Posts Tagged ‘faith’

Identifying the Antichrist

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Recently, a friend asked me (via Facebook) to look at a website published by a woman claiming to be a modern day prophet and naming a specific individual as the antichrist.

He wanted to know what I thought about it. My response was lengthy, and considering the tribulation we all can see in the world today, I thought worth sharing.

Several people in recent history have been identified as THE antichrist.

Is Obama the Antichrist?Adolf Hitler and Raj Patel come to mind as having had that finger pointed at them, and frankly, in 2008 I suspected Obama as being the one. All are of them are at least symptoms of the growing culture of ‘antichristism’, but I don’t think the text in Revelation points to a person as much as an “ism”. The bible teaches that God uses both righteous and evil men to achieve His will. No position of power is received by any man unless God permits it. It is all part of His plan, perfecting humanity so that as many will come to Him of their own free will as possible.

In Isaiah 55:8-11 it says: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

In Revelation we are shown a vision of the world from the divine perspective in order that we may understand that what we see and hear and touch and experience is not necessarily what it appears to us to be. I have been studying the Revelation in depth over the past 18 months, so allow me to share some things from a different perspective.


In the Throne Room of God

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

I am blessed to be co-leading a Sunday school class on the Book of Revelation, and through it am seeing everything in an entirely new way. We have spent 2 months very slowly moving through the first five chapters, taking in and internalizing the history and the imagery to gain a deeper understanding of what this often misunderstood Revelation of Jesus Christ is saying to us today. Normally, I include an image or two in my writings to help you create a picture in your mind, but have decided it is far too important for you to “see” this image in your own mind, so I am including only text, and encourage you to read these two chapters, Revelation 4 and 5, to drink it in for yourself.

After the letters to the 7 churches in Revelation 1-3, John is shown the throne room of God in layers…

each layer building upon the last, culminating, as the only one who is worthy to break the 7 seals on the scroll is revealed to be the Lion of Judah, but when John turns to see this lion, he sees a lamb as if slain, in the center of the throne – in the center of God upon the throne. Backing up to incorporate the verses that came before, we can take in the entire scene.

The scene is thunderously loud and emblazoned with brightly coloured lights, colourful precious stones, and a sea of glass. The throne room of God as described in chapters 4 and 5 has all of this noise, and color, and excitement, and at the center a throne, surrounded by four creatures – worshipping, encircled by the 24 elders – worshipping, and surrounded by all of creation – yes, worshiping. The lamb is not just on the throne, but in the center of the throne – in the center of God upon the throne.

The throne room – what an amazing place!

The ultimate worship service in the throne room of God, and we are all invited! Now I can imagine it so vividly… the sights, the sounds, the colours, the vibrations… and most importantly, if I can imagine it – this Revelation of Jesus Christ that John shares with us can be as real for me as it was for John. I can imagine myself there when I pray and when I worship, and the time I spend with Him becomes more tangible and more impactful. I have a deeper understanding of who Jesus is, and where Jesus is, and in my time of prayer and meditation I can imagine being there with Him. I can put my faith into action in a new way.

Hebrews 11:1-13

“1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead. 5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

7 By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith. 8 By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. 11 And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. 12 And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore.

13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. 14 People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15 If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”

I imagine that this throne room I now envision so vividly, is in this city that God has “prepared for them”, and for us.

It provides focus, clarity, and perspective in day to day matters, and when I have a care or concern, I am not crying out to an empty sky, but taking my petition directly to His seat of justice and mercy. Someday I will be there, but for now it is enough to know that this is the wonderful home I will return to when I have fulfilled my calling here.

Blessings & Adventure,

Lynn “lynnibug” Rios

A Beautiful Thing Happened On the Way to the Benediction

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

We don’t always notice when God does a beautiful thing…

but He is doing them all the time. 

Sometimes we are so caught up in worldly things that we just can’t see the beautiful thing God is doing in the midst of it.  Today I witnessed one of these beautiful moments when everything came together with perfection only God can offer, but even in the midst of it, the enemy was doing his best to beat those being blessed down and cause them to miss their blessing.

