Monthly Archives: October 2014

Friday’s Prayers for Prisoners (10/24/2014)

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:

Pakistan. 186.4 million people with 5.3 million Christians (2.8%).

Pakistan’s Christians are caught in the crossfire between Islamic militant organizations that routinely target Christians, and an Islamizing culture that leaves Christians isolated from the rest of the population. The notorious blasphemy laws continue to have devastating consequences for minorities, including Christians. Women and girls from minority groups are particularly vulnerable, and sexual assaults against underage Christian girls by Muslim men continue to be reported. In September 2013, a twin bomb attack on Anglican All Saints Church in Peshawar left 89 people dead. (Open Doors, World Watch List)

This Sunni majority country is one of the most corrupt countries in the world… Though the constitution guarantees religious freedom, Christians increasingly suffer under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws. One law stipulates that any person who defiles the name of the prophet Muhammad or the Quran may be punished by life in prison or death. Churches in Pakistan are frequently vandalized, and Christians are beaten, raped, abducted and murdered with impunity. Christians also face discrimination in employment and education, keeping them entrenched in the lower classes. (Voice of the Martyrs)

Today, I prayed:

Lord, I ask You to set apart the believers in Pakistan as You did Your people in Goshen. Make a clear distinction between the Pakistani believers and the unbelievers so all will know that You are the Lord in the midst of the earth. (Based on Exodus 8:22-23)

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

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Praise the Lord…Pass the Ammo (Part 5)

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I am fortunate to have an upbeat personality with a natural sense of humor. This is due to genes inherited from my dad who enjoyed laughing. My two wonderful parents also cultivated my sense of humor by always encouraging me no matter what happened in my life.

As far as ever suffering deep depression, I can only remember one occurrence in my whole life, and that came from an unusual source: a Christian friend.

My friend handed me a book one night and said, “Check this out. I think you might enjoy it.”

I looked at the title, Deliverance and Inner Healing, and shook my head, but then I noticed the author’s name: John L. Sandford. He and his wife, Paula, wrote The Elijah Task, which was an early book on prophets.

“I am not sure about this book,” I said, looking through the table of contents.

“Well,” my friend said, “it shouldn’t hurt to check it out.”

“Okay, I’ll do that.”

If I would have listened to my inner man, I would not have taken the book, but I disregarded the inner turmoil within me. I instead trusted my friend who was a man of a prayer and also the author, who had written a book eighteen years earlier on a totally different subject.

The book lay on my desk for a few days before I opened it on that Saturday afternoon. After a hundred pages or so, I became so confused by the misuse of scripture to justify psychobabble and gobbledygook that I became depressed. It felt like a dark cloud had descended upon me.

I closed the book and decided to go for a walk outside in the autumn sunshine, hoping to clear my mind. All I could think about was how long it might take to set a few of my friends free from their issues if the book was accurate in its assertions. If so, then what about the millions of other Americans who needed deliverance and inner healing? And then what about the billions of people in foreign nations? It totally depressed me to think how the good news of Jesus and His delivering power had become so complex within the pages of the book.

I walked down the street, not even thinking about where I was heading at the time. My friend Dan happened to look out the window when I walked by his house. He felt something was wrong and ran outside to intercept me.

“Hey, Larry, wait up,” said Dan, hurrying to catch up with me.

“Hi, Dan,” I said through a deep fog.

“What’s wrong with you?”

We stood in the middle of a sidewalk under a large maple tree.

“I just read a book by John Sandford called Deliverance and Inner Healing. It has really bummed me out.”

“John and Paula Sandford? How’d you happen to get that book?”

“A friend suggested I should read it and loaned me his copy.”

“Well, your friend did not do you any favors by loaning that book to you,” Dan said. “Let’s walk down the street and I’ll tell you what I know about inner healing.”

We walked past an Iowa State University dorm and headed toward the football field.

“John and Paula Sandford were mentored for their inner healing and deliverance ministry by Agnes Sanford. She was clearly off base with her doctrines and more of a follower of Carl Jung who had a demon named Philemon guiding him in his work.”

