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Black Mothers: Choose Life for Your Sons (Part 1)

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Does anyone remember Catherine Quinn?

She was a widowed mother and would still be an unknown woman, except for her decision on July 31, 1981, which echoed her name across Ireland, Great Britain, and the whole world.

Four years earlier, Catherine had watched her nineteen year-old son, Paddy Quinn, sentenced to fourteen years in the H-Block of Maze Prison in Northern Ireland for his part in a failed Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) ambush against a British Army unit. Upon entering prison, Paddy became an active participant in the IRA protests against being labeled criminals, rather than paramilitary prisoners.

Those IRA protests escalated into the 1981 Irish Hunger Strikes, beginning with a man named Bobby Sands who started his food fast on March 1, 1981. During Sands’ hunger strike, he was elected to British Parliament as an Anti-H-Block candidate. Sands’ election, hunger strike, and eventual death brought world-wide attention to IRA’s demands and a surge in recruitment activity. 100,000 people attended his funeral.

Other IRA prisoners joined the Hunger Strike at staggered intervals after Sands, in hopes of applying the heaviest possible pressure on Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the British government.

When Paddy began his food fast on June 15, 1981, four men had already died and five others were at various stages in the strike. Paddy told his mom not to intervene if he fell into a coma. “You either back me or you back Maggie Thatcher,” he said.

On July 31, Paddy Quinn fell into a coma after forty-seven days and could no longer make decisions for himself. Six men had died on the hunger strike and three others hovered near death in the prison hospital. All were considered heroes and martyrs because IRA fervor was at its peak.

Authorities ushered Catherine Quinn into Paddy’s hospital room where she saw his emaciated body being wracked by epileptic twitches. She walked over to him and leaned down, whispering into his ear, “Paddy, I love you and can’t let you die. God has a plan for your life.”

Medical aides stepped in and saved Paddy’s life.

Even though four other men died after Catherine’s decision, the rest of the families intervened and the 1981 Hunger Strike ended with ten dead and twelve survivors.

So, was Catherine Quinn considered a hero?

No, not at all!

She was considered a traitor and turncoat to the IRA cause. Her son Paddy was angry with her. Her neighbors shunned her. The mothers of the ten dead hunger strikers hated her for tarnishing their son’s martyr’s deaths.

Yet, she didn’t care because she loved her son and believed God still had a plan for his young life.

Hey, black mothers, are you willing to be ostracized by your neighbors and families for loving your sons enough to do whatever you have to do to save their lives?

(Continued in Part 2)

 

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Another Sabbatical

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Yes, another short sabbatical from blogging.

I will return as soon as my project is over. So until then, may the Lord multiply His grace and peace to you in the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ His son.

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Mountains Melt at the Presence of God (Part 7)

In January 1995, I dated a wonderful woman, thinking we would marry. Many prophetic words had been given to me about marriage to a godly woman. Every word seemed to point to her as my bride…or at least, I thought so.

I spoke aloud to the Lord one night while driving my truck home from the lady’s apartment.

“Jesus, You need to get us married as quickly as possible,” I said.

My truck cab instantly filled up with laughter, as if heaven dropped an amplifier and speaker into my truck, turning it up full blast. The laughter was the “hold your belly and roll on the floor” type. And it continued and continued.

I pulled my truck over to the side of the highway because the contagious laughter caused tears to run down my cheeks. I turned on the truck’s hazard blinkers and sat there, laughing along with heaven.

It finally ceased and I resumed driving home. I then wondered, is the Lord laughing because He knows something, which I don’t know yet. Or is He just happy for me?

I ignored the former and opted for the latter.

One obstacle after another frustrated our relationship over the following fourteen months. I figured more fasting and prayer would eventually break the logjam of spiritual warfare thwarting our relationship.

(An excerpt from The Hunt for Larry Who (a Memoir) by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2014, Amazon eBook)

It’s easy to forget that the Lord has a fabulous sense of humor. In fact, who created humor and laughter? Certainly not Satan, but instead it was God.

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength. (Proverbs 17:22 NLT)

(Conclusion for now…the full series to date can be read here.)

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Prayers for America (6/15/2017)

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“A house divided against itself cannot stand…” (Abraham Lincoln)

Abraham Lincoln quoted Jesus’ words in his acceptance speech for his unsuccessful campaign as the Republican candidate for  U. S. Senator from Illinois in 1858.

But if we look at the full context of Jesus’ discourse in Matthew, we will notice that He was replying to this statement by the Pharisees:

 “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.” (Matthew 12:24

Jesus then answered by giving a foundational teaching on how to win spiritual warfare battles. He said that a kingdom, city, or house can’t be divided if it wants to defeat Satan and his demonic plans.

My prayer today:

Lord, help American believers to be diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace now and in the days ahead so that we can defeat the plans of Satan for America. (Based on Ephesians 4:3)

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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If God Loves Us, Why Do We Still Suffer? (Part 1)

Jesus and His disciples were ministering on the east side of the Jordan, in the same area where John the Baptist baptized thousands of Jews. Miracles were happening and Jews were being converted when Jesus received the message from Mary and Martha, stating their brother Lazarus was extremely ill.

