Monthly Archives: January 2016

Inside Israel

The Shuk in Jerusalem

The Shuk in Jerusalem

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 sisters and brothers, from cold Jerusalem.  May you be blessed and encouraged, and may The Lord, Yeshua h’Meshiach, Jesus Christ, be lifted up, blessed and glorified.

And yet, with much to share, I think I’ll share this first:

It’s the season of the plastic. That’s right…plastic bags.

Over the years, I have seen many innovative uses for plastic bags that were spawned by need.  In Alaska when boots were worn out, or weren’t really warm enough, a plastic bag over a pair of sox (or two), held in place by yet another pair of sox before putting the boot on, did a wonderful job of keeping feet extra warm and dry. (Also in mittens too!)

I’ve seen plastic bags stuffed inside of jackets, sleeping bags, used for sliding down snow banks or waterfalls or smooth rocks.  I’ve seen homeless people sleeping under them and perhaps all of us have sat on them at times.  My shopping cart is covered by one in the rains and the traditional Israeli backpack wears one well.  A dear friend of mine crochets colorful and useful bags out of colored shuk plastic bags.

But here in Jerusalem where religious denominations are often identified by “the hat”- then “the hat” becomes an item of much respect. Plastic bags (and even shower caps) are worn like a badge of honor.  The first time I saw it I did a double take.  Serious, distinguished looking men, elders, sages, rabbis, wearing black suits, long coats and white shirts and expensive hats. Well, the plastic bag crown seemed just a bit ironic and humorous.  But it IS practical, and it does the job and may be unique to Jerusalem.  AND, this is the season-because it has been POURING.

Oh we are thankful for the rain.  A powerful winter storm was forecast to begin about the same time as the Intercessors for Israel prayer conference.  As I’ve shared before, this is the one group that I am personally involved with and do try to attend at least some of the yearly conference which is taking place across town from us this year. So I was thankful when the snow was preceded by much rain that it did not stick in spite of the low temperatures.

The Lord was SO good to me.

How do I explain this.  Sometimes He gives us a gift that thrills our hearts as we witness in it the greatness of His majesty and the power of His plans no matter what.  Perhaps you know what I mean?

Years ago, when we lived in the tiny remote Alaskan village, He gave me a heart for the Russian believers in Siberia.  Our village faced Siberia and so often I reached out to them in prayer, especially when I was crawling across the tundra picking berries.  We read books about them and they seemed so brave and inspired me greatly.

When we moved out of the village, we spent 2 years in a small town.  We went to the fellowship that my husband had grown up in. But before the actual open door between Russia and the rest of the world opened, a group of Siberian pastors were secretly flown over to learn about Sunday schools.

My MOUTH fell open and my heart near exploded to see their faces, (full of wonder, having never been out of Siberia before) and hear their songs, their prayers and their testimonies.  I spent every possible moment with them and felt as if God had given me such a holy gift by seeing their faces.

As you see, I cannot explain this fully.  Something like this happens usually once in a lifetime…maybe?

But it happened again and I was almost too dull to realize it.

A dear sister who is also a tour guide, told me that she would be touring a group of Cambodian leaders who had never even dreamed of coming here.  Others from Singapore had a burden for them and paid their way to come and see and learn.

At the first meeting of the conference a large Asian group entered and the speaker stopped and introduced this group as “His shepherds from Cambodia.”  I looked and REMEMBERED the book that had so deeply impacted me back soon after I was saved called ‘Anointed For Burial’ by Todd and DeeAnn Burke.  It was the story of the sovereign move of GOD Almighty through the people of Cambodia JUST as the Khmer Rouge Communists swept through the country burning and killing a million and a half Cambodians in the scourge that became known as the “killing fields.”

This book recorded the mighty revival that took place immediately preceding the destruction and showed me how God went in first and harvested a great harvest, sweeping them into His arms.  It became part of my foundational understanding of “true Revival” and God’s mercy in times of judgment.

And suddenly, on that Monday night − HERE THEY WERE!  THE FIRST FRUITS AFTER 40 YEARS.  My insides began to shake as I looked upon these faces, strong and tender, resolutely serving Him without compromise.

And as I write this, I realize that there was yet a THIRD time that I have seen such a group from God’s garden.  Also back in the mid 70s, when we lived in California, we stopped at a service one Sunday. It was a small group of Lao people from the mountains of Laos and Tibet, who had come to know HIM and had escaped that raging war. They had just arrived as immigrants. They sang for us…WOW!!! OH the many unsung HEROES in our midst who have faithfully walked His path through fires.  They INSPIRE me!

But not everybody.

I always made it a point to share SOMETHING that The Lord had done during services when I first came to know Him.  One day, to my surprise and shame, a sister said, “Your testimonies greatly discourage me!”

