Wednesday, November 15, 2023
PLEASE PRAY FOR ISRAEL
Preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their hearts; they continually gather together for war. They sharpen their tongues like a serpent; The poison of asps is under their lips. Selah Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from violent men, who have purposed to make my steps stumble. The proud have hidden a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set traps for me. Selah I said to the Lord: 'You are my God; hear the voice of my supplications, O Lord. O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, You have covered my head in the day of battle. Do not grant, O Lord, the desires of the wicked; Do not further his wicked scheme, lest they be exalted. Selah As for the head of those who surround me, let the evil of their lips cover them; Let burning coals fall upon them; let them be cast into the fire, into deep pits, that they rise not up again. Let not a slanderer be established in the earth; let evil hunt the violent to overthrow him. I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and justice for the poor. Surely the righteous shall give thanks to Your name; the upright shall dwell in Your presence.
Wednesday, October 4, 2023
Do you find yourself wondering how bad it is going to get? Have you stopped listening to the news because it is just too depressing? What about people you trusted that turned out to be corrupt? Is it troubling that you don’t send your children out to play on carefree, safe streets any longer? Do you avoid certain locations because of lawlessness? Times have changed, so where do we go to find joy?
The secret in finding JOY so is simple. We stop thinking of ourselves as citizens of the earth and begin seeing ourselves as citizens of heaven with a mission to do to grow that Kingdom. These times give us greater opportunity to bring people to the Lord and add to the Kingdom as people are looking for peace and stability. These things can only be found in the heavenly Kingdom. The song says, Things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. The King is coming. In this we joy!
He told us ahead of time that things on earth would get bad before His coming. Like labor before the birth of a baby, the harder labor gets the closer the baby’s birth is. So with our circumstances on the earth. The worse things get, the closer we are to His coming. We have to change our perspective from getting our joy from earthly pleasures to the joy we have as kingdom citizens. This is eternal joy. This joy cannot be taken from us. We look forward to the joy of seeing Him come and set up His Kingdom on earth. What could give us more joy? This is what the whole earth, all the prophets, the apostles and all the believers who have gone before us have longed for. We are experiencing the birth pains of His coming Kingdom. In this we take
Joy. He is coming! Look Up!
The One who hung the sun and the moon in the sky still reigns in the heavens. The One who created you with purpose and abilities is trusting in you to go out and use those abilities to fulfill those purposes. The One who covered the earth with grass and trees and flowers and untold beauty is still the One causing each flower to bloom and each food producing plant to produce. The One who has taken care of you all the days of your life is still the One who will continue to take care of you. In all of these things we can find reason for Joy.
We can sing! We can praise Him always! We can talk with Him all day long! We can look forward to every day, as He is the One who creates it! No ruler is greater than He is! Nothing is out of His control when we are in Him! We can speak His Word right out loud! All these things and so many more give us joy!
*Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with his love, He will rejoice over you with singing.
HE IS NOT SITTING IN THE HEAVENS WRINGING HIS HANDS! HE IS NOT WORRIED – HE IS SAVING US – HE IS REJOICING OVER US! THAT IS CONTAGIOUS! NOW IT IS UP TO US TO TURN AROUND AND REJOICE IN HIM!
Friday, September 29, 2023
What do you do when you are down; when you feel like you are sinking and don’t see a life vest; when a kind of depression seems to be closing in? These kinds of emotions need to be reigned in, but how? We reign in and overcome these emotions with the power of the Word of God; whether we have it memorized or whether we open it up and read it out loud, and we believe the Words. Negative emotions may have a reality in our lives, but the Word has the power to overcome negative emotions. We do not have to be controlled or tossed around by these feelings. Immediately when we recognize the attacks that these emotions can bring, begin to speak the Word out loud.
Why is doing this so powerful? Isaiah 40:8b says: the word of our God stands forever. And when we say the Word out loud, you are strengthened to stand – whatever the circumstances are. When you feel weak, or attacked, continue speaking: Isaiah 40:29-31 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
Isaiah describes so beautifully what the Word of God does when we are willing to take it, speak it, declare it and walk in it.