Dan talked to me much like Jesus did to Cleopas and the other disciple on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24. He used scriptures to set me free from the dark cloud hanging over me. When he finished, I was back to believing in the simplicity of the gospel, the power of Jesus’ blood, and the power of the Holy Spirit to set people free from whatever issues they might have in their lives.

(Excerpt from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who, an Amazon eBook.

Now these Jews in Berea were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (Acts 17:11)

We believers must get past the idea of accepting teachings and doctrines from pastors, evangelists, teachers, apostles, prophets, friends, and others just on their words alone. We need to take the time to check everything out before we believe and trust in them.

If we don’t do this, we run the risk of being “tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, and by craftiness in deceitful schemes.

What else do we need to do?

(Continued in Part 6)

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Islamic Terrorists versus Radical Christians: New Game. New Rules. (Part 3)

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“It’s not the will to win that matters – everyone has that. It’s the will to prepare to win that matters.” (Paul “Bear” Bryant)

The days of unskilled shoe bombers are over. Instead,  America can expect to see Mumbai-type terrorists. Radical. Dedicated. Trained. Armed. Willing to die. Filled with hate. Hoping to kill large numbers of innocent men, women, and children before they exhale their last breath.

These terrorists want to win. They are prepared.

To counter these radical terrorists, America needs radical Christians who are dedicated, trained, armed, filled with love, willing to die for their family and neighbors, and hoping to be life-giving witnesses to terrorists and others until they die.

I wish I could say that all of us Christians are prepared and ready to go, but the truth is that most (probably 95%) of us are not dedicated. Not trained. Not armed (with spiritual weapons). We are bogged down with the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things.

But guess what? The radical terrorists will pay no heed to our excuses. They will kill us, our spouses, our children, our grandchildren, our neighbors, and whosoever, if we are not prepared.

So, we need to make up our minds now.

Because when the terrorist attacks hit us, our president, our governors, our mayors, our city council members, our police, and the national guard will not be able to help us. They will be too late. Only the DMORT teams will arrive on time to stuff us and our loved ones into body bags.

(CONTINUED Part 4)

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Tuesday’s Prayers for America (10/21/2014)

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King David committed adultery with Bathsheba which then resulted in her being pregnant. The king’s attempts to hide his sin failed. So he had Bathsheba’s husband killed in a battle. David then married Bathsheba who bore a son for the king.

All seemed to go well for David until the prophet Nathan showed up soon after the baby’s birth.

Why have you despised the word of the LORD, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. (2 Samuel 12:9)

David could have followed Adam’s example to answer Nathan. “It was all Bathsheba’s fault. She seduced me.”

Or he could have followed King Saul’s example. “The pressure of being the leader was too much for me. I acted out of  my fears.”

But King David said:

“I have sinned against the LORD.” (2 Samuel 12:13)

Even though King David’s sins of adultery and murder deserved death penalties under the Law, it is refreshing to see a person acknowledge his guilt and offer no excuses for his shameful errors.

Today, I prayed:

Lord, I pray for us American believers to experience sorrow for our sins so that we repent and that the sorrow would lead us away from our sinful ways and instead would result in our salvations. (Based on 2 Corinthians 7:9-10)

What do you think and did the Lord speak to you today?

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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Learning How to Pray Effectively in 59 Seconds or Less (Part 16)

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I read about the following Bob Jones’ vision many years ago:

In it, Jones watched a baseball game between the Lord’s team and Satan’s team. It was the bottom of the ninth with two outs.

Love was at bat and Satan threw his best pitch. Love hit the ball into the outfield for a base hit. “Love never fails.”

Faith came to bat and promptly smashed a base hit. “Faith works with love.”

The next batter was named Godly Wisdom. Satan threw him four straight balls and Godly Wisdom was issued a walk. “Godly wisdom does not fall for Satan’s pitches.”

The bases were loaded.

