Posted in birds, childlike faith, children

"Birds make me laugh"

The cafeteria at school is crowded with first and second graders. It is full, and it is loud. VERY loud. It has to be, with nearly 200 children talking even at a normal level, trays banging, feet shuffling, and forks tinkling.

There is this first grade boy who is quiet. He doesn’t speak much, and when he does it is in a soft-spoken voice. He is sensitive and artistic. He has a kind heart and loving eyes.

He raised his hand today and he had something to say. I came over, expecting him to ask me the usual, please open my ketchup packet, or I dropped my fork and I need another. Instead he said,

“I saw birds at my house.”
“What kind of birds did you see?”
“I saw a blue jay!” he said happily. “I saw a robin, and a red bird, and crows.” He looked very pleased about this.
I said, “The red bird is a cardinal.”
“OH! I saw ducks too. We have a pond. And some other birds I forgot.”
“Yes, ducks are birds. What do you like about birds?”

“Birds make me laugh.”

To be touched by the simplicity and beauty of birds singing and flying about your yard is, to me, a response to the Creator in childlike faith.

A childlike faith means that the child sees the wonder of God as the bible says. Children intuitively understand the connection of creation to the Creator.

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)

Even as the creation groans for its Creator, it still does what it is supposed to do- bring Him glory. And they do it.

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
Who among all these does not know
that the hand of the Lord has done this? (Job 12:7-8)

Posted in children, rapture, sin

How society is polluting the children with sin instead of correcting them

I am writing two other blog entries for today and tomorrow that are related to the season, but in between this has been on my mind. Kids.

I work with small children. I used to be a teacher and now I am a teacher’s aid. I love being around kids, listening to what they say, watching what they do. I love how they learn, and best of all is being a part of opening up the world of literacy for them. Even tying their shoes and wiping their noses is satisfying because it helps them. I especially love working with them in the faith setting, teaching them about Jesus, because their faith is sure and innocent.

Though children are not sinless, they are declared innocent. In Deuteronomy 1:39 we read about little ones who have no knowledge of good or evil. There’s a point in life when you don’t have conscious knowledge of good or evil, you haven’t reached that condition of accountability before Holy God. Isaiah 7:16 says the same. Based on those verses and others that tell me there is an age of accountability, and prior to that, a child’s deeds are not held against him.

But children DO sin. Oh, yes. Make no mistake. I believe that in former times, children were more innocent and less sinful and willful early in their lives than they are now. The rampant sin that has polluted the earth has touched the hearts of children at an earlier and earlier age. When I began teaching in 1982 I never saw what I am seeing now. Let me give some examples.

There is a video going around called something like ‘bed time bandit’. It is a short video of a two-year-old boy who is covetous of his sister’s pillow pet. He had kept going into his sister’s room to steal it at night, so the parents said to the sister, ‘lock your door.’ (Nothing is said of how they punished the brother for stealing it in the first place.) Even though she locked it, the sister still insisted the brother was stealing the pet. So the parents set up a video camera to watch what was happening at night. Not to be thwarted in his coveting of the item, the boy devised a plan when confronted with the locked door. The video depicts what unfolded…

The boy emerges from his room at night, gripping a pair of opened fingernail clippers. He carefully closes his bedroom door, I surmise so that the light wouldn’t alert anyone. He spends a few moments carefully picking the lock of his sister’s door, and when successful, goes back to his room to replace the clippers. I surmise he did this so as not to be caught with the tools of breaking and entering. Then he goes in, grabs the toy, and scuttles out, all the while silent in his footie pajamas and silently closing all the doors behind him. The video ends with his parents laughing.

I’m not laughing.

The boy devised a plan to thwart his parents’ orders, and to illegally enter a place he was told not to go to get a thing that was not his. He thought about this plan for a while, so we have malice aforethought. He was studious at every step of the way, in replacing the clippers, being quiet, and closing the doors, so we have stealth.

How often does a two-year-old have the fine motor skills to pick a lock? How much mental energy was given over to decide which tools would do the job? He didn’t choose a knife, or a screwdriver or a fork or a stick. He selected just the right tool because he spent time thinking about it first. How often does a two-year old have the patience to perform a minute fine-motor task, in the dark??

What happens when the kid is sixteen and he wants some beer from a locked store? Or to change his grades which are on a computer behind a locked office?

And what does that tell the sister, that she has to lock her door against her brother just to be safe in her own home? And how safe is it to have a child sleeping in a locked room…what if there is a fire?

