Monthly Archives: January 2017

Prayers for Healing and Deliverance (1/31/2017)

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“*Emily, if you come to the meeting tonight, the Lord will heal you,” I said into the phone.

This phone call occurred twenty-eight years ago while I was doing some teaching at a small home group. I was an office supply salesman and felt the Lord was going to heal Emily of multiple sclerosis. So, I phoned her that afternoon.

Later, she hobbled into the meeting, using a cane to steady herself. She sat down on the sofa. The other four or five attendees sat down near her.

I opened with prayer and then taught a lesson from the Bible. As I finished speaking, I looked over at Emily and saw her with my spiritual eyes. She was totally healed.

I put my Bible down and walked over to her. I reached out my hands and said, “Emily, let’s dance.”

She took my hands and stood up. We then danced all over the living room. I stopped after a few minutes and asked, “Have you noticed anything?”

“No, what?” she said.

“You’re healed.”

She put her hands to her mouth. “Oh Lord, I’m healed,” she said through tears.

Emily walked home that night with the cane over her shoulder. The next day she joined a health club and began working out. Everyone in the city was talking about her miracle.

But sadly, forty days later, she was worse off than when she first arrived at the meeting that evening.

What happened?

She lost her healing.

How?

The multiple sclerosis symptoms starting attacking her body again, which caused her to react in fear and doubt rather than using her faith and trust in the Lord to resist the sickness. The sickness overwhelmed her.

Looking back, I feel it was my lack of experience that I did not take the time to teach her and follow up to help her fight the good fight of faith.

(*Emily: not her real name.)

My prayer today:

Lord, help us to learn how to submit to You and resist the devil so that he will flee from us. (Based on James 4:7)

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for new revelations on healing and deliverance for Americans NOW.

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Geezer Up (Part 5)

“The People of San Francisco against Dylan Matthews,” announced the heavy-set bailiff in a booming voice. He walked over and handed the case file to a clerk.

Almost with a snap of a finger, I stood to the right of Artie Chin while a junior prosecutor with sad eyes stood on the other side of Chin. Judge Esther Strong sat directly in front of us. The fifty or so year old judge looked down at the file in front of her and then over at me. A slight smile crossed her deep red lips for a nano-second before she resumed her judicial posture.

The prosecutor opened with a legal sounding statement. Chin countered with his defense lawyerly jargon. Back and forth the two fired legalese-laced salvos until Chin ended by saying, “My client enters a not-guilty plea.”

Judge Strong closed the file and turned to dismiss us, but then she stopped. She leaned forward and stared into my eyes.

“I’m inclined to allow Mr. Matthews to be released on his own recognizance, without bail, but I do want to ask him a couple of questions first,” she said, pausing to collect her thoughts. “What will you do if I set you free this morning? Will you go back to Temecula and return for your hearing in two weeks?”

Three possible answers crossed my mind at that moment: forty-eighth anniversary trip to Tahoe, playing with my grandchildren, or enjoying a few rounds of golf with some buddies. All would have pleased the judge so I could have walked out the door into the sunlight once again, but they all evaporated into nothingness. What then came out of my mouth caused a reaction like dropping a live grenade into the courtroom.

“I will walk out the door and go directly to the Castro District and preach the gospel of Jesus Christ to that community. They deserve to be set free from the kingdom of darkness by the love of Jesus.”

Judge Strong jumped to her feet. A finger jutted out of her black robe and pointed at me. Anger stripped the judge of her judicial mask, revealing her true inner feelings.

“Mr. Matthews, you have no right to impose your self-righteous religious beliefs on our gay and lesbian communities. I will make sure your bigoted beliefs cost you dearly by setting your bail at one hundred thousand dollars and remanding you to the county jail. What do you think of that, Mr. Matthews?” she proclaimed loud enough for everyone in the building to hear her.

I shrugged.

“I shall not pay one dime nor allow anyone to raise money to set me free nor will I eat another bite of food until I am set free from this jail. Whether I walk out the door or am carried out in a casket is up to the Lord, I shall trust Him to set me free,” I replied.

