Tag Archives: Prophecy

Will We End Up Being A Part of the Great Falling Away? (Part 5)

Recently, I talked with a youth pastor of a large denomination. “What are you reading right now?” I asked.

She mentioned the name of a book.

“Oh, is that a book on inner healing?” I replied.

“Yes,” she said, ” and it’s very good.”

“I struggle with inner healing. Every book on inner healing that I’ve ever seen is a takeoff on John and Mark Sandford’s book, one that I don’t recommend to anyone.”

“Well, a pastor in our denomination recently committed suicide. So our pastor wants to be proactive and help our staff handle the everyday stress of working with our church’s members. Plus, a counselor meets with each of us every week to help us.”

“Oh dear, I struggle with counselors, too.”

Thank God, the conversation died without me putting both of my feet in my mouth.

I understand there are numerous mental problems, such as bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder and others, where we believers can’t heal the person by simply speaking in faith and saying, “Go, in Jesus’ name.” We just aren’t there yet! Maybe soon though!

But this was not a case of handling severe mental disorders, this was a pastor trying to protect his staff from stress and emotional strain. And what does he do? He reaches for what the world considers its best answer for these problems: psychology.

Although considered a science, psychology is anything but that. There are hundreds of different methods for every problem. Most of them backed by the works of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Both were ungodly men!

So, why not fast and pray and trust the Lord? Isn’t He more than able to protect a church’s staff?

I assume this same pastor preaches a sermon each Sunday telling the congregation to trust in Jesus, right? But shouldn’t the pastor be honest enough to declare his staff’s lack of faith in Jesus?

How would that play out? Probably not well.

Can you imagine telling Christians in North Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan and other nations where Christians are tortured and killed for their beliefs that they also need psychologists to help them handle their stress and anxiety? They’d laugh at our weak faith!

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord]. (Matthew 6:24 AMP)

The number three reason for becoming a part of the Great Falling Away – now or in the future – will be trusting in the world system more than in Christ and His ways.

(Continued in Part 6…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 4)

I am seventy-three years old.

You can call it pride or whatever, but I have always wanted to see the Lord return in my lifetime. That is until recently when I felt the Lord speak to my heart, “I am not returning in your lifetime. Help prepare your children and grandchildren for the End-Times.”

Whatever disappointment I might have felt at the time was erased by the urgency of His words.

Many preachers talk about the “great falling away” as if it will be just a slight bump in the road for the American church. After all, America has the greatest concentration of Christians within its borders of any nation in the world. 80 to 90 million Evangelical or born again Christians by many estimates.

Let no one in any way deceive or entrap you, for that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first [that is, the great rebellion, the abandonment of the faith by professed Christians], and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction [the Antichrist, the one who is destined to be destroyed] (2 Thessalonians 2:3 AMP)

Do you actually believe the Apostle Paul was talking about a slight bump in the road when he wrote about the “great falling away?”

I don’t.

It’s my belief that if we don’t take drastic steps that 50 to 75% or more of America’s Christians will abandon their faith during the soon coming End-Times period. That’s forty to seventy million believers!

Why such a large number?

Corrie Ten Boom’s 1974 letter about the Rapture explains most of my reasoning:

There are some among us teaching there will be no tribulation, that the Christians will be able to escape all this. These are the false teachers that Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days.

In China, the Christians were told, “Don’t worry, before the tribulation comes you will be translated – raptured.” Then came a terrible persecution.  Millions of Christians were tortured to death. Later I heard a Bishop from China say, sadly, “We have failed. We should have made the people strong for persecution, rather than telling them Jesus would come first. Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution, how to stand when tribulation comes — to stand and not faint.”

Somehow, most American believers have swallowed the same poisonous Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine and believe we won’t suffer even though Jesus said –

For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. See, I have told you beforehand. (Matthew 24:21-22, 25)

We believers are the elect and He is warning us to prepare ourselves ahead of time.

