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Thursday, August 23, 2012

In Memory of My Youngest Daughter

      Some things in life are hard.   Loosing a child has to be one of them.  It consoles me that I have the hope and belief that someday we will be together again.  She left three teenage sons when she passed.  She left me her dog Forrest, a Boston Terrier, to care for.  He lives life the same way she did, with gusto.

                                                    27 August 1977 -  11 August 2010

    Glenda would have been 35 on the 27th of August.  I have uploaded a video of Forrest, her dog, on You Tube at the following link  Forrest is a Balloonatic.  When he sees balloons he goes almost into convulsions till he can kill it.  The attached video is with sound and is fun to watch.  Glenda was a nurse and fought a brain tumor for seven years.  Through three operations, chemo and she never complained.  Never said why me.  She was an example to all of us.  She was able to communicate with us right up to the end.  We all truly miss her.  While I enjoy living I look forward to seeing her again and my Mother who would have celebrated her 89th birthday tomorrow on the 24th of August.
     This may not be a normal blog post, but is what was on my heart to write.  Thanks for reading and I hope you share Forrest's video,  Would love for it to go viral.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sometimes Following, Means Waiting.

Sometimes Following, Means Waiting.

      It seems I spent the first half of my life running from the Lord and the second half waiting on the Lord.  It was not that the Lord had changed what or how he was doing things.  It was that I finally started to understand what he was doing and how he does things.  If you follow him long enough you will find you can take His Word to the bank.  What it says will happen, will happen.  The verse that you reap what you sow is so true.  As we live longer and look back over the course of our life we will see all the mistakes we made coming back to us.  The times we mistreated people or did things wrong will become clear to us as the same thing happens to us, our family or our children.  It is not that it is unfair, it is what we have sown too.  We may think we got away with it, but suddenly we see the same things, we did to others, happening to our children or loved ones.

      In another verse it says we are to put our shoulder to the plow and never look back.  Once we become saved we are supposed to walk away from our former habits and lifestyles.  It may not be all at once but we should be striving to walk closer to the Lord.  We are to keep our eyes focused on him.  There is something else we need to know about plowing that may open our eyes a bit. The reason we are not to look back is that our old habits may cause us to waiver as we go.  When you plow you do not plow in a straight line forever.  Just like the seasons you plow in circles and eventually come back to where you started.  This is when we start to see the errors of  our ways.  Most of us tend to use our past lives to show how far we have come.  It is not that we are proud of our mistakes. It is just that we can see where we made mistakes as we come around the course again.  This time maybe we can straighten some of the errors we made in the past.  Once we are saved we need to pray for crop failure on all the bad seed we sowed.  Then start planting new seed.

    One of my major problems as I learned to walk with the Lord was my desire to apply what I learned.  When I learned one little thing I would take off with a zeal thinking I had it all figured out.  Then I would get carried away.  When I finally looked around I would discover the Lord made a turn several blocks back.  Guess who had missed all the points in between.  My wife often told me I used the truth like a club.  She was right.  Sometimes a little tack would have gone much farther in getting my point across.  The person I was talking to usually already knew the truth.  My goal was to show them the benefit of walking in the light of that truth. Usually my past was the point that made the connection.  It was simple to show them from my own experience why changing was to their advantage.  The nice thing about that is that it can be done with conviction.  I could explain the price of not walking in a straight line.  Even if I never looked back the past is still there.  The neat part of it is that the Lord will take the bad things in our lives and change them from a sin to a testimony.

    The transition from being carried away with zeal to waiting on the Lord did not happen overnight. In fact it took many years.  It was when I started seeing answered prayers that took several years to come to full bloom that things started to change in my life.  It was a transition from zeal, to planting my heals, and saying I am not moving till I know the Lord is in it.

    For me that transition began when I finally decided to quit fighting God and surrender.  I learned to drive a truck in Vietnam, while running from God.  Then when I left the Army I tried everything in my power to open the door to drive and it would not open.  I finished college, started a business, went bankrupt and finally when I got to the bottom asked God to show me the way out of the mess I had made of my life.  As I had no money I started by tithing my time in studying the Bible.  I spent 2 1/2 hours a day studying His Word.  At first it was easy at first as I was unemployed and could not find a job.  Finally I started going door to door looking for a job and finally got a job at a moving company.  They put me in the warehouse doing inventory and repacking crates for storage or for shipping.  After a few months my boss asked me if I could drive a truck as one of the driver's called in sick.  One thing led to another and soon I was driving full time for basically minimum wage.  Several months later the door opened to get an over the road trucking job.  Which I was sure was what I wanted.

