Monday, October 31, 2022

Nothing New

 We wrestle with a problem that is not new. It is a question that has existed since shortly after Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, while some of the original twelve apostles still lived and walked among men. Men were still men even back then, some anxious, some fearful, some expectant. Perhaps the reality of what it meant to be a servant of Christ was nearer to the mark than it is in our day. Actually, I’m sure of it, but that did not keep some from causing enough of a rift, wherein Paul needed to address it.

Although Paul was not one of the original twelve, he did refer to himself as an apostle of Christ in multiple letters, including his first letter to Timothy, his second letter to the Corinthians, and his only letters to the Colossians and Ephesians.

It’s not as though Paul had nothing better to do than address a problem that wasn’t a problem. Enough whispers had been going about, and enough voices had been heard attempting to confuse the saints of old, wherein he took the time to pen an encouragement, a warning, and wise counsel all wrapped up in one.

It’s odd that some today would disregard certain of Paul’s writings while singling out others and making more of them than he’d intended. If it vaguely hints at being libertine, if it vaguely intimates that actions no longer have consequences and God loves you too much to let you walk away, then that’s the one to hang our hat on.

If, however, he speaks of anything other than those specific things, well, he was under much stress, and maybe the interpretation got corrupted. Some have even gone so far as to say Paul the Apostle of Christ was a demonic plant, to muddy the waters of Scripture. Some people just have too much free time.

Others will do and say anything to invalidate something they don’t like within the canon of Scripture. If you can’t argue the point, attack the man making it. Sling mud, make innuendoes, play the what-if game with his life and intentions. So what if he said he suffered for the sake of the gospel? So what if he was martyred for the cause of Christ? Bob in the wife beater with the armpit stains and Cheetos fingers said he was of the devil, so we got to go with Bob on this one. 

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, “Now brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means, for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”

Although self-explanatory, let’s break these verses down for a minute. First, the what. What is Paul referencing? What is he writing to the church of Thessalonica about? The coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him. These two events are not connected by a then; they are joined by an and. When Christ appears, we will be gathered together to Him.

There is no intimation that these would be separated by any length of time, even though they are two separate events.

Paul by no means denies the reality of these two events. His quarrel is with those who were saying that this had already occurred. Two thousand years ago, there were men roaming about, attempting to convince believers that the day of Christ had come, and they’d missed it.

To dispel any confusion, Paul then goes on to identify two notable events that would take place before the return of Christ and our subsequent gathering to Him.

First is the falling away; second is the revealing of the man of sin. Paul is clear that these two things must occur first before the day of Christ could.  

I get that these verses throw a wrench in many a theory, but we are constrained by Scripture. It is what the book says. This is the roadmap we were left to follow to reach our destination.

What always stands out to me when reading this passage is that Paul didn’t say a falling away, but rather the falling away. Second, the man of sin will not be a mystery; we won’t have to guess at it; he will be revealed.

We’ll stop here. Tempus fugit, and I’ve got to try my hand at French toast this morning. “With chocolate chips,” daddy, “don’t forget the chocolate chips.”

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr. 

Sunday, October 30, 2022


 There is a myriad of things we were given to know. Things the world is not privy to, or if they are, choose to mock because they have no understanding. It’s like showing up on the Mongol Steppe with a calculator. Not today, but back when Genghis Khan thought he’d live to conquer the world. They’d likely look at it, tap it against their knee, try to bite into it, and eventually throw it in the dirt because it wasn’t sharp or pointy, and you couldn’t kill anything with it.

Even with the fineries of the modern era, many a man is still beastly in his reasoning, concluding that if something does not fulfill an immediate need or purpose, it is useless. If they can’t understand it, it’s never because they don’t have the necessary aptitude; it’s because it’s a worthless thing undeserving of understanding.

It’s why you often find yourself trying to explain something to another person and getting frustrated because, to you, it’s a simple thing, yet to them, it is beyond reach. It happens more often than not when my wife tries to show me floor plans for a project she is working on and asks if I can see it. What I see is a bunch of lines with numbers underneath. When I tell her as such, her patented response is, ‘how can you not see it? It’s right there!’

It’s not that I don’t want to see what she’s seeing; I’ve even toyed with the idea of shaking my head in the affirmative to bypass the ensuing discussion. Whereas I see lines, she sees an entire kitchen or basement come to life before her eyes. She can envision the end product from a handful of squiggles on a blueprint; I can’t.

That’s the difference between how the world sees the Word of God and how the children of God see it. Even so, there are things we see in a mirror, dimly and those which are given to us to know in part. Furthermore, there are secret things that belong to God, and yes, there is scripture to confirm this, but it seems as though it’s the secret things we really want to know while ignoring the things revealed that belong to us.

It’s akin to being in the Garden, having free reign to eat of every tree therein, but always going back to that one tree forbidden to partake of. It’s not as though the other trees would not have satiated their hunger or satisfied their longing. If you have children, you already know. Tell them there’s one thing they can’t do, of all the things they can possibly do to fill their time, and that’s the one thing they’ll insist on doing.

Just the other day, I spent a good twenty minutes explaining to my four-year-old why it wasn’t a good idea to toboggan down the stairs in the laundry basket. None of the reasons, reasons rooted in reason and logic, seemed to satisfy her, and we went round and round on the topic until she got bored and went on to do something else.

As hard as it may be for some, there are things we were given to know, and there are things we were not. The things we were not given to know are not of a salvific nature and so ought not to trouble us, yet, for some reason, they do.

We want to know everything, right now, this instant, but fail to ask ourselves to what end. Why do we want to know the things we want to know? The knowledge of a thing will not prevent you from going through it; obedience will.

There is a difference between knowledge received and knowledge applied. I know a hot stove will burn my hand. If I touch it anyway, the knowledge did nothing to protect me from the pain. On the other hand, if I know a hot stove will burn me and I am careful not to touch it because of this, then I’ve applied the knowledge I’ve received and prevented undue suffering.

