Category Archives: Kingdom of God

Why Waste a Crisis?

In an off-the-cuff statement, President Barack Obama’s former Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, gave us an insiders’ view on what some politicians really believe. “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that, it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

Sadly, some politicians seem to be following Emanuel’s advice to advance their political agendas during the COVID-19 crisis. Historians and fellow citizens will eventually be their judges.

But yet, from a Christian viewpoint, Emanuel’s words ring true.

I remember the former Iowa Director of the 700 Club’s Food Bank telling his salvation testimony. It happened while he was a U.S. Marine stationed at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, along with 400 others during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

During the thirteen-day standoff between Russia and the USA, Fidel Castro surrounded the Guantanamo base one morning with 10,000 Cuban troops and large artillery. Castro ordered the U.S. Marines to surrender, lower the America flag and leave the base by 4 p.m. or face annihilation.

The Marine Commander called his commanders in the states, asking what to do. The commanders stated, “We can’t get reinforcements to you in time, but American Marines never lower the American flag to its enemy. Don’t surrender. Keep fighting to the last man if need be.”

Every Marine knew this could be his last day alive because there was no chance to survive a battle against Castro’s superior forces and artillery. The hours and minutes flew by, but as it did, Marines – one by one – fell to their knees and surrendered their lives to the Lord.

The old Sarge laughed and made fun of the Marines who dropped to their knees. He called them all kinds of profane names, but at 3:55 p.m., old Sarge fell to his knees and surrendered his life to the Lord.

Every Marine at that Guantanamo base gave his life to the Lord that day. Every Marine!

The 4 p.m. deadline passed and Castro backed down from his threats.

The Kingdom of God always moves Jesus’ banner of hope and love forward against the kingdom of darkness during crises.

So, let’s not waste the COVID-19 crisis. Let’s use it “as an opportunity to do those things we couldn’t do before.”

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We Need Heroes (Part 2)

 

The historian Josephus stated that the Apostle Paul was four feet six inches tall. Chrysostom wrote that Paul’s body was crooked, his head bald and that he had a hook nose. The Corinthians said about Paul:

“For Paul’s letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” (2 Corinthians 10:10)

Okay, Paul was not a hunk!

Saul (Paul) was born in Tarsus, the capital of Cilicia (in modern southern Turkey). He was circumcised on the eighth day, a son of a Pharisee and from the tribe of Benjamin. He was brought up in Jerusalem under the teaching of a noted Pharisee named Gamaliel. Paul later described himself as a Hebrew of Hebrews.

As far as zeal for the Law, Saul of Tarsus hunted down believers of the Way. He tortured them, threw them into prisons, forced them to blaspheme and consented to their deaths. He had letters of authority from the chief priests allowing him to  carry out his vendetta against believers of Jesus, even in foreign cities.

Without a doubt, Saul of Tarsus was the most feared man by followers of Jesus.

Then, in one of the most remarkable experiences in the Bible, Saul encountered a light from heaven and fell to ground. He heard a voice say, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?”

Paul replied, “Who are You, Lord?”

The voice replied, “I am Jesus.”

In this short exchange, Paul was turned around 180º, converted and became willing to suffer and die for the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. He wrote almost two thirds of the New Testament before he was beheaded outside the gates of Rome.

In the days ahead, the Lord is going to shine His light on numerous individuals who hate Christianity and its believers. These enlightened individuals will come out of leadership positions in abortion, LGBT, porn, Hollywood, transgender, media, politics and other professions.

And just like Saul of Tarsus, these enlightened individuals will rise up and become zealots for the faith, willing to die for their Lord.

(Continued in Part 3)

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Filed under Abortion, America, Christianity, Church, Disciples, End-Times, Heroes, Kingdom of God, Leadership, Prophecy

First the Blade (Chapter 6)

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 6

Building a Foundation of Faith (d)

Almost everything we do for the Lord requires faith on our parts, but some things may require even more faith on our parts.

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not drive it out?” And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” (Matthew 17: 19-20)

In the late fall of 1995, I lived with a friend in an apartment in Ames, Iowa. To say I was going through bad times would be a classic understatement. My truck had been repossessed. My painting company had collapsed. There were a couple of dollars in my billfold with few hopes of earning more. I had to stand on a stepladder to touch bottom in my life.