Here is second example I thought was repugnant. It is called “Tooth Fairy fake-out.” A little girl who has lost her tooth explains to her mother that she has devised a plan to ‘trick the tooth fairy’. She will trick the tooth fairy because she wants to keep the tooth but she still wants the money.  She decided to roll up a piece of paper and put that under her pillow instead. She is quite happy with that plan.

Until the next day, when instead of the money she expected, she received a ‘ticket’ from the tooth fairy. She was furious.

Thirdly, on the playground I overheard a discussion. Several kindergartenters were fussing because one of them had been told that they could not be on stage. (There is a concrete pavilion with picnic tables they use for various purposes). The child was mad because she had been told by another child that she “was a no-talent and couldn’t be on the stage with the rest.” She was angry and said that she had plenty of talent. I pondered that for a while. I wondered, where do kids get the idea of talent and no talent and stages and performing and talk to each other like that?

Ohhh. Now I see- it is the effects of the Simon Cowell-like barbs and insults. Kids watch these reality talent shows like Dancing with the Stars and The Voice and American Idol and watch the adults shame each other at another’s expense. Then they repeat that behavior on the playground.

I don’t blame the kids. They’re kids. And the  pervasive influence of instant video that captures moments like these and social media which repeats them are also helping to serve up sin on a silver platter. In 1982 when I began teaching, there were no video recorders, or internet. I’m sure that these behaviors still happened, but they weren’t replicated and they certainly weren’t celebrated, or rewarded!

No, kids are kids. They model their behavior after watching us and by what they are taught. Sometimes they are actively taught to sin, as in the above cases.

How so, you ask? Well, the family of the child who tried to cheat the tooth fairy was given $100,000. They were the big winners of the America’s Favorite Video contest and feted with confetti and streamers and prizes and affirmation. “Cheat and lie, win money!”

Not the tooth fairy family, but you get the idea…

It isn’t the kids fault, but parents. They are teaching sin, accepting it, laughing about it, and getting money for it. Kids aren’t sinless but they learn how to handle sin from us. And we are failing them.

I pray for the rapture to come. I say that unashamedly. What Christian would not want to be with Jesus in person, given a choice? Away from sin and disease and in glory and perfection? But I also pray for it on behalf of the children. They are suffering so badly. Not just the ones who are actively being abused, neglected, abandoned and killed in the womb. (or outside of the womb). But I pray for the ones who are abused by sinful adults who do not teach the child the way he should go. (Proverbs 22:6). Who celebrate their sin and profit from it instead of teaching them God’s statutes.

“Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.” (Proverbs 29:17)

Won’t it be a beautiful thing when children can be brought to the Lord Jesus in the Millennium, and they can learn directly from Him?!?!

Meanwhile, I say that the children are polluted with sin from birth and it is up to us to train them in righteousness, not capture it on video and celebrate it. Why pollute the children more?

Posted in aleppo, children, end time, rapture

The end time through eyes of a child

I work with five-year-old children for my job. It’s with kindergarteners at a public elementary school. I love children and I contend that I have the best job in the world.

Sometimes it’s a little disheartening, though. I just want the best for every kid, and some kids never get the best. Enough said.

The Lord is THE most sensitive about children. He spoke much about them and this is recorded in the bible. We know one of the most famous verses about children:

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.” (Psalm 127:3-5)

“When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.” (John 16:21). Therefore you can guess what the Lord thinks of abortion…just sayin’.

“Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.” (Proverbs 17:6)

Look at the scene here in Mark 9:35-37-

“And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”’

Not just what He said but the scene. Picture it in your mind. Jesus had been teaching The Twelve all day and then they came to the house at Capernaum where they stayed. He continued teaching. And to illustrate His point, “He took a child”. So I ask, what child? Where did the child come from? Luke 9:47 says the child “was by His side.” Usually didn’t the children remain outside the adults’ purview, especially when important matters were being discussed? Yet Jesus hadn’t dismissed the child when He continued teaching the Twelve inside the house.

The idea there was that children are weak, powerless and innocent. You come to the Kingdom like that, with no achievements, no portfolio of awards, nothing to commend one’s self. Like a child.

Susannah Wesley, the mother of John and Charles Wesley, raised seventeen children and had these words to say about raising children: “The parent who studies to subdue [self–will] in his child works together with God in the renewing and saving a soul. The parent who indulges it does the devil’s work, makes religion impracticable, salvation unattainable, and does all that in him lies to damn his child, soul and body forever” (cited in The Journal of John Wesley [Chicago: Moody, n.d.], p. 106).

In other words, children are important to Jesus.

