Category Archives: Kingdom of God

Prayers for America (7/21/2017)

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Jesus spoke a parable about a judge who did not fear God nor care about people. A widow repeatedly came to him, asking for help against her enemy. The judge ignored her for a while, but her persistence wore him down.

“This woman is driving me crazy. So, I’m going to see she gets justice because she is wearing me out with her constant requests,” he said.

Jesus declared that we need to learn a lesson from this unjust judge because even he rendered a just decision in the end. The Lord said:

“And will not God give justice to His elect, who cry to Him day and night? Will He delay long over them? I tell you, He will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:7-8)

My prayer today:

Lord, help American believers to realize that it is impossible to please You without faith, knowing that You not only exist but that You reward those who diligently seek You. (Based on Hebrews 11:6)

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

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

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Prayers for American Christians’ Eyes to be Opened (7/25/2017)

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The king of Syria was upset that his war plans were continually being preempted by Israel. “Do we have a spy in our midst?” he asked.

“The prophet Elisha hears your secrets and tells the King of Israel,” an aide replied.

The king then ordered his army to go to Elisha’s hometown of Dothan, surround it, and capture the prophet.

Elisha’s servant arose early that morning and saw the Syrian army surrounding the city with horses and chariots. He ran to Elisha. “Alas, my master, what shall we do?”

Elisha answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”

Then Elisha prayed and said:

“LORD, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. (2 Kings 6:17)

My prayer today:

Lord, open American believers’ eyes so we can see that You and all of heaven’s armies are waiting to answer our prayers.

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

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

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Spiritual Warfare in San Francisco (Part 7)

King Nebuchadnezzar reigned over Babylon (605 – 562 BC) and defeated all of his many enemies, including Assyria and Judah. The powerful king was a ruthless, ambitious ruler, but in 582 BC, he had a dream that frightened him.

Nebuchadnezzar called for his magicians, enchanters, astrologers, and fortune tellers to come to his court and interpret the dream for him. They could not do it.

Then, the king called for Daniel (also known as Belteshazzar in the Babylonian language). Daniel came and interpreted the dream by saying that the king would be driven from his throne by a unique madness, live in the fields, eat grass with the animals for seven years, and remain that way until King Nebuchadnezzar understood that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He chooses. 

Daniel then said:

“Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.” (Daniel 4:27)

The prophet Daniel’s advice to the king mirrored the words of John the Baptist and Paul the Apostle when both said, “Repent, turn to God, and perform deeds in keeping with your repentance.” 

Daniel did not guarantee that King Nebuchadnezzar would be able to avoid God’s judgment by following his advice, but felt God might lessen His judgment against Nebuchadnezzar if the king repented.

Of course, we know by reading the rest of the Daniel Chapter 4 that Nebuchadnezzar turned a deaf ear to Daniel’s advice and went through a seven-year judgment, but in the end the king said:

Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble. (Daniel 4:37)

I believe the city of San Francisco is now in the same position as Nebuchadnezzar when Daniel spoke his prophecy and advice to him.

(Continued in Part 8…the full series to date  can be read here.)

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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 —

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”  DEUT 29:29

” The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant.”  PSALM 25:14

Beloved,

Greetings with grace in the mercy of our Lord Yeshua h’meshiach, Jesus Christ, Who is and was and will be and Who Alone is righteous and just.  May HE be blessed and glorified, and may you be blessed and encouraged.

I am scrapping the letter that I began several days ago and praying that The Lord will anoint this one for His purposes.

I want to share what is taking place here from my standpoint (always realizing that it is opinion as everything else that we read.)

This morning is so very quiet and pleasant.  The song birds are singing their hearts out and the trees and flowers are stunning in their full display; it reminds me of a lovely, happy and healthy person in their prime…perhaps 32?  That is how the day appears.  It is Shabbat.  The “settled Shabbat peace” is not deceptive, but it is a comma or parenthesis around the events of the week.

