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Post  Admin on Fri 16 Jun 2017, 1:56 pm

Elaine, don't allow the crows to persuade you!

Hebrews 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; and be content with such things as you have: for He has said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

There is an old Persian fable of a hen, a mouse, and a rabbit who lived together in a little house in the woods. They shared all the work and lived in harmony. The chicken found the firewood, the mouse brought the water from a nearby brook, and the rabbit cooked the meals. Each did his work faithfully and contentedly.

One day, while the hen was out in the forest looking for wood, a nosy crow approached her and asked what she was doing. When he heard, the crow began caw, "That’s not fair! You’re doing the hardest part of the work! That rabbit and mouse are taking advantage of you!

The chicken continued about her work, but try as she would, she could not stop thinking about what the crow said. These feelings festered and festered, and by the time she got home, she was so upset that she burst out in tears, screaming, "It’s not fair! I do the hardest work of the three of us! That’s it! I’m not going to gather this heavy firewood anymore!"

Discontent spreads, as you know, and immediately the rabbit and mouse also began to argue that they had been doing the hardest work and that they were not going to do their jobs anymore either. The three argued until they were tired and finally decided to switch jobs – from now on the rabbit would gather the firewood, the hen would bring the water and the mouse would cook.

As the rabbit hopped into the forest for wood, a fox trailed him, caught him, and ate him. The chicken put the pail into the creek, but the current pulled the pail down under and the chicken with it. The mouse, while sitting on the edge of the big pot of soup, lost his balance and fell in.

Discontentment not only destroyed their happiness but their very lives.

Elaine, we all have a job to do here. No job is greater than the next -- no person is greater than the next, no matter what those crows might tell you. We are all working for the same King and we can worship Him even while gathering firewood, if that's what He's called us to do! 

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Thu 15 Jun 2017, 6:23 pm

Elaine, scatter your enemies!

Proverbs 16:7 When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.

A young reporter approached an old man on his 100th birthday. "Happy birthday, kind Sir! Can I bother you to answer one question? In all your years, of what are you most proud?" he asked.

"Well," said the man, "I don't have a single enemy in the world."

"Really?!" shouted the reporter, "That's just incredible -- how inspiring to us all!"

"Yep," added the centenarian, "outlived every darn one of 'em."

Sadly, each of us has acquired an enemy or two in our lives. While it's our human nature to find fault in others and make an occasional unnecessary enemy, sometimes it has nothing to do with us! I mean, you wouldn't believe the kind of hate mail we get from people we've never met! What can we do to make peace with enemies like those?

"He" is the operating word in the verse above. Did you catch that? He, that is, the Lord, makes even [a man's] enemies be at peace with him. All we have to worry about is making sure that our ways are pleasing to the Lord and He will do the rest!

The word "deh-rech" in Hebrew, is 'way' in the verse above. Derech can also mean journey or path. When our path is straight, and God is the focus of our journey, then our ways will please Him and He will make even our enemies be at peace with us. 

Elaine, let's rededicate our lives to the Lord again today and see Him bring the victory.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Wed 14 Jun 2017, 9:42 pm

Elaine, beware of the silent killer!

Exodus 15:23-26 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.

Murmuring or complaining is one of those sins that are overlooked.  Sometimes we get so focused on the "big sins" such as murder and adultery that we overlook this sin -- but the Lord doesn't give this sin a free pass -- quite the opposite.  It's a hidden killer!  This sin unleashed a plague that killed thousands of Israelites! [Numbers 16]

In this passage, we read how the Israelites, who were desperately thirsty, looked only at the fact that the water they had come to was bitter and undrinkable. How quickly they forgot their God who had led them out of Egypt with signs and wonders. They had just witnessed His dividing of the Red Sea and destruction of those who had enslaved them. And yet, so quickly they returned to looking only with their natural eyes at the problem in front of them, completely forgetting the miracle working power of their God! And so they murmured against Moses. But honestly, weren't they really murmuring against God? Once again, Moses interceded for them, revealing the faithfulness of His God to answer every impossible dilemma and provide for every need; and again, setting them the example: they simply needed to go the Lord!

So often, just like the Israelites, we focus on our desperate situation with our physical eyes, and not with eyes of faith, and then fall into the trap of complaining. And if you're like me, once I start, it can be really hard to stop...until the Lord stops me, right in my tracks, and He reminds me –- aren't you really complaining against me?  I have to remember to see that I actually hinder the Lord's answers to my problems by unbelief...which leads to the sin of murmuring! 

Elaine, let's not allow this sin to gain a foothold -- because it can easily become a stronghold! The same wonder working God that led the children of Israel out of Egypt, is still at work today -- but are we hindering Him? If we are grumbling and complaining, the answer is, "YES"! And in so doing, until we stop, we are missing out on His answers and blessings which are waiting in the wings to meet our faith in Him! 

