Here Comes Harold Camping’s October 21, 2011!

February 3, 2020 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Dianne E. Butts –

Last spring, Harold Camping made national news when he predicted the Rapture would occur May 21, 2011. What’s the Rapture? It is an event that many Christians believe will occur during the “End Times,” which we talked about a little in my column last month.

One of the foundational beliefs of Christianity is that Jesus will return to earth—as an adult, just like when He died, alive and powerful. We believe this because Scripture tells us so in many places. Here are just couple:

  • Jesus Himself talked about His coming. Three of the four gospel writers recorded this conversation: Matthew in his book’s chapter 24, Mark in chapter 13, and Luke in 21. Jesus talked about many things that would happen just before He comes, including wars, earthquakes, and natural disasters that would increase in intensity and frequency like a woman’s birth pangs.
  • Also, as the resurrected Jesus was ascending into heaven, two angels appeared suddenly and said, “This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).

Some Christians believe that just before His second coming, the Rapture will take place. The Rapture is when all true Christians are suddenly whisked away, taken out of the world to meet the Lord. This belief is based on Bible verses like 1 Corinthians 15:51-53 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18, which says in part, “…we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.”

The Bible describes the “End Times” as the last seven years of human history as we know it, known as the great “Tribulation.” This seven year period is divided into two halves of three and a half years each. Some Christians believe the Rapture will occur at the beginning of the seven years, as sort of a kick-off event. Others believe it will take place at the halfway point.

Harold Camping said he’d done some calculations (I don’t know what) and that the Rapture would occur on May 21, 2011. But on May 22 we were still here. Quickly afterwards media reported he said he had miscalculated or that God was giving us another five months—until  October 21, 2011.

Since May, I’ve heard Harold Camping called a false prophet. And that is true, because a true prophet of God can’t be wrong. If a “prophet’s” prediction does not come true, it was not from God and so he or she is a false prophet.

However Mr. Camping sure had people talking. And I think that’s a good thing. I heard one radio talk show on a mainstream (meaning not “Christian”) radio station with a host that was Jewish. He was asking questions about the “Rapture” and Christians were calling in explaining what that meant. The host just kept saying he was blown away by how well-informed the Christians were!

Only nineteen days after Mr. Camping’s failed prediction, on June 9th, he suffered a stroke from which he is still recovering. I found myself wondering if Harold Camping would live to see October 21, 2011, or if his own personal “rapture” would occur by then. Whether his stroke was a judgment from God or not I’ll let you decide.

But I believe God can use even false prophets for His glory and I hope even more people are talking and thinking about God this October. And I hope Christians will continue to talk about what they know, because there are people out there who are curious, are listening, and are taking note.

It’s a Wrap—168 Hour Film Project

June 7, 2019 by  
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By Dianne E. Butts –

Well, the film production week I talked about in my last two articles came and went in a whirlwind. We put our film in the overnight mail fifteen minutes before the deadline on February 24th, had a wrap party that evening, and the last of the film crew left the next day. It was an exhausting, exhilarating experience.

The Bible verses we were assigned that we were to illuminate in our movie were Genesis 9:8-10, which talk about God making a covenant with Noah never to destroy the earth by flood again. Following verses speak of the sign of the covenant—the rainbow. It seemed a very challenging verse to portray in a story about motorcyclists and Colorado mountains, but then I’d bet every 168 Team thought their verse was challenging too.

We got some awesome locations, including a ranch with Colorado’s beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountain range in the background. We gave God credit for that set design.

Unfortunately, for all our planning and praying, things did not go off without a hitch. The wind blew for most of our outdoor scenes which made for big challenges with the sound. I learned they can do a lot of magic in post production, but they can’t fix everything.

We had a team of writers which became a challenge. I learned not all writers have the same priorities! My focus was creating a story that illuminated our Bible verse. I felt the Sangre de Cristo (“Blood of Christ”) mountains were our rainbow rising in the sky. But others were concerned about my overt Christianity coming off cheesy. Still others were concerned with story tension and character motivation. With the pressure of the time constraints of 168 hours, I never felt we had a great script, but others felt we had a strong story.

We also had different perspectives on filming, with different things being important to different people. The director focused on how the movie would look—the use of color and light. In the opening shot, our character walks from darkness into light—very symbolic. No bright colors showed in the film until the final scene to depict life.

I imagine challenges aren’t unique to our film experience, and even learning that is profitable.

With the problems we experienced I doubt we’ll be in the running for any awards, but was that really the point? Of course you always want to come out with an awesome finished product, but when that doesn’t happen, what then?

Well, I learned a ton doing this project: about the production side of film making, about working with other people, and about how I need to stand strong for what is important to me. (I had to fight to keep the scenes and dialog lines about the Sangre de Cristos and the flood.)

