Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Israeli PM Issues Warning to Iran


People from 90+ countries participated in Epicenter webcast

By Joel C. Rosenberg

(Philadelphia, PA, June 29, 2010) -- In a blunt message at the 2010 Epicenter Conference that suggested a war between Israel and Iran may not be far off, Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon on Saturday warned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to choose “the Bomb” or “survival.”

Yaalon said he agreed with the U.S. assessment that Iran is between one and three years away from acquiring a nuclear weapon. He said there is still time to stop Iran, but time is running out. He warned that “any American hopes of attracting Syria, Lebanon, or Turkey away from Iran would effectively be dead” if Iran builds nuclear weapons. He also said Turkey is rapidly shifting from a moderate democracy to an Islamic republic and suggested this is of great concern to the Israeli government. Yaalon delivered a powerful and detailed 55 minute policy address, then did a 30 minute Q&A session with me that covered everything from the status of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit being held by Hamas, to Islamic eschatology and the Twelfth Imam, and Yaalon’s fascinating personal history and where his family came to Israel from.

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in the 2010 Epicenter Conference, and everyone who helped pull the event together. We were encouraged that people from over 90 countries around the world viewed the webcast, including those from Israel, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iraq, Algeria, Oman, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Sudan.

At wwww.epicenterconference.com, you can now order a DVD set of all of the messages delivered at the conference. This includes fascinating presentations by Vice PM Yaalon, Lt.-General Jerry Boykin, Greg Laurie, Kay Arthur, Tony Perkins, Israeli Pastor Wayne Hilsden, Iranian Pastor Hormoz Shariat, as well as my closing talk on “How To Build A Global Movement To Bless Israel and Her Neighbors, Come What May.” The DVD set also includes a bonus feature, a two-hour seminar by Hormoz Shariat and Mideast ministry expert Tom Doyle on how to share the love of Jesus Christ with your Muslim friends and neighbors.

I would encourage you to get a set of the DVDs to watch as a family, and with your small group Bible study or home fellowship group. You may also want to send a copy to Christian workers that you pray for and support around the world.

CBN correspondent Erick Stakelback posted an on-line report on Saturday night on Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon’s address and Q&A session at the 2010 Epicenter Conference. “Yaalon was undoubtedly the most anticipated speaker for the roughly 1,500 in attendance and 20,000 tuning in via satellite from around the world,” Stackelback wrote. “I’ll be filing a report on the conference for Tuesday’s edition of the 700 Club, but I wanted to fill everyone in right away on what I think was a very newsworthy speech by Yaalon, who is the second highest ranking official in the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Yaalon received no less than three rousing standing ovations at Epicenter-one lasting for at least two minutes and punctuated by raucous cheers of support. A former Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, Yaalon has a reputation for being a serious man who’s as tough as they come. But he appeared genuinely impressed and appreciative of the outpouring of love and affection he received from the Epicenter audience and gave it right back with some kind words for evangelical Christians throughout his almost one hour speech, which was followed by a hard-hitting Q and A session with Rosenberg in which “Bogie” addressed everything from Iranian nukes to Turkey’s Islamist turn to the state of U.S./Israel relations. Below are some of the highlights from a riveting afternoon with the Vice Prime Minister. Yaalon began his speech by outlining Israel’s four primary strategic challenges….”

To read the rest of the CBN report, please go to Joel’s weblog, http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/.

LEARN: To track the latest news and trends from Israel and the epicenter on Joel’s weblog (http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com), please click here

PRAY: Sign up for Joel’s email alerts and receive the latest news and analysis from the Mideast, Joshua Fund project updates and prayer requests.

GIVE: Help The Joshua Fund stock the new warehouse and bless the poor and needy in Israel and among her neighbors. Please make a tax-deductible donation of $50, $100, $250 or a monthly commitment by clicking here and visiting our new website, www.joshuafund.net.

GO: Join Joel’s “Epicenter Team” on Facebook.

GO: To learn more about -- and/or register for -- the 2011 Epicenter Conference in Israel and The Joshua Fund’s prayer & vision trip to Israel in May 2001, please click here (www.epicenterconference.com)

To purchase a DVD set of the presentations at the 2010 Epicenter Conference, please go to www.epicenterconference.com, or click here

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Put Manure on it (Part 2)

Up Manure Creek Without a Paddle?

6And He told them this parable: A certain man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it, but did not find [any].
7So he said to the vinedresser, See here! For these three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree and I find none. Cut it down! Why should it continue also to use up the ground [to deplete the soil, intercept the sun, and take up room]?
8But he replied to him, Leave it alone, sir, [just] this one more year, till I dig around it and put manure [on the soil].
9Then perhaps it will bear fruit after this; but if not, you can cut it down and out.
Luke 13:6-9 [AMP]

In our last blog, we used the above scripture as the thesis for last week’s study. In it, we talked about how a vinedresser will put manure around a tree as fertilizer so that it may bear fruit. As you may recall, a tree requires manure, otherwise it will be worthless and cut down. In the book of Isaiah (61:3), we are referred to as trees of righteousness.

1THE SPIRIT of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound,
2To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor] and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
3To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion--to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit--that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
Isaiah 61:1-3 [AMP]

As trees (oaks in the Amplified translation of the Bible) of righteousness, we must be properly fertilized in order to bear fruit. The fruit that we must bear, as discussed in last week’s blog post, is the fruit of the Spirit.

One thing about our Father in heaven is that He will test us to show the quality of our fruits. I recall as a child accompanying my mother to the supermarket. I watched with fascination as she felt the pieces of fruit to see whether or not they would be good to take home to eat. I wondered how she knew whether fruit was ripe or whether it was rotten or whether it was perfect. The key, it seemed, was using touch to tell the quality of the fruit. Our Heavenly Father will often touch our circumstances in order to show us that true quality of our fruits. This might include placing us in those manure laden circumstances.

The week after we published that blog, we found ourselves enjoying a wonderful week. However… that wonderful week (from Monday until Friday morning) was merely a set up for something quite... what is the opposite of wonderful?  Well, it was quite painful. Quite alarming!  Quite disturbing!  What happened to us was an attack from satan. As this season of trouble entered our life, there were the usual emotional reactions.

  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Depression
  • Analysis
  • Worry
  • Pain

Fortunately, the Holy Spirit arrived and gave us comfort by reminding us of the promises of the word of God. It was during this time of testing that I faced a decision point. I could pray like the sons of thunder (James and John) to rain down fire upon those who caused me such pain. I could pray like the Lord Jesus who said “Father, forgive them… for they know not to what they do.” Ultimately, I decided to behave the way that my Lord and Savior behaved.