My roommate and I felt we should pray for Northern Ireland on one particular morning. We began praying in tongues, waiting on the Holy Spirit to show us how to intercede for that war-torn area.

As we prayed, I had a vision in which I saw the bodies of young people piled up in the streets of Belfast. There were thousands of them. All had their lives snuffed out by the continued violence between the Catholics and Protestants.

The vision so disturbed me I could do nothing but weep. We eventually prayed as best we could to stop the vision from happening in Northern Ireland, but I had no inner peace. The main problem seemed to be that I knew I had an important prophetic word for Northern Ireland within my spirit, waiting to be given.

I went to my bedroom and prayed some more. I asked the Lord to give the prophecy to a well-known preacher. After all, who would listen to me? As soon as I prayed these words, I knew it was a bad idea so I quickly repented.

“Okay, Lord, show me how to speak the prophecy to Northern Ireland,” I prayed and with those words, I finally had peace.

A couple of days later, the Lord impressed me to visit a Catholic church near the Iowa State University campus. I walked in the door and asked if anybody knew someone in Northern Ireland. They laughed, but one person told me to talk with a secretary in the basement.

I went to the secretary. She did not know anyone in Ireland, but she knew the name of the Catholic Charismatic leader in Des Moines, Iowa. “Maybe that person knows someone in Ireland,” she said.

I phoned the Catholic Charismatic leader in Des Moines. “I don’t know anyone in Ireland,” she said, “but my husband knows the head of the Catholic Charismatic movement in England.”

Her husband got on the line and gave me the phone number.

I phoned the number in England early the next morning and talked with the leader’s wife because the leader was busy at some meetings in London. I told her why I was calling and what I needed.

“Funny,” she said, “but I’m looking at the exact person you need. His picture is on the cover of a book.” She then gave me the information for the man.

After hanging up, I sat down at the table and wrote the prophetic word, which I had for Northern Ireland. I mailed it to the Charismatic leader in Belfast.

Now, this whole experience was by faith, and as soon as I dropped the letter into the mailbox, all of my faith was used up. Every doubt in the world hit me. Who did I think I was? A nobody. A failure. I didn’t even belong to a church. No pastor would ever vouch for me. The Irish leader would take one look at my name, my handwritten letter and laugh.

But in the midst of those doubts, I knew enough to run to the throne of grace and ask for grace and mercy to help me.

A week or so later on a Sunday afternoon, the telephone rang.

“Hello,” I answered.

“Larry, I’m Cecil Kerr from Belfast, Ireland,” he said, “and I’m calling to thank you for the prophetic word you sent me. Our prayer group had been waiting for weeks for just such a word and we are already praying your prophetic word into fruition. So, from all of us, we thank you for your obedience to the Holy Spirit.”

We talked for a few minutes and then we said goodbye. As soon as I hung up, I fell on my knees and cried. I can still feel the emotions of that moment and how small I felt compared to a big, big God.

The next day, our phone was disconnected because we owed two months of phone bills.

If we want to change our community, our state and our nation, we can do it, but we must build our faith so mountains will move out of our way.

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

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Filed under America, Christianity, Disciples, Faith, Kingdom of God, New Christians, Writing

Will We End Up Being A Part of the Great Falling Away? (Part 6)

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs was written by John Foxe in 1563. It details the deaths and sufferings of the early apostles and other Christians up through the inquisition and the medieval church.

It’s been nearly thirty years since I read the book as a young Christian but I still remember how it jarred my heart. In fact,  I muttered aloud a short prayer. “Lord, if You want me to be a martyr for You, that’s okay with me. I can probably handle crucifixion, firing squad, hanging or being beheaded, but please don’t let me be burned at the stake. I’m not sure I will be a good witness for You if I die that way.”

At the time, I worked at a motel-restaurant and drove a catering van, delivering meals to senior citizens.

One day, I was running behind schedule and in a hurry. Using only pot holders, I removed a large pan of roast beef from an oven. My hand slipped and the pan’s liquid drenched over my hand. 170° of scalding juice.

I quickly set the pan down and looked at my hand. It was red, there was pain on the surface of my skin, but no inner pain. It did not bother me in the least.

Two cooks rushed over and wanted to rush me off to the hospital. I shook my head and put it under a cold water faucet. No problems.