At least one crew member wondered why things weren’t going well. After all, she said, we’re doing this for God. Well, don’t we tend to think just because we set out to do something great for God that we’re not going to run into difficulties? Jesus set out to do something great for God. He did everything right. And He ended up nailed to a cross.

In the end, it was a good experience. We touched many lives as we set out to make this Christian film based on God’s Word. Many people got opportunities they wouldn’t have gotten otherwise, and I met people I otherwise never would have met. I hope we made a good impression that glorified God. For me, that’s what it was all about in the first place.

Dianne’s 168 Hour Film Project, titled “Steel City,” premiered at the 168 Film Festival in Los Angeles March 31 – April 2. Dianne is the author of the newly released book, Deliver Me: Hope, Help, & Healing through True Stories of Unplanned Pregnancy ( When she’s not writing, she enjoys riding her motorcycle with her husband, Hal, and gardening with her cat, P.C. in Colorado.

Waiting for Ephesians 3:20

May 29, 2019 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Dianne E. Butts –

Last month I told you about the short film I’d be making in February for the “168 Film Project” contest. As I write this, I can’t really report on that whole story because it is still in progress, so I’ll leave that for next month. This month, let me tell you a little of what’s been going through my mind during this whole exciting crazy adventure of faith.

I wonder if you’re like me. I like to plan. I like to know what’s happening. I like to figure things out in advance and then work the plan. But this whole act of faith thing, making a movie in a week adventure, hasn’t been like that exactly.

Yes, we’ve been making lots of plans. Yes, we’ve been working hard to get things in place so when the time comes for the camera to roll, we’ll be ready. But there is a ton that we can’t plan for.

We can’t write the story or script until we get our assigned Bible verse. So we can’t really know what we’re going to need. So we can’t get everything figured out. So I’m feeling a little crazy about it all.

This is where faith enters, right?

But my mind asks, Will God work everything out? Will He bring people to the fund-raiser dinner? Will that dinner make enough money to pull off this project? Will we be able to write a decent story? Will we find actors? What about props, make up, hair? I think we still need a gaffer. (Now, tell me again what a gaffer is?) What about…

Wait a minute. What happened to my faith walk? This is me, trying to do it all, trying to plan it all. But this is a faith walk, right? God will come through. I know He will.

Do you get like that? I do. When we can view the big picture from afar, we can say, “Sure. I know God will show up. He’ll work everything out. No need to worry.” But when we’re sitting in the middle of the chaos, and we need the funds, and we need the people, and we need so much and we can’t see where anything we need is going to come from…we feel a little panicky and wonder if God will really come through with everything we think we need.

If there’s one thing I’ve heard loud and clear from the good people at the “168 Film Project,” it is to trust that God will show up! He is in this project and we get to be amazed at what He will do for us as we pursue making a short film in a short time with a short budget based on His Word.

Based on His Word. How can you go wrong with that?

So as I lie awake at night wondering if anybody is going to show up at the fundraiser (Please, Lord. At least enough to pay for the spaghetti!), I remind myself over and over that this is what it’s like to live waiting for Ephesians 3:20:

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us…” (Ephesians 3:20, NIV).

Immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…When we’re waiting on Ephesians 3:20, that’s what we’re waiting to witness. It will happen. God has promised.

“…to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:21).

May we each live this month expecting God to show up in Ephesians 3:20 ways!

Dianne is the author of the new book, Deliver Me: Hope, Help, & Healing through True Stories of Unplanned Pregnancy ( and an aspiring screenwriter. Her script, A Cowboy’s Faith, was inspired by a true story in her Deliver Me book and was a finalist in the 168 Project’s “Write of Passage” 2010 contest. (Currently a producer is talking with Dianne about making her script into a short film!) When she’s not writing, she enjoys riding her motorcycle with her husband, Hal, and gardening with her cat, P.C. in Colorado.

“The 168 Film Project: A Crazy Act of Faith”

May 20, 2019 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Dianne E. Butts –

I’m going to be doing something just a little bit crazy this month. I’m a member of a team that’s going to make a movie. In a month? you ask. Well, actually, in a week. Oh all right—you should probably know it will be a short movie. Eleven minutes max. But still, acting and filming a whole movie, editing, adding music, etc., all in a week? That seems a bit crazy, doesn’t it?

What’s the movie about? Don’t know yet. How could I not know? Well, because it’s a timed contest. We can’t start making the film until 11:00 am on the production week. And the way they keep us from starting early is by assigning each team its topic. That will happen February 6th.

What kind of a topic will it be? It will come in the form of a Bible verse.

Yep. That’s right. Our film team, one of about 80 teams, will be assigned a verse from Scripture, and it will be our task to write, film, and produce a story that “illuminates the Word of God through short film.” Through this competition, the 168 Film Project “provides a training ground for filmmakers.” They are giving pros and newcomers alike opportunities to learn about and get involved in film production. Teams are made up of people with diverse backgrounds, training, and experience in the entertainment industry. It is also an incredible networking opportunity which can open doors for future work in entertainment. The 168 says, “We encourage fair treatment of subjects, with emphasis on story and subtlety. But, more importantly, filmmakers are advised to honestly portray the tale that God inspires.”