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 4:30 pm

Elaine, where are your accusers? 

John 8:3-5, 10-11 Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?" 10 When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."

Yeshua (Jesus) knew the heart of every man and woman. As a totally pure and righteous human being, His experience of every other sin-filled person is really impossible for us to imagine. He knew that every repulsive thought, attitude and action of every person in the world would soon fall on Him, and that He would carry them...away. And so Yeshua did not come with a spirit of condemnation -- but with a spirit of grace and truth.

Caught in the very act of adultery, and brought into His presence, the woman's sin was immediately exposed and her conviction was absolute. The sin was condemned.... but not the sinner. Her accusers wanted to stone her, to sacrifice her life, and use the law of Moses to condemn Yeshua, out of their jealous hatred of Him. But the Lord, in His beautiful, understated way, quietly wrote in the sand, and then turned their hatred into deep conviction.

The whole world is convicted in Yeshua's presence. But only the ones who really appreciate His grace are filled with amazement and gratitude. Can you imagine how this woman must have felt? Her mind had been filled with voices of accusation, rejection, and condemnation. Yeshua didn't feed the frenzy, but calmly observed, "He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone." When no one did, the Lord freed the convicted sinner and restored her life, saying, "Go and sin no more. 

Elaine, voices of accusation, rejection and condemnation will rise against you in the presence of your sins -- but Yeshua will write in the sand and expose the hearts of your accusers. Confess your sin, and stand amazed and grateful, for His grace.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Fri 09 Jun 2017, 1:56 pm

Elaine, it's time to cut down the trees!

Colossians 3:13-14 Bear with each other, and forgiving each other, if any man has a complaint against anyone: even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love (agape), which is the bond of perfection.

After the Civil War, Robert E. Lee visited a Kentucky lady who took him to the remains of a once beautiful old tree in front of her house. There she bitterly cried that its limbs and trunk had been destroyed by Federal artillery fire. She looked to Lee for a word condemning the North or at least sympathizing with her loss. After a brief silence, Lee said, "Cut it down, my dear Madam, and forget it."

The enemy is constantly attacking the body of Messiah. Some of his most effective tactics are anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness, which are often based on real, sometimes deep, wounds we have received from others in the faith. Paul wrote that we should not be ignorant of the enemy's schemes (2 Cor. 2:11), that bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness give him an opportunity to quench the Holy Spirit and destroy our fellowship with God and one another. So the apostle urged forbearance, forgiveness, and above all else, the kind of love which Yeshua (Jesus) showed to us; a love which covered our sins against Him, forgiving and restoring relationship. This is not a love which is natural to us. Our nature is to hold on to offenses, to desire justice, recompense, or even revenge. Do we realize that the love we need to truly forgive is from another Source?

The beautiful old tree in the woman's front yard might symbolize something very dear, beloved and precious in your life....something which was terribly damaged by an enemy you feel justified to hate.

Whatever is left of that "tree" in your life or in your memory is a constant temptation to nurture hate and unforgiveness. Is this how you want to live? Will this "tree" become a memorial unto hatred and revenge, or hardness of heart and a never-ending cry for "justice"? If so, you will find yourself bound to that tree, as if you were chained to it. General Lee's words apply here: "Cut it down, my dear Madam, and forget it." "Vengeance is Mine, says the Lord, I will repay." So, not only can you afford to forgive and leave justice in His hands, but the freedom and joy of loving the way God loves, will also be yours. 

Elaine, Yeshua (Jesus) has forgiven us. We should forgive others as we've been forgiven. Let's cut down the battered trees in our lives, choose forgiveness, in the Spirit of Jesus, and put on (agape) love.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Thu 08 Jun 2017, 7:51 pm

Elaine, do you ever feel like you're listening to a broken record? 

Romans 13:11 And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.

While I was in the States, I read several stories about Ronald Reagan that made me appreciate him as a person and as a leader. But one amusing story really caught my attention and made me smile. When he was a young man, Reagan worked at a radio station and sometimes played records of sermons. His shift at the station was a one-man operation and so, on occasion, Ron would set the record playing and then sneak out for a cup of coffee. One day he got a call while he was at the coffee shop from the station's owner, ordering him back to the station, and then ... he received his termination notice. He'd returned to the station finding the record skipping at a particular point in the sermon;

"Go to Hell, go to Hell, go to Hell, go to..."

