Tag Archives: Gifts of the Spirit

To Speak in Tongues or To Not Speak in Tongues? That is the question. (Part 3)

Praying in tongues quiets the mind. When Dr. Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist, compared brain scans of Christians praying in tongues with Buddhist monks chanting and Catholic nuns praying, the study showed the frontal lobes—the brain’s control center—went quiet in the brains of Christians talking in tongues, proving that speaking in tongues isn’t a function of the natural brain but an operation of the Spirit (1 Cor. 14:2, 14). (Adapted from Seventy Reasons for Speaking in Tongues by Bill Hamon(Destiny Image). Reproduced by permission of Destiny Image.

An early step in my heart renovation happened during the winter of 1993 when I scheduled a teaching at a home group in Story City, Iowa, a fifty-five mile journey from Fort Dodge. My 1975 Chevy gas-hog of a pickup truck sat outside of my apartment with a gas tank resembling my empty billfold.

I already had a teaching ready for the group and felt the Lord had a way to somehow get me there. I prayed in tongues on my knees for an hour before a scripture crossed my mind.

One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his good deed (Proverbs 19:17).

“Lord, how will this scripture help me?” I asked aloud.

No response came, but I knew the scripture contained my answer. I memorized it and meditated on it while praying in tongues for another hour. The Holy Spirit eventually reminded me about giving all the money in my billfold to a poor woman who lived just down the street. The ex-husband was late with child support. The family needed milk and groceries.

“Okay, Lord. That builds my faith because I did give money to a poor person, but how am I going to make my faith work in this instance?” I said.

No answer again.

I returned to bowing on my knees and continued meditating on the scripture while praying in tongues for another hour. This time I felt the Lord instructed me to cut out a piece of paper and tape it over my gas gauge so the needle pointing to E could not be seen. My faith would then be in God and not in the gas tank. I followed His instructions.

The truck’s engine roared to life when I turned the key and headed out into the cold, windy, snowy evening. There was little traffic on the highway. My thoughts on the ride centered on whether an angel had a gas can and continually poured fuel into the tank or if the Lord recycled the fumes. I never figured it out, but I arrived at my destination without any incident.

The Lord has built in my heart a deep trust in prayer over the years. He is my Father, who loves me enough to bankrupt heaven for me. I ask Him to provide for whatever I need in the quiet of the prayer closet and seldom have ever mentioned anything to others. Thus, I never told anyone about my empty gas tank at the house group.

The meeting and fellowship lasted until midnight, but just before I left, a man handed me thirty dollars.

“The Lord told me to give this money to you,” he said.

I thanked him and let him know how much I appreciated his obedience to the Lord’s voice.

(Excerpt from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who.)

Be still and know that I am God... (Psalm 46:10)

(Continued in Part 4)

Leave a comment

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

Churches: Fellowship Without Fellowship (Part 12)

 

My guess is that 5 to 10% of American Christians believe the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not for today’s believers. They believe the gifts were only for the early church and passed away when the last apostle died. Another 15 to 25% are either Pentecostal or Charismatic in their beliefs and believe the spiritual gifts are for all believers.

If my guess is accurate, this leaves approximately 70% of American Christians who either have not considered the spiritual gifts as important enough to seek or have received no teaching on them.

Here’s the dilemma for the 5-10% naysayer group and the 70% clueless group: what will we do when the Antichrist requires everyone to receive the mark of the beast in order to buy and sell anything?

What if our spouse needs special medications in order to live or our child needs emergency medical assistance to survive an ailment, what will we do? Will we let our spouse or child die? Or will we take the mark of the beast for their sakes? There will be no fence straddling at this time.

But here’s what we can do: we can prepare ourselves ahead of time for these end-time events by seeking the spiritual gifts now.  The gifts of word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, healing, working of miracles, prophecy, discerning of spirits, tongues, and interpretation of tongues have already been provided by the Lord for these extreme situations. Thus, why not lay down our traditions and follow the practices of the early church by seeking the spiritual gifts now?

Ah, that brings up another dilemma.

Let’s say we seek the spiritual gifts and then receive them through the baptism of the Holy Spirit, where will we practice using our gifts? We have to remember that our gifts and our faith will be strengthened as we use the gifts, but still there is a learning curve and mistakes may occur along the way.

Can we practice using our newly received gifts in a median-sized sanctuary of 300 or more members? Probably not. This is generally the realm for pastors and elders to operate their gifts. Most pew-sitters are required to be spectators only.

So, the only place where each believer can practice using his or her gifts is in a small home fellowship where each knows and trusts each other.

