2014 – 2015 – Jesus Christ

Two years ago a woman’s back began hurting, and she asked God if He was alerting her about another person’s back problem. Something answered in the affirmative. She asked God for a name, and something gave her the name of a man who was in the same room. She approached the man and told him that she believed God had told her he was having back pain. The man confirmed that he was having back trouble. She prayed for him, and he was immediately healed of degenerative discs in his back. Prior to this encounter, the woman didn’t know of the man’s back condition.

~

I dreamed one night about a woman and her mother. I know the woman, and I had never heard of her mother, one way or another. In the dream the woman’s mother was standing in a doorway. The woman was looking at her mother and was very worried about something. I knew that she had nothing to worry about. One week later in real life, I told the woman about the dream. She told me that on the day that I’d had the dream, she was leaving her mother after a holiday visit, and she was worried that she’d never see her mother alive again. I told her I thought that God was telling her that she didn’t need to worry about that. She was immediately at peace.

~

In April of 2009 I was deep in the midst of a family crisis. I went to bed one night wracked with grief and worry. I told God, “I will follow where you lead.” I’d never prayed that before. I was five and a half years into a distinct relationship with Him, and I’d experienced unparalleled (for me) blessing after humbling myself enough to ask for and extend forgiveness, both in the physical world and in the spiritual realm. But I had never told God flat out, I will follow where you lead. That same night, a voice spoke into my sleep, independent of the dream that was happening at the time. The voice told me something about Jesus Christ interceding on my behalf at the throne of God. The Apostle Paul declared in his letter to the Roman church that Christ does this very thing; but I’d never considered the idea worth a second thought.

Upon waking the next morning, I wondered if I’d heard what I thought I heard. As I stood up out of bed, I physically felt grief and worry falling off of me. I was immediately and unexpectedly refreshed, able to continue on through the Valley of the Shadow with a hope that I hadn’t imagined possible the night before. To the extent that I was already acquainted with the peace that passes understanding, I was blessed with that much more of it.

~

In August of 2009 the family pain rolled on. One night in bed I “heard” a voice in my head as I was dozing off. The voice sounded slithery and unpleasant, and it was accompanied by discordant, annoying music. The voice said something that implied I should just wait sixty days, and then something good would happen. I was jarred awake by the message. I was very interested in something good happening for my family. But the voice didn’t sound trustworthy. I figured I’d still be alive in sixty days, and I’d see then if the voice was telling the truth. Sixty days came and went, and nothing in my life or my family situation changed for the better.

~

On the night of March 28/29 of this year, I heard a voice speak to me in my sleep. The voice said something about the years 2014 and 2015, and then it said something about Jesus Christ. Upon waking I didn’t remember what the voice said about 2014. About 2015, it said: “In 2015 will come what we’ve all been waiting for – the collapse of the United States.” Then there was the bit about Jesus Christ; I did not and do not remember any specifics about that, but I believe the general theme was regarding His return.

~

These events and others like them, in my life and in the lives of people I know or have read about, are significant for any number reasons. For purposes of this blog post, their significance lies in formation and reinforcement of an awareness that is defined something like this, in my own mind and spirit:

  • Things sometimes happen in ways that defy logical, rational (material) explanation.
  • The very fact that some of these phenomena happen at all is proof that there are unseen forces at work in this universe.
  • The unseen forces can work for good or evil.
  • The mere presence or existence of a non-material manifestation (like a voice speaking  a time-sensitive exhortation) isn’t proof that the manifestation is of either a benevolent or evil nature.

The Apostle John warned in one of his letters that we should ‘test the spirits’ to see if they are from God. In other words make sure you understand with whom it is you are dealing. I believe all of the incidents listed at the beginning of this post are legitimate examples of spiritual encounters. As such, it’s important to test the spirits of each encounter.