2 Peter 3:11-12, “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?”

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr. 

Saturday, October 29, 2022

How It Ends

 Every created thing has a beginning and an end. Even the heavens will pass away with a great noise, the elements will melt, and the earth and the works therein will burn up. Nothing here has permanence, and that includes you and me.

The problem is that we took what God meant to be temporary and infused so much importance into it as to make it seem permanent in our hearts and minds. Even though we were told we would be here, but for a season, that life is but a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away, we focused all our time and energy as though it were the opposite.

We joined the rat race with enthusiasm and gusto. We prioritized our handful of years in such a way as to make God barely show in the top ten, willfully ignoring the eternity that lies beyond this mortal coil.

I grew up in Southern California, and although much has changed, some part of me grows nostalgic from time to time. Whenever I find myself in the old stomping grounds, there are a handful of things I never fail to do. First, I drive through the old neighborhood where I spent my first thirteen years in America, stop at the ancient donut shop on the corner, have a ham and cheese croissant, eat at an El Polo Loco, an In-N-Out, and walk the boardwalk at Venice Beach.

During one of these trips, I happened upon a sand art competition. It was fascinating. This wasn’t like the sandcastles of old my brothers and I used to build when our parents found a day with enough free time to take us to the beach. These were works of art. Faces, chariots, thrones, intricate geometric renderings; they were beautiful.

No matter how lovely, one thing struck me with such force as to make the entire thing strike a note of sadness in my heart. No matter how beautiful, grand, or intricate, they were all temporary. Come the tide, a brisk wind, or a petulant child with a penchant for destroying things, and they would be no more.

It didn’t matter how much time and effort the individuals who had created them expelled. Eventually, they would be gone and altogether forgotten, save for a picture or two someone might have snapped as they stood in their glory.

It is wisdom to learn to number our days, to look up on this life as a journey rather than a destination, and spend the time we do have judiciously and on things of eternal value and consequence.

For a guy who smelled like fish most days, Peter did pen a nugget or two to rival Shakespeare himself. One of these nuggets, which should be a prominent quote in the home of every believer that they might daily look upon it and consider its wisdom, is this: “All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flowers of grass. The grass withers and the flower falls off.”

I get that it might be a bit pricy to hire someone to follow us around and whisper ‘memento mori’ into our ear, but this verse tacked onto a wall where you can see it every morning should serve the same purpose for far less.

Don’t get me wrong; I’d be a hypocrite if I intimated that I never let myself get swept away by life in some form or another, but it’s always temporary, and I always force myself to swim back to shore.

In those moments I don’t feel like swimming back to shore, I even find ways to justify it, telling myself it’s not so much for me as for my girls that I’m doing what I do. Maybe that’s true. I know it is. Still, having a good excuse doesn’t make it right.

What am I blathering on about? Life, I guess… Finding the balance between keeping a roof over one’s head and surrendering to the machine. I know my abilities and aptitudes. I know that if I give myself to it completely, I can build a magnificent sand castle indeed, one to make the other builders envious. Then again, in the end, it would be just a sand castle after all.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Friday, October 28, 2022

My Why

 It’s been said by scruffy men in itchy cardigans with the requisite leather elbow patches that if you wish to get your point across, there are four essentials for whatever you are attempting to convey to be complete. You must include the who, the why, the where, the when, and the what. I know, there are five! Yet, they’re still called the four, and sometimes just to confuse young, eager minds all the more, they throw in the how, which is often called the sixth essential.

It’s no wonder that, more often than not, you’d rather have a turkey vulture pluck out your eyes while sipping your morning coffee than read a news story nowadays. I think it’s more about propaganda than a lack of writing skills, and for propaganda to be effective, you must sacrifice the who and the why quite frequently. Even the what gets murky, and if it happens to be during a meeting of global elites, the where is bound to fall victim to editorial oversight.

We can’t have the peasants thinking for themselves. We must tell them what to do, and their idols must reinforce it by being first in line to accept whatever self-damage we endorse, and soon enough, you’ll have consensus.

This is why lunacy must be choked off in the embryonic stages and not allowed to grow. The conversation over whether boys can get pregnant and have periods should have occurred when the first such individual opened their mouth and uttered this inanity. Now, you have movie stars and rockers walking their malformed children like some poodle, reveling in the idea that their little boy is wearing a too-too skirt and lipstick.

It’s too late to put that particular genie back in the bottle, and the only thing left to do is prepare to help pick up the pieces of shattered lives and broken dreams. That’s the best-case scenario. The actual repercussions of this madness are yet to be felt. Give it a few more years, and check the suicide stats on former children who were pumped full of hormone blockers before they knew how to spell their name just because mommy wasn’t satisfied with being a day drinker. She wanted some street cred, and if she had to sacrifice her child’s future health and happiness to do it, well, it’s just a clump of cells, after all, even if it’s all grown up.

I’m waiting for someone to declare that their pet is transgender and see how long it takes for them to be accused of animal cruelty. But why? My pit bull thinks it’s a kitten; look, see, he’s saying meow. Good girl; now here’s your Fancy Feast, or is it, Sheba? I used to see commercials for both; I think, before I stopped watching television.

You know it’s bound to happen. I may have just given some attention hound somewhere an idea. Honestly, it would be funnier to see someone trying to get their cat to fetch a tennis ball than seeing so-called medical professionals trying to convince the masses that this is normal, wholesome, and has zero adverse effects. That’s just cringe and kind of makes you wonder if they crossed their fingers behind their back when taking the Hippocratic oath.

All that aside, I want to get back to the why. Why am I writing these musings? Why am I taking a position? Why am I risking hurt feelings and angry comments and being misunderstood?

