Monthly Archives: August 2016

Why Prophesy if Hardly Anyone Pays Attention? (Part 11)

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As long as King Josiah lived, the prophet Jeremiah had a guardian angel watching over him, but Jeremiah’s protection ended the day Josiah was killed at the Battle of Megiddo in 609. Two of Josiah’s sons followed in quick succession to the throne with the oldest son Jehoiakim (also known as Eliakim) eventually becoming king of Judah.

Jeremiah soon learned the depth of the revival during King Josiah’s reign was shallow, not touching the hearts of the king’s sons or the people of Judah. He was shocked to learn of the plots against his life by his neighbors, family, and even relatives in his hometown of Anathoth.

Let’s destroy this man and all his words,” they said. “Let’s cut him down, so his name will be forgotten forever…We will kill you if you do not stop prophesying in the Lord’s name.” (Jeremiah 11:19 NLT)

The Lord promised to punish the people who spoke out against Jeremiah, but Jeremiah couldn’t quite wrap his mind around the anger and hatred aroused against him. He was thirty-eight years old and had spent almost twenty years prophesying in relative peace under King Josiah’s wing. Now, his words provoked almost everyone.

The prophet went so far as to question the Lord’s judicial integrity about allowing wicked people to prosper and be happy. The Lord rebuked the prophet’s doubts by telling him, “If you think it’s tough now, how will you handle the Babylonian warhorses when they attack Jerusalem and all of Judah?”

Jeremiah plugged onward and prophesied the soon coming judgment against Judah over and over again. He prophesied drought. It happened, and the people confessed their sins, but they would not turn away from their wicked ways. Instead, a group of so-called prophets stated that God would send peace to Judah and the nation would not suffer anymore famine and war. Some of these prophets ended up being thorns in Jeremiah’s flesh for years.

All of this stress and pressure caused Jeremiah to cry out to the Lord:

“What sorrow is mine, my mother. Oh, that I had died at birth! I am hated everywhere I go. I am neither a lender who threatens to foreclose nor a borrower who refuses to pay— yet they all curse me.” (Jeremiah 15:10 NLT)

The Lord comforted Jeremiah with His promises, but the prophet’s anguish remained:

Why then does my suffering continue? Why is my wound so incurable? Your help seems as uncertain as a seasonal brook, like a spring that has gone dry.” (Jeremiah 15:18)

Jeremiah then learned he had overstepped his boundaries by saying God’s help was uncertain. The Lord answered:

If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman. You must influence them; do not let them influence you! (Jeremiah 15:19)

Jeremiah’s life is a perfect example of how God trains His prophets. The training is intense and tough. And to be honest, many are called to be a prophet (and apostle), but few make it through the training to walk in their divine callings. This one tough year in the prophet Jeremiah’s life prepared him for the years that followed.

(Continued in Part 12…if you’re interested, the full series to date may be seen here.)

 

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Tuesday’s Prayers for Prisoners (8/30/2016)

If Jesus continues to tarry in His return to earth, we will all die and then appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ. In that appearance, we will receive our legacy (or rewards) from Jesus. What we receive is what we will get for all of eternity. There are no second chances or do overs for us believers.

So, if you’re satisfied, then “pip, pip, cheerio” and continue on your merry way.

But I’m not satisfied.

And even more than that, I fear the Judgment Seat of Christ.

You see, I know I haven’t done enough for the 4.4 billion people of Asia, ninety percent of whom do not know Jesus and forty percent have never heard His name.

What will I answer when Jesus asks, “Larry, why didn’t you do more for Asia? Don’t you love Me?”

I would hate to have those words haunting me over and over throughout eternity.

My prayer today:

Lord, forgive us American believers for our cold love and help us to remember the prisoners held hostage by the kingdom of darkness in Asia as though in prison with them. (Based on Hebrews 13:3)

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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Inside Israel

The Shuk in Jerusalem

The Shuk in Jerusalem

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Shalom.

I greet you with deep love, because of Yeshua Who planted His Love in us and continues to teach us what Love is and how to give it and receive it.  I will share further down why this became so clear to me this week. And why you, the body – the miracle of His creation – encourages me so much.

May HE ALONE be glorified and blessed and may you be blessed and edified!

 

It is THAT TIME’ of year again.  I wondered why the train, the bus, and the STREETS were SO CROWDED that I could hardly move.  But it wasn’t just crowds.  It was FAMILIES.  Big families and small, secular and religious, a father with three kids, Grandparents with several, a young family with ten – all together.  “LOOK! RUN OVER HERE! HERE IS THE BRIDGE!” a father shouted to his 3 short people, who looked very confused.

“WHERE??” they asked.

“Oh well, you missed it.  Let’s go look at the driver.”

They made their way to the front of the train and I chuckled thinking that people who don’t ride the train never realize how SHORT that bridge really is.

