The Tide Is Once Again Turning Strongly Against The World’s Only Jewish State – By Amir Tsarfati - https://harbingersdaily.com/amir-tsarfati-the-tide-is-once-again-turning-strongly-against-the-worlds-only-jewish-state/
Shalom from Washington, D.C.! Yesterday, I had the great privilege of sitting with former ambassador to Japan and current U.S. Senator from Tennessee Bill Hagerty. I was so blessed as I found Senator Hagerty to be a great friend of Israel. During our time, I asked him to please put pressure on the administration to allow Israel to finish the job in Gaza. I also asked him to explain to the president that a Two State solution is no solution at all.
In the afternoon, I had the opportunity to present a challenge to 50 congressmen at the Republican Study Committee (RSC), which is the conservative caucus in the House headed by Oklahoma Representative Kevin Hern.
Today I am wrapping up my time in Washington. I started this morning at a bible study with senators and congressmen. I had the opportunity to brief them on what is happening in Israel and the need to pressure the U.S. government to allow us to destroy Hamas quickly. Also, I again asked them to please shut down the talks for a Two State solution. I trust that the Lord will continue to allow me to be His spokesperson to these powerful men and women. I sometimes sit in wonder at the doors the Lord has opened to this former cast-off product of the Israeli foster care system. The Lord has His plans; He just asks that we trust and follow Him.
Seven days ago, a temporary ceasefire was instituted between Israel and Hamas. In the period leading to today, 75 Israeli hostages were released along with 20 foreign nationals. In return, Israel sent violent prisoners back to Gaza. Just to clarify, we received 95 victims – innocent children, women, and elderly who had been kidnapped and stolen across the border. Hamas received back perpetrators – men, women, and teens who had been jailed for carrying out terrorism and violence.
Originally, the ceasefire was scheduled for four days, but Hamas is dragging it out as long as possible. They were on the verge of annihilation, but now they have already been given a week to regroup, rearm, and redeploy. Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are prepared to reengage the moment the ceasefire ends. When they do, they will find an enemy refreshed and ready to resist.
From the beginning, I was against this ceasefire. It was obvious to all that exactly what Hamas had planned was taking place. They knew that there might come a time when they would be facing defeat. At that point, they would need bargaining chips to employ in order to save themselves. That’s all the hostages ever were to these terrorists. They were not humans. They were just pawns in their violent game. This shouldn’t surprise us, because it is the exact same way they treat their fellow Gazans. Those patients in the hospitals and women and children in the neighborhoods and schools were not humans to Hamas. They were simply human shields under whom they could build their vast tunnel system.
That being said, I cannot fault Prime Minister Netanyahu and his administration for agreeing to the ceasefire. I can’t imagine being in his position. He, along with every other Israeli, desperately wanted to see those kidnapped hostages brought home. Beyond that, I don’t know what promises or threats were made behind the scenes by the U.S. The American secretary of state, Anthony Blinken, who today met privately with Prime Minister Netanyahu, announced prior to his trip that he would do what he could to extend the ceasefire. I expect that it will not be long before the international pressure will overwhelmingly be for a permanent ceasefire. That is an action that Israel must not agree to. Hamas must be completely annihilated. Otherwise, Israeli citizens will spend their lives looking over their shoulders waiting for the next attack.
Action in the West Bank
The IDF carried out a major operation Wednesday in Jenin in the West Bank. Two members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) were killed in the attack. Both had been involved in terror attacks in Israel, and the cell was planning more. Sadly, an eight-year-old boy and a fifteen-year-old young man were also killed in the operation. This is tragic and it breaks my heart.
Of course, the media focuses on those deaths while ignoring the purpose for the operation. They ignore the truth that the IDF would have never been there had the terrorists not attacked Israel and if they were not plotting further violence. The blood of those children is on the PIJ, not the IDF.
Action in Lebanon
Tensions continue to simmer along the Israel/Lebanon border. Hezbollah is well-armed, well-trained, and well-funded. If they poured across the border like Hamas did, they would eventually be defeated. But the cost in Israeli lives would be much higher. The Iranian-funded proxy militia does have other options for wreaking havoc in Israel. A source in Lebanon announced this last week that Hezbollah intends to attack Israel with thousands of standard rockets in one major barrage.
