911 Memorial Ny

How God Sustained Me in the Aftermath of Terror — Charisma Magazine

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911 Memorial Ny
9/11 Memorial in New York (Wikimedia Commons)

Note: On 9/11, Christina and Brian Stanton fled their Financial District apartment, six blocks from the World Trade Center, after watching a jet fly into the Twin Towers. They returned less than two weeks later and found a neighborhood that was barely recognizable and barely inhabitable. Little has been written about what the 25,000 people who lived in the neighborhoods surrounding Ground Zero faced in those days.

Nine days after 9/11, we were encouraged to return to our Financial District apartment. The management company emailed that our building had been declared structurally sound, electricity had been restored, and asbestos levels in the neighborhood were very low.

Brian was delighted. I was not. Fires were still raging at Ground Zero. Two million tons of debris had been spread over 16 acres of devastation smack in the middle of our neighborhood. The search for human remains continued just blocks outside our apartment building’s front door.

However, building management, Mayor Giuliani, the Environmental Protection Agency and President Bush were all telling us it was safe to return. So on Sept. 23 we headed back to our apartment.

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As we ascended from the subway, the sulfuric stench seemed as pungent as it had been on 9/11. Papers, dirt and chunks of concrete were piled haphazardly on top of dust and debris-covered cars, awnings, and trash cans. Scraps of twisted metal hung from window sills and fire escapes.

Our apartment building—a 1931 office that had been converted into 294 apartments on 33 floors—was coated in dust so thick I could barely tell the difference between windows and the brick facade. However, the lobby appeared to have been freshly washed, and the gold art deco elements shined.

We learned this gleaming lobby had sheltered people when the Twin Towers crumbled and later provided a break room for firefighters working at Ground Zero. A few employees had been taking turns sleeping in the lobby, climbing stairs in the dark to check on abandoned pets and watch for looters.

Our apartment had been cleaned, but soot and fine dust coated everything. We stepped onto our terrace to scenes from a combat zone: mounds of debris at Ground Zero, crushed cars in an open-air parking lot, twisted metal and debris everywhere. A burned-out fire truck was resting in a small park nearby. A five-story piece of exterior hung precariously from the corner of a building in the World Trade Center complex.

Whenever Brian and I ventured into the neighborhood, we would walk block after block looking for signs of a cleanup. Instead, we discovered destruction and chaos. Heavily damaged buildings dominated Broadway. The battered three-story tenement that used to house our local Burger King now served as a center for police operations.

The two subway lines closest to our building had imploded and were expected to be out of operation for at least a year. The Financial District had never sported as many retail and service providers as most Manhattan neighborhoods, and now many of those few grocery stores, clothing stores and pharmacies were shuttered. Residents had to venture farther and farther to find essentials.

Missing person flyers and posters fluttered from every wall and fence, while candles and flowers piled up beneath them. Charred and battered bikes had been turned into shrines. Handwritten notes and flyers were taped on every inch of the fence surrounding St. Paul’s Chapel.

Many streets remained off-limits, and pedestrians wore white masks to filter out the dust that hung heavy in the air. The area had been home to many schools, from nursery schools through college campuses. All were now closed, and most students had been reassigned to other school locations.

Bulldozers, trucks and cranes moved wreckage from the Ground Zero pile 24 hours a day, kicking up clouds of dust and who knew what else. As the weeks went by, I continued to step out onto our 24th-floor terrace, where the shock of the new view never lessened. The beautiful, awe-inspiring Twin Towers were gone, replaced by a gaping black hole and a pile of rubble.

Before the attacks, my dreams for my future had soared as high as the Twin Towers. But those dreams and my confidence had been destroyed along with those buildings.

For the first time in my life, I couldn’t see my way out of the destruction and darkness that surrounded me—both literally and emotionally. Brian and I were both unemployed, living in a neighborhood of destruction and suffering from PTSD. My prayers were shallow and faltering, but I know now that God heard them.

He sent friends into our lives who helped lift us up. He placed a therapist in my life who helped me understand the trauma I had experienced and find a path out of that dark place. And He sent us to Redeemer Presbyterian Church. I went there initially to seek financial aid; when they handed me a check to help pay for some of our expenses, I felt hope for the first time in weeks.

We returned to Redeemer and discovered a Christian community that took us in and helped us heal. As we grew in our faith and our hope, I began to understand that the worldly success I previously craved is not a sign of God’s love or approval. I also came to believe that I could trust Him to walk with me through the darkest of places.

