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If my people, who are called by my Name, humble themselves and pray (Part One)

The text, for those who have trouble with a rather individual cursive, reads as follows: Scandal after Scandal. No institution safe....

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

A brief intermission

To my regular readers scattered across the globe, I am away from a PC for a couple of days but normal (?!) service will be resumed, hopefully, sometime Friday.

Every Blessing in the Messiah,

Ian

Untamed Animal


I am not going to pinch Daphne Anson's thunder, but Eric Burdon of  'The Animals' has been involved in an on-off-on situation regarding a forthcoming performance in Israel. You can read about it here and here.

I have posted a video of the classic,'House of the Rising Sun' here .

I recently used the arrangement with 'There is a Green Hill far away' .

SO pleased that Eric is playing in Israel.


Saturday, 27 July 2013

If my people, who are called by my Name, humble themselves and pray (Part One)


The text, for those who have trouble with a rather individual cursive, reads as follows:

Scandal after Scandal. No institution safe. Not even the Church or the media ( inc. news)

     God will bring his people to  their knees in prayer. He will horrify even those who are a little awake in order that they might pray. He will terrify the sleepers that they might awake , repent and pray.

22.8.92

Twenty-four years (it now being August 2016) ago a Christian in prayer heard from the Holy Spirit. But what to do? Who would listen? Blogs were unheard of.

Nontheless, it has all come horribly true and not just in the UK. The Church was singled out as judgement begins in the House of God.

The media (news) , meant the TV news and especially the BBC which was enjoying a partially deserved reputation for accuracy after the Falklands War. It never meant the newspapers.  Who ever believed them?

We have been horrified with 9/11 and 7/7 as well as the aftermath of these events. We have been terrified with a beheading on the streets of London.

But still no prelate, priest, politician or prince calls out for prayer and repentance.

Now, finally, we are just beginning to see a grassroots movement of prayer and repentance.

The LORD is at work.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

How mad can it get? This mad....


Boycott derangement Syndrome! I don't like my water meter!

Contract: The Israeli company won a £36million contract to provide water metres, pictured, metre reading services and data hosting services for Southern Water across Hampshire, Surrey, Kent and Sussex
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2376315/Water-company-replaces-Israeli-meter-womans-home-objected-repression-Palestine.html




Campaign: Protestors in Brighton persuaded Southern Water to remove an Israeli-made water meter after objecting to its use on ethical grounds
A spokesman from the Palestine Solidarity Campaign said: 'Southern Water's offer of changing the meter paves the way for thousands of other people to have their meter changed if they wish.
'It costs up to £200 to change a meter. How many people are going to want their Israeli meter out?
'We will be flyering ( sic) thousands of households across Sussex that are due to have an Arad meter installed as part of Southern Water's metering programme to let them know they don't have to have the Israeli-made device.'

Can I have an Israeli water meter, please? I don't trust the one I've got!

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Jerusalem, not just a city...

From the ever interesting,  and often excellent, Israel Video Network, is the following musical video. I love it.


Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

And the peace of Jerusalem is the coming of the Messiah. That much Jew and Christian can agree on!

Monday, 22 July 2013

Smoke and mirrors

One of the tricks of the magician is distraction. Whilst you are looking one way, he is doing something else. The effect is magical, but the whole thing is deception.  All forms of magic are deception of one sort or another. It's just that the entertainers admit it and challenge us to spot the trick. Politicians can also be  adepts at distraction.

Daphne Anson recently posted a video with an imam vowing all sorts of punishment on America, France, Rome and Britain. He does this from the Temple Mount. He probably views Rome as the centre of Christianity. The man is deluded for all sorts of reasons but perhaps not totally crazy. He warns Obama that the Caliphate will return, as if Obama is some sort of Western oppressor. But is it smoke and mirrors?

Today WND posted another, very different pronouncement, not on the Temple Mount but concerning the Temple Mount. The source is a PA negotiator, so we have to treat it with great care. See here.

