Category Archives: Christians

The Apostles: Men Condemned to Death (Part 2)

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What are the Biblical requirements for being a prophet? Or an evangelist? Or a pastor? Or a teacher?

Actually, outside of being called by the Lord, there are no biblical mandates which have to be met for a believer to become any of these callings. None. Zilch. Nada. Zero.

Now, this does not mean that these callings are imparted without some degree of preparation, but that is strictly the Lord’s decision on what the preparation program will be. He’s the Boss and doesn’t confer with men or groups about His preparation plans.

For instance, when the Lord called me to preach, I didn’t rush off to confer with a pastor or  a group. But rather, I just walked in my calling and used the gifts which came with the calling.

And of course, I made mistakes – lots of them. But my mistakes did not negate the calling on my life. So, I repented often, learned about my calling, and kept on walking in it.

Then, when the Lord called me to be a teacher, I followed the same course. I walked in my calling and began teaching. Period.

Okay, all of that is fine and dandy for the callings of prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher, but what about apostles?

Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord? (1 Corinthians 9: 1)

The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with all perseverance, by signs and wonders and miracles. (2 Corinthians 12:12)

If you check Christian internet websites, you will notice a glut of people who claim to be apostles. It’s almost as if the calling is as common as pennies. They’re all over the place. So, do we just take a person’s word that he (or she) is an apostle and then submit to him? Take a look at what Jesus said:

I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false. (Revelations 2:2)

Someone’s supposed apostolic title is not enough to prove the validity of his or her calling. The true apostle must also have had a visitation with Jesus and he (or she) must have signs, wonders, and miracles which glorify the Lord.

Anything less than these biblical mandates causes the supposed apostle to fail the test.

And guess what? We believers are the ones who must check the apostles out.

(Continued in Part 3…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Praying for Our Children (Part 4)

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Our Hunger for God Empowers Our Children

Nearly twenty-five years ago, a divorce turned my life upside down. This upheaval caused me to be apart from my two children most of the time. It was tough being an estranged father and, at the same time, trying to be a committed believer, godly father, and an example for them.

My only hope was to cry out to the Lord. This resulted in me feeling He wanted me to study the Bible in which I discovered some great blessings for us.

I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies and in your offspring all the nations of the earth will be blessed because you have obeyed My voice.(Genesis 22:17)

 The angel of the Lord spoke the above blessings to Abraham when the patriarch laid his promise −his son Isaac −on the altar and raised his knife to slay him as an offering to God. Abraham’s willingness to obey the voice of God and to trust Him for his provision, even though there was nothing in sight, brought forth this prophetic promise for all of his children and offspring.

Jewish believers receive all of the blessings of Abraham through the patriarch’s covenant with God.  Gentile believers receive the same blessings through our faith in Christ Jesus because we are heirs according to the promises given to Abraham.

What this means is that if we believers endure trials and the testing of our faith, trusting God to bring us through them, like Abraham did, God will bless our children:

(1) with possessing the gates of their enemies and

(2) people will be blessed by our children.

Possessing the gates of the enemies?

In Abraham’s time, cities had walls around them, protecting the city dwellers from their enemies. The gates of the cities were the entrances into the city through the walls and whoever controlled the gates ended up controlling the city. So, possessing the gates of the enemies represents power and control over enemies. 

Thus, this blessing of Abraham states that our children will have control over their enemies and will bless other nations (or people).

Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way He should choose. His soul will abide in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land. (Psalm 25:12-13 NASB)

“His descendants inheriting the land” specifically refers to Israel’s descendants inheriting all of the land God gave them in the Middle East or the Promised Land. For us Gentiles, it means that our offspring will inherit the Promised Lands for their lives, whether it is spiritual or temporal.

I have been young, and nowam old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread. He isever merciful, and lends; and his descendants areblessed. (Psalm 37:25-26 NKJV)

The children of righteous parents will never have to beg for food because the Lord will be their provider. And also, because the righteous parents are gracious with their gifts to others, the children will be blessed.

Praise the LORD! How joyful are those who fear the LORD and delight in obeying his commands. Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.(Psalm 112:1-2 NLT)

Parents who fear the Lord and obey His commandments will have successful children.

 He will bless those who fear the LORD, bothsmall and great. May the Lord give you increase more and more, you and your children. (Psalm 115:14 NKJV)

Parents who fear the Lord will be blessed and their children will be even more blessed.

