Categories
Personal Projects

My 2012 Year-End Update

I managed to do a little better with blogging more frequently in 2012 than I did in 2011, but I still have plenty of room for improvement. I’ll keep working at it in 2013. My goal is to work my way up to weekly blog entries by the end of 2013. We’ll see this time next year, Lord willin’, if I have reached my goal by then.

In retrospect, this year was filled with both the joy of writing and publishing and with the disappointment of not being able to make a go of the new independent ministry that I felt toward the end of 2011 that God was leading me to set up. Although I managed to set up the name, bank account, and other legal and organizational aspects for the ministry, when I finally began conducting worship services, things just didn’t progress as well as I’d hoped and envisioned, so I discontinued the services. Without going into all the details (which are just too personally discouraging for me to share), I feel that God was not ready for me to begin just yet. As discouraging and disappointing as that fact is now, I am determined henceforth to wait patiently for God to instruct me further before I act on this dream again. I intend to begin an extended fast soon after the beginning of 2013 strictly for the purpose of drawing nearer to God, whether He reveals anything spectacular to me or not. I intend to make this about Him rather than about me. I will let you know what I learn from this experience after it is completed.

As for my writing and publishing endeavors, I was able to finish writing and publish my third book, entitled Seven Keys to Effective Prayer, in March of this year. What a thrill it was to finally finish and release it for the reading public! I’m currently planning to test it with a new print on demand printing service and a whole new distribution service. I’m very pleased with the POD service, and if the distribution service works out well, I will start using this service for all of my other published titles, too.

I also managed to publish two other titles in 2012 (one fiction and one nonfiction) by two different authors who are new to Parson Place Press (my independent Christian publishing company). I am already working on my next book, which will deal with the subject of God’s Plan of Salvation for humanity, though I still have plenty of work to do on it before it is finished. Because I’ve agreed to publish at least five other books by other authors (four of which are also new authors to Parson Place Press), plus I want to publish a small collection of my own poetry this year, I will have lots of work to do, so I hope I can make the time to finish writing my book about God’s Plan of Salvation, not to mention that I hope I have enough financial resources to keep my promises, too. Please say a prayer for me to accomplish all that God has planned for me in 2013, and specifically ask Him to help me keep my word.

I have plans for one other important project in 2013 — to create a course about how to be your own publisher, but I want to keep the details about that one under wraps for now until I’m ready to unveil it. I hope it will be a grand success. Be sure to follow me on this blog and on my author site for details as I make them public. Incidentally, I’ve just (in the last week) moved my blog from being hosted on WordPress’ site to being hosted on my own site. If you’re interested, you can also connect with me on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/parsonplacepress) or follow me on Twitter (www.twitter.com/@parsonp) or “friend” me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/parsonplace).

Well, that’s all I have for my review of 2012 and my preview of 2013. So, until next time, I want to wish you a very blessed and prosperous New Year in 2013. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

Categories
Religion and Politics

Will December 21, 2012, Really Be”TEOTWAWKI”?

What? You haven’t heard of “TEOTWAWKI” yet? Actually, TEOTWAWKI is an acronymn for “The End Of The World As We Know It”. According to all the “doomsdayers”, TEOTWAWKI is supposed to happen sometime tomorrow, 21 December 2012, based on the fact that the Mayan Long Calendar ends on that date with no new calendar to succeed it. Is the world really going to end tomorrow?

Well, I have some Good News for everyone and some Bad news for a vast number of people. Do you want the Good News first? Okay, the Good News is that I can guarantee you with 100% certainty that the world will NOT end tomorrow, whether it is “the world as we know it” or the world in general. How can I be so sure? Well, I am so sure because I trust a source that has never been proven wrong on even one single point. What source is that? It’s the Holy Bible, and the Bible says that “the earth abides forever” (Ecclesiastes 1:4 NKJV).

