Posted in new year, theology

When Every Minute is Golden Hour

By Elizabeth Prata

Aging isn’t easy. I’m entering my 60th year of age. My teeth are crumbling, my joints are aching, arthritis is thriving, my hair is graying, and my eyes are weakening. Yet my faith given by Jesus is growing, the Light is nearer, and the life He sustains is sweeter every day. I’ve had an immensely great year. I choose to overlook the inconveniences and difficulties, and instead praise the providential care of my God, given through my church, my colleagues at work, my friends, and likely His ministering angels. Continue reading “When Every Minute is Golden Hour”

Posted in new year, theology

Top ten articles and more!

By Elizabeth Prata

I can’t believe two decades have gone by since the infamous Y2K scare. I remember when 1999 turned to 2000. It was said that the world would end, since so many computers had used 2 digits instead of 4, like 99 instead of 1999, and that would crash all the world’s computers when it turned to year 2000. The computers would not know how to handle a prefix of 20 instead of 19. Or something. All I know is that we spent a mountain of money on toilet tissue, preparing to use it as barter money when the zombie hordes came looking for fresh meat. Or something. Continue reading “Top ten articles and more!”

Posted in new year, theology

2018 roundup and thank you

By Elizabeth Prata

Y2K! Stock up! Computers will crash! Hysteria!

That was the year-end feeling on December 31, 1999. It seems like yesterday that the millennium changed and we said goodbye to the 1990s and hello to the 2000s. Now we are looking at climbing into the last year of the second decade of the 2000s! Time flies, it really does.

My Plan for 2019

I started this blog in 2016 in response to a growing concern that increasing social media  mogul scrutiny into what they term ‘hate speech’ left my blogspot blog in perilous condition. If Blogger shut it down for hate speech I’d have lost a ten year archive of 4,600 Christian essays. So I started this blog as a mirror blog to that one. It’s the same content, though the oldest essays didn’t migrate to WordPress because they exceeded the limit.

I’ve been writing this blog every day for ten years. TEN YEARS! Can you believe it! My first essay on the blogspot was posted on January 6, 2009. The blog was born from a weekly newsletter I was composing and sending out via email in 2007-08. That was born from an increasing drift in content from secular essays to Christian ones on my other blog, The Quiet Life. I started that blog in 2006. When it became obvious that my main interest was Christian content, I started this blog so I could maintain a sole Christian theological focus and not mix in recipes or cat stories in it, lol, like I do on my personal blog.

So for 13 years I’ve been writing publicly.

It’s normal, I think, for a Christian blogger or anyone in any kind of ministry to occasionally wonder if it is doing any good. Is it edifying? Is it helping? Is it honoring to Christ? Or is it adding to the general confusion? Am I mature enough to handle the word of God in this public way? Should I quit? Does the Lord want me to move into a different ministry using the gifts of the Spirit in a different manner?

I’ve asked myself all those questions and more. Just because the Lord started me on this path doesn’t mean it’s a forever thing. I was asking myself those ‘take stock’ questions the other day. I received an answer. A kind lady emailed with some encouragement, letting me know that indeed some things I’ve written had alerted her to an unwanted spiritual state, had strengthened her, and had pointed her toward good ministries and sermons.

Not that we look for personal accolades, but we do look for Spirit delivered affirmations that we are obeying in the manner the Lord wants us to obey. I take to heart these signs that the Lord is pleased with the ministry and wants me to continue.

As long as there is even one woman out there who is edified, I’ll continue.

I love writing. I am grateful for this ministry and for the women who read it.

The outlook for 2019 is more writing. I’ll continue in the same vein as I always have been. I’ve tried to do schedules and write on similar topics on each day of the week, but that just doesn’t work for me. My style is more organic. I like waiting to see what the Spirit brings to mind. Don’t you think it’s amazing that for over 4,600 essays every day He has been faithful to bring something to mind? That’s one of the things I love about writing, the clear working of the Spirit to guide my mind into insights, or revealing biblical truths, or helping me adopt a biblical worldview instead of my formerly secular one.

The one series I do is of the more old-fashioned theological stuff I write on Sundays. I’ve been writing about the Word of the Week Since June. I fear a decrease in Christian literacy and a lack of mutual understanding of the important words of the faith. I had with a 22-year-old who was raised in a strong Christian home who was confused between what sanctification and justification meant. I decided on the spot to do my part in promoting the understanding of the important words.

I’ve written in the series that resulted, Word of the Week, about Justification, Transcendence, Immanence, Propitiation, Sanctification, Glorification, Orthodoxy, Heresy, Omniscience, Perspicuity, Aseity, and Immutability. Then in October I shifted to the Fruit of the Spirit, writing about each of the 9 characteristics in succession. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and last week, self-control. I enjoyed that series. I think the Word of the Week is a good Sunday kind of essay. As of now, I plan to continue it.