A player named Grace walked into the batter’s box. Jones noted the batter was not much to look at and wondered about his ability to handle the tense situation. Jones also said Satan’s team relaxed when they saw the weak looking Grace stepping up to the plate.

Grace swung on the first pitch and Jones said he had never seen a ball hit so hard. Satan’s center fielder, the prince of the air, leaped to catch the ball, but the ball went through his glove, hit him in the head, and knocked him to the ground. The ball continued its flight over the fence for a grand slam home run. The Lord’s team won.

The Lord turned to Jones.

“Do you know why Love, Faith, and Godly Wisdom could get on base, but could not win the game for My team?” the Lord asked.

Jones shook his head.

“If your love, your faith, and your wisdom could win the game for you alone, you would think you had done it. Your love, your faith, and your wisdom can only take you so far, but then you need My grace to win the game for you.”

(Excerpt from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who, an Amazon eBook.)

Like the Apostle Paul, I have learned to boast in my weaknesses when I pray, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

(Continued in Part 17…earlier parts can be read by clicking here or above on the header.)

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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 dearest sisters and brothers with peace and mercy from Him Who alone can pour these out.  All glory to God Who gives us all things of Himself richly to enjoy.

With barely the hint of a moment to catch our breath, the third of the fall feasts is upon us.  Following Rosh Hashanah (feast of trumpets) and the 10 days of awe leading up to Yom Kippur (the day of atonement) the gears shift dramatically giving an interesting glimpse into the Heart of God: Sukkot (the feast of tabernacles) begins at sundown on a Wednesday night.

 

            *NOTE: It is now the night of Sukkot and we were blessed beyond blessing by our first rain, accompanied by lightening, thunder and rainbows from Haifa to Eilat.  We in Jerusalem had a wonderful drenching.  Scripturally, the early rains begin during Sukkot.  What a symbol of God’s faithfulness.

As you may know, we generally experience NO rain during summer at all and count on the early rains and the latter rains for our yearly water supply and KNOW that it is a blessing from God when they arrive.

Sukkot is undoubtedly my favorite holiday, except for maybe Passover and Yom Kippur and then there is Shavuot (Pentecost). I will just focus on Sukkot right now.  I love it.

What does GOD say?  Not just say but He COMMANDS all Israel to STOP. But this time, having blown the shofar, having called the people to repentance and set us aside to repent, now we are to quickly build flimsy, temporary huts with leafy branches for the roof so that we can see the stars through them. Then we dwell in them for 8 days, while we rejoice before God, remembering the great deliverance from Egypt and giving thanks for His abundance.

And not only that, but this is one of the 3 pilgrim feasts.  Three times a year, all Israeli men are COMMANDED to “come up to Jerusalem to rejoice before Him.”  Passover, Shavuot (Pentecost) and Sukkot (feast of tabernacles).

When you read Psalms and see the heading “song of ascents” around Psalm 120 and on, these are the songs that were, and are still, sung as the people went up to Jerusalem.

You can read the scriptures referring to Sukkot in Deuteronomy 16, Leviticus 23, and Nehemiah 8 to see the scriptural background of this feast.

These are but a few of the many times in scripture that Sukkot is referred to.  In Zech 14 it says that the saved among the gentiles will come up to Jerusalem to worship during the feast, and oh they do by the thousands from around the world, and the Israelis wait and watch with wonder, awe and appreciation. There are indeed, MANY gatherings, conferences and prayer convocations taking place right now in Jerusalem and throughout the country attended by believers from around the world.  The Christians marching and waving flags from their countries are the highlight and delight of the Israelis during the popular Jerusalem march, which is scheduled to take place on Tuesday.

I love watching the city in a happy tizzy, running hither and yon gathering materials to build their sukkas and to gather the necessary ingredients for the holiday.  First there are the 4 species: a willow branch, a palm branch, a myrtle branch and an etrog or citron fruit. The three branches are wrapped together and the etrog is held separately and brought as an “offering” of sorts, with prayer, to the western wall and daily to the sukka (market).

