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We don’t want it to happen

Hey everyone.

Tis’ been a really long time since I blogged on here. I have blogged a couple times on Medium’s platform but I’ll just say that’s my more secular general blog. Work is going well, been working at the Lake Union Conference full time since January (was part time before that). I’m in communications so yeah, we’re suppose to communicate and stuff like that.

Anyways, the reason I’m blogging today is because I’ve been contemplating something for awhile and this time of year seemed appropriate for the topic. The second coming of Christ. It’s Biblical. It’s gonna happen. Jesus is coming back soon. Yes, yeah, of course. That is known and everyone “embraces” that fact. You hear prayers like “…and please come back soon—this world is getting worse and worse…”

Now let me toss some things in the thought gears. If that is indeed true that Jesus is coming back and we actually really truly want him to come back… Why are some individuals worried about voting because that will bring in laws restricting religious freedom? Yeah the reeeeliiigiiiooousss RIGGGGHT could bring in the Sunday law, but so could anyone else in power. And if the former does, why are we afraid to vote for them? The sooner Jesus comes back the better right? No? Oh why not? (my guess is that we like the comfort of no persecution, because that’s between us and the Second Coming)

Next point, why do we still invest in assets and stuff n’ things? If we really believed Jesus was coming soon wouldn’t we like be on a mission to spread the gospel? Or is that too far out there? I’m getting to the point in life where people are like, you should start saving up for a house and I’m like… a house? But why? I don’t want to own a house… that’s way too fixed and comfortable. And then there’s a struggle in my mind is it a lack of faith to do this or a lack of faith to do that.

I’m trying to look through everything when it comes to stuff and things through the light of a) persecution is coming b) money isn’t going to do a lot of good for us very shortly c) if it’s time consumption that does no one any good (even in good activities/collections etc) is it worth investing time in d) that goes for books, music, movies, literature, videos, food, hobbies, *insert whatever else here* (I don’t know if that sentence worked but you get the point[moving on]).

What if the Bible were banned next year because it’s too controversial. What if certain groups labeled parts of it as hate stuffs and new edited versions of the Bible came out that were “approved”?

What if the church split? Get ready for that one.

What about the Bible talking about people during persecution being on their own because their family left them on their own? It’s happened in the past. History repeats you know. Is your faith strong enough to stand if your family and best friends completely left you on your own?

What if… just what if—we only had a year of two until our probation closes for eternity. God is up there now making decisions and thankfully Jesus is our intercessor. But when He sets everything down, sits back, stands up and walks out. It’s over. And no one here on earth will know that he stood up, just like no one here on earth noticed that he entered the sanctuary back in 1844, on the day that nothing happened here on earth. With our intercessor being gone, have mercy, whatever we were doing right along… we’ll still be doing. So if it was just… justice will continue, if it was righteous that will continue, if it was a problem/bad/sinful/unrighteousness that will just keep on flowing as usual.

So what’s being written in the record book currently about you? Mine’s pretty bad, honestly, but I believe and know that there is hope. Through Jesus we have that choice to make every day. Praise God for His kindness and mercy.

I’m still trying to figure out why no one really wants Jesus to come back. It’s like we’re all sleeping. I know I have been. It’s like we’re happy with how life is going. I know that’s been me. But it’s probably a really good time to destroy that snooze button and wake up. Folks we have a long way to go but don’t give up your faith, hope or love. Truth wins in the end. Stay strong.

It may be a long time until I blog again. It might not be. I may never blog again. I can’t see the future. I don’t know if I will live past any specific day… but I know I had today. Did I use it to His glory? Oh… and one other thing… I know my Redeemer lives… and guess what?!

He’s coming back! Extremely. Soon.

Bro Love,

-Pieter

Safe stuff

I guess I don’t understand safety. Maybe I should say, I don’t understand the worry that is involved. Either that or it’s a combination of both-ish? I guess what I mean is something along the lines of… Why are people worried of flying? Why are people worried about traveling in other countries (especially for mission related stuff)? I mean yeah my car doesn’t have airbags but why should that matter? Why should I carry a weapon wherever I go? Why should I try to preserve my life by trying to?