Last Friday, two young Israeli Policemen, Druze (not Jewish) were gunned down as they sat and stood talking to one another at their post by the Lion’s Gate of the Old City, the same Gate through which the City was liberated 50 years ago.  Their murderers came running off theTemple Mount with guns.  This is an extraordinary event.  Israel immediately closed Temple Mount and installed metal detectors.  The result has been: world condemnation and bloody riots. NOT about the murders nor about the fact that guns were smuggled on to Temple Mount, but about the metal detectors.

Daily the Palestinians have called for Days of Rage and riots, which have grown daily, watered by inflaming rhetoric.  As Friday Moslem prayers approached there was much tension and calls from many nations to take down the metal detectors.  They were not taken down and prayers were quiet, but the days of rage organized in surrounding areas were quite violent. Three Palestinian rioters were killed in the battles.

Last night a Palestinian man, incited by his leaders who called for liberating the Moslem holy sites from the infidels, entered a home in a Jewish village and murdered 3 Israelis sitting at Shabbat dinner.  AND THAT IS ALL THAT I WILL SHARE WITH YOU ABOUT THE SITUATION FROM MY STANDPOINT.

It’s been HOT  and we are a hot natured people.

On Thursday I stepped off the train in front of our apartment and was greeted by my husband and our little bouncy dog, along with billowing smoke.  The acrid smell filled my nostrils and the appearance of large snowflakes (ash) falling from the sky cast the hot day into a surreal framework.  No doubt about it, a fire was nearby. A big one and a rapidly moving one.  My husband looked up at the same time. It was just beginning, but oh my, was it moving on quickly!

We may be smack in the center of Jerusalem, but Jerusalem is surprisingly small in size. The Jerusalem Forest begins just 2 or three blocks below us. Stone homes may not burn like wooden ones but they form a perfect oven to cook the contents.  People began to come out of buildings, pointing at the darkening sky.  The fire was very near.  “It’s coming up the canyon right on the street behind our apartment!” my husband yelled.  “We’d better get some things and be prepared to run for it.”

He immediately took off down toward our daughter’s apartment to see if she and the children were safe as they are right up against the Jerusalem Forest. I heard sirens and called our daughter who said that the police were already evacuating the area.  I threw a change of clothes, money and passports, daily medications and my Bible into my agala (shopping cart) and looked ruefully around at family photos and a house decorated with mementoes of our life. I was sad that I felt sad at the thought of them burning up.  I readied my canary for a trip away from danger, but just about then the water and retardant planes began flying over in a masterful display of rescue: birds dancing in the sky to distract the fire breathing dragon.  Rescue and fire truck sirens bounced off of the hills and buildings, and thankfully the fire was put out with no loss of life and little property by nightfall. Such fast and skillful work, but such a reminder of the suddenness with which it all can change.

I know that MANY of you reading this are also in the midst of MAJOR fires (DEAR ones in California!) and other disasters (earthquake in Greece and Turkey)  and this fine-tuned my prayers for you.

And as always – there is a lighter side of life in Jerusalem.

Each day as my bus passes the first station (our old wonderful Orient Express train station turned into historic entertainment area). Seriously, the Orient Express used to come here and part of the line and original cars were still in use when we made aliyah. We got to ride on it!  I have been noticing the merry-go-round on my trip home from work.  I have always loved horses so as a small child, growing up in a big city, the merry-go-round was the closest thing I had to a horse at that time.  My Granddaughter Maya is now 3 and all I could think: “Gotta take Maya to the merry-g- round.”

And I did.

But even that turned out to be an ‘Israeli experience’.

The day was HOT so we left early, not as early as I wanted, but we had fun on the bus and the train.  She was already a bit tired by the time that we arrived so I knew that it would be a short but fun trip UNTIL I WENT TO BUY MY TICKETS.  “It’s only kaytinoat in the morning.  You can come back after 1:30.” 

