Friday’s Prayers for Prisoners (1/30/2015)

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Each Friday I pray and fast for nations where Christians suffer the worst persecution around the world. This week I am praying and fasting for:

Qatar. 2.3 million people with 90,000 Christians.

Christian converts from a Muslim background and Christian migrant workers continue to be pressured. The state religion is strictly conservative Wahhabi Islam. While Muslims are free to worship in public, non-Muslim religious groups are restricted to private houses or designated places. Proselytizing is outlawed and those who criticize Islam are punished. Conversion from Islam to another religion constitutes apostasy, an offense which carries capital punishment. Qatar is one of the largest financial supporters of Islamic terrorism; it reportedly supports Islamic rebels in war zones. (World Watch List)

Expatriate believers are allowed to practice their faith openly, but Qatari Christians risk arrest or worse. Government policy strictly limits Christian gatherings. Proselytism of Muslims is forbidden, and merely causing a Qatari to doubt his or her faith is punishable by several years’ imprisonment. Expatriates have been expelled for evangelizing Qataris. Christians are treated as second-class citizens. Criticism of the Muslim faith or the ruling family is a crime. There were no known Qatari believers before 1985, but several have come to the Lord outside the country since then. Up until 2008, there were no churches for foreigners. Eight Christian denominations, which have more than 1,500 members living in the country, have been legally recognized and built or have been allotted land to build a church in the Mesaymir Religious Complex, widely known as “Church City.” Foreigners from smaller congregations may still worship privately, and all foreign churches are forbidden from advertising services or displaying religious symbols on their buildings. (Voice of Martyrs)

Today, I prayed:

Lord, I pray that You send a new group of believers to Qatar who will turn the world upside down in that nation. (Based on Acts 17:6)

Join with me on Fridays to fast and pray for prisoners, according to Hebrews 13:3.

Click on to see MyGFA site.

Click on to see MyGFA site.

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The Rumors of Larry’s Death Were Not Greatly Exaggerated (Part 3)

(Click on photo to enlarge)

(Click on photo to enlarge)

One of these days, I may write a nonfiction book entitled: God Wouldn’t Do That, Would He? I will fill the pages with these words: “Yes, He would!”

One of the biggest Christian myths is the belief that if God tells us to do something, we should always be able to accomplish it. If we fail to accomplish whatever God told us to do, then it is totally our fault for the failure. After all, why would God ask us to do it in the first place if He knew we couldn’t do it?

Numerous scriptures can be used to back up this erroneous mindset, but if you view the Mosaic Law in total, which God commanded Israel to keep, you will soon realize an important fact. God knew Israel would fail to keep the Law. There is no possible way any man or nation could ever keep the 613 Mosaic Laws. So, why did God command Israel to keep the Law, knowing they could never do it?

Now we know whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin (Romans 3:19-20).

Paul makes the case in the book of Romans that the Law was given to reveal our sin and strip away every excuse we could ever have about making ourselves acceptable to God, apart from Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer. The Law points us to Christ.

Thus, when God asks us to do something, knowing we will fail in our attempts to do it, He has a purpose in it. It often strips us of our fleshly ways and excuses so we are more dependent on Him.

 

I became a licensed California real estate agent working for Tarbell Realtors in 2003. My total number of sales while working for the firm was one home and that was to Carol and me, a new two-story in Rancho Cucamonga.

But something else happened in my year with Tarbell because I felt the Lord wanted me to start a newspaper for real estate agents. It was to be a humor/satire periodical. I checked about mailing lists, computer software, printing companies, mailing costs, credit card machines, billing statements, and countless other things.

Carol and I prayed about the whole plan, its costs, and felt we should do it. I believed the periodical would be part of the fulfillment to what the Lord had whispered to my heart as a young believer: “You will own a publishing company.”

I ran a test mailing of 1,000 copies. The test showed a few problems, which needed to be addressed. It also caused Tarbell Realtors to ask for my resignation, which I agreed to do.

After the test, I sent out 8,000 copies to agents at various real estate and mortgage firms, hoping for a ten to fifteen percent return. If the mailing proved successful, the following mailing would have been to 30,000 agents. My goal was to have 30,000 paid subscribers in the publication’s first year.

