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It doesn't take much to make me happy, but then it doesn't take much to annoy me either.

Religion

First of all, I kind of don't like the word "religion" because it communicates all sorts of negative images... everything from a bureaucratic authoritarian organization all the way down to the personal feelings I had while sitting in church at St. Patrick's for 12:15p mass. Nothing good.

But I recognize in my life a yearning for God. Everything in my life takes place with a back drop of God in the background. Everything.

At first it was sort of unrecognized or undefined. But I remember as an 11 year-old kid picking up a bible and reading thru Proverbs. The quotes just seemed so true, so meaningful and wise. About the same age my father declared, for whatever reason I can't remember, that he thought I would end up becoming a priest. I had no such aspirations, but took it as a compliment.

At the age of 20, after having been raised a Catholic while attending Catholic schools and going to mass every Sunday, I had a conversion experience. I had been fascinated with the concept of learning and what a universal power it was - in attempting to write a paper about it for an English class I deducted that learning was so much more valuable than teaching. Teaching was good, but a teacher needs a student. If you want to be a student, you could learn from anything - no teacher required.

And this thought carried thru to realizing that God gave us this tremendous gift of being able learn without asking for anything in return. A gift with no strings attached. I could just as easily learn how to be a criminal as a scholar, yet God would not withhold the gift. And at that point I fell on my knees before the Lord in humble reverence, completely overwhelmed at this generosity.

It changed me. For the next few weeks my friends would comment that something about me was different. My response was that I didn't know what had happened but it had something to do with God. And from there I found my way to a small bible teaching church, found lifelong friends that loved me unconditionally, and became baptized as a Christian.

Now let me clarify something that absolutely must be said - I am not a good person. Here I am, 60 years-old today, and I have wasted so much of my life pursuing my own selfish wants and desires. I am no more generous or benevolent that the next person. I struggle with day-to-day urges, covet a lazy lifestyle, and generally have to fight to keep myself in a civilized fashion. I drink more than I should, smoke cigars endlessly (even as I write this) and if given the opportunity to stay at home wearing pajamas all day I would sign up without a second thought.

But one thing I have come to learn after understanding more of who God is, and that is that He loves me. There is not a single good reason for this other than because of who He is and what he has chosen to do. I am tremendously blessed because of this - my family is blessed because of this. It has nothing to do with me, so I claim no special abilities or rewards. But all throughout my life God has been there, either forefront as my conscious pursuit, or in background when I chose to walk away. He is faithful - I am not. He chooses to love me, even though my actions clearly show I love myself less. He is God, and I am not.

 

24 MAY 2019 - I really struggled with writing this out, actually even discussing it with others, as I feel it's a somewhat scary thing to consider. I think I've figured out how the world will end.

Yeah, I know this sounds pretty wacko and just to be clear I'm not talking about when the world will end. Scripture is unequivocal about predicting this date - nobody knows when, except God alone. But the way things are lining up these days it appears to be getting close and just enough puzzle pieces are fitting to get a more clear image.

Here's the deal.

If you're familiar with the book of Revelation you know about the mark of the beast. It's a number applied to everyone's hand or face and without it one cannot buy or sell anything. It's a very bad thing to have and seems pretty obvious that you don't want this number assigned to you. What always confused me, though, was if such a prophecy was so apparent, why would anyone agree to having a number assigned to them? As I considered this I reasoned that the only way it would be possible is if there were a worldwide cataclysmic event which made such a system seemingly necessary. Then and only then would a rational person, not having the Spirit of God but filled with the wisdom of man, agree to such a thing.

Combine this with the current rage of "climate emergency" (formerly "climate change", formerly "global warming", formerly "the coming ice age"). The believers of this hoax are convinced the world will end due to an oncoming disaster. Time and again their predictions of disaster have come up empty, but the each subsequent generation seems glued to the conviction that there's an unknown nebulous disaster out there waiting to happen.

Combine this also with additional prophecies in Revelation about the plagues of the Four Horseman. These are beings authorized by God to bring devastation to the earth in a series of worldwide apocalyptic events. Wars, starvation, earthquakes, the moon turning blood red, stars falling from the skies... truly horrendous events the likes of which will cause men to panic with fear and wish for death just to avoid the destruction.

Now as a Christian familiar with scripture and trusting in God's faithful assurances, I believe that God will see me thru anything and everything. The Four Horseman are indeed fearful, but not so much as to shake my faith that clings to God's sovereign plan.

But people unfamiliar with God have been so molded to deny Him, to deny His Word, to deny anything related to his authority at all - to these people, prophecies in scripture mean nothing. And the horseman will be the fulfillment of climate emergency predictions. And as a result, they will eagerly accept any solution, mark of the beast or otherwise, which promises relief from the Horseman. Except there is no relief, only a fateful destiny with the Apocalypse and coming Armageddon.

I could be way out in left field on this one - it won't be the first time nor the last. I'm even open to correction is any would offer such. But it kind of makes sense to me.

 

full02 AUG 2018 - Came across a bible verse the other day: "A person who is full refuses honey, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry." Proverbs 27:7.

Reminded me that our default mode pretty much all the time is to pursue happiness and satisfaction, without acknowledging that if granted that wish as much as we want, we might not be happy. "A person who is full refuses honey" because they are not lacking. If they were hungry and lacking of food, the honey would not be refused. If they were hungry and lacking of food, even bad honey would taste great.

All that to say, maybe plan a little lacking in our day so we could better enjoy the time when fulfillment arrives. Skip a meal, and see how much more you enjoy food the next time you eat.

 

 

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