There are probably several messages we could draw from this funny little sequence, but what spoke to me most was this, that in recent years we've heard the message repeated over and over again like a broken record, "The end is near, the end is near, the end is near, the end... and, "The Lord's return is at the door..."; 

Elaine, yet, the fact is that we are very near to the Lord's return and there are many signs of His soon coming. So if the message sounds repetetive perhaps it's because the Lord's return is much nearer now than when we first believed -- even at the very door. And the whole point of thinking about and dwelling upon Yeshua's return is thatwe want to be ready, keeping close accounts with Him, living holy and fruitful lives...spotless, blameless, at His coming. Our bridal love for Him will keep us looking up and listening for the cry; "Behold, the bridegroom cometh!"

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,
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Post  Admin on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 9:39 pm

Elaine, good parenting works; look to your Heavenly Father! 

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

I ran across a profound story that shows what happens when the family structure breaks down -- but this didn't have to do with people -- it had to do with elephants.

In Kruger National Park in South Africa a group of adolescent bull elephants whose family members had been gunned down during a culling operation were transported to another wildlife reserve. While at the other reserve, the young elephants embarked on a killing spree that lasted several years leaving more than 100 animals dead, including 40 white rhinoceroses. To stop the killing, a strategy was implemented to ship in older male elephants from Kruger to establish a new male hierarchy which would keep the adolescent elephants in check. Thus the killing stopped.

Like human society, the elephant family defines established roles for training and discipline in family life. And like humans, young elephants require a prolonged period of nurture with family units to prepare them for adult life. Damage and loss in family life will produce painful and sometimes devastating results. In this situation the loss of the mature males was catastrophic.

Many of us in the body of Messiah have not had healthy parental role models, and some have had none at all; but our life as a believing family will generally begin to improve, correct, and heal the results of broken family life which many suffer from. Mature believers ought to be role models and examples, not only to our children, but also to younger believers.

Ideally, Christian leaders will be healthy role models, but many are themselves, deficient and unhealed in certain ways. We all ought to have grace when it comes to this area of body life. Our expectations will not always be met and may even be severely disappointed. Our saving grace -- and it is truly an amazing one-- is that we all have a Heavenly Father who is a perfect parent, and who can love and nurture us in both male and female ways, and who is also able to provide human role models and healers to help bring us to wholeness.

Elaine, be thankful for any good parenting you have received; forgive all that was negative or deficient. Then ask your Heavenly Father to parent you by His personal parental love and providence in your human relationships. This will free you from deep resentment and bitterness, and will begin to move you toward maturity and peace, and will prepare you to be a good parent and role model for others.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,
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Post  Admin on Tue 06 Jun 2017, 9:00 pm

Elaine, be faithful to the end! 

Proverbs 17:17 A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

A careful reading through the life of the Apostle Paul will yield insight concerning those who surrounded him. In this brief devotion, I want to focus on two of Paul's friends -- Luke and Demas.

Luke was a true and faithful friend to Paul, staying with and supporting him to the very end of his life, even through the worst adversities (2 Timothy 4:11). Then, there was another friend, whose name was Demas, about whom Paul wrote positively at first, (Col. 4:14; Philemon 1:24) but who did not remain faithful to the end. Paul records that Demas forsook him because he "loved this present world." (2 Timothy 4:10)

As the end of the age approaches, we also will be tested as to where our love lies; with the Father, or with the world. The apostle John writes, "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15)  I do not believe that Demas lost his salvation, but he did lose his capacity to sense and express the love of the Father, which damaged his testimony, his spiritual relationships, and undoubtedly cost him heavenly rewards. What kind of friend will we be to God? Will we be faithful, or will we allow the love of this world to quench our fire, and compromise our relationships?

Elaine, my encouragement to you is to be faithful until the end. Don't forget that Yeshua gave a warning to end-time saints, saying, "because iniquity abounds, the love of many shall grow cold." Become a friend like Luke, and learn from the life of Demas -- do not allow love for the world to quench your love for God.  Don't forget, a true friend loves...at all times!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Mon 05 Jun 2017, 5:20 pm

Elaine, your reward is before you!

Isaiah 40:10 Behold, the Lord God shall come with a strong hand, And His arm (z’roah in Hebrew) shall rule for Him; Behold, His reward is with Him, And His work before Him.

Revelation 22:12 "And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work."

Isaiah tells us that the LORD'S Arm shall rule for Him and that He is coming with reward -- and a similar passage in Revelation declares that the Lord Yeshua (Jesus) is coming to reward His saints.

We live this earthly life recognizing that we are “strangers and pilgrims” [Hebrews 11:13] in this world -- but are working now in full expectation of a heavenly future. C.S. Lewis once wrote, "If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world!"

We know we were made for another world, where the treasure we have stored while working here will neither rust nor corrode, nor be stolen. If you're looking for a pat on the back now [not that praises shouldn't be given or received], you've missed the point of ministry.

