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Archive for September, 2015

Upon leaving a Rosh HaShanah observance on Monday, I was given a book by Don Goldstein entitled “I have a Friend Who’s Jewish, Do You?”  This is a fascinating little book and can be obtained at http://www.prophecyrevealed.com/friendbook.htm.  I was especially amazed when I read the section about the natural disasters that occurred in the United States at the various times our country tried to force Israel to give up part of their land.

One particular occurrence involved Hurricane Katrina.  Under President George W. Bush, Jr., the United States became involved in a land for peace deal during the Israel-Palestinian conflict in 2001.  Between August 17-23, 2005, Israel conducted its disengagement evacuation and eviction of 9,000 Jews from the Gaza Strip, creating the largest eviction of Jews in Israel’s history. 

The same day this eviction ended, Tropical Depression 12 quickly turned into Hurricane Katrina, causing massive devastation to the Gulf Coast.  This resulted in America’s largest natural disaster and displacement of approximately one million Americans.  Coincidence?  I don’t think so!

As I watched the news concerning the massive immigration of Syrians into Europe, I thought about what I had read.  European governments and the United States were so eager to make an agreement with Iran, in part for economic reasons.  It is my understanding that some leaders have already visited Iran to discuss trade.

As these governments are looking for economic prosperity due to markets opening up for them in Iran, G-d has other plans.  Isn’t it ironic to see that very shortly after this Iranian agreement was approved, thousands upon thousands of immigrants are headed to Europe?  The monetary advantage these countries thought they would benefit from will be totally destroyed when they have to care for these people.  In addition, these countries’ cultures will be turned upside down as the immigrants bring in their distinct way of life and beliefs.

As much as man has tried, he cannot harm G-d’s people, Israel, and get away with it.  Neither can he make friends with Israel’s enemies and not suffer the consequences.

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I’m not a really a political junkie, but I do enjoy watching the presidential coverage and am excited to see how the candidates will do in the next debate.  At first, Donald Trump really got my attention as well as thousands of others, since he brings up issues everyday people are concerned about.  However, after listening to him describe his spiritual beliefs, I can no longer support him for president.

In a recent interview with Anderson Cooper, Mr. Trump stated, “I try and lead a life where I don’t have to ask God for forgiveness.  Why do I have to ask for forgiveness if you’re not making mistakes?  I work hard, I’m an honorable person.”  He also stated, “I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness” when he took communion; although, he did admit that he had never asked for forgiveness from God.

As a follower of my Messiah, Jesus Christ, these statements certainly got my attention.  I was under the impression that the only person who had never sinned was Jesus.  Obviously, I have never read the Book of The Donald.

According to I John 1:9-10 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

I do not doubt Mr. Trump’s love of the Bible, the Church, and G-d.  I do believe, however, he has a skewed understanding of what sin is and what asking for forgiveness looks like.  Sin is not “making a mistake”.  Sin is doing anything that is offensive to the Creator of the universe, the Lord G-d Almighty.  G-d gave His plan for humanity to live holy, moral lives when He gave the Torah to Moses at Mt. Sinai.  Even the Christian church obeys many of these teachings given to Moses (although they often deny it).

Sin doesn’t have to be something big, like murder, theft, incest, etc.  It is as simple and “innocent” as gossip, little white lies, worshiping anything other than G-d such as money, power, reputation, etc.  It is inconceivable to me that Mr. Trump never makes even one of these little “mistakes”.

Let’s imaging that Mr. Trump has an employee who has made a “mistake”.  Picture said employee coming into Mr. Trump’s office, sitting down in front of his desk and slowly opening his briefcase.  The employee carefully brings out a small cup, a bottle of grape juice, and a saltine cracker.  While bowing his head, the employee pours a small amount of juice into the cup, then gradually eats the cracker and pensively drinks the juice.  Slowly, the juice and cup are placed back in the briefcase, the employee looks up, smiles broadly at Mr. Trump knowing he has been forgiven of his mistake, and happily leaves Mr. Trump’s office, secure in the knowledge that he has been forgiven and still in good standing with the boss.  I don’t think so!

I can imagine there would be quite a few words being spoken, most of them being from Mr. Trump.  The employee may be lucky just to get demoted if not hear those famous words, “YOU’RE FIRED!”.

Fortunately for us, G-d doesn’t do that to us, but He does expect us to “say” we have sinned and ask for forgiveness, which He freely gives when we are truly repentant.  We can’t just go through a ritual without any admission of guilt and receive forgiveness.