There are also the 7 species: Deuteronomy 8:8: “A land of wheat and barley, grapevines, figs and pomegranates, a land of olive oil and dates.” that grace most tables in the sukka. The sukkas are fun and although the different denominations impose different rules concerning what should and shouldn’t be about the sukka, the scriptures give us the liberty to build them with joy and rejoicing and all of the creativity that the Lord placed in us.  I love looking at pictures on the web of sukkas in Jerusalem during the 1800s.

And now it is Thursday, the first day of Sukkot. We decided to go to the western wall of the temple in the Old City as in our reading together this morning we were in 1 Kings chapters 5-8. That’s where Solomon completed the first temple and Solomon prayed. And his powerful prayer which he prayed on his knees with his hands in the air has echoed through the ages and truly is more powerful then pogroms, and Hitlers, and replacement theology.

It includes those who come from the nations who are not part of the tribes of Israel.  My husband was struck by hearing over and over again, “when the people sin…when they pray toward this place and repent…hear them.”

He showed me a you-tube video of the wall on Yom Kippur with thousands of people there repenting and turning toward that place where The Lord chose to put His Name.  Then we talked about why he often sees people on the bus stand and face east (the Temple Mount with the wall being a remnant of the temple) as they pray and others pull over at sunset as they say their prayers and get out of their cars and stand facing the Old City to pray and so forth.

But what struck us most was that Solomon’s prayer for the dedication of the temple and the people TOOK PLACE ON SUKKOT. (the feast of the 7th month) and after he blessed all of the people they rejoiced for 7 days here in Jerusalem and round about and then returned home to rejoice for another 7.

So off we went to the wall to look at some of those stones shaped in the quarries so that “no sound of a tool would be heard in the temple.” And surely we are being shaped that way, or at least I am and I suspect that you are too. Hammered away on, shaped and chipped out in a pit somewhere and THEN coming together to be part of His temple, the body, growing, knit and joined to bless and reflect HIM.

And that is why this letter is so late.

I don’t dare write if there is something wrong with my spirit that I’m aware of and there was. I really really enjoy sukkot.  I get to sit outside in my sukka with earth and plants around me and it feels simple and rural.  I was born in NYC but have always been very much a rural person.

When I left NY permanently at around 20 years old I swore that I would NEVER again live in a city. (I also fully believed that I would not live past 30, but that’s a different story.) BUT GOD Who answers prayer has heard the DEEPEST cries of my heart: “I WANT TO KNOW YOU!  I WANT TO DIE TO MYSELF AND BE CONFORMED TO YOUR IMAGE!  I WANT YOUR BEST FOR ME NO MATTER WHAT!  YOUR WILL AND NOT MINE BE DONE!  OVERRULE THIS WILL AND FLESH OF MINE AND LET ME BECOME NOTHING BUT A SIGNPOST TO YOU!

Your heart too, right?  Ouch!  Some of us are more stubborn and self-willed then others perhaps.  At any rate, He Who knows our hearts better then we ourselves do must lead us all on His path to Himself.  Mine includes living in the nosiest part of the CITY with difficult neighbor and being told by my husband this year that we were NOT BUILDING A SUKKA

Talk about a pouting, rebellious wife…oy!

That is NO way to approach the command of The Lord to rejoice before Him.  To compound that, the police again contacted me that the neighbor complained that we were making too much noise – while we were sleeping.

“But Lord!  I want to describe the joys of Sukkot to my sisters and brothers abroad and to send them happy photos of us in our sukkah! Wahhhh!” Temper tantrum… temper tantrum.

So I had to work late, forgot to take chicken out of the freezer for dinner which I didn’t want to cook anyway and there was NO fresh chicken to buy at the shuk by the time I was on my way home. There to find out that my husband had invited a guest, a brother in The Lord.

Hum!  I defrosted some chicken in a bowl of salt water and sukkot came, ready or not.

BUT, as with Solomon’s prayer and countless others through out history, He heard my prayer: “Lord!  Be a sukka unto me and over this black self-willed heart of mine and change my hard heart and exchange it for your soft one.”

“Wow!  Looks like GOD built you a sukka this year,” Bob said.

I was shocked.  He continued, “With that tree right over this merapeset and all of these flowers around that you planted, I feel as if I’m in HIS sukka, the best one ever.”

My husband beamed and I broke through to a repentant heart.

Thank You Lord for Your Holy Spirit, Your faithfulness, Your quarry in which You pound away at our misshapen surfaces, and Your incredible patience.  Thank You Lord for the glimpses of Your Heart and Character that we glean through scripture, through Your holidays and even Your law as well as Your grace.  Thank You that we are changed into Your image even from glory to glory although we still see through a glass darkly.  And thank You that as You command the children of Israel to sit in flimsy dwellings where we are and where we can see the sky and remember that IT IS YOU WHO BROUGHT US UP FROM EGYPT, WHO DELIVERED US FROM SLAVERY AND DO YET DELIVER US ALL FROM THE HOUSE OF BONDAGE THROUGH YOUR SON YESHUA. IT IS ALWAYS YOU AND YOUR STRENGTH. NEVER OURS.”

And THIS is the message of Sukkot.  We rejoice before our Father Who know that we are but dust. Yet He remembers our frame and we too must remember that we really aren’t very strong and powerful. And yet precious to Him.  This is the message of Sukkot!.

Come and join in.  I will, Lord willing, write more about what I see, hear and smell AND taste, during this time.  BLESSINGS to you sisters and brothers!

Love,

J

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Why Do I Support Gospel For Asia?

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I had a vision on December 24, 1993, in which I saw thousands and thousands of dark-skinned starving children. They screamed at the top of their lungs from hunger. The mothers held their children while the fathers stood next to them. All of the parents stared at me with pleading eyes, which begged, “Would you help us? Please!”

The screams echoed in my ears and pierced my heart. I fell on the carpet and wept so much I thought the anguish would swallow me up. Whatever my life’s plans were before that moment no longer mattered because I knew that I had to help the hungry, poor, and helpless children of the world.

A second vision in early 1994 reenforced my calling. In it, I saw myself arriving in heaven, but not for a glorious homecoming. A line of dark-skinned children, as far as I could see, waited to talk with me. Each, in turn, said, “I did not make it into my divine calling on earth because you failed to fulfill your calling of helping us. I starved to death as a young child.”

Let me tell you: I do not ever want to arrive in heaven and have that happen to me. The anguish I felt looking onto those children’s eyes erased the joy of being in Paradise. If that was a sample of the pain a person could feel in heaven, I’d hate to ever visit Hell.

Now, let’s fast forward to 2011 when we received a free copy in the mail of No Longer A Slumdog by K. P. Yohannan. The title caught my attention because of the movie by a similar name. I sat down and began reading it.

There were stories about Muttu, Asha, Lata, Vichy, Tusli, and other names of poor children I could not pronounce. I read about a mother who sold her baby for ten pounds of rice. I learned about India’s caste system and how the lowest rung, the Dalits, are considered subhuman and worthy of being treated like dogs. The Dalits comprise twenty percent of India’s population or approximately the same population as the USA.

Every word acted like a rock thrown against my plastic Western Christianity, creating cracks in it. Yet, it was this specific sentence on Page 31, which penetrated my heart:

“In India alone, there are 11 million children like Asha who have been abandoned, and 90% of them are girls.”

All I could think about were the 9.9 million abandoned little girls. If I closed my eyes, I saw little children, but their faces resembled my daughter, Susan, when she was four years old. I could not ignore my heart this time.

My wife and I now sponsor nine children in Gospel For Asia’s Bridge of Hope program. I am a volunteer advocate for Bridge of Hope, a Gospel For Asia blogger, a member of their prayer team, and have just opened a MyGFA entitled, “No Longer A Slumdog X 100.” My goal is to raise $42,000 to sponsor 100 kids.

S0, why do I support Gospel For Asia?

When I arrive in heaven, I want to meet parents and kids who will say to me, “Thanks for helping us.”

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