Because I’ve been on a diet before. Actually, I’ve been on quite a number of them. The one thing they all had in common was that I had a specific number in mind. Crystal clear, unerring, flashing red and big. I had to eat broccoli and flavorless chicken, I would tell myself, until, one morning, I got on the scale and hit that number.

I’m bullheaded enough that I always hit my number. Then, once I hit my number, I’d go out and celebrate with a stuffed crust pineapple and ham pizza.

Then one day, I thought I’d outsmart myself. I hit my number, but rather than have the celebratory pizza, which would turn into celebratory ice cream, pie, cobbler, cake, cronut, and such, I still aimed for a lower number.

Guess what? Didn’t work. The quest for the new number after hitting my initial one lasted all of five hours. Why? Because in my mind, I’d predetermined this was the end of my journey, and I could start enjoying things that make life worth living again.

I hope you get where I’m going with this. If in my heart I’ve firmly established that I’ll be here to this date and not one-minute past, how many days, weeks, or months would it take for me to reach psychological ruination? It’s not about fear; it’s about endurance. If you’re prepared to run a half marathon, but when you show up the morning of the race, they tell you it’s a full marathon, how do you think you’ll do?

Ask anyone who’s ever done an Iron Man, run a marathon, or a triathlon, and they’ll tell you that at some point along the way, it becomes a mental game rather than a physical one. Sure, you need to be in shape, so your heart doesn’t give out, but many in shape people give up halfway because their mental focus is lacking.

I just don’t want to see you give up halfway. That’s my why. I want to see you finish the race.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr. 

Thursday, October 27, 2022


 Let’s get biblical, biblical. Now I’ll have you humming that to Olivia Newton-John’s physical for the rest of the day. You’re welcome. Seriously though, I think we’ve set the table well enough wherein we can start to delve into the Word and see what it has to say.

It’s funny how after all these years, there are still people who, with a straight face, say, “I know that’s what the Bible says, but….”

As an aside, if you try to convince me to take man’s word over God’s word or believe someone’s theory over what is written in the Book, you’re tilting at windmills and aren’t going to get very far with me.

The Bible is not an authority; it is the authority. It is not on par with the opinions of men or other writings; it is superior in every way and, as such, is given deference. I keep returning to this because it’s important and the battleground of our day. Do we believe the Word, or what men say they think the Word meant to say? That is the crux of it, after all.

It’s not as though God sat down and had a confab with the Son, the Holy Spirit, and saints of old to brainstorm how best they can complicate the Word. If we are of the light, why would God want us to be in the dark regarding the final beats of this symphony?

But this is the way of man. We always try to find the easy out. That’s why five-minute abs outsold ten-minute abs, and if some intrepid entrepreneur comes out with one-minute abs, they’ll outsell the five-minute abs by an enviable margin.

We have the Original. It is perfect in every way, as can only be accomplished by the hands of a masterful genius. Then a high school cover band comes along and interprets that original to the great adulation of the masses. Why so? Because the high school band will play for food and gas money, and the originator, the artist forever known as God, requires your all.

Some people are okay with a cover band. It’s all they’re willing to shell out, and they know they’ll only get their money’s worth. Perhaps the rhythm will be off here or there, or the lead vocals will fail to reach the high notes, but it sounds similar enough to the original for them to be passable. But then, the cover band decides to start playing their original material, and everything falls apart faster than the US economy under this administration.

Ever wonder why the cover bands are screeching about sweeping revival while the Original speaks of a great falling away? Ever wonder why while the Original speaks about being hated, delivered up to tribulation, and killed, the cover bands are droning on about best lives, prosperity, and fluffy clouds reserved in glory?

Because the cover bands are no longer cover bands. They’re creating their own music, and in many cases, it directly opposes the Original. The dirty little secret is that to the cover bands, it’s not about the music anymore; it’s about what’s hot, what’s now, and what the people want, baby! It’s like seeing Kenny G put out a mumble rap album and shrugging your shoulders, thinking it was bound to happen.

It’s not about staying true to the calling or rightly dividing the Word; it’s saying whatever it takes to fill the sanctuary, fill the coffers, and get some satellite churches under your belt. It’s the only way you’ll make an impact is what they tell themselves. You have to have the network before you can start preaching the truth. Tragically, they never get around to preaching the truth even when they have the network.

Even with all the glory hounds and everyone thinking the spotlight gives off warmth and succor, there are still purists who know the entire anthology of the Original and raise a ruckus whenever the cover bands try to play off one of their songs as one of His songs.

By all means, do your thing, but stop calling yourself a cover band. It’s disingenuous to want the clout that comes with connecting yourself with the One without adhering to His symphony. Don’t pretend to be something you’re not, just because it’s easier to make gullible women captive.

There he goes again with misogyny and patriarchy! We knew it! Actually, I was quoting Paul the Apostle from his second letter to Timothy, but who cares about facts nowadays?

Some men use Jesus as the vehicle for their ambition. Some men use Jesus as a vehicle for their financial gain. Some men use Jesus as the vehicle to give validity to their ramblings. And some, fewer and fewer as time marches on, don’t use Jesus; they serve and obey Him. 

With love in Christ, 

Michael Boldea, Jr. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

The Maze

 It has become a tradition in our home that unless it’s raining cats and dogs or the roads are too icy to make the trek, our Sunday mornings begin with breakfast at a local diner. It’s close enough to the house that it’s not out of the way, and the food is always hot and fast, if not overly nuanced as far as the flavor profile is concerned. As a bonus, they have a kid’s menu with varying distractions for children on the back. There’s a word search, a couple of animals they can color, a few tic-tac-toe grids, and a maze. The maze has a starting and end point, and the object is to make it from start to finish without hitting a wall.

It’s a complicated maze. The girls had a hard time with it. There are countless dead ends, but only one way to make it from start to finish. More could be said about that, but I think you already get it, and that’s not the point of this writing. It took a few weeks of both girls getting frustrated and giving up before one morning, the older one smiled and said, “finished!”