The number two reason for being a part of the Great Falling Away – now or in the future – will be holding onto bad teaching not supported by scripture.

(Continued in Part 5…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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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 —

Very warm greetings with love, in the name of Yeshua.  All honor and glory to Him, but oh how He loves His own and it is an honor to write to you and to ask that He would bless and encourage each one of you.  May He Alone be glorified and blessed.

Shalom!  He really paused me and had me think of each one of you, not of what I am writing, but of you who are being written to. And yes, it stopped me in my tracks to worship Him. Truly may He be glorified.

It is the month of Elul and in the morning I hear the shofarim(rams horn) being blown both is synagogues and homes. The call to heshbone nefeshor taking an account of one’s soul, the month of searching.  We as believers, are blessed to pray daily with The Lord:  “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:22-24)

But my people do things according to set times and cycles, and this month of Elul is a month for laying the soul bare before The Lord.  On the train and on the bus each morning I watch many praying through Psalms or a sidur(prayer book for the season) with the intensity that says Elul is here.

Along the street that leads to my work, the pomegranates (rimonim), grapes (anavim), and figs (tenimim) are ripening quickly.  It dazzles my eyes so I begin to count for you: bay leaves, olive trees, rosemary, almond trees, mulberry trees, banana and date, olive and lemon trees, flowering trees all around, wild parrots flying above. I can barely take it in on this one street.   The streets of Jerusalem, my home, am I dreaming?  Morning by morning I re-read the prophecies and see them fulfilled with my eyes and understand that it is a deposit and that ALL of The Word will indeed be fulfilled because He IS Faithful.

The shuk is loaded with colorful fruits, spices, vegetables and nuts. Holiday wares are making their way onto tables. New table cloths, all sorts of special gifts.  The aroma is sweet and spicy and the colors are beyond description.  In my own preparations I am trying to carefully pace myself and plan ahead and pray. There will be many festive meals, guests, gifts to give, all while working, and my energy levels are older.  It is a wonderful, hectic time.  It is an ancient time. I am enclosing a partial list of scriptures that both command and speak about these 3 fall feasts: rosh h’shanna(trumpets), yom kippur (atonement) and sukkot (tabernacles) at the end of the letter.  It is worth reading through, pondering and praying and wondering how a people, EVEN AFTER A 2,000 YEAR DISPERSION, can yet keep these.  Surely The Lord is displaying part of His secret things.

 

He is faithful even when we stand before impossible elections again.  This coming Tuesday, the 17th, Israel votes again.  I don’t need to tell you how upside down the world is.  It is evident.  I have NO idea what will be EXCEPT GOD WILL HAVE HIS WAY.  And in THAT fact we must find Him and His rest as you in the midst of your respective country’s crisis.

When the store across the street from us went bankrupt,  no one knew what would happen. Thankfully a chain from the Be’er Shevaregion in the south of the country, took it over and we have been enjoying the change, watching carefully.  We are here now 25 years and this is the FIRST TIME that I have met an English-speaking cashier and she is a curiosity to the industry and a delight to me.

“We have just started amazing one day discounts if you join the new store club,” Yehudit announced last week.

When we first came and I understood NOTHING, I lost out on a lot of sales by NOT joining (free by the way) the last store.  You just wrote your name down and got a card and wham bang – discounts were yours.  I lost out on that one.

“GREAT,”I told Yehudit. “I won’t miss out this time, sign me up.”

She turned to the cash register and said, “Give me your phone number.”  Which I did and which she inserted.  With the press of a button she sent me a registered message and then said, “Now follow the link and insert the free app.”

UH, that’s where I looked at her.  No paper in the mail and no card.  I held up my old, simple, Nokia phone for her to see“No smart phone,”I sighed.

She literally looked astonished. “Well you need to get one.”

She joined the choir of voices informing me that I was NOT being plugged in.

