Category Archives: Uncategorized

I AM NOT RACIST…or am I?

It wasn’t until the death of George Floyd that the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to the part my apathy had played in racism.

Apathy?

Out of the 807,391 words used in the New American Standard Version of the Bible, the word “apathy” does not appear one time. And the word “apathy” does not appear even once in the other top ten selling English translations of the Bible.

But a well-known synonym for apathy does appear in a verse in each of the top selling Bible translations –

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked (Revelation 3:15-17)

Lukewarm?

Most Christians think that term describes believers who give their lives to the Lord at a Jesus Crusade and then fall away, no longer fellowshipping with other believers, praying or reading their Bibles. They have their stay-out-of-Hell fire insurance card and that’s good enough for them.

Is this an accurate description of all lukewarm believers?

Let’s check out my life on the morning the Holy Spirit pointed His finger at my sin of apathy:

I climbed out of bed at 4:30 a.m. that morning and spent two and half hours in prayer. I read the Bible for sixty minutes and listened to some teachings by Mike Bickle on my iPhone throughout the afternoon as I worked. Plus, I fasted two days that week.

This was not an atypical day or week for me. It is the routine which I have followed for over thirty years. It does not matter whether I am struggling through the worst of times or enjoying a season of blessings, I continue to plod along and seek the Lord. It is my life.

One of the prayers I prayed that morning, as I do almost every morning, was this one from a psalm by King David:

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life (Psalm 139:23-24 NLT)

“Point out anything in me that offends You, Lord.”

There is not much I could say to the Lord when He answered this prayer by pointing out my sin of apathy, except, “Forgive me, Lord.”

Normally, I just keep on walking with Him and don’t look back after I ask the Lord for forgiveness. I know He isn’t angry with me nor does He love me less because I sinned and fell short of His glory. Yet, on that morning, I felt like I needed more information and asked, “Lord, how did I end up being lukewarm in my love toward my black brothers and sisters? “

The Lord eventually dropped His answer into my spirit. It was far different than I thought it would be – like hello! Doesn’t that always seem to be the case?

The Lord reminded me how for the first fifteen years after my salvation, I did not listen to newscasts or follow politics. I felt it was a waste of my time when compared to seeking Him.

This changed in early 2000 when I read a prophecy spoken by a man I admired – Bob Jones. “A burning bush shall come out of Texas and be elected the next president of the United States,” he prophesied.

Jones’ prophetic words stirred me to follow politics and to begin listening to newscasts and a few conservative radio shows while I drove my truck. I soon began thinking the GOP was God’s Own Party and the Democrats were controlled by Satan and his minions.

Almost 90% of black Americans vote for Democratic candidates. Thus, love for my black brothers and sisters became collateral damage in my new political thinking.

I continued on this political path until January of 2009. That’s when the Lord let me know He loved both Democrats and Republicans and I should do the same. He told me that I could be delivered of my attitudes toward Democrats if I quit listening to news programs and conservative talk radio – AND – quit voting in elections.

It took six months, but the Lord’s proposals changed my life. I no longer looked at a person through a political mindset. I saw each person as a valued being, created in God’s image, one who Jesus died for on the cross and one who He loved with all of His heart.

Take a deep breath, okay?

I am not you. The Lord knows my heart and how to set me free of my attitudes. If you have a bad attitude toward Democrats or Republicans, seek the Lord on how to love them as He does.

Just so you know: I don’t listen to the news, but I do read some news articles and check out headlines on news sites on the internet. Thus, I do keep abreast of what is happening in America and the world.

And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you—and more [besides] will be given to you who hear. (Mark 4:24 AMP)

As I wrote earlier, love for my black brothers and sisters became collateral damage with my change in political thinking. My spiritual ears no longer heard their cries for freedom nor did I feel their pain anymore. This love did not return when the Lord delivered me of my attitudes toward Democrats, but instead my attitude was that my black brothers and sisters needed to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” and join the twenty-first century here in America.