Launching off the Word of the Week I create scripture photos based on that word, my own visual interpretation of the word, to extend the theme throughout the week. I’ll keep doing the scripture pictures, too.

Top Ten Essays of 2018

The top essays this year on this blog (it’s different on the other End Time Blogspot blog, interestingly) are below. Here is the rundown-

1. Two divorce cases: Looking at Summer White and Melissa Moore’s divorces wase the number one essay on The End Time wordpress version. In that 2016 essay, I had examined the reasons for and behavior of two prominent women serving in Christian ministries that have a global impact: Summer White (daughter of James White) and Melissa Moore (daughter of Beth Moore). I’d explored the following questions:

If the adult children or the wife of a leader sins, does that mean the leader falls below biblical standard for acceptable leadership? When the children are minors and living under the leader’s roof, certainly there is no doubt since the scripture is clear. But what if the child is 22 years old? 32 years old? 42 years old? Certainly if the sinning adult child is involved in the parent’s ministry then that adult child should be asked to step away. When it was revealed that RC Sproul Jr. had been involved in the Ashley Madison adultery site, he was temporarily suspended from the ministry that was founded and is led by his father, RC Sproul Sr. The actions (sins) of the adult child do impact the ministry of the elder, especially if the younger is involved in the ministry. I’ve come across two situations where adult children of a leading Bible teacher have divorced: James R. White’s daughter Summer and Beth Moore’s daughter Melissa. Remember, divorce is a sin. It bears mentioning because Christians often focus on other ‘big sins’ to the exclusion of divorce.

2. The Home Page with archives was #2. People must have it bookmarked.

3. Lifestyles of the mega-rich pastors with estates and private jets: You’ll be shocked to see who is among them (OK it’s Beth Moore). The ridiculous extravagance of some of the word of faith preachers such as Kenneth Copeland, Jesse Duplantis, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen with their jets and mansions and vacation homes and gold commodes is well known. Less well known is that Beth Moore is reaching the same benchmark in greed and accumulated wealth. Using primary documents such as various city GIS maps with property valuations, IRS returns (all of which is public), and her own public words, I showed that undeniably Beth Moore is living a lifestyle far from her carefully presented one. Interestingly the number one search query leading people to this site is ‘Beth Moore Net Worth’. How much these non-profit ministries make and how the Bible teachers live is important. It’s a fact that Moore is not a down-home sister, but is in theology and in lifestyle more similar to Joyce Meyer and Victoria Osteen.

As a matter of fact 7 of the top 10 search queries that bring people to this blog involve Beth Moore. As I said, she looms large.

4. Is Billy Graham in heaven? The 99 1/2 year old evangelist died in February of this year. I posted the essay asking the question the same day. I used primary documents and quotations from the man to show that despite his world wide acclaim as a great evangelist, Graham held unorthodox views that seriously tilted the answer to the title question toward “no.” I’d ended the essay by saying-

“What I hope is that Billy Graham will be in heaven. What I fear is, that he is not.”

5. In 2016 I wrote about One more reason to avoid Lysa TerKeurst of Elevation Church

In case anyone wonders if discernment essays are still needed, they are. Two years after I wrote that essay women are still looking for information on Lysa’s ever growing ministry. Ladies please, please, just read your Bible. Most Bible studies aimed at women from the Christian publishing industry continually promote lies (Heaven tourism and God Spoke to Me genre), proffer error-ridden books (Beth Moore, Sarah Young), wind up diverting you from your own fellowship (Great Banquet/De Colores/Walk to Emmaus) or give you books and studies that simply weaken you. The mainstream publishing industry is not your friend. Neither are the parachurch organizations like If Gathering and the ladies ministry conferences glutting the market.

Go to church, read your Bible. Pray. Repeat. No matter how many ladies claiming to have heard from God tempt you to buy their books, there is no magic formula and there are no short cuts.

6. This year’s Book Review of Rachel Hollis’s juggernaut and seriously silly book Girl, Wash Your Face made it to #6. This was only 4 months ago, which tells you in the face of 411 other essays I wrote this year just how popular Hollis’s book was and is.

7.  Beth Moore looms large. Her publishing blitz since 1995 with the issuing of her first ‘study’, A Woman’s Heart – God’s Dwelling Place Bible, launched her writing career. By 2018 and 342 published materials later her glut goes unabated. Books, studies, Spanish editions, CDs and audio books, leader guides, fiction books, DVD’s, storm the Christian world year after disgustingly relentless year. In 2015 Moore even delved into acting, taking a speaking part in the War Room movie. She continues to make news, and not in a good way. In 2018 Moore tweeted something that insightful believers would know is effectually an anointing of Kevin Jones as a Third Adam.

