Friday, February 28, 2014

There Is A Better Way! Part 3

"All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age".  (Matthew 28:18-20).

Hey  Gang:  In the last Gramps Morning Thoughts I mentioned my management style, which was to give as much responsibility to those with talents, so it would release me to do far greater things.   It is a management style that Jesus used with the development of His disciples.  Remember at the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus said to the disciples, "You feed them ". (Luke 14:16)

His command to us is “Go and make disciples” so that they can go and make disciples so that they can go and make disciples.  Several months ago our pastor preached on building disciples and used a five step plan to complete the task.   The first step requires initiative - you must find the right candidates.  I can attest to the fact that this is most difficult part of the process.

"Now as Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon who was called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casing a net into the sea; for they were fishermen.  And He said to them, "Come here after Me and I will make you fishes of men."  (Matthew 4:18-19)  Note: we see Jesus’ pattern in these two verses "Come", and "I will". 

Step two is to develop or establish a clear pattern of life doctrines and ministry.  In Matthew 5:1-2 we are told that Jesus, seeing the crowd, sat down and He began to teach them in what we know as the Sermon on the Mount.  Later in 8:13 we note that Jesus’ teaching was active as well as verbal, He did something that was absolutely taboo - He touched and healed a leper!  Hey gang, would you lay hands on an HIV infected believer? or for that matter non believer?

Step three - grant authority and give ministry opportunities.  In Matthew 10:1-5 that is precisely what Jesus did.  He called the disciples together and gave them their tool box of powers and then sent them on their way to test these new weapons.   In Matthew 17 we note that the disciples blew it; they could not cast demons out of a man.  Failure? No, need for more training? Yes.   Jesus said it takes a prayer.  Did they not pray?  Probably.  But how many know there are steps to growth in prayer?  What I could not do yesterday, I can do today.

Step four - gracefully correct and recommit. An evangelist  was asked what he does when he prays for someone and they die.  His response, "I go to the next one".   In Matthew 16:8-9 Jesus takes the disciples to task: "Don't you remember the miracle of the 4000, or 50000.  O ye of little faith, why are you worrying about whether we have enough bread".   

Soooo, good buddies, step five is repeat steps one through four until it becomes engrained in your head and heart.   How quickly we sometimes turn our back when the process becomes burdensome.  Jesus gives us the purpose for steps one through five in Matthew 28:19-20,  "All authority is given to Me and I give it to You - so go!!!"   



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

THere Must Be A Better Way! Part 2

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding"    (Proverbs 3:5) Thus says the Lord, "let not a wise man boast of  his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not the rich man boast of his riches" (Pro. 9:23)

Hey Gang:  I am always very hesitant about using illustrations from my past for I fear that you might get the idea I am boasting. (But, for those of you who are not aware, these Gramps thoughts were started as encouragement to our Grandchildren.)  I have heard that if it is truth is it not boasting.  But I would rather use Paul's model that he shared with the Corinthian believers, "I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me" (2 Cor. 12:10).  
As the founder of a child care facility I had to make a decision of whether I would be a ‘hanger-on’ to the power reigns or a ‘share-er’ of the power reigns".     In my prior work history I had had the privilege of working with both.  In the former hanger-on manager I did not see the growth and the usage of the talents of each individual worker.  But with those who were the ‘share-the-power’ managers, I noticed that others moved up in the system.  Sharing the power gave managers time to innovate and bring new and better ideas on board.

Back in the olden days when the new communication devices began to come on board and I was ‘exalted director’, it was suggested that I get a beeper.  Now this may sound strange to you cell phone, twitters, Facebook and such, but I do not know how to use a cell phone.  When suggested I get a beeper my response was "When you see me get a beeper you will know that I no longer trust in you to make good decisions". 

Now I admit that, if one were to look at my staff turn-over problems in the management areas, I paid the piper for that management style, other agencies were continually recruiting my middle management people to run their agencies.  Forgive me if that sounds boastful. 

Sooooo,  my good friends and neighbors, let me share a proven practice, as you rub elbows with your neighbors,  look for and acknowledge their strengths and ignore their weaknesses.  That is a Jesus principle.  He used it daily in His ministry and it prepared eleven of His twelve middle-managers to take over, when He went to be with the Father.   