“Let me see,” I said.

She handed me the paper, and one glance told me it looked too perfect. No hesitation, no squiggle marks, start to finish, one through-line.

“How did you do this?” I asked.

“I started at the end and worked my way back to the beginning," she answered.

“That’s cheating,” the little one piped up, and then the whole thing devolved into an argument between the two.

Whether what my daughter did is considered cheating or not is questionable. What I propose, however, isn’t cheating at all. It’s just a different way of looking at a problem; a way that may offer greater clarity.

It’s not so much reverse engineering; we’ll leave that to the Chinese. We start at the finish line and trace our steps back to the present, seeing all the sights and sounds along the way in reverse order. We know how it all ends. There are markers along the way that allows us to gauge how close we are. Granted, not all the signs of the end times are in chronological order, but the major ones, the ones that seem to build upon the previous ones, are.

For example, the world must be in chaos for the Mark of the Beast to appear on the scene; ergo, the mark of the beast will show up sometime after wars, plagues, earthquakes, and the beginning of persecution.

I know full well that this won’t satisfy some, anger others, and make others still arch their eyebrows in frustration. As Abraham Lincoln once said, plagiarizing John Lydgate, “you can please some of the people all the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Sausage Making

 Back in the old country, every year around the time fall turned into winter, and the first snow blanketed the ground, my grandmother used to make sausage. It wasn’t so much for tradition but rather for survival. If you didn’t prepare judiciously, chances were you’d be scrambling for food before spring came around. Before the roads became impassable, your cellar should have already been full of root vegetables, potatoes, and jarred goods, and your larder packed with pickled fish, larded meats, salted cheeses, and, yes, smoked sausage.

It was my dad and grandpa’s job to butcher the animals, and it was my grandmother’s to combine the meats and the spices and ground them by hand.

Everyone worked and contributed, but as far back as I can remember, I had the worst job of all. I wouldn’t have minded cranking the grinder; I wouldn’t have even minded butchering the animals if I’d had the knowledge or the upper body strength. Unfortunately, I never got a choice in the matter, and every year my job was to blow air into the sheep intestines my grandmother used for the casing. Yes, they were washed, and although there was still a little something to tweak the olfactory senses, it was the touching of the gut to my lips that always got to me. I don’t know if you’ve ever had to pucker up to cold sheep intestines, but it’s not like kissing in movies, or real life, for that matter.

I know I’m grossing you out. How exactly do you think sausage is made? Perhaps not the big boys like Jimmy Dean or Vienna Beef, but if you’re having homemade sausage with natural casing at someone’s house, know somebody had to blow air through the sheep gut before they rolled it onto the meat spigot. Don’t bother trying to name your edgy Christian band Meat Spigot. I’ve already copyrighted the name.

By the same token, everybody wants to get to heaven, but nobody wants to know what it takes to get there. Don’t tell me how the sausage is made; just put it on my plate and be done with it.

The only problem is that, in this case, your participation is mandatory. There’s no fast pass to heaven. Sorry to break it to you! Yes, I know the graduates of the Creflo Dollar school of ministry are indignant at the thought. How dare you speak of anything other than prosperity? All this back and forth about righteousness and holiness is taking away from the true message: money! All those people getting martyred, slaughtered, and carrying their crosses are doing it out of ignorance. When they tap into the secret sauce and broaden their horizons and break out of the constraints of what is written in the Word, they can start cooking with gasoline.

You can start manifesting, putting together some vision boards, speaking mansions into life, naming, claiming, you know, the good stuff. No more of this picking up your cross and following after Jesus, no sir; it’s time you lived your best life now!

Since such individuals never had much use for the Bible anyway, you can’t make a counterargument based on scripture, leaving little wiggle room for agreement. Imagine if they’d run across Paul the Apostle before he penned all those epistles. They would have taught him a thing or two!

Understand that within the primary church, there was no talk of pre-tribulation rapture or any such thing because they knew the difference between tribulation and persecution. Their faith was immutable regarding God’s ability to protect, preserve, and provide.

They were being persecuted by the Romans and the Pharisees alike, and everyone knew someone that had been martyred for the cause of Christ. The notion of suffering was not anathema. The idea of suffering was an accepted fact, an eventuality for which the only variance was timing. They knew that sooner or later, it would be a certainty, and they walked into that future with heads held high and eyes wide open.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Monday, October 24, 2022

Dots and Tittles

 I bought a toaster oven the other day, and it came with a repair manual for a 1992 Honda Prelude. I didn’t see the need for the manual; I just wanted to toast a half-bagel, and it wouldn’t fit in the regular toaster. I spent the better part of the day coming up with explanations and theories as to why a car repair manual would be in my toaster oven box, each getting more fanciful and unlikely.

Maybe it was a conspiracy. Perhaps it was intended for someone who knew the manual was in the box, and I picked it up accidentally. It was even possible that there was some sort of smuggling going on. Apparently, the car repair manual market is cutthroat.

Okay, I made that first part up. I didn’t buy a toaster oven, and it didn’t come with a repair manual for a now vintage car, but it did serve to illustrate a point, didn’t it? I imagine that’s how some people who have determined to themselves that there are certain things they would not see, yet they find them outlined in the Bible, react as well. Why’s that in there? That doesn’t belong! It must have been an error. Even if it wasn’t an error, it wasn’t meant for me. Surely, that’s for somebody else.

There was absolutely no reason for a car repair manual to be in my imaginary toaster oven box. It would have served no purpose. Just as there is no purpose in entire chapters dedicated to the last days, end times, and the events foretold therein if those for which the book was intended were no longer present.

It is said that the simplest explanation is most often the correct one. That’s doubly true for the Word of God. If something is included and repeated, it was intentional. There are no accidental scriptures; there are no throwaway chapters. Every dot and tittle is purposeful, deliberate, and included within the canon of scripture by the will of God.