“SOON YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO BUY GROCERIES HERE WITHOUT ONE,” she informed me.  “Soon it will all be automatic check out only with a smart phone.”

Silently I thought, “Only until the system collapses and the mark comes in the midst of the anarchy, chaos and confusion.”

 

I’ve asked myself if I’m getting too weird, a bit extreme, paranoid. You know roll your eyes.

No, I don’t have a smart phone that can leave the house. I have one for photos and yes I have what’s up and instagram because I get photos but only in the house. It doesn’t have an internal internet hook up and to be totally honest. I could EASILY love it and maybe I do.

And no, I don’t have a credit card either, other than a gift card that was given to me which I buy groceries with and am forever grateful for.  I am a nut.  But I know me.  I’m easily deceived. I have an addictive personality. I WANT The Holy Spirit to give me all of the discipline and leading that I need to be master over these things, but part of that has been His wisdom over my  VERY WEAK AND FOOLISH FLESH to help me out by just abstaining.

I know I’m weird.  I don’t deny it and it is CERTAINALLY NOT for EVERYONE and I am NOT saying “don’t have a smart phone or credit card.” I even occasionally borrow use of one from those whom I love.

And that is what they said at the bank AGAIN this week. “You NEED a smart phone.”

Here, by law, our pay checks MUST be deposited in the bank and then we can withdraw them.  It really used to be easy. My pay check, which I earned, recorded in the bank for tax purposes, but none the less, mine to take out (plus a few fees).  You would go to a teller with your bank card and receive your cash.  Simple!

Then the machines came in.  Recently the tellers were gone, no more tellers.  A technical bank support person roams the area to see which inept person can’t maneuver the machine.  The Lord has apparently volunteered me for that role (the inept person).

Once again, I typed in the amount that I needed to take out to pay the rent and the machine informed me that less than half of that amount was available for me to take out.  Up came the “technical assistant.”

She asked me for my smart phone so she could make an appointment to enter the bank.  I handed her my trusty Nokia. Many maneuvers later she returned with a number and told me that I would have to wait for about an hour (penalty for not making appointment via the app.)

I had a book. When my turn finally came the nice lady told me that I only had a small amount in the bank and that the automatic withdrawal had taken place this morning.

“Hold it!  I don’t HAVE any automatic withdrawals!”

She rolled her eyes.  It took me awhile to figure out that she (with all of this technology) had opened my husband’s work account by mistake. She couldn’t tell me WHY I couldn’t have my money, but she would issue me a specialishure  (certificate of approval) and the technical assistant would put it into the machine for me.

MEANWHILE, I got the talk that soon there would be no money and if I did not have a smart phone I couldn’t pay bills, buy food etc etc etc.  I got the message, thank you.

I got it again at the post office today while I watched all of the smart phone people swipe their phones to record the appointment that they had made on line while I waited with my embarrassing paper number.  Plus my paper book.

I don’t know about your country.

Our country is high tech, intense and tiny, so that with a very small population policies can be very quickly be enforced.  I KNOW that smart phones are incredibly helpful.  I am not sure WHY I have resisted this so firmly, but the fact that I DON’T have one to use means that I can see daily and up close what I can no longer do. To park a car here, you must use one of the “smart park” methods.  To buy tickets, make appointments at post office or hospital or phone company or doctor, you name it, smart phone app.

I honestly think that I have inadvertently taken a position that I didn’t anticipate:  I am a person without a smart phone in a perhaps – experimental country.  Are we here part of an experiment?

I don’t expect that a country as large as the US could as quickly bring the entire population in line with such massive changes. Our country is used to suddenlies.   When there is a crisis, there is no TIME to sit down and discuss all of the innuendoes of what a change will mean, you just do it.  We have become used to living that way.