I follow a guy on twitter who tweets from Syria. As you know, the situation there is one of chaos, strife, hunger and war. The rebellion against Dictator Bashar al Assad has been going on for two years and there is much shelling in all areas of the nation, including Damascus (Isaiah 17:1) and Aleppo, one of the largest cities in Syria. The gentleman posted the following last night:

A young child who looks to be about age 12 is interviewed after a rocket barrage had destroyed his neighborhood in Aleppo. The set of his chin, struggling mightily to not cry, the dignity and the cut-to-the-heart question of “Why”, brought tears to my eyes.

I post this not to depress you but that though we are mindful of the times, let’s also be mindful of the people. Especially the children. When we in America say ‘man up’ to a young kid usually we mean get along without your cell phone for half a day. ‘Man up’ for this boy means pulling out dismembered cousins from the rubble of their home and telling his father he is not injured so as to spare him further worry.

Please be in prayer for the people of Syria, and all children around the world who are experiencing unimaginable hardship, who don’t know Christ and don’t understand why this is happening.

Reporter: “Tell us what happened.”
Boy: We were sleeping. It was about 10 pm. At a point we heard a sound coming from above and we said get out of here. I screamed to the people to help me but those were the people who needed help. We entered and pulled out my brothers, cousins. 40 have gone. My grandfather’s family members have gone. The missile fell on their home, and there was a leg and there was a…what can I say to you? My grandmother was in 4 pieces, my aunt “flew away” because we have not found her. We don’t know. I just want to know, why is he shelling us? For the law of the powerful over the weak? Only for that?”

He goes on to say that though he was injured, he did not want to tell his father, who was having enough trouble with the situation. Throughout, he manfully tries not to cry.

Gabriele Galimberti photographed children around the world with their toys. That’s it. Accompanying each photo is a very short bio. That’s it. And though the photo is simple and the text is short, these photos are powerful in their storytelling.

Arafa and Aisha are twins. They sleep in the same bed, have the same clothes, go to school together and share the same toys. They live in a two-room house in which both of the rooms are bedrooms, and the kitchen and restroom are outside. The big photo above the closet is a portrait of the formal president of Zanzibar.

Bethsaida was born in Port-au-Prince where she has always lived in a house with her family since, almost 2 years ago, a big earthquake destroyed it. Her parents are both deaf and dumb but fortunately she’s not. Now they live in a camp site out of the city. The camp was built from an American NGO which works with deaf and dumbs, so in the camps almost 90% of the people can’t hear and talk. All the toys that Bethsaida has are donated from the NGO. She wants to be a hairdresser and loves combing her doll to practice, but unfortunately her brother has cut off half of the hair of the doll.

Chiwa lives in a small hut with her mother, father and sister. They don’t have electricity and running water. Chiwa used to help her mother to carry water at home from the river. In the village there are other 50 children (more or less) and they always plays all together outside. Chiwa has just 3 toys that some volunteers of a NGO gave to her when she was born. Her favourite is the dinosaurus because she says that he can protect her from the dangerous animals.

Tangwizi was born in a Masai village in the south of Kenya in a small hut made of dung and straw. His bed is made of a few rags on the ground. He always plays outside with all the other children of the village but every night he sleeps together with his unique toy: a little pelouche monkey.

Kalesi loves to cook for her dolls using her small cook tools and the mud from the garden. She has an older brother which goes to school every morning and she love to pretend to go to school too. She puts small toys and some paper in her back pack (the one from transformers is her favourite one) and she goes in the garden where there is a small table that she uses as a school desk.

Niko was born in a small town in the mountains of Alaska in the Kenai peninsula. His father is a fisherman and his mother is a teacher. Niko loves to play with Legos and similar games. He built a small Lego spaceship and likes to imagine he’s bringing little men up to space.

There are many more photos at the link. They are wonderful.

The end time is a time when mature Christians pray and sing and anticipate with joy the coming of the Lord to remove us from this earth and bring us to glory before the Tribulation. Often, this attitude is mocked by others who call us escapists, or weaklings. Aside from being the wrong attitude to have (because every Christian should want to be with the Lord more than cling to the sinful world and the things in it) I say that why wouldn’t we want the rapture to come…if that means that all the children will finally be safe??

Though the bible does not specifically address the issue of children being taken in the rapture, I believe it is consistent with the implicit verses in the bible, and consistent with the character of God’s mercy to take the children and babies in the rapture. GotQuestions thinks so as well.

