Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Look what I found last night!

It is the season for morel mushrooms!  If only we could find 10 times (or 100 times) that many!  They are so delicious!  If any of you reading this blog are unfamiliar with how we eat these, see this earlier post: Cooking morel mushrooms

Monday, April 29, 2013

Our President

So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore by Wayne Jacobsen & Dave Coleman

     I love Paul Ellis' website EscapeToReality.org because he has many great articles and resources on Grace.  I believe new revelation of the meaning and magnitude of Grace is being released in the earth today and Paul seems to see that better than most I've read.
     Under "Resources" on his website there is a link to "Free Stuff" which lists several free books and articles by other authors.  I downloaded all the PDF files to my iPad.  Yesterday I began reading So You Don't Want To Go To Church Anymore by Wayne Jacobsen & Dave Coleman.  It is a novel which speaks to many of the things I have been feeling for a long time but couldn't put into words.  It was so exciting to hear of others feeling the same way that I couldn't put it down.  Finally, I gave up at 10:30--past my bedtime--with about 20 pages left to read.  I can't wait to finish it today.  I plan to re-read much of it again.
      For those of you who have felt there is something more than 'church as usual' and are caught up in the 'shoulds' and 'oughts' of church life, I highly recommend this book.  It will free you up to experience the abundant life Jesus provided for us in a whole new way.
     You can download your free copy here.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

John Piper on Homosexuality

       World Magazine has posted two informative articles on the Biblical teaching on homosexuality by John Piper.  He does not bow to political correctness but he also does not condemn homosexuality as the ultimate sin.  Every person is broken in some way.  Homosexuality is one of the results of brokenness. You can read Part 1 here.  Below is the beginning of Part 2.  To read the entire article click the link at the bottom of the page.

John Piper on homosexuality, Part 2

HOMOSEXUALITY | More ‘brilliant exposition’ from Romans, with helpful biblical counsel for homosexuals and parents

John PiperEnlarge Image
Desiring God
John Piper
      “Brilliant exposition” wrote one commenter about the Oct. 11, 1998, sermon by John Piper we posted last Saturday. Well, Piper the following Sunday, Oct. 18, 1998, preached again on homosexuality, and we’re posting it below because so many Christians are hungry for biblical teaching that does not give in before one of today’s most powerful political juggernauts. 
     Piper’s text once again was Romans 1:24–28, which reads as follows:
“Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.
Now, Piper. — Marvin Olasky


     I confess that my main aim in these two messages is not to persuade you that homosexual behavior is wrong. It is wrong. But you can believe that and not be a Christian. So what does it profit a man if he knows everything that’s wrong, and loses his own soul? My aim is much higher than to persuade you that there are many sexual disorders in the world—both homosexual and heterosexual. My aim is to transform the way you see Reality, and to put the glory of God back at the center, like the sun in the solar system of sexuality (and everything else) that holds all the planets of our passions in their proper order. When you exchange the sun for a man-made satellite all the planets leave their orbit and head for oblivion.
      The murder of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming, was committed by men who had exchanged the centrality of God’s glory for the satellite of self-exaltation. And self-exaltation or self-determination over against God cannot hold the planets of passion in their orbit. I learned this from verses 28 and 29. Look at them with me. Romans 1:28-29a: “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, (29) being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder. …”
There it is. Where does murder come from? It comes from this: “They did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer.” Or as verse 23 says, “They exchanged the glory of God for images”—in this case money and hateful power. Or as verse 25 says, “They exchanged the truth of God for a lie.”


