because that was the book of the Bible, Pastor Bob Sepkovich was preaching out of in September 1992. In that book, I adopted Hebrews 12:1, 2 as my life verses in my Christian Walk. This past month, I wrapped up reading Ecclesiastes and the book of Acts and I prayed where to read next. I believe I was inspired to read from Hebrews again. So, starting this month, I began my study.

In my journals, it has helped put my thoughts down verse-by-verse in Microsoft OneDrive. What's also great to see is that "OneDrive is ...saving your document." Saving ha! A reminder of a spiritual truth with the Lord. As of now I'm in Hebrews 12 and going through it slowly. I've split the devotional journal up with a Morning Watch, a God Timeout, an Evening Watch and whatever notes, pictures, prayers at the bottom.

The Book of Hebrews was possibly and more than likely written by Paul to the Jews about Jesus being our High Priest, eternally making intercession for the saints before the Father, going into the Holiest place, even His Blood being sprinkled in the heavenly places, up to where I'm reading now about the chastisement of God in Hebrews 12. In Hebrews, the author warns the Jews about returning to the Levitical Order and the sacrifices of burnt offerings, falling from the faith and not "crucifying the Lord a fresh." It is impossible to fall away and Jesus can't die twice. Hebrews teaches that His sacrifice is Once and for All. He sat down. His work is complete. Hebrews 6:3 always has stumped me as a believer. Why wouldn't God permit us to move on in our faith? I believe God fashions our hearts. In Chapter 4, the writer instructs us to pay attention to His Voice. Let not your heart be hardened. I think that ties in here with this verse about permission. He warns us about hearing His voice, and hardening our hearts. Where are your hearts? We're not robots. He wants us to abide in Him. There's that John 15 again because John 15:16 also talks about election of the saints (unto ministry not salvation). So, this "God permitting" seems to hang on our part to seek God and hear His voice, because right after that the writer says in the next v.4, "it is impossible for us to fall away, " provided we hear God's voice and act on it by not hardening our hearts.

If you hear His voice,
don't harden your heart.

It truly is a blessing again to read this book. This past week, I suffered some and some sin came back to fall me. It got me really down and feeling guilty. I'm not perfect. I'm going to come out and say that. Jesus' work on the Cross was perfect and saved me eternally from the condemnation of sin. That is a hope I have in this earthy state. I had just finished reading about the Wall of Faith in Hebrews 11. Abraham, Moses, all the prophets, etc. These men demonstrated they saw a better thing "a far off" even though they had not the promise, they were strangers in a foreign country, putting their faith in something eternal and a "city built not by human hands." It seemed to me Chapter 10 transitioned over to our faith! In v.25, we're told to provoke other believers unto love and good works. This is another tie in with John 15 teaching of Jesus about loving one another, and the love of the Father. Then, Chapter 11, we get the Wall of Faith. Thinking about this "faith journey to a place made not by human hands" has made me reconsider one purpose for my "sojourning in a foreign country" like Chicago. It might be a foreshadowing of my faith for things to come! Hmmm.


Give way to peaceable fruit!

Well after I studied this chapter on July 19th, sin was right there and fell me! I truly felt awful about this... even now. Hanging on to the work of the Cross is a promise to believers. It's our hope; though we feel guilty about it. I can think back to earlier this year with events and even last year. God brings us to a place of His holiness. He does this. He chastises us as a Earthly father does. That was in chapter 12. Whom He loves, he chastens. We suffer consequences for our sin. This was all in the same chapter I adopted my life verses as well (v.1, 2). I wrote in my notes, "chastisement yields (gives way) to peaceable fruit." It brings us to a place of God's Holiness. He gets us on our knees. I John 1:9. He is faithful and just to forgive us of all our sins and cleanses of from unrighteousness. I will be finishing up my study soon with Chapter 13. Only 13 chapters in Hebrews.

I am wondering where I should study next. I was thinking Colossians.

A 1917 Scofield Reference Bible
Going back to KJV only here! Yes.
Albany Park, Chicago IL
July 7, 2018

ENTER THAT HOLY PLACE.  2018 Give Way. Go back again to the song "Beyond the Sea by Bobby Darin." Listen to the song again in a spiritual context. Believers will be with God forever beyond the sea of glass in Heaven, the church married to the Lamb which is Christ.  I've been studying in Hebrews this month and I was blessed once again to read and learn about my my life verses in Hebrews 12:1, 2. Faith is a race. 