I had the privilege of living in a microcosm society before and it impacted me then.  In our tiny remote Alaskan village where we raised our family, there were only about 50 year-round families.  From that small population group we had a school with teachers, a government, a policeman, a court etc.  Every able minded adult had to take on some real responsibility that had repercussions.  I had been born and raised in NYC and it is NOT like that in a large population area. The effects of policies made took far longer to have any real impact, and the ability to avoid the impact was always an option.

 

A dear sister approached me at kehila(our fellowship) on Shabbat and said with a sigh, “Well, it doesn’t feel as if things are ‘back to normal’ yet.”

What came out of my mouth surprised me when I said, “It WON’T get back to normal and it isn’t supposed to!  The Lord spilt His very precious seeds into the ground for a dear purpose and He does not want us to continue just as we were.  We MUST be changed.  The cost has been too great.”

THANKFULLY she is a mature sister and wasn’t offended by my too-passionate outburst.  She said, “Wow!  You are right.I didn’t think of it that way.”

As I continue to pray and wonder at the taking of these 3 truly golden vessels for The Lord, and a tiny new one, it was my lot this week to offer translation equipment to those who need translation from Hebrew.  A couple whom I hadn’t seen before needed translation and as I spoke with them I explained to them that our fellowship had been through the traumatic loss of 4 of our members very recently and that our pastor was away as well, sort of apologizing that “things were a bit ‘different.”

The man said, “We have lost two children…”

I was stunned.  “Was it recent?” I asked as I reached for the woman, who began to weep.

“One was 12 years ago…” he hesitated,  “and one just now. They were both accidents.”

It knocked the breath out of me. “I see He has brought you.”And indeed He had.

They had been just walking around as tourists in Jerusalem and so lonely for believes.  They sat over coffee to pray and a dear sister from the congregation approached them and began to chat (you can almost always tell a tourist, but she was led of The Spirit).  She was an answer to their prayer and directed them to the fellowship where God is teaching us something of grieving that we don’t yet fully know.

I am so impressed that God is Able, Willing and Faithful

He has been always over all of these centuries through it all.

 It is time to go and begin dinner, but I send you my love and pray that God will be glorified in you and in me… and that all of Israel will indeed soon be saved.

Lovingly,

your sis J

I hope that some of the verses below might inspire some of you and maybe be a refreshing to those of you who are well versed in the holidays (hagim) that The Lord has given. 

ROSH H’SHANA:

Numbers 10:1-10

Numbers 29:1

Psalm 81:3-4

Levit 23:24

(trumpets not rosh h’shana)

bear with us as I KNOW that Passover SHOULD

BE the ‘beginning of the year’ (or ‘rosh h shana).

But as it stands today, Trumpets is… He can and will set it right)

 

YOM KIPPUR:

Levit 16:29

Levit 23:26

Zech 8:18

Hebrews 9

 

SUKKOT:

Deut 31:10-14

Levit 23:37-43

Zech 14:16

Neh 8:13

Jn7:2-37

Deut 16:13

Deut 32:10

1 Kings 8:2

2 Chron 5:3

Ezra 3:1-4

 

 

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God’s Love Must Torpedo Inner Cities’ Bitterness…Or Else (Part 10)

Eleven years ago, I somehow found myself in a long discussion with Dr. Michael Brown, who I admire, on his website. An aide of his had written an article about prophets and prophecy. The discussion centered on these few words: “From this we can learn that a ‘go alone (New Testament) prophet’ is not good, nor biblical..”

I disagreed with the writer’s assertions that God would no longer send an individual prophet to a city or a region to prophesy to the people like He did in the Old Testament. I felt there was no scripture to back up their words. I believe God will do whatever He wants. He’s God!

Dr. Brown’s belief was that in the New Testament there are leadership teams or a leadership hierarchy over a city. This would mainly be a group of pastors. Thus, God would work through this governing hierarchy and the individual prophet would go to these chosen pastors and speak his words to them.

Looking back, I missed an important point.