    The first job I got was for a union company and I stayed there for three years.  It was a two hour drive one way every time I went to work.  Then I would be gone two or three weeks at a time.  While the pay was better it was not great.  Finally a chance to get a job for a company closer to home opened up.  This job lasted about a year and then I quit in frustration.  A few years and a few jobs later I found myself sitting in the unemployment office.  My interview went something like this, "I don't care what kind of job you have as long as it is not a truck driving job."  A month or so later the counselor called me.  "I found a job I think you ought to at least check out."  Finally I gave in and went and checked it out.  It was everything I told the counselor I wanted.  Home every other day and decent pay.  All the jobs I had taken over the past five years or so paved the way to opening the door.  The employer was a Vietnam Vet like myself and we hit it off and I really did like the job.  The job lasted almost five years.  Then the day before Thanksgiving in 1993 I came in from my usual run to Alabama.  My boss met me at my truck and gave me some bad news.  Don't bother to come in Monday as they were closing the doors.  It was a shock, but we had kind of been expecting it due to things that had happened in the last few months.

   On the way home I had a talk with the Lord.  I thanked him for the job and told him I was not taking another job till I knew his hand was in it.  Thursday I gave a sincere Thanksgiving Day prayer and asked the Lord to keep and guide me in all I did.  Friday I went to the local junkyard to get some parts for my daughter’s car.  While there I ran into one of my old bosses.  I had hauled produce for him after leaving my first over the road job.  He asked what I was doing and I told him my story.  He said he would check around and see if any of his friends needed a driver.  That night I got a call and a job offer that seemed too good to be true.  I turned it down.  I told the caller I was going to wait and see what "The Lord wanted me to do" Which probably made me sound like a nut case to him.  Well I got unemployment for about five months and things were not looking good.  Finally I said to the Lord.  "I thought I heard you and I believe you will provide a way, but I am not seeing it.  I think it may be time to go back to work."

     Shortly after "Our Talk," a situation arose that required me to take action.  I lived on a dead end road and there was one property past mine.  It was being logged off and the trucks coming to get loaded would fly by my driveway.  Finally I went to ask the person in charge to have his trucks slow down a little when passing my driveway for the safety of my grandkids and pets.  In the course of our conversation I mentioned I was a truck driver and that I understood his need to get things moved.  He offered me a job hauling logs and I told him I was not into that.  I preferred an over the road job.  He then offered me a job that exceeded my wildest dreams.  He said he would give me a truck.  That I could go where ever I wanted and run it like I owned it.  All I had to do was call him on Fridays and tell him how much he owed me and where to take the check.

    Suddenly a light came on.  This was the same offer I had been offered the day after Thanksgiving.  In the course of our conversation I realized he was the same one who had called me.  Finally I figured if the Good Lord bought him down here and put him virtually on my doorstep the Lord was definitely in it.  So I accepted the job and it all went fine for about six months.  He was good to his word and did what he said he would to, but he did not want to work on the truck and it was getting to where I did not trust it.  He offered to buy me a brand new one and even took me to the dealer.  However, I declined the offer and told him he did not want to do that.  If the Lord moved me I would quit and do something else and he would be left hanging.  Well about a month later I did quit, but not without much soul searching.

    Sitting in a truck stop in St. Paul, MN a situation arose that made even me question my sanity.  The four years or so that I spent tithing my time to the Lord helped me to trust that God would give me direction.  The question was, was I open to receive it.  While sitting in the truck stop that day after my Bible reading I became convinced it was time for me to step out on my own and get my own truck.  I prayed about the matter.  Then I figured a way to test the matter.  I told God if he wanted me to take this step he should arrange for me to go to the truck dealership across the street.  If it was his will he would make it happen or open the door for it. Then I let the matter go.  After finishing breakfast I called my boss and asked where he wanted me to leave my truck so he could change the oil in it.  It was one of the maintenance things he did not hesitate to do.  Well to make a long story short, he said he and his wife were going to be out of town over the weekend and for me to get the oil changed out on the road.   Something that had not happened in the six months I had been working for him.  After I got off the phone I asked the waitress where you signed up to get your truck serviced.  At the fuel desk or the shops out back of the truck stop.  She informed me the shops in the back were a private company and that the truck stop had no garage.  Most drivers got their work done at the shop across the street.  Yes at the truck dealership.  Then I saw it.  On the fence next to the gate was a sign for an oil change special at just $79.95.  While I did not normally get it done I did know that normally the price was between $109 and $129 dollars.  So it saved my boss money, supposedly.

