Category Archives: grace

Memories Pizza, Indiana, Christianity, and How Not to Win Spiritual Battles? (Part 1)

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Conservative leader Patrick Buchanan, author of Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025, in an interview for WND, urged Christians to fight the “LGBT fanatics” who are demanding they betray their faith, even if it means civil disobedience.

Buchanan stated:

“This battle can be won, but it cannot be won if we do not stand our ground and fight against this moral onslaught from the left,” he said. “The hill to stand on and fight on is the God-given natural right and the constitutional principle that people of faith may choose not to associate with those whose actions are abhorrent and whose lifestyle is insulting and offensive to that faith…

“The LGBT militants are not asking to be left alone,” he said. “They are demanding that we accept the morality of homosexuality and same-sex marriages, and manifest that acceptance, under pain of law and sanctions, in our daily lives.”

“As the Romans demanded of the Christians, the LGBT fanatics want us to burn incense to their gods. The answer is no. If it comes to civil disobedience, so be it.” (Full article on interview can be seen here.)

James Dobson of Family Talk Radio, Rick Scarborough of Vision America Action, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel, James Robison of Life Today, and Dr. Michael L. Brown are also mentioned in the article as supporting Buchanan’s hypothesis of possible civil disobedience. Dobson was quoted as saying:

“Are we going to sit on our reputations and go to our graves without having played a role? This is Roe v. Wade all over again. I am standing shoulder to shoulder with all who will stand up for God’s Word concerning marriage. We don’t know all of the steps that must be taken, but God will reveal His will. To the extent that I am able to influence anybody, I will do it with passion.

Dr. Michael Brown added:

“We will treat everyone with civility and respect, but the government or the media or popular pressure will not force us to violate our convictions and beliefs. You will not steal our religious freedoms.” 

So, should we listen to Patrick Buchanan and the others and follow their lead down the slippery slope to possible civil disobedience? And is this how to win the spiritual battle?

(Continued in Part 2)

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8 Exchanges at the Cross

 

My Aussie friend, Roger Williams, at Reality Revelations had the above video on his blog site. The video is 5 minutes long and well worth viewing, but what caught my attention was when Derek Prince spoke about the 8 exchanges which happened at the cross.

Prince said:

The cross is the center of the whole Christian faith. All the evil that was due us was thrust on Jesus. All the good that was due Jesus was made available to us. At the cross, 8 exchanges took place.

1. Jesus was punished that we might be forgiven.

2. Jesus was wounded that we might be healed.

3. Jesus was made sin with our sinfulness that we might be righteous with His righteousness.

4. Jesus died our death that we might receive His life.

5. Jesus endured our poverty that we might endure His abundance.

6. Jesus bore our shame that we might share His glory.

7. Jesus endured our rejection that we might have His acceptance with God the Father.

8. Jesus was made a curse that we might receive the blessing.

(This is a rerun from May 28, 2013)

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Learning How to Pray Effectively in 59 Seconds or Less (Part 9)

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Charlie Peace was a criminal. Laws of God or man curbed him not. Finally the law caught up with him, and he was condemned to death. On the fatal morning in Armley Jail, Leeds, England, he was taken on the death-walk. Before him went the prison chaplain, routinely and sleepily reading some Bible verses.

The criminal touched the preacher and asked what he was reading. “The Consolations of Religion,” was the reply.

Charlie Peace was shocked at the way he professionally read about hell. Could a man be so unmoved under the very shadow of the scaffold as to lead a fellow-human there and yet, dry-eyed, read of a pit that has no bottom into which this fellow must fall? Could this preacher believe the words that there is an eternal fire that never consumes its victims, and yet slide over the phrase without a tremor? Is a man human at all who can say with no tears, “You will be eternally dying and yet never know the relief that death brings”? All this was too much for Charlie Peace. So he preached. Listen to his on-the-eve-of-hell sermon:

“Sir,” addressing the preacher, “if I believed what you and the church of God say that you believe, even if England were covered with broken glass from coast to coast, I would walk over it, if need be, on hands and knees and think it worthwhile living, just to save one soul from an eternal hell like that! (Why Revival Tarries, Leonard Ravenhill, p. 32)

Like the prison chaplain, we American believers are hindered by our own apathy. Oh yes! We may toss a few prayer darts toward heaven for our children and family, but that’s about it. Our neighbors, friends, fellow citizens, people in foreign nations− they’re on their own. God helps those who help themselves, right?