Sadly, I forgot how I wasn’t able to set myself free from most of my problems without the help of other believers.

Bear one another’s burden, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

Thus, I ask forgiveness from my black brothers and sisters for my sin of being lukewarm in loving them.

(Excerpt from my upcoming book entitled A Black River by Larry Nevenhoven)

6 Comments

Filed under African-American, black people, Christians, Race, Racism, Uncategorized

On This, My 75th Easter, I Stand Amazed

If someone would have told me thirty-six years ago, “Larry, I see that sometime in the future you will be totally dependent upon and wholeheartedly in love with Jesus”, I would have replied, “Fuggedaboutit! Jesus is for losers!”

Yet, the truth is that my reply would have been half right. You see, Jesus is for losers. The Apostle Paul explained it best when he wrote:

 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NLT)

This morning, these words floated across my mind: “I stand amazed in all of Your glory that You would die for me.” The phrase so grabbed my heart that I meditated on the words for almost an hour.

So, if you haven’t heard Dennis Jernigan sing “I Stand Amazed,” it’s a special song. You can listen to it here. And if you have time, listen to Dennis Jernigan’s testimony here because you will better understand the depths of his words – “I Stand Amazed.”

The lyrics to the song are worth reading:

I see the stars that you have made
I know You call them each by name
To think Father God who heaven displays
Is thinking of me in intimate ways
I stand amazed in all of your glory
That You would die for me I stand amazed
I stand amazed in all of Your glory
True love’s sweetest story I stand amazed
I see the nails piercing Your skin
My wicked heart driving them in
I see the spear piercing Your side
And I see the lamb for me crucified

 

Happy Easter to all of you. May you be blessed in all that you do.

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Easter, jesus, Resurrection, Uncategorized

To Speak in Tongues or To Not Speak in Tongues? That is the question. (Part 1)

The Holy Spirit Showed Up

I drove our new Buick Station Wagon to Des Moines on Monday, July 8, 1985, the fiftieth day after my salvation. There I called on corporate accounts to introduce them to Hunter Ross’s advertising programs. After my last appointment at 4 p.m., I headed back to Fort Dodge, a ninety-mile drive, hoping to see my son play in a high school baseball game that evening. Driving past Webster City on Highway 20, I experienced what Peter and the early disciples did on the first Pentecost in Jerusalem.

My mind concentrated on driving one moment, and in the next, a holy Presence flooded the interior of the car. Every part of me tingled as if jolted by a lightning bolt. I felt like opening my mouth to express the joy bubbling up within me and when I did, I spoke in tongues.

The Pentecostals and Charismatics refer to this experience as the baptism of the Holy Spirit.If you have a different teaching on the baptism of the Holy Spirit and think it refers to a different experience altogether, I’m okay with that.  The label is not as important as the experience.

I only spoke five syllables at first. So my biggest concern was whether I might forget the weird sounding words. I repeated them over and over again in my drive to the baseball diamond at Roger’s Park.

After parking, I sought Bill Sheridan to inquire about speaking in tongues. Did I need to worry about forgetting the syllables?

“Larry, it’s a gift of the Holy Spirit. He has a great memory,” said Bill with a laugh.

Speaking in tongues became my most used type of prayer from that day forward.

Excerpt from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who by Larry Nevenhoven.

Surveys by Barna and Gallup estimate that only 7 – 8% of born again believers speak in tongues (prayer utterances unintelligible to the speaker).

About one in four (in Barna’s survey) said the practice is a sign of spiritual maturity, but more than two-thirds agreed that tongues-speakers, though usually sincere, are engaged in emotional outbursts that have nothing to do with God.

“Forty percent say that if they were to speak in tongues, they would be frightened by the experience,” Barna said.

“That doesn’t surprise me,” said sociologist Margaret Poloma of the University of Akron. She said a graduate student recently told her that he spoke in tongues once while he was at a high school church camp, but he never repeated it because it scared him.