Again, Isaiah 54:17 says, No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me ,' Says the LORD. True freedom is realizing it is not from our righteousness, but from the righteousness of the LORD! He will not allow weapons formed against us to prosper, so we step up and speak His truth and let our voices fill the space we are in.
And we will close with this thought:
Romans 8:37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.
YOU ARE A CONQUEROR IN HIM!
HIS WORD GIVES YOU THE POWER TO OVERCOME!
Wednesday, June 28, 2023
In John 14:6a, Yeshua said, I am the way, the truth and the life. Yeshua is speaking with authority, echoing the same description of Himself as HaShem stated in Exodus 3:14, where He said, I am who I am — tell them the 'I am' has sent me to you.
So many people these days are being attacked by the enemy and don’t even realize it. Some are depressed, some believe they can never change, some believe they are weak spiritually and have no right to even ask for help, some believe the enemy is winning in their lives – he is holding them down, holding them back and defeating them, they believe negative thoughts about themselves that he convinces them are true. Remember the enemy is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44).
The Truth is, it is time to wake up and go to the Word of truth. Fight the good fight. We are more than conquerors through Him who strengthens us. We are not at the enemies’ mercy.
Remember what Yeshua did when He was in the wilderness said:
Matthew 4:3–4 tells us, The tempter came and said to Him, If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread. But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. The enemy was demeaning the very Son of G-d and tempting Him, so we can’t be surprised when he uses the same tactic on us, but Yeshua defeated him with the Word. This is our weapon too.
He's given us weapons to fight back with and here are just a couple of those weapons: Start where Yeshua started with TRUTH – In the spiritual realm we fight with the belt of truth. Truth is His Word. Ephesians 6:14 Stand firm, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist. Notice the position we are to take – we stand – we do not assume a shrinking, defeated position. We stand because our waist – the core of our being – is being protected by Truth – and speak the Word OF TRUTH right out loud to the enemy. He will flee just as he did in the wilderness, because the Truth of the Word is All Powerful. Keep speaking the Word of Truth.
Ephesians 6:14b and put on the breastplate of righteousness… We have to remember who we are – we are dressed in His righteousness and we continually – day by day – are pursuing righteousness as we live our lives. This does not mean we will do everything perfectly, but when we make a mistake, we get back up and keep up the pursuit of being like Him. Notice the breastplate covers your heart. The enemy wants to destroy your heart with hurt and brokenness – But he cannot as long as we remember.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1 and If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more. Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.
These are all the TRUTHS OF THE WORD. We keep speaking them every time the enemy tries to bring us down.
HIS WORD IS ALL POWERFUL – HIS WORD IS HIM – HIS WORD WILL WIN! YOU ARE A VICTOR WHEN YOU PROCLAIM HIS WORD OVER YOUR LIVES! NEVER STOP!
Wednesday, June 14, 2023
It happens to everybody at some point in your life. Maybe it happens even more than once, and no one enjoys the experience of being devastated. Maybe you’ve been wrongfully accused or lost a position that you loved. There can be terrible diagnosis given, people you love may turn on you. When these things happen, we have to make a choice. Will we be destroyed by them, or will we get up and keep moving forward, trusting that G-d is still on the throne, and He is still good. How do we 'heal' from these wounds?
Thinking about Joseph in the account of all he went through is a model for us of 'healing' when you’ve been devastated. (Genesis 39-50) Joseph’s hurt started from within his own family when his brothers decided to get rid of him, and he suddenly went from the position of the favorite of his father to being a slave in Egypt. Quite a downgrade! But G-d had plans, and Joseph did not become bitter, nor did he sulk about the healing process he had to go through. No! He showed his true colors by doing what was right in the face of all the odds that were against him. And he rose in power in this strange land – a land he had never expected to be in. And he was lied about in his new leadership role there too and ended up in prison. But he still did what was good in the eyes of the only One who matters. Eventually, years later. He was exonerated and elevated to an even higher position than before his imprisonment which would allow him to save the very ones who had initiated the process to make him appear as dead.
