Tag Archives: Prophecy

Inside Israel

SHUK

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 —

“The Feast of Unleavened Bread you shall keep. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, in the appointed time of the month of Aviv (spring); for in the month of Aviv you came out from Egypt.  “All that open the womb are Mine,…. All the firstborn of your sons you shall redeem. “And none shall appear before Me empty-handed.  “Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest; in plowing time and in harvest you shall rest.  “And you shall observe the Feast of Weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the Feast of Ingathering at the year’s end.  “Three times in the year all your men shall appear before the Lord, the Lord God of Israel. For I will cast out the nations before you and enlarge your borders; neither will any man covet your land when you go up to appear before the Lord your God three times in the year.”  EXODUS 34:18-24

Beloved brothers and sisters, cleansed by The Blood of The Lamb, called into His kingdom for such a time as this, may you be blessed and encouraged and may THE LORD ALONE be glorified and blessed.

Shalom, from a city at the center of history and geography, which is…well…cleaning!

Yesterday while crossing a large street in the center of town, I had to jump out of the way of one of those one man riding street sweepers who was stopping for no one and seemed determined to clean the patch of street that I was on.  I jumped aside and he went intently on about his work, brushes whooshing away.  I chuckled.

“So this day shall be to you a memorial, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations.  You shall keep it as a feast by an everlasting ordinance.  Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread.  On the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses.  For whoever eats leavened from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel…On the 14th day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread , until the 21st day of the month at evening.  For seven days no leaven shall be found in your house…whether he is a stranger or native of the land…”  Exodus 12:14…20

I don’t know about you, but the older I get the more I realize that all people are certainly NOT alike, not in taste or opinion or habit. Yet if I love someone, I REALLY WANT to please him.  I have noticed when I make a meal that pleases my husband, I save that recipe or if I wear something that he comments on I make note of that.

When I was a young believer, I made note of the things that God said He loved or abhorred and I still do that.  In no way did I think that my SALVATION was purchased or that I was any higher up on His list. If I did it, or any worse if I did not, but I WANTED to do things that pleased This One Whom my heart loved. So I took note of what He wrote.  I still feel that way and I don’t really understand the argument against doing what The Word says by His Spirit.

On the train coming home from the shuk, I looked over the parcels piled on the floor and laps of my fellow travelers. Every space was covered.  An older woman along side of me had a drying rack.  This is a simple, clever device for drying wet clothing in limited space, inside our outside.  It folds to slim flat and can be anywhere from 3 feet to about 6 feet long when folded.  I have noticed that the ones available at Pesach are plastic rather than the usual aluminum with clotheslines.  Why?  I still don’t know.

When I do find out I will likely shake my head.  Anyway, it wouldn’t occur to me that my clothesline might not be kosher for Passover, but I guess it should because another woman called over to my neighbor from across the train. “How much did you pay for that one?”

Immediately I heard: “65 shekels.  Some people are fanatics but I am not one of those.  65 shekels is enough.”

The woman across the train nodded in agreement.  “That’s a good price.  I found them 2 for 135 shekels.”

I thought, “Huh!  I would never have thought to replace my DRYING RACK.  Does it have leaven?”

But as I see the array of plastic sink and pipe liners, and stacks of new…everything, I try again to adjust my focus on Exodus chapter 12…

Our daughter came by today to help with a few things. As we discussed what was kosher for Pesach, she told me that her husband’s family gets rid of EVERYTHING and will eat no food unless it is marked “kosher for Pesach 2017” by a rabbi whom they approve of.  They even throw out all of their spices. Yes, salt, pepper, sugar, coffee, tea and all of the expensive exotic ones as well. They are Algerian Jews by background and culture.

It surely helps you to have a very clean house and also to keep free of loving things!  When you replace everything you own once a year, your items are limited by necessity.  They empty the apartment of everything and then take a large hose and hose down the entire apartment. They are SURE that there is NO LEAVEN.

Each time my focus gets off base and I start to feel anxiety to keep up with my cultural and generational expectations, I return to Exodus chapter 12.  Verse 3 says “…On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb…”

That is this coming Thursday or TOMORROW here.  I cannot take a lamb, but I HAVE taken THE Lamb, and as instructed in verse 6 “Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month.  Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.” 

Yes, this I DID do.  I was responsible.  I nailed Him to the cross. I was guilty of killing The One Who died for me, to set me free, and yes, I am FREE.  Free from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, but more importantly, free to serve Him in love.

The time is moving quickly and I seek to keep my balance…HE is first and yet there ARE necessities.  Shopping is much more hectic with the crowds, and choices must be made as this is a major holiday and many places will be closed, not only for the holy days themselves, but some for the entire week.  I chuckle to myself…none of us will starve, that is for sure!

 

My thoughts drift to Esther and I lift her up in prayer.  A couple of weeks ago as I waited to see a doctor in an area that I’m not very familiar with, I arrived early and went into a small toyshop.  It was a tiny hole in the wall but piled HIGH with the most wonderful and creative toys. A truly amazing shop.