      We saw this in the text last week. The root of all our disorders—sexual and social and physical and emotional—is the exchange of the glory of God for other things. The solar system of our soul and our society was made to orbit around the glory of God as its all-controlling sun. And the entire human race has exchanged the glory of God for weightless, substitute satellites that have no gravity and can hold nothing in its proper orbit. Therefore all the world is disordered and decaying and moving toward destruction.
      But we saw something even more stunning last week from this text. This disorder and decay in our lives and in our society and in our universe is the judgment of God, and is meant by him to be seen as a terrible drama of a horrific underlying spiritual evil. We saw this three times. After each statement that we have exchanged God for other things (verses 23, 25, 28), it says, God therefore hands us over to our depravity so that our soul and our society disintegrate into all sorts of evil deeds and dreadful diseases and death and destruction.
      For example, verse 24: “Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.” Verse 26: “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions.” And here in verses 26-27 he details homosexual behavior as one outworking of these degrading disorders. Then verse 28b: “God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.” And here in the following three verses (29-31), he details twenty-one other outworkings of a depraved mind. No one escapes here. Homosexual, heterosexual, male, female, old, young, religious, irreligious—all of us are under the sway of a depraved mind. As Romans 3:9-10 says, “Both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; as it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one.”

Continue Reading... 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Keep Your Fork

      My brother sent me this email forward. It has been circulating on the Internet for quite some time, I know, but since it is a great reminder to keep our eyes fixed on things above I'm posting it here so I won't forget.  Just as this lady demonstrates, it's possible to use even our physical death to point people to eternal life.

Woman and a Fork

There was a young woman who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and had been given three months to live. So as she was getting her things 'in order,' she contacted her Pastor and had him come to her house to discuss certain aspects of her final wishes.

She told him which songs she wanted sung at the service, what scriptures she would like read, and what outfit she wanted to be buried in.

Everything was in order and the Pastor was preparing to leave when the young woman suddenly remembered something very important to her.

'There's one more thing,' she said excitedly..

'What's that?' came the Pastor's reply.

'This is very important,' the young woman continued. 'I want to be buried with a fork in my right hand.'

The Pastor stood looking at the young woman, not knowing
quite what to say.

That surprises you, doesn't it?' the young woman asked.

'Well, to be honest, I'm puzzled by the request,' said the Pastor.

The young woman explained. 'My grandmother once told me this story, and from that time on I have always tried to pass along its message to those I love and those who are in need of encouragement. In all my years of attending socials and dinners, I always remember that when the dishes of the main course were being cleared, someone would inevitably lean over and say, 'Keep your fork.' It was my favorite part because I knew that something better was coming...like velvety chocolate cake or deep-dish apple pie. Something wonderful, and with substance!'

So, I just want people to see me there in that casket with a fork in my hand and I want them to wonder 'What's with the fork?' Then I want you to tell them: 'Keep your fork ..the best is yet to come.'

The Pastor's eyes welled up with tears of joy as he hugged the young woman good-bye. He knew this would be one of the last times he would see her before her death. But he also knew that the young woman had a better grasp of heaven than he did. She had a better grasp of what heaven would be like than many people twice her age, with twice as much experience and knowledge. She KNEW that something better was coming.

At the funeral people were walking by the young woman's casket and
   they saw the cloak she was wearing and the fork placed in her right hand.. Over and over, the Pastor heard the question, 'What's with the fork?' And over and over he smiled.

During his message, the Pastor told the people of the conversation he had with the young woman shortly before she died. He also told them about the fork and about what it symbolized to her. He told the people how he could not stop thinking about the fork and told them that they probably would not be able to stop thinking about it either.

He was right. So the next time you reach down for your fork, let it remind you, ever so gently, that the best is yet to come.  

Friday, April 26, 2013

An Enlightening Perspective On Israel by Jane Hansen Hoyt

Jane Hansen Hoyt      As I prepare to leave for Israel and Aglow's annual trip into the land, April 29 to May 8, my heart is excited to be back in the place that truly is the focal point of all the earth!
      God is intentional in all that He does. He chose to place Israel in the most strategic geographical location on the face of the earth. It is the crossroads of Africa, Asia and Europe – a place where the world's attention is drawn repeatedly.
       As Believers, it is important that we understand the ancient prophecies related to God's purposes for the people and for the land.
      And who is like Your people Israel, the one nation on the earth whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people – to make for Yourself a name by great and awesome deeds, by driving out nations from before Your people whom You redeemed from Egypt? For you have made Your people Israel Your very own people forever; and You, Lord, have become their God. I Chronicles 17:21-22

                   Longest Held Hatred In Human History
      Anti-Semitism is still the longest held and deepest hatred in human history. This animosity had its beginning in the garden when God promised Eve that one of her descendants would crush the enemy's head in Genesis 3:15. This hatred later centered in Abraham and his descendants.

