Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Truth of the Matter - Conclusion

In my last post I said that there are differing views on when Jesus is going to return and gather the church in relation to the great tribulation.  Only one position can be right.  The truth of the matter is, what is right is what He said about it. An individual or even a church's position will then be either right or wrong, based upon whether they agree with Jesus.  If they don't agree with Jesus, they are in error.  What He says and what He teaches is not erroneous.  It is trustworthy.  Jesus is the truth.  He will never lead us astray, He will never lead us down a false path.

So where does Jesus place His coming and gathering of the church in relation to the great tribulation?  Matthew 24 is where we go for the answer.  He places it after the great tribulation, which He says is cut short for the sake of the elect, the chosen of God.  (See verses 15-31.)

I know, I know...some will say that this passage does not apply to the church.  But my question to you then is, do the scriptures bear this out?

Let's do a bit of digging, are you with me?
  • Mt. 24 and Mk. 13 are both passages that refer to the presence or coming of Christ.  Another way of putting it, these passages refer to His return.  Both say this will happen after the great tribulation. 
  • From 1 Cor. 15:22,23 we understand that at the presence/coming of Christ, or at His return, the resurrection occurs. "For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.  But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at His coming."  
  • From 1 Th. 4:13-18 we understand that at the presence/coming of Christ, there is a catching away of believers, the dead in Christ rise first (resurrection) and those who are alive and remain (remain can also be translated "survive") are then caught up together with them in the clouds. 
  • Hop on over to Daniel 12:1,2.  "And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued. Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake (resurrection), these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt."
  • John 6:40 is also a resurrection reference.  "For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." The "last day" would coincide with the "end of the age" which Jesus teaches on in Mt. 24. In Matthew 28 Jesus said He would be with His disciples until the end of the age/the last day.  From Mt. 24 we see that it is at the end of the age when He returns.  His return cuts short the great tribulation against the elect and then He gathers the elect... 
...which I see now, based on the passages above, as all the dead (elect, chosen of God) who died in Christ, the Old Testament chosen saints and the New Testament chosen saints, and those chosen of God who are alive and survive the great tribulation when He comes...

Make sense?  

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Truth of the Matter...

There are differing views on when Jesus is going to return and gather the church in relation to the great tribulation.  Only one position can be right.  The truth of the matter is, what is right is what He said about it. 

Monday, May 24, 2010

Latest Daniel Pics...

These were taken by Annie on a recent visit to Auntie Ruhiyyih's in eastern Washington.  I can't believe in less than a month he will be a year old!  I'm sure there will be more after his birthday celebration...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A timeless God...

...does not write material that will become outdated, needing to be reshaped to make it relevant to changing cultures and ideas.  God's Word is truth, timeless, eternal truth, just as He is timeless and eternal.    

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Never Get Over It!

"A God who chose you before time, when only He existed, will not leave you victim to the time and tides of life...It is not by accident that as Paul begins his overture of blessing (in Ephesians), he opens with celebrating the blessing of being chosen." - Kent Hughes

God thought about you, loved you, and chose you to be His own before He created the world, when only He existed.


I agree with Kent Hughes, Paul could never get over it and neither should we!

The sovereignty of God in salvation should increase our trust in Him and should produce in us profound humility, jubilant thanksgiving, and devoted service to Him.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Believer's Destiny

This is the time of year when Hallmark comes out with its line of graduation cards.  High school graduates are moving on to college and college graduates are moving into careers.  Some are probably thinking, especially in the current job climate, what does the future hold for me?  Will I be able to even find a job?

There is good news in our uncertain times.

The believer can know, with absolute certainty, their future.  When God chose you He had a purpose...

...that you would become a child of God.

...that you would become part of His family.

...that you would become an heir of all He owns.

...that you would take on the family likeness. are destined to take on the character of God, your Father, the character of holiness and blamelessness. 

For the believer, our lives are growing into an absolutely sure and glorious future with God.  There are no unimportant days for us.  We don't ever have to lay our heads on our pillows at night feeling like we are going nowhere.  We don't ever have to give in to the lie that we are not connected to an awesome purpose.  We are connected to the greatest purpose that exists...praising the glory of God's grace throughout eternity!   

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Here he is!  Meet Charlie.  In case you were here earlier, the original title of this post was Baby Hall but after writing my post Ben and Mai announced that the baby's name is Charlie.  He is being named after my dad, his great-grandfather.  Mai had an ultrasound today.  She is about twenty-two weeks along and Charlie is due on September 17th.  Thank you Lord for this precious little life.  Draw Charlie to Yourself at an early age.  Give him a heart for You and Your Word.  May he desire to walk in Your ways and may he love You with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength.

(I can only imagine the mischief Charlie and Daniel will get into someday...)