Mary, Martha, and Lazarus lived in Bethany, which was a day’s journey from the Lord and His group. So, what does Jesus say?

But when Jesus heard it He said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” (John 11:4)

Most of the time when we study John 11, we reflect on how Jesus heard the voice of His Father and did not move unless the Father showed Him to do so, even in dire cases like this. This time, let’s not do that, but let’s instead think about what the messenger thought about Jesus’ words.

Now, I would suppose the messenger was a trusted friend, relative, or servant of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Maybe Jesus had even met the messenger when He visited Bethany earlier in His ministry. Maybe Jesus even had a close friendship with the messenger and that’s why he was chosen to carry the message. Scripture doesn’t reveal anything about the messenger, but I believe human nature has changed little over the centuries since this happened.

It’s my guess the messenger was stunned and dumbfounded when He heard Jesus’ reply. You see, there’s no doubt in my mind the messenger believed Jesus would drop everything and follow him to Bethany because otherwise why would Martha and Mary have sent him? After all, didn’t Jesus do exactly that when Jairus, the ruler of a synagogue, implored him to come and heal his daughter. And also, Jesus was instantly ready to follow the centurion to his house for a sick servant.

These healing stories were known and repeated over and over throughout Judea, but in this particular case, Jesus did not move. He stayed on the other side of the Jordan.

Can you imagine how sad and confused the messenger felt on the twenty-five mile return trip to Bethany? Their last hope to heal Lazarus was gone. Jesus would not come!

Then for the next day or so, the messenger watched Lazarus get sicker and sicker until he finally died. Wouldn’t you think the messenger thought Jesus had failed them?

Okay, this is only the beginning as we consider why believers suffer and how the Lord may use it for His glory.

(Continued in Part 2)

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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 —

“Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it. On that day, declares the LORD, I will strike every horse with panic, and its rider with madness. But for the sake of the house of Judah I will keep my eyes open, when I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. Then the clans of Judah shall say to themselves, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem have strength through the LORD of hosts, their God.’ “On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a blazing pot in the midst of wood, like a flaming torch among sheaves. And they shall devour to the right and to the left all the surrounding peoples, while Jerusalem shall again be inhabited in its place, in Jerusalem. “And the LORD will give salvation to the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not surpass that of Judah. On that day the LORD will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the LORD, going before them. Zechariah 12:2-8)

I greet  you with a longing heart to lift up praise and worship worthy of the Lord. May our love for one another, our encouragement of one another, our admonitions and edifications and exhortations to one another be a blessing to Him. May The Lord be glorified and blessed, and may you be blessed and encouraged for His glory.

Jerusalem Day (Yom Yerushalayim) began this evening (now yesterday evening) as the sun was going down. Not just any anniversary of the day that Jerusalem was liberated, but the 50th year since she came again into the inheritance God Almighty intended for the children of Jacob. It takes reading from Gen 1:1 – Rev.22:21 to begin to get a ray of understanding, enough to humble us − knowing that we will NEVER see the whole picture in this life. But, oh, we KNOW that it will be breathtaking!

YOM YERUSHALEYIM  looks like this in Hebrew יום ירושלים

Fifty years ago today on the Hebrew calendar, Jerusalem was liberated from Jordan and like the rest of those whom the Lord had sent into exile, She came home.

It has been QUITE a week here (this may be the understatement of the year).  I listened to all of the meetings with US President Donald Trump as it becomes daily even more impossible to trust the media. So I listened carefully, giving far more time to the coverage than I would have chosen, but I’m glad that I did.  Yes, I have opinions and observations and wonderings, but they are all dwarfed in the face of YOM YERUSHALAYIM. This 50th anniversary of GOD’S HAND  landing here and re-writing history in a matter of a shocking 6 days.

Today is the 24th of May, 2017 and I walked most of the way to work this morning, despite my current lack of physical strength. I wanted on THIS day to walk these streets, pray these streets, sing these streets, and open my eyes to whatever He would show me.

Although I left my apartment at 6:15, the train, which ran all night last night – usually it stops between 1 am -5 am – so the celebrations could take place all through the night. The train was full of religious people, making their way to the Western Wall.  Oh yes I DID so want to go this morning to thank Him, but of course I thanked Him as I walked and sang amidst the birds, the flowers, and flowering trees, wondering what it all means. I prayed for mercy and the fear of God, God ALMIGHTY

You KNOW of course, that Allah is NOT the same GOD, right? I have told you before that written around the inside of the Dome of The Rock, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, are the words (in Arabic) “Allah is one AND HE HAS NO SON”.  He said it himself.  If we say that Allah is the same God that we worship, then we are denying Jesus, period.

And so I sang: (no this is not me singing Psalm 147:12, 13, but a better rendition.)

I HAVE A FAVORITE QUESTION that I ask everyone at this time of year who is old enough to remember:  “WHERE WERE YOU ON THIS DAY IN 1967?”

