Saturday, December 31, 2011


As we enter into a new year, it is a good time for us to reflect on the past year and then direct our attention toward the new one. The New Year can be a new beginning in many ways for all of us.

It can be a time to abandon harmful habits and lifestyles. Relationships can be healed. Families can be drawn closer together. The New Year must also be a time of forgiveness toward others. If our walk with the Lord was less than it should have been, He is patiently waiting for us to restore our trust and dependence in Him. The list could go on and on.

Each of us should take the time to sit quietly with a note pad and write down all the ways we have been blessed by God. As the songwriter once wrote, “Count your many blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.” If we are honest and focus on them, the list will soon become very long. We all have been truly blessed beyond measure.

We must praise God and thank Him every day for His goodness, for abundantly providing for our needs, and for keeping us safe in the palm of His hand. Above all, we must humbly thank God for His matchless gift of salvation through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and resurrection, freely offered to all who choose to reach out by faith alone to receive it.

The Old Testament prophet Jeremiah wrote these words as recorded in Lam. 3:22-23 NASB, “The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”

When we rise up each morning, a spirit of praise and thanksgiving should be in our hearts and on our lips. We need to say, “Thank you Lord for this day You have made. Thank You for allowing me to be a part of it. Help me to rejoice and be glad in it. Show me what You would have me do today that I might do it all for Your honor and glory.”

The psalmist penned these words in Ps. 34:1 NASB, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.” In Eph. 5:18 the Apostle Paul tells us to thank God always for all things in the name of Jesus our Lord.

Psalm 103:1 instructs us to bless the holy name of the Lord with all that is within us. This scripture simply means we are to be passionate in our thanksgiving, in our praise and in our desire to serve Him. Are we passionate in our desire to honor and serve Him?

Perhaps during the past year we did not allow God to be first in all things of our life. Maybe we have become complacent toward Him, or lack the desire for a personal relationship with Him as He requires of us. We must remember that God loves us and as Ps. 145:18 explains, He is near to all who call upon Him.

As we humbly seek His face in prayer, we must call out to Him as the psalmist wrote in Ps. 139:23-24 NASB, “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Then in Ps. 51:10 NASB he writes this fervent prayer, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

God’s requirements for His blessing on our lives include humility, prayer, devotion and repentance. When we become sincere and passionate in our desire to follow Him, then God will hear us, forgive our sins, answer our prayers and pour out His blessings on us. As promised in 2 Chron. 7:14-15 NKJV, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

I urge you to begin the New Year with a firm resolve to pray to the Lord and read His Word daily. As we do that, God will speak to us and reveal Himself to us in ways we can’t imagine. Talking with Him and studying scripture is not just a good idea. God commands us to do it. From 2 Tim. 2:15, we are to be diligent in our study of scripture to accurately know the word of truth. We are told in 1 Thess. 5:17 to pray without ceasing. Jesus said in Matt. 6:5 NASB, “When you pray...” Notice that He didn’t say “if” you pray. He said “when” you pray.

Clearly, it’s impossible for us to have a personal relationship with someone we don’t know or understand. If we don’t talk with God as we would talk to a close friend, or listen to what He has to say through the scriptures, then a relationship with Him simply cannot exist. However, those who truly know Him as their Savior and Lord have placed their complete dependence and trust in Him. They have comfort through prayer and His written Word. He is their friend, their guide, their Savior and Master, and their blessed hope for all eternity.

If you have never been born again (John 3:3) by deliberately inviting Jesus into your heart and life, you can do that today. When you have Him in your life, you will truly experience a new beginning because all things will change forever.

However, before you can do that you must understand that you are a sinner in the eyes of God and need the Savior in your life. You must be ready to humbly cry out, “Oh God help me! I am a lost sinner! I need You in my life! Oh God help me now!”

Then just open your heart to Him. Don’t worry about saying everything perfectly. As long as it comes from your heart, He will hear you. When you pray just say something like this...

“Dear God, I realize that I am a lost sinner. You sent Your Son Jesus to shed His blood and die on the cross for me in my place. I believe what You did for me and want my sins forgiven and washed away. I confess them to You now and invite Jesus into my heart and life as my Savior and Lord. Help me to turn away from my old ways and lead a life that is pleasing to You. Thank You for saving me today in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Whether you just said a prayer to give your heart to the Lord, or perhaps you have simply re-dedicated your life to Him, nothing will ever be the same as you live for Him. He will put His strong arms around you and will lead you by the hand as you go through the trials of life.