What was Joseph’s secret? He kept doing the right thing. He did not yield to temptation. He stayed focused on today and putting one foot in front of the other – going forward. He trusted G-d. And over and over again, we are told throughout this account that, 'G-d was with Joseph,' (Gen. 39:2a and others).
Those are the critical words. G-d is with you too, when evil seems to be winning, when the props get knocked out from under you and nothing seems to make sense – G-d is with you. And the question is: How do we 'heal?' We get up. We put one foot in front of the other. We stay in the Word allowing Holy Spirit to speak to us. We know yesterday cannot be changed, so we move forward in the truth that G-d is good and He never changes – He will do something good through this if we leave yesterday behind and move forward.
This is how the Lord puts it: Philippians 3:13-15 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Remember the goal – the upward call - the goal never changes though our circumstances do! He is calling you UP! Get up – He is with you – He is good – He wants to take you higher!
This is how we heal!
Thursday, April 13, 2023
Each day after nightfall, we count the Omer. The following is the blessing:
'Blessed are You LORD our God, King of the Universe who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning the counting of the Omer. Today is the ________ day of the Omer.'
Blessed are You Lord our God, King of the universe who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to be a light unto the nations and has given us Yeshua our Messiah, light of the world.
PSALM 67 – BECAUSE PSALM 67 HAS EXACTLY 49 HEBREW WORDS, CORRESPONDING TO THE NUMBER OF DAYS WE COUNT THE OMER, WE READ IT DAILY.
*Psalm 67 May God be merciful to us, and bless us, and cause His face to shine on us. Selah. So that Your way may be known on earth, Your salvation among all nations. Let the nations praise You, O God; let all the nations thank You. O let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for You shall judge the people righteously and govern the nations on earth. Selah. Let the nations give thanks to You, O God; let all the nations praise You. The earth shall yield its increase; and God, our own God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; and all the ends of the earth shall fear Him.
ADDITIONAL READINGS: *Psalm 119 which is all about the Torah is also read.
Exodus Chapters 19-33 / Ezekiel Chapters 1-4 & 35-39 / The Book of Ruth
Friday, February 3, 2023
*Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
We can't see or feel hope, but we know hope is something that keeps you buoyant. Why is hope so important? The book of Romans tells us that we serve a 'God of hope,' and that we can 'abound in hope.' Romans 15:13 'May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.' Again in Romans we are reminded that we can 'rejoice in hope.' Romans 12:12 'Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.'
In a world with so much disturbing news, how do we keep hoping?
In Hebrew, the word for hope is 'Tikvah.' Tikvah is a word linked with G-d, and therefore, expresses confidence, not in a future outcome, but in present divine strength, because G-d is always present. So Psalm 62:5,6 says, 'Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.' His deliverance is certain as G-d is certain.
Jeremiah associates hope with living water. *Jeremiah 17:13 'LORD, you are the hope of Israel; all who forsake you will be put to shame. Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the LORD, the spring of living water.'
We know that Yeshua gives the Living water *Revelation 21:6-8 Then He said to me, 'It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost.
Our hope has substance, the substance is G-d, the creator of all things, the One who never leaves us nor forsakes us. We have total assurance in G-d’s power to sustains all things for we literally see that power working every day. *Colossians 1:17 'And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.' His power is holding all things together and we can hope in that power who hears and answers our prayers.
Hope in G-d!
Tuesday, January 10, 2023
Have you noticed how muscles that don’t get exercised get very weak and affect the strength of the entire body? All muscles need exercise including our 'praise muscle.' If we find ourselves forgetting to praise and be thankful for all that the Lord does for us every day, it really does affect us. Praising the Lord actually lifts us up!