Even though we are under grace, there are spiritual laws. One of them is:

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. (Galatians 6:7)

In the years ahead, when tough times slam America, we will each reap what we sow. If we have sown prayerlessness and apathy, we will reap the same in our desperate hours of need. But if we have been zealous and prayed for others, we will reap the prayers of many when we need them the most.

Make up your mind what you want to reap in the future now.

What are other hindrances?

(Continued in Part 10)

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Friday’s Prayers for Prisoners (4/25/2014)

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After a person has committed a horrible crime, the media normally interviews the criminal’s neighbors. What do the neighbors invariably say?

“Hey, he was a nice guy. We just can’t believe he has committed a horrible crime like that.”

Why do the neighbors generally say this?

The answer is simple: they did not know the man. Period.

Sadly, we American Christians do not know our neighbors. Oh, hallelujah, we love driving ten miles to a church where we worship with believers who agree with us on doctrines. But Lord knows, we won’t walk fifty feet to knock on our neighbors’ doors, introducing ourselves and asking if we can serve them in any way.

You know, we might as well live in a prison cell block for all the good we’re doing in our own neighborhoods.

Today, I prayed:

Lord, help us Americans to love our neighbors as ourselves so that we can help our neighbors bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, and endure all things. (Based on Mark 12:31 and 1 Corinthians 13:7)

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

Join with me on Fridays to fast and pray for prisoners, according to Hebrews 13:3.

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Inside Israel

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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 …

Blessings from quiet Jerusalem on a beautiful shabat in springtime.  May The Lord Yeshua be blessed and glorified and may you be blessed and edified.  Together may we be encouraged deeper, deeper into Him.

A couple of weeks ago, as my husband and I were out for our Shabat walk in the mountains surrounding Jerusalem, we had to laugh with joy at the wonder of the spring carpet of nearly microscopic flowers.  This isn’t the first time that I’ve seen them, nor is it the first place.  The first time I saw them was back in 1975 in California in the large horse pasture in front of our so-called cabin.  I was so knew in knowing Him, but His tender voice called me to join Him outside for a walk.

As we walked that very early spring morning, I felt Him tell me to look down. So I did.  I could barely discern the tiny white flowers.  I got down on my knees to look, and there before me was a literal carpet of these itty bitty white flowers stretching as far as my eye could see.  When I stood up, it all looked green again, but now I was aware of the flowers so that my eyes could pick them out. I worshipped Him for His beauty.

Later that evening, around sunset, He seemed to call me outside again and repeat the walk, so I went.  Again I felt Him tell me to look down.  As I did this time I saw a different carpet, for the evening, there were tiny diamonds of purple in the grass.  They looked the same and they were just as abundant, but as different as, well, sunrise and sunset.  As I worshipped Him for such beauty and thought about how billions of flowers are hidden from human eyes, blooming in remote corners of the earth for a day or an hour or even a minute, I felt that I heard His Voice speaking to me. He said, “You are on your path and someday you will meet The Artist Who created all of this.”

I’m sorry that I can’t capture for you the true wonder of the moment, but such a shiver of anticipation and longing went through me. I recall that day whenever I see again the tiny hidden joyful wonders.

This past Monday I stood outside of work waiting for someone.  I looked up.  My mouth dropped open and my heart leapt for flying over my head were the migrating storks coming from Africa.  Now, if you haven’t seen them, these storks are BIG.  They darkened the sky as they flew over.  I’ve had the great privilege of living near and often seeing great flights of the California Condor, bald eagles in huge number, the migration of the trumpeter swans, snow geese, and others, but you can only see them when you look up.

I called to a young woman passing by, telling her excitedly, “Look,  look up,” but she had her iPhone stuck in her ears and couldn’t hear me. She missed it.

And that got me praying and thinking as I stood there waiting, about how we have to have eyes to see and ears to hear or we miss it in the Spirit as well as the flesh.  I thought, “There He is when I look down, and there He is when I look up.”  I began to meditate on His ABSOLUTE FAITHFULNESS when I look at WHO is behind it all.  All around me are His Fingerprints and my faith received the boost that I had been praying for. But OF COURSE He already is in the future, which my brain knows, but perhaps it is only me who finds themselves of little faith.

Israel is one of the world’s centers for bird watching, by the way.  Situated in the fertile crescent, at the corner of Africa, Europe and the Orient, the bird migrations are wonderful. The country has cultivated areas to make it both safe and inviting to God’s creatures as they carry out their mysterious pattern.  There is just so much of His character illustrated in the creatures, but I guess, in all creation and particularly in man, all are created in His Image.

Now, THAT is the lesson that I have found so hard to learn.