“A lot of people are afraid of letting go for fear of the unknown,” Poloma said.

Russell Spittler, an Assemblies of God minister who teaches New Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, said he believes that there is a hesitancy to speak in tongues in most Pentecostal and charismatic churches because “one might be thought to be a religious nut.” (See full article here.)

Why am I teaching on speaking in tongues?

On March 14, 2020, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart:

“Listen to My voice. Teach others to do the same. Great confusion shall soon come upon the earth. Many will believe they are doing My will, but will be deceived. Stress speaking in tongues.”

So, hold onto your kippers, mitres and plain old baseball caps as we dig into speaking in tongues.

(Continued in Part 2)

Leave a comment

Filed under America, Christianity, Church, Gifts of the Spirit, Prophecy, Speaking in tongues, Uncategorized

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

 

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May this be your best holiday season ever, full of joy, thanksgiving and fellowship with family and friends.

I am taking December off from this blog and will greet you once again in the New Year. God bless one and all!

 

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

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 dearest sisters and brothers,

In The Name of Yeshua h’meshiach, Jesus Christ, our Lord to Whom belongs ALL glory and praise and honor.  May He be blessed and glorified and may you be blessed and encouraged.

God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle. (Psalm 140:7)

The streets are again full of people who are breathing more easily and laughing and arguing.  The cease fire proclaimed somewhere between 5:30- 6:30 am this morning had their last few (5 or 6) breaches but seems to be holding now.  The crossing to bring goods into Gaza (Keren-Shalom crossing) has re-opened. Different commentators say different thing, different critics criticize different things, different prophets are proclaiming different things.  I am privy to no “inside information” but my heart is asking for The Holy Spirit to open my ears to Him.

Most of my letters are written in the midst, and this one is no exception.  As the rockets flew and my days crossed them flying like a weavers shuttle, I was asked to share with a group here on tour.  It has been a while since I have spoken in public, and I was asked to share the testimony of my aliyah experience. I realized that I have never shared that in full before with anyone.  The best that I can do in way of preparation is a combination of reading reading reading The Word, being on my knees before Him Who Alone has things of LIFE to share. While before Him, casting my thoughts back along the path that I have walked.

As I shared last night with this humble, hungry, loving,  alive group, I realized that most of you know very little  of the path that has brought my family and I here, to the center of Jerusalem where The Lord told me: “What you see – what you hear – write.”

As the fighting began I was about to tell you about our buses which I see daily.  When I got on the 77 a few days ago, the ceiling was strung with Israeli flags.  I noticed a flag in the front window, along with the usual array of flowers, chatchkas, and notes.  I smiled and thanked the driver for the flags.  No doubt they were to encourage us all in the midst of the political mud that has kept us from having a functioning government.

I thought back to the first time I got on an Israeli public city bus and was immediately assailed by the stark difference to any bus I that I had ever been on.  First of all, the music was blaring. Each bus driver has his own taste and I can hear a full array of music as well as talk shows and news. It is up to the driver BECAUSE it is, hum, well SORT OF like a co-operative.

I think that things have changed somewhat, but when we came bus drivers took their buses home at night and parked them in the street.  At times you would see a bus driver with his family on an outing instead of hauling passengers.  Likewise each driver decorates his bus to express his individual opinions.  More and more I do see undecorated buses, but nevertheless, it is part of our society. It’s color and taste.

We have moved to smart cards for tickets, but in the days of paper-punchy cards purchased from the driver, it never ceased to amaze me to watch people entering through the rear door of a crowded bus and pass up to strangers 100 shekel bills to make their purchase.  Their ticket and complete change was returned via the same route. Hand over hand of strangers on the crowded bus.

So, how did we end up here?  Where bus rides are filled with colorful people sharing deep and wonderful stories in assorted languages with anyone who is nearby. Such a tapestry of life displayed daily before my eyes in the hustle and bustle on pressures and responsibilities.