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

2 Comments

Filed under America, Christianity, Church, End-Times, Gifts of the Spirit, Home Church, Kingdom of God, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

Thursday’s Prayers for America (1/12/2017)

11160680_10202970551704040_6853963304935390655_n

 

President Barack Obama said in his first inaugural address: “To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history, but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

The words, “the wrong side of history,” have been a favorite cliché used often by President Obama, his administration, and the media. The phrase casts contempt on the opposition’s viewpoint and disqualifies its possible merits on the basis of civilization’s inevitable progress from darkness to enlightenment. It is a stinging “conversation stopper,” without any need for making an effective argument. A powerful piece of sound-byte logic. (Excerpt from Common Sense 2016 by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2016, Amazon eBook)

America’s problem right now is not being on the wrong side of history, but being on the wrong side of the Word of God, especially in our nation’s treatment of Israel over the last eight years.

My prayer today:

Lord, help President Trump and his administration to move our nation back to being a staunch ally of Israel so that America will once again enjoy Your blessings. (Based on Genesis 12:3)

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

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

6 Comments

Filed under America, Christianity, Church, Fasting, Gifts of the Spirit, Israel, Jerusalem, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

Inside Israel

The Shuk in Jerusalem

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 —

GLORY TO GOD AND GREETINGS WITH LOVE TO EACH OF YOU WHO HAS IMPACTED MY LIFE AND WALKED THE PATH FOR HIS GLORY.  May God Alone be glorified and blessed, and may you be blessed and edified, and may we all grow in grace and in the knowledge of Him as we turn the page of time to 2017.

But of course, not here in Israel.

We do not go by the Gregorian calendar technically, but use the Hebrew calendar, however, the world is smaller and smaller and no country can be ignorant any longer of the fact that 2016 is swiftly passing into 2017. I, like you, pray that in the year before us we may be found in HIS peace on His path for His purposes.

Ok.  I will share some light things. The times are heavy enough, but so many of you prayed for my cat scan that I feel you should come with me through it to taste some of the things here that might not be true in your home countries. Even though, my results will not be known for a while, I am okay with that.

And, indeed, there were some adventures.

Because we have the positive benefits of socialized medicine here, we simply make our appointment and wait and wait and wait for it.  Most of the cost is absorbed by the health fund and our own lay out is very minimal.  That takes much of the pain away from the procedure.

My appointment was scheduled at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospita for 5pm on the fourth light of Chanukah and I knew there would be a wait.  I had asked for prayer because I have been allergic to iodine (the contrast dye) and so needed a two-day preparation of high doses of cortisone.  I do NOT react well to cortisone in even small doses, so it was the preparation and any possible allergic reaction that I was concerned about, and your prayers were WONDERFULLY answered in that I felt, actually…wonderful.

I had high energy, got my house cleaned and to my amazement had NO PAIN in my body – the good side of steroids for a person with systemic lupus.  I have not yet been healed from Systemic Lupus with which I have suffered from for years, and part of the consequences are a great deal of pain throughout my body constantly.

What FUN to be free from it, however temporary it was.  Prednisone makes me particularly aggressive, so, having bitten no one’s head off, I happily arrived at the hospital early.  Our government hospitals are like none that I personally have experienced elsewhere.  Hadassah Ein Kerem, which has been built almost completely by donations from Jews throughout the world, sits on a mountaintop, with easy access to helicopters, with large landing pads on the roofs.  I have had too many opportunities to describe the hospital to you in the past, but it is always worth remembering that it is extraordinary in its total and real integration of all races and religions.  That includes the staff on all levels as well as the patients.

As my bus winds its way through the mazes of buildings, Medical School, cancer centers, etc., I alight at the mall and the hotel.  Yes.  Seriously.  If you arrive at the hospital by bus, you enter past the lovely hotel (quite a blessing to family members or people receiving treatment who are not from the area) and through an excellent mall.  Milling around the many shops and restaurants are doctors, surgeons in surgical gear, patients attached to all manner of tubes, visitors, happy families with brand new babies, people in casts and bandages being pushed in wheel chairs, people waiting for tests, etc.  But this day was different:  it was candle lighting time for Chanukah, so songs were sounding out and candles being lit in every possible spot.  It was fun watching Moslem families joining in the singing and wishing their Jewish counterparts “hag sameach” (happy holiday).  Happy young people were passing out the traditional sovganioat (REALLY FATTENING, deep fried jelly donuts!)  free to everyone and again, Moslem families, dressed in full coverings, were feasting on them happily. It’s really quite a site!