Jer. 29:11-13 NASB, “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

When you begin the New Year with the Lord by your side, it will truly be a new beginning for you like none other...and it will be for all eternity. Praise God for His amazing grace!


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2nd Temple Era Seal Found

by Gavriel Queenann Second Temple Era Seal Unveiled

The Israel Antiquities Authority held a special press conference in Jerusalem's City of David on Sunday to unveil a rare coin from the Second Temple era.

The cartouche – or seal – never seen by the public before, is the size of the modern New Israeli Shekel coin and bears the Aramaic inscriptions “it is pure” and a two-letter abbreviation for the name of God.

It was discovered near the Robinson’s Arch at the southwestern corner of the Temple Mount. Archeologists say the soil layer above the Herodian road where the seal was found was dated to the first century BCE.

Archaeologist Eli Shukron of the Antiquities Authority, and Professor Ronny Reich of Haifa University, who oversaw the excavation, explained to reporters the significance of the coin.

"This is the first time an object of this kind has been found. It is direct archaeological evidence of Jewish activity on the Temple Mount during the Second Temple era," they said.

"Products being brought to the temple had to be stamped pure – which is what this seal was used for," they added.

Such seals are mentioned in the Mishna and discussed in the Talmud – but the cartouche unveiled today does not match any of the four inscriptions included in extant texts.

"What we know is brought down from the surviving literature," the archeologists said. "Here archeology has brought us something new."

Minister of Culture Limor Livnat and Minister of Education Gideon Saar joined dozens of students for the unveiling.

Saar said, "The seal shows the deep connection of Israel to the City of David. It is important excavations like these that demonstrate our bond to Jerusalem. Everything uncovered here strengthens us."

In addition to the seal other artifacts were discovered dating to Second Temple period, and some to the days of the Hasmoneans – such as oil lamps, cooking pots made of clay, a jug containing oils and perfumes, as well as coins of the Hasmonean kings such as Alexander Jannaeus and John Hyrcanus.

Baruch atem b'Shem, Yeshua

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Isaiah 9:6 NKJV
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Matthew 1:22, 23 NKJV

So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

John 1:14 NKJV

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

Our Lord came here the first time...exactly as the Scriptures promised that He would. Our Lord is sure to return a second time...exactly as the Scriptures promise that He will.

When He came the first time as God manifest in human flesh, it was the most humble of beginnings. People did not believe, nor did they understand, that Jesus was the promised and long awaited Messiah who had come to save His people from their sins. Because of that, almost everyone missed the first coming of the One who was the eternal King and Savior of the world.

However, when Jesus returns to earth at His second coming, He will not be seen as a helpless baby lying in an animal feeding trough in a filthy stable as He was at His first coming. Nor will Jesus appear as a young boy sitting on the lap of the one who physically gave birth to His humanity. He will not return as a suffering Jesus, either - naked, beaten and bleeding while hanging on a cross until dying a most horrible death.

When Jesus arrives here the second time, He will be a victorious Jesus who has conquered death and the grave. At the second coming His fierce wrath will crush and defeat all evil, and He will be ready to declare His righteous judgment on an unbelieving world. Nobody will miss His second coming!

Jesus will descend from heaven in great power and glory riding a milk white stallion - followed by the armies of heaven. His eyes will be as blazing fire. Written on His blood stained robe and thigh will be the Name: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.

Whether you are ready or not, the King is coming. On that day all who have ignored Him, or have only offered lip service to Him, will witness His awesome majesty - and realize too late that He is God.

The Bible promises that every eye will see His return...every knee will bow before Him...and every tongue will confess that He is Lord. That event will strike indescribable fear in the hearts of the many who have cast Him aside. But, for the few who truly know Him and are watching for Him...oh, what a glorious day that will be!

On that night in Bethlehem many years ago, no room could be found for Him in the inn. Today, almost two thousand years later, there is no room in the hearts of men for the One who has control of their next breath and heartbeat, and who will rule and reign forever and ever.

Are you ready to meet Him? One day soon we will all see Jesus face to face. Is He your Savior, your Lord, and the Master of your life? You must be very sure.

Come quickly, Lord Jesus…as You promised!


Saturday, December 17, 2011


Wasted years. Many of us have had them in one form or another, haven’t we?

When I look back over my life, I am ashamed that there were so many wasted years. Years that I could have been serving the Lord, but didn't. There were wasted years of doing things not honoring to Him. Years went by without giving Him all the honor and glory. Many years were wasted not trusting Him, nor being thankful for all He has done.

