Photo of the Week

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Sunday Funny

I grew up in Pittsburgh. The city I love and will always call home even though I lived where I do now for six years of my life.  Oddly enough I live about 2 miles from where I was born but in the end…Pittsburgh is my home.  Black and Gold will always run through my veins and I’m proud to call it home.

I think that’s where my foodie side comes from.  Homemade pierogies, kielbasa, and sausage and peppers.  Heartburn was my friend growing up but as I’ve aged, well, not so much.  It’s been 15 years since I’ve made Italian sausage and peppers in the crockpot and it was time to do it again.

I printed off a recipe, gave it to my wife so she could add the stuff to the grocery list.  Flash forward to this morning when I was making the food to go in the crockpot and I looked at the recipe.  Egads!!  It was horrible!  No No No NO NO NO!!  Did I say, NO?

This is what Italian sausage and peppers should look like.  Do NOT remove the sausage from the casing.  Do NOT cook the sausage all the way.  Just don’t.  DON’T do it.  PLEASE?!?  I beg you.  I’m pleading with you.  Don’t screw up this simple recipe.

The recipe is so simple.  I’ll give it to you here.   Or at least how I did it this morning.

Ingredients

  • 10 Italian Sausage Links (Hot or Mild)
  • 1 Yellow onion sliced
  • 2 Green Peppers cut into thick strips (I do this so I can pull them out/slash avoid them)
  • 28 oz can of diced/chopped tomatoes with Italian seasoning (Dei Fratelli for example)
  • 14 oz can of regular diced tomatoes
  • 14 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 10 sausage rolls
  • 10 slices of Provolone cheese

Directions

  • Brown the sausage.  Do not cook them all the way.  That’s the slow cookers job.
  • If you are a husband, SPRAY THE SLOW COOKER WITH COOKING SPRAY.  THE PERSON DOING THE DISHES WILL LOVE YOU!!
  • Slice the onions and peppers if you haven’t already
  • Throw half the onions and peppers in the cooker
  • Put in five sausages
  • Throw in the other half of the onions and peppers
  • Put in the other five sausages
  • Dump all the tomatoes and sauce in
  • Cook the mix on low for 8 hours.  Low and slow here folks!  This is key!
  • After 8 hours, turn the oven to 350/400.
  • Split the rolls, put in the provolone how you want it, and put in oven to melt the cheese
  • Put in a sausage with onions and peppers (I can’t stand them but I was force fed stuffed peppers as a kid)

That’s it.  Simple.  Delectable.  Magnificent.

Two Notes:

  1. The sausages should be 165 inside temp if you are worried about it.
  2. Get heartburn?  Have antacids nearby.  I only make this every so often because of that.

Revelation – The Prequel (Part 1)

Revelation 21:1

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

In looking at the end of Revelation, after the Millennial Reign of Christ, we know that God will destroy the Earth and rebuild it the way it should have been without sin.  Pretty clear, right?

What about the first time?  What first time?

Folks, I hate to say it but this has happened before.

NOAH

The Great Flood was something very similar but today instead of talking about the Great Flood (see Part 2).

If I asked any of you who our we are descended from originally you’d say Adam and Eve but I would also say that there is someone more important and that is Noah.

Enoch

Methuselah

Lamech

Noah

What a paternal lineage!!  Enoch walked the Heavens with God and never died.  He like Elijah, was taken to Heaven to live with God.  Why?  They will become the Two Prophets in the first three and a half years of the Tribulation.

Methuselah, one of the wisest men to ever walk the Earth.  He lived to be the age of 969 years old and died only days before the Great Flood.

Lamech, Noah’s father.  He provided his son with a name that was most appropriate, Noah, which means peace or comfort.

Noah. What can one say about Noah.  It has been estimated that the population of the Earth prior to the Great Flood was One Billion.  God was only able to find one man who had the Faith to please him.  One man to build and Ark.  One man to shepherd the creatures when God delivered them.  One man selected to ride out 371 days in hurricane or worse seas in a barge with no propulsion or steering.

His only company was his wife, sons, and their wives.  This is amazing.  One man to listen when the population most likely was somewhere in the neighborhood of one billion (I’ve seen the math, it’s not unreasonable).

In Part 2, next week, we’ll discuss why the Earth was flooded and what happened in a little more detail.

Have an awesome day!!!

A Dad

 

PS: As always, reach out if you need to!  I’m here to chat!

 

Friday….A Secret Confession

So here we are on Friday and I’ve only posted a photo this week.  I’m such a slacker.

