Friday, February 28, 2014

The Gathering Together of the Saints - Another Good Word from Francis Frangipane

The Ministries of Francis Frangipane

The Gathering Together of the Saints

True Christians from all backgrounds share an expectation commonly known as the Rapture of the church (see 1 Thess. 4:16-17). Although debate surrounds the timing of this event, Scripture assures us that at the last trumpet we will be caught up to "meet the Lord in the air" (v.17). So, while critics will say that Francis does not believe in the Rapture, the truth is that I do. However, it is plain that, according to many Scriptures, there will also be a time of unusual grace prior to the Rapture in which the living church of Jesus Christ, like a bride, makes "herself ready" (Rev. 19:7).

During this unparalleled season of preparation, those who are alive in Christ shall realize a level of holiness and purity that will be the overflow of the presence of Jesus Himself manifested through the church (1 Thess. 3:11-13; Eph. 5:26-27; Phil. 1:9-10). The result of this new spiritual fullness will be a new level of unity. Faultfinding and gossip will disappear. In their place will be intercession and love. Wholeness will return to the citywide evangelical church. This also means that the ambition and division we see today between congregations will be identified as sin, which will be repented of before Jesus returns.

The truth of this message must be made clear, for most Christians consider oneness within the body inconceivable before Jesus returns. They have not discerned nor warred against the enemy's lies, which have conditioned believers to accept strife and sectarianism in the church. It is my passionate conviction that the church that will ultimately be raptured will be free of strife and carnal divisions -- it will be a bride "having no spot or wrinkle" that has "made herself ready" for her bridegroom (Eph. 5:27; Rev. 19:7).

According to Scripture, during the Rapture, "in the twinkling of an eye" our bodies will be changed (1 Cor. 15:52). But our character, that is, the essence of who we have become, will remain intact. There will be no regrets or wondering how "those from that church" made it, for the living bride will be a church built together in love, meeting in separate buildings but serving the one and only Lord. These true disciples of the Lord Jesus will be known for their intense and holy love for one another -- not merely in their individual local assemblies but within the context of a citywide church.

It is highly significant that the scriptural term for the Rapture is called the "gathering together" (2 Thess. 2:1; Matt. 24:31). What ultimately will be consummated in our gathering together physically to the Lord will be precipitated by a spiritual gathering together of His body on earth. Concerning the era known as the "end of the age," Jesus taught that the "good fish" shall be "gathered . . . into containers" (Matt. 13:48). And in the context of spiritual warfare, Jesus warned, "He who does not gather with Me scatters" (Matt. 12:30).

This scattering, dividing process among the Lord's sheep has gone on long enough. Jesus has set His heart to bring healing and unity to His body. In this regard, through the prophet Jeremiah, the Lord spoke a somber warning. He said, "Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!" (Jer. 23:1). The Son of God is not pleased with the carnal divisions in His body! Indeed, the Lord promises to chasten those pastors who continue to build their kingdoms without laboring together to build His. To them He says, "I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds" (v. 2).

In the tenth chapter of John, the Lord makes His goal clear: there shall be "one flock with one shepherd" (v. 16). He reveals it is the wolf nature that "snatches [the sheep] and scatters them," and it is the hireling nature that allows the scattering to occur (v.12) . But His promise to His sheep says this: "Then I Myself will gather the remnant of My flock . . . and they will be fruitful and multiply. I will also raise up shepherds over them and they will tend them; and they will not be afraid any longer . . . nor will any be missing" (Jer. 23:3-4). The pastors of the last Christian church will be under-shepherds to the Lord Jesus; they will be anointed to gather together His remnant and under that anointing shall be "fruitful and multiply."

Indeed, right now, in the context of humbling ourselves and submitting our hearts to His will, we are participating in being "gathered together." This process will progressively increase until the barriers between brethren are melted by the overcoming nature of Christ's love. Before Jesus returns, we will truly be "one flock with one shepherd." We will be a holy and blameless sheepfold, meeting in different buildings but baptized into one body.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The preceding teaching was adapted from a chapter in Pastor Frangipane's book, The Three Battlegrounds. This book is currently on sale and can be ordered from Arrow Publications at

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Update on my mother

        I am sitting at the hospital waiting for the paperwork to be completed to release Mom.  She is going to a care center for rehab for a couple of weeks to regain her strength.  She has recovered remarkably well.  The doctors have decided she doesn't need dialysis at this time and her oxygen levels have remained high so she doesn't even need supplemental oxygen.
       We are grateful for all your prayers. Thank you!  If you think of it, would you please pray for strength to return to her legs and that the pain in her feet will leave so that she can get back to walking unassisted and can then return home. That is her main goal!  She is very eager to get home.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

"The Key to grasping the real meaning of the book of Revelation" by Axel Sippach

     I saw this on another blog. I was amazed at how many verses from the Old Testament are alluded to.  in Revelations!
       This is a very helpful tool in understanding the book of Revelation.  I especially love the fact that each verse is linked, so that the scriptures can be read immediately and the two compared.  This certainly saves a lot of time!  (Because the list is so long, I have hidden most of it.  Click on the "Read more" at then end of the post to reveal it all.)