There were years of wasted opportunities when I could have told others about Jesus, but didn't - choosing to be silent instead. There were wasted years of selfish motives and pride, and wasted years of neglecting the many that stood by me. Wasted years… The list could go on and on.

Oh, how the wasted years littered my life's pathway. Oh, how foolish was I!

But, praise God! Those years were my yesterdays. The wasted years of my yesterdays have been washed clean by the precious blood of the Lamb. God blotted out all of them at Calvary – to be remembered no more (Is. 43:25). My sins once as scarlet are now whiter than snow, and what was once red as crimson is now as wool (Is. 1:18). Yesterday’s weight of sin has been cast into the depths of the sea (Mic. 7:19). Hallelujah! My chains are gone!

The moments of today are filled with a new song - a song bursting forth from deep within my heart and soul. It's a song of praise and thanksgiving. It's a song of sharing the Good News of the gospel. I can sing that new song knowing that those wasted years are in the past – having been removed from me as far as the east is from the west (Ps. 103:12).

My tomorrows will be filled with the joy, hope, and assurance that can only come by faith alone in my Savior, Lord, and Master. He gave His life for you and me – paying the full penalty for all sin that we might have life (John 3:16).

However, that new song can’t be sung until we choose to meet Jesus at the cross. It’s at the foot of that cross where He offers forgiveness, redemption, and a new life with Him in our heart. We must humbly submit and kneel before Jesus at that cross, ask Him to forgive our sinful past, accept His sacrificial free gift, repent and turn away from our past life, and confess with our mouth that He is Lord over all (Rom. 10:9,10).

Perhaps there is someone reading this who is living a life of wasted years without Christ as the central focus. Maybe you think of yourself as a Christian, but you’ve never had a close personal relationship with Him, and He’s not the Lord over all things in your life. The years slip away very quickly, and one day they will be gone – all of them wasted.

Then, when your years are gone as they surely will be one day, the time for forgiveness and repentance will also be over, along with any hope of eternal salvation. That should be a horrifying thought – if you don’t truly know Him as your Savior and Lord!

Don’t waste another year. Don’t even waste another day without Him in your life. The psalmist recorded these words in Psalm 84:10 (NKJV), “For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.” In other words, he is saying that a even few moments in the Presence of God is greater than anything the world would have to offer a thousand times over.

Jesus is calling for you to come to Him today. Listen for His voice and reach out to Him. He’s waiting for you, and He’ll welcome you with open arms as He has promised. Oh, how awesome to hear Him say, “…I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; You are Mine” (Is. 43:1b).

Titus 2:11-14 (NKJV)For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.


Sunday, December 11, 2011


All around this world we see people who are suffering in so many ways. Many people are reaching out for help, and asking the question, "What in the world is going on?" Their lives are in a state of turmoil with uncertainty all around them. They see their hopes and dreams vanishing right before their eyes. Many are concerned about their children’s future, and what might be in store for them.

People just don't know which way to turn in a world that seems to be falling apart and ready to self-destruct at any moment. Most don't realize, or they refuse to believe, that we are now living in the days just prior to Jesus' return. My heart and prayers go out for them.

Today we see storm clouds gathering all around Israel with nations committed to destroy her and the Jewish people. We hear of feverish negotiations and schemes underway to further divide Israel and Jerusalem - the apple of God's eye. The nations involved seem to be obsessed in their efforts to divide Jerusalem, with many determined to destroy Israel – that the name of Israel be remembered no more. Sadly, the USA is forcefully leading the way toward those efforts.

God has warned in Zechariah 12:2-3 KJV, "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it."

Jerusalem has now become the burdensome stone the prophet Zechariah wrote about over 2500 years ago. From those Scriptures, we know that God has promised to destroy every nation attempting to go against Israel. The KJV uses the words "cut in pieces". Just look around, and you will see those pieces beginning to pile up on the cutting room floor - not only here, but worldwide.

As never before we're seeing unprecedented levels of earthquakes, killer tornados and storms, floods, violence, unemployment, volcanoes, bankruptcies, disease, moral decay, a world on the brink of war, and so much more.

We are told in Scripture that all of those things would happen in the last days. Their frequency and intensity will increase as the Day of the Lord draws near. That is exactly what is happening. However, those who know the Scriptures should not be surprised or alarmed.

