Tuesday, November 28, 2017

My Understanding of "The End Times"

            I wrote a section for Christians about “The End Times” in the Bible study I wrote.  But I wanted to write a shorter, easier-to-understand version for everyone else.  With all the hurricanes, earthquakes, “cash-less” technology, terrorism, martyring of Christians, people’s rebellion against everything God stands for, disease epidemics, the technology to put little radio transmitters into people’s hands containing their information, the various celestial events, a fast-approaching “one-world system,” a brewing civil war, a brewing world war, the events surrounding Israel and Jerusalem, etc., it seems like a good time to post this.

            And no … contrary to a popular “prophecy,” I do not think the world will end with a large planet crashing into us.

            Oh, no … it’s so much worse than that!  Or better!  Depending on whose side you’re on.

            (And may I add ... I find it so funny that scientists swear up and down that there is no Planet X that is going to crash into Earth like that one guy predicted, yet none of them saw that strange, cigar-shaped asteroid coming - the one that whizzed by us not too long ago, that came from another solar system, that was completely unpredicted and unlike anything seen before, and that travelled very fast.  And yet they say there's no chance of a Planet X crashing into us?  A little overly confident, don't you think?)

            And to all those scoffers who say "None of this has anything to do with the end of the world" or "There is no 'end of the world' and Jesus isn't coming back again," I would like to ask you ...

            "Are you so sure!?!  Are you so sure that there isn't a supernatural world out there?  That there isn't a God who will someday do exactly what He said He'd do in His Word?  That He isn't moving and working in this world and about to bring this time to an end?  Are you so sure!?!  Even if the end doesn't come in our lifetime, it will come someday - in our own lives and for the world as we know it.  Are you prepared to face the truth?  Will you find the truth before it's too late?"     

            Alright, onto “The End Times”…

            I believe we are fast approaching the time of Jesus’s return.  Far too many factors are lining up for it to be too far off in the future.  Of course, I could be wrong.  But I think we are nearing the end of life as we know it.  I think Jesus will return to collect His people, the true believers, soon.  Soon could be tonight … or soon could be 10 years from now or more.  I don’t know.  But every day I pray that today is the day. 

            My husband thinks we’re not there yet, that things have to get a whole lot worse first.  But I think that while they might get worse first (and probably will), they don’t have to get worse first.  It’s possible that it could be anytime now.  And that is my hope. 

            Whatever the timing is, here is my best guess (educated speculation) on how I think things will happen.  (I will not add “I think …” to everything, but know that it’s what I mean to say.)  Just tuck all this in the back of your mind, in case it starts to look familiar:

Okay, so here is my quick overview of “the end times,” starting with …  

            1.  The rapture:

            I believe that the next event on “the end times” schedule is the rapture of true believers.  This is when Jesus takes the believers out of here in a split second, in the twinkling of an eye, much like you see in the movies when people simply vanish.

            1 Cor 15:51-52.  “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.”

            God will remove His faithful people and the Holy Spirit … and the world will be left to itself to face the Anti-Christ’s rule, to make their final decisions about whether they want to side with Jesus or Satan, and to face God’s wrath which will be poured out on the earth. 

            This is the “thief in the night” coming (different from the visible coming of Jesus later), which will happen when it’s like “the days of Noah.”  There is speculation about what “the days of Noah” looks like, but I think it includes a world-wide rebellion against God, flagrant disobedience to His ways, an apathy towards God and truth, mocking those of the Christian faith, and failing to take any warnings seriously.  So very much like right now!    

            Matthew 24:36-41 says that the rapture will happen when life is going on as normal, with people eating, drinking, marrying, and believers working side by side with unbelievers.  Life will be so common and cushy that believers are warned to stay awake, to not get so spiritually relaxed that we fall asleep. 

            And then, during this time when believers and unbelievers are working and living alongside each other, one will be taken and the other is left behind.  Christ will come suddenly, invisibly, and without warning to rapture believers (dead and alive) out of here before the seals (the tribulation) start. 