The body of Christ has a tendency to forget that Pastors are people too.  They are not above the body or below it, but rather at the center of it, going through the same trials and tribulations we lay people do, often more so because the enemy can do more damage when he causes one of them to doubt their faith or their call.  Pastors, ever conscious that they must lead by example tend to place upon themselves unrealistic expectations of perfection.  That being said, I believe it is the sincere desire of our Pastors to speak what is on God’s agenda rather than their own, but sometimes they can judge what comes out as their failure rather than God’s success. 

The beautiful thing I witnessed this morning was God taking over in real time, and moving the church to an undeniable demonstration of the depth that the sermon DID SINK IN. 

The sermon was not delivered as planned, but the events that unfolded when the sermon was abruptly stifled, became a living, breathing example of what the Pastor intended to convey.  It was as if God was saying to the Pastor, “Don’t tell them, let them!”

The scripture the Pastor was preaching on was 2 Corinthians 3:12 through 4:4, but it was not until I backed up a few verses and read 2 Corinthians 3:9-11 that I clearly saw how God’s perfectly beautiful plan had come together.

2 Corinthians 3:12- 4:4(NKJV)  through the veil

“Therefore, since we have such hope, we use great boldness of speech–  unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away.  But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ.  But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.   Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart.  But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.”

After reading the passage, the Pastor began to explain the imagery of seeing through the veil that separates the world from knowing God.

through the veilThrough Jesus Christ, and by His grace, the veil has been lifted for the body of Christ and we can know God intimately.  We no longer need to approach God through the veil.  What He desires most is that we clearly keep our eyes on Him.  In the midst of the sermon, the Pastor suddenly lost his place, experienced a moment of confusion, and then silence.  It was one of those awkward moments when nobody knows what to do, and the Pastor was obviously flustered and at a total loss for words.

Then one of the congregation offered a worldly example of what prevents us from keeping our eyes on God the way we should, then another offered an example of how we allow ourselves to only see God through the veil, and then yet another.  As the Pastor, still unable to speak, began to offer an apology for being unable to complete the sermon, one member came forward suggesting that just as a doctor should not perform surgery on a member of his family, maybe the subject matter was hitting a little too close to home.  Then the entire congregation came forward placing hands on the Pastor and each other, praying that the seduction of the enemy be stopped and the veil be lifted for us all, acknowledging that sometimes there is more power in what is not said than in what is said.   The congregation may not have heard the whole sermon with their ears, but indeed they heard it with their hearts and demonstrated that they had understood.  

It was indeed a beautiful thing, a thing that only God can do!

After the prayers ended, the Pastor offered the benediction and the service ended, but the touch of the Holy Spirit that blessed the congregation today, and the wisdom received, will not be soon forgotten.

2 Corinthians 3:9-11 (NKJV)

“For if the ministry of condemnation had glory, the ministry of righteousness exceeds much more in glory.  For even what was made glorious had no glory in this respect, because of the glory that excels.  For if what is passing away was glorious, what remains is much more glorious.”

Blessings & Adventure,

Lynn “lynnibug” Rios

Who Conquered Sin & Death

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

from anberlin_fan on GodTube.


A Lucrative Investment

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

What defines a lucrative investment?

A Lucrative Investment

Professionals agree that with any investment there is a certain amount of risk.  Generally, the lower risk investment yields a lower and slower return.  Conversely, the higher the risk, the higher the potential gain or lose.  Conservative investors that start early in life may consider a lucrative investment to be the long term safe investment that can, over time, amass some tidy profits.  Those willing to take huge risks will either end up losing it all or become insanely wealthy.  They are the ones that understand a safe investment has limited potential and so they seek out innovative opportunities with massive potential, while they are undervalued because the majority of investors just can’t “see it”.