Woman gets sympathetic back pain and successfully commands healing of incurable back condition, without knowing beforehand that anyone nearby had a back problem. The context of this encounter was a prayer/praise service in a church where a lot of healing takes place. My understanding is the woman in question is known to be especially bold in her approach to healing, and God has used her to heal many people. I’m inclined to think this wasn’t an evil spirit at work. It doesn’t benefit Satan to have people healed and believing that there’s healing power in the name of the Christ. The only way I could see evil intent working that way would be if there was some long-term strategy in place to lead people into deception, whereby they come to believe in a false representation of God. That’s a distinct possibility and one that I always keep in mind regarding such circumstances, no matter how ‘good’ or miraculous something may appear to be. In fact that’s a disclaimer relevant for every spiritual encounter I’m aware of in my life.

I dreamed of a woman and her mother, in circumstances that actually mirrored a real-life interaction they had, without me having any way to know of the interaction or related concerns, prior to my dream.  After I talked to the woman about my dream, she was relieved by the message given to me in my sleep. I believe that message was from God, for her. Evil spirits wouldn’t want her to be a peace, I think.

“I will follow where you lead.”  After I made that commitment to God, a voice spoke to me in my sleep regarding an aspect of Christ’s current existence that wasn’t anything I’d ever considered noteworthy. Upon awakening, I was bathed in peace. I do not think an evil spirit would have wanted me to be so at peace, when an alternative was the despair that it temporarily relieved. Five years after the fact, I can confirm that there’s been plenty of crushing despair along the way. But that nighttime consolation and countless interventions like it have sustained me in ways that defy even the most cynical of possible long-term demonic strategies.

It is worth noting that for months after I declared my intent to follow His lead, I had trouble repeating the commitment. I kept saying, “I will lead where you follow.” It was as if I was head-injured or something; my intent was to say a particular sentence; and the words would get switched up somewhere between my brain’s speech center and my mouth. I can’t recall for sure now, but it may have been more than a year before I could consistently say the words correctly. Frankly, I still have to think through the words before I say them. I believe that simple declaration of obedience is even now so alien to some part of me that I cannot take for granted the words will come out right.

2014 – 2015 – Jesus Christ.  I heard a voice tell me something about 2014, 2015, and Jesus. The only part I clearly heard was that the US would collapse in 2015, and that the collapse would be “what we’ve all been waiting for.” I believe the bit about Christ was in regards to His return.

Here’s what my testing of the spirits looks like: there are three options, I think, regarding possible sources of this message:

1) God or other righteous entity; white hat

2) Satan or demonic entity; black hat

3) My soul; soul hat – until there’s any confirmation of white or black hat with one of these events, it’s important to allow it’s possible the thing is a product of one’s own soulish
inclinations. My own mind, as it were, in this case.

~

Could it have been a Godly entity talking into my sleep? It makes sense that God would want to prepare people for that 2014-2015-JC scenario beforehand, given that it sounds like a serious challenge. If His people had some advance notice of such a calamity, they would be better prepared to minister Christ in a country gone crazy.

I will say I was immediately struck (taken aback, actually) by the wording, ‘…what we’ve all been waiting for.’ Would God say such a thing? I can imagine God has grown sick of what the US has become. A pass through the Old Testament reveals in His own words the things that He despises. There are a lot of those kinds of things going on here these days. Therefore, it makes sense to me that God might be expecting or waiting for this whole thing to fall down. But there was an element of perceived impatient anticipation to the message that kept me from totally accepting that it was Godly counsel talking to me. I don’t know if the perceived longing was there or imagined. Either way, I didn’t know what to think about God being possibly excited about the US melting down.

For the better of part of the six months since that night, I’ve considered the message in terms that the voice implied that ‘we’ had been possibly gung ho for some widespread disaster action. It’s been just since I began writing this article that I can see that the “waiting for” doesn’t necessarily imply eagerly doing that same waiting. A God who is waiting for the collapse of the US could well be a God who is sadly awaiting the inevitable result of too many of us living too long in rebellion against His will. It needn’t mean that He’s got fireworks and champagne lined up for celebration of the fall.