O, come, Lord Jesus, remove us, and the children from the world. Its sinful effects are so towering and so devastating, and wear the most on those least powerful or able to comprehend.

Posted in children, jesus, newtown

Jesus and children (thoughts of Newtown)

On Thursday, the day before the Newton Elementary School shootings, in which an entire kindergarten class of five years olds was massacred by a 20 year old boy, the Lord was preparing me to write about children. He was bringing to mind two precious incidents that had occurred in my life regarding children and the purity of their belief in Jesus. I prayed,  I cherished the memories, and I wrote the draft. Then I waited. Little did I know that a horrible massacre would punctuate and underscore these memories, imbuing their specialness by the heartbreaking loss of innocent life in Connecticut. I wrote more about it yesterday, the day it happened, and used scripture, here.

Jesus loves the children. They are precious to Him. Unlike in many societies where the children are not even named until age five because of the death rate, or in other societies where they are chattel, or still in others where the girls are left exposed to elements because they are an undesirable gender, Jesus cared for them uniquely as precious members of society and urged His believers to do the same.

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” (Psalm 127:3)

God personally makes every child that ever was or is to be:

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalm 139:13-16).

The LORD sends angels to minister to the little ones:

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 18:10)

There is a place Jesus is preparing where all the children will be safe from dangers:

“The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6).

At times like these, many Christians wonder if children who have not professed Jesus go to heaven upon their death. The biblical evidence, though implicit and not explicit, seems to say yes. In Deuteronomy and other places in the Old Testament, the word innocent is applied to children. Not that they are not guilty of sin, because we emerge from the womb as such. But that their guilt has not yet been applied to them because they cannot cognitively understand their sin via two revelations God gives us: conscience and His holiness and our sinfulness as revealed in nature. Here is an essay about it-

Do babies and others incapable of professing faith in Christ automatically go to heaven?

Two incidents in my life with children after I’d come to know Jesus stand out to me. Rather than the world’s claim that children are browbeaten and brainwashed into believing in Jesus, it is actually the adults who are brainwashed and browbeaten into NOT believing in Jesus. Belief in Jesus is intuitive and pure in the children who do profess.

I work in a kindergarten as a teacher’s aide. A few years ago at Christmastime, the teacher was teaching a unit on the customs of Christmas from around the world. There were two five-year-olds who had professed Christ and any believer could immediately see the difference in their behavior and their spirit compared to the kids who had not professed. Anyway, they were sitting on the rug watching a short video on the Nativity. The kids saw the part where the angel led the three wise men to the boy Jesus, and some kids began a quiet but fervent discussion about what the light actually was. Some said a star. Others said a comet. Others said a planet. The two saved children said,

“It was an angel. The angel had the light from heaven wrapped around him and the light led the wise men.” All discussion stopped cold for a good ten seconds. Then it resumed, with denials of the angel idea from all the unsaved kids. The two saved kids just looked at each other from across the carpet, smiled peacefully, and put a thumbs up, nodding their belief to each other.

How many times are we told in the bible to act just that way? To tell the truth in love, gently and with meekness, fellowship with each other, not to argue, and to share the love of Jesus in peace and goodwill to men? They did, and in addition, their perception was amazing. An angel?! Why didn’t I think of that? And a little child shall lead them…

In another case, I was teaching bible study to 6-to-8-year-olds at church. I always encouraged the kids to bring their bible with them. When I taught the passage we always opened the bible and read from the bible and not just the curriculum. I wanted them to get into a habit of being responsible for handling their bible in church, and in reading the actual verses for themselves (mini-Bereans).

LOL, they were young and it took a long time for us three teachers in the room to get them all opened to the same page. It was hard for them at first to find the verse and then to not lose their place while the other kids found it. But you would not believe how much zeal they exhibited in wanting to bring their bible and delighting in reading the verses for themselves. The eight year olds had an easier time of it than the six year olds. This particular evening we were studying Psalm 100.

There was one 8 year old boy sitting in front of me on the floor. He had opened verse Psalm 100:1 and he began reading it while the others were getting settled. He whispered,

“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.”

He stopped reading. He looked aside, and paused. Then he whispered to himself, “I like that. I don’t know why I like it, but I do.”

This is a miracle.

We don’t get to see Jesus create fish and bread for thousands. We don’t see Him restoring sight and making the lame to walk. We do not see Him walk on the raging sea or change water to wine. But nowadays we have the Holy Spirit. The miracle in this day and age is regeneration. The Holy Spirit is invisible, but His work is not. Seeing and hearing a boy apply truth to his heart is a wondrous thing. Watching the joy he received from reading truth in beauty while acknowledging it and honoring it, is a visible evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in a person.