The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., remain the deadliest acts of terrorism in world history. Almost 3,000 people died and 6,000 were injured that day, and people are still dying from cancers and other illnesses from exposure to the toxic gases and dust released in those attacks.

As I look back on the last 20 years, I am more aware than ever of how 9/11 changed my life. Although it had been difficult to live among daily reminders of 9/11 in our Financial District neighborhood, it was there where I began to live with the assurance that through faith in Christ, I don’t have to fear anything. As the neighborhood slowly revived and restored, I became rebuilt in His image. And that journey brought me to a place of peace when I learned how to sink the foundation of my life deep in the promises of Christ.

When I walked through the valley of the shadow of death on 9/11, God was with me. And He still walks with me through every valley and every mountain peak. He meets me in my brokenness with His strength so that I may offer His strength to others. Torch1

Christina Stanton is the award-winning author of Out of the Shadow of 9-11: An Inspiring Tale of Escape and Transformation and Faith in the Face of COVID-19: A Survivor’s Tale.

Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.

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Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt’s “Prayers That…” 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.

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God’s Call for Faithful Stewards — Charisma Magazine

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There are key strategic endeavors to be accomplished for every season, brought forth by God to crank the engine that drives and directs our movement on the journey of ascension to Christ the head and the completion of His divine plan. Paul declared in Colossians 1:25 that he became “a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God.”

The word “stewardship” in Greek is oikonomia. It is a word related to the stewardship and management of God’s economy. Paul’s was a stewardship from God—a work assigned to him for the people of God, to fulfill the will and Word of God. It was a stewardship led by the Holy Spirit, backed by heaven, and administered in union with angels. His ministry began in a meeting of the apostles and prophets. As they were fasting and ministering to the Lord, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them” (Acts 13:2).

God’s strategy for taking the gospel out to the nations was about to begin through Paul and Barnabas—their sending and ministry were key to God’s plan for that era. For the apostles and all the leaders called forth for that time, it was a plan that required their stewardship—the responsibility was theirs to get the job done in the power of the Holy Spirit, working with them and through them.

For those chosen to be born and live in these fullness of times—in the day of His power, the call to ministry is to the high call of stewarding and administering the life of Christ with a greater level of power and authority.

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The Stewardship of Biblical Leaders

Let’s have a look at this stewardship in relation to leaders in the Bible. Throughout the Bible, there is great body of evidence of the many great leaders and saints who lived out the principle that God raises up certain people and prepares and equips them to administer His blueprint for their times.

Moses, Aaron, Miriam and the leaders of the tribes were mandated to oversee the massive responsibility of moving millions of people out of captivity on a 40-year journey that led them to the gates of the promised land (Mic. 6:4).

Once Moses said yes to God and entered into an agreement with Him for His plan to come forth, he did not capitulate. Moses stayed faithful until the end; he completed his task to bear witness or give evidence to God’s unfolding plan.

“Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house,” bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future (Heb. 3:5).

Joshua was one of God’s greatest leaders, raised up to cause the people of God to conquer and possess the promised land. Joshua never wavered in his devotion and was faithful to all God had called him to accomplish. See Joshua 24:31 is a demonstration and testimony of his good leadership: “Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua.”

Deborah is another great example of a leader called to steward the times she lived in to represent God’s kingdom interests. She was called forth as a deliverer to the people of God, to move them out from under the oppression of the enemy into freedom and liberty. In triumph she sang: “When the princes in Israel take the lead, when the people willingly offer themselves—praise the LORD! … Villagers in Israel would not fight; they held back until I, Deborah, arose, until I arose, a mother in Israel” (Judg. 5:2,7).

Many times, in Scripture, Daniel was referred to as a “man greatly beloved” because of his faithful service to God while living under enemy rule. Daniel stewarded the purposes of God for his times, as an intercessor in communication with the kingdom realm, and as a prophet, he stewarded significant revelations given for a future generation at the end of the age.

“I thank and praise you, God of my ancestors: You have given me wisdom and power, you have made known to me what we asked of you” (Dan. 2:23),

Every objective of God to be accomplished in every dispensation is a vital and crucial part of His unfolding plan. Each part causes momentum to build, moving history forward toward the day of completion, at the climax of times, at the end of the age.

