Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Few Important Things...

3 sisters

Last month, my father (who was 90) went home to Heaven. And I was reminded of several important things:

1. The gift of eternal life made possible to us by Jesus Christ
I am so thankful for my father's faith in Jesus, and his dedication to the Lord and His Church. It made it easier to say "Goodbye-for-now" knowing with assurance that I will see my Daddy again someday. It also reminded me that so many don't have that hope, because they have chosen not to believe, or they haven't yet heard about it in a way that penetrates their heart. So, I'm reminded to pray for them.

2. The treasure of family
If you are a part of a loving family, don't take it for granted—treasure it! Yes, families have their squabbles from time to time, but caring family members who support each other in love and forgiveness is something very special. And we can belike family—caring and loving—to those who don't have any.

3. The hope of Heaven can change us here and now
Hebrews 6:19 says that "we have this hope as an anchor of the soul." There is the question asked many times, "If Heaven is real, does it affect how we live today?" That is a question I've asked myself recently, and one from which we can all benefit by asking ourselves every once-in-a-while. How is the hope I have in Jesus affecting how I am living today? or... Jesus really did give His own life to purchase an eternal life for me in the awesome and all-powerful presence of the Author of LOVE Itself, so does my life here reflect that love and sacrifice? Only you can give yourself the honest answer.

4. Our time here is too short not to be joyful!
While my father loved his family so much that it seemed almost hard for him to let go in the end, he was maybe not the most jovial of people. ;-) He enjoyed a good laugh, but there were a lot of things that seemed to cause him worry and concern. That's pretty normal of course, but aren't we—as Believers in Jesus—called to a life a little abnormal? The Apostle Peter did call us a "peculiar people" after all! In this world, of course we'll have troubles, but Jesus has overcome this world, and we have the hope and the assurance of not only Heaven, but also His presence right here, right now. So, I'm reminded to rejoice! I hope you are too.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Watching God's Heavens—What is He Saying through Blood Moon Tetrads and Solar Eclipses?

**This article first appeared in Breaking Christian News**

"Israel as a nation is 'God's time clock,'" –Pastor John Kilpatrick

blood moonsBy now the term "blood moon" is likely no longer alien to you, and may even have been discussed around the water cooler this week. (Photo by Luc Viatour/via
And now that you have the astronomical description for four of them in a row—a "tetrad"—you may be feeling like your vocabulary has experienced a nice upgrade.

But what is all the eschatological (there's another one—'end times') discussion about anyway? What are some of the things being said?

After watching a few messages by Pastors John Kilpatrick and John Hagee—who are both saying the same thing, for the most part—I thought breaking their main points down into a fairly brief article might be of service to some who are curious, but who may not have time to watch numerous sermons.

Not Just Christians

One thing I've noticed in digging into the subject of the coming astronomical event is that the interest is not just found among Bible Believers.

Those in the secular science community are also intrigued—not just by the blood moon tetrad—but also in the fact that it does coincide with major Jewish feast days.
blood moonsI've found several sites that have not only given a wealth of information on the tetrad, but also on the fact that this and next year's will occur at special times according to the Jewish calendar. (Graphic via John Kilpatrick Ministries)

That stood out to me—there are those who are not yet Believers who are paying attention… looking, watching and waiting to see if anything significant, God-oriented or major does indeed happen.

The Blood Moon Tetrad Facts and When to Watch

Interesting celestial events already began this week, with the "opposition of Mars"—it's perfect alignment with the sun, and also with Earth.

Next week—on Monday—Mars will be at its closest to Earth in 6 years; you'll be able to see it shining brightly in the night sky. Then on Tuesday morning April 15th (in North America) at approximately 3AM Eastern Time, the moon will be not only full, but there will be a full lunar eclipse as the Earth passes between the moon and the sun. The sun's light that reflects off the moon will then be filtered through Earth's atmosphere—basically all Earth's sunsets at once—and it will cause the moon to appear red like blood.

blood moonsThe blood moon will happen again this year, on October 8th; and then there will be two more blood moons next year on April 4 and September 28th—that makes a lunar tetrad. describes a lunar tetrad as: "Four successive total lunar eclipses, with no partial lunar eclipses in between, each of which is separated from the other by six lunar months (six full moons)."

