By: Steve M. Woods
Have you ever stop to think that time itself was created by God? In the book of Genesis we read about the creation of time when God spoke it into existence with the universe. It was not until man sinned in the Garden of Eden did mankind become aware of his mortality and the eternal stopwatch started to countdown. Since the first man Adam we have been on a countdown like a stopwatch quickly moving to its completion.
Time is like two book markers with a beginning and an end which scientist call the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics. Basically this law states that everything created in the universe is in a process of decay. This is why everything ultimately falls apart and disintegrates over time. God is not bound by time since he is eternal and has no beginning or end. Material things are not eternal like God and are bound in the realm of time. Everything we see that was created will eventually returns to dust just as the Bible shares in Ecclesiastes 3:20. Everything created in the universe will ultimately age, wears out, decay and die.
If time is winding down, and life is ageing and fading away, where are we on God’s countdown? Jesus disciples asked the same question in Matthew 24:3, ‘As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Jesus shares many events and signs in Matthew 24 that will transpire letting us know where we are in the completion of time. These signs and events that will occur at the end of time are like road signs letting us know where we are in this journey limited by time.
Many Christians are unaware that these events and signs described in the Bible are taking place now and continue to increase in frequency and in intensity just as Jesus said would occur in the last days. Matthew 24:8 states. “All these are the beginning of birth pains.” As a women gets closer to having a baby the birth pains become more intense and frequent before the baby is born. Earthquakes, wars, hearsay/ false flags of wars, uncontrollable disease, civil unrest and violence, Christian persecution and beheadings, starvation and an increase in food prices, financial monetary collapse, wicked people demanding their rights, and the mocking of God, his creation and Biblical end time prophecy continues to increase just as Jesus said would take place before the eternal stopwatch ends. Just watch and listen to the daily news if you are not convinced that this is true. Have you checked God’s eternal watch lately? What time is it? Are you ready for the end of time? Like Jesus said, don’t let it catch you off guard like a thief breaking into your property at night. Now is the time to get your life in order. Be prepared, get ready, Jesus is coming soon.
By: Steve M. Woods
“So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting.”
Read Isaiah 58
Many will gather at homes, nightclubs, city streets, and churches to bring in the New Year. Each in their own way. But one motivation most people have in common with a New Year celebration is that this is a time of reflection, commitment and renewal. This year we plan on bringing in the New Year with a small gathering of friends at my home for a time of worship, prayer and fellowship. During a time of prayer I was led by the Lord to participate in a “Daniel Fast” as a way to usher in the New Year. My challenge to my friends and family for this evening of worship is to see who will join me in the Daniel Fast.
The Daniel Fast is a 21 day fast where you eliminate certain foods and drinks for the purpose of drawing closer to God and seeking his will. Fasting is spiritual warfare for breakthrough in prayer, guidance and direction, healing, and spiritual renewal. The Daniel Fast is a time of personal consecration as we seek God while expecting in anticipation for his best in our lives. Fasting demands sacrifice, repentance, commitment, intercession for yourself and others, and it will require an adjustment to your typical diet. Remember, fasting is not about food but about faith in God. Our faith is believing in God’s promises to answer your prayer according to his will. But before you participant in any kind of fast it is recommended that you get the advice of your Physician. Are you are ready to experience God’s best for youself, and your family and friends for 2014?
If you would like to participate in the Daniel Fast there are plenty of books and websites to help you get started. The Daniel Fast limits food options to only fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, quality oils, and water. There are amply of recipes for delicious foods to eat for the Daniel Fast. The following chart below provides categories of food included on the Daniel Fast, as well as foods that are restricted. Enjoy!
Foods to Eat on Daniel Fast
Fruits This category can include fresh, frozen, juiced, dried, or canned fruits. Fruits include but are not limited to bananas, blackberries, apples, apricots, cantaloupe, boysenberries, blueberries, figs, cherries, honeydew melon, raspberries, cranberries, grapefruit, grapes, guava, kiwi, lemons, limes, pears, mangoes, oranges, papayas, peaches, nectarines, pineapples, raisins, plums, prunes, watermelon, strawberries, tangelos, and tangerines.
Vegetables This category can include fresh, frozen, dried, juiced, or canned vegetables. Vegetables include but are not limited to broccoli, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, beets, asparagus, sweet potatoes, collard greens, cabbage, carrots, parsley, cucumbers, cauliflower, celery, mustard greens, chili peppers, ginger root, rutabagas, corn, potatoes, eggplant, garlic, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, okra, onions, radishes, sprouts, scallions, spinach, squashes, tomatoes, watercress, turnips, yams, and zucchini. If you are not allergic to soy, veggie burgers are also an option.
Whole Grains This can include millet, whole wheat, brown rice, quinoa, oats, whole wheat pasta, barley, rice cakes, grits, whole wheat tortillas, and popcorn.
Legumes This category can include canned or dried legumes. Legumes include but are not limited to split peas, dried beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lentils, cannellini beans, black eyed peas, black beans, white beans.
Nuts and Seeds This list includes cashews, sunflower seeds, sesame, and peanuts. You can also enjoy nut butters, such as peanut or almond butter.