The KEY to grasping the Real meaning of the book of Revelation. 

 From Apostle Axel Sippach

       You cannot understand the Book of Revelation - or the other New Testament books for that matter clearly without an understanding of the Old Testament.  In the Revelation there are so many either direct, or alluded to, references from the Old Testament. By going back and seeing what OT Scriptures were referenced, you have a better picture of how to interpret the verses from Revelation, which is not about the "destruction of the planet" but about the "apokalupsis" - "unveiling" or "revealing" of Jesus Christ.
      The list here is from the which is a great study resource tool. I just thought this might help someone who is currently or planning on soon studying Revelation again.

Rev 1:6
Exodus 19:6

Rev 1:7
Dan 7:13

Rev 1:7
Isa 40:5

Rev 1:7
Zec 12:10-14

Monday, February 24, 2014

Star Parker on the state of our country

What a sad state our country is in!

Columnist Star Parker: "In a recent Gallup poll, 71 percent between 18 and 34 years old said having a child out of wedlock is morally acceptable, 49 percent said pornography is morally acceptable, and 48 percent said teenage sex is morally acceptable. Can anyone really believe that a society with these kinds of values can and will have limited government? We cannot underestimate the influence Bill Clinton, America's first 60's generation president, played in creating this kind of popular culture. Once it was okay that the President of the United States could betray his nation and his wife and fornicate with a young intern in the Oval Office, the door was open to almost anything. We also cannot underestimate the impact on our popular culture and values that the wife of this man -- a woman who now aspires to be our next president -- was willing to tolerate this behavior and rationalize it away. This is not the behavior of a strong, courageous woman but that of a weak, unprincipled woman."

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Who Changed Things? by Dr. Michael Brown

       I saw this on another blog.  I don't know where it was originally posted but thought it was excellent so I wanted to pass it on.

Who Changed Things?     Dr. Michael Brown

Who changed things from the vibrant, Spirit-empowered “by life or by death” faith of the New Testament to today’s spineless home-and-garden Sunday-morning religion?

Who changed things from “Leave everything and follow Me” (see Luke 14:33) to “Pray this little prayer and you’re set for eternity”?

Who changed things from “All who live godly lives in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (see 2 Tim. 3:12) to “Ask Jesus into your heart and enjoy a comfortable life”?

Who changed things from a fearless proclamation of the truth, whatever the cost or consequences, to a watered down, compromised message that is afraid to offend anyone?

By what authority, by whose decree, based on what new revelation have we so blatantly departed from the faith of the apostles? Who changed things?

Who changed things from the New Testament faith, where even the disciples couldn’t minister without the Spirit’s enduement, to today’s version, where whole ministries are run with hardly any evidence of the Spirit’s work?

As A.W. Tozer once said, “If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the church today, 95 percent of what we do would go on and no one would know the difference. If the Holy Spirit had been withdrawn from the New Testament church, 95 percent of what they did would stop, and everybody would know the difference.”

This remains true of most of the contemporary church in the West.

Who changed things from a God-centered faith to a man-centered faith, from "Take up your cross and deny yourself" to "Bypass the cross and empower yourself"?

Who changed things from holiness being beautiful to holiness being bondage, from the early church being known for its high standards to the contemporary church being known for its scandals?

Who changed things from the people of God being a threat to the powers of darkness to the people of God being active participants in darkness?

In the early church, Paul instructed the Corinthians to separate themselves from people who claimed to be believers but were living in outward, unrepentant sin (1 Corinthians 5). Today, some of those people lead our churches and preach from our pulpits. Who changed things?

Who changed things from a faith that was so focused on the life of Jesus and so infused with the reality of His death and resurrection that no sacrifice was considered too great and no act of service considered too extreme—to the contrary, suffering for Him was considered a privilege (Matt. 5:10-12; Acts 5:41; Phil. 1:29)—to today’s convenience-store Christianity, where we have to “sell” salvation to the sinner by spicing up the deal with perks and benefits?