I think everything comes down to a misinterpretation of purpose. Every one of those aspects mentioned should be worrisome to any individual if they’re not sure they’re following God’s will or if they’re not in line with what they know God wants them to do. The problem comes when we try to preserve life, as if we are a god. Mercy. We have no control over our life when it comes to living or dying. Yes there are some things in life that could be labeled as presumptuous, but I’m talking general terms here.

We live as long as we have a purpose. Once our purpose is over God lets us fall asleep. Whether that comes by sickness, some accident, or by someone killing us, it’s not really up to us.

Christians should technically be peaceful people with the peace of God in their hearts. However, it seems like that isn’t usually the case. We aim to protect our rights. We try to protect our money. We strive to be safe. Frankly, Christians can be very fearful people. 

Is trying to be safe really hurting us though? When was the last time you heard of someone dying for their faith?… like a westerner dying. Yeah, maybe because we love to play it safe. Guess what? We’re still here on this planet. Whatever we’re doing doesn’t actually seem to be working. Maybe if we worry less about the protection of our houses, lands and rights, fret less about travel, anguish less over the fact that we could die in another locale other than home turf, and doubt less the power of God, maybe then we could get somewhere.

If there is anything we should be afraid of — it is that of not pleasing God. If you’re fearful, what is it that makes you afraid to die? Maybe you need to spend some quality time on your knees. I know I need to. If you need faith to see past the worry, He has a treasure house full of those kinds of blessings. Just ask.

 

“The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid?”

Psalms 27:1 nkjv

 

Have a nice week!

-Pieter

It’s one day at a time

I think it’s kind of a weird thing. Life is moving almost too quickly for my tastes. Yeah the Bible says to take it a day at a time, but I feel like I’ve looked to the future a lot. Oooo what’s next? Academy? Yay can’t wait to go to Andrews University. Hmmm, maybe I should graduate. Oh what should I do now. Work! Yes, work. Where? Oh I have a job now! Now what?

You see where this is going? We’re thrown up against a standard of what’s nexts… So for the average person it’s like high school, drivers license, college, insert maybe grad school here, job, get married, have kids, midlife crisis (I added that), retire, retirement, die. Am I missing anything? Yeah I feel like this is the typical life marketed to everyone.

Where are the moments? The moments of life that fall between the cracks? The future is largely unknown except for some prophecies that paint the bigger picture. Wait, have I already done a blog post about this? Yeah I’ve mentioned how time flies and of course I realize that every day as life progresses… so yeah.

I think these thoughts happen to individuals during transitions in their lifetime. Like between academy and college, education and employment, etc etc. Oh wait, I must be talking about myself. Well now that life moves on to that full time employment milestone, I’m realizing those moments are some of the most important parts of life. Folks, it’s not about what’s next what’s next?…It’s about today. God gives you today. As for me… I’m gonna try to aim to make today count, I’m going to cherish the moments.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Matthew 6:34 

Happy Holidays folks!

-Pieter

Plenteous in mercy

Well… last year was an experience. I had no idea where it was going, but I remember missing thanksgiving with the family. We had to cancel out of it because my health had gone downhill and I was going for treatments to make it all better… or that’s what I thought. You see, back then I didn’t know the problems were deeper than they really were. It was not an easy journey, but it was a journey filled with providences and subtle blessings.

You probably have no idea how nice it is going from wheelchair to being able to walk again, but… it’s pretty fantastic. Really. There’s this lady at my church that calls me walking miracle, and for awhile I thought that name seemed a tad different. But hey, my story is different and special… and even if it is a medical miracle it’s pretty much still a miracle. Honestly, I’m just so thankful I can walk I just don’t know what to write… Ahhh the things I take for granted all the time!