The Obama administration has quietly presented a plan in which the Palestinian Authority and Jordan will receive sovereignty over the Temple Mount while Israel will retain the land below the Western Wall, according to a senior PA negotiator speaking to WND.
The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism. (WND)

It appears that Israel has not agreed to the Obama/Kerry plan.

The PA negotiator further said Israel rejected a Palestinian request that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agree not to place the final peace plan up for referendum in the Knesset.
Indeed, Netanyahu announced today any plan must receive final approval in a national poll.
“I am committed to two objectives that must guide the result … if there will be a result. And if there will be a result, it will be put to a national referendum,” he said at the start of the cabinet meeting.
“Negotiations with the Palestinians will not be easy, but we are entering them with integrity, honesty and hope,” Netanyahu added. (WND)

Are the Arabs trying to stir things up as a negotiating tactic? Does Obama really hold the Temple Mount and the aspirations of Israel in such low regard? Is he trying to inflame the situation?

As far as the machinations of Israel's enemies, and so called friends, are concerned there are two things worth remembering:


When the consequences of incompetence become indistinguishable from the consequences of malice, it is wiser and safer to assume malice.

And, more importantly, Psalm 2. God's plans for the Temple will be fulfilled. Sorry, Mr. President.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

When you can't sleep - Pray!

Here in the humid, hot conditions of the UK,  it can be hard to sleep at night (it's not always like this!). Have you ever noticed that you often begin to doze off when praying? There are all sorts of reasons including genuine tiredness, but the Enemy hates us to pray. This can be put to good effect - really.

One the one hand, God sometimes wakes us up to pray and intercede in the quiet of the night. Often, such times of prayer accomplish great things as  we respond to a specific urging of the Holy Spirit. I recall such a time at Bible College. It had to be supernatural as we had a very full schedule and needed all the sleep we could get. It resulted in my call to the West Midlands and my staying here rather than returning to the Durham Dale where I was born and bred or going elsewhere.

On the other hand, what if you simply can't sleep? We need to quiet the mind. Prayer can be a good way of stopping the incessant internal dialogue that keeps us awake. And anyway, He gives His Beloved sleep.

So once the intercession is over and you really need to sleep, what can you do? 

Something that has migrated over from our Eastern Orthodox brethren is the 'Jesus Prayer'. Like Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, in his book 'The Essence of Prayer', I am going to keep this simple. There are those who go much further with breathing techniques etc. All are clearly influenced by the practices of Sufis and other such Eastern mystics. They all come with a spiritual health warning which Anthony Bloom repeats.

The prayer itself is quite simple:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God; Have Mercy on me, a sinner.

It is intended, not to be mindlessly repeated, that would be vain repetition, but with full attention and concentration on the meaning of the words. The word 'Mercy' in Greek is related to 'Oil' , so one is asking for the Holy Spirit, for relationship, for love. However, this is not so obvious in English. To our ears it sounds like a constant petition for forgiveness without any real hope or assurance.

I started to alter the formula for various reasons. Firstly, I am well aware of the reasons for the spiritual health warning when involved in meditation and contemplation. I wanted to focus upon the One, True God and not just any spirit making that claim.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God; etc.

Then as the good, little (metaphorically speaking) Protestant that I am, I realised that Mercy had already been obtained.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God; You have had Mercy upon me a sinner.

I had now moved from petition to proclamation.Then I realised that I should be thankful.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God; Thank You for Your Mercy upon me a sinner.

I have now moved from proclamation to praise and to Presence. As a forgiven sinner the veil is rent and I can enter the presence of God in relationship with Him as an adopted Son, or as the Bride of Christ or as a companion of and one anointed by the Holy Spirit. Which brings us full circle.

Prayer, petition, proclamation, praise and Presence. All enjoined upon us by Jesus.

Now as the prayer is repeated (mindfully), the one praying will move through all these stages and move into worship or fall asleep.

Should you fall asleep, you fall asleep with your mind fixed on Jesus. It will positively affect your dreams and your sleep.