Monday, February 24, 2014

There Must Be A Better Way

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding"    (Proverbs 3:5) Thus says the Lord, "let not a wise man boast of  his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not the rich man boast of his riches" (Pro. 9:23), 

Hey Gang:  "Lord, there must be a better way!” Have you ever said that?    I confess I have. I have done so many dumb things in my life that resulted in time on the stool with my dunce cap on. And, I also must confess that when I tried to correct those errors in my own strength and intelligence, it resulted in another trip around the mountain.

I believe that is why Jesus said we need to go to the cross daily and unload our garbage bag from the previous day.    I admit that I am a slow learner but this I have learned in my tenure on this earth - when the rubber hits the road it is nice to have someone who has been there and won the battle to come along side me.   

The Scripture of the morning is from a very wise man, who did not always follow his own advice and found himself up to his armpits in alligators.  His counsel, when the rubber does hit the road, "Do not try and fix it alone but "trust in the Lord".
I have learned that when the alligators are snapping at my heels I need to check out my priorities.  Jesus provided us with sound advice when He said, "He who loves father and mother more than Me is not worthy of Me and he who does not take up his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me"   (Matt. 10:37-38).   

Jesus went on to give us the bottom line in our obedience to following Him completely.  He said, "He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it". (v. 39).  Confession time again.  I have read that verse many times before but did not have a clue what it really meant until we began to go to Voice of Martyrs and learn what true sacrifice for the Lord and our neighbors was all about.    

The message of the persecuted church is “Don't pray for my life but pray that my witness will be so strong those who would take my life would see Jesus in me and want a piece of the action.”  Their covenant commitment is centered on Jesus’ words, "We ought to lay down our lives for the brethren" (I John 3:16b). 

In my work with children the first thing I had to deal with was their lack of trust in adults.  When those who were commissioned by God to build trust in their quiver of children fail to do so, it places the child in bondage.  To stand before the forty-foot climbing tower is always an awesome experience, but to hear the word climb - fills every corpuscle of their body with immediate anxiety. 

Then, when they conquer climbing the wall and are the point of the wonderful feeling that goes with success, we say, "Now turn around, put your toes on the edge of the tower and drop off".  One can feel the tremors radiating through the towers and of course they are fully safe in climbing harnesses.

Soooo,  I believe we would all admit that we face trust issues throughout our lifetimes.    In a recent interview of several pastors the question was asked, “What is the number one problem in our nation today.”   There was no hesitation in the reply - lack of trust - because in that absence of trust comes the absence of integrity and honesty in the minds of the people.  The solution to the lack of trust, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding".   Are you trusting God today or leaning on yourself?



Friday, February 21, 2014

What's Happening, Man? 3

 “O God, do not remain quiet:  Do not be silent and¸ O God do not be still. For behold, Your enemies make an uproar; And those who have You have exalted themselves. They make shrewd plans against Your people, And conspire together against Your treasured ones.  They have said, “Come, and let us wipe them out as a nation”.      
Hey Gang:  The people of Israel have been under constant harassment since the birth of the nation in 1948 with wars, on-going terrorist attacks and, boycotts of their products across the world.   It seems everyone in the world thinks Israel’s business is their business and can dictate to them how they/Israel should accommodate the desires of the world/UN. 

In the mean time we have seen the second greatest single piece of prophecy of all time fulfilled, second only to the birth of Christ, the rebirth of Israel.  And even as I write this blog, our President and Secretary of State are preparing to present, yet another mandate from the United States, demanding that Israel retreat to the 1967 boundaries, which all the world knows cannot be defended. (Only by God)
 “It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples, all who lift it will be severely injured.  And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.”
 (Zech 12:3).    
I tend to think Zechariah 12:2 might answer that question, “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around, and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah.”

My bride and I have had the privilege of going to Israel on several occasions between the years of 1980 and 2008, and, on each trip we noticed an increase in the ‘peace at all cost’ syndrome that grips the  nation today.  The people of Israel are just plan tired of terrorist, bickering over who owns the land and the constant fear that the 170,000 rockets pointed at them will be released. 