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

Jesus authors my faith. Remember this scene from Cool Runnings? Just dropping this here if I decide to come back on to a noisy newsfeed! I picked these verses to live by when I first became a believer so many years ago. Michael K. Lawrence II and Richard Trigg, thank you for being brothers in Christ I can pray and talk about spiritual things with!

"Derice, y' dead?"
"No mon, I'm not dead. We have to finish the race."

Abraham is watching. Moses is watching. Noah is watching. Enoch is watching. Jacob, Joseph, Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets. Jesus is at the finish line!!!! I wen back this month and watched the Bible Movie, "Abraham" which starred Richard Harris as Abraham. I was reminded of his walk of faith and how God called him to a "..better place" and His ultimate test of Abraham with offering up Isaac. Abraham reasoned (according to Hebrews) that God could RAISE THE DEAD!

November 15, a foreshadowing
to a city not built by human hands?

They're all watching me!!!!

WATCHING OUR MEMES. We really need to watch our memes and images. I can't tell you how many memes I see fly by my newsfeed. They misrepresent and we can make them say what we want. I'm a photographer, so I know how it works. I say this because we rely on an image or a meme to explain an issue. We give it life. Well, think on this if you will. Another reason for dumping Facebook.

This is not a good guy here...

Revelation 13:15 "..And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed."

Surrounded by a cloud of witnesses!
Back Porch in Chicago
Albany Park, Chicago IL
Sunday July 1, 2018

The Gospel by Ryan Stevenson
Love God; love people

VERTICAL MINISTRY. Since March this year, I've learned what the "Identity Rescue" goal was all about and I also learned how "Give Way" was a God-centric New Year's Theme, and the theme had nothing to do about me. Putting my faith in God's Grace and His mercy for forgiveness, I've also prayed what can I do to be used of Him. There have been many a night where I "stand in awe," but I recently learned that I'm not above my fleshy sinfulness and still need the power of forgiveness in my life to run in the race of faith.

2018 Goal: "Snubbed? Brushed off? Meekly stand out." Endeavor to find deep meaningful relationships, and people worth your time and effort. If it means eliminating a lot of people from your life, do it. This one ties in with "Identity Rescue." I've already taken measure to keeping those loved ones in my life but letting the other "clutter" go. Thanks Karen Sobolewski ... again!

Identity Rescue. This year has seen many goodbyes, and it's only half way through. There has been a lot of heartache and disappointment, but God has reminded me there is joy; there is a better place, a place not made with human hands. This was the place those in Hebrews 11 Wall of Faith looked for, having not the promise themselves. Jesus fulfilled the Law and He has become our High Priest. He understands our weaknesses and temptation, having not sinned, but he sympathizes and makes intercession for us on God the Father's behalf. If studying Hebrews this month, this is one thing I have learned. Last month, I talked about how this Identity Rescue worked in my life this year so far. This year, I've lost a lot in friendships and with a job, but it was in those times, I re-discovered my identity and it's been a slow process coming back to God. Not everything we lose is lost! I've come to that understanding just after May 14 and Israel's 70th birthday. He's tugging at my heart. Though, I've lost, I've gained. I've learned in my "unnoticed walk" that a wise man's words are quiet, just as I read in my study in Ecclesiastes. I've always expressed myself in writing and photography and I've never been a great speaker of words. I take notice of my posting on Facebook, my photos or anything I post there. It goes unnoticed or "liked." So struggling sometimes to see that, but I'm learning more and more where my identity comes from! It comes from Heaven! It comes from God! It came at a price with His Son, Jesus. That's where I'm noticed! That's where God tugs at our hearts!