The prophets of Israel were called forth as stewards of the oracles of God and as witnesses of the living God. They lived supernatural lives functioning in gifts and abilities sourced in another realm. Let’s examine the biblical world view of stewardship: “Utilizing and managing all resources God provides for the glory of God and the betterment of His creation” (Holman Bible).

Wikipedia describes, “the central essence of a biblical worldview of stewardship is managing everything God brings into the believer’s life in a manner that honors God and impacts eternity.”

The High Calling of God

God will have an administration suitable for this dispensation, tailored and equipped to meet the challenges of these times—this is our destiny. It is, therefore, necessary to God’s interests that we:

— Understand the dynamics of the times.

— Understand God’s intentions for the times.

— Know the framework and boundaries of the times and the enemy’s limits in the times (Dan. 7:25).

— Receive directions and tactical assignments to implement the plan of God.

For this present hour, in the culmination of history, the people prepared and brought forth to serve God will be a unique people, bold and courageous, bearing the likeness of the Lion of Judah. They will have walked through the fires and have not been burned and through the waters and have not drowned (Isa. 43:2).

This army coming forth will stand resolute, tethered to the Lord by humility and the fear of the Lord. They are friends of God—the glorious vanguard moving ahead as one man to prepare the way of the Lord in union with Him.

They are called forth to the stewardship of a unique season of fullness, when everything has matured to its fullness—kindness, goodness, love and compassion, hate, evil and deception. Ephesians 1:7a-10a (NASB 1995) is written for these times and these people:

“… according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth.”

The word “administration” in this passage, translated as “dispensation” is oikonomia, spoken of earlier also as stewardship in other translations (Col. 1:25). In the context of this passage, it is used to refer to God’s administration or stewardship of a certain period of history to which Paul described as “the fulness of times.”

By their union with Christ, this passage also takes into account the Lord’s servants appointed to this administration. They carry out His will and execute His campaign with authority, working to bring to union everything in Christ.

Regarding this stewardship, the New International Version puts it this way, “… to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment,” and the English Standard Version describes it as “… a plan for the fullness of time.”

The summing up in these times in Christ means to bring everything under one headin a time when things have come to a head. Jesus is the head—the people of God are now growing up to the head, to the stature of the fullness of Christ, according to Ephesians 4:13.

The body of Christ is being separated from everything opposed to God’s mind and heart, where He alone steps forward to administrate His kingdom as Lord … and this through a people fully submitted to His lordship and fully yielded to Him.

Listen to this episode of The Sound of the Trumpet on Charisma Podcast Network. Torch1

Faith Marie Baczko is the president of Headstone Ministries International—a ministry that is rich and robust in the purposes and plans of God. She is a prophetic teacher and author, bringing significant revelation to mobilize, equip and strengthen the body of Christ for this momentous hour of history. Faith is an international speaker and has garnered enduring relationships with leaders united in passion for truth and enduring Revival. Faith is an author of several books; her latest release, now available on Amazon, is called A Rising Called For! Contact her or support her ministry at [email protected]. By supporting this work, you help this ministry to keep bringing you these timely messages.

Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.

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Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt’s “Prayers That…” 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.

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God I Look To You/Goodness of God Cover (Bethel Music) – Angela David | Ebenezer Moses John



I sing this as a prayer of hope and faith from my heart to the hearts of all those who have fought or are fighting through a range of unprecedented, difficult and hopeless situations in recent times. May this song shift your perspective and redirect your vision to the Lord and to His plans and purposes for your life and the lives of your loved ones, regardless of what your reality may look like right now. Stay blessed and lean into His presence! – Love, Angela

Psalm 27:3 (ESV)
Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.

Credits:
Vocals – Angela David
Music Production and Arrangement – Ebenezer Moses John
Audio Mix and Master – Dishon Samuel (ArcD Productions)

Videography – Tezpix Studios
Video Editor – Dishon Samuel (ArcD Productions)

Production Coordinator – Allen Sam Luther

Filmed at St. Neots Parish Church, Cambridgeshire, England
Special thanks to St. Neots Parish Church, the Rector and Helen for generously allowing us the time and space to film this video! (https://stneots.org/)

Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/angeladavid_26/
Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/angeladavid.26/

Original Song Credits:
God I Look To You – Bethel Music, Writers: Ian McIntosh, Jenn Johnson
Goodness of God – Bethel Music, Writers: Jenn Johnson, Ed Cash, Jason Ingram, Ben Fielding, and Brian Johnson

God I look to You, I wont be overwhelmed
Give me vision to see things like You do
God I look to You, You’re where my help comes from
Give me wisdom, You know just what to do

