Is Your Sky Falling?

Artwork by Lucas and Jacob…the sky is falling

From the moment I became a member of the Protestant church, I quickly learned of the Second Coming of the Lord. I was consumed with the idea of getting caught up in the sky, meeting Jesus. I worried about my unsaved loved ones. Would they go up in the Rapture? I have since returned to my Catholic roots.

The Rapture was introduced as a commentary footnote by John Nelson Darby in 1827. Cyrus Scofield  added this theory to his reference Bible and other popular Bibles scholars followed suite (in the footnotes of the commentary) to their publications. Books like “The Late Great Planet Earth” by Hal Lindsey and the “Left Behind” series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins gave the theory more fuel, and the fire spread throughout the Protestant believers. According to this doctrine, believers will be taken up to Christ in Heaven, and non-believers will be left behind to endure the tribulation with the Anti-Christ.

Second Thessalonians was written because the Thessalonians believed that the Lord return was very near. The apostle Paul had to instruct the Thessalonians to occupy until He comes. (Luke 19:13)

2 Thessalonians 2:2 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Great Apostasy

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.

In California we just experienced a magnitude 7.1 earthquake; we felt it strongly in our home. So I ask you this? Are we living in the Last Days? If you had asked me this 30 years ago, the answer would have been an emphatic yes! Today my answer has not changed but I’m not so consumed or fearful of the inevitable.

As I experience more growth in The Lord, my spirit has shifted. I have developed a more monastic approach to the things in life. I witness the direction of many paving a clear path to Hell. I don’t turn my head away from their sin, I but have learned to operate in prayer. Believe me, I want to scream at the top of my lungs, “For the love of God, stop sinning!” But I would come across as judging or as holier than thou. So, instead, I turn to prayer, a lot of prayer.

When someone knowingly is involved in sin, you can’t talk to them about their transgressions because they cannot see through the clouded distortion of their sin. The sin has already made its comfortable place in their spirit, and they are sold out to their immorality. The only thing left to do is to pray for them, really pray for them, doing spiritual warfare. Use all the weapons God has given you, and you will see victory. Never ever give up! God will see you through this.

The earth cries out with birth pains and the Lord of us all grows tired of the same sin. God is in control of all earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes and all other natural disasters. Not even the most seasoned scientist can answer the deep causes of these phenomena. Only God can!

I recently watched two separate documentaries, one of John Lennon and the other of George Harrison. In my perception, these two gifted musicians (Beatles) were searching for “a god, a higher source.” John thought he found it in Yoko Ono. George, after taking acid (hallucinatory drug) said that he heard a whisper saying, “yogis of the Himalayas.” George Harrison said this subliminal message remained in his head. He continued his search until he found peace with Hinduism. George believed in the New Age god Hare Krishna, hence the song he composed, “My Sweet Lord.”

John Lennon went on to write his greatest and most popular song ”Imagine.” The lyrics of this song start with, “Imagine there’s no heaven.”  The message is not by a man influenced by God, but rather a woman who neither knew God nor cared to know anything of God.

There is a heaven, and one day we will all meet our Maker.

Philippians 3:20-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

I was on the phone with my sister Norma when I felt the earth shaking. I told Norma, “We’re having an earthquake! The Lord is coming soon!” In a panic I ran outside to check the pool and videotaped the water spilling out onto the patio. I ran upstairs to check on Mike. I asked him, “Why didn’t you check on me?” Mike looked at me with a questionable look and said, “I knew you were fine.” His calm, soothing voice comforted my nerves. I, on the other hand, turned into Chicken Little, believing “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” I called my daughter Sonja, and my daughter-in-law Jenny called to check on us. Praise be to God, we were all fine.

We are told to be prepared for “the big one ” with an earthquake kit, water, food, flashlights etc. But are we prepared for the Coming of the Lord or the day of our deaths? There will be no ” save the date card” to prepare you for these events. So my advice to you is to rid yourselves of all the unnecessary baggage of sin. Leave it at the foot of the Cross, where God Himself will consume it with fire and finally set you free.

Matthew 24:42-43 New King James Version (NKJV)

42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.

James 5:16 New American Standard Bible (NASB) 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and
Matthew 13:31-32 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE) 31 He proposed another parable to them. “The
Sonja 2nd grade and Mikos 5th grade Matthew 18:10 New American
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God Bless America

 

Our country was founded on the love of God. The American Flag is our banner of unity, One Nation Under God. I will not be influenced by anyone or any mega corporation that choses to desecrate our Flag. I wrote this poem in honor of  our beautiful Flag:

 

Old Glory, you are a symbol of pride

We need not ignore your meaning or what you imply

I salute your banner waving high

Your colors and stars polish the blue sky

Who in this land cannot notice the freedom for which you stand

You’re an anthem of courage and are still in command

Liberty weeps at the thought of those who defy your side

She bows her head at the great divide

Your roots are deep and you honor those who strap on their boots

They fought for us to keep us sound and to them you are profound

 

© Lynda Ciriza

God Bless our beautiful imperfect country! Happy 4th of July!

James 5:16 New American Standard Bible (NASB) 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and
Matthew 13:31-32 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE) 31 He proposed another parable to them. “The
Sonja 2nd grade and Mikos 5th grade Matthew 18:10 New American
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The Caregiver

Me, Maddie, Wil, Lucas and Jacob

2 Timothy 3:15 New King James Version (NKJV)

15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

I knew I was in trouble when agreeing to add another day to caring for two of my grandsons. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of my grandkids, but finding things to occupy their days has made for a summer of adventure.