2017 The Destination is There. Destination England
Nottingham, the ancestry home of the Chathams er... Cheethams
Nottingham, Nottinghamshire UK
October 15, 2017

Going up to the high places. I have a lot of anxiety and I ask God to help me. You can go back to my blogs even last August and September when I talked about this. Could I have a chemical imbalance in my brain? I also suffer with a lot of depression. Could this be an attack by the devil? Or is it both? I realize that I try and I just worry. This is a problem in my life and I'm seeking God in this. Hoping that I've found a church to worship Him in and being with believers helps. I only think back to the times I was serving Him. It wasn't a problem. One thing I've been reminded of is Romans 5:20,"where sin abounds, Grace greatly abounds." Grace is stronger than sin and overpowers sin. On this journey upwards, I am hoping to make some new friends and new meaningful relationships. I've talked about ditching Facebook entirely by the end of summer.

Also, recently, I was convicted about "burnt out righteousness" as Solomon wrote about in Ecclesiastes 7:16. We should enjoy our lives, and use the world (I Cor 7) but not abuse it, especially in matters of sin. I enjoy X-Files so I've been watching that. "Repressed righteousness" can also be dangerous to second-hand Christians. We see a lot of Hollywood stars turned from their Christian upbringing and turning severely liberal believers "...like a dog returning to its vomit" (II Peter 2:20-23). I had a long talk with my friend Michael Lawrence. He said, "take a break from the Bible. Immerse yourself in God and prayer." It's funny how a brother knows things like this, because he reaffirmed a teaching I heard by my online pastor about this topic of "burnt out righteousness."

My very own spot in the alley! Only 4 years waiting for this freedom!
Between Central Park and Drake
Albany Park, Chicago IL
July 12, 2018

HORIZONTAL MINISTRY. One Sunday in church, the new one I'm attending, the pastor talked about "election" in John 15, which is not about salvation but ministry. I often have prayed how to be used by God. And, in the end, how God uses me is between me and Him and the people involved, so I really don't like discussing what accomplishments I do for God. 

I felt it was important to compose those three Rapture videos, and to talk about my faith. If there be one person that listens and hears God, then that's what matters. Even one person for three videos is powerful enough. It's not a waste of time in God's eyes. So how God chooses to use me for those videos is entirely God's sovereignty and power! It's not only about videos, it's about people. People in the ministry and outside the church. I've been praying about that. At one time with the Gospel House, it was letter writing in the Prison Ministry. See? There it is again. Writing! Maybe this is one way God can use me. The one thing I liked about that was the joy I got from it, helping prisoners. Again, that's entirely between God, me and those involved. I'm just a man. God is God. Matthew 6 warns about this and openly showing your acts of charity like the Pharisees liked to do in Jesus' time.

I want to see my friends in Heaven, Lord.
Make them see You!
You are the Truth!

Another thing to bear in mind for myself is everyday life. Chicago is a tension-filled city. As I mentioned in the opening, getting place to place, there are people. People wear me out, and a lot of my everyday anxiety comes in crowds of people. I get irritable and easily upset. I pray about this, even on the train, just close my eyes, sigh and pray quietly. There are a lot of angry people in Chicago though. I thought about Chick Tracts and Photography. I love photography so maybe there is something in there God can use for His Glory. And, that's where it's all at! GOD'S GLORY! Worship. I heard the song "Power in the Blood" at church and I sang it one night just because I wanted to worship. God knows I don't have a good singing voice, but I hope He honored the fruit of praise of my lips. Even typing this out, I need to believe God can use me! He loves me and He knows me better than I know myself. He delights in my worship and He delights in my time with Him! He truly does. I need to believe that I'm elected. 

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according go his purpose. For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to become conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren; and whom he predestined, these he also called; and whom he called, these he also justified; and whom he justified, these he also glorified." Romans 8:29

The blog Tapestry (March) comes back to mind here where I mentioned Romans 8:29. "God opens our eyes to his love and truth." That's how we become saved, but right, why can't everyone be saved then? Those whom he foreknew. Does that imply favoritism of God? We're all given a choice, but why are many people's "eyes closed." Those whom he foreknew. I don't get it. I just don't. His ways are far above mine. His mind is higher than mine. I don't get it! Vessels of wrath. Vessels of mercy. Why are some eyes opened, why is there evil in the world. Ultimately, God works in the world to bring GLORY to him! He is a jealous God ... the righteous kind of jealous. He has every right to be. He created us! If you are reading this now and NOT a believer, PRAY, and ask God to open your eyes to his LOVE AND FORGIVENESS which was bought by the blood of Christ on the Cross! My eyes opened starting on September 13, 1992. I often go back to that day and the time after when I struggle in my faith. "God remember that day? Please remember it. I know I believed and trusted you. I followed you. You opened my eyes on that day!" That's often my prayer to him when I struggle with my faith. "...Go back to September 13, 1992, Lord!" 

