Voices of Faith: Stay awake and be prepared

Americans have always been a “Stay awake, be prepared” people. I think of our forefathers and what they went through, the trials and tribulations of pioneering from Europe, Africa and Asia to America and surviving the wild and tumultuous circumstances of the times. They had a special something we don’t seem to have today. We have been so content with what the world has to offer, we have neglected to keep in mind the warnings of the Word of God that challenge us and our forefathers back then. “So stay awake and be prepared, because you do not know the day or hour of my return.” Matt. 25:13

The boat trips over the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans our ancestors endured reminds me of the people of Syria today, refugees of their own home country, knowing the challenges of boarding a boat leaving their shores not knowing if they will ever find freedom or peace.

I think about our native people of this great land of America who by all standards of modern day living today really had it hard, tough and challenging in their ancient times. Surviving from day to day was never easy for the native people in America a hundred, two hundred years ago. They were always faced with daily challenges of staying alive and preparing for survival in times of tribulation. The indigenous people here in Alaska had it hard too. Preparing for long hard winters was a year around ordeal. Gathering food, fuel for heat, repairing their dwellings, making clothing to keep warm was an ongoing affair. Besides preparing for survival in hard times, the normal everyday challenges of childbearing, death and illnesses were things they handled on a daily basis.

Fast forward … September 11, 2001. Where were you on that day? What steps of preparedness had you taken to survive any unexpected catastrophic event that could suddenly come upon you? On this day, in the eyes of most Americans over the age of 12 years old was a shock that would be a reminder even to this day of what could suddenly happen. It was nothing new to others around the world to have the rug pulled out from underneath them, but for Americans, it was something we had never prepared for. It was an invasion on our own soil that we as a nation had fought so hard to protect from outside forces in years past.

The bombing of the World Trade Center by enemy forces within our nation was the first sign of a breach in our own defenses to protect our nation. Where was God? Where was His protection? Many of us are still asking this question today, “Where is God, where is His protection today?” What sins have we as a nation done to have God turn against us? Has God forsaken America?

I don’t think so. God has spoken, “I will not be mocked, for what so ever a man shall sow, so shall he reap.” Galatians 6:7, Proverbs 22:8 If we have turned our backs on God, given our allegiance to ourselves, made our own false gods, lived for our own pleasures instead of for God, then God’s hands are tied behind His back. His word will always remain true, we will always pay the consequences for ignoring Him.

When our trust is in the Lord God of the Heaven’s and the Earth, we have His protection from evil.

When we live apart from God, apart from considering Him daily, we then fall under judgment and we are without His protection. God’s Word gives us the manual for living right with God and with each other. The books of the prophets warned us how God punished Israel time and again for turning their backs on Him and allowing and following the practices of worshiping false gods and living without Him.

On the evening of September 11, 2001, I was distraught over the events of the day praying to the Lord for something, for an answer to what had happened. The Lord put on my heart to read Amos 3:3-7. I had never read this scripture before. Basically it said that, “if disaster comes to a city, isn’t it because the Lord has planned it? But always, first of all, I warn you through my servants the prophets, I the Sovereign Lord, have now done this.”

God’s word holds all the secrets of life for us. The enemy of God, satan, the god of this evil world, has vowed to destroy God’s children for millennial. That’s why God did not spare His Son, but sent Jesus Christ to defeat the works of satan once and for all at the Cross, to demonstrate to us His great love for us while we were still sinners. In doing so, God the Almighty Father of All, fulfilled His promise to all creation and to Himself, that those who believe in the one true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, who confess with their mouth and believe in their hearts that Jesus Christ is Lord, will pass from death into life. This is and was God’s plan from the foundations of the world for all mankind.

Do we need God to be our Savior and Lord today? That’s a question we all need to ask ourselves. When you look at the big picture in the world today, there are no longer many certainties. We are in need of a

Savior, a Supernatural God to help catapult us into a Heavenly realm where all things are new, both in Heaven and on Earth.

“Watchman, how much longer until morning? When will the night be over?” Isa. 21:11

We have a choice to make. Stay awake, pray, and be prepared. The lesson of the fig tree is now at hand. Jesus is our answer for today.

Mark Conway is a Christian evangelist living in Sterling with his wife Maryna. You can reach him by email at akmark50@hotmail.com.

More in Life

Appease your child’s picky palate with these tasty Tater Tots. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Tots to be thankful for

Two years ago, I spent the entirety of Thanksgiving Day in my green rocking chair, cradling my newborn son.

Minister’s Message: Keep in step

Sometimes it takes going half way around the world to learn how to “keep in step” as I journey.

Shelli and Mike Gordon pose in October 2011 at their Halibut Cove, Alaska, home in an Alaska Gothic version of Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” painting. (Photo courtesy of Mike Gordon)
‘Dagnabit’ features tales of ’80s wild Alaska

Gordon’s second book also tells of Ruben Gaines, creator of Chilkoot Charlie.

Before boiling, this handmade pasta is rolled, cut and tossed in flour to keep from sticking. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Pasta by hand

Learning one of the most important task of the Italian kitchen: making the pasta.

Will Morrow (courtesy)
The Great Thanksgiving dessert debate

Our holiday gathering is going to be smaller than it sometimes is, and it was argued that we didn’t need two desserts.

Dianne Spence-Chorman’s “Fig Study” is one of the works showing in the Homer Council on the Arts “Fun wtih 5x7” show through Dec. 22, 2021, at the gallery in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
‘Fun with 5×7’ offers affordable art

HCOA annual art show presents art in a variety of media, all in 5x7 format.

Make pumpkin chocolate chip with cinnamon buttercream cupcakes for a decadent fall treat. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: In honor of ‘Cupcake Mondays’

Pumpkin chocolate chip with cinnamon buttercream cupcakes brighten up the dreariest of work.

Nick Varney
Nick Varney
Unhinged Alaska: Back off, Zeus

If this wet-n-warm, freeze, then start again, continues much longer, Kachemak Drive will need a complete redo.

The cover of Tom Kizzia’s book, “Cold Mountain Path,” published by Porphyry Press in October 2021. (Photo provided)
‘Cold Mountain Path’ explores ghost town history of McCarthy

Kizzia’s book looks at McCarthy history from 1938 to the town’s revival as a tourist destination.

Melinda Hershberger works on her installation for the Kenai Art Center’s collaborative mural project on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Wall-to-wall creativity

Artists collaborate on a single mural at the Kenai Art Center this month.

This spectacular and simple marshmallow recipe is an easy way to wow at holiday potlucks. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
On the strawberry patch: Power puffs

Don’t dread the dreaded potluck with this five-ingredient marshmallow recipe.

In this 1950s image, Chell Bear (left) and Lawrence McGuire display a stringer of small trout they caught through the ice in front of the homestead cabin of Bob Mackey, for whom the Mackey Lakes were named. (Photo courtesy of the Kenai Peninsula College Historic Photo Repository)
History with a sense of humor, Part 2

The second in a two-part collection of humorous tales gleaned from old newspapers on the central Kenai Peninsula.