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Monday, May 28, 2012

Rough Spring!

The months of April and May has been an interesting month from a physical and spiritual perspective. I have had a rash that has spread all over my body and the itch and burn is almost unbearable. I have been to my doctor twice and he put me on a series of anti-biotic, which did nothing. Then I was on a series of steroid treatments for 13 days and still nothing. The Doctor sent me to a skin doctor and he gave me a medical cream, a conditioner and a steroid shot. Still nothing!

They took a biopsy several days ago and I am to get the results shortly. The rash is slowing starting to clear up, somewhat, although it has spread; it does not burn and itch so much. I thought quite a bit of Job sitting on the ash pile scratching himself with broken pottery. How he must have felt; and his friends did not bring much comfort. The steroid pills caused my blood pressure to go out of whack and I could not function for almost a week without feeling very, very bad.

In addition, I had a scan done on my neck veins at the request of my heart doctor to see if there was blockage. The scan showed that there is. Several days later I went to my dear friend Rev. Cooper's for coffee and prayer and he anointed my neck with oil and we claimed healing. Two weeks later my heart doctor again asked me if I would have a C-Scan of the neck to see how bad the blockage is. I did. There was no blockage in the right neck veins and the scan showed that there was some blockage in the left side. He called me at home and said this was very unusual and there was something out of order; would I agree to another scan, free of charge? I told him exactly what happened; God had
intervened on my behalf because of our prayer and anointing. He said he would still like to do the other scan, for free. I agreed and said that it would confirm my healing.

This scan showed that the right side was in good shape but some blockage in the left. How much he did not know; he could not decipher the numbers or pictures. Would I have another C-Scan, at no charge! I said yes and am waiting for the date of the scan.

Through all of this, the painful burning itch and rash and the blocked arteries the doctor is convinced I still have, I was led to a passage of Scripture that showed me exactly what was going on. It is found in Isaiah 24:14,15 ~

"They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the LORD, they shall cry aloud from the sea (which I did two weeks ago in the Outer Banks of N.C.!) Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires, even the Name of the LORD God of Israel in the isles of the sea."

Glorify God in the fires! Anyone can do this when things are fine; but what of the fiery trials which test our faith? There is only one way to learn to do this; and that is to do it. God has been here all of the way; even in the dark sleepless nights as I have cried out to Him for releif. He is answering my prayer and I am learning volumns about Him and myself in the process.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Visitation On Our Nation

We are fast approaching the place where Israel of old in the days of Jeremiah found themselves. After years of preaching, prophecies, signs and wonders by God's Prophets, Israel still turned a blind eye to the ways of God. It got so bad that they would not even acknowledge God. They became brazen in their sin and thought because things remained the same, they would never have to give account for their actions.

Jeremiah 51:17,18 gives their mindset: "Every man is brutish by his knowledge; every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them. They are vanity, the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they will perish." Things became so dire in Jeremiah's day in Jerusalem that women were cooking and eating their own children! Think of that! The shops were full, the malls were packed, stores were selling produce like there was no tomorrow; but in the day of visitation they were found in a very grave state.

What of those who obey God in the day of visitation? We have many examples to go by. The chapter in Jeremiah 51 continues (verses 19-21) The portion of Jacob is not like them; for he is the former of all things: and Israel is the rod of His inheritance: the LORD of Hosts is His Name. Thou (we) are His battle axe and weapon of war: for with us God will break in pieces the nations and destroy kingdoms; and with us He will break in pieces the horse and his rider; and with us He will break the chariot and his rider...."

Never forget-We are His inheritance. We must not fear no matter what falls on our nation. God will protect and keep us in all of our ways. There are dozens of examples of this fact. In Joshua 2 we find a lady of ill repute protected when the mighty walls of Jericho fell down around her. In the Book of Kings and Chronicles we see David chased and hunted like an animal by King Saul and his armies and supporters. Yet David is secure. In Egypt during their captivity when God finally decided it was time for Him to act on behalf of His Children there were great plagues and darkness so dark it could be felt; but not dark and no plagues touched the Children of Israel!

When Jerusalem was in the middle of falling and the Babylonian armies were carrying most away captive to Babylon, God instructed Jeremiah to buy property in Jerusalem. (Jeremiah 32) God is the God of all flesh; is anything to hard for Him? We must not lose heart as judgment begins to fall. He is on our side! We are His battle axe as we stand against the forces of evil; forces of doubt, fear, unbelief and sin. We are the victors. The horse and rider, even the mighty chariot are under our feet.

God has made an everlasting covenant with us and will not turn away from us. He has put His fear in our hearts and we shall not depart from Him. Just as He will bring great evil against those living in rebellion, He will watch over us with an everlasting eye that never slumbers or sleeps. Memorize His promises; they are as sure as the rising of the sun and the setting of the same.

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Difficult Note!

I have been experiencing something that I knew was very important, but I have learned first hand how serious it is for Believer's to keep their word, say what they mean and do what they say. This may seem trivial to many, but from a spiritual perspective it is very important.

We have been in a long process of having a front porch added to our home. Two ministers from a church we attend are the contractors. The building permit was acquired on Feb. 9 of this year. Prior to construction I was told by one of the fellows that it would take perhaps three weeks to build the structure. This was over 90 days ago!

Our winter here has been very mild. Weather has been favorable for construction. Days would go by with no contact with the minister in charge. Telephone calls were not returned. Dead silence. Work days consisted of as little as two hours, then absence. The longest work day was perhaps four or five hours. Three different times I was told that in another week or two the construction would be completed.

