Monthly Archives: October 2017

Prayers for America (10/19/2017)

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If only we would have…

These are the sorriest words in the English language after a calamity strikes. Why? Because then it’s too late to do what should have been done earlier.

My prayer today:

Lord, help American believers to rise up early to seek You now and cause our souls to thirst for You and our flesh to long for You because our nation is a dry and thirsty land in need of Your Spirit now. (Based on Psalm 63:1)

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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Prayers for American Christians’ Eyes to be Opened (10/17/2017)

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If I could, I’d run up and down the West Coast, screaming, “Don’t you see the calamities heading our direction? Don’t you believe we ought to change now? Tomorrow may be too late!”

Then, why don’t I do it?

A bald-headed, seventy-one year old man — without the anointing of God upon him — will have the same effect warning people as a person spitting into the ocean to raise its water level. Not much!

My prayer today:

Lord, I pray that the Spirit of Truth will open the eyes of American believers to all truth and will reveal to us things that will soon arrive here on the West Coast. (Based on John 16:13)

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

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for American believers’ eyes to be opened.

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Prayers for America (10/12/2017)

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Do we really believe demons are a big cause of our problems in America?

Here’s a fact: 68% of church going men view porn on a regular basis.

To back up the above figures: 76% of young adult Christians (18-24 years old) regularly seek out porn.

Then they were all amazed and spoke among themselves, saying, “What a word this is! For with authority and power He commands the unclean spirits, and they come out.” (Luke 4:36)

We are to be like Jesus while we live in this world. If He had authority and power to cast out unclean spirits, then we also should have the same authority and power.

Okay, then why aren’t we casting out demons?

There are probably many answers including bad teaching, lack of fasting, lack of prayer, lack of faith, reliance on psychology and counseling, deception by Satan, and so forth. But remember this — these answers are really excuses for not wholeheartedly seeking the Lord and then a willingness to follow His directions.

My prayer today:

Lord, raise up a generation of American believers who are willing to pay the price of seeking Your anointing to release the captives and set the oppressed free from the bondages placed on them by the kingdom of darkness. (Base on Luke 4:18)

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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Prayers for American Christian’s Eyes to be Opened (10/10/2017)

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On the one hand, it’s easy to give your life to Jesus. All you have to do is believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior and you will be eternally saved. This is the best deal any of us will ever receive.

But on the other hand, being His disciple and a true follower require much more of us. He even told us to count the cost ahead of time before making a decision and then gave two illustrations of what He meant:

28 “But don’t begin until you count the cost. For who would begin construction of a building without first calculating the cost to see if there is enough money to finish it? 29 Otherwise, you might complete only the foundation before running out of money, and then everyone would laugh at you. 30 They would say, ‘There’s the person who started that building and couldn’t afford to finish it!’

31 “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? 32 And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away. (Luke 14:28-32)

My prayer today:

Lord, open the eyes of American Christians to the true costs of being Your disciples, especially about laying our lives down daily, picking up our crosses, and following You. (Based on Luke 9:23)

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

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for American believers’ eyes to be opened.

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Spiritual Warfare in San Francisco (Part 9)

Seven weeks later, on the first Sunday in February, the sun shone brightly. But we natives knew the weather can change quickly so I carried an umbrella with me as I walked to a local Starbucks. I ordered a large coffee and sat down in an easy chair, which was part of a four-chair setting, surrounding a large round coffee table. The other chairs were empty.

A copy of the Sunday Chronicle lay in the middle of the table. I picked it up and scanned the front page. A bold headline, “Are Christians Acting Crazy Again,” captured my eyes. I thumbed through the newspaper’s pages until I found the full article.

The journalist replayed the words of Bob and the three computer programmers in the telling of a possible nuclear catastrophe occurring in San Francisco. He contrasted the actions with what Christians were doing and saying with what Harold Camping and his zealots did a few years earlier.

Camping’s followers believed his doomsday prophecies, too. They quit their jobs, wasted their money, and then nothing happened. Although the zealots felt the pain of losing everything, their total financial affect on America amounted to less than a drop of water in the Pacific Ocean.

This time was different.

The article estimated 40,000 Christian families packed up and left San Francisco. A few, like Bob, sold their homes and their businesses at deep discounts, but most were less fortunate. The sheer glut of homes dropping onto the real estate and rental markets depressed housing prices in the city almost overnight.

Even more than that, 40,000 Christian families amounted to an estimated total of 156,000 people or 20% of the city’s population. The numbers further broke down into 60,000 job losses, $1.8 billion of gross income losses, and $400 million of tax losses for the city. The losses had already begun to fuel layoffs at schools and retail stores. The Christians shredded San Francisco’s economy into pieces by their mass departures.

“What do you think of the article about the Christians?”

I lowered the paper and looked at a middle-aged woman with green eyes sitting in a chair across from me. Her deep voice did not match her petite shape and thin lips. Although not beautiful, her face had an alluring radiance about it.