    After paying for breakfast I went to the dealership's garage and signed up to get my oil changed.  There was a 3 to 4 hour waiting list.  While I did not want to wait the mechanic informed me later in the day the line would be much longer.  So I signed up.  The waiting time was spent looking at trucks.  Finally I found a 1973 W900 Kenworth with a coffin sleeper, no air conditioning and no power steering.  It was very Plain Jane as trucks go.  After some time I spoke to a salesman and told him I would like the truck and that all I had for a down payment was $1500 which was all I had in savings.  The salesman informed me that they did not usually finance trucks over five years old.    He said they usually sold trucks like this one to farmers for cash.  Then he gave me an application and said to go ahead and fill it out.  It would not hurt to try.  So I did and basically forgot about it.  He was sure it would not go through.  After my bosses truck was ready I headed home, but not before they had to do about a $400 repair job.  They found one of the battery cables had rubbed bare and was arcing on the frame rail near the fuel tank, which was a very dangerous situation.  I had occasionally been smelling something like burning wiring.  Now I knew what was causing it.  Had I not gone to the shop I might not have made it home.  I thanked the Lord for his intervention and my boss cursed the Lord when he found out how much it cost him.  The things that happened gave me peace with what I had done.  It was not the first, nor the last time my life was saved by taking a matter to the Lord and doing what I felt he moved me to do.

     About three days later my wife called me.  She was highly irate.  She said she had received a phone call.  It had something to do with me buying a truck and she wanted to know why she had never heard anything about it.  I explained to her that the dealer had told me it would not probably happen.  Well it did and I had seven days to get up to St. Paul and pickup my truck.  That weekend I went home cleaned out my truck and took it to my boss.  He was not happy with me over the lack of notice, but as I told him.  When he hired me I warned him I might quit without notice and I had.

   I left out one small part.  Before giving the down payment check to the dealer I had taken it to my companie’s garage to get it checked out.  They normally did not put on trucks over five years old unless they inspected them first and made sure they were safe and road worthy.  The truck had passed. So I hitch-hiked to St. Paul and picked up the truck.  Went to my company office and waited for them to overnight me permits and paperwork.  Then I got my first load.  The load went to Pueblo, CO and delivered the following Monday.  When they gave me my cash advance for the load that was the start of my trucking career as an owner/operator.  That money was all the money I had to operate on.  For the next nine years that is how I operated.  What I had was the money in my pocket so to speak.  Yet I survived, till I had a heart attack, which ended my career, but even in that there was a blessing.   You can read that in my testimony which is in my 6/23/16 post titled, A Tale of Life and Death.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Delusion of American Elections