It was the same in the CT ward.   Shortly after I arrived, some young men began to sing the prayers and light the chanukiah, passing around more sovganioat, while on the TV screen, the news showed a 6 year old girl who had been in an awful car accident just before the lighting of the first candle, on Christmas eve.  The car that she was in was under water and she had been completely deprived of oxygen for a full 6 minutes.  She was in a coma and the country grieved for her until she WOKE UP, COMPLETELY okay. NO problem whatsoever, just before the 4th light. We all watched around the lights as the announcer spoke of the wonderful Chanukah miracle and the words were repeated through the happy ward:  “A Chanukah miracle!!  What blessing! The little girl lived, and she is even FINE, no brain damage, it is a miracle!”

Yes it is.  Thank You Lord.

It is policy that although you have an appointment theoretically, all emergencies take precedence and there are ALWAYS emergencies.  I came prepared to be there until 8.  I was right.  There were the car accidents.  People came down from the emergency ward or surgeries.  There was the prisoner standing across from some soldiers, all exchanging pleasantries.  More sovganioat were passed around as the hours moved on.  We all sat there with tubes in our arms exchanging stories as the chairs got harder, but our friendships deepened.  One by one we were called in, and then told to wait again for our disc from our family doctor.   The written report is made by a committee of doctors and takes several weeks.

Tired and hungry, I made my way to the bus in the cold rain… for which we are thankful. The wait was a full half hour for some reason, so the bus was crowded.  It hadn’t gone far and we were still on the hospital compound when the driver managed to get the bus firmly stuck in the mud of a round-about. Twenty more minutes passed and another bus showed up, but alas, he was off duty and on his way home after a long day at work.  We had all poured off the bus looking cold and bedraggled.  The off duty driver looked at us and sighed and signaled for us to get on to his bus.  He drove us nonstop, 15 minutes, up to the train station.  What a BLESSING!  We all thanked him and wished him a happy Chanukah. It was just a warm lovely end of a day that was, yes, perhaps difficult but made warm and lovely through the kindness of people.

Little did I know that the hard part would lie ahead.  The WITHDRAWL from the high dose of steroids was unexpected by me and dreadful as my body was swollen and wracked with pain for the next couple of days, but it passed and I THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR PRAYERS!!

But far more has been going on then my CT.

 

By this time, no one is ignorant of the situation between the US, Europe and Israel.  It is on multiple levels with a big push to oust our Prime Minister.  Such turmoil. Such is the TIME and SEASON that we live in.  The Paris Peace Conference , which is part of “the situation,” is one of the final event’s that the outgoing American President plans to participate in.  We need much prayer.  The good news is that none of this takes The Lord by surprise and His plans and purposes will not be thwarted by the strength of man.  The very depth of the season of adversity has given me amazing opportunities to speak with people about God: His purposes, His Word, His ways…far more then I have had over the past 22 years. I am ENCOURAGED by the fact that more and more people ARE looking to Him for answers, and I encourage them daily to read His Word.

At work, one of the patients began speaking to me.  He is an older man, a bachelor, and an actor by profession.  He struggles with depression and anxiety.  He was telling me about it when he asked me what time I need to leave in the morning to be at work.  When I said 6:15 AM he answered, “Wow!  That’s EARLY!”

I smiled. “Oh that’s nothing.  I get up at 4:30.”

“Why would you do that?” he asked.

The door opened.  ”

Well, I also need peace and joy in my heart and assurance, so I need that quiet time to read my Bible in my own language, not like the rabbis say, but straight through and to pray and talk to God from my heart, not from the sidur (prayer book).”

He jumped up.  “What?  You are a true tsaddikkah (a righteous person).  I was raised Haradi, of the strictest order, in Mea Sha’arim (an ultra orthodox neighborhood) – only going to yeshiva. Study study study, but the rabbis are wrong and you understand.”

I stopped him. “Whoa!  I am NOT a tsaddikah.  ANYONE can and should, oh we MUST, take the scriptures and read them because look at the days we live in and oh how we need LIGHT.”

He was excited and I pray for him that he WILL turn to The Word and HIS LIVING SPIRIT.  I challenged him that true Peace really IS with God and then there is NOTHING to fear.  He listened.  I have been having more and more conversations like this.

And some funny ones.

Two women on the train were speaking English.  “I know you.  I went to your class for a while,” one said.

“That’s right, you were the woman who made aliyah,” the teacher said.

“NO!  That’s a sore point!  No aliyah!  I can’t give up the leeks and garlic!”  (referring to the children of Israel in Exodus crying for the leeks and garlic when they left Egypt).