Just as we traverse the financial precipice making choices by what we are willing to risk, we also have social and spiritual choices to make that involve risk.  Alucrative investment in the social sense might be one that allows you to meet and greet the movers and shakers of your community or industry in hopes that their influence would reflect favorably on you.  What is the risk?  When swimming in the pond with the big fish, be prepared to swallow your pride and be treated by some as the little fish that you are.  Other forms of a socially lucrative investment could be recycling (little to no risk with benefits dependent upon how many others make the investment), or even adopting a pet (they may chew on the furniture and mess on the carpet but offer unconditional love).  The bottom line is that any lucrative investment results in ROI (return on investment).  It could be money or influence, a cleaner environment, or it could be affection or security, all tangible and measurable returns.

When we speak of spiritual investment, everything becomes a bit less tangible, and difficult if not impossible to measure.  What would the ROI of a lucrative investment spiritually look like?  How high is the risk and how great the potential return, and what is the risk of making no investment at all?

A Lucrative Investment

By looking at these things we can evaluate if the spiritual investment we are making truly is a lucrative investment.

So what exactly is a spiritual investment?  It is giving our time, our talent and our treasure to others AND to God, and its ROI can only be calculated using the biblical concept of sowing and reaping.  Rick Warren breaks the concept down this way:

There are three things the bible says about sowing and reaping:
1.    Whatever you sow, you are going to reap. If you sow criticism, people are going to criticize you. If you sow gossip, people are going to gossip about you. Whatever you sow in life, you are going to reap it back. Count on it. The good news is, this works in positive terms too. Give it to God and watch his blessings flow onto others and back to you.
2.    You will reap more than you sow every time. A farmer who plants one kernel of corn in the ground will get a stalk with eight or nine ears that have 100 to 200 corn kernels each.
3.    You always reap in a different season than you sowed. You sow in one season and then you reap the benefit in another season. You can go plant a seed today, dig it up tomorrow, and there will be no difference. But if you let it settle, slowly it will grow and produce. That’s the faith portion of the waiting period in God’s economy.

How big a harvest do you want to see in your life? It’s up to you. God says, “According to your faith will it be done to you” (Matthew 9:29 NIV).

So if we want it to be a lucrative investment, we can’t give it a half-hearted effort.

We must make it with joy and expectation… faith.  When it comes to spiritual investment, the cautious, who give little of their time, talent, and treasure will never experience that deep and intimate walk with God they long for.  Matthew 25:14-30 (The Parable of the Talents) teaches us that we are not the true owners of what we possess. According to this parable we are stewards, caretakers, or managers of that which belongs to another, specifically God.  When we grip our possessions too tightly, there is little or no sowing taking place.  Where nothing is sown there will be nothing to reap.

A Lucrative InvestmentThose who make their spiritual investment with their all will reap a bountiful harvest.  They sow a generous portion of the blessings they have received into the kingdom of God, the source of all blessings, and they do this with joy.  The time that they spend in the Word of God develops a deep and intimate relationship with Him, building both faith and trust.  Even if they do not become wealthy in this life, they will always have everything they need. They take a great risk in terms of worldly standards.  They may be mocked, tortured, or killed for their faith in some parts of the world.  They will do without so that others can have.  They will do for others rather than lavish luxuries on themselves.  They will be outcasts in the material world so many strive to be successful in, BUT they know who they belong to, and where they are going.  They have the promise of eternal life with God the Father in heaven.  By all definitions, that would be a lucrative investment.

John 12:24-26 (NKJV)
24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

Read that again if did not sink all the way in… the ultimate payoff, to be honored by God.

On the flip side, the biggest risk is likely making no spiritual investment at all.  If you are on my blog reading this I would expect that does not describe you, but it may describe someone you know.  We hear a lot about preaching the gospel, sharing the good news, and leading the lost to accept Christ in our “church circles”.  Sometimes it seems like there is a giant scorecard counting conversions as if that it all that matters.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying it doesn’t matter, but it is not the only thing that matters.