I would pretty much expect this from a general contractor; many are prone to stretching the truth, fudging the figures, or whatever nice phrase one would want to put on it. I call it lying. I am approaching this from the perspective on one who does not know Christ, and one who is watching those who say that they do know Him. I am concerned!

I have heard these fellows say with great confidence that they have heard from the "Holy Ghost", He tells them what to preach, what to say, and what to do. Is the "Holy Ghost" present when they say they will do something and they do not follow through with what they say? Most believe that cursing, using God's Name before saying "damn" is using the LORD'S name in vain. I believe that it goes much deeper than that. Speaking one concept with our lips and doing the opposite in our daily lives is also using His Name in vain. Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. What is truly in us comes out on a daily basis. Thank God for forgiveness!

I am learning the importance as a follower of Jesus that my yes be yes, and my no be no. Say what I mean, do what I say. If I am not able to do so, or live up to what I have said I need to notify the other parties as soon as possible.

It is as if some Believer's feel they are not accountable to others. "God will forgive me, all I have to do is ask...." This is no way to live; it sets a very bad example and shows a lack of credibility both in business and our personal relationships. This whole affair has made everything the other person says suspect. If one is so lax in their daily accountability to others, what are they really hearing from God?

There are two verses that have come to mind over the past month that address this issue. One is found in Psalm 50:21. It says, "These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one as thyself; but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes..."

One of the things God is saying here is that we thought He was just like us! He will understand. We are not accountable nor do we have to answer to anyone. God keeps silence during these times; hoping we will come to our senses, repent and change our ways. If we do not, He will reprove us.

Another verse with this concept of thinking everything is o.k., that the "Holy Ghost" understands and overlooks our actions is found in Isaiah 50:11, it says, "Behold, all of you who kindle a fire,m that compass yourselves about with sparks; walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of Mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow."

It is as if God is saying you have decided who I am, you have kindled your own fire to walk by, go ahead then, walk by your fire, your revelation of who I am. But, you will eventually lie down in sorrow because it was not Me who was leading you; you would never listen! You did not obey! You did not do what I said or live by My principals for life; you made your own, saying it was of Me!

My prayer through this whole experience; "God forgive me for the times I have lied; not misspoke, but outright lied. Forgive me for using my words loosely and not do what I said I was going to do. Forgive me for saying one thing and doing another; for the times I speak of You then do what is not pleasing to You. Forgive me for using Your wonderful Name in vain. 

Fill my heart with forgiveness, grace and mercy. We are all on a learning curve and need to be receptive to the leading's of God in our lives.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

From Israel - Asher Intrater

Professor Benzion Netanyahu

Asher Intrater
At the turn of the 1900's, one of the leading Zionist activists in Eastern Europe was Rabbi Nathan Milikovski. In 1910 his son Benzion was born in Warsaw. The Milikovski family immigrated to Israel in 1920. In his writings Rabbi Milikovski would use the pen name "Netanyahu."

 Later Benzion Milikovski would adopt that for his Hebrew family name.
Benzion studied at Hebrew University and became part of the circle of intellectuals surrounding Professor Joseph Klausner. Benzion went on to become a professor of history, his seminal work being a 1,400 page study of the Spanish Inquisition (claiming that the Marranos were not forced conversions but of their own free will).

He co-edited the Hebrew Encyclopedia, together with Professor Isaiah Liebowitz.
The father of "Revisionist" Zionism was Zev Jabotinsky. Jabotinsky had two primary disciples: Menahem Begin, who later became Prime Minister, and Benzion Netanyahu. When Jabotinsky died in 1940, Benzion took his place as the intellectual ideologue of the Revisionist movement.

The Netanyahu family moved to the United States and Benzion became a leading voice warning against the upcoming disaster facing the Jews of Europe.

As a "Revisionist," Benzion believed that all the land of Israel, "on both sides of the Jordan," belongs to the Jewish people. The partition plan of the United Nations was ratified by vote on November 29, 1947, recognizing the statehood of Israel. While the ratification was accepted with joy by the overwhelming majority of the Jews in Israel, Benzion stood in opposition.

The Netanyahu family moved back to Israel to be part of the founding of the new state. While Benzion's first son, Yoni, who later was killed as commander of the famous Israeli commando attack at Entebbe, was born in New York, his second and third sons, Benjamin and Ido, were born in Israel shortly after the family's return.

During his earlier studies at Hebrew University, Benzion met Zilah, who later became his wife. Zilah's sister also had a son named Benjamin, and she gave him the nickname, "Bibi." Zilah decided to do the same and the two both were called "Bibi."
Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, now serving in his second term as Prime Minister of Israel, speaking of his father's influence on his life, once said, "to understand the son you must get to know the dad."

Benzion Netanyahu passed away this Monday morning, at the age of 102, clear minded and sharp-tongued to the end! His funeral in Jerusalem was attended by the top political and military leaders of the country. His sons, Benjamin and Ido, read the "Kaddish" and gave eulogies. President Shimon Peres, in his eulogy, turning to Benjamin Netanyahu, said, "Your father wrote history and you are making history in the same sentiment and legacy."

Compiled from articles by Dov Eichvald, Itamar Eichner, Shalom Yerushalmi, Eitan Haber, Arik Bender, Eli Bradenstein, Moshe Ronen, Amihai Atheli, Boaz Hendel, Yair Lapid and Sheri Blikov.