Monday, December 17, 2007

The Narrow Gate

Matthew 7:13 Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. (14) For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. What does that mean? As I have stated before I believe the bible literally. That means if it says something I take it at face value unless something tells me otherwise. So when Jesus says that the gate is narrow I have to believe what He is telling me.

A narrow gate means to me that you can't be loaded down with a bunch of stuff and still get through the gate. It's pretty much you and the clothes on your back.
Stuff. We accumulate a lot of stuff going through this life, especially when you live in a western country like the USA. Stuff seems to be the central focus of our lives. Buying stuff, especially the latest stuff. Then once you buy stuff you have to take care of stuff. How much time do we spend just taking care of the stuff we have?

We moved into our home almost 14 years ago. We moved from a 2 bedroom apartment into a 4 bedroom, 2800 sq foot home with a 1/2 finished basement. When we moved into it we didn't have very much stuff. Now it seems that every nook and cranny is filled with stuff. Where did it all come from? Much of it came from having 6 children. We have our stuff and their stuff. We have stuff from every year they went to school. We have trophies and school papers, old sporting goods that might be passed onto a little brother or sister, and all kinds of stuff. We have Christmas cards from years past and reports from 4th grade. We have photo's and videos and tons of memories in boxes. We have a pool table that we can't play pool on because it has stuff stacked on it. Same for the ping pong table.

Stuff, stuff and more stuff. And now it's Christmas and we are out buying more stuff. More comes in and nothing goes out. How did it get this way? Neither myself or my husband grew up this way.

We have decided to get rid of stuff. It is going bye-bye. We have decided we want to live simpler with less stuff. We are finding new homes for lots of stuff or it's going in the trash. We started a few months ago and it seems we have hardly made a dent. We are determined though and will keep it up.

The point is that when you follow Jesus Christ it is more important to have Him than stuff. I don't need stuff, I need Him. The more stuff I get rid of, the more room I will have for Him.

I believe Him when He talks about the narrow gate. I can't expect to live my life for stuff and still get through the narrow gate. It's just not possible and eternity is much too long to get this wrong. I don't need the latest gadget, I need more time with Him and His word. I don't need to fill my house, my head or my time with stuff, I need to fill myself with Him.

How much stuff do you have? If something happened to you today would you fit through that narrow gate into eternity with Jesus Christ?

In my read through the bible I am currently in Ecclesiastes. King Solomon, who was the richest man in history, talks about stuff and how it is all vanity. It is for nothing. He says the only thing that matters is God. This is a man who had everything. Anything he wanted he had at the snap of his fingers. And all for nothing. It was just stuff.

Picture one of those old fashioned weight scales. The ones with 2 dishes that are supposed to balance when the 2 weights match. Put your stuff on one side and your relationship (time spent) with Jesus on the other side. Which one is the heaviest? Will you get through that narrow gate?


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Standing up for the little things

I had a conversation with my husband last night as we were walking through the mall about standing up for the little things. We had gone there to get a walk in after dinner as it is freezing cold outside.

One thing I am standing up for this year is Christmas. Now most of us know that Christ really wasn't born in December, more likely September, and most of us know that December 25th was originally a pagan holiday for the Romans and that Christians took it over in the name of Christ somewhere around the 3rd or 4th century, but from then on it was a Christian day to remember the day our Savior came to this earth for us. That is how we celebrate it in our family.

In recent years this celebration of the Saviors birth has evolved into something that doesn't even look like a distant relation. It is now a holiday celebration (what holiday I have no idea) and is all about buying and getting instead of remembering the greatest gift ever given. In case you don't know what that gift is it is the gift of eternal salvation. Christ gave up His amazing throne in heaven (we can't even imagine what that is like) to come to earth and live like a man. He was ridiculed, beaten, whipped and put on a cross to die like a common thief. Then, 3 days later, He rose from the grave and in doing all of this He gave us the choice to live eternally with Him instead of the Lake of Fire. Amazing.

And we have turned that gift into the most self-centered time of year possible. It's all about getting the latest gadget and how much am I getting and I didn't get what I wanted. Me, me, me! I guess we weren't happy with the original gift that was given???