“Well, we’ll see about your so-called God and how your arrogance holds up two weeks from now at your preliminary hearing. Next case.”

My lawyer resumed his normal breathing as he escorted me back to the small holding pen.

“Maybe you would have answered differently if I would have warned you ahead of time that Judge Strong is a lesbian and staunch leader in the LGBT movement,” he whispered.

I laughed.

“Probably not.”

Then, a voice from the courtroom cut my heart.

“Dylan, Dylan, I love you…”

I turned to see Jane waving at me. She looked great in her yellow dress, one of my favorites, but all I could do was nod my head and wonder about what she was thinking.

(A new sequel to Unhitched Geeser, which can be checked out here.)

(Continued in Part 6…the first 9 parts are reruns and can be read here.)

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Inside Israel

SHUK

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 to you in The wonderful Name of Yeshua h’meshiach, Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords.  May HE be blessed and glorified and may you be blessed and edified.

His mercy is so far greater than my understanding of it.  Oh He dunks me under every time!  So often I think, “Just hang on, lightening is about to strike that one,” and instead I see His mercy again extended.  What a God we serve!  His ways are far above mine and I am SO THANKFUL

So as I had lauded the prevailing prayers of the Brits in reclaiming territory from the enemy, I also MUST acknowledge with like admiration the effectual fervent prayers and humble repentance of the many prayer warriors in the US who have also stood in the gap and reclaimed territory.  For those of us who have ever lived in America, I am sure that you will agree with me that I, for one, had never expected to once more see prayer and The Name of Jesus Christ boldly presented in the White House. The same house that had so brazenly and so recently been awash with rainbow lights, not representing the rainbow of the promise given to Noah, but the rainbow of rebellion against God’s order.  You prayed and He answered!  ALL GLORY TO GOD!

And just like our sisters and brothers in England understand well that their battle has just begun, I know that you in the US are sobered by that understanding as well, especially in the face of the protests.  What a challenge to NOT respond in the flesh but again to go to the knees!

So what did it look like here?

Well, our daughter and son-in-law were here for Shabat dinner. Yet my husband wanted to watch the inauguration first, so we did. In my eyes, there was a DRAMATIC change of authority from the spirit of secular humanism to the lifting up of THE LORD.  It was interesting to see my son in law’s reaction to The Name of Jesus proclaimed, and yet also for him to see an Orthodox (although not Haradi) Rabbi in the midst praying along.  Our son in law squirmed and left the room after awhile but said nothing, nor did we to him.  I remember well my days before knowing Him Who set me free, how uncomfortable I was in the presence of The Name of Jesus.

What WILL it all look like?  I have NO IDEA.  Do you?  Yes territory is reclaimed from the enemy, but now our country, Britain and America share the honor of having perhaps the three most hated and attacked (by the liberal media) leaders in the world.  Will God grant to President Trump a change of personality and a grace and wisdom?  We KNOW HE ANSWERS PRAYER…so…I’m sure that we are ALL walking ahead with eyes UP, looking unto HIM for HIS mercy.

I don’t know about you wherever you are, but I have received prophecies(by email, proclaiming everything from Trump being (literally) the messiah, to the devil himself.  Diverse prophecies make me run and hide in The Rock.  I do not know what lies ahead, but I can report to you what I am seeing today.  Israelis are cautiously optimistic in general.  Three areas that concern Israelis greatly are:

(1) Everything about the plan to divide the land that God has promised us and to plant a Palestinian state in its heartland.

(2)The recognition that the eternal capital of Israel IS INDEED JERUSALEM and not divided.

(3) And the right to build homes and live anywhere within our borders.

All three of these points are deeply and undeniably rooted consistently throughout scripture but have become THE “politically correct” issues of the day.  There IS a new excitement among Israelis that just perhaps the page has turned.  At the same time, Israelis are very realistic and there is little doubt that none of these will happen without violence and much pain.  But what is the alternative?