I have my first post planned out for the Revelation Series which will be called “Revelation – The Prequel”.  I’ll let you stew on the that title for awhile 😀

Some of you may know that I’m a published author and poet but I don’t want to share my name.  I want this blog to be about our shared Faith and Journey and not my prior writing.

I had planned on writing a novel about Revelation and a Pastor that was left behind during the Rapture but that didn’t quite fit the calling that I’ve experienced.  Along with sharing my journey on the Blog, the Holiest of Holies has called me to share my writing gift with the word in a very specific manner.

For quite awhile after receiving the calling, I hemmed and hawed about what my story was going to be so I went back to my old tried and true, the apocalypse.  We know the word Revelation in Greek is ‘apokalypsis’ so I figured I’d head there.  As I wrote, the chapters became more and more convoluted.  More ex machina than I cared for. In the literary world this means special things happening to ‘save’ the characters.  It stems from deus ex machina which roughly means ‘save by god’s intervention’.  Not our God though.  This is ancient Latin referring to a Greek performance.

Basically the writing was forced and I wasn’t happy about it.  I’m probably going to toss the ten chapters to never look at them again.

Now, that being said, I am a HUGE reader.  It’s not uncommon for me to read five books in a week, therefore I have Kindle Unlimited through Amazon.  I read all the Revelation based stories that interested me (there are some stinkers out there).  I then stumbled onto something I never thought I’d read.

Christian Cozy Mysteries

This is my secret.  Deep and dark, I love these stories about Grandmothers who solve crimes or young women who fall in love while solving mysteries.  Christian based clean fiction that’s a fun mystery with humor.

With that being said, that’s where I’m headed.  A male point of view Christian Cozy Mystery.

Now you know my deep dark secret.  I love these stories.  Stories I believe my mother read because the one series has the actual recipes referenced in the story in the back of the book! Bonus!

That’s it for today folks.  Just thought I’d bare my soul a little bit.

Love each other, take each day one step at a time, and never forget He loves you no matter what!

A Dad

 

PS. – If you are interested in this type of story check out the author Hope Callaghan!

 

Slapped in the Head while in Rush Hour

So this morning, I’m cruising along in morning rush hour, making sure I hit my lane changes where I need them, and basically avoiding the other morons (myself included) on the outer-belt.

Often times I’ll think about my writing and what I’m looking for in a subject for a novel.  What grabs my attention.  As an avid reader, I always start with what would grab my attention then progress to what would really grab the reader.

A pastor looking over a river from his backyard.  Sitting in a lawn chair looking out as the lazy water goes by under the early moonlight of dusk.  Suddenly a hand rests on his shoulders.  He looks at the hand and see the spike marks.

“Sweet Mother Mary and Joseph!”

“Yes my son, I miss them too.”

Whoa.  Just whoa.  We never think about it.  His mother, Mary, had to mourn the loss of her son when her was crucified.  We aren’t really sure about Joseph because no indication is really given as to when he passed.

The reverse aspect is also true though, Jesus had to mourn the loss of his mother when He was crucified because He was leaving the Earth.

I immediately thought of my parents and their passing.  I lost my father first to cancer and then my  mother two years later to what I believe was a series of TIA strokes (these are the types that don’t always present).

Man, was I angry.  After so many years of my father and I not getting along, we were doing awesome, only to have him yanked away from me.  Then my mom (being 14 years younger than my next sibling, I was a mamma’s boy) having these many strokes, forgetting how to swallow, and basically starving to death.

Mad is an understatement. Furious. Enraged. King Kong, nitrous fueled anger.  

Then this morning, on just another Friday, driving into the office, He speaks to me.  He took that split second in time to grasp my shoulder and say, “You’re not alone.”

I think that we tend to think of Him as, well, HIM, and tend to forget that he was also Jesus Christ.  He could die, He could bleed, He could feel.

Take those few moments this morning and remember that, yes, the King of Kings, Hosanna, Son of God, and Jesus can feel pain and suffering also.  That you aren’t alone in that battle.  You aren’t alone in that pain when family or friend is ripped from you.

That he is there, hand on your shoulder, sharing your pain. 

I love you all and remember if you need to talk, I’m here for you.

 

A Dad

My Plan

With all the blogs I’ve had in the past I’ve just posted as I’ve felt like and it became a chore.  This time I’m going with a plan.  I Super Duper Ultimate Blogging Plan also know as the SDUBP (I couldn’t come up with any cool acronym).

I’ll be doing three posts a week.  One will be about the Revelation of Jesus Christ.  The second will be random.  It could be a recipe, a piece of scripture, about fly fishing, maybe it’s camping, or just life in general.  The third post will be The Photo of the Week.