~

Could it be…SATAN? A false warning of this nature could distract people away from spending their time in more effective and productive ways. Surely Satan desires we waste our precious time in this life. A false prophecy could also be a stumbling block in someone’s faith walk. If one believes they’ve heard from God about this or any other thing, and that one commits faith to the false prophecy, then they can be discouraged away from true faith when the thing doesn’t come to pass. We can assume Satan approves of this disillusionment. Boo Satan.

~

There’s one possibility I see with regard to me imagining the voice: it would be that I want so much for Christ to return that I’m willing to embrace misery beforehand, just to get it done. To the extent that’s an accurate description of me in September of 2014, I hadn’t made that leap of faith in March. In March I was still rolling with the general belief that Christ will return whenever, and why should I expect to be privileged enough to see it?

Prior to March 28 of this year, I could have written this: “I am not someone who characteristically burns any calories thinking about End Times matters. I believe Jesus existed. I believe He rose from the dead and ascended to Heaven, where He currently sits at the right hand of His Father. And I believe He will return and rule the earth in righteousness. I’d like Him to come back RIGHT NOW PLEASE AND THANK YOU. But I have nothing invested in believing He’s going to return at any particular time.  It wears me out to read various theories about prophecies and proof. Someone somewhere is likely correct in their general assessment of when His return will come. I’m just along for the ride, however long the ride might be.” Six months after the fact, my attitude is remarkably different; but I still don’t think I projected my own desires on this mystery voice back in March.

Consider that I am a comfortably balding guy that hasn’t always been so comfortable about going bald. Even twenty years after I first noticed my hair thinning, I would periodically dream that I once again had a full head of curly hair. No doubt I was dreaming about hair because I really wanted to have hair again. Maybe I likewise imagined the 2014-2015-JC voice talking about collapse and Christ, and the imagination was fired by a desire to see the thing come to pass. That would make some sense if I wanted to see the world burn, so to speak; but I do not.

For entirely selfish reasons, as a minor example, I appreciate the freedom to buy food, at all, when shopping at any number of grocery stores. Within the confines of my budget, I can buy pretty much whatever I want. I seek not to rock that boat. More importantly, I have children whom I want to protect from harm; and one very special person in my life is on a medical maintenance lifestyle that would be difficult, if not impossible, to maintain in a systemic crash of just-in-time retail delivery, electrical infrastructure, and some base of public trust and safety. No thanks. For any number of concerns, both personal and public, I don’t want to see the US fall apart. There might be other reasons for me to have imagined the voice; latent desire isn’t likely one of them.

~

For one obvious and critical reason, there’s no way to tell right now whether it was white, black, or soul hat doing the delivery: it’s not yet the end of 2015. Until midnight on January 1, 2016, on the island of Tonga or wherever the international date line is, this 2014-2015-JC message is just a prediction waiting for confirmation. Either there will or will not be some epic crisis in the US during 2015, apparently followed by Christ’s return at some point in the future.

I break down the possible results like this:

If there’s a catastrophic unwinding of the USA, then the options are that 1) the message was from God, and it correctly foretold the future; 2) the message was diabolical and represented a lucky or informed guess on Satan’s behalf; or 3) my brain came up with all that stuff on it’s own, and any resemblance to actual activities next year is strictly coincidental. If there’s no disruption next year, then I think the message was from Satan or my own mind, not based in any righteous prophetic spirit. I guess it’s also possible there’s no distinct crisis because God changed His mind about something. That possibility opens up a whole ‘nuther tangent that I’m not interested in traveling. I’ve got to get this post finished.

~

A note about the ‘we’ part of the message, while presuming a righteous intent on behalf of the message bearer: I assume ‘we’ refers to God and others, including me. In context of the message, the implication is that God sees us and Him to be interested equals with regard to the state of the nation. The notion that He would stoop to look at any one of us a part of ‘we’, with Him, is humbling almost to the point of incapacitating absurdity. He said with minimal hyperbole.