I know of an individual who had some joint replacements this summer and due to some not-so-good care and some weird complications, he didn’t make it to this thanksgiving. Super sobering.  So it was a blessing I found the doctor I did and that there were no complications.

Every day I am reminded of the various blessings of fake hips. Ha… well maybe I should have just called them “replaced joints.” From the basic stuff like putting on socks with ease to the more “intense” kinds of things like running stairs or prancing down to the water’s edge by Lake Michigan while I take in a sunset, I’m truly blessed.

I’m positive life’s challenges are far from over, however I’m so thankful that Jesus makes a way and continues to guide. Due to the possibility of infections and other minor details with replaced joints, I may not be spending a lot of time in third world locations or other areas where infections can be acquired easily. Sure that’s a bit of a disappointment, but I’m sure God has some different special plans for me.

The beautiful thing in life is that we’re only given one day to focus on at a time. The past lies behind us as a history to us of how God has led previously. The future extends before us… sure we may know some of the major points from prophecy, but most of the details are missing, which is also a blessing. The nice thing about the future is that we don’t have to worry or fret about it, and I think that’s one of the bigger details I’m pretty sure I forget often.

As a follower of Jesus the future is bound to provide challenges and pain, but as He has guided in the past, He will guide on. I’m thankful for Jesus. I’m thankful for His leading. I’m thankful for a day like Thanksgiving so that I can remember what I’m thankful for.

Blessings,

Pieter

Ps: If you have some free time… contemplate Psalms 103. Absolutely Beautiful.

The story of that one island

Once upon a time in the state of Pure Michigan… ok, so my mom and I decided one Sunday after breakfast that we were going to plan our upcoming trip to Isle Royale. We were counting on heading out on Tuesday so we could get to Grand Portage, Minnesota in time for the Wednesday morning ferry. As we were trying to calculate days and mileage etc, we tried to book tickets on the ferry boat thingy and realized the boat was already full. Blast. On to option two, get to Copper Harbor, Michigan by 8am the next morning (Monday).

As my mom said, it was like packing for the time of trouble or some disaster. We were out of the house by 3pm. The dehydrator was still running with stuff we would have taken had we gone Tuesday. Oh well. It was an adventure, and you know I like adventure… so it was amazing.

We ended up overnighting in Houghton, Michigan (pronounced Hoh-ton not how-ton). It was a pretty cool place but we really never realized it until later due to the fact it was night when we came and night when we left… We did notice there was a huge university there. So random… but yeah, it’s Michigan Tech.

As we left Houghton in the morning we called my dad to do some last minute touch-base stuff. My mom said she’d call him before the boat left but Copper Harbor was so cool they don’t have cell phone reception. One of the prettiest towns in Michigan I must say… reminded me of New England. Of course a lot of the Keweenaw Peninsula was amazing like that.

So the boat left and we were on it of course. The ride was about three and a half hours and dropped us off at Rock Harbor, Isle Royale… Michigan. That was a lot of travel to still be in the same state. #puremichigan. Yep, just hashtagged that. The first thing we noticed or found out was that everything was closed. The little shop there, the showers, the lodges and restaurant (you see we went to the more “commercialized” side of the island) were all closed ’cause it was the end of season. I actually preferred that because then there’s less peoples and things and stuffs. I think we would have worried about operations being closed if we didn’t already have everything we needed like fuel or a water filter or something. There was a ranger guy that gave a quick orientation and then it was time to… Backpack! We had a light lunch and filled up our water supply before we hit the trails.

The first day was probably pretty short in backpacker terms. It was a three mile trek to the first campsite. I thought it was a good first day accomplishment, but that’s just my opinion. The hike took us along the southern “coast.” Which is kind of along Lake Superior?… but not really?… Just cause there’s these surrounding islands that block the breaker waves… ok but I guess it’s still Superior… whatever… anyways, the views were fantastic.