These munitions, which they already have positioned just across the border, will deplete the Iron Dome and the other missile intercepting systems. At that point, they could switch to their more accurate and more powerful ground-to-ground missiles. The source claimed that already Hezbollah has 240 targets selected. This is a strategy that I had predicted months ago.
Global Attitude Toward Israel
For the most part, the sympathy other nations felt for Israel as a result of the October 7 attack has run its course. It’s now turning back to antisemitism, as usual. The United Nations General Assembly took time away from saving the world through peace and humanity to hold another vote to demand that Israel withdraws from all “occupied” territories and returns to its pre-1967 borders. Not only did it pass, it did so overwhelmingly. Only Australia, Canada, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, the UK, and the US voted against the ridiculous referendum. All others either voted yes or abstained. The United Nations has always harbored a hatred for Israel, and that animosity has shown over the last seven weeks as much as ever. As the hostages have been released, stories have come out including one from a man who said that he was held in an attic for nearly fifty days by a teacher from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). How are we ever supposed to trust an agency whose own workers hold our people hostage?
Israel does continue to have a shrinking group of friends, some from unexpected places. Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier came to Israel and visited Kibbutz Be’eri with Israel’s President Isaac Herzog. As nice as that was, the Germans then turned around and abstained from the UN vote. It reminds me of the teen who sometimes hangs out with the unpopular neighbor kid, but won’t acknowledge him in the halls at school.
Billionaire and world social media influencer Elon Musk visited Israel this past week. His eyes were opened as he toured the sites of the violence near the southern border. However, it seems that the overall influencing tide has once again turned strongly against Israel.
Throughout social media, cable and network news channels, the entertainment world, and academia, the anti-Israel, pro-Hamas sentiment is reaching hysterical levels. Marches, riots, and physical attacks stain almost every major city in the West. Last night, mobs of antisemitic Hamas supporters ran wild at the annual Christmas tree lighting in Manhattan. European governments, in particular, are going to have to make some very hard choices very soon as the militant element of the hundreds of thousands of Muslim immigrants is becoming more emboldened to express its hatred for western values and its desire to usher in Sharia law.
Global Attitude Toward Islam
Some countries have already woken up and realized that the enemy is not at the gates, but is already in the city. As I mentioned last week, Geert Wilders, the man situated to become the Netherlands next prime minister, ran on an anti-immigration platform and won handily. Jimmie Åkesson, a conservative member of the Swedish Riksdag, said on Saturday that the militant Islam concern was great enough that the government should ban the building of new mosques, while also considering the destruction of existing mosques that preach hatred and violence.
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was the first European leader to see the danger, coming out strongly against Muslim immigration into his country. The pro-Sharia element in Europe is only going to get stronger and better organized in the coming months. Eventually, it will come to a very violent head.
Israel's land: Separating fact from propaganda - By Pastor Allen Jackson - https://www.wnd.com/2023/11/israels-land-separating-fact-propaganda/
Much of what's being reported about the war in Israel is disconnected from facts and reality. The outlets communicating information to us seem to no longer have the responsibility of fact checking – and when they tell you they're fact checking, it's usually just censorship. To interpret some of the things you're hearing about Israel and the Middle East, it's important to understand some basic history. Being informed will help you know how to categorize the information you're hearing – whether it bears reflection, or if it should be discarded as propaganda.
To help you get started, here's a very abbreviated list of historical facts and information about the land where Israel rests today – the land that is at the point of this current conflict.
Let's begin by acknowledging that Palestine was not an Arab nation in 1948, when the nation of Israel was recognized by the United Nations. So, formally and technically, the Jewish people did not take over someone else's territory.
Great Britain had mandated authority over the Middle East until they became tired of governing the volatile area and asked the United Nations (U.N.) to help resolve the problem. Before Great Britain was tasked with administering the region after World War I, the Turks had controlled the area since the 1500s. (Just for the record, the Turks are not Arabs.)
Palestine has never been the name of any country. The name "Palestine" came from the Romans. After the Jews rebelled (again) in A.D. 130, the Romans wanted to rid the region of any semblance of Jewishness. So, they moved the Jews out, populated the area with former soldiers, and renamed it.