OF COURSE!  I am Israeli!  How could I not have remembered?  “Kaytina” an Israeli institution that I have described in past letters.  With the very high cost of living here, it is expected that both parents work.  NOT to work is considered a huge luxury and few can even pay the rent on one salary, let alone food, etc. So children are cared for from very young ages in a variety of creative (and usually excellent) ways.  There are gans (or nurseries) for very young children. After school hoogim (activities structured for every possible talent) for older and in the summer there are kaytinot, which are SORT OF like day camps, but not quite.  The variety is HUGE. Art? Science? Play? Legos? Swimming? Sport? Crafts? Drama? Play? Trips?  YOU NAME IT – there is a kaytina available. AND a way to find help to pay for it.  Children are considered our national treasure.

So on that Tuesday, 10 groups of religious girls (kaytinoat), each accompanied by her armed soldier to protect her from unseen events were scheduled to ride the rides and blow the bubbles and play in the gymboree.  Maya looked as if she wanted to cry and so did I.

I looked up at the kindhearted ride operator and started begging as only a Jewish Grandmother can.  Perhaps not your most spiritual or gracious response, but yes, an Israeli one.  He caved in immediately.

Obviously he also had a Grandmother.  I purchased tickets for two rides and he quickly scooted us on to the merry-go-round before the next group of girls could gather.  We picked the BEST horse!  The camp director was furious but the ride operator came to our defense and winked at us.  As the horse began to go up and down Maya’s eyes got as big as saucers. She looked up at the decorated ceiling and burst out in a passionate soprano rendition of “twinkle twinkle little star.”

It was surely a Grandmother moment!

BUT THE ISRAELI MOMENT WAS NOT OVER.

Our benefactor forgot the merry-go-round on our behalf and let it go around 14 times.  When the ride finally ended, we still had one more ride ticket and Maya wanted to go on the miniature train, but no!  The camp director was counting 15 campers to a ride and Maya was not one.  It got hotter.  Tears began welling up.  The ride man looked over and pointed to a long locked container decorated like a train car and signaled for us to go up the ramp and knock on the door.  Ok:  I’m adventurous.

As I got to the door a man about my age walked out and eyed us suspiciously.  “The man down there told us that we could come in here for awhile because we can’t get on the rides and we didn’t know that it was only for kaytinot this morning.”

He looked a bit annoyed but opened the door and asked Maya what her name was.  “Maya.  You can go in if you PROMISE NOT TO TOUCH anything but the buttons,” he said as we entered an extraordinary hidden treasure.

As you know, virtually all Israelis are in the Israeli Defense Forces, some for much of their lives.  The Israeli Defense forces are probably unique for MANY reasons.  I have often noticed that there is a creative and delightful sense of the secret…and we were walking in on one of those “secrets.” The entire inside of the double container had been set up with a miniature world spanning at least a century and connected by a system of miniature trains moving by the upgrade of precision computers, lights flashing, tiny terraced farms operating, villages going about daily life as the trains passed through. IT WAS AMAZING!

The man told me that the oldest and most intricate trains and miniatures were from Germany, about 100 years old.  Some were modern, some things were plastic, but what a tiny world. He had rewired everything to work by computer (he even had a schedule log for switching tracks).  There were buttons that Maya could press to cause a monkey grinder to play music or a Ferris wheel to go around, or farm equipment to operate. I don’t know who was more amazed: she or I.

“I’ll give you 10 minutes.” he told me somberly.  I was delighted, and so was Maya.  It was a day well spent: an Israeli day.  Nothing went as planned, but even better.

On the bus going home I pulled a small finger puppet out of my purse to entertain my Granddaughter, and immediately the woman across the aisle, with 7 daughters, pointed and they all gathered around grinning.  In one big family some moments are happy ones.