It's a win-win situation.

It works for me and I pray that it will work for you. 

Every blessing in Jesus.

Friday, 19 July 2013

King David's suburban palace?

My osteopath, and her husband, have just come back from a holiday in Israel. To say that I am envious would be an understatement. I may not be Jewish, but 'Next Year in Jerusalem' has its own meaning for me. See: First-steps-in-Zionism   and related posts. Today, whilst inflicting osteopathic torture on my back and shoulder, she commented that there was a great deal of archaeological discovery in Israel that we never hear about. I've commented on that before See: Your-own-worst-enemy-and-this-friend-is-spitting-fire

As a Bible teacher and preacher, I like to point to a verse or passage and link it to some piece of archaeology. It helps to answer the sceptics and to build up the faithful.  Maybe the message in 'Your own worst enemy' has got through, because today there was a major announcement from The Israeli Antiquities Authority here.

Even if this was not David's palace, it's in the right place at the right time and it's Jewish.  If you don't believe in David and Goliath, the record shows that the Philistines (related to the Greeks, Romans, Trojans and Cretans - not Arabs) were a problem, so it's a good place for a stronghold. 1 Samuel 17:52 (Sha-ara'im)

If you read the Biblical record, it is fairly obvious that Goliath's family suffered from two genetic disorders; hexadactyly and gigantism.

All we need now is for someone to discover a large headless skeleton... but will they tell us?

As quoted from Israel Today:

Experts said the large structures found at a dig near the town of Beit Shemesh are clearly a royal facility, and appear to have been constructed for residence.
The remains are part of what is believed to be the biblical town of Sha'arayim, and date to the tenth century BC, the time that David was ruling in nearby Jerusalem.
In later centuries, the site was used by Bedouin tribes who even referred to the location as Khirbat Daoud, or David's Ruins.

King David's suburban palace unearthed

For anyone wanting the heavy duty scholarship go here and for some of the consequences here.

Archeologists uncover palace from Kingdom of David

Thursday, 18 July 2013

The first song I learned by heart

When I learned the few guitar skills I possess, Christians would learn something called 'Can it be true?' Non-Christians nearly always learned the song featured below:


 

The definitive and still the best version. Enjoy!
The arrangement works well with 'There is a green hill far away'. I'm quite serious about that. It suits bluesy R&B.

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

A Parable written in the desert sands?

This is an amazing story in its own right, but as I read it, I began to wonder if it was a word from God, a parable for our pastors and leaders in the West. In short, did the physical desert have something to tell us about the spiritual desert that is Western Christianity?

I came across it in 'The Telegraph' a UK national newspaper. The first thing worthy of note is that it mentions answers to prayer!  This is all but a miracle in the current socio-political climate.

The article is by a Geoffrey Lean, a journalist specialising in environmental issues. I have no idea what he may or may not believe but his article is fascinating.


An Australian missionary, one Tony Rinaudo, working for World Vision, one day gazed despairingly out on the unforgiving desert, wondering: “How many saplings, how many people, how many millions of dollars would I need for this?” 

Driven to prayer, he says, he “saw for the first time what had been there all along. Seemingly useless small bushes scattered over the dry land, which we had despised as weeds, were actually the outward signs of a vast underground forest.” (quote from Geoffrey Lean's article)

He realised that what was thought to be scrub and weeds were in fact shoots from the buried stumps of long-felled trees.

Anyone who knows the Tenach/Old Testament should, by now, be thinking of Isaiah 11.

Once he realised what was happening, all that was needed was pruning, protection, provision and then trees! Followed by praise, to wit:

Rinaudo – who now works internationally for World Vision – still finds that previously “hopeless” people “dance and sing” when they discover the underground forest, and how they can “change their lives, and the world, with a pruning knife”.

The meaning of this parable.

Pastors, priests, presbyters, prelates, preachers, patriarchs, prophets, popes or whatever you want to call yourselves, this is for you.