Hours of Gold in Chicago Summers
Adler Front Porch
Museum Campus, Chicago IL
July 13, 2018

Same Power by Jeremy Camp
Power of the Resurrection.

ON THE EIGHTH DAY, HE ROSE! Thank you, Michael Lawrence for sharing this song with me. My favorite Apostle is Thomas. In my Third Rapture Video, "Love His Appearing," I talk about Thomas and how he was the Apostle who was truly blessed by the Resurrection. He was the first one to physically touch the Risen Lord, thrust his fingers into the nail prints and into His side. This is how Thomas came to belief, but it strengthened it with the words, "My LORD and my God!" He was addressing Jesus here as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Great I AM who appeared to Moses inn the burning bush.

Why eighth day? Well, yes, truly it was three days between Jesus' death, burial and resurrection, but the eighth day I was referring to was the "full circle" back to a brand new week on the days of creation. God rested on Saturday, the seventh day. Sunday, He rose from the dead! When putting together the Rapture videos, I went back to I Corinthians 15, the chapter about the Resurrection. In my daily life, I want to magnify this in my own life in the Lord. I get lost in my life many times on the busy streets of Chicago, in the business of a job and in the work, team and goals of the day at that job. I ask God many times, "fill me with awe," if it doesn't first start with "...know my heart, Lord. I don't know it."

My friend Michael Lawrence has been a good brother in Christ with prayer and talking about spiritual things. Last week, he told me, "immerse yourself in God on your knees!" That's where the power of the Resurrection starts in my life... on my knees! O, Lord, put me on my knees. In the sermon today (July 22), the Pastor talked out of Psalm 34. The verse that sparked for me was the verse, "Magnify the Lord. Let us exalt His Name together." God is already big, far more what we would even comprehend big. It was my prayer though before the message of the sermon. I recall many times, God filling the capacity of my heart with His majesty. I used Colossians 3:1-3 in a photo here. BOOM. There it is. "By Him [Jesus], all things were made." The universe is His garment! Sometimes, I ride home on the train from my commute to and from work. I stare out of the window and just ponder. The prayer of my heart [this I know] that I see the Lord magnified! In the sky, on the earth, the buildings, the people, the train, the rails, the clouds, the color, my soul, it all. I'm small. I'm a speck. Outer space, the heavenly bodies, He frames the worlds. Magnify the Lord. He is big, but David is referring to immersing oneself in God's greatness all around me. This was truly a great message. When David wrote that Psalm, he was fleeing from Saul and he changed his behavior [to act insanse] before Ahimelech the Priest in I Sam. 21. In his trouble, David still magnified the Lord.

2018 Give Way. I think back over this year and how at times, I lacked faith BUT even when things turned sour for me, God was an ever present help in trouble. He rescued me from death. He rescued me from hopelessness and he helped my faith. I need to cling to His Resurrection power in these days ahead... when I walk these mean streets of Chicago. I'm a stranger in a foreign land.

Destination Heaven!
The ol' Ravenswood Line
Ravenswood, Chicago IL
July 5, 2018

Hold Me Jesus by Big Daddy Weave (Rich Mullins)
How am I saved? As a sky will roll up as a scroll, don't scroll past here.

"Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You." Jeremiah 32:17. What is the greatest gift one could receive from God right now? We believe God is a God of Love, but we also must remember that God is HOLY and Just. He alone is righteous and judges. The story of God's Love started with the love of His Only begotten Son in the Godhead! Yes, God demonstrated His love through His Son. Adam and Eve were created and they were endowed the Earth to replenish it and subdue it. So, what then? Man disobeyed God. Sin entered the world. It's the cancer in our world today! Look around you. School shootings, people killing their own families, division, sexual perversion of all kinds. We have a promise though. God, speaking to the serpent who tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, gave her a promise.

And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,
And you shall bruise His heel.