The righteous who walks in his integrity— blessed are his children after him! (Proverbs 20:7)

Walking in God’s ways brings blessings to our children.

“And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.(Joel 2:28)

Peter referred to this verse in Acts 2:17. Thus, if we walk in the fear of the Lord and in His ways, we can believe our children will prophesy and see visions.

For our children to receive these blessings, the responsibility rests on us parents. We need to be righteous before the Lord, fear Him, and obey His commandments to the best of our abilities. But even then, we must use our faith to believe these blessings will be poured out on our children.

Prayer: “Father, because I am a believer in Jesus Christ, an heir to the blessings of Abraham, have Your Spirit dwelling in me, obey Your voice and Your commandments, and greatly fear You, I believe that my children −(names)−shall posses the gates of their enemies, shall be a blessing to other people, shall inherit the Promised Lands for their lives, shall not be beggars, shall be successful in whatever they attempt to do, shall have greater blessings than I have enjoyed, shall prophesy, and see visions. Now, I thank You, Father, that Your word is truth and that I can stand on it, no matter what my eyes may see; and I thank You that it is Your responsibility to make Your words come to pass in My children’s lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

(The above is an excerpt from Praying for the Frozen Chosen: Our Children by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2016, Amazon eBook)

(Continued in Part 5)

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“Deceived Dead and Delivered” is FREE on Amazon Today

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My book, Deceived Dead and Delivered, is FREE on Amazon today through Sunday.

Amazon book description:

Deceived Dead and Delivered consists of two short novels, a prophetic allegory, and a few short stories, written especially for believers who are looking for answers to today’s tough questions.

In the first short novel, Pull the Plug, life was perfect for Chuck Brewster until that Easter Sunday in San Francisco when the angel arrived and opened Chuck’s eyes. From then on, Chuck’s new revelations stirred up nothing but trouble…or so his wife and family thought.

The second short novel, Deceived Dead and Delivered, takes place near the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, where Daniel and Amanda McCord attend the progressive Jesus Is Love Community Church. Then one morning a new spiritual gift causes Daniel to realize, “demons suck,” and that his church has big problems.

The Great American Church Derby is a prophetic allegory which takes place in a Starbucks with two men drinking coffee. It offers hope to hungry believers who long for a church who truly walks in unity.

The book contains the above, and also a few short stories.

Fiction or revelations? You can decide for yourself after reading Deceived Dead and Delivered.

Available on Amazon for Kindles and Kindle apps.

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Prayers for our Schools (3/13/2018)

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Nothing is more heart wrenching than watching the distraught parents and citizens on TV after a school disaster. I am sure they are all burdened with what they should have done and should have said before the tragedy took place.

It’s too late to do much for them, except pray for the Lord to comfort them in their agony.

But it’s not too late for us now. We can join with the Lord God of Hosts and use the most powerful weapon He has given us — prayer — to protect the school children in our local communities.

My prayer today:

Lord, You said that believers could have whatever things they ask for when they pray if they believed they would receive them. Well, Lord, we believe that You will protect the children in our local schools this week. Thanks for honoring Your Word. Amen. (Based on Mark 11:24

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

Join with me on Tuesdays to fast and pray for school children.

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Inside Israel

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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, brothers and sisters IN HIM Who is our Peace and leads us by His Peace, the peace that passes all understanding and that is able to guard our hearts and minds. He IS The Prince of Peace!  May He, Yeshua h’meshiach, Jesus Christ, be glorified and blessed, and may you be edified and encouraged.

As you know I was able to return to work quite quickly and His Hand was tremendously evident in the outward healing from the surgery, for which I thank Him wholeheartedly. My absence from work reminded me of the depth of relationships that I have been able to form with the many patients, relationships that I could have never even imagined before this job, which were SO TOTALLY out of the range of any of my natural abilities twenty years ago.

Elana Levi came in and literally ran around the desk to grab and give me a strong, loving hug.  What a surprise!  Elana is 85 and not a particularly warm person, but over the past twenty years I have gotten to walk with her and her husband Yerimiyahu (Jeremiah) through some very serious events in their lives.  I would have never known them aside from this job opening the door for me, neither of them speak a word of English.  

“Hooray!!  You are back!” she yelled throwing her arms up in the air as she ran toward me.  “I prayed for you.  We missed you!”