One of the best things about praise is that the more you do it the more you find to be thankful for. It is like an Aliyah. Praise keeps you going up. It is like the air under the eagle’s wings. When you feel negativity or unpleasant thoughts creeping in, begin to praise the Lord for His goodness, for His faithfulness, for His provision, for His presence with you. Praising G-d erases negativity, and unpleasant thoughts because your focus is on what is good, what is pure, noble, just and what is eternal.
Hebrews 13:15-16. Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise — the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
Praise takes us right to G-d.
Psalm 100:4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise! An atmosphere of praise invites His presence in a special way:
Psalm 22:3 G-d is enthroned upon the praises of Israel. You can actually wear praise like a garment!
Isaiah 61:3b ….the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Do we want our spirits lifted? He has given us the way to do this. Change clothes! Put on that garment of praise. When we do, the spirit of heaviness has to leave.
Praise G-d because He is Worthy!
Psalm 145:3 Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable. Jack Taylor commented that, 'When we praise, productivity is maximized fulfillment is realized and frustration is neutralized.'
Imagine what would happen if praise was a way of life!
Psalm 150:6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
Sunday, March 26, 2023
Is gratitude a way of life to the believer or is it a seasonal, though nice, but fleeting thought? So often we can dwell on what we may not have, what we want or what we think we need instead of all that we have been blessed with. Maybe this is just part of the 'human condition.'
But of all people, believers in the one true God should be known as people of gratitude. Every morning we wake up and say the Modei Ani prayer saying, 'I am grateful as I stand before you, Lord, King of Life. For You have returned my soul to me after I have slept through the night. You have done this in kindness, great is your faithfulness.' It is a perfect way to begin the day – thanking God for keeping us alive all night long, and brought us 'back to life,' in the morning!
And that is the beginning of gratefulness.
Now a tone has been set, an attitude has been put into action. Now we can get up, and thank Him for the ability to use the restroom, to see, to hear, to think, to speak, to eat and digest food, to form ideas and even put them into action. These are amazing abilities that we can take for granted, but they should give us opportunity to be grateful and to express our gratefulness all day long. Through all the business and work of the day, we can thank Him for the abilities He has given us to make a difference in the world.
Scientists say that having a grateful attitude actually improves physical health and immunity. When we can forgive and move on from the hurts and abuses done by toxic people, and cling to God’s goodness and His grace, we can be grateful. We can rejoice that our identity is not written by the abuse we may experience, but our identity is in the Lord Almighty. He defines who we are and that is something to be eternally grateful for. We can rejoice in the salvation He has provided for us. His strength and His joy fill us to go out and do His will. Rejoice!
If you are stuck in the mire that wants to trap you, and you sometimes feel that gratefulness is too big a sacrifice, that the flesh would rather just pout and be miserable over some perceived or ever some very real injustice, I encourage you to lift your eyes and lift your heart and begin to praise Him and thank Him and be grateful for all that is good and right in your life. Go out and help someone who is worse off than you. Visit a children’s hospital and bring some joy to those kids’ lives who are suffering. Help an elderly person do their shopping. Write an encouraging note to someone you know.
To be truly happy, gratitude is a must. Gratitude never compares. Gratitude glows and it grows as you set your mind to practice it every day --- all day. Be encouraged – you were made to be grateful!
It is good to praise the LORD, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High…
Tuesday, December 20, 2022
The miracle of Hanukkah occurred at a time strikingly similar to our own. The Greeks/Syrians ruled in Israel, bringing their gods – worship of the human body, and worship of the arts and entertainment. These gods were very appealing to the flesh, and many Israelites were being assimilated into the alluring culture of the Greeks, allowing their flesh to overrule their pursuit of the one true G-d and follow in His ways. A silent war to assimilate the Jews was raging.
Though they may not be identical, you can see the parallels today. So many things in our culture have become more important, even to believers, than G-d – entertainment, accumulation of wealth, sports, social media and the list could go on. Even believers have been lured into these traps, rather than showing up for a prayer meeting or even a weekly service; other things occupy their time. There is a silent war going on for our time and our attention.