This reminds me of a story. There was a husband and wife who served many years in the ministry as missionaries in a far away land. As they returned to the States, the arriving ship was greeted by a brass band. Their initial thought was that this was an arranged greeting to honor them -- but soon discovered that a dignitary was also on the ship. They collected their luggage and booked a cheap motel room. While sitting on the bed, the husband started to cry and said, "We've served God for many years. We've got no money, no house, and when we've returned home, there's not even anyone to meet us!" His wife looked at him and said, "Hon, we're not home yet!"

Elaine, we're not home yet! Don't believe for a minute that your work in this world is going unseen in Heaven. "For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and the love which ye showed toward his name, in that, ye ministered unto the saints, and still do minister." [Hebrews 6:10] Let's be earnestly seeking His praise that when we see Him face to face, He may say to all of us, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant!" A true homecoming...and a true reward!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Fri 02 Jun 2017, 3:02 pm

Elaine, whatever and where ever! 

Ruth 1:16-17 But Ruth said: "Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me."

When Ruth pledged her alligence to Naomi and to the God of Israel, it wasn't based on, "What ifs?" or circumstances. It was a faith rooted in her devotion to Naomi and God even to the point of death!

So often, I've received emails from people wondering why? "Why this?" or "Why that?" But honestly, "His ways are higher than my ways and His thoughts are higher than my thoughts" -- and I don't have easy answers for much of the horrendous stuff that happens to us! But what I do know is our faith is not based on "if this" circumstance was changed then I could serve -- or "if this" problem didn't exist then my life would be so much easier!

We tend to look at our circumstances, our problems, our status, our situations -- however the faith we're called to have is a "whatever and where ever" faith!

Elaine, let's stop looking at the "what ifs" and "why that" and start looking to the "Who" of your life! The "who" of your life should be Yeshua (Jesus) -- and when He is the "Who" of your life -- then the rest of your life is "whatever and where ever" for your good and His glory!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Thu 01 Jun 2017, 2:46 pm

Elaine, don't be chicken! 

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

While walking through the forest one day, a farmer found a young eagle who had apparently fallen out of his nest. He took it home and put it in his barnyard with his chickens and there it stayed for years. It wasn't long before the little eagle learned to eat and behave like the chickens.

One day a naturalist passed by the farm and saw the eagle confined in the barnyard with the chickens. When he inquired about this strange sight, the farmer told the man his story. "Unfortunately," said the farmer, "the poor little guy just never learned to fly." "Still," the naturalist sighed, "he has the heart of an eagle and can surely be taught. Will you allow me to work with him?" The farmer agreed, but with much disbelief.

The naturalist picked up the eagle and lifted him toward the sky and said, "You belong to the sky and not to the earth. Stretch forth your wings and fly." The eagle, however, was confused. He did not know who he was, and seeing the chickens eating their food, he jumped down to be with them again. The naturalist took the bird to the roof of the house and urged him again, saying, "You are an eagle. Stretch forth your wings and fly." But the eagle was afraid and jumped down once again to be with his chicken friends. Finally the naturalist took the eagle out of the barnyard to a high mountain. There he held the king of the birds high above him and encouraged him again, saying, "You are an eagle. You belong to the sky. Stretch forth your wings and fly!" The eagle looked around, back towards the barnyard and then up to the sky. Slowly, he stretched his wings, and with a triumphant cry, he soared away into the heavens.

Somewhere along the line, we like this poor young eagle, were put in a lowly barn with the chickens of the world around us. We learned to live and eat from the ground and grew up believing that there was not much more to do than sit and cluck all day.

But the reality is that we are eagles! We were created to fly and even soar! God has great purpose for our lives! If we would only realize who we are in Him! 

Elaine, let's remember who we are today! We are the head and not the tail! We are members of a royal priesthood! We have great things to do for the Kingdom!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Wed 31 May 2017, 2:23 pm

Elaine, chag sameyach! (Happy Holiday) 

Acts 2:1,4 And when the day of Pentecost (Shavuot) was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

In Israel, the celebration of Shavuot began last night. Most Christians would recognize this as the celebration of Pentecost in Acts 2. However, the very first Shavuot took place fifty days after the Israel crossed the Red Sea. It was on this day according to Jewish tradition that the law was given on tablets of stone.

Fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus, Shavuot was celebrated again when the Holy Spirit was poured out and the law of God became written upon the hearts of men. Just as God had promised in Ezekiel and in Jeremiah -- the law of God shall be written upon your heart.

Shavuot is both a celebration of the God's faithfulness in the early harvest and an anticipation of the abundance of the final harvest yet to come. Just as three thousand Jewish people came to faith in Messiah on this day a couple thousand years ago, the day will soon come when the fullness of the Gentiles will be completed and then "all of Israel shall be saved!" 

Elaine, let's celebrate how the Lord has provided for us today and be assured that this is only a glimpse of our awaited home in glory -- a home that the Lord has spent thousands of years preparing for us!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Arad, Israel
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Post  Admin on Mon 29 May 2017, 9:10 am

Elaine, be empowered ... again? 

Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

As we celebrate Shavuout beginning tomorrow night, we're looking at the promise given 2000 years ago: that normal people will lead extraordinary lives; that disciples, who were terrified on the night of Yeshua's (Jesus) death, were transformed into bold saints of God; and that fishermen, tax collectors, and housewives – normal everyday people – became empowered, and turned the Roman Empire inside out and upside down!

In Acts 2, we read about the initial outpouring of the Spirit during Shavuot. Just a few chapters later the same saints who had been once filled to overflowing, sought to be refilled again [Acts 4]. It was not a one time experience, but rather a constant refilling of the Spirit which they needed to change their world. They repeatedly sought to be empowered to accomplish whatever task God assigned to them. They just kept going back, to the well that never runs dry, and so they kept getting filled – and refilled -- and refilled again! 

Elaine, don't ever become spiritually "satisfied"! Seek to be filled -- once filled -- seek to be refilled! And refilled again! How do we live in a constant state of revival? By always seeking MORE! In doing so, God will empower everyday folk like us to turn our world inside out and upside down!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
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Post  Admin on Thu 25 May 2017, 10:25 am

Elaine, who are you now?

1 Samuel 17:26-29 Then David spoke to the men who stood by him, saying, "What shall be done for the man who kills this Philistine and takes away the reproach from Israel? For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?" And the people answered him in this manner, saying, "So shall it be done for the man who kills him." Now Eliab his oldest brother heard when he spoke to the men; and Eliab's anger was aroused against David, and he said, "Why did you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know your pride and the insolence of your heart, for you have come down to see the battle." And David said, "What have I done now? Is there not a cause?"

David's faith and courage in volunteering to fight Goliath was an embarrassment to his big brother Eliab, an officer in King Saul's army. I imagine his thinking went something like this; “If my little brother wins everybody will ask, 'How come you didn't go out and fight him?'” The Bible records that Eliab “burned with anger at David and asked, 'Why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the desert? I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is...'” These are devastating words from an older brother. Before David could defeat Goliath he first had to overcome the attitudes, accusations and words, of those close around him.

The defeat of Goliath had massive implications for Israel and for the Lord. Satan had staked a great deal on Goliath's terrifying power. So wherever the enemy had opportunity in the sinful attitudes of David's friends and family he maximized them, realizing that David truly had the anointing of God to turn the tide of battle. And God allowed David to be tested by his own closest kin.

If there is a true Goliath in your life and you are appointed to slay him be assured you will face similar tests from those close by. When you make decisions to step out and follow God it will put pressure on others to do the same. Their shame and lack of faith will move them to attack, belittle and criticize you. It will come from among those closest to you, especially if your calling sets you apart! 

Elaine, be careful around those who say, “I knew you when...” in an attempt to label, libel, or limit you – much like David's brother Eliab tried to hinder him. David was empowered by the Lord to slay Goliath – if you have that same Spirit and calling then humbly step aside and say, "What have I done now? Isn't there a real job to be done?" Then go ahead, and do it.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Wed 24 May 2017, 8:44 pm

Elaine, happy Yom Yerushalayim! 

Isaiah 62:6,7 I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; They shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, And give Him no rest till He establishes And till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth.

As Israel celebrates Yom Yerushalayim or Jerusalem Day. It marks the 50th year of the restoration of Jerusalem back into Israeli hands. Hundreds of thousands of tourists have come to participate in the various celebrations going on in this beautiful city today.

Why do you think Jerusalem is so significant? Let's look at a little of her legend and history.

According to Jewish legend, the earth was created from Jerusalem's center, from the foundational stone on the Temple Mount called the Eben Shetiyah. And thus, on the first day, legend says, God created light, and that light came forth from the Temple Mount and illuminated the entire world. Hmmm. Very interesting. Especially being that Yeshua (Jesus) was crucified, buried in and resurrected from Jerusalem, and He is the Light of the World. He not only departed Jerusalem, but the Bible says that His return will also be to this Holy City. It's no wonder that Jerusalem is constantly the focus of the news -- it's the center of prophecy!

While we can see with our physical eyes, the restoration of the Land to her Rightful Owner, we also recognize there's much work to do in Israel spiritually. There are only about 15,000 Jewish believers out of 6 million Jews. We've barely touched the tip of the iceberg!

Elaine, the Lord is strategically placing watchman throughout the world who will attentively watch and pray over Jerusalem and those of us in the Land preparing the way of the Lord. Please continue to pray for the complete restoration of Israel -- we need it!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Tue 23 May 2017, 6:24 pm

Date: May 23, 2017 at 12:25 AM
Topic: +DEV+  Penetrating Light

Penetrating Light

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil . . . But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light” (John 3:19,21). 