As I told the brothers and sisters last night, we may well be the most qualified people here to write a booklet on how NOT to make aliyah!

My husband is Native Aleut (Alaskan Native) and not Jewish:  I am the Jewish partner. Although I was raised as a traditional Jew in a fully Jewish family in NY, USA, it had been many years since I had been part of a Jewish community.  I identified with the life of Native Americans and had lost myself in their midst when The Lord found me.

So how can I share this story?  And, should I?  It will have to be in short chunks…piece by piece if it is to be done, for it is very long. 25 years here. 17 years from the “call” and “the promise.”

Let’s see what happens.

The word Aliyah means “to go up.”  For a Jew to come home to Israel is considered “going up” spiritually.  Every Jew by birth (the genetic testing popular today is not accepted) has the right of return, to make Aliyah, to come home and to become an Israeli citizen.

I had NO (as in minus zero) desire in myself to EVER make aliyah.  Indeed, I had never set foot in Israel until the day that “I came home.”

Now, this is ONE thing that is NOT generally advised!

BUT, since we are just getting word that another rocket was just intercepted, I will leave this story to perhaps continue at a later date.

May you and I be filled with The Holy Spirit afresh for His glory.  May He grant us discernment and keep us each from deception in these days…may He find our hearts humble, before Him, with one another.

Lovingly,

your sis J

Leave a comment

Filed under Christianity, Israel, Jerusalem, Prophecy, Uncategorized

First the Blade (Chapter 32)

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 32

Faith Summary

 

You’re probably thinking this book should be entitled Faith One-O-One because of my emphasis on faith. But my deep belief is that we need to have a solid foundation of faith to persevere in our journeys with the Lord.

And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Walking with God always takes faith. Always. Always. Always.

I wrote this a few years ago, but it shows why we may need strong faith in the near future:

So, let’s say that you’re staying with your family at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel (where the movie, Pretty Woman, was filmed), just off Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California. But all of a sudden, terrorists arrive and begin shooting their AK-47’s and exploding grenades, killing, and maiming everyone they see. Confusion and havoc reigns.

Somehow you’re able to barricade your family and yourself in a first floor cafe. You hear the terrorists walking your direction.  Who can you expect to help you?

Will the president help you? He’ll make a statement on TV, deploring terrorism, and will probably add, “Most Muslims are good people. These are just a few bad eggs!” After all, he needs the Muslim vote in the next election and doesn’t want to offend CAIR.

Will the governor help you? This is California, not Texas, so the Governor will first take a quick telephone poll to discover what the people think. You know, he’s running for office again and the election will be a close one. He also will appear on TV, deplore terrorism, announce that he is considering all options, even calling out the National Guard and will take a helicopter to the scene.

Will the mayor and city council members help you? These guys will be relegated to low-level radio interviews. And of course, they will deplore terrorism: yada, yada, yada.

What about the police? They and their SWAT teams will surround the hotel. Phone calls will be made to the governor, mayor, police chief and whoever else needs to be contacted before taking action. Valuable time will pass before a decision is made.

What about a DMORT team? This is the one positive that will happen almost immediately. A Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team from Region IX will be dispatched as soon as they hear about the attack. They will bring victim identification equipment, body bags, and storage units for the expected dead people.

Our only hope will be our strong faith in God.

 

If you do not have a great faith revelation, I recommend reading and studying the Word of Faith teachings by Kenneth E. Hagin. I disagree with him about his teachings on the doctrine of grace, but he’s by far the best faith teacher. His teachings will build strong faith in you.

If you are wondering about the prosperity teachings taught by many Word of Faith preachers, Kenneth E. Hagin never agreed with those teachings. Before he died, he warned those teachers of their greed and asked them to repent. Few listened to him.

You can read many of his books on line by Googling his name or purchase them, used or new, at Amazon.com. If you have time, check Salvation Army stores and other used bookstores, often you can buy them for pennies on the dollar.