Anyway, this year I am getting emails from different retailers wishing me happy holidays and to please come into their store and buy my holiday gifts. Well, instead of doing what they want I just send an email back and let them know that I celebrate the real reason for this time of year, Christmas, and that I will be doing my Christmas shopping at stores that feel the same way I do and that aren't so PC correct that they can't use the word Christmas. I tell them why there is a Christmas to begin with, Christ, and that is what I celebrate.

Most I don't hear back from. Some I do. Most I hear back from are very defensive and basically say they go with the majority. To that I say no, you are going with the very loud minority. Along with most others who don't care one way or the other, which is even more sad. (Jesus talks about this group in Revelation when He speaks of the lukewarm church that He spits out of His mouth).

I did get one back that thanked me because from my email he was convicted to start treating this season for what it really is and to stand stronger in those convictions rather than bend to being PC just to make more money. Yay!

So how about it. How about we all take the time to write a little note. Be nice about it, but state the truth. We can make a difference, one person at a time.

Next time I want to talk about how standing up for the little things lead to standing up for the big ones and how important that is going to be to you one of these days.

Through His Grace I am saved.


Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Do you REALLY believe the bible?

I mean REALLY believe it? This thought has been on my mind for the past few weeks as I watch Christians that I know and Christians in the news make some really dumb decisions. I have to wonder, do they really believe the bible.

I do. I really do. I believe every single word is there because God wants it there. Yes there are different translations and versions and everyone and their brother has their favorite and will debate to death which is the right one. I don't want to hijack my own blog and turn this into a debate on which one is the right one. My point is, I believe God is in control. Period. And the Holy Spirit lives inside of me so when I pick up a bible, no matter what version or translation it might be, the Holy Spirit is going to teach me what God wants me to know.

So I believe God. I believe that what He says, He means. That when He says He is going to do something, that it will be done. It might not be in the time frame that I think it should be, but it will be done. And when you read God's word, the bible, there is some pretty nasty stuff coming our way at some point in the future. Many people say we are on the cusp of it right now.

So my question is, if you REALLY believe the bible, meaning you REALLY believe God, would you live your life the way you are living it right now? Would these Christians we watch on TV with their big fancy homes, cars and airplanes really live like that if they REALLY believed the bible? In my humble opinion, no. Not a chance. Not for one second.

If I truly believed that Jesus, the Lord and Savior of this world, was coming back one day soon to judge the living and the dead I would live my life according to His standards, not the standards of this world. Remember who is in charge of this world right now - the evil one - satan. What I see is most people, and that includes a lot of Christians, living by the standards of the enemy rather than the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is serious folks. Really serious. This is not a joke. One day each of us will have our time standing in front of the Lord who created the universe and everything in it. I mean, just think about it. He created everything you see. He made everything work just right, perfectly to sustain your life. And it will be just you standing there with Him. The two of you. No lawyers, no pastors, no authors, no "experts". Nobody but you and Christ. WOW! The God, the One! And decisions will be made which will affect your entire eternity. (That is a long, long time)!

The thing is, He is only going to make known the decision that you are making today. How are you living your day? Your week? Your month? Who are you spending your time with? How are you spending it? What do you spend your money on? How much time do you spend building your relationship with Christ? Is it a priority or do you never really get around to it? Do you go to church on Sunday and do all the right things in the eyes of the people around you? Is there a personal relationship between you and Christ? How many times a day do you talk to Him? Think about Him? What type of decisons do you make in your business? How much are you compromising your faith in order to make more money, have the friends you have, live in the right neighborhood, etc? Maybe you don't make a big deal about your relationship with Christ because you don't want people to think you are weird or "one of those crazy Christians". Maybe you don't want to offend anyone. (This offend thing is another post for another day).

Do you get up every morning and give your day to God? Will His will be done "no matter what" in your life and your day? Is it more important to impress your friends and co-workers or impress Christ? Where does your money go? New stuff and the latest gadget or a food pantry, orphanage and soup kitchen?