To be BULLIED into a corner of the land, a fraction of the Promise, rather than the full inheritance. “Every place on which your foot shall tread, I have given it to you,” God promised Joshua, but the people were intimidated when they saw the battle and many settled for less and it was accounted as sin to us, for we did not move into the COMMANDED promise and OBEY GOD.

Yes, we are reaping the results still today.  Can I say that on the buses there is a mixture of nervous excitement and restrained hope all rolled into the very odd new idea that someone actually LIKES us and thinks we have a right to exist.

There are some inherent dangers in this new moment of grace of being liked.  Israel is called to be a nation ALONE.  “ALONE” IS A LONELY PLACE and our nature makes us want to form alliances and to be accepted among the nations.  We are praying for discernment, no more and no less than God’s purposes.  Remember Hezekiah?  He was such a good king and did that which was well pleasing in God’s sight.  But when he fell ill and God granted to add years on to his life, his relief and joy caused him to walk without discernment:

 At that time Berodach-Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah, for he heard that Hezekiah had been sick.  And Hezekiah was attentive to them, and showed them all the house of his treasures—the silver and gold, the spices and precious ointment, and all his armory—all that was found among his treasures. There was nothing in his house or in all his dominion that Hezekiah did not show them. Then Isaiah the prophet went to King Hezekiah, and said to him, “What did these men say, and from where did they come to you?”So Hezekiah said, “They came from a far country, from Babylon.” And he said, “What have they seen in your house?”So Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house; there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.”  Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of the Lord:  ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and what your fathers have accumulated until this day, shall be carried to Babylon; nothing shall be left,’ says the Lord.  ‘And they shall take away some of your sons who will descend from you, whom you will beget; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.’” (2 Kings 20:12-16)

THE TEMPTATION TO MAKE ALLIANCES AND HOPE IN MAN BECAUSE WE ARE WEARY IS A SNARE, on personal levels, and also on national levels.  I would be negligent if I didn’t say that there is real tension in the air.  Everything is changing and in a region this volatile, change usually ignites fires. “BUT I KNOW WHOM I HAVE BELIEVED, AND AM PERSUADED THAT HE IS ABLE, TO KEEP THAT WHICH I’VE DELIVERED UNTO HIM UNTIL THAT DAY!”

Our weather has been dry and we are waiting for more rain as other countries are flooding and violent weather continues to call us all to look up.  Jerusalem is generally colder than many other parts of our tiny country, and this year is no different. It’s cold.  Huddled together on the buses in the morning I am thankful that no one has lately come on fanning themselves and saying ‘Hom’lee’  (meaning, ‘I’M HOT!’) and then pulling open the windows.

I see the same faces year after year and watch them grow older along with me.  I remember how surprised I was when we first arrived in the country, to see how younger people rise (more so among the religious then the secular) to give older, pregnant or otherwise needy people, their seats.  Now that I am of “seat priority age,” I surely appreciate reaping the benefits.  It has taken nearly 23 years, but slowly my surroundings have grown commonplace to me.

I think back to stir my memory to recall how surprised I was at the honest friendliness and helpfulness of total strangers when we first came.  How people were so quick to ask, usually in several languages until they hit upon one that you might know. “Where are you from?  How is it going?”

People still want to hear a positive answer to the question: “Don’t you miss it where you came from?  Don’t you want to go back?”

I have been asked this a great deal and can’t help but notice how strengthened and encouraged people are when I honestly answer, “I do not ALLOW myself to look back and miss what was.  That is dangerous!  I am thankful for the wonderful life that I lived and I am even more thankful for my life now, because I am living in what God has promised.”

They stand up straighter…and yes, are encouraged. That is so important to encourage one another to walk on and to keep walking on.  Life isn’t easy, but it is His gift, both here, and where you are.

God bless you and encourage each of you toward Him.  “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.”  May we each be found ABIDING IN HIM.