                              Endeavor To Destroy the Seed
      In Genesis 22:18 God's word to Abraham was, "In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice." Satan has focused on that seed, to destroy them before the seed destroyed him! The ultimate seed of Messiah was in them – the one who, for all time, would bring the destructive blow to the enemy. His followers would continue to enforce that victory down through the ages.

                                   A Mandate To Survive
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem      In astounding ways, we have seen God's supernatural protection of the Jewish people. They have survived unspeakable hatred, and continue to endure the wrath of the nations. Yet, while the enemy has targeted this people for extinction, God's prophetic purposes for the Jewish people has remained because they will be a witness to the world of the ultimate authority of God's Word, which cannot and will not be nullified.

              A Test For All Mankind
      The focal point of the conflict related to Israel is, at its core, the issue of God's authority. God chose the place and He chose the people as a reference point of His authority. That is the issue!
      The Lord has chosen Zion. He has desired it for His dwelling place: "This is My resting place forever. Here I will dwell, for I have desired it." Psalm 132:13
      I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion. Psalm 2:6
      God has established His authority on earth through a person and a place. The hill and the person represent His authority. It is a governmental issue of who is in control.

                            Messiah's Return To Jerusalem
      When Christ returns to earth, He is not coming to an Islamic nation of "Palestine." He is coming back as King of the Jews to His people. From Jerusalem, the city where He has chosen to set His name, He will reign!
       Even while being crucified, Yeshua promised that He would return as King of the Jews. That sign above His head was a prophecy of His second coming. It was an eternal statement of His identity and authority.
Old City Jerusalem, Israel     Israel is the Holy Land NOT because it is the place where Jesus walked two millennium ago. It is the Holy Land because it is where He will walk in the Millennium when He returns.
      The enemy continues fighting to save himself. However, it is the connection between Yeshua and Jerusalem that will ultimately destroy him! 

   Aglow Stands In Agreement With the Declared Word of God
As Aglow walks the land where Yeshua will return, walk with us in your spirit. Stand for the people and the land God Himself has chosen. God has said of His people, "I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off."
Jane Hansen Hoyt
President/CEO, Aglow International

Email: aglow@aglow.org
Website: aglow.org

Thursday, April 25, 2013

An Excerpt from Streams' Ministries website

      This is excerpt is from an article by John Paul Jackson posted on his Streams Ministry website.  We so often are awed by ministers and ministries that operate in signs, wonders, & miracles.  All of these are wonderful, but as John Paul points out--they are gifts, not fruit, and Jesus said we are to know those who are His by their fruit.  John Paul helps us to see how to recognize fruit in this list.  You can read the entire article here.

       Healings, miracles, signs and wonders are not fruit; they are gifts, and that being the case, what fruit are we to look for in any ministry?
  • Do the people have a greater love and concern for others than they have for themselves?
  • Do they radiate a contagious joy that others feel and take on?
  • Do they ooze a tranquil peace when life’s events do not go the way they anticipated?
  • Do they show a steadfastness or unwavering nature in the midst of long suffering, betrayal or deep disappointment?
  • Do they display gentleness with others who appear weaker or less capable?
  • Do they have an overriding goodness that seeks the wellbeing of others over their own wellbeing?
  • Do they have a faith in the unseen and the “not yet” purposes of God?
  • Do they radiate a meekness or softness, evidenced by how they handle others when they disagree with them?
  • Do they display a temperance or an ability to master their passions and desires?
       These nine points are found in Galatians 5 and are noted as fruit of the Spirit. All deeply spiritual people will have fruit that is spiritual. Why? Because thorns produce thorns and grapes produce grapes. That which is Spirit will always have spiritual fruit.
       There must be a change in the moral fiber of the Church, because the culture is not to blame for the condition of the Church, but the Church is to blame for the condition of the culture. When the Church actually begins to behave like the Body of Christ, we will see the fruit of that — not only in our pastors and ministers but also in our judicial systems and in our politicians. In other words, the culture will reflect the Church’s passion for Jesus.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


     Are you interested in astronomy?  I have always been fascinated at how huge the universe really is!  Recently I discovered this website which has some wonderful videos of photos taken from the Hubble telescope and thought you might be interested, too.  Type "hubble" into the search box for a list of videos available.
     There is a tremendous amount of space-related material on this website besides the Hubble photos.  I could spend days looking at all of it!!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

I, Too, Am Offended!