I wonder if any of you have been in manure this past week? Perhaps you might or feel that you have been in manure for as long as you can remember. I hope that the scriptures from last week were a source of comfort. This week, we hope to help deal with the second phase of a trip down manure creek without a paddle (grin).

The best advice and that I can give to you is the advice and that the Lord has given to me through the Word of God, through His Spirit, and through friends and prayer partners. That advice is to praise the Lord not because of your circumstances but in spite of those circumstances.

Here are some meditations from Judypie that should help:

Fruit of the Spirit

Father, your Spirit lives in me, and I am swift to hear. I have learned it’s more important to listen than to be heard. I purpose to be slow to speak, and choose the words I speak with grace. I am slow to become angry. May my recreated human spirit, under the control of the Holy Spirit bear fruit -- joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Understand [this], my beloved brethren. Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener], slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry. For man's anger does not promote the righteousness God [wishes and requires].
James 1:19-20 [AMP]

But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].
Galatians 5:22-23 [AMP]

The Lord is my Shepherd

O my Lord, you are my Shepherd, and I have everything I need. You are ever true to Your Word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Your goodness and unfailing kindness shall be with me all of my life, and afterwards I will live with You forever in your home. Amen

THE LORD is my Shepherd [to feed, guide, and shield me], I shall not lack. He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters. He refreshes and restores my life (my self); He leads me in the paths of righteousness [uprightness and right standing with Him--not for my earning it, but] for His name's sake. Yes, though I walk through the [deep, sunless] valley of the shadow of death, I will fear or dread no evil, for You are with me; Your rod [to protect] and Your staff [to guide], they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my [brimming] cup runs over. Surely or only goodness, mercy, and unfailing love shall follow me all the days of my life, and through the length of my days the house of the Lord [and His presence] shall be my dwelling place.
Psalm 23 [AMP]


Meditation is very beneficial, spiritually, mentally and physically. This form of discipline will help you stay focused on eternal things, give you insight into the Scriptures, your energy will increase, and your youth will be renewed according to Psalm 103. Here in these quiet moments, you can
Hear the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit and creativity is released. Purpose in your heart and mind... "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to my Lord". Meditation is deep contemplation or reflection that will bring the Word of God from your head to your heart.

In the name of Jesus, I am blessed. My Lord, I delight in your law, and on your law I meditate day and night. I am like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever I do prospers. Jesus, you have been made unto me wisdom, righteousness and sanctification, and I enjoy living in the Way of Truth. Thank you, Lord, for watching over the way of the righteous. Amen

1 Blessed is the man

    who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked

    or stand in the way of sinners

    or sit in the seat of mockers.

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD,

    and on his law he meditates day and night.

3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water,

    which yields its fruit in season

    and whose leaf does not wither.

    Whatever he does prospers.

4 Not so the wicked!

    They are like chaff

    that the wind blows away.

5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,

    nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

6 For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous,

    but the way of the wicked will perish.
Psalm 1:1-6 [NIV]

Open My Eyes

Lord, I ask you to open my eyes that I may see the wonderful things in your law. Thank you for the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father has sent in your name. He will teach me all things and will remind me of everything you have said. Lord Jesus, thank you for opening my understanding and for showing me how to read my Bible. Amen

Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.
Psalm 119:18 [NIV]

He went on to open their understanding of the Word of God, showing them how to read their Bibles this way. He said, “You can see now how it is written that the Messiah suffers, rises from the dead on the third day, and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in his name to all nations—starting from here, from Jerusalem! You're the first to hear and see it. You're the witnesses. What comes next is very important: I am sending what my Father promised to you, so stay here in the city until he arrives, until you're equipped with power from on high.”
Luke 24:45-49 [Message]

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
John 14:26 [NIV]

Godly Wisdom

Father, there isn't a challenge I will ever face that will be too hard for You to solve. Nothing can outsmart You. The world’s wisdom is foolishness in Your sight. Your wisdom is increasing in me as I meditate on Your Word. It leads, guides and protects me. It gives me greater insight and credentials than the world has to offer. You have said in Your Word that the person who gets wisdom loves his own soul. I cherish understanding and I will prosper for your glory. Hallelujah! In Jesus name. Amen.

Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is there anything too hard for Me?
Jeremiah 32:27 [AMP]

For this world's wisdom is foolishness (absurdity and stupidity) with God, for it is written, He lays hold of the wise in their [own] craftiness;
1 Corinthians 3:19 [AMP]

I Run to Win

Father, I thank you for all the pioneers who blazed the way, all the veterans cheering me on. I will never quit! I lay aside every weight and every sin that would hinder me. I fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. I am running to win. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Amen

Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we'd better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!
Hebrews 12:1 –3 [Message]

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Hebrews 12:1 –2 [NLT]

You've all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You're after one that's gold eternally.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25 [Message]

I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do [it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.
Philippians 3:13-14 [AMP]

All is Well!

Jesus is Lord, and everything is all right! Your plan is to prosper me and not to harm me. Your plan is to give me hope and a future. Thank you for listening to me when I call upon you, when I am praying to you. I love you because you first loved me. And I know that in all things, Father-God you work for my good because I choose to love you. I have been called according to your purpose. Even in the face of adversity I declare, “All is well.” Amen

Run to meet her and say, Is it well with you? Well with your husband? Well with the child? And she answered, It is well.
2 Kings 4:26 [AMP]

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you. Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 [AMP]

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28 [NIV]

One final note is that when others are used by satan to attack you... do not fight against them. Rather, direct your energies against the spiritual forces at work!

For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One)
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 [AMP]

If you find yourself in a manurey situation and want to know how to fight with spiritual weapons... we suggest your download (for free) our book Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Here is one final meditation -- from our Psalms from the Pen of the Ready Writer series:

Petition Denied

And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired [to have] you, that he may sift [you] as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
Luke 22:31-32

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Psalm 91:1

Little children, you are of God [you belong to Him] and have [already] defeated and overcome them [the agents of the antichrist], because He Who lives in you is greater (mightier) than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4

If you are dedicated to God’s service, know this. There is a contract out on your life. The more serious you have taken your commitment to serve God, the more demons have been assigned to take you out.

We can take comfort in the fact that the hit man has been denied permission to whack you. No matter how many demons are trying to bring you down, God (who is greater) will lift you up!

The hunter is seeking a soul to drag down
Down into the pit of destruction
The lion is roaring, new prey he has found
but only if he has permission

The devil asked for me...
but God said, “NO!”
“he’s covered by My Blood...
you have to go!”
The devil pleaded, he begged, and he cried
Jesus repeated... “Petition Denied!”