Can one doubt that Satan’s agenda is to complete the task Hitler began, the total annihilation of the Jews? Today the Palestinian flags and military uniform map patches do not have an Israeli presence.  Is not Satan an arrogant pup?  He knows the Word of God better than seminary guru’s and there is  no doubt in his mind he is on a one way ticket to the pit, for a thousand years and then to the Lake of Fire. Yet he has this maniacal belief that, if he can wipe out God’s chosen people and God’s chosen land, Jesus will have no place or reason to return. No wonder God sits in the heavens and laughs.

Sooooo, it is not amazing how many people believe that, if there was no Israel, there would be peace in the Middle East? – But, be advised, there is a constant blood bath among the Sunni’s, Shiites, Kurds and others.  In Syria alone it is estimated that more than 130,000 Syrians have been killed in the civil war and over 5000 Iraqi’s, since the President pulled our troops out of Iraq - And I might add by brothers killing brothers which has nothing to do with Israel.



Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hey, Man, What's Happening? -2

 “When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not come about or come true, that is the things which the Lord has not spoken.  The prophet has spoken it presumptuously, you shall not be afraid of him” (Deut. 18:22).

Hey Gang:  Now hear this – now hear this – now hear this – I do not claim to be a prophet of God and have shied away from presenting what I believe is happening prophetically in our world.  I tend to leave the prophetic driving to those, I believe God has blessed with the gift of prophecy.  But I sense in the last several months, that God is prodding me to share thoughts about what is happening in our world that lines up with God’s alerting His children to the signs of His releasing His Son to return to earth and collect His children.

That does not mean that I do not spend a third of my Bible study time in the prophetic Scriptures.  It is my sincere opinion that since one third of the Bible is prophecy I should spend at least one third of my Bible study time in seeking out those truths presented by Jesus, the Apostles and Prophets of old.  But I also warn those who become top heavy in studying prophecy that time with the rest of the writers of the Scriptures is essential to gain a balanced spiritual perspective.

With that disclaimer clearly understood, I will honor Abba Father by sharing what I believe He has made clear to me in the past several months and even years.  Jesus, in the Olivet Discourse, laid out a very clear message for His children on the Signs of Christ Return.  Note: He began with a warning, “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ’ and will mislead many” (Matt. 24:4b- 5).

One does not have to be a rocket scientist to realize deception is running rampant, not only in the pagan world, but also among many who avow they are believers in Christ and followers of the King of kings.  But as my good friend and mentor Jessie pounded into my mind and heart – “if it ain’t in the Word and taken literally, it will probably lead you down the prime-rose path.”
It has almost become common place for self-proclaimed gurus who, claim they have the inside path to knowing, announce to the world the exact time that Jesus will return.  Unfortunately there are many that do not heed what Jesus warned, “Don’t be deceived.” 

The world is filled with deception today.  You can find just about anything you want to believe.   At this time there are three rapidly growing blasphemies that are very deceptive. One I call the Oprah Wintry blasphemy, she avows that there is more than one road to God.  Perhaps the verse “Jesus is the way, truth and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6).  Is missing from her Bible.

Perhaps the blasphemy that is causing the most upheaval in our world is Replacement Theology, the belief that God no long loves Israel and has replaced Israel with the church.   This misunderstanding of the mega references pertaining to God’s eternal love of Israel, in my humble opinion, has caused a rapid growth in the fulfillment of Zechariah 12:2  “Behold I am going to make Jerusalem, a cup that causes reeling to all the people around”.  

The third blasphemy is perhaps the most damaging to the salvation message.  Simply, it states to “believe” is enough; as long as you ‘believe’ you are home free, no matter what you do or not do in this lifetime.  One might get the idea it is a license to sin. BE ADVISED: Satan and his "Demons also believe in God and shudder." (James 2:19)

Soooo, now, let me ask you a question.  If you were living in Israel and each day hear that you are totally surrounded by 170,000 missiles designed to cover every inch of Israel, would you be a wee bit nervous?  Tune in tomorrow for chapter two.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Hey, Man, What's Happening?