God I look to You, I wont be overwhelmed
Give me vision to see things like You do
God I look to You, You’re where my help comes from
Give me wisdom, You know just what to do

And I will love You Lord my strength
I will love You Lord my shield
I will love You Lord my rock
Forever all my days I will love You God

I will love You Lord my strength
I will love You Lord my shield
I will love You Lord my rock
Forever all my days I will love You God

I love Your voice
You have led me through the fire
In the darkest night
You are close like no other
I’ve known You as a Father
I’ve known You as a Friend
And I have lived in the goodness of God 

Your goodness is running after
It’s running after me
Your goodness is running after
It’s running after me
With my life laid down
I’m surrendered now
I give You everything
Your goodness is running after
It’s running after me

Hallelujah our God reigns
Hallelujah our God reigns
Oh hallelujah our God you reigns
Forever and all my days Hallelujah

Hallelujah Jesus reigns
Hallelujah Jesus reigns
Oh hallelujah Jesus reigns
Forever and all my days Hallelujah
Forever and all my days Hallelujah

Copyright Info:
God I Look To You: https://songselect.ccli.com/Songs/5858163/god-i-look-to-you
Goodness of God: https://songselect.ccli.com/Songs/7117726/goodness-of-god

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The Power of Godly Witnesses — Charisma Magazine

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“You are a hopeless case.”

“You will never change.”

“You will be as drug addict until the day you die.”

These were the messages spoken over my life again and again. In the natural, these dire predictions concerning my life and prospects for the future had a ring of truth to them. However, the Lord was raising up His witnesses around me to bring a message of hope and deliverance.

After wasting all of my teenage years on drugs, alcohol and a party lifestyle, I found myself facing five years in the state penitentiary. Even worse than that, at 20 years of age, I had been shooting narcotics in my veins for 5 years and had absolutely no hope or vision for the future. I was surrounded by teachers, doctors, counselors, pastors and random people who were declaring death and defeat over my life.

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Thankfully, the Lord spoke His Word over my life: “If any man be in Christ he is a new creation” (2 Cor. 5:17a). He used His people to do it. God displays His power and produces freedom in hopeless people through the boldness of godly witnesses. The most powerful tool you possess to promote change in the lives of others is your testimony. Specifically, your story of how Jesus Christ has brought victory and hope to your life.

Proverbs 18:1 puts it this way: “The power of life and death is in the tongue.” When I was a troubled, addicted and confused young man, I had people around me speaking two distinct messages. Some of those people were declaring death and destruction, while others proclaimed life and deliverance. The Lord used the message of hope to transform my life into a testimony for His glory and kingdom.

You can hear the rest of my story and discover how the Lord will use your story to encourage hope in people around you on this episode of Conquer Addiction on the Charisma Podcast Network. You can find more resources at omainc.org.Torch1

Ken and Sonya Pounders are the hosts of the Conquer Addiction podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network. They serve as directors of Outreach Ministries of Alabama Inc., a Christian discipleship training center for young men overcoming addictions. OMA Inc. recently celebrated its 50th anniversary as a ministry. Ken is also a 1983 graduate of Outreach Ministries of Alabama.

Ken and Sonya have devoted themselves to church planting, missionary evangelism and residential discipleship ministry in the USA, Eastern Europe, Asia and Central America for 37 years. They reside in Valhermoso Springs, Alabama, and have five children and three grandchildren.

Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt’s “Prayers That…” 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.

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This old house is falling apart



Just like everything on earth is falling apart so are we. I talk about life and how short it really is on my podcast on, “Down to Earth But Heavenly Minded.”

In all my podcasts I try to apply scripture to real-life experiences. And I expound on what I believe the scripture is trying to convey to us. We need to dig deep into God’s Word to find out what life is all about, and how to live like God wants us to do and how to do it.

Please go to this link for an introduction to my videos.


Also check out this link:

Links to more audio writings:
https://www.facebook.com/Old-Authors-and-Writers-203840207051803/?eid=ARC-A3FHYqT31Fdrdowx7IOhnouPRgGmi-XJ89jr9f6fCzitM_VxeJUpsXN7YqnMeKOh4S-qR57BTaKk

https://hiawathabible.org/videos-audio-books

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The God Mode Glitch! (Don'T Ban Me)

THE GOD MODE GLITCH! (don't ban me)



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G-D Does Not Have a Permissive Will — Charisma Magazine

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Many years ago when I first became a believer in Yeshua, I heard a theological concept that I had never heard of in Judaism. I heard preacher after preacher teach on this concept, yet not one of these preachers ever provided biblical text as a basis of their belief in what they were teaching. I will admit that what they were teaching sounded good and helped some believers feel confident in their redemption. However, there are many things that preachers say that sound good and make us feel better that are unbiblical and, in many cases, dangerous.