Post One – I’m a true believer that the Revelation of Jesus Christ is one of the most important, if not the most important, book in the Bible.  It is a time that, I feel, we are not far from and it has been prophesied about since the Old Testament.  As a student of eschatology, I enjoy deciphering the book and relating it to Old Testament events such as the Great Flood.

Post Two – Sometimes we just need some real life.  I’m a pretty good cook and love smoking meat so be ready for some drool worthy photos and descriptions.  I also am an avid fly fisherman (along with my wife) which goes hand in hand with our camping exploits.  And sometimes, just sometimes, you have to blow off stress about life or tell a funny story.

Post Three – The Photo of the Week.  All these photos have been taken by my wife or I.  There will never be a photo from the Interwebs.  This is a fun hobby for us so they will only be ours.

I’m really looking forward to this.  I’m not going to say what days the posts will be on because I need some flexibility but they’ll be here.

I’m really honored that people enjoy my posts and I’ve started to pick up followers.  It means a lot to me, so thank you very much.

As always reach out if you need to talk or just shoot the bull!

A Dad

Saturday Morning

6:33 AM – Ugh.  I haven’t been able to sleep in for years.  Always gives me a Migraine.  And for you young people out there, staying up until 1AM and getting up at 10AM is not sleeping in.  Still about the same amount of sleep.

When I stepped outside to let the dog out and have a cigarette, I looked at my phone and it said it was 5 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cold.  Dang Cold.  I didn’t see Satan in a parka out there so I know Hell didn’t freeze over.  Just a typical winter here.

My daughter is still in bed and I just woke up my wife to see if she’s going to the food pantry or not.  The one we volunteer at is for Veteran’s and their families.  Since I’m a US Navy Veteran it just seemed like the place to be.  Only today I won’t be going.

At this point your going to say so what?  Well, I don’t miss.  So far I’ve missed twice, once because I was throwing up and the second because we had a nasty ice storm and couldn’t get out of the house.  Why today?  Because I don’t take care of myself.

If you asked me one thing I would say to my 18 year old self, it would be take care of your body.

  • Don’t smoke
  • Watch what you eat
  • Exercise and enjoy it

Those three simple things would prevent where I’m at now.  The weird thing is I KNOW that through God all things are possible.  Now you’re wondering how a guy who writes a Christian Blog isn’t doing amazing?

Because sometimes I have a bit of a wonky relationship with God.  To be even more clear I know it’s ME with the problem.  HIS love has NEVER wavered, it has always been my strength that’s wavered.  I know HIS love for me is never ending but with everything I’ve gone through that worldly and human portion of my mind struggles. (See the blog post Struggles of Faith to see what I’m referring to)

I have no doubt that if I turned everything over to the King of Kings that I’d find the motivation to quite smoking, eat better, and exercise.  I have no clue sometimes why I don’t.  Every time I feel close, I feel the Holy Spirit, something blocks me.  I get angry and frustrated.  I weep in anguish, feeling that I’ve been forgotten, not worthy, or forsaken.  That I’m doomed to walk the Earth until the End of the Daniel’s 70th Week (the end of the Tribulation) until I’m judged, found lacking, and cast to the Lake of Fire.

Sometimes I see glimmers of Hope.  Maybe I understand a sermon, get likes/followers on here, or just sometimes it’s clicks.  But as soon as that happens, that wonderful feeling is pulled just out of my grasp.  I see it.  I feel it and know it’s there but I just can’t reach it.  That’s the exact moment where my strength fades.

Demons?  Most likely.  Good vs. Evil.  Once you have the Seal of the Lord a demon may no longer directly take control of you BUT they can still tempt you.  It’s up to you to choose.

I don’t dislike science, as a matter of fact I believe in a lot of it.  My favorite is ‘for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction’.  Like I said, Good vs. Evil.  Angelic beings vs. Demons.  I’ll get into what demons are in another post but just know they exist.

So back to the point, are they demons stopping me?  My stubborn human brain?  I don’t know but it’s past the point of annoyance.  I want that beautiful relationship with the Lord.  I want to feel his Spirit and bask in the glow of it knowing that I have Eternal Life in front me.  I want to be inspired to continue to spread his word, for now electronically, but maybe some day from the front of a small town church in the Adirondacks (where I want to retire to).  I want to make the right choices and be guided by his light through this murky life so that one day I can be there when Jesus fulfills Biblical Prophecy and returns as promised to create the Millennial Kingdom.

Do you struggle?  Let me know?  Maybe we can pray for each other.  We can support each other in this day by day worldly struggle.

 

Thanks for reading and being who you are,

 

A Dad

The Bride, The Bridegroom, and The Rapture

So when I write a new post, I typically post it on Facebook for my friends to read.  This week I got the first great response from the mother of a friend in Australia saying that she wasn’t to sure about the Rapture and I can understand that.  So I thought that I’d write an extra post this week to discuss this.