You may say, “But wait a minute! Doesn’t the Bible say the world will end with the great Battle of Armageddon?” Actually, no. The Battle of Armageddon doesn’t end the world, it simply ends an age or era, the Era of Human Government. In that sense, it really will be the end of the world as we know it, but not the end of the world’s existence. Furthermore, if the world was supposed to end with the Battle of Armageddon, since that hasn’t happened yet, we can rest assured the world won’t end tomorrow, nor could it happen tomorrow, because there are still a lot of Bible prophecies that haven’t yet been fulfilled, and based upon the nature of their fulfillment, they simply couldn’t all be fulfilled in one day! Therefore, you can all take a collective breath and exhale now; the world is set to continue as it is for at least another 1,007 years from today. Why 1,007 years? Well, earth and humankind still have to endure the Seven Year Tribulation Period, which ends with the great Battle of Armageddon when Jesus Christ returns to the earth, plus another 1,000 years of Jesus’ initial reign as King. What happens after that? Well, that’s where the Bad News comes in for a vast number of people.

Are you ready for the Bad News now? Well, the Bad News is that if you have not accepted Jesus’ offer of salvation ON HIS TERMS (as stated throughout the Bible), then you will not be allowed to enter His eternal Kingdom and live with Him in joy and peace forever. At the end of the initial 1,000 year reign of Christ, the Bible tells us that God will judge all unsaved humanity (those without a saving relationship with Jesus) from creation till the time that the initial 1,000 year reign of Christ concludes (Revelation 20:11-15). This judgment is called The Great White Throne Judgment, because God sits upon a great white throne to enter into judgment with the unbelieving and/or unrepentant world. Those who are judged at this judgment throne will be cast into the Lake of Fire (Hell) and suffer eternal torment and separation from God without the hope of ever being pardoned or released. You see, the time for being pardoned will have passed, because one must accept this offer of salvation which Jesus extends to us while one lives in his or her life, that is, before dying physically. Once one has died physically, whatever he or she has decided about Jesus’ offer of salvation is settled forever at that point.

So, how can you accept Jesus’ offer of salvation and avoid this Great White Throne Judgment? It’s really very simple. First, believe that what the Bible tells you about Jesus and the way to be saved is true, that is, that God entered into our world through the birth of Jesus (which we celebrate, supposedly, every Christmas), that He lived a life completely without sin so that He could die for ALL sin on the cross as an atoning sacrifice. In other words, Jesus kept all of God’s commandments without ever failing once so that He could swap His righteousness for our sinfulness in a simple act of faith on our part. Second, if we believe that Jesus did all that the Bible says He did for us, that He rose from the dead (that is, that He came back to life after being crucified), and that He is Lord of all forever, then God has promised to save us from eternal damnation. If we truly believe these facts (and they are indeed facts, whether we believe them or not), then we will change our thinking and behavior (what the Bible calls repentance) and strive to live as righteously as we can, understanding all the while that we are not saved by our own keeping of God’s commandments but by our faith in Jesus’ keeping of God’s commandments. It really is just that simple!

Now, if you have never fully believed these truths so that you changed your thinking and behavior regarding obedience to the commandments of God, then I invite you right here and now, right where you are, to humble yourself before God, confess your sins, ask for God’s forgiveness, and begin striving to live the rest of your life for Christ, however long that may be.

While the Good News is that the world will never end (though it will be renovated — see Revelation 20:11 and Revelation 21:1), the Better News is that we who have put our faith in Jesus Christ to save us from eternal damnation in Hell will receive resurrected bodies like His that will never again grow old or get sick or die, and we will live and reign with Christ forever (Revelation 22:5). If you want to be a part of that everlasting Kingdom of Christ, now is the time to act. As the Bible says, “… Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2 NKJV). Don’t put it off even for a moment, for none of us has any guarantee that we will draw our next breath.

If you make this commitment, understand that this is not something you can try out for a while and quit if you don’t like it or if it gets too difficult to do. Jesus used an analogy to make this point when He said, “… ‘No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God'” (Luke 9:62 NKJV). This is a forever commitment, and to demonstrate your commitment to Him and your love for Him, you should strive to obey His commandments to the best of your ability. When you fail to obey Him, as every believer does on occasion, know that He is waiting patiently for you to return to Him in humility to ask Him to forgive you and restore your temporarily broken relationship with Him.

Next, find a good local church who practices the love of Christ toward everyone and who preaches and teaches the unaltered Word of God as given in the Bible and worship with them every week. Give of your resources (your wealth, your time, and yourself) to bless others, both in that local church and wherever you may learn of a need you are able to meet. This is what it means to be a true believer in and a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.

Feel free to contact me with any additional questions you may have about living and practicing the Christian faith. I look forward to seeing you in the Kingdom!