Do we eagerly read, then pause? Ponder and consider? Understand and accept the Word’s beauty without first having to construct intellectual reasons why? Do we accept the Spirit’s work in us and proclaim it aloud? Do we accept the miracle of His living word into our hearts with peace and joy?

And a little child shall lead them.

I believe the children killed in Newtown CT are in heaven right now. As John MacArthur says, “instant heaven.” As we mourn them on earth, what is Jesus saying to those children in heaven? I don’t know, but perhaps the scene looks like this-

Children Coming to Jesus, by John Lautermilch
“Come my children! You must have been so scared. You’re safe now. I have so much to show you!”
Posted in children, newtown, shooting

Massacre of the innocents

How long, O Lord? [Additional thoughts here]

“Twenty-seven people, including 20 children, are dead after a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Another person was found dead at 36 Yogananda St. in Newtown, sources told The Courant. The shootings at the school took place in two rooms, one of which is a kindergarten classroom, sources said. One entire classroom is unaccounted for.”

Evil against children has always been in the world.

“Then the king of Egypt said to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was named Shiphrah and the other Puah, “When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women and see them on the birthstool, if it is a son, you shall kill him, but if it is a daughter, she shall live.” (Exodus 1:15)

But God heard Israel’s groaning–

“During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel—and God knew.” (Exodus 2:23-25)

Evil is still in the world.

“Then Herod, when he saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, became furious, and he sent and killed all the male children in Bethlehem and in all that region who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had ascertained from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more.” (Matthew 2:16-18)

But God hears their groaning and He sends a Comforter–

“Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.’ (John 16:7)

Posted in children, nephilim

Random thoughts: Nephilim, myths, comments, compassion, children, and Jesus the Christ

I am very intrigued by the Nephilim spoken of in Genesis 6. Many people are, and I always get a lot of views on any essay I publish about them. I might research some more about the days of Noah, soon. When I was in high school I was fascinated by Roman and Greek mythology. I studied it all. The Titans, the Olympians … Cronus was the leader and the youngest of the first generation of Titans, divine descendants of Gaia, the earth, and Uranus, the sky. He overthrew his father and ruled during the mythological Golden Age, until he was overthrown by his own son, Zeus and imprisoned in Tartarus. Tartarus in the bible as we know is the place where Peter described the fallen angels being chained up. (2 Peter 2:4)

I believe the ancient myths are a vestigial memory of the fallen angels, the “mighty men of old” (Genesis 6:4) coming to earth and having supernatural powers … and we know from the bible that they certainly did take the daughters of men, all that they chose. The myths reflect this lack of self-restraint too. That is practically all they did, always go after women who ended up bearing super-men half breeds like Hercules. Achilles, another demi-god, brings to mind the prophecy in Genesis 3, where God said to satan that satan will strike the heel, and in the myth the heel was the vulnerable spot (but just like all false religions, the truth is that the hero could not be overcome by striking His heel!!) It was just a temporary bruising, and Jesus crushed satan’s head through His death and resurrection on the cross.

So I think there is weighty cultural memory and man-made myths stemming from the influx of the original fallen angels and their first interaction with humans as described in Genesis 6. I think the pyramids and the South American ziggurats are results of their superior intellect in building them and using humans to make monuments of worship for them.

The bible doesn’t speak much of these events, just gives several tantalizing clues in a few verses. However we know that they and also man’s evil were the cause of the flood. So SOMETHING had to have been going on! It will be interesting if Jesus lets us know what really happened when we get to heaven…and we can resolve all these tantalizing glimpses into full knowledge.

On another topic, I want to explain what kind of comments I allow and what will prompt me to delete some. This is not a complete explanation but it is the basic benchmark.

Some people will write in and say “you’re crazy.” Or “you’re mental.” If that is all they write I delete it. If they conclude their own cogent argument with that I’ll usually allow it and respond.

Some people disagree with me by using a false and true misapplication of scripture to ‘prove’ their point. They’ll say, “Judge not!” or “Touch not God’s anointed!” or one of those oft-thrown around misunderstood and out of context verses. I will allow those and then explain the context of the verse and why they are using it incorrectly. I do both of the above so that others reading may learn an insight into the verse.