Moore is seriously an evil influence on women in Christendom. I’ve collected a list discernment essays written by me, other women, and men who critique her ministry, doctrine, and lifestyle. The list begins in 2011 and goes to this day.  So, coming in at #7 is All Beth Moore Critiques in One Place

8. John MacArthur on the Ben Shapiro Show was published just a few weeks ago but widespread interest in the steady old pastor and his Gospel-drenched witness to Jewish tv show host Ben Shapiro drew thousands of views. For that I am glad.

9. My “About” page gets a lot of traffic. That’s good. People should be looking at who is writing this stuff, what I believe, and what credentials I have, if any. Check me out, email me with questions or concerns, and don’t just take my word for it, but always read with your Bible open and next to you.

10. Another discernment essay, this one about Ted Dekker and The Forgotten Way, rounds out the top ten list.

Blog Stats: The End Time is not an echo chamber, thankfully!

Capture3

This year saw a growth in the blog despite having started it just a year and a half ago and not doing anything active for search engine optimization, other than posting new content every day. And despite the glut of millions of blogs, articles, and podcasts all trying to draw the attention of the Christian consumer.

I’m grateful to the Spirit for that. It’s kind of dizzying when I think about what I write going all around the world in an instant. Between the blogspot blog and the wordpress blog this year there were 633,000 views of the material I’ve published.

I remember what John MacArthur said of his ministry when someone asked him if he ever thought it would go far,

Early in my ministry I committed, before the Lord, that I would simply worry about the depth of my ministry, and I would let Him take care of the breadth of it.

Facebook came on strong this year too. On the other blog, I received 49% of my referrals from Facebook and 28% from Pinterest. I don’t know how this plays out on WP because I don’t have the sme kind of stats pak, but I’m sure it’s consistent. That’s the trend. This shows me that the bulk of my readership is female and I’m glad, because ladies are my target audience. It also tells me to curate those social media outlets well.

Thank you for a great year!

Thank you to all my wonderful readers. I truly appreciate you and value you. I appreciate the people who have sent me questions or asked for advice, who have emailed encouragement and sent donations. Thank you for the donations! I am really grateful.

Thank you most of all for your prayers. I love this ministry. Sometimes when things get into a conflict and I have to go against popular opinion, it gets hairy. I am thankful for prayers to strengthen me. I also appreciate prayer that helps me stay doctrinal. Please, please don’t let me drift. That is an important prayer to pray for me, if you are so inclined.

I pray you all have a wonderful New Year! May this year be the year of the rapture!

Posted in discernment, new year, prophecy, spiritual gifts

Happy New Year of the Rapture!

I was saved in 2004 and then moved to GA in 2006 and the Lord put a heart for prophecy in me. I was firmly convinced in 2006 that 2006 would be the year of the rapture. I was convinced of it in 2007 and 2008 and 2009 and 2010 and 2011 and 2012 and 2013 and 2014 and 2015 and I say now, that 2016 will be the year of the rapture. Am I discouraged that these years have passed with no trumpet calling me bodily home? Not at all! I am MORE excited than ever! It just means that for ten times I’ve had the privilege of waiting and hoping expectantly for my Lord! It’s going to happen. It could happen any second! The Doctrine of Imminence is true. More on that below.

The New Testament is consistent in its anticipation that the return of Christ might occur at any moment. That pervading perspective of imminence prompts three questions. The first question pertains to whether the Tribulation will precede Christ’s coming for the church. The answer to that question is that it will not because the church is never asked to look forward to the tribulation, but they are asked to look forward to Christ’s coming. 

The second question revolves around how the return of Christ could have been imminent in the early church. The answer here is that no one but the Father knows when the coming will occur, so that Christians including the early church must always be ready. 

The third question asks why Christ’s imminent return is so important. This answer relates to the motivation it supplies for believers to purify their lives and thereby progress toward the goal of sanctification and Christlikeness. The threefold call of the imminence doctrine is to wake up and obey right now, to throw off the works of darkness, and to put on the garments of holy living. ~John MacArthur, Is Christ’s Return Imminent?

1. Wake up and obey
2. Throw off the works of darkness
3. Put on the garments of holy living

Could be good New Year’s Resolutions, couldn’t they! They could be resolutions for each of us, every year.

Our faith is one that knows it’s a body, with Christ as Head. He is the Head of the church and our membership means we individually have been uniquely placed within the body for the purpose of edifying other members and for worshiping the Head. The Doctrine of Imminence demands we retain a fervency and urgency in our walk and our witness. One way to retain that fervency is to live with the very present knowledge that whatever we are doing this moment could be completed in heaven the next. I could be facing Jesus any second. How can I honor him and His blood He shed? By living with Him and for Him, rousingly.