The devil is waiting, refuses to quit
Just like a fly that keeps buzzing
he brings his battalion and bag full of tricks
but one little thing he’s forgetting

i’m covered by the Blood, the Blood of Jesus
His Spirit lives within, that’s how He frees us
And everyday i live in the Shadow of the Most High

The flames, they are raging and burning in hell
It’s filled to the brim yet, it’s growing
The devil desires to throw my soul in
but that’s not the way i’ll be going

The devil asked for me...
but God said, “NO!”
“he’s covered by My Blood...
you have to go!”
The devil pleaded, he begged, and he cried
Jesus repeated... “Petition Denied!”

Friday, June 25, 2010

U.S. and Arab Support for Military Strike on Iran


* Will it happen? Should it? Lt.-Gen. (ret). Boykin, Israeli Vice PM Yaalon and I will discuss implications during conference

By Joel C. Rosenberg

(Philadelphia, PA, June 24, 2010) -- An intriguing new survey of international public opinion indicates deep concern over the mullahs in Iran obtaining nuclear weapons, and strong support for preemptive military action to stop Tehran from getting the Bomb. According to the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitudes Project 2010....

  • In 16 of the 22 states included in the survey, people who were polled said they would support preemptive military strikes against Iran to prevent the mullahs from obtaining nuclear weapons compared to avoiding a military conflict with Iran, even if that means allowing the mullahs to have nuclear weapons.

  • In the U.S., 66% support a military strike on Iran, compared to 24% who object.

  • In France, 59% support a military strike, compared to 41% who object.

  • In Germany, 51% support a military strike, compared to 39% who object.

  • In Great Britain, 48% support a military strike, compared to 37% who object.

  • In Egypt, 55% support a military strike, compared to 16% who object.

  • In Jordan, 53% support a military strike, compared to 20% who object.

  • In Lebanon 44% support a military strike, compared to 37% who object.

  • In Brazil, 53% support a military strike, compared to 33% who object.

  • However, in Turkey, only 29% support a military strike, compared 37% who object and would allow Iran to get nuclear weapons.
That said, I don’t forsee a U.S. or NATO preemptive strike to stop Iran from getting the Bomb, especially with General David Petraeus moving from CENTCOM commander to running the war in Afghanistan. Will Israel launch a strike? That remains to be seen, but if Netanyahu orders one, don’t expect these poll numbers to hold up. International public opinion would likely turn decisively against Israel in such a conflict

LEARN: To track the latest news and trends from Israel and the epicenter on Joel’s weblog (http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com), please click here

PRAY: Sign up for Joel’s email alerts and receive the latest news and analysis from the Mideast, Joshua Fund project updates and prayer requests.

GIVE: Help The Joshua Fund stock the new warehouse and bless the poor and needy in Israel and among her neighbors. Please make a tax-deductible donation of $50, $100, $250 or a monthly commitment by clicking here and visiting our new website, www.joshuafund.net.

GO: Join Joel’s "Epicenter Team" on Facebook.

GO: To learn more about -- and/or register for -- the 2010 Epicenter Conference in Philadelphia on June 25-26, please click here (www.epicenterconference.com)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Christian Revival in Muslim Countries?


Also: special seminar on how to share the gospel with your Muslim friends.

By Joel C. Rosenberg

(Washington, D.C., June 21, 2010) -- Just four more days until the 2010 Epicenter Conference. My prayer is that this will be the most practical conference we have ever done. We don't want to just talk about the importance of blessing Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus. We want to give you as many specific, actionable ideas as possible.

In that context, I wanted to let you know that this Wednesday night, I will be moderating a two-hour event at an evangelical congregation in the Philadelphia area on how to share the gospel with your Muslim friends. Jesus, of course, commands us to love Israel's neighbors and her enemies. One of the most important ways we can do this is by not withholding from Muslims the good news that they can find true forgiveness and eternal salvation only through Jesus Christ. If we really love people, how can we let them enter eternity without having a chance to hear and respond to the good news of God's amazing grace and love? Still, many of us are intimidated by the notion of sharing the gospel with Muslims in our hometowns. That's why we can created this special two-hour training seminar. To help you with a Biblical and practical approach to fulfilling the Great Commission with Muslims.

There is no cost for this event. Details can be found by on my weblog (or by going to http://www.ccdelco.com/). The main teachers that night will be Tom Doyle, an American pastor who has extensive experience here and in the Middle East sharing the love of Jesus Christ and helping lay people do the same; and Hormoz Shariat, the Iranian pastor and evangelist whom I describe as “the Billy Graham of Iran.” These men know the Word of God. They have enormous experience. They really love Muslims with unconditional love. And they are very engaging communicators. I hope you'll join us if you're in the Philly area. If not, then don't worry - we're including the two-hour seminar by Tom and Hormoz on the 2010 Epicenter Conference DVD set that we will be releasing soon. The DVD will include all of the messages at this conference, plus bonus features like this seminar. More details coming soon.

I also want to let you know that a new booklet called “Inside The Revival” is now available at Christian bookstores and on-line at Amazon.com and elsewhere. It's short - only 64 pages long. It's inexpensive - only 99 cents. But it has exciting stories of how Christ has changed the lives of Muslims in the epicenter. It also has a simple presentation of the gospel. I've designed it for Christians to share with Christian friends who don't know much about what the Lord is doing in the Middle East, as well as to share with Muslims who don't yet know the Lord to get a conversation started. I hope you and your congregation will find it useful as you ask the Lord to show how to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus.



1) There are still some tickets available if you would like to join us in person. Or please join us via the live webcast or the radio/TV broadcasts. Full details at www.epicenterconference.com.

2) Please keep praying for Mosab Hasan Yousef. I will have new details to share on Friday and Saturday during the Epicenter Conference.

3) Please pray for all the technical details of the conference to go well, for each speaker to know exactly what the Lord wants him or her to say, and for safety.

4.) Please pray for Prime Minister Netanyahu and his team. They have been invited to the White House to meet with President Obama on July 6.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Put Manure on it

6And He told them this parable: A certain man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it, but did not find [any].
7So he said to the vinedresser, See here! For these three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree and I find none. Cut it down! Why should it continue also to use up the ground [to deplete the soil, intercept the sun, and take up room]?
8But he replied to him, Leave it alone, sir, [just] this one more year, till I dig around it and put manure [on the soil].
9Then perhaps it will bear fruit after this; but if not, you can cut it down and out.
Luke 13:6-9 [AMP]
The above scripture presents an interesting situation. You have the owner of a vineyard who was hoping to enjoy the fruits from one of his trees. The tree, unfortunately, was not producing fruit. The owner’s reaction was to order the tree chopped down and discarded. 

