This past weekend was a rough time for our family. My father-in-law, who is now in an assisted living memory care facility has taken an abrupt turn, with marked increase in problematic behaviors. As a retired RN, I know this is not uncommon in dementia. However, there are several factors which make this past weekend’s events particularly egregious.
To see your beloved 88 year old family member subjected to social work and psychiatric evaluation, bodily uprooted from the facility which has become his “home” by armed officers, transported to an intermediary location (local E.R.) and handcuffed to the bed, is a terrible thing.
He was then transported to a third location two hours away from all family, a move which my mother-in-law will be forced to finance, while continuing to pay to keep his space at the original home (should that remain our desire once the facts are all in).
Thus far, we have caught at least one staff member in a blatant lie. And it was that conversation that stirred up pre-existing issues of tenuous trust within in the family. Fissures in relationships left unaddressed will invariably rear their ugly heads when the pressure is on. Lies tossed into the mix by the care providers helped create a tinder box, and the enemy is always thrilled to provide the flame.
For many years now as a watch person, my prayer has been “Lord, make us what we ought to be, and prepare us for what You know lies ahead.” There has just been so much to digest! So much happening in only the first twelve days of this new year, and increasingly I sense the Spirit whispering, “Easy now, caution is the order of this dark hour.”
“See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil” (Ephesians 5:15).
We are going to have to really, really guard against things like existing family fissures, and not give the enemy even the smallest toe-hold to sink his claws into. If you have something between yourself and a loved one (which you have been putting off addressing), you need to do it NOW.
It could mean the difference in just how well you weather the coming “shaking” which I, and many others, believe is about to be unleashed.
I have learned a lot in the heat of battle. Learning to walk in the Spirit is an arduous undertaking. I am sure that there are some people in whom God inserts that skill—fully formed, in a single instant. While others must learn it over a long span of years. I am of in the latter group.
The period we are now entering should definitely be approached as a marathon rather than a sprint. Endurance will be tested, therefore it is critical that we not neglect daily putting on of that armor, and having those moments alone with the Lord before we delve into the daily demands of life.
If you do mess up and get busy before you think to have your quiet time with the Lord, stop when you realize it, or as soon as possible, and take time to acknowledge Him as sovereign, ask His will for your day, and render thanks for your blessings.
I also recommend a few moments meditating on a specific verse or passage before sleep, so that subconsciously you will set the tone spiritually for the hours in which you will be in the altered state of slumber. If you are frustrated about your ability to take in the Word, may I encourage you? That is not an uncommon feeling for Christians to have.
I suggest thinking of your Bible the same way a diabetic thinks of their insulin, or a heart patient thinks of his blood pressure pill. The Word is potent stuff! While in no way minimizing the inestimable value of God’s Word, I submit that when you are in a hurry, even “a little dab will do ya.” (That is at least until you can get more.)
A little is better than none at all, because all Scripture is profitable. A sieve can’t hold water, but the mere act of running water through a sieve renders it cleaner than it was before you started. Continue asking for understanding, and the Lord will build you up in your ability to comprehend.
Our spiritual lives are like a cup of water in that what we expose ourselves to, will either contaminate the water further or dilute the contaminates that are already ever-present. Worldly music, television, and other unholy influences, make the water muddier. 
Conversely, the more we listen to Scripture-based music, preaching, and have fellowship with other believers, sit under solid teaching, we make the water a little less tainted overall. Many species of lizards get their energy by basking in sunshine. It is the same for Christians in gaining what we need within us for weathering the trials life brings our way.
“In Him we live, and move, and have our being, (Acts 17:28).
In what are you basking and what are you putting into your cup?
A couple of weeks ago the Lord directed me to this verse in Psalm 145:
“The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he also will hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserves all them that love him: but all the wicked will he destroy, (Psalm 145: 18-20).
I asked the Lord what the phrase, “Call upon Him in truth” means, exactly. Clearly it is a qualifier, (if/then) so it is a very important piece of this verse which contains a promise. Promises of God are irrevocable, but sometimes conditional, which means if we fulfill the conditions on our end, we can have full-assurance that He will deliver on the promise.