If we were not meant to be here for everything the Bible tells us will occur during the last days, pray tell, why were they included in the Bible in the first place? I know the popular workaround is that those chapters are in the Book, so the godless will see that we were right once we’re gone, but that would be like giving a book on needlepoint to a blind man. Sure, he might be able to tell it’s a book, but he’ll get nothing from it. He’s blind!

If the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, why would those who are perishing suddenly have a change of heart in the throes of the outpouring of God’s wrath? By this point, they would have already chosen their allegiance; they would have already taken a mark on their right hand or forehead.

Whatever you say, funny man. The church isn’t mentioned in Revelation after the fourth chapter, so there. I know I’m being a stickler, but you can’t prove a negative with a negative. It’s like me saying I didn’t see a lion today; ergo, lions do not exist.

Wherever you land on this topic, one thing is certain: Jesus was not mincing words nor second-guessing Himself. He said heaven and earth would pass away, but His words would by no means pass away. Which words? We’ll get to that in due time.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Sunday, October 23, 2022


 We are a lazy generation, and getting lazier still. The other day I watched a woman having a full-blown meltdown because the local grocery store didn’t have the tap feature for credit cards, and she had to swipe it instead. I get that it’s exponentially harder to make an up-and-down motion with your beefy fingers than it is to tap a screen, but that’s no excuse for almost bringing the pimply-faced cashier to tears.

We see it everywhere, this crack in our illusion. Everyone seems to be missing a step, from the waitress that doesn’t care that you wanted French fries and not broccoli with your Reuben to the disaffected gas station attendee who can’t be bothered to turn on your pump for a good three minutes while you’re doing the Dixie shuffle and blowing warm air into your cupped hands.

I can live with broccoli over fries or waiting a hot minute for my gas to flow, but what I cannot abide is intellectual laziness. Especially when having to do with theology and the Bible. When I see how sloppy and slothful some people are in presenting the Word and the machinations they perform to make the Word fit their narrative, I get the sinking feeling that the Bible isn’t taken as seriously as it ought, even by self-anointed spiritual leaders.

One of the worst practices I’ve been seeing, especially regarding the last days and our role in them, is the conflation of two different and unique ideas. Without a better explanation, when you conflate something, you take two things and mash them up into one thing. I know that sounded a lot like Kamala Harris’s ‘you have one big country and one little country’ explanation, but sometimes it’s best to keep it simple.

For this writing, the two things frequently conflated in Christian circles are the wrath of God poured out on the ungodly during the time of the tribulation and the persecution of the godly suffered at the hands of the godless. These are two separate and independent things, one from which you are shielded, the other you must endure.

Most people know some, if not all, of Psalm 91 by heart. Few have taken the time to really think about what it’s saying and what level of calamity would need to occur to see a thousand fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand. Even so, you are assured by the One who can make it so that no harm will come near you.

You will see with your eyes and witness the punishment of the wicked, but their punishment is not yours. Why? Because you have made the Lord your dwelling, and as long as you are in Him, no harm can come to you.

This is the hope we have. This is the hope we carry. This is the hope that will see us through the season of persecution that is soon to blanket the earth. When Jesus says all nations will hate us for His name’s sake, He’s not trying to be bombastic or edgy. He is just stating a fact, assuming those who follow after Him are wise enough to prepare their hearts for the eventuality thereof.

This journey has become like an onion, layer upon layer, but we’re getting there, ever so slowly, step by step.

I should have, just for the fun of it, posted in big, bold letters: For the rest of this powerful series, go to my Patreon and access it for only $19.99 per month, or $200 per year!

That is, I’ve found the preferred adjective when Christians try to sell you something. It’s powerful, brother, either that or inspirational, but inspirational is more for the ladies. If you can manage powerful and inspirational, that’s akin to a holy grail, and eventually, you can find yourself quoted on a wood placard in Marshall Goods.

Anyways, you’ve got to get your levity in wherever you can. A joyful heart is, after all, good medicine. No, I don’t have a Patreon, nor do I plan to.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Saturday, October 22, 2022


 Other than artistic ability, detail is the only difference between a stick figure drawing and Philippe de Champaigne’s rendering of Moses presenting the ten commandments. Detail matters, as do details, but it’s hard to debate when any discussion of the tribulation triggers most Christians as violently as the patriarchy does college-aged females in the West.

I believe the reason for the largely Pavlovian response to the tribulation the Bible speaks of is the assumption that if we are still here, then we too will suffer the wrath of God which will be poured out on the wicked. This could not be further from the truth.

Just as the Word tells us we must be in the world but not of it, the world can be in utter chaos, but the children of God will remain in perfect peace. What better opportunity to see God’s protection, provision, and power than in the midst of the storm?

The most frequent murmur I hear from believers is that they’ve never seen the supernatural power of God manifest as in the days of old or as other believers in other nations have. What I am quick to point out is that they’ve never been put in a position wherein they needed to see that power manifest because they’ve never been hunted, tortured, persecuted, or called to stand for their faith at the cost of their life.

We claim to want to see the power but shy away from circumstances and situations where that power would become a necessity. It’s like wanting six-pack abs without doing any crunches and having peach cobbler as your mainstay meal.

We want to see God’s supernatural provision, but the closest grocery store is less than a mile away, fully stocked, and running a special on ham and beef tips. Jesus multiplied the fishes and loaves when a need arose, and there were no conventional means to meet the need. Elisha did likewise with the flour and oil.

We want to see God’s supernatural protection, but for most modern-day Christians in the West, their definition of persecution is when the coffee shop in the church lobby runs out of soy milk, and they’re lactose intolerant. What do they need to be protected from, exactly? Hurt feelings, excess gas, not finding a parking spot close enough to the entrance?

It’s not their fault they have no clue what real persecution is. They’ve lived sheltered lives in a free nation, but a bit of perspective should serve anyone who thinks that a sideways look or being called a nasty name qualifies.

