Monthly Archives: March 2014

Alive, Awake, and Well

This week, I went to the movie as a birthday present from my wife. We agreed that it was well done, for being low budget. At one point, a little too well done. However, we both also acknowledged that for Muslims it may be very frontal as it addressed the harsh rejection people face when they leave muhammed to follow Jesus, outside the camp.

The following morning, I woke after dreaming that I came down a main traffic artery in town where I often encounter Muslims on the busses. Right at the mall on the route in the middle of the avenue and stretching miles beyond, were “Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision.” They were led by Arabian women in full Hijab & Niqab with camels accompanying them carrying treasure. All the crowds were seeking Jesus. Lord, may it happen soon!!

The story below reminds me of what Paul said to the Romans about when Israel has faith in the Messiah, it will lead to life from the dead. They aren’t there yet 100%, and so we pray & speak to the nations.

From Bibles for Israel:
Israeli Doctors Save Jordanian Boy

"Heal the sick, raise the dead.… Freely you have received; freely give." (Matthew 10:8)

Last week, even as the Jordanian parliament was calling for the ousting of Israel’s envoy to Jordan (due to the self-defense killing of a Jordanian judge at the Allenby Bridge crossing), Israeli doctors at Haifa's Rambam Medical Center provided a 7-year-old Jordanian boy with his mother's donated kidney.

After the boy faced critical kidney failure, his parents wrote a request to the Civil Administration Health Services for the operation to go forward at Rambam Medical Center. (Israel National News)

Civil Administration Health Services Coordinator Dalia Bessa hurried them past the waiting lines.

"We direct many patients from Jordan and the Palestinian Authority to Rambam and other hospitals as well," Bessa said. "In the past year alone, I coordinated the arrival of 600 patients from the PA to Rambam." (Israel Hayom)

Israel isn’t only helping Palestinians and Jordanians.

It also runs a field hospital near the Golan Heights, where the Syrian Free Army transfers victims of the Syrian conflict. As well, Israel has treated about 1,000 Syrians in four hospitals. (The New Zealand Herald)

Rebecca Sieff Hospital (Ziv Hospital) in Safed has housed some of these victims—including an 8-year-old Syrian girl named Aya, who received five reconstructive surgeries on her shattered leg and was provided a brace to help her heal.

"All patients are immediately being seen by social workers, psychologists and psychiatrists as soon as their medical condition allows," Sara Paperin of the Rebecca Sieff Hospital's international-affairs department said. “With families that need to be reunited or children that are alone, there is clearly special attention given to them."

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Lost & Found on the Ground

This winter has been harsh: lots of snow, snow banks, cold weather locally, lots of people complaining about the worst weather in living memory.

Well, after it thaws, people get grateful. The snow backs away. Things warm up. People are more comfortable and safe on the roads.

There is a parallel in the way I found a small treasure one week: I found over $50 on the ground in just over a week’s time.

Much of it was along parking spots. Two places however stick out in my mind most prominently though.

Once, I was walking along on a near regular routine of picking up my mail after a Monday afternoon class. After I crossed the street at a little different place, I walked along a sidewalk and spotted two bills. I thought they were two new $1 bills. They turned out to be two $20 bills. Still intact. Freshly thawed from the snow. Wow!! I knew I couldn’t keep that and I had already committed to give some funds to a particular ministry or three. In English law, the following applies:
The general rule attaching to the three types of property may be summarized as: A finder of property acquires no rights in mislaid property, is entitled to possession of lost property against everyone except the true owner, and is entitled to keep abandoned property.,_mislaid,_and_abandoned_property

This derives from Jewish law in Leviticus 6:

So what if there is no identifying information about whose money or property it is? This money is to be given to the Lord.

A. God is the ultimate Finder. He finds the lost coin and the lost sheep and the lost son in Luke 15.
B. God is the ultimate Owner. He teaches us to profit and all that we have ultimately belongs to Him. (Isaiah 48:17)
C. We should share the first-fruits of what we receive with the Lord and share all good things with our Teacher. (Galatians 6; Proverbs 3:9-10)
D. You didn’t earn it, it is a gift which is for the poor.

This also undercuts the motive of the heart to look for lost property of others in order to keep it for oneself.

Oh, how wicked is the heart. We make a little extra and want to keep it all to ourselves. Instead the Lord says: give & it will be given unto you.

At times I have kept money I found to myself, but in the end it was like gravel until my generosity renewed.

