About That Day or Hour

There is no need to worry about when the world will end. It will not end before the Son returns. About that, Jesus said this:

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.

Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Matthew 24: 36-44)

Jesus tells us to not worry about when He will return. We should only consider that He will and we must be ready. It is wise, therefore, to always be ready.

Do not fret about the signs of the end times (you cannot predict His coming).

Do not worry about predictions man makes (not even Jesus knows the day or the hour).

We should not worry about when it will happen. We already know that it will.

Are you ready?

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Hike to the Falls

Things to Do With Your Husband #10: Take a Hike

Over the weekend, we took a one-night camping trip to Petit Jean State Park. Since our honeymoon there over two years ago, I wanted to return and hike the Cedar Falls Trail that is rated “moderate” for its steep, rocky steps and path that leads to the bottom of Cedar Falls. After checking into our campsite and having a quick lunch, we drove to the trail head which begins behind Mather Lodge.

Mather Lodge overlook

Cedar Falls Trail head

We began the descent on steps cut from the rocky mountain face more than 50 years ago by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The first 1/2 mile is a winding path that ends 200 feet below in the canyon of Cedar Creek. We passed huge stacks of rocks…

looking up

… and came to a rickety metal bridge spanning Cedar Creek.

one-lane bridge

The creek wasn’t flowing very much, but we would occasionally spot small pools of green-blue water littered with orange, red, and yellow leaves.

leaves

Finally, the pay-off for the walk: beautiful Cedar Falls. The water falls more than 90 feet into the canyon with high rock walls, like a bowl holding a stunning, deep pool of green below.

waterfall

pretty pool below

There were many people around, but we took a rest on a large rock, taking in our surroundings. Then, we began the hike back up, which was noticeably more difficult, but totally worth it. I was so proud of myself for making the hike. We enjoyed the sights and sounds; we oohed and aahed over the fall foliage, trickling creek, and huge boulders performing balancing acts on the path’s edge.

Bonus photo: we spotted some tiny carpet rocks on the way back!

size comparison: toe of a boot

I am so glad we were able to hike this trail after two years of regretting we didn’t before. It was difficult, but completely worth it. If there is something you are regretting not doing, I encourage you to speak with your husband about it–see if it would be possible to try again. For a long time, I didn’t tell Nate because I worried about his reaction. I worried he would think me silly for regretting something like that. He didn’t, though. He understood and was eager to give me an opportunity to try.

The Heart: Part 2

Yesterday, I told you that from our heart, our emotions escape us (most often out of our mouths, but in other ways too).

In the same way that we can follow emotions from the heart to our outward expressions, we can trace every behavior and expression back to the heart. In this way, every sin or foolish act is a heart issue. If we want to deal with that sin or folly, we have to examine the heart.

A murderer first sins in the heart, usually by allowing anger to dwell there. An adulterer first sins in the heart, by not repenting of jealousy or lust. A thief first sins in the heart, coveting; a glutton, maybe by allowing sadness to take up residence in the heart. By not evicting negative emotions, we sin.

In fact, Jesus said that anger in the heart is akin to murder (Matt. 5:21-24); that lust in the heart is equivalent to adultery in the flesh (Matt. 5:27-28). By allowing negative emotions to reside in our hearts, we pollute our bodies and minds, and our lives become tainted with them.

However, it is not sufficient to address the behavior or sinful action (as many behavioral counselors attempt to do)–we must consider the heart. To rehabilitate a murderer, it is not enough to say “don’t murder again.” That sinner needs to know Jesus because only God can cure the rage in the heart. For the adulterer to have any hope at all, that sinner needs to know Jesus, as only God can reorient the heart back home. You cannot simply tell the glutton to stop eating so much; the glutton needs Jesus to change the heart, so that the sinner seeks God instead of food, for comfort!

I struggle with sin in my life, but I know that I cannot help myself. I need Jesus in order to have a change of heart (a phrase used too loosely today). Without God, I can do nothing to save myself. But through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God’s grace covered me and gave me a new heart. Amen!

I Wanted to Say…

Today before my first class started (Biochemistry II at 8 AM), a few of my peers were cramming for an exam they were taking in another class in the afternoon. Apparently it’s a class that all Chemistry/Biochemistry majors take, and the topic of my major came up quickly. The professor laughed and asked why I was even taking Biochem–it’s not required for a Math major and I’ve already satisfied my Natural Science minor requirements.

I wanted to say that it’s because the class is very interesting.

I wanted to say that it’s because he is an entertaining, yet knowledgeable instructor.

I really wanted to say that I’m taking this course because every time class meets I learn something new about God. I learn something new about God’s Creation and His magnificence and His beauty and His love and His ability to form life out of nothing–an ability that no other being in the universe possesses.

That’s what I wanted to say. But what I actually said was, “Well, really easy ‘throw-away’ classes are so boring that I end up doing poorly in them. At least in this class, I have to work hard for a B!” No, it wasn’t a bad response, but the answers in my head were so much better.