Today, as you are reading these words, there are mothers forced to watch the slaughter of their daughters, fathers forced to watch the abuse of their sons, men being starved, women being raped, and entire households being beheaded, all for the high crime of being a Christian and refusing to deny Christ.

Because we no longer encourage new converts to count the cost, because we outright refuse to tell them there are costs to being a follower of Christ. It’s all upside beginning with the moment you sign on the dotted line, including the rest of your earthly life and eternity as an added bonus. Zero down, zero interest, just take the keys to your new mansion and ride off into the sunset.

Because the shepherds refused to tell their sheep that all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution, the minute persecution lands on the shores of these United States, you’ll have scores of people scraping fish stickers off their back bumpers and hoping no one noticed them while they were there.

Those walking by faith do not stand out when no faith is required to stand. The house built upon the rock and the house built upon the sand can seem identical until the storm comes. Once the storm commences, however, is when you see the wisdom of building on the rock and the folly of building on the sand.

The day is coming when the just will live by faith. The day is coming when you will walk through the fire and not get burned. Crying out, Lord, show me your power, but without any discomfort, unease, or denying of my flesh isn’t going to cut it, though. 

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr. 

Friday, October 21, 2022


 I am not a masochist. I don’t kneel in a corner whipping myself with a cat-o-nine-tails whispering “naughty boy” to the wall. I don’t hit my thumb on purpose when hammering in nails, nor do I ask my wife if she is getting fat. Whether physical, emotional, or psychological, I don’t like pain. Purple nurples, wet willies, and atomic wedgies were never my idea of a good time. I’m pretty basic that way. Like most normal humans, I try to avoid pain whenever possible.

That said, I’m also not a lemming. I don’t follow the crowd just because I think there is safety in numbers, nor do I go along to get along. I speak my mind, often to my detriment, because I believe it is the only noble way to live.

Who knows? If I’d been a bit more malleable, a bit more servile, if I’d praised the right people and spit-shined the right loafers, maybe I too could have been asked to join has-been charlatans who got a makeover and are selling buckets of slop to unsuspecting folks who think that’s what will get them through the hard times.

I said all that to impress upon you that the conclusion I’ve come to regarding the timing of our departure from this marred and blighted rock is not one I would have wanted to arrive at. Unfortunately, the Bible is not a pick-your-adventure video game where you get to decide how the story ends.

Granted, we can play the types and shadows game. Many people do. However, for every Lot, there is a Goshen or a Peter, a Daniel or a Jeremiah. And as far as Lot goes, you get that he wasn’t translated to heaven, don’t you? He was just hurried along out of Sodom. The only two to make it out of life alive were Enoch and Elijah, and neither was a means of escape but rather a reward. Also, where exactly do we stop using Lot as a type and shadow of things to come? Right after he escaped but right before committing drunken incest?

I get it. It is tempting to try and hammer a square peg into a round hole because it goes a long way to alleviating our anxiety, but then again, we can go to the source and see what He said about it all and trust His wisdom and plan.

 Just as Maslow had his hierarchy of needs, biblically speaking, there is a hierarchy of authority. The Word, the Word that was with God from the beginning, the Word that is God forevermore, is the tip of the pyramid, and everything flows from there.

What does this mean? If Jesus said something, then someone came along and built an entire theory around symbolism, moon cycles, questionable interpretation, and types and shadows that contradicted what Jesus said, you defer to Jesus because of who He is.

It’s like being told something by the King himself, then having the slow boy who empties the chamber pots in the morning tell you the opposite and wondering whom you’re going to believe.

Remember that oldie but goody foot stomper whose report will you believe; we will believe the report of the Lord. Apparently not. It’s no surprise. It’s not like we aren’t used to singing lies in church every other week.

I realize I’m coming off a bit frisky, I do, but it can’t be helped. We’ve been pampered for so long, told what we wanted to hear for so long, that we’ve come to the dangerous crossroads of either following the Word or following our own hearts.

My heart is flesh. My heart wants to believe that any day now, before it gets really dark, before the wars and rumors of war really kick into gear, before the earthquakes in various places displace millions of souls, I’ll be caught up. The Word, however, tells me that he who endures to the end shall be saved, and the end isn’t the middle or the beginning.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Thursday, October 20, 2022


 There is no my truth and your truth; there is only the truth. It is singular! When Jesus said He was the truth, He did not allow for multiple interpretations, avenues, or paths. This entire lunacy of my truth versus your truth was invented by Oprah and parroted by middle-aged divorcees who look like they’ve spent a bit too much time in an air fryer because they could not bring themselves to accept the truth.

I mean, extra crispy chicken is great and all, but does it translate to the human species? Just asking, but I digress.

The truth they refused to accept likely varied, whether having to do with their personal life choices, the reality of their undeniable mortality, or that women pastors weren’t a thing in the Bible. Something got under their skin, and rather than acknowledge it, they twisted themselves into pretzels until, in their minds, it made perfect sense. Everyone else is making it up as they go along; why couldn’t they?

If I don’t like the reality of something, I just deny it, and when people give me sideways glances for insisting that water isn’t wet or the sun isn’t hot, I tell them it’s my truth, and they can go pound sand.

It’s no longer morbid obesity; it’s body positivity! Don’t get me wrong; I’m a husky, even Rubenesque fellow myself. However, all things being equal, when you’re pushing a ton and riding a mobility scooter because your legs can’t hold up your weight anymore, I’m pretty positive your body will give out sooner rather than later.

I know, I know, that’s just being mean and hateful. Why can’t you just feed into their delusion and nod along? What harm can it do?

Well, you have grown men putting on dresses and talking about how they’re going to be mommies and have babies, but hey, that’s their truth, isn’t it? The truth is you’re still a man under the dress and eyeliner, and when your doctor told you you have testicular cancer, ma’am, he wasn’t trying to deny your truth; he was just telling you the truth! See the difference?