It is safe to consider me part of a ‘we’ that is waiting for the implosion of the US. To the extent I have been so waiting for that implosion, the expectation is due to the fact that I see no alternative course for this nation, barring some divine intervention which I don’t anticipate coming. I think various worldly interests are resolved to intentionally collapse the US for purposes of consolidating power over a devastated populace. (Read as much as you can stand about Cloward/Piven and Saul Alinsky.) Nothing on the global or national political stage dissuades that perception. Not by accident, according to that perspective, our social, economic, and political conditions are rotting, and quickly. It’s probably a chicken/egg thing, but I consider that voracious totalitarian impulse to be a physical manifestation of the spiritual malaise that is expanding its grip in the US. Whatever the order of events, a populace who increasingly reject God are more susceptible to physical and spiritual decay.

I am indeed sick of what the US has become. But unlike a Creator likely grown weary of a rebellious people, I’m just a guy who’s been both part of the problem and, hopefully, part of a Godly solution and is hoping for a greater chance to help right the ship. I’d much rather there be a revival sweep the land right now if not sooner, facilitating a mass turn to God that might spare us all a societal catastrophe.

*

Six months after the message, I have a different opinion about the possibility of Christ’s Second Coming than I did in March. A condensed explanation goes something like this: I have seen, heard, “heard”, and read information over the past eleven years that has now crystallized into a comfortable acknowledgement that Christ could return in my lifetime, or at least that of my children.

I think back to eleven years ago, when God did something miraculous that changed me in the blink of an eye into a new person. The circumstances surrounding that transformation, including the nature of my meeting and eventually marrying my wife, left me ultimately with a sense that God was in a hurry. Not in a panic…just moving things along at a brisk clip toward some objective. I’d never been intimate enough with God to notice anything like that before. I was familiar with the idea that a lot of people have been claiming that Christ is going to return ‘any day now’. That has been going on for a couple of thousand years, with obvious accuracy issues.  So it is to my own surprise that over the past few months, I have begun considering it possible, if not likely, that some people who are currently living will see Christ’s re-entry.

This change of heart hasn’t occurred in a vacuum. There’s no way or need to catalog every experience along the way of transformation.  But there are some noteworthy elements worth mentioning here.

In my previous post YAAS OMG I wrote about two people having the exact same unlikely word for someone else in the room. There was also a mention of one man having a confirming word for two people that evening. It was his confirmation of a word for our group leader that is relevant to this post. This all happened in a weekly men’s church group around a year ago.

Some weeks before our meeting that night, our group leader had been at a gathering in honor of a prophetess whose name escapes me right now. She does work in Africa, is all I remember; but it’s not Heidi Baker. She told my friend that God wanted to handle the details of his life, something like that. My friend is very organized and likes to plan things out to the minute, years in advance. Is an exaggeration but one that works. She also told him, “Everything is going to change. It has to.”

Then that night in our men’s group, four of us were practicing prophetic revelation for each other. One of the men, knowing nothing of the previously mentioned exchange, told our leader, “Everything is going to change. It has to.” The room was still reeling from the leader and I having the same implausibly coincidental word for another man; otherwise this second iteration of “Everything is going to change” would have likely had a similarly dramatic impact us. The message itself is a little odd, while conveying a sense of definitive authority. And two unrelated people had the exact same words, phrasing, and delivery to get that message to my friend.

By way of testing the spirits, I think: there’s no way two unaffiliated people coincidentally came up with the exact same word for this guy. It was either white hats or black hats talking. Without any time constraints provided in the message, there’s no cut and dried way to test the thing. Either ‘everything’ will eventually change, or it won’t.

I figure if there was demonic influence behind this phenomena, the worst that can happen is interested parties get distracted in wondering what’s going to change and when. My friend would be the person most likely to waste energy on waiting and wondering. I will not speak for him regarding his frame of mind about it all.