Carol and I flew to Santa Fe, New Mexico, the day after the large mass mailing. She had sold over a million dollars of furniture in 2003, which placed her in the top one percent of all sales people in the nation, earning her a week’s paid vacation at Thomasville’s Top Sales Writers Conference. Thomasville wined and dined her for the whole week while I sat in the audience and applauded her accomplishments.

Although I enjoyed Carol’s success, I could not wait to return to Rancho Cucamonga and count all the subscriptions from my mailing. I rushed to the post office soon after we landed in California. I expected to see 800 to 1200 orders inside the box, but it was empty. None. Zero. Zilch for 8,000. It was statistically impossible to be that unsuccessful. The only way it could have happened was for God to slam the door in my face.

I felt crushed and humiliated by my failure. I wept and asked the Lord why He did that to me. A little while later the Lord spoke to my heart: “Now I can use you.”

I eventually found comfort in the following:

“Pioneers [prophetic people] therefore have to dwell in the constant reality that they may be mistaken. Being men and women who learn more from their mistakes than from their successes, pioneers have the privileged opportunity of providing both personal wisdom and compassion when others make errors. They must keep a careful balance: maintaining a deep hunger to follow God’s instructions exactly, while at the same time, having the courage to live with the mistakes they’ve created out of their imperfect hearing and circumstances. If you are afraid to take chances and fail, you will never make it as a pioneer.” (Pioneering by Dennis Peacocke, The Morning Star Journal, ©1991, Vol. 1, No. 4, page 21)

The above is an excerpt from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who, an Amazon eBook.

(Continued in Part 4)

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Tuesday’s Prayers for America (1/27/2015)

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The movie, We Were Soldiers, records the Battle of Ia Drang on November 14, 1965, and is based on a book written by Lt. General Hal Moore and reporter Joe Galloway: We Were Soldiers Once…And Young. Both men were at the battle.

Lt. General Hal Moore was ordered to lead his Air Cavalry battalion of four hundred men to fight the attackers of an American air base. Army intelligence had no idea how many Vietnamese soldiers they would encounter. Moore and his men landed in the “Valley of Death” and learned they were in the middle of a division of North Vietnam Army soldiers, four thousand strong. The battle lasted over two days.

During the second day, the North Vietnamese soldiers overran the battalion’s position. Fighting was hand to hand. Sergeant Major Basil Plumley walked through the action with a pistol in hand. He looked down and saw Joe Galloway, the reporter and photographer assigned to the battalion, lying on the ground.

“You can’t take any pictures from down there, sonny,” said Sergeant Major Plumley, throwing an M-16 rifle at the reporter.

“I’m a non-combatant,” replied Galloway, holding the rifle.

“Ain’t no such thing today,” said Plumley and walked away.

Although a non-combatant, Galloway fought that day.

Today, I prayed:

Lord, I pray we American believers understand that we are in a time of war, not peace; and that there is no neutral position for non-combatants in spiritual battles. (Based lightly on Ecclesiastes 3:8)

What do you think and has the Lord spoken to you?

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for America.

Click on to see MyGFA site.

Click on to see MyGFA site.

 

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When Was The Last Time…

I watched the above video nine days ago, but I have been sick with a vicious cold since then. Yet, even when I tossed and turned with fever, I meditated on this video, especially these words:

We will live as strangers and pilgrims on this earth, with sacrifice, and commitment, and tears, and fasting, and touch the lost world with our lifestyle and commitment. (K. P. Yohannan of Gospel For Asia)

Now, I understand that not everyone will be touched by Yohannan’s words, like I was, but that’s only natural. A friend used to say, “If you throw a stone into a pack of wild dogs, the only dog that really pays attention is the one the stone hits. He yelps.”

Yohannan’s stone hit me. I yelped!

What do I plan on doing?

I am going to find as many people as possible who want to live as strangers and pilgrims on this earth. I don’t care if they are white, black, brown, Catholics, Lutherans, Charismatics, Baptists, tongue talkers, or whatever. I want to be with them to fast, pray, weep, and give so that a lost world can be touched by our lifestyle and commitment.

You see, at 69 years of age, I’ve run out of time and excuses.

Click on to see MyGFA site.

Click on to see MyGFA site.