For fear of offending, or perhaps because it was just easier to placate specific individuals, we’ve been feeding into the psychosis of the unwell for the better part of a decade, all the while telling ourselves that’s what Jesus would do as well. Would He, though? I wonder. I don’t mean to be so brazen as to presume to know the mind of Christ, but He’s been known to be firm, direct, and unyielding while also being loving.

Love as He may, He can’t cure you if you’re unwilling to part with the thing that’s making you sick. It’s like guys crying about needing a liver transplant but reluctant to give up the booze. How does that work exactly? Well, their truth is that it isn’t the booze that’s killing their liver; it was a birth defect.

We’ll get to the Scripture passages and the exegesis thereof in short order, but as I said, this is not a topic to be hammered out in a few minutes on a windy morning. We’re just setting the table. The food is on its way. If you’re hungry, you’ll stick around. If not, this isn’t the Hotel California.

I’ll keep hammering until you cry, uncle. You poke the bear in the eye and act shocked when he bites off your finger? I know, in your truth, bears are cuddly and docile, almost like oversized pets.

Like my mom used to say when she insisted on popping pimples on my forehead or massaging my big toe in the throes of a gout attack, it’s for your good, you’ll see. 

With love in Christ, 

Michael Boldea, Jr. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2022


 You thought I was done? Not by a country mile. If we’re going to hash this out, then let’s get to it because my wife has plans for my life for the next few days, with it starting to get cold and me not having put away all the summer things like tables and chairs and bird feeders.

There will never be a discordant note between the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, or the written Word of God. Let me establish that outright, get it over with, pop some bubbles, crush some hopes, and eliminate some confusion, accidental or otherwise.

There will always be perfect harmony between what you find written in the Scriptures and what the Holy Spirit speaks to your heart. The Word will never disagree with the Father, the Father will never disagree with the Son, nor will the Holy Spirit disagree with any of the aforementioned.

If contradiction does exist, perhaps the spirit speaking is not the Holy Spirit because the Word is the Word; it is established and foundational. If you have to decide who’s in the wrong between you, your feelings, your thoughts, your ideas, or preconceived notions, and the Word of God, it’s you, always, every time, no exemptions, period.

I know, I typed out ‘feelings’ as though they mattered when it comes to the Word and will of God, and yes, I did throw up in my mouth just a little bit, but I’m a trooper; I swallowed it down and just kept right on typing.

You don’t get a say in how God runs the show. You don’t get to voice an opinion as to whether or not you think He could have done things differently, better, or otherwise. He is God! He is the creator; you are His creation. Are you loved? Most assuredly. Will God deny His nature to placate your feelings? No!

This should be clear enough, but some of the things I’ve been seeing and reading lately from presumably mature believers make me question my previous assumption.

The evidence that the world has leached its way into the church is undeniably self-evident, going so far as to affect the mindset of believers. God is not suggesting that you consecrate yourself and be holy because He is holy; he commands it!

You are either in obedience or rebellion. You are either a good and faithful servant or one who does the bidding of another master, a different god, one of your own makings who whispers in your ear and speaks of things found nowhere in the canon of scripture.

This is how we get unicorn dust, oily hands, unfettered shaking, and maniacal laughter. This is how truth is fallen in the street, how scoffers have multiplied, and how shame has been brought to the people of God time and again. This is how the wolves devour the sheep while the sheep are defending the wolves from the shepherds who would see them live.

My wife says I’m getting more curmudgeonly the older I get. Perhaps it is so. She knows me well enough to gauge it, but we’re running out of time, kids. Things are about to turn fifty shades of terrifying, and there’s only so much the human mind can take before it snaps if the entire foundation upon which its psyche rests is that they’d be long gone before any of it happened.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Gold Diggers

 I was going to title this article angry birds but thought better of it. That I would have been accused of misogyny is a foregone conclusion because someone, likely a Beth Moore fan, would have inevitably interpreted birds to mean women, then would have put words in my mouth insisting that what I meant to say was broads or dames, as though we were in some thirties black and white movie replete with fedoras and hoop skirts.

It is a dangerous thing to analogize scripture. We were told that His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts, but rather than submit, obey, and follow, we’ve decided to ignore all that and whittle God down to our level of thinking.

We have become so brazen in our rebellion, so shameless in our conceit, so infuriatingly obnoxious in our own esteem, that though God explicitly says something irrefutable in His word, we roll our eyes and declare, my god would never do that!

Indeed, perhaps, your god might not, but the God of the Bible would because He has, said He would again, and He is not known for lying or obfuscating.

I don’t care who you are; you can’t use an analogy to rebuff scripture. It’s like going to your doctor, being told you have stage four cancer, then getting irate because an apple a day should have kept him away. Yet, here you are, and you’re getting devastating news.

When your doctor suggests chemo, you leave in a huff, telling him you’re just going to start eating two apples per day, which should fix everything.

Who’d have thought that my waking up a few minutes early yesterday and scribbling a few lines would ignite furor in folks the likes of which has not been seen since they found out the wrestling on television wasn’t real?

To clarify, because words, even simple, straightforward words such as mine, can be misconstrued, allow me to state the following:

1. No, you are not more special than the Apostles of old or the countless martyrs who died for the cause of Christ throughout the millennia in that you deserve an exemption from the axiom that all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

2. Just because you stomp your feet and pitch a fit, it will not make God change His mind when it comes to being presented with a bride that is both without spot or wrinkle.

3. The people whose lives of excess you financed in return for telling you comforting lies will be nowhere to be found when you start living through the events they insisted you would never have to live through.

I know this may sound harsh, but the modern-day church is not a bride, resplendent in her finest attire, holy and pure, anxiously awaiting the object of her love and affection. The modern-day church is more akin to a gold digger who only sticks around because she’s playing an angle and thinks there’s some profit for her on the back end.