I want to challenge you to make a lucrative investment today.  Make a spiritual investment into someone you know by helping them to understand how God’s economy works.  Help them to understand the concept of sowing and reaping, and then pray with them that God would provide them a seed to sow and fertile ground in which to sow it.  Stand with them in faith during their season of waiting, and rejoice with them when God provides an abundant harvest.

Malachi 3:10 (NKJV)
10 “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” Says the LORD of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.”

A Lucrative Investment

Sowing seed into the kingdom of God is always a lucrative investment.  Reinvesting blessings received is always a lucrative investment, and one that has an ever increasing spiraling effect.  You just can’t out-give God!

Blessings & Adventure,

Lynn “lynnibug” Rios

Pastor Leonardo Diaz and His Final Act Of Faith

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Friday morning I received a shocking email announcing the death of Pastor Leonardo Diaz, District Superintendent and Pastor of the United Methodist Church in Manzanillo, Cuba.

Pastor Leonardo Diaz

Pastor Leo at the Pulpit

I First met Pastor Leo when he visited the United States and spoke at Temple Terrace United Methodist Church in Tampa, FL.  I really got to know him on my recent trip to Cuba.  Pastor Leo and his wife led the delegation that met our mission team at the Santiago airport when we arrived, and escorted us all the way to our destination in Niquero.  He was charismatic to say the least… a better description, a character!

At first, the details were sketchy.  We were told a bus collided with his car.  He and his driver were found dead at the scene, his wife was seriously injured.  It was not until Sunday morning that I received an email with more detail.  I wanted to share that message with you because it speaks volumes regarding the faith and perseverance of the Cuban people, and of the final acts of a leader who was loved by many and will be sorely missed.

Pastor Leo lived his faith and gave his witness up to the very moment of death.

The message that follows bears witness to that faith and so much more…

Greetings and blessings to all our brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus:

I’ve tried to write to all of you at the same time to tell you about Pastor Leonardo and Mercedes’ accident.  You may already know some of what I am writing to you but not all the details.  We were so busy and distraught with the news that we didn’t know what we were saying or doing, repeating just what we heard.

Pastor Leonardo Diaz

Pastor Leo addressing our team and the seminary students upon our arrival in Niquero

Yesterday, at the wake  in Cienfuegos, Bishop Ricardo Pereira gave more information: There were 2 cars parked on the side of the road and Leo’s car was on its proper lane. A bus passed both cars and swiped Leo’s car.  Leo and the driver died instantaneously. Mechy’s body had to be taken out from the back  since the trunk was completely sealed.

Bishop says that when they took  Leo’s body he had his Bible open on his lap and had written a paper saying “Christ loves you”. Bishop also told us that there were other writings all over the car with all sorts of promises, such as:  “Christ for Cuba”, “We want Cuba for Christ”, “All nations are for Christ”, and many more.  As Bishop talked he was crying and we were all crying with him. There were more than 600 persons at the service.  The coffin had to be placed in front of the cafeteria and near the close family members.  There were so many people that there was no room between the enormous patio y the inside porches. There were people from all denominations, friends and relatives.

Bishop divided the people of the church (Methodist brothers, pastors, leaders, Superintendents, His Cabinet) into 3 groups: One group went to Leo’s funeral, another group went to the driver’s funeral in Manzanillo, and another group was with Mechy (in the hospital).  She is under the care of a doctor who belongs to Bishop’s church and he is working directly with her.  She has someone with her at all times, informing the Bishop of her health conditions.

Pastor Leonardo Diaz

On the way to Niquero, Pastor Leo got out of the car in a terrible storm to pull the suitcases off of the car roof. Miraculously, although all of the clothing in the suitcases were soaked, the electronics we were carrying remained dry.

The Pinar del Rio pastor cried as he was giving his testimony since Leo had been with him that week preaching in his church and had been traveling with him throughout Pinar and Havana.  Later on he preached at Bishop’s church.  Everyone was crying saying that it seemed that brother Leonardo was saying goodbye to all of us.  Bishop said, “All my pastors are distraught and the brothers and sisters also”.