“I don’t know what to think,” I replied.

“Do you think God will destroy San Francisco because the city cares about gays and lesbians?”

I shrugged.

“Good question.”

“Or do you think God is just mean?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, I do.”

“Really?”

“Yes, I do,” she said, moving forward in her seat. “God is a God of love. He loves gays and lesbians. He loves people. He would never allow San Francisco to be bombed. Those fundamentalists are so deceived…they just make me want to scream.”

I laughed.

“My name is Jackson Edwards. What’s yours?”

“Holly Brightman.”

“Do you always get so worked up over fundamentalist Christians?”

“Yes, I do. My dad pastored a fundamentalist church forty years ago. I’ve listened to a thousand sermons about how God is always angry with sinners. It wasn’t until I attended Berkeley that I learned there are progressive Christians who understand God is a God of love.”

“Sounds interesting.”

She looked at her watch and jumped up.

“I have to go. I have a meeting at 9, but maybe we’ll see each other again,” she said, waving her hand and heading toward the door.

I watched her leave, wishing I had asked for her phone number.

Talk radio, TV, and other media ranted about the newspaper article over the next week and how San Francisco’s citizens were left holding the bag because of the Christians’ departure. Politicians jumped into the fray, adding their two bit’s worth. Some even advocated bills not allowing new churches to be opened in the Bay Area.

Everyone had an opinion about the Christians and why they left San Francisco.

(Excerpt from Deceived Dead and Delivered by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2013, Amazon eBook)

Would God ever ask every Christian to leave San Francisco, or for that matter, any city? Has He ever done that?

In 68 AD, a prophecy warned every Christian to leave Jerusalem and they did. Two years later, Jerusalem was destroyed by the Roman army under General Titus. The Romans slaughtered one million Jews.

(Continued in Part 10…the full series to date  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 —

“Chag Sameach!” or Joyous Holy-day from Jerusalem, dear sisters and brothers.  BLESSINGS IN THE LIGHT OF YESHUA to each of you.  To the Light of His Face may we be drawn and in that Light may we be changed by Him and for HIS glory Alone.  May He be blessed and glorified and may you be blessed and encouraged.

I wondered what I would do.  This year, for the first time, I did NOT seem to have Sukkot (feast of tabernacles) on my mind or in my heart.  WHAT TO DO?

“LORD HELP!”  I prayed.

Since we live in this apartment, it is difficult to make our merepesset (balcony) into a sukka, and with my husband away, the difficulty is compounded.

He left for England to visit our older daughter and family early yesterday morning.  I was up at 3 a.m. to have some time with the Lord and have his breakfast on the table by 4.  We have a system here that I think is great: the sheroot.  Any of you who have visited Israel will likely at this point roll your eyes, laugh, and remember a weird and harrowing ride to or from the airport.

Sheroots are generally 9-11 seater vans that pick you and your luggage up at your apartment for about a third of the price of a taxi. Only, the drivers are humorous and sometimes grumpy total maniacs. It can be scary, downright terrifying for the uninitiated.  The assortment of people, languages, and cultures in any given sheroot can be an education. The cell phones can be maddening.  I find it funny.

The sheroot came to pick him up at APPROXIMATELY 5 a.m. A quick prayer and kiss and they were off…and there I stood.

Alone!

It was still very quiet, except for the garbage truck. At 5:15, the second morning train appears and stops for 10 minutes in front of our apartment until the 5:30 schedule gets flowing. Public transportation here does NOT run through the night but stops at 11 or 12, depending upon the line, and begins again at 5:30 a.m. It also does not run on Shabat or holy days.

As I crossed in front of the train I glanced up to see the driver.  She happened to be a woman and was intently powdering her nose in the mirror of the train. For some reason unknown to me, I began to breathe again and to feel some life come back into me and laugh.

Although I had been up for two hours already, I knew that much lay before me. I wouldn’t see my bed again for at least 15 hours.

One of our very dear brothers at Kehila lost his father on Yom Kippur.  We knew that he was taking it hard. Despite MUCH prayer and sharing, and the fact that he was with his father when he passed, his father had not turned his life over to Yeshua before dying that he knew about. I knew his grief was deep.  It is a common situation here sadly, painfully, to find ONE member of a family who knows Him. It is my situation still as well

I have explained before about the Schiva or the practice of sitting in a place of mourning for 7 days with the door open. EVERYONE comes to comfort you, to talk, share, remember, bringing food and eating WITH the grieving people. They do this so the mourning family can keep their strength up and also are distracted somewhat from focusing on their profound loss.  In this case, because Sukkot is a high holyday, one commanded in scripture, they had to get up from thjeir mourning at noon today, so the schiva was shortened.

Our brother and his family live in Modiin, a town or small city half way between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.  It is over the green line so we need to go through check points.  My dear sister, who is 83, offered to take me because we don’t have a car. I knew it was going to be interesting when she said, “I’m not sure how to get there but you can direct me and read the signs as I can’t see very well.”

