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ENTERTAIN STRANGERS

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As you may already know, my family and I live in Japan. We’ve entertained many strangers in our Japan journey but this was the first time I’ve had an experience like the one I’m about to share.

angels unawares

I took my four year old to the park today. While there, running around like two four year olds, I noticed an older gentleman on a bicycle. He bowed and I returned the bow as is the custom. He rode up to the restroom and parked his bicycle then strolled over to the park benches, watching us frolic the entire time.

I pushed my four year old on the swings, then we had a race. We then went to the slide and lastly to the seesaw. Then my four year old said it was time to go.

As we walked to our car, the man started talking to me in Japanese. My Japanese conversation skill is quite basic. I wasn’t sure what he was saying, so I went closer to him to see if I could understand.

He was brown skinned, tanned I’m sure, and his speech was difficult to understand because some older people talk with a “thicker” form of Japanese.

I did understand when he asked me where I was from and I told him. Then he asked if my wife was Japanese and I said no. He then asked what our work was and I told him. he also asked if I had any other children and I said yes.

I was being very polite and these were the usual questions that foreigners get from Japanese people.

The most unusual thing happened after that. He started to say something, still in Japanese, and I could hear the words for hungry, three days, and money. He was asking me to buy him food.

If you know Japan, you know this would NEVER, ever happen, at all, especially from Japanese to foreigner. Ever! I was shocked! But I kept a poker face and double checked what he was saying.

I asked him if he was hungry, if he had not eaten in three days, and if he wanted money to buy food. I had to double check because if that wasn’t the case, and I tried to give him money, it would embarrass him. Alas, it was what he had said!

I didn’t have a lot of cash on me, but I took out my wallet and gave him half the cash I had. His reaction was one of surprise and gratitude. He then shook my hand, another very rare thing, and told me his name. He then asked my name and I told him.

All of this was happening in Japanese, although mine was broken Japanese. We said our goodbyes and parted ways. I could see him waving to us as we drove away from the park, another rarity.

During the experience, my thoughts immediately went to Hebrews 13:2

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” ~AuthKJV

Maybe for now I will never know. I was happy to help him. It always feels so awesome to live the scripture. I am still awed by how God works in simplicity sometimes.

Do not forget to entertain strangers. Blessings all!

THE WILDERNESS EXPERIENCE

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The wilderness experience isn’t always an enjoyable one, especially if you don’t want to be in it. The wilderness is usually dry and hot or humid, with many extreme and unpleasant conditions.

Israel Wilderness

Wilderness in Israel, photo credit maxpix.

Yet Moses and countless others endured it, learned valuable lessons in it, and came out with new purpose because God schooled them through it.

What’s your wilderness experience?
How can you see your Heavenly Father with you in it?
How can you endure the extreme and unpleasant experiences?
How can you emerge more knowledgeable, spiritually stronger and wiser?
What new or renewed purpose can you discover from it?

TRUST your HEAVENLY FATHER; He has a bespoke (uniquely tailored) plan for YOU in the wilderness experience.

Blessings ALL

SM for EM

 

A BASIC BIBLE STUDY METHOD

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Here is an easy way to really understand what the Holy Bible is saying. You don’t have to be a theologian. Trust God! (^_^)

Epignosis (e-pē'-gnō-sēs) Ministries

A BASIC BIBLE STUDY METHOD

Many people rely on others to interpret scripture for them because they think it is a challenge to study and understand the Holy Bible. The problem with this is that they run the risk of getting an interpretation that serves the interest of a particular theologian, religious body, or group.

Some theologians explain the text in a way that says what they want as opposed to what God the author intended. In some cases this is not due to outright maliciousness but due to ignorance. The direct result is that many people end up with a human opinion quite different from God’s intent.

One has to understand the origin of the Holy Bible as a starting point in one’s approach to Bible study. What we now have as the Holy Bible was originally written in three (3) languages: Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. It has been translated from these…

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What is the definition of a true MINISTER?

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What is the mark of a true #minister of #God? Is there a blueprint? Find out here. https://epignosisministries.com/2011/06/20/what-is-the-definition-of-a-true-minister/

Epignosis (e-pē'-gnō-sēs) Ministries

What is the definition of a true MINISTER?

I shouldn’t have to ask this question but here I am asking and requiring all (including myself) to continue to look deeper into scripture to find out what the Word of God says about our commission.