That experience and the following testimony by Corrie Ten Boom has kept my heart open to the possibility of being a witness until death (martyr) for Jesus:

When I was a little girl, I went to my father and said, “Daddy, I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.”

“Tell me,” said Father. “When you take a train trip to Amsterdam, when do I give you the money for the ticket? Three weeks before?”

“No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train.”

“That is right,” my father said, “and so it is with God’s strength. Our Father in Heaven knows when you will need the strength to be a martyr for Jesus Christ. He will supply all you need – just in time…” (Tramp for the Lord)

So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:6)

The fourth reason for becoming a part of the Great Falling Away – now or in the future – will be fear that God’s grace cannot help us in our suffering.

(Continued in Part 7…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Inside Israel

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 with grace and mercy in The Blessed Name of our Lord, Yeshua h’meshiakh* May He be blessed and glorified, and may you be blessed and edified.  May He take this small offering for His glory alone and the edification of those to whom it is sent with love.

Elul is the last month of the modern Hebrew calendar.  The month of Elul will end on the 29th of September this year, ushering in Rosh h’Shana (the day of the blowing of trumpets, now celebrated as the new year), followed closely by Yom Kippur (the day of atonement – repentance – the most solemn day in the Hebrew calendar of fasting and prayer) and then the wonderful  7 day feast of Sukkot (feast of tabernacles). Autumn (‘stav’ in Hebrew) is upon us with the fall feasts rushing in!  How suddenly summer ends.

School began here in Israel on the 1st of September (yes, Sunday is our ‘Monday’ because Saturday is our Sabbath (shabbat) and being that today (Tuesday) is my day off from work, I smiled with joy as Eric and I walked our 5 and half year old Granddaughter Maya to ‘gan ho’veh’ (or ‘advanced kindergarten’ for those who get to go again).

Our daughter was taking 2 and half year old Nuria to gan, which she began on Sunday – one excited little cookie!  ‘All in our places with sunshiny faces’ was all I could sing as we made our way along with the throngs of parents and grandparents taking all of those little shiny excited faces to their respective schools or ga’nim (kindergartens).  I was totally absorbed in watching Maya on her scooter chattering joyfully to me when I tripped over part of our notoriously choppy sidewalks and fell smack on my knees, injuring my pride terribly but thankfully otherwise not doing anything serious.

‘Oh Tata! Tata!  Are you ok?  You scared me!’ (Maya couldn’t say Sav’ta when she was tiny and Tata stuck)

‘I’m fine!’ I assured her as we continued on and I introduced myself to the ga’ne’net (teacher) so that we could get through security to pick her up.  Isn’t the love of a child amazing?  (To you parents…it gets WAY better when you are grandparents believe it or not.)  May we BE like them, that tender, simple and honest love to our Abba God!

 

The past couple of weeks have been ‘belegan’ here in Jerusalem.  The last two weeks of summer vacation there is no kay’tin’ah (sort of summer ‘day camps’ that most children attend.  They are specialized and can be just play or sport or art or science, language or history , all sorts of age classified enrichment activities).

As you know, our economy here is different than in the west, a huge portion of this tiny country’s  resources  go to very necessary defense, so it is pretty rare for a family to be able to survive even simply on one paycheck. Most parents honestly HAVE to work, not to get ahead, but to survive.  HOWEVER, the last two weeks of summer, ‘someone’ needs to be home with the children (if retired grandparents aren’t available), and most vacations are taken then.

Consequently, the streets of Jerusalem have been PACKED with large families (religious families are particularly large. As I have said before, our son in law is the oldest of 14).  The time is spent getting school supplies and being out on ‘te’oo’lim’ (‘trek’ or ‘trip’, outing).  The lite rail and all buses were packed way beyond capacity as families enjoyed museums, parks, the zoo, the Old City, shops and restaurants.

Our dear friend Janet is staying with us for awhile and I have so enjoyed reading her updates (although she has been here on and off for many years, she always sees things with new eyes. I can’t help but borrow from her beautifully written letters:

She mused about large families dressing their children in identical clothing and I hadn’t thought about that for a while but I always think of them as big gardens.  The pansies are planted here and the daisies are there, then there are the sweet peas.  I think it really solves many problems:  First, like school uniforms, it solves the fashion problem.  ‘Here’s your ‘dress’ for the year girls’ and each one gets what Ima (mama)  picked out.  You surely can see your whole family in a crowd without losing any easily.  And when they are all on sale it’s a win-win situation for the family.  Often though it is a bolt of material that is on sale, and one pattern.