Dr. Michael Brown and the others were thinking and commenting from a traditional church mindset. They saw – and probably still do – pastors as CEOs and heads of churches. I don’t believe this is scriptural!

For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5)

Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are not go-betweens or middlemen between God and men. They are not under-shepards. None are needed to fill that role because Jesus already fills that calling for us. Jesus is our middleman, go-between and mediator between God and us.

Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers (five-fold callings) are gifts to the Church. These five callings are supposed to equip the members of the Church for the work of ministry, build up the members and help us attain the unity of the faith and maturity. But these callings are absolutely not given authority by God to rule over believers.

So, when I wrote about a white prophet going into an inner city to bring the word of the Lord to black people, I never considered a governing body of pastors over that city. I was thinking about setting the captives free. It was the same when I wrote the fictional story about a black prophet going to a mainly white, small town.

Is this important for the inner cities? And the rest of America?

(Continued in Part 11…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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God’s Love Must Torpedo Inner Cities’ Bitterness…Or Else (Part 9)

I have used the fictional story about a black preacher walking into a small town with mainly white citizens to hold a healing crusade many times in the past. (See here.) But today, I want to offer a fictional take-off from that one and write about a white prophet going into an inner city to speak the word of the Lord to its black citizens. 

Can you imagine an old white guy driving a red Ford pickup into the middle of a crowd of people at a rally? And honking his horn at the same time? I couldn’t imagine something like that ever happening until it did last Saturday afternoon.

Maybe I should start at the beginning and tell the whole story, okay?

My name is Jalen Simmons. I write a syndicated newspaper column entitled, “Unashamed Angry Black Voice.” The column appears in sixty major newspapers throughout our nation. I also appear on TV as a contributor on inner city happenings.

A week ago, a friend suggested I should attend a black activist rally taking place in West Englewood at Ogden Park. This inner-city area of Chicago is the city’s most dangerous neighborhood where poverty and crime are off the charts and lives matter little to police and politicians.

On that day, I positioned myself in the middle of the crowd, estimated at five thousand black people, to better hear and understand the crowd’s reactions to the fiery speakers. The first three speakers raised their voices against the city of Chicago, its police department and white supremacy for the wrongs done to black people. Each moved the crowd closer and closer to its emotional edge.

But just as the militant keynote speaker, Deshaun Lewis, was being introduced on the platform, new sounds could be heard. A honking horn. An engine being revved up. And people screaming, “Look out! He’ll run us over!”

I looked over my left shoulder and saw a red pickup truck heading straight toward me. I jumped out of the way along with the rest of the crowd. The truck stopped right in front of me.

The driver, a seventyish white male, jumped out of the Ford pickup and into the back of the truck almost in one motion. He held a wireless microphone in his right hand which was connected to a speaker system.

“Listen up,” he said, “I have come here today to speak to you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

A united “No” was shouted by the crowd. Black men stepped forth to remove the so-called white prophet and his truck.

“Do not touch my truck or the hand of the Lord will come upon you and strike you blind for a time,” said the white man.

The crowd laughed until twenty-three men touched the pickup truck and began screaming, “I’m blind. Help me! Help me!” Then, the laughter stopped and fear gripped the crowd.

“Men, keep quiet. Sit down and when I’m done I will lay hands on you and your sight will immediately return.”

The twenty-three men sat down.

The old white man had the attention of the whole crowd. Everyone stood in silence, even those on the speakers platform.

“The Lord has sent me to tell you,” proclaimed the white man, “your problems are not caused by the city of Chicago, its police department or white Americans. Your problems are caused by your sins and your bitterness. You need to first ask the Lord for His forgiveness and then most of you will have to ask forgiveness of white Americans for your hatred toward them, too.

“If you choose to humble yourself before God and men, God will pour out a blessing on West Englewood. Murders will stop. Crime will end. Jobs will open up. You will be able to walk on the sidewalks of your neighborhood without fear once again. West Englewood will be known as a place of light and a refuge for all.

