McDonald’s: I’m Not Lovin’ It

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I remember going to McDonald’s as a kid. The ‘two whole beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun’ was the highlight of any trip to the golden arches. And don’t forget those yummy golden fries. Did I mention the hot apple pie? I know that this stuff isn’t all that good for you but it’s a guilty pleasure. Or, at least it was.

Fast forward to the year 2022. And queue the story:

https://www.charismanews.com/culture/89159-occult-with-your-fries-mcdonald-s-turns-to-the-demonic

If you use the McDonald’s app and order medium fries, you can also get a free McDouble or McChicken and a chance at a free tarot card reading. You read that right. Order up some deep fried potato strips and enter for a chance to win a free trip into the occult.

I mean, seriously. When did McDonald’s get involved in the occult? The food is not a good choice for the health of your body. But now they have a menu offering that’s not good for the health of your spirit.

I can understand if those who aren’t saved would be interested in something like this but I would hope that those of us who are saved would be much more discerning and not get caught up in something that might seem like a fun thing to do but has greater spiritual consequences.

I look personally believe that Satan has his fingers in a number of different corporations. And McDonald’s is one of them.

As Christians, we are to hold the line when it comes to things like this. We are to tell anyone who will listen where tarot card readings could lead them. And I can say this from personal experience. It’s not a good place to be. And my experience goes beyond just readings; I had the cards and the crystals and the books. It’s all an open invitation for Satan to take up residence in your life.

I’ve been ending some of my recent posts with Ephesians 6:12 and there’s a good reason for that. We are wrestling against the principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this age. Now more than ever it’s important to stay grounded in the Word and to try and spread the Gospel message to everyone. We know who wins but let’s see if we can’t get to the end zone a bit sooner.

God Bless!

The Road Less Traveled

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I’m writing this from a log cabin just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina.

This is my second time here and it’s amazing! If you ever want to truly appreciate the world that God created, this is one of the places you need to go to truly appreciate it.

From the rolling hills to the sprawling farmland to the sight of the Blue Ridge mountains, this is truly a sight to behold.

I’m lucky enough to have family that lives in the area. Their cabin overlooks a huge piece of farmland and beyond that, the Blue Ridge mountains (yes, I’m repeating myself).

And the people here are amazingly nice. You could be a total stranger and they will say hi to you. I mean, wow!

Being a resident of New Jersey, I can say that with a bit of authority. Don’t get me wrong. There are people in New Jersey that are nice enough. And then there are people who can’t be bothered to even look at you if drop something in front of them.

Not so here in west North Carolina. We haven’t run into one person who wasn’t nice and friendly. It’s such an amazing change from where my wife and I live. So much so, we are considering moving to the area. We both feel like this is where we are supposed to be. But God will let us know when the time is right.

Okay, that’s it for now. I just wanted to give a quick update.

God Bless!

The End of an Era

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For me, April 20th marked the end of an era for me. And it was somewhat bitter-sweet.

I went back to the office because they were having a cleanout day for our desks (more about why in the following paragraph). There were a number of people who came and when I saw them in person for the first time in two years, it was like I just saw them yesterday. We fell into the same rhythm as if there was no loss of time. It was great and sad at the same time because I knew that there weren’t many hours left where we would be like this. And we would never interact like this again.

Now onto the reason why we were cleaning out our desks.

My company has decided to go to an all-virtual work environment starting May 1st. For me and my colleagues, it means that our office will be closing. So after 24 years, I will no longer be going to that office on a daily basis.

I started with the company back in 1998. I had no experience in the industry but they took a chance and hired me. And that began my journey with the company and, more specifically, in the office that is now closing.

This all started back in November when our company was bought by an investment firm. They decided that a number of changes needed to be made. This included closing a number of offices. I have to admit that it was a tough thing to have to hear. A company that you worked for that had that ‘family’ vibe to it was being sold to an investment firm. At that point, I kind of knew that there were going to be some things happening that would be emotionally devastating for some of us.

I wasn’t wrong.

Part of the buyout included a restructuring of the organization. With the restructuring, a number of key people were let go. At that time, there was also talk about closing some of the offices that we had.

Fast forward to today and that is happening. As of the beginning of next month, we will be virtual. While I understand the decision that was made to do this, it doesn’t make it any easier for me or for the other people I’ve worked with for the last 24 years.

On Wednesday, our office is having one final get-together to celebrate and reminisce about the times we’ve spent in that office. We all have fond memories of the monthly birthday parties, the monthly lunches, the one week a year we spent having time to do fun things like games and contests just to try and ease the stress and take our minds off work, if only for a little while.