The conversation got uncomfortable and the teacher sat beside me.  The train got noisy so I whispered to the teacher, “I’m SO glad that I gave up the leeks and garlic some 22 years ago.”

She laughed, “Me too!  Thirty seven years for me!”

We struck up a warm conversation and shared our aliyah stories.  She was religious and when I told her where I came from she was suddenly taken aback and I SAW that she was one of those who had been warned about me.

I have come to know that the English speaking religious community know about me and are warned by others.  It no longer freaks me out, but I seek His wisdom and protection.  We continued in a lovely vain and she relaxed again as we shared the joys of the MIRACLE of KNOWING that this IS INDEED the work of God and that it is our job to seek Him and walk before Him.

We surely agreed upon this.  When she got up to leave, a man with a thick Russian accent and a loud voice sat down.  He was making very inappropriate statements with a halting voice and I thought that he was mentally challenged, but before I left the train I found out that he was a new immigrant from UKRAINE, here less than 6 months.  He sang songs and recited the blessing for the bread and I understood that he was proud to be practicing his Hebrew.  It was a JOYOUS exchange.  When I left, he BEAMED and said, “ANI YISRAELI.” (I am an ISRAELI.)  His ear-to-ear smile made me think of the extraordinary plan of God that man so hates.

I want to share with you a couple of verses from Malachi because the word that The Lord dropped into my heart for me to learn about in this new year was a strange one to me…it is “treasure”…as in “where your treasure is there will your heart be also’.” But I thrilled to the fact that He ALSO has a treasure.

“Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, And the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the Lord And who meditate on His name.  “They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, “On the day that I make them My special treasures And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him.”  Then you shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked, Between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him.”  Malachi 3:16-18

May you and I be found bringing pleasure to HIS HEART in this new year before us.  It may be the ONLY thing that we can do.  God bless you!  I send you my love,

Your sis in Jerusalem,

J

4 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, Gifts of the Spirit, Israel, Jerusalem, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

San Francisco: God Loves You, But… (Conclusion)

Dolly 77

 

If callings were chosen by popular elections, Saul of Tarsus would have garnered the same number of votes as King Herod or Caiaphas for the calling of apostle: zero.

After all, Saul hunted believers down, murdered them, tossed them into prisons, and tried to force them to blaspheme. He was the main reason Jerusalem Christians opted to go on permanent missionary trips to other cities.

Historians described Saul as a skinny, 4’6″ lightweight who was not much of a speaker. These physical  attributes were not exactly a winning formula for the Gentiles, who admired polished orators with a strong physical presence.

Yet Jesus said, “Saul is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel…”

The Lord’s reasoning behind His choice: “…for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

So what did God see in Saul’s heart?

He saw Paul the apostle to whom God could reveal His mystery of Christ, that the Gentiles and the Jews would be joined together in the Bride of Christ, His church. He also saw a man who would willingly suffer afflictions for Christ and His body.

Today, there are some who want to downgrade Paul and his teachings and just go with the red letter words of Jesus in the four Gospels. They don’t like Paul’s teachings on sexual immorality and other subjects. But if this were actually followed, where would the guidelines and revelations about the Church come from?

Furthermore, if Paul had not appeared on the scene, Peter and James would have most likely caved into the Jewish influence on the early church. And today our churches would be little more than a revamped Temple 2.0 System, complete with circumcision, priesthood, and sacrifices.

Thank God for the Apostle Paul, right?

Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few. So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust laborers into His harvest.” (Matthew 9: 37-38 Amplified Translation)

Likewise, the Lord has looked down on San Francisco, especially the Castro District, and has seen men and women who have hearts much like Saul of Tarsus. He is not concerned that these people are now actively engaged in lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender life styles because He remembers Saul the murderer. He knows how the life changing power of His heavenly light and just one divine  experience from Him will cause each to ask, “Who are You, Lord?”

Then, He will answer each one, “…I am Jesus …”

The Lord doesn’t want to lose any of these precious callings as each has been specifically chosen to be a leader in His Church for the dark days lying ahead in America. So important are these callings that the Lord has assigned teams of fully prepared  fishermen and hunters who will search through the alleys, streets, and haunts of San Francisco for these prized callings.

The teams of fishermen and hunters will suffer bloodshed, pain, and jail cells. Who will persecute these teams? The chosen Sauls. Yet, the chosen Sauls will have the gospel preached to them by how the fishermen and hunters handle the persecutions: with humility and love.