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.  But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.”(Matt. 24:35-6).

 Hey Gang, I once had an old Dodge automobile that was what one might call a ‘bear’ when it came to starting.  As long as I kept it filled with eighty weight oil, so that it did not run out too fast, it ran like a top – for thirty to forty miles- before it needed another transfusion.  Then, one day, it began to make some weird sounds and the smoke began to pour from under the hood.  One might say that was its ‘swan song’ and it found a resting place in the local auto cemetery, better known as “The Salvage Yard.

In recent months I have been introduced to a phenomena referred to as ‘Blood Moons’ which has not only spurred my attention but also rekindled the fire to learn as much as I can about what is about to happen prophetically in the coming days. Blood moons are lunar eclipses that appear red.  The unique thing now is that there are 4 back to back on the Feasts of Passover and Shavuot in 2014 and 2015.  This is rare.  You can check it out on the web and we will mention more from time to time. I base my studies on Jesus’ desire for us - that we be informed, not deceived, about what He is doing. I feel being called as a watchman.

Now I must confess, I have struggled mightily on how to open the door to my observations of what is happening in our world prophetically.  I have studied the prophetic word and have had the honor of sharing some of my observations, throughout the past several decades, but we are currently in Bartlesville, Oklahoma volunteering at Voice of Martyr, a ministry that comes along side God’s persecuted people and all my back ground materials are in my study back in Big Rapids.    

I could put this most important subject on hold, until I get home in three or four weeks, but those of you who know me know that I am not wired that way. When I get a bug it is neigh on to impossible for me to lay it down, so I hit the internet for a day or two and ran into a friend that I have followed for years, one Joel Rosenberg and will plagiarize some of his thoughts. 

His first comment is one with which I heartily agree. In our times it is fashionable to evaluate world events merely by looking through and lenses of politics and economics, which is one huge mistake- for it leaves out the one dimension that controls the other two.  To truly understand what is happening in the world today, one has to look at it through a third lens as well: the lens of Scripture.  Only then can the whole picture come into view.

The Bible is not shy about describing itself as a supernatural book, written by an all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful God, who chooses to give his people advance warning of future events He deems of utmost importance.  To Jeremiah, God said, “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know” (Jer. 33:2).  To the Hebrew prophet Amos he explained that “The Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret counsel to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7).

When King Nebuchadnezzar had dreams, he called on a Hebrew kid named Daniel to interpret them.  It was Daniel who informed the king that God “removes kings and establishes kings” and “it is He who reveals the profound and hidden things(Dan 2:21-22). “As for the mystery about which the king had inquired,” Daniel explained, “neither wise men, conjurers, magicians nor diviners are able to declare it to the king, However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days” (Dan 2:27-28).

Not every event is described in advance in the Bible.  Nor can the prophecies be used to determine the future of every country; but there are key events and trends that will occur in certain countries that the Bible does describe with surprising specificity, for anyone willing to look carefully.

Tragically, there are growing numbers who believe Biblical Prophecy is ‘pie in the sky’, and those who do not believe in the literal translation of the Bible are growing more agitated with those who do believe in literal Bible Prophecy.  It is unfortunate that this number is not restricted to non-believers and is even being taught from the pulpit of growing numbers of denominations.

 Soooo, good friends, I pray you will pray for me as I seek the Lord’s direction and that He will put into my mind and heart the things that will help you better understand what Jesus meant when He said, “I don’t want you to be uninformed”.  And please feel free to take me to task if you feel I am on the wrong track.

P.S.  Please be advised the prophecy morning messages will appear periodically, not more than one third of the time.



Friday, February 14, 2014

What Price?

“Blessed are you when men hate you, and ostracize, and insult you, and scorn your name as evil, for the sake of the Son of Man.  Be glad in that day and leap for joy, and behold, your reward is great in heaven.  For in the same way their fathers used to treat the prophets.” (Luke 6:22-23).

Hey Gang:  I am writing this Morning Message in a beautiful apartment at Voice of Martyrs in Bartlesville, Oklahoma where the temperature has been bouncing between ten below and ten above since we arrived three weeks ago.  I need to confess that I seriously considered that the five hundredth blog would be my swan song.   How many know the ‘best laid plans of mice and men’ tend to go by the boards, very rapidly.