Genesis 3:15. The KJV has Seed capitalized here. Women don't have seed. Seed comes from men; however, the Seed referenced here is the Son of God through a virgin birth. Just as sin entered the world through one man Adam, and death with sin, salvation comes in one man, Jesus Christ, who paid the debt of all sin on the cross. He has redeemed us through his sacrifice on the Cross. We have an enemy in this world. His name is Satan or Lucifer. He hates everything that is of God. He is the author of confusion and deception.

Even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed." Romans 3:22-24

How does God view us without Christ? We're sinners. We deserve Hellfire. Note the bold emphasis. The world has subverted that word in other religions and false teachings. Judaism and Christian teachings are the only that preach sin. The heart of the issue is man we are born into sin. There is no way around it. We blame God for all the bad in the world while we fail to look at our problem. It's SIN. Note the bold emphasis here in the passage. FOR ALL HAVE SINNED! You can be the holiest person on the planet, but you know what, you were born into sin just like me. Sin is simplest form is "crime" in God's eyes. It's disobedience. God sees all our sin the same as transgression. You may have experienced a conscience when you steal something, tell a lie, or even a half truth. That moral law is built in each and everyone of us. God put that moral law within every one of us. God gave the nation of Israel to us to demonstrate His sovereignty in the world today. We see the moral law in the Ten Commandments.

"But God demonstrates His own love toward us, 
in that while we were still sinners, 
Christ died for us. Romans 5:8"

There's the Gospel of Salvation. How did God demonstrate His love for us? Christ, God's Son, died for us! That is God's Love! Until we come to a place where we are the problem and our sin is the issue, we cannnot experience God's love. Remember, God is Holy, and sin cannot be in His presence. We break God's moral law. We are descendants of a sinful nature. We each are born with the cancer in our life. 

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is 
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23

No way around this. Sin's wages are death. We all die, that should be evidence enough that sin exists. We're all terminal. None of our good works are enough to get us to Heaven. NONE! You can be the nicest person, but "the wages" are still death. Until we realize we have this cancer called sin, we have no hope of God's Love. Until we repent of our sin and receive God's salvation of Grace through the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross, there is no hope. Until we truly believe on that, there is no forgiveness of sins.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." Ephesian 2:8-10

Grace comes by faith alone. It is not from ourselves, meaning grace isn't from ourselves. It comes from God. Why? It is a gift of God. How? The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (from the previous passage). The only access we have to grace is through believing in Jesus Christ for the purging of your sins. It's an individual choice. It's a heart choice. We don't receive this gift alone. We receive the gift by FAITH, faith in Him alone. It's not of ourselves. We become children of God when we make this choice. We become part of the body of Christ with this choice.

Golden Sunset over the horizon!
Chicago Skyline
Museum Campus, Chicago IL
April 17, 2017

Aware of Wonder by Geoff Moore & The Distance
Your love for me, it is a wonder

Hell is a real place! It's a place of eternal damnation and separation from God and His Love.  Jesus spoke much on the place of Hell. It was created for the devil and his followers. People go there too. Hell is not a party place. It's a place where the fire is never quenched! Eternal death. It is my hope that you keep reading here!

"Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting."

Summon me with the saved! Right now. Sit, reflect and think about this. Look to God. The way everlasting is found in Christ! One of my favorite Psalms in the Bible is Psalms 139. God knows you more than you know you. The first step admitting you need help is knowing you are a sinner and not part of God's Love. He is speaking to you now, my friend!!! I hope you aren't still scrolling past here! God wants to have a relationship with you, reader! Maybe you never heard the good news of the Gospel. Maybe you've only interpreted God by how society views Christians. Maybe you think you have to do all these religious sacraments or works to get saved! It's much simpler than that, my friend! The Gospel is simple!

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son
shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:36

If you truly believe in your heart that Jesus has saved you by the gift of his sacrifice on the Cross for you, God has added you to family and to his everlasting family! It is my hope now that you search God in His Word and in the scriptures. You'll notice a lot of quotes from Romans and John here. Those are the best places for you to start with reading in your new life!!!!

"If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." I John 1:8, 9

"That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus
and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, 
you will be saved." Romans 10:9

Jesus is Lord! Pray and seek Him in His Word. Confess your sin to God. You can do that now. You don't need a priest! God says you can! Find a church where you can worship Him and hear His Word preached! I hope you do. Remember, God has filled you with His Holy Spirit. He has made you alive in Christ. Your spiritual nature is alive and saved by Him. 

