The world is going to end in September 2015

We're running out of time

Did you hear? The world is going to end in September.

Or something like that.

Apparently, the Illuminati has been sending us subliminal messages since way back via movies.

Some folks think Jesus is going to return during Rosh Hashana.

Others think the Illuminati is going to put us (Christians?) in internment camps.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of

Honestly, I don’t know if all these things will come to pass. I’m not God. I do know I sense a change coming. I sense that the United States has crossed the line. The dam has burst and there’s no containing the malevolent destruction that spews forth.

The Bible is clear about the times we live in:

You may as well know this too, Timothy, that in the last days it is going to be very difficult to be a Christian.  For people will love only themselves and their money; they will be proud and boastful, sneering at God, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful to them, and thoroughly bad.  They will be hardheaded and never give in to others; they will be constant liars and troublemakers and will think nothing of immorality. They will be rough and cruel, and sneer at those who try to be good. They will betray their friends; they will be hotheaded, puffed up with pride, and prefer good times to worshiping God. They will go to church, yes, but they won’t really believe anything they hear. Don’t be taken in by people like that.

2 Timothy 3:1-5, TLB

Evil Days

So what’s a Christian to do in such perilous times?

I believe I’m to trust God. Trust Him and not give in to fear. Trust Him and believe that no matter what, He’ll take care of me.

If there are forces out there who want to destroy me because I’m a Christian, I still win, because the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is my Savior. To die is to be in His Wonderful Presence at last. If I suffer, I believe He will give me the grace to endure.

But when I am afraid, I will put my

My favorite Psalm when I get to feeling insecure about the future is Psalm 91. I’ve memorized it. If you haven’t, I encourage you to memorize it and pray it as we enter into this new phase of worshiping Jesus in an America that isn’t so free anymore.

If you’d like, print the picture below and hang it up or carry it with you to give you comfort. Memorize it, and then let me know you did!

Psalm 91King James Version (KJV) (1)

Click here for the .pdf version: Psalm 91 King James Version (KJV)

So what say you? Do you think Jesus is coming in September?

If you aren’t a Christian and you’re reading this, and have questions, please feel free to contact me via my contact page. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have. You can also contact me on Facebook or Twitter. Seek Jesus while there is still time.

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What’s on your writing desk, Pegg Thomas?

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Today we get to peek inside the writing lair of Pegg Thomas! I love the simplicity and peacefulness of her space. I think you will, too.

Pegg lives on a hobby farm in Northern Lower Michigan with Michael, her husband of *mumble* years. They have barn full of animals, a large garden, a small orchard, and a growing berry patch.

Besides writing, she enjoys a variety of crafts including spinning sheep’s wool into yarn, knitting, counted cross stitch, quilting, scrapbooking, and card making.

She and Michael enjoy camping, fishing, boat-nerding (you have to be a Great Lakes person to understand that), and thoroughbred horse racing.

Pegg has been a finalist in the 2013 ACFW First Impressions Contest and the 2014 Clash of the Titles Olympia. When not working on her latest novel, Pegg can be found in her garden, in her kitchen, or on her trusty old horse, Trooper.

Trooper and Pegg cropped

Pegg and Trooper

A lifelong history geek, it’s no surprise that I write surrounded by my antique treasures. My “desk” is a Singer sewing machine cabinet that belonged to my maternal grandmother, Kathryn Champanois. The old black A-1 Singer is still inside and I love to sew on it still.

To my left is a dresser that belonged to my maternal grandfather’s mother, Margaret Warner. Sitting on top is a bowl and pitcher as would have been common in a bedroom before indoor plumbing.

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Click to enlarge

To my right is another sewing machine, a Wheeler and Wilson treadle that pre-dates Singer, made in the late 1880s. It belonged to my paternal grandmother’s mother, Mable Wright. This cabinet pre-dates fold-down models and instead has what’s called a “coffin top” of wood that covers the machine.

Surrounded by such treasures makes slipping back in time an easy and enjoyable thing to do.

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Click to enlarge

Pegg writes historical fiction with a touch of humor. Her current WIP (work-in-progress) is the second novel in a trilogy set around the turn of the 19th century in America. The historical background of this series is the Quaker migration from the slave holding southern states to the new Northwest Territory of present day Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. The first novel is represented by her agent, Linda S. Glaz.