Lovingly,

your sister J

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Geezer Up (Part 4)

 

If someone would have asked me, “What do you want for your last meal?” It would not have been soggy cornflakes, warm milk, and awful tasting coffee, which I ate for breakfast that morning. Sugar helped me endure the blitzkrieg against my taste buds, but my stomach demanded the calories to halt its rumbling sounds. At the time, it was a dismal meal, but in the days ahead, I looked back on it as a pleasant repast. It’s funny how hunger can distort one’s memories.

Forty-five minutes later, the jailer stood in front of the holding cell with a clipboard in his hand. “Listen up men,” he said, looking down. “Ramos, Soto, Delgado, Valdez, Trujillo, and Matthews − you are in the first group to be taken to the courtroom. Your arraignments will begin at 9 a.m. If you have a lawyer, he will meet you there. If you don’t, a court appointed lawyer will handle your arraignment.”

He spun around and walked away.

I did my best to wash my face and clean up in the sink, but there was no mirror to help me in this task. I looked at the others in the holding cell and figured I looked better than some and worse than others. Oh well, I thought, this is as good as it gets for me today.

 

Two deputies guarded us as we walked over to the courtroom’s small holding cell. I sat down with the five homies on a metal bench and faced the empty courtroom. The clock on the back wall read − 8:34.

“Matthews.”

I looked up and saw a man wearing a dark suit and white shirt standing in front of the cell. He had short black hair and seemed to be of Chinese or Korean heritage. He motioned for me to come near him.

“I’m Artie Chin. Your lawyer, Jacob, referred me to you,” he whispered.

“Thanks,” I replied.

“You are charged with a hate crime for preaching to gays. This is a new law enacted by the San Francisco City Council and went into effect one week ago, just in time for Pride Week. The good news for you is that you are the worst possible test case for the law −”

“Why?”

He blew out a deep breath.

“You’re a retired seventy-three year old man, not an ordained preacher, have no ministry, and have no history of preaching or writing against gays. They’re after bigger fish than you.”

“Okay, what do you think I should do?”

“I’m sure you will be released on personal recognizance. No bail required. You will have to promise to show up in court a couple of weeks from now, but I think I can get the charges dropped altogether. The judge may ask some questions, but probably not. You should be a free man in about sixty minutes.”

His words would have encouraged me if the Holy Spirit had not spoken to me a few hours earlier. So, I prepared myself for bad news.

(A new sequel to Unhitched Geeser, which can be checked out here.)

(Continued in Part 5…the first 9 parts are reruns and can be read here.)

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Geezer Up (Part 3)

 

The afternoon turned into evening and the evening into night. Fourteen people joined us in the holding cell. The newcomers forced me to make a decision between sitting with tattoo-covered murderers or with vomiting drunks and strung-out druggies. I chose the five MS-13 homies and behaved myself.

Do you remember how bad school lunches tasted when you were in first grade? Dry bread, chalky-tasting peanut butter sandwiches, and soggy potato chips served with stewed prunes and a dollop of day-old whipped cream. All of it ladled out on a yellow compartment tray.

Well, let me tell you, my first bite into the peanut butter sandwich made me yearn for the good old days of first grade. I gagged and spit up a mouthful into a napkin.

“Hey, old white man, about three in the morning, you’ll be wishing you ate this garbage,” said the youth with the teardrops tattooed under his eyes.

I shook my head and offered my tray to him. He took it and consumed both his and mine. I admired how he and his friends adapted to their situations without so much as a single complaint. I supposed being in jail was just a normal part of their lives.

But the smell!

Nineteen guys in a ten by twenty room with vomit, diarrhea, normal toilet usage, and BO swirling around us without a fan to alleviate the stench. My poor stomach tried its best to unload itself, but somehow everything remained below deck. Steady as she goes, I thought to myself in a moment of humor, which quickly passed.

And sleeping!

If I leaned back, my back hurt because of the iron bars, but leaning forward moved my nose closer to the vomit and diarrhea on the floor. I compromised by slouching down like an old sweater midway between both positions. I dozed a little here and there throughout the night, but around 3 a.m., I had a vision.