In the end, the chosen Sauls will come out of San Francisco as Pauls who will help lead the Church into victory after victory. What Jesus said about the woman who wiped His feet with her tears and hair will be true of these chosen Pauls:

For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little. (Luke 7:47)

CONCLUSION…if you are interested, the full series, which was written in 2011, may be seen here.

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, Gay, Gifts of the Spirit, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

San Francisco: God Loves You, But… (Part 5)

Dolly 77

 

In early 1994, one of my closest high school friends died after a long battle with cancer. His death really bugged me because I had prayed and fasted over a long period of time for him.

Was I mad at the Lord about my friend’s death? Yes.

Doesn’t scripture state that “all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted to you?” I prayed for my friend to live, but he died. How could I ever really trust that particular verse again?

On the three hour trip back to the small Illinois town of my youth, I poured my heart out to the Lord. Although I felt comforted, I had no answers. As I walked up to the church, some high school friends delayed me. We chatted about old times for a few minutes.

This delay caused my parents to walk on without me. When I finally stepped into the sanctuary, there was quite a line ahead of me. Standing there, I asked, “Lord, did my friend make it into heaven?”

Now, this is not a question I recommend believers should ever ask the Lord because what if you don’t like His answer, then what? Yet, I was so upset about my friend’s death, I asked anyway. You see, not only was I asking for his healing, but I was also asking the Lord to save him.

The procession slowly crept toward the closed casket sitting at the front of the church. Just as I arrived at the casket, the Lord spoke to my heart, “He’s not in this casket. He’s in heaven with Me.”

I could have danced and shouted for joy. It was one of my happiest moments ever.

Then, I turned the corner and faced my friend’s wife and family. They were standing on the left side of the altar, receiving funeral attendees. As I inched toward them I began crying, not a few tears but buckets of them. I wailed and was almost out of control. People turned to look, but I could not stop.

My friend’s wife, his two children and his parents comforted me, instead of the other way around. I was such a mess. Finally, I sat down next to my parents in the middle of the church. Somehow, my crying ceased.

What was that all about? I thought.

Piano music announced the beginning of the service. As the pianist played, the Lord spoke to my heart. “Your friend was called to be a prophet and he didn’t make it into his calling. The misery you felt was just a fraction of what I feel when a person doesn’t make it into his calling.”

The Lord’s words caused me to break down and weep. My parents, on the left side of me, and my sister, on the other side, tried to comfort me, but what could they do? My heart was shattered by the grief of the Lord.

Eventually, the misery passed.

After some songs and family testimonies, the pastor began the eulogy. I listened to her, but once again, the Lord spoke to me.

“My church is mostly a bunch of losers. They pray for the sick, but when the person dies anyway, they aren’t upset or mad. They just think they did their duty and at least made an effort, and that’s good enough for them,” said the Lord to my heart.

My jaw dropped, wondering what was coming next.

“Major League players all want to win, but after a while, players on losing teams don’t mind losing. After all, they still receive their large paychecks. So, it’s no big deal to them. But players on winning teams hate to lose, absolutely hate it. They will do anything to win and whatever sacrifice is needed, they willingly do it for victories.

“I want My church to hate losing,” He said.

His words, “I want My church to hate losing,” exploded within me. Its echoes bounced off every corridor and passageway of my mind. Once again, I wept.

This happened twenty-two years ago and it still resonates within me.

What does this experience have to do with San Francisco?

(Continued in Part 6…if you are interested, the full series, which was written in 2011, may be seen here.

2 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Church, Gifts of the Spirit, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare

Thursday’s Prayers for America (12/8/2016)

Jesus’ plan for bringing forth the Kingdom of God on earth was to train twelve men as His disciples over a three-year timeframe. These twelve disciples were then directed to train others in the same way that they had been trained by Him. Then, the new disciples would train others. And so on and so on.

What was Jesus’ backup plans, just in case His plan A did not work?

He had no backup plans. Plan A had to work!

Did His plan work?

“These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also” (Acts 17:6)

So, after thirty-one years of walking with the Lord –albeit flawed at best – I have realized something this morning. My whole journey was specifically designed to destroy my Plans B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, and so forth; and then resign myself to accepting His Plan A for my life.

My prayer today:

Lord, give us American believers the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of You so that the eyes of our understanding may be enlightened to the hope of Your calling, to the riches of the glory of Your inheritance, and to the exceeding greatness of of Your power toward us who believe in You. (Based on Ephesians 1:17-19)

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

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

4 Comments

Filed under America, Christianity, Church, Fasting, Gifts of the Spirit, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, spiritual warfare