I rode with her to Kehila on Shabbat so I know that she has a habit of just stopping in the middle of the road while she’s driving along the highway to decide if she’s going right. Armed with MUCH PRAYER, a 2005 map, and a vague address, we took off into the hills.  An hour and a half later we were stopping people in the town asking for directions.

“Give me your phone, I’ll set up your way (the local GPS) for you,” said one young man when we showed him the map.  He didn’t know what a map was.  We handed him in our phones and he couldn’t figure out what THEY were either.

“I’ll photograph the directions for you,” he kindly told us, “where is the camera?”

The generation gap was physically tangible!

BUT being lost in Modiin had one great advantage.  EVERYBODY and I mean EVERYBODY was busy building their sukkas, the old fashioned way AND I CAUGHT THE VISION AGAIN.

Here in Jerusalem over the years these sort of instant sukkas became more and more popular: either a plywood shack with a bamboo mat cover or pre-fab metal poles that hook together with prepared stamped design material walls. You know, a plastic Christmas tree approach.

When we first came to Jerusalem, everyone had palm frond roofs with rugs and assorted material walls. They were very creative and special.  In Modiin people were everywhere carrying branches and palm fronds and woven rugs made the sides. I smiled dspite the fact that we were heading to a schiva to comfort our brother.

My joy increased as we sat in a full room, off to the side with our brother, and found that The Lord HAD INDEED been encouraging his heart and the victory was all over him.  Our Lord is faithful! We had wonderful fellowship, encouraging one another with the faithfulness of The Lord.   I came home alive, inspired, victorious and exhausted.

But there ARE sukkas everywhere here as well, pre-fab and not. They are in front of every restaurant, alongside the bus stops, at the supermarket, on sidewalks, housetops, in parks, and so forth.  I, along with the other inhabitants of Jerusalem, have been delighted by what the Lite Rail has done, taking school children’s drawings and patterning them like a quilt design, printing them on a long strip like wallpaper. They plastered the ceilings of the train with these colorful rug designs.   It’s delightful.   I love to walk the dog at night and see the lights inside and the shadows of the families, laughter ringing out as they celebrate together in their homes. Many will sleep and eat there for the full 7 days.

Anyone can go into anyone’s sukka and just sit down and soon you are friends with everyone. It is a country of open houses right now as we participate in His pattern to: ‘REMEMBER WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US WHEN HE BROUGHT US OUT OF EGYPT WITH A STRONG OUTSTRETCHED ARM AND WE DWELT IN TEMPORARY, FLIMSY DWELLINGS.”

We get to look up at the vast sky filled with dreams of universes of stars through the God-made network of branches and tree limbs and remember how small and finite we are. He is HUGE and INFINITE!

HOW BLESSED WE ARE IN THIS!  Would that we LEARN and bend our stiff necks to worship and not forget…

It was such a short time ago that I wrote to you about the almond blossoms and the tiny first buds of the rimon (pomegranate).  Today as I arrived at work, the trees on the block were full of bursting red, ripe pomegranates.  The almond tree in front of my work is dropping its ripe almonds.

The fullness of time HAS COME!

I am writing now BECAUSE I was alone tonight in my sort-a-non-sukka-sukka.  When I walked the dog, we cut many leafy branches, including a couple of small palm fronds, olive branches, pomegranate branches, fig branches, but I couldn’t make a ceiling nor really hang up sides. So I assembled something leafy. We have a big leafy tree that hangs over our merepesset, so I look up and smile, and give thanks to HIM Who cares so tenderly and is so totally faithful, EVEN WHEN WE WALK THROUGH FIRES AND FLOODS, We must gaze at the gates of death.

So on this, the first night of Sukkot, I am finally off to bed.  Thank you for taking the time to read, thank you for your love, thank you for the encouragement that I receive through many of you, but mostly, thank you for your prayers and for being a delight to Him Who is worthy.!

God BLESS you!

Lovingly, your sis

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Prayers for America (10/5/2017)

“When you think it’s too late, be careful that you don’t let that become your excuse for giving up. No one can keep you from success except yourself. When it’s time to shine, be your brightest.” (Deshun Wang)

The star of the above video, Deshun Wang, does not claim to be a Christian, but still we can be inspired by his determination to succeed.

So, if you have a vision from God, one that has not come forth in your life as yet, don’t give up. God is still able to fulfill your vision because:

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable [for He does not withdraw what He has given, nor does He change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call]. (Romans 11:29 Amplified Translation)

My prayer today:

Lord, help those of us who have not walked in our callings and visions given to us by You, whether we are sixteen or one hundred years old, to fulfill our divine destinies and redemptive purposes here on earth before we take our last breaths. Help us to no longer settle for excuses of why we can’t succeed, but to be confident that He who has begun a good work in us will complete it. (Based in part on Philippians 1:6)

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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