     The article below says it well.  It is time to take a stand.  I, too, am offended as you surely are.
      I'm offended that Christians are persecuted, particularly in Muslim countries.  They are jailed and tortured for their faith.  Christians do not separate those they disagree with from their families, jail them, torture and murder them.  Christians do not force others to join their faith, or persecute them if they don't, and yet precisely because of the love preached (and hopefully practiced) by Christians they are despised by Islam.
     Do we really believe what we say we believe as Christians?  Without Jesus people will perish.  He is a God of love that wills that not one would perish, but He gives us free choice.  How can people choose Him and His ways if they have not heard how beautiful, how lovely, how wonderful He is?       
     We who have heard the Good News must speak up. We must stop allowing the news media to call Islam a great religion and to characterize Christianity as narrow.  Muslim Fundamentalists  practice a religion of hate, of control, of desire for dominion.  Those are characteristics of Satan.  It is imperative that Christians represent God rightly so that all will know He is loving and righteous and powerful and good and kind and has already paid the price to set all of us free from the sins of this world by sending His only Son, Jesus, to die for us so that we can live with Him.  We don't have to do anything but accept that gift and love Him in return.  How great is that!!!!

      There is one common denominator for all the terrorism in  the world which are linked by an invincible bond. That common denominator is “Islam.”
      Please spare me the caveats about “not all Muslims are terrorists” because it doesn’t matter. All terrorists, with rare exception, are Muslims. That’s what matters.
      I write this article as law enforcement is  surrounding a neighborhood in search of a second subject in the Boston bombings. The two suspects have been identified. Interesting to note that all television news channels continually refer to them as young men, immigrants, Chechnyans and every other description, carefully omitting the term “Muslim” or “Islam” so we don’t offend the religion of peace.
      So we don’t offend? Are you kidding me?
      I have got news for Muslims. You are not the only people capable of being offended.
      I’m offended by the audacity of brutally murdering people at random in a U.S. city, maiming and injuring hundreds. I’m offended that “peaceful” Muslims in other countries celebrated and partied at the news that Islamists have again killed Americans at random.
      It offends me that Jihad Muslim web sites applaud and celebrate the killings  and maimings of Americans by Islamists.
       I’m offended by the numerous acts of Islamic terror against this country, here and abroad, since Lebanese Muslims bombed the Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983 killing 241 Marines. Add to that, the plane bombing at Lockerbie, Scotland, the first World Trade Center bombing, U.S. military headquarters in Saudi Arabia, U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the USS Cole in Yemen, then 9/11 in 2001. The death toll continues, by the religion of peace who celebrate the killing of Americans.
       The underwear bomber, the shoe bomber, the Times Square Bomber, and much more all have one common denominator: Islam
       I’m equally offended that we are constantly on alert throughout all our transportation venues, costing us billions in security systems throughout the world, all because of the constant threat of Islamic terror.
        I am offended that the mass murder at Ft.Hood in 2009, where a radical Muslim officer shouted Allah Akbar as he shot 41 people, killing 13, is referred to by our president as “work place violence.” I’m offended that he has still not been tried and punished in nearly four years, not to mention he continues to receive his military pay while awaiting trial.
       I’m offended by the world of Islam taking offense to a stupid caricature  made by a Denmark cartoonist, thereby punishing thousands around the world with violence, killing many innocents. That offends me.
      It offends me that a movie maker would be murdered in the streets of Amsterdam for exercising his right to free speech.
      It offends me that our administration has given orders to  federal law enforcement and military training not to associate terror with Islam.
     The website Religion of Peace has noted that in the past 30 days,     Islamists worldwide have committed 205 acts of terrorism resulting in 1,008 killed and 2,027 wounded. Since the first of the year there have been 500 attacks which have killed 2,807 individuals and wounded 4,533 worldwide. Since 9/11/2001, Islamists worldwide have carried out 20,270 acts of terror, in England, France, Spain, Somalia, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Germany, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, United States …you get the point.
      Yet, the media is so careful that we don’t offend Muslims. And our highly defensive president continually tells us we are not at war with Islam.
      Sorry, Muslims are offending Americans, big time. Not only the killers, but those who support them. And there are two ways to support them, directly and indirectly.
     The Muslim community who — rather than speak out in outrage — does nothing to put a stop to it all. Rather, they protect and defend all Muslims in general, and fire back indignantly by name-calling people like me “bigots” “racists.” Then, the media jumps on the bandwagon. Result: The good guys look bad; The bad guys look good.
     The common demoninator for all terror in the world remains: Islam.
     The information we have available as this is written, is that the two known Boston Marathon bombers are Chechnyans. Chechnya is an Islamist dominated country that once was a part of the Soviet Union. They come from the same region that is causing havoc in Moscow and other places in Russia with untold acts of terror…too many to list in this blog. They are dedicated Islamists who hate America.
      They are Muslims.
      Don’t think for a minute they acted totally alone.
      This segment from a new post by Debbie  Schlussel, who digs up much more than the NY Times would ever tell you.
       Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the 26 year-old brother of the second Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, had a YouTube page where he posted religious videos, including a video of Feiz Mohammad, a fundamentalist Australian Muslim preacher who rails against the evils of Harry Potter. Among those videos is one dedicated to the prophecy of the Black Banners of Khurasan which is embraced by Islamic extremists—particularly Al Qaeda. The videos posted on what appears to be Tsarnaev’s YouTube page may shed light on the motivations for the attack on the Boston  Marathon
      For a full article by Debbie Schlussel, here’s the link:
      How long are we going to stay stupid?
      Answer: Until we look back and say, “All the signs were there, we just didn’t read them.”