In it, I was seated high above the city of San Francisco, maybe even in the heavenly places, which are mentioned in the Bible. I heard the Holy Spirit speak to my heart, “I am going to use your time in jail as an opportunity to take on the spirit of depravity, which is the main principality governing San Francisco. Be bold and allow me to speak through you. I will give you more than enough grace for this season of your life.”

I then fell into a deep sleep, comforted by the gift of faith, which enveloped me like a warm quilt.

(A new sequel to Unhitched Geeser, which can be checked out here.)

(Continued in Part 4…the first 9 parts are reruns and can be read here.)

 

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Prayers for America (1/26/2017)

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Right now, the American Church is divided by theology, race, politics, gender, abortion, Jew, Gentile, gay issues, and so forth. How can unity be achieved in the Body of Christ?

Lets check how Jesus handled divisions in His day between the Pharisees, Sadducees, Scribes, Essenes, Herodians, Hellenistic believers, and others:

 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matthew 10:34-37)

The Prince of Peace did not show up with a guitar to sing Kumbaya and talk about unity and peace at campfire meetings. He came with a word that was sharper than any two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit. People then had to make decisions and sometimes most of them walked away and followed Him no more.

So, don’t go thinking the American Church will undergo a great revival and everyone will be changed into a vessel of love. It won’t happen! But what we can expect to see are more shakings and more siftings in the American Church in the months and years ahead.

My prayer today:

Lord, help America believers to deny ourselves, pick up our crosses daily, and follow You, no matter what it may cost us. (Based on Mark 8:34)

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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Geezer Up (Part 2)

 Any syrupy ideas I might have had about jail were erased when the door banged shut to my holding cell. The five young men who sat on the bolted down metal benches, which lined both sides of the cell, followed me with their dark eyes as I sat down in the far right corner. A stainless steel toilet without a lid stood next to a small sink in the middle of the back wall. No privacy here, I thought.

“Hey, old white man, what terrible crime have you committed that the police would lock you up with five MS-13 homies charged with murder?” asked a young man covered with tattoos and wearing a white tank top.

My ears perked up with the mention of MS-13, also known as the Mara Salvatrucha. It’s the most violent gang in the United States with its members known for their cruel murders and merciless revenge.

“I preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to the LGBT parade watchers down in the Castro District. Some became angry and kicked me around like an old football. I was charged with a hate crime.”

“Did you fight back, old man?” asked a short young man with teardrops tattooed under both eyes.

“No, of course, not,” I replied.

The five laughed and slapped each other on the back as if my words were the funniest ones ever spoken.

“Old man, that is hilarious!” said the biggest youth with a large scar on his neck. “You preach the gospel to gays and lesbians. Then they beat and kick the crap out of you, but you don’t fight back. And you’re the one who gets charged with a hate crime. We MS-13 homies understand that type of justice. So, what happened to the gays who did this to you?”

I rubbed my baldhead and shrugged. “I don’t know, but I pray that God won’t hold their actions against them.”

The same youth leaned toward me. “Do you really think God cares about gays and lesbians?”

“Yes, and not only that, He cares and loves you, too.”

“Old white man, now you’ve gone too far.”

The five leaned back and closed their eyes, ignoring my presence.

I sat there, checking myself out. My broken nose hurt. My ribs were sore and all of the other bruises added to my suffering. Blood covered the front of my blue oxford shirt and khaki slacks. Yet, in the midst of my pain and bloody clothing, I wanted to jump and shout and praise God because He counted me worthy to suffer for His name.

“Lord,” I prayed softly, “thanks for giving a seventy-three year old geezer, like me, a second chance to be a part of the action and not allowing me to retire from Your kingdom work. And Lord, use me even more in the days ahead.”

The Lord reminded me of this prayer often in the days following it.

(A new sequel to Unhitched Geeser, which can be checked out here.)

(Continued in Part 3…the first 9 parts are reruns and can be read here.)

 

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