America needs godly leadership, both in the White House and Congress.  It is my prayer that as we all get ready to vote, we will ask G-d to give us wisdom when we go into the voting booth next November.

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I have a wonderful friend who treats me like a queen (Love ya, Holly!) and yesterday she invited me to lunch. As we were driving along, we began talking about situations where our emotions can almost push us “over the edge”. If you are a woman, you can understand what we were talking about. It’s where you end up over-thinking events and even have arguments with others, especially your spouses, IN YOUR HEAD, then actually get mad at them for a few days when they haven’t even been a part of the argument. (This may help some of you men who have been wondering for ages, “What in the world is she mad about this time?”)

As we tried to figure out why we women do this, we thought perhaps it is because we are more emotional beings, more sensitive to spiritual things (good and evil), and this causes us to really play out events in our minds before anything actually happens. (I apologize to any women I’ve already offended. I’ll just say my friend and I are like this, how’s that?) Anyway, we started thinking about Eve in the Garden of Eden and why she listened to the serpent.

As most of you know, the story goes like this. Genesis 3:1-7 tells us how the serpent approached Eve in the garden and said, “Did G-d really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden?’”. In verse 3, Eve replied, “but G-d did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

Now, my husband and I have had some discussions about who told the first lie in the Bible (or perhaps a better way of putting it is the first man-made law) and it centers around the “and you must not touch it” comment. Did G-d actually say this to Adam and Eve during their evening strolls in the Garden? Did Adam tell Eve this just to make sure she wouldn’t go near the tree (adding to G-d’s word is a no-no)? Did Eve come up with this all by herself, thinking, “Well, if we can’t eat it, we must not be able to touch it either." (A woman’s over-thinking something in action.)

When the serpent questioned Eve’s statement, did her thought process go something like this? “Ok. God said not to eat this fruit and so did Adam. As a matter of fact, Adam told me not to even touch it. I wonder why he said that. It looks just as good as all the other fruit here in the garden. And Adam knows so much. He named all the animals and seems to know about everything that’s going on. I certainly want to be that intelligent. He and G-d have these deep discussions. And the serpent said this fruit will make me like G-d. Wow, He is so awesome. It would be fabulous to be like Him. When I touched the fruit, I didn’t die, whatever that means (there had been no death at this point in creation). Oh well, what can it hurt.” (famous last words)

And you know the rest of the story. So, here we are today, still listening to the serpent, satan, as he plants thoughts in our head wanting to make us angry, offended, defiant, depressed, fearful, self-righteous, controlling, etc., etc. Our plan of action to keep from falling into his trap is to pray for discernment from the Holy Spirit. When these types of thoughts start showing up in your thinking, ask the Spirit to reveal the source to you so you can shut them down and get your thinking straight again. Saying, “Holy Spirit, I know these thoughts are not from G-d, but from satan. And satan I command you to shut up and leave me alone in the name of Jesus. I repent for having these thoughts. Father, I thank you that I have the mind of Christ and you will lead me into all truth.” It doesn’t have to be these exact words, but I’m sure you get the idea. And remember, the men in your life will be very appreciative!

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You may be asking yourself what the comedy “Caddyshack” and the Great Tribulation period have in common.  I certainly understand that line of thinking, but give me a few moments and I’ll put it together for you.

My husband, Ernie, loves our yard.  He fertilizes it, pampers it, loves to gaze at the beautiful green blades of grass.  Unfortunately, the moles love our yard, too.  Therein lies the rub. Ernie has bought poison, traps, had me make a garlic spray (which actually works somewhat until it rains) and anything he can think of to get rid of these suckers!  Our friends, Holly and Bill, knowing Ernie’s obsession with these critters, laughingly suggested that we needed to watch “Caddyshack” to see how Bill Murray handled the gophers on the golf course.

Caddyshack was on last night, so here was our opportune time to pick up some helpful and crazy tips for handling these intruders.  The premise of the story is about a teen trying to get a golf club scholarship to college.  Bill Murray is assigned the task of getting rid of the gophers ruining the golf course.  Rodney Dangerfield is the crazy rich guy who challenges the president of the golf club to a high-stakes golf game at the end of the movie. 

While the golf game is being played, Bill Murray has molded plastic explosives into the shapes of squirrels and gophers and dropped them into the gopher holes.  Once all the explosives are in place, he detonates the bunch, destroying the golf course at the very end of the golf game.

Now, you may be thinking, what in the world does this have to do with the Great Tribulation spoken of in the Bible?  Thanks for hanging around for the answer.