There is no faithfulness, no tenderness, no purity of devotion, just a means to an end, in this case, the end being an escape shuttle with the words heaven-bound spray painted on the side and some empty spinach cans hung on a string dragging behind.

What’s love got to do with it? We just want out and will raise to the heavens any man shameless enough to feed into our confirmation bias. I mean, sure, Jesus hung on a cross, but that was a while ago. What have You done for me lately? I raise my hand in church and even repeat, ‘this is my Bible’ before service if I’m not busy scrolling through Instagram. Surely that deserves a VIP pass to glory, bypassing all that persecution and tribulation stuff.

No, I’m not trying to convince anyone about anything. I’m just preemptively eliminating the excuse that no one loved you enough to tell you the truth from your future repertoire.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Monday, October 17, 2022


 We missed the rapture again. What is that, the fiftieth time? I gave it a few days just in case Jesus decided to hit the snooze button once or twice, but there are only so many excuses you can make for someone not arriving on time before you are forced to concede that maybe you got the wrong day.

I know, it’s possible He decided to come in a Tesla and forgot to charge the darn thing the night before, so maybe, who knows, today’s the day, and finally, the prognosticators of when Christ will return will be right at last. Eventually, they will, you know. Sure they would have missed it a thousand times by then, but at long last, they will have been right.

What about all the other times they were wrong? Well, we just won’t count those. Never mind all the people that sold all their worldly possessions and stood on a hill in the middle of nowhere waiting to be caught up. Never mind those who only budgeted until 2017 and now have to work into their late eighties to afford a crust of bread and a roof over their heads.

By the time the rapture takes place, even thieves won’t be what they used to be. Rather than sneak in in the middle of the night - if we are to take the analogy to its fitting conclusion and concede that there will be those who can pinpoint the day and hour of Christ’s return – the aforementioned thieves will send a text or a tweet informing you of their intent before they break in.

Jesus may come as a thief in the night, but nowadays, we have floodlights, ring cameras, motion detectors, and high-definition infrared lenses. No, sir, we aren’t going to get caught unaware if we can help it. We’ll detect His heat signature before He comes riding on the clouds and even have some milk and cookies ready just in case He’s up for a snack.

Perhaps because some people believed Joyce Meyer and her ilk when they insisted they were little gods, they feel the scripture explicitly stating that no man knows the day or hour doesn’t apply to them.

That whole thing about the timing of Christ’s return remaining a mystery is for the rubes, the peons, and the little people. Little gods get a free decoder ring with each donation to the mansion fund or the jet fund, and so they know more than those who are merely working out their salvation with fear and trembling.

I get it, though. For those who have cemented themselves into a specific eschatological position because they read the left behind series, the closer we get to all-out nuclear war, the less likely their position will hold. If I were holding out for a pre-tribulation rapture, I know I’d be somewhat verklempt right about now.

And so, rather than allow for the possibility that we will likely see truly horrid things before Christ returns, we run to and fro, giving credence to anyone who spits out a date, the closer, the better, then deflate like a punctured balloon each time the date comes and goes, and nothing happens except for getting the electric bill in the mail.

Knowing that it will be misconstrued, may your friendly neighborhood realist offer some advice? If you focus more on the being ready part than on the when part, the when part won’t matter in the least. Distractions serve to fuel procrastination, and procrastination will lead to you having to scramble for some oil because your lamp is fluttering, and you’re all out of reserves.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea, Jr.  

Friday, October 7, 2022


 It doesn’t say much for one’s confidence level if they go out and buy bandages, splints, painkillers, ice packs, and neck braces before picking a fight. Even if they happened to be delusional, overestimating both their skill and endurance, taking preemptive measures for the worst-case scenario would seem a curious thing.

The only logical conclusion one is apt to come to, seeing as you’re stocking up on medical supplies while seemingly in good health, is that first, you’re planning on getting into a tussle, and second, you’re thinking you’re not going to come out of it unscathed.

If recent reports are to be believed, and let’s face it, given the level of propaganda, taking everything with a grain of salt is a must, the US government has been stocking up on potassium iodide pills. For those who don’t know or are wholly unaware, potassium iodide pills are taken to help protect human beings from the effects of radiation.

Incompetent and wholly useless as this administration has proven itself to be, it’s worth noting that of all the things they could be focusing on, they chose to focus on the acquisition of potassium iodide. Couple that with the state of New York doing PSAs warning its citizens that in case of a nuclear attack, they should stay in their homes and put tin foil on their windows, and it may lead one to conclude that perhaps we are not as safe as some delude themselves into believing.  

Some still fail to grasp that we are no longer in the warning stages. The warning stages have come and gone, and we’ve graduated to fulfillment. Though many have warned that the storm was coming, few believed them because the sun was shining and birds were chirping. The present was all that mattered.

Life was too good to be weighed down by thoughts of what would be, and during those rare times when the warnings penetrated our slumber, there was always a snooze button close at hand and someone to insist that we wouldn’t be here for any of that anyway.

Ignore it, and it will go away. That was the church’s motto for the last few decades, and although that might work for a bruised shin, it doesn’t translate to other things. The one thing we could have done we chose not to do because the notion of repentance fell out of favor, only to be replaced by worldliness and compromise.

For fear of being labeled legalists, entire denominations forbade the word sin from being uttered in the pulpit. So, the truth became a subjective matter, something to be twisted and contorted to the point that it became unrecognizable. Getting stabbed in the back by overzealous lickspittles became just as likely as getting stabbed in the face by the enemy, and those willing to point to the atrocity taking place and calling it by name grew fewer and fewer still.

What does any of this have to do with potassium iodide tablets? Had we humbled ourselves, had we turned from our wicked ways, had we repented and sought the face of God, we wouldn’t need to be buying them. Sort of my path not taken morning musing.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.