Scripture Focus: John 3:18-21

The Light of Christ is penetrating, illuminating everything cowering in the shadows. The Greek word describes strong, steadily pouring rays manifesting all they touch. God seekers need to overcome their fear of this Light and learn to welcome it. 

Jesus said that evil people love darkness because it hides their amoral ways. They maintain the illusion that all is well so long as they avoid God's rays. Jesus said they actually detest His Light! This word implies persecution. So, it's a hate not satisfied with just ignoring the Light; it also longs to hurt those who have chosen to live in its piercing radiance.

Everything that the Light exposes, we are better off without. Old habits and attitudes lingering from our darkness days keep us from clearly understanding His ways. More tragically, they prevent the very people God wants to reach from seeing His Son's power at work in us. They assume the positive things we do come from our own goodness. This possibility alone should make us cry, “More Light, my Lord! More Light on my soul!”

Insight: When Jesus takes up residence in our hearts, we can finally make friends with the Light that streams from His presence. 
Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship and Bible study groups.

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Michael D. Inman

Elaine, keep your head up!

John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

I read a story about a new young partner in a law firm. The senior partners had set extremely high standards and had coached him carefully. He did well in some minor trials but he lost his first big case. When the partners reviewed the trial, they pointed out his errors and suggested different strategies. Even with all their critique, he lost the next big one. He felt terrible. Were they ready to give him the boot?

Then one of the partners took him aside. "Look," he said, "you're learning. Just keep going. You'll start winning. Meanwhile, your position is secure. You're one of us." Those words were exactly what he needed to hear.

Have you ever experienced this kind of compassion when you were feeling hopeless? If we’re believers, we have. The Lord has taken us aside and said, “Yeah, you’ve made some mistakes, but don’t worry -- your position is secure.

Elaine, know that God has provided your security today. Rest assured in Him -- and be sure to convey that same kind of compassion to struggling siblings in the faith. All of us need to be reassured once in a while.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Mon 22 May 2017, 4:00 pm

Elaine, rejoice, this is the day that the Lord has made!

Psalm 69:32 (YLT) The humble have seen--they rejoice, Ye who seek God--and your heart liveth.

There is an important lesson here and in other places of God's Word, namely that humility and gladness go together. What do the humble and the joyous have in common? They both look up. The humble are those who don't look down on anyone. The truly humble look up all the time. They have to look up, because their eyes are on God, and He's above them. The joyous are always looking up as well, otherwise they wouldn't be rejoicing.

The joyous are believing the Good News, so they rejoice! The prideful, however, are those who think they're above everything else and so they look down on people. The prideful are connected to the others who look down, the cynical, the doubting, the despairing, the depressed, the sorrowful and the hopeless. In the same way that the humble and the joyous go together, so do pride and despair. Humility leads to joy. Pride leads to despair.

Elaine, let's get our eyes off ourselves, off of our problems, off of the world around us. Let's fix our eyes on Him, the Redeemer of our souls. Those who look up in humility, also look up in joy! Together, let's fix our eyes on Him and be glad!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Fri 19 May 2017, 5:27 pm

Elaine, revival is available to us today!

Hosea 10:12 Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the Lord, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.

Revival is that sovereign work of God in which He visits His own people, restoring and releasing them into the fullness of His blessing. -- Robert Coleman

Over the years I've often gotten emails asking "Do you think revival will ever come to the United States?, When do you think it will come?" While re-reading Charles Finney's lectures on revival recently, I was reminded that a key aspect of world revival is revival within ourselves. Revival must begin within each of us ... and it's not just a one time event but an ongoing process of desiring to be closer to Him. Once, a lady asked Billy Sunday "Why do you keep having revival meetings?" And he quickly retorted, "Why do you always take a bath?" 

Elaine, revival is an ongoing transformation of our hearts to be constantly moved by the Spirit of God. We need to be daily breaking up our fallow ground, those places in our hearts which we've allowed to grow hard. How? We have to first ask the Lord to reveal those hard places, pray that He would forgive us and ask Him to heal all our rough edges that we might be soft before Him and sensitive to His leading. Only then will we be changed and be in a place where we can contribute to revival around us.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Thu 18 May 2017, 9:36 am

Elaine, rise up! 

Romans 4:20-21 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

A story is told of Napoleon Bonaparte. As he was busy conquering Europe in the 1800's during one of his military campaigns, Napoleon accidentally let the bridle of his horse slip while he was looking through some papers. The horse reared itself and the Emperor lost his balance. One corporal quickly leaped forward and caught the bridle just in the nick of time, bringing the horse under control and saving Napoleon from what might have been serious injury or even death. Napoleon saluted the corporal and said, "Thank you, Captain!" "Of what company, Sire?" asked the corporal. "Of my guards," replied Napoleon.