After all, the owner surmised, this tree was taking up space, sucking up water from the irrigation system... and blocking sunlight that the more productive plants and trees could benefit from.  Fortunately (for the tree), the vinedresser had a solution. 

Let’s dump some manure n the tree and maybe it will bear fruit.

Unlike the Mary Poppins song that a spoonful of sugar will make the medicine go down... it would take several shovels full of manure to make the fruit pop up.  And God does expect His children to bear fruit. 

If you are not bearing fruit... the alternatives seem to be to either be chopped down, or to have some manure  be dropped on you. 


Think about it.  Those manurey situations that pop up in your life are not simply random sources of frustration or disappointment.  They are there for a reason. 
From Jehovah [are] the steps of a man, They have been prepared, And his way he desireth.
Psalm 37:23 [Young’s Literal Translation]
The steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord. Even when you are (figuratively) stepping in manure? Well, if that situation brings what is needed to perfect the spiritual fruits in your life, then yes!  But what if it is the devil wreaking havoc in your life?  If the Book of Job tells us anything... it is that satan has limits over what damage he can and cannot do to you.  Take comfort in the fact that God has it all under control.

So, then... when we find ourselves in a “manurey” situation, what do we expect as the outcome?  I think the outcome should be better fruits.  What kind of fruit specifically?
But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].
Galatians 5:22-23 [AMP]
In our book Spiritual Fruits or Religious Nuts, we provided the following expository on spiritual fruits:
  • The Joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10).  We have more strength available to us than we often realize when we learn to rejoice in the Lord always (Philippians 4:4).
  • True Christians are in perfect peace because their minds are steadfast on the Lord (Isaiah 26:3).
  • True Christians are patient. They understand that the enemy works through other people and, rather than retaliate against that person, they stand against the devil in prayer and return that person’s negative behavior with God’s love.
  • God’s kindness is what leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4). As we live lives of kindness, we can lead others to Christ. We don’t beat people over the head with our Bibles and call them sinners. Rather, it is with kindness and gentleness that we show them the kindness and gentleness of our Heavenly Father.
  • True Christians are faithful. If they say they will be there at 10:00, they are there no later than 10:00. They don’t wander in at 10:30 or 11:00. You can trust the word of a true Christian.
  • True Christians have self-control. They know when to shut their mouths and not say what is on their mind. They know when to push away from the table when they have had enough to eat – despite how good that dessert looks.
This forms a frustrating conundrum for most of us... because to live the Christian life goes contrary to our basic human tendencies. 

How do you rejoice when your company gives you a pink slip? 

How can you have peace when the evening news talks about terror and disaster? 

How can you be patient when you have been waiting and waiting for that thing you so long for? 

How can we be kind when people around us act like jerks? 

How can we be faithful when it is so inconvenient to do so? 

How can we control our basic Maslow Hieracharcy desires? 

How?  How?  How?

The answer was given to us by "Lon Solomon.  Lon’s simple explanation is that we cannot live the Christian life by our own power.  It can only be accomplished by the power of the Holy Spirit.  He gives us His spiritual fruits to replace our, erm... rotten fruits.  And these fruits are often developed in the same manner that natural fruits are developed. 

By fertilizing them. 

With manure.

There is a saying that if life hands you lemons... make lemonade.  I like to embellish that one by adding that if life hands you manure... then fertilize your lemon trees to get bigger and better lemons so that you can have more and better quality lemonade. But the absolute worst thing to do is get a negative (or manurey) attitude when we find ourselves being fertilized.  After all:
My son, do not despise or shrink from the chastening of the Lord [His correction by punishment or by subjection to suffering or trial]; neither be weary of or impatient about or loathe or abhor His reproof, For whom the Lord loves He corrects, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
Proverbs 3:11-12 [AMP]
And have you [completely] forgotten the divine word of appeal and encouragement in which you are reasoned with and addressed as sons? My son, do not think lightly or scorn to submit to the correction and discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage and give up and faint when you are reproved or corrected by Him; For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes.
Hebrews 12:5-6 [AMP]
God allows things into our lives for a reason.  We need to realize that it is only a test (and all of God’s tests are open book exams.  Just open the book (the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth) to get the answers.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

U.S. Should Not Deport “Son of Hamas”


Mosab Hasan Yousef will speak to the 2010 Epicenter Conference next week via video. But we need to pray for him now.

By Joel C. Rosenberg

(Washington, D.C., June 15, 2010) -- Mosab Hasan Yousef, author of the New York Times best-selling non-fiction book, Son of Hamas, will be speaking by videotape at the 2010 Epicenter Conference next week. But I can't wait until then to tell you the latest that is happening with him. He needs our prayers.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security may soon deport Mosab back to the West Bank where he very well could be assassinated. He is scheduled for a DHS hearing on June 30th that could decide his fate. U.S. officials believe his previous leadership role in Hamas is too great a risk to give him political asylum here in the States. But they are not properly assessing the totality of his story and the situation.

Here are the facts. Yes, Mosab is the son of one of the founders of Hamas and was a rising leader in the terrorist organization - he described his role in detail in his book. That said, Mosab renounced Hamas and risked his life to become a double agent working for the Israeli secret service (Shin Bet) against Hamas. In so doing, Mosab helped to stop scores of terrorist attacks and helping Israel arrest scores of jihadists. Then, Mosab renounced Islam and became a follower of Jesus Christ. His story was first revealed through the Haaretz, one of Israel's leading and most credible newspapers. The Haaretz team carefully vetted his story and have done numerous follow up stories. The Israeli government has not denounced him as a liar - to the contrary, Mosab's Shin Bet handlers affirm his story and say that he is telling the truth. Mosab has lived in the U.S. for the two years and is actively speaking out here and around the world through the media and in speeches against Hamas, against Radical Islam, and in favor of the U.S., Israel and most importantly his Savior and Lord Jesus Christ

The U.S. has given political asylum to people who have done far less for the U.S. and the cause of freedom than Mosab - he deserves and should receive the right to stay in this country and become an American citizen

I have gotten to know Mosab over the last 18 months and am convinced he is the real deal. I am, therefore, asking you to pray faithfully and consistently for him.