They wanted to separate Jerusalem, so they renamed the city and the region. The name that was chosen was "Philistia," which eventually turned into "Palestine." The name came from the ancient Philistines – Goliath, in the story of David and Goliath, was a Philistine. The Philistines were a biblical people back in the Old Testament, but they were eliminated and removed when the Babylonians marched on that part of the world in the seventh century B.C. The present-day Arab world has no connection to those biblical people.
"Palestine" was a geographic region. It was never a nation. There was never a president of the state, or a Palestinian governor, or a Palestinian government. It's similar to how the Midwest is a region of our nation. We understand it to be a region of territory, but it's not governed by some central administration. It's simply a way of designating an area.
In addition, the region of Palestine did not have any connection to Arab ethnicity. Muhammad was not born until the seventh century A.D., but the Romans labeled the area "Palestine" in the second century A.D.
The U.N. Partition vote, which took place in November of 1947, extended the opportunity for two nations to be recognized. They proposed an Arab nation on the west side of the Jordan River, but the Arab world rejected the partition. The other part of the plan was for a Jewish nation. Israel accepted the offer, and in May of 1948, the modern state of Israel was born.
The day after the nation of Israel was born and recognized, five Arab nations declared war on the new Jewish state. Over the radio stations (the primary media outlet at the time), those nations told the local population to take a vacation while they drove the Jews into the sea. To the world's great surprise, those five Arab nations and their standing armies, in their united front, lost that war.
The people on the West Bank of the Jordan River could have had peace. But they chose war, in an attempt to drive the Jews into the sea. That language is similar to what we're hearing today.
In 1948, when the ceasefire was declared, Israel had defended the territory they had been granted. Jordan controlled the territory on the West Bank of the Jordan River, and Egypt controlled Gaza. The Arabs in the West Bank became part of Jordan, and the Arabs in Gaza became part of Egypt.
When the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) was created, Jordan controlled the West Bank, and the "Palestine" they wanted to liberate was Israel. Israel was occupying the land that had been granted by the U.N. As a part of that original plan, if the PLO really wanted to liberate the land that had been granted to that area by the U.N., they should have been fighting Jordan and Egypt.
Before Israel was birthed in 1948, everyone living in the region was considered Palestinian, whether they were Arab or Jew. The Jewish-owned newspaper was called The Palestinian Post.
If you want a little broader view of history, Jerusalem has been the capital of only one country: Israel. King David established Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in 1000 B.C. If you do the math, that was more than 1,500 years before Muhammad was born.
Today, you hear that Israel was a country recognized by the U.N. but that they don't have an historic right to the land (or something along those lines). But most of the countries of the Middle East are relatively new:
If you need a different perspective, the land mass of the Arab states (not including the non-Arab states of Turkey and Iran) occupies about 98.4% of the land in the region. Israel occupies about 1.6%. These are the facts, but the talking point we hear is, "There can be no peace until Israel gives up some territory."
Another interesting fact is the words "Jerusalem" or "Zion" appear nearly a thousand times in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. It never appears in the Quran.
That's a quick history of the land where Israel rests today, and most of it fulfills biblical prophecy. Doing a little bit of work to understand the facts of history will help you separate truth from propaganda.
Now, let's explore what this means to those who are Christ-followers. Whenever there's a war in the Middle East, and particularly when there's a war that includes Israel (and there have been a number in my lifetime), the Christian world begins to talk about the end of time. We discuss Jesus' return, Gog and Magog, the armies coming out of the north, Armageddon, or some combination of these.
At the very best, this response is confusing. It can also be intimidating or frightening. Oftentimes it interrupts our momentum. We tend to get distracted, trying to figure out what's going on, and we end up withdrawing from the arena we've very clearly been assigned.
Today, I invite you back to your kitchen table, your holiday table, and into your peer groups to be advocates for Jesus. Because no matter what you believe about the rapture or the end of time, our assignment stays the same: To go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. Jesus said He would be with us always, to the very end of the age. And if you're not busy with the assignment, you have no promise from Scripture of His abiding presence.
Here's one final fact: The absence of truth in the public square is primarily because there's an absence of truth in the hearts of God's people. If we have a desire to seek the truth and see truth find its way, once again, into those broader discussions of our culture, society, academia and wherever that may be – it will be because God's people have chosen the truth with a greater intensity and a greater purposefulness than has defined our lives to this point.