You can find Pegg here:

   Twitter @Pegg_Thomas
   Farm & Fiber Arts Webpage http://www.twinwillowsfarm.com
Thank you, Pegg, for sharing your writing space with us today!
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Where in the world do you write-

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Acknowledging the supernatural

And lest I should be exalted above

The devil buffets me.

If you saw my personal life right now, you’d know it to be true. I’ve had a fairly challenging life, but the last six years have been absolutely awful in terms of hardships.

Now don’t get me wrong. In the midst of my troubles, God has provided for me, kept me safe, and comforted me. For these things I’m grateful. But in the process of the last six years, I’ve definitely been on the anvil and the potter’s wheel. I’m being refined and made stronger. I’m almost afraid to see how strong I am on the other side of all these things. Why is He toughening me up?  Or am I only being refined? Am I proud and He needs to take me down a peg or two? Time will tell and it’s not for me to know.

It’s for me to trust. So I am.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;

Recently, the night before Mother’s Day, my life had actually been going quite well, and I had even praised God for the restoration of some things in my family.

BOOM, on Mother’s Day, life kicked me in the gut again and knocked me down so hard I literally could not breathe.

Therefore, I’ve decided, if the devil is going to fight that hard to stop me from speaking out, I’m not going to let him win. If I’m going to be buffeted, then he’s getting some pay back.

For we wrestle not against flesh and

What’s all this devil talk, you ask?

I believe there’s a devil and I also believe there’s a God. I believe like a child, just as Jesus told me to. You might call me nuts, but that’s okay. I know with every fiber of my being that God created me and is up to something good on my behalf.

But as much as I know that God loves me, I know that the devil hates me.

Make no mistake. There’s no way the devil is nearly as powerful as God. Lucifer wants us to think so, but he’s not. In fact, the Bible (which is my authority on all matters) tells us that when we see him, we’ll not be too impressed:

12 How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground—mighty though you were against the nations of the world. 13 For you said to yourself, “I will ascend to heaven and rule the angels. I will take the highest throne. I will preside on the Mount of Assembly far away in the north. 14 I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.” 15 But instead, you will be brought down to the pit of hell, down to its lowest depths. 16 Everyone there will stare at you and ask, “Can this be the one who shook the earth and the kingdoms of the world? 17 Can this be the one who destroyed the world and made it into a shambles, who demolished its greatest cities and had no mercy on his prisoners?” Isaiah 14:12-17, TLB

The thing that gets me through this life, and frankly, always has, is the knowledge that this isn’t all there is.

All the things around me, all the events, all the troubles, the stuff–it’s all temporary. I don’t think of life on earth as the end all and be all of my existence because that’s not how the Bible has taught me to think. The only thing that last forever, when it comes to this world, are souls. People. People last forever.

Peter

People are the most precious of all creation to God. And it’s because of this that the devil fights us so hard. He is insanely jealous of us. From the beginning of time he’s done everything he can to mess things up when it comes to how we think and believe. Because we are precious to God, the evil one fights in arenas of sickness, mental illness, abortion, sexual perversion, broken homes, false doctrines (beliefs) and more.

His first goal regarding his hatred of humans was to stop the lineage of Jesus Christ because he knew that Jesus would die for us and redeem us. Satan can’t be redeemed. So he wants to drag us all to hell with him.

He rescued us from the control of

Now that Jesus has come and paid the price for us, the devil does all he can to make sure that humans do not reign with Christ forever. Because of this, the gates of hell are opening as never before and evil fury is unleashed upon the world. But we aren’t without hope. Because God’s Word tells us that the “gates of hell will not prevail” against us (Matthew 16).

In future posts, I’m going to be writing more about supernatural answers to earthly questions. I’m not going to let the enemy stop what God has called me to do.

Don’t you let him, either.

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Dear autism families, how do you spell spontaneity?

Because I love someone (1)Because I really want to know.

Sometimes I fantasize about running errands and grocery shopping. Freely, that is. I mean, without all the logistical hoop jumping that has to take place before, during and after.

Before: rustling up the courage to ask someone to either go with me on errands or come watch the family so I can go alone. Then once I’ve got a helper in tow, figuring out when, where, and how it’s going to happen. Get everyone dressed appropriately and toileted and pray that no one has a bathroom emergency before you get to the store.