That was voiced over and over and the warmth of the sincerity of the affection flooded me.  Shelly Beno, also in her 80s, shoved a bag into my hands containing a lovely blooming cactus. “We missed you,” she smiled.  She and her husband are originally from Turkey, and they returned there as Israeli ambassadors for years.

Then there was Tsvia, who brought soup to my home, carrying plates of sweet Kurdish pastry that she had made. “Just something sweet for you.” What expressions of love!

God’s ways and thoughts are so SO NOT mine. His are SO much higher and wiser.  I try to ‘\fix and plan and work through my own limited perspective and opinions and interpretations and yet HE WORKS.

Who would have thought that this new immigrant, having almost no Hebrew, 90 pounds at the time, having never worked in a front office, or in the medical profession or with computers, being a hermit by nature, running from stressful situations. For many years not even owning a telephone because of its intrusive qualities, living in rural Alaska for the quiet of it all. That was me twenty years ago!

It’s just a miracle!  HIS doing, HIS way, it has NOT been easy but I can only stand amazed and pray, “Get glory for Yourself Lord.”

And so, Mali (whom many of you have prayed for) has left working alongside me and her cousin Kinneret has taken her place as the secretary for Dr. Meshulam.  WHAT A STORY KINNERET HAS!  Oh yes, I ask for prayer for her.  She is a delightful, qualified, kind, gentle young woman.

No one would guess that she has 5 children between the ages of 2 and 16 and that her mother has been permanently institutionalized in a mental hospital since Kinneret was two.  With joy she described to me how her loving father raised her alone, an only child, and how happy her childhood was, but when she was just 14,  her father had a work accident and broke his neck.  Surgery was necessary but it left him totally paralyzed and in a coma for six months.

When he awoke he was moved to rehabilitation for six months, but at 15, Kinneret, who was now living ALONE, attending school daily, doing her homework at the hospital, taking care of herself, was told that she had to find a home for her 49-year old Dad who would not recover.  She told me how she visited all of the facilities and thought, “How can my young strong Abba sit all day with these Alzheimer geriatric patients?  His mind is so sharp and young…”

But she found him a place where one of the doctors would sit with him, writing the things that he said in books because he was so brilliant and deep. Kinneret loved him and continued doing her homework with him daily.  He died suddenly when she was 16 and then she was alone, but not for long.  She told me that she married her husband at that time, when she was 16 and that he was a lot older.

It wasn’t until I was thinking about her amazing story that it occurred to me that he was likely her father’s friend. So I asked her and yes, that was the case.  I am just getting to know Kinneret, but I KNOW that God put her with me for His purposes.  Surely this young woman has had quite a time thus far.  Perhaps you will pray for her, Mali’s cousin, and The Lord will open a door for me to share with her. NOT IN MY OWN STRENGTH, BUT IN HIS  NOT WITH MY WORDS, BUT WITH HIS?

The people who ride the train and bus with me in the morning are still there.  The bus driver greeted me with a warm smile having not seen me for three weeks.  Most assume that I was on vacation and that is fine with me.  There are three interesting Russian men whom I see most mornings on the train. They form quite an old world trio, sort of stereotypes.  They are all in their 60s I would guess.

The one whom I call the conductor is the intellectual.  Right out of a Russian movie, this dude is cool!  He dresses the part in his levis and corduroy jacket with leather patches on the elbows and sandals, summer and winter.  He leads the conversation. He is the lecturer.  Of course, I don’t speak Russian, but the tone is always revolutionary and intense.  His students carry their lunch in a bag.  One dresses conservatively and wears a knitted kippa (a skull cap that is crocheted…each different kind of kippa identifies partially the path of Judaism chosen).  He listens skeptically to the professor’s discourse and doesn’t often say “dah” or seem to agree.

The second student is a blue collar worker.  He also doesn’t say much but his expressions are openly skeptical.  The Conductor’ is never discouraged. He seems to know that he is superior and that it will take much patience for these countrymen to get it.  The scene repeats itself daily, just another little window into the varying cultures that surround me.