“The tale that God inspires.” That’s the faith-walk part. Can God really help us make a movie in a week?!

There’s something strange going on in Hollywood. There has been an influx of Christians looking to make a difference. Not only do they want to make a difference in the content that comes out of Hollywood in film and television, these Christians want their presence to make a permanent impact. Every job they get, every set they work on, every person in Hollywood they encounter, will give them an opportunity to be a witness for Christ. These Christians plan to transform Hollywood from the inside out by reaching professionals in Hollywood for Christ.

Have you seen something you don’t like come out of Hollywood lately? What did you do about it? Turn off the TV? Stay away from the movie theatre?

Well when was the last time you prayed for Hollywood? If you, personally, would like to make a difference in Hollywood, a good place to start is with the Hollywood Prayer Network.

And when you think of me and this crazy thing I’m attempting this month, I’d appreciate a prayer, too. The 168 competition’s theme for this year’s contest is “Second Chances.” Our verse will be assigned February 6. We’ll have ten days to write a story script that illuminates that verse. Then we’ll be filming starting February 17th and must turn in our film on the 24th.

All films will premier at the 168 Film Festival April 1 – 2 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California. If you can’t make that but would still like to see some of these short films that illuminate God’s Word, “Best Of…” DVDs from past years are available on their website. You will be inspired by what these up and coming filmmakers have done with one Scripture verse and 168 hours.

Dianne is the author of the new book, Deliver Me: Hope, Help, and Healing through True Stories of Unplanned Pregnancy (Connections Press, 2011), and an aspiring screenwriter. Her script, A Cowboy’s Faith, was a finalist in the 168 Project’s “Write of Passage” 2010 contest. When she’s not writing, she enjoys riding her motorcycle with her husband, Hal, and gardening with her cat, P.C. in Colorado.

The Sanctity of Human Life Sunday

May 15, 2019 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

By Dianne E. Butts  –

The National Sanctity of Human Life Sunday is January 23, 2011. Each year, Sanctity of Human Life Sunday is held on the Sunday closest to January 22, the date in 1973 when the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision on Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton which legalized abortion on demand.

Since then, there have been nearly 50 million abortions in the United States. Here are some more statistics about abortion in America:

• In the United States, approximately 3,700 abortions are performed every day.

• Of all pregnancies in America (excluding miscarriages), 22% end in abortion.

• About 61% of abortions are obtained by women who have one or more children.

• Of all abortions only 1% occur because of rape or incest. This means that of those 3,700 abortions performed every day, only 37 are because of rape or incest.

• What about the other 3,663? Potential health problems regarding either the mother or child account for 6% (222). The remaining 93% (3,441) are for “social reasons” (i.e. the child is unwanted or inconvenient).

• Of all abortions, 18% are performed on women who identify themselves as “Born-again/Evangelical.”

• Of all abortions in the United States, women identifying themselves as Protestants obtain 37.4%; Catholic obtain 31.3%; Jewish obtained 1.3%; and women with no religious affiliation obtain 23.7%.

• If you’ve seen the “Precious Feet” lapel pin of two tiny human feet, the international pro-life symbol for nearly thirty years, you may know those feet are the exact size and shape of an unborn baby’s feet at ten weeks after conception. Of all abortions, 52% occur before the ninth week of pregnancy and 25% between the ninth and tenth weeks.

• By the time they are 45 years old, an estimated 43% of all women will have at least one abortion.

Do you find anything startling in these statistics? Perhaps you thought abortion today was rare, or only needed or used in extreme cases. This Sunday, on Sanctity of Human Life Sunday, how might you pray for our nation? If you’re inclined to do a bit more, where might you volunteer to make a difference? And the next time you have the privilege, how will you cast your vote?

I’ve learned that many women (and men) who have experienced abortion and now regret it, feel they have committed the unforgiveable. Think of it. According to statistics, this issue affects up to 43% of our population. Through hearing their stories, I’ve learned what a difference it makes in their lives, and their walk with God, when someone compassionately reaches out to them with mercy, talks with them about God’s forgiveness, and helps restore them in their relationship with Christ.

“For you, O LORD, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the LORD in the land of the living” (Psalm 116:8-9, NIV).

Dianne is the author of the coming new book, Deliver Me: Hope, Help, and Healing through True Stories of Unplanned Pregnancy (Connections, 2011), When she’s not writing, she enjoys riding her motorcycle with her husband, Hal, and gardening with her cat, P.C., in Colorado.

Editor’s note: You may contact the author for information regarding statistics referenced above.

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