Can you imagine trying to hold onto your China in the midst of an earthquake? Could you picture yourself trying to build a fence against a category five hurricane? Can you imagine putting out your hand as if to stop a wild herd of elephants? This world – the buildings, land, coffee shops, churches, cemeteries, national momentums, rivers, oceans, houses, and all its contents – are fading away. Today? Tomorrow? I do not know, but I DO know that this world is not our home, and one day it will not look like it does today. God, in His limitless wisdom, knows what He is doing. He is not sleeping. He is wide awake as He has always been and knows how to write and implement the chapters of the story.
End Times Parenting
I had a dream that felt like a town rodeo/carnival event. I signed the kids and me up to serve in the kitchen. There were four leaders who were influential in the community who came out to serve (like when you see a governor working in the soup kitchen). They were dressed in unusual costumes (like the Viking guy at the capital riots). The show was about to start, and we were finding our seats in the stands. I looked around and saw many people I knew, all excited about the sense of community and big events. One of the leaders who came to serve said it was time to get into this car (there was a parade to kick off the event). I suddenly felt really uneasy and told Ellie to act like she was really sick. Ushers were trying to get us to stay and not leave. I was adamant that I had to get my sick child home. As we drove through a barricade of workers who were keeping people from leaving, I had to pass through another barricade of police officers. I knew it would be risky to do so as I would be vulnerable for arrest, but I knew I had the authority not to be there and had to get out as quickly as I could. The kids asked me why I was so upset and why we had to go. I told them that the man who came to serve said he had to get into the car marked ‘the christ’ and lead the way. Everyone was roaring over being able to see ‘the christ,’ but I knew it was the antichrist, and his charm memorized everyone. There was no way I could sit in the stands and watch him being ushered in. I had to flee with everything inside of me and keep my children from being exposed to him. I woke up and was so grieved in my spirit how many people were caught up in the moment, unable to discern for themselves. I was grieved by how his charm seduced many. I was grieved by how many felt intimidated by the ushers and barricades, feeling powerless to walk in their free will. The number one thing I pray for in this hour is an increase of discernment.
Someone asked me if I thought we were in end times. My response continues to be that we are closer today than we were yesterday. The final chapter will be played out, and God has allowed us to know the events that will take place. One of the biggest signs of end times will be deception. The antichrist is all about looking, acting, and being like Jesus; however, HE IS NOT JESUS!! Many will fall away from being caught up in deception because it looks, acts, and sounds like the truth, but it isn’t. One thing I see sneaking into the church today is a FALSE TEACHING that hell is not real and that no loving Father would be so harsh as to send His child to hell. THIS IS WRONG!! It is a false teaching because we are all destined for hell. ALL fall short of the glory of God – ALL! We are created by God, and He gave us instructions to follow. Satan tricked Adam, and sin entered. Because of that, every one of us is destined for hell. That is our future. But God’s LOVE saved us from that path by allowing Jesus to take the discipline for us.
The Word tells us in John 3:16 (paraphrased), “For God so loved the world that He gave His Son (to take our spanking for disobeying) and whoever believes in Him shall not go to hell (our destined place) but will live with Him forever.”
We are not destined for heaven, and God sends people to hell. We are all destined to hell because of Adam’s partnership with the enemy and opening the door. It is a loving God to give us a plan back to Him despite our fallen nature. Salvation and heaven are gifts to be intentionally received, not birthrights. Do not fall for this false teaching that twists the love of the Father and denies the entire purpose of sending His Son to hang on a cross. I exposed this teaching to my children and let them know there is a belief in the church that hell is not real. We had a good conversation about it as I want them to be on guard against the deception and be convicted of the truth. If you want to guard against deception in general, you have to be lovers of truth at all costs. The truth is found in the Word, not man’s opinion, science, or popularity.
Call a family meeting and place a treat or prize in the center of the room (pick something the kids would really value or appreciate). Ask them who would like the treat. Tell them that the person who can stand on one leg the longest will win the prize. Some will be disqualified immediately, and others will put in their best effort, but it will cost their bodies something. Celebrate the one who stood the longest. Read together Matthew 26:40, and share how Jesus was going through one of His most agonizing moments on earth. Have them recall a time they went through something really, really hard. Validate that it was hard but that it did not produce hematohidrosis (look up the word together as a family). In that hour of His anguish, He wanted to find His friends praying, but they were too tired and fell asleep. Jesus gives His friends a severe warning. We must STAY AWAKE **and** PRAY so we do not become tempted. Many things draw us away from Jesus, but in this hour, there is one temptation that will lead MANY away. Ask the children if they can guess what it is. Together explore the answer found in Matthew 24:11.
