Monthly Archives: May 2017

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 —

“Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it. On that day, declares the LORD, I will strike every horse with panic, and its rider with madness. But for the sake of the house of Judah I will keep my eyes open, when I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. Then the clans of Judah shall say to themselves, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem have strength through the LORD of hosts, their God.’ “On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a blazing pot in the midst of wood, like a flaming torch among sheaves. And they shall devour to the right and to the left all the surrounding peoples, while Jerusalem shall again be inhabited in its place, in Jerusalem. “And the LORD will give salvation to the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not surpass that of Judah. On that day the LORD will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the LORD, going before them. Zechariah 12:2-8)

I greet  you with a longing heart to lift up praise and worship worthy of the Lord. May our love for one another, our encouragement of one another, our admonitions and edifications and exhortations to one another be a blessing to Him. May The Lord be glorified and blessed, and may you be blessed and encouraged for His glory.

Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim) began this evening (now yesterday evening) as the sun was going down. Not just any anniversary of the day that Jerusalem was liberated, but the 50th year since she came again into the inheritance God Almighty intended for the children of Jacob. It takes reading from Gen 1:1 – Rev.22:21 to begin to get a ray of understanding, enough to humble us − knowing that we will NEVER see the whole picture in this life. But, oh, we KNOW that it will be breathtaking!

YOM YERUSHALEYIM  looks like this in Hebrew יום ירושלים

Fifty years ago today on the Hebrew calendar, Jerusalem was liberated from Jordan and like the rest of those whom the Lord had sent into exile, She came home.

It has been QUITE a week here (this may be the understatement of the year).  I listened to all of the meetings with US President Donald Trump as it becomes daily even more impossible to trust the media. So I listened carefully, giving far more time to the coverage than I would have chosen, but I’m glad that I did.  Yes, I have opinions and observations and wonderings, but they are all dwarfed in the face of YOM YERUSHALAYIM. This 50th anniversary of GOD’S HAND  landing here and re-writing history in a matter of a shocking 6 days.

Today is the 24th of May, 2017 and I walked most of the way to work this morning, despite my current lack of physical strength. I wanted on THIS day to walk these streets, pray these streets, sing these streets, and open my eyes to whatever He would show me.

Although I left my apartment at 6:15, the train, which ran all night last night – usually it stops between 1 am -5 am – so the celebrations could take place all through the night. The train was full of religious people, making their way to the Western Wall.  Oh yes I DID so want to go this morning to thank Him, but of course I thanked Him as I walked and sang amidst the birds, the flowers, and flowering trees, wondering what it all means. I prayed for mercy and the fear of God, God ALMIGHTY

You KNOW of course, that Allah is NOT the same GOD, right? I have told you before that written around the inside of the Dome of The Rock, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, are the words (in Arabic) “Allah is one AND HE HAS NO SON”.  He said it himself.  If we say that Allah is the same God that we worship, then we are denying Jesus, period.

And so I sang: (no this is not me singing Psalm 147:12, 13, but a better rendition.)

I HAVE A FAVORITE QUESTION that I ask everyone at this time of year who is old enough to remember:  “WHERE WERE YOU ON THIS DAY IN 1967?”

The answers usually bring tears to my eyes and a sense of awe as each one speaks of “the miracle that GOD has done.” Their eyes ALWAYS mist over.

Shlomo Levi  is not our patient, but Dr. Meshulam’s patient.  I’ve seen him over the years but usually Dr. Meshulam’s secretary is working and I don’t serve him. However I was alone on Friday when he came in.  His jet black hair belies the fact that he is 81, which I saw when I opened his chart.  “Adon Levi, where were you at this time back in ’67?” I asked.

He looked shocked for a moment and then as if transported to another place, that mist fell.  “I was at the Kotel (the Western Wall),” he said.

I thought that he meant he had followed the throngs in after it was taken, the thousands of survivors that poured weeping through the Old City gates, to touch the remaining wall of the temple, denied to them for 2,000 years.

‘Yes?’ I asked, urging him to continue.

“You have heard of Motta Gur?” he asked.

“OF COURSE,” I answered, remembering the iconic Corporal who led the advance.  I was carrying around his proclamation in my purse to give out to people as a reminder: ‘The Old City is in our hands!’  He wept over the radio as he made the earthshaking announcement. Later promising before God in prayer – also written on my copy of the proclamation, that we would watch over Jerusalem faithfully,  keeping her for God.  OF COURSE, we ALL know Motta Gur.