Studying Kenneth E. Hagin’s teachings may be a good investment of your time, which may pay off in huge dividends for you in the future.

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

Leave a comment

Filed under America, Christianity, Faith, New Christians, Uncategorized, Writing

First the Blade (Chapter 31)

 

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 31

Building Mustard-Seed Faith (p)

As far as churches go, the church building was not much to look at. The paint had peeled off its white clapboard siding and covered the ground with white flecks. The roof sagged. The sidewalks and steps had huge cracks. The small sanctuary seated a hundred and thirty people − at best.

During a four-year period in the late 1980’s and early 90’s, I attended that small Charismatic church. Its membership never surpassed thirty members, and for many Sunday services, just ten or twelve people sat in the pews.

Regular services were held on Sunday mornings and evenings, and of course, a Bible study on Wednesday nights. Every morning at 7a.m., there was a prayer meeting for revival in the city.

The city’s food pantry for needy people was located in the church’s basement. Most of the food items came from Second Harvest (now called Feeding America). The church also received a monthly stipend from the 700 Club to cover costs of the program.

Finances were always a problem for the church. The members were poor and there were not enough of them. Maintenance and repairs for the church building were always put off until something happened. We then all chipped in enough money to fix the problem.

The church’s pastors were an older couple. The wife was the head pastor and the husband was an associate pastor.

Okay, do you have the picture? Small church. Few members. Little money. Two pastors.

Yet, if Christians in the area needed a prophetic word, they came to the church. The pastors prophesied, I prophesied, and so did most of the other members. Any person who asked for prayer would leave with numerous prophetic words for his life. This happened all the time.

 

How could there ever be a problem with a group which had such strong prophetic gifts and who supposedly heard the voice of God?

The two pastors had apostolic callings with a vision for forming a network of churches. They hoped to plant new churches and add existing ones to the network. All would be under their apostolic guidance.

This sounded exciting enough at the time, but the two pastors had a chink in their vision: me.

The two pastors heard numerous prophecies spoken by various people about my life and had spoken many themselves. They interpreted all of my personal prophecies to mean I would be a part of their team. They wanted me to be their Silas, a prophet who would encourage and strengthen the brethren in their network of churches.

Their vision for my life did not match the one I had for me.

I shared with them what I believed the Lord wanted me to do, but they told me I was deceived. These conversations never ended well and usually one would say, “Larry, you need to really seek the Lord about your life. You don’t want to be deceived, do you?”

Why didn’t I just leave the church?

Part of the problem was the mixed-up pastoral authority teachings, which I believed at the time. These teachings taught that all believers needed to be submitted to a pastor and under his/her authority or be out of the will of God.

There was another side to the pastoral authority teachings. This one taught that because the pastor was the shepherd and head of the local church, the Lord would first speak to the leader about what a member should do with his life. This particular teaching was an offshoot of the Shepherding Movement.

I eventually knew I had to confront the pastors about their control issues in my life. A meeting was set up to air our differences.

I fasted and prayed ahead of time and had scriptures and prophetic words for them. But as I began speaking to them, one of the pastors spoke in tongues and the other one interpreted the tongues. As this happened, I felt a suffocating power overwhelm me so I felt drained and afraid. Along with the fear, I became confused.

The meeting ended with me submitting under their authority and wondering what had happened to me. So, I sought the Lord.

The answers did not come quickly for me. I struggled in the church for the next few months. A woman from another city eventually knocked on my apartment door one evening. She said the Lord had sent her to pray for me.

After she prayed, the fear of the two pastors left me and my spiritual eyes were opened.

You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed. (2 Corinthians 11:4 NLT)

The spiritual gifts are awesome tools given to us by God for the common good of all people. They contain the power of God and are distributed by the Holy Spirit.