Some people write a long reply which shows me they are passionate about something, but say something in it that I just cannot allow to go forward. Yesterday someone wrote a long comment and there were many errors in their answer. That is OK, we’re all learning. We could have a discussion. But he concluded by saying “Jesus is not God.” I deleted it because arguing that would be a fulfillment of casting pearls before swine. (Matthew 7:6). If someone has an incomplete or incorrect understanding of a verse, that is OK and can be discussed. If someone has come to such a false conclusion about the basics of who Jesus is, there is no argument, he has already condemned himself. It is a case of the saved arguing with the unsaved, offering holiness to a person who has already rejected it. I will not participate in allowing such falsity to go out to the unsuspecting. Nope. And worse, usually people who say such things have a website attached to their comment, and so I won’t put that forward either.

Profanity never gets a pass. I delete those out of hand.

A new topic. This week was a really rough week. I work in a kindergarten section of an elementary school. We know that times are tight. Parents are stressed to the max to pay the bills to keep a home over their kids’ heads and to put food on the table. Kids sense this and more often not only sense it but know it because of the open discussions he parents have in front of them. Yet kids are powerless to change their circumstances. They feel tenuous because their family situation is tenuous. They worry. Sometimes that worry comes out physically and emotionally and it makes for an adventuresome day at school. Today was like that. Please have care and compassion for other people, and for kids. If you’re standing in line at a store or at a game or sitting in a restaurant, no one knows what the next person is going through, and everyone needs an extra dose of patience and for sure needs some love. Instead of mentally judging the parent or situation, pay their bill, or offer to help them with their groceries or simply smile.

In the middle of that tough week before our Spring Break, (which has started, yay!) here is a moment. Some of the kindergarten kids I work with had saved up their behavior rewards. If they save up for a short time they get ice cream or a pajama day. But if they save up for a long time they get the big prize, a pizza party. So they did, finally. They brought their beach towels and their sunglasses and we went outside on a 78 degree day with pizza and chips and soda. They spread their towels around and sat next to each other happily. They donned sunglasses and thought themselves so cool. They leaned back on elbows and looked at the clouds, saying “There’s a dog!” or “I see a turtle! The pizza was served and they ate all they wanted. Afterwards we were all just lounging on the grass, and suddenly they broke out in song. They sang under the sun, and when they finished they laughed delightedly. Children laughing under the sun in joy is a Godly gift for which I am always thankful.

Last, remember always that Jesus is sovereign, loving, and He is coming! He is my Light and My hope. He is someone I cling to, look toward, and reside in. He is my all in all. Without Him I am nothing but in Him I am made perfect because His power is in me and brushes aside my weakness and is His manifest glory. Everything I accomplish is made possible from Him. Thank you, Jesus.

Posted in bible jesus, children, millennium kingdom

If the Tribulation will be so horrible, why will God allow children to be born into it?

After the post I’d written about the news of child porn and the heinous acts from the California teacher, someone emailed with a very good question. I think those two articles and others like them, showing the deepening evil against our precious children in the world, makes us cringe to think of how bad it will be for them in the Tribulation. The question I was asked was, why will God allow children to be born during that terrible time?

It is heartbreaking to consider the heinous lives that children will live in the Tribulation. I can scarcely think on it.

Life has always been difficult for society’s most vulnerable. From even the beginning, the vast distance of time, children were sacrificed to Molech or to Aztec gods…made slaves…sold, given away. In the US in the 1800s Jacob Riis exposed the terrible child labor of kids working in dark factories and the awful societal conditions they lived in. Even today children are exposed to those same conditions, sold in Thailand, slaves in Indonesia, aborted in China…

Jacob Riis photo: Children sleeping in Mulberry Street (1890)

Let’s look at a couple of things. First, the facts. There will be children in the 7 year period known to us as the Tribulation (Matthew 24:21) but more properly known  by its title “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble.” (Jer 30:7)

It is supposed by many (me included) that unborn and children who are too young to to make a conscious decision for Jesus that the Lord will take them in the rapture. However, the Tribulation is 7 years long and others will be born afterward.

In warning the disciples about the Great Tribulation which begins as the antichrist tears up the peace treaty and begins his persecution of the Jews by standing in the Temple declaring himself to be God, Jesus says there will be babies and toddlers on earth at that time:

Matthew 24:19: “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!”

He also said that as it was in the time just before Noah entered the ark it will be similar on earth before He comes a second time to Judge it:

Matthew 24:38: For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark,

And if they are marrying then it is presumed that progeny will result. So there will be kids.

