Published 12:03 pm Tuesday, November 16, 2021

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We had some freezing temperatures the other night, which put an end to the gardening season. Well, almost. I put some sheets out over my green beans and butter beans, and they survived. I know I am pushing my luck, but I am hoping to get a few before they bite the dust.

Doug Creamer writes a religion column for the SNAP.

The rest of the vegetable garden needs weeding. Then I will put all the leaves from the yard into the garden to feed the worms. I keep adding good stuff to my raised beds to help improve the soil.

There are a number of things to finish up before winter finally settles in. The tropical plants are safely in the garage. We are still working on the leaves that are still falling from the trees.

The fall chores will be interrupted in a few weeks with putting out the Christmas decorations. I better get busy and get things finished up.

My mom has noticed that the squirrels seem very busy hiding nuts for the winter. We’ve noticed that, too. I haven’t heard what the wooly worm is predicting for this winter, but the only one I have seen this fall was all black. That would mean a cold winter ahead. Some people rely on the persimmon seed for their winter forecast. One person wrote that they found knives and forks, but mainly spoons in their persimmon seeds. That means it could be a snowy winter with a mix of warm and cold temperatures.

The almanacs are predicting competing forecasts. One says it will be a cold but dry winter. The other says it will be a wet and mild winter. NOAA is calling for a mild and dry winter for our area.

If you know me, you know that I am hoping and praying for at least one good snowstorm. I recently came across some weather records for the Tidewater area of Virginia, where I grew up. The website showed three record snowfalls in the winter of 1980. I remember that winter.

People have asked me what I am predicting for this winter. I don’t have the tools or the knowledge to make such predictions. However, when a storm is on the horizon I am watching the models closely and monitoring the forecasts. I do share my prediction with a few friends when storms are close, but it is only for fun and bragging rights.

Watching the winter storms and the hurricanes is a hobby that gives me great joy. Making my weather predictions are just a fun extension of my weather obsession. Knowing what is coming and being prepared comes from the Eagle Scout in me. I don’t like my phone’s alarm going off telling that there is a tornado in my area that I don’t know anything about…which happened a few weeks ago.

There are some predictions about the future that should capture all of our attention.
I have some friends who believe that Jesus is coming back for the rapture of the church within the next five, or at the longest, 10 years. Some of my friends follow the signs of the times as closely as I follow the weather.

According to them, many Bible prophesies have been and are being fulfilled very quickly. I have some other friends who feel just as strongly that the church isn’t ready for the rapture. Who’s right?

Jesus told the parable to of the 10 virgins. In the end, five virgins were ready and five were not. We are being warned in the parable to make sure that we are ready. The Boy Scout in me says to “Be Prepared.” Jesus told us that no one knows the day or the hour of His return, but He did teach us that we could know the signs preceding his return.

Maybe both sets of my friends are right. His return is soon, but not imminent. It’s like the storm is coming, but we have been given time to prepare. How can we prepare? How can we be like the five virgins who were ready?

I want to encourage you to believe in your heart that He is coming soon for you. That means you need to spend some more time in His presence so your heart will be ready. It’s always good to read God’s word and allow those words to cause your love for Him to grow stronger and deeper.

Finally, it is important to warn your family and friends so they can get themselves ready for Jesus’s return, too. I believe there is still some time, but don’t let your guard down. Be prepared and make sure you are ready.

Contact Doug Creamer at PO Box 777, Faith, NC 28041 or