       Looking at the present political choices, it becomes clear there are none.  The present election is a repeat of the last several elections.  The only choice is the lesser of two evils. Certainly no real solutions to Americas  problems are being offered.  At best the Obama years have simply been a time of treading water.  A  time of waiting for the economy to magically heal itself.  Which must be what President Obama is hoping for.  He certainly has not put fourth any plans to create jobs.  His main focus has been trying to save the dead housing market.  Which without creating jobs for people to pay for their homes simply slows or diverts the problem to some point down the road.  He did not create the problems he is facing, but he is offering no solutions either.
      That being said one has to wonder if Americans have a memory deficit.  It was the Republicans under Bush who drove the economy into negative territory.  I have posted my view of what triggered it all in an  earlier post America's Economic Bipartisan Death Deal in my 20 Feb 2012 post.  That post shows what caused the explosion in our national debt.  It was an effort of both parties who acted to put forth programs they wanted to pass, without looking at the consequences of those actions.
       Admittedly 9/11 required action and decisions by the Bush administration that had to be taken.  Yet the Bush administration did it without putting forth any plan to finance the two wars they started.  When coupled with the decisions referenced in the blog I mentioned above, the outcome was inevitable.  So here we are four years down the road and still no meaningful solutions have been put forth.  While I am not for or against Obama himself, his efforts to solve Americans problems have been somewhere between incompetent and apathetic.  He says he knows we need jobs programs, but he has implemented none.
      With the above said, the Republicans are trying to put forth candidates that give us more of the same stupidity that got us into this situation.  The Republicans, or as I like to call them the Republi-can'ts, are offering more of the same ideas that got us into the situation we are in.  They want to cut government spending which is admirable.  The problem is they "CAN'T" raise taxes.  They are willing to gut programs that have already been running for years.  Yet they are unwilling to provide the funds to pay the expenses and debt they created.  In fact they are determined to put that burden on the middle class tax payers.  They offer no programs to reduce the national debt.
       Both parties are willing to argue about Medicare and what they are or are not willing to do.  They contend their programs will reduce debt by one trillion dollars over a ten year period.  Well bravo that is a gallant gesture.  It fails to take into account that the national debt will increase over two trillion dollars over the same time period, just from the interest owed on the national debt.  To make a meaningful cut and get spending under control will take a plan that knocks over five trillion dollars off the national debt.  That number can not be reached by cuts only.  It will require increased tax revenue.
    Arguments are being made that the percentage of the national debt is the problem and that, that is what is slowing the economy and the recovery.  Well when the Great Depression started the national debt represented only 38% of GDP.   At the end of World War II the debt because of the depression and the Second World War had increased the national debt to 122% of GDP and the economy did not break down or come to a stop.  It continued along just fine.
     What caused the Great Depression was a slow down in job growth.  The slow down came from the improvements in manufacturing and productivity.  Which is the same thing that is slowing down the growth at this time.   The creation of computers and robotics have eliminated jobs.  What America needs now is a way to increase employment.  One thing that would help in that area is a program to rebuild American infrastructure which was a duty given to Congress in the Constitution and they have failed miserably to perform.  Spending money on infrastructure repairs which would create jobs and stimulate the economy. That makes a lot more sense than giving out food stamps and unemployment money for people sitting on their butts and doing nothing.
       The thing America really needs is a choice.  At present most Americans have none.  The definition of insanity is,  "Doing the same thing, over and over, the same way and expecting to get a different result."  Well that is a perfect description of the present American political process.  The system in most states is stacked against change that could help.  They make it hard, if not almost impossible to put forth an independent or third party view.  That is the only way, short of a revolution, that America is going to get fixed.  American needs a Constitutionally based third party.  A party dedicated to following the Constitution and reining in the Federal Government while giving states rights back to the states.
      Jobs can be created, but that is only part of the problem.  Government programs that stifle the economy need to be repealed.  The tax system needs to be overhauled so everybody pays their fair share including businesses and the wealthy. Loopholes need to be eliminated and subsidies for businesses.  Priming the job market by creating infrastructure jobs makes far more sense than paying people to sit on their butts.  The third party if it can be created and motivated needs to cut all programs and spending that can not stand muster under the Constitution.  Some cuts will be hard, but they are necessary.
       Regardless of what happens the mandatory cuts coming in January 2013 should be the catalyst to make change happen. The way Congress operates though we can count on meaningful solutions being pushed further down the road. With over a million jobs eliminated by the cuts. America will have that many more on unemployment. The housing market will soon follow along in another slide down the hill.  Basic common sense says action needs to be taken now.  The present powers that be, have neither the will nor the motivation to fix the problems.  So it seems America will have to fall into a financial abyss before anything is done to actually solve the problems.  Sadly the days of America as we know it may soon be coming to a halt.  The ongoing droughts and collapse of state programs may soon snowball onto the national scene.  If nothing changes all Americans will be able to do is get on the elevator and close the door.  Then they can wait for it to hit bottom, because it certainly is not going up, unless something changes drastically.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

2012, Global Turmoil, What The Bible Says, Part 2

         Part one covered how a world wide catastrophe could happen.  In Part 2 The question is what does the Bible say about the end times.  It definitely gives those willing to read it a lot of insight about what is going to happen.  Many Christians I know say, "I am not interested in that end time stuff, I am all about Jesus."  Really then you might want to reconsider your position, because it is Jesus that gives us a lot of insight into what is suppose to happen.  Also he gives signs so we are able to tell what is to come in the future. Look at it from this perspective.  Did Jesus spend his last night on earth reminiscing about the good times he and his disciples had shared.  He knew he was going to die the next day.  His focus that last evening was warning his disciples what would come to pass at the end time.
     His views totally conflict with the popular end time series  called Left Behind.  The series focused on and stressed that all the "True Christians" would be raptured and out of harms way when the end time tribulations started. That goes totally against what Jesus said.  There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of books that pontificate on how "they" think the end time will happen and their view of what the scriptures say.  My view is that is if it is in Red supposedly Jesus said it.  If Jesus said it then it is the final word on the matter and all the other  peoples views and opinions do not matter cause that is exactly what they are views and opinions.  The Bible says in Matthew 24: 29-31 a little different version.

29“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31“And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

       Notice that the above statement is in red.  That means Jesus said it  If he said it and you are a Christian and believe in Him and His Word you can take what it says to the bank.  It will happen.  Notice it starts off, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days"  What days was he talking of.  He was talking of the end of days when he would return in power and glory and redeem his believers and followers to himself.  Notice in verse 31 he states, "He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds,"  Are there two raptures.  I do not read anywhere that is the case.