Monday, May 17, 2010

My New Adventure

This is Nicole, and she is going to be part of my new adventure.  She is in the high school Sunday School class at my church.  As of June 6th, I will be her new Sunday School teacher!  Nicole is graduating from high school and I had a photo session with her on Saturday for her senior pictures.  She is sticking around for the summer before she heads off to college, so she will by my student for a couple of months.  I visited the class yesterday.  The outgoing teacher introduced me to all the kids.  There are about ten and I think the boys outnumber the girls by two to one.  They are bright, funny, and eager to learn.  I am putting together my lesson plans for the summer.  My prayer for these kids is that they develop a heart for the Word, their view of God will be enlarged through our time together in the Word, and they will be motivated for service, longing to offer the Lord their love and obedience, out of gratitude for the His great gift of salvation to them.  So, I would imagine my blog posts will center much around my study time for my lessons! 

Nicole, Saturday was fun.  Looking forward to being your teacher, at least for a couple of months!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My Trip to California - Album Three

One of my mom's most favorite thing to do in all the world is go for a walk out in God's creation.  That is just what we did on Monday.  This last album was shot at Heritage Park, just a fifteen minute drive from my mom's house.  At one end of the park is a pedestrian foot bridge, or an elevated walk-way over the main street next to the park.  All along the bridge are pictures of the history of the area.  They were fun to look at.  At the other end of the bridge was a Starbucks, oh yeah!  As always, this visit flew by way too fast but was oh so much fun!

To enjoy the album, click here.

My Trip to California - Album Two

The reason for my trip to California was to honor my mom, to be with her to celebrate Mother's Day.  Just a month ago we nearly had to say good-bye.  She suffered a pulmonary embolism after having cancer surgery and ended up in critical condition.  Well, as you saw in album one the Lord spared us much grief and she is now the picture of health!  Still tires easily but so much better than when I left her last month.

On Saturday, the day before Mother's Day, my mom's church held a waffle brunch.  (I was good and ate my oatmeal before...)  My sister Betty Ann was the program.  She had written a script, taking literary license regarding the story of Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, with nuggets of truth woven in.  It was like a reader's theater.  She also sang along with the script and had the audience sing along in places as well.  My sister Sherry sang a couple of duets with her.  (It was just beautiful, Betty Ann!)

That is where album two begins, at my mom's church.  

The second part of the album was shot on Mother's Day.  Karin hosted all of us.  We had a potluck/bar-b-q in the evening.  The weather was a bit too chilly to eat outside so we set up tables in her living room.  I love her decor.  She has all the old family pictures up on her walls.  You will see them, including a couple of my grandmother and great-grandmother, who I mentioned in Album One.  As is our tradition, we sang the doxology before our meal, something I treasure.  After eating we went outside and took some family shots.  It was such a fun day!

To enjoy the album, click here.

My Trip to California - Album One

I have three albums for you, each with less than one hundred images so they won't take long to go through, but I will give them to you one at a time.  The first one takes you to Dr. Corey's home, President of Biola University.  This was where the Board of Trustees met and included in their agenda for their May board meeting to honor my mom for her thirty-two years of service to Biola as she prepares to retire at the end of June.

How 'bout you grab a cup of coffee...I think I'll tell you the story of how Biola has been in our family for nearly one hundred years.

I was in my third year at Biola when my mom began working as a secretary.  But my mother's story about Biola actually begins with my great-grandmother, Edith Gold Wallace.  In 1918, she obtained a position at Biola in the business office.  My great-grandfather had died as a result of becoming ill while fighting in the Spanish/American War.  My great-grandmother had to go to work to support herself and my grandmother, Dorothy.  They moved into the women's dormitory, the Willard Hotel.  (In the next album, you will see a picture of my great-grandmother and my grandmother.)  She was employed by Biola for twenty-three years, where she retired in 1941 as the superintendent of the women's dorm.

Fast-forward approximately thirty-five years to my mother. 

After living as a homemaker for twenty years my mother found herself in a similar situation where she had to go to work to support her five children.  She only had a high school degree and little experience.  She started out at a plumbing and heating company while my grandmother watched my younger sister and brother.  I was in high school as well as my older brother and Karin.  My mom switched to Thermador Waste King, the company that makes garbage disposals.  It wasn't the greatest working environment, but she needed to provide for her five children.  My future sister-in-law was working at Biola when I was in my third year there.  We were new friends (I met Tim through her, but that is a whole other story for another time!), and she told me about the secretarial position.  We didn't think my mom had much of a chance, but we encouraged her to apply anyway.  I loved the thought of her being out of a secular environment and working with other believers. 

She was extremely nervous for the interview and as she sat waiting she saw a spider crawl across the desk in front of her.  She reached out and squished it with her finger!  The secretary of the personnel office leaned over to the interim personnel director and whispered, "I don't care what she's applying for, hire her!"  (True story!)  She had so little work experience but she had done a lot of volunteer work and could type seventy words a minute...on a typewriter...she got the job!