I personally believe Scripture is telling us that Jerusalem is God's "line in the sand", and when crossed, His fierce wrath and judgment will be unleashed on this unbelieving world. What we are witnessing today may be early warnings of God's wrath - as crossing that line in the sand becomes closer to reality. In spite of all that is happening today, the world hasn’t seen anything yet. It’s only the beginning, and will become much worse.

However, all born-again believers can take comfort in knowing we serve a great God. With the world crumbling all around us, with turmoil everywhere we look, and with Israel surrounded by armies seeking to destroy her, we know that our Sovereign God is in control and holds tomorrow in the palm of His hand. He has a plan, and has declared the end from the beginning. Nothing will happen in this world without His knowledge and permission.

We must watch what is taking place with Israel and Jerusalem. They are God's time clock - a clock that is rapidly ticking to usher in the final end time events leading to Christ's return. What a time to be alive to witness those events unfolding just as Scripture foretold!

In these last days I choose to be a watchman as explained in Ezekiel 33:6, ready to sound a trumpet warning…and ready to share the saving gospel message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2; 1 Cor. 15:1-4) while there's still time. I'll do that for as long as I have life and breath, or until Jesus returns for us.

Until that great day arrives, we must trust Him, we must lean on Him, and by faith know that we know He will care for His own as He has promised. Then, in all things, lift up His Holy Name, sing praises to Him, and thank Him - for His return is very near. Hallelujah!

Watch, pray, and keep looking up!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011


In light of the time in which we live, I felt led to write and share my fervent prayer with many. Please join together with me in lifting up our praise, our thanksgiving, and our requests before the throne of Almighty God.


Dear Heavenly Father,

I thank You, I praise You, and I trust in You for who You are, for Your tender care and mercies, for watching over us, and for providing for our every need. Oh Lord, You are our Creator, You are in control of our very existence, and You know all of our thoughts and shortcomings.

But Father, in such a time as this we must humbly fall on our knees and bow before You. As a people and as a nation, we must repent and seek Your face as never before. Lord, we have failed miserably, we have forgotten to acknowledge You as sovereign in all things, and we have gone our own way – only to become lost and desperately in need of Your protective and guiding hand.

In such a time as this, we see evil all around us causing misery and destroyed lives. The foundations and principles on which our nation was established are being diluted and eroded. Our financial institutions are crumbling right before our eyes. Father, we see corruption and greed in all levels of our government. Your Ten Commandments for us are quickly disappearing from public view. Your Truths and our prayers in Jesus’ Name are no longer permitted in our schools – for they are considered offensive and exclusive. But at the same time, satanic, pagan religions are permitted and taught to the young minds who will one day be the leaders of our country.

In such a time as this our moral fabric has been allowed to deteriorate into a seemingly hopeless state with failed marriages, rampant homosexuality and immorality, the slaughter of countless unborn children, hate and violence in the heart and mind of men, and dishonesty is everywhere we look. Lord, it grieves me to know we have fallen so deeply into the pit of self-destruction.

Father, it brings me to tears when I learn that Your Holy written Word is now considered hate literature in many locations, and cannot be preached as it must be preached. Your precious gospel message of salvation is no longer the essential cornerstone for the Christian faith in many churches today. Teachings of repentance, judgment, born-again, accountability, the Way, the Truth, and the Life only through Jesus’ shed blood on the cross have been replaced with teachings of tolerance, love, feelings, self-esteem, sermons that don’t offend, and that many paths lead to heaven. People are dying Lord, and souls are eternally lost every day because they haven’t received the true gospel. May eyes be opened quickly to the everlasting Truth of Your Word.

In these times in which we live, we see nations planning to destroy each other – many diligently seeking the means and the opportunity to destroy even us as a people and nation. Father, help us to never become arrogant in believing that we would always be immune to a devastating attack on our country – either from outside our boarders, or from within. It’s only because of Your watchful eye and Your hand of protection that we’ve been allowed to let freedom ring. I fear that we as a people are no longer a God-fearing nation, but instead we have become a nation that has turned its back on You. We have abandoned the respect and reverence for You - Almighty God - and for the Biblical principles and values that once made our nation great. Lord, how long will Your patience endure? How long will Your cloak of protection continue to cover over us?

For such a time as this we must turn to You, we must lean on You, and we must renew our dependence and trust in You – and in You alone. Father, Your Word promises that if we would humble ourselves, if we would pray and seek after You, and if we would repent – turning away from our evil ways, then You would hear our cries of despair. Only then, will Your blessings be poured out on us again as You have promised – restoring us and healing our land.