The Significance Relating to Israel

According to Hagee and Kilpatrick (as well as others), the moons relate to Israel because the Jewish calendar is mainly a lunar-based calendar. The solar eclipses relate to the world because the rest of the world goes by the solar-based Gregorian calendar.

Now, tetrads aren't necessarily that rare—there was one in 2003—but the fact that each blood moon in this tetrad coincides with major Jewish feast days is rare.

blood moonsTuesday's blood moon happens on Passover; October's on Sukkot; next April's on Passover again, and the final blood moon of the tetrad falls on Sukkot once again. That last one is the only one that will be visible by Israel—but because it occurs on Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles) many Jews will be outside, sleeping under the stars so-to-speak, in their tents or booths according to the Jewish Feast tradition. (Photo via John Hagee Ministries) 

And not only that, but the final blood moon will also be at perigee—also known as a "super moon" because it is at its closest to Earth on its lunar orbit.

It will be one SUPER BLOOD MOON!

So What? Wait, there's More…

Not only will the tetrad happen, but in 2015 there will also be two solar eclipses. The first one—a total solar eclipse— will fall on March 20th, or Nisan 1 in the Jewish calendar which is effectively their first day of their first month.

The second solar eclipse will be partial, and will occur on September 13th which is Rosh Hashanah; the first of the "High Holy Days" and also known as the Feast of Trumpets.

Why Is Any of This Significant?

Pastor John Hagee notes Genesis 1:14, "And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years."

blood moonsThat is, the sun, moon and stars can also be used by God as a sign to Earth's inhabitants. (Graphic via John Kilpatrick Ministries) 

Basically the coming tetrad is significant to Israel, and to Christians who love Israel, because of history—Israel's history.

In 21 centuries there have only been 8 (including this coming one) blood moon tetrads that fell on the Jewish Feasts of Passover and Sukkot and the 3 most recent ones occurred during extremely important events for Israel.

Tetrad of 1493-1494 – If you go back one year, you know Christopher Columbus sailed his famous voyage to discover the "new world" in 1492. What many may not realize is that this happened during Spain's Expulsion of the Jews, when the edict came down that all Jews in Spain had 3 months to leave. So the blood moon tetrad of that time happened during great persecution of the Jews.

Pastor John Kilpatrick notes that Christopher Columbus was sympathetic to the Jews and carried some on board his ships to the new world, and that his trip may even have been financed by them.
Because of this, as the tetrad of those years occurred, a bond was formed between Israel and the new world—America.

Tetrad of 1949-1950 – This tetrad happened just a few years after the end of WWII and in 1948, just prior to the tetrad, Israel was formally recognized by the world as a nation.

Tetrad of 1967-1968 – The Six-Day War began when attacks were mounted against Israel and she retaliated; it ended with an Israeli victory.

What Does the 2014 – 2015 Tetrad Signify?

Both Pastors Kilpatrick and Hagee are quick to answer "I don't know." But they add that it is important to WATCH—not just look; but observe, keep vigil, stay alert and most importantly…
blood moons…watch and pray.

Pastor Kilpatrick notes that Israel as a nation is "God's time clock," which means these things are important to Christians too. (Photo by: Fred Espenak of NASA/via
Certainly, when you look at Joel 2:31 in the Bible, you can't help but get a little excited considering the celestial events before us!

"The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD." -Joel 2:31

The thing to remember is, if you are a Christian (you know that Jesus is your Savior and you are living for Him), don't be fearful, but as Jesus said, "Be dressed in readiness and keep your lamp alight." And be ready to share about this great Hope that is in you with anyone who asks.

If in reading about these things, you feel conviction by the Holy Spirit, or you know your heart isn't right before the Lord, then don't wait—get right with the Lord Jesus today, and then rejoice!