Day two took us from Three-Mile campground (yep that’s the name, ya wonder why huh?) over to Lane Cove on the North side of the Island. That was about five and a half miles? Anyways, Lane Cove was so beautiful it’s not funny. In addition to the gorgeous scenery, around dusk the loons started wailing… in a good way. Spectacular.

We slept without the fly on the tent that night because… we’re cool like that… no actually that was my idea due to the fact I wanted to watch the stars. I actually fell asleep though, so I’m not sure how useful that was. I woke up at 4:30am because the moon that had been glowing happily, disappeared. There were some low clouds that left my mom and I wondering if and when it would rain. I mean it was real camping and we couldn’t just check a weather app.

We packed up early in the morning… and I decided we should go back to the Rock Harbor campsite. We knew it would rain, we just didn’t know when. I figured it would be better to be at Rock Harbor in the campsite shelters if it rained and I figured we could do day hikes if we wanted from there.

He headed back to Rock Harbor. That was seven and a half miles of a trek and I was pretty exhausted when we got there. I crashed at 6:30pm and missed seeing another moose that walked through camp… but my mom saw him. Yeah, so that first moose… it was seen at Lane Cove… far, far away… swimming across the cove. But it was a moose. Oh, did I mention I could see the shores of Canada from Lane Cove? They were also far, far away, in fact, a lot farther than the moose, but you could still see it. True story.

After we got back to Rock Harbor it was kind of chill time after that. I guess you could say that was a really easy trip maybe for some of you, but it was a landmark accomplishment for me. There was one guy on our boat who had a 50lb pack… Between Monday and Friday he also trekked 50 miles. I won’t ever get to that backpacking status, but hey, it’s something I can do, so that’s cool.

I could try to explain how nice the island looked or the experiences we had, but I won’t. You’ll just have to experience it for yourself. I will say there was a lot of moss and lichen. It looked incredible… almost enchanted. Oh and I saw a wolf print I think, kinda looked fresh too.

It was an adventure. It was a blessing. It was Isle Royale.

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The hike down to lane cove… steepish…

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Some Moss n’ stuff.

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My feet and tent?

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Hey it’s me…

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Don’t I look so excited? I was enjoying a sunset.

Have a nice weekend!

-Pieter

Some contest thingy

So I entered a video contest. Your vote(s) would be helpful.
You can vote here.
Oh btw I did go backpacking… And it was to Isle Royale. I will be posting a few pics sometime as well as the complete story. Yes, it was earlier than I thought, but hey, that’s even better that I did it earlier than planned huh?
I’ll just say it now… It’s a big blessing to be doing active things again. Like today I was in the office and I jumped up to get something… Then thought to myself wow that was super easy getting up… I couldn’t do that once upon a time.
Anyways, have a happy weekend!
Blessings,
Pieter

It’s called training

Well, a couple Sundays ago, we were at a church social on a lake. My dad came down to the waterfront and was asking where I was. One of my relatives mentioned that I was on the jetski somewhere on the lake. He was like, “What?” I believe the response he got after that was something along the lines of… “You know you’re going to have to get used to this, now that he’s active.”

Yeah well even I have to get used to this. There’s so many things I’m finding I can now do. I’m already planning on what snow gear I’ll get when it starts snowing so I can stay active. But snow… that’s aways in the future for now… Let’s start a bit earlier.

Early to mid October I’m headed out on a backpacking trip to Isle Royale. It’s a national park island thingy in the north part of Lake Superior. This will be a bit different and new, but hey, life is an adventure so here it goes. And this is the part where I start talking about training up for it… Yesterday I decided I’m really going to need to build up… So I walked two miles in the morning, then one on the beach and dunes in the evening. Today in addition to normal PT stuff, I pulled out my bike and dusted it off. It’s been a year or so since I rode it. I took that for a 4.86 mile spin.

You have no idea how much of a blessing it is to be mobile again. It’s kind of like a second chance at life. Zero activity is about as fun as eating tofu plain. Anyways, God is good.

So here I go training… Have a great week!

-Pieter