The answers usually bring tears to my eyes and a sense of awe as each one speaks of “the miracle that GOD has done.” Their eyes ALWAYS mist over.

Shlomo Levi  is not our patient, but Dr. Meshulam’s patient.  I’ve seen him over the years but usually Dr. Meshulam’s secretary is working and I don’t serve him. However I was alone on Friday when he came in.  His jet black hair belies the fact that he is 81, which I saw when I opened his chart.  “Adon Levi, where were you at this time back in ’67?” I asked.

He looked shocked for a moment and then as if transported to another place, that mist fell.  “I was at the Kotel (the Western Wall),” he said.

I thought that he meant he had followed the throngs in after it was taken, the thousands of survivors that poured weeping through the Old City gates, to touch the remaining wall of the temple, denied to them for 2,000 years.

‘Yes?’ I asked, urging him to continue.

“You have heard of Motta Gur?” he asked.

“OF COURSE,” I answered, remembering the iconic Corporal who led the advance.  I was carrying around his proclamation in my purse to give out to people as a reminder: ‘The Old City is in our hands!’  He wept over the radio as he made the earthshaking announcement. Later promising before God in prayer – also written on my copy of the proclamation, that we would watch over Jerusalem faithfully,  keeping her for God.  OF COURSE, we ALL know Motta Gur.

Shlomo began to quietly speak, “I carried his radio equipment.  I had to stick to him like glue, but I was there when he made the proclamation.”  Tears began rolling down BOTH of our faces and I jumped up and gave this small religious man, not much taller than I am, a big hug and thanked him.

His eyes shined with the wonder of His memory, he pulled out his teudot zehut  (Identity card) and said, “I was given this special stamp in my ID.”

I looked at a seal of Jerusalem and the notation of honor to those who took part in the battle for the liberation of Jerusalem.  “It was a miracle you know,” he said.  “There was NO way that we could have done it.  The fighting was fierce…we were weakened with no food or water for so long…out-numbered…it was a miracle!”

Yes, it WAS a miracle, and those words are repeated again and again with each story.

I was surprised when I asked Avi where he was on that day.

In 1967 I was a wild hippie, out of college, and didn’t THINK of Avi being a kid, so it took me back when he said, “Well, I was only seven so I couldn’t fight but my Mother kept us children in the shelter. But I lived in Sanhedria and the Jordanian barbed wire – and so the fighting – was on our street – fierce fighting.  I kept trying to peak out.  My Mother had a job keeping us down and quiet.  It was SO exciting when the guns became silent and the people began running out, yelling, ‘The Old City is Free!’ They were dancing and crying in the streets and thanking God.  I didn’t understand really but we were all so happy.”

The city really did a marvelous job of security closures while U.S. President Trump was here.  The street closings, as difficult as they always are, seemed much more orderly this time, and although not easy, I WAS able to get a taxi home as opposed to when U.S. President Obama was here. Then I had to walk the lengthy distance home.

My taxi driver was seventeen in 1967, JUST under the eighteen year age where he could join the army. BUT he was welcome to join the “mitnadev” or “volunteer army,” running errands, filling sandbags, bringing messages, food, and water

“I lived in Mamilla.  Do you know where Mamilla is?’ he asked.

Mamilla, like Sanhedria, was RIGHT on the border with Jordan, right against the Old City walls.  My dear friend Tamima has delighted me with her stories of growing up there and then being there for the liberation.

“Yes I do.  My friend Tamima grew up there.”

He looked at me. “Tamima Ben Tzvi?  Yes, I know Tamima.  We were all together like one family back then.”

We smiled.

“It was all so intense…so much shooting…wounded…helping at the hospitals…but then it was over.  My two friends and I walked ALL around the walls of the Old City.” He shook his head in wonder before continuing. “And then we walked to Hebron where we went to Machpelah (the cave of the Patriarchs, where Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca and Leah are buried…the burying plot purchased by Abraham as recorded in Gen 23:1-20) to pray and give thanks for this great miracle. (This taxi driver was not religious).

Others told me of defending their kibbutz or smaller community outside of the city with furious fighting and miracle after miracle. GOD WAS ACKNOWLEDGED AS THE AUTHOR OF THIS ASTOUNDING GIFT.

I handed out my copies of the proclamations made at the wall by Motta Gur and Rabbi Goren, the Rabbi who is seen in all of the historic photos blowing the shofar on that day of days back in 1967. (You can check the photos here.)

I must close now. My husband has come home for supper.  May His joy overflow to you and HIS concern, His heart, His plan and His purposes.  I once again quoted from Zechariah 12 at the top of this letter.  Thank you for praying with us as the world closes in on us, but our God will not be mocked.  He has been glorified, He is being glorified (though not enough) and He WILL be glorified.

God bless you.

Lovingly,

your sister J in Jerusalemnn

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Spring Break

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I will be taking a few weeks off to complete a large project. So, enjoy Passover and your Resurrection Sunday celebrations this weekend.

God bless you.

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