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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Hey Senior Citizens! The American Church Needs New Leaders, Why Not You? (Part 3)

 

When I turned fifty years of age, I wrote down as many of the dreams and prophecies for my life as I could remember. Then, I wrote down how many of them had been fulfilled up to that date. This part only took seconds because none of them had been fulfilled.

At seventy-three years of age, I could do the same thing today. The only difference is that I would be able to check off one from my list: marriage to a godly woman. That’s it! All of the rest have not been fulfilled as yet.

Oh dear, right?

At this moment, I work as a delivery driver for Panera Bread in Tempe, Arizona, which is about as far from my dreams and prophetic words for my life as possible. So, why would I invest my small amount of remaining time in a job like this?

On April 6, I met a prophetic friend for breakfast in Chandler, Arizona. We enjoyed fellowshipping with each other for a couple of hours. During this time, he said to me, “I see you delivering products mainly to businesses. Seek the Lord about this.”

I sought the Lord and ended up delivering Panera menu items mainly to workers at businesses and schools.

Am I any closer to fulfilling the callings on my life?

Of course, I am.

You see, I can’t fulfill any of the promises for my life apart from the Lord’s help. It’s futile to even attempt to do so. Thus, if the Lord wants me to deliver Panera products, I’m all-in!

Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. (James 5:11)

If you’re a senior citizen and you’re seeking the Lord on unfulfilled prophetic promises for your life, don’t give up. He who called you is faithful. You can trust Him to do what He said He would do in your life. Be all-in!

(Continued in Part 4…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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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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Friday End-Times Bible Study (Conclusion…for now)

 

I have enjoyed writing this series and hope you have enjoyed them, too. If you’re interested in the End-Times, there’s plenty of room for new revelations from all of us. No one has it all figured out. So let’s start studying.

My advice is to read over the more than 150 chapters scattered throughout the Bible on End-Times prophecy. Mike Bickle has already provided us a list of these chapters. You can check them out here. And who knows? You might even find more chapters that aren’t mentioned by Bickle.

I have also listened to numerous End-Time teachers and read countless articles by such teachers as Mike Bickle, Mark Biltz, Chauncey Navarro and others. Bickle and Biltz are well-known, but Navarro happens to be my favorite. He’s fun to listen to and teaches the End-Times from a Jewish point of view.

So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation, spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— (Matthew 24:15)

And those of the people who understand shall instruct many(Daniel 11:33)

Jesus admonished us to understand the End-Times. Why? So we can instruct those believers who will have no understanding when the End-Times hits this world.

None of this is above our pay grade. So, let’s go for it!

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

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Prayers for Senior Citizens (5/30/2019)

 

Let’s stop blaming Democrats, Republicans, the media, social media and anyone else for America’s problems. And let’s start looking in the mirror at the major causes for our problems: me and almost every senior citizen in our nation.

We are the ones who inherited this nation from what Tom Brokaw called the “Greatest Geneation” and then allowed it to be turned into a selfish, government-reliant, money-hungry, anti-God, abortion-loving, self-absorbing, comfort-adoring, gender-confused generation, filled with our children and grandchildren.

The buck stops here for me…and hopefully for millions of others.

I refuse to spend my twilight years sitting in a rocking chair and just passing time until I die. I want to make-up for those years I failed to pray, fast and help shape my children and grandchildren into men and women of God who build His kingdom for His purposes.

My prayer today:

Lord, I repent of my apathy and lethargy over the last fifty years. Help me to deny myself, pick up my cross daily and follow You. And Lord, give me Your grace to be what You desire me to be now.

Join with me on Thursdays to fast and pray for Christian Senior Citizens in America.

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Prayers for Businessmen (5/28/2019)

Most businessmen have various insurance policies. Health insurance. Life insurance. Auto insurance. Home insurance. And so forth. All of these are for those “just in case” happenings in our lives.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroys, and thieves do not break in and steal. (Matthew 6:19-20)

Most of us look at the word treasure in this verse and we assume that it means a heavenly reward, something that we will receive when we die and go to heaven. But that’s not what the Greek word thēsauros means at all. The word actually means a safety deposit box where we place our valuables until we need them.

How do we lay up treasures in heaven?

Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.” (Mark 10:21)

The way to get treasure in heaven is to give to the poor while following Jesus. Then, when unexpected downturns or events happen to our business or lives, we can make withdrawals from our heavenly accounts.

And remember this: God’s rate of return is many times better than earthly savings accounts.

My prayer today:

Lord, help us businessmen to deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow You in every area of our lives and businesses. (Based on Matthew 16:24)

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

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Uncle Phil Was a Hero

phil

 

Carol’s uncle, Phil Fielder, was a handsome seventeen-year old Iowan whose remaining boyhood years were set aside by World War II. Four older brothers enlisted soon after Pearl Harbor. He followed their lead by signing up on July 10, 1942. After boot camp, he attended airplane mechanic’s school and specialist’s training for P-38 fighter planes.