For many years, I thought the concept was somewhat crazy until I began to look deeper into the meaning of the Rapture.  God again came to me one evening on my way home from work.  At 5 PM on Freedom FM is a Pastor who I greatly enjoy listening to because he’s so personable and relates to his audience.

After coming to Christ, I got in my car one evening and he had started a series that went on for a few weeks about Revelation.  The first three days were about the Rapture.  Boy was  I confused!  I couldn’t understand this whole, Bride and Bridegroom thing.  The Church is the Bride and Jesus is the Bridegroom.  Okay, but I didn’t want to take this at face value.  With a little help from friend Google, I found the following passage that really sets the stage for how the Church and Jesus’ relationship is handled:

Ephesians 5:25-27

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.

So in my opinion this is saying that the Husband (Bridegroom) and Wife (Bride) are representative of the Jesus and the Church.  Okay, okay, now I get it!  This relationship will continue throughout the New Testament as my readings progressed.

Again it was another day as I left the parking lot at 5 and there was the Pastor on his second day about the Rapture but he was discussing a parable from Matthew 25.  At this point I realized that there was so much foreshadowing in the Bible it was almost impossible to comprehend.  My head ached as I tried to wrap my brain around these concepts.  Fortunately traffic was backed up so I was able to listen to the whole sermon as my head throbbed.

Matthew 25:1-13

1“Then the Kingdom of Heaven will be like ten bridesmaids who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3The five who were foolish didn’t take enough olive oil for their lamps, 4but the other five were wise enough to take along extra oil. 5When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

6“At midnight they were roused by the shout, ‘Look, the bridegroom is coming! Come out and meet him!’

7“All the bridesmaids got up and prepared their lamps. 8Then the five foolish ones asked the others, ‘Please give us some of your oil because our lamps are going out.’

9“But the others replied, ‘We don’t have enough for all of us. Go to a shop and buy some for yourselves.’

10“But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. 11Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’

12“But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’

13“So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.

Ten brides and one bridegroom.  Five brides were prepared with extra oil and five were not.  This represents the faithful being taken in the Rapture and those left behind. For me this was one of the most powerful teachings I’d ever heard.  It said to my heart that ‘be prepared because you never know when the Bridegroom will come’.  Basically be one with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit at all times.

But I still wasn’t at a point where I bought into the Rapture.  Again I turned to my friend Google and found more information.  Boom!  Sledgehammer to the brain time again.  Hint: Buy stock in Advil.

Luke 12:35-40

35“Be dressed for service and keep your lamps burning, 36as though you were waiting for your master to return from the wedding feast. Then you will be ready to open the door and let him in the moment he arrives and knocks. 37The servants who are ready and waiting for his return will be rewarded. I tell you the truth, he himself will seat them, put on an apron, and serve them as they sit and eat! 38He may come in the middle of the night or just before dawn. But whenever he comes, he will reward the servants who are ready.

39“Understand this: If a homeowner knew exactly when a burglar was coming, he would not permit his house to be broken into. 40You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.”

This relates to an old Jewish custom, where the Bridegroom would enter a marriage contract which would include a dowry.  Between ourselves and Jesus, the contract is our unending Faith in the King of Kings.  The dowry would be His death on the cross which paid for all our sins that have happened and will happen.  According to the custom the Bridegroom comes unannounced to gather his bride and then go to his father’s house where there is a feast and then the wedding itself.

This all lends itself to a Pre-Tribulation Rapture where Jesus (the Bridegroom) will arrive unannounced, coming down from Heaven and calling up the Church (the Bride) to be with him.

Again we see two separate teachings tied together.  The parable of the 10 Brides and this passage from Luke.  Each are saying be prepared because the Bridegroom could appear at any time.

Interestingly enough, there is no mention of WHEN the Rapture will occur.  There are no signs.  Simply there will be a command to ‘Come, Hither!’ and the dead and living Believers will ascend to Heaven.  After the ‘Marriage’ it can be inferred that the Saints or Bride will ride with Jesus to Megiddo for the battle of Armageddon.

I believe now.  I never used to. Seriously.  I just thought it was something made up to make people feel better but now I know better.  In my heart of hearts, I know where this is heading.  The only question I have is, will I be worthy enough?

These are simply a few passages that stuck out to me.  There are other Bible verses that support the concept of the Rapture but I wanted to highlight some that really stuck out to me and hopefully will impact you also!

Thanks for reading and may you have a Blessed Day!

Please feel free to reach out through email or follow the blog,

A Dad