I’ve often wondered at the resilience of the people of this country, how it continues life in the midst of all of the stresses, threats and challenges. There is a philosophy or a culture that has been planted in the people. Perhaps a survival skill.  I heard so many stories about how people survived in the death camps of the Holocaust.  I was told by a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto about the schools that they set up, about how, in spite of starvation, slavery, degradation and death everywhere, they set up a functioning society with phony money to use to keep themselves from being penniless and to keep an order. Concerts performed by those who could sing or make instruments from garbage.  Humor and other forms of entertainment. Doctors and teachers continuing their trade so that they could encourage one another to life.  This way they kept themselves from despair and from degradation.

 

Our borders are heating up.  I know that I say that to you often, but things erupt here suddenly.  On Sunday we had a skirmish with Hizbollah in Lebanon sending residents of the North into shelters and sealing off the roads.  It did not erupt into the war …yet.  There is MUCH background fighting going on and as our Prime Minister has openly announced often, he (we) will not compromise Israeli security and will strike at all threats.  We have been doing that with missions and raids in Syria and Lebanon and in other places.

Iran has been playing a chess game against Israel, using other counties as pawns since they have no border with us, but their proxies – Syria and Lebanon do share our borders and Iran has been based there.  It has been a game of cat and mouse so to speak as Israel identifies threats (sophisticated weapons and deadly projects) and eliminates them.  Drones and drones heavily armed with highly destructive smart weapons have entered the arena.  To admit it, Iran has to expose their presence, which is illegal, so it has been covert.  But it has been intense and building.  Added to this toxic mix is Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Isis in Gaza and in the Sinai, infiltrating Judea and Samaria – our heartland – called by the world media “the West Bank.”  With continuing active riots on the Gaza border every Friday, our southern population is frayed but not Afraid

“Be strong and of good courage”…”DO NOT FEAR NOR BE AFRAID” are probably THE most oft repeated COMMAND given throughout the scriptures, particularly the Torah (the first 5 books of Moses) when the fleshly REASONS to fear were ABUNDANT.

In my 44 years of reading and re-reading through the Scriptures I am strongly struck by the irony of this command. Perhaps it is one of the PILLARS on which our faith rests. YES, the giants are there!  YES, the Sea is before you and the Egyptian army behind you. YES the inhabitants of the land are fierce and we are as grasshoppers in our own eyes and probably theirs. YES there is no water and YES there is no food and YES we are surrounded by armies far larger than we are and YES!  IT IS IMPOSSIBLE, BUT LOOK UP!  THOSE WHO ARE WITH US ARE MORE THAN THOSE WHO ARE AGAINST US, as Elisha told his servant when the Syrian army was coming down upon them.

I listen to some who seem to feel that faith in our God is a “get out of jail free” ticket and we will be always physically well and safe but in Luke 21, Yeshua says something very interesting that bares understanding and the context of the whole chapter is helpful:

“You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death.  And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.  But not a hair of your head shall be lost.  By your patience possess your souls.” (Luke 21:16-19)

SOME OF YOU WILL BE PUT TO DEATH, BUT NOT A HAIR OF YOUR HEAD SHALL BE LOST.  May our values be His, our perspective HIS.

We (as a part of the body of Messiah here) have been through fire lately in the loss of 4 beloved members.  Eliyahu Ben Haim and the three members of the Rosetsky family.  These were all people walking in the will and the ways of The Lord and living completely for Him, aside from 2 month old Itai, who had as yet done not right nor wrong). They ARE safe with not a hair of their head being lost.

His ways are not ours. His thoughts not ours but it is a wake-up call for sure.  One sister remarked to me last shabbat that “We weren’t yet back to normal’

I said, “I don’t think that we are SUPPOSED to be ‘back to normal.’  A very precious sacrifice was placed on the altar and I believe that He wants us all changed by what we have witnessed.”  

We don’t know what lies ahead, but we are NOT afraid.

We are told to fear ONLY GOD and we believe that.  Our upcoming re-elections are scheduled to be held on 17th of Sept.  Lord knows what lies ahead, we don’t.  But one thing we know (both you and us) is that the ONLY safe place in this world in IN HIM.