When did Jesus stop being enough?

When did obedience become an option?

When did keeping God’s commandments out of love for Him become “religious” (in the negative sense of the word)? Didn’t Jesus say that if we loved Him, we would keep His commandments (John 14:15, 21)?

Who changed things?

If we belonged to another religion that claimed to have other books that supplemented the Bible or traditions that superseded it, that would be one thing.

But we don’t. We believe the Scriptures alone are God’s Word and that nothing that comes after the Scriptures—no tradition, no alleged revelation, no consensus—can undermine or countermand the written Word of God.

So, who changed things from the biblical version of the Jesus faith to the modern American version?

We can debate church history and blame this group or that group, and we can point out what’s wrong with this denomination and that denomination. We might even have some great historical and contemporary insights.

But unless we get back to believing what is written and acting on what is written, we will continue to perpetuate our merry-go-round Christianity with lots of noise and action and bells and whistles but with little authority, little purity and little effect (if any).

I didn’t get the memo that God’s Word and Spirit were not enough, and I’m far more concerned with what He says than with what the latest polls say.

Really, now, since when did the Lord command us to fashion our preaching and our style of worship and even the way we look based on what’s trending?

If some church leaders choose to trust in worldly business models and carnal consulting firms, that’s their choice. I say that we go with the power of the name of Jesus and the wisdom of the Word of God and the fullness of the Spirit. I say that we go with the New Testament model, applied with boldness and with compassion to the needs of the day.

Years ago, Leonard Ravenhill said, “One of these days some simple soul will pick up the Book of God, read it, and believe it. Then the rest of us will be embarrassed.”

I want to be that simple soul. How about you?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Thinking themselves wise, they became fools.

     Romans 1:22  is a verse that comes to mind frequently when I read the news these days.  "Professing to be wise, they became fools."  The Message translation explains it even more clearly when you look at verses 20-22, "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."
     I again thought of Romans 1:22 when I read this news excerpt from yesterday's "Daily Digest for Friday" email from The Patriot Post.

In January 2013, following a violent year in Chicago with over 500 homicides, Center for American Progress board member Christie Hefner ridiculously claimed that global warming was a leading culprit. "There is a dramatic increase in gun violence when it is warmer, and we are having this climate-change effect that is driving that," she told MSNBC. Her faux concerns are being mimicked in the L.A. Times, which is promoting an alarming new study by research firm Abt Associates. They find that, "Between 2010 and 2099, climate change can be expected to cause an additional 22,000 murders, 180,000 cases of rape, 1.2 million aggravated assaults, 2.3 million simple assaults, 260,000 robberies, 1.3 million burglaries, 2.2 million cases of larceny and 580,000 cases of vehicle theft." Gee, that sounds about as likely as all those fantastical predictions from climate models. Then again, Leftists attribute everything to global warming.

Below is another example of foolishness excerpted from the same Patriot Post email:

        ...Truth be told, there are other culprits for California's [drought] predicament, but they're hardly subtle or climate related. As the Heritage Foundation reports, “Hundreds of thousands of acres of water have since been diverted from farmlands” courtesy of federal government regulations – all to save a three-inch smelt fish. According to California Department of Water Resources Director Mark Cowin, this diversion has cost the ability to irrigate 200,000 acres of farmland or to provide water to meet the needs of 1.4 million households for one year.                                                                      
         Instead of easing the regulations, however, the government – ruled by the environmental lobby – is effectively choosing to prolong the effects of the drought while trying to lay the blame on climate change. Meanwhile, farmers are hurting, crops are dying, and workers are preparing for unemployment. But apparently that's okay for Washington. Because somewhere, a smelt is smiling.

     How foolish!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Mom continues to improve

Just a quick update for those of you who have been praying for my mom:

 When we thought Mom was dying and we had all told her good-bye, she said, "I may surprise you yet." Well, she HAS surprised us!  As the old saying goes, "It's not over, till it's over." :o)

She continues to improve. They moved her to a regular room yesterday.  She had her first day of regular dialysis. She had been on a continuous circulating dialysis for a few days but they had stopped that on Tuesday.  The doctors said they may do regular (3 hour) dialysis again today and then reevaluate whether they think she will need to continue on dialysis.  

She is now on a regular diet so can eat anything.  She still has a little supplemental oxygen but has been disconnected from everything but the catheter because they want a strict measurement of intake, output fluids.  