It rained and rained and the Pinar pastor said that it seemed heaven was also crying for Leonardo.

This morning we were told that Mechi is doing better but she has not been told yet of Leo’s death since she’s been operated on her jaw. I believe she will undergo another operation soon since the clavicle is pinching her lung and not her rib.  Her condition is serious but stable.

Brothers/sisters, the funeral was very, very large.  Cannot tell you how many buses and cars there were. Also cannot tell you how many tears of pain fell in that place, knowing that our brother Leo was gone. We were moved to see his son Luis Miguel (15 yrs old) crying by the tomb…. Everything was sad and painful.  Pastora Baby placed some flowers in his hands and he placed it on the tomb crying but he behaved like a man.  We also know that Leo is in a holy place.  What more, I imagine he’s one more of our Lord’s angels.

Well, my children and dearest brothers and sisters whom remember with much love, take care of yourselves and pray every time your leave anywhere, placing that day and night in the hands of He who created us. We cannot forget that He who made the heavens also made us.

And so I do not say “goodbye Pastor Leo”, but rather “until we meet again!”

Blessings & Adventure,

Lynn “lynnibug” Rios


Charismatic Christianity – Is it Crazy?

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

What’s up with those crazy Charismatic Christians anyway?

charismatic worshipA lot of “mainstream” Christians just don’t understand the charismatic movement, though it has been around since the events recorded in the book of Acts.  The term charismatic took hold in the 1960’s as a revival began to occur in some Protestant denominations.  I believe that is because they are more conscious of what other people think than what God wants… so well schooled in the doctrine of their church that they do not have the capacity to let go and let God!  I just love hanging out with the charismatic crowd because when the spirit moves them, they are not conscious of what anyone thinks.  It is all about God and what he is doing in them in that moment – that is all there is.

The charismatic movement has touched all of the predominant denominations in one way or another, as young Christians are seeking a more experiential spiritual life. More conservative worshipers resist change, and because of the actions of some tent meeting con men, may be doubtful when they see the Spirit move upon an individual in a manner that is anticipated in a charismatic worship environment. What this is all leading up to, is something my pastor said to the congregation a couple of weeks ago that really took me by surprise.

The Cuban Methodist Church is far more charismatic than the Methodist Church in the U.S.


While we were in Cuba, my pastor and I attended a service at our sister church.  The pastor there is in his early 20’s, quite young in comparison to U.S. pastors, and has brought a strong charismatic influence to his congregation.  At the end of the service, he invited the congregation to come forward for prayer.  EVERYONE in the congregation came forward!  Reinier prayed over each and every one with one hand upon their shoulder and the other upon their forehead.  Each of them reacted physically in some form, swaying, twitching, dancing, speaking in tongues.  The Holy Spirit did His work in them.  When Reinier prayed with me, I felt it for sure.  I was light headed for a few moments and nearly lost my balance, but Marta, a wonderful woman who cooks for the pastor and looks after the church, she was fully slain in the Spirit.

I was one of several people who caught her as she began to fall back the first time. I was immediately reminded of times I spent in charismatic churches where this was commonplace. She caught herself just for a moment, then down she went, and for a long time all she could say was “Gracias Padre”, over and over as she trembled on the floor.  She was down for quite a while, and when she finally did get up, tears of joy streamed down her cheeks.  God the Father had filled her up!

charismatic worship

charismatic worship

What my pastor said just 2 weeks later, as she related this charismatic event to our conservative congregation on Sunday morning, was that she had never witnessed the Holy Spirit work in this way first hand before.  Having come from a charismatic church, I had, but I had never stopped to consider in over 8 years with my current congregation, that most of the people I now worship with have likely never witnessed this first hand a charismatic event like this either, and that is a shame.

The good news is that my pastor is looking at things a whole new, and possibly charismatic way.  God has changed her and it is well evidenced by the fire in her eyes and the new charismatic strength from which she preaches.  God has stirred something up in her that is about to boil over and I pray that it remains both charismatic and contagious.