St. Paul. Mosaic in the Archbishop's Chapel, Ravenna, 5th century AD The Apostle Paul. Mosaic, the Archbishop’s Chapel, Ravenna, Italy, 5th century AD

Ministers, God set specific operating procedures for all who carry and dispense His Word. Look at what the scripture says about ministers:

“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient…

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FEEL-GOOD GOSPEL

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FEEL-GOOD GOSPEL

People need to hear the truth contained in the Word of God, to the edification of their souls.

nail cross & thorns

It is enervating to see, in present day, the continued trend inherent in the church’s style-of-preaching (and teaching).

There is this seduction of feeling (though not in ALL) that draws souls away to the slumber zone; to destruction and not to edification.

Paul had to communicate similarly to the Corinthian Church three times:

“Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.” ~2 Corinthians 13:10, AuthorizedKJV

Today’s messages feel good and appeal to the soul, but do little to change the soul or transform the mind to the mind of Christ. We are supposed to have the mind of Christ, ARE WE NOT?

“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” ~ 1 Corinthians 2:16, AuthorizedKJV

The mind needs to be renewed to take on the mind of Christ. Renewal comes by being edified from the Word of God. The scripture urges us to be transformed by renewing our minds and to NOT be like the world system.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” ~ Romans 12:2, AuthorizedKJV

The feel-good gospel is like a Sunday pill that wears off on Monday. People go back to the carnal weekly routines and pine for next Sunday’s fix.

FEEL-GOOD GOSPEL

WIS-DUMB

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Epignosis (e-pē'-gnō-sēs) Ministries

I quoted the following scripture in yesterday’s post PLAYING CHURCH but when I re-read the post a few minutes ago the scripture seemed to stand out on the page. Let’s examine it.

“Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:” Isaiah 29:13 (KJV)

God says the people approach Him with their mouths and talk an abundance of honorable things, but they have thrust away their inner being, mind, will, heart and understanding have become distant from Him. The part that really stands out is the part that says:

“…their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men:” 

This is a terrifying assertion by God. God speaks from a point of fact not assumption. He says here…

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FAST & PRAY (for the best way through enemy territory)

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FAST & PRAY (for the best way through enemy territory)

Imagine you’re a ten year old who has to walk to and from school everyday. Now imagine that twice daily on this journey you have to literally tiptoe downwind past a yard of vicious dogs. Wouldn’t you consider this enemy territory?

caravan

In our daily lives we travel through “enemy territory” regularly. Our experiences may be different in context and severity but we can all relate to having to pass through “hostile territory” fearing getting mauled and robbed.

So how can we ensure that we are completely protected when we have to navigate through enemy territory? Consider this, Ezra wanted to return to Jerusalem and had finally persuaded some of the exiles to leave Babylon and go home with him. He also had a lot of temple treasures to carry.

Ezra knew the journey (from Babylon through Palestine to Jerusalem) would be dangerous because of robbers and enemies along the way, and he didn’t want to ask the king of Babylon for soldiers, so he proclaimed a fast to seek God’s provision specifically for the journey.

“Then I proclaimed a fast there, at the river of Ahava, that we might afflict ourselves before our God, to seek of him a right way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our substance. For I was ashamed to require of the king a band of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy in the way: because we had spoken unto the king, saying, The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him. So we fasted and besought our God for this: and he was intreated of us.” Ezra 8:21-23 Auth.KJV

Here is something to consider: Ezra didn’t want to ask the king for help because during his time in the king’s court he had preached about God’s protection over those who seek Him. Asking the king for help, instead of trusting God, would be denying the power he had preached about.

It would have been a two-fold denial: 1. denying God before men; and 2. denying God to God’s face. Ezra had to walk the talk not just talk the talk so he went to the source: his Heavenly Father.

Ezra’s fast was very specific. The purpose was to seek “a right way” for three specific things: the grown ups, the children, and all their property.

This right way was literally an even way, specifically referring to an unobstructed way. Ezra asked God for the unobstructed and most fortunate way through the territory of his enemies and God granted his request because he had prayed and fasted for it.

Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go unto Jerusalem: and the hand of our God was upon us, and he delivered us from the hand of the enemy, and of such as lay in wait by the way. Ezra 8:31 Auth.KJV

FAST & PRAY (for the best way through enemy territory)

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