Yesterday she was playing Words With Friends on her iPhone.  She also made a couple of phone calls. Her voice is very weak so she has been having a little trouble talking on the phone but still tries!

She is surprised how weak she feels when getting up, but has begun therapy to regain strength.  We and the doctors are amazed at her recovery!  

Thanks for all your prayers and expressions of love and concern!  Mom is thrilled with the phone calls, cards & visits!  They/you are greatly appreciated!

Prophetic Word through Kent Simpson

February 21, 2014

 PROPHETIC WORD: Roaring Rapids in His River

by, Kent Simpson  
"Many of us have become very comfortable soaking in prayer along the river's banks. However, I believe a few can hear in the distance an alarming roar within this spiritual river. Even God's Generals who have been wading in the full depth of God's anointed river sense that something is about to change. This celestial current is beginning to pull everyone in; even those who have been standing around its banks waiting for something to happen now feel its enticing force pulling them in.

"And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb" (Revelation 22:1).

"The comfort zone for all of God's people is rapidly narrowing as every ounce of their love for God is coming under a great test. Many have already been stripped of their nest egg and their prideful life has been thrashed through the grinding wheels of the greedy. These are the very vessels of God who will find themselves in the forefront, for they have already passed a big test. They sold out their souls giving it all to Christ and committed to serve Him to their death and beyond.

"'When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,' says the Lord God" (Ezekiel 16:8).

Springtime flood in a river. Rapids in motion.
 "There is a purging coming and if you are standing in the river be prepared. For as it comes flowing from heaven to earth it will be a torrential reigning of the Lord that will turn into a monsoon bringing forth a mighty rushing river of Jesus's love. This will stir your still brooks and cause your river to turn upside down sending you through a rage of rapids, bruising and pruning you, preparing you for what is yet ahead. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

New Movie Coming

      I am excited to see this movie!  I love good movies--those with good moral lessons and/or inspiring story lines!  I read Heaven Is For Real and found it enlightening and thought-provoking.  I'm sure the movie will be also.
It's a movie that spurs the all-important dialogue that is always in the back of our minds (if not the forefront)—whether a Believer or not—which is: "Is Heaven real?"
Heaven is for RealI found Todd Burpo's NY Times best-selling book, "Heaven Is For Real," to be a very down-to-earth account of his son, Colton's experiences while lingering between this life and Heaven, and how he—as a pastor—reconciled what his son described with his own beliefs. (Graphic: "Heaven Is For Real" official movie poster)

But, when I heard they were making a movie out of the book, I admit I was afraid of the "hokey factor" that seems to have accompanied many faith-based films in the past.

Last night, I attended a private screening for "Heaven Is For Real" which will be released on April 16th—just in time for the Easter weekend.

If you're not familiar with the true story of what happened with the Burpos, here's a quick synopsis...
Heaven is for Real
Todd Burpo is the pastor of a small-town church in America's heartland, where he lives with his wife Sonja; daughter, Cassie and son, Colton, who was just 3 at the time. A sudden and severe illness lands Colton in the hospital, and as he hovers between life and death, his family and church friends cry out to God on his behalf. (Photo: Connor Corum and Greg Kinnear as Colton and Todd Burpo)

Colton recovers, quite miraculously, and a short time after, he begins to share matter-of-factly with his parents, some of what he experienced when 'his body' was in the hospital, and he was 'somewhere else.' What he tells his family, and others who will listen, changes everything.

Heaven is for Real
The acting in "Heaven Is For Real" was excellent, in my opinion. Greg Kinnear plays Todd Burpo; Kelly Reilly plays his wife Sonja; and Connor Corum is an amazing child actor, aptly playing the role of Colton Burpo. (Photo: Kelly Reilly as Sonja Burpo)

This cast, along with 'church friends,' Margo Martindale and Thomas Haden Church, are completely believable and all seem to operate in that magical place of "I forgot they were acting."

Heaven is for Real
Under the direction of Randall Wallace (think "Braveheart"), the story of Colton describing his time in "Heaven" was expertly told, and in a very heartfelt, human way, in which we can all relate.
As Todd Burpo hears from his son, the extremely specific details about Heaven, he is suddenly faced with his own lack of belief, and just how to deal with that as a pastor.
Heaven is for Real
However, the more Colton shares about his time spent with Jesus, and the others he met during his experience; the more those who hear it are changed by what it means to each of them. (Photo: Connor Corum as 'Colton')