Soon after my arrival here a half of dozen folks informed me they start their day with the blogs and others, over hearing the conversation, asked for cards so they could tune in.  So, here I am in blog number 502- but who is counting?  I do need to confess that my total source for writing these morning messages is from the Throne Room of Heaven and l will know when to stop--- when He(Yeshua) no longer spoon feeds me in what He would have me share with you.

A second reason I feel the need to continue to send out these messages is we, my bride and I tend to spend many hours seeking a deeper understanding of God’s final plans for this world we live in and we need to share that information as watchmen. Now, please understand, I do not believe we have any inside track about what  is happening, but we do have the time to seek and learn, as well as glean from trusted teachers.  As retired, very senior citizens, our working day is restricted to bringing the wood in, keeping the drive way plowed and going to the grocery store for vittles once in a while, except Here at VOM which is 8 hour work days.

As I mentioned we are presently volunteering   at Voice of Martyrs.  It is one of the very high points in our year and a tremendous blessing to be so used by our heavenly Daddy to help the persecuted believers around the world.  One of the neat fringe benefits about being here is we blessed to hear from warriors who have experienced persecution as a way of life. This helps to bring us up to speed the way it really is, in a large portion of the world.

 Tuesday is Chapel time – over 100 of us together in worship and praise. Last week we were introduced to a ministry sponsored by VOM in Nigeria to widows whose husbands have been martyred.  As I listened to the two ladies, who recently returned from Nigeria, I wondered if I would have the courage, if someone with gun in hand gave me the option to deny Christ or die, what would I do?

Since the 26th of January more than 200 Christians have been killed by Boko Haram terrorist.   They have been known to surround a church while in session, set it on fire and kill those who try to escape.  Recently Islamist terrorists attacked a church in Waga Chakawa  Village and killed 22 Christian and another 26 as they were fleeing from their homes.

Soooo, I ask you, could this happen in the United States of American, the home of the free and the brave, founded on the principles of free speech and freedom to worships the Lord anytime and anyplace?  Are we seeing the doors beginning to close in our nation on freedom to worship and share our God with all people?    What price are you willing to pay?



PS From Gma: I’m sure you are aware that this is already happening in our schools, public areas, military and many Government offices.  One of the young high school volunteers from AR, who worked with me, talked about his ‘persecution’ at school.  He has been sent to detention, over and over, and whatever is the next level, and threatened for reading his Bible – even tho his work is completed and they have free time;  others are playing computer games or whatever. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Lord, I Have A Problem!

"O, Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, Let Your ear now be attentive and Your eyes open to hear the prayer of Your servant which I am praying before You now, now day and night" Neh. 1:4-6a). 

Hey Gang:  Did you know your face sends messages even without saying a word?  The king said to Nehemiah "Why is your face sad?"  What do you request? (2:4).  Nehemiah had just received an up- date on the condition of Jerusalem and the Temple and it hit him in the stomach like a sledge hammer.  It seems, Lord, when he heard this message, he felt a compulsion to do something about it. 

But, he had a problem. He was the king’s cup bearer and literally responsible for the safety of the king.  He also had another problem, he was on the low end of the totem pole, with no influence and certainly no finances to do anything about rebuilding a city and Temple.  Been there!  That is a good description of where I was when God said, “Pack it and move to Michigan and build a home for hurting children.”  

I learned very quickly that when God moves, the barriers fall and some very painfully.  As the cup bearer Nehemiah’s number one chore was to not cause the king any woe, but, as I am quite sure you are aware, when we are dealing with very tough issues our face tends to show the pain and agony we are experiencing.  His face was different that day and the king took notice of it.

I once came home to find my son David, who was a student in college, sitting at the counter in the kitchen. One did not have to be to alert to see there was a sadness in his eyes.  I asked why - his response, “I am more convinced each day that I am not taking the right courses to prepare me for what I really want to do.”

Nehemiah had sadness in his eyes and the king said, "Hey, what's happening, man?”  Have you ever been asked that question?  And, if you have been asked and you are dealing with a tough issue, what was your response? ‘Oh, nothing.”