The theological teaching or doctrine that I am referring to is the belief that G-D has a perfect will and a permissive will for us. This belief teaches us that G-D has a perfect plan for our lives. One that He wants us to walk in. One that will provide His blessings. His perfect will is where He wants us to walk and live our life of faith. This belief also teaches us that G-D has a permissive will for us. This permissive will is outside of His perfect will but still acceptable. According to these teachers, His permissive will is an acceptable path to walk our faith in, but doing so will bring fewer blessings into our lives. In this permissive will, we are relying on G-D’s grace to cause G-D to see us as if we were walking in His perfect will, even though we are actually walking outside of His perfect will. Just for the record: Anytime we are walking outside of G-D’s perfect will that means we are walking in our will.

The teaching of both a perfect will and a permissive will is a dangerous doctrine that may cause us to feel better about ourselves. In reality, it results in idolatry because it makes our will equal to G-D’s will, and it justifies our sin by saying G-D has permitted it within His permissive will. This belief causes those who teach it and those who accept it as truth to live outside of repentance. After all, why would they repent for something that is within G-D’s permissive will?

The truth is that we can only live within G-D’s perfect will or outside of His perfect will. G-D does not have a permissive will. The Bible does not teach that there is a permissive will anywhere. What it does teach is that there is G-D’s perfect will and then there is the way G-D provided for man to be restored to His perfect will. Some of these paths to restoration may look as if G-D accepts our changes to His plan. But in truth, they are simply G-D helping us deal with the real repercussions of our walking outside of His perfect will.

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Let me provide some examples: It was G-D’s perfect will for Israel to not have an earthly king. G-D wanted to be the only ruler over Israel. We begin many of our prayers with the words, “Blessed are You, O L-RD, our G-D, King of the universe.” Yet, in His foreknowledge, G-D knew Israel would choose their own will over His will. So G-D provided laws in the Torah so they would be able to restore Him as the ultimate King, even if they chose to have an earthly king. This was not allowing a permissive will. It was G-D allowing them to return to His perfect will. Read these words from Deuteronomy 17:14-20 (TLV):

“When you come to the land that Adonai your God is giving you, possess it and dwell in it, and you say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations around me,’ you will indeed set over yourselves a king, whom Adonai your God chooses. One from among your brothers will be appointed as king over you—you may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. Only he should not multiply horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to multiply horses, because Adonai has said to you, “You must never go back that way again.” Nor should he multiply wives for himself, so that his heart does not turn aside, nor multiply much silver and gold for himself.

“Now when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself a copy of this Torah on a scroll, from what is before the Levitical kohanim. It will remain with him, and he will read in it all the days of his life, in order to learn to fear Adonai his God and keep all the words of this Torah and these statutes. Then his heart will not be exalted above his brothers, and he will not turn from the commandment to the right or to the left—so that he may prolong his days in his kingship, he and his sons, in the midst of Israel.

As you read these commandments, you will notice that each of these commandments limit the actions of the human king of Israel so that the human king has to recognize G-D as the ultimate King of Israel.

Another example is when G-D tells Israel that if they obey His commandments, they will live in peace in their land. But then G-D also provided commandments for what they should do when they go to war. G-D’s perfect will was for Israel to obey Him and live in peace. But He also knew that Israel would sin at times, so He provided a way for restoration to His perfect will in how their military would behave. Again, this is not a permissive will. This is a means of restoration to His perfect will through repentance and submission to His kingship.

One last demonstration of G-D’s perfect will and His restoration to His perfect will is when He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and provided His perfect will. They listened to the adversary who told them they could be like G-D. They ate the fruit and sin entered them. However, G-D had, before the foundation of the world, established a way of restoration to His perfect will through the atonement provided through Yeshua. The death of Yeshua was not G-D’s permissive will. It was G-D’s plan for restoration to His perfect will.

When you think about it, Adam and Eve were told way back then by the father of lies that G-D had a permissive will, “You shall not die … you will be like Him.”