The movie dialog contains no expletives that I can remember, and I only felt the "hokey meter" begin to register a bit during the scenes (which were very brief) that depicted Heaven, and a few angels. Perhaps a few too many clouds—but seriously, what do I know? Maybe there are a lot of clouds there! (It just seemed slightly cliché at that point.)
Heaven is for Real
But on the other hand, how does one portray Heaven with special effects and have it not feel somewhat hokey? I do like the way they kept Jesus' face somewhat silhouetted until the very end, when child-prodigy artist Akiane's "Jesus" portrait is revealed. (That was the only picture of the Lord that Colton said was accurate.)
Heaven is for Real
On the whole, I would highly recommend "Heaven Is For Real," especially if you read and loved the book—but even if you didn't. Above all, it's the great love of God that is communicated through this film.(Photo: The 'real' Burpo family)

It's a movie that spurs the all-important dialogue that is always in the back of our minds (if not the forefront)—whether a Believer or not—which is: "Is Heaven real?"

And then, "If Heaven is does that change how I live my life now?"

"Heaven Is For Real" releases in about 2,500 theaters across the country on Wednesday, April 16th. To watch the official trailer, and for more information about the movie, Click Here.

Aimee Herd for Breaking Christian News 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"Did You Learn to Love?" - Bob Jones

     I'm posting this rather long transcribed testimony of an experience Bob Jones had when he was near death (or died) in 1976, because it has two very important messages for us--"have we learned to love?" and that intercessory prayer is very important and effective.
(Bob Jones went to be with the Lord last week on February 14 -a day we associate with love.)

Note from Sandy Warner:
This was transcribed from a conference held in Albany Oregon, 2006. Permission was given to post this. I have inserted the Scriptural references to Bob's comments at the bottom of his testimony. You may find the footnote (numbers) inserted into the transcription.
Word spoken by Bob Jones from a 2006 conference in Albany, Oregon - transcribed by Sandy Warner:
Bob JonesI was in pain on the earth and blood was shooting out of my mouth like a geyser.

And all of a sudden I wasn't in pain anymore. This Man, the Parakleet (1) stood by my side, the Holy Spirit, we started walking. And as we walked, I saw a Man who was white light. (2) All white light was around Him, but He was the whitest of all white lights. He had His hands out. As I came into that white light, there came a feeling over me like I had never known before. I asked the Man beside me, "What is that?"

The Man (Holy Spirit) said, "It is the love of God." I said, "It's just so wonderful, it's so glorious." And He said, "That's what it is, it's the glory of God." I said, "How can it be both?" It's in John 17. The love I had with the Father, the glory I had with the Father. So that was the greatest experience I have ever had. Just enveloped in His glorious love. That's possible down here. The glory of God is coming and it is going to be in His glorious love.

I noticed another group of people on my left side and they had like a conveyor belt underneath them. And they were wrapped up in all different kinds of things. And I looked at them and I asked this Man, "Why are they wrapped up that way?" And He said, "They were wrapped up in the earth with their gods. It's the gods they worshipped on the earth, that followed them into death. They were on their way to Hell with their gods. I saw a man wrapped up in dollar bills. I saw a man wrapped up in his sod or grass; his yard was his god. I saw a man that had no body, he was just one big head. He was an atheist, he worshipped himself; he was his own god and going to Hell with it.

I saw all manner of things who people worshipped on the earth; who they are going to spend eternity with. Well, I worshipped the Lord and I am going to spend eternity with Him. But these others that don't are going to spend eternity in total darkness with their god. And their gods will be their tormentors, not a hundred thousand years, but eternity.

So I looked at that line. It was so horrible, and everyone when they came there, they recognized Him. Their eyes got big, and everyone that is going to Hell has had a witness in one way or another that there is a God. And every one of them willingly denied Him. For each 2 in the line that I was in, there was 98 in the other line.

I watched the Lord speak to people that were coming there. And He asked them only one question: "Did you learn to love?"He's not going to ask you what you did. If you learn to love you are going to do that which is right. Did you learn to love? (3) He would ask them that question and they would say, "Yes Lord," and He would kiss them right on the lips and embrace them and the double doors of His heart would open and they would go right on in.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Dennis Prager on Same Sex Marriage

Columnist Dennis Prager: "Many societies allowed polygamy, many allowed child marriages, some allowed marriage within families; but none in thousands of years defined marriage as the union of people of the same sex. None of this matters to these judges or to all those who seek to re-define marriage and can't convince a majority of their fellow citizens to agree. For them, it is identical to ruling that laws that banned interracial marriages were unconstitutional. But that argument is utterly flawed. First, the analogy is false because there is no difference between black people and white people, while there are enormous differences between males and females. ... [G]iven that no society in thousands of years has allowed same-sex marriage, it is, by definition, the proponents of same-sex marriage whose position is radical and extreme. ... The Left since Marx has asserted that every one of their radical positions ... is on the right side of history. Virtually none turned out to be."