Our pastor is faithful to remind us time and time again to turn our faces to Him.  Run into Him!  Look to HIM! THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH!

My years are running into one another and I surely never expected that, did you?  May we ALL be found IN HIM IN (HIS) PEACE!  May His Word be a living two-edged sword in each of us.  May we be dangerous to the enemy for His sake.  May we be kept from deception. Oh may we be humble in the fear of The One True God, The Lord of heaven and earth!  May we be purified for His glory.

Lovingly,

your sister J

 

*Small note.  Lately transliterators have been writing ‘kh’ instead of ‘ch’ to indicate the sound that is like ‘clearing your throat’.  For years it has been written ‘ch’ but we know that in English ‘ch’ is pronounced like the beginning of  ‘child’ and that leads to much confusion.  I am joining the pack, so I spelled (Messiah) Meshiakh instead of Meshiach.

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Filed under Christianity, Church, Israel, Jerusalem, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Uncategorized

Does God Ever Let Us Down?

Another believer and I recently listened to the Christian song, King of My Heart. The words of the chorus – “You’re never going to let me down” – prompted a discussion between us.

“Those words aren’t always true,” said the believer.

“Really?” I said, not having a better answer at that moment.

“Those words certainly haven’t been true for me!”

Then, the believer proceeded to list various times how God had let the believer down. Most of these were financial disappointments with a couple of unexpected family deaths tossed into the mix. Our conversation died after a few minutes.

I returned to my work, but I spent the next few days meditating over the words of the song before I came up with a better answer.

So, does God ever let us down?

YES!

That is, God will always let us down if we view Him through our uncrucified American mindset which believes God is our Sugar Daddy in the sky who will keep us from any hardships or disappointments while we live here on earth.

Jesus warned us ahead of time about this when He said: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Brother Yun gives a pick-up-your-cross-daily point of view in his biography, The Heavenly Man:

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.”

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. (Romans 8:28 AMP)

Once, we give our lives to the Lord, we become clay in the Potter’s hand. He uses every disappointment, affliction, persecution and whatever to mold and conform us into the image of His Son. The Father’s desire is that we might count everything else in our lives as rubbish when compared to knowing His Son.

So, does God ever let us down?

No!

None of us will stand before Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ and accuse our Father of letting us down. This won’t happen, but sadly, many of us may be shown how we have let the Father down.

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Inside Israel

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 —

“And he called his ten servants, and delivered them ten pounds, and said unto them, Occupy till I come.” (Luke 19:13)

Greetings DEAR brothers and sisters, in The precious Name of Yeshua h’meshiach – Jesus The Messiah.  May HE be blessed and glorified, and may you each be deeply grounded, encouraged and blessed.

At this moment, while I am here in the middle of Jerusalem, I could not stretch my strength further today and travel to Modein tonight to join with brothers and sisters together at the grave of our dear sister and brothers, Sophi, Rodrigo and baby Itai.  It is the shloshim or 30 days and a time for closing of the early days of grieving. Many believers (and many air force soldiers) are  gathering together  as I write, to strengthen the family at the grave site.  I am there in heart.  It was also Rodrigo’s birthday…

At the same time, while I am here in the middle of Jerusalem, huge fires are raging in both parts of Alaska that were my home.  In the Valley area and also in Bristol Bay.  The village that my husband was born in, a remote village of some 65 people, is on fire and in danger of being completely destroyed.  It is so remote that there are no fire fighting facilities and residents are attempting to beat it back….

At the same time, while I am here in the middle of Jerusalem, my boss of 21 years had a heart attack today.  Thankfully it was a light one and he has already had catheterization, but it was emotionally intense and puts the future of the Doctor’s office where I work in question.

And that was just today.

There is a temptation to be thrown off kilter ( or at least, it is for me) and try to do more than observe all of this and pray. I want to become fully involved with every cell of my being.

It got me thinking about the Indonesian tsunami that happened in 2004 which killed some 230,000 people. What I remember about the calamity was being stunned by a report that the power of the massive movement of all of that water had shifted the earth on its axis.  If you are interested, there is much scientific data.  A cursory google search just now turned up this rather easily read report —

“The devastating earthquake that struck the Indian Ocean on 26 December was so powerful that it has accelerated the Earth’s rotation, geophysicists have declared. They estimate that the shockwave shortened the period of our planet’s rotation by some three microseconds.

