Monthly Archives: May 2013

Just Recently Updated my Retirement Fund. How About You?

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Although I’m a Baby Boomer and have enjoyed living in one of the most prosperous ages in the history of the world, our savings account hovers between $25 and $100 most of the time. Our 401K and IRA accounts never did get past the planning stages. Real estate investments? None. Gold, silver, and precious jewels? None. Other investments? None. None. None.

At 67 years of age, am I worried about our futures?

No, absolutely not!

You see, I believe the following scripture to be true:

Blessed is the one who considers the poor! In the day of trouble the LORD delivers him; the LORD protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies. The LORD sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you restore him to full health. (Psalm 41:1-3)

So, when I say we have just updated our retirement fund, I actually mean we decided to sponsor three more children in the Gospel For Asia’s Bridge of Hope program. We now sponsor a total of four children and hope to add more before the year is out.

Maybe you’re the type who reads this, shakes your head, and says. “A fellow should never put all his eggs in one basket. He needs to be a good steward. What if your idealistic beliefs fail you, then what? Who’s going to take care of you?”

This is where the rubber meets the road for us Christians. As they say in Texas Hold ‘Em, “We’re all in with God,” and isn’t that where we all want to be?

Just take a moment to review your retirement portfolio today. Can you afford to add one child at $35 per month?

And here’s another little nugget of truth, God will cover your investment for you. It’s a win/win deal for you and a needy child!

Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will repay him for his deed. (Proverbs 19:17) 

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8 Exchanges at the Cross

 

My Aussie friend, Roger Williams, at Reality Revelations had the above video on his blog site. The video is 5 minutes long and well worth viewing, but what caught my attention was when Derek Prince spoke about the 8 exchanges which happened at the cross.

Prince said:

The cross is the center of the whole Christian faith. All the evil that was due us was thrust on Jesus. All the good that was due Jesus was made available to us. At the cross, 8 exchanges took place.

1. Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven.

2. Jesus was wounded that we might be healed.

3. Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness that we might be righteous with His righteousness.

4. Jesus died our death that we might receive His life.

5. Jesus endured our poverty that we might endure His abundance.

6. Jesus bore our shame that we might share His glory.

7. Jesus endured our rejection that we might have His acceptance with God the Father.

8. Jesus was made a curse that we might receive the blessing.

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Inside Israel – Pentecost (Part 2)

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As you have probably guessed by now,  I’m not Debbie, but since she’s taken a sabbatical, I will host Inside Israel where we will 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 …

And, speaking of The Bread, the two challot (‘challa’ is the three twined braided shabat bread) that I am hoping to bring to our gathering tomorrow are rising on my stove.  Our fellowship plans to gather together to worship The Lord and bring our own thanksgivings to Him.

Shavuot is actually the 50th day following Passover (which is why it is called Pentecost in English) during which time the grain harvest is ripening and taking place.  We are told in scripture to ‘count the Omer’ (grains of wheat) for 7 weeks of 7 days (49 days) and there is a meditation for each day (again Leviticus 23) and when the time of the grain is full and the grain is full in it’s head, it is really a time to thank God for the new grain harvest – grain being the ‘staff of life’ – and the first fruits of the land as spring and the land is now literally covered with new life!

As the life of the next generation … the seeds… are already amazingly present in each generation…this is evident in all of His creation.

As I walk the several streets from the bus to my work in the morning I have been writing to you in my head.  Here it is… May…and yet what strikes me most is that the fall fruits are already alive in their bursting buds!  My head spins with this visual example of the ‘cycle of life’ that God has given; beautiful grape vines, clean from the rains, press their paths over gates and hedges and already there are evident miniscule clusters of what will become, Lord willing, lush grapes that won’t ripen until their fullness during the fall feasts of Sukkot.  Dazzling my eyes are the florescent pink orange ‘horn’, the dramatic buds of the pomegranate which will signify the fall feasts as well.  I see the fig leaves in full fan already being pulled downward by the heavy dates beginning to develop.  As if a colorful ‘frame’ around this activity, the bright yellow lemons beg to be picked and the air is permeated…full of the fragrance of more flowers then I could take note of … more colors then my eyes can define… all of this and so much more God has given even to us now in our disobedience!