If it is looked upon as crazy to be charismatic, then I suppose I must be crazy!  If I am not experiencing God in my worship, then what is the point of worship… to be seen and recognized?  Sorry, that just won’t work for me because I have seen first hand what God can do with a willing spirit.

Blessings & Adventure,

Lynn “lynnibug” Rios

If you have stopped trying to redefine God, and allowed God to redefine you, you might be a charismatic.

MUIP Cuba Caravan October 2011 Reflections

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Today I want to share a bit of my recent trip to Cuba


Blessings & Adventure,

Lynn “lynnibug” Rios

Spiritual Dreams

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Today I want to share a beautiful piece my friend Shirley wrote.

Spiritual Dreams

I had written
reams and reams of fleshly dreams
reams and reams or so it seemed

Not until I made flesh to be like dead
Could I have
What I had said

“Release the obsessions, the cravings of old
is what my spirit man told my soul

For what you desire is in the spiritual realm
If only you allow your spirit at the helm

Your flesh cannot possibly unlock your treasures
Only your spirit man can have that pleasure

So what is this thing that I cannot see
So Powerful so Strong and softly
Killing Me

It is my True Self my Spirit Man
Warring for me and taking a Stand


You no longer have need of
Fleshly direction
For I have brought with me
Divine Correction

No longer will you write
dreams of death

For that is what you do when
You write from flesh

Your spiritual Power will manifest your dreams
And your flesh can only follow
as part of the Team”.

So now I write Only Spiritual Dreams
That come to pass without a seam.

Written by
Shirley Matta
copyright 2010

To God only, Belongs the Praise!

Ten Days in Cyber Hell

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

How did I end up in cyber hell and how do I get out?

I imagine you have heard that when you are on the path God wants and doing the work to build His kingdom, that the devil will come after you with all he has got to impede and discourage you. Well my friends, I have been in preparation for a mission trip these past few weeks, and each and every thing I have needed to do, the enemy has showed up to test my resolve.

This is how I ended up in cyber hell.

It all started with the discovery of over 7000 system errors on my computer, which prevented my antivirus from running. I had already acquired a larger computer that I planned to migrate to after the trip, so at least I was not at the center of cyber hell, only on the fringes. So began the migration project with a computer on either side of me, downloading files to an external drive on my right, and deleting all of the unnecessary files on the “new” computer on my left – about 170 GB of them. I brought that computer back to its pristine state without the aid of those convenient system discs. Then moved on to about 100 GB of stuff on the old computer to move to the new one, including passwords, bookmarks, address books and such. That was my first 2 days in cyber hell, and the enemy was pretty p – o’d that I came through it so well.

The “new” computer had precious little RAM for my multitasking, and of course the extra memory card I had in my old computer was not the correct one, so I ordered a 2G set from Crucial, and got back to my mission trip preparations while I waited for the memory cads to arrive.  That was when I started setting up a new laptop computer to be taken to a pastor overseas.  This laptop replaced the old computer to my right, and as I tried to install a few things while catching up on 3 days of email I was behind from my previous adventures in cyber hell, it took me to cyber hell again. Every time I turned around, that little notebook was rebooting… critical updates, more on that later.

Cyber Hell

What should have taken just an hour or two was dragging into the wee hours of the night again. I was feeling pretty lucky if I got 6 hours of sleep a night through those several days of cyber hell.  Fast forward to Wednesday and my RAM has arrived. I am so pumped knowing how awesome the computer will be once I get that RAM installed!  So I crawl up under my desk to open the box and pop in the cards, and to my amazement everything goes perfectly (except some funkiness with the connector latches) I slide the panel back in to close up the box and get ready to get back online. I push the start button and… black screen with blue box says no signal… back in cyber hell! .