So back to the $40 I found. Sometimes the gifts of God are great in quantity and this is what is so special about them.

Other times, it is the mere fact that the harder we look, the more we find.

This was true one day as I was riding on the bus and elected to transfer. As I waited for my next bus to arrive, I decided to look for coins. I found a few. and then some more. And more. And just as the bus was driving up, I looked behind me, and there in plain view, in the middle of the sidewalk was a slough of coins. Now, they were virtually all pennies. But there were so many that appeared suddenly, that I thought I had a hole in my pocket and that I was dropping them as soon as I picked them up. But no, no hole. God just blessed me with finding a bunch of pennies. The whole time, I meditated on how God looks for the lost and how the harder we look, the more we find.

I was so excited over those pennies that I started to talk to people on the bus about the way God puts treasures in our path for us to find, namely grace. God’s treasures of grace are all along the route every day of the year.

Now, if I was so excited about some silly pennies, HOW MUCH MORE should we be excited about whenever the lost souls are found? We should dance every time someone starts making good decisions. We should be happy every time someone decides to follow Jesus! We should shout every time someone chooses to serve the Lord!!

If finding something small produces pleasure, then finding grace in the eyes of God through our Lord Jesus Christ should produce so much more pleasure.

What have you found lately? Where have you been looking for treasure lately? What have you found joy in lately? Have you found favor in the eyes of God? Have you found the goodness of God in Christ Jesus? Look into his word.

Perhaps you say, “I read a fancy Bible and get little out of it.” It is not the fanciness of the Bible or the fanciness of your interpretation. It is the obedience to what is heard. Let us all obey and share the treasures God gives us with those who have not yet heard.

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Unclaimed Property

Who has your "Unclaimed Property"?

Who has your “Unclaimed Property”? How will you get it back?

Currently, I am trying to claim some old property that went unclaimed for a number of years. It is a small amount of cash. (Probably to be claimed quickly by current commitments & needs of those organizations I know.) It seems like a lot of hassle to go through in order to acquire this small sum, but I am willing to do it because it seems worth it.

It made me think: How many people have unclaimed joy in Jesus?

No one has told them how call on the name of the Lord Jesus.
No one has told them to pray to our Father.
No one has told them how to ask for the Holy Spirit.

Where is the department of the church which distributes unclaimed blessings to the poor in spirit? Do we just cater to those who come to us for blessings, or do we actively go looking for ways to bless the nations which are digging for gold in empty mines?

It is more blessed to give than to receive. But first you must claim your inheritance of the Father’s blessings before you can give life to others.

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Focus in ministry is often described as focusing on a particular group of people. And there is some truth in this: we should not be focusing all our ministry merely on those inside the church. Rather, the leaders of the church must focus on those outside the fold and looking for ways to bring them in. This is what Paul did, according to Romans 15.

However, there is a deeper, higher, further focus we must have. We must focus on Jesus. If we focus on Jesus, He will lead us to the lost. He will lead us to continue in service when the flesh would urge us to serve ourselves. Jesus will enable us to persevere at all costs.

Focus not so much on who has yet to be reached as Who is reaching out to find the lost sheep, the lost coin, the lost sons.

Fix your eyes on Jesus. Do not look elsewhere. When Jesus fills your vision, you will see everyone in a different light. You will see the lonely in light of their need of the Friend of Sinners.

Look to the Healer, so that when poor health attacks you or those you serve, you will have authority to drive out sickness and be whole for the harvest. He will heal. He will help. He is your Hero.

Jesus does not stand far off, so focusing on him does not require a telescope.
Jesus is not insignificant, so focusing on him does not require a microscope to analyze.
Jesus is near you. He is in your heart and in your mouth. Jesus is waiting to burst forth as the one recognized by your soul as Lord
We focus on Jesus by confessing Him in every situation and every circumstance.

Perhaps you know a neighbor who does not attend a worship service. Will you be so full of worship that when you meet him, he will enter the presence of God?

Perhaps you know an immigrant who has traveled far to find a better life. Will you be so full of the Life of God that you can share the Best Life with them?

Perhaps you have an enemy who mistreats and abuses you. Will you draw so close to the wounds of Christ that when you suffer, you will suffer with Christ and will with Christ forgive the bitter soul?

Friend, fix your eyes on Jesus. Fix your heart on Jesus. Let Him fix you and let Him rearrange your life so that all is lived for the Kingdom of God.

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