But sadly, sometimes the prophetic gifts are not from the Holy Spirit, and may be from a familiar spirit or a lying spirit or another spirit. This is not a game. It’s an all-out war.

The last thing the enemy wants is for us to boldly walk in faith. To stop us, he will take advantage of every opportunity to derail us.

We need to have our faith built up so we understand there is only one mediator between man and God. His name is Jesus.

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

First the Blade (Chapter 30)

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 30

Building Mustard-Seed Faith (o)

Tiger Woods finished third in the 2011 Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, and won $330,667 for his four-day effort. Not bad, right?

Zach Johnson, the 2007 Masters’ Champion, would have been satisfied with Tiger’s four days of golf scores because he missed the cut that year. Zach is not Tiger Woods nor is there another athlete like Tiger in the whole world. He is a minority of one.

Yet, Tiger by his own words was a failure: “Second place is first loser.” Third place would mean an even bigger loser by his definition, not a flattering description of his efforts at the 2011 Masters.

I myself cannot imagine the intense pressure Tiger must feel as he plays in a major golf tournament with thousands of media people checking him out from every angle. His swing. His putting. His attitude. His girl friends. His mistakes. It’s a wonder he can even hold a cup of coffee in his hands without spilling it all over himself.

What do you think drives Tiger Woods to keep putting himself through such a meat grinder like major golf tournaments?

Golf enthusiasts will say, “Its his deep pride which keeps him going. That’s the sum total of what Woods is all about: pride.”

To that, I will answer, “Liar, liar, pants on fire!”

I think Tiger Woods is driven by fear.

“Fear!” Woods’ fans may scream. “Not Tiger. He’s never been afraid of anything!”

What did Tiger first do when his infidelities and his marital problems became public? He hid out for months. Why? Because his life was a lie and his brand image a sham. He reacted in the exact same way Adam and Eve did because of fear.

I think Woods now heads to each major golf tournament, struggling to keep his fears in check. Fears that he will never ever again live up to the image of who he was in the past. And when you think about it: his image was a lie, not even a reality of who Tiger Woods really was.

Then the seventh angel sounded; and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ; and He will reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15)

I’m not against Tiger Woods, nor am I putting him down, but I hate the dark system, which drives him with fear: the kingdom of the world. And nothing would make me happier than learning Tiger has surrendered his life to Jesus and become a member of the Kingdom of our Lord.

In the Kingdom of our Lord, it’s not my successes or failures which matter, but instead it’s who Jesus is and what He’s done for me. I am already a success in His eyes because I am a member of His royal family. Any earthly successes I might possibly attain will only pale in value when compared to my citizenship in the Kingdom.

I can walk in the faith of knowing I am a royal prince, son of a great King, who loves me, owns me, and is always for me.

With this great revelation, have I ever known fear? Yes and it came from an unusual place: a church.

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

Leave a comment

Filed under America, Christianity, Faith, New Christians, Uncategorized

First the Blade (Chapter 22)

 

First the Blade 

© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven

Chapter 22

Building Mustard-Seed Faith (g)

I’ve looked at numerous videos on my computer concerning the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The scenes were horrible and disturbing. There was no possible way I could relate to the agony and loss the Japanese people suffered, even my prayers seemed inadequate.

One scene from a particular video invaded my thoughts and brought with it a nagging question. The particular scene showed the tsunami wave breaking through a housing development and heading out into a farming area. You could see the tsunami carrying homes, autos, buses, and debris in its wave undulations.

The nagging question was this: if I were caught by surprise and stood in the middle of that farm field, facing that oncoming tsunami, could I survive?

“Are you silly? There’s no conceivable way you can survive that scene. Where’s your logic, Larry?” one may say.

For we walk by faith, not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5: 7)

The number one hindrance to faith is we can only see our circumstances and nothing else. They loom as huge obstacles in our paths, impossible to get around. Then, because our focus is on the circumstances, our intellect, logic, and reason race ahead and calculate the odds of whether we’ll survive our sicknesses, poverty, dismal marital relationships, family problems, or disastrous situations (like the tsunami), and guess what? There’s never any hope for us. We are doomed.

