Monthly Archives: December 2014

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 …

Dear Brothers and Sisters, beloved in Yeshua,

I greet you so lovingly, so thankful for each of you and for HIM Who is the same in tumultuous times as He is in peaceful times.  May HE be glorified and blessed and may you be blessed…and dare I say…feel some of the love that I have for you, His body.

I will try to share carefully what is on my heart and not take too much of your time.

Crisis upon crisis, crisis upon crisis, this land, His land, is in turmoil but He has the answer.  It is Himself.   It has always been Him, but how often have you and I run this way and that until we fall at His feet?  How much more for the nations who don’t yet know Him?

I am sure that you know that our government has collapsed and called for new elections.  I have often tried to explain our form of coalition government, which is less than desirable, always fiery and messy, and now, at this time, unworkable. It literally flew apart at the seams, culminating with our Prime Minister firing the finance minister and justice minister. Then, other ministers, from their respective parties, stepped down and the government was dissolved.  New elections will be March 17 with Prime Minister Netanyahu remaining at the helm until then.  Given the unstable situations within and without, a LOT can happen between now and then.

My uneducated assessment:  I do NOT know how Prime Minister Netanyahu has stood under all of the criticism, slander, betrayal, and hatred up to this point.  I pray it has been − as is rumored − that he is looking to God.  Surely there is considerable world-wide prayer for him.

It has seemed that from the time that Mubarak of Egypt was overthrown, effectively beginning the now festering “Arab Spring,” that outside forces, such as other governments, have been very active to bring about a similar situation here.  It is subtle, but not so subtle as to go undetected. There has been a undermining by the media to support opposition politicians and thus strengthening these politicians to undermine the existing government.  It is alarming to watch, but GOD IS WATCHING. It hasn’t taken Him by surprise.

Because Israeli elections are particularly disgusting with their gross and indecent mudslinging, anything goes. The public soon becomes depressed and discouraged and it is easy to understand why. No one can hear this much negative talk about anyone and still remain unaffected.  May God have mercy on us!

Predictably, the expression of anger among the Arabs has increased. Not that their anger has increased, but that they now perceive weakness and division and a sympathetic ear from the world. So we are also hearing ever-increasing diatribes daily. Such lies as that we should go back to where we belong, that there was never a Jew in the middle east, that there was never a temple on Temple Mount, that there was never such a people. We are made up and a conspiracy is what we are. Get out…you are hated…go back to where you belong. Your Bible is a myth and a counterfeit.

“And The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:3 NKJV

IN THE MIDST OF THE UPSIDE DOWN, STRESSFUL, BATTLE FILLED LIFE, strings of lights begin to appear.  First I saw the Chanukiahs, the eight branched Chanukah with the ninth branch in the center, strung up along the road.  “LOOK!” I yelled to my husband “the Chanukiahs are up.”

Sure enough, it is almost Chanukah.  It is easy to forget Chanukah if your children and grandchildren aren’t around.  We old folks can forget to become excited, but, sure enough, the diet busting sovganioat is here. This traditional Chanukah gut-buster used to be a sort of deep fried jelly donut covered with powdered sugar and filled only with a dab of raspberry jam, but over the past few years it has evolved. It is now a virtual wedding cake affair, with each bakery vying for 1st place in the local newspaper as best sovganioat available in Jerusalem. Iced in all colors and elaborately designed they are now filled with chocolate, caramel, vanilla, etc.

How could I have missed seeing them in the shuk?  And then, there are the dreidles, the four-sided tops with Hebrew letters on the sides saying: “Nes gadol hayah shin.” This is unique to Israel and means: “A great miracle took place here.” The tops in the other parts of the world say: “Nes gadol hayah sham,” or “A great miracle happened there.” What a blessing to live in Jerusalem!

And this great miracle, which is still being celebrated, was celebrated by Jesus or Yeshua

“Now it was the Feast of the Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter.  And JESUS walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch.”  Jn. 10:22-23.