  Nehemiah, had a decision to make. I suspect he had a pretty good relationship with the King, so perhaps his answer was easy - "You see, King, I have just learned about my home town and church and it is not good news.” 

God had opened the window - the question was now would Nehemiah have the courage to walk through it.    Been there! When God opened a way, but it required having the faith to battle the alligators and walk through the thorn bushes to get to where the blessing was.  In Project Survive we dangled the carrots far enough away that it took a commitment on the part of the participants to get to it.  God opened the door, did Nehemiah have the faith to put God's plan into action?

We know from the rest of the account that Nehemiah did indeed lay his burden out before the king and the king not only heard his heart but also responded in a magnificent way.   When we answered God's call to quit our jobs, sell our house, up root our kids and move across country to become an unemployed director of a non-existent Boy’s home, the story of Nehemiah became very important to me.  

Soooo, good folks, it does not take the brains of an Einstein to realize that Satan knows his days are very short. He has pulled out all stops to make your life as miserable as he can.  David Wilkerson wrote a magnificent article titled Satan is Out to destroy You.   In closing his article he quoted Psalms 112:4, 6-10 and 121:7-8. But the one that hit my hot button was Ps. 27:5 "For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; In the secret place of His tent He will hide me."  The Lord said, "Call upon me in the day of trouble: I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me." (50:15).

Are you calling on the Lord to heal our nation?

Feb 11-Flash, The following message came in today " John Kerry, the US Secretary of State made an attempt to get President Obama to confront Israel and force them to accept his peace proposal, despite their objections to it. Given this refusal, Israeli television reported last night that the peace deal has “pretty much collapsed.”  Hallelujah!



Monday, February 10, 2014

WOW! Just Plain WOW!

“Behold I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around, and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah  It will come in that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples, all who lift it will be severely injured.  And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it”  (Zech. 12:22-23)

Hey Gang:  Are you aware that we are in the time referred to by Jesus as “the look up time, for your redemption is drawing near”.  (Luke 21:28).  Are you aware of what our President and John Kerry, Secretary of State, are pressuring Israel and the Palestinians to accept? What they feel is their solution to the age old problem of hatred between the two peoples?
In a recent daily report by the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem the following warning was sent to John Kerry by a group of prominent Israeli rabbis warning him against invoking the wrath of God by pursuing the current pressuring on Israel and the Palestinians to accept their mandate – ‘that this is the way it will be whether you like it or not!

The Rabbis proclaimed: “Your incessant efforts to expropriate integral parts of our Holy Land and hand them over to Abbas’s terrorist gang, amount to a declaration of war against the Creator and Ruler of the universe! For G-d awarded the entire Land of Israel to our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in order that they bequeath it, as an everlasting inheritance, to their descendants, the Jewish people, until the end of all time,” the letter reads. “If you continue on this destructive path, you will ensure your everlasting disgrace in Jewish history for bringing calamity upon the Jewish people. By the power of our Holy Torah, we admonish you to cease immediately all efforts to achieve these disastrous agreements – in order to avoid severe Heavenly punishment for everyone involved.”

I would call that good advice, for they are not only tampering with God’s land and people for this day, but for all eternity.   Not only are they placing Israel in jeopardy but the United States of America as well!  Joel is very clear in what will happen to those nations that tamper with the lands given to Israel in the Abrahamic Covenant:  “”I will gather all the nations and bring them down in the valley of Jehoshaphat.  Then I will enter into judgment with them there.  On behalf of My people and MY inheritance, Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up My land” (Joel 3:2).  

Some years ago William Koenig, Correspondent in the White House, did a study of all the times that our presidents have made demands on Israel to give up lands that clearly described as covenant lands in a book called Eye To Eye.  He listed fifty- seven different incidents that occurred during the time or shortly after demands were made on Israel by our Government.  His most recent Daily News Report suggests that the current cold spell is more that adverse weather – it has been holding in place since John Kerry began to lay out his demands that Israel re-enter negotiations with Abbas, who wants to push the Jews into the Sea.