If you want to learn more here are some good sources:

Pastor John Kilpatrick's message on Blood Moons
Pastor John Hagee (who has also written a book about it) on Blood Moons
Here is EarthSky's astronomy website regarding the Blood Moon tetrad
Link for the book: "Blood Moons Rising" by Mark Hitchcock
Here is a link to watch Tuesday's Blood Moon LIVE

John Hagee Ministries, John Kilpatrick Ministries,,, Wikipedia

Monday, February 3, 2014

A Super Bowl Win, A Prayer on the Field, and the "Blue Tuesdays" that Help Keep Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson Grounded

"It's almost too good to be true. But it's really this simple: He was raised right, and he has amazing morals and ethics. He's an avid Christian, and he wants to walk the talk. I think his dad is in his heart every time he goes room to room. I think it's something that would have made his dad very proud." –Eve Kopp, Seattle Children's Hospital

Russell WilsonThis commentary first appeared in Breaking Christian News.

At the risk of over-satiating our readers with anything involving the Super Bowl; the many articles and blogs swirling around the internet, regarding the game's players, have brought to light some heartwarming (off-the-field) facts about this year's winning quarterback. (Photo via New York Times) 
Sunday's annual final NFL competition took many by surprise as the Seahawks, fairly consistently, dominated the highest-rated offense of the Denver Broncos; claiming a lopsided victory of 43-8.

According to a CBN News report, as the green and blue confetti began to fall, and the grid iron of MetLife Stadium became a sea of players, coaches, reporters and cameramen; Seahawks QB Russell Wilson grabbed some teammates around him, and led them in prayer as they knelt together on the field.

"God is so good. He brought me a really long way," said Russell in a post-game interview. "It's unbelievable. It's kind of surreal to be honest with you. Sitting there holding that trophy up and I'm looking up, I'm just so thankful for everything that I've been given."

But that's just a small window on the heart of Wilson.

The Seattle Children's Hospital knows more about that.

They've designated each second day of the week there as "Blue Tuesday," because that's when Wilson and his wife, Ashton, visit with patients and their families there.

Russell WilsonIn a recent ESPN article, Eve Kopp, the director of corporate annual giving for the Seattle Children's Hospital foundation, explains how skeptical she was when first contacted by Wilson—then just a third-string quarterback with the Seahawks, just out of college. (Photo via ESPN)

Russell had asked her if he and his wife could come by regularly, to spend some time with the patients.

Knowing that some players have charity written into their contracts, Kopp doubted Wilson's sincerity.
"Typically, we see them once and that's about it," Kopp told ESPN. "We figured with Russell, we'd see him once or twice, and then never again."

However, Russell surprised her; he and Ashton showed up repeatedly—every Tuesday.

Keeping it relatively quiet from publicity; Wilson and his wife meet not only with even the sickest children, but also spend time with those patients' families, to encourage them.

Russell WilsonOne of the patients Russell and Ashton have visited is little Abi Sayers, born 16 weeks premature. According to the report, Abi has needed five different brain surgeries in her first 7 months of life. (Photo courtesy Sayers family/via ESPN)

Abi's father Chris describes when he, his wife and his daughter were first visited by the Wilsons at the hospital.

"I was so awestruck, I could barely speak to the man," Sayers said in the ESPN article. "But after that, he kept coming back to visit us. He never wanted to talk about himself, he just wanted to give us a hug and ask how Abi was doing. He asked me if we could pray over Abi one day, and after that, it just felt like the lines of communication were open and we could talk about anything.

In the ESPN article, Kopp remarked about Wilson, who lost his father in 2010 to complications from diabetes:

"A lot of people hear about the visits and they start speculating what the real motive really is," said Kopp. "It's almost too good to be true. But it's really this simple: He was raised right, and he has amazing morals and ethics. He's an avid Christian, and he wants to walk the talk. I think his dad is in his heart every time he goes room to room. I think it's something that would have made his dad very proud."