It was the miracle of the multiplication of the oil for the menorah in the temple, the LIGHT in the center of the temple. There was no Light due to occupation by the Greeks. BUT GOD, WHO IS THE LIGHT, did what only HE could do and multiplied the Light. THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD (YESHUA) WHO WALKED IN THE TEMPLE DURING CHANUKAH, and who multiplied food for the thousands in the same way that the oil was multiplied, IS STILL THE LIGHT BEING MULTIPLIED, JUST AS QUIETLY, JUST AS MYSTERIOUSLY, IN DARKENED HEARTS, FLOODING THEM WITH LIGHT, DAY BY DAY.

Did you know that Israel provides free Christmas trees for Christian citizens?  AND there are Christmas lights strung up as well in areas where there are more Christians, not that these symbols are anything, but a reminder that The Light of the world CAME into this dark world.  While in the west people are fighting for the right to MENTION Christmas or have a manger scene or singing carols in a public place, it is TOTALLY different here.  We sort of celebrate religion here in that there is a great curiosity about Christmas. So rather then being a battle about materialism, pagan traditions and the like, the holiday becomes a wonderful opportunity to share the LIGHT with hungry hearts.  And OH HOW WE NEED HIM NOW!

This election and the chaos that it brings with it has truly plunged the people into a despair of need. We are surrounded by enemies that HATE our very existence. The world consensus is that we are the source of all of the turmoil, and in the midst of all that, our LEADERSHIP battles for the authority to lead our nation.  How GOOD God is that He wedges us into a place where we can only look up.

Iran seems to be pulling the wool over the world’s eyes while their stated goal is: 1) destroy Israel, and 2) establish Islam on earth.  The UN has a list of cases against us and is poised to declare a Palestinian state, as the Palestinians prepare to take us to the world court for war crimes.  Europe is ablaze with fresh anti-Semitism.  The scuffle to keep food on the table and roofs over heads becomes more difficult each day.  These are all signposts and the good news is that they are signposts to HIM.

I love it that every time we get into a deeper mess. God then turns us toward Him with another holiday, as if He were saying, “Come children and I will tell you a story and it will bring you to Me.” And I LOVE that it is time to look at The Light.

First and Second Peter speaks SO CLEARLY to the times that we are all living in. My heart pounds as I read them because we are NOT being told to KNOW AND UNDERSTAND everything, such as the seasons, the signs, or the answers.  We are told clearly HOW TO WALK.

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you…Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope FULLY upon the grace that is to brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ…Coming to Him as a living stone…proclaim the praises of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…Finally all of you be of one mind…be serious and watchful in your prayers…fervent love one for another…if anyone speaks let him speak as the oracles of God…all of you be submissive to one another AND BE CLOTHED WITH HUMILITY…humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God…casting all of your cares upon Him…

This could be farfetched but is this perhaps Israel’s ultimate purpose?  Is this HOW we are to ultimately be the Light to a chaotic world when it sees HIS great FAITHFULNESS to His covenants and His Word and His people and His land and glorifies His Name just as He said He would when all else is impossible?

So perhaps it is NOT a matter of having a store of food and water on hand, or of knowing the times and the seasons or of being wise but:

“Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness…”…Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace without spot and blameless…”  (2 Peter 3:11,14)

Welcome to the season of LIGHT.  In His Light may we see Light.  I hope in the coming days to describe to you the scenes around Jerusalem.  I wish you were all here and thank you for your prayers and gracious love.

Your sis in Jerusalem,

J

Click on to see MyGFA site.

Click on to see MyGFA site.

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Filed under Christians, Church, Israel, Jerusalem, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

I Love Christmas


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In 1994, I attended a Christmas party for youths at an inner city church. There were thirty to forty youngsters between the ages of three and ten years old. The kids were mostly from homes where the mothers had drug/alcohol problems and the fathers were long absent from the homes. Although the children were poor, they wore their best clothes for the party.