Update on Mom

       For those of you who know Mom and/or are praying for her, I just wanted to let you know she is getting stronger.  Yesterday she was sitting up talking to all of us.  Even though the rule is for only 2 people in the ICU the nurses bent the rule so she had 4 or 5 visitors most of the day except when she was sleeping.  She thrives on having family around so it was good medicine for her.  A friend, who drove in from Arkansas, brought Mom a red scarf and sequin trimmed hat which she loved wearing to impress all who came in--especially the nurses.  Of course, all were thrilled to see her being so perky since she was so ill on Sunday.
      Thank you so much for your prayers.

Monday, February 17, 2014


       Yesterday was a roller coaster day with my mom.  We thought we were losing her so everyone said good-bye.  Then when we had finished she said, "I may surprise you yet!"  She loved the attention though, so it was a very healing time for everyone.  There were many expressions of love and encouragemet that hadn't been said before.  She said as I was preparing to go home, "I'm glad we had that meeting this afternoon."  Obviously it was very meaningful to her.
        All of our family is here so everyone has had a chance to tell her how much they love her.  What a blessing!
      Thank you for all your prayers.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Since there is so much snow the cardinals are flocking to our sunflower seeds.  Including these there were 25 that I could count either feeding or perched in the nearby tree waiting to feed.

Friday, February 14, 2014

I have been gone

Sorry I haven't been able to post recently. We have been in Nebraska visiting friends & family and taking care of business.  I have had many distractions--the most important of which is that my mother, who we had taken to the hospital last Saturday, has not responded well to treatment and has become more ill since we left.

It was difficult to leave in the first place but Mom insisted we go, since she knew we had planned the trip before she went into the hospital.  So we went.  Then when her condition continued to deteriorate we were torn between returning home immediately and finishing our business in Nebraska.  Fortunately, several family members were caring for Mom in our absence so we knew she was in good hands.  After spending only one night with our daughter's family we felt it was absolutely necessary to return.   Jess' family has decided to come to Illinois soon, though, so it wasn't as difficult to say good-bye as it would have been otherwise.

We would very much appreciate your prayers for our family at this time.  Thank you.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Where is the American Work Ethic?

      I say "shame on those who are not willing to work for a living but wait for others to take care of them!" Most of the people I know were taught that if you don't work, you don't eat, unlike what Liberals are teaching today--that people are 'entitled' to everything they want just because they're alive!  Arnold Ahlert says it much better than I can:

Columnist Arnold Ahlert: "I'm guessing there are legions of Americans who have little concern about being liberated from the increasingly anachronistic concepts known as decency, dignity, integrity, morality and hard work. There was a time within my lifetime when the idea that going on the dole was a liberating event would have been treated as the ridiculous -- and pernicious -- garbage it truly is. And those promoting it would have been treated like the pariahs they are. Nowadays? Not so much. Or maybe not at all. As one who observes the trajectory of our culture, I wonder if there's any kind of behavior short of murder or child molestation that has any stigma whatsoever attached to it any more. ... One thing is certain: the 'fundamental transformation' of our nation into the Slacker States of America has a limited shelf life. Here's hoping that the political party promoting such a poisonous ideology has even more limited shelf life."

Monday, February 10, 2014

2014 Would Be The Year of the Quantum Leap by Jane Hamon

This is exciting, hopeful word was posted on The Elijah List today.  I particularly liked the analogy of growing bamboo.
Tom and Jane HamonAt the beginning of this year, as I was seeking the Lord regarding the season we are in,I distinctly heard Him say this would be the "Year of the Quantum Leap!" I had of course heard this term before, but I didn't fully understand the meaning of it in regards to what God desires to do in and through His Church. Webster'sdefines "Quantum Leap" as follows: "a sudden and significant change or increase; something sudden, spectacular and vitally important, a sudden highly significant advance...breakthrough!" 
Wow! Am I ever ready for this! Aren't you?