I'm not here to judge you. That's not my job. Someday we will all stand in the same spot with the same judge and He is not like the judges on this earth. He is perfect and He will judge perfectly. Will you be judged worthy to live in His kingdom or be sent to a living hell for eternity, burning up in the Lake of Fire in agony for all time? And if you get a decision that you don't want there is no appeal. None.

If you are blessed and judged worthy to live in the Kingdom, will you be one of those who fruit on earth brings you many blessings in the Kingdom or will you be left wishing you had done more for Him while on earth? Your deeds will be put upon the fire to see if they burn up or not. You will be blessed by any that do not burn up. You will spend eternity being compensated fairly for the way you live your life TODAY. Every day makes a difference.

Maybe you don't believe in all of this stuff. That is your choice, your decision. God gave us all free will to believe in Him or not. He would like you to believe in Him but He is not going to force you. And that fact will be made known to you during that time you have alone with Him. This is your decision. It will be made whether you believe it will or not. I'm not going to try to convince you. I would tell you that maybe, just maybe, you should spend some time asking God if He is real. You will be surprised at what you find out.

Sooooo.......Where does Christ fit on your "TO DO" list today?

Praying that you serve God well today and every day for the rest of your life.


Saturday, December 8, 2007

Bible verses that tell a story

1 Corinthians 15 (51) Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, (52) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the LAST TRUMPET; for the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

1 Thessalonians 4 (16) For the Lord Himself will descent from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. (17) Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

Revelation 11 (15) The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and He will reign for ever and ever." (16) And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshipped God, (17) saying: "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. (18) The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great - and for destroying those who destroy the earth." (19) Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and within His temple was seen the ark of His covenant. And there came flashes of lightening, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm.

These are just some of the verses that came to my attention when I started questioning a pre-tribulation rapture of the saints. Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, is returning to the earth to vanquish the enemy, satan, and will then rule. He is returning at the LAST TRUMPET. Also, according to scripture itself, the resurrection of the dead happens at that same time. And according to scripture from the apostle Paul, we who are alive should have hope for our dead in Christ because they will rise before anyone who is alive. So, when you put all of those scripture together you have the complete story.

Jesus is returning at the last trumpet at which time the resurrection of the dead will take place and then the rapture of the church. Since Jesus doesn't return until the last trumpet, and at that time He takes over rulership of the earth, this is at the end of the Great Tribulation period.

This means that the writers from the early church all the way down through the church age until the early 1800's were correct in their belief that the church will be going through the Great Tribulation.

Right now the church, for the most part, believes that it is going to be taken out prior to the Great Tribulation. You might ask, what is the harm of believing that? There is great harm in believing that. It leads to a false sense of security. Why in the world would someone spend time getting ready for something that they are never going to experience? They won't.

I like to use the example of a marathon runner. Any serious runner knows that you don't just wake up one morning, decide to run a marathon, put on some brand new shoes and head out the door. That is ridiculous and anyone would laugh at you for even thinking you could do that. No training and your shoes are not even broken in.

No, a serious runner trains for months before running a marathon. They go out almost every day and run for practice, running longer and longer as they build up their stamina. They might even run some smaller races to get ready for the adrenaline rush the marathon will bring. They will start eating right, they will get enough sleep. They will understand that there is a link between running and the mind. They will train their mind to overcome that voice that tells them they can't do it. They will get through injuries and they will go to the gym for weight training. They will understand that they'll hit a wall and train themselves on how to break through it to their goal.

This is what the serious Christian needs to do to get ready for the Great Tribulation. We need to be in serious training. Our training consists of daily reading of God's word, daily prayer and communication with God and walking our daily life imitating our Lord Jesus Christ. When we have obstacles to overcome in our walk, we go to the Lord and overcome the way He would. This gives us strength, through Him, to get through. Each time we do that we build up our strength in Him. Depend on Him for strength to get through tough times. The tough times that we have now are there to help us build up strength for the really tough times ahead. We shouldn't look at them as trials, but as opportunities to grow in Christ so we are more able to handle things as they get worse. We are training for the hardest marathon ever to take place. It's going to be 7 years of going through the hardest thing imaginable. Are you ready?

