Adjusting Our Attitude

It almost goes without saying, but when I'm grumpy I have a bad attitude. What this tells me is that my attitude - which can be fairly easily ascertained by my facial expression and body language - is simply an external representation of my internal feelings. If I'm feeling down, my body sags. Doesn't yours?

Now it's not any secret that the answer to a bad attitude is a good laugh, a smile, and pleasant thoughts. Why? Because you can't genuinely laugh and smile without a corresponding good feeling. Our feelings have a direct impact on our outward demeanor.

The challenge is controlling our feelings. Change our feelings, change our attitude. The good news is that we can control our feelings. We're not at the mercy of our emotional life. Emotions (the well from which our feelings arise) serve as a barometer of what's going on inside of us. And we can change what's going on inside.

How? By monitoring our thoughts. Our thoughts affect our feelings which in turn shows up in our attitude. And the best way to monitor our thoughts is by listening to our self-talk. In other words, we need to think about our thinking. This might be a true difference between us and animals. We have the ability to consider our thought process and not just react by instinct (which seems more emotional in nature, doesn't it?) And since we can control our thoughts, we have the ability to influence our feelings and thus change our attitude.

The Apostle Paul indicates that we can "take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV) This is good news indeed. If you control your thoughts, you control your feelings, and you control your attitude. So make a decision this Christmas season to smile - and give yourself the gift of a good attitude.

Smiling With You, Lyn Perry
Editor of ResAliens Anthology



Matthew 4:1-4 includes the passage where Jesus is led into the wilderness. During our day-to-day living, it's so easy to get lulled into thinking that if we walk close with the Lord that we won't experience difficulties or temptations, but by Christ's example we see that isn't so. If you check out the first verse in Matthew 4, it tells us clearly that "Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness," and for what purpose? To be tempted by the devil.

I put off writing seriously for most of my adult life because I didn't believe I had time. And while that was partially the reason, I know that part of me procrastinated because I felt inadequate. Well you know what? I am inadequate and will be until the day I go to be with the Lord. If I had waited until I became good enough to write, then I wouldn't be an author today. God doesn't expect me to be perfect—he expects me to be obedient. I am called to write.

And I need to guard my heart and mind in Christ, because as I obey, that unrealistic thought process that nothing will go wrong seeps back into my thinking. It's twisted logic really. Because this world is perishing and things do go wrong and none of us are immune. Whether our trials stem from physical or mental health problems, relational difficulties, financial problems, books that aren't selling or something else, it's easy to get sidetracked. Some days I feel like that with my writing as I struggle to meet a deadline. Then I think of our Lord in the wilderness.

He fasted for 40 days and 40 nights and then Satan tempted him with bread. It's when we are weak that he attacks. As we go through our own wilderness experiences we feel alone, but hold on to this: As a true believer you are not alone. The answer is learning to allow the Holy Spirit to lead. He knows the way through the wilderness.


The Number of the Beast

Sometimes it's good to take a break from the gloom and doom world of writing speculative fiction. Given my fascination with horror and denomic thriller type stories, this is the perfect pick-me-up. I wish I could take credit for this, but alas, I can't. It's borrowed, with permission, from the Rapture Ready website www.raptureready.com. If you aren't familiar with it, check it out. Whether you are post-trib, or pre-trib, you will find some pretty interesting things there. --S.M. Kirkland

The Number of the Beast
by Todd Strandberg

Ever since John, the servant of God, wrote the Book of Revelation and mentioned the number 666, people have been trying to figure out the meaning of the mark of the beast. The number is mentioned in Revelation 13:16-18.

I believe the mark or number of the beast will be a financial identification system that the Antichrist will establish during the tribulation. He will use the mark as a tool for controlling all aspects of society.

The Antichrist will make it compulsory for everyone to have a tiny microchip implanted under the skin of the right hand or on the forehead. The microchip will hold various amounts of data pertaining to each person who receives the implant. Right now, the technology exists to fully implement this system. From here on out, the only changes will be in how much information those microchips will be able to hold.

Everyone who receives the mark will also have to swear allegiance to the Antichrist and acknowledge him as the supreme authority. This is why all who take the mark of the beast will be condemned to hell. All who choose not to receive the mark will be unable to buy anything because cash, checks, and credit cards will all be replaced by the beast system's instant funds.