            Matthew 24:36 says that “no one knows about that day or hour,” when “one will be taken and the other left.”  It will catch us unaware, which is why we Christians need to stay awake and be alert.  And this is why unbelievers need to consider this now and make a decision now … before it’s too late.  Being “left behind” is not an idea to mock; it’s one to be taken seriously.  (Rapture verses:  Matthew 24:36-41, 1 Thess 4:16-17, 1 Cor 15:51-52) 

            The people who are raptured are those who “long for the coming of the Lord” (2 Tim 4:8).  In this verse, it says that those who long for the Lord’s coming will receive the “crown of righteousness.”  I think this crown is the same crown that the 24 elders are wearing in Rev 4, showing that the elders represent the true followers of Christ that were raptured out.

            These elders are the 12 leaders of Israel (possibly representing the pre-Jesus believers) and the 12 leaders of the church (the apostles, representing the post-Jesus believers).  This would include all believers who lived before and after Christ, up until the end of the church age. 

            And the fact that they are around the throne before the seals are opened shows that they are taken out of the earth before the tribulation starts (the 7 years which mark the end of time as we know it, including Satan’s rule and God’s wrath). 

            According to Strong’s Concordance, the word “elder” is never used of angels.  Therefore, we can conclude they are human - humans (faithful believers) who are spared from the “hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole earth to test those who live on the earth.” Rev 3:10.

            There is no reason for them to be tested because they’ve already made their decision.  Nor is there any reason for God’s wrath to be poured out on them because they have been faithful to Him.  Basically, there is no reason for them to be there during the tribulation, so they are taken out before it starts.

            (For more on why I think the elders represent the raptured church, go to “The End Times” in the Bible study I wrote.  There’s a lot more info there.)

            The rapture will be a huge wake-up call for those who have not yet chosen:  Jesus or the world (Satan).  Since the faithful believers have already made their decision, there is no reason for them to be here, so they are spared from this time of testing, this “make your final decision” time.  

            I believe that after the rapture, many, many people will come to faith in Christ because they will finally understand and believe that Jesus was the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  And this group of believers is “the great multitude” who is taken out later in the tribulation, before the next set of judgments start (the trumpets).   

            [However, not all Christians believe there will be a rapture.  It is a debatable topic in the Bible, based on unclear, confusing Scripture.  Some Christians believe the rapture happens before the tribulation, some say during, some say after.  And some don't even think there will be a "secret" rapture, believing instead that the next event is the visible coming of Jesus, which will close the door of salvation for good, not allowing for a "second chance" to believe.  None of us knows for sure which interpretation is the right one.  We just know that Jesus will come back again, in one way or other, and that now is our time to decide if we will choose Him or reject Him.] 

            After the rapture (which I believe is before the tribulation), I think there will be people who try to spread the idea that the “troublemakers” were removed.  It will help them feel better about themselves, about being left behind, to think that the “bad people” were taken out but the “good people” were left.  But this lie won’t work on everyone because a “great multitude” will come to faith during the tribulation.  (I also read one guy once who predicts that aliens and UFOs will play a part in the end times, that people will be convinced that aliens abducted the believers.  He thinks this is part of the "powerful delusion" that God sends the world in 2 Thess 2:11 to harden the hearts of those who choose to not believe in God.  However, he doesn't mean real aliens and UFOs but demons and demonically-inspired delusions.  After the recently released military footage of a UFO, I can see how this could be possible.)   

            After the rapture, those left on earth will then enter the tribulation as the seals begin opening sometime after the rapture.  But it doesn’t have to start right away.  There could be an amount of time before the seals open.  (Personally, I think there will be at least a little time before the seals start opening while the world reorganizes itself and gathers its bearing after having millions of people disappear.)

            2.  Seals 1-4 and the start of the tribulation: 

            Sometime after the rapture, the seal start to open (Revelation 6).  Seal 1 is a rise in false christs (or just one particular “leader” who offers peace – the rider on the white horse with a bow but no arrows).  Seal 2 is war.  Seal 3 is famine.  Seal 4 is death by sword, famine and plague, and wild animals. 

            I’m not sure if the seals are at the beginning of the 7-year tribulation or sometimes before it or if the seals are actually going on now but will simply increase as the tribulation gets closer. 

            Of course, over history, we have seen the same kinds of things that will happen during the seals: false christs, war, famine, etc.  But I think these things will increase drastically after the rapture.  Evil will run rampant once all believers and the Holy Spirit are removed. 