Thank you again for reading this month...
If you have questions about salvation in Christ, please contact me, and your nearest Bible.


2018 Give Way! Are you Ready?
Music by 65 dBA
Photography Compilation
June 17, 2018

I'm On My Way To Zion by WWMT
I know I can't live without. You know the secrets of my soul.

COMING SOON THIS SUMMER! FAREWELL FACEBOOK!

[Added July 28, 2018] My goal is to be rid of Facebook entirely by the end of summer. Remember how we all kept in touch in the old days, that's how you can do the same. There is too much hate, drama, variance, and other garbage here. It's probably for the best since Facebook data is being scraped and saved somewhere. For my photography, you can find me on Instagram or 500px. Eventually, I want to get an easy-make site to upload photography to for my website so I don't have to code anything.

Hope never fails, but love remains forever. 2018 has been many goodbyes: People, jobs and situations. The year is half way over now. I've prayed for deep, meaningful relationships this year. It's been one uphill struggle. I've now added eHarmony finally this year -- after years of slacking on it. I had a rough night with an awful "ending" dream with a person in my life. πŸŽ¬πŸ›£️

Bad Dreams. When someone spouts off nothing but obscenities and angry words to you in a whole, entire dream, I felt hopeless and lost. Just before waking up, I stood up to this person, trying to defend myself. When that failed I got angry and punched him, actually punching my wall instead. I woke up. My knuckles are still sore. I don't think that's how I'm supposed to live, and it got me wondering about sinning in dreams. πŸ’­ πŸ‘Š

It seems that the deep, meaningful relationships I still have are still in Cleveland. I am learning how the theme "give way" is taking on greater mean in God's spiritual realm this year. How did I even know to pick the theme? It originally was intended for me and I got the idea from my England Trip last year with all my driving there. More so, it's God's theme for me. God used this for his glory in my life. πŸ™πŸ™Œ

2018 Give Way! A Lively Summer!
Photography Compilation
July 29, 2018

Chicago has been one uphill journey. I was blessed by Hebrews again this month and I was reminded of the men of faith there; they were seeking an eternal city, not built by human hands. Abraham, Moses, David, Enoch... They were strangers in foreign land. Is Chicago a fore-taste of things for me? Is November 15 a reminder to me that there is a city eternal, not built by human hands? That's where I need to focus. In this blue, steel jungle (which is Chicago), I am a stranger here. It is my hope that I find worth and purpose. This year has already been too many goodbyes. I pray there would be some HELLOS! πŸ‘‹⬆️

Thank you to my Cleveland friends who have been with me in my journey here in Chicago. You have helped by giving my courage and a certain resilience to continue on here. I was marking by the end of summer to deactivate my Facebook page for a long hiatus. I just wanted to thank you each for being there. ⚾

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity." I Cor 13:12, 13. ✝️

Stock Photo

"But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." Daniel 12:4.

I thought about these verses today and how it makes sense now with our technology. At one point in life, this verse would't've been possible unless it were for technology. Anytime I read the Daniel verse, I immediately think of "THE INTERNET" but I don't think that's what the verse was about. It was about sealing up the book of prophecy for the last days.

"Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen." Rev 1:7

We're all too busy with our heads down and hunched over these...

NOTEWORTHY OF WORTHY NOTES:

Good ol' Broadvox Desk
Halle Building
Playhouse Square, Cleveland OH
March 4, 2011

July 17, 2006. Broadvox. 12 years ago I was hired at my first, deep dive IT job which launched my career from there. Thanks Erik and Sergey! I remember for awhile holding 3 jobs at once and going to school. You can't fully appreciate someone with a hectic work schedule until you've gone through it yourself. The reminder is still recycled on my calendar each year lol!  πŸ˜±πŸ€”πŸ˜€πŸ˜ŒπŸ§πŸ˜±πŸš’πŸš¨πŸ›ŽπŸ•¦πŸ“£☎️πŸ”ŒπŸ–₯πŸ–¨πŸ”¦πŸ’ΈπŸ› πŸ›‘πŸ€”πŸ˜€πŸ˜§πŸ˜¬πŸ€£πŸ˜




Yes, the emoticons tell a story here! Brodvox was a great place to work and I will always cherish the fond memories I had there; the good and the bad. It truly launched a great IT career for me and I've written about this before like in last month's blog.