The truth is the deceiver convinced them that “their will” was G-D’s permissive will, and the deceiver is still telling that same lie to people today. Torch1

Rabbi Eric Tokajer has served the community of Brit Ahm Messianic Synagogue in Pensacola, Florida since 2006. In addition to serving at Brit Ahm, he also helped to establish six other Messianic synagogues along the United States, Gulf Coast. He is also a sought-after speaker for both national and international conferences and events, and has authored 12 books. In addition to his duties as a rabbi, he also serves on the board of several Messianic ministries and as the theology team facilitator for the Tree of Life Version Bible.

Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.

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Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt’s “Prayers That…” 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.

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Tokajer Wedding

Does G-D Have OCD? — Charisma Magazine

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One of the best things about being a rabbi is that I am blessed with the high honor of officiating weddings. There is nothing quite like looking at the eyes of a man and a woman who are looking into each other’s eyes as they enter into a covenant together.

However, recently I had a somewhat traumatic event take place the morning of a wedding I was to perform.

Those who know me know that I am a little “CDO.” CDO is kind of like OCD, only in alphabetical order. I was raised by a father who believed everything had a place and that place was where it belonged. My father’s belief was further ingrained into my mind as I served in the military. So in my world, everything has a place, and everything must be where it belongs.

When I get home at night, my wallet and keys go in the exact same place. At night before I go to bed, my glasses go on my nightstand in the exact same place. In the morning when I wake up, I get dressed in the same order and put my shoes on the same way. My coffee cup on my desk is always in the same place. You get the picture.

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On a side note: This does drive my wife a little crazy and has caused “discussions” at times.

Back to my traumatic event. I woke up on the morning of the wedding, and I began my morning routine. Everything was going well, until I went to my closet, and my suit wasn’t where it belonged. Not only wasn’t it where it belonged on the rack, it wasn’t even in the closet. My heart skipped a few beats, and I asked my wife to come to the closet.

To be honest, I yelled across the house for my wife to hurry to the closet. When she arrived, I asked her, “Where is my suit?” She responded, “I suppose it is where you put it.” This was clearly not the answer for which I hoped.

We searched every closet in the house, looked in the car and drove to my synagogue to look in my office; the suit was nowhere to be found. Please understand, at that moment, I was more upset that the suit wasn’t where it was supposed to be than I was that the suit wasn’t findable because I always put things where they belong.

I went from minor trauma to panic as I realized it was 8 o’clock in the morning on a Sunday, and I didn’t have a suit to wear to the wedding—and I had to be at the rehearsal at 10:30. There were no stores open—and for those who don’t know me, I have one suit, and the rest of my clothes are khaki pants or blue jeans that I wear with shirts.

I was not angry that I couldn’t find the suit; I was angry that the suit wasn’t where it was supposed to be. Thankfully, after searching through the house, I was able to find a pair of pants and a sportscoat that I could put together that, according to my wife, “looked fine.”

After all, she said, “no one really cares what you are wearing; they will all be looking at the bride.” Of course, she was right. But that still didn’t remove the knot from inside my gut. Why wasn’t my suit where it belonged?

The wedding was beautiful, and the bride was even more beautiful. After everything was over and I got back to my house, I sat down, still upset that my suit wasn’t in my closet in its assigned place. My world was out of order.

It was then that my heart heard the loving voice of G-D speaking: “You’re feeling today what I feel every time you sin, because whenever one of My children sins, it causes disorder.” The Garden of Eden was in perfect order until sin. G-D designed marriage and family as part of His perfect order. He built those families into communities of worship to be in order.

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Why the Devil Is Such an Opportunist — Charisma Magazine

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When you love a prodigal, you get used to the roller coaster—the ups and downs, the unexpected turns, the dashed hope.

I know; I lived it. I remember well when my prodigal was making great progress. Better choices. Greater stability. Hope for a good future.

Then hard things happened, despair overcame. Bad choices. Old patterns. I felt like we had reverted to 10 years earlier.

Why was I surprised?

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We have an enemy. That enemy is after those we love. Peter warned us: “Be sober and watchful, because your adversary the devil walks around as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:8).

John adds, “The thief does not come, except to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10a).

He is wily and smart. He studies our prodigals—to know the right temptation, the stumbling block most likely to succeed, the best time to attack.

Again, why should we be surprised? He did it to our Lord.

When the enemy followed Jesus into the wilderness, he was intent on destruction. But he was clever. He waited until he thought Jesus would be weak from hunger and thirst.