 Shortly after his appointment was approved by the Senate Kerry announced that he would begin negotiations with Netanyahu and Abbas, his home state of Massachusetts was hit with a major storm.   Do you think the fires, tornadoes, hurricanes, droughts of the past summer were just coincidents?

 Soooo, friends and neighbors, what say you?  Has the heart of the Palestinian leadership changed?  Are they ready to put away their swords and pick up plowshares.    Will there be peace in the Holy Lands if this is approved?  Or will it be a peace like the peace of Saladin?  (Delayed so they could re-group.) The best military minds in the world have avowed that, if Israel is forced to give up the West Bank, there is no way the land of Israel can be defended.



PS THe Lord seems to be dealing with me as a watchman of His Kingdom that I should share more  frequently what is happening in the world today.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Stop, take a Minute and Smell a Posy! BLOG # 500!

"I have seen that nothing is better than that man should be happy in his activities, for that is his lot.  For who will bring him to see what will occur after him?" (Ecclesiastes 3:22).

 Hey Gang:  Did you know we live a superficial world, a world where we measure success by who has the most bangles and beads?  It is a world where many often miss the wonderful hidden pearls that God has so bountifully placed all around us.   As I sit here at the computer, I am blessed to see the sunrise each morning and the light rays as they radiate through the trees. 

This morning there are several squirrels playing in the trees and the birds a availing themselves of the feast that we provide for them each day.  We tend to take such magnificence for granted in this rapidly moving affluent world and miss the wonderful joys that God created for us.

Yesterday was one of those especially trying days when it seemed that nothing went as I had planned.  I wish I could say that I learned how to deal with such days, after running a home for fifty children with adjustment problems for twenty seven years, but such is not the case.  i wonder if God sometimes throws monkey-wrenches into our regimented lives with the express purpose of moving us out of our comfort zones! 

Did you ever notice that brother and sisters sand paper can be a catalyst that sends us down a road that is totally different from the one we had planned.

One of God's very colorful creations, a blue jay, just flew by the window on his way to someplace.  I wonder if he knows where he is going?  I suspect he does but, in his quest to get to his destination, he boobs and weaves and is in a constant state of checking out the surrounding area. God programmed him that way.

We need to learn from our feathered friends that God has provided a whole smorgasbord of blessings for us to enjoy, even in the busy world of trying to climb the corporate ladder.  It is one of God's other creations - man - who, many times seems to run to and fro not knowing where he is going.  One might refer to it as "the chicken without its head syndrome."  I personally believe it resembles what is going on in the Beltway today.

Solomon  recognized this fact when he wrote, "How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?" (Pro. 1:11a).  Man, in his infinite wisdom "is ever seeking and failing to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim. 3:7). 

Soooo, take a piece of advice from an old man "If there ain't no tomorrow it won't matter no how, so take a minute and smell the posies.  And keep in mind, as the Plain People would say, 'There are many times we are climbing the mountain when we ought to quietly resting'. God speaks to us when we are in a quiet listening attitude.  Shhhhh - listen.



Wednesday, February 5, 2014

How Many Tragedies Does It Take To Wake Up A Nation?

 " The Hebrew prophet Nahum once wrote about the city of Ninevah, the capital of the Assyrian Empire, “Woe to the bloody city….many slain, a mass of corpses, and countless dead bodies — they stumble over the dead bodies….your shepherds are sleeping.” (Nahum 3:1, 3, 18)

Hey Gang:  Another tragedy! Another time when we trow up our hands in dispair and cry out, "Why Lord?" As I watched the many 'experts' give their opinions on why a person would walk into an elementary school and kill twenty innocent six and seven year olds and six adults, reminded me of Isaiah 9:10 "The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with smooth stones"   With the exception of Huckabee, last evening, I did not hear any of the so called experts attack the root of problem. (This was written months ago) 

I did see a lot of finger pointing that this is the problem or that is the problem. One expert suggested that each and every person who shows signs of emotional or mental problem be run through a series of tests to determine if they could be violent.  And then there were the pro and anti-gun advocates.  I could probably come up with arguments on both sides of that issue.  I really see no positive reasons why guns of mass destruction are needed by the private citizens on the land - the police and military yes, Joe next door - NO. But private citizens do have the right to own guns.