A cruel leader, nicknamed 'Epimanes' meaning madman, came on the scene. This was Antiochus Epiphanes. The silent war of assimilation turned into an all-out war under his rule, as he tried to enact harsh decrees forbidding Jewish people to worship G-d, burning the Torah scrolls, outlawing Shabbat rest, circumcision and dietary laws. Thousands of Jewish people refused to follow these decrees and were murdered. But then an elderly priest named Mattityahu stepped up when a Syrian officer built an altar in the marketplace of his town, Modiin, and demanded that Mattityahu offer sacrifices to the Greek gods. He exclaimed, I, my sons and my brothers are determined to remain loyal to the covenant which our G-d made with our ancestors!' Then a Hellenistic Jew stepped up to offer a sacrifice on the Greek altar. This was too much for Mattityahu who grabbed his sword, killed the Hellenist, and many of the Syrian officers and men and chased the rest away. The physical war had begun.
It was a war fought by the few against the many, and a war fought by the weak against the strong. But in the end, the few and the weak, being the Jewish army, committed to G-d, won!
Then returning to Jerusalem, they entered the desecrated Temple, clearing the idols placed by the Syrian vandals. The golden menorah had been stolen, so these soldiers now called the Macabbees, made another one out of cheaper metal. They wanted to light it and found only one cruse of pure olive oil bearing the seal of the High Priest Yochanan, who had been murdered. This was only enough oil to burn for one day, but by a miracle of G-d, it burned for 8 days!
This light that continued to burn when it should have gone out; this is the miracle of Hanukkah.
This is the light that reminds us today to never be afraid to stand up for what is right.
This is the light reminding us that the flame of goodness that went out from us yesterday, can be even better today!
This is the light that even though may be little, will light up a very dark room.
This is the light that can be taken to the streets and wherever we go.
Matthew 5:14,15 You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they set it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.
Remember Hanukkah and Let Your Light Shine!
Tuesday, December 6, 2022
We live with quiet miracles every day; miracles that go totally unnoticed. Our very lives are miracles second by second. Our hearts beat without being reminded. Our eyes adjust to light and print size and blink to replenish the lubrication they need to function, and we are unaware. We breath all night long and don’t even know we are doing it. The very God of miracles has created our bodies miraculously to work without our control. He is in control – these miracles should remind us of that fact.
Then there are miracles of divine intervention. The definition of a miracle in Webster’s Dictionary is: an extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs. The Bible bursts with miracles too numerous to list, but a few to remember are:
Yeshua being born to a virgin who had become pregnant when the Holy Spirit came upon her.
Yeshua’s first miracle of turning water into wine
The miracle of a boy’s lunch feeding 5,000 - with left-overs!!
Yeshua speaking to the storm that obeys and stops.
Yeshua speaking life back into Lazarus after he’d been dead for four days!
And, of course, the resurrection of Yeshua after three days in the tomb! He miraculously overcame death for all of humanity! Only God could do that!
And now we enter a season of miracles as our thoughts turn to Chanukah. Just a small band of Jewish fighters, determined to fight for the right to worship God as they had been instructed, fought a large, well organized Seleucid army and won! Did I mention that the Jewish fighters were outnumbered five to one? Could we call this a miracle? By all means. It is the amazing miracle of God working with the efforts of men to bring about something that in reality should never have been able to happen. But it did.
Then in the desecrated Temple, the soldiers found one flask of pure oil for the Menorah, enough to last only one day. The oil was lit, and miraculously, the one flask of oil burned not for one day, but for eight days.
And we celebrate the miracle of this light and the winning of this war during Chanukah. It is a miracle that keeps us all hoping and struggling to maintain our religious and political freedoms, not only for our generation, but for generations to follow.
John 8:12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.
Miraculously, Jesus’ words are still true today. As the world gets darker, it is time to let His light shine through us.
Light Shines Best in the Dark!