STAY AWAKE AND PRAY! Ask them, “Have you prayed today?” “Have you prayed in the last 24 hours?” Tell them you are going to have a prayer time for five minutes and instruct everyone to pray out loud (it doesn’t have to be very loud but ask them to pray with words and not just in their minds). At the end of five minutes, ask how hard was it to keep going for five minutes. We get tired, and our minds get distracted, just like the disciples who fell asleep. Jesus is giving us KEYS not only to endure but overcome the days ahead.
Increase your family prayer time each day. On the first day, pray together for one minute. Second day, pray for two minutes…
There is only one beginning and one end. And the chapters in between unfold in the Word. Doctors, scientists, pastors, and leaders may carry profound wisdom, but in the end, it must be in alignment with His Word. The world wants to use human wisdom and education to contradict or change God’s Word, but true human wisdom supports the Word.
With much excitement, say to the children, “Guys, Jesus is in New York! Many people are going to see Him. Do you want to go too?!” Test their responses. Many will become excited at the thought of seeing Jesus in person, which is a good thing. But some should feel a check in their spirit. Lead them to the Word to discover what it has to say about seeing Him again. Does it say He is coming to New York? That we will see Him on earth? No, it does not. Therefore, anyone making this claim, no matter how exciting the thought may be, is false.
Explore these verses as a family: 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and Matthew 24. Teach your children that many will say things that may sound true or even make us really excited but that we need to discern what is really His truth and that can be found in His Word. Get in the habit of training your children to be fact-checkers according to the Word. Teach them how to look up a verse, use a concordance and cross-references, and search the Word for His truth.
Mis·take (noun) – an action or judgment that is misguided or wrong.
We all fall short of God’s standard, so we will, at times, make mistakes, be wrong and fail. Jesus was confronted in Matthew with a question. A logical question that made sense, but Jesus first responded by telling them they had made a MISTAKE in their asking. Jesus replied, “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.” The mistake was not the question. The mistake was that they did not know the Word of God.
How much of our struggles in the world stem from simply not KNOWING and then APPLYING the Word of God? If you want children who can navigate through the days ahead with success, they need to avoid this mistake. They need to be lovers of the Word and have a deep value for its truth. In the days ahead, when you encounter issues with your child (hitting, lying, rudeness, lack of self-control, etc.), together search for what the Bible says on these topics. For older children, ask them to come up with three Scriptures on the topic. Let their understanding be shaped by what He has to say on the matter. Get in the habit of searching and looking for the answer IN HIS WORD.
For a week, commit to meeting at the end of the day and picking one topic that affected your day as a family. Search the Word for what He has to say about it.
God knows what He is doing in this odd and new season of 2020 and has created a generation for such a time as this. So many parents are reporting a child having unique gifts, unusual traits, and just different from the norm. I declare nothing is wrong with that child but that God is raising up His army to lead us into the next season on earth. He has entrusted YOU to steward that child’s training. It is super important to be asking God to show you what gifts, assignments, and traits He has wired your child for so that you can partner with Him in your parenting to raise them to their full potential. If we fail to seek God in His plans, we can unintentionally be used to shut the child down or introduce them to the world of being double-minded (his natural self vs. the way he is ‘supposed’ to respond). If you are feeling tension with a child who is perplexing, you do not assume something is wrong, but rather that God may be doing something NEW!
When your child starts school, do you not prepare them with the supplies and tools needed? When you leave your child with a sitter, do you not prepare them with instructions and food? When your child goes on their first overnight, do you not prepare them with verbal instructions and boundaries? When your child enters high school, do you not talk to them about the dangers ahead and ways to stay safe? When your child drives out of your driveway for the first time on their own, do you not issue warnings of safety and caution? How much more then, if you are a good parent that prepares your child for success, does our heavenly Father prepare us for what lies ahead? Settle this matter in your mind and heart once and for all. Either He knows what He is doing IN you, or He doesn’t. If you have concluded in faith that He is good and knows what is coming and how to prepare you like a good Father, then you must embrace, trust and endure WHATEVER He chooses to use to mold, shape, and align you to STRENGTHEN YOU FOR WHAT LIES AHEAD.
Teaching your 2-year-old about self-control strengthens them for their future. Teaching your 5-year-old about self-discipline strengthens them for their future. Teaching your 10-year-old about character strengthens them for their future. No training feels pleasant at the time but costs you something. We die to ourselves when we are being trained in the natural, as well as the spiritual realm. Many of us have endured some excruciating things in this season, but if God is a good Father, then we have to trust that there is a deeper work going on in our hearts through it. I did not say God created the issue to teach you a good lesson. I said God is good and USES it to strengthen us because He knows what lies ahead and prepares us to handle greater pressure. I know it is hard. I know it isn’t easy, but trust me, if you hold on and endure what He wants to do IN you through your present circumstances, it will reap the qualities needed to endure what lies ahead. Look at your present circumstances as strength training. It will break and loosen; it always does. However, in the end, YOU will be refined and aligned, producing a strength to endure and stand for what is to come.