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Inside Israel

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Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua. Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is …

Greetings dear friends, brothers and sisters, in the precious Name of Yeshua. May He be blessed and glorified and may you be blessed and drawn daily closer to Him…all for His glory.

Life here has been growing more intense and picking up its pace. It has demanded all of my attention, which has left me little time to write or even check email.  I know that it is not just that I’m slowing down, but that time itself is indeed speeding up.  I am only thankful for His Peace that passes all understanding and keeps our hearts and minds on Him.

I mentioned to you in my last letter that I was about to celebrate my 40th year since meeting Him face to Face.  That was so meaningful and at the same time, so humbling.  I set a large space of time aside to wonder about it and to assess the time. I lay my stewardship before Him and ask Him to judge it. How I have used the time? How I have handled what He has entrusted me with?

Oh, it was NOT a pretty picture from my side, but we have a kaporah (atoning sacrifice), atonement, the Atoning One and Intercessor. A Holy God Who forgives and cleanses.  I did ask Him to somehow confirm me and He did just that.

At my fellowship there is a monthly women’s prayer meeting. Although they did not know yet that it was a special day for me, the leader called me on my birthday and asked if I would share at the meeting this Tuesday.  What a humbling gift.

Yet, all plans seem to have a way of being disrupted, don’t they? I have no doubt that this is to teach us how to stand steady when things shake, but SOMETIMES it is the enemy.

You know that I have been actively involved in IFI (Intercessors for Israel) since we arrived.  I attend at least the beginning of the weekly Friday morning prayer meetings in the center of town. Their yearly conference is one that I try to attend.  The ONE meeting of the conference that is mine (meaning…yay!  I can be there!) is Tuesday morning.

Last year, armed with my Bible in my backpack, ready to go to the prayer meeting, my husband needed to go to the emergency room with severe pain.  Thankfully it was nothing, but for the first time in years I was not able to gather with those from the nations to prayer in this manner.  I was so disappointed.

This year, I had my day planned out. IFI prayer in the morning, kehila women’s prayer meeting at night, where I also would be sharing.  At 12:20 a.m. Tuesday, the mysterious pounding on the ceiling happened again.  This is the pounding that we have been blamed for by our upstairs neighbor.  It woke us suddenly.

Soon after, my husband felt sever chest pain.  When it looked like a heart attack, we checked his blood pressure.  Seeing it very high, I called the ambulance.  Within a few minutes there was a loud knocking on the door.  I opened it and said, “Please, please come in!  My husband is right here.”

At which point the POLICE informed me that our upstairs neighbor had called them to complain about us for the fifth time.  It was now 2 a.m. I said, “Well…in any case, I’m glad that you are here.  My husband is having a heart attack.”

They were most helpful, especially when the ambulance got lost.  Once again I stuffed my Bible (ever hopeful) in my backpack and spent the night in a cold chair beside my husband.  Thankfully he was fine for the SECOND year in a row.

In answer to prayer, God’s anointing was present for me to speak that evening, despite no sleep. And today, I made it to the 11-1:00 prayer meeting.  Halleluiah!  My floor may not be washed, but I’m asking for The Lord’s grace to cover that too.

This is only one example of why I haven’t written.  It’s been INTENSE.

While we were in the emergency room (from around 2:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.), the ARMY was called in to help with the overload.  Our army doctors and medics showed up to help with the heavy load of patients.  Being that our hospitals are all public hospitals, we can do that.  And I must admit, I find myself on the other side of the coin having become so very thankful for our form of socialized medicine here.  Our system has a heart and a moral mandate to save lives.

The protocol states that if my husband were hospitalized, the entire issue would have been covered.  Armed with the large bill from the ambulance and the hospital, I trekked off to face the bureaucracy.  Thankfully, I was covered with prayer. At least now I could hold my own in Hebrew. I made my case: “See?  He almost died 4 years ago and this looked and felt just the same…”

The secretary tapped on the computer and shook her head, up and down, sided to side.  I prayed.  My heart was pounding.  I waited.  She smiled.  I relaxed. “Ok, instead of 2,000 shekels, it will be 400 shekels.”

PHEW!  THANK YOU LORD!  Back into the street and it only took 3 hours.