July 13, 2018. I do not suffer with this...



Many awesome things in my life have occurred on the 13th of a month, including my own birth, and some story about a bridge being up or down near Oak Island, Southport NC when I was born that day lol.



This fake hill is indeed man made!
Silbury Hill near A4
Avebury, Wiltshire UK
Friday, October 13, 2017

Although, last year, my birthday was on Friday the Thirteenth and I was encountered with this little mishap in Avebury, Wiltshire UK. My car rental freaked out by this mountain and I pulled over by this "fake hill" where Hobbits won't even make their dwelling.

I NEVER blame Friday the 13th either lol, especially today's.  It wasn't a bad place to break down at but it was unfortunate because the car problems set me back a whole entire day. I had to scrap a place I wanted to visit for my trip. That ended up being Bythorn. I wanted to keep the other places like Gosport, Nottingham and 2 days of London of course. So, I called the rental agency once again. Again, I'm GLAD I got full coverage on the rental!!! This was the first time I checked in at work on Slack actually hahaha. Chris Johnson asked me how my trip was and everyone had tagged me in a Happy Birthday post in Slack. So, I uploaded this picture to Slack and showed them where the car broke down at. Joe, my coworker, said, "I don't trust that hill. Fake hill. Some villain's hideout." I told him that the Hill was not a barrows either and not Hobbit friendly. It was more or less a monument because in the time I waited for AA to come, I walked over to the marker to read about its construction lol. AA called me back on my phone (thank you Verizon international roaming plan) and recommended trying to drive back to the B&B which wasn't that far away. So, I did just that.

July 22, 2017. 2017 The Destination is There. Mom and Dad visit me here in Chicago.

Time Portal back to July 22!
Mom and Dad visit me in Chicago
July 22, 2017

Yes, the story of this photo made me cry when a friend of mine called the picture a "Time Portal," especially since my Mom appears to emerge from it. So the story of this photo wasn't mine but my friend's. My folks visited me here as part as their "Go West" road trip this past Summer. I was their first stop. I cried! On Friday the 21st, they drove in and stayed at the Rodeway Inn on N. Lincoln by Peterson. Although they weren't too thrilled with Chicago traffic here, they made good time. Since we have Summer Hours at work, I was able to meet up with them in the evening at the hotel. It was one straight Kimball/Homan 82 bus up to Peterson. Then a short walk over to the hotel. The weather was hot and humid, blech, but it's Summer. Getting there, we had dinner at the Outback in Niles. Yeah, it was original but we wanted something familiar for dinner. So I knew of the Outback on Touhy.  We ate there. After my stop, they continued on west on I-90 for other site seeing stops.

July 4, 2013. 2013 A Resolution is High Definition. Old Irving Park Fireworks. Still my favorite fireworks display in Chicago.

2013 A Resolution in High Definition! Independence Day in Irving Park
Old Irving Park, Chicago IL
July 4, 2013

It's been really nice to celebrate holidays with friends and family over the years.  This year was different for me.  Making new friends here, I had a break of tradition from spending that in Ohio with family and friends there.  Sorry, Mom and Dad.  I was invited to see fireworks at Kurt's place this year.  Unlike last year, I drove back to Ohio to spend it with family, this was the first big holiday I spent away from family and "old friends" and with "new friends."  In fact, I remember last year they cancelled the fireworks at Lakewood Park, so I didn't even see a good fireworks show, except in Brunswick.  This year?  It was a blast. . .um. . .quite literally.  Traditionally, fireworks shows were seen by me in Brunswick, Garfield Heights and Maple Heights (Ohio).  The big difference with those compared to this year was the ACTION!

I'm not sure yet if I'm doing another blogger blog next month. I want to get Wordpress going on my home server here. I also have been using OneDrive for my journals...


Thanks everyone for reading, so I may or may not be writing here again next month. The Truth is Out There may very well be my last blog here. I'm on Instagram and you can follow my photography there.


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2018 Give Way | The Truth is Out There

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