BLESSINGS, WITH GRACE AND PEACE AND MERCY AND HIS PRESENCE TO YOU!  Lovingly,

your sister in Jerusalem

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Prayers for America (7/20/2017)

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Flames and smoke engulfed the colonial home. On the second floor, the husband held his two-year old daughter in one arm while he kicked the window open. Glass exploded outward, falling onto the stone patio, twenty-five feet below. His wife crowded close to him.

“Help! Help us! Please help,” screamed the husband, looking over his shoulder at the flames burning through the bedroom door.

A neighbor quickly appeared on the patio below with a long extension ladder.

“Thank God. You’ve heard my pleas,” screamed the husband.

“Could you please answer a few questions first?” said the neighbor.

“Like what?”

“Are you a Christian? If so, what kind are you?”

“Yes, I’m a Baptist.” the husband proclaimed. “Please hurry.”

“Don’t worry,” replied the neighbor, “just a few more questions, okay?”

“Please hurry!”

“Do you speak in tongues?”

“No. The flames are coming through the door.”

“So far, I like your answers. Do you believe in dispensationalism?”

“Not sure. Hurry.”

“Hmm! That’s not good. It shows lack of study on your part,” said the neighbor, “Oh well, let’s move on. Are you a member of a missional church or the emergent movement?”

“Yes,” shouted the husband, looking over his shoulder at the flames climbing the walls.

The neighbor shook his head. “I ain’t helping someone who might believe the Bible is not the inerrant word of God,” said the man, turning and walking away with his ladder.

 

Of course, the above story is silly, right?

But we do this sort of thing all the time in our churches and think it is okay there.

I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. (1 Corinthians 9:22)

For most of us, this first hurdle will be a tough one to jump over because we have spent our whole lives collecting Christian labels, much like a Boy Scout earns merit badges.

Our labels include: Baptist, Methodist, Assembly of God, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Catholic, Anglican, Dispensationalism, Reform, tongues, prophecy, Word of Faith, missional, emergent, Republican, Democrat, Independent, Conservative, Liberal, Red Letter, simple church, nondenominational, and thousands more.

But if you really want to help your neighborhood and city survive upcoming catastrophes, then you need to rip those labels off your Christian identity cards. These divisive labels will not save one person during a catastrophe, but instead they may hinder your preparation efforts.

So, even if you speak in tongues three hours a day or can walk on water across the San Francisco Bay or can raise the dead by snapping your fingers or have memorized the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation, be quiet and don’t mention it. Be the humble servant who is comfortable with just being a Christian.

Do not forsake your own friend or your father’s friend, nor go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity; better is a neighbor nearby than a brother far away. (Proverbs 27:10)

(Excerpt from Planning + Preparation = Survival by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2013, Amazon eBook)

My prayer today:

Lord, help us to love You with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our strength and with all our mind and to love our neighbors as ourselves. (Based on Luke 10:27)

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

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

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Prayers for American Christians’ Eyes to be Opened (7/18/2017)

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Carol and I, along with our friends, Tony and Janelle, moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, in late 1997 to join The Watch of the Lord prayer ministry and to attend All Nations Church. Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda headed both ministries.

Each of us felt the Lord directed us to move there. Our billfolds lacked money and credit cards, but faith filled our hearts, believing God would somehow supply our needs.

We pooled out money together and rented a room with two double beds at the Charlotte Residence Inn. The room contained less than two hundred square-feet of floor space with a kitchenette, two beds, four chairs, table, and a bathroom.

A mortgage financing company hired the four of us as telephone sales reps on our second day in Charlotte. The company paid its employees on a biweekly basis, which meant our first paychecks arrived two weeks later. This posed a problem because we only had enough money for one week of rent at the motel.

Each morning the four of us gathered together and prayed for our finances, as in, “Oh Lord, help! HELP!”

We introduced ourselves to the church and ministry as soon as it was possible. The members said we were the answers to many prophecies spoken to the group about people moving from different parts of America to be a part of the ministry. Their words encouraged us, but our money still dwindled daily because of food and gas.