As much as we want others to change, I believe that in God's sovereign plan, we are the change agents. The authority that we stand in isn't political or economic. It's also not about our numbers, because Jesus very clearly said His followers would be in the minority. Our authority comes from the One we serve.
The United Nations didn't establish Israel. In the book of Genesis, God promised a piece of territory – a piece of terra firma that you can find with Google maps – to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob forever. God is unchanging and all-powerful, and as we move forward, we will see His purposes accomplished for Israel and His people.
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IN YOUR CHRISTMAS AND END OF
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We have created a special fund on our donations page just for the End of the Year Support, so that we can keep track and keep you updated. If you mail in a check or money order, please write End of the Year, thanks!
End of the Year Giving Goal $14,850, as of 11/30/23 = $4441
New Monthly Supporters wanted 30, as of 11/30/23 = 0
(You can donate to our General Fund or enter our End of the Year donation drawing for a brand new iMac computer!)
I ask that you would prayerfully consider partnering with us to get the Word out and keep the world informed. Please give a generous end of the year gift.
Or write us at:
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(Please mark for End of the Year Support)
2023 End of the Year Support Donation Drawing
Like most ministries, a large amount of our support comes from people giving during the last couple of months of the year. This year has been challenging for all of, but I believe that Prophecy Update and other like minded ministries are needed now more than ever! Please consider entering our drawing, not only might you win this brand new iMac, but more importantly, you will be helping to support Prophecy Update - thank you so very much!!!
A Chance to Win a Brand New 24-inch iMac with Retina 5K display -- most importantly, you will be helping to Support Prophecy Update!
With the following configuration:
· 3.8GHz 8-core 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz
· 8GB 2666MHz DDR4 memory
· Radeon Pro 5500 XT with 8GB of GDDR6 memory
· 1TB SSD storage
· Gigabit Ethernet
· Magic Mouse 2
· Magic Keyboard - US English
This system is valued at $2,499, and you might win, for a little as $25!!!
It's already that time of the of the year when we have to start budgeting and planning for the coming new year! We pray that the proceeds from this Donation Drawing will greatly offset our End of the Year needs so that we can end the year in the black!
Donation Drawing Fund
We have set up a special fund for this donation-drawing on our donations page. For each donation of just $25, your name will be entered into our drawing for the iMac one-time. For each additional $25 increment, you will receive additional entries into the drawing. If you donate $100 dollars for example, your name will be entered four times into the drawing, you can enter as many times as you like! The offer starts today and the drawing will be held and announced on 12/31/23.
This would make an excellent Christmas gift for a student, for your family, or for those who work from home. For a little as $25, you might win this awesome iMac, but most importantly, you will be helping to support this ministry!
(CLICK HERE TO ENTER DRAWING)
You can also mail in your entry to:
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RECOMMENDED READING & LINKS
Strait Flush – Bill Perkins - https://compass.org/strait-flush/
The Strait of Hormuz is a very narrow strip of water that links the Persian Gulf to the Oman and Arabian Seas.
For Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar, this strait must be navigated in order for their ships to supply 40% of the earth’s oil exports to world markets. This is over 20 million barrels a day!
Iran is saying that if Israel and/or the United States attacks her, she will close the strait. And she could as Iran borders the strait on three sides.
An Iranian blockade, of course, would be shooting herself in the foot regarding her oil revenue but she would cause instant global economic chaos. Since her people have next to nothing to look to in the future—no hope/no assurance of salvation—her leadership uses every opportunity to make everyone else miserable like them. Their history goes back to Abraham.
Who Does God Call Irrational?
All these Arabs today come from Abraham’s lineage. He had one child through his servant Hagar who bore his illegitimate son named Ishmael.
After he sired his only God-promised son Issac with Sarah (his only rightful heir), after Sarah died Abraham had six more sons from his concubine Keturah. Eight sons in all plus probably several other daughters not mentioned.
Let’s just say Abraham was having a fun and fruitful time once he hit his nineties. Whatever God did to make him so virile at such a late age must have been quite potent as it carried on for decades. He died at 175 years old. Amazing Abraham!
The Bible says Abraham’s seven non-promised sons from Hagar and Keturah will live to the east of God’s Promised Land…and always be fighting each other and everyone else!