The second question becomes, then, why? Why will God allow babies to be born into such dangerous times? Well, as mentioned earlier, times have always been dangerous for children: When Herod sought to maintain his kingship, hearing the Wise Men tell of a new king, Herod killed every male child in the nation under the age of two. (Mt 2:16-18)

Egypt’s Pharaoh sought to kill all the firstborn boys of Israel, which was a nation within his nation by that time. (Exodus 1:17)

In Lamentations 4:10, women in the besieged city cooked and ate their own children.

Though the Tribulation will be a time of unequalled distress on the earth, for all of man’s history, children have been at times a disposable commodity. It will be no different in the future. That is the nature of sin on a cursed and dying world- the vulnerable are at most risk.

We can answer the question of why will God allow the children to be born into the Tribulation period three additional ways. First the practical way:

There will be people left alive at the end of the Tribulation to enter the Millennium. The saved enter it, but are unglorified, real flesh and blood people. Those who make it through will live during the 1000 years. Isaiah 65:10 says that anyone who dies at age 100 in that time will be thought of as a child and if they are still a sinner they will be forever cursed. People will live a long time and they will repopulate the earth. Additionally, all those entering the Millennium as a child and those who are born during the Millennium will be given opportunity to become saved. The resurrected saints of Israel who live in the Kingdom will not be able to procreate because they will be glorified. So that is the practical reason. Repopulation.

Secondly, at the end of that time, there will be a short rebellion. The bible doesn’t say much about how people are saved in the Millennium, but God in His grace and mercy will give everyone a choice, to accept Him or reject Him. At the end of the 1000 years, satan (who had been locked up in the abyss since the end of the Tribulation) is let out to do his worst among the Millennium people who are living at that time. (Rev 20:1-3)

When satan is let out, though the people have been living on a perfect earth with a perfect Jesus ruling and reigning, they still have a flesh nature and some will succumb to satan’s schemes. Rev 20:7-10 shows us:

“Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”

In His longsuffering, the people, babies, and children who enter the Millennium, and their progeny who come after them, but are not glorified, are given opportunity to accept Christ as savior. Perhaps though we are not told in the bible exactly how they are saved we can surely see that the children are given an opportunity to grow up and to magnify His glory by coming to Him as a sinner seeking forgiveness- as any person throughout time has had the chance to do. In the Millennium their salvation would be even more glorious because Jesus will be visible as the High Priest! (Hebrews 7:11-13; Psalm 110:4). He is the better priest! Though there will be sin in the Millennium there will NOT be any false religion, because satan is locked up, and Jesus is present on earth. All the children who grow up in the Millennium will know only truth as their religion.

Imagine what it would be like for a 6 year old, born during the Tribulation and never knowing goodness or peace or Light, and then growing up in the Millennium with Jesus as their God and Savior in person on earth! THAT would surely glorify Him! And perhaps the darker side is the ones who reject Him in the Millennium demonstrate to others how powerful a sin nature is and why it must be dealt with so harshly. But even this shows His glory because it shows His holiness.

Third, God is good. He is the very definition of Good. Everything He does is good. He is Light and in Him there is no darkness at all. So for whatever reason He is choosing to allow children to be born into a time of the worst suffering on earth there shall ever be or will be again, (Mt 24:21) it is Good, because everything He does is good. We just have to wait and see.

Posted in bible jesus, children, end of days. prophecy, end time, pole dancing

UK: three-year-olds being taught to pole dance

A year ago, I wrote “Sexualizing the young: the ‘Single Ladies’ little girls dancing controversy“. In that blog entry I’d shown that a certain dance number held in Los Angeles for little tots at a competition had sparked a controversy. The tots wore sexy lingerie and were dancing in choreographed moves that were sexual in nature. At that time I’d said, “He discusses the importance of marriage and having godly offspring in Malachi 2:13-14. To desecrate a little one by perverting them through sex for a dancing award is definitely not Godly. The main issue is the morality slide. Every time a benchmark line is crossed, non-believers say that there can be no absolute morality, but that the downward slide will certainly stop before it gets too bad. Right? Wrong. Man’s craven and fallen state means that he is led by satan and satan lives to destroy. His perverted depth knows no bottom. We will slide further and further down until…”

And now we have another example of how this fallen culture sexualizes their children. This time the offending region is in the United Kingdom, and it is about a pole dancing school for young girls, some as young as three years old. The UK Daily Mail reports:

“To the tiny students at this dance studio, the moves are totally innocent. In fact, they are being instructed in the sleazy art of pole dancing. And their age? As young as three. Child protection groups yesterday labelled these images from the classes ‘deeply disturbing’. Parents pay £5 an hour for their daughters to learn pole dancing at the Little Spinners classes. Instructor Carly Wilford insists it helps youngsters keep fit and boosts their self-esteem. But charity Kidscape warned it was another indication of the growing sexualisation of children, which has prompted Government-backed proposals to protect their innocence. Up to eight girls attend the weekly classes at the Make Me Fabulous dance studio in Northampton. The revelation comes a week after it emerged that a beauty parlour is offering make-overs and facials for children as young as one.”