Monday, April 22, 2013

A timely quote

"See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish this law without delay ... If such a law is not abolished immediately it will spread, multiply and develop into a system."

 --French economist Frederic Bastiat (1801-1850)


      Until I received this email I knew practically nothing about drones and really didn't care.  And I am still not sure I want to know all that is contained here.  Nevertheless, it looks as if they're here to stay and our privacy is and/or will be, non-existent.

Roaches, Mosquitoes, and Birds: The Coming Micro-Drone Revolution
Canada Free Press, 15 April 2013…by John W. Whitehead

      “[Drones are a] game-changing technology, akin to gunpowder, the steam engine, the atomic bomb—opening up possibilities that were fiction a generation earlier but also opening up perils that were unknown a generation ago.”—Peter Singer, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution
America will never be a “no drone zone.”
       That must be acknowledged from the outset. There is too much money to be made on drones, for one, and too many special interest groups—from the defense sector to law enforcement to the so-called “research” groups that are in it for purely “academic” reasons—who have a vested interest in ensuring that drones are here to stay.
        At one time, there was a small glimmer of hope that these aerial threats to privacy would not come home to roost, but that all ended when Barack Obama took office and made drones the cornerstone of his war efforts. By the time President Obama signed the FAA Reauthorization Act into law in 2012, there was no turning back. The FAA opened the door for drones, once confined to the battlefields over Iraq and Afghanistan, to be used domestically for a wide range of functions, both public and private, governmental and corporate. It is expected that at least 30,000 drones will occupy U.S. airspace by 2020, ushering in a $30 billion per year industry.
         Those looking to the skies in search of Predator drones will be in for a surprise, however, because when the drones finally descend en masse on America, they will not be the massive aerial assault vehicles favored by the Obama administration in their overseas war efforts. Rather, the drones coming to a neighborhood near you will be small, some nano in size, capable of flying through city streets and buildings almost undetected, while hovering over cityscapes and public events for long periods of time, providing a means of 24/7 surveillance.
         One type of drone sensor, the Gorgon Stare, can keep track of an area 2.5 miles across from 12 different angles. Another sensor system, ARGUS, can find an object that is only 6 inches long, from 20,000 feet up in the air. A drone equipped with this kind of technology could spy on an entire city at once. For example, police in California are about to begin using Qube drones, which are capable of hovering for 40 minutes at heights of about 400 ft. to conduct surveillance on targets as far as 1 kilometer away. Michael Downing, the LAPD deputy chief for counter-terrorism and special operations, envisions drones being flown over large-scale media events such as the Oscars, using them to surveil political protests, and flying them through buildings to track criminal suspects.
         These micro-drones will be the face of surveillance and crowd control in the coming drone age.
Modeled after birds, insects, and other small animals, these small airborne surveillance devices can remain hidden in plain view while navigating spaces off limits to conventional aircraft. Able to take off and land anywhere, able to maneuver through city streets and hallways, and able to stop and turn on a dime, these micro-drones will still pack a lethal punch, equipped with an array of weapons and sensors, including tasers, bean-bag guns, “high-resolution video cameras, infrared sensors, license plate readers, [and] listening devices.”
         You can rest assured, given the pace of technology and the fervor of the drone industry (and its investors), that the sky is the limit when it comes to the many uses (and abuses) for drones in America. The following is just a small sampling of what will be descending from the skies in the near future.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Symphony, Life, and The Church