“And you shall call his name Ishmael, because the LORD has given heed to your affliction. He will be a wild donkey of a man, his hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand will be against him; And he will live to the east of all his brothers.” Gen 16:11b-12
So this group we call Arabs living to the east of Jerusalem has been labeled by God as one who is completely “irrational.”
And 4500 years later, the Arabs do seem to like chaos. You should never play chicken with a person who thinks if he dies fighting he’ll go to heaven and receive a reward of 72 virgin women to play with. (So in addition to being irrational, they don’t seem to be very deep thinkers either. Just my personal observation.)
So now our situation is that we have Biden’s puppeteers seemingly willing to do anything to justify calling off a national election … to keep themselves out of jail. A national energy crisis might just do the trick.
Therefore I wonder what a closed Strait of Hormuz would do to the United States price of oil. Well, history tells us that in 1973 the Arab oil embargo was engineered removing just under 10% of the world’s oil supply. It caused prices here in the USA to roughly rise fourfold.
In 1979 the Iranian revolution reduced world oil supply 6% and oil prices tripled. In 1990 Iraq invaded Kuwait reducing world oil supply 7% and oil prices doubled.
So what will happen today if Iran decided to shut down the Strait of Hormuz, removing access to over 20% of the world’s oil supply? Especially since Biden already drained our national oil reserve to keep the price of gas down for the mid-term elections.
Gas prices would at least double, or triple, or even possibly quadruple. And that's IF you could find any. That might just be a reason the Globalists/Satanists can use to call a national emergency. It would be for the good of all they'll say. But we know better.
The only way any of this makes sense is view it from a Biblical perspective. 2600 years ago Ezekiel listed Iran as a major player in a last-days war with Israel (Ezek. 38:5). The other end-time players are Russia (Ezekiel 38:3) and the United States (Revelation 18:2).
The Kings of the East are also mentioned, which would have to include China (Rev.16:12).
Think about that. 2600 years ago it was prophesied that Israel would be back in their land after being scattered worldwide for almost 2000 years (Hos. 6:2). And her arch enemies would be Russia and Iran. This tells us that the Lord is in complete control and zero happens unless He allows it for His purposes.
And for Believers seeing the Rapture getting closer and closer, watching all this coming together, should be a great comfort to us knowing our exciting heavenly exit draws near!
Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1Th. 4:18
The prudent sees the evil and hides himself, but the naive go on, and are punished for it. Prov. 22:3
Are We Living in The End Times? 40% Of U.S. Adults Believe We Are – By David Bowen - https://harbingersdaily.com/are-living-in-the-end-times-40-of-u-s-adults-believe-we-are/
Not too long ago, I was speaking in El Paso, Texas. I was sitting in the hotel lobby waiting for my ride when I heard a young woman working the front desk ask her coworker if she thought God was coming back soon. Obviously, hearing a question like that caught my attention. She did not know who I was or why I was there, but I turned and faced her and asked her, “Do you think He is?” She answered, “With all that is happening in the world, I think He has to be coming back soon.”
So now I wanted to engage in a conversation. I stood and walked to the front counter and asked her if she went to church. She said she did not. So I asked, “Then why do you think these are the end times?” She admitted she had no answers; she said she just felt like something was going to happen. I agreed and said, “Maybe we all should be going back to church.” She smiled and agreed, allowing me to share some end-time prophecy with her before we ended our conversation.
Shortly after that, I got a haircut. (It is getting easier to do because I have less hair to cut!) Anyhow, I did not know the lady cutting my hair, and she did not know me. She was quiet for most of the haircut, but then suddenly she asked if she could ask me a question. I said sure, and she hesitated, but then said, “Do you think we are living in the end times?” To myself, I said “SERIOUSLY? What are you telling me, Lord?” I kept my composure and asked her if she thought that. She said she did; she didn’t know why. Again, it was just a feeling she had. I did the same thing that I did in Texas. I asked her if she attended church. She said no, she was Jewish. That intrigued me. I wonder if she believed Jesus was coming back. She said because she was Jewish, she wasn’t sure about Jesus, but there was just too much happening in the world for it not to be the end. Again, this conversation allowed me to share some more end-time prophecies.
Four-in-Ten U.S. Adults Believe We Are Living in the End Times
They say things happen in threes. After those two divine appointments, a recent survey came across my desk which revealed that four in ten U.S. adults believe humanity is “living in the end times,” according to a survey done by the Pew Research Center.