 

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During: finding the patience to deal with the meltdowns in the store and grabbing grabbing hands before they grab another grape or cherry and plop it in their mouth.  Or, fielding the 1.2 thousand text messages you’re getting from the auties and the babysitter while calculating the difference in cost if you buy 10 pounds of cheese versus 1 pound.

 

After: Dealing with the meltdowns because everyone’s tired and stressed from running errands with you. or the stress of being left at home without you. And praying you don’t meltdown yourself. Not that it would do any good or that anyone would notice.

 

Autism parents

On a particularly faith-filled day I might fantasize about going to a movie with my husband or getting away for the weekend. But most days I don’t have the energy for that. (Not the getaway. The thinking about and hoping for it. )

Now, before you think I’m complaining, I’m really not. This is just reality. And it’s so much a part of our lives, that we’ve grown used to it. We don’t stop to think about how we can’t do anything spontaneously until someone says, “want to go to a movie?” or “Want to get away with us for a few days to the Poconos?”

"MP overlook" --Wikimedia Commons

“MP overlook” –Wikimedia Commons

Alright, I admit, we never get asked to go to the Poconos. We live in Indiana. But you get the idea, right?

“Uhm. No. Sorry. Can’t. Can’t leave the boys alone even though they’re 20 years old. Can’t leave Mama alone, either, even though she’s 80 years old (she has Alzheimer’s).”

I know, I know, our life would be so much simpler if we just put them in a home.

But would it, really?

I think it’s just exchanging one stress for another. And besides, what if we warehoused everyone who inconvenienced us?

Seriously, though, the thought has crossed my mind more than once. But the twins are still in high school and it doesn’t seem right to find them “a home” before they graduate. And Mama? Well, she gets a lot more stimulation with us (trust me on this point) than she would in a home. So she’s staying, too.

Jesse and Ellen

My son, Jesse, showing his Grandma his tattoo. It’s his daughter’s name which is also Grandma’s name, too. But she doesn’t realize that. She has her own rocking chair in the church sanctuary. Adorable!

Besides, group homes aren’t exactly a haven. Those hired to work in group homes are paid a pittance. It’s hard to attract quality people to work as a caregiver. No one is going to care as much as family.

Still, family needs a break now and then.  All parents and caregivers need respite. Time to recharge. I wish people could learn to reach out and offer to help, but everyone is so busy. Way too busy. Busy, busy, busy.

I also think people are afraid of kids with autism. They worry they won’t be able to interact with them. I admit, it is a little overwhelming sometimes. But it’s a worthwhile, important endeavor. It’s part of what makes us human.

Caring. Kindness. Love. People with autism need those things.

And so do their parents.

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All the shiny things

SHINY

Blogging is like exercise. It’s too easy to get in the habit of not doing it.

I love to blog. I’ve blogged since the 90s and have had at least a dozen blogs over the years. My problem is finding a focus. 

I tend to lead life that way, too. There are so many shiny things that distract me: theology, writing, music, history, conspiracy theories, politics, entertaining, disabilities, advocating for children (my CASA work), my church ministry–and I haven’t even begun to brush the surface of my family, job and college responsibilities.

Barking dogs

Because I’m attracted to so many things, I’m easily distracted. Sadly, I remind myself of that verse in Daniel 12:4:” Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.” Sure, I run to and fro doing regular human stuff, but I also go here and there indulging my insatiable appetite for knowledge. How far I run! Via google I can browse the National Palace Museum in Taipei and then fly over to Venice and purse the Ca’Rezzonico. If I want I can squeeze another couple of hours at the British Museum before sauntering over to study the Mona Lisa at the Louvre. 

many shall run to and fro, and knowledge

So, dear reader, I’m learning I have a need to get focused.

Right now I’m in the throes of college math exams — working on my degree for Special Education — another shiny thing that is important to me. Just as important as writing.

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And, to be honest, there’s also a family crisis in our lives right now that is emotionally draining.

But as I sit here in the library waiting for my granddaughters to get out of one of their summer fun classes, I’m filled with gratitude for a patient, loving God. I know He’s waiting for me to quit running around like a toddler and settle in and pay attention. (I’ve always said you can’t teach a moving target. Is that what I am, Lord?)

-Be still and know that I am

I may not have been here writing very much these past few weeks, but one thing I’ve managed to keep up with is prayer and bible reading. I’m thankful for that. I don’t think I could survive the buffeting without time in His Word. I’m so thankful for the hunger God has given me for Him . And I wonder — is that what He’s calling me to focus on more?