* Pray for Mosab to have Christ's peace and joy during such turmoil and stress

* Pray for Judge Rico J. Bartolomei on June 30th to truly hear and understand all the facts and come to the proper conclusion that Mosab has truly renounced Islam and Hamas, that he is not a threat to U.S. national security in any way, shape, or form, that he should stay in the U.S., and that he would be in grave danger if he were sent back to the West Bank

* Pray for Members of Congress to take up Mosab's case and intervene on his behalf with the Department of Homeland Security (my colleagues and I are currently working on this, as are other friends and allies of Mosab)

* Pray that the Epicenter Conference will give his case more exposure so more people can pray - we will be showing video excerpts of my recent interview with him and this will be broadcast on more than 1,000 Christian radio stations, 5 Christian TV networks, in all 50 states and in more than 200 countries around the world

* Pray, too, that the media will raise the profile of Mosab's case so still more people can learn about it and begin to pray

(Photo: Mosab and Joel having coffee at the National Religious Broadcasters convention in Nashville in March 2010.)

LEARN: To track the latest news and trends from Israel and the epicenter on Joel's weblog (http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com), please click here

PRAY: Sign up for Joel's email alerts and receive the latest news and analysis from the Mideast, Joshua Fund project updates and prayer requests.

GIVE: Help The Joshua Fund stock the new warehouse and bless the poor and needy in Israel and among her neighbors. Please make a tax-deductible donation of $50, $100, $250 or a monthly commitment by clicking here and visiting our new website, www.joshuafund.net.

GO: Join Joel's "Epicenter Team" on Facebook.

GO: To learn more about -- and/or register for -- the 2010 Epicenter Conference in Philadelphia on June 25-26, please click here (www.epicenterconference.com) 

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Wisdom from Judypie

The Stronghold of Accusation

Father God, I repent and renounce all accusations I have spoken against You, others and myself. Forgive me for being suspicious rather than discerning, and looking for evil intent rather than believing the best. I repent of and renounce self-pity, inordinate sensitivity, and gossip. Now is come my salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of my God, and the power of His Christ… I am an overcomer by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Amen

10And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Revelation 12:10-11 (KJV)

Praying for Others

Lord, even though others misunderstand and talk about me, I will keep right on praying for them. Thank you for giving me the strength to love my enemies, to do good to those who hate me. I ask you to bless those who have hurt me, and pray for their happiness. For now is the time—you are bending down to hear! You are ready with a plentiful supply of love and kindness. Thank you for answering my prayer, for your loving kindness is wonderful; your mercy is so plentiful, so tender and so kind. Nothing – no activity, work, or relationship – has meaning without you as the center of my life. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Let not those who wait and hope and look for You, O Lord of hosts, be put to shame through me; let not those who seek and inquire for and require You [as their vital necessity] be brought to confusion and dishonor through me, O God of Israel.
Psalm 69:6 [AMP]

But I say to you who are listening now to Me: [in order to heed, make it a practice to] love your enemies, treat well (do good to, act nobly toward) those who detest you and pursue you with hatred
Luke 6:27 [AMP]

Overcoming Discouragement

Father, I thank you for giving me a vision, a purpose and a plan. Give me your heart, your compassion for humanity. I offer my body as a living sacrifice to be your instrument of righteousness – that I might be a true representative of your Kingdom. It is my desire to fulfill my divine destiny, and be successful according to your will. I am here to serve you and love you in the beauty of holiness. Lead me in the way I should go, and with the Holy Spirit as my Helper, I will do great exploits for your Kingdom and others shall know that you are their Help, Redeemer and Salvation. In Jesus name. Amen.

Where there is no vision [no redemptive revelation of God], the people perish; but he who keeps the law [of God, which includes that of man]--blessed (happy, fortunate, and enviable) is he.
Proverbs 29:18 [AMP]

I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.
Romans 12:1 [AMP]

Equipped for Service

God wants you to fulfill your divine destiny. Put on the full armor of God, and continually build yourself up on your most holy faith; walk in love. God has given you His power and ability. He gave gifts to the believer: apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers to bring you to maturity and fully equip you that you should do the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church). Attend a Bible-believing church, read and study the Bible, and pray. You are equipped for service!

So that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:17 [AMP]

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.
Philippians 1:6 [AMP]

Without Spot or Blemish

Therefore ‘Come out from among them and be separate, says the LORD. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the LORD Almighty.’
2 Corinthians 6:17-18

Cleanse my hands, O LORD
With holy fire
Sanctify the things i do
for i aspire
To be a holy vessel
without spot or blemish
To be like You... perfect (Matthew 5:48)
until life is finished
To hold up the banner
of the Blood of Jesus
Lord, to stand before You
without spot or blemish

Cleanse my heart, O LORD
my deepest being
Sanctify my every thought
my greatest need is...
To be a holy vessel
without spot or blemish
To be like You... perfect (Matthew 5:48)
until life is finished
To hold up the banner
of the Blood of Jesus
Lord, to stand before You
without spot or blemish

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

We All Will

When Roby Duke sang this touching version of his song “I Shall See God,” who knew that he would actually be leaving us to stand before God in such a short period of time? Here is the master of the the blues guitar in live performance... and perhaps you might want to stop and consider if you are ready to see Him yourself?

Monday, June 7, 2010

R.I.P. Dana Key

Wow... I can recall first hearing Degarmo & Key... a band that broke the tradition of sad sack church hymns with a blazing electric guitar, electronic keys, and a jamming band.

Also... the distinction of producing a music video that MTV refused to air!

Founding band member Dana Key exited the planet after suffering from a blood clot. He was 56.

Details at CCM Magazine and The Examiner.

He will be missed.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Cure for “I Disease”

I was at the gym, ready for my workout… when an elderly man asked if I would work out on the machine next to him so that he might have someone to talk to.

“Sorry,” I explained… “I’m going to hit the equipment on the other side of the gym.”

Besides, I thought to myself… I have my Tammy Trent music that I want to listen to while burning those calories.  I’m not interested in listeing to this old guy chatter on about whatever topics that I could care less about!

Later – stopping for some post-workout fuel, there was a guy sitting under a tree. He asked if I could help him obtain food and addressed me as “brother.”  I let my hypoglycemic attitude get the best of me as I went inside to gnosh upon some Peruvian chicken.