So far they have participated in a science camp, learning to build a robot. When I picked them up from the camp they said a kid was bullying them. Jacob said, “Grandma, this kid said that I attract mosquitos, and I even took a shower today!” Lucas claimed the same kid kicked him in the head. I told the boys to point out the bully, and that I would wait in the bushes and attack him. Then we just laughed it off.

one day of  art class, really?

They only attended one art class. This class was a freebee from Groupon. The boys did not want to go back, in Lucas’ words, “I will never go back to that class. The teachers drew everything for us, and plus they don’t even speak English.” He was right about them not speaking English; I believe that they were speaking in Farsi. They disliked this class so much that they didn’t even like for me to drive past the art studio.

These kids live on their tablets, and that drives me crazy. I had a choice: let them become hypnotized on their devices, or think of activities that allow body movement.

We made up a list of things we could do. They protested almost everything on the agenda, with the exception of getting ice cream (of course!) Monday is going to be dedicated to going to the Orange Library and joining a book club. Lucas wanted nothing to do with that, but I forced him to check out two books. Jacob was excited to join the club, boasting to the librarian about how intelligent he is, and that his reading level is much higher than kids of his age. Then he added how good he was in math too. I couldn’t take another word, “Please, Jacob, tell the lady how humble you are too!”

Sweet Paco and Jake reading
Lucas reading

When we got back from the library, for the first few hours all was quiet and the boys were enthralled in their books. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. These boys were really reading! We had come to a consensus that if they read for an hour then they could use their devices for a half an hour. I left the room and, sure enough, Lucas turned on his Chromebook. The battle was on, and Lucas insisted that the books that the librarian chose were above his reading level. He desperately tried to prove his argument by asking both Suri and Alexa, neither of which gave the answer that he was looking for. They never do.

In frustration I yelled, “Lucas, I do not want to hear another excuse for you not reading! Get your book out and read!”                                                                                                                                                                                          “But grandma, how can you expect me to read a book that is too hard to understand!                                                       I’ll prove it to you!”                                                                                                                                                                  “No, you’re going to read!” I answered.

Lucas wanted so badly to prove his theory so he asked for my phone and looked up Lexile. I had never heard of this system that measures the reading level of books. It took him a good half hour to prove that, indeed, this book was meant for 7th grade reading. He’s entering 4th grade, but I still have my  suspicions.

Lucas and Jacob, Miraculous Meda

On Wednesdays we will be learning about saints or Bible stories. This week we studied the life of  St. Catherine Labouré, a French nun and visionary. The Blessed Mother appeared to her and instructed her to make a medal with this prayer written on it: O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. The Blessed Mother also said that those who wear the medal with trust will receive many graces.

St. Catherine’s incorruptible body, The Chapel of the Miraculous Medal, Paris, France

I have been to the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal in Paris, France several times. I always go into the small shop adjacent to the church and purchase Miraculous Medals to share with others. In our home there are  three drawers dedicated to all the small religious purchases I’ve made when I travel. I found some durable yarn and threaded two Miraculous Medals for the boys to wear.

Soon we will be studying about St. Francis of Assisi. I looked on Amazon to purchase a book about this holy saint but refused to pay $7. Instead we drove over to The Bookman, a popular used book store in Orange. There I found a treasure of St. Francis books for $27. It’s a lost cause and inevitable: this summer is going be filled with me spending money.

Our precious Maddie
Wil, best 12 year old basketball player

My other two grandkids are so busy that their parents barely see them. Maddie has soccer camp all week, trying out for the high school team and practicing for her club team as well. She is also taking a summer health class, and will be trying out for the volleyball team in July. Wil is busy with basketball camps, two so far, and now he has taken up skateboarding. He is a gifted athlete and fascinating to watch. I imagine that my poor daughter-in-law Jenny is worn out with all the driving she has to do.

Next week the boys will go to visit family in Minnesota. You’d think I’d get a break, but no, their obnoxious dog Paco is staying with us. There is a slight possibility that this dog could be bipolar. He barks at airplanes, butterflies, and whatever his keen ears pick up on. You cannot walk Paco in public; I learned that the hard way. We were almost to the house when an old man with a black lab approached us. “Can they be friends?” He asked. I was about to open my mouth to yell, “No!” when that half-a-dog Paco  tore out of his leash and attacked a dog twice his size. In a panic I tried to get ahold of him and was knocked on my butt. I leashed him again, and again he went after the dog. The old man who  was walking the black lab was in shock. I was in complete humiliation, having to drag my battered body off the cement only to witness scene two. The dog fight was loud and seemed overly dramatic. Then I saw the old man give Paco a swift kick to stop the altercation. In disbelief  I watched with my mouth fully extended as I heard the old man saying, “Wow! Wow!” as he walked away.

Other than being the biggest jerk dog, he can also be the most loving.

There has to be a balance when being a grandparent. Above all I am going to teach them to love God.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 New King James Version (NKJV)

“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

  San Francisco circa 1985, cousin Diana's wedding   Deuteronomy 1:11
The only picture taken from the boat from the not-so-calm sea
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