“But if you ignore these words and continue in the direction you’re heading, your streets will be covered with the bodies of your dead sons and daughters. And this will happen soon!”

He paused and looked around at the crowd. His blue eyes looked right into my heart.

“God’s words to you are the same ones Moses said to Israel, ‘I have set before you life and good, death and evil.” Now, you must choose which way you will walk from this day forward.”

The white prophet jumped down onto the ground. He laid hands on and prayed for each blind man. They all received their sight again.

Then, he climbed into his pickup and drove off.

Was he a prophet sent by God?

Twenty-four men have no doubts and I pray all of the crowd will agree with us.

(Continued in Part 10…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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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 with grace and mercy in The Blessed Name of our Lord, Yeshua h’meshiakh* May He be blessed and glorified, and may you be blessed and edified.  May He take this small offering for His glory alone and the edification of those to whom it is sent with love.

Elul is the last month of the modern Hebrew calendar.  The month of Elul will end on the 29th of September this year, ushering in Rosh h’Shana (the day of the blowing of trumpets, now celebrated as the new year), followed closely by Yom Kippur (the day of atonement – repentance – the most solemn day in the Hebrew calendar of fasting and prayer) and then the wonderful  7 day feast of Sukkot (feast of tabernacles). Autumn (‘stav’ in Hebrew) is upon us with the fall feasts rushing in!  How suddenly summer ends.

School began here in Israel on the 1st of September (yes, Sunday is our ‘Monday’ because Saturday is our Sabbath (shabbat) and being that today (Tuesday) is my day off from work, I smiled with joy as Eric and I walked our 5 and half year old Granddaughter Maya to ‘gan ho’veh’ (or ‘advanced kindergarten’ for those who get to go again).

Our daughter was taking 2 and half year old Nuria to gan, which she began on Sunday – one excited little cookie!  ‘All in our places with sunshiny faces’ was all I could sing as we made our way along with the throngs of parents and grandparents taking all of those little shiny excited faces to their respective schools or ga’nim (kindergartens).  I was totally absorbed in watching Maya on her scooter chattering joyfully to me when I tripped over part of our notoriously choppy sidewalks and fell smack on my knees, injuring my pride terribly but thankfully otherwise not doing anything serious.

‘Oh Tata! Tata!  Are you ok?  You scared me!’ (Maya couldn’t say Sav’ta when she was tiny and Tata stuck)

‘I’m fine!’ I assured her as we continued on and I introduced myself to the ga’ne’net (teacher) so that we could get through security to pick her up.  Isn’t the love of a child amazing?  (To you parents…it gets WAY better when you are grandparents believe it or not.)  May we BE like them, that tender, simple and honest love to our Abba God!

 

The past couple of weeks have been ‘belegan’ here in Jerusalem.  The last two weeks of summer vacation there is no kay’tin’ah (sort of summer ‘day camps’ that most children attend.  They are specialized and can be just play or sport or art or science, language or history , all sorts of age classified enrichment activities).

As you know, our economy here is different than in the west, a huge portion of this tiny country’s  resources  go to very necessary defense, so it is pretty rare for a family to be able to survive even simply on one paycheck. Most parents honestly HAVE to work, not to get ahead, but to survive.  HOWEVER, the last two weeks of summer, ‘someone’ needs to be home with the children (if retired grandparents aren’t available), and most vacations are taken then.

Consequently, the streets of Jerusalem have been PACKED with large families (religious families are particularly large. As I have said before, our son in law is the oldest of 14).  The time is spent getting school supplies and being out on ‘te’oo’lim’ (‘trek’ or ‘trip’, outing).  The lite rail and all buses were packed way beyond capacity as families enjoyed museums, parks, the zoo, the Old City, shops and restaurants.