This is IT. The two weeks before school begins when the kaytinot – or ever present year around Israeli camps and clubs and activities come to a screeching halt and there are two intense weeks of FAMILY TIME.  Kaytina is not quite like anything I have seen in any other country. It is not really optional because it is what EVERYONE does.  It is enriching. Maybe science, music, swimming, sport, reading – there are endless options. It is often subsidized (in other words, NO one gets left out because they can’t afford it). It is fun and safe and besides all of the parents are working.

I watched two Grandparents in their upper 70s at least, trying to maneuver the bus passes for their 4 small Grandchildren, who were SO excited to be going to the zoo with Saba and Savta (Grandpa and Grandma).  Saba and Savta looked EXHAUSTED already and they were just beginning the journey.  Another woman said, “Ah, Mil-oo-eem.”

I burst out laughing.  I had never thought of Grandparent duty in Israel as mil-oo-eem but it surely is.  Milooeem is our armed services reserve duty.  It’s the older soldiers who have a regular job most of the year, but they get called once a year or during a war or crisis for a few weeks to don those uniforms and dust off their skills, to help defend the country until around the age of 50.

Yep!  Grandparents are definitely milooeemniks.  Some parents can take off from work for all or part of these two weeks, but not all.

When it comes to the train, I must admit to enjoying the training that goes on in religious families.  They are known for having VERY large families and of course, a train ride is too expensive to take often with a full tribe, but it does make for a wonderful special outing.  Now that I’m older, I see their young ones snap to attention and jump out of their seat to give it to the older person.  There is a sign (only in Hebrew) on the buses that quotes from Leviticus 19:32 “You shall rise up before the gray headed, and honor the face of the old man…”

It is not just the religious but many who are just plain helpful.  Last night I was squished on the train and getting a bit bruised up.  I had a shopping cart with me but was wedged in by a double baby stroller alongside of a single baby carriage.  A young woman got up and said, “Come here.”

But I told her that I had my cart and couldn’t get through.  Immediately some young soldiers lifted my cart above everything and the sea parted again. I was sitting safely in a seat, thanking God and asking Him to give me eyes to see always these kindnesses and then to pass them on.

Eyes to see are a blessing in the physical as well as the spiritual.  A blind lady was also at this busy stop when I got on.  An older lady and a young girl both eyed her to see how best to help her maneuver the crowd.  While we watched, her smartphone informed her the train would come in another 3 minutes. She made a phone call to a service of some kind and told them where she was and which car she was going to be in and when the train would come.  “Could someone please meet me at the stop and bring me there?” she asked.

I was again touched that such things were available so that she could be free to move about.  The two strangers, one young and one older on either side guided her on to the train where she immediately was given a seat, one of her angles at her side where they chatted easily.  Coming from America, it always strikes me here that handicaps elicit no embarrassment at all, either from strangers nearby who may need to lend a hand, nor by the one who might need help. Life is life and this is just how it is.  There is a pronounced lack of self-consciousness, which I find delightful.

It’s not only the children who are on tee-oo-leem (tours) during these last summer days.  I was at the shuk this afternoon and our new soldiers were there.  Young and strong and full of energy in their new uniforms. A major part of their training is to totally tour the country, north, south, east and west.  They get to fully know the history, both recent and ancient, the geography, the different populations including cultures and religions and the sensitivities of each group.  There must have been a hundred of these handsome, lean, tanned faces as old men and ladies stopped to bless them and young children looked on admiringly. They toured the shuk, a place that has known more than its share of attacks and is unique for its wonderful mixture of populations, Arab and Jew,  working side by side and shopping side by side.

This is what a summer’s day in Jerusalem looks like as summer draws to a close.  I made my way to a doctor’s appointment and saw a most unusual sight. On a main, narrow two-lane street, one lane was blocked by a line of BUSES.  This was a TWO way street, mind you. Perhaps 10 or 15 city buses were simply parked and empty.  Shivta’? (strike) I asked a bus driver, lounging near the bus.  He smiled, “Nope.  They needed buses to take the kids so we volunteered.”

What a line of buses had volunteered!  They were parked in front of a religious school. I wasn’t sure exactly what he had said they were going to do, but it had a happy feeling to it.  When I got to the end of the road, I saw that the police had actually volunteered the buses by pulling them over and asking them to join.

Immediately I remembered going down town to check our mail in our tiny remote village in NW Alaska when a policeman called me over and said, “We need a jury.  You are number 9.  Head over to City Hall.” And that was that.

 

This is a light letter although the things that are swirling around me are not light.  I think that is how life really is. Even in times of war, the sun rises and sets and believe it or not, flowers bloom and birds fly.  Daily life goes on as we stand beside graves that we did not expect and carry grief that we could not fathom.