The kids sat in a circle in the middle of the church’s basement. I sat between two of the youngest girls who alternated between sitting on their chairs and on my lap. Both were too excited to sit still.

The young teacher asked, “Why do you like Christmas?” She pointed to a child and added, “Okay, let’s start with you and go around the circle. Each can answer that question for us.”

One by one, they stood up and gave their answers. Each mentioned Jesus a little bit and then quickly added, “I sure hope I get such and such toy for Christmas.”

This continued in this manner until a seven-year old boy stood up. “We don’t believe in Christmas!” he proclaimed and sat down with his arms folded across his chest.

All of the other kids gasped, not understanding why the boy said what he did.

The little boy’s mother stood up. “Yes, we don’t celebrate Christmas. December 25th is not even when Jesus was born and is in fact the date of a pagan holiday.” She continued on for five minutes in a diatribe about how it was wrong to celebrate the holiday of Christmas.

Finally, she sat down.

The little children sat there stunned by her words. They looked like they had just heard their pet had been run over by a Mac truck. Their faces revealed their hurt.

I felt the Holy Spirit come upon me and I stood up.

“Yes, she may be right that December 25th is not the exact day for Jesus’ birth, but who really cares about the exact date? He was born and loves us now. Yes, December 25th may have been a pagan holiday, but who even remembers that stupid god except a bunch of fuddy-duddy Christians. That god is long dead and Jesus is alive. As far as pagan holidays go, the other 364 days of the year are all pagan holidays for one god or another. But this one day of the year, Jesus has reclaimed for Himself. If you happen to live in any nation of the world and hear the word ‘Christmas,’ you will learn that a man named Jesus was born on that day. So, let’s enjoy this one day when our Lord Jesus is remembered by the whole world.”

I sat down and every kid jumped with joy. The party continued onward.

The woman ended up coming up to me afterward. “I’m sorry,” she said. “I was wrong to push my ideas on the group and I felt you spoke the word of the Lord to me and everyone. Forgive me.”

The memory of that particular party still reverberates in my heart. I love Christmas.

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Being Sick Really Stinks, But…

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Maybe I ate too much turkey and stuffing, but regardless of the cause, I was sick last week. I had a fever, a headache, and slept hours and hours each day. Just standing up was a struggle for me. My sickness lasted for five days before it simmered down to a few sniffles and light coughs.

Yes, I hate being sick, but all and all, I didn’t suffer that much. A few writing projects got pushed to the back burners. Yet, we did not suffer financially at all.

Now, what if I had been a Dalit farm laborer with a wife and two children? What if I would have missed five days of work? You see, Dalits are the lowest rung in India’s Hindu society. They are paid only pennies per hour to do backbreaking farm work.

If a Dalit farm laborer missed five days of work, he could lose ten to fifteen dollars of pay for that week. That loss can not be made up. Something will have to be cut from their family budget. Most likely it will be food.

What can we do to help the poor people of India?

Carol and I like to help poor families in India at Christmas time. We look through Gospel For Asia’s Christmas Catalog and choose a gift that will help earn extra income for a family. The last two years, we chose sewing machines, but this year, we returned to our farm roots and chose two goats.

Throughout the year, we then pray for the families with sewing machines and now, the family with the two goats. And you’re right, we don’t know their names, but God knows them. He also knows how to direct our prayers to the proper recipients.

Maybe you’re interested in helping a family in India. If so, click here.

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Filed under 10/40 Window, Christianity, Church, Gospel For Asia, India, Kingdom of God, Poverty, Prayer

Friday’s Prayers for Prisoners (12/5/2014)

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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:

Libya. 6.5 million people with 35,000 Christians.