What awaits us in the fulfillment…!  Overhead the swallows (as they are called in America) or swifts (as they are called in Europe) literally darken the morning sky as they feast of the little bugs.  I watch them darting around at a speed that boggles my mind and wonder at how they navigate around one another and buildings.  It is literally a display of nature that one need only to look up to see.  I have had to laugh because as I wait at my bus stop (after getting off the train…) in the morning, it is on a crowded narrow street.  The people crowd into the little ‘tachanat’ or ‘waiting station’ and sort of ‘tolerate’ the time.  One day the swallows (swifts) were just THICK and I was enraptured looking up and watching them.  I took a sudden look around and EVERYONE was gazing up instead of at the ground.  That brought a prayer to me ‘Lord!  Looking up may we see You!  May we FIND You!  Look, Lord!  We are looking UP!’  He is truly so good!

And as truly as the life of the fall fruits are already growing so wonderfully in the bud as the spring harvest takes place, perhaps…dare I say… that this is true in the Spirit as well as the natural?  As Shavuot was given through the hand of Moses…The Holy Spirit came on the self same day through Yeshua h’Meshiach…One God, one seed, one bud, one Fruit…In Him alone is life.  Maybe THIS year?  Even THIS day?

There is much more to share, but I think that in this letter I don’t want to mix the wonder of the seed of what He does and is doing with more words.

Lovingly, with blessing, your sis

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Buddy, Can You Spare A Dime?

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One day the Lord got my attention while I was standing at a busy street corner in India waiting for the light to turn green. There were little children everywhere, a common sight at many busy corners in Bombay. Tourists are cautioned not to give them anything because once you do, the others will all mob you.

While I was at this corner, feeling a bit annoyed by little hands grabbing at me, I heard from behind me the voice of a young girl.

“Sahib, Sir, my father died. My mother is sick. She can’t beg anymore. And I have a little brother, who is very hungry. Would you please give me a few pennies so I can buy some bread and take it to him?”

The light turned green, and everybody hurried on. But I couldn’t move. What she said pierced my heart, I turned around and saw this young girl, not yet 10 years old. I will never forget her face − one of the most beautiful faces I have ever seen on a child. She had big brown eyes, thick black hair almost the length of her body, dirty fingernails, and dust mingled with sweat running down her face. She was barefoot and in rags. She just stood there with her hand extended.

I put my hands in my pocket and took all the money I could find and gave it to her. Then, I walked on.

Like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, I felt an unseen stranger joined me on this emotional walk. “So, what do you think about the little girl you just met? Is her life as valuable and precious as…” and the face of another young girl appeared in my mind’s eye. I didn’t know the name of the girl on the street, but I for certain knew the name of this new face; it was my own little daughter, Sarah.

I certainly don’t want anyone to feel guilty about lovingly caring for our own children and grandchildren. But the question remains: Is there room in our hearts for one or two of the world’s suffering children, and can we also care for them in Jesus’ name? Can we see them as Jesus does, so special to Him, their worth like jewels beyond compare?

(Excerpts from No Longer A Slumdog by K.P. Yohannan, © 2011, pages 69-72. Order your copy here.)

When I read No Longer A Slumdog, I saw the face of my daughter, Susan, and became a sponsor in Gospel For Asia’s Bridge of Hope ministry. I pray this happens to thousands and thousands of Americans, maybe even you. (Larry Who)

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Racism: Who’s in the Right? And Who’s in the Wrong? (Part 1)

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In the late fall of 1995, a friend and I prayed for Northern Ireland. While praying, I had a vision, in which I saw thousands of bodies of young people piled up in the streets of Belfast. All had their lives snuffed out by the continued violence between the Catholics and Protestants.

Although we prayed to stop this horrible vision from happening, I also knew I had an important prophetic word for Northern Ireland within my spirit, waiting to be given.