     During my years as a truck driver when I would share what I knew of the Bible it was my habit to say, "I am a toter, not a quoter."  Meaning I would show you from the Bible and you could read it for yourself.  I did not and do not quote things without giving the Bible book, chapter and verse where you can find it.  Which brings me to my next point. Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
    "13But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  16For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18Wherefore comfort one another with these words."  Notice that Paul links the rapture of the dead and the living.  He also with "The trumpet of God."  My view these two sections of verse are describing the same things.

     Here is one another scene to ponder. It occurs in the 11th chapter of Revelation.  This chapter deals with the two witnesses to the end time.  Which so far is one of the few prophecies that have not been fulfilled as far as I can tell.  One reason it had not been fulfilled was in verses 9-11 it makes clear they shall be killed and all the people's of the earth shall see them laying dead in the streets of Jerusalem  for three and a half days.  Well that prophecy could not have been fulfilled till the advent of the global communications systems the world has now.   So now that prophecy can come to pass and it will.  Well verse 13 says at that time a "Great Earthquake shall destroy a tenth part of the city at that moment."  Which I believe is the event I describe in Part One of this blog.  The thing that should be noted is that it is only one of several descriptions that if you piece them together describe the same event that shall happen.

     Another point made by Jesus picks up where the previous one left off.  In Matthew 24: 32-39 the Bible makes the statement, 32Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: 33So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.  34Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. 35Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. 36But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 38For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, 

     Jesus often spoke in parables and told stories so that his followers.  They knew the Word of God and could under stand what he was talking about.  Yes they were marrying in the days of Noe, or Noah as we know him, but what else was going on in the days of Noah.  Look at Genesis 6: 5-12 and it makes the issue pretty clear.

  "5And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  
6And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
8But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 9These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.  10And Noah begat three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth.
11The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. 12And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth."

     We could go back through history to the horror of World War II and the concentration camps, clear up to 9/11.  The most recent events, which are still in the news as I type this even say it better.  The massacre in the movie theater, the senseless shootings at the Sikh Temple in Wisconsin.  The list could go on and on.  Verse eleven above makes clear that God hates the violence.  When you add in the fact that the leadership of our nation recently endorsed same sex marriages.  That abortion is a daily event.  The hatred in a "Christian Nation" that has been poured out on a business owner simply for stating his views on an issue and you can see how sick and degenerate this nation has become.  The Bible says clearly,  Woe to them that put good for evil, and evil for good.  Things that are right are condemned by society at large.

    The Bible says at some point such conduct will be judged and God will pour his wrath our on those who do not follow Him and His Word.  The question I hear most is, how do we know it is the time of the end?  Two things were prophesied to happen which would be signs of the end.  Well here are a couple of examples.  Daniel 12:1-4 says this.

     "1And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 2And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.  4But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased."

     We live in a time when people routinely travel to and fro all over the earth, also knowledge has increased to a level previously unimaginable. If this is not enough though here are a couple more that confirm these signs.  There is predicted to be a great falling away.  It is described in 2nd Thessalonians 2:1-12 and it says evil shall abound in the last days.

      "1Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,  2That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 6And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.  7For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." 

      Finally in closing this part let it be clear there comes a point where God will turn his back on mankind and let his wrath be poured out in punishment of evil.  Romans 1:16-32  make clear that mankind makes the choice to walk the path it follows.  Either into his kingdom or into destruction, but is mans own choices that decide the matter.

       "16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written,  The just shall live by faith. 18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.  20For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.  26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;   29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:  32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them."

     If in reading this you do not feel you are reading about the world we live in today, then maybe I am wrong.   When I look at the world around me I see everything that the Bible describes.  Jesus said it clearly that the only sign that would be given is that which was given to Jonah.  If you can read it, then you better heed it, cause it is all the warning we get.

     "1Then the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and testing Him asked that He would show them a sign from heaven. 2He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; 3“and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. 4“A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.”

      Jonah believed God's Word and was delivered from the belly of the beast after three days.  Noah was delivered at the last moment because he listened to God.  It is not to late to turn around and follow God, but there will come a time when the door will be closed.  When it is the following scene shall unfold from the Book of Isaiah 2:10-22
        "10Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty. 11The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. 12For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: 13And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, 14And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, 15And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall, 16And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.  17And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. 18And the idols he shall utterly abolish.  19And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth.  20In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats;   21To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. 22Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of? 

     Read that last quote and you will see you do not want to be here for it.  The only way to escape it is to come into a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ.  Notice though he will arise to shake the earth terribly. In fact he mentions it twice to make his point.  So part one is not extreme, weird or out of line if you believe God will do what he says he is going to do.  Which is no problem for those that believe him and follow him, however, for those who do not it is a major problem. If you believe share it with others.