As I left work on Friday, a car stopped and called me over.  Another ex-Russian was inside but one that I love so dearly.  Avital Sharansky, the wife of Natan Sharansky.  (used to be ‘Anatoli’ when he was a refusnik imprisoned in the Siberian gulag for so many years and I used to pray for him and his wife by name as I picked berries on the tundra of Alaska…what a privilege to now be considered their friends!)  Avital is a woman of incredible courage, dignity and amazing compassion.  (Avital Sharansky  you can see her and read a bit about her by pressing on the link – and Natan Sharansky by pressing on this link)

Currently Natan has been leading The Jewish Agency and has held many important government seats.  He is a brilliant, kind, sensitive man. They are our patients.  And so I got another hug.

Alas, I wish that all of our encounters were so straight forward and loving.  Moshe Ma’iri seems like SUCH a lovely man with an Iranian and Yemenite background.  He visits his relatives in the cemetery daily.  There are just so many of them there and, well, they are all buried together, and his cousins come too. So they meet there every morning to honor their parents and have a coffee with each other.  Why not?  It’s good company.

I LIKE Moshe, but he isn’t honest.  Compounding the problem, he’s my husband’s landlord for the barber shop that has been my husband’s livelihood and place of social interaction for some 18 years.  We did not rent the shop from Moshe, but from his Mother, Malcha (now one of the cemetery residents).  Malcha and I became close friends and when she had a stroke she did let me pray for her in Yeshua’s name.

We were still in aliyah crisis when I saw the “for rent” sign on the shop that was to be my husband’s workplace.  We called and Malcha who did not speak any English, so she put her son Moshe on the phone. He came along to interpret  when we met a few minutes later.  I’ll never forget that meeting: The Lord was there!

Although I wasn’t SPEAKING much Hebrew yet, I DID understand what they were saying between one another.  We kept our side in English because my husband didn’t speak any Hebrew.  Moshe quoted us a price that was too high for us, but before we could say anything, his mother, looking deeply at my husband said in Hebrew, “Lower!  They can not pay that,” to us she just kept smiling.  He lowered it and she said, “Lower!” again.

I remember Moshe saying, “Ema! We can get much more for the shop!”’

She glared at him. “Moshe, this is a ben adam (a ‘real person…a good person).  We give it to them for lower.”

He sighed and we rented the shop.

Corruption charges are rocking the government at the highest levels.  YES there are political motives and filthy lies abounding, but there is also corruption, bribes, all of the degradation that tempts those with power and money.  I do not know THE TRUTH about all of the allegations.  I have my opinions.  We will NOT go there.  WE WILL PRAY AND PRAYING WE WILL ASK FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS AND JUSTICE AND TRUTH, NOT as man sees but as God sees.

As I daily read the prophets I shiver to see that these are no ancient books but current events.  That is NOT to say there are no just and God fearing in our midst or in our leadership.  It is to say that we are flesh and blood and need God’s mercy and the revelation of Who He Is!

In a quick nutshell: what is happening here?  There are HOT spots all around us.  The fighting in Syria is heated by serious presence of Iran, Russia and the USA.  Iran has been building weapons factories for Hisbollah right on our border. Things with Iran ARE HEATING UP!

Turkey is always brooding.  Egypt is currently all out in fighting against ISIS in the Sinai Peninsula, where they have gotten a huge stronghold. From there, they have been wrecking havoc upon Egyptians, particularly the Christians.  There have been several deadly tragic terrorist attacks here in our midst, leaving more tears and orphaned children and more cross border attacks from Gaza. More rhetoric…more hate…more more.  (and yes, we grieve with the tragic events in your countries as well, shaking so many of you.)

NONETHELESS, HERE I can report: children, even small children, still walk the streets alone in safety and 16 or 18 year olds will celebrate their birthdays with all of the passengers on the bus (with Jewish and Arab alike) by handing out candies or pretzels that we can all bless them.

 Below I do have LOCAL news links and a brief description.  I ‘bookmark’ these sites and usually check them daily.  I hope that these are helpful for you:

ISRAEL HAYOM  more right leaning…many excellent bright writers.

YNET NEWS  more left leaning (often quite anti govt.) but some up to date articles and insights.

JERUSALEM POST   written with an Anglo perspective

TIMES OF ISRAEL   well written, again, more left leaning

ARUTZ 7  right leaning, religious

INTERCESSORS FOR ISRAEL  this is our IFI site and the news insights are accurate

ISRAEL PRAYER CENTER   this is my Pastor’s site.  It is not often updated, but worth the read.