I was convinced it must have something to do with all of the trouble those pesky latches gave me, and so I opened the box up to remove and reinstalled the cards a bunch of times with no success getting the computer to run.  By now I am freaking out.  All that work to move the files and now this computer is dead!  This, I am convinced, is the deepest center of cyber hell.  Next I called the IT manager where I work on his cell phone even though I knew he was probably cooking Wednesday night dinner for his church.  He walked me through some troubleshooting steps and determined it was probably the video card and told me to bring it in in the morning and he would take a look at it.   I was devastated.

As I was closing up the case to pack it into the car, my hand brushed by a yellow plastic button with a black arrow on it and it moved.  Hmmmm, I wonder what that thing is… so I pushed it to see how far it would move.  Click, buzz, hum, the system fired up and worked flawlessly!  Thank you Jesus!  Imagine that, a reset button.  I was free from cyber hell… but not for long.  It was time to get back to the pastor’s computer.

Back to a computer on my right and another on my left.  As I was organizing my “new” computer I was setting up the one for the pastor, loading some programs he wanted and getting all those windows updates that you need when you fire up a new one out of the box.  I was back in restart cyber hell.  I would be in the middle of loading software, and while I stepped away for just a second, windows would do it’s automatic restart and I would have to start my install over gain. I don’t know how many times that happened, but it was 2:oo am when I finally got out of cyber hell and off to bed that night.

cyber hellFinally I was ready to start on the last computer… another one that was being sent overseas to a pastor in need.  I thought I was done with cyber hell, but noooooo… after the easiest setup of all on a quite old Dell netbook, I thought I was done.  I was doing a final run through of settings and such, and navigated to the mic and speakers to set the volume levels.  You will never guess what happened… I was right back in cyber hell again!  The system could not see the sound components.  I wrestled with it for another couple of hours, finding drivers and updates and troubleshooting tools, all to no avail, and at midnight, I packed it up to take to a pro I know the next morning, to see if he could make it behave.  Long story short, I had a perfectly running deaf mute computer and that would not do.  Would my time in cyber hell never end?

On my way home from work that day I started making calls to find another laptop donation.  I scored!  This one was even older, windows 2000.  I was told it had some bumps and bruises, but ran fine and everything worked, so I ran to meet my friend that had it and brought it home to get started. I had less than 24 hours to get it done and delivered to the gal that would be taking it overseas… and the lions share of that 24 hours would be needed for sleep and work the next day.

I was getting used to cyber hell by now, so I checked the obvious stuff first.  It took me 10 minutes and a frustrated phone call for help just to find out where the power button was.  Within about 15 minutes of powering it up I discovered that the right hand side of the qwerty keyboard (that doubled as the calculator on those dinosaurs), was frozen on numbers and would not release back to letters. I could not expect the pastor to get much use out of a computer that only supported half of the alphabet, and there I was in cyber hell again, and running out of time.

Did I mention that with all of this going on, I had not made a blog post in close to two weeks and my rankings were visibly sliding lower.  The time had come for drastic action, so I did what we Americans do best.  I got out my WalMart card and I went shopping!  If Satan was that dead set on this pastor not having a computer, then I knew I had to make sure he got one.

After I got home with a new Compaq and set it up, I started downloading updates  hoping to correct a little glitch on the new computer.  I had set it for the correct time zone, U.S. Eastern time, but it was four hours ahead of the correct time for reasons I could not begin to understand.  Maybe that’s what time it was in cyber hell.  I was ready for bed as it was well past a working woman’s bed time yet again.  I stopped at the refrigerator to get a glass of water only to find the bread dough that I had gotten out and put back several times over the evening as my plans had changed… (I know what you are thinking, who in their right mind would try to bake bread in cyber hell) the bread dough had swollen to well past the limits of the pan it was in, for the second time.  My choices were clear, throw it out, or stay up and bake it.

So, I am completing this post as the bread bakes.  I am just too stubborn to let Satan steal my bread.  The pastors will have their computers, and while I eat a fat sandwich on fresh baked bread, Satan can eat my dust!


Blessings & Adventure,

Lynn “lynnibug” Rios

cyber hell sandwich

I have been to cyber hell and with God’s help I have conquered it!

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