The change was caused by a shift of mass towards the planet’s centre, as the Indian Ocean’s heavy tectonic plate lurched underneath Indonesia’s one, say researchers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. This caused the globe to rotate faster, in the same way that a spinning figure-skater accelerates by tucking in her arms.

The blast literally rocked the world on its axis, add Richard Gross and his NASA colleagues. They estimate that Earth now tilts by an extra 2.5 centimetres in the wake of the jolt.

The shortening of Earth’s day is no cause for consternation, particularly in light of the huge humanitarian crisis sparked by Sunday’s events. The death toll from the tsunami that lashed coasts across the Indian Ocean has now passed 100,000.

“I would be stunned if there was any change in the rotation rate that would necessitate addition or subtraction of a leap second.”

But the change will nonetheless be relevant to physicists charged with keeping the world’s official time, which since 1967 has been based on a battery of around 250 highly accurate atomic clocks in 60 labs throughout the world. These labs report to the International Bureau of Weights and Measures near Paris, which sets the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).”

 

So, those of you who have been commenting on ‘time speeding up’ are scientifically correct. 

But back to “the temptation.”  It seems to me that the temptation is to spin off center.  To be caught up in the intensity of all of this emotion.  Surely Jesus wept!  I am DEFINITELY NOT saying not to be emotionally involved since it is The Lord Who gave us compassion and emotions.  But the same Lord gave us balance and COMMANDED us to follow HIM.  I can’t follow Him very well if my eyes are elsewhere, even on the waves that are about to encompass me.

With this thought in mind, I found myself laughing about this on the train today.

The Jerusalem bus drivers are notorious for using passengers like bowling balls. You know: look in your mirror and there they are!  Passengers!  Lined up for a perfect STRIKE! Step on the brakes and swerve quickly, how many can be knocked over at once?

  Yes, I am exaggerating for humor’s sake, but it really feels as if we are bowling balls sometimes.  Today the train played a similar trick.  Usually the drivers brake slowly but perhaps the brakes were sticky today and WHAM!  Every time there was occasion to brake, we all went flying.   Keeping babies, packages and old people balanced was a challenge.

Physically, I lose my balance more easily these days, and I DON’T want to lose SPIRITUAL balance, too.

“Occupy till I come.” 

The Lord admonished us in the parable in Luke 19.

In John 15-17 and SO many other places He tells us that we are IN the world but not OF the world, and that was spoken in Israel, to Israelis first. So, HOW AM I TO WALK in the streets of Jerusalem when my own personal world is turning upside down? Experiencing an axis-tipping tsunami and my country at the same time is actively fighting wars on each border. Plus, NASTY FILTHY elections taking place AGAIN. I see the streets filthy and people worn with fatigue and cares of this world…

 “Occupy till I come.”

It’s that old Israeli army saying again about standing on your spot and guarding that ONE SPOT assigned to you: h’a’zek b’ma’amad. Hold on!  Stand your ground! Hold on to The Lord AND hold on to the vision. This is what He wants me to do at any given moment.

You are probably rolling your eyes and saying, “Well, duh!  OF COURSE!”

But it hasn’t been that easy, and yet I see that it really IS what He is calling me to do.  He keeps telling me to “Walk past the graves…even as HE DID!’  He walked right OUT of them.  His eyes were on His Father and HE AROSE TO GIVE US ETERNAL SALVATION WITH VICTORY.

Keep my eyes on Him when people look at me and ask me about what we believe or reject me and get angry for the same.  Keep my eyes on Him when my boss has a heart attack. The 21 years of work may just be over NOW, BUT I have committed my care and feeding to Him and that is settled.  My eyes on HIM.

To keep my eyes on Him when the tiny remote village so key in my family history just might fade into the past before my eyes. MY EYES ON HIM.  When the bank tells me that if I don’t make an appointment via an “app.” (Sorry guys, but I’m in technological rebellion perhaps.)

I can not cash my paycheck (deposited by law) or do any other banking business. The world is changing SO QUICKLY and yet He is giving me NO SLACK to fret or become indignant or to go anywhere for help but to HIM.