Again, I want to thank you for your prayers.  Like with many I hear from, there has been a struggle going on.  We have an enemy.  Currently I am dealing with a new level of deep fatigue that is nearly debilitating, although I set my will against it.  HE IS OUR STRENGTH, our wrestling is not against flesh and blood.  AND HE IS OUR PEACE.

We are again on our way to Purim and so soon after arrives Passover  I send you my love.  May we be found abiding in Him, lead forth by His Peace.

Lovingly,

your sister J

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Black Mothers: Choose Life for Your Sons (Part 11)

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“Wherever we want to go, we can only get there from where we are. Not where we think we are, or wish we are, or where we want others to think we are, but where we are in fact right now. But political spin and pious euphemisms don’t tell us where we are. After a while, such rhetorical exercises don’t even fool others. If we don’t have the truth, we don’t have anything to start with and build on.” (Thomas Sowell)

70% of African-Americans live in America’s inner cities or inner-ring suburbs. Most of the following facts refer to that 70% of African-Americans. These facts are not written to throw stones at our inner city black brothers and sisters, but to eventually, bring glory to Jesus.

  1. The abortion rate for African-American women is five times higher than it is for white women, accounting for 37% of all abortions in America.
  2. 1 in 3 African-American men can expect to spend time in prison during their lifetimes.
  3. 70% of juvenile arrests in America are African-American youths.
  4. One third of all welfare recipients are African-Americans.
  5. Each year, roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered. Ninety-four percent of the time, the murderer is another black person.
  6. 72 percent of black babies are born out of wedlock. 
  7. Poverty rate among African-Americans is 36%.
  8. The homicide rate among males between the ages of 14 and 17 is nearly 10 times higher for blacks than for whites and Hispanics combined.
  9. The preponderance of school violence in America occurs in big-city schools attended by inner city black students.
  10. Black education is in a state of shambles for elementary and high schools in most inner cities of America.

Without a doubt, the above facts are discouraging, but here’s the irony of it all:

  1. Inner city African-Americans are the most devout Christian group in America and the difference is 21 percentage points higher than the next group.
  2. African-Americans are even more conservative on the social issues of abortion and homosexuality than the rest of the population.

Just to remind everyone: in the last part, I wrote about a vision I had of a black river flowing out of the Inner Cities of America filled with black apostles and prophets who had characters approaching that of Jesus.

So, how will God do this?

(Continued in Part 12…the full series to date can be seen here.)

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Black Mothers: Choose Life For Your Sons (Part 4)

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Once I spoke in the West and a Christian told me, “I’ve been praying that the Communist government in China will collapse, so Christians can live in peace.”

“This is not what we pray!” said Brother Yun, a Chinese house church leader. “We never pray against our government or call down curses on them. Instead, we have learned that God is in control of both our lives and the government we live under. Isaiah prophesied about Jesus, “The government will be on His shoulders.” 

God has used China’s government for His own purposes, molding, and shaping His children as He sees fit. Instead of focusing our prayers against any political system, we pray that regardless of what happens to us, we will be pleasing to God.

Don’t pray for the persecution to stop. We shouldn’t pray for a lighter load to carry, but a stronger back to endure. Then the world will see that God is with us, empowering us to live in a way that reflects His love and power.

This is true freedom.

(The Heavenly Man: The Remarkable True Story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun by Brother Yun and Paul Hattaway, 2003, Piquant Publishing, pages 286-287)

Where are the hottest fires of revival burning right now in the world? It’s in China.

Even though the Communist government continues to crack down on house churches calling them illegal, even though thousands of believers are now suffering and tortured in prisons, even though there is a lack of Bibles and training, Christianity is exploding with new members each week. It is an out of control fire, burning across China.

Now, I know we American believers struggle with Brother Yun’s thinking about submission to cruel governments. Our roots are sunk deep into democratic thinking and lifestyles.  Even our churches align themselves with one political party or another. Yet, let’s be honest with each other, okay?

Our brand of Christianity here in America is divided, lifeless, and there’s no revival in sight. Yes, there are all kinds of prophecies about a great revival heading toward America, but those prophetic words have been bandied about for over twenty years now. Where’s the revival?

Maybe we’re doing something wrong. Maybe we can learn something from our brothers and sisters in China.

After all, who did Rev. Martin Luther King, Junior, model his activism after? An Asian by the name of Mahatma Gandhi.

So, how can this help America’s inner cities with their struggle against racism?

(Continued in Part 5…the full series to date can be seen here.

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