     We went to the symphony last night and enjoyed an evening of beautiful music.  But even more than listening to a beautiful performance I came away pondering life lessons.  As I observe the workings of the orchestra I'm always struck by the parallels with life I see as they warm up, tune up, and come under the guidance of the conductor.  The 'noise' of each person playing his own tune while warming up is not pleasant--just as in life when each person goes his own way, doing his own thing it is not pleasant.  Then as the concertmaster begins to encourage them to tune their instruments to the oboe's 'A',  I begin to hear possibilities.  As the conductor enters, all eyes are on him and when he signals for them to begin, astonishingly beautiful music comes forth.  Each instrument is needed.  Some play more than others.  Some sections of the orchestra in which there are several of the same instruments, like the violins, play the same melody at the same time.  Others have solo parts.  Last night a cowbell was used to play only 2 notes the entire evening but it was an important part to be played--the performance would have been incomplete without those two notes.  Others played the entire concert.
      Isn't that how it is when we fix our attention on God?  He knows which of us needs to be played at the precise time to make a situation complete. And nothing but beauty can come forth when our eyes are on Him because He is beautiful!
    This morning I was thinking of the symphony in relation to church services.  If the musicians came as unprepared for the symphonic performance as we do to participate in church there would be no reason to have the performance.  Do we spend the week before, practicing, listening to the songs we will be singing, seeking to hear His voice?  Are we filling our minds with God's Word?
     The conductor shared that one of the compositions they played last night, "The Moldau" by Smetana, was a piece he listened to over and over when he was a child of 3 or 4 years old.  At that young age his mother had given him an LP recording of "The Moldau" to play in his room at night.  He loved it so much, he listened to it as often as he could!
     Do we do this with God's word?  Are we filling our minds with it?  Do we sing songs of praise and worship every spare moment during the week so we can sing them flawlessly with feeling and purpose on Sunday?  The musicians in the symphony love music so much they are willing to give up many other things to immerse themselves in it.  Do we love God that much?
       Some people want to argue that spending time in prayer, reading the Word, and helping others is 'works', but we are saved by grace.  Absolutely we are saved by grace!  Jesus payed the price--we need  do nothing to supplement His sacrifice.  So, just as any person who says they love music can enjoy a musical performance we can agree that Jesus' sacrifice was enough and be saved.  But is that the only reason we're here on earth--to be a spectator and wait to go to Heaven?  Wouldn't it glorify Him so much more if we would submit ourselves to the Great Conductor as finely tuned, well practiced instruments so that He can make us into a symphony for His glory and thereby bring others into His Kingdom, too?
     If we want to be part of making beautiful music we must fill our minds with that beautiful music.  We must tune our instruments and practice using them so they're ready for the Conductor to use in any way he knows will bring honor and glory to Himself.
     Wouldn't our church services be lovely if we brought the same dedication to God that musicians bring to a musical performance?