Upon further research, I discovered that in quantum science a quantum leap is described as Convergence: Quantum Physics, Scripture, and Prophecy by Ras and Bev Robinsonan abrupt movement of an electron from one radiant energy level to another with no smooth in between. An electron will build up energy and become "excited," then will suddenly jump or leap to another level to orbit another atom. As it does the photons emit a burst of light! It goes from point A to point B with no in between. Once it makes this jump it finds a place of stability, then begins to build energy once again to work up to the next leap to the next level. In a quantum leap moment,BAM! Everything changes! It is a "suddenly" season filled with light, energy, and power that redefines our present and our future.
Quantum Leap Freedom!
This is what happens when we have an encounter with Jesus...BAM! Everything changes! Like the children of Israel coming out of Egypt after Passover, BAM! One minute they were slaves, the next moment they were declared free. The number 14 is tied to the concept of Passover since it is celebrated on the 14th day of the first Hebraic month. So when we encounter Jesus our Passover Lamb, BAM! A lifetime of slavery, bondage, addiction, fear, and sin is destroyed in a moment. We make a quantum leap out of the kingdom of darkness in to the Kingdom of God's Son, the Kingdom of Light! This will be a year of quantum leap freedom as God's people experience and appropriate the power of the Cross on a whole new level.
Prayer, Quantum Physics and Hotel Mattresses by Jim Berge
One moment you may be sick, then BAM! You are suddenly healed!
One moment you may be bound by darkness and oppression, thenBAM! The light of God's love makes you free, full of joy, full of light!

One moment you are poor with nothing working for you, then BAM! God turns things around releasing His divine favor and opening new doors of opportunity and blessing!

This is a year for God's people to build up excitement and energy through releasing our faith, dreaming bigger dreams, and praying in the Holy Spirit, then BAM! Leaping from glory to glory, from faith to faith, and from strength to strength. This will be a time of "exponential" increase for the Body of Christ!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Welfare Pays More Than Minimum-Wage Work In 35 States

       Here's an interesting article from on the value of welfare payments.  Did you have any idea welfare recipients made so much money?  No wonder they don't want to work!  How wrong is this??!!