I was SHOCKED.  “Why?” I asked her.

It was her reply that shamed me.  She said, “He never does those things for me.  I pray and pray and you have these WONDERFUL testimonies, but not me!”

The scripture came to mind from Ephesians 4:29 −

“Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”

I realized that what comes out of my mouth that does NOT IMPART GRACE TO THE HEARERS is NOT edification, but is selfish. It could even become a corrupt communication.  WOW!

That’s why it meant so much to me when our Pastor in Naknek said that he would rather have a small group of steadfast, faithful sheep then a room FULL of sheep who were moved by the wind of emotion.

Yes, it is inspiring to some of us to hear of His great faithfulness to those who have been through fire. But it is NOT more of an expression of His Amazing Grace then the face of our Pastor or the struggling brother or sister next to us or of the friend who stands as the only believer in her family or as the parent praying in the closet alone for the wayward child or unfaithful spouse or the sisters and brothers who press on, steadfast, steadily trusting His promises and encouraging us weaker ones. Each walking step after step with no lightning and thunder, but faithfully trusting.  THESE are the ones who have most encouraged me in my walk and who inspire me to keep walking. Grace and mercy along the way.  Heroes − each one!  Thank you all! Thank you pastors and leaders.  Thank you sisters and brothers.  Wow!  What a BODY He has.

Oh my.  I’m on my soapbox again.  Sorry!

 

I must prelude this by saying that it is POSSIBLE that this was a “vain imagination”, but I am fairly certain that I sat beside, and possibly defused, a young terrorist on my way to the conference Tuesday morning.  As you know we are in the midst of “the stabbing intifada”.

This week, two precious young women were killed, and others injured.  It is so sad that it is young teenagers mainly doing these stabbings, often the being killed themselves.  They are so impressionable and vulnerable to the shocking incitement that is taking place in their midst.

On Tuesday morning in the freezing rain, I ran for the train and missed it.  Another wasn’t to come along for about 10 minutes and I was alone at the station.  In a few moments, I was joined by a teenaged Arab man.  He looked very nervous and shifty. His eyes were dark and brooding and he looked all around and came next to me with his hands nervously fidgeting in his pockets.

He sat down in the tachanat (waiting shelter). I moved a bit, but then I said to him, “Pretty cold.  I don’t think those seats are dry.”

He looked surprised. “They said snow,” he answered.

“Do you like snow?” I asked.

“No!” he answered emphatically.

I looked him in his eyes.

“I do the cleaning in the store,” he said, pointing to the shopping area where my husband’s business is located.  (Many of these young attackers have been working legally in Israel.)

“Oh!  I have worked at cleaning too.  My husband works there.”

He nodded as if he somehow knew who my husband was and he began to relax.  I kept my eyes on him, praying and asking the Lord to give me the position of a “Mother” in this moment.  Shortly, someone else approached.  I saw confusion, disappointment and then resignation cross his face and suddenly the moment passed.

Perhaps he had had the courage to stab me, but the opportunity was gone.  He took his hands out of his pockets and looked down.  Suddenly he looked like a young boy who had just been through an awful struggle.  The train came and he sat down and then moved and motioned me to sit beside him, which I did.  We spoke just a bit.  When we parted I said, “Naim me’od…vay col toov.”  (It was nice to meet you and I wish you ALL THE BEST.)

I continued to pray for him and a joy welled up in me.  I prayed that this young man’s life would be used for the glory of God.  I don’t know if my imagination was running away with me, but I don’t think so. At least I can say perhaps not.  Even if it did, I am thankful for being awakened to pray for him…perhaps no one else does.

May you be blessed and encouraged and may we all press in until we have PRESSED into Him.  Thank you for remembering this people and praying what is on His heart.  Thank you for praying for our family.  God bless you.

Lovingly,

your sis J

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Thursday’s Prayers for America (1/28/2016)

Since the Reformation, every restoration move of the Spirit has been persecuted by the Church. This has been true up until today. For example, the Pentecostals in the early 1900s were lambasted by the Church. Then, when the Charismatic Movement came along in the 1960s and 70s, the Church and Pentecostals lambasted the new movement.

This has always resulted in the new move of the Spirit forming its own denominations, which ends up isolating them from the rest of the Body of Christ. Then thirty to forty years later, when the fires have ebbed in their churches, they melt back into the Body.

Okay, this has been the Church’s history up till now, but we need it to change!

The Hebraic Roots Movement has teachings on “end times prophecy” the Church absolutely needs to hear now because it confronts the incorrect Laodicean “pre-tribulation” teachings held by 90% of Christianity. The Church needs to prepare their hearts for the seal and trumpet judgments awaiting us in the near future, as laid out in Revelations 6-11.