It was the Lord's doing, of course.

Thermador Waste King offered my mom a raise to keep her, which would pay her more than Biola, but she turned them down.  She could not forget the warm feeling at Biola.  Her new boss had even prayed with her, unheard of where she had been working!  She took the job at Biola and her very first week she not only answered phones and wrote letters, she proctored a chemistry test for Dr. Crawford, her new boss, who was also a chemistry professor!  (I didn't do so well in Dr. Crawford's class...I was a nursing major at the time...decided to switch to Education and become a teacher...a good move on my part!)  Three months after being hired by Biola, her boss became the Vice President.  He loved my mom's work so he took her with him as his secretary.  Eventually my mom became secretary to the President, and for the last fifteen years has been secretary to the Board of Trustees.  My mom even got to sign the Big Red Book that contains Biola's doctrinal beliefs.  In that book are also her mother and her grandmother's signatures. 

The Lord through Biola has been so faithful to my mom and to our family.  My niece, Lauralyn Koontz, recounted God's blessings to our family through Biola at the dinner.  The biggest blessing for me was when the president, Dr. Cook at the time, was by my mom's side as my step-father was lingering near death after a heart attack while on a cruise to Alaska with all the board members.  Dr. Cook called me and told me what was happening and then prayed with me.  You will see Lauralyn in the album, behind the famous Biola podium.  Lauralyn is a sophomore at Biola, set to graduate in 2012, and when she was finished Dr. Corey said he'd never heard a senior give such a moving speech, let alone a sophomore.  One of the board wives shouted when she was finished, "Do it again!"  There weren't many dry eyes when she closed with the words, "My goal tonight is to express to all of you my family's gratitude to Biola in all it has done for my family.  So thank you!  And I'm proud of you Gramma, and I love you."

Enjoy the album by clicking here.  (And by the way, the cheesecake that was served...was to die for!)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

Mother, you are beautiful, both on the inside and the outside!

Love from Kathy

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die the current Piper book I'm reading.  Just want to pass along this nugget from chapter 12 - To Take Away Our Condemnation.

The world will bring its condemnation.  They may even put their sword behind it.  But we know that the highest court has already ruled in our favor.  "If God is for us, who can be against us?"  (Romans 8:31)  No one successfully.  If they reject us, He accepts us.  If they hate us, He loves us.  If they imprison us, He sets our spirits free.  If they afflict us, He refines us by fire.  If they kill us, He makes it a passage to paradise.  They cannot defeat us.  Christ  has died.  Christ has risen.  We are alive in Him.  And in Him there is no condemnation.  We are forgiven, and we are righteous.  "And the  righteous are bold as a lion" (Proverbs 28:1)

If they afflict us, He refines us by fire.  I love that.  To the one who does not have spiritual eyes, it may look like we are being defeated but to those with spiritual eyes God is absolutely on the throne and in control, working out our sanctification...  

No one can be against us, successfully.

Having a great visit with my family.  Lots of fun pictures to share when Tim and I get home...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

California, Here I Come...

...right back where I started from...the traffic, the earthquakes, ooooh what fun!

Hey Everyone (my faithful four),  Tim and I are headed to LA bright and early in the morning.  My mom is retiring from Biola University as Secretary to the Board of Trustees after thirty-one years of service.  She is being honored at the May Board Meeting and Tim and I get to be there for the great event, along with all of my other siblings.  I will be returning with plenty of pictures, I'm sure.  Karin has our schedule pretty full so I don't plan on posting any new entries until we get back, unless there is an earthquake, but if it's big enough there won't be any power...  So, just want to wish all you mothers a great Mother's thankful and excited I get to be with mine.  Be sure and give yours a great big hug if you are able, or give her a phone call and tell her how much you love her!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Isaiah 66:1-2/John 14:23

   ISAIAH 66:1-2
   Thus says the LORD, 
     "Heaven is My throne and the earth is My footstool.  
   Where then is a house you could build for me?  
     And where is a place that I may rest?  
   For My hand made all these things, 
     Thus all these things came into being," 
   declares the LORD.  
   "But to this one I will look, 
   To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, 
     and who trembles at My word.' "

We need to have big thoughts of God, really, really big thoughts...and a proper view of ourselves in relation to Him.  This great and awesome God is mindful to the people of His creation but we are given a condition or prerequisite for this to happen.  It is with the person who humbles himself before God, in one whose heart is tender and broken over their sin, and takes His Word seriously.

JOHN 14:23   Jesus answered and said to him,
     "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word;
   and My Father will love him,  
     and We will come to him and make Our abode with him."

The one who takes His Word seriously and obeys it, is one who loves Jesus.  The Father loves the one who takes Jesus Word seriously.  Here then is a most staggering truth.  The great and awesome Godhead will make Their abode, will rest, with the humble, contrite, and obedient.

Let that fill your heart with wonder and praise this morning...