Once the food got into my body and my levels started to normalize… I regained enough sensitivity to the Holy Spirit to realize how selfish I had been behaving towards those two individuals.  The Lord spoke and told me that I had “I Disease.” No, not “eye disease” but rather a spiritual sickness in which I had a singular focus on what I wanted and what made me feel good… and not upon the needs of those others.
He left Judea and returned to Galilee. It was necessary for Him to go through Samaria. And in doing so, He arrived at a Samaritan town called Sychar, near the tract of land that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. And Jacob’s well was there. So Jesus, tired as He was from His journey, sat down [to rest] by the well. It was then about the sixth hour (about noon).
John 4:3-6 [AMP]
In this passage of scripture, we see Jesus making a long journey. Notice these two things about the Lord in this passage:
  1. He has an objective... to return to Galilee
  2. He has an obstacle... being both tired and hungry
As God in the flesh, Jesus was subject to the same weaknesses that we are. The exception, however, is that Jesus never sinned (never missed the mark of perfection). He never stopped being Who He is... He is love (1 John 4:8 amd 1 John 4:16).  His great love circumvented His tiredness. It overcame his physical hunger. It empowered Him to stop everything and to do what we see in the next passage of scripture:
Presently, when a woman of Samaria came along to draw water, Jesus said to her, Give Me a drink-- For His disciples had gone off into the town to buy food--
John 4:7-8 [AMP]
Wait a minute? Are you telling me that it was the love of Jesus that compelled Him to ask a woman for a drink of water. Quenching His thirst (while waiting for the disciples to return with His lunch) was an act of love?

Of course, on the surface level, it might appear so. I recall R.W. Schambach preaching about Elijah asking a woman to feed him even though she was suffering from poverty during what we might call an economic recession (1 Kings 17:8-12). Brother Schambach said, “Ain’t that just like a preacher... asking for something when you can barely make ends meet on your own?”

But, as we will soon see, Jesus had a purpose in asking this woman a most basic request... please give me a drink of water.
The Samaritan woman said to Him, How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me, a Samaritan [and a] woman, for a drink?--For the Jews have nothing to do with the Samaritans--
John 4:9 [AMP]
Being omniscient, Jesus certainly knew how this interchange would play out. Jesus asked for water... but the woman challenged Him on two fronts:
  1. Jews and Samaritans did not relate to each other... kind of like White and Black people in the Jim Crow South
  2. Men generally did not address a woman that they did not know in the custom of that culture
Yet, Jesus did not respond directly to her on those issues. Instead:
Jesus answered her, If you had only known and had recognized God’s gift and Who this is that is saying to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him [instead] and He would have given you living water.
John 4:10 [AMP]
We now can see that Jesus’ objective in asking for natural water was to inform this woman about spiritual water.  His request was like an ice breaker or a door opener... just a conversation starter that would lead this woman to the true subject that He wante to discuss with her.  Jesus wanted to offer salvation to this wayward woman.

Wait... why is she wayward? Because she spoke to Him in that way? Well... let’s move forward in the scriptural narrative:
She said to Him, Sir, You have nothing to draw with [no drawing bucket] and the well is deep; how then can You provide living water? [Where do You get Your living water?] Are You greater than and superior to our ancestor Jacob, who gave us this well and who used to drink from it himself, and his sons and his cattle also? Jesus answered her, All who drink of this water will be thirsty again. But whoever takes a drink of the water that I will give him shall never, no never, be thirsty any more. But the water that I will give him shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling) [continually] within him unto (into, for) eternal life. The woman said to Him, Sir, give me this water, so that I may never get thirsty nor have to come [continually all the way] here to draw. At this, Jesus said to her, Go, call your husband and come back here. The woman answered, I have no husband. Jesus said to her, You have spoken truly in saying, I have no husband. For you have had five husbands, and the man you are now living with is not your husband. In this you have spoken truly.
John 4:11-18 [AMP]
We now know something about this woman... that she had five husbands in the past and is now “shacking up” with a man (maybe single?  maybe married?) that she is not herself married to.  We could conjecture that this woman had issues with staying in a committed relationship. Perhaps she bypassed the stable men and chose the exciting guys who would mistreat and eventually leave her? 

Or... perhaps the men she married were okay but her behavior drove them away?  I had a neighbor who seemed so sweet and nice... and her ex-husband seemed a caring guy who was very kind and loving with their daughter.  I wondered why the couple ever divorced?  Later... we would hear lots of noise coming through the shared wall of our houses where she would get into these screaming and crying tantrums with her boyfriend.  Yikes!  Was this what the woman at the well did to cause her five husbands to leave?
Or... was it a case of Arsenic and Old Lace where she killed those men?
Who knows?

Regardless of what happened with her past relationships... this woman was now shacking with number six.  Certainly this woman needed something more than a drink of water. She needed to be born again. She herself may have began to realize this as her conversation changed from ethnicity and gender to the soul and spirit.
The woman said to Him, Sir, I see and understand that You are a prophet. Our forefathers worshiped on this mountain, but you [Jews] say that Jerusalem is the place where it is necessary and proper to worship. Jesus said to her, Woman, believe Me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither [merely] in this mountain nor [merely] in Jerusalem. You [Samaritans] do not know what you are worshiping [you worship what you do not comprehend]. We do know what we are worshiping [we worship what we have knowledge of and understand], for [after all] salvation comes from [among] the Jews. A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true (genuine) worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth (reality); for the Father is seeking just such people as these as His worshipers. God is a Spirit (a spiritual Being) and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth (reality). The woman said to Him, I know that Messiah is coming, He Who is called the Christ (the Anointed One); and when He arrives, He will tell us everything we need to know and make it clear to us. Jesus said to her, I Who now speak with you am He.
John 4:19-26 [AMP]
Whoa! This woman was receiving some great spiritual teaching. Her misconceptions about how and where to worship God were shattered and the truth from The Truth was being poured into her very being. What a great bleassing for someone who might not be accepted by most churchgoers because of the lifestyle that she lived. But God has not called us to be Judge Mental (see our blog on being judgmental -- 50% Judge and 50% Mental).

Surely Jesus, while ministering to this woman, Jesus’ hunger and thirst and tiredness had not abated. We see in the next verse that the disciples had returned with the Lord’s lunch. Perhaps Jesus could smell His grilled fish sandwich getting cold and His fries getting soggy. Okay, so maybe they didn’t have fries back in those days. But still, could the Lord have been so concerned about this woman’s salvation that he totally ignored those things?
Just then His disciples came and they wondered (were surprised, astonished) to find Him talking with a woman [a married woman]. However, not one of them asked Him, What are You inquiring about? or What do You want? or, Why do You speak with her? Then the woman left her water jar and went away to the town. And she began telling the people, Come, see a Man Who has told me everything that I ever did! Can this be [is not this] the Christ? [Must not this be the Messiah, the Anointed One?] So the people left the town and set out to go to Him. Meanwhile, the disciples urged Him saying, Rabbi, eat something. But He assured them, I have food (nourishment) to eat of which you know nothing and have no idea. So the disciples said one to another, Has someone brought Him something to eat? Jesus said to them, My food (nourishment) is to do the will (pleasure) of Him Who sent Me and to accomplish and completely finish His work.
John 4:27-34 [AMP]
Jesus did not care about meeting His physical needs for rest and nourishment. His satisfaction came from doing the will of God.