In the arid desert of Western Christianity many of the people you serve, note serve, do look like weeds and scrub. As a preacher and a teacher, I know the feeling. We need to see that many of them have been battered by life and by something that looks a lot like the church. They are haphazard Christians with shoots that go all over the place.

Like the forest, can two thousand years of Christianity just disappear? We have a godless younger generation, but there are still many of the older and middle generations who know something of Christ.

Firstly, you pray.  

Let God show you who these people are and what they are really like in His sight.

Secondly, you prune.

John 15:2 Starting with your own heart and then, with divine wisdom, lovingly discipline the disciples. This is the Cross, this is sacrifice, laying down our lives for God and our neighbours. Our pruning hook is the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Go carefully here.

Thirdly, you protect. 

Which is to say, protect the Church from false teachers and false prophets. Watch out for the wolves in sheep's clothing, the demons disguised as angels of light. Guard your pulpit. If the Bible says it is sin, it is sin; no matter what the world, the governments and even some senior leaders in the Church may say.


Fourthly, you provide. 


Which is to say, you preach and you pray. May I refer you to Acts 6:4  and also to God's-conditions-for-revival-taken-from.html

Fifthly, by God's Grace and Spirit, you praise.  

So many forget to thank God for what He has done, but if you want to preserve all that has been so hard to win, then praise God and give Him the Glory.

There are 7000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal. God's-power-and-compassion-our-weakness.html

There's the parable and the sermon outline. It's not exegeting scripture, rather using scripture to exegete Nature. 

So please, prayerfully consider, is this not God's word to us; a parable written in the desert sands?

You can see and learn more about Rinaudo's method below and even more here.


i24news - some said it would never happen.

At last, news from Israel in English, French (QUE? Spanish, Chinese, Russian...) and Arabic.
Something to look forward to, I hope -  and pray.

i24News


i24news debuts TOMORROW at 8pm,
Israeli time (5pm GMT)

Stay tuned for updates

Saturday, 13 July 2013

God's conditions for Revival - taken from Acts Chapter 2.

It seems to me that what the Holy Spirit instituted at Pentecost is a blueprint for subsequent outpourings of the Holy Spirit. It also provides a spiritual checklist to diagnose the health of the Christian and your local church, denomination etc. Everything is Christ-centred and no-one gets it all right, but we can, with God's grace seek the Holy Spirit to help become more like He wants us to be. It's not a 100% thing or there would never be any revivals, but the closer we get, the better it will be.



God’s Conditions for Revival  

God’s conditions for the Christian

Repent of rebelling against God and His Messiah- metanoia - putting on the mind of Christ
Believe in the Risen and Crucified Lord Jesus the Christ/Messiah
Be Baptized in water and into Christ (and the word ‘baptize’ means ‘immerse’ - dip the sheep; don't sprinkle the lambs).
Receive the promised Holy Spirit  No gifts; No fruit. No fruit: no power. The Holy Spirit always points us to Jesus and makes us like Him.

God’s c0nditions for the Church 

Apostle’s teaching  Sound preaching and Bible Study centred on Christ
Fellowship  Encouraging each other in the Body and rejoicing in the company of the saints. No such thing as solitary Christianity, needing each other's ministry, prayers and gifts etc.
Breaking of Bread Jesus commanded us to do this whenever we met together. The necessity of taking communion regularly and frequently. After all, He commanded us to, which should be enough. Discerning the body etc. by faith and with thanksgiving - in and to Jesus.
Prayers Corporate intercessory prayer. All involved. Our life's breath. Our relationship with Jesus. It's not all about answers. It's all about Jesus.

God’s Consequences

Glory   A real sense of the Presence of God. Fear (Awe), wonders and signs.
Gracious giving A spirit of giving that included material possessions, relationships in the church and outside the church.
Growth A spirit of evangelism where God drew people into the Kingdom. Jesus said, ‘If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto me’.

Consequences are NOT conditions. Consequences are the work of the Holy Spirit.
If we persist in mistaking consequences for conditions, we will lose everything.