This time — we may not have thirty to forty years so the Hebraic Roots Movement can melt back into the Body.

By the same token, the Hebraic Roots Movement needs the prophetic character of the Church to balance its message. Otherwise, this new movement will end up being another clanging symbol, shouting, “We’re right! And you’re wrong!”

My prayer today:

Lord, I come boldly to Your throne of grace, asking You to pour out Your mercy and grace on the American Church and the Hebraic Roots Movement to help us in this desperate time of need. So that, by Your Spirit, we American believers become like the Bereans, receiving the words with all readiness and searching the Scriptures for truth. (Based on Hebrews 4:16 and Acts 17:11.)

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

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

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“Are We There Yet?” (Part 16)

“My best guess is that the Tribulation will begin in October 2017, during Sukkot (the Feast of Tabernacles),” said Chancey last night at our Hebraic Roots meeting. “This means the first seal will be opened, Israel will be deceived, and then sign a seven-year peace pact with the Antichrist. Sacrifices will begin at once in Jerusalem.”

Chauncey was just a teenager in 1978 when the Holy Spirit revealed to him the Church’s Pre-tribulation teachings were wrong. He has spent the last thirty-eight years studying end-time events and teaching his revelations to whomever would listen.

Let’s say Chauncey’s guess is correct and that he is also correct about the Church’s Pre-tribulation teachings being wrong, what does this mean for us?

It means that in 22 months the time clock for the Great Tribulation will begin for us believers. We will struggle and agonize through seven long years of tough times until eventually we are caught up in the air with Christ in the first Resurrection, which should happen on Yom Kippur, October 12, 2024.

Doesn’t the possibility of this happening just blow your mind?

It does mine.

Okay, do I believe Chauncey’s guess is correct about October 2017?

To be honest, it doesn’t matter to me because I will get up tomorrow morning and seek the Lord. He holds every second of my life in His hands. If he isn’t worried about the Tribulation, why should I?

But I do plan on emphasizing the Feasts in 2016 and studying the book of Revelation until I understand it better than I do now.

What about you?

(Continued in Part 17…if you’re interested in this Hebraic Roots series, all of it to date can be seen here.)

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Tuesday’s Prayers for Prisoners (1/26/2016)

Don Bosco Slum in Manila markpedder.wordpress.co

Don Bosco Slum in Manila
markpedder.wordpress.co

General Douglas MacArthur did something that is almost lost in history.  He knew Japan had been devastated and the people now saw that their emperor was not a god.  He was only a man.  A man who had been defeated.  What would replace emperor worship in the Japanese people?  MacArthur sent word back to the churches of America.

“Send missionaries,” he said, “and Bibles.”

Over the following five years, some 5000 missionaries from all different kinds of churches went to Japan. The land was flooded with millions of Bibles.  Looks like 5000 missionaries would be plenty.  However, in a land of 71 million, the number of missionaries would be a microscopic .0000704 percent, or only 1 missionary for every 14,200 people.  From 1945 to 1950 the Japanese people showed some interest in Christianity, but once their economy was rebuilt, and they began experiencing prosperity, it seemed they no longer saw a need.  A door of opportunity was briefly opened, but then neglected and ignored by people on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. (A Moment in History with Dr. Jeff Sanders)

Today, Japan has the third largest economy in the world, but even so, Evangelical Christianity totals less than 1% of the nation’s 128,000,000 people. The biggest problems are that the spiritual powers and principalities have not been challenged by the power of Jesus Christ, the One called Faithful and True, who in righteousness judges and makes war.

My prayer today:

Lord, raise up Davids in Japan who will run toward spiritual battles using the Word of the Lord as a sword to slay spiritual Goliaths and to set millions of prisoners free in Japan. (Based loosely on 1 Samuel 17:48)

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

 Why Asia?

1. 4.4 billion people live in Asia.

2.. 85.4% of world’s unevangelized people live in Asia. (Unevangelized means they may have heard the gospel but have no understanding on how to respond.)

3. The world’s three largest non-Christian religions – Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhists – are based in Asia.

4. Of the 37 countries of the world that are less than 10% Christian, 32 are in Asia. Of the 14 countries, that are less than 2% Christian, 12 are in Asia.

5. 600 million people live in abject poverty in the slums of Asia.

6. 85-90% of unreached people live in Asia. (Unreached means that they have never heard the name of Jesus.) (Operation World: The Definitive Prayer Guide to Every Nation)

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“Prayer…Oh no! Has it Come Down to That?” (Part 2)

"Stöwer Titanic" by Willy Stöwer.

“Stöwer Titanic” by Willy Stöwer.