            But the next event after seals 1-4 (and the rapture, of course) is … 

            3.  The Signing of the Treaty:

            The definite start of the official 7-year tribulation (the “trib”) is when a “7-year peace treaty” is signed between the Anti-christ (AC), Israel, and other leaders, as seen in Dan 9:27, sometime during or after the opening of these first 4 seals. 

            This starts Israel’s missing 70th week (Dan 9:24).  That seventieth week is when God’s attention turns back to Israel.  It is not meant for the Church.   And most of the things that happen during that time - the tribulation - are specifically about Israel. 

            I believe that during these seals and the early part of the trib when the peace treaty is signed, the AC hasn’t yet been given supreme authority to rule.  He is just one of a group that signs this treaty, trying to bring the world together.  (It’s not hard to imagine this happening, if you think of the chaos that would happen after millions of people vanish.)

            The rise of the Anti-christ is seen in Dan 7:19-25.  He is the “little horn” who will rise to power, surpassing the 10 “kings” that were already in power and then subduing (over-throwing?) 3 of them.  Most likely these 10 kings are those who head up the various parts of the world, to bring the world under this peace treaty.  And then the AC subdues 3 of them and eventually rises to supreme power. 

            4.  Breaking the Treaty and the 5th Seal: 

            Daniel 7:25 says that the “saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.”  That’s a year, two years, and half a year.  So for three and a half years, he will wage war against believers and Israel.  I think this is after the first four seals. 

            I believe that for part of the first half of the trib, the AC is ruling along with the other “kings,” under that peace treaty.  And then about halfway through the 7-year trib, the AC breaks the treaty, turns on the “kings” and turns on Israel.  He assumes supreme authority and sets up the “abomination that causes desolation” (Dan 9:27, Matt 24:15) in the Temple and starts to martyr believers.  This mass martyrdom is the 5th seal.  It ushers in a time of great distress for Israel, specifically, and for believers everywhere (Matt 24:9-25).

            [At some point, the AC receives the “fatal wound” that had been “healed” (Rev 13:3).  And he is now Satanically-empowered and people are astonished and follow him, believing him to be a god.  This may be at this 5th seal, when he sets up the “abomination,” proclaiming himself to be god and martyring those who worship the true God.  Or this “fatal wound” and Satanic-possession may happen some other time, such as when he sets up the image that can talk/kill and issues the number of the beast (Rev 13:15), which I think comes at a later date than the 5th seal.  I’m not sure yet.  I haven’t quite figured out the time frame for some of these events.]

            The 5th seal is when John sees the souls of the martyrs under the altar as they cry out for God to avenge their blood.  I believe these are martyrs of the tribulation.  And God says that these martyrs will have to wait a little longer to see justice poured out, after the rest of the martyrs (of the last half of the trib) are killed by the AC.

            5.  Seal 6: 

            Sometime in the midst of this martyrdom, the 6th seal is opened.  This is when there is a great earthquake, the sun turns black, moon turns red, stars fall to earth, the sky recedes like a scroll, and every mountain and island is moved from its place.  Then the people hide in the rocks, crying out and asking the rocks to fall on them and to hide them from the Lord’s great day of wrath.  (Rev 6:12-17)  

            This is also described in Matthew 24:26-31.  It says that after the cosmic events, the sign of the Son of Man appears in the sky and all the nations mourn.  (This is when they cry to the rocks to fall of them.)  And they mourn because they just witnessed the . . .

            6.  The Visible Coming of Jesus:  

            As the cosmic events happen, Jesus returns physically, visibly, to take out the “great multitude,” those who became believers after the rapture.  According to Matthew 24:30, all people will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds in power and great glory. 

            I think Jesus “coming on the clouds” is the “sign of the Son of Man” that appears to everyone, making them terrified, running to the rocks, mourning because they missed the truth all along.  (This can’t be describing the same event as the rapture passages because the rapture happens “in the twinkling of an eye,” but being able to see the Son of Man coming on clouds, long enough to freak out about it and to run to the rocks to hide, will take longer than a “twinkling.”) 

            Many Christians think that the “celestial signs” precede the rapture, so they watch the sky closely, thinking that every time the moon looks red or there’s a solar eclipse that the rapture is coming.  I, however, don’t think these signs happen before the rapture.  I think the rapture happens earlier - suddenly and with no warning - and that these celestial signs happen during the tribulation, before the “great multitude” is taken out when Jesus comes back visibly to gather them at this 6th seal. 

            The people who are still here after the rapture happens, after the seals start opening, after the signing of the peace treaty, after the AC sets up the “abomination” in the Temple, and after the martyring of Christians should be looking for these cosmic signs. 

            “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”  (Luke 21:28)     

            This “great multitude” that Jesus takes out of the earth is seen around God’s throne, wearing white and holding palm branches, in Rev 7:9.  As it clearly says, they are those “who came out of the great tribulation.”  They are not raptured believers.

            Because if that was the case, there would many, many people in this group who were not around to see the trib.  Remember that in the 1 Thess 4:16-17 rapture passage, it says that the dead believers rise first and then the living believers.  The 1 Thess group and the “great multitude” can’t be the same group of people … because there is no mention of all these dead believers in the great multitude.  (And most likely, the dead of all time would far outnumber the believers of the trib.)  This “great multitude” is not called “those who came out of the trib plus all the believers from before the trib.”  It’s called “those who came out of the great tribulation.”  And that’s exactly who I think they are.

            (For other “visible coming of Jesus” passages, see Matthew 24:30-31, 2 Thess 1:7, 2 Thess 2, and Joel 2:30-32.  These refer to the great trib and/or the cosmic events and Christ’s visible second coming.) 

            This multitude includes all those who became believers after the rapture.  They will be spared from the next set of judgments, when God’s wrath is poured out on those who stubbornly refuse and reject Him.  By this time, things will be so supernatural that it will be clear to all people who God is and who Jesus is.  And so when people make a decision to choose Jesus or reject Him they are doing it in full knowledge of the Truth.

            Also at this time, after the multitude is taken out, God leaves 144,000 Jewish people on earth to be witnesses, sealed with the seal of God on their forehead. 

            Note that during the church-age, believers are given the Holy Spirit inside of them as a seal (Eph 4:30 says we were sealed with the Holy Spirit for the day of redemption.  I believe that day is the rapture.)  But in the trib, people are sealed with the name of God on the forehead (Rev 9:4).  This further confirms that the church-age believers and the Holy Spirit are taken out before this time.

            [Matthew 24:31 tells us that when Jesus comes back again visibly with power and great glory, He will send His angels to gather up His elect.  And I wonder if this is when, in front of the angels, Jesus disowns those who disowned Him. “I tell you, whoever acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will also acknowledge him before the angels of God.  But he who disowns me before men will be disowned before the angels of God.”  (Luke 12:8-9)  Basically, He passes them up, telling the angels not to gather them up with the elect.  They disowned Him, so now He disowns them before the angels.  Just a thought.]      

            The rest of the people who did not get taken out with the great multitude are still in the midst of the AC’s 42-month reign, and they all go into the . . .

            7.  The Trumpet Judgments: 

            Trumpets 1-6 are in Rev 8 and 9.  This is the “dreadful day of the Lord.”  It is a time to punish and pour out His wrath on those who refused Him. 

            It includes a third of the earth burning up, a “huge mountain”  (asteroid?) crashing into the sea which turns a third of it to blood, a “blazing torch” (poisonous comet?) crashing into the rivers and poisoning those who drink the water, a third of the sky’s light turning dark (a consequence of the impact of the asteroid and comet?), demons in the form of locusts tormenting people, and four angels sent to kill a third of mankind with fire and smoke and sulfur.  And yet, according to Rev 9:20-21, even with all these events, wicked mankind still won’t repent or turn from their wicked ways.     

            I wonder if during this time sometime is when the AC creates the image that can talk and issues the mark of the beast, 666.  It could have started earlier, but the Great Multitude wasn’t described as being victorious over the beast’s image, name, or number.  But the next group taken out is, in Rev 15:2.  This is why I think that the number and image might not be introduced until after the great multitude is taken out. 

            Who knows . . . maybe it’s the fact that the great multitude was taken out that causes the AC to introduce this new system of keeping track of people and controlling them?  Plus, at this point, the AC would be Satanically-empowered and able to perform “wonders and miracles.”  So it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine an image being created that can talk and kill. 

            And, after witnessing Jesus coming back for His people, there would be no more wondering if Jesus was real or not.  People will know that if they take the mark, they are pledging allegiance to the Anti-christ, to Satan.  So they cannot claim, “Oops, I didn’t know that was the mark of the beast.  I didn’t know there was an Anti-christ.”  It will be crystal clear.  And their decision to choose Jesus or Satan will be deliberate. 

            Either way (whether the image/number started earlier or not until the trumpet judgments), there will be more martyrs during this time under the image/number of the beast.

            8.  The Two Witnesses:  

            Sometime during all this, God places two witnesses on earth who have supernatural abilities.  They can stop it from raining, turn water to blood, send fire out to destroy those who come against them, and strike the earth with any plague they want.  But when they finish their testimony, they will be killed (by Satan?  The Anti-christ?), and people will celebrate their death, sending presents to each other like it was a holiday.  But after their dead bodies lie in the street for three days, they will rise against and be taken to heaven.

            9.  The 7th Trumpet and The Harvest: 

            When the 7th trumpet is blown, John basically hears the message that “Christ has begun his reign.”  I think this trumpet ends the AC’s 42 months of reign, because it is now Christ’s turn to reign.  And then we read in Rev 14 about the Harvest.  This is when those who came to faith during the trumpets are harvested with a sickle-swing (Rev 14:14-16). 

            They are taken out before the next set of judgments (the bowls, aka vials) start.  And we see them standing before the throne with harps in Rev 15.  They are the ones who “had been victorious over the beast and his image and number.”  (Rev 15:2-3)  After they are taken out, the rest of the people on earth go into … 

            10.  The Bowl Judgments (Vials) - the winepress of God’s wrath, meant for the destruction of Babylon. 

            These bowls are poured out very quickly, one right after the next.  Sores on those that worship the beast, water turning to blood, the sun scorching people, darkness over the beast’s kingdom.  The 6th bowl is when the Euphrates dries up and the evil spirits go out to gather the people for battle at the 1st Armageddon.  The 7th bowl is when John hears, “It is done” and there is a storm and the biggest earthquake, the great city splits in three, there’s 100 lb hail, the cities collapse and mountains fall.  Then comes . . .

            11.  Jesus’ Coming for the 1st Armageddon: 

            This is when Jesus returns to defeat his enemies the first time and to start His reign on earth during the 1000-year millennial kingdom.  He comes this time not on clouds with angels to gather His people, but on a white horse with the armies of heaven (most likely including the raptured believers and angels) to defeat His enemies at the 1st Armageddon.  (Rev 19:11-21, Zec 14) 

            [Some people want to place the rapture here.  But why take people up and out of the earth (1 Thess 4:16-17), only to land back on it moments later?  It doesn’t make sense.
            And in John 14:2, Jesus talks about preparing a place for believers and someday coming back to take them with Him to His Father's house.  In the rapture, it's believed that Jesus comes back to the take the believers to the New Jerusalem.  This would explain John 14:2 nicely, with the "Father's house" being in the New Jerusalem.  
            But if there is no rapture, then when does this happen?  Certainly not at Jesus's visible coming when He starts His reign on earth ... because He is not going to the Father's house then, nor would the believers be removed from the earth.  They would stay here with Him.  And it couldn't happen at the end of the 1000 years because Jesus wouldn't be "coming back" then to take the believers; He'd already be here with them.
            And the rapture passages make it sound like life is going on as normal when Jesus comes back to take us out of here.  Does the visible coming of Jesus sound like it comes during a time when life is going on like normal?  With the mass martyrdom?  With the seal and bowl judgments?  No, it doesn't.  The visible coming has to be different than the "thief in the night" coming. 
            Plus, the "thief in the night" passage says we will not know when it will happen, so we have to stay awake and be alert and not fall asleep spiritually.  But if we all saw the seal and bowl judgments and were experiencing mass martyrdom and saw the clearly supernatural events of the trib, we would not be at risk of falling asleep spiritually.  We would be wide awake and basically watching a "countdown" of events leading to Jesus's visible coming. 
            If there is no rapture, there is no good way to understand the "thief in the night" coming, the prediction that life will be going on as normal, the exhortation to stay awake and not fall asleep spiritually, and Jesus's John 14:2 coming to take us to the Father's house.  So many verses would not make sense without a rapture.] 

            At this time, the devil is bound and prevented from roaming the earth and causing problems for 1000 years.  After this 1st Armageddon but before the 1000 years is . . .

            12.  The Resurrection of the Dead Martyrs of the Tribulation:  

            We read about them in Rev 20:4-6.  They “had not worshipped the beast or image or received his mark.”  The dead martyrs are resurrected to reign with Christ 1000 years on earth, along with others who are on thrones and given right to judge (Rev 20:4).   

            These martyrs are specifically those who did not worship the beast – this makes them tribulation martyrs.  And so I think that those martyred during the church-age (before the trib) went up in the rapture, when the dead in Christ rose first, before the living.  Then comes . . . 

            13.  The 1000-year Messianic Kingdom on earth:

            Okay, so now we have the beginning of the 1000-year earthly reign of Christ (Rev 20), when Satan in bound.  This is the time when things are peaceful and Israel is again blessed and stands out as a leader and as God’s treasured people.  The lion lies down with the lamb, the person that dies at 100 years old is considered young, etc.  There is peace and long life. 

            Obviously, there are humans procreating on the earth during this time, so there must have been some people on earth who didn’t get destroyed by the bowls and who didn’t worship the beast and who escaped being martyred, but who didn’t become believers early enough to be taken out with the harvest in Rev 14:14-16.  (And this may or may not include the 144,000 Jews who were sealed in Rev 7 and those who were supernaturally protected on earth during the trib in Rev 12:14.)     

            At the end of the 1000 years comes . . . 

            14.  The 2nd Armageddon:  

            Satan is released and he goes out to gather his troops for the 2nd Armageddon, the battle to end all battles.  But this battle is won by fire coming down from heaven and consuming the enemies that have gathered against Israel and the Lord.

            And then there is . . .


            15.  The Great White Throne Judgment:

            This is when the dead (who are not the tribulation martyrs or dead believers that were resurrected earlier) are resurrected to face judgment.  So the last people to rise (after the battle that ends the millennium) are all the living and dead who have not been judged yet.  They go to the Great White Throne judgment. 

            I’m guessing that these are all the people of the 1000-year earthly kingdom and all the unbelieving dead from all time, because the dead believers from before the 1000 years would either have been taken up in the rapture (1 Thess 4:16-17) or, if they were martyrs, they would have been included with the resurrected martyrs.

            And all of the dead unbelievers and the dead from the 1000 years and those that are still living during the 1000 years are all judged according to their works, and God separates His sheep from the goats.  The goats go to the lake of fire and the sheep go to the new heaven and new earth. 

            16.  And then the New Jerusalem comes down from heaven, and a new heaven and new earth is created. 

            Only those who have overcome and whose names are written in the book of life (showing that they have a right standing before God) are left to inherit the new heaven and the new earth.  There is no one else left.  Everyone else will be thrown into the lake of fire.   (Rev 20:15)  This is when the old order of things passes away (Rev 21:1-4) and God restores everything to the way it’s supposed to be.  There is no more sun, death, sin, or tears, as He wipes every tear from their eyes, for even Satan and death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire at the end of the Great White Throne judgment – Rev 20:10-14. 

            Yes, this was the short version, my brief explanation of how I understand the end times. 

            “So why should all of this matter to us?” you ask.

            Because it’s real.  Because it’s coming.

            “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’
            Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus.”  (Revelation 22:20)

            I've asked it before and I'll ask it again ... 

Enough to bet your soul on it? 

People get ready!
Make your choice!
Now fear the Lord and serve Him with all faithfulness.... 

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you ... then choose for yourselves whom you will serve, whether the gods of your own imagination who let you live whatever way you want or the socially-acceptable gods who tell everyone what they want to hear.

But as for me and my household ...


(Joshua 24:14-15, paraphrased for today) 

[Click here when you have time to listen.  To really listen.  You owe it to yourself, to your eternal soul, to listen to this song at least once and to really think about what it says.  (And click here for one more, one that deeply touched my heart.)  What do you have to lose?]