But, as I thought about the gun issue, I recalled an incident in the book of Judges where Jael, a simple house wife, "…took a tent peg and seized a hammer in her hand, and went secretly into Sisera and drove a tent peg into his brain" (Judges 4:2`).  And then there is the story of Sampson who "slew a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey" (Judges 15:15).  And we are not told what Cain used to kill his brother Abel but this we know, it was not a gun.   And then there was Timothy McVey who did not have a gun but took the lives of more than 165 innocent people.  Perhaps it is not guns that is the issue here. 

While in college I was compelled to take a literature class.  Now that was like being sentenced to boredom, for I was not a reader and had no appreciation of the finer arts.  One of the assigned reading assignments was a story by Anton Checkov. I do not recall the name of the story but I do remember he built the plot around the theme "Man's Inhumanity to Man".  I wonder, if he were alive today, what he might say about this subject.  For we certainly have much more effective killing devices than were available in his day.

O, we will mourn for a week or so, but the memory of the hideous event will fade as the evening sun.  I fear the rhetoric will go by the boards and the Press will milk out of this tragedy every ounce of blood before moving on to the next tragedy and much as I do not like to admit it, there will be a next tragedy! Maybe worse than this one.    Joel Rosenberg wrote the following:  "The demons of violence and lawlessness are loose all across America, in Newtown, Aurora, Colorado, at Virginia Tech, at Columbine and all across our land".
He also quoted the following from his book Implosion:  "Bells are going off all around us. Lights on the dashboard are flashing, Warning! Warning! Yet America is sleeping through the alarms, blind to the warning lights. And tragically, for the most part, the Church — God’s chosen instrument to bless individuals, families, communities, and nations — is asleep as well. I shudder to imagine where we are heading if we don’t wake up soon, plead for the Lord’s forgiveness, and ask Him to use us to love our neighbors and revitalize our country.” 

Soooo, friends and neighbors, I am sure all of us have, at one time or another, heard or used the phrase ‘butt off’.  I believe God has done precisely that.  The Lord God Almighty is a gentleman. He won’t force us to accept His great love and many blessings. If a nation tells Him to leave, He will leave. But we need to be prepared to pay the price for evicting the King of kings and Lord of lords from our country; there is a horrendous price tag attached to that eviction notice! 



Monday, February 3, 2014

Careful Folks!!

"Jesus said to the disciples, ‘See to it that no one misleads you.  For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am the Christ, and will mislead many/" (Matt. 24:4-5)

Hey Gang:  I think I have mentioned, in a past morning messages, that there are two great blasphemies growing in the world, that will lead to hearing God say, "I know you not" on that day we will all stand before Him. However, this morning I want to introduce you to a third blasphemy that has taken root and is growing like a brush fire in a dry desert. 

But, before introducing the third,  let's review the two mentioned before.  The first is ‘Replacement Theology" which teaches that Israel is no longer the ‘Apple of God's Eye’.  If time and space allowed, I would give you a hundred or so verses that disputes this misconception, but let me share one power verse that clarifies this point: "I will establish my covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.  I will give you and to your descendants after you, the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God" (Gen 17:7-8). 

The second is equally dangerous, that there are many roads that lead to God.  It is believed by these folks that it does not matter what guru you might believe in, they are all god and will lead to the promise land.  Jesus blew this out of the water when He said, "I am and way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through ME". (John 14:6).  Now my friends, that sounds very clear and to the point.

But I would add a third growing misconception in the minds of many people that came out of the "I'm Okay, Your Okay" movement of several decades ago. The misconception that to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ is enough to gain access to God's eternal kingdom.  Notice how James would respond to this statement, "You believe that God is one, You do well; the demons also believe and shudder".  (2:19)

Jesus had a great deal to say about this subject.  In His Sermon on the Mount, He said, "…every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  So then, you will know them by their fruits" (Matt. 7:17-18).

Soooo, my young friends how's your planting program?  Have you checked out Paul's warning? "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap." (Gal 6:7).   Notice Paul's challenge: "So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially of those who are of the house of the faith" (Vs. 10).