The young corporal took his musket and hurled it aside, and walked across the field toward the Emperor's staff, tearing off his corporal's stripes as he went. When he took his place among the officers, they asked him what he was doing. I am the captain of the Emperor's Guards, he replied. "By whose order?" they asked. "By the order of the Emperor himself" he replied.

A man of less faith might have been happy returning back to his ranks as a corporal and boasting for the rest of his life about how the Emperor once called him Captain. But no, He took the Emperor at his word. And He knew his potential. 

Elaine, in the same way, some of us have been happy just hearing about the promises of God without ever laying claim to them. Others of us have never realized the strengths with which God has gifted us. May it not be! We who know the Lord must become aware of our status as sons and daughters of the King! We must believe that God has promised great things to those who love and serve him and we must also recognize the potential God has placed upon us from the beginning of time! Let's start practicing some faith today!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Wed 17 May 2017, 10:44 am

Elaine, develop Godly ambition! 

Jeremiah 45:5 And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I will bring adversity on all flesh," says the Lord. "But I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go." 

J. Oswald Sanders, a Godly man and former director of Overseas Missionary Fellowship, once wrote about a position he desired. As he contemplated lobbying for the position, at one point, while walking through the city of Auckland, New Zealand, a verse of Scripture came to his mind, "Seekest thou great things for thyself? Seek them not!"

Sanders later said, "The words came just as though it was God speaking. There were crowds all around me, and no one else heard the voice, but I heard it all right!" He went on to say, "I believe that was a real turning point in my service to the Lord." As a result, he never sought the position, but later it was opened for him, in God's timing.

The world's standards of greatness -- money, success, power and fame -- mean nothing to God. If we truly aspire to greatness, we will learn from Jesus' example. He didn't exemplify His greatness by conquest or by riches or worldly success – but rather by humility, gentleness, and servanthood. 

Elaine, if we truly want to be great in God's kingdom, we will decide to transform worldly "ambition" into "Godly ambition". We will not seek honor, but humility. We won't desire power to rule, but to become the greatest servant. Beyond everything, we will long to be great in His love…and through His love, influence and transform the world around us. These are "ambitions" worthy of our Lord and Savior, who, because of His great love and humility, was exalted above every other name, and also promised that He will humble the exalted...and, exalt the humble.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Tue 16 May 2017, 1:14 pm

Elaine, need a promotion? 

Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

Early in my adult life, I used to sell newspaper subscriptions door to door and deliver flowers for a living. I also volunteered for years with my churches inner city bus ministry. My wife waited tables and cleaned houses. She volunteered with a number of ministries, doing youth work and teaching worship dance among other things. Never could we imagine that the Lord would take us to Israel and use us in full-time ministry in this capacity. Neither of us ever did anything great in this world but we were faithful in some little things and God found it in His heart to promote us.

Never could we imagine that the Lord would take us to Israel and use us in full-time ministry in this capacity. Neither of us ever did anything great in this world, but we were faithful in some little things and God found it in His heart to promote us.

D.L. Moody once said, "A good many are kept out of the service of Christ, deprived of the luxury of working for God, because they are trying to do some great thing. Let us be willing to do little things. And let us remember that nothing is small in which God is the source."

The Lord is always looking for opportunities to promote us - to take us to a higher calling. The problem is that we're often so busy trying to promote ourselves that He can't get a word in edgewise! 

Elaine, let's not neglect the little things God has put in our path to do. Help clean the congregation once a week, bless that neighbor or family member God has put on our heart, share the gospel with a co-worker. Those little things will eventually lead to bigger things -- don't you doubt it! There's so much work to be done!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Mon 15 May 2017, 5:25 pm

Elaine, be endued with power from on high!

Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Shortly after WWI, Lawrence of Arabia was entertaining some of his Arab friends in Paris. He showed them the sights of the city: the Arc d'Triomph, the Louvre, the Champs Elysees. It was a remarkable irony to Lawrence that these amazing sights were not what most impressed his Arab friends -- but rather the bathtub faucet of their hotel room. They were completely astonished that someone could turn a handle...and get all the water he wanted.

As they were preparing to leave Paris, Lawrence found his foreign friends in the bathroom with wrenches trying to disconnect the faucet.

They said, "It is very dry in Arabia. What we need are faucets. If we have them, we will have all the water we want." Lawrence had to explain that the water did not come from the faucets, but rather from the water supply to which they were connected. It doesn't matter if you have a faucet -- if you're not connected to the water supply!