Through some divine appointments, I eventually typed out the prophecy and sent it to the Rev. Cecil Kerr at the Christian Renewal Centre in Belfast. He later phoned and said the Centre’s prayer group had been waiting for weeks for  just such a prophecy. They immediately began praying it into manifestation.

The problems in Northern Ireland began almost 400 years earlier in 1610.  King James I confiscated a million acres of land from native Irish and gave it to Scottish/English Protestants for the Ulster Plantation. This, of course, enraged the Irish, fueling numerous conflicts, wars, and rebellions between the Irish Catholics and Scottish/English Protestants over the following centuries resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths.

In 1995, the most recent turmoil in Northern Ireland had been going on since the late 1960’s. It became known as  The Troubles. On the one side were the Nationalists (native Irish Catholics) while the opposite side consisted of the Unionists (Northern Ireland Protestants). Also, there were the Official Republican Army, its more radical spinoff − the Provisional Republican Army, the even more radical Real IRA, British Army, and countless other radical groups. The violence occurred almost daily and even spilt over into England, Scotland, Ireland, and Europe with numerous bombings taking place.

More than 3,500 people were killed in The Troubles and another 30-40,000 people were injured.

Looking back on the prophecy I wrote for Northern Ireland, it did not mention who was right or wrong in the long struggle. Instead, it pointed out Satan’s plan to kill thousands of young people through a spirit of death and God’s strategy to defuse Satan’s plan.

The Belfast Peace Agreement was reached on Good Friday, 1998, ending The Troubles. Although there has been sporadic violence since then, the agreement remains in affect.

What was God’s strategy? And could it stop racial violence, and even race wars, in America?

(Continued in Part 2)

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Inside Israel – Pentecost (Part 1)

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As you have probably guessed by now,  I’m not Debbie, but since she’s on a sabbatical, I will host Inside Israel where we will 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 …

And you shall count for yourselves from the day after the Shabat…fifty days…you shall offer a new grain offering to The Lord.  You shall bring from your dwellings two wave loaves…of fine flour…baked with leaven.  They are the firstfruits to The Lord.” Levit 23:15-17

“And it shall be, when you come into the land which The Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and you possess it and dwell in it,…and say to Him ‘I declare today to The Lord my God that I have come to the country which the Lord swore to our fathers to give us…’”  Deut 26:1-3 

“And when the day of Pentecost (SHAVOUT) had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.  And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting…and there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven…we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.”  Acts 2:1-12 

May THE LORD alone be glorified and blessed, and may you, His precious blood purchased ones, be blessed and encouraged as we each struggle along the path.

When we made aliyah (it will be 19 years this coming July), I sat on the plane crying out to God with one prayer and one only, but one that continued for the entire long long flight: “SANCTIFY MY EMOTIONS!  THEY ARE TOO BIG FOR ME!”  This past week I spoke to Him about it: ‘You did not answer that prayer…my emotions are still too big for me.’

He impressed my heart with an answer that I did not expect.  ‘I did answer your prayer.  I DID sanctify them.  But I did NOT change who I made you to be…like it or not.

I took a step back.  My emotions are ‘sanctified’?  What does this MEAN?

His economy is different then mine.

In like manner I approach this high holy day…one of the (only) three high feasts, when all of the men of Israel were COMMANDED to come up to Jerusalem and present themselves and their offerings before The Lord in Thanksgiving.  (the other two being Passover-unleavened bread – resurrection- and Sukkot – feast of tabernacles)

The longer that I stand here in Jerusalem, the more He and His ways, His economy of things, become BOTH a deeper mystery AND an open book to me…now that can’t make any sense!  But it is as if He FILLS us with Light and understanding only to show us how much MORE there is that we can’t see then end of and we must cry out ‘Lord!  Expand the pegs of the tent!  Enlarge my capacity for You!’

These major holidays seem to amplify that to me.