A couple from All Nations Church invited us to their home for a small group meeting and Christmas party on the last night of our motel rental. The four of us agreed not to mention our dire financial needs to the group, but instead, we were determined to trust the Father, according to Matthew 6:6 −

But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

The married couple lived in a beautiful new two-story home located in a picturesque area with tall pine trees. It had a large living room, three bedrooms, fireplace, two bathrooms, and large kitchen. A perfect place for four needy, soon to be homeless, believers like us.

The meeting began with Christmas songs and prayers, with the group then waiting on the Lord to hear His voice. The group leader broke the silence by turning to Tony and Janelle.

“Do you guys need something?” he asked, looking at them.

Tony and Janelle shook their heads.

“Not really. The Lord is taking care of us,” said Tony.

The group returned to waiting on the Lord, but the leader was not satisfied and again turned to Tony and Janelle.

“I just don’t feel good about your answers. What do you need?”

Tony and Janelle answered again in the same manner.

“The Lord is taking care of our needs. Thanks for asking.”

The leader would not quit. He continued to ask them what they needed.

“Okay, here’s the story,” Janelle finally said, “we’re out of money for rent and groceries starting tomorrow morning. We don’t know where we shall go or how we’ll survive until we get paid next week.”

How do you think these joyous, Christmas celebrating Christians replied to her statement? And remember: it was December and cold outside.

The group’s leader digested Janelle’s statement for a moment. He motioned with his hands.

“Let’s gather around these two couples and pray for them.”

Tony, Janelle, Carol, and I stood in the middle of the living room while ten Christians placed their hands on our shoulders and prayed. They cried out to the Lord with passion for our circumstances.

I cheated a little by keeping my eyes open and watching the group. Oh Lord, I thought, this looks like the sum total of their aid for our needs. If so, I feel like puking all over their carpet for their level of Christianity.

The rhythm of their prayers reached a crescendo and backed off, waiting for someone to speak.

“I see the Lord raining drops of gold on the four of you,” prophesied a woman. “And all you have to do is reach up by faith and grab what you need. Just reach up right now.”

The prayers ended and we sat down again.

What a convenient prophecy, I thought. They actually believe they don’t have to help us in our time of need because of the woman’s prophetic words. Shouldn’t someone ask how much gold we were able to cram into our pockets during the prayers? Why did the Holy Spirit unmask our financial needs? To reveal our lack of faith or to reveal the group’s hypocrisy?

Various Christmas cookies, fudge candies, sandwiches, chips, and potato salad kept the four of us busy after the prayers. We stuffed ourselves and then graciously said our goodbyes and left.

(Excerpt from The Hunt for Larry Who by LarryNevenhoven, © 2014, Amazon eBook)

My prayer today:

Lord, break the hearts of American believers now to prepare us for the future times of lack in our nation so that we don’t answer people’s needs with our dead faith. (Based on James 2:15-20)

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

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

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Spiritual Warfare in San Francisco (Part 6)

 

A Paraphrase of a Paraphrase

Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning He was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and He sat down and taught them. As He was speaking, a crowd of Evangelicals and their pastors brought a man who had been caught in the act of homosexuality. They put him in front of the crowd and before Jesus.

“Teacher,” the Evangelicals said to Jesus, “this man was caught in the act of homosexuality with another man. The Law of Moses says he must be killed because homosexuality is an abomination. What do You say?”

The Evangelicals were trying to get Him to say something they could use for their cultural and political arguments, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with His finger. They kept demanding an answer, so He stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then He stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

When the Evangelical accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the man. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the man, “Where are your Evangelical accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

“No, Lord,” he said.

And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go.” (Paraphrase based on John 8:2-11 NLT)

The Law of Moses required the death of adulterers and homosexuals. So my paraphrase is not off the mark in a biblical sense. Yet it is in error because of my omission of the last four words Jesus said at the end of verse 11: and sin no more.

This omission is where the spiritual battle is being fought in San Francisco and in the rest of America.

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

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