As time has passed, we have lost the true meaning of the mark of the beast. Even though it is clearly defined as a mark that will be placed upon the right hand or forehead, a number of people throughout history have attached new and even weird meanings to the number 666. The number has become trivialized by its repeated association with its every random occurrence. Some folks have believed the beastʼs number was to be a certain year. Because of this, the year 666 AD was at one time considered the date for the advent of the Antichrist. When that date came and went without incident, many began to anticipate the year 1666 with dread. Nostradamus pointed to the year 1999 as an inverted 666 year.

Because the beastʼs number will have something to do with the Antichrist's name, scholars have been busy working equations to figure which world leaders have had names equaling 666 in some way. Depending on how you figure it, 666 can be made to add up to just about anyone's name.

A number of people have superstitions or phobias about this number. Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobiacs is the term for people who fear the number 666. I once met a person who refused to ride in a car that had a license plate with 666 on it. Another person I know adds a stick of gum or something to his purchases if his check-out total at the store is triple six in any way. When President and Mrs. Reagan moved out to California, their house number was, you guessed it, 666. They had it changed to 668. Any time a bill numbered 666 is produced by a governing body like the UN or Congress, prophecy watchers give the document a good going-over to see if it has a connection with end-time events.

Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh always says the best way to demonstrate absurdity is by being absurd. A friend recently emailed me a note listing other numbers of the beast. I expanded upon it and provide it here to illustrate how people can become too focused on the unholy number.

A Collection of Numbers of the Beast
666 Number of the beast
668 Neighbor of the beast
660 Approximate number of the beast
DCLXVI Roman numeral of the beast
666.0000 Number of the high-precision beast
0.666 Number of the millibeast
1/666 Common denominator of the beast
666[-/(-1)] Imaginary number of the beast
1010011010 Binary number of the beast
29A Hexidecimal number of the beast
-666 Negative number of the beast
00666 Zip code of the beast
$665.95 Retail price of the beast
$699.25 Price of the beast plus 5% state sales tax
$769.95 Price of the beast with all accessories and replacements
$656.66 Wal-Mart price of the beast
$646.66 Next week's Wal-Mart price of the beast
$333.00 After-Christmas sale price of the beast
$222.00 Going-out of business liquidation price of the beast
Phillips 666 Gasoline of the beast
Route 666 Way of the beast
665 Older brother of the beast
667 Younger brother of the beast
666 UP Soft drink of the beast
666lb cap Weight limit of the beast
666 F Oven temperature for cooking roast "beast"
666k Retirement plan of the beast
666 mg Recommended minimum daily requirement of the beast
6.66% 5-year CD rate at First Beast of Hell, $666 minimum deposit
20/666 Vision of the beast
1-800-666-6666 Toll-free number of the beast
999 Australian number of the beast
6"X 6"X 6" Lumber of the beast
66.6 GHZ Computer processor of the beast
666i BMW of the beast
666-66-6666 Social security number of the beast
6/6/66 Birth date of the beast
666.AC.com URL of the beast
IAM 666 License plate number of the beast
Formula 666 All-purpose cleaner of the beast
666 calories Diet of the beast
969 Dyslexic number of the beast
WD-666 Spray lubricant of the beast
66.6 MHz FM radio station of the beast
666 KHz AM radio station of the beast
Chanel No. 666 The beast's favorite perfume
666% What the beast gives in his game

I wouldn't totally rule out any other meaning to the appearance of the number 666. For example, a Halloween lottery pick-3 drawing once turned up 666 as the winning number. We may have to allow for the occasional sovereignty of God in His attempt to warn folks of the evils of this world--in this case, gambling and Halloween. If there's a wayward Christian at a convenience store buying a dirty magazine or a bottle of booze and the register rings up $6.66, I couldn't think of a better number for God to use to get that person's attention.

Now on the other hand, the next time you receive your water bill and upon opening it, you discover it comes to $6.66 or you realize you've used 666 cubic feet of water--don't go pulling your hair out. Unless it has a direct connection to the Antichrist or is some special message from God, 666 is just another number that randomly comes up.

Submitted by S.M. Kirkland