Faith sees the circumstance – and never ignores it – but it instantly fixes its eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith. (82) He is the One who calms the seas with a word or calls us to walk on water. He is the One who raises the dead and multiplies the bread and fish.

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20)

Our faith has to be focused on the mighty One who lives within us, not on our puny strengths or abilities. He must be our everything!

I have strength for all things in Christ who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]. (Philippians 4: 13 Amplified Bible)

Could I possibly stand in a field, facing an oncoming tsunami with all of its force, and survive? Yes, I could, but it’s not my decision to make, it’s His decision because He owns me. He knows when I’ve finished my course. I’m absolutely convinced He’s able to bring me to that particular end time period for my life. (83)

I sincerely believe that the more we know the One who lives within us, the less power our circumstances will have over us.

So, how can faith overcome our circumstances?

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

2 Comments

Filed under America, Christianity, Faith, New Christians, Uncategorized, Writing

Inside Israel

“I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears (2 Tim 4:1-3)

Greetings with grace and mercy in The Blessed Name of our Lord, Yeshua h’meshiach, Who has come and is coming again.  May He be blessed and glorified and may we be made fit for His use.  May you be blessed and encouraged.

Today is the Hoshana Raba – many praises – the LAST day of the Feast of Sukkot. The last day of the three fall feasts as prescribed in Torah.  BUT DON’T LET THAT DECEIVE YOU!

Tomorrow is Simchat Torah, The Joy of Torah, a most wonderful day marking the end of the cycle of reading the first 5 books of the Torah (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy) for the year and the beginning again of the cycle.  The end of the book of Deuteronomy is completed and the prescribed reading will begin again with Genesis 1.

The prescribed readings are called the parashat h’shavouah or the weekly portion, and they are on each calendar, newspapers, just about everywhere that a date is printed.

Simchat Torah is that wonderful day when the Torah scrolls are brought out of the synagogues and into the streets with singing and dancing.  Each congregation brings out their own scrolls and parade them through the streets with blessing and joy.  The Torah – The Word of God – held high and danced around with reverence and joy.  One day The Living Word will be recognized in our midst.

It has been an intense time, this season of seasons.  It always is.  The city is filled to overflowing with visitors from over 100 nations to take part in the many Christian conferences, meetings, convocations and celebrations connected with the Feast of Tabernacles.  Others come on their own just to see.

Jews from around the world come to take part.  Schools and many work places are closed.  Sukkas are built in apartments, courtyards and on the sidewalks.  The streets are packed and at the same time so are the nature reserves, the parks and beaches.  The country becomes a big belegan – a pot of spaghetti – thrown up in the air and having as much fun as possible.  Some of you have been a prat of the Jerusalem March, a huge colorful and joyful parade through the center of Jerusalem that greatly encourages the citizens who always leave with a wonder that in the midst of it all there really are supporters who love us. I have in the past watched the encouragement rise of the faces of spectators whom I stood by. It is tangible.

I recently remembered writing from my sukka one year. It was the year that I was so deeply impacted by the gift that God had given us in these appointed feasts.  It was during the very height of the last intifada and we were weary from terror and blood running in the streets, funerals and grief.  NEVERTHELESS, WE HAD TO STOP AND CELEBRATE!  I remember sitting in my flimsy sukka with material walls and branches for a roof looking at the stars so high above and suddenly realizing this gift.  NO MATTER WHAT, WE WERE TO STOP AND REMEMBER GOD.  We are so small and HE IS SO BIG!  War? Yes, BUT GOD IS BIGGER!  Death?  Yes, but HE HAS CONQUORED THE GRAVE!