He used the Father’s own words—quoting Scripture repeatedly. He offered Jesus shortcuts—an easier way—to what was already to be His: power, authority, immortality.

Of course, Jesus was not deceived. He saw through the devil’s schemes. He used Scripture to rebuke the devil, to resist him, to say no.

“When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13, NIV).

Satan is such an opportunist.

He is ever vigilant to recapture our loved ones, to regain the advantage, to remind them of the pleasures of sin, to woo them back into places they have left. He watches for an opportune time.

We have some clear instructions: “Therefore submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7, MEV).

We can pray that our prodigals will remember the teaching they have received and resist the devil themselves. But often they will not be at a place in their lives to do that.

So we must stand in the gap.

We must pray on their behalf. We ask God to be their strong fortress, to protect them, to strengthen them, to point them to His way of escape from temptation (1 Cor. 10:13).

We must take an offensive stand against the evil one, according to scriptural patterns.

We must personally make sure we are resisting the devil and his temptations directed at us as well—he is persistent. We must walk with Christ in humility and holiness and in the power of the Spirit. All that we ask God to do on behalf of our prodigals, we must ask Him to do for us.

“Finally,” Paul tells us in Ephesians 6, “be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil” (Eph. 6:10-11).

The battle makes me weary.

Weary from the pain. The surprises. The expense. The disappointment. The late-night calls. The fear.

Weary in the waiting. The devil waits. And we must wait.

Sometimes it is challenging to follow through with this exhortation: “And let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not give up” (Gal. 6:9).

But wait. Is there good in the waiting? God seems to say so. Let these many words on waiting sink in:

“And let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap, if we do not give up” (Rom. 8:25).

“Wait on the Lord; be strong, and may your heart be stout; wait on the Lord” (Ps.27:14).

“Therefore be patient, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. Notice how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and is patient with it until he receives the early and late rain” (James 5:7).

“Therefore be patient, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. Notice how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth and is patient with it until he receives the early and late rain” (Hab. 2:3).

Think of those people throughout Scripture who waited: Abraham for a child; Joseph to get out of prison; Moses for Pharaoh to let his people go; the children of Israel in the desert to reach the promised land; the disciples for the Holy Spirit.

And God waits, too.

He has waited through all the prodigal seasons of His children. He waited for just the right time to send His Son in the incarnation and now waits for the right time to send Him again. And He waits for each of us and each of our loved ones to surrender, to accept, to return and to trust.

So we wait.

“Therefore, the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore, He waits on high to have mercy on you; for the Lord is a God of justice; how blessed are all who long for Him” (Isa. 30:18).

We are blessed as we wait.

Listen to this episode of When You Love a Prodigal with Judy Douglass on Charisma Podcast Network now. Torch1

Judy Douglass is a global writer, speaker and encourager. Her most recent book, When You Love a Prodigal, has ignited her new podcast of the same name. She directs Women’s Resources at Cru.

Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.

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Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt’s “Prayers That…” 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.

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Embrace Both the Kindness and Severity of God in Your Life — Charisma Magazine

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“I would go through all of the church hurt again because of the amount of healing and breakthrough it released in my life,” shares Chad Norris, pastor of Bridgeway Church and author of Mama Jane’s Secret: Walking in Deep Friendship with God.

I am on this earth to learn how to forgive and love well. I believe that God is ushering in the seasons that grow love in us. God is in the crushing and using it for His glory. Romans 8:18 exhorts us to “consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed to us.”

You can’t learn how to love from a book; you have to walk in deep friendship with God. You learn how to love by going through the crushing and letting God touch you. Going through pain taught me how to truly love.

Is there anyone God could bring into your path who you are not able to love?

“Learning how to wash the feet of the Judas in my life is how I learned how to love,” shares Leif Hetland, founder of Global Mission Awareness and author of Healing the Orphan Spirit.

Click here to listen to this episode of Kingdom Family Talks on Charisma Podcast Network, The Kindness and Severity of God. Torch1

Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.

Get Spirit-filled content delivered right to your inbox! Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.

Great Resources to help you excel in 2019! #1 John Eckhardt’s “Prayers That…” 6-Book Bundle. Prayer helps you overcome anything life throws at you. Get a FREE Bonus with this bundle. #2 Learn to walk in the fullness of your purpose and destiny by living each day with Holy Spirit. Buy a set of Life in the Spirit, get a second set FREE.

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