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Activation of the Qualified by Joshua Alvarez

       Because of several challenging things happening in my life right now, this was a very encouraging word!  I desire that God's ordained purposes be fulfilled and I agree with Him that I am here for such a time as this to call them back to order.  As I remember this and act on it passing the tests will qualify me for all that God has destined.  Amen!

Joshua Alvarez      Have you ever had a challenge present itself before you? Perhaps a test? We all have. Life with God is especially full of these good challenges. I'm sure right now you are experiencing some of these very tests in your life. One of the crucial points to obtaining victory is for our spiritual eyes to be aware and recognize these tests. The revelation we need is found in us embracing the test. Remember that he who our heavenly Father calls He has to qualify (see Romans 8:30). During this season He is qualifying you! The test you are in right now has been designed and purposed to bring you to the other side qualified, thus releasing you into destiny.
promotion       This word began stirring in my heart on the first night of Passover. I heard the Lord saying so clearly, "I'm qualifying you!" This word means: to make eligible for an office, position, task; and to declare competent, capable; certified.
      I believe that those who are going to lead in the future are being called forth and chosen right now. There is a reason for the test, for promotion is on the other side.
But, why was this so significant during Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread? Because this is the Father's celebration for His Son, Jesus, being qualified as the perfect sacrifice for iniquity and sin:
       "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief: when Thou shalt make His soul an offering for sin..."(Isaiah 53:10).
So, we also find in the Word that this is also our Father's celebration of our redemption too! "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in His sight" (Colossians 1:21-22).
       So, we know that the Lord sees us qualified already, but what He desires to do during this season is to take out the distractions that have been around us, thus allowing Him to show His power through us. This will cause us to receive a deeper revelation of the sufficiency of His work toward us in the midst of the circumstance we are in"Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us" (1 Corinthians 5:7).
       The Lord is calling us to take out the leaven of distraction, works of the flesh, fear, offense, etc. This season and the celebration that is going on in Heaven and earth was designed by God to increase our faith and prepare us to enter the fullness of His inheritance!
Back To God's Original Intent
        Redemption is such a key word when we are talking about this, because by definition it means to bring back to original intent. We see all around us, in our society and culture, things being taken out of God's original intent. This is what the spirit of antichrist does.
       Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 1 John 2:18
       And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws... Daniel 7:25
       One of the tools the enemy is using to wear out the saints is what is described here: the shifting and changing of God's original intent. But remember that we have the weapon calledredemption! "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy" (Psalm 107:2 ).Something always happens when we remember our spiritual status as redeemed! The enemy hates it because it brings us back to ruling in the garden of the Lord – God's original intent. That's why the enemy hates this season and has been trying to wear you out.
Cry Out!
        Right before the story of Passover in the Book of the Exodus, the Word of God records the condition of the people of Israel and the cry that caused a burning bush experience that ultimately led to incredible deliverance of an entire nation:
        "And it came to pass in process of time, that the king of Egypt died: and the children of Israel sighed by reason of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up unto God by reason of the bondage. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. And God looked upon the children of Israel, and God had respect unto them." (Exodus 2:23-25).
Burning Bush      Here we see clearly that it was the deep cry and brokenness of the nation in the midst of a test that released forth redemption.
       So, let's get rid of the old leaven and go back to the simplicity of loving our God with all our heart and embracing the test, knowing that our destiny is inside the package.
      "Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth" (1 Corinthians 5:8).
       Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, "I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And I will take you to Me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the Lord your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians." Exodus 6:6-7
       In the midst of what you are going through, remember that He is qualifying you into your destiny! He promises in His Word not only to redeem you but to use you to bring everything around you back to His order and original intent. Let the redeemed of the Lord rise!
Pastor Joshua Alvarez, M.Th.
The River Church
Kingdom Voice Ministries

Email: contact@trcvan.com
Website: trcvan.com

Friday, April 19, 2013

Why The World Is In A Mess

      We seem puzzled that the world is in such a mess, but Romans 1 tells us exactly why that is.  Here is The Message translation beginning with verse 19:

       "But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.
        So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!
        Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either—women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.
        Since they didn’t bother to acknowledge God, God quit bothering them and let them run loose. And then all hell broke loose: rampant evil, grabbing and grasping, vicious backstabbing. They made life hell on earth with their envy, wanton killing, bickering, and cheating. Look at them: mean-spirited, venomous, fork-tongued God-bashers. Bullies, swaggerers, insufferable windbags! They keep inventing new ways of wrecking lives. They ditch their parents when they get in the way. Stupid, slimy, cruel, cold-blooded. And it’s not as if they don’t know better. They know perfectly well they’re spitting in God’s face. And they don’t care—worse, they hand out prizes to those who do the worst things best!"

Thursday, April 18, 2013


       A local nursery included these fun flower facts in a recent newsletter.  I thought you might be interested in them, too.   I also created a link to each plant for easy access in case you aren't familiar with the plant, or wanted to know more about it.  Just click on the flower name to access it.


~Tulip bulbs were more valuable than gold in Holland in the 1600s.
~Tulip bulbs can be substituted for onions in a recipe.
~The very expensive spice, saffron, comes from a type of crocus flower.
~Hundreds of years ago, when Vikings invaded Scotland, they were slowed by  
     patches of wild thistle, allowing the Scots time to escape.  Because of this, the wild   
     thistle was named Scotland’s national flower.
~The juice from bluebell flowers was used historically to make glue.
~Foxglove is an old English name, derived from the belief that foxes slipped their feet
     into the leaves of the plant to sneak up on prey.
~Dandelions might seem like weeds, but the flowers and leaves are a good source
      of vitamins A and C, iron, calcium and potassium. One cup of dandelion greens
      provides 7,000-13,000 I.U. of vitamin A.
~The flower buds of the marsh marigold are pickled as a substitute for capers.
~Sunflowers move throughout the day in response to the movement of the sun from east
      to west.
~Moon flowers bloom only at night, closing during the day.
~Gas plants produce a clear gas on humid, warm nights. This gas is said to be  
      ignitable with a lit match.
~When Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley, they subsisted on the roots of  
      the Sego Lily Plant. This plant is the state flower of Utah.
~Angelica was used in Europe for hundreds of years as a cure for everything from the
       bubonic plague to indigestion. It was thought to ward off evil spirits.
~During the Middle Ages, lady’s mantle was thought to have magic healing properties.
~When Achilles was born, his mother dipped him head first in a bath of yarrow tea,
        believing it had protective qualities. Yarrow is still known for healing and was used
        during World War I to heal soldiers’ wounds.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wendy Alec: "For Behold, Watch, I Do a New Thing!"

An exciting prophetic word from Wendy Alec:

Wendy AlecProphetic Word from God received by Wendy Alec on April 12th, 2013:
"For do not look at the past," says the Lord. "Do not look to the things that have gone before. For behold, watch, I do a new thing! A new thing. And I will pour out My Spirit in a new way, in a manner you have not known before; for behold this is a new day. It is a new day and behold the past is behind and all things are become new.
"And yes, there will be naysayers and yes, there will be persecution, but they know not the Mind of the Lord. They know not My Mind. For am I not God? Is a man's heart not in My hands? For I tell you that I am God Almighty, God of Heaven and earth, and I choose whom I choose to choose.
Jesus is knocking"And I tell you that in the days and in weeks to come, you shall even see signs that you have not known. And you shall see wonders. I tell you wonders, wonders. Wonders in the sky, wonders in the Revival, wonders in the overflow rooms, wonders in the stadiums to come. For I tell you that the stadiums, they are to come. The stadiums the stadiums, the living rooms, the glory...
"For My fire shall fall. My fire shall fall from Heaven, and there shall be thunder and there shall be lightnings and there shall literally be the sounds of Heaven. The sounds of Heaven shall resound through the earth, through this Outpouring.
"VISITATION, VISITATION, VISITATION," says the Lord."Prepare for visitation, in homes, in your cities, in your nation. For what I am about to do cannot be contained. It cannot be contained... and I will turn unbelievers in their steps and I will open blind eyes and the paralyzed will walk!
A Great Grace
"The hallmark of this next move shall be a great grace," says the Lord. "A great grace, a great grace, and there shall be weeping and tears.