This Wednesday will also be a very bitter-sweet day but I hope to make the most out of it and enjoy the face-to-face time that I will have left with my co-workers and friends.

There’s always Zoom or Google Meet or whatever virtual experience we choose to use. But it just won’t be the same as the experience of physically spending time with people that you’ve grown close to as both co-workers and friends.

God Bless!

The Amazing Book(s) that is the Bible

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When we think of the Bible, we look at it as one big book when in reality, it isn’t. It’s actually a story of a people, their trials and tribulations, and the path to their (and our) salvation. It is composed of 66 books that are written by over 40 different authors, many of whom didn’t know each other.

And references to Jesus can be seen throughout the Old Testament. But I’ll get to that shortly.

The Bible is composed of two main books: the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is the history of a people’s creation, their bondage, and their deliverance into the Promised Land. Included are prophets such as Daniel, Jeremiah, and Isaiah.

And now for the monkey wrench that got thrown into this post as I was writing it.

As I was putting this together, I stumbled across an article that detailed a 2022 survey that was done by the American Bible Society. This survey showed that the number of Christians reading the Bible had dropped 10 percentage points from 39 percent to 29 percent. Based on this, they estimate that nearly 26 million Americans either reduced or stopped reading the Bible. You can read the article here.

I was a little surprised by that number. And apparently the group conducting the survey felt the same.

They go on to say that they thought that the pandemic would have brought people closer to the Word but the opposite was, in fact, true.

Why?

Now, I will be the first to admit that I don’t want to be a stone thrower at a glass house. I’ve had my moments (okay, days) where I haven’t read the Bible. But that shouldn’t negate how important it is to stay in the Word. With everything currently going on in the world, staying in the Word is more important now than ever before.

One way to do this is to download a Bible app to your tablet or phone. The one I use is made by YouVersion. They have dozens of Bible plans that can take you through the entire Bible, individual books, and just the Old or New Testaments. They even have plans that address different emotional needs. You can invite friends and family to download the app and you can read plans together and comment on each day’s reading.

I encourage you to stay in the Word. It can comfort you, guide you, encourage you, and make you want more.

And do you know why that is?

Because God speaks to us through His Word. And Jesus is the Word.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1 ESV

God Bless!

Fear and the Omicron Variant

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I have to be honest with you and tell you that I’m tired of all of this COVID nonsense. And I have a feeling that a lot of you are, too.

The latest threat to come out of all of this is the omicron variant. I’m curious to see what happens when they run out of Greek letters to call all of these variants. Oh, and did I mention that there is a sub-variant out there that they’ve labeled ‘Stealth’ omicron? Yep, it’s really a thing. They said it’s very contagious but doesn’t seem to produce as severe an illness as the delta variant did. Whew, that’s a relief!

Now, I am being somewhat sarcastic as I write this. My wife and I both had COVID back in January of 2021 and survived. It ended up being like a mild flu for two weeks. Not the best time for sure but very survivable. And by me saying all of this, I’m not trying to minimize the effects it has had on people who have caught it and not survived.

And to segway into the actual topic of this post, I’m reading a Bible plan on the YouVersion app about a woman (Christine Caine) who developed cancer and about her journey through it. While COVID and cancer are hardly the same, how we react to each of these diseases should be the same.

(On a side note, I love the way God put that plan in front of me just when I wanted to pick this particular blog post back up again. How cool is that?!

Where was I? Oh yes, the Bible plan.

The teaching behind the plan is that we are not to let fear take hold of us. Yes, there will be that sense of fear towards whatever adversity is coming (or has come) our way but living for God is the best way to combat that fear. Knowing that He is there with us during our trials helps us get through them. Concentrate on that thought and turn it into action. As Paul wrote in his second epistle to Timothy:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

As the ‘scientists’ and media continue to try and keep the fear train going, we should hold fast to the truths that are in the Bible. Through the victory we have in Jesus, we also have victory over the principalities and powers and rulers of the darkness. Don’t let what is out there take hold. Let the Holy Spirit inside you show where the true victory is! And tell those around you the same. Meet them where they are and share the Gospel!

God Bless!

Merry Christmas One and All!

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I wanted to take a minute to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of my readers!

While you’re gathering with friends and family celebrating the joy of the season, remember to thank God for the real reason we are celebrating: He gave us the gift of a child that, through Him, we could receive salvation and forgiveness of our sins.

Put up the tree and the lights and exchange gifts and be merry. Just remember that we’re also celebrating a birthday.

God Bless!

Halloween – Just Another Harmless Holiday?

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And we’re back!

Okay, it’s not original content but I am working on a few things that will be published soon.