Shlomo began to quietly speak, “I carried his radio equipment.  I had to stick to him like glue, but I was there when he made the proclamation.”  Tears began rolling down BOTH of our faces and I jumped up and gave this small religious man, not much taller than I am, a big hug and thanked him.

His eyes shined with the wonder of His memory, he pulled out his teudot zehut  (Identity card) and said, “I was given this special stamp in my ID.”

I looked at a seal of Jerusalem and the notation of honor to those who took part in the battle for the liberation of Jerusalem.  “It was a miracle you know,” he said.  “There was NO way that we could have done it.  The fighting was fierce…we were weakened with no food or water for so long…out-numbered…it was a miracle!”

Yes, it WAS a miracle, and those words are repeated again and again with each story.

I was surprised when I asked Avi where he was on that day.

In 1967 I was a wild hippie, out of college, and didn’t THINK of Avi being a kid, so it took me back when he said, “Well, I was only seven so I couldn’t fight but my Mother kept us children in the shelter. But I lived in Sanhedria and the Jordanian barbed wire – and so the fighting – was on our street – fierce fighting.  I kept trying to peak out.  My Mother had a job keeping us down and quiet.  It was SO exciting when the guns became silent and the people began running out, yelling, ‘The Old City is Free!’ They were dancing and crying in the streets and thanking God.  I didn’t understand really but we were all so happy.”

The city really did a marvelous job of security closures while U.S. President Trump was here.  The street closings, as difficult as they always are, seemed much more orderly this time, and although not easy, I WAS able to get a taxi home as opposed to when U.S. President Obama was here. Then I had to walk the lengthy distance home.

My taxi driver was seventeen in 1967, JUST under the eighteen year age where he could join the army. BUT he was welcome to join the “mitnadev” or “volunteer army,” running errands, filling sandbags, bringing messages, food, and water

“I lived in Mamilla.  Do you know where Mamilla is?’ he asked.

Mamilla, like Sanhedria, was RIGHT on the border with Jordan, right against the Old City walls.  My dear friend Tamima has delighted me with her stories of growing up there and then being there for the liberation.

“Yes I do.  My friend Tamima grew up there.”

He looked at me. “Tamima Ben Tzvi?  Yes, I know Tamima.  We were all together like one family back then.”

We smiled.

“It was all so intense…so much shooting…wounded…helping at the hospitals…but then it was over.  My two friends and I walked ALL around the walls of the Old City.” He shook his head in wonder before continuing. “And then we walked to Hebron where we went to Machpelah (the cave of the Patriarchs, where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah are buried…the burying plot purchased by Abraham as recorded in Gen 23:1-20) to pray and give thanks for this great miracle. (This taxi driver was not religious).

Others told me of defending their kibbutz or smaller community outside of the city with furious fighting and miracle after miracle. GOD WAS ACKNOWLEDGED AS THE AUTHOR OF THIS ASTOUNDING GIFT.

I handed out my copies of the proclamations made at the wall by Motta Gur and Rabbi Goren, the Rabbi who is seen in all of the historic photos blowing the shofar on that day of days back in 1967. (You can check the photos here.)

I must close now. My husband has come home for supper.  May His joy overflow to you and HIS concern, His heart, His plan and His purposes.  I once again quoted from Zechariah 12 at the top of this letter.  Thank you for praying with us as the world closes in on us, but our God will not be mocked.  He has been glorified, He is being glorified (though not enough) and He WILL be glorified.

God bless you.

Lovingly,

your sister J in Jerusalemnn

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Mountains Melt at the Presence of God (Part 5)

One thing I observed in those meetings [in Lakeland, Florida], I have observed ever since I’ve been a Christian. Namely, a large portion of the Christian population is seeking a fresh touch from God. They are seeking to experience His presence. 

Some, however, appear to be almost pathologically dependent upon trying to “feel” God’s presence. For these souls, “feeling” the presence of the Lord becomes a benchmark to measure their spiritual condition.

I spent most of my early Christian life drinking deeply from the wells of a particular movement that stressed the miraculous power of God. While I learned many valuable lessons in that movement, I also have a few reservations. One of them is that the propensity to seek “the felt-presence of God” in that movement is central and overwhelming.

I watched many Christians struggle with this quest to the point of concluding that something was wrong with them — that God loved them less — all because they weren’t “feeling” or “sensing” His presence on a regular basis.

On the other hand, I have known Christian women and men who were utterly devoted to the Lord, extremely gifted, spiritually insightful and fruitful. Yet in private, their confession was that they had never “felt” the presence of God.

I’ve also personally known Christians who were in dire spiritual straits. Some were living double lives. Yet they didn’t wince at their poor condition, because during the worship service or prayer times they regularly “felt” the presence of God.