I recall being in the sukka of a family of dear friends when the first Autumn storm came up.  Remember, we live in a desert and the seasons are distinct.  No rain and only rain.  Sukkot marks the beginning of the rainy season, so we greet the rain with joy, even when it blows your sukka away, which it did that night!  We ran down the street chasing ours while perhaps 50 other families did the same, chasing theirs as the dramatically strong wind brought in the rain.  What laughter and joy in spite of a soggy dinner.

But The Lord DOES speak to us through nature, and although the storms are a blessing, several incidents have me pondering.  There were a number of drownings, terrible deadly car accidents and the powerful storm took even the weathermen by surprise.  The lightning and thunder dramatically preceded short but intense downpours.  But it was a grief to read of the death of a lovely doe eyed 14- year old boy after he and 4 other family members were struck by lightning as they made their way off the beach where they had been.  

            “Asher’s mother told reporters earlier that as religious people she and her family understand things like that can happen and the weather can become lethal.”

There just seemed to be an unusual number of deadly accidents during Sukkot and the other fall feasts this year and of course, our own precious 4 from our kehila such a short time ago.

‘What are You saying, Lord?’

Maybe I’m crazy, but I firmly believe that The Lord is speaking in and through everything.

A dear brother once told me that someone said to him, “Everything isn’t answer to prayer. Some things are coincidences.”

He laughed and said, “Well, when I pray I have a lot of coincidences…when I don’t pray, hum…not so many.”

So, yes, I do see God’s Hand everywhere and His fingerprints comfort me even in the midst of our trials..

People have been asking for my take on the situation between the Kurds, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Russia, the US. I could give you my opinion but there are so many opinions and teachings jumping in to fill that void. Many are interesting, many are very informed, many add into the mix the fact that we still don’t have a government in Israel. And what does THAT mean?  What if we go to A THIRD ELECTION? AND SO ON.  I don’t have the answers, but I DO pray.  I DO see and I DO watch and I pray.

Speaking of prayer, it just occurred to me:  why have I never sent out an invitation to the yearly IFI (intercessors for Israel) prayer conference?  I don’t know, but I would like to now.  Will you pray about coming if The Lord is calling you to?  If you are under 30 and feel that He is calling you to intercession on behalf of Israel, there are scholarships available to help with expenses.  Here is the link:

IFI PRAYER CONFERENCE JERUSALEM – JAN. 2020

This is a short note summing up an intense and wonderful season.  We are off to dinner at our daughter’s house shortly.  I am bringing two types of kubba  with soup, falafel balls, pita, challa, halvah, and a wide variety of middle eastern fair. Wish you could all join and taste!   Tomorrow (the last day that everything including public transportation is closed) is my husband’s 74th birthday. We will celebrate AGAIN with friends and family.   On Wednesday as a gift, we are sending him to London for a week to visit our older daughter and Grandchildren for Noah’s 16th birthday.  WHEW!  If this were the only letter of mine you ever read you might think that we did nothing but celebrate.

And that brings me back to the 2 Tim 4 scripture.

When things are this intense with no let up, we also cannot let up our stance of being ready for the battle.  NEVER!  We cannot be unprepared to answer everyman what is the reason for our hope.  We cannot be unprepared to hear our minute by minute marching orders.  We cannot slack in prayer.  It is life and death!

I watch the young (oh so young!) soldiers and security making their ways through the unbelievable crowds at the shukand I pray for them to be alert, not to be distracted by their cell phones or by conversation or by “selfies.” BE ALERT!  LISTEN!  WATCH!

So it is with us.  We have an unrelenting enemy who is watching for us to be distracted.  This enemy is real and deadly.  Our God is BIGGER!  MAY WE BE FOUND WITH OUR EYES FIXED ON HIS…OUR EARS TUNED TO HEAR HIS VOICE ALONE.

BLESSINGS to you all and chag sameach.  (Joyful Holyday)  May we glorify Him and finish the work.

Lovingly,

Sister J in Jerusalem

 

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity, End-Times, Israel, Jerusalem, Uncategorized