This morning I was reading through my latest copy of the Voice of the Martyrs magazine. I strongly recommend every serious Christian to get on their mailing list and study that magazine every month. These are Christians on the front line right now, things we will all be faced with in the future. Reading their stories will help you build up your faith and your strength in our Lord Jesus Christ. You can find out more at And please do not make the mistake thinking that just because you might live in the U.S.A. that you will be safe from things like this because you will certainly not. In fact, in future blogs we will be talking about the future of the U.S.A. and it's place in biblical prophecy.

I truly pray that these words will give you some things to think about, pray about and study about. Get into God's word and find the truth for yourself. Do not take my word for it - I am only a student such as yourself. I am no bible expert. I am only sharing my thoughts in hopes that it might cause you to dig more deeply into this for yourself. Don't listen to any man, or woman for that matter. Listen only to God. Pray for wisdom and discernment. Pray for strength from Jesus Christ. He is our only hope.

For His glory, Kathe

The deception of a pre-tribulation rapture

For many years I didn't even know of such a thing as the rapture. I wasn't a Christian and therefore wasn't exposed to this teaching. Once I became a Christian and starting going to church I would hear people refer to this rapture and wondered what it was. They would say things like, "I can't wait for the rapture to take us away" or "I hope the rapture happens before (fill in the blank with just about anything you can think of such as; the new year, my birthday, before I have to get a new job, etc)".

So I googled this term, rapture and it came up with a lot of hits. So this was something pretty big then. I clicked on one of the links and came to a site called Rapture Ready. Hmmm.....there were a lot of people ready for this rapture thing, whatever it was. So I started reading and learned that many Christians (in fact most of the church today) believes that at some point, could be any time, any moment, Jesus Christ would come in the clouds and call up His people to join Him. This would include any people who died as Christians and anyone who was currently living as a Christian. While on their way up, they would be transformed into their new bodies and spend the next 7 or so years in heaven with Jesus, having a banquet or marriage supper, while down on earth the Great Tribulation was taking place. So, these Christians would miss this most horrible time the earth had ever experienced. WOW! This sounded really good so I jumped on the bandwagon.

For several years I was part of the pre-trib (as they are called) crowd. I joined in the message boards, even posting some compelling posts on why the rapture would be pre-trib. I was excited to know that any moment Jesus would be coming to snatch us all away before anything terrible happened.

Then one day I was reading about some Christians in the middle east and in china who had been killed for just being Christian. Then I read that over 150,000 Christians every year die just for being a Christian. I started wondering. Then I read that millions and millions of Christians and Jews have been killed in the past 2000 years just because of their beliefs. Suddenly this idea of Jesus plucking us out of here before anything bad happened wasn't making sense to me. So I prayed. I prayed for understanding on this issue. I prayed for knowledge and discernment to know the truth. The real truth of Jesus, not from some man, no matter who he was.

I started researching where all of this came from. Did the early church fathers, the men who were taught directly by the apostles teach this? No, not one of them. They were all quite clear that the church would be going through the Great Tribulation. I kept reading. More and more I read down through the centuries that biblical scholars taught that the church would need to stand strong through this most trying time in the future. It wasn't until about 200 years ago that it changed.

I'm not going into all of the details on Margaret MacDonald and John Darby and the beginnings of this teaching from the early 1800's as there is loads of information on the net and in books on it. Suffice to say that to the best of my research, this is where is began to take hold. And take hold it did. It has become one of the strongest doctrines of the church today. Most bible believing churches and church goers believe that one day soon they are going to be snatched right out of whatever they are doing and taken up to meet the Lord in the air. Whole websites are dedicated to watching the signs of the times to see how close we are getting, but at the same time they claim that nothing really needs to happen prophetically before that happens.