Let me acknowledge the source of this information — the Pew Research Center is not a right-wing Evangelical organization. I say that because I don’t want people to think that I am only presenting information that comes from the far-right conservative voices. The Pew Research Center is a think tank based in Washington, D.C. They conduct public opinion polls, demographic research, and surveys on various topics such as social issues and public beliefs and habits.
Are Americans Concerned About Climate Change?
The Pew Research Center did not start out wondering if Americans believe we are living in the end times. This research was due to the result of a prior survey and a completely different subject. In April of 2022, Pew Research conducted a survey to find out how concerned Americans were, or are, about climate change. In gathering those results, they found that many Americans expressed little or no concern about climate change, and the interesting nugget was why they felt this way. Why was there such a lack of concern about climate change? People explained they believed there are much bigger problems in the world today. They overwhelmingly said they believed God is in control of the climate and that they do not think the climate is changing.
That connection of results showing people believing God is in control of the climate led Pew to the more recent survey. So, they began to research what people’s views were about God. Pew Research conducted this end times survey eight months after that climate change poll.
This follow-up survey revealed that in the United States, 39% of adults (4 out of 10) say they believe “we are living in the end times,” while 58% say they do not believe we are living in the end times. Interestingly, Christians are divided on this question, with 47% saying we are living in the end times and 49% saying we are not living in the end times. However, (29%) or three in ten people from non-Christian religions (Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus) and 23% of those with no religious affiliation, say we are living in the end times.
Views about Jesus’ Return
The survey also explored American’s views about a fundamental foundation of Christianity: the belief that Jesus will return to Earth, meaning His Second Coming. When asked if Jesus will return to Earth someday, more than half of all U.S. adults (55%) said yes.
Respondents who said they believed Jesus would return to Earth were also asked how certain they were that this would happen during their lifetime. One in ten Americans say they assume the second coming of Jesus will definitely or probably occur during their lifetime, 27% are not sure if Jesus will return in their lifetime, and 19% say the return of Jesus will definitely or probably not occur during their lifetime.
The survey also asked about other eschatological beliefs held by the average American adult. People were asked if they thought Jesus would return after a worsening of global conditions, which is consistent with a Premillennial view, or if Jesus would return after an improvement in conditions consistent with a Postmillennial view. This survey revealed Premillennial beliefs are far more common than Postmillennial beliefs by a 20% to 3% margin.
Because of this, Pew Research classified anyone as Premillennial if they say the world situation will worsen and then Jesus will return. And again, those polled overwhelmingly by a 20% to 3% margin agreed with a Premillennial belief.
What Do Evangelical Pastors Believe?
This caused me to wonder where Pastors and Evangelical churches stand on their end-times theology. Thankfully, Lifeway Research — a Christian organization — surveyed 1,000 Evangelical pastors about their views on the return of Jesus Christ, biblical prophecy, and the end times.
Here are some of the results:
What do you believe?
Daily Jot: The American Chronicles: Bloopers - Bill Wilson – www.dailyjot.com
Traveling across the country in an RV is a lot of fun, very educational, adventurous and truly replenishes Chris’ and my faith in God through the many fine people we have met along the way and the Lord’s many protections. I say that because stuff happens and we have witnessed not only God’s hand in his ongoing protection, but also His humor in keeping us humble. Many people save up to buy a beach home or a vacation place on the lake. We are so very blessed to leverage some assets and be able to have a home on wheels. We are able to travel the country, share our faith, and hopefully bless others with the many stories we experience along the way. Here are a few of the humorous ones from our first year.
Our first major dream trip was along the Eastern seaboard where we visited friends from the Carolinas down to Florida in February 2023. Near Augusta Ga., we stayed with friends Elaine and John. Stepping out their lovely front door to take Service Dog Charlie for a walk, he lunged forward and my toe caught on the porch floor. I fell down four brick steps, my head slammed into the brick landing. We went to emergent-care. Three stitches later, they sent me home. Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” A few lessons—Stepping out to begin a dream is great, stepping off a porch not so much; It’s not the step or the fall, it’s that sudden stop; I know now why they call them “landings,” and finally, it’s better to let God order your steps than a dog. Looking back on it, it’s funny now..kind of!