“If’shar la’aksor?” (can I help you?), an older woman asked.

I told her that I only had a moment and wasn’t from this area but I was a Grandma and couldn’t resist.  She nodded and said, “I can help you find anything.  I know everything that is here and where it is and can find the perfect gift for each child.  I can do that because my husband and I bought every one for more than 50 years.  We were together every moment of every day and chose each toy together, but he is gone now.”

She burst out crying and fell into my arms to the dismay of (apparently) a relative and husband who were helping her unload new stock.  I assured them that it was ok and they should leave us alone.

“When did he leave?”  I asked.

“It has been 4 months now,” she wept.

“Oh, this is so new and hard, I’m so sorry!” I said, hugging her tighter.  “Was it a surprise?”

“Oh, he had the cancer, a bad one, but he did not want any treatment. He wanted to be happy.  And he was for 3 years, we almost forgot that he had it, but the last two months he suffered.  He told me that he had lived more than 85 years and that had been such a gift and that it was enough, but here I am and I miss him so much!’

I asked her if they had children and grandchildren and although I have forgotten the number it was a HUGE tribe.

“What a blessing.  They must be a comfort.”  I wanted so hard to comfort her, but I had the feeling that just listening and hugging was what she needed right now.  No one could take his place and I understood they had been married more than 60 years.  “I will pray for you and ask others to as well Esther.”

And that is what I’m doing now.  This Pesach will be so hard for her and for others all around left behind by loved ones.  Perhaps you will remember her too?

Pesach.

What IS it really?

The older I become the more mystical it gets in my eyes.  Each time that I begin in Genesis (Beresheet in Hebrew) and walk on into Exodus (Shmote in Hebrew), it is as if I am reading it for the first time. The immense wonder of it all only gets larger as I see things that I never have seen before, the way it ALL fits together. The MASTER PLAN laid out both plainly and in code, a weaving begun of a most beautiful symphony.

And here WE, of ALL people are in Jerusalem, joining the throng, heeding the call of “come UP to Jerusalem, the city where I have put MY Name and I will meet you there.”   

Psalms 120-134 (some include 119) are the Songs of Ascent because they were sung as the tribes gathered on the way, going up to Jerusalem for the feasts of Passover, Shavout (Pentecost or Weeks), and Sukkot (Tabernacles): the three feasts when all males were commanded to come up to Jerusalem.  Yeshua (Jesus) was part of this and sang these songs when He was a child and came up to Jerusalem with His family for Passover as described in Luke 2:41-51.

And still, many visitors come up during Passover/Resurrection season – up to Jerusalem and to the feasts of The Lord. It is a time to visit with beloved friends – both old and new.  It all mixes together and I wish you could all be here and see it and partake.  BUT NOW WE SEE YESHUA, JESUS, THE RISEN BREAD OF LIFE, THE FULFILLMENT OF ALL OF THESE AMAZING PATTERNS AND PROMISES…HE IS THE LIVING MANA…HE IS ENOUGH… HE IS THE LAMB…HIS IS THE BLOOD ON THE DOORPOSTS OF OUR HEARTS…HE IS THE WAY THROUGH THE WILDERNESS…HE IS THE FIRSTBORN…HE IS THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE….

AND IT IS JUST ALL SO BEAUTIFUL THAT I MIGHT BURST…

But first, I do have to finish cleaning. So, I will just go and sing while I clean.

May the blessings of His Presence be ours.  May we glorify The Lord and finish the work that He has given each one of us.

Lovingly,

your sister J

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Geezer Up (Part 15)

Jane

“Okay, what’s your problem?” asked J. C. when we walked into the tiled foyer of their townhouse.

“Nothing,” I said, shrugging my shoulders.

“Sorry, that doesn’t work with me,” he said. “We can’t help if you don’t open up to us. Now, what’s you problem?”

We walked down a short picture lined hallway and into the family room. I sat down on a soft brown leather sofa while J. C. and Shira sat on a matching one on the opposite side of a glass-topped coffee table. I turned to look out the windows at the Golden Gate Bridge. No fog. Sunny and clear. Traffic seemed light on the bridge for 10:30 in the morning. I turned to face my friends.

“Here’s the deal,” I said, blowing out a deep breath. “The Lord wants me to go on TV, radio, to churches, and wherever He opens the door to defend Dylan’s stand and plead his cause.”

“What a great idea!” proclaimed Shira.

“Not really because I hate public speaking. I just can’t do it!”

Shira moved over next to me and put her arm around me. The gentle scent of her Estée Lauder perfume cajoled my emotions, calming me down a notch or two on my inner Richter scale.

“Jane, what’s the worse that could happen?” she asked.

“I might fail.”

“Really? The Lord would put Dylan’s future into your hands so He could watch you fail. How would that advance the kingdom of God?”

Although still sweet, a different side of Shira emerged at that moment: the exhorter. She had her periscope up, torpedo tubes loaded, and I was in her crosshairs.