Reading some of those sites and especially the message boards is quite revealing. The message board that I used to frequent as a pre-tribber is now someplace that saddens me to the core. So many are deceived and will not be ready for the Great Tribulation that all of our early church fathers were convinced that the church would be going through. They are not getting themselves ready spiritually for that time. Recently I read a heartbreaking letter by Corrie Ten Boom who spoke of Chinese pastors regretting their teaching of a pre-tribulation rapture because their churches were not prepared to go through persecution and many fell away from their faith. (Read her letter here -

I read some of the posts and they seem almost desperate for Jesus to come back soon. I've heard people in my church say things like, "I'm so happy that we won't have to go through that because I just couldn't do it". That is frightening to me. How many Christians today will not have the faith to make it through this worst time in human history because they have the "Calgon, take me away" mentality. "Jesus, take me away".

I'm afraid for the Christian church today. I'm afraid of what they are going to have to go through and for the many that will fall away. I'm angry at the many men and women who are teaching this lie and who are leading the sheep astray. And making millions doing it. I remember that Jesus will be the judge and that these teachers will be judged more harshly than the rest because of what they have done to millions of people. I pray for them to start teaching the truth. I pray for the pastors to start teaching the truth. If they, who are standing in the pulpit every week, do not stand up and start getting the church ready, there is literally going to be hell to pay.

In the beginning of Hebrews chapter 6 it talks about the "milk" that a believer should know. There are six things on this list. One of these is the resurrection. Every single Christian is to understand what that means and be ready for it. My heart is heavy because there are so many that do not understand the truth and will not be ready and will be lost.

Don't rely on me. Get in your bible and see for yourself. Ask God to help you read those passages with fresh eyes instead of the pre-programming that you have had. Read for yourself what the early church fathers had to say about the end times and the resurrection of the dead. Do your own due diligence.

Remember, when you are standing before your judge - Jesus Christ - you will be alone. You won't have your pastor, your Sunday school teacher, or the authors of the Left Behind series there to blame anything on. We are each responsible for our own decisions.

Get ready, the time is coming soon.


Friday, December 7, 2007

What does it mean to me to be a Christian?

It used to be when you said you were a Christian that it meant one thing, that you were a follower of Jesus Christ, Savior of the world. Now there are so many people out there who claim to be Christian but when you look at how they live their lives you really have to wonder what definition of being a Christian they are talking about. I keep trying to come up with another name for what I am because I really don't want anyone to confuse me with one of those other types of "Christians". In fact, I really should write it as christian with a small "c" because the reason for being Christian is being a follower of "Christ" and that is not how it seems with some.

The bible says that we will know them by their fruits. What is a fruit. Not an apple or pear or mango. Biblical fruit is quite a bit more meaty. Biblical fruit is an outward appearance of a changed life. Does that mean that Christians don't mess up? No way, we are still human and will make mistakes. I know I make plenty. The thing is, there is a difference between making a mistake and doing things on purpose because you think you have your ticket into heaven anyway so what does it matter?

Biblical fruit is someone who accepts Christ as their Savior and you see real changes in their life such as they give up hanging out in bars every weekend getting smashed. They just don't want to do that anymore. They would rather spend time talking about the bible and Jesus than they would watching a trashy movie with bad language. You get what I'm saying. Things they used to do all of the time, they just don't want to do anymore.

When you see someone who is "christian" and they are still the same old person you've known all along, maybe it's just for show on the outside and no real changes made it to the inside. Now many might say, well Kathe, only God can see a persons heart and know for sure. Yes, that is true, but the bible still says we will know them by their fruit and it talks about not getting good fruit from a bad tree and visa versa. So you know if the tree is spouting garbage, it's a pretty good indication that the entire tree is pretty rotten.

For me, becoming a born again Christian means just that. I was born again. I am no longer the person I used to be. Materialistic, self-centered, angry, etc. That person is gone. Money and things have no interest to me any longer. I have nothing to be angry about anymore. I could care less about self because there is so much more to care about, especially about my God who came to this earth and died for me. And it shows in my life. Again, I am not perfect. But I do my best to be and act like Christ every day of my life. I try to show Him in my actions to others. I can feel the Holy Spirit showing me right vs. wrong in how I should act in situations.

I'm just a person, a mom, a wife, a business owner. Someone who has more sin in their past than most. What I do have forgiveness and a changed life and changed perspective. I now look at everything in the eternal perspective rather than the here and now.

So that's my thoughts for today.