I felt guilty over my selfish behavior... yet, I was conforted by God’s promise of forgiveness:
If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].
1 John 1:9 [AMP]
I made the commitment that very hour to walk in God’s love. Perhaps you might feel inspired to do the same?
Following are some meditiations from Judypie that have helped me significantly... and I believe they will help you too:

Imitators of God

Father, we have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so we will walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him, established in the faith and joyfully abounding in it. Love is our foundation, and we pray that Christ will be at home in us. May we be rooted and grounded in love, able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height -- to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, that we may be filled with all the fullness of God, and walk as Jesus walked in love, in harmony and unity with one another. Amen.

Scripture Meditation (hold your mouse over the following verses):
  • Colossians 2:6-7
  • Ephesians 3:17-19


Lord, cleanse me from all impurities and put a new heart and a new spirit within me. Remove my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh that will be sensitive and compassionate to the needs of others. In Jesus’ name, help me to see others as you see them and to hear and answer their cries just as you would. Today, I will look for opportunities to bless others. Amen.

Scripture Meditation (hold your mouse over the following verses):
  • Ezekiel 36:25-28
  • Proverbs 3:27

Free to Love

God’s love is unconditional, and Jesus commanded us to love one another even as He loved us. This kind of love is defined in 1 Corinthians 13. Developing the God-kind of love enables you to put away childish self-protection techniques; denial, emotional isolation and other walls of self-protection. They served a purpose when you were a child, but now that you are an adult you can put away those self-imposed walls which are rooted in fear, and risk loving others allowing them to know you for who you are. You can try to love as you are commanded but discover the secret to loving others. Every day that you live love the Lord your God with your entire being – all that you are – your spirit, soul (mind, will and emotions) and body. Then you can love others even as you love yourself.

Teach Me to Love

Holy Spirit teach me to love the Lord my God with all my passion and prayer and intelligence…. And give me the grace to love others as well as I love myself. I accept and love myself—Your workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works. I release Your love that is shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit toward my family, friends and enemies. I will not return evil for evil, but will let my enemies bring out the best in me, not the worst. When someone gives me a hard time, I will respond with the energies of prayer. Father, I love You because You first loved me. In Jesus name. Amen

Scripture Meditation (hold your mouse over the following verses):
  • Matthew 22:37-39
  • Ephesians 2:10
  • Matthew 5:44
  • 1 John 4:19

Filled With Love

Father, I pray that I may be filled with the love of God. You are able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine, according to your power that is at work within me. To you goes all the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Scripture Meditation (hold your mouse over the following scripture reference):
  • Ephesians 3:19-21

Love Surpassing Knowledge

Jesus prayed that we would remain united in our love for one another. The first part of the commandment that Jesus left us is to love the Lord our God with our entire being. And the second is that we would love our neighbor as ourselves. Is it possible to love God but not love others? It seems that some Christians think so, but if we want our prayers answered we must love the Lord our God with all our heart, mind and strength and learn to walk in love others as we love ourselves. The world will know that God loves them as much as He loves Jesus if we show love one to the other. You are born of God; you are born of Love because God is Love.

Father, in the name of Jesus, I pray that Christ will dwell in my heart through faith. Also, I pray that I, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that I may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Amen

Scripture Meditation (hold your mouse over the following scripture reference):
  • Ephesians 3:17-19

His Yoke is Easy

Father, I have fixed my eyes upon You as the Author and Finisher of my faith. I am running the race with excellence, ever learning, ever growing and ever achieving. Reveal those things that encumber my race and give me the power to uproot and remove anything that binds me to past failures. In the name of Jesus, I accept your yoke, which is easy, and I accept your burden, which is light. With the help of the Holy Spirit, I will do mighty acts of valor! Amen

Scripture Meditation (hold your mouse over the following verses):
  • Matthew 11:28-30
  • Hebrews 12:1-2
  • Psalm 108:13

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Israeli Rabbis Predicting Armageddon?


By Joel C. Rosenberg

(Washington, D.C., June 3, 2010) -- A pastor friend of mine who is helping us set up the 2010 Epicenter Conference in Philadelphia later this month just sent me an urgent text message with this headline from Israel National News:


As you might expect, it caught my attention right away.

  • The Rabbinical Council of Judea and Samaria issued a statement Thursday in which it said that the results of the incident in which Israel intercepted a flotilla trying to break the naval blockade of Gaza seem like the Biblical description of  the beginning of the Gog and Magog process where the world is against us, but which ends with the third and final redemption….
  • The Council was formed by Rabbi Zalman Melamed of Beit El and includes leading religious Zionist rabbis who are the spiritual leaders of communities in Judea and Samaria….
  • “Gog and Magog” is a reference is to chapters 38 and 39 in the book of Ezekiel, a part of which is read on the intermediate Sabbath of Sukkot (Tabernacles). These chapters describe a vision of a war where the world is united against Israel that will precede the final redemption of Israel and the world. The prophecy’s symbolism involves a prince called Gog of Magog, leader of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, who leads a coalition that includes Persia (Iran), Cush, Phut, Gomer, and Beit Togarmah against Israel. There are various opinions regarding the modern identity of these nations.
There is growing interest in the Ezekiel prophecies and whether they could play out in our lifetime. I believe it is still too early to say anything definitively. But I agree that current events are strikingly consistent with the prophecies and I believe it is possible that we could see these events unfold soon.

The mention of “Gomer” in Ezekiel, for example, refers to the modern-day State of Turkey which will be an enemy of Israel and part of a Russian-Iranian alliance against the Jewish state. I’m not saying the prophecy will necessarily come to pass soon, but I can’t rule out that possibility.

We’ve never seen a convergence of geopolitical and spiritual events so consistent with Ezekiel 38-39 in history like we are seeing today. We need to be prayerful, sober, alert and prepared.

At the conference on June 25-26 in Philly, I will address the latest developments. But I knew you’d want to see this article.

It’s posted on my weblog -- http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com.


  • Over 1,300 people registered
  • Over 700 radio stations and several TV networks will be broadcasting portions of the conference
  • Just 24 days left to register to attend or to show the webcast to your congregation
LEARN: To track the latest news and trends from Israel and the epicenter on Joel’s weblog (http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com), please click here

PRAY: Sign up for Joel’s email alerts and receive the latest news and analysis from the Mideast, Joshua Fund project updates and prayer requests.