“Okay, maybe I won’t fail, but I will most certainly make a fool of myself.”

The words skated past my brain and out my mouth before I could filter them. Shira looked into my eyes and grinned.

“Ah, at last, the truth.”

I wrinkled my nose.

“My answer didn’t sound very good, right?”

Shira shook her head. “No, darling.”

I raised my hands in surrender. “Okay, do either of you know how I can carry out this assignment from the Lord?”

“Hobart Effingham III,” said J. C., pulling his iPhone out of his pocket.

“Hobart Effingham? What’s that?”

“Effingham is a Christian businessman who happens to be the president of the largest public relations firm in San Francisco. A few phone calls by him will land you on the top-rated TV and radio programs in the area. As for churches, I can make some contacts to help you.”

Okay Lord, I thought, here I am. Use me.

(A new sequel to Unhitched Geeser, which can be checked out here.)

(Continued in Part 16…the full series to date can be read here.)

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My Irish Story

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My roommate Tony and I enjoyed laughing in the midst of our financial struggles. I remember walking to Hy-Vee Grocery Store one morning and seeing a dead pheasant lying next to the road.

“Hey, we might be able to make a stew out of that bird,” said Tony.

“Really?”

“Actually, I’m trying to make up my mind whether I’m that desperate yet.”

Humor helps during bad times, but we were also serious prayer warriors, who believed God could use us to advance His kingdom. Each morning, we waited on the Lord to discover how He wanted us to pray.

Once, we felt He wanted us to pray for Northern Ireland and its violent unrest at the time. We began praying in tongues, waiting on the Holy Spirit to show us a clear direction on how to intercede for the war-torn area. I then had a vision in which I saw bodies of young people piled in heaps on the streets of Belfast, thousands of them. All had their lives snuffed out by the continued violence between the Catholics and Protestants.

The vision so disturbed me I could do nothing but weep. Tony and I eventually prayed as best we could to stop this vision from happening in Ireland, but we had no peace about it. I also felt there was an important prophetic word for Northern Ireland within my spirit, waiting to be given.

I went to my bedroom afterward and prayed, asking the Lord to give the prophecy to some well-known preacher. Who would listen to me? As soon as I prayed the words, I knew it was a bad idea so I repented quickly.

“Lord, show me how to speak the prophecy to Northern Ireland,”  I prayed. With those words, peace settled over me.

The Lord impressed me to visit a Catholic church near the campus two days later. I walked in the door and asked if anybody knew someone in Northern Ireland. They all laughed, but one lady suggested I should talk with a secretary in the basement.

I went to the secretary. She did not know anyone in Ireland, but she knew the name of the Catholic Charismatic leader in Des Moines.

“Maybe that person knows someone in Ireland,” she said.

The next day, I phoned the Catholic Charismatic leader.

“I don’t know anyone in Ireland,” she said, “but my husband knows the head of the Catholic Charismatic movement in England.”

Her husband came on the line and gave me the phone number.

I phoned the number in England early the next morning because of the six-hour time difference. The leader’s wife answered and told me her husband was attending a meeting in London. I explained to her the reason for my phone call.

“Funny,” she said, “but I’m looking at the exact person you need. His picture is on the cover of a book.”

She gave me the information.

I sat down at the kitchen table and wrote the prophetic word for Northern Ireland, and then mailed it to the leader in Belfast.

This whole experience was by faith and after dropping the letter into the mailbox, all of my faith dried up. Every doubt in the world hit me. Who did I think I was anyway? A nobody. A failure. I didn’t even belong to a church. No pastor would ever vouch for me. The Irish leader would take one look at my name, my handwritten scrawl, and laugh. But even in the midst of these doubts, I knew enough to run to the throne of grace, asking for grace and mercy to help me through this trial of faith.

Two weeks later, the phone rang on a Sunday afternoon.

“Hello,” I answered.

“Larry, I’m Cecil Kerr from Belfast, Ireland. I’m calling to thank you for the prophetic word you sent me. Our prayer group had been waiting for just such a word. We are already praying it into fruition. So, from all of us, we thank you for your obedience to the Holy Spirit.”

We talked for a few minutes and then said our goodbyes. I fell on my knees and wept, realizing how big God is and, by comparison, how little I am. To think God would use me, to pray for such a far off place, which was going through such desperate  life and death struggles, opened my eyes to the greatness of our God. Nothing is impossible for Him.

If there had been a contest for the two most insignificant Christians in America at the time, Tony and I had a chance of winning. My truck had been repossessed. Tony’s car needed a tire. We had no money and AT&T disconnected our phone the very next morning.

God never seems to be bothered by such trivial things as our insignificance in the world.

(Excerpt from The Hunt for Larry Who by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2014, Amazon eBook)

The above took place in 1995. The peace treaty between the IRA and Great Britain was finally signed on Good Friday, 1998, and continues today.

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

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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.

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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

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

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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.

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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.

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