I pray that we as a people and a nation will do that for such a time as this – all for Your glory. Forgive me, Lord, for I too have fallen short, and have not always lived a life that is pleasing to You. Help me in every way to bring honor to Your Name, for I love You and desire to do Your Will. I pray this and ask it in the matchless Name of Jesus, my Savior and Lord.


Sunday, December 4, 2011


A few days ago as I looked out over the lake that borders our back yard, I was amazed to see large white gulls...hundreds of them...flying in random patterns just off shore. We do have gulls here in the Northland, but I have never seen so many of them flying over the lake at one time.

The birds I observed today were probably migrating to warmer climates for the winter, but had stopped here to feed. And, feed they did! The gulls had apparently located schools of small fish swimming just below the water’s surface, and decided it was a good time for a tasty meal.

The hungry gulls would fly back and forth while searching the prime feeding area...sometimes soaring...sometimes hovering…and, sometimes swooping down for a closer look. Then, they would often splash down onto the water to quickly seize a wiggling morsel in their beak. Their seemingly unorthodox approach to feeding was random, relentless, and frenzied...but was highly productive. The lake surface had become a huge banquet table containing an abundant feast for the bird's pleasure.

This morning’s scene, although very small by comparison, reminded me of two great feast events prophesied in Scripture that will include birds as the invited guests.

The first feast is described in Ezekiel 39:17-20, and will follow the Gog and Magog war. That war will take place when nations surrounding Israel attack that tiny country with a determined effort to destroy her and the Jewish people. When all seems lost, the Lord God of Israel will supernaturally intervene to protect His land and His chosen people. The carnage will be so massive among Israel’s attackers that God will summon the birds of the air and the beasts of the field to the mountains of Israel where they will consume the flesh and blood from the unburied corpses of Israel’s fallen enemy.

The second prophesied feast for birds is recorded in Revelation 19:17-18, and will follow the total destruction of the world’s armies gathered at Armageddon. The armies will be there to prevent the return and kingdom of Christ. However, He will return exactly as promised. He will immediately capture the beast, and will defeat and kill the armies using only the sword of the spoken Word of God. So great will be the slaughter that an angel will call the fowls of the sky to assemble to eat the flesh of the dead. Scripture refers to that feast event as “the great supper of God.”

On a much lighter and joyous note…another feast will take place that will be the greatest feast event of all time, and birds of prey will not be invited. According to Revelation 19:9, Scripture has named that feast “the marriage supper of the Lamb.” The marriage ceremony for the Bridegroom and His one Bride, the raptured church, will have already been performed in heaven. The marriage supper will take place on earth after Christ returns from heaven to begin His millennial reign…and He will bring His Bride with Him.

The marriage supper of the Lamb will truly be a celebration of the ages for all who have placed their faith and trust in Him, and it will be hosted by the Bridegroom, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The cuisine for that special “Groom’s dinner” will be…well, simply heavenly. The Bride of Christ, which includes all born-again believers from Pentecost to the rapture will be there. The believing Jewish remnant will certainly be there, too. The resurrected Old Testament saints who believed by faith alone in a coming Messiah will be there. The tribulation saints who were martyred for their faith will be resurrected and present as well. Also, the survivors of the tribulation who became believers during that time will no doubt join the celebration.

What a tremendous, complete gathering of His followers that will be! As a redeemed, blood-bought child of God, I am also part of the Bride of Christ…and am humbled to tears knowing that I will be there for that supper, too. Oh, my! I want to sit at the banquet table beside Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob…and the Old Testament prophets…and Jesus’ disciples…and David…and Paul…and Elijah…and the list goes on and on.

But, most of all I want to be there with Jesus…the One who died for me in my place that I might have life. Jesus…my Savior, Lord and Master…the One to whom I owe my heart and soul!

However, no one will be permitted to attend that grand dinner celebration, nor, will they enter through heaven's gate without an advance reservation. The cost of the reservation was paid in full by Jesus' shed blood and death on the cross…where He suffered and died in our place to purchase our redemption. He took all the sin of the world upon Himself, including yours and mine, and paid sin's price for us.

The reservation is a free gift offered to all who would humbly reach out to receive it. We receive that gift by placing our complete faith and trust in Him asking forgiveness and repenting of our sin-filled life...and by inviting Him to be our life. Finally, we must boldly declare before others that Jesus is Lord of all.

Jesus alone holds the reservation for you and me, but we must deliberately reach out to Him by faith to receive it. I have my reservation for the marriage supper of the Lamb.

Do you have yours? You must be very sure!



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