GIVE: Help The Joshua Fund stock the new warehouse and bless the poor and needy in Israel and among her neighbors. Please make a tax-deductible donation of $50, $100, $250 or a monthly commitment by clicking here and visiting our new website, www.joshuafund.net.

GO: Join Joel’s “Epicenter Team” on Facebook.

GO: To learn more about -- and/or register for -- the 2010 Epicenter Conference in Philadelphia on June 25-26, please click here (www.epicenterconference.com) 

Presidential Prayer Team Update

Issues for Prayer

Willingly Entering the Mourning of Loss

The Gulf of Mexico Oil Disaster
by Marsha Crockett

When a massive explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon oil drilling rig took the lives of 11 crewmen and injured many others on April 20, no one could’ve anticipated how the event would open the door to a long string of losses resulting in what is now the largest oil spill in American history.

British Petroleum, operators of the drilling rig, and other sources estimate that 210,000 gallons (5,000 barrels) of oil per day are spewing into the Gulf of Mexico. Multiply that by 40+ days and nearly a million gallons of oil have been set adrift in the waters of the Gulf. Issues

Armed Forces Prayer Focus
Robert F. Hale
Major General Richard Mills, United States Marine Corps, Afghanistan
Major General Richard Mills is a native of Huntington, New York. He currently serves as commanding general of the 1st Marine Division.   Armed Forces

Executive Prayer Focus
Alan Bersin
Donald Bernwick, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Donald M. Bernwick was born in 1946 in New York City and brought up in Connecticut.  He graduated with a B.A. from Harvard College, and received a M.P. from the John F. Kennedy School of Government ... Executive Branch

Legislative Prayer Focus
Senator James Inhofe
Gary Ackerman, U.S. House of Representatives, 5th District, New York
Gary Leonard Ackerman has been a congressional delegate to the United Nations. He has worked with missions that feed the starving of Ethiopia and the Sudan ...Legislative Branch

Judicial Prayer Focus
Sarah S. Vance
Robert W. Sweet, Senior Judge, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
Robert Workman Sweet was born in Yonkers, New York, in 1932.  He attended Yale University and obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree from Yale Law School.Judicial Branch


Sweet Dreams or Rude Awakening

President Obama’s National Security Plan
by Diane Markins

President Obama’s first-ever National Security Plan was revealed last week. He was clearly attempting a circus-worthy balancing act between international goodwill and domestic safety… lofty ideals, without question. But did the President walk this tenuous tightrope successfully? Opinion

Our Heritage

Wield Your Weapon

A renewed call to arms for the American Christian

Harriet Beecher Stowe

by Adam Colwell
You’ve no doubt heard the phrase, “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition.” But do you know where it comes from?

It’s actually an American patriotic song written by Frank Loesser. The song was written in response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. As the story goes, a chaplain at Pearl Harbor, Lieutenant Howell Forgy, said the words to encourage the men on the USS New Orleans as it came under enemy bombardment. In 1942, a recording of the song by The Merry Macs reached number eight on the Billboard chart. The 1943 version by Kay Kyser and His Orchestra reached number one! Even better, Loesser donated his royalties for sale of the song to the Navy Relief Society – to help raise awareness and monetary support for the war effort.

Presidential Quote of the Week

James A. Garfield, 20th President of the United States
“Now, more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption.

If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature… If the next centennial does not find us a great nation, it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.”

( From a speech given at the nominating convention)
Pray For President Obama & Administration

Attorney General Eric Holder
announced the federal government has launched a criminal and civil investigation into the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and pledged a review that would be “meticulous and aggressive.”

A coalition of more than 30 organizations has urged the Federal Communications Commission to monitor “hate speech” on talk radio and cable broadcast networks, stating the public cannot separate facts from bigotry.

Pray that all agencies of the federal government would be restrained by Constitutional limits.

Pray For Congressional Leaders

The House has extended unemployment insurance approximately three times this year, but discussions have begun on how to wind down the benefit. Rep. Earl Pomeroy (North Dakota) said “this is not a new entitlement.”

Sen. John McCain (Arizona) suggested that President Obama helped set the stage for Monday’s attempt to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza by not offering a more forceful defense  of the U.S.’s Middle Eastern ally.

Pray for our leaders to be cautious with their words even as rhetoric heats up in the coming mid-term election cycle.
Pray For Judicial Needs

The Obama Administration has asked the Supreme Court to rule that only the federal government can punish employers who knowingly hire illegal immigrants – a preview of the legal clashes over Arizona’s new law on illegals.
The Obama Administration is attempting to get thrown out of court the first major constitutional challenge of Obamacare, challenging the Constitution’s limits on federal power.
Pray that the Supreme Court would seek humility in their consideration of these pending cases.

Pray for Current Events


Iraq’s Supreme Court has ratified the results of their March election, clearing the way for further negotiations between parties in their attempt to form a coalition government.

U.S. helicopters flew Afghan troops into a remote district overrun by the Taliban and recaptured the main town earlier this week without firing a shot, according to military officials.

Give thanks for every success, great or small,  in the war and peace efforts in both Iraq and Afghanistan.


Sixteen hundred delegates participating in a peace jirga in Afghanistan remained calm despite rocket explosions and gunfire outside the tent during President Karzai’s opening address.

Mustafa Abu al-Yasid, commonly referred to as Al Qaeda’s “number three man,” is believed by U.S. officials to have been killed recently in a CIA drone attack in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

Pray for those seeking to find consensus on the “road map” to reconciliation with insurgents in Afghanistan.


May employment figures will show a spike in numbers due to the 575,000 temporary census workers April’s report was 290,000 new jobs created, according to Reuters.

Despite the Gulf oil spill, gasoline prices dropped this week for the 26th straight day, to a national average of $2.92 per gallon, a streak that may last until mid-June, with another 10 to 12 cents to fall.

Give thanks for any good news that comes relative to our national economy.


Five Palestinians jihadists were killed in clashes along the Gaza border, which heated up the day after Israel Navy commandos boarded the ships of the aid flotilla seeking to make an illegal landing on Gaza beaches.

Nearly all the foreign activists held by Israel after the raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla have been deported, about 120 overland through Jordan and the rest , most of whom were Turks, flown out to a Turkish destination.

Pray for the leaders of Israel and Turkey to carefully measure their dialog in the shadow of this event.


Antidepressants have risen to the top spot as the most commonly prescribed class of medications in the United States, and are now the preferred method of treatment over discussion therapies.

A treatment tested on mice has shown overwhelmingly favorable results for a newly-developed vaccine that could prevent breast cancer and save the lives of millions of women.

Pray for the researchers who labor to develop effective treatments for all manner of diseases.

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