My heart is so full. I have so much to share with you. But where do I start? How do I begin? And just what is it you want to know?

Your Questioning Servant,

Karla

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What’s on your writing desk? Featuring J’nell Ciesielski

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Today our guest is J’nell Ciesleski who has generously agreed to share her writing space with us!

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Karla: J’nell, I’ve noted from your website that you write adventurous, historical romance. Where do you settle in to weave your stories?

J’nell: I have two spaces of writing. One, my designated office with a pretty view of the tree filled backyard, a plush rug beneath my feet, and a zebra print chair to sit at my feminine desk.

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And the second, the ‘other’ couch in the ‘other’ room where my daughter’s toys spill out from under the bench, the dog snores six feet away, and the tempting fridge is within eyeline. Guess which one gets used more? Yep. The second. It’s not that I don’t love stepping on legos and tripping over a Minnie Mouse musical car every time I need a drink of water, but the couch is much more practical. See, I use my daughter’s naptime as my writing time and if I so much as tiptoe past her room upstairs she’ll wake up. Pretty sure she has bat sonar. So long writing time! Plus, my designated office upstairs sits over the garage and it’s a furnace in the summertime.

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Karla: When do you find time to write?

J’nell: I honestly wish I could spend all day writing. Unfortunately, chores and errands take up my morning because I like to get them done and out of the way. Then comes lunch, and then comes naptime which means freedom! If it’s a good day and she’s willing to give me a break then I’ll have at least 2 ½ hours of writing time. If she decides she wants to serenade me from the crib then I’ll attempt writing, but it usually ends up being research time as I don’t need absolute quiet for that. Sometimes I’ll get a few minutes on the weekend, but that time usually goes to family and church.

jnell

 Karla: What do you write?

J’nell: Historical romances are my passion. Throw in a world war and I’m gold. Nothing like a man heading off to war or some other dangerous mission to amp up the passion, those are the moments I love to capture. Take a look at Braveheart, Gone With the Wind, Downton Abbey, Casablanca, Lord of the Rings, and Outlander and few other of my favorites and you’ll see what I mean.

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Karla: What’s your process?

J’nell: Part of me is afraid to share a few unknown tidbits about what really happens behind the screen, but you asked so I guess I’ll brave the raised eyebrows and tell you. I usually play a round of Soda Crush before I get started. Helps to loosen the muscles. Then I reread the last few paragraphs of what I wrote yesterday to remind myself where I am and plunge in. Note: Sometimes staring blankly at the screen or wall happens first as I await divine inspiration. As the writing forges ahead, I often check with my notes which I have in a hot pink binder that is meticulously divided into sections: WWI, WWII, Scotland, Pirates, Clothing, Words, Transportation, etc. I often feel like Gandolf pouring over ancient manuscripts which makes me giggle. When hunger strikes, I try grab something healthy like yogurt or almonds, but sometimes those darn Kit Kats jump right into my hands.

Karla: What are you working on now?

J’nell: My last work in progress, or WIP for those in the know, is set in WWII France and is inspired by the Mitford sisters. Kat Whitford is on a mission to bring back her wayward sister after she ran away to occupied France and became the Nazis’s social secretary. Struggling to keep himself out of jail for a back alley brawl, Barrett Anderson is paying back his debt by working for British intelligence and they’ve just assigned him as babysitter to Kat. With direct access to the inner Nazi parties, they are immediately pressed to play the loving couple and gather all the information they can. When his past comes to call, it could spell disaster, and possibly, death for them all.

Karla: Tell us some more about yourself!

J’nelL:  Born in Florida, I spent a happy childhood splashing on the sugar white beaches only known to the Sunshine Stare. While in middle school, my dad got a job transfer to Texas where I graduated from Texas A&M with a B.S. in Psychology. Not knowing what else to do with my life and seeing as how writing wasn’t paying the bills yet, I joined the Air Force. Stationed in Germany I was privileged to travel to France, Austria, the Netherlands, England, and my favorite Scotland. I also met my awesome husband over there. Finding him was worth wearing camouflage and combat boots every day. After serving our four years, we now live in Virginia where I’m a stay at home mom to a busy one and a half year old and a very lazy beagle.

Karla: Thank you, J’nell for giving us a peek into your writing life!

And thank YOU, dear readers, for stopping by! You can learn more about J’nell at the links below:

J’nell’s Website

Twitter

Pinterest

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