Calling upon Him in truth, means until we get honest in whatever situation we are up against, we need not lodge a grievance or request. If you have anything against a brother, or a brother has anything against you, go take care of it, or for you, the promise is null and void until such time as you have done so.
Calling upon Him in truth also means acknowledging He is God and we are not, and He is fair and just, even when we can’t see it. A pet sin that is un-confessed and not repented of, will stand in the way as well. Satan will inundate you with accusations. The more loose ends you leave unattended here and now, the more vulnerable that makes you to the torment of the enemy. Let’s not give him the satisfaction, nor even the tiniest victories.
Continuing with visual illustrations; when you as a Christian get to heaven, you will be given a different kind of figurative cup than the one mentioned above. This cup will determine your capacity for joy throughout all eternity.
The more obedient you are down here, the more you strive to weather life’s tests and tribulations with faith and grace, the more you serve Him with all your ability and strength, all with a yielded heart, the bigger your cup is going to be up there.
In practical terms, all of us are guaranteed a full cup, but some of us will have bigger cups, while some of our cups will be small indeed. The size of the cup up there is directly related to how malleable we are to the Potter’s hands while we are down here.
Are you bitter and complaining about your lot in life? If have suffered some legitimate harm and wounds in this life and have allowed that pain to turn you bitter; or if those wounds have caused you to withdraw from serving others, please repent. No one else makes you bitter. It is always our own choice. Sin is never really “against us” anyway, according to King David’s example:
“Against thee, and thee only, have I sinned” (Psalm 51:4).
Forgiveness is not easy, but one hard lesson I have learned is that our offenders need not repent or even acknowledge the harm they caused, in order for us to forgive them. We may not be reconciled, or ever trust them again but we MUST forgive. Nothing touches us that doesn’t go through Him first.
So holding on to anger is defiance, pure and simple. Do not be surprised at the fiery trials that befall you, (1 Peter 4:12). They are for the perfection (making whole and pure) of your faith. That is yet one more aspect of “calling upon Him in truth.”
Ask God to show you what you need to repent of, whom you need to forgive, and/or seek forgiveness from or make restitution to, and what you need to confess privately to Him. (Confession should only be as public as the sin, as a general rule, unless it is a stronghold in your life that requires accountability to overcome, such as secret addiction).
To confess means merely to agree with God that the offense is sin, and you are guilty. You are going to need Him very near you in the coming days. Fulfill your end of the deal, as per the clear instructions in Scripture, and you can face those days with utter peace. That is an ironclad promise.
If you are unsaved, or unsure of your salvation status, then calling upon Him in truth means you have to believe that Jesus is the son of God, came down and took the form of flesh-and-blood, lived a sinless life, and died on the cross to bear your penalty for your sin, so that you might have your record of guilt expunged before God in His Holy Court.
You must believe that Christ not only died, but rose again from the dead— as history has thoroughly recorded, and is now reigning at the right hand of God in heaven, and serving still as your Advocate and intercessor. If you read this paragraph, you have just been given the gospel.
If you sense a tug on your heart or conscience, you dare not (and I am begging you not) to brush it off. What you are feeling is the Holy Spirit trying to save you from the wrath to come.
Even non-religious people seem to know that the end is near. A recent Barna poll indicates that a whopping 41percent of Americans believe this, while the number among Protestants is 51 percent Evangelicals 77 percent. 
You’ve seen the footage from Fukushima. Are you ready for what may come our way? Is your house on sand or solid rock? Because what is headed our way is a storm the likes of which this world has never experienced. I don’t care who you are or where you live; this is one storm no one will get to breathe a sigh of relief in knowing they escaped.
The rain is going to fall on the just and unjust, and then those justified by the blood of Jesus will be taken out of the way, and the Tribulation will begin. Those who are left, will likely recognize they are already in the Tribulation, which will facilitate their believing the Antichrist is the Messiah.
 http://pressreleases.religionnews.com/2013/09/11/shock-poll-startling-numbers-of-americans- believe-world-now-in-the-end-times/
Contact the author at: firstname.lastname@example.org, http://www.servehiminthewaiting.com