The changes aren’t letting me catch my breath. And here is a good one … make that two:

One thing that I have lacked for so long has been a steady prayer partner.  I am all for closet prayer and enjoy it daily, but I have been unable to get out at night when our prayer meetings take place aside from on Friday morning. Then I am there for such a short time.  The Lord has brought a DEAR close friend to stay with us for awhile and we have been able to pray DAILY together.  It made me realize how I was starved for a prayer partner, true fellowship before the throne.  THANK  YOU LORD!

 Thank you for praying for my trip to England and my time of sharing my testimony with my family.

My 15 year old Grandson, our oldest Grandchild, had been to a Bible camp in California while they lived there. This year, he chose to go back to the camp. This time, he gave his heart to The Lord. I have received a few messages from him and of course am praying for him to be ROOTED, GROUNDED, FRUIT BEARING, SUBMITTING TO GOD AND RESISTING THE DEVIL, LOVING THE WORD AND RIGHTLY DIVIDING IT AS THE WORD OF TRUTH AND NOT BEING DECEIVED OR TURNED ASIDE.  I believe, that HE Who has begun a good work in Noah, will perform it until that last day.  And even in THIS I must keep my balance.

Thank you for your prayers for me, my family,  and for this country, which IS  central in the Heart of God and pivotal in the last days, as from the beginning. May The Lord be blessed and Alone may He be glorified and adored.  May you be encouraged and blessed.

Lovingly,

Your sister J

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Filed under Israel, Jerusalem, jesus, Kingdom of God, One new man, Prophecy, Terrorist attacks

Prayers for American Churches (7/25/2019)

Christ Church Stellarton

Photograph of Christ Anglican Church, Stellarton, NS. Taken the morning of October 28, 2005

How does the Kingdom of God fit together with the church?

Most who have taught on the kingdom of God over the last fifty years have made a dramatic separation between the church and kingdom of God. In other words, they’ve said the kingdom is totally different from the church. That statement is true and also false.

It’s true if you define church as a Sunday morning service or you define church as a building or you define the church as all of the believers in the world. Then the church is not the kingdom and the kingdom is not the church. Those two things are completely separate.

BUT if you define the word “church” as it appears in the English New Testament as ecclesia, which is the Greek word for it. And ecclesia meant a local body of believers that lived in face-to-face community that had a shared life together and took care of each other and loved one another and knew each other in the sense that they saw themselves as family despite racial divisions, despite economic divisions, and despite sexual divisions (meaning men and women). It you see it as that – a living, breathing, close-knit extended family – all of whom were living by the life of Jesus Christ.  Then that was the kingdom of God on this earth.

You see, a kingdom refers to the king, his domain and the people ruled by the king.

In 30 AD, if you wanted to see the kingdom, you needed to find Jesus. He embodied the kingdom. After Jesus ascended, the corporate followers became Christ on the earth – His kingdom.

So, if you want to see the Kingdom of God now, we need to find a group who expresses Christ living in and through them. (Frank Viola, Insurgence Podcast)

My prayer today:

Lord, You promised that You would build Your church on a rock so that the gates of Hell would never prevail against it. So, we desperately ask that You build Your church in America now. (Based on Matthew 16:18)

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for America’s churches.

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Filed under America, Christianity, Church, Fasting, Kingdom of God, Prayer, spiritual warfare, Uncategorized

Prayers for Businessmen (6/4/2019)

As footsteps approached, the twenty-eight year old man looked up from the cluttered workbench. His dark beard and long hair were matted by perspiration, mixed with sawdust. Wet sweat rings outlined the armpits of his faded tunic. He laid the chisel and mallet down and stood up, wiping his hands together.

“Shalom, may I help you?” he said.

“Shalom,” said the middle-aged man with ringlets in his gray beard. Deep furrows etched his forehead. His off-white cloak and brown leather sandals were covered with dust from the road he had just traveled on.

“My wife says we need a new dining table. And you know how women are, right?” the man said with a wink. “Some of our neighbors have recommended your workmanship.”

The man folded his arms across his barrel-shaped chest, readying himself for whatever negotiations awaited him. He wanted a good deal.

The carpenter’s bronze-colored face blushed slightly at the compliment. A natural humility radiated through his eyes, which always put people at ease around him.

“That’s nice of your friends. However, to be completely honest, whatever skills I may possess are the result of being taught by the best carpenter in all of Galilee – Joseph, my dad.”

“Oh yes, I should have known,” the man said without moving his arms from their set position on his chest. “You’re the son of Joseph, huh? Who hasn’t heard of his woodworking skills?”