Our dear friend Janet is staying with us for awhile and I have so enjoyed reading her updates (although she has been here on and off for many years, she always sees things with new eyes. I can’t help but borrow from her beautifully written letters:

She mused about large families dressing their children in identical clothing and I hadn’t thought about that for a while but I always think of them as big gardens.  The pansies are planted here and the daisies are there, then there are the sweet peas.  I think it really solves many problems:  First, like school uniforms, it solves the fashion problem.  ‘Here’s your ‘dress’ for the year girls’ and each one gets what Ima (mama)  picked out.  You surely can see your whole family in a crowd without losing any easily.  And when they are all on sale it’s a win-win situation for the family.  Often though it is a bolt of material that is on sale, and one pattern.

I’ve often wondered at the resilience of the people of this country, how it continues life in the midst of all of the stresses, threats and challenges. There is a philosophy or a culture that has been planted in the people. Perhaps a survival skill.  I heard so many stories about how people survived in the death camps of the Holocaust.  I was told by a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto about the schools that they set up, about how, in spite of starvation, slavery, degradation and death everywhere, they set up a functioning society with phony money to use to keep themselves from being penniless and to keep an order. Concerts performed by those who could sing or make instruments from garbage.  Humor and other forms of entertainment. Doctors and teachers continuing their trade so that they could encourage one another to life.  This way they kept themselves from despair and from degradation.

 

Our borders are heating up.  I know that I say that to you often, but things erupt here suddenly.  On Sunday we had a skirmish with Hizbollah in Lebanon sending residents of the North into shelters and sealing off the roads.  It did not erupt into the war …yet.  There is MUCH background fighting going on and as our Prime Minister has openly announced often, he (we) will not compromise Israeli security and will strike at all threats.  We have been doing that with missions and raids in Syria and Lebanon and in other places.

Iran has been playing a chess game against Israel, using other counties as pawns since they have no border with us, but their proxies – Syria and Lebanon do share our borders and Iran has been based there.  It has been a game of cat and mouse so to speak as Israel identifies threats (sophisticated weapons and deadly projects) and eliminates them.  Drones and drones heavily armed with highly destructive smart weapons have entered the arena.  To admit it, Iran has to expose their presence, which is illegal, so it has been covert.  But it has been intense and building.  Added to this toxic mix is Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Isis in Gaza and in the Sinai, infiltrating Judea and Samaria – our heartland – called by the world media “the West Bank.”  With continuing active riots on the Gaza border every Friday, our southern population is frayed but not Afraid

“Be strong and of good courage”…”DO NOT FEAR NOR BE AFRAID” are probably THE most oft repeated COMMAND given throughout the scriptures, particularly the Torah (the first 5 books of Moses) when the fleshly REASONS to fear were ABUNDANT.

In my 44 years of reading and re-reading through the Scriptures I am strongly struck by the irony of this command. Perhaps it is one of the PILLARS on which our faith rests. YES, the giants are there!  YES, the Sea is before you and the Egyptian army behind you. YES the inhabitants of the land are fierce and we are as grasshoppers in our own eyes and probably theirs. YES there is no water and YES there is no food and YES we are surrounded by armies far larger than we are and YES!  IT IS IMPOSSIBLE, BUT LOOK UP!  THOSE WHO ARE WITH US ARE MORE THAN THOSE WHO ARE AGAINST US, as Elisha told his servant when the Syrian army was coming down upon them.

I listen to some who seem to feel that faith in our God is a “get out of jail free” ticket and we will be always physically well and safe but in Luke 21, Yeshua says something very interesting that bares understanding and the context of the whole chapter is helpful:

“You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death.  And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake.  But not a hair of your head shall be lost.  By your patience possess your souls.” (Luke 21:16-19)

SOME OF YOU WILL BE PUT TO DEATH, BUT NOT A HAIR OF YOUR HEAD SHALL BE LOST.  May our values be His, our perspective HIS.