There was the first outing with our very close friends from our church—Kim, Chuck, Cindy, Christine, Ed, Tony, Chris and me. We all began gathering together for a picture when Chuck had to move his SUV. Then Tony had to get his walker. Kim was missing. She didn’t hear about the picture because she “must have been talking.” Almost ready, then Ed had to go to the bathroom. Now we were lined up. No, Chris had to get Service Dog Charlie. Finally, picture taken. It doesn’t help when the average age of the group is 69 ranging from 59 to 84. Half of us can’t remember what we were about to do and the other half doesn’t remember what we did when we did it. Recalling Ecclesiastes 3:13, “that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labor, it is the gift of God.” These folks truly are a gift of God and we have a lot of laughs. Sometimes we can even remember what was so funny.
Traveling all day in the RV to our beach vacation location, Ed, Christine, Chris and were pretty hungry. We settled in on a Mexican restaurant at Emerald Isle. I ordered a chili relleno with beans and rice. cut off a fairly large hunk of the pepper and stuffed it into my mouth like I hadn’t eaten in a week. It was the hottest pepper I’ve ever had. My mouth was on fire. My head started sweating. My eyes watering. Wow! One of our beach traditions is early morning coffee on the beach. This year, Service Dog Charlie suddenly started digging on the beach and plastered Ed’s cup with sand. Then he turned directions and covered my lap in sand. John 16:24 says, “ask and you shall receive that your joy may be full.” A hot mouth, a cup of sand and a lap to match it, every year we ask for a joyful trip to the beach. And we get it…mostly!
Leaving Valley Forge this fall for our next stop in Connecticut, we experienced one of the great people in our nation. We were headed toward a low overpass that would have clipped the top off of our camper and a man pulled along-side us motioning for us to pull over. He told us what was going to happen, then offered to take us around the overpass and put us on the path to our next stop. We didn’t get his name, but from the goodness of his heart, he saved us from ruin. Hebrews 13:2 says, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Strangers or angels, our faith is our bond and inspiration. These are just a few of our adventures, humorous or otherwise. Hope you enjoy them!
Daily Devotion: Christmas From Heaven’s Perspective - by Greg Laurie – www.harvest.org
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. —Isaiah 9:6
https://harvest.org/resources/devotion/christmas-from-heavens-perspective/ - Listen
In Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, Juliet famously asked, “What is in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell just as sweet.”
That may be true for flowers. But for people, names make a difference.
In the Bible, names mean something. Parents often named their children in honor of events that took place at the time of their birth. Or, they named their children for their unique physical characteristics.
For example, the name of the first man, Adam, means “earth” because God formed him from the dust of the earth. Esau’s name means “hairy” because he was hairy. His twin brother, who hung on to Esau’s heel as he was born, was named Jacob, which means “heel catcher.”
One woman went into labor when she heard that her father-in-law and husband had died and the Philistines had captured the ark of the covenant. She named her child Ichabod, which means “Where is the glory?” (1 Samuel 4:21).
Yet the name that is above all names is the name of Jesus. The prophet Isaiah told us some important things about the name of the Messiah who was to come and also gave us some insights into the character of Jesus: “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 NLT).
Each name Isaiah used to describe Jesus portrays a different aspect of the work that God wants to do in our lives. “Wonderful Counselor” means that we no longer have to look to the cheap substitutes this world offers to bring us fulfillment because Jesus Christ makes life wonderful. The problems we face in life do not need to baffle us; we know that God will reveal His will to us because Christ is our Counselor.
“Mighty God” takes care of the demands of life that can overwhelm us. “Everlasting Father” means that because Christ came to Earth to die on the cross, pay for our sins, and rise from the dead, we have an everlasting Father who will be with us forever. “Prince of Peace” takes care of the disturbances of life. And how we need that peace in these frightening times.
At Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus. In one sense, it was that. But in another sense, Jesus never was technically born. In one sense, He was born as a human and died some thirty-three years later on a Roman cross. But in another sense, Jesus has neither a beginning nor an end.
Jesus is God. He is eternal. He is part of the Trinity: the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
To us, Christmas represents the entrance of Jesus to Earth. For God, it meant the departure of His Son from Heaven. “A child is born to us.” That is Earth’s perspective. “A son is given to us.” That is Heaven’s perspective.
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