He leaned toward the carpenter.

“What do you think the table will cost me? And remember I have three sons and their families living with me. Oy vey! You can’t believe how much they eat.”

The young carpenter nodded.

“Hmm, let me think for a few minutes.”

The carpenter looked around the shop. He turned and walked to the back of the room, pulling out boards from a large pile, and checking each. After a few minutes, he nodded to himself as if he had it all figured out. He returned to the man.

“If you want the table made out of fir, it will cost fifteen shekels. Oak will be five shekels more. The choice is up to you,” the carpenter said with his eyebrows arched in anticipation of a response from the buyer.

The man unfolded his arms. His shocked expression looked as though a sharp sword had pierced his heart. He gasped and pounded his chest with both fists.

“Your price is much higher than I could have ever imagined.  Fifteen shekels, how outrageous! I just can’t believe it.”

He turned around and stomped off. Before he reached the shop’s entrance, he stopped and looked back.

“I’m curious. Do you offer discounts to your more impoverished buyers…people like me?”

The carpenter sighed.

“Okay. Let me think,” he said, rubbing his jaw with his hand. “If you pay cash today, I can do it for thirteen shekels. The table will be done in two weeks.”

The man stood like a statue.

“I had a price more like eleven shekels in mind,” the man said in a clipped voice. Then he added, “And not one shekel more.”

The carpenter shrugged his shoulders and raised his arms in surrender.

“Okay, you win,” he said, shaking his head slowly back and forth. “I have some expenses coming up in a few days. This is my final offer: twelve shekels and it will be ready for you in ten days. Take it or leave it.”

The man walked toward the carpenter.

“Though eleven shekels is a very fair price, I’m going to give in and pay your outrageous price of twelve shekels.”

The buyer stretched out his right hand and shook the hand of the young carpenter named Jesus. As he did, he felt the calluses and strength in his hand.

Jesus did not attend college or a seminary, He was first a businessman.

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

My prayer today:

Lord, give American businessmen the revelation that we are crucified with Christ and that we no longer live, but Christ lives in us. So that the lives we now live in our flesh, we live by faith in the Son of God who loved us and gave Himself up for us. (Based on Galatians 2:20)

Join us on Tuesdays to fast and pray for American men in the workplace.

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Filed under America, Businessmen, Christianity, Fasting, Kingdom of God, Leadership, Prayer

Will We End up Being a Part of the Great Falling Away? (Part 1)

Most of us read Scripture through a foggy set of lens. For instance, let’s look at Judas.

I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me. (John 13:18)

Jesus chose twelve disciples, whose ages were probably between fourteen and twenty-two years old. Young kids. But oops! One of them was a teenager named Judas Iscariot.

Now think about it: was Judas a robot on auto-pilot to fulfill Scripture from the moment Jesus chose him until he kissed Jesus in the Garden?

No, of course not!

Jesus spent three years teaching and preparing the twelve chosen disciples to preach the Kingdom of God. He explained to them that He had to become the sacrificial Lamb and would need to die for the sake of others. He even told them, “One of you will betray Me.”

All of the disciples, including Judas, replied, “Is it I?”

Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it.” And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. (John 13:26)

This was the pivotal scene, which I believe was staged mainly for Judas’ sake. The disciple had to know that Jesus would have forgiven him if he had confessed his sin to Him, but Judas hardened his heart and Satan entered him at that moment.

All Jewish boys memorized the Psalms. So, there’s no doubt that Judas knew Psalm 41 by heart, but obviously he never once considered he would be the one to fulfill a prophecy in it –

Even my own familiar friend, in whom I trusted (relied on and was confident), who ate of my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. (Psalm 41:9 AMP)

Bad choices by Judas caused his name to be linked to betrayal forever because he fulfilled this Old Testament prophecy.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

Almost every Christian has memorized this verse, written by Paul to the Thessalonians who were confused about the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. We now look at the verse as a New Testament prophecy.

But like Judas, memorizing and knowing this verse doesn’t mean we’ll avoid being a part of the thousands and thousands who will fulfill Paul’s prophecy about the End-Times.

(Continued in Part 2)

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Filed under America, Christians, End-Times, Falling Away, Forgiveness, Judas, Kingdom of God, Prophecy, Uncategorized