This being said, I believe there’s a great deal of confusion over the matter of God’s presence. Part of it is rooted in semantics. Another part is rooted in bad theology…

The Semantics of God’s Presence

Some Christians have a way of overstating their experiences.Others understate them. Multiple people may experience the exact same phenomenon — whether it be a church meeting, a conference, a retreat, a convention, a particular manifestation of the Holy Spirit, or a shared encounter.

One person may describe it as “unbelievable!” … “incredible!” … “awesome!” … “beyond description!” Another may describe it as “refreshing” …”enjoyable”… “encouraging”  … “delightful.” Still another may describe it as “good” … “fine” … “a blessing.”

Point: People often use very different vocabulary to express the exact same thing. For instance, Watchman Nee used a unique phrase when he referred to his fellowship with the Lord. He called it “touching the Lord.” Others use the phrase “sweet communion.” Others use “divine encounter.” Others use less phenomenological phrases.

To describe fixing one’s heart upon the Lord, some people use the phrase “turning to the Lord.” Others use the word “gazing.” Others say “beholding” or “looking into the face of God.” Still others say “contemplating,” “centering,” “abiding,” or “partaking.” Others describe it as “meditating.” By and large, it’s semantics.

I’ve observed this phenomenon all my Christian life. People express the same experiences differently. This is due to many varied factors, some of which are the person’s temperament, the specific vocabulary of one’s religious tradition, or a specific “effect” they wish o have on those who hear them testify. (Sometimes this isn’t so well motivated.)

(Revise Us Again: Living from a Renewed Christian Script by Frank Viola, Published by David C. Cook, 2010, Chapter 6)

I recommend Frank Viola’s Revise Us Again. It’s a great book.

(Continued in Part 6…the full series to date can be read here.)

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Prayers for America (5/25/2017)

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What would we do if our grandson, granddaughter, son, daughter, or spouse was critically ill, lying on a hospital bed in a coma? Would we passionately pray with all of our hearts? Would we fast? Would we seek the Lord for His help?

Our answers to these questions would probably reveal our highest level of  commitment for seeking the Lord on other people’s behalves. Why? Because we have invested our lives in these loved ones.

But do we realize that this level of commitment for our loved ones should be the same level of praying and seeking the Lord for all of the other people in America, even the least of them? And anything less is not pleasing to the Lord?

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior (1 Timothy 2:1-3)

My prayer for today:

Lord, remove the blinders from our eyes so that we see other people as You see them and give us Your heart so that we desire all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. (Based on 1 Timothy 2:4)

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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32 Years Ago Today

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In 1985, my life smashed into a brick wall. I needed thousands of dollars to start a publishing company and bail my family out of debt. My sources were all maxed out and the hope level in my reservoir was hovering at empty. I was finished.

The only untouched asset I had was a $125,000 life insurance policy. So, my solution seemed obvious: suicide.

As for taking my life, I had no problems with it because I was an agnostic. No God equals no problems with eternal judgment, right? It wasn’t personal, just a business solution for my family and me.

My plan was uncomplicated. I figured on enjoying one last weekend with my family and then committing suicide on that Monday evening.

Thus, on May 20, 1985, I spent the day finishing up loose ends. Then, for some reason, I stopped at an insurance agent’s office. Although we knew each other, Bill and I were not intimate friends and had never really talked to each other before that day.

Bill invited me into his office. We discussed baseball. Then in the middle of our conversation, he stared at me and said, “You’re thinking about committing suicide, aren’t you?”

His words hit me like a sledgehammer. How did he know? I told no one. It was my secret $125,000 payday. I was speechless. As I sat there, a vision played across my mind about my car ramming into a viaduct and killing me.

I wept and although I tried to regain my composure, I could not. “How did you know?” I asked.

“Oh,” said Bill, “the Lord told me while we were talking to each other.”

His words shattered my unbelief. God was alive and He cared about me. We continued talking and he finally gave me a book to read: Power in Praise by Merlin Carothers.

When I arrived home, I began reading the book. After a few pages, I walked into the bathroom, closed the door and knelt in front of the sink. Looking into the mirror, I prayed, “Jesus, I’ve tried everything else and nothing has worked. I guess I’ll give You a try.”

Instantly, I was changed. Fear and shame were no longer a part of me, but instead, joy and hope filled my heart. Bowing and worshipping my new King, I promised to never let go of His hand.

If my story were a fictional Hollywood movie, perhaps it would resemble It’s A Wonderful Life. Jimmy Stewart would play me and Donna Reed my wife. The angel would get his wings and everyone would live happily ever after. The end.