The Bible states that as it was in the days of Noah (Luke 17:26-27) and the coming of the Son of Man (Matthew 24:37-39), people will be eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage and they knew nothing about what was going to happen.  We are living in a time that has been prophesized throughout the Bible: an increase in knowledge, war, turmoil everywhere, financial crises around the world, and now an immigration of millions from the Middle East into Europe.  All of these things occurring are bringing us closer to the Day of the Lord and G-d’s judgment on the world, and most people are just going along like nothing is really happening. 

The United States is all wrapped up in this crazy presidential election, thinking, “Well, if we could just get the right person in charge, all our problems will be over”.  Some candidates even boast that they will make America great again, without giving any credit or homage to the Almighty G-d.

Like it or not, G-d has already given us the “right” person for this time.  The United States needed to have Obama as President to get us into the position we are in right now.  We show little allegiance to Israel, promote self-indulgence and revel in breaking the laws of our nation and of G-d.  And for some reason, many Americans think this is ok.  So, we go along, waiting for the “right” President to fix everything not realizing that all that has happened is leading us down the path to destruction.

Just as the golf game was being played while the explosives were being positioned to destroy the whole golf course, we need to read our Bibles, pray to G-d for His mercy when He brings destruction upon our nation, and encourage our brothers and sisters in Christ, as well as unbelievers, so that we can be aware of what is happening around us and look to Him for our deliverance when this final time of tribulation comes upon the whole world. 

Yeshua, Jesus Christ, our Messiah is coming soon.  It is time to be alert.  Only seven people believed Noah when he said a flood was coming to destroy the earth. Please open your eyes to what is happening around us today so that you will not be caught unaware.

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While meditating on John 3:36 I thought about what “believe” really means, especially when in the first part of the verse it speaks of believing in Jesus and the second part speaks of obeying Him.     

“And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life.  Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment.” (John 3:36 NLT)

All who “believe in” (trust in, rely upon, swear by) Jesus have eternal life.  However, those who do not obey (comply, submit, follow orders, heed) Jesus will never have eternal life, but remain under God’s judgment.  Today, we have such a lenient view of what “believe” means.  I believe the sky is blue, grass is green, Obama is President, I need to lose weight.  These beliefs do not necessarily cause me to jump into action.  When we speak of believing in Jesus, this is a much deeper commitment.  By believing in Him, I am saying I agree with His teachings AND will endeavor to the best of my abilities to follow them.

Christians who have said “the sinner’s prayer”, but continue to lie, cheat, engage in adultery and promiscuity, slander, gossip, and worry about everything need to really look at their heart and think about whether they really do believe in Jesus or are just trying to use Him as a “fire escape” from hell.  I, at one time, believed the “say the prayer and you’re good forever” mentality.  I came to know Jesus in a personal way in a church that taught that.  But as I’ve grown as a Christian, read my Bible, and listened to other teachers, I realize there is a lot more to it than just “the prayer”. 

Following Jesus is a whole way of thinking, a lifestyle of trusting God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to lead me into all truth.  One sin God says he hates most is sowing discord among a family (Proverbs 6:16-19) which is usually done by gossip.  But in Christendom, this is a “small” sin compared to things like murder and stealing.  How many messages do we hear on gossiping?  Not many.  How about gluttony?  Whoa boy, even less here.  I’m not saying we have to be perfect, but we Christians have a real knack for deciding which sins are really bad (usually the ones we don’t commit or at least don’t commit often). 

As I have studied more of God’s Word including the Old Testament, I have found that almost all of what Jesus taught was from the Old Testament.  When Jesus talked about reading something in the Scriptures or the Prophets, He wasn’t referring to the New Testament.  It was what the Church calls the Old Testament!  None of the New Testament was written at this point.  Even when Paul speaks of the Scriptures, he is referring to the Old Testament.  We as the body of Christ, need to take a whole new look at what we have discounted as out-of-date and begin studying the bible that Jesus had – the Old Testament.

How about getting back to “believing” in Jesus by accepting His teachings, living by them, and stop justifying ourselves or our church as not as sinful as someone else.  When we stand before God, He’s not going to let us off the hook if we say, “Well, that’s what my preacher said.”  We are to study God’s word ourselves and know what it says.  If you can’t understand the version of the Bible you have now, get one you can.  If your church is a “KJV only” church and you can’t understand this version, how’s it going to help you?  Let’s get real, people.  God wants us to understand His word.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand what you are reading.  That’s one of His jobs (John 16:12-15).

I have certainly not “arrived” and never will until I die, but I do keep working toward the goal of fulfilling God’s purpose for my life.  I welcome you as a traveling companion along this journey with me.  God bless.

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