Shavuot (‘weeks’) is also Pentecost: the day when The Holy Spirit was poured out for the first time in Jerusalem as the “devout men from every nation under heaven’ (Acts 2) were gathered along with the rest of the ‘devout’ men of Israel in Jerusalem to bring their tithes and offerings and to rejoice before The Lord, AND to repent and remember all that The Lord had done.  Although I was blessed to be filled with The Holy Spirit soon after I was saved, the ‘holiday’ of Pentecost never seemed to deeply move me, although I TRIED.

Likewise, during all of my growing up years, we did not celebrate Shavuot.  It was only after making aliyah that I really saw the celebration…and quite a celebration it is; and beyond that, GREAT joy arises in my heart as it approaches.  Part of the reason for that I see in the verse above from Deut that says… “…and when you come into the land…”  It has seemed to me that a veil has come off as we ‘came into the land’.  Why?  Don’t know.  Obedience?  Perhaps.  Fulfillment of His plans?  Maybe. Don’t know.  All that I can say, and bare witness to is: OH!  What a glorious day of rejoicing His Presence in His Spirit, for those who know Him, and for rejoicing in His acts, for those who don’t yet know Him.

How is it celebrated here in Jerusalem?  Well…this is the ‘cheesecake and milk’ holiday.  Why?  Don’t ask me…OR most of the rabbis for that matter…no one seems to know!  Now the interesting part of this is that the fullest account that we have about how to celebrate this holiday is given in Deut 26 and Levit  16 and 23 where we are told to bake two fresh loaves to present at the temple (along with sheep etc and our tithes of the first fruits) and the loaves are to be ‘waved before The Lord’ as an offering of Thanksgiving.   (Exod 23, Levit 16 and 23, Numbers 28, 29 , Deut 16 and 26 all contain information about Shavuot)

So…where does the ‘milk’ come from and why does everyone stuff themselves with cheesecake and blintzes?  Well…funny that you should ask…and if you want a good laugh, go online and google ‘Why do Jews eat dairy on Shavuot?’  The answers are very funny and speak for themselves.  But I would like to turn it into a prayer:  May my brethren after the flesh…and indeed…all of us…me too…thirst after the pure milk of the Word in a way that it may not be quenched by anything else…but the living Bread of Life.

(Continued in Part 2)

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Got Troubles?

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In my younger and single days, my alarm rang at 2:55 AM. I jumped out of bed, went to the bathroom, and put on sweat pants and a sweatshirt. I next bowed my knees and prayed till 6 AM at which time I took a shower, ate breakfast, and dressed for the day.  I then walked over to my church and prayed for an hour. Afterward, I put in a full day’s work as a laborer or a car salesman.

This was my routine for almost ten years.

As you can imagine, I earned a reputation as a prayer warrior. People asked me to pray for them or their problems, which I gladly did. I would write their names down and add them to a list. Praying for others was a priority in my life.

But what about my family and my needs?

I usually spent just seconds praying for myself and my family. Many days, I forgot them altogether. And even when I did pray, it was a basic thanksgiving prayer, such as, “Thanks for taking care of my son. Thanks for taking care of my daughter. Thanks for providing healing for me. Thanks for my finances.”

Did my system work? My family had miracles and so did I.

Do you want to know my secret?

How blessed is he who considers the helpless; the LORD will deliver him in a day of trouble. The LORD will protect him and keep him alive, And he shall be called blessed upon the earth; and do not give him over to the desire of his enemies. The LORD will sustain him upon his sickbed; in his illness, You restore him to health. (Psalm 41:1-3)

I discovered that if I helped the poor and helpless, mainly through financial offerings, the Lord would take care of my family and me. This revelation has so impacted my life that I wrote a book, What’s In It For Me? The book is not burning up the New York Times Best Sellers List, but it should, because it absolutely works.

So, now you know why I have no problem advising you to sponsor a child in Gospel For Asia’s Bridge of Hope ministry. You will be blessed and who knows? Many of the miracles you have struggled to receive may run up and tap you on the shoulder.

It’s worked for me for over 25 years… and still counting.

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