Quality oils This includes olive, peanut, canola, grape seed, and sesame.
Beverages Limited to only water, including spring water, distilled water or other pure waters.
Other foods Vinegar, tofu, seasonings, soy products, salt, herbs and spices.
Foods to Avoid on Daniel Fast
Meat and animal products All meant and animal products including beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and fish, as well as others.
Dairy Products All milk, butter, cheese, cream, and eggs.
Sweeteners All sugar, honey, raw sugar, molasses, syrups, and cane juice.
Leavened bread Including Ezekiel Bread because it contains yeast and honey, and baked goods.
Refined and processed food Including artificial flavorings, white flour, white rice, food additives, chemicals, and foods that contain artificial preservatives.
Deep fried foods Including but not limited to French fries, potato chips, and corn chips.
Solid fats All shortening, lard, margarine, and foods high in fat.
Beverages Including but not limited to tea, coffee, herbal teas, energy drinks, carbonated beverages, and alcohol.
“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” Matthew 24: 7-8
Could 2014 be an historic year of major prophetic significance? Many Bible experts agree that end time prophecy is starting to escalate with the recent increase in earthquake activity, mass sinkholes swallowing up buildings, cars, lakes and people, drastic changes in our climate, historic volcano eruptions around the world, wars and rumors of wars in the Middle East, and the daily mass die off of animals, fish and birds. Could it be that God is warning and preparing the world for the soon coming tribulation period, and the return of his son Jesus Christ?
April of 2014 could be a very important month for biblical prophecy with the start of a series of blood moons on major Jewish feast days. Jesus said one of the signs of the approaching apocalypse would be the blood moons. The four blood moons have only happen seven time in 2000 years. This rare Tetrad happen in 1492 around the time that the Jews where being persecuted and expelled from Spain. During this time they hired Christopher Columbus, a sympathizer for the Jewish cause, to find them a new home. God lit up the sky again with the four blood moons when Israel became a nation in 1948 after being persecuted and scattered all over the world. Then during the six day war in 1967 Israel regain Jerusalem as their capital for the first time since the time of Christ and the four blood moons appeared again as a sign.
Another important event that could happen in April of 2014 is an historic seven year peace agreement with Israel and Palestine. Secretary of State John Kerry told the news media on July 30, 2013 that they have a goal to work out a comprehensive peace agreement within nine months (April 2014) that would lead to an independent Palestinian state. Just recently John Kerry told reporters that they hope to have a framework agreement for the peace treaty by New Years Eve of this year. This peace agreement could very well be the seven year covenant as spoken about in the book of Daniel that initiates the 7 year Tribulation known also as Daniel’s 70th week.
Whatever happens in 2014 one point we know for sure is that time is running out. Biblical prophetic events are unfolding daily before our eyes on TV news and the internet. Israel is God’s divine prophetic time clock which is counting down to the day and hour of the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. When Israel became a nation again in 1948 God’s stopwatch started to countdown. According to scripture this generation will not pass away until we see the coming and soon return of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Change is coming, and coming soon. Will you be ready?
By: Steve M. Woods
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2, NLT
Christmas can be one of the best and worst times of the years for families. Sometimes the hustle and bustle of waiting in line to buy gifts, the many festive events, and the family gatherings can take their toll on a person. The baby in the manger, the Christmas story about “God with us” somehow gets lost in the fog of the Christmas stress.
This year Christmas is different for my family and me since dad past away a few years ago and mother is slowly fading away with dementia. But I plan to make this the best Christmas ever for mother since this could be her last. After rolling mother to the living room in her wheel chair, I turn on the Christmas lights on the tree. She comments how lovely the tree is this year while she sits and watches the lights twinkle.
Sitting together as a family we watch some of our favorite Christmas movies and TV shows. One of my favorite is “A Christmas Carol”. I watch this heart inspiring movie every year sometimes alone just to remind me what is important in life…. loving people. If you have not seen this movie before with your family, let me share why I find it worth watching each year. On Christmas Eve, an old lonely miser named Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the spirit of his former partner, Jacob Marley. The deceased partner was in his lifetime as mean and stingy as Scrooge is now and he warns him to change his ways or face the consequences in the afterlife. The ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future show Scrooge how his own disappointments in life have shaped his miserable views about life, material things and people. Ebenezer was a mean old man who displayed no empathy to mankind especially to his employee Bob Cratchett and his sick son tiny Tim. But after the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future visited him, Scrooge had a change of heart and became one of the most caring, generous Christian men in town, especially to Bob Cratchett’s family. Ebenezer became the best Uncle ever to tiny Tim.
Each year I am stirred by this movie not because I am as mean and heartless as Scrooge but I do find that a little part of him creeps into my nature. The stress, sorrows and worries of everyday life can harden your heart. I do not know about you, but “I need to be reminded what is important in life.” That is what Christmas is all about, “God with us”. Like the movie “A Christmas Carol” God visited our miserable, selfish life arriving in this world as a helpless baby. God knew we needed a change of heart. More than that, we need a Savior to transform our sinful nature and give us a new life. How is your heart today? Are you ready for a change? Your new beginning could be just one prayer away.