On Labor Day 2013, Welfare Pays More Than Minimum-Wage Work In 35 States

Since 2009, the Fair Labor Standards Act has dictated that the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Some people think that’s too low; others think it’s too high. But it turns out that, in 35 states, it’s a better deal not to work—and instead, to take advantage of federal welfare programs—than to take a minimum-wage job. That’s the takeaway from a new study published by Michael Tanner and Charles Hughes of the Cato Institute.
“The current welfare system provides such a high level of benefits that it acts as a disincentive for work,” Tanner and Hughes write in their new paper. “Welfare currently pays more than a minimum-wage job in 35 states, even after accounting for the Earned Income Tax Credit,” which offers extra subsidies to low-income workers who take work. “In 13 states [welfare] pays more than $15 per hour.”
Losing ground in the war on poverty
The welfare system, at its best, is a system that gives people a way to live when they can’t find work for themselves, when they’re down on their luck. At its worst, the welfare system rewards people for not working, and incentivizes people to develop habits that make it harder for them to find work in the future, miring them in permanent poverty.
In 1984, a predecessor of mine at the Manhattan Institute, Charles Murray, published the definitive book on this subject, Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950-1980. Murray found that despite the fact that we were spending trillions of dollars on anti-poverty programs, poverty was not improving; indeed, on many measures, it was getting worse.
Things had gotten so bad that a Democratic presidential candidate, Bill Clinton, campaigned in 1992 on a platform to “end welfare as we know it, to make welfare a second chance, not a way of life.” In 1996, Clinton signed into law a landmark welfare-reform bill called the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which, among other things, required recipients of cash welfare payments to seek work, or lose their benefits.In 1984, a predecessor of mine at the Manhattan Institute, Charles Murray, published the definitive book on this subject, Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950-1980. Murray found that despite the fact that we were spending trillions of dollars on anti-poverty programs, poverty was not improving; indeed, on many measures, it was getting worse.
But though the 1996 reforms did shrink the cash welfare rolls, other programs have grown substantially in the last 17 years, so much so it appears that the significance of the 1996 reforms may have been overstated.
The welfare system has grown since 1996
In 1995, Cato published The Work vs. Welfare Trade-Off, which examined the value of welfare benefits in every state. They found that, in 40 states, welfare paid more than $8 an hour; in 17 states, welfare paid more than $10 an hour. Tanner, the principal author of that study, decided to reexamine the numbers in the context of 2013.
In Cato’s new 2013 study, welfare paid more than $10 an hour in 33 states; 17 paid less than $8 an hour. Comparing the two data sets and accounting for inflation, 18 states saw a decline in the total value of welfare benefits; 32 states and the District of Columbia saw increases.
Tanner and Hughes award the national welfare championship to Hawaii, which offers $60,590 in annual welfare benefits, once you account for the fact that welfare benefits are tax-free to the recipient, compared to work-related wages. That’s the equivalent of $29.13 an hour. Rounding out the top five were D.C. ($50,820 per year and $24.43 an hour), Massachusetts ($50,540 and $24.30), Connecticut ($44,370 and $21.33), and New York ($43,700 and $21.01).
States with the lowest welfare benefits were Idaho ($11,150 and $5.36), Mississippi ($11,830 and $5.69), Tennessee ($12.120 and $5.83), Arkansas ($12,230 and $5.88), and Texas ($12,550 and $6.03).
Vermont increased welfare payments by the largest amount
The biggest jump in welfare payments between 1995 and 2013 was enjoyed by Vermont, where annual pre-tax-equivalent benefits jumped from $31,580 to $42,350 in 2013 dollars: an increase of $10,770. Other big gainers were D.C. ($6,850), Hawaii ($5,589), New Hampshire ($5,299), and Oregon ($5,288).
The biggest decrease was in Alaska, where benefits dropped from $48,655 to $26,400, a difference of $22,255. The other major belt-tighteners were Virginia (-$20,035), Maine (-$18,718), Colorado (-$16,830), and Idaho (-$16,048).
Tanner and Hughes count 126 distinct federal means-tested anti-poverty programs in force today. For the purposes of their study, they looked specifically at: (1) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), the post-1996 cash welfare program; (2) the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as food stamps; (3) Medicaid; (4) housing assistance; (5) utilities assistance; (6) the Women, Infants, and Children program (WIC), and (7) the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).
Not all of these benefits apply to every welfare beneficiary, and some are time-limited, like TANF. But it remains true that an alarming number of welfare beneficiaries do not have an economic incentive to find entry-level work.
Also striking about the Tanner and Hughes study is the degree to which this problem would be much worse without the Earned Income Tax Credit, which offers subsidies to working low-income individuals. In effect, the EITC serves as a negative income tax for those with little-to-no income tax liability. It ameliorates the disincentive that welfare recipients have to seek work.
The Swedish solution: Tax welfare benefits
A better way to address this problem would be to treat welfare benefits like taxable income. Even low-income workers with no income tax liability have to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. But welfare benefits are entirely tax-free.
As Reihan Salam has noted, Sweden has a generous welfare state. But Sweden treats welfare benefits as taxable income. This gives even welfare beneficiaries an incentive to support efficient government, providing a welcome blur between “makers” and “takers.” In Sweden, according to Tino Sanandaji, “an astonishing 85 percent of working-age native Swedes work and pay taxes, far above the European average of 70 percent.”
You could even increase the scale of welfare benefits, in order to ensure that the taxable net income to welfare beneficiaries remained similar. Such a change would allow for more straightforward comparisons of income from work and income from welfare, and reduce the disincentive for work.
Obamacare is doing much to make it harder for Americans to find work, especially full-time work. At the same time, the aging of the Baby Boomers and the growth in welfare payments is making it easier for Americans to give up on looking for work. Absent reform, this won’t end well.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Robby Dawkins' New Book

     I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we went to a Vineyard Conference in Champaign where one of the speakers was Robby Dawkins and how impressed I was with him.  I even posted a YouTube video of one of his talks, so you could see why.  Well, I have been reading his book, Do What Jesus Did, and am finding it one of the best books I've ever read on healing.
       Even though I'm only about half way through, I wanted you to know in case this is an area that interests you, too.  I highly recommend the book and have already ordered more copies to give to friends and family.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

What is Wrong with Our President? No Common Sense? Or Just Hell Bent on Destroying America?

From Conservative Bite website:

Obama to Allow ‘Limited’ Terrorists to Immigrate to US


They just helped out the terrorists a little. Why wouldn’t we want terrorists to come live among us.
Check it out:
The Obama administration has issued new exemptions to a law that bars certain asylum-seekers and refugees who provided “limited material support” to terrorists who are believed to pose no threat from the U.S.
The Department of Homeland Security and the State Department published the new exemptions Wednesday in the Federal Register to narrow a ban in the Immigration and Nationality Act excluding refugees and asylum seekers who had provided limited material support, no matter how minor, to terrorists.
“These exemptions cover five kinds of limited material support that have adversely and unfairly affected refugees and asylum seekers with no tangible connection to terrorism: material support that was insignificant in amount or provided incidentally in the course of everyday social, commercial, family or humanitarian interactions, or under significant pressure,” a DHS official explained to The Daily Caller.