My simple-minded interpretation of the “Everything changes” message, whatever it was early on, has become an understanding that God chose to alert some people through a twice-delivered prophecy to one man that, indeed, everything really is going to change. Because it has to, for whatever reason. This gives me peace, because I believe it shows God is watching and interested in our lives and this world; and He wouldn’t be announcing grand, impending changes were they not something that He saw as necessary or inevitable. ‘Necessary’ doesn’t have to mean pleasant; ‘inevitable’ rarely does. My experience over the past few years has taught me that one of the primary reasons God offers comfort is to prepare someone for difficult circumstances or encourage them through hard times. In context of the 2014-2015-JC message, a collapse of the US, whatever that means, sounds at minimum to be hard times for several hundred million people around the world.

~

Since mid-summer this year I have learned of a guy named Jonathan Cahn, who has predicted a financial collapse in the US during mid-September 2015. Jonathan Cahn has written books, and other people have written books about Jonathan Cahn’s books. I haven’t read any of the books. I have glanced through Amazon.com reviews and Jonathan Cahn’s Facebook page. There are many videos online in which Jonathan Cahn presumably lays out his thesis. I cannot offer an educated opinion about Jonathan Cahn. I can say that more than one person whose opinion I trust has recommended I see what Jonathan Cahn has to say. I mention Jonathan Cahn here, because he is a guy who emphatically believes it’s all coming down in 2015.

~

My friend Mary has put her money where her heart is. She’s moved to Ecuador as an obedience to God.

I’ve asked God over and over, “Why me?”  I think there are several answers, including that this answered some things I’d been praying for (but was not what I had in mind!) and that I was a “blank slate” when it came to studying end times stuff.  I did not have my mind cluttered with all the theories or already made up.  Anyway, for whatever reason, He chose me (and has been faithful to reveal to me many others who have heard the same word around the same time I did – some of who in fact left some time ago).

I want you to understand that although I firmly believe the Lord has shown me that calamity is coming upon America (and it doesn’t even take believing in prophecy to see that at this point), I am not running away!  I do believe the Lord wants to warn His people to flee (and He’s using me as one of many voices to do it), but I am doing this because it is what I believe God is telling me to do, not because I’m “running scared.”  I also know that although He has called me to “leave”, He has also called me to “go” and there will be plans and assignments He has for me to do here.

I know many of you will think my theology is whacked or that I’m just plain crazy – that’s OK – I’m in good company!  Noah, Abraham, Lot, Joshua, Caleb (not to mention Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea, just to name a few) and JESUS all pretty much got the same reactions!  I did not walk through this in a vacuum – there are several people who have prayed with and shared in this journey with me all along the way.  The bottom line is this – when I stand before the Lord someday, I would rather hear, “You totally missed what I was telling you, but I am pleased with your faith to follow what you thought you heard from me,” than to hear, “You heard what I said – why didn’t you obey?!”  (If you are interested in knowing more from someone who has heard the same word from the Lord, read John Price’s book “The End of America”.  But know that I was told about this book by someone who knew my journey, nearly TWO YEARS after the Lord began to reveal this to me – and interestingly around the same time as for him.  It didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know – just gave more details and put “flesh on the skeleton.”)

There’s a lot going on in Ecuador, right there in the immediate vicinity of Mary. Much of what is happening isn’t apparent to the human eye. Her ‘Story’ page is an impressive manifesto of humility and obedience. Check it out and be challenged.

~

On August 24 a woman got up in church and, with blessing of the church leadership, shared this message. She said she believed God had given it to her in the previous Sunday’s praise and worship time:

My children, I am leading you into a wilderness. Do not fear! This wilderness is not like any you have been in before. When you are there do not compare it with those of the past. Only rejoice in the victories of the past. I equipped you then, I am equipping you now and I will equip you then. The harder the trial, the more of my presence is available to you. Seek me first before you allow fear to grip you. I will envelop you in My Spirit. Calling (sic) My Name immediately. Trust me completely. Now is the time to prepare for the faith it will take to endure the storm, the turmoil. Speak out My Word constantly. Get your eyes off of the comforts of the world and become more comfortable in My presence. I will guide you in the Way to go. My beloved bride, I am in the work of preparing, purifying and perfecting you for my coming.

She ended her notes with this admonition:

A word given to me during worship. Test it, judge it and pray for discernment.