Back on the train, a noisy man got on, looking a bit bedraggled, he began to sing loudly.  I watched him.  Was he crazy or was he drunk?  He sang with passion.  I began to listen to his songs.  Usually people like that cause some discomfort, but not this man, everyone watched him.  His voice was sad. His words ironic and deep.  He was probably in his 60s and belted out song after song, making up the words as he went. A commentary on life here. The search for peace. The hope so deep. The sweat and blood.

A young religious woman sat beside me and also watched him. “He seems crazy but his words are so deep,” she said to me, and I agreed.  Tears began to roll down his face.  The whole train watched and listened.  “It is like he is a Rabbi, preaching to us,” she said again.  Again I agreed.  It was true.  A sermon was being sung on a train. A Jeremiah in the flesh again weeping for the children of God yet wandering on the long path.

Our Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has been invited to speak to the US Congress, by the speaker of the House without the knowledge of the US President.  You likely know what a row this has caused around the world, but believe me, that flack is minor compared with the blasting that he is receiving through our own media and the other political parties that are currently involved in a mud slinging campaign against him.  He has been silent about it until today when he explained that he has one main calling, and that is to defend the people and land of Israel at all costs.  He has promised to speak out concerning the Iranian threat, whenever and wherever the door opened and he would do just that.  Things, forces, so much bigger then us loom on every horizon.

I ask for prayer for this man whom I believe that God has called for such a time as this to be a clear trumpet of truth. He is standing boldly before incredible opposition.  If you are one who prays for this nation and people, please be particularly vigilant at this time.  I am sorry for not having kept up sending out the IFI prayer notes.  Will begin again once they are back online.  It is a very dangerous season, but The Lord’s pathway is THROUGH the whirlwind and the storm. We know that we are all safe in Him when we are on that path.

God bless you dear sisters and brothers.  I love you,

Your sis in Jerusalem, J

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Heads Up: Tomorrow. Tomorrow. Tomorrow.

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January 25, 2015, is World Leprosy Day.

This is a perfect opportunity for all of us to pray and intercede for the tens of thousands of people suffering from this ghastly disease in Southeast Asia who are closeted away in a thousand leper colonies.

Leprosy is a bacterial disease that attacks the nervous system, particularly the nerves of the hands, feet and face. As the body absorbs cartilage into its system, victims of the disease slowly lose their fingers, toes and even limbs. The social stigma is devastating, perhaps even worse than the disease itself. Lepers are shunned and forgotten by family and friends.

But in the midst of this dark hopelessness, Gospel For Asia’s leprosy ministry brings the light of Jesus:

• Pray for lepers to embrace Jesus and His love.

• Pray for healing miracles through GFA’s ministry.

• Pray for the lepers to be transformed by the love of Christ.

• Pray for the GFA leprosy ministers.

• Pray for more medical workers to aid GFA’s leprosy teams.

Prayer helps, but if you can do more, check out what Abby is doing here.

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Friday’s Prayers for Prisoners (1/23/2015)

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Each Friday I pray and fast for nations where Christians suffer the worst persecution around the world. This week I am praying and fasting for:

Central Africa Republic. 4.8 million people with 3.1 million Christians (mainly Roman Catholic). 

The high ranking of the country can be explained almost exclusively by the high degree of violence against Christians caused by the rebellion of the Séléka movement. The internal revolution which saw the victory of Séléka, a coalition of rebels dissatisfied with the regime, and the removal of President François Bozizé, is responsible for the high degree of pressure and violence against Christians. The Séléka movement, with no formal Islamist agenda, but composed in majority of foreign Muslims, has ravaged the country, specifically targeting Christian properties (houses and churches) and government buildings. The desecration of Christian churches and the violence towards Christians (rape, robbery, kidnapping, torture, murder, etc.) is evidence of this. (World Watch List)

Today I prayed:

Lord, I pray for all the believers in the Central Africa Republic that they would humble themselves under Your mighty hand, that they would cast all their cares on You, and that they would be sober and vigilant because of the devil whom they must resist by faith. (Based on 1 Peter 5:6-9)

Join with me on Fridays to fast and pray for prisoners, according to Hebrews 13:3.

Click on to see MyGFA site.

Click on to see MyGFA site.

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