When I left NYC in my late teens, early twenties, it was because I never LIKED people, and NYC was FULL of them. Noisy,   demanding PEOPLE.  They didn’t understand me and I didn’t understand them and that was that.  I am pretty sure that I told you that very shortly after I was saved, while living in the same house with the horse pasture I mentioned above, a difficult thing had happened. I went running up the mountain behind my house and pressed into Him until I was worshipping Him and enjoying the stillness of the trees and the beauty that seemed to worship all around me.  I said to Him, “Oh it is so wonderful.  I will just stay in the woods and worship You with all of nature.”

He answered me with a sad tinge in His Voice, calling me by name, “I did not die for the trees.”

And I knew that He was not going to allow me to live in remote areas forever and it scared me.  However in His mercy, He allowed me so many years of learning in those hot houses that He has, undisturbed by noise and the demands of hustle and bustle.

In this new apartment I am finding that I have to finally face this battle with my flesh once and for all.

I think that is why that above faith lesson was so critical for me just now.  My CONFESSION can be right on and I DO believe what I confess, but my EMOTIONS have been in utter rebellion.  I grump to The Lord that I want the leeks and garlic of Egypt . It gives me the shivers just to think of it that way.

I ride the noisy uncomfortable train, the bus, work in a high demand noisy doctor’s office, ride the noisy bus and train again and then come home. And at home, there is MORE noise and people shouting in front of my apartment and yet you are telling me to PRAY for them and, even worse, to LOVE them and I DON’T.

Oh I can love and pray for people in nice small portions, bouquets’ of people, but ALL OF THESE?  HELP!

And He is.  Slowly slowly I am going out on to our “merepesset” (balcony) and praying for all of the people below me.  I WANT to love them as He loves them and see each one as an individual.  I WANT to care about their eternity.  And I WANT to pray for them in earnest and with His passion.  He IS faithful.

So, those are my observations for today. ..and some confessions.  God bless and keep you close to Him for His glory and the furtherance of His kingdom.

Lovingly,

your sis in Jerusalem J

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Lord, Help me Love Democrats (Part 4)

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In the late 1980’s, Charisma Magazine published an interview of Dr. David Yonggi Cho, pastor and founder of Yoido Full Gospel Church in Seoul, Korea. Cho stated the simple reason Yoido had 1,000,000 members was prayer. He went on to say that he and his four hundred assistant pastors averaged three hours per day in prayer. The church’s prayer team consisted of 250,000 members, each averaging between two and three hours per day in prayer.

Cho felt everything accomplished by his church began in prayer and finished with prayer.

“Dr. Cho, will America ever have a church like Yoido Full Gospel Church?” asked the interviewer.

“No,” replied David Yonggi Cho, “Americans aren’t willing to pay the price it costs to pray enough to make such a church happen.”

The accuracy of Cho’s words bugged me then and still does today.

But interestingly enough, Yoido Full Gospel began in 1973, the exact year Roe vs. Wade became law and also when Rev. Jerry Falwell noticed the moral decline in America.

For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. (2 Corinthians 10:3)

Rev. Jerry Falwell was first of all a speaker, as in preacher and teacher. His radio and television programs afforded him speaking outlets. The megachurch membership at Thomas Road Baptist Church was built on his speaking abilities.

I’m not insinuating Falwell did not pray because I’m sure he did, but his main tool, as with most American pastors, was speaking.

And what is the main tool of politicians? Of course, it’s speaking.

Why do you think the conservatives and Republicans asked Falwell to co-found Moral Majority, along with Paul Weyrich? Falwell was the dynamic speaker who had a base of followers and Weyrich understood grassroots politics.

All of this makes logical sense to fight bad laws and policies with a dynamic Christian political speaker and super-activist political organizer, but spiritual battles are not won with logic.

For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

I believe one of Rev. Falwell’s main mistakes was fighting a spiritual battle with fleshly weapons, much like politicians do. Sadly, this mistake continues today.

(Continued in Part 4)

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Lord, Help me Love Democrats (Part 1)

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What national leader do you trust? President Obama? Vice President Biden? Senate Majority Leader Reid? Senate Minority Leader McConnell? Speaker of the House Boehner? House Majority Leader Cantor? House Minority Leader Pelosi? Any senator? Any congressional representative? Or even the Republican Party or Democratic Party? Can you believe much of anything these leaders ever say?

If you have the common sense of an amoeba, your answer has to be “NO.”

But maybe you think your favorite politicians and favorite political parties are better than the opposition because your favorites lie less than the other political side. Okay, maybe you are correct with your assumptions, but a liar who prevaricates fewer times than another politician is still what? That’s right! That politician is still a liar.