“Trendy Monkeys in Brentwood, Essex, caters only for the under-13s. It offers to transform children with face masks, new hairstyles and lipgloss. The pole dancing lessons take place in a room decorated with pink feather boas and sparkling mirrors. They are advertised on a website which also promotes adult lessons, features pictures of lingerie-clad women and describes pole dances as ‘sexy, relaxing and invigorating’. The children, aged three to seven, learn moves including holding their legs in a V-shape while sliding down the pole.” More at link.

In this parable on prayer found in Luke 18:8, Jesus is speaking. “Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, “In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. “There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me legal protection from my opponent.’ “For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, ‘Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? “I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

We could just the same wonder if Jesus won’t ask, ‘However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find innocence on the earth?” “‘

I DO cry out. I cry out loud and long when I see our innocents abused and neglected and forgotten and worse, sexualized to conform to a craven culture. When I read stories like this I DO lose heart. But then I take solace in His promise. “He will bring about justice for them quickly.” The parable is explained this way, “surely be true to his promises; but the danger is that his elect – his afflicted people – will be discouraged; will not persevere in prayer; will not continue to have confidence in him; and will, under heavy trials, sink into despondency. The sole meaning of this phrase, therefore, is, that “there is more danger that his people would grow weary, than that God would be found unfaithful and fail to avenge his elect.” For this cause Christ spoke the parable, and by the “design” of the parable this passage is to be interpreted.” [Barnes Notes]

Pray, ye faithful. Never cease praying. Prayer is the lifeline that keeps us from despondency. The rapture is an event that is not prophesied to have a date, if it comes the next moment God would not have set aside His true promise therefore to come. The more of us who pray the likelier it will be He will arrive ‘quickly’.

I despair for our little ones, but then I re-draw myself into a soldier posture and I pray to Him whose promises are true. I trust His justice and I trust His soon coming. It is nearly unbearable now, Lord, but your timing is perfect. I know you will take your children, the adults you know are your children and the little ones who are the children of children, and you will sweep us up into your eternal arms where love and peace reigns forever. Not one more child will be abused. Not one more child will be unloved. Not one more child will be traded for sex. I am looking forward to that day, O Lord, and I cry out to you in faith, SOON COME!”

Posted in children, end of days. prophecy, end time

His Light is so bright in the children!

At Church Club we started a new unit this Wednesday called “God’s Creation.” I love how the Spirit is so alive in children. I love how they respond.

I told the kids that my unsaved friend didn’t think the bible was right because the bible says the sun  moon and stars was made on the 4th day, so there could not have been light on day 1. I said to the kids, listen to what God said, and you tell me the riddle. I read the creation account from Genesis 1.

As each day’s creation was made, I paused to list them on the white board.

Day 1: The heavens, the earth, light and darkness.
Day 2: Heaven
Day 3: Dry land, the seas, and vegetation.
Day 4: The sun, the moon and the stars.
Day 5: Living creatures in the water, birds in the air.
Day 6: Land animals and people.

As the verses were read, the kids were absorbing every scrap. Eyes wide, they hung on the words.

“Here is a riddle”, I said. “If the sun wasn’t made until the 4th day, where did the light on day 1 come from?”

5 seconds beat…

“GOD”! They shouted. “The Holy Spirit!” “Jesus!” “Because He is a light unto my feet and a lamp unto my path!”

Ta-DA! The kids know, they shouted it with no hesitation, and the ones that didn’t know, heard it from their PEERS. 🙂

The Spirit is in these kids. They understand intuitively about God, and creation. I thank all you parents who read the bible with them, and bring them to church, and be a Godly example to them. I thank the grandparents and the relatives and the classroom teachers and the Sunday School teachers for nurturing the seed of the Spirit in them. That no matter how tired you are…no matter how distraught or stressed, it makes SUCH a difference that you take the time to nurture the spark God put in all of us.

We are all born intuitively knowing about God. We immediately comprehend that we are a part of creation that is bigger than us, a creation that that was made and not evolved. Far from “church indoctrinating the children”, they already know. It is the world that beats it OUT of them. You are all making a difference in your children by being a good example in these tumultuous times. May His light shine that brightly in all of us.