But like many other young men, Phil hated sitting on the sidelines, thousands of miles away from action so he volunteered for gunnery school. The heavy casualties in the air war over Germany caused his transfer orders to quickly pass through proper channels for his relocation to Pueblo, Colorado. The Army assigned him to a B-24 bomber crew as a flight engineer and a machine gunner after graduation.

In the midst of the Army’s hurry-up-and-wait schedule, Phil married Helen Kimler on October 24, 1943. Their honeymoon was brief, but fortunately, she was able to travel with him to Colorado. The months quickly passed until Phil was assigned to a bomber crew. Helen left for Iowa, pregnant with their soon arriving child, while Phil flew off to war.

During World War II, more than 18,300 B-24 bombers were manufactured in America. It was a clumsy looking four-engine airplane with twin tails and a nose wheel. The cruising speed was 200 miles per hour with a maximum rating of 300 miles per hour. Aptly named the Liberator, it was armed with ten .50 caliber machine guns and could carry a payload of 8,800 pounds of bombs.

Though fondly remembered by their ten-man crews, the B-24’s were anything but passenger friendly. Noisy, bumpy, cumbersome, awkward, cramped, and uncomfortable with no heat, no restrooms, no pressurized cabins, no padding on the iron seats, and no kitchen facilities. Temperatures were as low as fifty degrees below zero at times with winds gusting through the cabins from the open bomb bay doors and machine gun turrets. Each man used an oxygen mask at altitudes above 10,000 feet and wore two parachutes: front and back.

Phil’s ten-man crew was a part of the 15th Army Air Force and the 485th Bomber Group. Their ages ranged from nineteen to twenty-three years old. Captain Tom McDowell was a respected veteran at the ripe old age of twenty. Uncle Phil was the second youngest and the only married man on the crew.

Landing in Venosa, Italy, the B-24 crew flew their first mission on September 6, 1944. Thus, began their countdown towards a minimum of thirty-five bombing runs over enemy territory before being reassigned to less hazardous duties.

Thirty-five missions over Germany, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and Austria. Thirty-five flights bombing oil refineries, railroad yards, ammunition plants, ball bearing factories, and whatever else. Thirty-five trips through anti-aircraft fire filled with deadly flak so heavy it appeared to be black clouds. Thirty-five times taking off knowing one in three planes might not return that day. Thirty-five tests of courage far beyond what normal men could ever hope to bear. It was no wonder these crews became life-long friends after enduring such perils together.

On one particular mission, Phil’s B-24 came under heavy anti-aircraft fire just after dropping their bombs. A piece of flak tore a hole in the hydraulic reservoir tank, spraying oil all over the cabin. If left unrepaired, the bomb bay doors would remain open and the plane’s wheels could not be lowered into landing position when they returned to the base. Valuable seconds ticked off. Something had to be done or the plane would have to be ditched, forcing them to use their parachutes. A dangerous last resort for B-24 crews.

“See if you can do something! And be quick about it!” shouted Captain Tom to Uncle Phil.

Phil saw a small broom under the pilot’s seat. He grabbed it, broke the handle off, and made his way toward the hydraulic tank.

The trek to the rear was dangerous under normal conditions because there was no aisle. Just an eight-inch wide catwalk spanned the thin aluminum doors, but on that day, the bomb bay doors were wide open with high winds ripping through them. The plane flew at an altitude of twenty-eight thousand feet, with temperatures at forty degrees below zero. Slippery hydraulic oil covered everything, including the narrow catwalk.

Phil unhooked his front parachute pack and edged sideways over the long oily catwalk, much like a high wire walker in a circus. He crossed the open bomb bay doors to the leaking tank. Arriving there, he cut off a finger on his leather glove, shoved the broom handle into the lopped off piece, and rammed the jury-rigged wad into the tank’s gaping hole. It worked. The leak stopped.

Was there a band playing for our hero when he arrived back at the base? No. Did any reporters rush to write about his heroic act of courage? No. Were any medals of honor pinned on his chest? No. Did he really expect to receive any of this? No. Phil instead received the grateful thanks from the ones he considered the most important people in the war zone: his crewmembers.

Phil and his crew completed their quota of thirty-five bombing missions in April 1945 and then were reassigned back to the states. There he reunited with Helen and finally met his seven-month old son, Philip, Jr.

Uncle Phil summed up his actions on that day with the hydraulic reservoir by saying, “Somebody had to do it. It just turned out to be me.”

Happy Memorial Day to all those who served in America’s Armed Forces.

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