The situation for Christians deteriorated in 2013, making this the most difficult North African country in which to be a Christian. In an absence of the rule of law, violence against Christians has increased. Previously, the main source of persecution was the government and its secret services. Now it is Islamist extremist movements, such as the Salafists. Most Christians are afraid to meet with other believers, as any kind of non-Islamic religious gathering for Libyans is forbidden; ex-pats can have their own churches, but Libyans are not allowed to attend. (Open Doors, World Watch List)

Only about 124 churches (including house churches) exist in a country of more than 6 million people. There is a limit of one church per denomination per city. Meetings of more than six people are illegal, though this is not enforced. Evangelicals make up just 0.3 percent of the population. Foreigners are free to worship as they please, but the evangelization of Libyans is prohibited. The former Libyan government had an extensive secret police network that made sharing the gospel with Muslims difficult and dangerous. It is uncertain whether these difficulties will continue under the new regime. Libya’s justice system is nominally based on Shariah law. While most Libyans are Muslim, many are indifferent to matters of faith and hate the restrictions of Shariah law. Christian literature enters the country only through secretive means. (The Voice of the Martyrs)

Today, I prayed:

Lord, nothing is impossible for You, so I pray for You to set ambushes for Satan and his horde of demons so that believers can use these ambushes as opportunities to preach the gospel of the Kingdom of God in Libya.

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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Islamic Terrorists Versus Radical Christians: New Game. New Rules. (Part 9)

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How to be a Radical Christian. (iv)

Would you have enjoyed traveling with the Apostle Paul on one of his journeys? Consider Silas’ experience in Acts 16: 11-40.

In the city of Philippi, Paul and Silas did some street ministry. Paul cast a spirit of divination out of a slave girl. Instead of being thankful for the girl’s deliverance, the owners became enraged and stirred up the crowd against the two men.

Next, the city magistrates stepped into the melee,  ripped the clothes off the two, beat them with cudgels, scourged them with a whip, tossed them into prison,  and fastened their feet into stocks so that they couldn’t move.

Then, somehow, at midnight, Paul and Silas began praying and singing hymns. The power of God hit the place. Cell doors opened. The jailer’s life was spared and his whole household was saved. Paul and Silas were washed and fed. And then, the two believers were returned to prison.

The next morning, the magistrates sent some go-fors to release Paul and Silas from their cells. But what does Paul do? He said, “No way, Jose! We ain’t leaving this dandy place until the men responsible for putting us here come and say, ‘Pretty please with chocolate syrup all over it.’ Don’t even try to make us go. We ain’t moving!”

What do you think was going through Silas’ mind at them time? He was bloody. He was bruised. He was sore. He was stiff. He was tired. And he might have been thinking something like this: “Paul is a radical nut! How can he possibly believe that those men will come here and beg us to leave?”

How?

Paul had radical faith in God. And radical Christians need this same type of faith to oppose Islamic terrorists.

But without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:6)

(Continued in Part 10)

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Tuesday’s Prayers for America (12/2/2014)

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Faith is looking at a situation that does not exist and believing it does exist. You then must pray and walk out your faith until it happens, like Abraham did.

But sadly, we often try to reverse this process by looking at bad situations, which we can see with our eyes, and then trying to believe the bad situations do not exist. This works only on TV shows like Bewitched, when Samantha blinked her eyes and everything changed. It  will never work with faith.

Okay, are you with me?

This is very important for us to understand if we are going to make changes in America, especially in racial relations.

How can changes be made in America?

We must have prophecies and prophetic words, dreams, and visions from the Lord. Otherwise, how can we believe for things that do not exist unless the Lord speaks new things to our hearts?

Will this be an easy, quick work? Heavens no!

There will be naysayers and roadblocks all along the way because both sides are entrenched and taught in the old ways. You see, it’s hard to let go of what we know and have seen, which have somewhat worked until now, so that we can believe for what we cannot see and cannot prove will work until the Lord brings it about some day in the future.

But yet, it’s the only way to win spiritual wars.

Today, I prayed:

Lord, I pray that You will open the eyes of us American believers so that we know there are more with us than against us as we wage warfare with Your prophecies. (Based on 2 Kings 6:16-17 and 1 Timothy 1:18.)

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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Filed under Christianity, Church, Fasting, Gifts of the Spirit, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare