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A Thought From Paris !!!!!!

It’s been 4 days since I returned home from my travels and I have had some time to reflect on some of the trip. I was away for close to 2 months and I witnessed so much that I will never forget. Watching the hand of God caress and love and work in the lives of people is something you don’t get over.

Mission work is not all about seeing immediate results. Before there is a harvest of the fruit, someone must sow the seed, someone must nurture the young tender plant and water it, and then after the proper time and environment you reap the harvest. Much of our work was seed sowing, particularly in Europe. I spoke with people who had heard of Jesus but knew nothing else about Him. Without a Damascus Road experience it will take them some time to know enough to make a decision concerning Jesus. We spoke with thousands of people and have hundreds that want us to contact them to learn more. There are enough to keep the local missionaries busy for a long time.

There were others who were ready for the harvest, and how great it was to see. A few of us were walking down the sidewalk in Paris on our way to the train station. A young man in his 20s almost hit us while riding his bicycle on the sidewalk. He had not done it on purpose and immediately he stopped, turned around, and apologized. He noticed that our shirts said “Juifs Pour Jésus” which is Jews For Jesus in French. He asked us what we were about. We explained to him who we were and what we did and he began to speak about his experience in church. He said he had felt convicted of his sin at one time but said he didn’t want have to confess it to a priest. He said “if I’ve sinned before God why do I have to confess it to a man? Why can’t I just go directly to God?” He thought this was the only way to find forgiveness. We told him that he could and should go directly to God. That God hears all and was still waiting on him to come. Within a few minutes he was praying the sinners prayer with a missionary in his native tongue.

I have several stories like this that happened in my time away. God works extraordinarily through, and in spite of our feeble efforts. He is building His Kingdom and it’s great to be a very small part of His work.

Shalom until next time, Lord willing,

Levi

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Are You Adaptable ??????

This week I have worked 3 days at the Tulsa County Extension office as a Master Gardener. Before I started with Jews For Jesus I worked every week, but since I am traveling so much these days I put a whole month into a week. I’m thankful that I can do this. Yesterday, I was talking to a couple of fellows that I was working with. One asked me when I was going to New York again. I told him I was leaving Sunday and the other gentleman asked me what I did in New York every month. I explained to him that taking the Gospel to Jewish people was the mission. This gave me a chance to present the Gospel to him because I knew he was an unbeliever. As a Master Gardener I could speak of what Jesus had done for me.

We all change hats everyday many times. That made me think about yesterday. I went into Footlocker to purchase some running shoes. A very nice young man helped me in making certain I was able to find what I wanted in the proper size and color and fit. ( Nike Air Max is the only way to go in my books ). After I had paid he asked me what I did. I told him that since I had retired I mainly was involved with telling Jewish people that Jesus was their already come Messiah. That gave me the opportunity to share the message of eternal life to him. As a consumer I had the chance to turn it into witnessing opportunity.

I left Footlocker and came home where a person was to meet me to buy some of my hay. He and his wife had been here earlier in the week for another load. After loading the round bales onto his trailer with the tractor we began to talk. Within 5 minutes I had pivoted the conversation to Jesus. I gave the Gospel to them both and the husband showed interest but not ready to make a decision. He will be back in 2 weeks for his final load of hay for the year and I hope to speak further with them. As a farmer I had the chance to turn it into witnessing opportunity.

There aren’t many things that you can’t turn into an opportunity to share the Gospel. I’m not telling you of these events to make you think I’m a wonderful witness, but to illustrate to you the way each and every one of us can share our Lord. Listen to Paul:

“For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those out side the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings”. I Cor. 9:19-23

Paul is a shining example for us. He was available for whomever, whenever the opportunity arose. He seized every available time to share of God’s marvelous grace through Jesus. What about You!!!!

Something to think about on this beautiful Friday.

Shalom, until next time, Lord willing,

Levi

 
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Posted by on November 7, 2014 in Christianity, Faith, Religion

 

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The Key To The Missionary’s Work (2)

He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world —1 John 2:2

The key to the missionary’s message is the propitiation of Christ Jesus— His sacrifice for us that completely satisfied the wrath of God. Look at any other aspect of Christ’s work, whether it is healing, saving, or sanctifying, and you will see that there is nothing limitless about those. But— “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”— that is limitless (John 1:29). The missionary’s message is the limitless importance of Jesus Christ as the propitiation for our sins, and a missionary is someone who is immersed in the truth of that revelation.

The real key to the missionary’s message is the “remissionary” aspect of Christ’s life, not His kindness, His goodness, or even His revealing of the fatherhood of God to us. “. . . repentance and remission of sins should be preached . . . to all nations . . .” (Luke 24:47). The greatest message of limitless importance is that “He Himself is the propitiation for our sins . . . .” The missionary’s message is not nationalistic, favoring nations or individuals; it is “for the whole world.” When the Holy Spirit comes into me, He does not consider my partialities or preferences; He simply brings me into oneness with the Lord Jesus.

A missionary is someone who is bound by marriage to the stated mission and purpose of his Lord and Master. He is not to proclaim his own point of view, but is only to proclaim “the Lamb of God.” It is easier to belong to a faction that simply tells what Jesus Christ has done for me, and easier to become a devotee of divine healing, or of a special type of sanctification, or of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. But Paul did not say, “Woe is me if I do not preach what Christ has done for me,” but, “. . . woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Corinthians 9:16). And this is the gospel— “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest

 
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Posted by on October 16, 2014 in Christianity, Faith, Religion

 

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The Key To The Missionary’s Work (1)

Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ’All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations . . .’ —Matthew 28:18-19

The key to the missionary’s work is the authority of Jesus Christ, not the needs of the lost. We are inclined to look on our Lord as one who assists us in our endeavors for God. Yet our Lord places Himself as the absolute sovereign and supreme Lord over His disciples. He does not say that the lost will never be saved if we don’t go— He simply says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations . . . .” He says, “Go on the basis of the revealed truth of My sovereignty, teaching and preaching out of your living experience of Me.”

“Then the eleven disciples went . . . to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them” (Matthew 28:16). If I want to know the universal sovereignty of Christ, I must know Him myself. I must take time to worship the One whose name I bear. Jesus says, “Come to Me . . .”— that is the place to meet Jesus— “all you who labor and are heavy laden . . .” (Matthew 11:28)— and how many missionaries are! We completely dismiss these wonderful words of the universal Sovereign of the world, but they are the words of Jesus to His disciples meant for here and now.

“Go therefore . . . .” To “go” simply means to live. Acts 1:8 is the description of how to go. Jesus did not say in this verse, “Go into Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria,” but, “. . . you shall be witnesses to Me in [all these places].” He takes upon Himself the work of sending us.

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you . . .” (John 15:7)— that is the way to keep going. Where we are placed is then a matter of indifference to us, because God sovereignly engineers our goings.

“None of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus . . .” (Acts 20:24). That is how to keep going until we are gone from this life.

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2014 in Christianity, Faith, Religion

 

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Great Works, on Nickle and Dime Offerings

Great Works, on Nickle and Dime Offerings

 

This post was written by Sheila Scorziello. She and her husband Mario are missionaries to Italy. Since I met them online, my wife and I have supported and prayed for this family. I believe many should read this post to better understand the life of a missionary, and how to better bless them. So often missionaries are out of sight and out of mind. Here is a link to their blog. Mission Italia. Because of the platform it is on it was not possible for me to reblog their post.

children

It was 1992, after only two years on the field, and we were heading “home”. At least in the minds of our fellow Americans. So our assertion of, “This isn’t home for us; we’re going back,” brought looks that clearly asked, “Haven’t you had enough?”

We’d left full. Full of big dreams and great plans. But finance trickled in, and we struggled to put food on the table. An unsettled debt hanging over our heads didn’t help, taking a good chunk of that already small pie.

So we decided to temporarily move back to the USA, where everyone greeted us with, “Welcome home!” And though we were happy to see friends and family once more, it wasn’t home, and we knew it never again could be. For God had transplanted our hearts.

During that trying time, which stretched into a year a half, due to Mario’s nearly fatal chainsaw accident, someone from a Barnabas Ministries spoke at our church. I don’t remember his name, or where he was from, and my online search unearthed many works with that appellation.

But their purpose of lifting up the weary hands immediately struck a chord with us. So many missionaries face discouragement, feeling they have nowhere to go. No one to turn to. This is more true than most of us begin to imagine, and we thank God for the Barnabas ministries that are out there.

But one statement, in particular, made during that meeting stuck in our minds.
We expect to see great works on nickel and dime offerings.

This is so true. How many missionaries get asked, “Is that all you’ve done in all this time?” And even when unspoken, the question often hangs in the air. Leaving the missionary even more discouraged than before.

Most missionaries we know personally struggled to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table, and the bills paid with nickel and dime offerings. Yet others expect them to do great things, and build up great works.

It’s a sad, but often true, missionary reality. And so this post is a call for help! And a call to ministry!

Start your own personal Barnabas Ministry!

And encourage the missionaries you know, or that your church supports. Or, if your church doesn’t support any, talk to your pastor about getting involved in this needy area.

What you can do:

PRAY!

Prayer is at the top of the list, because it is the absolute greatest need, both for the missionary, and for those they are trying to reach or serve. Pray for their needs. Pray for the people they ask you to pray for. And pray for the doors that they need to see opened.

STAY IN TOUCH!

Between mail, email, social media, and Skype—that should be easier than ever, right?? And how can you pray effectively, it you don’t know what’s going on?

BE OUR LIFELINE OF FELLOWSHIP!

Many missionaries, like us, live and work in isolated areas. We have little or no fellowship. And notes or even verses of Scripture that show you’re thinking and praying for us help a lot!

SPOIL THEIR KIDS!

Missionary kids give up a lot for their parents’ choice. Far from friends and family, and it’s harder to make friends across language and culture barriers. Dollar store goodies stuffed in a padded envelope are great little gifts!

SHOW REAL INTEREST IN THEIR WORK!

Find out what’s going on. What they’d like to do, and see happen. Learn of their struggles, their fears, their burdens.

DON’T TALK ABOUT YOUR LATEST FABULOUS VACATION!

We’re happy for you. We really are. But sometimes it’s a little hard to swallow when our children go without needed clothing, or we see villagers around us struggling to put food on the table.

AND LET US KNOW ABOUT YOUR LIFE!

We care about all the folks back home, and wish we could be more connected. We want to know how you are and what’s going on. And we want to know how we can pray for you, or what ways we can better encourage you!

Communication is key!

It’s really not that hard to lift up the weary hands. And we’ve always found that when do that, our own get lifted up in the process!

 
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Posted by on October 14, 2014 in Christianity, Faith, Religion

 

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Did The Apostle Paul Need Encouraged ??????

Did the great apostle Paul struggle like we do? If you read Romans 7 you will have to conclude that he did because Paul was a fallen man like you and I.  When we read of the mighty apostle we oftentimes think of him as almost perfect. Besides Christ, Who is God and is Perfection, Paul stands out in my mind as the most Christ-like of all, but yet he still struggled.

I made myself a note for a future post when reading in Acts 18. In verses 9-10 Luke wrote: “And the Lord said to Paul one night in a vision, “Do not be afraid, but go on speaking and do not be silent,for I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.”

Paul had just come from Atens to Corinth. As was his custom, he preached every Sabbath in the synagogue trying to persuade Jews and Gentiles to come to Jesus. In the prior verses we see how his word was rejected by the Jews and that they reviled and opposed him. After leaving them we see God at work. He lodged at the home of a Justus Titius, a worshiper of God as he is described. And where did Justin just happen to live? Right next door to the synagogue.

Not a lot is told us about verse 8, but Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in The Lord Jesus, and his entire household. We are told that because of this many Corinthians believed and were baptized.

The Lord promised Paul that He would protect him from those that rejected his message. Paul was also encouraged by God telling him that there were many in Corinth who would believe. In fact, I love the language used, “for I have many in this city who ARE my people” (vs.9b).

Paul needed encouragement just like we do. The Gospel message is always a divider…. There are always those who will accept, and those who will reject the message. This shouldn’t frighten us or discourage us; it is God who goes before us. He has prepared a people among us all, wherever we may be, who want to hear the Message. You’ll never know until you share it.

Are you afraid to share Jesus when the opportunity arises? Don’t be!!

 

Shalom, until tomorrow, Lord willing,

Levi

 
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Posted by on September 3, 2014 in Christianity, Faith, Religion

 

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He Left Right Before Their Very Eyes !!!!!!

And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11 ESV)

It has been only a few weeks ago that a dear blogger and her spouse lost a child in an accident. As I read the words of the incident I could only feel for them with my heart, and wonder what they must be going through, and what their thoughts must be. They are believers, but they are still human and I’m sure must ask God these questions… Why? This just shouldn’t have happened; the normal order is for the child to bury their parents; this is surely not what a loving God would want. A parent should never outlive their children.

The disciples must have been feeling this way as the parents above. Jesus was with them; He was taken away from them by being crucified; He returned and spent 40 more days with them; then all of a sudden He was taken from them again. How must they have felt? All of their thoughts about how things should be, or were going to be, were marred again. They must have been terribly confused.

So what did the disciples do? I can see them standing, looking into the sky, trying to make sense of something that they weren’t capable of understanding. And here we are today, over two thousand years later, and we still don’t understand all there is to know about that event, even though we  have the New Testament to tell us all about it. So how could they possibly understand it in the middle of their experience?

There are times when I stand still and look into the sky amazed or shocked. I stand amazed at how God works in particular incidents, and often I’m shocked by some tragic event. Then God speaks to me through His Word and says to me, “Why do you stand here looking into the sky?” It’s time to get moving, it’s time to be doing something. So where are we to go, and what are we to do? We have the answer to this in the last thing Jesus told us to do. For the disciples, that was go to Jerusalem and wait there for the Holy Spirit. I can’t answer that question for anyone but myself. When I’m shocked, I can hardly answer it for myself: What was the last thing Jesus told me to do? That is what I must do, and that is what I will do. The name of this book is Acts for a reason. It’s what the apostles, and us who know Jesus, do with this knowledge; The disciples did what Jesus told them to do and their lives and the world was turned upside down.

What about you? Are you still stuck in the middle of tragedy? What was the last thing Jesus told you to do? Are you doing it?

Something to think about on this beautiful day we have been given.

Shalom, until tomorrow, Lord willing,

Levi

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2014 in Christianity, Faith, Religion, Uncategorized

 

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