In my own life right now, my husband left for the village that he is from in Alaska on Wednesday. Since I haven’t heard otherwise, I assume he is having a wonderful time.  He was joined by our grandson and son-in-law yesterday, I believe.  I am praying for them all to have a life changing exchange with The Lord and that this trip will impact them for HIS GLORY AND PURPOSES.

Our younger daughter is TRYING to sort through things somehow and be able to move out of their house within a week and into her sister’s home. They plan to return to Israel after 4 years with 3 suitcases each, period. She (who is more than 6 months pregnant) is really struggling to know what to bring.  They plan to arrive here on the 7th of Sept and move in with us until they are able to get an apartment.

My husband arrives home the night of the 3rd and I am trying to baby-proof and rearrange the apartment to allow them to be at home here.  I am not naturally great at these logistics anymore, and with my neighbor upstairs, I have to be very careful about making noise.  These are all small things, but I personally believe that how I am steward of the time and strength and resources He provides for me, all play a role in how I stand before Him. And after 40 years plus, I am still standing on behalf of my family before His throne, as well as this nation and people. Just like you, the myriad of things He entrusts us to pray for. So I am concerned that I am found to be a faithful steward.

As I said before, this is a rather light letter, a picture that I hope you can enjoy.  But our purpose is so completely to enjoy HIM and build the Body, sustaining one another through prayer and edification and building up the body and worshipping HIM, FOR HE ALONE IS LORD.

God bless you and encourage each of you.

Lovingly,

your sister J

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Thursday’s Prayers for America (8/24/2016)

Recently, the Lord convicted me that my life was filled with lukewarmness. I was wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked. I was a part of the Laodicean Church and didn’t know it.

As you can imagine, this wasn’t one of my finer moments, but I repented and asked to be shown how to change.

The Holy Spirit led me to the Beatitudes:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven;

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted;

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth;

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled;

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy;

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God;

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God;

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. (Matthew 5:3-11)

I believe we Americans need to embrace these verses and learn how to walk in their truths.

My prayer today.

Lord, convict us American believers of our lukewarmness. Show us we need to buy gold from You, that has been refined in the fire, and white garments to cover our nakedness, and eye salve to anoint our eyes so we can see how much we need You. (Based on Revelation 3:18)

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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Why Prophesy if Hardly Anyone Pays Attention? (10)

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A dim light on my right showed my Wilson A-2000 baseball glove, lying atop a San Francisco Giants’ uniform and my Stanford University uniform.

My hands covered my mouth.

“Not baseball. Tell me I don’t have to give up baseball.”

The angel nodded.

“Baseball will hinder your calling. You need to place them in the coffin if you want to be chosen for this task.”

I picked up the glove and put it in my left hand. I smelled the leather. It made me think of the hundreds of games I had played wearing this faithful glove at second base. I loved it like an old friend. I touched the Giants’ uniform. The feel of the soft white cloth with its black and orange numerals and letters brought tears to my eyes. This was my dream and I was so close to achieving it. And the Stanford uniform. I stood there, not wanting to put them in the coffin.

If only, I thought, there was a way to do both. If only – if only – if only.

“What is your decision?” the angel said.

I hesitated, not wanting to be hurried.

The angel nudged me with his arm.

“What is your decision?”

I carried the glove and uniforms over to the coffin and dumped them inside. As I walked back with my head down I noticed the foul stench had lessened a bit.

“Are you ready to go on?” said the angel.

I have never ever wanted to be somewhere else more than at that moment. I felt as if all hope had deserted me. What more would be required of me before I left this place? I wondered.

“Okay,” I mumbled.

Another dim light came on. This time Kari stood in the glow. She held hands with a cute little boy who looked a lot like me and cradled in her arms a darling baby girl. The threesome glowed in their perfect wholesomeness.

“No,” I screamed. “No, this is too much to ask from me. I have loved Kari since I was twelve years old. Why?”

“Your prophetic calling has no leeway in it. There is no room for compromise and thus, you can not get married and have a family.”

I fell to my knees. Why me? I thought. Why now?

The angel touched my shoulder.

“What is your decision?”

I shrugged my shoulders and hesitated.

Kneeling there, I saw again what happened to Kari during the nuclear blast. Her beautiful eyes melting and running down her cheeks. The sores and pus covering her body. Her screams asking to be killed. I felt like someone had tied me to a railroad track with a freight train bearing down on me. Time had run out on all of my options.

I staggered over to Kari and the children. I picked her and the baby girl up in my arms and held the boy’s hand. The smell of Kari’ favorite perfume caused me to stumble, but I regained my balance. I laid them gently in the coffin and walked back to the angel, without looking over my shoulder.

Once again, the foul stench lessened its intensity.

I became like a zombie with the rest of my decisions. College education. Parental expectations. Financial success and stability. Friends. I picked them up and dumped them in the coffin.