Moreover, I NEED the Doctrine of Imminence. I am a sinful woman. It would be easy for me to slip back to sinful ways I’d lived for four decades before salvation. In the daily and weekly grind of living, ministry can become tame, dull, routine. Though the word “fresh” is often misused these days, the fact is, living as a Christian can become a dull rut. Ministry can become a drudge. Being vigilant to stand guard against the enemy can become wearying. Diligence in spiritual disciplines can wane. I could click on auto-pilot very easily because that is what my flesh wants. And once on autopilot, I could then drift to peeking over the fortress wall to the sinful side, then soon enough I’m walking there. No! Let it not be so! Therefore I need to keep the Lord present in my mind and His soon appearing as a glorious promise and a dread threat. Though Christians are not under wrath or judgment, I would be devastated to disappoint Him and wind up throwing away any glory that could have been gained for Him just because I slacked off.

So, I keep the Doctrine of Imminence fresh and the knowledge that my Savior will come to get me any second in the forefront of my mind as both a heavenly hope and a sin-slowing brake.

In practical terms, as the New Year and a fresh start awaits, HOW can we retain that diligence, vigilance and purpose for the glory of Christ? By also remembering we are part of a BODY. My friend Pastor James Bell wrote,

The New Testament teaches us that Christ is THE HEAD of the church and we are members in vital union with vital ministry to each other– 1 Corinthians 12; Ephesians 4:11-16. But reading something in the Bible does not mean “experiencing” it. For the most part, churches today do not function as bodies in which all the members are connected to the Head and to one another in vital union and ministry. Frankly, I’m glad my own PHYSICAL body is not in the shape many churches are in— if it were: My mouth might start talking against my ears. My feet might stop listening to my head, My hands might run off and ‘join’ another body, etc! ~James Bell

I liked that phrase, “vital union”. The Lord may return any moment, but until then, we are in a vital union with other true members of the Body. How can I do my part? Here, Jack Graham wrote this devotional:

How to maximize your Kingdom impact in 2016December 30, 2015 

But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. If all were a single member, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. (1 Corinthians 12:18-20). 

Several years ago, I got suckered into buying one of those pocket knives that has everything on it you could imagine. It has a can opener, about five different sized blades, tweezers, a toothpick, a nail file, and screwdriver heads. If there was something you could use a pocket knife for, this one claimed it could do the job. 

But here was the problem: none of the tools on the knife worked very well. The blades were dull, the tweezers and toothpick fell out and got lost, and the screwdriver heads were so small that I couldn’t use them to turn a screw. 

The tool was so versatile, but didn’t do anything well. And as I look at a lot of Christians today, they’re a lot like that knife. So many are multi-talented and well-rounded, but they rarely commit to doing one thing really well. They’re spread so thin that their impact is minimized. 

As you step into 2016 this week, put your focus on one thing you want to do well in the coming year. Resolve to make a deep impact in one place. Do what you do well, and you’ll make a tremendous difference for the Kingdom in the coming year! 

CONCENTRATE ON ONE AREA OF KINGDOM IMPACT IN THE COMING YEAR AND WATCH GOD WORK THROUGH YOU IN A POWERFUL WAY!
– Jack Graham

God makes it known what your gifts are and what ministries He wants you in. It’s not a secret and you don’t need a decoder ring to find out. Where does your mind drift when you think about serving? To the children? To the music? To the facility maintenance? To the women? To the homeless? To deaconship or teaching?

What have other people said to you? “You have a heart for the little ones, all right.” “You seem to connect with the youth very well.” “The church looks fantastic, thanks for cleaning/mowing.” Just as men anoint the leaders, by having observed and can see what perhaps it takes our own selves longer to see, others will guide you, prompt you, and tell you where your gifts are and suggest ministry & service opportunities.

What are your God-given talents? Not spiritual gifts, talents, you’ve had all your life? Mine is writing. It was natural that once I was saved He would include me in ministries that involved research, promotional writing, web maintenance, exhortation in print, blogging, discernment papers answering questions the ladies ask, outlines, etc. I’ve been able to write all my life, now in ministry it was a no-brainer to use the talent as the foundation for the gifts of teaching, discernment, and encouragement.

Finally, though don’t do this last do it first, pray. Open your heart and mind in obedience to want to be used. Ask the Holy Spirit to place you. He will. He WILL, I promise, because He promised! (1 Corinthians 12:7-11).

Happy New Year of the Rapture to you all! He is coming soon!

EPrata photo