As we approach the Jewish festival of Shavuot otherwise known as the day of Pentecost, we're reminded of how God endued those in the Upper Room with power from on high! They waited – and waited – and waited, for the promised coming of the Holy Spirit. They didn't go forth proclaiming the gospel UNTIL they were filled with power from on high. I believe as they were in prayer in the upper room, God was revealing different sins in their lives that He wanted them to deal with, so that He could fill them to overflowing. The Lord did not want these saints just to be faucets -- but rather, conduits of his power!

Elaine, let's spend time today making sure all the obstructions are cleared -- so that we can be the spirit-filled saints God has called us to be in these last days! There's so much work to be done -- but let's be sure we're doing the work, fully endued with power from on high!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Fri 12 May 2017, 6:42 pm

Elaine, spiritual blacksmiths arise!

1 Sam. 13:19-22 Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears: But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, and his coulter, and his axe, and his mattock. Yet they had a file for the mattocks, and for the coulters, and for the forks, and for the axes, and to sharpen the goads. So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan: but with Saul and with Jonathan his son was there found.

This interesting passage speaks of a time when Israel had no blacksmiths to make weapons and was without any armament to defend themselves. The enemy had succeeded to disarm Israel by removing their weapons, and those who forged them! He's attempting the same tactic today.

A blacksmith is someone who works with raw material and fire, and who knows how to form and shape liquid metal into powerful weapons. Anyone who works skillfully and accurately with the word of God is a spiritual "blacksmith". The enemy, who is constantly attacking the word of God, the sword of the Spirit, also seeks to silence or remove the spiritual blacksmiths of this world. If he can get rid of them – the battle is over.

We need to pray for God’s blacksmiths because the enemy is after them. Together with the fire of the Holy Spirit they forge the raw material of His word into powerful weapons which shape and mold God's people into His image and equip them for spiritual warfare and fruitfulness. But we are all called to be strong in the word, and to take it up as our primary weapon. Every spiritual blacksmith, himself started out as raw material which was shaped and formed by the fire of God to fight in this battle with Satan. 

Elaine, so, as the battle rages, pray for the protection of God's "blacksmiths", even as you submit to His process of shaping you into one, yourself.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Wed 10 May 2017, 10:23 pm

Elaine, be fed and more! 

Psalms 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.

The word "verily", in this verse, is the Hebrew word “emunah” (em-oo-nah). It also means "faith" or "faithfully". When we trust in the Lord, and our trust is demonstrated by doing good, He declares that He will faithfully feed us. How will we be fed? The Hebrew word for "fed" is “roeh” (ro-eh), which also means "shepherd". Yes, the good shepherd feeds his flock who trust Him, by leading them to green pastures, and He does it faithfully. Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) is our Chief Shepherd. We know His voice, trust him, and follow His direction, so we don't go hungry.

Elaine, we're continuing to trust in the Lord and do good; to dwell in the Land and be fed. But our deepest hunger is for the Shepherd Himself... to be nearer to Him. He feeds us, in every way. Yet His deepest longing is that we dwell with and in Him, as He said, "Abide in Me and I in you". Not only does our life depend on Him, Who is faithful, but the greater relationship He offers and desires is to be our friend, and even our Husband.

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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Post  Admin on Mon 08 May 2017, 8:45 pm

Elaine, beware of snakes!

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give to you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the authority of the enemy. And nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Matthew 10:16 Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

The legendary preacher, Charles Spurgeon once said, “Discernment is not simply a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather it is the difference between right and almost right.”

Often the question is whether something is "right" or "wrong”, and may be answered quickly and easily. But sometimes we are faced with a much more difficult discernment: the difference between “right" and "almost right”. I love to take the kids to the zoo, and whenever we go we always go into the snake house to look at all those beautiful slithering reptiles– but more often than not they are so well camouflaged that they aren't easy to find. Once you've spotted one, however, and recognized its markings, it becomes much easier. So George, why are you telling me about your trips to the zoo?

The Bible identifies our enemy as a serpent, and just like the ones at the zoo he camouflages himself extremely well. Satan knows that the Lord has given us authority over him, so he has to seek ways in which we fail to recognize him. He knows that defending ourselves would be much easier if he came out and said, "I'm here and I hate you!" So he lurks in the background, in unsuspected places waiting for an opportunity to steal, kill or destroy— and much of the time we don't realize he's there until we find ourselves in the thick of an attack. And what is his "camouflage" ? Looking as much like a good guy as he can, so we would never suspect his true nature and intentions. That's why Spurgeon gives us the advice about discernment between "right" and "almost right"; and why the Lord Himself told us to be "wise as serpents"!

Elaine, pray to become skilled in discerning your enemy's camouflage, remembering he comes as a "minister of righteousness" or an "angel of light" who knows how to blend into your world, and to look and talk like a friend. Don't go by feelings alone, be careful about flattery, know your Lord through prayer and let God's Word dwell richly in you being filled with His spirit. You want to be well defended against the subtlety of the Serpent, especially these days!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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