The angel finally held up his hand.

“That’s it. Now, you have to shut the lid on the coffin.”

It was hard enough to deposit baseball, Kari, the children, and everything else in the coffin but to shut the lid down – and know that was the end of them in my life – was unbearable. I screamed. I yelled. I cried as I slammed the lid shut. I threw myself on the coffin and beat on it.

“Oh Lord, it hurts so much.”

But in that moment of horrible anguish, a sweet smelling aroma engulfed me. It was so powerful to my olfactory senses I could not discern whether I tasted or smelled it. A heavenly glory attached itself to it.

“It’s time to leave the Valley of Decision,” the angel whispered.

He grabbed my hand and we took off.

I lay on my bed moments later and before falling to sleep, I noticed the greenish vomit stains on my white tee-shirt.

Excerpt from Jonah by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2012, Amazon eBook.

(Continued in Part 11…if you’re interested, the full series to date may be seen here.)

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Why Prophesy if Hardly Anyone Pays Attention? (Part 9)

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“Jeremiah, you need to know something before you say ‘yes’, there are no back-up prophets to take your place once you have committed yourself to the task. If you walk away during your training or later on because of persecution and hardships, the city will not be warned.”

Who do I think I am that I could possibly be used as a messenger of God for such an important task? I thought. What are my qualifications? Maybe the mission is too tough for me? Maybe the Lord should send someone else?

“Lord, I’m young and not a good speaker. Who will listen to me?”

“Do not say that. You will go where I send you and you will speak whatever I command you to speak.”

“But what about churches and pastors? Can’t they warn the city?”

“The traditional churches have made so many compromises with the world system and religious spirits that they can no longer be trusted with razor-sharp prophecies from Me. And Jeremiah?”

“Yes, Lord.”

“You must never enter a traditonal church again. Not for a wedding. Or a funeral. Or for any holiday services. You must never submit yourself under the religious spirits in a traditional church for any reason. Your prophetic voice will be weakened if you do.”

“Yes, Lord.”

“If you decide to take on this task, My grace and anointing will be more than sufficient for you.”

How could I argue after what I had just seen and heard?

“Okay, Lord, send me,” I whispered.

A hand reached out of the light and touched my mouth.

“I have put My words in your mouth.”

The second living light went out. It was dark and quiet once again. The angel touched my shoulder.

“Stand up,” he said.

I obeyed and stood up.

A third light came on, off to my left. I turned toward it.

There I saw an open coffin, next to an empty grave. My parents, grandparents, other relatives, and friends stood in a semi-circle around the grave site. Everyone wore black and wept rivers of tears. Flowers and wreaths covered the coffin.

The foul stench, which I smelled earlier, increased in strength. It reeked. I covered my nostrils with my hands, hoping this would help, but the smell worsened. It came from within me. Something was dead inside me.

I pointed at the scene and looked at the angel.

“What’s this?”

“It’s a funeral.”

“Whose funeral?”

“Yours.”

“My funeral? Why?”

“If you are going to warn San Francisco about upcoming judgments from the Lord, you need to be a Two-Twenty believer.”

His words flustered me.

“What?”

The angel looked at me. His two emerald eyes radiated a depth of passion I had never witnessed before in my life.

“Paul wrote in Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

He paused for a moment.

I bit my tongue and kept quiet.

“Every plan, every hope, every dream of yours that conflicts with the calling Christ has placed upon you, needs to be buried here tonight. You cannot come back later and dig them up,” he said with a divine authority which sent shivers up and down my spine.

“And,” he added in a hushed tone, “this is the most painful part of the night. If you are not able to bury what needs to be buried, you will be disqualified from the mission.”

I looked at my parents, relatives, and friends. Seeing the anguish and misery they suffered at my funeral, I needed to know something.

“What if I’m disqualified right now? Will the Lord find another person to take my place?”

“Maybe. Maybe not. You are the Lord’s first choice. You are the one He has groomed and prepared for this assignment from the moment you were formed in your mother’s womb. There are no guarantees another prophet will be as effective as you or can be readied in time.”

I sighed. His words hammered my heart.

“So,” he said, “are you ready?”

I blew out a deep breath and nodded.

Excerpt from Jonah by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2012, Amazon eBook.

(Continued in Part 10…if you’re interested, the full series to date may be seen here.)

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Thursday’s Prayers for America (8/18/2016)

Although I pray for the Jews and Gentiles to become the one new man as stated in Ephesians 2:15 on Tuesdays, there’s another revelation to be seen in that verse. It is a template or pattern which can be used for disagreeing groups, such as black and white Americans.

My prayer today:

Lord, I pray that You might create in Yourself one new man in place of black American believers and white american believers, thus making peace between the two races. (Based on Ephesians 2:15)

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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