Now, I don’t know this lady at all. But she comes across as someone not given to drama and hyperbole. That assessment has been confirmed by others that do know her well. She’s apparently quite humble and Godly. So, testing spirits, yadda yadda. Taken in context of everything else that’s been going on, this word at the least fits as another piece in a puzzle that is coming together one piece at a time and at an increasingly rapid rate.

The important thing is we should avoid attempting to create a puzzle just because we see what we perceive to be apparent puzzle pieces. It’s a matter of prayer, faith, and trust. One of my main prayers in the past year has been that the Lord would not let me be deceived, that He would show me truth and lead me accordingly. I’m not interested in creating drama and intrigue for the sake of show and tell. I am interested in being someone God can use to further His Kingdom in this fallen world. I believe the message this lady received is one more incidence of Him inching the faithful toward their appointed destiny to minister His love to a populace that has come otherwise unmoored.

~

This one is just for fun. But fun in a serious way, of course. Check out patburt.com, where you will be treated to this account:

Around midnight fourteen years ago, I was working on a project on my computer when I heard loud, annoying static. I immediately responded with a “What is that!!!!!!!”  I discovered the static sound was coming from my father’s headphones (for the hearing impaired) located in the adjoining room.

I held the headphones up for a closer look to figure out how to turn them off.  When all of a sudden the static turned into choir-like voices singing “Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” as in the intro to the “Hallelujah Chorus.”

This was followed by a strong, calm male voice saying, “Prepare! The Lord Jesus Christ is coming soon! This is the last generation!”

The loudstatic (sic) followed the message and I finally figured out how to turn the headphones off.  I looked around the room for the source of the message only to discover that the TV as well as satellite had been turned off earlier by my Father.  There were no radios or other TV’s operating in the house.

I have no idea who Pat Burt is or if the creator of the website is telling the truth. What I do know is the tenor and nature of the purported episode is entirely consistent with that of the God that am growing to love and to trust.

~

As with so much having to do with matters of faith, there are many questions here.  What I know of the End Times narrative is a jumble of relatively disjointed elements: The Revelation of Jesus Christ; rebuilt temple; red heifer; pre-, post-, amillennialism. And so on. I don’t know much about that list, other than what I’ve learned in many passes through the book of Revelation. Which isn’t much, given the nature of Revelation, or at least my understanding of it.

I’m struck by something Mary wrote in her Story post: she said she thinks God chose her for her assignment specifically because she wasn’t wrapped up in any particular End Times point of view. That could be what has happened with me, if this all turns out to be legitimate. I’m about as uninterested as a person could get and still be aware that Christ’s return is even something to be interested in. Maybe not the blank slate that Mary considers herself to have been, but close.  Incidentally, it’s also interesting that I’ve been praying for God to keep me from being deceived, just as Mary did. There’s probably something instructive there. That’s not a very common thing for people to pray, in my experience.

~

2014-2015-Jesus Christ has motivated me to do some things I likely wouldn’t have done otherwise. My Wichita Falls trip was in early March, before the voice. By early May, when I went to Portland, I’d internalized the potential implications of the message. I specifically referred the clipboard woman and the street musicians to Spirit’s church, based on my concern for their spiritual well-being in the event of crisis. I have been infused with a deep sense of urgency about Long Island, especially after learning that, yes, there are a few folks living on the west end of the island. In general I view everyone and everything now through a perspective that all this is possibly going to look very different in the next fifteen months. And for whatever reason, if it comes to pass, God chose to include me in the group of those that He alerted beforehand. It’s sobering. I’m not afraid; I am humbled.

**

Two weeks ago, I was also overwhelmed. Planning Long Island; planning and writing blog posts; writing songs from a sense of obedience and joy; full time job; kids. Just life. Everybody gets there. I had reached a point where I was desperate for something from God. It had been weeks since He’d said Hello in a way that I recognized was Him. And I was buried under the responsibilities of trying to honor the blessings He’s given me.