After watching the Lord heal the sick, raise the dead, and cast out demons for two and half years, one of the disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.”

We usually skip over the disciple’s words and go straight to the Lord’s answer, but what the disciple asked was a normal question for a noted Jewish rabbi or teacher. These leaders taught their disciples special prayers to pray. The one who asked was probably familiar with John’s style of prayers, even though none of them have survived for us today.

Jesus’ answer is now known as the Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.] (Matthew 6:9-13 KJ)

Jewish theologians look at the Lord’s Prayer and nod their heads in agreement. What Jesus prayed was basic Judaism 101 of His day. Its first words –”Our Father in heaven” (Avinu sh’baShammayim) – open many Hebrew prayers. The next two lines recall the first portion of the synagogue prayer known as the Kaddish, which says, “Magnified and sanctified (Yitgadal v’yitkaaadash) be His great name throughout the world which He has created according to His will, and may He establish His kingdom in your lifetime…” (Taken from Jewish New Testament Commentary by David H.Stern, p. 32)

In our study of prayer, it is important to keep in mind our Hebraic roots.

(Continued in Part 3)

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“Are We There Yet?” (Part 15)

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! (2 Peter 3:10-12)

Most of us probably hope to see the Messiah return in our own lifetimes, but how can we hasten His return?

Peter goes on to mention that we should walk in godliness, keep our conduct holy, look forward to new heavens and new earth, making sure if the Lord returns today He will find us abiding in His peace, without spot or blemish. But yet, this still does not answer how we can hasten His return.

The Jewish New Testament Commentary by David H. Stern quoted an interesting answer for this question:

“Many of His true children are earnestly looking for the early return of our Lord, and they are putting forth every effort to hasten His coming. To all such we would say that there is no surer way of hastening this blessed fulfillment of His promise than by evangelizing the Jews. The reasons for this are many, but…of special interest here…[is that] it was only to the Jews that our Lord said in Matthew 23:39, ‘For I say unto you, ye shall not see Me henceforth, till ye shall say, blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Which, if we interpret Scripture aright, means to us that whenever the Jews as a nation accept Him as Lord and Savior, then He will come. And who does not long for His appearing? And who does not realize that unless He does soon appear, this world is doomed to a horrible cataclysm the like of which has not been duplicated in history.” (Joseph Hoffman Cohn, son of the founder of the American Board of Missions to Jews, written in 1921, quoted on p. 765 of Jewish New Testament Commentary)

We always have to remember Jesus is Jewish and the End-times revolve around the Jews and Israel.

(Continued in Part 16…if you’re interested in this Hebraic Roots series, all of it to date can be seen here.)

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Thursday’s Prayers for America (1/21/2016)

My prayer for America today:

 “O Lord, You are great and awesome! You always fulfill Your covenant and keep Your promises of unfailing love to those who love You and obey Your commands. But Temecula, Southern California, and America have sinned and done wrong. We have rebelled against You and scorned Your commands and regulations. We have refused to listen to Your servants the prophets, who spoke on Your authority to our President and leaders and to all the people of Temecula, Southern California, and America.

Lord, You are in the right; but as You see, our faces are covered with shame. This is true of all of us, including the people of Temecula, Southern California, and America. O Lord, we and our President, other leaders, and citizens are covered with shame because we have sinned against You. But the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against Him. We have not obeyed the Lord our God, for we have not followed the instructions He gave us through His servants the prophets. All of Temecula, Southern California, and America have disobeyed Your instruction and turned away, refusing to listen to Your voice.

So now, the solemn curses written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured down on us because of our sins. You have kept Your word and done to us and our leaders exactly as You warned. Every curse written against us in the Law of Moses will soon come true. Yet, we have refused to seek mercy from the Lord our God by turning from our sins and recognizing His truth. Therefore the Lord is bringing on us the disasters He has prepared. The Lord our God is right in doing these things, for we do not obey Him.

O Lord, You brought lasting honor to Your name by bringing revivals and great awakenings of Your Spirit to America in times past. But we have sinned and are full of wickedness. In view of all Your faithful mercies, Lord, please turn Your furious anger away from Temecula, Southern California, and America. All the nations of the world mock us because of our sins.

O our God, hear Your servant’s prayer! Listen as I plead. For Your own sake, smile again on Temecula, Southern California, and America.

O my God, lean down and listen to me. Open Your eyes and see our despair. We make this plea, not because we deserve Your help, but because of Your mercy.

O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! For Your own sake, do not delay, O my God, for Your people who bear Your name. (Based on New Living Translation)

(An excerpt from Common Sense 2016 by Larry Nevenhoven, ©2016, Amazon eBook)

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

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

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