Halloween is fast approaching and I wanted to dust off an old post and publish it again because the information contained in it needs to be read and put out there for everyone to see.

Things are moving fast and evil is becoming more prevalent in this world. We need to stand together as Christians and do battle against the wickedness in high places. We also need to reach out to those who aren’t Christians and proclaim the Gospel to them.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12 KJV).

Be mindful of this time of year and, as Christians, take a moment to really think about what this holiday is truly about and whether or not you should be celecbrating.

Okay, on to the blog…

October is here and in full swing. The air is beginning to get colder and crisper and the trees are beginning to display their fall foliage. In just about a week and a half it will be All Hallow’s Eve, otherwise known as Halloween.

It’s a time of year when kids go from door to door and collect candy from both neighbors and strangers; businesses will decorate for Halloween and some may even have a Halloween party for the children of the employees (mine is one of them). Some schools partake in the festivities by having the kids parade around the school grounds in their costume of choice.

There are many stories that explain the origin of Halloween. Most of them seem to have a common theme among them.

Halloween can be traced back to the ancient Celtic pagan tradition known as Samhain (pronounced ‘sow en’). This day is considered to be the highest holy day for pagans. For them, this is the day where the barrier separating the living from the dead is the thinnest and both the living and the dead can cross over into the other’s world. It’s thought that ghosts, goblins, witches, and demons of all kinds come out to play along with the spirits of the dearly departed.

Halloween Costumes

The origins of the Halloween costume are numerous and varied but I will narrow it down to the three most common ones I have found:

1) The costume was worn so that it would disguise the wearer from identification during their participation in the Samhain festival.

2) The costume was designed to attract the evil spirits to the wearer in an effort to commune with that spirit and have that spirit (or demon) become part of the wearer.

3) The costume would cause the wearer to take on the personality of the costume they are wearing.

The Jack O’ Lantern

There are a few different origin stories for the illuminated pumpkin but the one told by Irish folklorists is that of a man named Jack who tricked the devil into climbing a tree and picking an apple for him. While the devil was in the tree, Jack carved a cross into the trunk of the tree. Thee cross prevented the devil from coming down out of the tree. Jack made the devil swear that he would not try to steal Jack’s soul. The devil reluctantly made the promise.

When Jack died, he went to Heaven but God didn’t accept him because of the drunk and stingy lifestyle he led. The devil didn’t accept him either because of his promise to Jack. As Jack was leaving Hell, munching on a turnip, the devil threw a red hot coal at Jack. Jack caught it and put it inside the turnip as a way to light his way while he wandered the earth looking for a home. We now use the pumpkin as a substitute for the turnip as it’s a lot easier to carve.

Trick-Or-Treating

Today, kids can be seen roaming the streets going from door to door asking for candy. If no candy is provided, then they must perform a trick on the homeowner as a way of getting back at them for their confectionery oversight.

It is generally believed that this started as part of the Celtic tradition. Many believed that not all of the spirits roaming the earth were necessarily good ones. They left treats out to appease the evil ones from doing harm to them.

Halloween has changed from its original Celtic pagan roots into something more palatable, having gained some of these changes from Roman Catholic influences. Some churches have even gotten into this more modern approach to Halloween by having activities such as ‘Trunk-or-Treat.’

As a child, I used to dress up and go out and collect candy from all the neighbors. At that age and time, I didn’t know any better. Now that I’ve been saved and my eyes have been opened, I realize that we are participating in the celebration of the occult.

Each family needs to make their own choices and decide if they want to participate in this. For me, however, the Bible is pretty clear on this:

” There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations, the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee. ” Deuteronomy 18:10-12

To me, it’s pretty clear where God stands on this. My family has chosen not to participate in this tradition. As Christians, I think we should all strive to do the same.

A New (But Still Old) Direction

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I started doing something that I had never actually done before: I looked at the posts have I’ve done since I started this blog. I wanted to take a look and see if there was a recurring theme in my blogs. And guess what?

I don’t have one.

My writings seem to meander all over the place. One post is talking about hurricanes and the next is talking about voting.

There was a point when I didn’t know what to do with this thing because I felt like I wasn’t getting any traction or had a purpose for this. I wanted to do something to further God’s kingdom but I knew that talking about COVID wasn’t exactly fitting the bill. I was about to give up on all of this when I sought out guidance from the Lord. If you’ve heard this one before, you can skip down. For those of you who haven’t, here is my short little answer from Him.

As I said before, I didn’t know what to do with this blog of mine and I was going to give up. I was actually driving into work one morning thinking about this. And yes, while most people are listening to the radio or an audiobook during their drive, I’m trying to figure out what to do with my blog. As I’m pulling up to a red light, I’m asking God what I should do with this blog. Do I keep going or do I give up? Then I stopped to listen for His reply. That’s when I heard a word pop into my head:

“Write.”

Okay, I wasn’t expecting to get an answer but I did. And I praised God and thanked Him for it.

And now, just a few years later, I’m getting lost again. I’m not writing about the things that matter: the gospel message.

So, I’m going to try to right the ship and get it back on course.

I can’t guarantee that every post will be on point but I am sure going to give it a try.

So bear with me while I try to get the sails up and the rudder pointed in the right direction.

And I want to thank everyone for going on this journey with me. So far, it’s been run and I’m looking forward to the future.

And I hope I didn’t get anyone seasick along the way (okay, just a little joke).

Oh yes, almost forgot. I changed the name of the blog. Just a small change. I think of this as a ministry because the intent to tie current events into the Bible as well as spread the message of the Gospel to all who read it.

God Bless!

The Variants are Coming! The Variants are Coming!

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Right now, my mind has just imagined Anthony Fauci on a white horse riding through town announcing that the new strains are just outside our doors and that we need to arm ourselves with our cotton face diapers.

Okay, I’m being slightly sarcastic with this one but I’m not too far off. Fauci’s chosen mode of transportation for this heroic announcement are the bobbleheads that call themselves news outlets.

The latest recommendation from the man who uses meandering science is that we should be wearing masks indoors even if we are vaccinated. Seriously?! All of these people who were convinced that life would return to normal if we were jabbed with an experimental witch’s brew are now being told that we have to put the 500 thread count napkins back onto our faces. So what’s the point of getting jabbed if nothing has changed?

“But Dr. Fauci, you said we could go back to normal if we got jabbed.”

“Did I? I must have been mistaken. You see, there are these variants that are out and they are worse than the initial virus that I funded…I mean, that China created.”

Yeah, okay, tell us another one Pinnochio.

Okay, I did say I was going to be a bit sarcastic…

I’m not downplaying COVID. It’s definitely a real thing that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

But when they decide to try and haul out the masks again, is it based on ‘flattening the curve’, or are they trying to exert control over us again?

Okay, that’s my rant. It’s a short one but I needed to vent a little bit of what I perceive is complete ineptness on the part of Fauci, the CDC, and the WHO (not the band).

Even with all of this happening, remember Ephesians 6:12. That is who we are doing battle against. Yes, there are those humans in power who are trying to control us but the evil that is in their hearts can only come from one place and you know where (and who) that is.

So be prepared by putting on the whole armor of God each and every day and stand fast in his strength. He has a plan and we have our defender.

God Bless!

The Mark of the Beast??

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I may or may not have written about this but, for what it’s worth, I thought I’d put in my two cents (because I haven’t done that in a while).

There has been talk in some faith circles whether or not the vaccine is the mark of the beast.

I’m not going to name names here but I’ve seen a video of a pastor who told his congregation that if you take the vaccine, he doesn’t want to have anything to do with you anymore. I’ve also seen a video of someone who stated that if you take the vaccine, it will change your DNA and that will make you unredeemable.

I’ve been doing the research and checking other people’s videos and opinions (and really looking at Revelation 13) before I formed an opinion and stated it here. So here goes:

The ‘vaccine’ is not the mark of the beast. Period. To state otherwise, in my opinion, is heresy. Just a simple review of Revelation 13:16-17 will bear that out:

Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.”

There are a few things in this passage that can easily explain why this isn’t the mark:

The first is that there is no beast to worship. None. Nowhere to be found.

In order for this to be the mark of the beast, you need to have a beast to worship. Someone taking the mark needs to consciously make the decision to worship the beast (that doesn’t yet exist).

Okay, that’s pretty much it for the first one. Now for the second one.

Those who do not take the mark will be unable to buy or sell. I have not taken the vaccine (and won’t be taking it, I can assure you) but I just went to the grocery store this week and bought food. Kind of takes the wind out of the sails of someone who believes this is the mark.

And to those who say that if you take the vaccine, you are unredeemable in the eyes of God I say..bull!

To say that a righteous Christian is condemned to Hell because they don’t watch YouTube or possess the latest “secret knowledge” that the vaccine is the mark of the beast is a dangerous stance to take.
Don’t think for a minute that the Holy Spirit will allow those loyal prayer warriors to be deceived. They will know it in their spirit when the time comes, but this isn’t the time.

Sorry but I’m not buying what you’re selling. And I think you need to be a better Berean and check your theology before declaring someone ineligible to enter God’s Kingdom.

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12 KJV)