We (as a part of the body of Messiah here) have been through fire lately in the loss of 4 beloved members.  Eliyahu Ben Haim and the three members of the Rosetsky family.  These were all people walking in the will and the ways of The Lord and living completely for Him, aside from 2 month old Itai, who had as yet done not right nor wrong). They ARE safe with not a hair of their head being lost.

His ways are not ours. His thoughts not ours but it is a wake-up call for sure.  One sister remarked to me last shabbat that “We weren’t yet back to normal’

I said, “I don’t think that we are SUPPOSED to be ‘back to normal.’  A very precious sacrifice was placed on the altar and I believe that He wants us all changed by what we have witnessed.”  

We don’t know what lies ahead, but we are NOT afraid.

We are told to fear ONLY GOD and we believe that.  Our upcoming re-elections are scheduled to be held on 17th of Sept.  Lord knows what lies ahead, we don’t.  But one thing we know (both you and us) is that the ONLY safe place in this world in IN HIM.

Our pastor is faithful to remind us time and time again to turn our faces to Him.  Run into Him!  Look to HIM! THE AUTHOR AND FINISHER OF OUR FAITH!

My years are running into one another and I surely never expected that, did you?  May we ALL be found IN HIM IN (HIS) PEACE!  May His Word be a living two-edged sword in each of us.  May we be dangerous to the enemy for His sake.  May we be kept from deception. Oh may we be humble in the fear of The One True God, The Lord of heaven and earth!  May we be purified for His glory.

Lovingly,

your sister J

 

*Small note.  Lately transliterators have been writing ‘kh’ instead of ‘ch’ to indicate the sound that is like ‘clearing your throat’.  For years it has been written ‘ch’ but we know that in English ‘ch’ is pronounced like the beginning of  ‘child’ and that leads to much confusion.  I am joining the pack, so I spelled (Messiah) Meshiakh instead of Meshiach.

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Filed under Christianity, Church, Israel, Jerusalem, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Uncategorized

God’s Love Must Torpedo Inner Cities’ Bitterness…Or Else (Part 7)

The Apostle Paul’s greatest adversary was not Satan or the Romans, but instead, it was the Jews, his fellow countrymen. In fact, many believe, including me, that Paul’s thorn in the flesh was not a sickness, but a Jew or a group of Jews that followed and stalked him so that he was continually persecuted wherever he went. (Paul used the words “messenger of Satan” to describe his thorn.)

Five times, Paul received savage beatings from the Jews. He was stoned by Jews at Lystra, drug out of the city and left for dead. More than forty Jews took a vow not to eat until they had killed Paul. Almost every city Paul entered to preach the gospel, the Jews caused riots against him.

If ever a person had a good reason to hate a specific group of people, it was the Apostle Paul, but read what he wrote:

For my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters, I would be willing to be forever cursed—cut off from Christ!—if that would save them. (Romans 9:3)

It’s so easy to skip over this verse and believe that Paul was using an analogy to describe his love for the Jews, but he wasn’t. The two verses before this one describes his feelings and heart desire about this.

That’s right! Paul was willing to give up his salvation and go to Hell for the sake of the Jews. Now, that’s agape love!

Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. (1 John 3:15)

There are more Christians percentage-wise in the inner cities of American than in any other location, but ironically, there are more homicides committed in the inner cities than any other place. In fact, if you removed the homicides committed in the inner cities by blacks (94% of which are committed against other blacks) from the statistics, the murder rates in America would drop in half.

Most social justice leaders, politicians and others give various reasons for why there are so many murders in America’s inner cities, but none of their answers seem to help. So, what’s the problem?

I believe the main problem is the deep-rooted hatred blacks have toward white Americans. No doubt, it’s easy to justify this black hatred because of slavery, Jim Crow, segregation and countless other slights by whites, but still, justifying a sin does not stop the consequences from taking place.

(Continued in Part 8…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Filed under African-American, America, black people, Christianity, Church, Kingdom of God, Prayer, Prophecy, Race, Race wars