I specifically remember walking home from the grocery store one evening, mulling over It All. I wished only briefly that I could hear from my friend Charles. God has used Charles in life-changing ways to encourage me over the past few years. Charles spoke God’s words to me in early 2010 such that I’ve never been the same since. Then God would prompt Charles to contact me several times through 2013, just exactly at the day or so that I would pray to God, “I cannot keep going. I am at the end of myself. Have mercy, Lord.” DONK. There would be a text message from Charles, telling me God had put me on His heart. Or he’d call me up and tell me the same thing. It was comical in a way, the razor sharp timing with which he would show up out of the blue, maybe six months since the previous ‘visit’, just as soon as I had determined that further forward progress in my life was an ironclad impossibility. After the fourth or fifth time it happened, even at my most skeptical, I knew God was telling me, “I’m here, I’m watching, and I love you.”

Charles and I got into the practice last year of having lunch every so often, and he no longer popped up just in time. It wasn’t necessary. While life continued to be a protracted beating, I had begun attending classes where people practice the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Every time I walked through the door, for months, someone (different every time) with a history of prophetic accuracy would give me an encouraging, timely, accurate prophecy. Most all of them confirmed other prophecies that got rolling with Charles back in early 2010. These words from the class leaders didn’t take the sting out of life so much as they trained me to take my eyes off the sting and look toward a different way of walking with the Lord.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, I was buried, stuck, and heading for despair. Should I make any seismic lifestyle moves based on the notion that this nation was headed for the ditch? Why did I have to be involved in this, anyway? It would be much simpler to be oblivious to it all.  I pointed out to God that I had been working hard to steward of all the resources he’s given me; and I’m looking all the time for ways to not waste this gift of life. And how will I take care of my kids if things get too dicey? All I wanted was some input from Him. I wished I could hear from Charles. Then I pushed that thought away, since I’d already learned what I needed to from past surprise encouragement from him.

The next day at work, a coworker and I were discussing the solemn realities of the overall economy, especially as pertains to the industry we work in. Things aren’t looking too bright right now. After a fifteen minute visit, I sat down at my desk and saw my smart phone flashing. I checked the interface, and I had a text waiting. It was from Charles. “The LORD is your shepherd . You shall lack nothing!” First time in two years, at least, since he’d sent me anything like that. And just like that all the stress and concern I’d been amassing just vanished.

I called Charles. He told me he’d been praying, and the Lord had put me on his heart. “I just got the 23rd Psalm for you. I sent it along, and you can see what it means for you.” What it means, of course, is:

“I’m here, I’m watching, and I love you.”

***

Regarding a collapse, followed by Christ’s return, I’m no longer ambivalent. I won’t likely bet the farm that any one thing is going to happen. But the way things are shaping up, I believe we are moving into times for which I created. That’s not the same thing as saying I’m looking forward to it. But I believe God is preparing many people to shepherd His sheep through a storm and that I will be one of those shepherds.

****

Last note: I don’t recall what the voice said about 2014. But if total collapse comes in 2015, it would make sense to predict that 2014 into 2015 wouldn’t show a lot of encouraging trends. I would expect economic and social order to continue unraveling. For those of us who have obsessively read news aggregator websites for some years, the idea of a 2015 melt down is no stretch at all; because the reality of 2014 has been such a hit parade of events and policy implementations that are weakening the US daily. This activity didn’t start in 2009 when the current presidential administration hit the ground like a wild fire; but it absolutely ramped up in frequency and malevolence. I have an essay somewhere that I was writing in January of 2009, discussing the totalitarian impulse, in context of the 2008 elections. Something like that; I haven’t actually read it in over five years now. I’ll dig that up and post it for laughs…

…now that the Western Hemisphere’s first surprise Ebola infection is underway, a stone’s throw from where I sit typing. L O to the L.

*****

Game on, Y’all.

******

UPDATE: July 18, 2015

Almost a year after I posted this essay, people continue trickling into it from internet search engines. I’m enabling comments here, now that we’re officially half way done with 2015.

******

UPDATE: August 14, 2015

This link goes to a follow-up post that I published on January 11, 2015.

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