But sadly, my life has not been a work of fiction. It has been a day to day journey, filled with a few good experiences, but also many mistakes, false starts and failures. Divorce. Loss of friends. Numerous firings from sales positions. Low-paying jobs. Poverty. Rejection. Loneliness. Not exactly, a picture perfect Christian life.

And yet, it has been in the deepest valleys where the Lord has truly revealed Himself to me. It was there He became my loving Father and I learned His grace was sufficient for me.

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US Embassy: This Year In Jerusalem

The following article appeared as a guest column on World Net Daily two days ago:

US Embassy: This Year in Jerusalem

Exclusive: Larry Nevenhoven says God placed Trump in office for “such a time as this”

President Donald Trump repeatedly promised during his presidential campaign that if he were elected, he would move the American Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

His counselor, Kellyanne Conway, backed up Trump’s words last December in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, “That is a very big priority for the president-elect, Donald Trump. He made it pretty clear during the campaign…”

Vice President Mike Pence revived President Trump’s promise in March 2017 at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee convention in Washington DC, “After decades of simply talking about it, the president of the United States is giving serious consideration to moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

But is President Trump really a man who honors his promises or just another political hack, blowing smoke into the ears of Evangelical Christians and American Jews to garner their support?

The modern history of Jerusalem dates back to the armistice signed after Israel’s war of independence in 1948 when Jerusalem was partitioned into two parts. The western half of the city became part of Israel, while Jordan controlled the eastern half, along with the Old City. West Jerusalem became Israel’s capital with the nation’s executive, legislative, and judicial branches set up there.

This East-West partition remained in effect until Jordan attacked West Jerusalem on the second day of the Six-Day War in 1967. The bloody fighting ended with Israel capturing and annexing all of Jerusalem and the entire West Bank. The city has been unified under Israeli control since 1967.

In 1980, Israel passed a law stating Jerusalem was the “complete and united capital of Israel.” The United Nations declared Israel’s law was a violation of International Law and ruled it was null and void. The UN also called upon member nations to withdraw diplomatic missions from the city.

American politicians soon entered into the Jerusalem dispute with Bill Clinton and George W. Bush backing the moving of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem during their respective presidential campaigns in 1992 and 2000. Both showed their true colors when they reneged on their promises as soon as they entered the White House.

In 1995, Congress joined the cause by passing a law, which declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and required the US embassy to move its offices to Jerusalem by 1999. Failure to comply would cause the US State Department to lose half of its budget. The law allowed presidents to waive its requirements for six months at a time if it was determined to be in our nation’s best interests. Clinton, Bush, and Obama have dutifully signed waivers every six months since the passing of the law.

President Trump will face his first six-month waiver deadline in June.

Now, there’s no doubt Trump is up to his hips in alligators as he attempts to drain the swamp in our nation’s capital. Obamacare, building a wall, sanctuary cities, immigration issues, judicial court overstepping, budgetary problems, job creation, and so forth are more than enough monsters for any administration to handle. Yet, let’s be honest about these issues, okay? Trump needs the help of Congress and the Senate for significant changes to occur with these issues. And there’s no guarantee this will ever happen in today’s political climate.

Even so, it’s my deepest belief that the Lord placed President Trump into the oval office for one main reason: moving the American embassy to Jerusalem. Has the Lord ever done something like this before?

“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14)

Over fifteen hundred years ago, the Lord set a Jewish girl named Esther into a leadership position as the Queen of Persia. She risked her reputation and life to fulfill her divine destiny by standing up for the Jews. Esther’s legacy still stands today as a shining example for government leaders to follow.

What are the legacies for the two presidents who defaulted on their promises to move the US embassy to Jerusalem? President Clinton is a convicted liar and President Bush is forever labeled with these words: “Bush lied and thousands died.”

It is tough to look in the rearview mirror to gauge the what-ifs of history, but let’s do it anyway. What might have happened if the two presidents had kept their promises about moving the US embassy to Jerusalem? It’s my opinion the Lord would have honored His promise in Psalm 122:6 by somehow covering their mistakes.

Clinton and Bush are forever cemented into their presidential legacies, but President Trump doesn’t have to make the same mistake that they did. He can honor his promise by moving the American embassy to Jerusalem now.

Let’s pray he does.

Larry Nevenhoven is a Christian author/businessman who has written over 1,400 articles on his Larry Who blog (www.larrywho.com) and published 13 eBooks on Amazon. His letters to editors have appeared in major newspapers from the LA Times to the Virginian Pilot with a dozen or so published on WND.

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