Good golly Miss Molly!

How did America end up with shameless liars for leaders who have not an ounce of remorse in them, even when they are caught in their lies?

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” (Pogo Comic Strip poster, Walt Kelly, Earth Day, 1970)

Most of us Christians are quick to point our fingers at politicians, judges, attorneys, the media, talk show hosts, or whoever and blame them for America’s downfall. But that is foolish because we believers are the ones who should be wearing sackcloth and ashes, bowing down before everyone in our shame for allowing America to undergo such a horrendous transformation on our watch. We are the blame! Repeat: we are the blame!

It won’t be long before both political parties will be labeling the 2014 Midterm Elections as “the most important elections” in the history of America. So to be ahead of the curve, let’s look at what I consider some bad choices we believers have made over the last sixty years which need to be handled now.

(Continued in Part 2)

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Why Should We Prepare And Plan Now?

 

Here’s a prophetic video for America, which none of us ever want to watch because once we do, we’re forced to make decisions.

Do we believe what Dean Odle says in the video?

If we don’t believe him, then there are no problems. We can continue on with our lives, believing Odle is another Harold Camping, deserving of having verbal rocks thrown at him.

Yet, if we do believe him, then what will we do? Just add the info to our mental archives, waiting for one of those rainy days which never seem to come. Or do we begin acting right now?

The choice is ours to make.

As for me, it’s a no-brainer. My books listed on the right sidebar− Jonah, Prophecy 101, Planning + Preparation = Survival, What’s In It For Me? − were especially written for the scenarios described by Dean Odle in the above video.

Like so many times in the past, my British friend, Mercedes, at Believe, alerted me to this video by posting it on her site. Thanks Mercedes and God bless you for your hearing heart. 

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I Want This Girl On My Prayer Team. What About You?

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Obviously, the photographer helped set up the above photo and probably said something like, “Put your hands together and pray.”

The two Dalit children on the left side of the photo obeyed the directions, but still kept their dark eyes on the photographer. Their curiosity was too big a hurdle to overcome, and to be honest, I would have done the same at their ages.

The Dalit girl in blue seemed to care little about the activity around her and took the opportunity to pray. Maybe she’s praying for her parents. Or her grandparents. Or her brothers and sisters. Or her neighbors. Or whatever.

Do you think God listens to her prayers?

After all, God has a lot of problems to handle right now, with Israel and Syria most likely topping the list. And the girl is just another Dalit child who is dirt poor, an untouchable in India’s caste system, and the least of the least in the world’s largest democracy.

Yet, when she prays, I believe all of heaven is poised to move on her behalf.

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 18:10)

This photo reminds me of the six children Carol and I sponsor in Gospel For Asia’s Bridge of Hope program. Every letter we receive from our kids tells how much they enjoy praying for us.

So, when you think of Larry Who, think about Team Larry Who and our six kids praying for us.

If you want, you can start building your own team today by going here. Your team can be as large as you want…that’s up to you.

 

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What Can One Child Do?

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Here’s the story of one family that was changed because of their son’s involvement in a Gospel For Asia’s Bridge of Hope center. The boy’s father, Rajiv, relates what happened:

After attending the Bridge of Hope center, my son used to come home and say, “This is what my sir said, and this is what our teacher taught us.” Regarding our way of living, regarding our health and hygiene, he would come and tell us. It was kind of exciting! So, when my son says something to me, for example, about hygiene, I am changing.

Some of the things he says about prayer and about Jesus really touch me. Slowly by slowly, I am changing according to what he says to us.

The Bridge of Hope really brought a kind of revival in me spiritually. Basically, I’m an illiterate person. I do not know how to read and write. Many times my son would come and say words he learned at the Bridge of Hope center. “This is what the Word of God says.” So many times when we would do wrong things, the Word of God would speak to us. And because it was the Word of God speaking, we changed a lot.

We have prayer every day in our home for 15 to 20 minutes. My son reads the Bible, and we sing some songs. Now Jesus is the main focus of our life. We cannot leave Jesus and go anywhere, because Jesus is with us and He guides us every day. This kind of spiritual awareness, through my son, I got through Bridge of Hope.

(No Longer A Slumdog by K. P. Yohannan, GFA Publishing, © 2011, page 110-111)

So far, Gospel For Asia has over 65,000 children in their Bridge of Hope ministry. Each child is a bridge to his family, to his neighbors, and to his community, bringing hope to the millions of lost people in India and Asia.

And it all begins with a person, like you or me, sponsoring one child, for $35 per month.

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